Peace, Love, Pulse.

Rainbowflag2
Rainbow Flag
Picture credit: Wikipedia

 

A week ago, our world changed in Orlando forever and it has taken this long to be able to write about what has happened here.

Words of love and hope have come to Orlando from all over the World, but for those who live here, we are all still mostly numb.

It is all still surreal.

Many of you know that I came here from California and have found adjusting to the vast cultural differences between the two states, quite difficult.

One of the most glaring differences for me personally between the two places, was in the way those of the Gay Community are viewed and treated here.

California, my home for over 30 years, has an admirable level of acceptance and respect for the LGBT/Gay community.

My very best friend at Piedmont Airlines was gay and we spent many wonderful hours together, both at and away from work, admiring, and relishing the tremendous Art Culture of Los Angeles.

I had never known anyone like him and when I left LAX, I missed him so very much.

Many of my friends in LA were Gay, even though I was not.

It was not a choice, it was more like a connection of hearts, spirits and souls that brought us together.

Coming here in 2004 and traveling around Central Florida was so different from LA, as the Gay Community here did not seem to have a well defined presence, nor much acceptance.

What happened last Saturday night was the stark reality of evil and hate for the 49 victims whose lives were taken.

For those who were left behind to try to deal with it, it was a cold, bitter truth we were unable to accept or explain, for me, and as of last night, apparently 50,000 others here.

A Candlelight vigil was held at Lake Eola just as night came and the crowd had been expected to be around 25,000, the News said this morning.

But love, comforting, and acceptance came from everywhere here last night and if this is any indication of what can and should happen from this point on, things just may be changing for Orlando’s Gay Community, at last.

We drove down to Orlando yesterday right after eating breakfast in Mount Dora and walked around the Lake.

The feeling was wonderful, everyone seemed happy to be there and the sense of kindness was palpable.

Disappointingly, we found not one person there who had any of the beautiful flags, shirts, or other things made to honor those who had lost their lives, which we both found shocking.

The night before we had watched the Lions Soccer game and it seemed every single person there was wearing a shirt with words of hope, inspiration and love for the victims.

But on this day, one week after the horror, not one thing could be found around the Lake Park, or at the  Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, where just days before, President Obama and Vice President Biden had laid 49 white roses to remember the victims, at a Memorial that has now grown into a massive place of love and outpouring of affection for those who were lost.

Being there, seeing it, feeling it, was completely overwhelming.

A reporter was there from one of our local channels, filming the visitors and I went up to her and lamented my sadness at not being able to find a single thing to take/bring home to honor the victims.

She said that the rainbow pin she was wearing had been given to her the day before and sadly, she only had one left to give away.

She gave it to me.

I was overcome with emotion and joy.

Then she asked me if I would talk about what I was feeling.

Big mistake.

I was like old faithful,  gushing out all of the sadness, anger, and pain from the past 12 years of seeing so little acceptance, support or love for a community that  had meant so much to me in California, and that I felt was treated shamefully here by too many.

Yes, I made a fool out of myself.

We left a bit later and all night I was sad until this morning, when the News came on with a sight that made me so joyful.

You see, 50,000 people had shown up for the vigil last night at Lake Eola to say:
we care for you, we feel your pain, we love you.

No judgement, no negativity, just pure love for those whose lives had been taken a week ago in a brutal, senseless act of hate.

Day after day on the News, familiar phrases have become the mantra for all who grieve with the families and survivors:

Somos Orlando.
We are hurting. We are broken. We will prevail.
Love, not Hate.

And for me personally, Gandhi’s words ring in my head:
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” – – Gandhi

And so, last night as the vigil began, these three words, which now define us and what happened, were chanted by the massive crowd there:

Peace, Love, Pulse.

 

Lifeguard to the rescue…

nurse_shark
A Nurse Shark near Ambergris Caye, Belize 11-22-2003
Picture credit: Joseph Thomas

 

A Fort Lauderdale Lifeguard, Szilard Janko, rescued/saved a Nurse Shark a few days ago.

But it only just made our local News here this morning.

Janko carefully removed a fishing line and hook from the 2 foot shark and then released it.

The grateful animal he said, swam away, “without saying a word,” not realizing that not many would have done  what this kind man just did!

