No state in the United States is as vulnerable to the effects of climate change as Florida is. Or at least, that what’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said last Thursday after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a new fossil-fuel power plant.
The new power-plant project will be in Hillsborough County and will be operated by Tampa Electric Co. It’s actually part of the existing power station, but the change will come in the form of upgrading a generating unit to now burn natural gas. But Fried says fossil fuels, natural gas included, heavily contribute to our current climate change crisis.
Meanwhile, the governor and his cabinet support the thought camp that says the project would actually reduce emissions when compared to the preexisting units currents at the site. Plus, Tampa Electric says they’ve done everything to meet the EPA’s requirements.
But environmentalists like Diana Czank, representing the Sierra Club, fought back, arguing that the plan only replaces one fossil fuel, coal, with another.
In other news…
UCF just signed a home-and-home series deal with FIU and will host the Panthers at Spectrum Stadium in 2020 before traveling to South Florida in 2022. But Athletic Director Danny White has had to defend the team’s schedule. (Orlando Sentinel)
Hey downtown-livers and goers, two new restaurant concepts are coming to Orange Avenue across from Wall Street. (Bungalower)
This Lake Eola home sat on stilts for seven months after being moved two blocks down the street. Last week, it officially touched the ground again, where it will stay until its renovation. (Orlando Sentinel)
Harry Potter fanatics, keep this healthy eats guide handy: it covers all the goods in Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk. (Orlando Informer)
Tomorrow, cook up some pasta at the Orlando Public Library. As part of its “Cuisine Corner” program, the library invites local chefs to demonstrate how to make some of their favorite dishes. This time it’s Chef Karen Ross of Karen’s Creative Cuisines serving up delicious homemade pasta dishes. (OCLS)
The Center on Mills Avenue has been the meeting center for Orlando’s LGBTQ community since 1978. According to executive director, George Wallace, The Center gives more HIV tests than any other clinic in Florida.
We sat down with George and three others who are involved with The Center to get their “Center story”.
“As soon as I step in here, it’s like everything else goes away,” said Milani Woody.
Milani, a volunteer, said she started coming to The Center when she moved back to Orlando from Texas. For Milani, it’s been a safe space for her to be her true authentic self.
Joel Morales, the Director of Operations, got involved with The Center after spending a year in the hospital because of a rare autoimmune disease. His recovery led him to seek out more volunteer opportunities and he felt a sense of belonging there.
Serenity Balboa, the first transgender person in her family, arrived at The Center looking for community during a tough time — both her parents had passed and she was homeless. She’s since gotten her own apartment and is pursuing her dream of becoming a professional model.
Check out our full video here and if you want to see The Center for yourself, it’s hosting an art show by Orlando Artist Elizabeth Eleanor Davis on August 1st from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
We just wanted to give you an update on our friend and local Orlandoan Bryan Traficante and his quest to win the UPS Small Business Challenge for his company Garden in Minutes earlier this month. He pitched his concept, a cool easy way to garden, to guest judge Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank.
Bryan said, “I’m back from the competition in L.A. Meeting Robert was really cool, he’s a nice guy with good advice. Overall, I ended up winning the advertising challenge where we were given 60 seconds to create an ad for a fictitious doughnut company and explain why we did what we did. I’m happy to say we took home $5,000 (of the overall $25,000 prize) for Garden in Minutes.”
Way to go, Bryan!
🎼 Come for a drink, a bite and meet the cast of the production of The Mikado (Baldwin)
👣 Put on your detective cap for family mystery night (Waterford Lakes)
🎤 Jam out to chart-topping singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes (Downtown)
🗣 Get together for the 2nd Democratic Debate Watch Party (College Park)
🍼 Find out what’s going on in the Milk District at State of the Milk (Milk District)
🎼 Enjoy live music at the Imperial (Ivanhoe)
👕 Marie Kondo your home and drop off clothes for school students (Colonialtown South)
🕶 Don your flyest pair of shorts and come cool down (Pine Castle)
⚽ Cheer on the MLS All-Stars against Atletico Madrid (Parramore)
🤑 Find out how Orlando is fostering entrepreneurial spirit (Parramore)
💃 Bust out your moves for the Thursday night dance party (Lake Buena Vista)
🚃 Share your concerns about Sunrail with decision-makers (Downtown)
☠ Bring your trivia hat for Battle of the Brains (Downtown)
🎥 Bring your picnic basket and favorite blanket for outdoor movie night (Audubon)
🏛 Get the inside scoop for this lunchtime behind the scenes (Downtown)
🎟 Indulge your dark sense of humor for suicide prevention (Loch Haven Park)
📖 Invite your bookworm BFF to Indie Book Fest (Lake Buena Vista)
⚽ Cheer on Orlando City Soccer against FC Dallas (Parramore)
🍷 Celebrate food, music and …wine (Downtown)
📸 Get your polaroid portrait (Downtown)
🗿 Enjoy refreshments while you check out oddities, curiosities, and more (Winter Park)
This is your friendly reminder to claim your dollars from the Equifax data breach. If it’s even a question whether you were affected, chances are, you’re one of the 147 million.
See you right here again tomorrow, Orlando.