Title: Osceola news-gazette
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028318/00169
 Material Information
Title: Osceola news-gazette
Uniform Title: Osceola news-gazette
Alternate Title: Osceola news gazette
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Osceola news-gazette
Publisher: Westminster Publications
Place of Publication: Kissimmee Fla
Publication Date: August 26, 2006
Frequency: semiweekly
Subject: Newspapers -- Kissimmee (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Osceola County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Osceola -- Kissimmee
Coordinates: 28.303889 x -81.412778 ( Place of Publication )
Additional Physical Form: Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: July 6, 1989-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028318
Volume ID: VID00169
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AKN0319
oclc - 24876452
alephbibnum - 002042455
issn - 1060-1244
lccn - sn 91003805
 Related Items
Preceded by: News-gazette (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Full Text

music group
MercyMe is a
headline act at
Night of Joy.
See story,
page C-1.

Leonard Pitts
comments on
the Bush
See page A-4.

.. . '- -..: -. '

Classified -- C-7
Community B-3
DVD Review C-2
Entertainment C-1
Legals C-6
Opinion A-4
Sports B-1

Film critic Peter Covino
review latest road comedy,
on page C-1.

I ii



28 Pages

19 languages

represented at


By Deanna Sheffield
News-Gazette Staff Writer
In many ways, the Osceola County
School District has the same struggles
as any other fast-growing Florida
school district: worrying about institut-
ing new programs and then paying for
But the demographics of Osceola
County present a unique challenge. In
1980, the district had only 8,957 stu-
dents. This school year, enrollment is
projected to be 52,894. In the last
school year, 48 percent of students
were of Hispanic descent..
And that Hispanic percentage,
which is going up, is concentrated at
certain schools: Boggy Creek Elemen-
tary, where 73 percent'of students are
Hispanic; Cypress Elementary, with
76 percent;. Kissimmee Elementan,,
with 73 percent; and ParI.day' Middle
School, w 'th 7.1 percent.
Kenneth Mleyer., principal of
Ki-ssinmmee Elementarv, said that with
at least 19 languages represented at
the school, the problem has become
one more closely linked to language
rather than ethnicity.
"It's really a language issue of how
we get kids to the point where they
are'successful in English so they can
be succe-shdl on state tests," he said,
addirg that the school faces the same
problems as those with considerably,
smaller percentages of Hispanic stu-
dents. "We have the same challenges,
but you could probably magnify them
a little for us."
In earlieryears, students who were
not native English speakers would
often attend regular classes and be
pulled out for more intensive assis-
tance. But the district's Hispanic pop-
ulation has experienced too much
growth for that program to remain
feasible at many schools..
"Even in the early 1990s we were
doing the pull-out program in elemen-
tary schools but we just can't because
of the high population," said Dalia
Medina, director of multicultural edu-
cation. "We are a medium-sized coun-
ty with a percentage of ESL (English
as a Second Language) students that is
very high. We're not typical."
Medina said that because of the

... *G-..,:ie Ph, [( ,/Kcli R ell,.
Joannette Rivera, middle, helps Maria Cruz, right, with sorting shapes Aug. 9 during Marylee
Chavez's second grade ESOL class at Kissimm ee Elementary School. ESOL Students follow the
same curriculum as classes taught in English and their skills are assessed often to ensure they
are mastering both listening and speaking their new language,

Ne',.-Gjazeie Photo/Ken Rjni.mu..cn
Anthony Carrasquillo works on a drawing using shapes in a
Kissimmee Elementary ESOL class.

county's make-up, it could probably
more closely be compared to Miami-
That's why the district now features
welcome centers or "sheltered English

classrooms" in many- of its K-12
"The teacher's goal is to be able to
take that child and place them in a reg-
ular English-only classroom," said

Melba Luciano, assistant superintend-
ent for curriculum and instructional.
Those schools that do not offer a
welcome center still offer programs.for
students with limited English skills.
"Some schools felt that they need-
ed something more," Luciano said.
Overwhelmingly, district officials
say, the newer sheltered programs
have helped additional students
become successful.
"Students are put in a classroom
with a bilingual :eacher ;h "'I-. teaches in'
English but can explain to a student in
Spanish on a one-on-one basis, if
needed," Medina said.
As students progress in the pro-
gram, they may leave the self-con-
tained classroom to attend specific
classes such as math or social studies.
Most non-English speaking students
spend about a year, two years at the
most, in the sheltered classroom, Med-
ina said. Those programs primarily
exist in schools with a large Hispanic
population such as Kissimmee Ele-
mentary, Poinciana Elementary,
Boggy Creek Elementary and Ventura
See Challenges, page A-3


Greer says



By Deanna Sheffield
News-Gazette Staff Writer
Osceola County School
Board member Tom Greer.
has said he will contact the
state ethics board after the
Sept. 5 primary election to.
complain about unethical con-
tributions he alleges School
Board member Jay Wheeler
has received during his re-
election campaign.
"It's unethical to browbeat
See District 1, page A-6

News-Gazette Photo/
Keri Rasmussen
Osceola Coun-
ty School
Board District
1 candidate
Eduardo Mon-
talvo, right
listens to
School Board
member Jay
responding to
questions dur-
ing a School
Board debate
hosted by the
Osceola Coun-
ty Chamber of
Commerce on
Aug. 4.

Interest lacking in

casting ballots early

By Steve Magruder
News-Gazette Staff Writer
Early voting began Monday
for the Sept. 5 primary elec-
As of Friday morning, the
county had received 394 early
votes. Supervisor of Elections
Donna Bryant said Wednes-
day that voter turnout seemed
slow compared to early voting
in the 2004 presidential elec-
She and Assistant Supervi-
sor Connie Click said early
voting numbers might
increase slightly next week,
depending on how actively
candidates promote their
In 2004, 30 percent of
voters either voted early or
used an absentee ballot,
Bryant said.

