For months I have been meaning to write a column just featuring some of the stories and successes in our community.
Orlando got me off track, but despite the tragedy so many of us felt personally and we all endured universally, we carry on.
Terry Stays in Orlando
Let's start with Terry DeCarlo, the executive director of the Orlando Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Prior to the Pulse shooting, he had announced he was leaving that job to return to his home in South Florida, and a position with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Not anymore. Terry confided, "I just can't leave. There is too much that has happened and too much I have to do."
Wilton's Manor Doggie Daycare Day
Elsewhere, around town, congratulations are in order for the popular owners of the even more popular Wilton's Manor Doggie Day Care Center, Josh Meneses and Allen Aghazagian, celebrating their fifth anniversary this week.
George Scores a Win
Speaking of successes the talented lawyer George Castrataro won a significant legal victory this past Spring. He persuaded a Federal judge to discharge a client's student loan debts on a bankruptcy filing. That just does not happen without skilled and sophisticated lawyering. George continues to use his practice as a vehicle to sustain local multiple charities as well.
Tropics Gets a New Start
Jackson Padgett is back in action. The former owner of the Alibi and Bill's Filling Station has assumed ownership of Tropics. Let's wish them good luck, and give them a try. So I guess we can put them back on our delivery route. The previous proprietor had whined our paper was too critical of him. No, we just did not suck up to him, which brings me to Vitambi Springs.
In our camping feature, we did not write about a particular campground in Florida because this year's piece illuminated campgrounds outside of Florida. But the stupid owners were so foolish and petty they removed our valued critic, Ric Reily, from a gay camping Facebook group – because he did not suck up to them either. No, we don't do that here at SFGN, whether you are a paying client of my law office or valued advertiser in our newspaper.
SFGN prints the news, warts and wounds included. My job as publisher does not include positively promoting your product, unless you deserve it. We illuminate the noteworthy, whether it's good or bad.
Consequently, if the owners of Progress Bar want to threaten me with pulling their advertising because I permitted an opinion piece critical of them to run in my newspaper, then please, pull all your advertising. Be my guest. Oh, wait. You don't have any. Silly me.
Speaking of the exposes we have published here at SFGN, few have been more revealing then unveiling the madness of Craig Jungwirth, who singularly poisoned and destroyed the Beach Bear Weekend name, logo, and brand this year. But his evil and maniacal behavior has persisted, and he has been stalking a local businessman, Jeff Black, and defaming Ryan Dixon, and Dawn Holloway at Pink Submarine. But here's the deal, Craig.
Everyone in this town is coming after you.
Your suit against Hunters is getting thrown out and Nick Berry will file new criminal charges against you for defacing his property. I guess the petty theft charge wasn't enough.
Meanwhile, Bob Young is suing you to get back the rights to Beach Bear weekend, and there is a hearing to have yet another restraining order issued against you. What would that make, 4 in 4 different states? Oh, and I am going to keep on writing about your criminal and fraudulent conduct until some cops pick you up again.
Here at SFGN we could not be prouder of our Executive Editor, still bugging me for yet another raise. Well, hell, you mean giving him this job and an opportunity to win the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award for his work for the Society of Professional Journalists was not enough of its own reward.
Salt this Way
She tried hard but it was not to be. Despite a unique marketing idea, and a novel health plan, Suzie Hollis has had to close down Salt this Way. Starting and maintaining a new business is no easy task anywhere anytime, so let's appreciate the heart, soul, and money that people sometimes lose in trying to create a staple in the marketplace.
The Miami Marlins and the Futbol Club
Quietly, in the heat of the summer, both professional franchises reached out to SFGN and held a Pride Night in their venues. They need to be planned out more over a greater period of time, but the LGBT community needs to do more to support these efforts.
Heck, look what we did last week with the Pet Project's Bowl-a-thon and Poverello's celebrity Sync Singing night at Hunters Night Club.
We should easily draw a thousand persons to a major league event. As we try to do for many good causes, SFGN donated advertising space to promote the program.
And congratulations to our gay choruses, who were in Denver last month, competing in the national contests.
Wilton Manors Commissioners
Ok, so finally, we have medical marijuana on our doorstep. But we have myopia and shortsightedness running rampant in city hall. The council is looking at a bill that treats Cannabis not as medicine but as the Bubonic Plague. They are proposing an ordinance, which will make dispensaries inaccessible to you and regulations unconstitutional to all. Come on guys, I have better ways to earn attorney's fees than suing you for passing bad laws. Besides, it's only pot. It's a medicine, not a contagious virus. Damn, get your act together.