Two weeks ago a woman in Boca Raton was bitten by the same type of shark.

The woman went to the hospital with it still attached to her.

The woman lived, the shark did not.

What is being repeated daily after these incidents here, is that the debris in our Oceans is a disaster which helps create the Environment for many of these ” accidents ”  in Florida to occur.

You may have read or seen some of my older postings here about Ocean Trash, it is out of control world wide and the animals are the ones who are suffering the most.

Overfishing, garbage in the water, pollution and people are problems that our Global Marine life simply cannot handle any more.

An interesting tidbit is that 2 weeks ago,  while driving along the shoreline, up in Flagler Beach, we had spotted this same type of shark just behind a young boy paddling on a surf board,  not far from the shore.

It appeared to be circling behind the young boy, who may have been unaware of its presence, we think.

When we drove back later, no sign of the boy, or any trouble.

This particular Shark is easily recognized by its 2 smallish, round dorsal fins.

They like to feed in shallow waters and often are seen lying on the bottom near shore.

Regardless of the apparent recent abundance of Shark sightings here in Florida, they remain, as do all Marine life here, at the mercy of our whims.

We are sloppy and careless with their Ocean homes, the great waters of the world.

When we show so little respect for their Environment, what does it say abut us?

Thankfully, in this latest case, there was a young hero who took the time and care to ensure that at least this time, this story would end well for the Shark, as he was the lifeguard to the rescue…

 

Places to learn more:

Nurse shark trapped in reef by fishing line rescued

Underwater video shows off-duty lifeguard rescuing shark trapped by fishing line

Nurse Shark: Wikipedia

 

Eat this, not that!

ediblesixpackrings     GarbageBeach

Human plastic waste now litters Beaches and Waters all over the world!

Edible six pack holder picture credit: Saltwater Brewery
Plastic trash picture credit: epSos.de

 

This story was on our news just before we left for Flagler Beach last week.

Meant to share it when we got back, but lost track of it, until today.

This is one of the most positive ideas to help animals to come along for Marine/Ocean life in years and hopefully it will become widespread and as with so many great ideas, be widely imitated.

This Florida Company, Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach, has created quite a sensation with this new idea, in partnership with NY ad Company,  We Believers.

Wildlife lovers and many others are excited about the chance to buy their favorite brew and help Sea Life at the same time.

The new rings are a byproduct of the brewing process and are  biodegradable and compostable.

Called “Edible Six Pack Rings,”  they are the answer to the prayers of those of us who are frantic over getting the death dealing plastic ones gone, ASAP.

These have injured, maimed and killed countless sea animas and the future looked pretty bleak until this innovative Company came up with this fantastic idea.

The best part of all of this is, that the rings are not only not going to harm animals, they are a new source of food.

Several other products already exist that are recyclable, but they do nothing to keep the animals safe from tangling, entrapment or ingestion.

And unlike the others, even if they are not consumed, they will shortly break down, leaving no trash in the water, or  on the Beaches to worry about.

Using the exciting new process which has become so abundant here in Florida, due to the ground breaking work done by students at UCF with prosthetics, 3 D is becoming a household word in Central Florida and we could not be prouder of the accomplishments fellow Floridians  have made using it.

Over 5o Breweries have already asked to come on board.

This great news leaves so many of us here in Florida, who are sick of the trash on our miles of beautiful Beaches and watching the tragic rescue attempts to save those who have been harmed, breathing a sigh of relief.

This is only one small part of the vast over whelming plastic trash polluting our world’s Oceans and Beaches, but it is a start.

Animals everywhere are suffering and dying needlessly because of our plastic trash in their homes.

We did this, now we need to clean it up.

These new six pack rings can begin the reversal of a horrible cycle of Human abuse.

Now, we can feel encouraged for our beautiful ocean/marine life:

look what we are making now, this is safe, go ahead eat this, not that!

 

Places to learn more:

Saltwater Brewery edible rings

We Believers

This Craft Brewery Invented a Brilliant Edible 6-Pack Holder That Helps Sea Life

Florida brewery creates edible beer holders to save marine life

New edible six-pack holders are just what the environment needs

Brewery Has Created Six-Pack Holders That Can Be Eaten By Marine Life

 

 

Murder most foul!

crane-family-a
This Sandhill Crane family was near our house here in the Forest a few years ago.
Picture credit: Walkingfox

 

There was no intention to write today, it is a Holiday weekend, everyone is already at the Beaches here and happily spending time relaxing with family.

