Soul food for the New Year

This is the time of the year for a traditional Charleston, S.C. rice treat – Hoppin’ John. Click here to see Charleston-native Glennie M. Porter and Orlando resident prepare this soul-food dish.
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need: ·1 ½ cups of dried cow peas (not black-eye peas) ·2 ham hocks ·6 cups of room-temperature water ·3 cups of white parboiled long-grain rice ·6 bay leaves ·1 teaspoon of chopped onion ·1 teaspoon of sage ·½ teaspoon of garlic ·1 pinch of baking soda ·½ teaspoon of butter ·Salt and pepper to taste

New gun store endangers Washington Shores

Residents of west Orlando and the students who survived the massacre in Parkland, Florida have a common enemy: The National Rifle Association (NRA).
The gun lobby -- commonly known as the NRA -- worked behind the scenes with state Republican lawmakers to shape the law that prohibits local governments, such as Orlando, from banning gun stores from locations that are zoned for commercial use.
That’s how B&H Police Supply gun store was allowed to open their store at the corner of Goldwyn and Orange Center in Washington Shores. The city has been told that access to the store is limited to those with credentials as police, firefighters, first responders and airline pilots. However, the store could change its policy and open it to the public.
Many people residents oppose the store at that location because of its proximity to day-care centers, churches, and homes. In addition, there have been violent crimes committed near the store.
This store was the subject of a well-attended meeting on We…

The black community needs a free press

In case you missed it, President Donald Trump declared the news media an “enemy of the people.”
No doubt that declaration made Ida B. Wells spin over in her grave.

Ms. Wells was a pioneering, crusading and extremely brave black woman journalist who tirelessly fought lynching and other racial injustices through Reconstruction and until her death in 1931.
All black journalists – including me – walk in her shadow.
Without a free and independent press – both black and white – the civil rights movement would have been smothered in the dark.
Articles and grainy photographs of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Greensboro sit-ins, the Birmingham marches, the Freedom Rides, Bloody Sunday in Selma, the murder of the three civil rights workers in Mississippi, the Long Hot Summer uprisings and so many other injustices shocked and motivated good people to stand up for justice.
Today the news media continues its work focusing on police brutality, mass incarceration, economic and environmental racism, immi…

Check these videos to avoid problems in school

Orange County Public Schools begin the new academic year next week.
To help students have a trouble-free school year the school district has prepared a series of videos the highlight the district’s “code of conduct” and the most serious violations of that code.

Violations of the code of conduct could result in suspension, expulsion and even arrest.
It’s a good idea for parents and students to watch these videos together so they can discuss them to ensure that students know and understand the rules.
You can watch the videos by clicking these links: Buying/distributing/selling drugs on campusBringing weapons on campusSexual harassmentA “did you know” video about Safe HarborThreats via social media
Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 13.

For more information on the school district, please click here.

1 more 'staycation' before school starts

Orange County Public Schools will be back in session next week. But there’s still time for one more ‘staycation’ in Kissimmee.
Seriously, Kissimmee!
The great thing about this staycation is it includes two adventures: ·Riding SunRail to Kissimmee (Great experience if you or your kids have never ridden a train before.) ·Exploring a cool Central Florida community that many Orlando residents may not have visited recently.
Thanks to the recently opened Southern Expansion of SunRail, you can now ride the commuter train into the heart of downtown Kissimmee.
You can take the Lynx bus from anywhere in Orlando to Lynx Central Station downtown and walk a few steps to the SunRail platform to catch the southbound train.
For the SunRail schedule, click here.
A round-trip ticket to Kissimmee is $5.50.
There’s a half-off discount for senior citizens (65 and older); those with disabilities; and children 7 to 18.
Children younger than 7 who are accompanied by parents ride for free.
The ride to Kissimmee takes…

Val Demings is not on the Obama endorsement list

Hometown Congresswoman Val Demings was not included in the list of politicians endorsed by former President Barrack Obama.
On Wednesday Obama’s office released a list of 81 politicians that the former president is endorsing in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Whether Demings will be included in a future batch of endorsements is unclear. There were no Florida politicians on the list.
Recently Demings has fallen into disfavor with some black people and progressive for her decision to co-sponsor the Blue Lives Matters bill that calls for federal prison time against some people who have encounters with police.
Demings, a Democrat, teamed up with arch-conservative Republican Congressman John Rutherford of Jacksonville, to sponsor this bill. She was the only Democrat to sponsor the bill that has been widely criticized by civil liberties groups as excessive and unnecessary.
The Blue Lives Matter bill is seen as an attack on the Black Lives Matter movement that has been fighting police brutality a…

Orlando gives the black community the shaft...again

Orlando City Hall does not care what the black community wants.
City officials proved that point recently when they announced that they will not change the time or location of the Citizens Police Review Board.
That panel of appointees is charged with reviewing the results of internal investigations into police brutality. It meets 8:30 a.m. on first Wednesday of the month at Orlando City Hall.
Though the meeting is open to the public, very few people attend because the time and location make it difficult for working people to speak to the board.
For more than a year a variety of people have asked for the meeting time and location be changed. The goal was to make it easier for working people and people of color – those most likely to have had negative encounters with police -- to attend the meeting and address board members.
Recently city officials rejected the request.
In a written statement, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s spokeswoman explained the city’s position this way:
“As you know, the boar…