Opponents of a Pulse museum call the idea a 'death tourism site,' and more Orlando news from the week

Opponents of a Pulse museum call the idea a 'death tourism site,' and more Orlando news from the week

Orange County Library System is offering a pretty sweet deal to cardholders. Library officials announced their new Local Wanderer program, which gives those with library cards free admission to certain art and cultural events. That includes the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orange County Regional History Center and Hard Rock Live, among other museums, theaters and sporting events. More details for how to sign up are at ocls.info/localwanderer.

There's a growing movement to stop construction of a multimillion-dollar museum memorializing the Pulse nightclub shooting. The Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum says it has more than 100 members consisting of survivors, victims' family members, and LGBTQ activists and allies who see the museum as a "death tourism site." A Change.org petition calling for no museum garnered more than 40,000 signatures. The OnePulse Foundation has responded to criticism by saying the museum will be modeled after the one in Oklahoma City and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. The coalition points to the Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine memorials as examples of open public spaces that didn't undertake million-dollar developments to commemorate mass shootings.

Cities can't ban Styrofoam in Florida, a court ruled. Coral Gables won't be able to enact a Styrofoam ban after the 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by a Miami-Dade County circuit judge, according to the News Service of Florida. The ban in the South Florida city was first approved in 2016, which led the Florida Retail Federation and Super Progreso to sue. The question at hand was whether the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services bill that bans local governments from regulating Styrofoam were unconstitutional. This most recent ruling says they're not. On top of the legal aspect, the retail federation had argued that thousands of retailers depend on Styrofoam.

Trump has spent at least $12.5 million on Facebook ads to date, and the majority target Florida. The president is specifically reaching out to middle-aged men, ages 25 to 54. That's according to the British online security company Comparitech, which looked at data from the Facebook Ad Library between March 2018 and June 2019. Trump outspends the top 25 political pages on Facebook, and allocates less than 10 percent of his advertising budget to target people under 25. "As the most populous swing state, Florida will be the deciding factor in Trump's re-election in 2020. The president has not only directed the majority of his ads toward Floridians, but he has also spent a significant amount of time there," the report stated.

A proposed law could cut funding to private voucher schools with discriminatory practices. A bill filed by Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, would require private voucher schools to comply with anti-discrimination practices, ensuring they "may not deny enrollment to a student based on the student's race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity." Right now, private schools across the state receive millions of dollars in state funding, but some discriminate against students by refusing to admit those who are disabled or LGBTQ. Under Eskamani's proposed bill, schools that don't change their policy will see their payments suspended or simply lose eligibility. The laws would also cut out lax qualification requirements for teachers at such schools. Teachers would need a baccalaureate or higher degree, plus three years of teaching experience in public or private schools.

This story is from the Aug. 21, 2019, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.


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