October 26, 2007 edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

CHOICES Health Services Director Named
SW 75th St. bus level of service restored
SOS now meets 2nd Wednesdays
CHOICES reaches enrollment milestone
Everyday trash gets new lease on life
County Update TV on Channel 12
Stand Down for homeless veterans
Support Group for Male Sexual Assault Survivors
County Event and Meeting Reminder
What’s on Alachua County Talks?
Commission Meeting Highlights
Let’s All Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards

 

 

CHOICES Health Services Director Named

Lorraine Austin is a native of Tallahassee, Florida. She has been in Gainesville since 1985 when she came to attend the University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance. Lorraine has a B.S. in Health Science Education with a concentration in Community Health. She has been with CHOICES for almost two years. During that time, she has served in various capacities, including outreach, member and provider relations, and contract management.
In speaking of the appointment Austin shared, “I am honored to have been selected to serve as director. I have had the pleasure to work with many great people at CHOICES and I appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of Alachua County who are working and have no health coverage. I believe that our county serves as a model for other communities as we do what we can locally to address the national crisis of the uninsured. I am happy to be a part of that.”
Austin continued, “With a lot of hard work from many people, CHOICES did meet its goal of 1000 enrollees this year. Current enrollment is 1014. We will continue to enhance our outreach efforts in order to reach many more residents in the County who are working and uninsured.”
To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for CHOICES, please visit www.acCHOICES.com or call 352-264-6772.

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SW 75th St. bus level of service restored

On October 16, 2007 the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the current agreement for the Regional Transit System bus route serving SW 75th Street. They voted to re-establish thirty-five-minute headways from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and fifty-three-minute headways for all other times. Ninety-minute headways will be provided on Saturdays.
This represents going back to the level of service that existed prior to October 1, 2007.
For more information, contact Alachua County Public Works Assistant Director Michael Fay at 352-374-5245.

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SOS now meets 2nd Wednesdays

Survivors of Suicide (SOS) Support Group meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Crisis Center, 218 SE 24th St., Gainesville. This support group, sponsored by the Alachua County Crisis Center, strives to provide all survivors of suicide--individuals who have experienced the death by suicide of a family member or a friend--with comfort, support, and information.
SOS hopes that survivors will consider joining them in the support group, to receive the comfort, understanding, and encouragement that connection with fellow survivors can provide.
For additional information about the group, please visit their website http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/css/crisis/sos.aspx or call the Alachua County Crisis Center at (352) 264-6789.

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CHOICES reaches enrollment milestone

The Alachua County Department of Community Support Services is pleased to announce that CHOICES, Alachua County’s Health Services program, has passed the 1000 enrollees milestone, reaching 1004 currently enrolled participants.

CHOICES (Community Health Offering Innovative Care and Educational Services) began enrolling participants in October 2005. Since that time, CHOICES has responded to citizens and has implemented more ways to apply. Applicants may now apply online, by mail, or fax.

CHOICES also has Open Enrollment sessions before and after traditional work hours for the convenience of applicants -- Mondays, 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. and Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. -- no appointment needed. Open Enrollment is at the Community Support Services office (218 SE 24th St., Gainesville). Additionally, CHOICES has enhanced their outreach efforts so that staff can also enroll participants at the workplace.

CHOICES offers a broad range of health services provided by participating health care providers throughout the County. Services include:

Primary care (routine and sick visits)

Lab and Radiology services

Dental care

Prescription assistance

CHOICES is an innovative concept of healthcare and is funded by a voter approved 1/4 cent sales tax in Alachua County. We encourage Employers and Citizens to spread the word about CHOICES Health Services. CHOICES is making a positive impact in the lives of County residents, and wants to serve as many eligible citizens as possible.

Eligibility

Low-income Seniors age 65 and older may be eligible for dental care

If you or someone you know may be eligible, please call 352-264-6772 or visit the CHOICES website: http://www.acCHOICES.com for more information or to apply.

