CF100: 2016 09 25 – Aquifers & Debates

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

We are all connected… by our aquifer if nothing else. A new sink hole caused hundreds of millions of gallons of contaminated water to leak from a fertilizer plant in Newberry into the Floridan Aquifer. The company, Mosaic, was quick to report to the Florida EPA, yet significantly delayed in reporting to the public. Now, while recovery efforts continue, Mosaic is paying for water tests for concerned neighbors. Meanwhile, it is up to all of us to be vigilant to protect the long-term future of our precious aquifer from this and other threats including pipelines, fracking, and overuse.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

The first presidential debate will illuminate the stark differences between the two major party candidates. Our watch parties in Central Florida interest the nation because of the swing potential of the state. I’ll be looking for a candidate who truly understands our on-going challenges regarding inequality and intolerance around race, gender, religion, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity. I will be looking for an inclusive heart, an even temperament, and a sharp mind. I’ll be looking for that person who can articulate the better future we know is possible even while inspiring us to face the challenges of today.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 09 18 – Mosques & Understanding

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

Deplorable: deserving censure or contempt. Example: setting a house of worship on fire. Example: inciting hatred and acts of violence.  Example: sharing things, including opinions, that incite hatred and acts of violence. A suspect is in custody charged with the arson and suspected hate crime at a Fort Pierce mosque. His actions (if indeed his) are deplorable. Should we burn the places where he has worshipped, or hung out, or even passed through? Of course, not! Why not? Because, obviously, that would be deplorable, too. Hate and violence never help. Love and hope do!

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

“We should get together without a crisis.” Words uttered at vigils over the last three months. Good idea! You are invited to “Conversations with Our Faith Neighbors: A Community Collaboration Celebrating our Religious Diversity” running nine Wednesday evenings, September 21 – November 16. The free (donations welcome), drop-in series at First Unitarian in collaboration with the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, features speakers from various faith traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Baha’i, Unitarian Universalism, Free Thought. The program is from 7:00-8:00 pm but a light dinner before and tea after offer time for conversation  and community building.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 09 11 – Responses Matter & Pipelines

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition. This week my 9/11 response (slightly edited) appeared in print.

What was the biggest story of the week?

The overlap of the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with the 3-month anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting causes me, once again, to consider what difference a response makes. With the attention and sympathy of the world, you can build a better future, or you can squander the opportunity. In 2001, the United States could have nurtured relationships and explored what goodwill and cooperation could make possible. Instead, we alienated much of the globe and went to war. Orlando chose another path. Our leaders have championed unity and love. This has served us well. What a difference a response makes!

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

Protests and court challenges far from Central Florida should be of interest to those who care about our environment, Native American rights, and honoring treaties. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas is struggling to protect both sacred lands and water quality. The pipeline under construction by a Dallas-based corporation would cross the Missouri River adjacent to their reservation. Questions exist about the approval process used by the Army Corp of Engineers. Precedent is being set about how we value quality of life and local concerns. Pay attention – these questions may be coming soon to an aquifer near you.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 09 04 – The Other Orlando

Each week the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online  usually Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday edition while the on-line comments are available a day or two before.

What was the biggest story of the week?

In Africa, I expected wonderful wildlife, not a “Welcome to Orlando Stadium” emblazoned soccer stadium. We visited Soweto, the South West Township near Johannesburg where blacks were relocated during Apartheid. This government-sanctioned system of segregation and inequality began with National Party in 1948. In Orlando West, part of Soweto, we visited Nelson Mandela’s home and met people from the freedom struggle… intensely moving to learn about this other Orlando. Chilling to hear a white South African say, “I always wondered how the National Party came to power. Now, watching your election, I understand.” Lessons from our sister across the sea.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

No submission this week as I am just returning to Central Florida.

 


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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Home… sort of

I am back in my usual time zone but not yet in Orlando. I am in my hometown of Amherst, NH enjoying time with my Mom and other family until I go to my last Entrepreneurial Ministry retreat/intensive next Monday. (This will wrap up two years of a terrific program sponsored by our UU Minister’s Association and UUA.)

The travels have been exciting and recharging and I am grateful. I am pleased to have time to ramp back up slowly so I have time to integrate the experiences. Thanks for following along… and now I will let this blog transition out of travel mode and back to its normal uses… though maybe I will be a little more attentive to it than I have been… we’ll see.

Blessings,

Kathy

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History Lessons

​Monday, August  22, 2016

Our last day in Africa, we lingered over breakfast at the guesthouse – an engaging conversation with the facility’s director – first about how someone from France acquired the property and turned it into a museum detailing the friendship of Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach. This explained the high number of French speaking guests and staff. Then we veered into politics – theirs and ours – interesting perspectives.

We took a walk to a recommended cafe for lunch which allowed us to see some everyday life. Most striking is how heavily walled and gated the homes in this Johannesburg suburb are.

Then we uber-ed to Liliesleaf Farm. This was a secret meeting place for the ANC in the early 1960’s. The renovation tells the story of the activism planned there and the eventual raid that disrupted the movement to end apartheid.  Much to learn. 

Uber to the airport and we are on our way back to the states… head and heart full.

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Satyagraha House

​Today was the end of our organized tour (Ultimate Africa with Overseas Adventure Travel). We started the day with a very interesting talk about David Livingstone, his explorations, and his work to end the slave trade. 

On our way to the airport, we stopped by the home of our guide for the last 2 weeks and met his beautiful (and tolerant) family…his wife and 3 daughters (2 teens and a toddler) as well as his mother who happened to be visiting from South Africa and two cousins visiting for school holiday. We saw their current home and the expansion underway and the many fruit trees in the front yard and the chickens in the backyard.  We also met the two dogs… one of which is a Rhodesian Ridgeback… and Zimbabwe used to be Rhodesia, so there’s that.

We flew from Victoria Falls back to Johannesburg.  4 group members are continuing on a trip extention to Cape Town. 6 have headed home. 4 of us are spending the night in Jo’berg. Charlie and I are staying at Satyagraha House.  (http://www.satyagrahahouse.com) The house where Mahatma Gandhi lived in 1908 has been turned into a small museum with guestrooms added around a beautiful courtyard. Our vegetarian dinner this evening was served in the original house where we enjoyed conversation with 2 young women (sisters) from France… one of whom currently works in for UNICEF in South Sudan.

Here is our room looking out at the courtyard and original house.

Here is Gandhi’s attic bedroom as set up in the museum today.

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