Orange Spiel Vol. 38 - Issue 2_Feb-Mar 2008[1]

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  • 2. ORANGE SPIEL FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 3 MAYOR’S LETTER Editor Judi Kerr Graphic Artist Lisa Damerst Contributing Editors Ralphetta Aker Public Works Pamela Baumbach Administrative Services Linda Bryant Public Safety Erlene Cavalere Human Resources Carol Clark Community & Environmental Services Cathie-Rising Clarke Health & Family Services Erlene Cavalere Human Resources Michelle Frank County Administration Rachel Irizarry Information Systems & Services Matt Juvinall County Administration Marie King Growth Management Sally Lassalle Human Resources Allen Moore Corrections Tracy Newsome Utilities Ann Norsworthy Convention Center Marianne Nuckles Fire Rescue Tammy Stockdill Community & Environmental Services Elaine Walker Administrative Services Contributing Photographers Gil Ihrig Mike Davies Administrative Advisor Steve Triggs The Orange Spiel is a monthly publication for Orange County’s employees. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff or Orange County Government. For more information or to submit an article for consideration, contact one of your depart- ment’s contributing editors. Send letters to the editor to Spiel, Communications Division. We reserve the right to edit submissions for length and clarity. ORANGESPIEL Dear County Employee, During February we observed Hazardous Weather Awareness Week in Orange County. On the very day that I was discussing this topic with children at Sadler Elementary School, resi- dents of several southern states were digging out of the rubble caused by a series of killer tor- nadoes. This just serves as a reminder that dangerous weather can strike us at any time, often with little warning. That’s why every family should have an emergency plan, a disaster kit and a weather radio. In the event of an emergency, many of us become first and second respon- ders. When our community counts on us to help them weather the storm, it is comforting to know that our families are prepared and have a plan to stay safe. As always, Orange TV is a valuable resource during any emergency that requires mobilization of a large group of County employees. While I’m on the subject of Orange TV, if you’re a customer of Brighthouse Cable, you may have noticed some recent changes with our government access channels – Orange and Vision TV. On January 19, Brighthouse relocated Orange TV to channel 199 and Vision TV to channel 198 on its digital tier. This decision came on the heels of a new state law that trans- fers cable TV regulation from local government to the state. Comcast Cable has left Orange TV on channel 9 and Vision TV on channel 98. Orange TV will continue to be the place to see your government in action, featuring live un- edited government meetings, events and, when the need arises, unfiltered emergency infor- mation. If you need of a digital converter box to see Orange TV in any County office, please contact the Communications Division – 407-836-5361. Coming soon. Keep an eye out for a fresh new look for the Orange Spiel – Think Visual. We will roll out a new look that focuses on employee features that have more visual impact. Submit your story ideas through your department’s Spiel Editor or contact the Communications Division. Richard T. Crotty Orange County Mayor
  • 3. 4 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 ORANGE SPIEL On January 24, 2008, District 4 Commissioner Linda Stewart and Fire Chief Carl Plaugher dedicat- ed the new Orange County Fire Station 77, located at 11501 Moss Park Road. The new fire station is a state of the art facility with firefighters and paramedics available to respond 24 hours a day with Advanced Life Support emergency service serving the citizens of District 4. Additionally, the station was built with future growth in mind and can expand, if the community need arises. Fire Station 77 was built using green design princi- ples. Some of the green elements are high efficiency air conditioners, motion detecting lights and landscaping that uses little water. Orange County Fire Rescue, an accredited fire department, is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our community. Fire Rescue Holds Dedication Ceremony for New Station 77 BY LUIS GARCIA-MERCADO, FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT (Left to Right): Public Safety Director Michael McCoy, District 4 Commissioner Linda Stewart, Lt. Dave Waite (Station 77- A Shift Company Officer), Suzanne Arnold with the Lake Mary Jane Alliance, and Fire Chief Carl Plaugher The OC Club – a free membership program for Orange County youth ages 5-19 that rewards participating kids for making positive choices – reached 10,077 members as of mid- January. Established in 2004 as Mayor Richard T. Crotty’s youth ini- tiative, the program is well ahead of last year’s pace. “We’re thrilled to be half way to our goal of 20,000, and we’re adding more every