;In case you missed it, the city's venues plan has hit a snag. On Sept. 6, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that cities can't use property tax revenues to finance long-term bond packages without first holding a referendum: some crap about people having a say about how their money is spent, blah blah blah.
;; The 27-page ruling is packed with big words, so you won't read it. But that's OK, we're here to tell you What It All Means: The $160 million the city wanted to pull from its Community Redevelopment Agency to help build the performing arts center and refurbish the Citrus Bowl is on the chopping block unless the city wants to give you a say in the matter, as the ruling seems to suggest it should.
;;But Buddy Dyer and Co. will apparently be working nights to make sure that doesn't happen. "While we are reviewing the decision, the city is also exploring alternatives for funding that might be available," spokesman Carson Chandler told us via e-mail.
;;Orange County's lawyers think the city "can probably work around it," says spokesman Steve Triggs. Probably so. After all, it's not like the city didn't employ fuzzy math throughout the sales job anyway.
;;Then there's Harris Rosen, the right-for-the-wrong-reasons hotel magnate who wants tourist taxes all to himself, and has teamed up with douche-nozzle Doug Guetzloe – Harris? – to try to put the venues on the ballot, even though the deals have already been inked.
;;"It certainly validates his legal right to proceed with a petition drive," Rosen attorney Ted Edwards says. "It's certainly a good case for Mr. Rosen.";
;When asked about Chandler's comment on the city looking for alternative sources, Edwards, a former county commissioner, offered this insight: "They're going to have trust issues if they're perceived as bending over backwards to avoid a referendum.";
;Assuming there was any trust there in the first place.;;
;From the Stereotypes Desk comes this item: On Sept. 27, a cross-country car racing team representing the gay community – Team G.L.A.M., natch – will depart Orlando as part of the 2007 Insurance Office of America Fireball Run. And they'll do it in a Saab convertible. Of course. (Let's just go ahead and assume they'll be talking on the cell and smoking Marlboro Menthol 100s while the Pet Shop Boys' "Go West" blasts on the stereo. God, we're awful.)
;;At the helm of this homo on wheels will be Joe LaMuraglia, the founder of website www.gaywheels.com, and veteran racer Evan Darling. They'll be driving for nine days and 3,500 miles, concluding the race in Los Angeles Oct. 7. And they'll be doing this for a good cause. Each race team will be assigned a missing child and will be charged with giving away posters along the route to help the search.;
;;They're better human beings than we are. Go G.L.A.M.!;;
;Speaking of queer, an allegedly straight friend informs us that Men's Health – a magazine we do not now, nor have we ever, read – has rated Orlando the fourth most workaholic city in America, which forced us to visit the mag's website (first time, we swear!) to confirm said information.
;;But despite enduring a Ralph Lauren ad and some headlines about how to throw a killer tailgate party and how to keep your male sack supple, we couldn't find the article. So we Googled it. And sure enough, our friend was right. Orlando was indeed listed as the fourth most workaholic city in the country, right behind Manchester, N.H.; San Francisco and Denver. We have no idea what the criteria were, nor would we care, except that it gave us a chance to march into the big boss' office and demand more vacation time.;
;Then we marched dejectedly back to the cube farm and got our lazy, ungrateful asses back to work.;;
;If you're anything like us – ;super-industrious – then you probably spent a good two hours ice-picking that tiny hole in your roof left by Hurricane Charley in 2004 into something impressive, right before calling FEMA to beg for some government cheese. "Poor you!" they said as they cut you that giant check. And then you spent it all on hookers and blow.
;;Floodwater under the bridge, right? Wrong. Now the damn pesky Fourth Estate is demanding a full reckoning of where FEMA spent its Charley funds, and those of you who, er, exaggerated any damage to your house may want to get your excuses in order now.
;;The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, along with two other Florida newspapers, sued FEMA for the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dollar amounts it doled out for Charley. A judge ruled the agency only has to turn over addresses of recipients – phew! –meaning there's only a slight chance some goddamn pesky reporter is going to show up at your door.
;;How do we know all this? Let's just say a certain Happytown™ contributor (and ex-mayoral candidate) got a letter in the mail. "We understand that when you asked for help, you expected that FEMA would protect your privacy," the agency wrote to said contributor, who may or may not be a staff writer at Orlando Weekly. "However, we have no choice and must comply with the court's order."
;;Mr. Manes isn't home, OK? Now get off our land!;;
;We got a call over Labor Day weekend from a concerned legislator regarding the city's 2007-2008 fiscal year budget. Said legislator told us $16 million had been mysteriously shuffled in for Rich DeVos' Golden Pleasure Dome (and the other two projects), before the projects even break ground.
;;We were outraged, so we contacted the city to get the lowdown. City spokeswoman Heather Allebaugh calmed us a bit by informing us that the number is more like $3.08 million; lunch money, really. Of that, $584,738 is for salary and benefits (consultant Tim Ackert alone claims $215,000 of that in his oversight duties), $2.4 million in "contractual services" (meaning infrastructure, continuing service agreements, legal and "financial"), and $82,476 for "supplies/travel/training/other." We'll just assume that "other" means "bar tab."
;;Anyway, it's all coming from the CRA and not the general fund, so you have nothing to worry about! Except that Florida Supreme Court ruling, but other than that, nothing!;;
;Disney's a fan of ‘diversity,' unless by "diversity" you mean "metalheads."
;;According to the band, the Mouse pressured House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif., to cancel their Sept. 7 show due to violent imagery, undesirable fans and inflammatory lyrics two months after tickets went on sale and less than 48 hours before the show. It's part of a larger effort to boot heavy metal acts from the facility altogether.;
;A few days later, Orlando's House of Blues followed suit, axing Machine Head's Sept. 17 show scheduled here. (HOB didn't return our phone calls asking for an explanation.);
;You'll be proud to know that Orlando fought back and the show has been rescheduled at Club Firestone for the same night. Rock the fuck on.;
;;This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes and Deanna Sheffield.; [email protected]