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Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 50+ tax wpmobserver.com BUS_CARD 3.25 x 2 August 2010Grafton Wealth ManagementWilliam D. Grafton III, Sarah Grafton DeVoe William D. Grafton IV Financial Advisors (407) 646-6725 400 Park Avenue South Suite 300 Winter Park, FL 32789 Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, member SIPC. Investment products: 2010 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value 407-740-0401 www.FirstColonyBank.netYour Real Hometown BankOn Hwy 17-92 in MaitlandMember FDIC d USPS 00-6186 Publisher statement on page 4. A McDonalds restaurants relo cation quickly bloomed into vi sions about the transformation of the Fairbanks Avenue business corridor at the Monday, Nov. 14, Winter Park City Commission meeting. The McDonalds restaurant currently open at 1008 S. Orlan do Ave. is set to move into a new location that spans the width of two properties and the block be tween two streets, with its main frontage along Fairbanks Avenue just west of where it intersects South Orlando Avenue. It would also abut Gene Street on its south side, giving it two entrances and exits. With the location already set, just how that McDonalds new look will affect the rest of the Fairbanks Avenue corridor quickly had commissioners won dering whether the city might be down the road. City staff had already worked with McDonalds representatives aesthetically with the city, with a brick faade, shrubbery and palm tree foliage and other trim to help it blend in. No kids-eyegrabbing playplace will beckon from the roadside along Fair banks; a dining patio will be in its place. It will make this one of the nicest McDonalds in the area, development director Jeff Briggs said. It is a McDonalds, but itll be one of the best in the chain. But with visions of a more urban-looking transformation of the corridor spanning Fairbanks Avenue between South Orlando Avenue and Interstate 4 danc ing in their heads, commission ers wondered if the McDonalds would stick out like a sore thumb just a few years after it was built. In effect youd have a more urban-esque area, Commis sioner Tom McMacken said. Itd be sticking out as opposed to blending in. Itd be as if we had something on Park Avenue that was totally different. If we were to implement a true streetscape program, Id think youd want to be a part of that as opposed to be ing the only people on the block who didnt. Attorney Rebecca Wilson, rep resenting McDonalds, said she Make every day Thanksgiving and you will be amazed at how much better your life becomes. Page 10 Restaurant review Pacos Mexican Restaurant, which is celebrating 30 years, has all family restaurants beat. Page 2 Holiday Calendar Park Avenue comes to life on Saturday, Dec. 3, during Winter Parks Christmas Parade. Page 7 The NEW Observer 12.1.11 Please see MCDONALDS Page 3 Hamburgers and streetscapes Winter Park approves conditional use for construction of fast-food restaurant ISAAC BABCOCK Observer Staff RENDERING COURTESY OF CITY OF WINTER PARK The McDonalds will be one of the nicest in the area, staffer Jeff Briggs says. Before heading out to shop this holiday season, local merchants want you to consider more than just the items on your wish list when it comes down to where you decide to buy. Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Com petitiveness at the University of Central Florida, said the trend to spend during the holiday sea son has shifted greatly to bigbox retailers and online websites and away from smaller, locally owned businesses because of the economy. Big-boxes are popping up ev erywhere for a reason, he said. And its not because people dont shop there. But Erika Spence, with the Winter Park Chamber of Com merce and Park Avenue Area Association, said its important for people to support their local businesses to maintain the qual ity and charm that the Winter Park community has cultivated. The holidays are always about giving back to people who give to us, and this is a really great way to support the local businesses that support our com munity, Spence said. To encourage people to do so, the PAAA has partnered with American Express in their initia tive for a day dedicated to shop ping at small businesses called Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, which is sandwiched between Black Friday on Nov. 25 and Cy ber Monday on Nov. 28. The holiday season has be come so crowded with Black Fri day deals and large retailers re ally claiming the day for theirs, Spence said. Its important on this day to remember our small businesses. Spence said shes signed up 30 local businesses to formally participate so far with, she antici PHO T O BY ISAAC BABCOCK OBSERVER STAFF W earable Art and Markdown Marys co-owner Larry Nicastro hopes Nov. 26 will be big for small business. Please see LOCAL Page 4 Think big, shop small Movement pushes small businesses over big box stores this holiday season SARAH WILSON Observer Staff
Page 2 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer When it comes to family restaurants, Paco's Mexican Restaurant has them all beat. Opened by Marjorie Myers in 1981, her sister and brother Melissa and Donnie joined her in 1982. Chico runs the kitchen; he joined the family in 1983. Sisters Monica and Marianne servers extraordinaire have been there since 1988 and 1983 respectively. How many businesses any where in the world can boast that kind of longevity in workers who happily stay where they are? Melissa gives all the credit to founder Marjorie, who died from cancer in 2009. Its her place still. Its all her, Melissa said. Marj inspired loyalty in her staff, customers, friends and family. And what Marjorie managed to create is being car ried on with sincere love and caring today. They even have a drink on the menu called the Marjorita. But for any restaurant to be around to celebrate 30 years, the food has to be good. The fact is, Pacos serves the freshest Tex-Mex food in Central Florida, and being a family restaurant in the truest sense of the word, guests are treated like family The family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere has to do with the servers, quality ingredi ents and very affordable prices. In true