day,” said Brent Moore, OC Club program manager. “It’s important for the community to know that so many youth are involved in high-quality programs across Orange County.” Any Orange County youth who participates in an activity at one of the OC Club’s partners is eligible for this free program. To join the OC Club, students have to participate in and sign up through one of the OC Club’s many recreation partner pro- grams – such as a club or sport at most Orange County Public Schools, the Boys & Girls Club, the City of Orlando Recreation Division, other municipalities in the county, as well as many others. Currently, there are 97 recreation partners at more than 400 locations. Each OC Club member receives a blue club membership card, which they must present to receive tickets during mem- ber-exclusive events, for discounts at local business partners, and to ride LYNX for free with certain restrictions. Members can also view the list of special discounts to more than 100 area businesses, listed under “Business Partners” on the OC Club website. For more information, visit the OC Club website at or call 407-836-9790. OC Club Reaches Milestone of 10,000 Members BY MANDY KIMMER, PARKS & RECREATION DIVISION Movie Mania: Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who AMC West Oaks 14, Saturday, March 15, 11 am Spring in a Splash at Wet-n-Wild Friday, March 28, 9 am to 8 pm Central Florida Fair CFF Fairgrounds, Thursday, April 17, 4 pm-midnight OC Club Summer Celebration CFF Fairgrounds, Saturday, May 31 (time TBA) Upcoming OC Club Events
  • 4. ORANGE SPIEL FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 5 2008 Brings Changes in DMV Requirements SUBMITTED BY CARLOS MORALES, ORANGE COUNTY COURTHOUSE NEW LAWS: 2008 means new laws for Florida drivers! Some of these are: W Personal Injury Protection (PIP) has returned January 1, 2008. Everyone must have the appropriate Personal injury Protection and Property Damage auto coverage! For more information, please visit: W Motor vehicle owners will be allowed to choose between renewing their vehicle registration for one or two year incre- ments. W All passenger vehicles used to transport migrant farm workers must be properly equipped with seatbelts for every passenger and have appropriate standardized instructions on their usage. TEEN DRIVERS: The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is required by law to suspend driver licenses of teens not going to school. This applies to all stu- dents in public schools who are between 14 and 18 years of age. School districts must report students who dropout of school or accumulate 15 unexcused absences within 90 days. Middle and high school students must attend school 30 days with unexcused absences to have their license reinstated after paying a $35.00 fee. For more information on teen drivers visit: BE PREPARED, GET AN APPOINTMENT!: Any customer who must visit a DHSMV office to renew, replace or file a change of address to their driver license or identification card is urged to secure an appointment prior to their visit. For an appointment and less wait time, customers can select the best day and time suited to their needs via the Internet by going to the DHSMV website at Customers will then be prompted to complete an on-line pre-application prior to coming in to one of the offices. U.S. PERMANENT RESIDENTS/RENEW ONLINE: Those legal U.S. permanent residents who have been issued a Florida driver license or identification card now are able to use online services to renew, file a change of address and more. Once the supporting documents have been scanned and veri- fied, those granted U.S. permanent resident status and who hold a Florida drivers license or ID can take advantage of our convenient online services. Please visit: or in Spanish at www.MiLicencia.Info to take advantage of our Internet service.Those who prefer to secure an appointment via the telephone, will need to call their local driver license office. NON-IMMIGRANTS AND CANADIANS: The issuance limit of a driver license or ID card has been mod- ified for Non-Immigrants or Canadians in Florida. Non- Immigrant citizens will receive a driver license or ID for a peri- od not to exceed the expiration date of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services document presented or one calendar year, whichever occurs first. Canadian citizens qualify for a one-year license. Current identification and legal presence requirements remain in effect. All driver licenses and identification cards issued in Florida to non-immigrants and Canadian citizens include the word “TEMPORARY” printed in the bottom right corner. OFFICE HOURS: All driver license offices are open 5 days a week. Offices across the State are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the offices are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Selected offices also open on Saturday – service is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. INFORMATION IN SPANISH: Information in Spanish about Florida driver licenses and iden- tification cards is available on the State of Florida website: To contact the Florida DHSMV, send your email to:
