Stories for July 2014


Wednesday, July 30

Winter Park City Talk

Chamber and city to explore value of great schools

On Thursday, Aug. 21, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and city of Winter Park will host an Education Update at the Winter Park Community Center.

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Winter Park says it can't replace all of its dying trees

Canopy can't be replaced

Tree codes put in place over the past 50 years could prevent Winter Park from replacing two-thirds of the dying trees it removes along city streets, according to city staff during Monday’s City Commission meeting.

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Taste of the Nation event helps end childhood hunger

Take a bite out of hunger

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Orlando is celebrating its 25th year helping to combat childhood hunger this year. In its 25 years, it has raised more than $3 million,

Louis Roney: Re: Politicians

Tell me, why do we elect politicians?

These guys talk about their “party” a lot, and it’s party-time for them the minute they hit Washington.

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Orange County primary election looms

Campaigns heat up

The start of August means campaigning and early voting across the state as the primary election on Aug. 26 draws near, with employee paid sick time and a half-cent tax to pay for schools up for a vote.

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Developer hosts public meeting for Mt. Vernon Inn property

Developer seeks public input

A developer looking to build restaurants and condos on the land where the Mt. Vernon Inn currently stands will hold a public meeting Thursday, July 31, to gather input from the community.

Maitland votes to raise taxes, Winter Park keeps rate steady

Maitland proposes tax hike

Maitland City Council members were dreaming big Monday night as they placed a preliminary vote to raise the city’s property tax rate just over one mil to 4.9 mills.

Maitland City Talk

Back to school safety

As school summer break comes to an end and families prepare for their children to return to school, it’s a good time to think and prepare to put safety at the top of the “get ready” list.

Chris Jepson: What do we know? How do we know it?

We are born animals in need of a harness that hitches individual initiative with civic responsibility.

That human beings are “religious” surprises no one. I get that. For the past 10,000 or so years, explanations have been offered to understand the inexplicable.

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TV star designer brings his talents home to Winter Park

Design made personal

John McClain just can’t help himself when it comes to design. Even as a child he loved rearranging the furniture in his home.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

I can only report this phenomenon one time in our lifetime, so here goes:August of 2014 – has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays. Curious, you say? Yes, indeed.

This happens only once every 823 years, and aren’t we lucky it’s a month in which many of us take a vacation. Party on, dude!

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Dawgs, Rats batter up for FCSL playoffs

Rats, Dawgs face final foes

The FCSL regular season concluded over the weekend. The Sanford River Rats ended the regular season with the league’s best record, edging out the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs by just one game.

Community Bulletin

Staples supports local dance center

Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples Inc., awarded $5,000 to The Center for Contemporary Dance last month under a program that lets Staples associates direct donations.


'Backwards in High Heels'

Relive the remarkable life of legendary actress Ginger Rogers at the Winter Park Playhouse, starting Aug. 1 and running through Aug. 23.

Erika Spence: Business in the Park

The political season is upon us, as evident by a barrage of postcards piling up in mailboxes, yard signs lining the streets, and campaign workers waiving at major intersections.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates for office, but appreciates the support of the candidates who participated in the Winter Park Political Mingle.

Tuesday, July 29

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Baldwin Park veterans hospital to stay open

Victory for veterans

The Baldwin Park VA Medical Center got a new lease on life on Tuesday, with Congressman John Mica announcing it will stay open.

Monday, July 28

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Sanford top seed as Florida league playoffs start

Sanford, Winter Park top seeds

Sanford clinched the regular season title in the Florida League's final weekend, the playoffs begin on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 24

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Half penny tax heavily favored in Winter Park poll

Incumbents also favored

A poll at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce-hosted Political Mingle saw many incumbents favored and a half-penny sales tax to raise money for schools heavily favored.

Chris Jepson: Sunday at the White House

The premise is improbable. Open your home to the public every Sunday and, well, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie “Field of Dreams,” “If you build it, they will come.”

For the love of art, that is what is happening on Sundays at the White House, just south of downtown Orlando.

Louis Roney: So it goes...

Nobody needs to tell me that the U.S. is exceptional. I have lived in a few other countries where things we take for granted are their “exceptional.”

We are all dissatisfied with something in our lives. That’s why there are so many lawyers and liquor stores in every community.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Good news: In recent research, USA Today’s Tripology found that Orlando was the top destination for family vacationers.

The award recognizes affordable family destinations that travellers are most interested in – one more reason to take pride in our hometown!

Letters to the Editor

Applause for Cooper, Sprinkel; Controversy over cameras

The Green Oaks Neighborhood Association was pleased to host commissioners Carolyn Cooper and Sarah Sprinkel on July 16 for a forum about recent developments in Winter Park.

Maitland City Talk

Library programs, resources provide greater access to reading materials

Maitland Public Library provides many programs that emphasize access to reading materials.