Tex-Mex tradition, I started with the nachos and tried all of the salsas and dips. The medium salsa is just hot enough for most, but I can stand the heat, so I went for the hot salsa: Woof. Loved it. (Its hot enough to make your eyes water.) And while the homemade guacamole is good, the cheese dip is the clear winner in my book. Note to party planners: They sell salsa by the jar for your home parties. Theres never any hurry in this res taurant, so you have plenty of time to eat a Combo Grande, which consists of a lot of food in a lot of variations. You may choose one, two or three tacos, burritos and/or enchiladas and mix them up in any way you wish, everything served with beans and rice. I had the enchilada, stuffed to bursting with fresh pulled chicken, and the beef taco, so delicious that it reminds you of why you like Mexican food in the some of my cheese dip on my beef taco. It is a wonderful suggestion for which I thank Melissa (and pass on to you.) Urged to try their Deluxe Burrito (un der Burritos Grande on the menu), I hap pily indulged in the mix of beef and beans in a burrito smothered in ranchero sauce, melted cheese and sour cream and found myself in Tex-Mex heaven. In other words, combination you can think of. Pacos truly wants to keep the customers happy. And speaking of keeping us happy, Melissa has invited us to help celebrate their 30th anniversary. If you tell your server Josh sent you, you may order (limit 2) beers at 30 cents each with an entre from Wednesday, Nov. 30, to Friday, Dec. 30. Were beers 30 cents 30 years ago? I truly dont know, but hey, it works for me. Pacos is at 1801 W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park, but you knew that. Theyve been there for 30 years! And dont forget to tell them Josh sent you. Call 407-629-0149 or visit pacosmexi can.com Open on Thanksgiving Day 11am 9pm!Offering Thanksgiving dishes in addition to our salad bar and meat rodizio for $29.95Our Salad Bar features a complete buffet of over 40 items with cold and hot dishes, including Brazilian specialties. We serve 14 cuts of meat continuously, all-you-can-eat tableside service. Where you can choose from beef, pork, lamb or chicken, all served with our house specialty, oven-warm cheese bread. Nelore Steakhouse 115 E. Lyman Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789(407) 645-1112www.neloresteakhouse.comAuthentic Brazilian Steak House he ife f he aty! Josh Garrick Pacos: 30 years delicious PHO T OS BY ISAAC BABCOCK THE OBSERVER Monica Myers head server at Pacos Mexican Restaurant, knows all of her customers. The T ex-Mex style family eatery in Winter Park has been open for more than 30 years, and has always been in the family.
Page 3 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer was worried that a proposed 10 feet of extra easement in front of the property so that the city could build a wider sidewalk and add more landscaping might take out all but the drive-around lane in front of the restaurant. Were just a little concerned about what this easement might look like, Wilson said. Were be ing asked to give just a blanket 10foot easement. Commissioners agreed that the 10 feet of broader sidewalk and landscaping, intended to im prove pedestrian safety, could set a precedent that could determine how the rest of Fairbanks Avenue would look. What they didnt agree on was whether the McDon alds should be the one to set the precedent for a streetscape plan that is only in its early stages. I dont want to set precedent on what were going to expect, on this project, Mayor Ken Bradley said. McMacken said that whether the city requests the easement now or later, itll be the same ease ment, but it could prove costly if the city waits. If we dont do it now and do it in the future, thats eminent do main and were paying somebody for the right of way, McMacken said. In an effort to make it more beautiful, that may be something theyre willing to give up, Brad ley countered. Macken said, adding hed never seen a commercial property own er give up an easement for free. The request for conditional use passed 5-0, on the condition that the McDonalds add the improved landscaping, give up a 10-foot utility easement for future under grounding, and use directional drive-thru speakers to cut down step in beautifying the streetscape of Fairbanks Avenue, the Com mission took a pass. The last time we talked about Fairbanks we needed a bigger Commission Chamber, so I would hate for this to be precedent-set ting, Bradley said. NOW YOU HAVE A BETTER TV CHOICE. 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Page 4 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer USPS 00-6186 ISSN 1064-3613 1500 Park Center Drive Orlando, FL 32835-5705 Member of: Goldenrod Chamber of Commerce Publisher reserves right to edit or refuse all advertisements, announcements, articles and/or letters to the editor. Submission does not guarantee publication. Columnists opinions are made independently of the newspaper. All rights reserved. Winter Park / Maitland Observer 2011 Established in 1989 by Gerhard J.W. Munster P.O Box 2426 Winter Park, FL 32790 Published Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 CONT ACTS Volume 23, Issue Number 47 PUBLISHER Kyle Taylor 407-563-7009 Jenny Andreasson 407-563-7026 Jonathan Gallagher 407-563-7054 REPORTERS Jenny Andreasson 407-563-7026 Isaac Babcock 407-563-7023 Ashley McBride Isaac Babcock Padrick Brewer COLUMNISTS Chris Jepson Louis Roney Josh Garrick Tracy Craft 407-515-2605 Amanda Rayno 407-563-7073 INTERN Meisha Perrin email@example.com pates, 50 involved by Small Busi ness Saturday. Though the overall tally result of this newly deemed day held not be nearly as substantial as those of its counterparts, Snaith said the day may help people give a second thought as to where they shop. It can help get more people to think about other opportunities to patronize local businesses as op posed to having their spending leave the area, he said. Local landscape As opposed to big-box retailers, a greater percentage of money spent at small businesses is rein vested back into the local econ omy, Snaith said, which betters the local economic situation as a whole. The more money that is kept in the area, the better the