Archive for the ‘News’ Category

OIA – Busy AND Environmentally Friendly!

Although the count is dropping, Orlando International Airport still managed to push more than 3 million passengers through its doors and onto airplanes in the month of June (the latest month counted), marking four consecutive months of passenger counts over 3 million.

Here’s how the count breaks down for the four months:


oia_logo.jpgYou can see the decline from March to June, but I would expect to see July rise when the next statistics are released since that is such a heavily traveled vacation month, especially for families.

In addition to record-breaking passenger counts, OIA is at the forefront of testing environment-friendly fuel alternatives for its fleet of operations vehicles. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates the Orlando International Airport, is one of the first governmental entities in the Central Florida area to test bio-diesel fuel in daily operations around the airport.

oia_tower.jpg Bio-diesel, which has been approved for use in trucks, buses, tugboats and other general diesel equipment with little or no modifications to existing engines, is a blend of 80 percent petroleum diesel and 20 percent renewable domestic resources such as soybean and restaurant waste oil, which are cheaper to process and use, as opposed to regular diesel fuel.

Reports are that some 1,000 test vehicles are currently using about 1,000 gallons a day with no adverse effects and because the bio-diesel is a clean burning fuel, passengers and visitors to OIA should experience no noticeable difference, other than perhaps a lessening of the usual sharp odors associated with regular diesel fuel.

So the next time you fly out of OIA, eat lots of french fries at the food court…you’ll be helping to set records and power airport vehicles at the same time.

Billionaire Mickey

Yesterday Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger announced that the House That Mickey Built made a record $1.13 BILLION in profit (yes profit) in its third quarter. That, good folk, is a LOT of cheese!

Iger attributed the increase over last year’s third quarter paltry $811 million profit to the success of “Cars” (I’ve GOT to go see that soon or I’ll have to wait for the DVD) at the box office, excellent sales figures for “The Chronicles of Narnia” DVD and higher revenue from Disney’s sports media arm, ESPN. There’s also no doubt that record-breaking park attendance resulting from the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland in California contributed to the jump in revenue and profits.

Which takes us back to a few days ago when Disney announced an immediate hike in its single-day ticket price, bringing the cost up to $67 per adult. The reason for the price hike just before an announcement of record setting profits? Both industry analysts and Disney itself expect that park attendance will be flatter this year as a result of the 50th Anniversary Celebration spike; sort of a self-correcting of the market.

mickey_mouse.jpgThat’s why Mickey is standing there with his hand held out for more money from each person that buys a one-day ticket. To battle the expected leveling of park attendance, the Mouse will get more per person in order to keep Theme Park revenue from dipping too greatly. The premise is simple; if you can’t get more bodies, get more bucks.

It will be interesting to see if this works for Disney or if a backlash occurs and people skip “The Happiest Place On Earth” and opt instead to go to Universal Studios or Sea World. Travel polls already suggest that Orlando is dropping from its former high ranking spot on lists of favorite destinations in America. Higher ticket prices being charged by a company that just announced its profits hit the billion dollar mark may not sit well with travelers who are already being pummeled by higher gasoline prices.

More Disney Drama


I leave town for five days, and this is the kind of thing that happens…

Our fearless leader Dawn Moseley sent me this link this morning about YET ANOTHER INJURY on Disney property. Figures. I come from a weekend of rain, high prices, and electricity outages, and the first thing I read about is somebody’s near-death experience.

(On the flip side, it would have really really ticked me off to come home to discover that something incredibly awesome happened at Disney in my absence, like somebody was giving away Bucs tickets or Aqualung was performing.)

To be perfectly fair, this is probably a case of media scrutiny gone berserk. It’s like when you were a little kid and you did something wrong, and then your parents yelled at you for every little thing the rest of the day. It’s possible to get dizzy coming off of any ride–even ones that aren’t especially vicious. I had a Tilt-A-Whirl experience at Hersheypark once that makes the Aerosmith rollercoaster look like kid stuff. Who’s to say it wouldn’t have happened to a particularly sensitive person as she staggered off of the teacups at the Magic Kingdom or Space Mountain or something?


