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Last Friday, Central Florida congress members announced that Orlando, Tampa and Miami would be on the receiving end of more than $10 million dollars in anti-terrorism funding with Orlando earning $3.25 million. That’s double the amount that was allocated last year.
Not to mention, in 2017, there was no increase. You know, the year after the Pulse nightclub attack.
Why the sudden increase? Well, in so many words, Orlando has moved up on the list of cities that the Department of Homeland Security sees as critical for terrorism defense funding.
Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, and Darren Soto have all been fighting to get funding to our parts of the country, especially after Orlando was cut out of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative in 2015.
The money will be used to help local law enforcement agencies with intelligence-gathering operations, active-shooter training, and hazardous-materials response teams, and equipment. On top of that, three nonprofit Jewish organizations received a total of $270,000 in security grants from to better protect their campuses from potential threats.
In other news …
U.S. Department of Energy recently said we should set our thermostats to 78 degrees when at home and 85 degrees when we’re away. We should also keep the temps to 82 while we sleep. Show of hands please for anyone who willingly sleeps in 82 degree temps? (Orlando Weekly)
This weekend is all about football (and futbol). Orlando City plays tonight at Exploria Stadium but the big game is tomorrow when University of Florida plays University of Miami at Camping World Stadium. Here’s how to listen to it, stream it, watch it, you name it. (CBS Sports, WKMG News 6)
Fun Spot is following the golden rule tomorrow and raising funds for Orange and Osceola County Public Schools. For every Fun Pass purchased, it will donate $5 to the schools’ foundations. Plus, the passes are $25 tomorrow only. (Yahoo Finance)
There is an Internet Cat Video Festival coming to the Enzian Sept. 1 and we’re here for it. It’s part of a traveling series inspired by a blockbuster of the same name and is basically a montage of the best cat videos of the year. Even better, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Pet Rescue by Judy who will also be there with adoptable kittens. (Bungalower)
“… before I put on my makeup, I say a little prayer for youuuuuu.”
This week we talked about morning habits. Here’s what you told us:
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As most of you may have read in a few previous newsletters, we’ve recently launched our deep dive into affordable housing. It’s a three-month long discussion where you ask us anything you want to know about affordable housing, then we hit the investigative trail until we have answers for you.
We’re able to do this because of the help of our friends at Central Florida Foundation. We told them that we were interested in helping folks understand what affordable housing truly means— and that interests them too — plus, we wanted our readers to lead the charge. And that you have.
So far we’ve tackled Ashley Z.’s question on accessory dwelling units and this week, we’re answering Nancy’s question about property taxes and landlords.
“As property taxes increase yearly on non-homestead properties, landlords are forced to pass the increase to tenants. What can be done to lower the taxes on non-homestead properties?” —Nancy C.
We asked Mark Brewer, CEO and president of Central Florida Foundation to help us out here.
He said, “This is a policy issue that voters can address with their elected officials in each county. Local governments receive most of their funding through property taxes. Rates are assessed at the local level and vary by county. Property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country, although there are several exemptions, non-homestead properties are not currently on the list.”
If you have a question about affordable housing, we’d love to hear it — just fill out this form.
In the meantime, check out our previous posts on why finding housing is such a big deal in Orlando, 5 staggering facts about affordable housing right here in Central Florida, and what to do when your landlord increases your rent.
Today’s the last day to cast your vote for the local small business who best deserves free marketing and branding from local creative collective, Jolly Roger!
Your voice can still be heard.
Who will it be?
You’ve got until 11:59 p.m. tonight to vote on your number one pick. Tell us here who you think deserves to win.
We’ll announce the winner in Monday’s newsletter.
🎶 Sunday, August 25: Opera on Park is back and it’s kicking off the season with a performance by local opera singers, Camille Ortiz, Gabriel Preisser, baritone and Robin Stamper. There will be light refreshments, wine and a special season launch presentation at this performance. (Winter Park)
🎶 Next Sunday, September 1: Hear from some of Orlando’s greatest opera performers, Ben Gulley and Robin Stamper, at Opera on Park. (Winter Park)
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🍖 Eat some good ol’ southern BBQ while you still can (North Orange)
🍃 Take the fam to celebrate the Leu Gardens’ summer fairy doors (Audubon)
🎥 Catch a movie after-hours at the Mennello (Loch Haven Park)
💃 Bust out your salsa skills or learn new dance moves on a rooftop (Downtown)
📣 Help cheer Orlando City on to a win over Atlanta United FC (Parramore)
🐱 Forget downward dog, strike cat pose … with real cats (Clermont)
🍻 Pucker up for this sour (beer) fest (East Colonial)
✌️ Learn the in(version)s and outs of Acro Yoga (Winter Park)
🏈 Tailgate for the UF vs. UM game at Broken Strings Brewery (Parramore)
💪 It’s a wrestling smackdown at the last Mayhem on Mills for the summer (Mills 50)
✌️ Practice yoga poolside at the Grand Bo (Downtown)
🍿 Relive your childhood or take the kids to see the classic Lassie (Maitland)
🔬 It’s Sensory Sunday at the science center (Loch Haven)
🔮 Get your palms read by Amy at Gypsy Crystals (SoDo)
🐶 Celebrate National Dog Day with your pup and mexican cuisine (Baldwin Park)
😂 Get your giggles on when you see Pete Davidson live (East Orlando)
👸 Test your Disney knowledge at trivia night (Audubon)
🗣 Learn to use your voice for commercials, films, video, and more (Loch Haven Park)
👯Enjoy yoga while taking in beautiful views and a breath of fresh air (Downtown)
🎞Catch cult classic, Rushmore at your favorite theatre (Maitland)
🏘Hear about smart strategies to address housing (Downtown)
💾Learn the basics of a very common micro-controller (Doctor Phillips)
We kicked off the newsletter with a cool picture of a plane, why not end it with another one, this time of an even bigger plane and er, rocket.
Enjoy your weekend!