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Going back to school guide: Winter Park, Maitland

Guide to going back to school

It’s back-to-school season, and whether your kids are entering pre-K or 12th grade we’ve got a guide for all the dates and deals going on to get you ready before the tardy bell rings.

Tips for easy back-to-school meals

Incorporating soy into your child’s diet

With vegetarian versions of many popular foods available these days, you may be curious about whether they’re worth it.


Popcorn Flicks in Central Park

Watch a free outdoor screening of “Muscle Beach Party” at this month’s Popcorn Flick in the Park, starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, in Winter Park’s Central Park.

Commissioner's Corner: Regulating medical marijuana

I hope that an Orange County ordinance will incorporate good ideas from other municipalities’ draft ordinances as well as limit the public consumption of medical marijuana.

On Nov. 4, Floridians will vote on Amendment 2 to the state constitution. If passed, the amendment would allow the use of medical marijuana.

Community Bulletin

Winston-James negotiates lease for new office

Winston-James Development recently negotiated a long-term lease agreement on a 937-square-foot office/warehouse facility at its Aloma Business Center.

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Diamond Dawgs leapfrog over River Rats for FCSL lead

Catch up to league lead

With less than a week left in the regular season, the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs just took the lead in the Florida Collegiate Summer League standings.

Maitland mayor admits that the city made traffic mistakes

City admits mistakes

Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker admits that the city made some mistakes when it came to overhauling the intersection of Horatio Avenue and U.S. Highway 17-92 earlier this year.

Concert review: There's nothing like four dames

Music composed by women, performed by women.

Four highly proficient and talented female string players from the Orlando Philharmonic — dames all right! — took the stage at the Plaza Live Theater on Monday, July 21.

Four ways to reduce your kids' college debt in high school

Start early to save money later.

College is a significant investment and how to pay for it can be a major source of concern for parents and students. But there are ways to reduce the amount of debt you take on when preparing for higher education.

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Tracking tooth imprints can improve children's safety

Prints can provide clues

A few minutes and a little wishbone-shaped piece of wax could make all the difference for a parent looking for their missing child.

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Winter Park Chamber votes in favor of half-penny sales tax

Chamber supports sales tax

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce backed the Orange County half penny sales tax July 16 as its board of directors voted unanimously in support.

Winter Park City Talk

Using food from the garden: Storage & preservation

Please join us for the City of Winter Park free Sustainability Program Workshop Series Saturday, July 26, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Winter Park Community Center.

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Relocated Winter Park Wedding Chapel hopes for happily ever after

Chapel survives rocky move

A Winter Park couple hopes the historic designation of a local chapel will bring stability to their wedding business, seven months after it was relocated by a local land developer.

Wednesday, July 16

Winter Park City Talk

Victim Service Center

In light of the recent coverage related to the allegations surrounding Fleet Peeples Sr., if you or someone you know is in need of services related to sexual assault, violent crime and/or tragic circumstances, the Victim Service Center of Central Florida Inc. can help.

Blood pressure rises at doctor’s office

How to treate white coat syndrome?

Let’s first define whitecoat hypertension, also called reactive hypertension. It’s a condition where blood pressure in the doctor’s office is much higher than blood pressure at home.

Tips to keep your diet 'cool as a cucumber'

There isn’t a summer-fruiting food cooler than a cucumber.

When the weather wilts you, a cucumber is nature’s tasty refreshment.

Census snapshot of the lives of seniors

The information gives a clear picture of who we are and what we’re doing in areas of location, health and economics.

Where we are: As of 2010, more seniors were living in Florida, West Virginia, Maine and Pennsylvania (more than 15 percent of the population) than anywhere else.

Louis Roney: A critic criticizes criticism

All of us are constant critics in our daily lives. We assess all that we buy, that we eat, that we drink, that we drive, that we wear — even that we marry.

Criticism requires emphasis on goodness or inferiority. If you tell your wife that you think her new dress is pretty, you are a critic. Period.

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Local trainer helps Baldwin Parkers build better bodies

Trainer helps you get fit

Coming from a family of athletes, the gym was a familiar place to call home for Nikki Wilander. It was four years ago that she decided she wanted to call it her office too.

Maitland City Talk

Preventing backflow

Did you know that without the correct backflow device installed on your irrigation system that there is the potential that if the city water system lost pressure that your irrigation system could contaminate the community water supply?

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TEDx Talk fame leads local teacher to seek election

Teacher finds his voice

Joshua Katz, a University High School algebra teacher, is running for school board after his TEDx Talk on the “toxic culture of education” garnered public support encouraging him to run.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Director Ken Howard takes on this re-envisioning of Michael Wanzie’s wildly successful comedy with a cast of Central Florida’s favorite actresses.