local economy will be, he said. Yet, he said, because of pres sures of the economy the past few years, consumers have been driv en away from these pop and mom stores, in favor of the convenience and affordability of many big-box retailers. Americas Research Group founder and retail expert Brit Beemer said that in a survey he conducted last year only 37 per cent of people said they would retailer that holiday season. He said this compares drastically to when he would conduct such sur veys 25 years ago, when nearly 80 percent said they would. Generally I would say the in dependent dealer has struggled more so than the major chains, Beemer said. That doesnt mean theyre beat, it just means that theres more of a challenge facing them. In order to stand out, Snaith said, small businesses need to what big retailers cant, whether that is through unique products or personal customer service rela tionships. The ones who have lived through this are probably in a better position than they were be fore the whole recession started, Snaith said. Its the Darwinian dimension of the recession: only Small businesses sound off Spence said that Linda Semmler, owner of Earth Inspired Living on Park Avenue, was one of the driv ing forces behind getting the Park Avenue Area Association involved with Small Business Saturday. After hearing of the event too late to fully participate last year, Semmler made a commitment to herself that she would get both her store and others on the Av enue involved this year. Unless theres a concerted ef fort out there of people calling at tention to them, local businesses often can be forgotten, Semmler said. This year we decided to get in front of the movement and tell our customers and neighbors. On her shops door there is a sticker labeling her as a partici pant in Small Business Saturday, as well as a QR code passersby can scan with their cell phones to learn more about the day and how they can get involved. Local businesses have to sus tain themselves, and they cant survive without the communitys support, she said. Larry Nicastro, a co-owner of Wearable Art and Markdown Marys on Park Avenue, said hes looking forward to participating in Small Business Saturday, hop ing it will draw out more shop pers to the Avenue. I hope it works, he said. The retail industry needs any help it can to keep going Its been a long two years. Brian Wettstein, co-owner of the Doggie Door, said he is hope ful for this holiday shopping sea son and Small Business Saturday, anticipating a 10 percent increase in business this season from last year. He said Park Avenue, with a plethora of independently run businesses, is the perfect place for a movement like this to take off. With a big advertising push from American Express, he hopes from the Small Business Saturday buzz. We can not afford to do that kind of marketing on our own, he said. Theres no price tag on that for us; its priceless. Were so thrilled to be a part of it. Dennis AllenOwner/ Administrator LOC AL | Earth Inspired Living owner pushes Park A venue area retailers to participate on Saturday, Nov. 26 C ONTINUED FR OM FR ONT P AGE Learn more If you register your American Ex press card online, and spend more than $25 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, you can qualify for an automatic $25 credit. For more information on Small Busi ness Saturday on Saturday, Nov. 26, visit www.smallbusinesssaturday. com. For a list of participating local businesses, visit www.winterpark. org/content/small-business-satur day. Earth Inspired Living 300 N. Park A ve., Winter Park 407-644-2344 www.earthinspiredliving.com Wearable Art 332 N. Park A ve., Winter Park 407-599-2255 www.wearableart-sl.com The Doggie Door 329 N. Park A ve., Winter Park 407-644-2969 www.thedoggiedoor.com
Page 5 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer Member of Feeding AmericaWe see it in the news every day. The highest unemployment rate in decades. More people struggling just to make ends meet. The hard reality is that this holiday season, as many as 1 in 5 of your neighbors will need food assistance. And Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will help. Last year, we provided 33 million pounds of food to seniors, kids, working families, the homeless and others who needed a hand. This year, demand has soared! Please donate at FeedHopeNow.org. Each dollar you give can provide up to $9 worth of groceries and 96% of every dollar goes directly to helping feed Central Floridians.FEED HOPE NOW. .more than ever Help Today at www.FeedHopeNow.org SHF 078G WP Observer.indd 1 11/14/11 2:59:41 PM Winter Park City Talk BY RANDY KNIGHT CITY MANAGER What Im thankful for Maitland City Talk BY HOW ARD SCHIEFERDECKER MAYOR As we pause during this time to be thank ful for our blessings, it is important for us to reach out to our neighbors who are not so fortunate with encouragement and posi tive hope for their future. To help others is the best way to be thankful for our bless ings. Families across the country are deal situation is, there will always be reasons to be thankful. First and foremost, I am thankful for having a family that is loving, caring, re spectful and considerate of others. With the recent birth of my grandson (Cooper), I am thankful that he and his mom are now home and doing well. We are fortunate to all have good health and to be stable enough to weather the economic storm. I would not trade having the good for tune to serve my community for anything. I am appreciative and thankful for the op portunity to serve in ways I never thought possible. Since my retirement, after 26 years in the development business, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to be able to serve as your mayor and give back to our Maitland community that my family and I cherish and love so much. In addition, I am thankful for my fellow Council members who serve with me on City Council. They have a passion to serve others, without re gard for their own personal self-interests, which inspires me every day. Furthermore, we are very fortunate to have citizens in our community who take and residents who voice their opinions and express their convictions on many issues affecting Maitland such that we continue to make real progress and