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Everyday trash gets new lease on life

From a castle made of puzzle pieces to a cardboard puppet, reused and recyclable materials are finding their way to a museum near you.
“Trashformations” is a juried student recycled art show and competition hosted by the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives and the Florida Museum of Natural History. All artwork entered in the contest must be comprised of 70% or more recycled/recyclable/reused materials. Cash prizes will be awarded for winning entries in middle school/high school and college categories. This year’s event will also feature Recycle Runway, a fashion show featuring items made from recycled items designed by Nancy Judd.
The competition will be held during Museum Nights from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on November 8, 2007 at the Florida Museum of Natural History. There will be a special awards ceremony and reception for all participating students, their families and teachers after the judging is complete. The “Trashformations” exhibit and Recycle Runway fashion show are free and open to the public.

The Application deadline for students wishing to participate in “Trashformations” is October 31th, 2007 at 5:00 pm.
For more information on the event or to obtain an application contact the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives at 352-374-5213 or visit www.TheWasteWatcher.com and click on Trashformations.

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County Update TV on Channel 12

County Update 7 (October/November edition includes stories on the groundbreaking for the new barracks at the Alachua County Jail, a biographical profile of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, new guidelines for restoration of rights to felons released from prison, Alachua County Fire Rescue fire safety tips for fall and winter, Alachua County Waste Alternatives Trashformations art competition, and more.

You can also view archived episodes of County Update at the County’s Video On Demand webpage here: http://alachua.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

 

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Stand Down for homeless veterans

Sponsored by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, Florida Works and North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, the annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down/Resource Fair will be held on Friday, November 16, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the C.R. Layton Army Reserve Center, 1125 NE 8th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. All homeless veterans are welcome. The Veterans Mobile Clinic will be on site and a hot lunch will be served.

The original Stand Down for homeless veterans was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. That is the purpose of the Stand Down for homeless veterans, and achieving those objectives requires a wide range of support services and time.

Services that will be available include:
Medical Screening
VA Enrollment
VA Claims Assistance
Food Stamp Information
Medicaid Information
Social Service Assistance
Job Information
Veterans’ Organizations and volunteers
VA Homeless Program
Food and Clothing
Rolling Thunder

For more information, please call John Skelly, Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program Director, at (352) 264-6749, Vianne Marchese, HCHV Coordinator, at (352) 379-7461 or James Mash at (352) 244-5102.

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Support Group for Male Sexual Assault Survivors

Male survivors of sexual assault suffer trauma that may take months or years to cope with. Join other survivors in learning how to recover and reclaim your strength. The Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is forming a support group for adult male survivors. The group will meet weekly for 10 weeks, and will encourage discussion and provide information about common reactions and strategies for coping and healing.

Please call Alachua County Victim Services at 352-264-6764 or the hotline 1-866-252-4539, for screening or to discuss your interest.


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County Event and Meeting Reminder

Trashformations - Juried recycled art show
November 8, 2007 - 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Florida Museum of Natural History
Juried student recycled art show and competition
Hosted by the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives and the Florida Museum of Natural History
Artwork entered in contest must be comprised of 70% or more recycled/recyclable/reused materials
Cash prizes - Middle school/high school and college categories
Application deadline - October 31th, 2007 at 5:00 pm.
For more information call 352-374-5213 or visit http://www.TheWasteWatcher.com

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What’s on Alachua County Talks?

On the latest editions of Alachua County Talks, Elmira Warren, Director of Alachua County’s Community Support Services Department, outlines in detail the services provided her department. And Alachua County Health Department Director Tom Belcuore gives a detailed overview of the Health Department functions.

Alachua County Talks is shown on Community 12, Your Local Government Channel, so tune in. To view show times click here: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/comm/schedule.aspx

You can also view archived episodes of Alachua County Talks at the County’s Video On Demand webpage here: http://alachua.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3


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Commission Meeting Highlights

The Alachua County Health Department will recognize National Latino AIDS Awareness Day on Monday, October 15, 2007 by conducting free, confidential HIV and STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) testing for anyone who wishes to attend a special evening clinic that day from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Health Department main clinical site, 224 SE 24th St., Gainesville.