Those who wish to vote
early may visit the Kissimmee
Supervisor of Elections
Office, St. Cloud Supervisor
of Elections Office, Buenaven-
tura Lakes Public Library or
Poinciana Public Library from
now until Sept. 2.
Voters may only use touch
screen voting machines if
they choose to vote early
since state law banned paper
Because they can store dif-
ferent electronic ballots for all
94 precincts, touch screen
voting machines eliminate the
need to purchase at least
56,400 ballots at 21 cents
each for early voting saving
the county $11,844.
"They certainly serve the
purpose a lot better," Click
See Voting, page A-3

'0 T

in today's
See Sports,
page B-1.



August 26, 2006


get tech





By Deanna Sheffield
News-Gazette Staff Writer
Nearly 30 Osceola County
schools will receive a portion of
$80 million allocated to public
schools statewide to buy new
technology, following 'the
recent settlement of a class
action lawsuit between the state
and Microsoft.
Osceola County will receive
$2.1 million, which will benefit
28 schools in which 50 percent
or more .of the students
receives free or rtduccd I.Ilnrch
Schools that w'.ill bereht spaii- .1l1
levels, including F, -li .-.r ,
Middle. Kissimmee Middle,
Partin Sertlenmer t ElmirI-'-it'i
Reeduy Creek Elementary, Poin-
ciana and Gateway high
schools and TECO.
District spokeswoman Dana
Schafer said that the district
had not yet determined how
the funds would be spent but
that there are strict guidelines
on using the money.
Funds will be distributed
through technology vouchers
that school districts can use to
receive reimbursements for
buying desktop, laptop or tablet
computers, or software for
those computers. Schools also
can buy additional computer
equipment, software and train-
ing from any manufacturer, or
use the vouchers for related
professional development. Half
of. the funds may be used for
software and the other half for
hardware and other services.
The Florida Department of
Education estimates that 1,790
Florida schools, which serve
more than 1.1 million students,
will be eligible for the settle-
ment money. During the com-
Sing months, the department
will develop a Web site for
See Sef e, page A-6

~ .i~-. ~L~ij~j~j~j~l ~O~L~

Page A2, NEWS-GAZETTE, Saturday, August 26, 2006

New~s bif

Man jailed
for having ecstasy
Osceola County authorities
arrested a man Wednesday
on narcotics charges after
finding 500 pills of the drug
ecstasy in his vehicle.
The incident began after
deputies stopped Gary M.
Gourdet, 25, of Kissimmee,
in his vehi-
cle near
Country y
Woods Cir-
cle. A K-9
unit assist-
ing with the i a..
stop' alerted
to deputies
that there Gary Gourdet
were drugs
in the vehicle.
Deputies found 100 grams
of ecstasy (MDMA), or 500
pills, in the vehicle as well as
25 grams or marijuana and
two loaded guns. Authorities
seized the guns. The suspect
was carrying a concealed
weapons permit, authorities
* said.
Gourdet was arrested and
Charged with armed traffick-
ing in MDMA and possession
of cannabis over 20 grams.
He was booked into the
Osceola County Jail on
$100,000 bond.
Two nabbed on
meth charges
Two people were arrested on
methamphetamine charges in
two different Osceola County
cases Aug. 18.
The first arrest occurred
after Osceola; County Sher-
iff's Office deputies made a
traffic stop at 13th Street
and Columbia Avenue in St.
Osceola County Investiga-
tivB Bureau agents were
called in and found materials
consistent with manufactur-
ing methamphetamine, Sher-
iff's Office officials said.
William Allen Hutson, 35, of
St. Cloud, was charged with
of metham-
driving with '- .
a suspended
license and
of drug para-
The sec- William
ond arrest Hutson
occurred just hours later after
a traffic stop at the Hess gas
station, 2294 E. U.S. High-
way 192.
Deputies arrested and

News-Gazette Photo/Keri Rasmussen
Lt. Thomas Carruth of Kissimmee Fire Department hit the streets Aug. 18 after-
noon collecting for the boot drive. All proceeds go to Jerry's Kids to fight mus-
cular dystrophy.

charged Christopher Michael
Bean, 27, of Kissimmee with
possession of methampheta-
mine after finding materials in
the car con-
sistent with

facture of
the drug. ,
Deputies :
also found a
white crys-
tal-like sub-
stance in Christopher
the vehicle, Bean
which test-
ed positive for the drug, Sher-
iff's Office reports said.
Bothiwere booked into the
Osceola Courntu Jail.
Wanted sex offender
Osceola County authorities
are searching for a wanted
sexual offender with a last
'known Kissimmee address.
Thomas Aquino Diaz Jr., 72,
who violated his probation in
1998, Osceola County Sheriff's
Office officials said, was char-
ged in 1995
for sexual
battery on a
victim under
12 and lewd
and lascivi-
ous molesta-
tion with a
child under
16. Thomas
A felony Diaz Jr
warrant has
been issued for his arrest.
His last known address
was in Kissimmee. authori-

ties said.
Anyone with information
on, Diaz's .whereabouts is
Asked to call the Osceola
Count.' Sheriff's Office at,
407-348-2222: the agency's
sex offender hotline at 321-.
697-4373 or Crimeline at
Charged in
hit and run
The Orange-Osceola State
Attorney has. filed two
charges. against Miguel Gar-
duno-Gonzalez, 43, an illegal
immigrant from Mexico, in
connection with the hit-and-
run death of a Haines City
police officer Aug. 2.
Garduno-Gonzalez was
charged on' Aug. 24 with
leaving the scene of an acci-
dent with death and driving
v.'ithouut a valid license causing
serious bodily injury or death.
According to authorities,
Garduno-Gonzalez was driv-
ing northbound in a 1998
Ford van on U.S. Highway
17-92 near the Polk County
line, a two lane road, when
he attempted to pass tko,
tractor trailers. While passing,
Garduno-Gonzalez struck
Phoenix Braithwaite, 24, of
Kissimree, who was on his
personal motorcycle traveling
southbound on. his way to
work. Braithwaite, who was
married with a 2-year-old
daughter, was hit again by a