move forward. With this opportunity of involvement and input, our leaders have been in a much bet ter position to make more informed deci sions about matters that impact each of us. Recently, I had the honor of visiting with some veterans who were staying at the Thurston House over Veterans Day weekend. It was great learning about how and when they served our country. I am so thankful for all of our veterans and soldiers who have given so much of themselves so that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today. During this upcoming day of thanks, lets all keep our veterans and sol diers in our thoughts and prayers. employees who, in times of budget cuts, work harder and are more dedicated than ever. It is truly an honor to work with such wonderful people. I pray that their families are well taken care of during the upcoming holiday season. Heres wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving wishes As the holiday rush begins, I hope that each upon the many things we have for which to be thankful. On behalf of the city staff, I wish each and every resident a very happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for your continued support as we work hard every day to make Winter Park the place you call home. Please take time this season to gather with family, friends and loved ones to en joy some of the wonderful annual events we have planned for you. Warmest wishes many blessings. Commission meeting There will be a City Commission meeting on Monday, Nov. 28, at 3:30 p.m. in City agenda was not available at press time, but it can be found on www.cityofwinterpark. org under Government, City Commission and Agenda. Ice rink is open Bring out your mittens, hats and scarves! The Winter in the Park holiday ice-skating cially open! The West Meadow is located at 150 N. New York Ave. on the corner of Morse Boulevard and New York Avenue in downtown Winter Park. Hours include: p.m. day hours. Snow angels are invited to skate all day for only $10 per skater (skate rental includ ed). For a blizzard of 20 or more people, some cool group discounts are available for all this frigid fun. If you are interested in bringing your whole igloo to celebrate birthdays, special events, private parties or corporate holiday gatherings, the rink is available for rental opportunities. Advance reservations are required for private party and group reservations to avoid an icy ava lanche of skaters at the rink. Holiday music, festivities and so much Winter in the Park. For more information, please call 407-599-3203 or you can visit www.cityofwinterpark.org. Holiday Pops The city of Winter Park and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra invite you to cele brate the spirit of the holiday season at their annual Holiday Pops concert, Home for the Holidays on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 4 p.m., in charming Central Park. This free public concert is made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. Bring a blanket and picnic for a concert program that has be come a family tradition in Central Florida. Conductor Albert-George Schram will lead the Philharmonic in a program of holi day favorites for all ages. Call 407-896-6700, ext. 223 for more information.
Page 6 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer Local prole Ron Maxwell goes from a Maitland Middle School student to its principal. Community Bulletin Evening in the Grove raised a recordMuseums Maitland. College football The Knights return home to face UTEP at crucial game of the season. Calendar of Events at the Maitland Library, and The Swoope Studio hosts a jazz event. Business Briefs Wallsh in Maitland as of counsel. High school football The Wildcats and Edgewater complete the rst round of regional playoffs. This week on wpmobserver.com:
Page 7 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer Lifestyles Ongoing back Santa Claus for visits and pic tures with children this holiday sea son. Santa photos will be taken daily Nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays Nov. 26 The Orlando Philharmonic and the the annual Home for the Holidays concert at the Bob Carr Performing couraged to come enjoy holiday mu sic and bring a non-perishable food item. Call 407-770-0071 or visit Or Nov. 27 Holiday Pops concert per formed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will take place Sunday, Nov. 27, at 4 p.m., in beautiful Central Schram will lead the Philharmonic along with the Holiday Singers and gram Singers. Call 407-896-6700. Swoope Jazz Event at The Swoope day, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. Cost is $10. Dec. 1 Christmas at the Casa on Thursday, greet everyone, the house will be dec orated for the season, and costumed carolers will lead attendees in holiday favorites. Call 407-628-8200. Hanukkah Bazaar on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., landoJCC.org presented by Supported by Florida Blue & The Mayflower Retirement Community Friday, December 2 at 5 p.m. in Central Park presented by Supported by Cocina 214, Todd Miner Law Firm & Whole Foods Saturday, December 3 from 7 10:30 a.m. at Central Park Stage Tickets: $6 Adults, $4 Childrenpresented by Supported by Rollins College, Towncare Dental & Main Street Childrens Dentistry and Orthodontics Saturday, December 3 at 9 a.m. along Park AvenueFor information, visit www.winterpark.org or call (407) 644-8281. Bank of America Corporation Please see HOLIDAY CALENDAR Page 8 Ice skating, Tiffany windows, concert hit Central Park For the full calendar and more details, use your smartphones QR code reader app to scan here, or visit wpmobserver.com and click on Holiday Calendar under headlines on the top right. H o l i d a y C a l e n d a r P a r t 1 Winter in the Park The season begins with Winter in the Park ice-skating rink in Central Park West Meadow from Jan. 8. The rink will be open Mon day through Thursday from 3 p.m. p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Call 407-599-3203. Christmas in the Park The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Christmas in the Park Celebration from Central Park creates the beautiful back drop for the lighting of eight turn-of-thecentury Tiffany windows in Central Park 407-645-5311.
