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I know, I know. It’s like a broken record around here — literally. Every day, it’s a new “Florida broke another record” headline.
In fact, yesterday we broke Wednesday’s single-day death record with 253 new COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours. And public health officials say these startling high numbers won’t let up anytime soon.
Just last week, from Sunday to Sunday, there were 872 COVID-related deaths reported… and those are just the confirmed ones. Meanwhile, Gov. DeSantis stands behind his claim that our trends are improving.
I’ve got a real Q: Are y’all wearing your masks yet? I really want to know where our readers fall on the mask-wearing debacle. Let me know here.
In other news…
Gov. DeSantis extended the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions through Sept. 1. (And not at the midnight hour!) According to a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than a third of Floridians reported that they missed June’s rent or mortgage payment, or said they won’t be able to pay July’s. (Orlando Sentinel)
The decision to reopen schools is up to the local school board? Says who? This story is getting wonky fast but Orange County Public Schools submitted its reopening plan earlier this month, per the July 6 order by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. OCPS also asked for a waiver, giving the school board the final say. Now an attorney for the Florida Department of Education said a waiver is unnecessary — that it’s always been up to local officials. 🤔(Orlando Sentinel)
If you were hoping to get tested for the ‘rona this weekend, be sure to call ahead or check that it’s locally run. State-supported testing sites are closed through Tuesday morning at least due to the impending hurricane. (NPR)
Sen. Marco Rubio needs to hear from you, like yesterday. If you love live music (even if you don’t, the rest of us do!), then convince Sen. Rubio to champion the Save Our Stages Act before the Senate goes on recess for August. The bill is a lifeline for our local event venues and promoters. Head to saveourstages.org for more info, send Rubio a message and start tagging #saveFLstages, @marcorubio, and #saveourstages on social. (Orlando Weekly)
Also, here’s your friendly reminder to fill out this 20-minute survey all about racial equity. The folks at the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins created a survey that will hopefully help the philanthropy and nonprofit program tackle racial injustice in our community. The deadline is today. (Rollins College)
Maybe you find our newsletter useful. Maybe you find it entertaining. Maybe you find yourself referring it to friends you love it so much (a girl can dream!). I hope it’s all three.
And if it is, I ask this modestly but earnestly — wanna take it to the next level and become a member?
For $8 per month, you ensure this here newsletter continues to show up in your inboxes three days a week.
And if commitment just really isn’t your thing, you can make a one-time donation to our crowdfunding site.
No matter what, know that just by reading this newsletter you’ve already made a difference in my day, and I am super appreciative of that. 🙏
P.S. If you’re already a member, answer these q’s — tell us about the Orlando spot you miss the most, where you’d take us on your tour of the City Beautiful and about a local cause we should all get behind — and we’ll share your responses in a future newsletter!
Aaaaaaaaannnnd we’re back. With our next installment of “101 Things We Love About The Library”. This time, we’re talking all about resources and this weekend’s end-of-summer wrap-up party:
#34 The library’s social worker: Meet Andre Morris, OCLS’s social worker. He assists library patrons one-on-one and helps refer them to experts on affordable housing, SNAP benefits, immigration, healthcare, counseling, and a number of other topics. If you would like Andre’s help, just fill out the request form and expect a response within a couple of business days. In the course of a year, OCLS helps more than 2,000 people with social work.
#35 Caregiver Connect: Connect with other caregivers of toddlers and preschoolers at this weekly Wednesday event. Check out next week’s class.
#36 Orlando Memory: This community-based digital archive by OCLS captures and preserves the stories, images, and memories of our community. With all that is going on right now, we’re living interesting times – wouldn’t you say? Consider submitting an important memory today.
#37 Homeschool resources: OCLS has a number of resources for homeschoolers – live tutoring with brainfuse, science, and math videos on Kanopy, plus even help with homework – check out their full list of resources.
#38 Hurricane checklists: Hurricane season is here. OCLS’s preparedness guide is a comprehensive resource that puts us in good shape prior to being in any cone of uncertainty.
#39 End of summer wrap-up party: The end of summer is near (boo!) but that means we get to celebrate the Summer Reading Program (yay!). RSVP to Saturday’s event and see who’ll be winning this year’s grand prize.
Because it’s Friday and I’m a big believer in leaving people better than you found ’em, can I just tell you what really made my week? It’s the girl pictured above: Pulptown member Holly Hodges.
Sunday night, I got an email from her that legit changed the trajectory of my entire week. It read as follows:
“I was waiting at urgent care for my third and hopefully final COVID test (this time to confirm a negative!) when I caught up on your newsletter. As I sat there anxious and scared, I saw your section about the need for donating plasma for people that already had the virus. I had never heard of this before! Of the 20+ medical professionals I’d spoken with or met in my Covid-positive journey, no one ever mentioned it. I signed up right then and there while waiting for my test. I’m happy to report I was able to donate, and it’s entirely thanks to you! Thanks so much for keeping Orlando informed! Proud to be a Pulptown member!”
I’d say it’s the little things y’all, but this feels like the biggest thing. 💗 If you or someone you know have had COVID-19 and recovered, maybe consider donating convalescent plasma? It could save a life.
🍽️ Local out-of-work artists and entertainers, get a free meal at The Plaza Live today (Milk District)
🎶 Make the most of your night in with smooth sounds from the artists at Timucua (Online)
🗣 Get to know Central Florida's history from the Civil War to the Great Freeze — and support your local History Center while you're at it (Online)
🗳️ Meet your local candidates at Apopka's Political Hob Nob and participate in a straw poll (Online)
📸 Are you a budding photographer? Check out one of these beginner classes (Online)
🛍 Support local vendors by shopping this outdoor market — masks required! (Thornton Park)
🍻 Sour beer fans, celebrate Sourfest at A La Cart with local brews (Colonialtown)
🍅 Buy local produce at this weekend farmers' market (Winter Garden)
🛍 Shop BIPOC vendors at this monthly market in Hannibal Square (Winter Park)
🎟️ If you're a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholder, it's a good weekend to check out the Orlando Science Center (Loch Haven Park)
🚣 Take your dog out for a literal doggy paddle (Maitland)
🎶 Wind down from the weekend with the rebroadcast of Whitney James and La Lucha at Timucua (Online)
🍦 Treat yo self on this fine National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (Audubon Park/SoDo)
Don’t forget that you can watch two Orlando teams today on the big screen… Well, depending on how large your TV is. The Magic play the Nets at 2:30 p.m. on FS1 and Orlando City faces off against LAFC in the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back tourney at 7:30 p.m. on the same channel.
Shout-out to Ashley Hart for keeping me accountable and reminding me that my headline “Basketball is back” didn’t really fly on Wednesday. Basketball has been back — the WNBA resumed its season last weekend.
Whatever you do, make the most of your weekend, friends.
See you on Monday!
–Katie at Pulptown