I 6J31

Braithwaite, a Haines City
officer since 2005, was pro-
nounced dead at the scene.
Garduno-Gonzalez fled
on.foot, arid was subject to a
manhunt by personnel from
the Florida Highway Patrol,
Osceola County Sheriff's
Office, Polk County Sher-
iff's Office and U.S. Mar-
shal's Office. He was found
by Polk County deputies
four blocks from his home..
His family and passengers in
the van had cooperated with
Murder suspect
A suspect in an Aug. 14
homicide at a Kissimmee area
gas station has been arrested
and charged with murder in
connection with the stabbing
death of 39-year-old Felix
Carlos Javier Oquenido,
28, of Orlando, was arrested

early in the morning on Aug.
23 in Orlando and taken to
the Orange County Correc-
tions Facility. Oquendo is
alleged to have stabbed
Arroyo, who went into the
Hess gas station, 3279
Vineland Road, at approxi-
mately 1:52 p.m. bleeding
heavily from a shoulder
Osceola County Sheriff's
deputies responded to calls
.from employees and
Arroyo, who had 'addresses
in both Orlando and Kissim-
mee, was transported to
Florida Hospital Celebration
Health, but he died from
his injuries. Detectives
believe the incident was
drug related.
Poll workers
The Osceola County
Supervisor of Elections
office is looking for workers
for the Sept. 5 and Nov. 7
elections. Spanish language,
computer skills and experi-
ence are a plus for these
paid positions.
Call :407-343-3862 for.
more information.
Dive-in movie
If you. enjoy an evening at
the drive-in, then you won't
want to. miss the experience
of a dive-in.
Bring your floats and pre-
pare to lounge in the pool,

while watching a movie at
the Bob Makinson Aquatic
Center today from 7 p.m. -
10 p.m. Admission is $4
per person and includes
swimming, movie and free
The gates open at 7 p.m.
and the movie begins at
dark. To .inquire about the
movie listings for the sum-
mer or to obtain more infor-
mation about the aquatic
center, call 407-870-7665.
Also visit www.kissim-

Meeting on park
The city of St. Cloud is
applying for a grant to build
Fire Station Park on the cor-
ner of Minnesota Ave and
10th Street and will hold a
public workshop at 5:30
p.m. on Wednesday, Sept.
6, at the St. Cloud Civic
Center' to provide more
details on the proposal and
to get public comment.
Potential features in the
neighborhood park include:
parking, playground, swings,
a basketball court, picnic
pavilions and a spacenet play
The grant would be from
the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection
through Florida Recreation-
al Development Assistance

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Saturday, August 26, 2006, NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A3 -;

SContinued from page A-I
Elementary. P
At Kissimmee Elementary, h
the welcome centers have te
Become so popular that one ta
classroom per grade level has li
been established. Meyers said sl
that roughly 15 percent of the o
School's population attends a ci
welcome center classroom. ic
"We work to move them
into the classroom after a year Ic
even if their English skills are rr
not as strong as we'd like." K
Meyers said, noting that means ha
there is also a sizeable popula- w
tion of Hispanic students in
regular classrooms that still fe
Struggle with English. H
Some schools, such as ne

Continued from page A-
said, adding that the
Machines were last tested
SAug. 16 to ensure they were
working properly.
Paper ballots still are avail-
able on election days and for'
absentee voters.
For the Sept, 5 election,
only Democrats can vote for
Democratic candidates, and
likewise for Republicans. Vot-
ers not belonging to either
Party may only vote for
School Board members and
Registered voters need
photo and signature identifi-
cation to vote.
As of Aug. 11, registered
SDemocrats outnumbered
Republicans in Osceola Coun-
ty 49,811 to 39,873. More
Than 34,000 voters are regis-
tered as "no party affiliation"
or "other." A
SPolling locations are open J
i for early voting,. Monday
through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6.
p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.
Sto 5 p m. The polling places
are, closed on Sundays. r
S Sept. 2 is the last day to.
vote early, m
SAbsentee paper ballots are rm
Available at both supervisor of Pe
Selections' offices through th
Sept. 5. la
There are no County Conm- in

oinciana Elementary, do not
ave an official welcome cen-
;r but offer separate self-con-
lined classes for students with
mited English or no English
kills at all. -Nearly 60 percent
f students that attend Poin-
ana Elementary are Hispan-
C. ,
"It seems to help the kids a.
t more," said Poinciana Ele-
nentary Principal Wayne
.ennedy. "In the past, we just
ad regular classrooms, which
ve still do to some extent."
Kennedy -said another dif-
erence of a school with a large
[ispanic population is the
eed for bilingual teachers. He

estimated that' about 40 per-
cent of educators at the school
speak both English and Span-
All elementary teachers in
Osceola County either have or
are working on acquiring an
endorsement or certification
for teaching English as a sec-
ond language, as required by
state law. But for some
schools, such as Poinciana Ele-
mentary, teachers are urged to
complete the additional train-
ing sooner rather than later.
"Because we have such a
large population of ESL, stu-
dents we're asking all teachers
to certify as quickly as possi-

ble," Kennedy said.
One of the ways that district
officials have worked to
address the unique challenge
has been to expand its dual
language program, which has
helped all .students excel
regardless of whether their first
language is English or Spanish.
This year the dual language
program will be expanded to
Kissimmee Middle School in
addition to the half dozen ele-
mentary schools that already
offer it, including Thacker
Avenue and Poinciana elemen-
tary schools. The dual lan-
guage program, which began
about six years ago, will be

