Stories for August 2014


Wednesday, August 27

Winter Park City Talk

Congratulations, Fire Chief Jim White

Winter Park Fire Chief James E. White was presented with the Fire Chief of the Year Award from the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association.

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Local teacher pioneers virtual classrooms

Trading blackboards for keyboards

Felicia Ryerson’s days lecturing at the blackboard are behind her. Today the teacher embraces and excels at providing education enabled from another kind of board – no chalk or erasers needed.

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Is the impact of caffeine dictated by your genes?

Students study caffeine effects

Ten high school students were taught how to isolate and test a piece of their DNA that research has shown is an indicator for how a person metabolizes caffeine during a summer program at Rollins College.

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Number of parking spots to grow at Winter Park Trader Joe’s

New spots to open up

Drivers circling outside Winter Park’s new Trader Joe’s location may see some relief from the current parking problems – though it’s only an extra 10 spaces for now.

Louis Roney: How's life treating you?

Whether we know it or not, we are at war.

Fear in people invites attack, and the strongest people are the safest.

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Winter Park Commission votes down comp plan changes

Commission changes course

A flurry of yellow “no density” signs filled the City Commission chambers Monday afternoon as more than 140 Winter Park residents made their voices heard against increased development.

Chris Jepson: The choice for governor — Tweedledum or Tweedledee?

Do we bet the governor’s mansion on the grifter (Tweedledum) we know or the conman (Tweedledee) we only think we know?

Some choice between grifter (Rick Scott) and conman (Charlie Crist). No amount of bathing could ever wash the stink off this election.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

More than 75 restaurants are serving up savings this September during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month.

With the greatest number of restaurants in the program’s nine-year history, this year’s event includes more dates thanks to the addition of the special preview week, which began on Aug. 25.

Exciting transitions: Heading back to school

To help your child navigate this fast-flowing stream of potential chaos, it’s important to help students gather all of the tools they need to prepare for the year ahead.

The end of summer brings both anxiety and excitement for children. A new school year provides many expectations: new teachers, new classes, new classmates, and new challenges.

Education Calendar

The first annual Winter Park High School Spirit Night

The first annual Winter Park High School Spirit Night will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Gator’s Dockside in Baldwin Park.

Education Bulletin

Maitland Middle starts annual fundraiser

Maitland Middle School will kick off its Magazines and Memories fundraiser on Thursday, Sept. 4.

Community Bulletin

Leasing Park Avenue

Hold-Thyssen Inc., a Winter Park-based real estate services firm, recently negotiated a five-year lease agreement for 3,817 rentable square feet in Suite 200 at 243 W. Park Ave. in downtown Winter Park.


A free outdoor viewing of “Toy Story”

Bring the whole family and blanket for a free outdoor viewing of “Toy Story” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28 in Winter Park’s Central Park.

Erika Spence: Business in the Park

As students head back to class and the hectic schedule of car pools, activities and homework commences, local business professionals are filling the roster for Leadership Winter Park Class XXV.

Over the next nine months, 50 Leadership Winter Park class members (the largest class to date) will go behind-the-scenes and study critical issues and challenges facing Winter Park.

Maitland City Talk

FY 2015 General Fund Budget

On Monday, Sept. 8, the City Council will hold the first of two public meetings required to adopt the fiscal year 2015 millage rate.

Tuesday, August 26

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Mica easily wins primary

Mica wins blowout

U.S. Rep. John Mica got a big boost toward retaining his seat in congress for the 12th time, with a blowout win in a field of four Republican primary candidates for the District 7 race.

Monday, August 25

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Knights ready for Penn State in Ireland

UCF ready for Penn State

The Knights have won their last eight season openers. But they’ve never done it in Ireland. And they’ve never done it against Penn State.

Wednesday, August 20

Winter Park City Talk

Art in Transit presentation

The city of Winter Park and the Public Art Advisory Board are proud to present the Art in Transit sculpture “Tree Whisperers” at a dedication ceremony Wednesday, August 27, at 9 a.m.