Page 8 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer Dec. 2 Park and Enzian Theater will present Popcorn Flicks in Central Park fea turing How the Grinch Stole Christ starts at 7 p.m. Call 407-629-0054. Dec. 3 The 13th annual Leadership Win ter Park Pancake Breakfast at the Central Park main stage is 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Enjoy hot pancakes, sau sage and beverages for just $6 per adult and $4 per child. Call 407-6448281. comes to life at 9 a.m. with the 59th annual Ye Olde Hometown Christ mas Parade presented by the Win ter Park Chamber of Commerce. This family-friendly occasion showcases and well-known local gures. Call 407-644-8281. Tour of Homes is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on homes in Winter Springs, Baldwin Park and Winter Park. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the or call 407-359-8941. Kids, ages 6-12, will create green decorations for the holiday season from 1 to 3 p.m. We will be using re cycled and reusable materials. Online Count down with Santa Claus and Mayor Schieferdecker as they throw the switch to light up Lake Lily Park Studio will provide holiday entertain ment. DEC. 4 holi day tea p.m. Call 407-647-7700 or visit Mait landPublicLibrary.com. Effective December 9, 2011T. Eugene Chambers, Jr., DO, will be moving his practice, South Semoran Family Care, from their current location at: 429 South Semoran Blvd., Ste 1 Orlando, FL 32807 to East Orlando Medical Group 900 S. Goldenrod Road, Ste B Orlando, FL 32822 407.281.6424 Patient medical records will be maintained at the new NOTICE TO PATIENTS Letters to Santa Contest Kids, submit your letters, starting with The gift I most want to give is The winner of the contest will ride in the Winter Park Christmas parade and receive a special prize package, including a family four-pack of tickets to Winter in the Park and a Polar Express gift basket. The winning letter will be published in The Observer. Letters to Santa Contest entries are to be no longer than one page and are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, either by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or physical mail, 1500 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835. Include the authors name, phone number, address and email. Sponsored by: H o l i d a y C a l e n d a r P a r t 1 c o n t d Tree Lighting ny and Holiday Stroll presented by the Winter Park Chamber of Com Central Park will come to life with beautiful bright lights and Santa Claus will make a special appear ance. Call 407-644-8281. Plan your weekend with The Weekender! This weekly newsletter keeps you up to date on events happening in Winter Park, Maitland, Oviedo, Waterford Lakes. Visit wpmobserver.com and click "Subscribe to Newsletter"
Page 9 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer There are lots of ways to tell (and dance) the traditional Nutcracker story all around Central Florida. Heres my guide to going Nuts this season: Orlando Repertory Theatre The Orlando Repertory Theatre turns the Nutcracker into a musical in the Nutty Nutcracker, a fun production for the en tire family. Rockin songs by family music artist Ralph Covert (of Ralphs World), set the tone as Fritz, a video-game-obsessed boy, and a heroic Nutcracker chase down the dastardly Mouse King to save Christ mas! On Thanksgiving weekend (Saturday, Nov. 26, and Sunday, Nov. 27) purchase one adult ticket and get two tickets free (mention the Turkey Ticket Offer). Show times are Saturdays at noon and 4 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 18. Call 407-896-7365 or visit orlandorep.com Universal Child Care Celebrating diversity while encourag ing the talent of young people, Universal Child Care Performing Arts will present the Chocolate Nutcracker with more than 300 young people on-stage and in the orchestra. This adaptation of Tchaik ovskys classic will be performed on Fri day, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. (childrens version) and Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando. This modern-day version is set in Harlem and incorporates dance styles including jazz, tap, hip-hop and ballet. Call 407-4035519 or visit ChocolateNutcrackerOrlando. org Central Florida Ballet Russian Ballet The Central Florida Ballets always entertaining Nutcracker has been tions in the entire nation by CNN and the pyrotechnic Nutcracker by USA Today. CFBs production will feature guest artists of Ballet Sibiu (of Romania) on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Sun day, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Linda Chapin Theatre in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Call 407-849-9948 or Orlando Ballet The professional company of the Orlando Ballet presents the areas most classic production and invites the award-winning students from the Orlando Ballet School to join them in the childrens roles. Artistic director Robert Hill stays true to the classic while breathing new life into the produc tion with his own choreography. Dec. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and a childrens shortened version on Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. Call 407-426-1739 or visit orlandoballet.org Russian Ballet A free Nutcracker is offered in Orlando at the Disney Amphitheater by Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando. The Russian Ballet of Orlando presents a gift to the community with a free Nutcracker Under the Stars (outdoors) on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m. The performance is choreographed by Vadim Fedotov and features both profes sional dancers and Academy students. 407797-1281 or RussianBalletofOrlando.org And if you want your seasonal music without the nuts The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will present their annual holiday concert Home for the Holidays with conductor Albert Schram, the Holiday Singers and the Florida Opera Theatre Youth Singers on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The program features instrumentals such as Chanukah Overture, A Brassy Holi day and Bassoon It Will Be Christmas, and vocal selections including, Youre a Mean One, Mr. Grinch! and Let There Be Peace on Earth, featuring the childrens choir. In the spirit of the season, audience members are asked to bring a non-perish able food item to help re-stock the pantries at Second Harvest Food Bank. The concert will take place at the Bob Carr in Orlando. Call 407-770-0071 or visit orlandophil.org The Messiah Choral Society, now in its 39th season, will present a free per formance of Handels Messiah at the Bob Carr as a gift to Florida. Considered the Messiah features the Hallelujah Chorus (for which the audience stands and sings along) along with a host of glorious or chestrations, many of which contain famil iar melodies. The free performance will be conducted by Dr. John Sinclair on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m. Doors will open at 2:15 p.m. No tickets or reservations are needed. Visit messiahchoralsociety.org Josh Garrick Tis the season to go nuts Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator, and ne art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at email@example.com or 407-522-3906. 