I .ews-uazette rnotolrien asmussen
'oli workers learned how to use the new EVID machine, which verifies voters'
registration, during a poll workers training at Osceola Heritage Park Aug. 23.

mission candidates on the pri-
lary ballot because of a
ending federal lawsuit over
ie county's use of the at
rge voting system. Qualify-
.g deadlines, the primary

election and the general elec-
.tion for these candidates will
be set later, once the federal
lawsuit, filed by the U:S.
Department .of Justice, is

SContact Steve Magruder at
407-846-7600, Ext. 207.
E-mail at smagruder@

offered to sixth-graders this
year and likely include addi-
tional grades in future years.
"It has been a very success-
ful program. The students are
doing very well," Medina said.
A dual language program
Saims to transform the class into
Sa fully bilingual group in which
everyone reads, writes and
.speaks both languages. In
doing 'so, dual-language:
instruction is intended to tear.
down a language barrier sepa-
rating English-learners and
English-speakers. It also gives
'English-speakers a head start
on learning a second -lan-
But while those programs
are working wonders at the
elementary and middle school
levels, high school is another
When students arrive af
high schools with limited Eng-
lish proficiency, that leaves the
challenge of securing a passing
score on the FCAT(a compre-
hensive test given in English_
during 11th grade) in order to
graduate. .
Even research doesn't sup-
port that these students could
become successful.
"'The research says that it

takes four to seven years for
students to learn a language at
an academic level," Medina
said. "But the students, need
the FCAT to graduate."
When non-English speaking
high school students enroll
there is.a two-year umbrella
that protects them and ensures
that any state tests they take
do not count. But regardless of
that protection, there's no way
to get around the FCAT.
"They just don't have time
to pass it in English. It's a chal-
lenge," Medina said.
Medina said that students
could attend high school for a
13th year; but if they have
not passed the FCAT by that
time, they have few options,
to graduate, short of taking
the General Equivalency
Diploma, or GED, which is
offered in Spanish.
"There's nothing else they
can do besides drop out, which
increases the dropout rate,"
Medina said.
In Osceola County, the
average dropout rate is 3.9
percent, higher than the state
average of 2.9 percent. For
Hispanic students, the average
dropout rate is 4.2 percent,
above the state average of 3.7'

Do you have school news
If you have school news that you would like to share
with the Osceola News-Gazette, contact school reporter
Deanna Sheffield at 407-846-7600, extension 210. You
may fax information to the newspaper at 407-933-6856
or e-mail it to dsheffield@osceolanewsgazette.com


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S -r


Wheeler best choice Our position: Proven ability,
critical thinking are vital School Board race.

August 20, 2006

Today we continue our recommendations for the Sept. 5 primary
elections. The endorsements come from the Orlando Sentinel's
10-member editorial board, which includes the newspaper's editorial
writers and opinion editors. These endorsements are based on interviews
with the candidates, as well as research into their qualifications and
background. In Osceola, we are interviewing candidates in School Board
races. Our recommendations are based on the same standards as our
other opinions: who will best serve and lead this increasingly complex
community. The Osceola endorsements begin today.

Jay Wheeler for School Board District 1

Incumbent Jay Wheeler is a free thinker more concerned about improving
the district than going along with fellow board members just to get along.
Government benefits from a diversity of opinion and healthy debate, and
Mr. Wheeler provides that for the Osceola County School Board.

He has been criticized for being too hard on Superintendent Blaine Muse,
a likable leader who inspires loyalty. While Mr. Wheeler could be more
diplomatic, he is right to challenge the superintendent when, despite
some gains, the school system still lags far behind so many others in the

As a board member, Mr. Wheeler has been an advocate for open
government, helping establish televised School Board meetings and
regularly sending e-mails to update residents.

He wants to replace Mr. Muse, increase district reading scores and lobby
the state for higher teacher wages.

His challenger, Eduardo Montalvo, a Venezuelan immigrant, is a strong
supporter of intensive English classes for students who are not proficient
in the language. That's important in Osceola, where many students are
primarily Spanish speakers.

But we are troubled by his inflammatory comments in a newspaper
column about illegal immigrants and his reluctance to give a firm opinion
on the superintendent's performance.

The Sentinel endorses Jay Wheeler in the District 1 race for the Osceola
School Board.

Paid political advertisement. Paid for and approved by Jay Wheeler for re.eleotlon to Osnoola County oShool Board Dltlriot One. NP.

. .

$0 nrolmet F

Page A4, NEWS-GAZETTE, Saturday, August 26, 2006



Judy Robertson

The three candidates running for
the District 5 Osceola County School
Board seat incumbent. John McKay
and challengers Judy Robertson and
Marla McNear all have different
experience to offer voters Sept. 5.
But in terms of new ideas for the dis-
trict, Robertson has more to offer.
Robertson, who lost to McKay in
2002, believes that in order to have
the kind of economic development
that will bring higher paying jobs to
Osceola County, we must first have a
topnotch school system, not one that
always lags its neighbors.
As co-owner of a construction
business, Robertson understands
school impact fees and how school
concurrency will help to deal with'
growth. She also is a proponent of
a property transfer fee as a way to
shift the cost of growth away from,
Only newcomers who buy new
homes to include newcomers who
buy existing homes.
Robertson also says our school dis-
trict does just what all the other dis-
tricts do to deal. with student mobility
and low English skills, two culprits'
cited for low FCAT scores..She

believes, as we do, that we must do
more, that we can be an example for
other districts.
The candidate said she would
push for intensive English classes
for students with low language
skills, with both during- and after-
school classes starting shortly after
the student enrolls. Students also'
would attend English classes during
the summer, if needed.
Robertson also believes we should
have more K-8 schools, such as we
have now in Celebration and Nar-
coossee. That allows parents to
remain more involved in their child's
school for longer periods.
More flexible scheduling for high
school juniors and seniors, Robertson
says, should be considered, perhaps
with evening classes being offered.
While Robertson supports higher
pay and down payment assistance for
teachers as a way to make housing
more affordable, she also says it is not.
the role of a school district to build
homes. We agree.
The Osceola News-Gazette endors-
es Judy Robertson for the District 5
School Board seat.