Comic references to a community within walking distance of the theater make for some very funny art-imitating-life moments.

Chris Jepson: Thoughts too taxing to consider

I confess to being a “liberal” for one primary reason: Based on where we’ve arrived as a culture (America), I see no viable alternative to liberalism in addressing societal ills.

I am not, in other words, some softhearted, indiscriminate redistributionist hell-bent on playing the metaphorical Robin Hood.

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Rats and Dawgs fight for FCSL lead

Rivals battle for the lead

Just a bit more than halfway through the season for the Florida Collegiate Summer League, it looks like the race for the regular season championship is going to be between two longtime rivals.

Nancy Lugo: The buzz on mosquitos, health and history

Sometimes called the state bird, the mosquito plays a huge role in our history, our health, and our barbeque parties.

Here in Mosquito County (the original name for Central Florida), the stinging insect is more than a name and a nuisance.

Water play offers cool summer fun

Practically the only thing kids can’t do with water is break it!

Here are some ideas for both entertaining and educational water fun at home using a wading pool or sprinkler.

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Winter Park residents use yard signs to unite against density

Residents say 'no' to density

An organization of residents called Citizens for Managed Growth has made a statement this month with a slew of signs in front yards opposed to higher density in the city.

Community Bulletin

Track Shack Foundation appoints new board member

Adam Fenichel, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in pediatric orthopedic care and hand surgery at Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic, was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees at the Track Shack Foundation.


'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' at Enzian

Bring the whole family for a viewing of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” at the Enzian Theater on Thursday, July 17 at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, July 15

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Fleet Peeples name removed from park after outcry

Accusations spurred vote

Winter Park City Commissioners voted to rename Fleet Peeples Park on Monday following accusations of child molestation against the swimming instructor the park was named after.

Monday, July 14

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Observer honored by Florida Press Association

Nabs five awards

The Winter Park-Maitland Observer won awards for its reporting in five categories at the Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper awards.

Wednesday, July 9

Winter Park City Talk

CoffeeTalk & Good Morning Winter Park!

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

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Winter Park bank hit by silent robber

Bank robbers pass notes

Winter Park Police are in search of a bank robber on the run who quietly hit the TD Bank at Orange Avenue and Denning Drive at 2:41 p.m. on Saturday, July 5.

Passive outdoor pest control for sneaky critters

Wildlife often can be an annoying (and sometimes dangerous) presence in your yard

To prevent bears and raccoons, keep household trash in tightly covered containers, ideally inside the garage or a shed.

How to lose a loan in five easy steps

How to lose a home loan in five easy steps

Fortunately the formula for qualifying and staying qualified for a home loan is pretty simple.

Louis Roney: Yesteryear here

One’s past is not alive in one’s mind at all times, but we manage to drudge up valuable long forgotten moments and places when the occasion calls for it.

All in all, my remembrance of my school days in Winter Park is of a very placid, genteel and proper atmosphere, with hardly any hint of the hustle and bustle of today.

Concert review: Prevailing Winds shows off skills

Members of the Orlando Philharmonic played a delightful program

On Monday, July 7, members of the Orlando Philharmonic played a delightful program at the Plaza Live Theater in Orlando featuring Prevailing Winds’ reed instrument players.

Old aquarium need a good cleaning?

Read up on how to maintain a large aquarium

If the glass isn’t damaged and the aquarium equipment — like the light or the aerator — is in good shape or can be replaced, then you should be able to reuse it.

Maitland City Talk

Long range capital planning

Part of the annual budgeting process is planning the accomplishment of the city’s long-range goals.

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Bank helps customers find jobs in unlikely places

Jobs in unlikely places

In 2012 Fifth Third partnered with company NextJob, identified customers who had lost their jobs, and offered them NextJob’s employment seeking service.

Chris Jepson: Ya never know

What’s in a name? You move into any new community and various landmarks, parks, streets or buildings will be named after significant local civic leaders.

To betray the trust and confidence of a 6-year-old child, well, suffice it to say, prison isn’t sufficient punishment if I were holding the scales.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

In one of the funniest musicals ever presented at the Winter Park Playhouse, “SHOUT! The Mod Musical” returns to the Playhouse through July 19.

The hit musical tells the story of five women coming of age in 1960s London and features an incredible collection of ’60s classics.

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Central Florida experiments earn spot on space flight

Locals' project in space

Two projects with local connections were recently selected to fly on SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial space flight by Virgin Galactic.

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Winter Park to vote on removing Fleet Peeples name from park

Allegations roll in

The city of culture and heritage might rename one of its parks after recent allegations have cast a beloved Winter Park icon as a child molester.

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River Rats cling to FCSL lead

Dawgs drop a game

The Sanford River Rats still clung to a narrow league lead to start the week, but the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs are nipping at their heels.

