Archive for January, 2006

Take me out to the ballgame (again)?

Couple Trying To Bring Minor League Baseball Back To Orlando

I have very fond memories of when the Cubs had a minor league affiliate playing at Tinker Field. Minor league baseball is always more fun than major league (they try harder). It all went downhill when they became the O-Rays, then moved down to Disney. Nothing really wrong with Disney’s stadium. It’s beautiful (almost too beautiful), but it’s way too far away and expensive for us poor Apopka-ites. So, hopefully, we’ll soon get back the beautiful summer nights, sitting in the open air with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other, watching up-and-coming (or down-and-out) ballplayers do their thang.

Save the Clock Tower!

Orlando sent a needed message in imposing a $60,000 fine for a house demolition.

Orlando proved that the city’s historic preservation code is serious business.

It fined a man $60,000 for razing his house in a downtown historic district without getting a demolition permit. The size of the fine is extraordinary. Yet it was appropriate considering that the violation was so blatant. Property owner George Gramatikas had a city permit to make renovations to his house on East Washington Street.

He did not have a city permit to demolish the bungalow-style house that was more than 80 years old.

The property owner’s excuse was that the house’s structural conditions prevented him from carrying out his original renovation plans and still comply with the building code.

I hope that perhaps this will also deter some eminent domain proponents from trying to come in take houses away from people. While growth is good and all, too much is going to make this city turn into a concrete jungle that is no fun to live in.

Shiver Me Timbers.

Adopt a Pirate

My name is Angel and I’m quitting my job so that I can go to the Bahamas and be a pirate… but I need your help!

I’ve been given a role as a pirate in the upcoming sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean “Dead Man’s Chest” coming out this July and I am going to the Bahamas to begin shooting.

Even though I am getting paid to be an extra in the film, the salary doesn’t come close to paying my bills in Orlando, not to mention all of the expenses I’ll have while living on the island… that’s why I need your help.

Help an Orlando resident represent. The world can always use more pirates you know. I only wish I’d have had the time to audition myself, but I gues I’ll have to live vicariously through Angel here. Good luck bro’.

WXXL Employee Arrested In Internet Sex Sting

adamcook.jpgOn the air, he is known as Adam Cook, program director and occasional DJ for Orlando’s Top40 radio station WXXL. The station is popular with area teens and over the years, Cook has helped to cultivate WXXL’s popularity with that demographic.

Off the air, Gary S. Wheeler, the real-life alter-ego of Cook, seems to have liked the teens a little too much.

According to a story posted Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Times, Wheeler, 48, was arrested Tuesday in Citrus County arriving at Hernando Beach Park to meet a “teen girl” with whom he had been exchanging explicit emails. The “girl” was actually Citrus County Detective David DeCarlo.

Wheeler reportedly began emailing what he thought was a 14-year old girl in May. He eventually escalated to explicit remarks about sexual activities he’d like to engage in with the “girl” — even going so far as to send a photo of a man’s penis.

He is currently being held on two charges — violation of the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1986 and transmitting computer pornography — pending a $10,000 bail.

Clear Channel, the parent company of WXXL is refusing to comment on the arrest, but the station has removed all traces of “Adam Cook” from its website.

I find it rather scary that a man like this had so many opportunities for contact with local teens and children. One had to wonder if this was the first time he’s tried personal contact of this kind. What do you think?

And we wonder why the ter’rists hate us.

It’s W.A.S.P! No, not White Anglo Saxon Protestants, I’m talking W.A.S.P. The hair-metal playing, makeup wearing, tights pants sportin’ cock-rock band of the 80’s, and they’re coming to Orlando!

Feb. 26th at the Hard Rock Live

I wanna rock!

Want a Chance at $1 Million?

millionaire-logo.jpgThe syndicated game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” starring Meredith Vieira, is filming episodes at Disney-MGM Studios starting today (Jan 12) through Sunday (Jan 15).

On Saturday (Jan 14), the show will be taping 5 special “Walk In and Win” episodes and they’re looking for an audience for the shows. Audience participants may find themselves in the hot seat, competing for $1 million, at any point during five show tapings. There are no qualifying tests to take.

Participants for “Walk In and Win” Week must be at the Main Entrance of the Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida starting at 6:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 14. No one will be admitted to the parking lot before 6:00 A.M. Only those people who are participating in “Walk In and Win” Week will be admitted. The line will close at 7:30am or when 1500 people have been admitted, whichever comes first. At that time, a random drawing will be conducted with all the people who are in line and 325 people will be selected to be in the studio audience and given the opportunity to be selected to play in the hot seat for $1 million.

In order to be part of the audience, participants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. resident, meet all eligibility requirements and have a list of phone-a-friends lined up and ready to participate.

If you’re interested in trying out for the shows, visit www.millionairetv.com for a complete list of eligibility requirements and what you MUST bring with you. If you forget anything on this list, you will not be allowed into the tapings.

Good luck — I can think of worse things to do for a shot at $1 million. Just don’t forget my 10% finder’s fee, if you win. LOL

PETA and the Circus

Anybody going to the Circus this weekend? I know we are. I’ll be taking my 7 year old son this weekend to what has become a tradition in my family. January = Circus time. I’ve been to other Circus’ (Shriner’s Circus at UCF) and there’s just no comparison in my humble opinion. Sorry Shriners.

But what drives me crazy are the nutty PETA people out front trying to get you to change your mind (after you’ve likely already spent you $30 a ticket to get in). Do they really think this is going to stop me from going?? I’d heard that they were going to have some naked woman shackled with scars all over her body, but who knows.

I’m not sure if I believe PETA’s claims of animal cruelty or not. I mean most animal lovers that *I* know treat their animals with better care than some people treat their own children or parents. My sister treats her dog like a human being… it gets sirloin steaks and regular grooming and has it’s own bed right next to hers.