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De Mesa is right
To the editor:
In the recent article titled, "There
had'been worse massacres than what
happened in Haditha," published in
the July 29 issue, I would like to corm-
mend its writer, Menendro de Mesa,
for writing about a similar war atroci-
ty that occurred during the Philip-
pine-American War. Not to lessen
the seriousness of what happened in
Iraq, but his bringing out in the open
an awareness of the related horrors
of 'war is important for us all to know
and understand.
Unfortunately, we always seem to.
cover up and are ashamed of any
misguided military or political behav-
ior and decisions, especially when we
realize afterwards that what was done
was an apparent big mistake. With
Vietnam, it was to prevent the spread
of communism in a foreign land.
With Iraq, it was weapons of mass
destruction. With the Philippine
Islands, it was "to civilize and Chris-
tianize them."
How embarrassing it apparently
was after forcibly occupying that
country to find that these residents
were already Christianized by the
Spaniards 300 years prior and had
many reputable universities and col-
leges functioning throughout the
country, with even one university that
was found to be older than Harvard.
In growing up, I can never remem-
ber studying about the Philippine-
American War, where more than
4,000 U.S. soldiers died in vain and
where we had military orders given
that called for the killing of children
over the age of 10 because they were
considered a dangerous enemy and
possible combatants. Nor do I ever
remember studying about the atroci-
ties that occurred during the battle at
the Washita River by General George
Custer where so many innocent
Native American women and chil-
dren were massacred.
I can only remember reading as a


An editorial in the Aug. 19
edition of the Osceola News-
Gazette contained incorrect
information about Kissimmee
City Commissioner 'Scott
Brooks. Brooks is completing
his first term on the city board.
The editorial stated otherwise.

Year 107- No. 68
Assistant Editor
Sports Editor
Advertising manager:
John A. Lowe
Business manager:
Carol Gorrell
Circulation manager:
Kathy Beckham
Production manager:
Ellen Johnston
Classified sales manager:
Cheryl Christian

(USPS Number 513540)
(ISSN 1060-1244) Published
each Thursday and Saturday at
108 Church St.. Kissimmee, FL
34741, for $52 per year, by Sun
Publications of Florida. All rights
reserved. Periodicals postage
paid at Kissimmee, FL 34742.
Postmaster: Send Address
Changes to: News-Gazette,
P.O. Box 422068, Kissimmee,
FL 34742.
The Osceola News-Gazette is
published by Sun Publications, a
division of Independent Publica-
tions, and is located at 108
Church Street, Kissimmee, FL
34741. Phone 407-846-7600.
Fax 407-933-6856. E-mail at
news @ osceolanewsgazette.com/.
The Osceola News-Gazette is
on the World Wide Web at:


* -

-~ - --

young boy just how great and daring
Custer was, and that in the far off
Philippine Islands that there had been
an insurrection and not a war
between Filipinos and Americans just
after the Spanish-American War
ended. There was no mention of
U.S. military deaths or more than
200,000 Philippine citizen lives lost
in that wai.
Very few writers ever take the ini-
tiative to bring out embarrassing his-
torical negatives in print and I
applaud de Mesa for doing so. When
he states that the horrors of war have
long been buried in our history
books, he is right. They are buried so
deep that you cannot find them.
Dan Placides
St. Cloud
Nature and
To the editor:
I would like to comment on the
photo in the Images of Osceola col-
umn of the Osceola News-Gazette
on Aug. 17, with Lois Swoveland
proudly holding a six-foot diamond-
back rattlesnake that she ran over
repeatedly and then finished the
senseless killing by bludgeoning it
to death with a shovel. Do the edi-
tors of the Osceola News-Gazette
really consider this a slice of daily
life in Osceola County? I think pic-
tures of road kill might be appropri-
ate if that picture is appropriate.
To Lois Swoveland, I ask if she is
as proud as she appears in the picture
for what she did. Is she going to gath-
er as many copies of the News-
Gazette as she can so everybody she
knows can see how brave she was?
Did her children or grandchildren wit-
ness the slaughter? Can they carry
pictures of the kill proudly showing
off their mommy (or nanny), the
Snake Slayer?
Wonder what they will kill when
they grow up and remember her
moment of glory. All she had to do

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was leave it alone and it would have
moved on by itself in a short while. It
was off the drivevray so Lois had to
drive out of her way to run it over.
.The diamondback is by nature a
very shy creature and will avoid
humans unless attacked or put in a
position where it cannot escape to
safety. It is a valuable asset in control-
ling rodent populations. Its numbers
are dwindling rapidly and although
not endangered, yet may. become. so
if more people buy shovels.
Due to the runaway development
by the greedy developers and.
builders, the natural habitat of the
wildlife is being destroyed and the
politicians and bureaucrats of this
county seem to be unable or unwilling
to curtail this onslaught.
Some call this progress, believ-
ing they are improving the quality
of life in Osceola. They will one.
day look back and maybe regret
what they are doing.
Reportedly, there is going to be
between 30,000 and 40,000 housing
units built between Kissimmee Park
Road and Kings Highway, along Nep-
tune Road in the next few years.
Work has already started off' Kissim-
mee Park Road. In case anyone

wants to see a preview of what's to
come, the developers practice a
scorched earth policy stripping the
landscape of all vegetation, clearing
an area so that it resembles Death
Valley. Construction of some of the
ugliest structures known to mankind
has.begun, cramming as many as
possible, one on top of the other.
And if anybody is under the
impression that all this housing is
going to be occupied by Cleaver fami-.
ly clones, guess again. Maybe Lois
should keep her shovel handy
because I am sure thdre will be
numerous dangerous animals moving
in to replace the harmless ones dis-
placed by "progress."
We will have massive traffic con-
gestion, school overcrowding, jail
overcrowding, litter, crime, more little
cars with mufflers that make the car
sound like it has a severe case of flat-
ulence, more cars with enormous
stereo speakers playing, "Thumpin-
Bumpin-Jumpin" deafening music.
More cars with diesel locomotive air
horns installed by idiot owners so they
can ride around and blow the horn,
letting .everyone in hearing distance
See letters, page A-7


