April 13th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Survivors Art Exhibit
Crime Victims' Candlelight Vigil
What's On "Alachua County Talks"
Take Back the Night Event
April is Fair Housing Month in Alachua County
Health Risks Associated with Wildfire Smoke
Open House at Alachua County Recycling Facility
April Extension Programs
Healthy Counties, Healthy Families
April is Water Conservation Month
Election Workers Needed to Work the 2012 Elections
Commission Highlights

Survivors Art Exhibit

Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center is hosting a Survivors Art Exhibit which began on April 2, and runs through April 30, 2012, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The show is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Community Support Services Lobby (218 SE 24th St, Gainesville).

A public reception was held for the artists on Thursday, April 12. Several artists spoke at the reception.

Art by survivors who have participated in the Center's support groups and counseling are on display. The exhibit celebrates the power of healing through art, and showcases survivors' journeys from victimization to resolution.

For more information about the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center, visit their website.

For more information about the Survivors Art Exhibit, contact Alachua County Sexual Assault Program Manager, Rita Lawrence at 352-264-6760.

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Crime Victims' Candlelight Vigil

The Alachua and Gainesville area victim services providers are hosting a candlelight vigil and reception in honor of Victims' Rights Week on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, from 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Alachua County Senior Recreation Center (5701 NW 34th Street, Gainesville). The program will begin with refreshments and live music.

Victims and survivors will have the opportunity to speak out on the impact of violence and the loss of a loved one and to light a candle in memory or in honor of someone who has been touched by violence.

April 22, 2012, marks the beginning of the National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a time to honor victims and the advocates of victims' rights. National Victims' Rights Week is celebrated every year to raise awareness of crime's impact on individual lives and communities.

Victim Advocate Lauren Mullins, with Alachua County Victim Services, acknowledged, "The journey of healing can be long and difficult. The candlelight vigil honors homicide victims and shows community support for survivors of all violent crime."

For more information on Victims' Rights Week, contact Lauren Mullins at 352-264-6769 or lemullins@alachuacounty.us.

Click to read the full article.

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What's On "Alachua County Talks"

Click here to view this edition of "Alachua County Talks." it features an in-depth interview with Florida's Eden Director Annie Pais. The interview focuses on the Primavera Festival taking place from March 20, 2012 thru April 22, 2012.  Spearheaded by Florida's Eden, Primavera presents a month long profusion of art, theatre, music, dance, and creativity.

In speaking of the interview, host Mark Sexton said, "Primavera will highlight over 200 events in over 60 venues.  It trains the spotlight on the incredible number of diverse cultural events available to Alachua County residents and visitors."

Check out the latest editions of Alachua County Talks on Community 12 TV by viewing the Channel 12 Show Schedule.

For more information, call the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5204.

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Take Back the Night Event

The Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center, and The University of Florida (UF), Sexual Trauma/Interpersonal Violence Education team (STRIVE) are hosting a Take Back the Night event that includes a march and rally to end sexual violence. The event is on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, beginning at 6 p.m., at Turlington Plaza on UF campus. The march begins at 6:30 p.m.

Paint, posters, and support will be available to attendees. An open mic portion will conclude the events, where survivors and supporters are encouraged to speak out.

"Take Back the Night's supporters have always understood the power of speaking out." said Alachua County Victim Advocate, Ashley Cortez. She continued, "Rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and intimate partner violence are often labeled 'crimes of silence' because of the low reporting rates, stigma associated with victimization and social discomfort."

For more information, call Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center at 352-264-6760.

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April is Fair Housing Month in Alachua County

The Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office, in partnership with the City of Gainesville's Office of Equal Opportunity and the University of Florida's Equal Opportunity Office, will sponsor a Fair Housing Seminar on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at the University of Florida's Emerson Hall (1938 W. University Ave., Gainesville). The morning session will begin at 10 a.m. with a repeat afternoon session starting at 2 p.m.

This seminar is designed to provide pertinent information to tenants, homeowners, buyers, sellers, realtors and others regarding housing discrimination. Housing discrimination does exist. Many don't know when they are discriminated against or how to report such discrimination. This seminar will provide that information and more.

The training will primarily be conducted by Vicki Johnson, a senior housing discrimination litigation attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Her experience at HUD and with the Florida Commission on Human Relations will greatly benefit those in attendance. There is no cost for this event and refreshments will be served. Reserved parking is available across the street in the O'Connell Center parking lot (W. University Ave. and Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville).

For more information, contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 or the City of Gainesville Office of Equal Opportunity at 352-334-5051.