Scam Alert!

Reported to me by security at the bank I work for.

For those living in the Metro West area, or anyone that has filled up their tank in that area, be warned that skimmers were discovered on the pumps at the EXXON near the corner of Kirkman & LB McLeod. They have since been removed but they were in place for an indeterminite amount of time. That’s yet another reason not to buy gas at EXXON.

If you’ve filled up there, or even at any other gas stations in the area, keep an eye on your account for any fraudulent or unauthorized charges.

You have been warned, don’t get screwed at the pump twice.

Still Missing.

Whatever happened to the search for Jennifer Keese. It seems like the case disappeared from the news yet no resolution was ever met. Did they find that ‘person if interest’? They keep on and on about that Natalee Holloway girl, but people seemed to have lost interest in this local case. If this girl is still missing and local detectives can’t seem to come to any conclusions, shouldn’t they call in the Feds like they do in the movies?

Rodney King!


Black leaders want police chief to resign

Oh shit. Does anyone else feel like this might end up being the start of some serious racial tensions here in Orlando? Then again, I wouldn’t mind if a few McDonalds and other terrible corporate entities were to get burned down in some healthy rioting. You know, it’d be sort of like clear-cutting for businesses. It would clear the way for new businesses to emerge and grow*.

*I’m totally kidding so please don’t start a “how dare you condone rioting and violence?” thread. This could actually end up taking a turn for the worst. Lighten up people, literally and figuratively.

Sentinel Parent Company in Financial Straits.

Tribune investor urges split or sale of company

What does this mean for our own Tribune-owned Orlando Sentinel? Not much really, but it would be interesting to hear how announcements like this affect morale around our local newspaper. Tribune’s debt rating also got lowered to “junk” status which I imagine won’t do much for their stock prices.

Sentinel employees are allowed to buy Tribune stock at a 15% discount to encourage employees to invest in the company. Anyone over there selling off their stock just in case? Most likely Tribune will sell off one of its other properties but wouldn’t that be a hell of a thing if say someone like News Corporation picked up our little paper (considering that it is one of the only Tribune papers turning a profit still, I think)?

I know some Sentinel peeps graze here once in a while, how’s the feeling over there?

Terror Alert: GREEN

Man defending neighbor kills alligator in Loxahatchee

“It was him or us.”

Wow, effing, wow. Next thing you know Wal-Mart and Channel 13 are going to be promoting gator safety kits and anti-gator repellent. Wait a minute…*runs to patent office*

Pot Shots.

So in an effort to appeal to a wider field of voters Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher admitted to not only having an extramarital affair but also of having smoked pot 25 years ago. Shocking isn’t it?

Not to be outdone GOP opponent and current State Attorney General Charlie Crist took this opportunity to remind voters that he too “took the pot” back in the day, and he admitted it first. Apparently it is rather chic for political candidates to admit that they smoked pot back in the 70s. Come on fellas, that’s like models admitting to snorting coke, it is pretty much a given.

Don’t take my word for it though, just listen to my good friend Bob Saget.

I’ve got a better way for you to appeal to voters, talk about issues that matter and how you are going to improve our state. Leave the other stuff for your therapist.

“Who runs Bartertown?”

So the ordinance to limit the feeding of the homeless passed, albeit in a slightly altered form. Now not only do you need a permit to feed groups of 15 or more people, but the city gets to decide where you feed them. The ordinance must still go before the City Council for a second vote before it becomes law, but it is basically a done deal.

I find it interesting how they cite crime as one of the reasons for introducing this ordinance, thinking that it will curb minor theft and break-ins from the homeless. No, they are just going to be more inclined to do so since they can’t get free food easily and/or the crime is just going to be pushed out toward the fringe areas that the city leaders care a lot less about. Everybody wins! Well, except for the losers of course, but they don’t pay taxes so screw them.

Like I said before, perhaps if the city approached the homeless situation as a humanitarian problem than as a nuisance to the rich then maybe the crime would disappear as well. You don’t get rid of a weed by just running it over with a mower, you’ve got to get at the root.

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