  • 5. 6 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 ORANGE SPIEL Orange County Citizen Corps Program Working Towards A Safer, Stronger and Better Prepared Community BY CHERIE BOYCE, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT After September 11, 2001 and again after Hurricane Charley, Frances and Jean in September 2004, citizens witnessed a wellspring of selflessness and heroism. People in every corner of Orange County asked, "What can I do?" and "How can I help?" Orange County Citizen Corps was created to help everyone within Orange County answer these ques- tions by promoting an understanding of our personal responsibilities for preparedness and by providing training and volunteer service opportunities. The White House established Citizen Corps as part of USA Freedom Corps in 2002. Citizen Corps coor- dinated its activities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) until October 1, 2003, when it was transferred to the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP now the Office of Grants and Training) as part of the Fiscal Year 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations Act. With its "all-hazards" mission, Citizen Corps com- plements grant and training activities that enable local govern- ment to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats to the nation's homeland security. By providing a community-based structure, it gives citizens opportunities to work with Orange County first responders to prepare, train and volunteer to maintain Orange County's Quality of Life. Citizen Corps Partner Programs include CERT, Medical Reserve Corps, Neighborhood Watch, and Citizens on Patrol. Citizen Corps affiliates with other local volunteer programs and organizations, including the Red Cross Local Chapter. The Orange County Citizen Corps Council meets in the Orange County Commissioners' Chambers at 201 S. Rosalind Ave. on the fourth Monday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. These meetings are aired on Orange TV (see your cable company listing for airtimes). To learn more about Orange County Citizen Corps, please visit their website: “What can I do?” and ”How can I help?” Orange County Citizen Corps volun- teers explore possibilities during “mock” disaster exercises. The Cooperative Extension Service annual Orange County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Orange County- University of Florida/IFAS Extension Education Center locat- ed at 6021 South Conway Road in Orlando. Admission is FREE! There will be lots of unusual plants for sale, donated both by Master Gardeners and local plant nurs- eries. Many Central Florida plant societies will be on hand to answer questions and register new members. Brought back by popular demand is a silent auction, featuring a one-hour homeowner consultation with renowned University of Florida Extension Agent Emeritus, Tom MacCubbin. So mark your calendar for April 12 and bring your green thumb out to enjoy the 2008 Master Gardener Plant Sale! Proceeds go toward the further education of Master Gardeners of Orange County. 2008 Master Gardener Plant Sale BY FRANCES SIMONEAUX, UF/IFAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
  • 6. ORANGE SPIEL FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008 7 National Teach-In Focuses on Climate Change Solutions BY BETH BROMFIELD, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION iscussions on climate change are all the rage, but people wonder: is anything actually being done? Is government real- ly listening? Does anyone really care? The Focus the Nation event on January 31st hoped to answer “yes” to these questions. Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America is being called a humanitarian movement, the largest teach-in in American history. Its aim was to strengthen the growing momentum for a clean energy revolution in order to avert the potential effects of climate change, and address the declin- ing oil reserves, increased air pollution and political instabili- ty from a reliance on carbon fuels. The event was scheduled with Super Tuesday on the horizon in order to get voters and candidates thinking about global warming. Focus the Nation’s national kick-off was a free, interactive webcast held on January 30th. Groups from all over the coun- try signed up to host screenings of The 2% Solution, a discussion with Stanford University cli- mate scientist, Stephen Schneider; sustainability expert, Hunter Lovins; green jobs pioneer, Van Jones; actor and clean energy advocate, Edward Norton; and youth climate leaders. The premise of The 2% Solution is to cut emissions by 80% of cur- rent levels by 2050 – averaging 2% per year. Over 1550 groups (about 80 from Florida) participated in this national event with colleges and universities leading the pack. Also involved were middle