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Health Risks Associated with Wildfire Smoke

Alachua and surrounding northern counties have at times been experiencing heavy smoke from dozens of wildfires burning in north Florida. Citizens are cautioned that smoke is a respiratory irritant that can cause scratchy throat or irritated eyes and nose. Smoke can also worsen conditions such as asthma and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions.

"Citizens, especially children and the elderly should take steps to avoid prolonged exposure to heavy smoke" said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Alachua County Health Department.

How to protect your family from smoke:

For additional information, contact the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7930.

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Open House at Alachua County Recycling Facility

Alachua County residents are invited to an Earth Day Celebration to see how their recycling is being processed at its recycling MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 10 a.m. until noon. The Open House aimed at increasing recycling awareness will include trolley tours of the nearby Alachua Transfer Station as well as food and games.

The MRF is managed by SP Recycling Corporation, a 30-year old multifaceted recycling company operating twenty-two plants, eight of which are in Florida. (www.sprecycling.com)

SP Recycling Corporation is the procurement arm of SP Newsprint Company, LLC – the Nation's largest producer of 100% recycled newsprint. SP Recycling is also known for its fundraising-recycling program offered throughout the southeast. The company places recycling containers at community locations ranging from schools to churches to mobile home parks and HOA's to clubs and pays those hosting the containers for the paper they provide for recycling.

"We are pleased to be able to serve the citizens of Alachua County and meet their increasing recycling needs," said Tom Kimsey, SP's Florida Regional Manager.

Items recycled in Alachua County include newspaper, paper, phonebooks, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs #'s 1 - 7, steel and aluminum cans. Alachua County residents are invited to learn more about their County's recycling program by attending the open house located at 5121 NE 62rd Avenue Gainesville.

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April Extension Programs

Unless otherwise stated, programs are held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Family and Consumer Sciences

These programs will be conducted by Brenda Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent.

Before You Tie the Knot – April 30 & May 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course.

Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management & Resolution, Financial Responsibility & Spending Plans, and Children and Parenting Responsibilities.

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court.

There is no cost to attend this two evening class. Pre-register by April 26 by calling 352-337-6209.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

These programs will be conducted by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent.

Turf Grass and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ - April 25, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This class teaches the proper use and care of various turf grasses for minimal impact on the environment.

There is no cost for these classes. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Commercial Horticulture Program

This program will be conducted by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent. 

Advanced Landscape Maintenance Workshop – April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This class is for licensed Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance professionals. To renew an LCLM license, attend this 4 hour class to get CEU credits. 4 maximum CEUs will be given in: Ornamental & Turf, Limited Lawn & Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, Commercial Lawn & Ornamental.

Cost is $5.00. Please pre-register by April 23 by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail).

Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs

These programs will be conducted by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

Pond Workshop (Living on a Few Acres April Series Class) – April 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This is a new program for 2012, and will be held on the third Thursday of each month. The monthly Living on a Few Acres program is designed as an introduction to basic production techniques on a wide variety of topics from pasture management and livestock production to growing vegetables and alternative enterprises. The program is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving a small scale agricultural operation.

The Pond Management session is for anyone interested in managing their pond for recreational fishing. Topics include: fish species selection, stocking rate, controlling fish diseases & parasites, aquatic weeds, and pond water quality.

Registration fee is $10.00 for individuals and $15.00 for couples for entire series (notebook and materials provided). To register please call 352-337-6209 by April 18.

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension online calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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Healthy Counties, Healthy Families

This year April 2 to 8 was National Public Health Week, and April is National County Government Month focusing on the theme "Healthy Counties, Healthy Families." County Government Month occurs to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of county government.

Alachua County has been working in various ways to promote good health, including the CHOICES program "To improve health care access for residents of Alachua County through the administration of innovative and cost-effective programs."

In April, 2011, the County Commission added a Community Health Element in the Comprehensive Plan. The goal of this new Element is "Preserve the health of Alachua County residents by facilitating health care delivery, improving the livability of the community, and providing all Alachua County residents opportunities for active living."

Eating healthier and exercising regularly can go a long way toward helping everyone lessen their risk of preventable death from causes such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. The County Comprehensive Plan recognizes this with policies supporting increasing access to healthy foods, promoting community gardens and farmers markets and providing opportunities for active living including parks, sidewalks and bicycle facilities. The Center for Disease Control reports that adults can meet the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise with short walks when commuting by transit. In fact everyone is a pedestrian at some point in every trip, and complete streets and parking lots need to be designed to accommodate uses of all ages and abilities. The Plan emphasizes multi-modal transportation system, in order that sidewalks, interconnected bike system, efficient roads and transit afford safe options for all modes. Persons with concern about a traffic safety issue can submit a comment to www.safetylane.org.

