Sign petition to show where the Wekiva River flows through urban Orlando

Please click here to add your name to a petition to save the Wekiva River – one of the most environmentally sensitive waterways in Central Florida.

The goal of the petition drive is to add signs where the river crosses under urban roads in Orlando. Throughout Florida, there are signs marking waterways, such as in the accompanying photo on a bridge over the Suwannee River.

The petition drive is the brainchild of Dr. Lisa Jones who said, “We can’t save the Wekiva if people don’t understand where it is.”
One of the Wekiva’s major urban crossings is between the College Park and the Pine Hills areas where Princeton Drive and Silver Star Road merge. Signs are also needed on John Young Parkway and on Princeton near the Orange Blossom Trail.
“Many people think the waterway they see at the side of the road is just a drainage ditch, but that’s water flowing in the (Wekiva) river headed to the (Wekiva) springs,” said Dr. Jones who holds a Ph.D. in environmental sciences.
For the past couple of years,…

UCF campus cops are on patrol in Parramore

Hey Parramore, there’s a new sheriff in town!
It’s the University of Central Florida Police Department.
UCF cops are already on patrol at UCF’s downtown campus that is scheduled to open for classes this fall in the Parramore neighborhood.
Campus cops have real badges and real guns. They can arrest anyone – not just college kids -- and take them to the 33rd Street jail. Or they can shoot to kill.
The presence of this new police force compounds the concerns of Parramore residents who feel their community is already over-policed.
Four summers ago, a University of Cincinnati police officer in a marked patrol car driving on a city street near the campus stopped motorist Samuel DuBose, a black man. During that encounter, the UC officer shot and killed DuBose, who was unarmed.
That fatal shooting contributed to bad blood between the black community and police. After two trials that ended with a hung jury, charges were dismissed against the white UC officer, who was wearing a Confederate flag T-shi…

How deputies killed an unarmed black man in Parramore

The accompanying photo shows a pistol magazine.
Specifically, this is the pistol magazine Orange County deputy sheriffs say James “New York” Bauduy was holding when they shot and killed him last year on a crowded street in Parramore.
Bauduy, a suspect in a homicide, was unarmed when he was gunned down on South Street at Lime Avenue on the evening of April 20, 2018.
The plainclothes deputies who opened fire that night – Sgt. Bruce Vail and Corporal Randy Hovland – were cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office.
In a report compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), deputies said they fired at Bauduy because they observed a “dark object in his hand”.
A pistol magazine, sometimes referred to as a clip, is not a firearm. It is a metal sleeve that holds bullets for a firearm. A magazine can’t fire bullets, even though one of the deputies told FDLE investigators that Bauduy raised the object as though he was taking aim and “making a squeezing…

Parramore may be getting a Main Street economic growth program

Orlando’s Parramore community may soon be getting a Main Street (economic development) program – again.
Reports are there are discussions behind the scenes the revive the Main Street program on the Church Street corridor in Parramore.
Orlando’s first Main Street program was launched more than a decade ago. Main Street is a partnership with the community, business and local government to revive downtown and local commercial corridors.
The Parramore main Street program was shut down by former City Commissioner Daisy Lynum after a few months.
While the program did not catch on in Parramore, it flourished in 9 other Orlando communities including SoDo, just south of downtown Orlando on Orange Avenue and in the Mills Avenue area, just north of downtown, to name a few.
These programs have proven themselves effective in bringing new energy and investment to the communities they serve.
Relaunching Main Street in Parramore could help the area where the annual median income for some longtime residents…

Parramore and Mayor Pete have something in common -- gentrification

Gentrification (pushing poor people out of the neighborhood to make room for wealthier residents) is a dirty word in Parramore.
Gentrification is also a dirty word in the northwest side of South Bend, Indiana. South Bend is led by “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg, who quickly became one of the highest profile politicians running to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. President.
Under Mayor Pete, South Bend – the home of Notre Dame University – embarked on an initiative called “1,000 Houses in 1,000 Days.” Through that program, the city demanded that 1,000 rundown houses be repaired or torn down.
The result was that 60 percent of the homes were demolished. Many residents of those communities were poor, or black and brown. People who lived in the rental properties that were demolished said they had difficulty finding new affordable housing. Roughly 40 percent of South Bend’s residents are black and brown.
The demolitions created an opportunity for investors to build new, more expensive housing. It …

What happens after the projects get torn down?

What happens when the Orlando Housing Authority gets the green light to tear down the public housing projects at Griffin Park, Murchison Terrace, Lake Mann, Ivey Lane and Reeves Terrace and Lorna Doone? Residents will be given vouchers they can present to private landlords (which may or may not be accepted if the reimbursement is enough) and then if new housing is built on the site of the projects, they could return later.
The situation for present public housing residents is further complicated because Orlando is experiencing a catastrophic shortage of affordable housing – the worst in the nation. A recent report says Central Florida needs more than 115,000 units of affordable housing.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s strategy has changed from running and providing public housing to "helping HUD-assisted families achieve self-sufficiency" according to HUD chief Ben Carson.
Carson’s comment comes at a time when HUD's overall funding is being slashed …

Want an affordable apartment in Parramore Oaks?

Want to get an apartment at Parramore Oaks -- the new development under construction on the site of the old Parramore Village community?
An informational meeting on Parramore Oaks will be held Wednesday, April 17th, 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Neighborhood Center.
The lack of affordable housing is especially critical in the Parramore community where many people are getting squeezed out by gentrification being caused by the opening of the University of Central Florida’s downtown campus and the planned demolition of Orlando public housing projects.
While city officials keep boasting they are building affordable housing in the Parramore area, a recent article by a 32805OrlNews correspondent showed most Parramore residents won’t be able to afford the housing being built in the community.
Many rents in the Parramore area are soaring to $1,000 or more. Most Parramore residents – most of whom work – cannot afford a monthly rent of more than $350.