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Page 10 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer Opinion/ Editorial Focus on liberty, happiness this holiday In a time of shrinking wallets and expectations, this Thanksgiving we should give thanks for what we still have. And to show our thanks, lets work to keep that basic tenet of American life: freedom. Something strange has happened to us since Americas watershed moment in mortal fear on Sept. 11, 2001: Weve made safety and security paramount over all. cameras, speed cameras, warrant-less wiretapping, zero-tolerance policies at schools, imprisonment without charges and without legal representation theyve all gone from unthinkable to a casual part of life. Though the tangible changes have under our radar, the sociopolitical climate changed quickly. After those infamous attacks, overnight the prevailing joie de vivre changed from freedom to security. Wed rather be merely alive than happy. Wed rather simply stave off death than enjoy freedoms that could present a risk after founding our country on the ideal of personal freedom, this Thanksgiving were thankful just to be breathing. The clich of Benjamin Franklins Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety comes to mind when an indifferent shrug greets more security measures creeping ever more pervasively into our lives. Are we getting what we deserve? Theres a chance its a coincidence, and that were merely getting used to a lower standard of living, as we had during the dragging recovery from the recession of 2001, followed by the devastating reces sion of 2007. For many of us, the affects of both of those still linger. But thats no excuse to accept downgrades in our qual ity of life that we can avoid simply by speaking up. In many instances, security is a quality of life issue. More pointedly, its the tugof-war struggle between preserving life in general and making life worth living. Take for example the case in October of a San Antonio elementary school student who was nearly expelled for playing with a toy gun, two days after teachers used the same types of toy guns in a game at the same school. The advent of zero-tolerance poli cies made such a ridiculous safety issue possible. The recent hot-button issue of red-light cameras in Winter Park and Maitland may seem like a cut-and-dried issue of making roads safer, but accident studies show that while the cameras cut down on some types of accidents, they dramatically increase others. And for those thousands of motor ists who missed a yellow by a split second in the past few months in Maitland, only a help those actually injured in car accidents. The rest stands as an overtly literal transi tion of your grocery money to the citys, states and camera companys coffers. Despite our collective ambivalence to these creeping changes, we love our scapegoats, as long as its anybody but us. Blame the Republicans, blame Democrats, blame Congress, blame the police, blame the TSA. Everyone has their personal TSA horror story: They made you miss your sunglasses while boarding; they made you give up a vacation souvenir for fear that you might stab a stewardess with an Eiffel Tower keychain; they lost your babys stroller while checking it for bombs. Those examples are easy to laugh off for their ridiculousness, but the callous attitude toward the laws behind them only makes them more terrifying in principle. So this Thanksgiving, be thankful for what you still have: Lifes a good starting point, but lets not forget liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Letters to the Editor Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us, and if the National Retail Federations predictions are correct, this year shoppers are getting started earlier than ever. While this is good news for retailers sales are expected to jump by 2.8 percent from last year it means that consumers can expect stock and waiting in line with other weary shoppers. And theres certainly no holiday spirit crusher bigger than being trampled by the impatient masses bursting through the doors of their favorite stores on Black Friday. Luckily, you have options, and I dont just mean weighing prices between Wal mart and Target. Although big-box retailers traditionally serve as easy, one-stop shops for holiday needs, there are several alterna better deals with fewer headaches: the Web is the easiest, least-stressful way to many online retailers are sweetening the deal by offering free shipping. And online shopping isnt just for people scouring Amazon for Kindles. Sites like Etsy feature handmade, one-of-a-kind items that cant be purchased at big-box retailers such as Toys R Us. to spread holiday cheer than to support our local economy. Central Florida is full of independent merchants selling everything from clothes to handmade items to home goods. In addition to shorter lines, smaller retailers often have a unique inventory among exhausted, overworked staff at larger stores. Google and Yelp are great re Local Orlando website features a directory of retailers offering deals and promotions. evolved dramatically in the past 10 years and many of todays pawn chains have high standards when it comes to store presentation and staff. Stores versatile mer chandise such as electronics, bikes and musical equipment is composed of both new and used items available at a fraction Furthermore, the jewelry selection at many pawnshops is comparable to a traditional store. For example, La Familia Pawn & Jew elry has on-staff jewelers and gemologists, and provides appraisals and warranties. that takes place each Saturday, the Winter jams, honeys, desserts and plants that are perfect for small gift swaps. Maitland hosts a farmers market every Sunday. So before you head out with coffee in check out some alternative options and maybe you can actually enjoy shopping this holiday season. Kahlden is president & CEO of