The Community Health Element also focuses on enhancement of school-based health promotion and activities, including for persons with special needs. The County Healthy Communities Initiative meets monthly (1st Friday at 10 am at the County Health Department) to plan efforts to reverse the increase in childhood obesity. The School Board of Alachua County is to be commended for the nutrition leadership. Efforts to secure funding for more "Safe Routes to Schools" will allow more schoolchildren to safely walk or bike to school, learning healthy habits. This program funds pedestrian facility improvements and organizes school communities for "Walking School busses," where groups of children are led by adults on their walks to schools.

County community land use planners are working with the health experts to ensure infrastructure is designed to support sustainable community health. We are fortunate for the 'green infrastructure' in our County, the network of conservation lands including floodplains, wetlands and surface waters, which affords us scenic natural areas for recreation and rejuvenation. We can all find enjoyable ways to be active, and fulfill our personal responsibility in health prevention. As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," and the social and economic benefits of prevention are crucial to sustain a vibrant economy.

The Community Health Element was developed with input by the Health Care Advisory Board. The County Comprehensive Plan is online at http://growth-management.alachuacounty.us/comprehensive_planning/.

Info about Healthy Communities Initiative is also online- http://www.alachuacounty.us/itemsofinterest/chc/pages/healthycommunities.aspx

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April is Water Conservation Month

Alachua County has joined numerous governments across Florida in proclaiming April, 2012, as Water Conservation Month. The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) kicked off water conservation month with the Springs Celebration and Chili Cook Off at O'Leno State Park, on Saturday March 31.

Floridians depend on the aquifer for their drinking water. Florida springs, rivers, and lakes also depend on the aquifer for their water levels. Due to drought conditions and groundwater pumping for human uses, the aquifer is very low right now. View groundwater levels map

"Since almost 60% of residential water use occurs outdoors, we all need to do our part to use less water every day," said Gus Olmos with the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. He continued, "Even simple changes like turning off your automatic irrigation system and only watering when your plants look thirsty, leaves more water for our springs."

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Election Workers Needed to Work the 2012 Elections

In preparation for the 2012 fall elections, Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter invites registered voters to be a part of the excitement of a Presidential Election year. The 2012 Primary Election will be held August 14, 2012 and the 2012 General Election will be held November 6, 2012. Election workers are needed for both of these dates and future elections.

Poll Workers are the guardians of democracy. These are paid positions and training is required.

If you are registered to vote, able to speak, read and write the English language; have transportation to the polling place and Poll Worker training; are not a candidate whose name appears on the ballot; and can work at the polling place from 6:00 AM until after the polls close at 7:00 PM, then we need you!

The duties and responsibilities of a Poll Worker include issuing the correct ballot; conducting the election in accordance with the law; providing assistance to voters as needed; and setting up and packing all voting booths, signs, and supplies on Election Day.

Phone Bank Operators are also needed and are a vital component to successful elections. The duties of a Phone Bank Operator are to assist Poll Workers at the precincts by looking up voters' registration status using computer records. Operators must be computer-literate, comfortable working with informational databases, and working in a high capacity call load. These are paid positions and training is required.

The Supervisor of Elections is also looking for volunteers to staff our outreach events and voter registration drives at festivals and community events. You will need to be trained on how to properly register citizens to vote and how to assist them with questions they may have. If you have a few hours to spare during the week or on the weekends, we can use your help in assisting the citizens of Alachua County!

If you are interested in serving as a Poll Worker or Phone Bank Operator, you may fill in the Poll Worker application on our website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-374-5252.


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Commission Highlights

Announcements
Announcements by Mark Sexton Communications Coordinator
Attachment:
Announcements

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The Board proclaimed April 2012 as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month”
Attachment: 
Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2012.pdf

Eat Local Month
The Board proclaimed May 2012 as “Eat Local Month”
Attachment: 
Eat Local Month 2012.pdf

Fair Housing Month
The Board proclaimed April 2012 as “Fair Housing Month”
Attachment: 
Fair Housing Month 2012.pdf

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

The Board proclaimed “National Public Safety Telecommunications Week”

Attachment: National Public Safety Telecommunications Week 2012.pdf

Administrative Professionals Week
The Board proclaimed April 22-28 as “Administrative Professionals Week”
Attachment: 
Administrative Professionals Week 2012.pdf

Land Conservation Day
The Board proclaimed April 22, 2012 as “Land Conservation Day”
Attachment: 
Land Conservation Day 2012.pdf

