One last look at 2016 before we bid it good f*cking riddance

Worst. Year. Ever.

One last look at 2016 before we bid it good f*cking riddance

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Floridians were reminded that "guacamole costs extra" when Gov. Scott issued a state of emergency for Martin and St. Lucie counties due to the thick, chunky, manatee-suffocating blue-green algae bloom. On July 2, NASA's Landsat 8 satellite captured a picture of Lake Okeechobee from space showing how widespread the green goop was.

On July 11, 70 protesters staged a sit-in at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's downtown Orlando office demanding legislation for gun control, LGBTQ protections and safer communities of color in the wake of the Pulse shootings. Using the hashtag #SitInForThe49, protesters planned to occupy the Florida Republican's office for 49 hours, but after just nine and change, Orlando police broke it up and arrested 10 protesters as they sang "This Little Light of Mine."

In Miami, police shot behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey as he lay on the ground with his arms in the air telling officers that he was unarmed. At the University of Central Florida, the Central Florida Future student newspaper ceased operation after 48 years.


Many survivors of the Pulse shooting couldn't pay their bills or rent because of injuries and trauma, so local organizations and artists stepped up to help. An Orlando man was arrested for throwing and killing a 15-year-old flamingo named "Pinky" at Busch Gardens. George Zimmerman allegedly tried to pick up a woman by bragging that he killed Trayvon Martin, and was (correctly) punched in the face. At a Hillary Clinton rally in Kissimmee, the attendance of the father of the Pulse shooter distracted everyone from Clinton's economic plan to bring 650,000 jobs to Florida. Protesters rallied against Rubio and Trump for attending a religious conference with some anti-gay pastors in Orlando on the two-month anniversary of the Pulse shooting. On the same day, Trump supporters at his rally in Kissimmee hung a Confederate flag from a railing. Florida got another cannibal case when 19-year-old Austin Harrouff was accused of biting a man's face off.

The Pulse shooting spurred the creation of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, a political action committee focused on reforming gun policy. Pulse survivors who were treated at Florida Hospital and Orlando Regional Medical Center were informed they would not be billed. Orlando theme parks started giving out bug repellent to ward off Zika mosquitoes. The first commercial flight between Cuba and the United States in 50 years took off from Fort Lauderdale and landed in Santa Clara. Hurricane Hermine battered Tallahassee and became the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the commercial satellite it was carrying were destroyed by an explosion on the launchpad during a routine test. A massive sinkhole at a Central Florida fertilizer plant dumped 215 million gallons of acidic water into the Floridan aquifer; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection affirmed that the company was not legally required to alert the DEP, EPA or anyone at all unless there was "any indication of offsite migration of contaminated groundwater." (Polk County residents filed a federal class-action lawsuit.)

U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville, told a town hall meeting on Aug. 25 about how he personally stopped a boat of about 20 Cuban refugees from entering the U.S. and reaching "freedom and liberty." Cool story, bro. The national "creepy clown" trend came to Florida in September when clowns were spotted in Gainesville, Palm Bay and Ocala. A Port St. Lucie man was charged with arson after he allegedly set fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, which was attended by Pulse shooter Omar Mateen.

The last Pulse survivor was discharged from Orlando Regional Medical Center Sept. 6, almost three months after being shot.


An e-cigarette exploded in the pocket of someone riding the Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando, shooting a fireball at a teenage girl. Hurricane Matthew thrashed Florida, killing 12 people in the Sunshine State and causing Orlando's Pride Parade to be canceled. After telling Floridians the hurricane could kill them so they should stay home, Scott refused to extend the voter registration deadline, but a court forced him to anyway.

Flesh-eating maggots that corkscrew their way into warm-blooded hosts came back to Florida, infesting Key deer and panicking livestock ranchers. Local artists accused Mad Cow Theatre, a professional company in downtown Orlando, of a decade-long policy of late (or no) payment.

A Palm Springs woman said Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago resort, after multiple women accused the Republican presidential candidate of making unwanted sexual advances. Exposing our shame to the world, a "Florida Man" category popped up on Jeopardy! A man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting at acquitted killer George Zimmerman. Rubio was booed off the stage by a mostly Puerto Rican audience at the Calle Orange festival in downtown Orlando. First responders with mental health issues stemming from the Pulse massacre struggled to recover lost wages because of Florida law that a worker's disability must stem from a physical injury.


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