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Cut to Winter Park budget could cause layoffs

City staff, quiet zones could be cut

One alternative to layoffs would be cutting projects. And Winter Park City Manager Randy Knight said the city’s railroad quiet zone project would be the most logical to cut.

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Winter Park strikes out on minor league baseball deal

City won't get stadium

Winter Park’s quest to land a minor league baseball team struck out for a final time on Wednesday as the city, Rollins College and the Brevard Manatees failed to reach a deal with the Ravaudage development.

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The Finley Project offers support for grieving mothers

Mom creates charity after loss

The Finley Project, created by Maitland mom Noelle Moore, is aimed at helping moms heal after they’ve lost a child.

Louis Roney: Sister Maggie

Maggie's marriage has been seemingly routine up to now.

In place of Louis Roney’s regular column, here is an original fictional short story, written by our columnist.

Mosquito bites can bring disease to Orange County

Mosquitoes bring disease

This year some of the mosquitoes moving in have brought with them a very unwelcome house-warming gift: Chikungunya.

Maitland City Talk

Community Redevelopment Agency update

The CRA district staff continues to work hard on the goal of building a new downtown for Maitland.

Chris Jepson: Less cant, more context

Context is a dirty word to many Americans. It suggests subjectivity when what humans want more than anything is certainty.

Certainty is comforting. Context challenges certainty by requiring one to use their imagination. Context implies accommodation.

Nancy Lugo: Ignoring immunizations increases risks

In every classroom, on average, two kids are not fully protected against life threatening diseases and can spread infections to others.

Something risky is happening. Bad microbes lurk, ready to attack and cause devastating infections when our defenses are down, especially among children.

Jim Govatos: A lesson in keeping faith

As I read the account of Zamperini's survival and imprisonment I was struck not only by his courage, of which there was plenty, but also by his deep sense of virtue in other aspects of his life.

I'm glad the Zamperini story has gained such exposure as a book, and come December, as a movie directed by Angelina Jolie, for it reminds us of important aspects of the human experience.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Art & History Museums – Maitland gives voice to the Hispanic community in its new exhibit “Lengua Materna” opening Aug. 22 at A&H’s Maitland Art Center.

Translated as “mother tongue,” the exhibit presents universal ideas through the unique vision of Hispanic culture with artists representing diverse communities in a variety of media.

Concert review: Stellar end to concert series

Rimma & Friends by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The evening deserves to be remembered particularly for wonderful artist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois’ memorable commanding moments of stellar violin artistry.

Community Bulletin

Big grant for arts and sciences

Arts and science education for Central Florida preschoolers received a financial boost today with a $400,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.


Food Truck Fiesta a Lake Baldwin Park

Come out to the Food Truck Fiesta a Lake Baldwin Park on Saturday, Aug. 23, from noon to 5 p.m. for live music and great food.

Ask a Trainer: Fitness at your desk

What are some good exercises to improveposture and relieve the pain of sitting at a desk all day?

When sitting at the desk, our attention is always either forward or down. That elongates our back muscles and shortens our shoulders and chest muscles.

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Casselberry's RunYak - the little race that could

The local adventure race

Part running, part paddling, all fun, the race with a goofy name has a small, but loyal following of outdoor enthusiasts and weekend adventurers.

Wednesday, August 13

Winter Park City Talk

CoffeeTalk featuring Vice Mayor Steve Leary

Don’t forget to attend CoffeeTalk featuring Vice Mayor Steve Leary on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 8 a.m. for conversation and a cup of coffee provided by Palmano’s Cafe & Wine Bar.

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Fighting traffic woes at Winter Park Trader Joe's

Developer may be only hope

Heavy traffic and parking problems plaguing the Winter Park shopping plaza containing Trader Joe’s may be there to stay unless the developer takes action.

To repair or replace broken screen door?

Tips and tricks

If the doorframe is undamaged, you should be able to replace the screen itself without paying too much.

Christina Rordam: Why you need a home inspection

Trust is something you earn, but in business and home sales it’s best to do your own homework rather than rely on the other party.

A home inspector is a third party who can give you information about the home you are purchasing that may not be readily available to the naked eye.

Louis Roney: Hang in there!

