Where you at, Marco? Last week, protesters staged a sit-in at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's Orlando office and demanded legislation for gun control, LGBTQ protections and safer communities of color. The group planned to sit for 49 hours, but by the end of Monday, Orlando Police arrested 10 of the peaceful protesters because Rubio's public office is in a private building. The Republican senator's office released a statement saying he respects the views of others, welcomes the input and all that jazz, but on social media, Rubio has kept pretty mum about the whole situation, which is interesting because he used the Orlando tragedy as the reason to break his promise not to run for re-election. If the Pulse massacre inspired another six-year term in the Senate, it seems Rubio would keep us at the forefront of his thoughts and prayers.
No respect: After law enforcement officials turned over the gay nightclub Pulse back to its owners, a break-in and a trespassing incident were reported to Orlando Police. In the break-in, the suspects pried plywood off of doors and entered the murder scene where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded a month ago. "Since June 12, we have seen the worst and best of human behavior," said club owner Barbara Poma. "We are disappointed that someone felt compelled to violate the privacy of our beloved Pulse nightclub and the sacred place it has now become."
Hold the line ... or not: Outrage from residents went in one ear and out the other after Orange County commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of developers who want to build more than 4,000 homes close to the ecologically sensitive area near the Econlockhatchee River. The two separate developments are a 1,188-acre property where developer Dwight Saathoff plans to build 2,078 residential units, and a parcel of 1,418 acres closer to the Econ River whose developer plans to build 1,999 residential units, plus a bridge crossing the river. The real vote here, though, wasn't on the projects — it was on holding the line and keeping the Econ River as a boundary between the rural and urban parts of Orange County. Commissioner Ted Edwards, who represents the area and is up for re-election, apparently thought there wasn't much rural to save anyway and voted in favor of developers.
No sunshine with Mr. Worldwide: Pitbull dropped his new music video for the quasi-public tourism agency Visit Florida, accurately summarizing the state in the chorus as "Sexy Beaches! Hotels!" The problem is that despite our taxpayer dollars going to Visit Florida, we'll never know exactly how much we paid Mr. 305 because his contract with the tourism entity is redacted under a "trade secrets" exemption to Florida's Sunshine laws. Visit Florida has been criticized in the past year for these types of contracts and for the lack of oversight over the agency.
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