Grieving mom confronts Sheriff Demings

A west Orange County mother whose black son was killed last year during an encounter with Orange County deputies finally had a chance to confront Sheriff Jerry Demings on Thursday morning.

Demings, who is running to be elected the next Orange County mayor was participating in a political forum on The Wire 98.5 -- a Pine Hills-based radio station -- when Cadillya Anthony called in to discuss her son’s death. Orange County Commissioner Pete Clark, who is also running for the mayor’s seat, was on the show with Demings.
Ms. Anthony’s son, Clarence CJ Lake 3rd, died from drowning after he was chased by 10 deputies, 3 police dogs, and a police helicopter. She called in because she is still waiting for an explanation of her son’s death.
Two days after her son’s body was recovered from Lake Sherwood, near Good Homes Road, Ms. Anthony went to the sheriff’s office headquarters seeking an explanation.
Deputies said they were out of the office, but that they would get back to her. That never happened…

Attention new Jones High School students

While all the kids are enjoying the summer break, Jones High School is inviting all incoming freshmen to attend a special orientation session in July.
This 2-day session that will be held July 11 and 12 is a great opportunity for all newcomers to the school – including transfer students – to learn about the school’s rich history and traditions, as well as opportunities that Jones offers.
The two-day session will begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m.
Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be offered. This event is only for incoming students; parents do not need to attend.
Attendees are asked to complete a registration form that you can get by clicking here.
Jones is at 801 S. Rio Grande, near Gore and the Orange Blossom Trail. The new school year begins August 13.

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Enjoy a 'staycation' at nearby Wekiwa Springs

Money may be a little tight and you might not be able to afford to chill at a fancy resort, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a nice “staycation” right here in Central Florida.
While tourists are packing the Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches, they are missing out on one of Central Florida’s local best-kept secrets — Wekiwa Springs — located less than a 45-minute drive from Orlando. You can even get there by public transit – with SunRail and the Lynx bus.

Wekiwa Springs is a popular weekend destination for locals. The spring, located at Wekiwa Springs State Park, pumps 42 million gallons every day, filling a swimming area before joining Rock Springs Run and forming the Wekiva River.
Wekiwa Springs State Park is a full-service park and features something for everyone. Here are some of the things that make visiting Wekiwa Springs so special:
• Located just one hour from most of central Florida and its attractions, Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a natural set…

Housing Authority pulled a fast one on the community

The Orlando Housing Authority pulled a fast one on residents and the public Thursday (6/21).
Residents and others planned to attend the Housing Authority board meeting that was listed for 2 p.m. Thursday because many people were alarmed at the newsthat the Griffin Park public housing in Parramore is scheduled to be demolished. The meeting noticed was listed days ago on the Orlando City Clerk's website.
Under the Florida Sunshine Law meetings of public bodies, such as the Housing Authority board, are supposed to post advanced notice they are planning to meet. However, the Housing Authority meeting notice was posted, but the meeting was not held.
A spokeswoman for the Housing Authority said there was a mix-up and that the meeting will be held 2 p.m. next Thursday (6/28) at 325 N. Hillside Ave.
Griffin Park, which sits at the edge of State Road 408 just off Parramore Avenue, was the subject of a major investigative article in the Huffington Postthat reported on how many people suffer fro…

Sheriff Demings still won't tell mom how her son died

Cadillya Anthony has one simple question for Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings?
Ms. Anthony wants Sheriff Demings -- now running for election to become the next Orange County Mayor -- to explain what happened to her 18-year-old son.
This Saturday (June 23) marks 1 year since Ms. Anthony’s son Clarence “CJ” Lake 3rd, died under questionable circumstances after an encounter with a posse of Orange County deputy sheriffs.

CJ’s body was recovered from West Orange County’s Lake Sherwood after he was chased on foot in the dark by 10 deputies, three police dogs, and a police helicopter.
It’s noteworthy that CJ had no criminal record; was an honor roll student (and a math whiz) at Evans High School. An autopsy showed that he had no illegal drugs in his body. Had CJ not died, he would have graduated from Evans this past May and would be preparing to attend college to major in math or engineering.
CJ had never been in trouble with the police, and Ms. Anthony said her son was deathly afraid that pol…

Gentrification is a 4-letter word in Parramore - Commentary

When you hear Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and others talking about bringing high-paying high-tech jobs to Central Florida, please be aware they’re not bringing those jobs here to you.
It’s all about driving up real-estate prices.
You watch and see the impact Dyer’s so-called Creative Village will have on Parramore, Rock Lake and other nearby neighborhoods.
Where high-tech jobs go, gentrification is sure to follow.
If you live in Parramore, or other historically black and brown communities, gentrification is a four-letter word.
Gentrification displaces people of color.
Look at the effect the high-tech gold rush has had in San Francisco.
In 1990, black people made up 12 percent of San Francisco’s population. Today black people are 5 percent of San Francisco’s population.
Rent for a 1-room studio in a mediocre San Francisco community starts at $2,000 a month.
Consider how far a $10 an hour service industry job will take you in a gentrified city.
This is why the San Francisco Bay-area has a world-cla…

1 Parramore polluted site is finally getting cleaned

After waiting almost three decades, workers finally began removing dirt from an extremely polluted site in Parramore.
Heavy equipment is now excavating the former Orlando Gasification Plantsite at the corner of Terry Avenue and Robinson Street, in the shadow of downtown Orlando.
From 1887 to 1960, a factory on that site converted coal to gas for use in stoves and lamps. The site has been so polluted by byproducts from that process that it was put on the “Superfund alternative  list”.
Around the country, federal officials have declared dangerous toxic locations as Superfund sites and put them on the National Priority List to get federal funds for the cleanup.
The situation in Parramore is not unusual, as a 2016 article in Fortune magazine reported, if you are a person of color and poor, you’re likely to live near a toxic waste site.
As reported by the Orlando Weekly in 2011, a federal scientist in 1988 collected soil and ground water samples showing the site is contaminated with a witches b…