From the archives: Memorable Orlando stories from 1994-1998 

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From the archives: 1994-1998

April 15-21, 1994

Ever since the Orlando City Council gave its initial endorsement to a curfew for those under age 18, debate has been simmering over both the need and legality of such a measure. Should it survive a final vote on April 18 – and there's every indication it will – the curfew will take effect June 1. 

While we can cheer the council for a tireless campaign against youthful self-expression, a wimpy teen curfew is not enough. Herewith, a modest proposal: Give Hood and friends a copy of William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, which contains a real solution to the rampant diversity that threatens downtown. 

Set about 100 years in the future, the novel involves a young computer hacker named Case on a mission to contact two supercomputers with minds of their own. Along the way, Case and his main squeeze, Molly, stop at a resort town called Freeport. 

Built under a dome, Freeport is a completely controlled environment. Sunlight is artificial, daytime is a hologram special effect, and the "stars" in the faux night sky form constellations in the shape of playing cards, dice and martini glasses. Credit checks are done at the entrance to ensure that only those who can afford to patronize Freeport's merchandise, clubs and restaurants are allowed in; losers are redirected to the decidedly downscale urban sprawl outside. Thus, only the "right" people get in for the "right" reason.  – Denise Salvaggio, "Peasant Under Glass" 

April 15-21, 1994

About Zima, the drink that asks you to "try a zip" – it zucks. As a lesson in promotion, though, it's invaluable. Zima is doing what they should have told you to do in college: Look good and never go away. If our military planned assaults this effectively, we'd win at everything. – Liz Langley, "Zima: Ze mistake is trying to drink it," Bar Belle

May 27-June 2, 1994

Last week, the city of Orlando's Municipal Planning Board gave a hearty thumbs-down to a proposed expansion by Fairvilla Video. The self-proclaimed "adult megastore" hoped to convert a building next door to warehouse space, a move that would allow the Orange Blossom Trail business to increase its display area from about 9,500 square feet to about 12,000. 

Egged on by a small but vocal group of opponents, the board decided the expansion posted a threat to the "health, welfare and safety" of the local populace. 

Those opposed to the expansion contend that the community doesn't want such businesses befouling it, a demonstrably false claim. The number that attended the hearing – about 40 – doesn't even represent a good lunch-hour crowd at Fairvilla. – Eric Dentel, The Lowdown

Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 1995

It's astonishing to me that the abortion issue is still even debated in this country. Women should not be willing to discuss it any more than African-Americans would discuss giving up the right to vote. – Liz Langley, "Norma McCorvey's abortive efforts," The Juice

March 20-26, 1997

Back in August or so, Mayor Glenda Hood announced her concern with the doings of children downtown. Long forbidden by ordinance from the would-be antiseptic nightclub district after dark, teenagers were unaccountably visible on street corners on Sunday mornings. What could they be up to? The mayor wanted answers, but the answer was clear, preordained, as was the remedy.

They're on drugs! – Edward Ericson Jr., "Raver Madness"

Jan. 22-28, 1998

Dear Mayor [Glenda] Hood, Your campaign to build a performing arts center across from City Hall has spent at least $50,000 in public dollars so far, and now the City Council has pledged $100,00 for a site plan. At no point has the public endorsed the expense, and there's no sign you intend to ask. We must trust that you want to boost both downtown and the arts, because you give us no choice. But there's a better idea. ... Redirect your spending from the palace to the peasants. – Jeff Truesdell, "Dear Mayor Hood"

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