The Point, Oct. 18, 2022: Gainesville eliminates single-family zoning over public opposition


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• WUFT News: Gainesville commissioners approve elimination of single-family zoning. “Despite an appearance of enormous public opposition, the Gainesville City Commission on Monday voted in favor of eliminating single-family zoning throughout the city. This means Gainesville is the first Florida city to approve this type of zoning change. The final 4-3 commissioner vote did not change from the first meeting held on Aug. 4, even with the passionate public protesting against the policy since the conversation came to fruition.”

• WUFT News: A new Center for the Blind preschool in Ocala offers hope for children and parents. “The school will open in late spring of 2023 in Ocala and is part of the new expansion program of the Florida Center for the Blind. The preschool is funded by a $600,000 grant that was approved by the Marion County Commission in March of 2022 to purchase land.”

• WUFT News: Personal foul! Gators’ golf cart stolen from football practice facility. “Someone intercepted a six-passenger golf cart from the University of Florida Gators’ new $85 million football practice facility. Police found it a day later under a tarp in the yard of a man who has been the subject of complaints for over a decade about vehicles, junk, trash and debris on his property.”

• WUFT News: Tracing the source of Gainesville’s gun violence problem: Legal or illegal ownership? “City officials have discussed for the past few years the best way to solve gun violence in Gainesville. The question of whether legal or illegal gun ownership is to blame is the question now driving the city’s solutions.”

• WUFT News: Three artists display new exhibits in Ocala. “More color is coming to Ocala courtesy of several artists with exhibits for the Art in City Spaces Program. The program consists of six exhibits at various Ocala administrative buildings. The work of several artists will rotate to a different building every six months.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: Friends of the Library fall book sale returns. “The Alachua County Friends of the Library (FOL) are gearing up for its biannual five-day book sale starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.”

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Around the state

• Politico: Hurricanes Fiona and Ian gave solar power its time to shine. “Solar power withstood the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico and Florida last month — a fact that could aid the technology’s supporters in lobbying battles around the country. Hurricanes Fiona and Ian caused catastrophic flooding, knocked out power lines and washed away roads and bridges. But people who could afford solar panels and batteries say those systems kept the lights on during the storms, and even allowed them to share electricity with neighbors left in the dark.”

• Florida Politics: Ron DeSantis praises Elon Musk for keeping Starlink satellites above Ukraine. “Gov. Ron DeSantis is weighing in on Elon Musk’s recent dispute with Ukraine about Starlink satellite internet costs. DeSantis is siding with the billionaire over the nation under attack from Moscow, suggesting that Ukrainian officials were biting the hand that feeds them in criticizing Musk. Musk had complained about the cost, but ultimately relented and said he’d keep providing satellite internet units.”

• Florida Times-Union ($): Jacksonville has ‘need for concern’ for health of St. Johns River, scientists’ report says. “The 2022 State of the River Report, a 300-plus page compendium of metrics about the river’s lower basin in Northeast Florida, highlighted problems including tributaries contaminated with fecal bacteria, long-term increases in salinity, loss of wetlands and declines in underwater grass beds that are important for fisheries.”

• WMFE-Orlando: More than two weeks after Hurricane Ian, this central Florida neighborhood remains almost inaccessible because of flooding. “The St. Johns is the longest river in Florida. It flows north through east central Florida to Jacksonville and then out to the Atlantic Ocean. Since Hurricane Ian dumped a monumental 20 inches of rain on parts of the region, the river has remained swollen as widespread flood waters continue to drain through tributaries into the river, on their way out to sea.”

• WLRN-Miami: As Everglades City recovers from another hurricane, are there lessons to be learned by Florida? “Located on the remote, ragged coast of Southwest Florida. Everglades City has a reputation for being a rough and tumble place. At the turn of the century, plume hunters braved the confusing maze of islands that shelter the mainland and nearly wiped out wading birds. In the 1980s, local smugglers turned the town into a gateway for marijuana flowing north from Colombia. In the last decade, a full-time population of retirees, crabbers, fishing guides, naturalists and citizens — still mostly wary of outsiders — have held down the fort.”

• NPR News: Emmanuel, a TikTok-famous emu, has avian flu after a deadly outbreak on a Florida farm. “Emmanuel, a widely beloved emu who went viral on TikTok, is in dire condition battling the avian flu. Taylor Blake’s family farm in South Florida, Knuckle Bump Farms, has lost more than 50 birds in just three days, Blake wrote on Twitter Saturday. Only two birds survived.”

From NPR News

• National: Former NASA astronaut Jim McDivitt, who led Gemini and Apollo missions, dies at 93

• Law: DOJ calls for six-month sentence for Trump ally Steve Bannon

• Politics: Biden gave young voters a win on student debt, but abortion tops midterm motivations

• Health: What to know now that hearing aids are available over the counter

• Health: Monkeypox cases in the U.S. are way down — can the virus be eliminated?

Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

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