As our density grows, developers provide the nudges and flows that make our future take shape.

We old-timers are much concerned with the coming shapes of our lives and where we live, and present thinking becomes future reality.

Summer selling strategies for helping your home stand out

Here are a few tips from the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association to help your house stand out from the crowd during the summer months

In much of the country, a frantic summer selling season is made necessary by the extremes of the seasons. Here in Orlando, the mild climate makes home showing and selling a breeze all year long.

Policy check puts Maitland mayor in place

Did mayor overstep bounds?

A workshop about budgeting last week bowled into an hour of bickering between members of the Maitland City Council about balance of power in the city’s government.

Maitland City Talk

Walking your bus to school

Did you know there’s an activity that can improve your child’s energy, concentration, self-esteem, memory, and creativity while you and your child have a great time doing it?

Chris Jepson: No more barns in Winter Park

Winter Park is having a moment about its future. You see “No Density” signs around town protesting the large developments that seemingly spring-up like weeds in the garden we call Winter Park.

As significant (to me) as the density levels are the architectural aesthetics of any constructed projects. Why do our buildings and roadways have to look the way they do?

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Winter Park honors local Team USA soccer player

Local player honored after World Cup

The Winter Park City Commission recognized Team USA soccer player Graham Zusi during their Monday meeting for his time in Brazil playing in the FIFA World Cup tournament.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

In 2011 Orlando launched Orlando Cares, bringing volunteers to help young people improve their academic success.

Through six programs, volunteers have helped more than 6,000 children.

Letter to the Editor: Fountain in Time

Poem for Elizabeth

The following letter was submitted as a poem in response to the Observer’s story, “Pursuing a peacock and a promise,” which published in the Aug. 7 issue.

Tips for finding extra money in your budget

Even a small change in habits can leave more money in your wallet.

When you need a little extra money, chances are you can find some if you know where to look.

Community Bulletin

NAI Realvest negotiates new lease at Horatio Professional Center

Real estate firm NAI Realvest recently negotiated a new lease agreement for 5,153 rentable square feet at Horatio Professional Center.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” in Winter Park's Central Park

Bring the whole family for an outdoor film viewing of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” in Winter Park's Central Park at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14.

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Orlando-area filmmakers take on 48-hour movie-making challenge

Making a movie in 48 hours

Filmmakers from all over the world, including Orlando, race the clock each year to make a movie in just 48 hours during The 48 Hour Film Project.

Tuesday, August 12

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Oviedo police release 'swatting' 911 call

Hoax call released

"I have a problem," the 911 caller said, his voice shaking. "I just shot my mom." Now police are hunting the hoaxer for 'swatting.'

Monday, August 11

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UCF's Blake Bortles successor: Pete DiNovo

DiNovo vs. Penn State

After months of testing, the quarterback UCF head coach George O'Leary hopes could give the Knights Blake Bortles-level firepower has a name: Pete DiNovo.

Wednesday, August 6

Winter Park City Talk

It's time for CoffeeTalk

If you have a latté beans to grind or you simply want to espresso your thoughts, CoffeeTalk may be the cup for you.

What is this mysterious illness that’s killing veterans?

The VA has a page that describes these unexplained illnesses, saying they’re presumptive for service connection.

Undiagnosed illness with abnormal weight loss is listed. Why can’t it figure out what this is?

Heredity can increase risk of heart problems

A family history is a significant risk factor and that heart attacks happen even in people with good blood cholesterol.

My colleagues in cardiology and I recommend a good diet and exercise regimen, a statin, blood pressure treatment such as what you are getting, daily low-dose aspirin and a periodic stress test.

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Soup dinners help fund Orlando startups

Dinners fund startups

Orlando SOUP is a micro-granting community dinner offering local activists, entrepreneurs and creatives a platform for networking and an opportunity to win funding for projects.

The dark side of some cholesterol medication

Just because niacin has helped folks achieve better LDL and HDL numbers doesn’t mean that it helps to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

If you’ve been prescribed niacin to go along with your statins for heart attack or stroke prevention, talk to your doctor about whether you should continue to use it.