and high schools, faith-based and civic organizations, and the business community. Locally, University of Central Florida (UCF) heralded their event as a “Teach-In/Reach-Out” in order to highlight the impor- tance of community partnerships, said Dr. Penelope Canan, a UCF Sociology professor who was instrumental in organizing this local gathering. During the event, Mayor Richard Crotty announced an $8 million project to help fund the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) system in the southeast at the Orange County Convention Center with help of a $1.8 million grant from Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), $1.5 mil- lion from Orlando Utilities Commission(OUC), and a techni- cal partnership with the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). This one-megawatt PV array will annually produce energy equivalent to the power used by approximately 100 homes – without producing any greenhouse gases or pollution. This PV system will be a model for solar projects around the state and country. Currently, Florida is third nationally in energy con- sumption, according to Vivian Garfein, FDEP Central District Director, who participated in the UCF event. Rounding out the press conference were Florida Senator Lee Constantine; Tom Kimbis, Solar Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); and Katie Porta, Board President of OUC. Prior to the PV announce- ment, there was a panel discus- sion on Leadership Solutions to Climate Change, which included leaders in the envi- ronmental community: Lori Cunniff, Orange County Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Manager; Marsha Segal-George. City of Orlando; Shelly Lauten,; Charlie Hemmeline, Solar Energy Program, DOE; and Jim Griffin, Global Green Alliance. The panel discussed the accomplishments, initiatives, and goals of their organizations as they work together and with the community towards becoming an environmentally and eco- nomically sustainable region. According to EPD Manager, Lori Cunniff, Central Florida is becoming number one for green ini- tiatives in the State of Florida. Also participating were civic and campus groups, who offered information on many of the “green” opportunities available. An area called the Marketplace was open for attendees to become informed through displays, literature and conversation about (Left to Right) Senator Lee Constantine, Vivian Garfein, Katie Porta, Tom Kimbis, and Mayor Richard Crotty Dr. Penelope Canan (in pink) and Mayor Richard Crotty speaking with student organizers of Focus the Nation. (article continued on page 8)
  • 7. the offerings of various groups ranging from energy efficiency, alternative fuels, Florida-friendly yards, science, politics, parks and nature, alternative transportation, holistic living, lifestyle, solar energy, and recycling, just to name a few. The day-long event included faculty lectures, a Sierra Club film fest, a climate change bookstore, raffles, a recycled fashion show and appearances by Captain Planet. Outside were some bigger displays of environmental interest. EPD displayed solar panels that powered a fan and recharged the battery to the Ford Escape Hybrid available for display. FSEC brought out their PV Disaster Response Trailer, which was used to power a medical treatment tent in Port Charlotte, FL after Hurricane Charlie and a radio station in Kilm, MS after Hurricane Katrina. FDEP had a car powered by hydrogen and UCF and OUC also brought out their hybrid vehicles. Organizers hope this event will be a catalyst for more discus- sions and actions towards climate change solutions. Community members are encouraged to contact their members of Congress, support actions and groups to raise awareness of the issues, and most importantly, vote. In Memoriam ~ Mark Gant BY TIM MADHANAGOPAL, UTILITIES WATER RECLAMATION DIVISION Mark Gant, a Senior Operations Specialist with the Utilities Water Reclamation Division, passed away on December 1, 2007, at the age of 46. Mark joined the Water Reclamation Division in 1979 as an Operator Trainee at the South Water Reclamation Facility. Through on-the-job training and continuing education, he obtained his wastewater opera- tor licenses from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Upon receiving the Florida Level A Wastewater Treatment Operator license in 1986, he was promoted to Operator II. In 1989, Mark was appointed to Chief Operator. He supervised many of the County’s water reclama- tion facilities, including the Conway Wastewater Facility, which was decommissioned when the Eastern Water Reclamation Facility was con- structed. Mark was promoted to Senior Operations Specialist at the Eastern Water Reclamation Facility in 1995. Mark enjoyed taking challenging assignments and imple- menting innovative approaches to the Eastern Water Reclamation Facility’s day-to-day operations. He helped Orange County save thousands of dollars in operating costs by a
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