February 15th edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government


This Issues Features:

2013 ACCESS Spring Classes
Levy Prairie Opening Ceremony
FGP Volunteers Win Outstanding Volunteer Awards
Blue Oven Kitchens on Alachua County Talks
Sally Palmi in Architect Journal
Local Food Week
Sixth Annual Chili Cook-Off and Springs Celebration
City of Gainesville Elections Information
February Extension Programs
Commission Highlights

2013 ACCESS Spring Classes

The public is invited to participate in the annual Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (ACCESS) classes, which begin April 1, 2013. The free program runs for seven sessions (on Mondays), but space is limited. The registration deadline is March 27.

Participants receive detailed information about the operations of County departments, special districts, and Constitutional Officers. The sessions include presentations, handouts, tours, hands-on activities and question and answer periods. Each ACCESS graduating class produce a group of citizens equipped to engage in ways that help Alachua County become more representative of its citizenry’s needs.

County Manager Richard Drummond said of ACCESS, “We hope you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the complex nature of providing local government services to our wide array of stakeholder.”

To view a complete schedule of classes and to register online, visit the ACCESS website.

To register or get more information, call 352-374-5262.

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Levy Prairie Opening Ceremony

Alachua County celebrated the acquisition and public opening of the Levy Prairie portion of the Barr Hammock Preserve on February 2. The Preserve is now open for hiking and biking on 6½ miles of established paths with incredible views of over 1,000 acres of marsh and wet prairie.

Barr Hammock Preserve was acquired through the Alachua County Forever Program; the voter-approved initiative to acquire, improve and manage environmentally sensitive lands to protect water resources, wildlife habitat and natural areas suitable for resource based recreation. The referendum was passed in November 2000. It was funded again by the voters in 2008 with the Wild Spaces and Public Places Referendum.

Barr Hammock Levy Prairie was acquired in 2009 with funding from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Florida Communities Trust, and a generous donation from the Whitehurst Family.

Directions: North or south on US441 to Wacahoota Road
West on Wacahoota Road over I-75 (no exit to or from I-75)
First left after overpass on SE 11 Drive
South on SE 11 Drive to preserve trailhead/ parking
Overflow parking available along SE 11 Drive

Click to find out more about Alachua County Land Conservation.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Land Conservation Program at 352-264-6848 or kmcpherson@alachuacounty.us.

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FGP Volunteers Win Outstanding Volunteer Awards

The Alachua County Foster Grandparents Program (FGP) is pleased to announce that three Foster Grandparents were chosen to represent their schools in the senior age category as Alachua County Schools Outstanding School Volunteers. These volunteers are Wilda Banks, Gerry Martz, and Jacquelyn Curinton.

The staff of the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School’s ACCEPT Program (Alachua County Continuing Education for Pregnant/Parenting Teenagers) describe Wilda Banks as “providing teen mothers and their children with a sense of stability, love and care which will have a profound impact on the teen mother’s life and the life that she will provide for her child.” Though Ms. Banks was born deaf, she lives a very full life and loves her work caring for the infants at school while the teen moms are in class, working towards their high school diploma. Each time she gives one-on-one attention to the infants she works with, she communicates acceptance and love to them, while also teaching parenting skills and providing reassurance to their mothers that they are being properly cared for.

For over two years, Gerry Martz has been working with Shell Elementary School through the Foster Grandparent Program. In their nomination, Shell staff noted that Ms. Martz “is always willing to help and goes above and beyond her duties as a Foster Grandparent. She is a pleasure to be around and has become a special part of the Shell Family.” The Shell staff expressed their gratitude for the great work that Ms. Martz does with 1st graders, and a hope that she continues to remain at the school.

Grandma Jackie (Jacquelyn Curinton) has been volunteering for the past 6 years at M.K. Rawlings Elementary School. Grandma Jackie takes great pride in working with 1st graders and helping to develop their reading and comprehension skills. Her one-on-one work with the children helps them to build vital reading and writing skills that they will need throughout their school career and beyond. One of the most important things for Grandma Jackie is “watching the children prosper, grow, and develop positive relationships with their teachers and peers.”

The Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program promotes excellence among all of its volunteers and applauds these three dedicated and hardworking individuals who so capably represent the efforts of their program colleagues.

Individuals nominated for the ACPS Outstanding School Volunteers award each year are chosen by their school faculty and administration in one of three age brackets: youth, adult and senior. This year’s honorees will be recognized later this month at an award luncheon sponsored by the Florida Credit Union and the Rotary Club of Gainesville. Following this event, an overall school district winner in each age category will be chosen and recognized at a forthcoming ACPS Board meeting.

For more information, contact Alachua County FGP Program Manager, Gene Tysowsky at 352-264-6757.

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Blue Oven Kitchens on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Blue Oven Kitchens President Val Leitner is available. Leitner discusses the creation of the nonprofit Blue Oven Kitchens commercial kitchen rental service as well as future plans for the establishment.
In speaking of the program Alachua County Talks host Mark Sexton said, “Ms. Leitner has been an integral part of the creation of Blue Oven Kitchens and a prominent voice for local agriculture and independent businesses in the region.”

The latest editions of Alachua County Talks air at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. every night except Thursday, and at 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. every day. Special or regular County Commission and Gainesville City Commission meetings may preempt any showing.

View Alachua County Talks: Blue Oven Kitchens.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

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

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Sally Palmi in Architect Journal

In a recent article in the Architect Journal, Alachua County Waste Management Assistant Director, Sally Palmi was featured in an article about the County’s recycling efforts. The article talks about the County’s “pay as you throw” garbage collection system, and the County’s integrated process to maximize it’s resource recover towards a goal of 50% recycling.

Click to read the article in its entirety.

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Local Food Week

Alachua County, along with Cinema Verde is celebrating “Local Food Week” from February 9, to February 17, 2013. Local Food Week is a week-long series of events highlighting the connection between local food, new economic opportunities, and entrepreneurship. Events include famers markets, barbecues, garden and farm tours, horticultural classes, films with Cinema Verde and a “Bike to Breakfast” program.

Click to view a complete schedule of events.

Sean McLendon, Alachua County’s Sustainability Program Manager said, “We couldn’t do this without our community partners, and we thank them for making this week’s events possible.”

Local Food Week partners include Forage Farms, Blue Oven Kitchens, University of Florida Office of Sustainability, The 441 Farmers Market, Hogtown Homegrown, The Family Garden, Alachua County Master Gardeners, Florida Organic Growers, Porters Community Farm, Alachua County Extension Service, Dorns, Slow Food Gainesville, Union Street Farmers’ Market, Flat Land, the Edible Plant Project and Gainesville Connect.

Cinema Verde’s mission is to utilize a multidisciplinary program featuring films, eco-art exhibits, eco-tours showcasing natural resources, workshops, and other educational activities to bring community organizations, businesses and citizens together to help forge sustainable solutions for the future.

For more information about the Cinema Verde Film Festival, visit the Cinema Verde website or contact Film Festival Director, Trish Riley at 352-327-3560.

For more information, visit the Local Food website, or contact Sean McLendon at 352-548-3765.

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Sixth Annual Chili Cook-Off and Springs Celebration

Alachua County, The Friends of O’Leno, and the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Working Group invite citizens to the O’Leno Ole’ Chili Cook-Off (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Springs Celebration (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), on Saturday March 23, 2013, at O’Leno State Park (410 SE O’Leno Park Road, High Springs) Admission to the park is free with the donation of one can of food per person to benefit a local food bank.

The events include: a chili cook-off, live music, dance troupes, environmental exhibits, and children’s activities. Chili tasting kits will be on sale for $5. All proceeds assist the Friends of O’Leno non-profit organization.