Children/Family Report Card

The Board approved payment of $35,000 to the UF Family Data Center for the Children/Family Report Card

Attachment: Envisioning A Promising Future REV11 03262012.pdf

Community Agency Partnership Program

The Board completed the establishment of parameters for the FY2012/13 Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP)

Attachment: Exhibit A FAMILY TYPES and SCENARIOS FY2013 CAPP BoCC Mtg Apr 3 2012.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit B ADVISORY BOARD COMMENTS FY2013 CAPP BoCC MTG Apr 3 2012.pdf
Attachment: 
EXHIBIT C CATEGORIES WITH AGE REQUIREMENTS FY2013 CAPP BoCC Mtg Apr 3 2012.pdf
Attachment: 
EXHIBIT D Apr 3 2012 CAPP BoCC Backup 2nd Discussion.pdf

Housing Assistance Plan

The Board adopted the  amendments to the Housing Assistance Plan for FFY 2011 Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Attachment: Appendix A Revised CATF 3 22 2012.pdf
Attachment: 
CDBG 2011 HAP 3 9 2012.pdf

Unified Land Development Code
The Board provided policy direction on draft chapters 400-410 of the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) and authorized staff to advertise for Public Hearings.
Attachment: 
Ch_400.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_402.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_404.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_408.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Cattery_Comments.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Claudio_e_mail_1.pdf
Attachment: 
CHW__ULDC_Revision_Comments.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_401.pdf
Attachment: 
RuralConcerns_letter_to_BoCC.PDF
Attachment: 
Ch_403.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_407.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_410.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Bahrs_email_2.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_405.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_406.pdf
Attachment: 
Ch_409.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Bahrs_email_1.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Claudio_email_2.pdf
Attachment: 
AHAC_Letter_to_BoCC.pdf
Attachment: 
PC_Daycare_email.pdf
Attachment: 
Presentation_ULDC_3_20_12.pdf
Attachment: 
Presentation_ULDC_3_20_12.pptx
Attachment: 
Highlights_of_Ch_407.pdf

Budget Amendments
The Board conducted a public hearing, adopted resolutions and approved budget amendments for the FY12 budget.
Attachment: 
FY12 Resolution for Midyear Alachua County Gas Tax budget.pdf
Attachment: 
FY12 MY Consolidated BA.pdf
Attachment: 
Department Summary.pdf
Attachment: 
Fund Summary.pdf
Attachment: 
FY12 Resolution for Midyear General Government budget.pdf
Attachment: 
FY12 Resolution for Midyear Alachua County Forever budget.pdf
Attachment: 
FY12 Resolution for Midyear MSTU Fire Protection Services budget.pdf
Attachment: 
Reserve adjustments for FY12 Mid Year.pdf
Attachment: 
Ad.pdf
Attachment: 
FY12 Mid Year Narratives.pdf

Conservation Easements
The Board exercised the Option Contracts to purchase Conservation Easements and Fee Interests on the Barr Hammock - Butler Tract, authorized Chair to sign grant reimbursement forms, and authorized staff to execute additional documents as necessary to receive the Federal Grant and close the transaction.
Attachment: 
Exhibit 1 Butler NRCS Option and CE signed.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 5 Butler acq costs.pdf
Attachment: 
BoCC120410 ACF Butler.pptx
Attachment: 
Deed on Cons Ease Butler Trust Final.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 3 Butler Tract FRPP Final.pdf
Attachment: 
Deed on Cons Ease Alvin Butler Final.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 2 Butler County Option and CE signed.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 4 Butler Evaluation.pdf
Attachment: 
Exhibit 6 ACQUISITION LIST STATUS REPORT.pdf

Residence Inn Property
Concerning the Residence Inn property on South 13th Street, the Board found the proposed small-scale land use amendment consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and approve the request to amend the Future Land Use Map from Commercial to Institutional/Medical.
Attachment: 
CPA0212 Background.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0212 and ZOM0112 Powerpoint.pdf
Attachment: 
Ordinance for CPA0212.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0212 and ZOM0112.pptx
Attachment: 
CPA0212 and ZOM0112 Staff Report.pdf

Requested Zoning Change
The Board adopted Resolution Z-12-2 approving the requested zoning change.
Attachment: 
CPA0212 and ZOM0112 Staff Report.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0212 and ZOM0112 Powerpoint.pdf
Attachment: 
ZOM0112 Background.pdf
Attachment: 
CPA0212 and ZOM0112.pptx
Attachment: 
Resolution for ZOM0112.pdf


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Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its 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.