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Winter Park organizations help seniors grow in-home gardens

Seniors get gardening tips

Local nonprofit Our Whole Community and the Winter Park Housing Authority have partnered up to help improve seniors’ access to healthy foods.

Senior Calendar

Central Florida senior programs

Line Dancing is coming back! Starting Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 10:30 a.m. join Em for a two-hour beginner Line Dancing class. Classes will be $5 per week.

Louis Roney: Do fence me in

Imaginary borders in our minds help us divide our thoughts into useful consequence, as fences or walls separate our lands from those of our neighbors.

Globalization has made us more vulnerable. It creates a world without borders and makes us aware of the limitations of our present politics to meet its challenges.

Concert review: Philharmonic members show off versatility

The third summer program of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra took place on Aug. 4 at the Plaza Live Theater.

Playing to a nearly filled hall, the evening was titled “Seasons of the Soul,” and OPO violinist Olga Ferroni put together a varied evening of music featuring selections from seasons of the year.

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Scout’s fundraising for Winter Park peacock fountain reaches halfway mark

Project halfway funded

A permanent bronze tribute to a Winter Park Life Scout’s fallen friend has made it halfway to becoming a reality.

Tips for preparing pets for long road trips

Do not leave your pets alone in the car, even for a few minutes, and even if the weather seems cool.

The temperature in a hot car can rise very quickly, even with the windows opened a bit.

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Winter Park mulls medical marijuana restrictions

Winter Park considers restrictions

Facing the increasing likelihood of medical marijuana in Florida, Winter Park is considering a home-grown law to regulate it.

Maitland City Talk

City begins road-resurfacing project

The city of Maitland Public Works Department is implementing a road-resurfacing project to mill and repave select roads throughout the city.

Buses to start rolling from SunRail to Maitland Center

Maitland Center to get service

After the CEO of LYNX admitted to Maitland’s mayor that it “forgot” to provide feeder bus service from the city’s SunRail station to its largest area office complex, Maitland Center will get back-and-forth buses in September.

Letters to the Editor: Maitland gambles tax money

Of course, the Council can raise the taxes without any public input.

For the past 10 years, the city has been playing with the citizens’ money, very badly, and now they say, “Oh my gosh, we don’t have enough money to run the city.”

Chris Jepson: Voting for Colonel Sanders

I’ve been consistently reading history for 50 years and one observation, nay, one take-away conclusion, is that women, historically speaking, have had an exceedingly tough slog of it.

Since mankind started organizing into cities, male hierarchies (often theocratically based) determined that women were “substantively” inferior to men and put in place laws (restrictions) governing their movement.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Orlando’s original art party is the award-winning 1st Thursdays presented by the Orlando Museum of Art’s volunteer group.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, OMA showcases new artwork (for sale), live music and tastings from area restaurants.

Tips for ditching cable TV

If you’re a movie buff, look to Netflix for streaming.

More and more consumers are choosing to stop paying increasing cable TV fees. Your options, as well as the requisite gadgets, have expanded in the past few years.

Community Bulletin

Leading Freedom Ride

Dr. John W. McCutchen, former President of the Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic in Winter Park, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Freedom Ride.


Beat-the-Heat 5K JCC Road Race

Don't miss your opportunity to race in Maitland's legendary 5K, benefiting the Roth JCC, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 7.

The open-government charade marches on

How is it that in and around politics, we manage to trivialize nearly every crisis and at the same time, turn what’s trivial into a crisis?

With all the technological advances in transmitting information, we continue to be held captive to contrived events and spoon-fed information while most of our open government is conducted in old-fashioned secrecy.

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Florida League edges Korea in wild series opener

Wild pitches swing game

A bizarre chain of errors and savvy base-running turned a pitchers' duel into a wild scamper to the finish.

Tuesday, August 5

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Florida League baseball to play Korean national team

Baseball goes international

The season isn’t over yet for the Florida Collegiate Summer League, getting an injection of international competition into its schedule.

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Dawgs down Sanford Rats at championship at Tropicana

FCSL crowns Winter Park

The Rats’ three early runs gave them the lead for the majority of the game until the Dawgs found their bats again in the sixth.