Sweet tips for making ice cream in a bag

You don’t need a commercial machine to make the real thing.

Here’s the latest scoop on how to make a basic, no-cook vanilla ice cream.

Time for a mid-year household financial review

How is your financial year going? Are you on target with your goals?

Halfway through the year is a good time to assess where you are, and where you’re going.

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Obituary: Dennis Rhett Wickham

Trainer Rhett Wickham changed lives in the gym

Dennis Rhett Wickham, 55, of Winter Park, Fla., passed on to be with the Lord on June 30, 2014.

Community Bulletin

Winter Park ranks third on 10 best places in Florida

Winter Park came in third on the top 10 Best Places in Florida list.


Park Avenue July Sidewalk Sale

The Park Avenue July Sidewalk Sale will be held Thursday, July 10, through Sunday, July 13. Save 50 to 75 percent at participating retailers.

Wednesday, July 2

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Eatonville girl wins Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year

Local girl earns top honor

Out of hundreds of other deserving young adults, Maryah Sullivan was recently named the 2014 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club for the state of Florida.

Winter Park City Talk

Happy 4th of July!

On behalf of the city of Winter Park, I wish you a safe and happy Independence Day. Here are some important events and information as it relates to holiday festivities in Winter Park.

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Winter Park plans pet memorial at Fleet Peeples Park

City plans pet memorial

The latest addition to Fleet Peeples Park might be a tribute to Winter Park’s fallen furry friends.

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Winter Park strikes out with Alfond Stadium minor league deal

Says no to minor league

The search for a minor league baseball stadium site continues as Winter Park announced that Harper-Shepherd Field has been ruled out for consideration.

Not all back pain improves with rest

Causes can differ greatly

There are dozens of causes of back pain, and it can be impossible, even with the most advanced diagnostic tests, to make a precise diagnosis of the underlying cause.

Next time don’t ignore that AARP invite

At some point in our lives, we will get an invitation to join AARP, the organization for seniors.

I’ve been taking a closer look at AARP recently, and have concluded that it’s worth joining. Here are a few of the benefits of membership.

Senior Calendar

Senior activities abound in July

The Maitland Senior Center is located at 345 South Maitland Ave. and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Louis Roney: Thomas Jefferson - Savant

In the next 17 days, Jefferson drafted one of the most beautiful and powerful testaments to liberty and equality in the history of mankind.

It would seem that present President Obama was “out to lunch” when Jefferson’s pertinent sage words were in the air.

New drugs may help with Parkinson’s disease

About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year.

The treatment aims at relieving many Parkinson’s disease patients of the requirement for self-injections, along with the injury and stress this entails.

Maitland City Talk

Faster commuting

Did you know: It is faster to drive from Maitland Boulevard to Horatio Avenue using the slip ramp and U.S. Highway 17-92 rather than using Maitland Avenue during peak traffic hours?

Chris Jepson: Why is everybody always picking on me?

A legitimate question that needs asking is, “What is in America’s national interest?” As in, why is it in the national interest to be militarily involved in the Middle East?

Is the extent to which we “care” about the region at all tied to the continued flow of oil as well as any “moral” solidarity America has with Israel?

Hepatitis C: Older Americans are at risk

Baby Boomers at the biggest risk

Older people are more likely to have been exposed to Hepatitis C, but many older Americans are not aware that they need to be tested for it.

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

While the three-dimensionality of sculpture makes it a favorite for art-lovers, most art patrons have little concept of the steps necessary to bring a metal sculpture to a finished state.

OMArt’s “original art party” is at the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando.

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Sanford River Rats win third straight

Dawgs fall short

The Sanford River Rats have put together one of the longest winning streaks of the Florida Collegiate Summer League season, and now the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs are struggling to keep up.

Community Bulletin

Seniors learn driving safety

Thirty-five senior drivers brought their vehicles to Rollins College Hamilton Holt School to take part in CarFit, learning to become safer drivers.

Commissioner's Corner: Learning how to ride the rails

SunRail is open for business and is transporting commuters along 32 miles of track from Sand Lake Road to DeBary.

I hope that SunRail provides an effective transportation solution for many Orange County commuters.


Fourth of July festivities

Come out to Winter Park’s Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in Central Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, July 4.

Mastering Southern-style well-mannered hatefulness

Growing up in the South, I always marveled at how adept everyone was at well-mannered hatefulness.

It takes a little getting used to, but for the most part, you must accept that people mean the opposite of what they say.

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Ballroom dance lessons benefit seniors with dementia

Dancing through dementia

In 2013 a team of researchers released a study that shows staying active — with your brain and body — could be effective in staving off Alzheimer’s disease.

Ask a Trainer: Silver Sneakers

Everybody has to start somewhere, sometime.

The human body is capable of building muscle throughout your lifetime regardless of age.