“The Springs Celebration is a great event for everyone to learn how their actions are connected to the health of our springs, even when they live tens of miles away from them.” said Stacie Greco with the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department.

Potential exhibitors must register online, or contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 (There is no fee to participate).

Cooks are encouraged to enter the O’Leno Ole’ Chili Cook-Off (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for a chance to win cash prizes while raising money for the Friends of O’Leno non-profit organization. There are two categories (open division and Chili Appreciation Society International), and the registration fee is $20 for one or $35 for both. Participants must register online, or contact Ed Bisch at 352-222-0159.

Click to view the event flyer.

For more information, contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829.

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City of Gainesville Elections Information

Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter would like to remind City of Gainesville voters of the upcoming City of Gainesville Election on March 19, 2013. There is a race for Mayor, and City District 4 Commission as well as a City Charter Amendment related to the City Election dates. All registered voters living within the Gainesville city limits are eligible to vote in the Mayoral race and on the Charter Amendment. Only City of Gainesville voters living in Gainesville City District 4 may vote in the District 4 race.

Due to the recent City of Gainesville redistricting, voters may want to check their voting district prior to Election Day by going online at www.VoteAlachua.com. From the menu on the left side click “Maps” or click on the “My Voter Information Page” icon in the upper right corner to view voter registration information and view their sample ballot.

To cast a ballot in this election you must be registered to vote by the Tuesday, February 19, 2013 deadline. Citizens may register to vote in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office at 111 SE 1st Avenue from the hours of 8:30 AM to 5 PM, or they may use the on-line application form at www.VoteAlachua.com  to register to vote, update your voter information, or update your signature. Be sure to fill out the form completely and check the correct box.  You will then need to print the application form, sign it, and return it to the Elections Office. To vote in the City of Gainesville Election, mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than the February 19 deadline. Please be sure to mail your application to the Supervisor of Elections Office at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601. A mail-drop is located at the main entrance at the Supervisor of Elections Office and voter registration applications received through the mail drop will be accepted up until midnight on the February 19.

Voters have three options available to them to cast their ballot for this election. Voters may vote by mail, vote early, or vote at their polling place on Election Day. To vote by mail, you can make your request online at www.VoteAlachua.com or call (352) 374-5252. The City of Gainesville provides for early voting in the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office in the County Administration Building from Monday, March 11, through Sunday, March 17. The hours of early voting are weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM, Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 2 PM. Voters may also choose to vote in the precinct of their residence between 7 AM to 7 PM on March 19, Election Day.

Voters are reminded that Florida Law requires you to present picture and signature ID in order to vote, or vote a provisional ballot. To locate your precinct or view your sample ballot, go to www.VoteAlachua.com.

For more information, visit the Supervisor of Elections website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call our office

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February Extension Programs

February Commercial Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Hobby Beekeeping Short Course – February 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This short course is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving a small scale beekeeping operation. Participants will receive a complete perspective of the process and expense involved with keeping honey bees. Pre-register by February 14, cost is $10 (includes lunch & class materials).

Growing Vegetables - February 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This class is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving their vegetable production. Whether producing vegetables on a small or medium scale or looking to receive income from property, this class has something to offer. Pre-register by February 20, no cost.

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance – February 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This class includes six hours of the required training for LCLM license applicants.  Participants needing recertification can attend the first four hours of class, but are encouraged to take the Advanced Landscape Training Workshop instead.

The registration fee is $30.00 includes program materials refreshments and lunch for the day. Pre-register at least three working days prior to the event.

February Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

These programs are being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Before You Tie the Knot – February 18 & 25, 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 and Resolution, Financial Responsibility and 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.

February Environmental Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent, at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Growing Tomatoes in North Central Florida – February 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Learn to have success growing garden vegetable. This class will cover growing tomatoes in the garden and containers. The basics of how to grow tomatoes in Florida’s challenging environment will be covered. Topics include tomato pest control options, including non-chemical choices of combating the scores of tomato insect and disease problems.