I’m not trying to compare the animals in a circus to my sister’s dog, and maybe it’s naive of me to think that people who work in the circus actually ENJOY working with animals… that they actually LOVE these animals…. but… it would be a pretty crappy job if they didn’t eh?

Are there inhumane people out there who treat animals badly? Sure. Are they all in the circus business? Hardly. There are also inhumane parents to who treat their children badly and we don’t see protesters outside of homes and apartment buildings.

Get a life PETA.

Cujo Kitty Loose in Orange County.

No it’s not a Weekly World News headline, it’s for real.

‘Screaming’ Rabid Cat Attacks 15 In Neighborhood

ORLANDO, Fla. — A rabies alert was issued in an Orange County, Fla., community after a cat making a strange screaming sound attacked at least 15 people and two dogs in a neighborhood.

Officials said an apartment tenant brought a stray black and white cat into the Cricket Club apartments and then gave it to some friends to watch at a home just north of Rio Pinar. During the stay, the cat became agitated and escaped into the neighborhood, according to the Florida Department of Health news release.

As it ran through the community, it bit or scratched about 15 people and several dogs, Local 6 News reported.

“The cat came up from behind us and was screaming,” cat attack victim Adam Maul said. “I mean I’ve never heard a cat scream so loud. The cat ran out from underneath the car and bit me in my ankle.”

“That had to freak you out,” Local 6 reporter Mike DeForest said.

“It was very strange and my first reaction was to just kick it,” Maul said. Maul said the cat also jumped his dogs and bit them. One of the victims was able to capture the cat and hold it for Orange County Animal Services.

The animal was forwarded to the Florida Department of Health laboratories in Jacksonville, Fla., for examination. Positive results for rabies were returned to the Health Department Thursday night. Maul and 14 other neighbors have begun receiving rabies shots for the bites.

Officials believe that because the cat was in the neighborhood for three days with apparent signs of rabies, it may have attacked others or pets. A rabies alert has been posted for the area bordered by the East-West Expressway, Econlockhatchee Trail, Chickasaw Trail and Lake Underhill Road for 60 days.

Any one who was bitten or scratched by the black and white cat should call their doctor immediately. Pets attacked by the cat should be taken to their veterinarian for examination and rabies boosters as soon as possible.

For some reason I find this really funny, even if I was being chased by said foaming rabies-laden kitty cat. Someone should offer up a bounty on the little sucker. If it was high enough I’d go kitty hunting, Nugent style.

EDIT: As Chari just pointed out to me in a comment they caught the cat already, in fact it says it right there in the story. I guess was distracted by the thought of eye-patched bounty hunters scouring the streets for a tabby. Justice is served Felix.



Calling all motorheads.

Popular Motorcycle Art Exhibit Coming to Orlando Museum of Art

A exhibition of 70 motorcycles spanning 120 years makes the connection between transportion, art, design and popular culture.

What’s the subject of Florida’s hottest art exhibition? Manets? Monets? Mummies?

Try motorcycles. A fleet of more than 70 streamlined, sensuous, and seductive motorcycles rolling into the Orlando Museum of Art Jan. 22 through July 23 in an exhibit that explores the motorcycle as both cultural icon and design achievement.

If the exhibition sounds familiar, think back to 1998 when Art of the Motorcycle was one of most popular presentations ever displayed at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The exhibit later set attendance records in Las Vegas and Memphis.

Now, in its exclusive Florida showing, the most expertly designed motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds will challenge conventional assumptions about art and popular culture.

And it’ll look darned cool while doing it.

More…

The popularity of motorcycles and motorcycle culture continues to increase. This will be worth a go if you are into bikes at all, even you Vespa owners should get out there and check it out. I’m sure there is something for you too.

And for those of you that are asking, “Is this art?” I’ve got one thing to say, R. Mutt.

No Vouching for Us.

Florida Supreme Court Blocks School Vouchers
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In a ruling expected to reverberate through battles over school choice in many states, the Florida Supreme Court struck down a voucher program yesterday for students attending failing schools, saying the State Constitution bars Florida from using taxpayer money to finance a private alternative to the public system.

The 5-to-2 ruling orders state officials to end, at the close of this school year, a program that Gov. Jeb Bush has considered one of his chief accomplishments.

Known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program, it uses public money to pay tuition for 730 students who have left failing public schools and enrolled in private schools. But a prominent voucher proponent said yesterday’s ruling could also endanger the state’s charter school system and a voucher program for disabled students, which together serve nearly 100,000 students.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the federal Constitution does not prohibit vouchers, but it also held last year that states were not obliged to finance religious education as well as secular education. Those actions left it to state courts to decide whether voucher programs were legal, and focused national attention on the battle over vouchers in Florida, which teachers’ unions first challenged in 1999. The Florida ruling cannot be appealed to the United States Supreme Court because no federal issues are involved, lawyers on both sides of the litigation said.

In its ruling, the Florida court cited an article in the State Constitution that says, “Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools.”

The Opportunity Scholarships Program “violates this language,” the court said.

More…

I’m not sure how I feel about this since I don’t have kids and all. I do know that some of the proposed voucher programs are unfair in that it still favors the privelaged more than those that really need to go to a better school.

Mr. Bush said:

“It temporarily removes a critical tool for improving Florida’s public schools and it also challenges the power of the Florida Legislature to decide as a matter of public policy the best way to improve our educational system,” Mr. Bush said.

Of course it was his NCLB program in the first place that started tearing apart schools and made this huge turmoil in the education system. Florida in particular got the shitty end of the education stick when NCLB was enacted because schools that were scoring A’s and B’s by our own standards starting scoring F’s by federal standards and marking them as “in need of improvement”.

Parents, thoughts?

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