. -OW 4 -

- --


* *

Saturday, August 26, 2006, NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A5


Visit the Kissimmee Civic Center
New to the Civic Center!
Complete line of easy to use Cybex equipment
New treadmills, stair climbers, bikes
and elipical exercisers
- All new cushioned rubber flooring and carpeting
Great new men's and women's
locker room amenities

Membership Includes:
Clean Locker Rooms
Fresh Towel and Locker on Each Visit
Aerobic Classes
Court Access
Sports Equipment, Cardio Theatre
Fitness Instructors
Personal Membership Card
Indoor Walking Track
- 3 Mile Outdoor Walking/Jogging Course Through
Beautiful Lakefront Park
Free Parking
Free Fitness Orientation

Adults (18-49) $25.00/month.............$150/year
Seniors (50+) $22.50/month...........$135/year
Youth (12-17) $15.00/month...........$90/year


City of Kissimmee Residents

City Hall Commission Chambers

Thursday, August 31, 2006
7:00 p.m..


Debris Collection

Garbage Collection

Generator Safety Tips

Sand Bag Distnibution

Parks arnd Recreatiqh \
Emergenc yPlan,.
,\ \ .

Ways To

Light Refreshments and Door Prizes

Other topics include,
Preparing a Survival Kit and Coping Strategies.
For more information or to reserve a seat contact the
Public Information Office at 407.518.2354

"Back to School" = "Back to Pool"

Even though school is back in session, it's still HOT and the best place to cool off is at the pool!

New operating hours at the Makinson Aquatic Center:

August 8 27, 2006
Tuesday Friday: 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m

August 29 September 24, 2006
Weekends only from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Employee of the Month
August 2006

Craig Harless

The Employee of the Month for August is Craig Harless with Public Works &
Engineering. Craig celebrates 32 years with the City, in September.

Craig is a Machinist and he supervises the Weld.Shop. Craig has been instrumental
in making the shop the respected entity that it is today. He facilitated the transition
of it becoming an enterprise funded operation, and is responsible for the welding,
hydraulic and other repairs on City of Kissimmee, Osceola County, KUA, TWA, and
equipment belonging to three other cities.

All work carried out under Craig's supervision is done with integrity and a
genuine concern for his customer's satisfaction. In a recent survey, 100% of the
respondents rated the Weld Shop service, quality and performance at the highest
level Outstanding.

Craig has led the Shop in getting its personnel certified in various welding and
hydraulic skills. Through training, he accomplished getting the shop certified as a
warranty center to repair the City's Heil garbage truck units. This saves the City
a great deal of money, and prevents lengthy downtimes of our equipment. Craig
closely monitors the Shop's performance and has transformed it into a revenue
generating operation.
Friendly, helpful and professional-are the adjectives used to describe Craig. He
was recognized. for his years of service during the City Commission meeting on
Tuesday, August 8, 2006.

City of Kissimmee, 101 N. Church Street, Kissimmee, FL, 34741, PH: 407.847.2821, FAX: 407.846.8369; www.kissimmee.org


Stay Inforped
"\ \ .

Page A6, NEWS-GAZETTE, Saturday, August 26, 2006

Montalvo ad leaked to opponent

District 1
Continued from page A-1

people into contributions,
Greer said. "I think there are a
lot of ethical concerns out
Greer said that a prime
example occurred when
Wheeler helped negotiate a
new charter school contract for
Four Corners Charter School
earlier this year. Wheeler was
on the board when charter.
school management company
Imagine Schools' contract ran
out and the board decided to
seek proposals for that con-
tract because of inconsistent
FCAT scores. Three weeks
later, Wheeler, vice chairman
on the Four Corners Board,
received a. $500 donation
from the new charter adminis-
trator, Charter Schools USA,
and two additional $500 dona-
tions from the company's top
executive and his wife, Greer
Greer said Wheeler should
have abstained from voting on
the charter school's budget
during that period.
"I just felt like it was a con-
flict of interest," Greer said.
Wheeler, who said Greer
"wants him to lose," wasn't
surprised by the accusations
and said he had done nothing
unethical. The two School
Board members are frequently
at odds.
"He's trying to create an
issue where none exists,"
Wheeler said. "It's his way of
doing what he can. He even
told someone he would 'take
me down."'
Wheeler said Greer is "root-
ed in good old boy cowboy
politics." He also accused
Greer of attempting to "brow-
beat and intimidate" him.
"I know I'm not doing any-
thing wrong or illegal and if I
had, I'd be the first to turn
myself in. I must be doing
something right. I've gotten a
lot of support from the com-
munity," Wheeler said.

Continued from
page A-1
school districts to determine eli-
gibility and identify items
appropriate for voucher use.
In Orange County, 111
schools will benefit, while 84
will receive funds in Polk Coun-
ty and 14 in Seminole County.
"These funds give Florida a
unique opportunity to bolster
and expand technology use for
students," Education Commis-
sioner John Winn said in a
statement. "By utilizing tech-
nology to educate students, we
better prepare them to com-
pete in the global market-
Signed in April 2003, the
settlement resolved class action
lawsuits that alleged Microsoft
violated Florida's antitrust laws.
The settlement provided bene-
fits to consumers and business-
es that purchased licenses for a
Microsoft operating system,
productivity suite, spread-
sheet or word processing soft-
ware between Nov. 16,
1995, and Dec. 31, 2002,
for use in Florida. A maxi-
mum amount of $202 million
was available to Florida con-
sumers and businesses.
Under the terms of the
agreement, Microsoft also
committed one-half of any
unclaimed settlement funds to
Florida's public schools in the
form of vouchers.