There is no cost for these classes, pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209.

February Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs

These programs are offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Unless otherwise stated, programs are held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Private Applicator Pesticide School – February 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This workshop is designed to provide training in practices related to Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control License for anyone working in the agricultural industry.

Full day registration fee $10.00 (includes lunch), half day registration fee $5.00 (no lunch).

Please register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) no later than February 18. For more information call the Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

Agronomic Crop Workshop – February 25, from noon to 2:30 p.m., at the Alachua Public Library (14913 NW 140 Street, Alachua).

This workshop will discuss disease control strategies and irrigation management for peanuts, corn and soybeans. Speakers include: Dr. Nick Dufault & Dr. Diane Rowland.

Free registration (lunch provided). 

Register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) no later than February 21.

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

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Commission Highlights

Ebony Appreciation Awards Banquet Day
The Board proclaimed February 24, 2013 as “Ebony Appreciation Awards Banquet Day”
Ebony Appreciation 2013.pdf

Visionaires Day
The Board proclaimed February 24, 2013 as “Visionaires Day”
Visionaires Day 2013.pdf

Strike Out Hunger Food Drive
The Board heard a presentation from Rodney Long recognizing employees who were involved with the Strike Out Hunger Food Drive in 2012.
Attachment: PPT Presentation

MindTree Ltd.
The Board approved the Resolution supporting the modified requirements to amend MindTree Ltd. participation in the QTI Program and authorize the Chair’s signature
MindTree Resolution_3.pdf

Federal Legislative Program
The Board heard the presentation by Marion Turner of Alcalde and Fay and direct staff to prepare a Federal Legislative Program for submission.

Quarterly Hiring Activity Report
The Board accepted the Quarterly Hiring Activity Report for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal Year 2012/2013.  Commissioners Hutchinson and Chestnut requested a meeting with the Equal Opportunity staff.
BOCC FY2013 QTR QTR 1.pdf

Butler Plaza Comprehensive Plan Amendment Coordination
Concerning the Butler Plaza Comprehensive Plan Amendment Coordination the Board authorized the Chair to sign a substitute letter to the City of Gainesville requesting coordination on the SW 30th Avenue overpass landing.
BOCC Mayor Letter Butler4.pdf
butler pd layout and cross sections.pdf

Natural Resources Protection Deed Restriction Requirements
Concerning the Land Development Code Natural Resources Protection Deed Restriction Requirements, the board instructed staff to hold a public workshop to discuss the issue.
Attachment: Memo Frank Williams.pdf
deedrestrictions Parcels.pdf

Children’s Services Council
The Board conducted a public hearing and adopted the attached ordinance repealing ordinance 02-26, which created the Children’s Services Council.

Area Southeast of Airport
Concerning CPA 09-12: Comprehensive Plan Amendment for Area Southeast of Airport, the Board:

Adopted the ordinance for CPA 09-12, amending the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan by changing the Future Land Use Map designation from Heavy Industrial to Low Density Residential and Estate Residential for multiple properties located southeast of Gainesville Regional Airport, as provided in Attachment A of the ordinance.

Authorized a County-initiated rezoning process for property owners in the area southeast of the Airport who request to rezone by submitting County zoning application forms.

Attachment: CPA 0912 Presentation 021213.pdf
Supplemental Data and Analysis CPA 0912.pdf
Staff Report CPA 0912.pdf
Ordinance CPA0912.pdf

Rural Employment Centers
Concerning CPA-08-12: A request to amend policies in the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan related to permitted uses within Rural Employment Centers, the Board heard the item to amend the Alachua County Comp Plan 2011-2030 Future Land Use Element Objective 6.3 and adopted Ordinance 13-xx approving the requested changes.

Attachment: CPA0812.pptx
Ordinance for CPA0812.pdf
CPA0812 Staff Report.pdf
CPA0812 Powerpoint Presentation.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.