Winter Parkbased La Familia Pawn & Jewelry. Dread ghting crowds this holiday season? You dont have to. LAWRENCE KAHLDEN Guest Writer Thanksgiving: so much to be thankful for Thanksgiving is much more than a big meal with family and friends. It's a time the good things you have. Even with all of the uncertainty and turmoil in the world, you have so much to be thankful for. It's important to be grateful, not just on Thanksgiving, but each and every day. Rather than lamenting what you feel is lacking in your life, begin each new day by developing an attitude of gratitude. Take inventory of your bless ings, and you will be surprised at just how much you have to be thankful for. If you have enough to eat, a place to live, a way to get around, people who care about you or people you care about, then you are wealthy. If you lack any of these elements, you must still be grate ful for what you do have while striving to obtain whatever is absent. Focus on all positive aspects of your life. Take nothing for granted. Every morning, recharge your appreciation. Be happy for everything there is, not upset over what you feel is missing. Dreams of the future shouldnt diminish appreciation for the present. If all you do is concentrate on what you want, you won't enjoy today. Don't be jealous of others; what they do or have has no bearing on you. You can feel bitter or resentful for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you feel something is missing from your life, things aren't going your way, or you have been treated unfairly. You may wonder "Why do these things always happen to me?" Life's problems tend to dominate your thoughts, turning your focus to what you feel is wrong. You may start to resent those who appear to be better off. Youre apt to dwell on things you think would make your life better if you had them. If only you had more money, more time, a bigger house, a different car, a different job, a different boss, had picked a different career, etc. Once your attitude becomes one of appreciation, you can become over whelmed by feelings of frustration and feel like a victim. As this happens, a consuming vicious cycle starts. Being bitter or resentful blows situa tions out of proportion. People who are tions deteriorate and their mental and physical health decays. achieve your goals while you are bitter or resentful. Regardless of what chal lenges might befall you, bitterness elusive. There is no point to feeling bitter because it accomplishes nothing, harms you and makes things worse. Filling yourself with gratitude on a daily basis makes you feel good, while driving out negative feelings. Begin your practice of gratitude each morning as soon as you wake. Every day is a great day. If you have any doubts, try missing one. Take inventory of everything, no matter how small or your life. If it helps, make a written list of all things you are grateful for. Read your list every day. As you do this, you will build and reinforce your attitude of gratitude. Don't waste any time with what you feel you don't have. Keep things in perspective. Consider all the people who have overcome dif consumed by your problems, there is al ways a solution. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude allows your mind to devise a resolution for your circumstances. Make every day a day of Thanksgiv ing and you will be amazed at how much better your life will become. Bryan Golden Author of "Dare to Live Without Limits" Visit www.DareToLiveWithoutLimits.com Have an opinion? Send your thoughts (400 words or less) to Managing Editor Jenny Andreasson at firstname.lastname@example.org Kahlden Theres no better way to spread holiday cheer than to support our local economy. Despite our ambivalence to these changes, we love our scapegoats, as long as its anybody but us.
Page 11 Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 Winter Park / Maitland Observer Chris Jepson Louis Roney Thanks Beam me up, Scotty! I understand that Earths population, in all probability, will reach 9 billion (from our current 7 billion) inhabitants by the year 2050. Forty years in the future. By 2050 most of the worlds Christians will be living in sub-Saharan Africa. The center of Islam will have shifted there, too. More Muslims will be living in subSaharan Africa than in Asia, and far more than live in the Middle East. Sub-Saharan Africas population will grow from 800 million to 1.7 billion. During this period, Americas popula tion will grow nearly 50 percent to 440 million people. These sorts of projections for America, for the planet, give me the willies. I feel sorrowful, particularly for the environment, for the inevitable loss of species diversity and for humanity. I do not see the overall quality of life for/ of humanity measurably improving. How can it when so many more of us will be saddling up to the bar wanting exactly what we have. I do not intellectually understand (at any level of comprehen sion) those who oppose birth control as population control. NPR recently offered an interesting, tion were concentrated at density levels comparable to New York Citys, the entire Texas. Imagine that. Maybe one future scenario has the powers that be doing just that. Move the masses and the rest of planet becomes a vast garden enclave (playground) for the elite. Why not? Arguably it would be healthier for the planet. cies (and the planet) and unbridled hope (optimism). Regardless if we were able to intelligently change course today, so much of the diversity that makes Mother Earth so bountiful and beautiful will inevitably die because of mankind. Prob ably all the coral in the worlds oceans will die, maybe during my lifetime. The Amazon forests will be lumbered (and the generation of human beings to so clearly and unequivocally understand how lethal we are to the health of our planet. That is one side of the coin. Regardless of our ability to alter the human eco logical footprint on Mother Earth, going forward (for the foreseeable future), our planet is going to be a less beautiful, less hospitable environment for humanity. The other side of the coin is that we will survive as a species, and I believe we will someday be living on other planets, perhaps, crossing over, even, to other dimensions. Star Trek is in our cards. The human mind, our creativity is the only way out of our problems. Science, rational thinking, problem solving will get us there, given enough time. I have a wonderful book to recom mend that will absolutely buoy your spirits. It will give you hope that humans are more than, to use my sisters analogy, nasty