One feature of this clinic will be the use of the OraQuick Advance finger stick test for HIV. The results will be ready in 20 minutes from the time of the test. In order to expedite the testing, appointments will be taken by calling (352) 334-7960. However, walk-in testing will be offered as well.

Health Department Director Tom Belcuore advised that taking advantage of this type of testing program has positive effects for individuals and their community. “Part of the danger of HIV comes from those that unknowingly have the virus and can unknowingly transmit it to others. We wish to give the population at risk an opportunity to take control by taking this test.”

For more information regarding the special clinic, call (352) 334-7960. Media inquiries should be addressed to Bobby Davis at (352) 334-7964.

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What’s on Alachua County Talks?

On the latest editions of Alachua County Talks, Elmira Warren, Director of Alachua County’s Community Support Services Department, outlines in detail the services provided her department. And Alachua County Health Department Director Tom Belcuore gives a detailed overview of the Health Department functions.

Alachua County Talks is shown on Community 12, Your Local Government Channel, so tune in. To view show times click here: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/depts/comm/schedule.aspx

You can also view archived episodes of Alachua County Talks at the County’s Video On Demand webpage here: http://alachua.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

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Commission Meeting Highlights

Presentations, Proclamations and Recognitions

Pursuant to County Commission Rule No. 29, Clerk J. K. "Buddy" Irby called for nominations for Chair for fiscal year 2007-2008.  Commissioner Rodney J. Long was voted in as the new Chair.  Commissioner Mike Byerly was elected Vice-Chair.

The Board proclaimed Tuesday, October 23, 2007 as "Recognition of Alachua County Employees Supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Day" in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: Enduring Freedom and Op Iraqi Freedom Day proc.pdf

The Board proclaimed November 2007 as "Friendship Month" in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: Friendship Month 2007.pdf

The Board proclaimed Sunday, October 21, 2007 as "Bradley Wilcox Day" in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: Eagle Scout Brad Wilcox.pdf

The Board proclaimed Sunday, October 21, 2007 as "Zachary Wilcox Day" in Alachua County, Florida.
Attachment: Eagle Scout Zach Wilcox.pdf

The Board heard a presentation regarding an update to the Archer Community Center.
(Attach PowerPoint)

The Board heard presentation and approved letter of support from the Chair for the Florida Conservation Trust application, Little Orange Creek Conservation, Historical and Educational Center.
Attachment: project properties LOCCHEC jpeg 2.pdf
Attachment: Hawthornaquisition.pdf

The Board heard the Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center Advisory Council’s annual Work Plan Report presented by the Council’s Chair.
Attachment: Victim Services Adviosry Council annual report.pdf

 

County Manager Reports

The Manager asked for direction concerning a fire services meeting.  The Board requested a meeting to hear from all of the municipalities concerning their current and future plans for fire service.

 

Commission Comments

Chair Delaney and the Board discussed the preparation for the election of a new Chair and Vice Chair. Advise staff that letterhead will change and that documents requiring Chair signature after November 12 must reflect the new Chair.

The Board asked staff to prepare agenda item to re-establish funding for RTS Route 75 and bring back next Tuesday.

 

Advisory Board Appointments


Gainesville/Alachua County Art in Public Places Trust
The board appointed Rebecca Nagy to a term ending September 2010.
The board appointed Mallory O’Connor to a term ending September 2010.

Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board
The board appointed Dana Bobb to a term ending September 2010.
The board appointed Melissa Johnson to a term ending September 2010.
The board appointed Sheldon Packer to a term ending September 2010.

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Let’s All Get Involved - Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its 31 advisory boards and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

Get Involved - Click here for an application: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/bocc/advisoryboard.aspx

Applications are also available at the County Manager’s Office on the Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 264-6904.

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.