CF100: 2016 02 07 – Campus Carry & Zika and Choice

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below. (Please note that the paper is now printing selected responses in the Sunday edition rather than the Wednesday edition.)


What was the biggest story of the week?

Flying in the face of faculty members, university and college presidents, and campus law enforcement, the Florida House this week passed as campus carry bill. The willingness to work an agenda in spite of the input of those impacted by that agenda is appalling. Fortunately, it is unlikely that the Senate will jump on the bandwagon and so this will die where it is, the results being the House members who voted to allow guns on campus have simply exposed themselves and their willingness to work against the common good.


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

With the Zika virus having appeared in four Florida counties, it is reasonable to assume it will appear in Central Florida soon. Given the possible connection to birth defects, it is more important than ever that prospective mothers and all women of childbearing years have access to reproductive options so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. It is time for our public health officials to ensure not only choice but access to this care.


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 01 27 – Hackathon & Voting

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below.


What was the biggest story of the week?

Empowering democracy using innovative technology was the goal of a recent day-long gathering of techies. At the event, called a Hackathon, teams emerged to take advantage of new tools that give access to crucial data about the Florida legislature through the Tabs on Tallahassee project. Data can be overwhelming so the goal of the fifty or so volunteers was to create ways for citizens to access just the information they needed in efficient and effective ways. Check out FLVote.org to see an early beta that came out of this Hackathon and watch for more new ways to engage our democracy.


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

As the Iowa Caucuses and NH Primary take place, the election season moves to a new level. I grew up in NH and did my first voting there. It was a time when you really met candidates in the coffee shop or the basement of the church. With the eyes of the nation on us, I took voting very seriously. Still do. The election season in Florida is less intimate than NH, but our votes are no less important. Now is the time to ensure that your voter registration is up-to-date so that your vote and your voice will count.


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 01 13 – Happy Anniversary & MLK

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below.


What was the biggest story of the week?

This last week, many same-sex couples across Florida celebrated the first anniversary of being legally married in their home state. Some of these couples had their first wedding a year ago. 44 couples were married by Mayor Buddy Dyer at Orlando City Hall, where I had the honor of offering the blessing. Later that week, First Unitarian Church conducted 14 weddings in one afternoon. We also celebrated 13 couples who had previously traveled out of state to get legal marriages but now were ensured that the legal status of their unions would be recognized where they live.


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

Celebrations of the life and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have begun and will continue through the next week. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech will be much referenced and quoted, particularly the part about the dream. It was, and is, an amazing dream. However, to truly honor Dr. King, we must also honor the work that has not yet been completed. The Black Lives Matters movement continues to raise important issues that deserve our attention. May our annual celebration inspire us to recommit ourselves to creation of the Dream.


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 01 06 – Oregon Takeover

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below. (I actually only responded to the first question this week and it did get published in the print edition.)


What was the biggest story of the week?

In a move against the U.S. government, armed white men have taken control of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Since we seem to expect moderate Muslims and black Americans to speak out when members of their “group” commit certain acts, I suppose, to be fair, white Americans should be held to same standard. Therefore, let me say that the abhorrent acts in Oregon do not represent me or other white people I know. Can we see how absurd it is to presume that any one individual or small group be expected to represent their entire race or religion?


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

No submittal this week.


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: 2015 12 30 – Falcon 9 & A Little Quiet

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below. (My Falcon 9 comments were included in the print edition this week.)


What was the biggest story of the week?

I am still charmed that we can see launches at Cape Canaveral just by stepping out the door. Monday after our Solstice Service, celebrating the longest night, I was finishing up in the sanctuary. Someone popped in and said, “Was there a launch tonight? I just saw something.” Someone responded, “Go ask Brian, he’ll know.”  If you’ve always lived in Central Florida, you may not know that this conversation doesn’t happen just anywhere. Add to it, that this launch and successful landing of the Falcon 9 brings us a step closer to affordable space flight, and I’m very charmed indeed.


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

With luck, little will happen to interfere with a holiday week news cycle looking back to review the year just past and looking forward with hope to the possibilities of the year ahead.


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: 2015 12 23 – Fracking & Good Intentions

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below. (This week Rev. Kathy’s fracking post was chosen for inclusion in the print edition.)


What was the biggest story of the week?

Last week, by unanimous vote of the County Commissioners, Orange County became the 32nd Florida County to ban fracking. This protects our environment and water supply. It also avoids tying our local economic development to fuel sources that are destined to become a thing of the past. The struggle is not over. Special interests continue to push state legislation aimed at preventing local governments from making their own determination in such matters. Additionally, not far away, efforts to frack the Everglades are underway. Preserving our environment, our health, and our precious gifts from opportunistic greed will take eternal vigilance.


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

Across Central Florida, families will gather. Friends will find time for long neglected get-togethers. Those celebrating Christmas will enjoy the diverse traditions to which they are accustomed. Many not celebrating will enjoy a different pace as their celebrating friends are otherwise occupied. Most people will greet one another with sincere greetings and good intentions. Most people will return the greetings they receive with good cheer and in the spirit intended. Of course, other things will happen too, but I hope we will not lose track of these blessings and our prayers for peace – in our hearts and in our world.


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: 2015 12 16 – Climate Agreement & The Dark Side

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 here. For those without access, my responses are below.


What was the biggest story of the week?

The Paris Climate Talks have brought us an unprecedented agreement among nearly 200 nations. It has been and will be critiqued from both sides – for going too far and for not going far enough. I think the agreement is to be celebrated. Not, as one of my colleagues said, because it accomplishes everything but because it accomplished something. It was possible to imagine that they might not. This is a step in the right direction. Now it is more possible than ever to imagine that we might continue on a path toward a sustainable future.


What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

The release of the latest film in the Star Wars series, “The Force Awakens,” will hit the theaters this week. With hope, it will, like its predecessors, prompt us to think about such issues as peace, and freedom, and democracy and how we will use our powers for good. In episode I, Master Yoda, reminded us that “Hard to see, the dark side is.” May we once again be reminded that “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”


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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