little monkeys. by David Deutsch, professor of physics at Oxford University. He explains, among beautiful. He persuasively makes the case that we (as a species) are just getting started. Our problems are the catalysts for change. And that if we have no idea today what the solutions will be, well, that is to be expected. But, lets git er done! Done? Its never done. Never. No! Lets keep on, keepin on! This book is Thanksgiving enough. Enjoy your meal, too! In 1985, a surgeon from Tacoma, Wash., committed to run/walk around a track for 24 hours in order to increase awareness and raise money for the American Cancer Society. Decades later, this event occurs in more than 5,000 communities nationwide, involving more than 3.5 million people uniting to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to remember loved ones lost and to empower individuals and ease that takes too much from too many. That tradition continues in our city as the American Cancer Societys Relay For Life Winter Park 2012 prepares to launch. All Winter Park community members and business leaders are invited to the Team Kick-Off Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Winter Park Community Center on New England Avenue. Visit us to learn how to create a team of participants and gather information about this years event and goals. Relay For Life Winter Park 2012 will be held May 18-19 at Showalter Field. Winter Park-based businesses, schools, organiza tions and individuals will form teams and fundraise throughout the year and at the event itself. Teams always have at least one member walking on the track. Donations contribute to research, patient support and services, early detection and prevention programs for every type of cancer. The 18-hour event is symbolic of the emotional state of a cancer patient under going treatment, where the light and dark ness represent the physical effects. Along with providing in-depth in formation and resources, the American Cancer Society has developed several pro grams designed to assist cancer patients on their road to recovery. These include: teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients who are in chemotherapy or radiation treatment. provides multiple transportation resources to get cancer patients to and from their treatments. Cancer Kids), which offers children with cancer and their families a summer camp, educational weekend and college scholar ship program. Each year, about 98,000 Floridians are diagnosed with cancer. Money raised through Relay goes directly to help our community provide patients with these wonderful and free services. An American Cancer Society board member summed up Relays mission by saying, Supporters make it possible, sci entists make it happen and survivors make it personal. I invite everyone from Winter Park to join in and make it possible as Relay For Life continues the battle against cancer. Donna Santoro-Bowman is Senior Client Coordinator at Resource Consulting Group and the volunteer event chair for Relay For Life Winter Park. Contact Donna at Relay ForLifeOfWinterPark@gmail.com or 407-5063267 for more information on starting a team, joining a committee or becoming an event sponsor. Seated with friends at a bounteous table, we hold hands with those on either side of us and join in the blessing being said. I poorer, perhaps unbearable. I realize that I am most thankful for being a lucky person. Once again I give thanks that I did not perish in the Navy during WWII. I enjoy a conscious excitement when getting up in the morning. Im thankful for that fact. At 90, I am indebted to my genes and to temperate living for a strong physical constitution. I believe wholeheartedly in Mens sana in corpore sano (A sound mind in a sound body.) I believe that negative thinking can make a body sick, and that a maltreated, ill body can poison ones thinking. If the body is the temple of the soul, lets keep the temple clean and in good repair. Do ing is what lifes all about. Doing nothing is the stuff of death. I am thankful that I was brought up accepting responsibility for my own ac tions. I try not to repeat my mistakes, so that I dont cross the line that separates an excusably imperfect human being from a damned jackass. In retrospect, nothing that I value highly ever came quickly or easily. I am thankful for a keenly attuned conscience that keeps my pride from getting me too far in debt to reality. I am grateful to people who let the chips fall where they may. I have never been felled by a truth ful chip. But heavily timbered lies have knocked me for many a loop. I am thankful to Harvard College for the scholarship that gave me four years that changed every aspect of my young existence. I am thankful for having been born with a good voice, and for having been graced as a pupil of a great teacher, maestro Renato Bellini, the supreme tenor Jussi Bjoerling, and the dazzling Met soprano and movie star Grace Moore. I am thankful that my life has taken me from Central Florida to so many cosmo politan places I had only read about. After 50 years of singing, I was thank ful to become enthusiastically occupied as a teacher who could pass on to talented young people those treasures of vocal art that were given to me by many who are embodied the honored artistic tradition of bel canto singing and do not presume to have added much of my own to anything. Above all, I am grateful for my smart, spirited, gifted, positive-thinking wife who sees mostly the good in me but who pulls no punches when she thinks I am out of line. She is my seeing-eye light in my Samsons night. You cant choose your siblings, but you can choose your mate and your friends! Thats a relative privi lege to be grateful for. Lastly, I am thankful for the Christian ethic, the embodiment of the Golden Rule, which generates intrinsic and extrinsic peace. The loveliest fruit of this way of thinking is called good will to men. Good will is the product of our crediting each other for even the smallest of human kindnesses in our lives. Thanks! Jepson is a 24-year resident of Florida. Hes scally conservative, socially liberal, likes art and embraces diversity of opinion. Reach him at Jepson@MEDIAmerica.US WHO IS JEPSON > HarvardDistinguished Prof, Em.UCF 2004 Fla. Alliance for the Arts award (Assisted by beautiful wife Joy Roney) WHO IS RONEY > I am thankful that I was brought up accepting responsibility for my own actions. Relay For Life ready to launch in Winter Park DONNA SANTORO-BOWMAN Guest Writer Santoro-Bowman The NEW Observer 12.1.11
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