HAPPYTOWN 


;Bob Adkins is mad as hell and he isn't going to take it anymore. Well, actually, he's been pretty steamed since the 2000 presidential elections in which democracy was stolen, right out from under us, and he hasn't been taking it for awhile; he's been out letting people know he's pissed.

;;Adkins, 62, is a Vietnam vet who's created a sort of cottage industry of outrage. He ran for governor in 2002 as a write-in candidate and plans to do the same this year. More to the point, he's organizing a convoy from St. Cloud to Washington, D.C., to mourn the death of democracy. Upon his arrival, Adkins plans to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court charging President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, President Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, some members of the Supreme Court itself and a few choice Florida officials with treason.

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;"No longer do we control our government with our votes," says Adkins. "They set up their own form of government up there."

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;Adkins is no fool; he's knows what he's up against. In fact, he knows that a lot of people consider him crazy and/or dangerous. The fact that he'll be towing a "caged coffin containing a bronze eagle symbolically looking over the names of fallen Veterans that he has collected in his travels" probably does little to convince them otherwise.

;;But representative government is dead, and this is no time to pussyfoot. "I get a good response [on the road]," Adkins reports. "Everybody says, ‘Yes, yes,' but the fear factor is still there. They are crawling under the beds waiting for somebody else to do something."

;;Adkins begins his journey to Washington, D.C., at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 25, from the corner of Maryland Avenue and U.S. 192 in St. Cloud. Godspeed, Bob.

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;So maybe you've heard of
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The Ripple Effect, the 16-year-old nonprofit that helps Orlando's homeless through food giveaways and a voice mail bank that homeless people can use for job interviews. They're the group that the city booted from Lake Eola a couple of years ago, saying that downtown's premier park and wandering bums didn't mix. Perhaps you've even sent them some money. You're so sweet.

;;Well, here's another chance to help out and maybe assuage some of your liberal guilt along the way. On Saturday, May 27, the Ripple Effect will host the Big Wahoo Music Festival at Lake Eola's band shell, which will include eight bands performing between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and a silent auction; all proceeds will go to help the area's homeless. It's free to all, but really, if you're gonna show up, kick in a donation. Otherwise you're just a Scrooge.

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;Now that the Orlando Sentinel has gone above-the-fold sensational with the third death by gator story in a week (May 15), it's time to acknowledge the obvious: Alligators are the new sharks.

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;;If you're one of the few who have lived in Central Florida for more than a couple of years, you might remember the Great Shark Scare of 2000-2001, during which the media collectively wet itself over sharks snacking on swimmers in record numbers. "Swimmers beware, sharks hungry," read an April 14, 2001, headline in the Sentinel, as if sharks with an appetite were an ominous revelation portending … something. A headline in the next day's edition noted, somewhat dejectedly, "Sharks sighted but fail to bite."

;;Then, as now, the explanation behind the critter attacks was as obvious as it is mundane: More Floridians equals more Floridians being eaten. End of story.

;;But there's little shock value in that. Better to scare the shit out of people with images of the new sharks, aka alligators, "stalking" their victims (Sentinel, May 12), and a "bloody week in Florida's waterways [that] marks a stark departure for a state that had seen just 17 confirmed deadly encounters with alligators in 58 years (Orlando Sentinel, May 15).

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;When the roaches go on the offensive, we're moving.

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;Summer in Lake County means two things: long, languid days during which the only relief from the heat is sipping iced tea under a live oak, and the Sexual Predator Sexual Offender Summer 2006 Address Listings published by the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Sure is neighborly of them to let you know where folks have moved to these days!

;;Sheriff Chris Daniels just published the annual compendium of sex offenders and predators as an insert in the Lake County edition of the Orlando Sentinel. And there it is, for all to see, every sex offender in Lake County. My, aren't there a lot of them? Plus, you can learn a thing or two about these folks; their pictures, their addresses, their birth dates, are all included.

;;Of course there are precious few details of how these people landed on such a list, but the state has labeled them perverts, and that's good enough for us. Never mind that the vast majority of them make the list for relatively minor stuff like lewd and lascivious conduct, a charge you can earn by exposing yourself or even by making a sexual comment. And disregard the fact that the state's offender list, which is in essence telling you who to be scared of, is so out-of-date and inaccurate that it includes hundreds of dead people. (Read "Ghosts in the machine," Orlando Weekly, Nov. 24, 2005.)

;;If you're lucky enough to live in good ol' Lake County, why not use these listings to learn a little more about your neighbors, whip up a little vigilante justice or maybe send over a rhubarb pie on someone's birthday? It's all the same to the state of Florida.

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;;;This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman and Bob Whitby.

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; ; SEMI-REGULAR FEATURE:

RATE THE PROTEST! ; ; ;

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;Who: Moveon.org

;;When/Where: Noon, May 11, outside Rep. Ric Keller's Orlando office.

;;Scene: A huge crowd of six gathered outside Keller's office to protest the GOP congressman's ties to big drug companies and the part of the Medicare program that would force seniors who register after May 15 to pay extra money every month. They congregated, expressed disappointment, ripped up a large, cheaply made $34,000 paper check — the amount of money drug companies poured into Keller's coffers — then marched up to Keller's sixth-floor office in the Day building on Robinson Street and delivered some petitions to a secretary.

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Score: 3.5

; feedback@orlandoweekly.com

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