"(Greer) raised $40,000 dur-
ing his election and I've raised
over $70,000. If he doesn't
like it, he can take lessons. I
have been very aggressive in
raising money."
Wheeler also said Greer has
no room to complain because
he also took donations from
lobbyists and contractors dur-
ing his campaign two years
ago, and wound up having to
pay a $1,000 election fine.
Wheeler's opponent for the
District 1 School Board seat,
Eduardo Montalvo, also has a
pending elections violation
$500 fine stemming from an
incident earlier this year involv-
ing an e-mailed event invitation
that was not labeled as a polit-
ical advertisement.
"During four campaigns I've
never been fined," Wheeler
said, adding that he has con-
sulted an attorney periodically
throughout his campaign to
ensure the proper procedures
are followed,
Greer cited another incident
in which Wheeler requested
that the School Board include
a third'engineering company
to provide continuing services.
Greer also said that shortly
after Universal Engineering
was added to the list, Wheeler
received approximately
$2,00Q in campaign contribu-
tions from Universal and its
Greer said Wheeler also-
received sizeable contributions
from subcontractors of Turner

Construction after the con-
struction company was
approved to build High School
EEE, scheduled to open next
"My concern is the way that
it's being done," Greer said. "I
don't want the School Board
vote to be for sale."
Wheeler acknowledged the
contributions and even added
that many contractors such as
Clancy and Theys, which built
St. Cloud Elementary, had
donated to his campaign.
"The school board contrac-
tors have been very generous,"
Wheeler said. "But if people
think a contribution will make
me make a decision one way
or the other, they are sorely
mistaken. People are support-
ing me because I'm doing a
good job, not because I'm
making campaign promises.
There's no devious plot or tim-
Wheeler said he had a diffi-
cult time believing he would
even be able to manipulate
School Board agendas since
his inquisitive style has often
caused tension between him-
self, Superintendent Blaine
Muse and other board mem-
"I've been raising money for
two years and all of a sudden
it's an issue?" he asked.
Greer said he would wait
until after the election to write
a letter of complaint because
then it wouldn't affect the actu-
al election,

By Deanna Sheffield
News-Gazette Staff Writer
The District 1 School Board
race has reached a crescendo
with challenger Eduardo Mon-
talvo now accusing the Osceo-
la News-Gazette of leaking an
advertising insert to his oppo-
nent Jay Wheeler, an accusa-
tion newspaper officials and
Wheeler deny.
In a mass e-mail to his sup-
,porters and on his campaign
Web site, Montalvo said that
24 hours after he submitted a
final electronic version of his
four-page insert, he received
an e-mail from Wheeler com-
plimenting him on his adver-
tisement. Montalvo said that
because the advertisement had
only been transmitted to two
advertising representatives at
the News-Gazette, the leak
must have been the fault of the
"I can't answer how the file
ended up in my opponent's
hands but only two people got
that file and they are both with
the News-Gazette," Montalvo
said. "Nobody else got that
The News-Gazette, which
Immediately had technical
experts scour company com-
puters and databases, has
denied the leak came from its
office. During the search,
deleted files were examined, as
were all outgoing e-mails,
according to News-Gazette
publisher Paula Stark.
"Although we understand
and regret Mr. Montalvo's cur-

rent circumstances, we feel his
public allegations are untimely
and irresponsible," said Stark.
"Our organization responded
thoroughly to Mr. Montalvo's
concern immediately upon
notification of Mr. Wheeler's
apparent possession of the
Montalvo insert. We have
done every search available to
us and are certain that Mr.
Wheeler did not in fact receive
this information directly or
indirectly from within our
Montalvo posted a respon-
sive article titled "Shame on
you, Mr. Wheeler" shortly after
the incident.
"For Mr. Wheeler to e-mail
me, gloating over the fact that
an employee of the News-
Gazette had improperly dis-
closed information and that he
obtained and read my advertis-
ing prior to its publication is
proof of Mr. Wheeler's arro-
gance and lack of ethics,"
Montalvo' announced on his
Web site. "I believe this action
disqualifies him as a political
candidate and as a current
School Board member."
Wheeler said he received
the e-mail containing an
attachment with the advertise-
ment, but said he would never
have let Montalvo know if he
were trying to be sneaky or
"Obviously my opponent
has a leak in his own cam-
paign, He should be dealing
with that," Wheeler said. "He
doesn't run a very tight ship.

Someone on his list sent me
Wheeler emphasized that
the News-Gazette already had
verified the leak did not come
from it.
"Someone within his inner
circle may have sent this,"
Wheeler said. "As soon as I
got it, I sent it to him. I thought
it was the right thing to do."
The e-mail Montalvo circu-
lated also questioned whether
Wheeler is trustworthy and
suggests he paid someone to
obtain a copy of the insert.
Montalvo also said he
advised representatives of the
News-Gazette that the adver-
tisement should not. be dis-
closed, a promise, Stark said,
that the newspaper kept.
"Sun Publications of Flori-
da and the Osceola News-
Gazette organization stand
with the 107 years of fair and
unbiased reporting and busi-
ness practices in our commu-
nity of Osceola County," said
Stark. "Recent allegations
made by Eduardo Montalvo as
it relates to someone in our
organization breaching our
confidentiality policies are
both unfounded and unsub-
Stark said the Montalvo
advertising insert contained
.only routine biographical data
about the candidate and his
campaign platform.
Contact Deanna Sheffield
at 407-846-7600, Ext. 210.
E-mail at dsheffield@


Saturday, August 26, 2006, NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A7


Continued from page A-4

know a brain dead horse rear
end is approaching. More dri-
vers have a cell phone perma-
nently attached to their ear so
they can endanger more than
diamondback rattlesnakes with
their driving.
And of course, we will have
South gangs making a venture
South of your home more dan-
gerous than encountering a
den of diamondback rat-
tlesnakes. We already have the
gangs, but the politicians and
business people don't want it
known because it might scare
the tourists away.
Look around you and you
will see a way of life being
killed just like that rattlesnake.
Kenneth Oakley
St. Cloud

United we

To the editor:
The United States of Ameri-
ca notice the word, "Unit-
ed." Does that mean anything
to the Hispanics and the blacks
residing in this land of the
free? It does to the majority.
There are aspiring Hispanic
politicians who want the rules
and laws warped to gain them
power not to serve all but to
serve one segment of society.
What you are doing here is
attempting to create an empire
in this country that you could
not do in the land that you left.
Where in this world, other
than the United States, can
you display the flag of your ori-
gin without being destroyed?

You have the class of a cock-
roach at its last supper.
Are you offended? I hope
so because we Americans
could care less. Home Depot,
Lowe's, and all of the business-
es that display "entrada" over
your doorways, take note. If
the Hispanics cannot find the
entrance, then they do not
belong here. Your greed for
the almighty dollar is showing.
Allen Schmitt

Thanks for

the recognition
To the editor:
This letter is in response to
a letter to the editor written by
Mr. Joseph L. King of Poin-
ciana that appeared in the
Osceola News Gazette on
August 10, 2006.
In his letter, Mr. King stated
that he wanted to inform the
Kissimmee Police Department
that he had personally
observed a Kissimmee Police
Officer engage in an act of
compassion by stopping to
assist a handicapped woman
cross a busy intersection when
traffic would not allow her to
cross safely.
On behalf of the men and
women of the Kissimmee
Police Department, I would
like to thank Mr. King for tak-
ing the time and effort to pub-
licly acknowledge one of the
many acts of public service
and kindness in Which our
officers and other city employ-
ees routinely engage. We in

the department and city are
quite proud of the commit-
ment and dedication exhibited
on a daily basis by public safe-
ty and other City personnel.
Although we expect no recog-
nition for such community
interaction, it is gratifying to
know that such acts do not go
John Klein
Acting Chief of Police
City of Kissimmee
Mr. "B"

To the editor:
In late July of 2006, an
outstanding educator in Osce-
ola County retired after 32
years of service, with very little
Mike Brizendine served as a
teacher, coach, athletic direc-
tor, assistant principal, princi-
pal (of two different high
schools) and finally as an
administrator in the county
office. He has touched thou-
sands of lives during these 32

Submit letters to the edi-
tor to Osceola News-
Gazette, P.O. Box 422068,
Kissimmee, FL 34742; fax
to 407-933-6856; or e-mail:
to news@osceolanews
No more than one letter
per writer will be published.
each month. An individual
will be allowed to submit one
letter of rebuttal.



years of service.
I have been in this county
for more than 27 years as a
teacher, and I honestly know
of no one who has had more
of a positive influence over so
many students, athletes and
educators as Mike Brizendine.
As a teacher and coach, he
wanted his student athletes to
strive for their potential. As a
principal he consistently
expected only the very best
from the teachers under his
He led'by example and was
admired by students, players
and peers. Hopefully, every-
one who has been touched by
Brizendine's efforts will echo
'my sentiments and tell him
"thanks for the memories."
He has to be one of the top
educators in the history of
Osceola County due to the
tremendous number of lives he
affected in his wide-ranging
job titles. Osceola County will
miss Mr. B."
J Mike Fields
Harmony High School

All letters should include
the name, address and day-
time phone number of the
writer for verification pur-
If you have any. questions
about the Opinion page,
contact Assistant Editor Mar-
vin Cortner at 407-846-
7600, Ext. 203. E-mail at

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Page A8, NEWS-GAZETTE, Saturday, August 26, 2006





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This Is Not A Lease!

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This Is Not A Lease! This Is Not A Lease!


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This Is Not A Lease!

Low Miles, Leather, Loaded .......... I 988
2005 CHRYSLER 300 C g259
Black Beauty, Local One Owner, Must-See 28
Auto, A/C, 6 Cyl, 3,125 Miles ......... 1U5@8
Power Pac, Rear A/C ................
Auto. A'C. Power Pac................ 1 U98
LXI, Loaded, Leather.................
Local One Owner. Under 5000 Miles... I gl

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-o- 2,50C

1i6 R E ACI A

44 ............. ................. MINI-VAN 5 988
1996 HONDA ACCORD LX S O2 Available ................. From i'599
Auto, A/C, 4 Dr..............98..... 1999 MERCURY VILLAGER $7
2000 CHEVY SILVERADO $7 98 Only 31,000 Miles................
Sportside........................ $79 2001 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN $7 ni00

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1998 FORD ruIy LaodUa IvIU o ........... . t, WW .
P/W P/L, Clean .................. ................................



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x2 800-552-4215 2611 Eas
H,,V^ 192, 10 si
s To:,, www.fairwaychryslerjeep.com
SWith $5000 trade equity, with approved credit. 0p APR must qualify through Chrysler financial.
Credit must be a 700 plus Beacon score., plus tax, tag, title and $395 dealer fee. All rebates assigned to dealer. Prices good till 8/31/06.



i ,


2, 000 OAPR


This Is Not A Lease!


Between Kissimmee & St. Cloud

;t Highway 192
Cloud, FL



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friendly Hometown SeruiceIIII~Y


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%F % W MW JUL VCLLJ, U %.Iyl, rLALV ......... m )

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