Alas, not so for those who tuned into the local news this morning and were horrified to learn about what happened here yesterday afternoon.

It seems that Marvin Hicks of Leesburg had had enough and took matters into his own hands.

He ran over and killed a baby  Sandhill Crane  on the golf course in Spanish Village.

He was quoted as saying that they were “crapping all over his Golf Course.”

A witness, Jamie Phillips, who with her son witnessed the gruesome scenes and is a bird lover, said he deliberately chased down the birds, the baby could not keep up with its parents and had stopped.

Hicks ran over the confused, defenseless and innocent baby and killed it.

The witness also said she heard Hicks girlfriend clapping as he ran over the baby Crane and both appeared to have been drinking.

Hicks denied it all, saying he never meant to harm the birds, but they were wrecking the tees on the Golf Course.

Sandhill Cranes are protected in this state and are a threatened species.

There would be fines, perhaps jail time ordinarily, but we are talking about a resident of  the affluent community of the Villages, where they often make up their own rules.

Golf carts are not allowed on public roads/streets, but you frequently have to dodge them if you are anywhere near the Villages.

Rules don’t apply to some who live here, who believe that they are privileged because of their address.

FWC is said to be looking into the matter!

We will be waiting and watching, to see if one of the “special people”  who live in the Villages receive the same treatment as the rest of us would in this case.

Keeping in mind of course, the young man in Texas, Ethan Couch, who was cleared of murder charges in 2013, for killing four people because his family was just too rich and he could not be held responsible.

He was called the “affluenza teen.”

If this man goes unpunished for this beastly crime, wonder what they will call him in this case of,
murder most foul?

 

Places to learn more:

Man ran over endangered Sandhill crane with golf cart, neighbor says

Neighbors say man hit, killed baby crane with golf cart over ‘poop’ issue

Sandhill Cranes

Leesburg man on golf cart killed sandhill crane, witness says

 

Help us stop this madness

blackbearcubs

NO MORE ORPHANS IN FLORIDA~

 

This will be short and ugly/ bitter.

Today many, many times, they have been blasting all over our local news about the impending, not their words, Black Bear Hunt again in the Fall.

Numbers  were given, with absolutely no evidence to support how these numbers were arrived at however, 4350 Black Bears are now said to be living in this state, with no proof of course, offered.

The Bears have increased they say, in great numbers, great percentages.

Regardless, these numbers alone, are not a reason to consider doing another Trophy Hunt again in the Fall.

The last one left orphans  all over this state, many of whom are now having great difficulty figuring out how to be a Bear, their role models you see, have all been killed.

So they wander aimlessly around, like the one right now in a tree in Orlando, who is causing great concern and fear among those who have seen it.

It is a cub and it does not know where its family is,  or why it is alone.

This beautiful new ad, which by the way cost about $400 to produce, is thanks to Lee Day of Oviedo and his fellow animal activist supporters.

 

Activist group releases ad opposing Florida bear hunt:

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/activist-group-releases-ad-opposing-florida-bear-hunt/304714022

 

Plz help us stop another Black Bear massacre.

Plz call Gov Scott and say NO MORE to the Trophy Hunt here:
850 488-7146

I just called and left a message, no Human ever came on the phone!

 

Here is the new ad to stop the next Black Bear Trophy Hunt in Florida:
http://www.wftv.com/news/raw-ad-opposing-florida-bear-hunt_20160526200143/304671158

 

For the love of all the innocents that Scott and FWC intend to murder, if left unopposed, please call him and say:    NO MORE DEAD BEARS!

My heart remains as always,  broken for those who still have no voice.

 

Places to learn more:

Seminole County to FWC: Stop hunting bears in Fla.

 

 

Forever Gone!

Picture credit : Grey 2 K

 

For the past two days and for as long as we have lived here in Central Florida, the News has continually covered the various groups opposing the Racing of Greyhounds.

The pictures on our News yesterday and again this morning, were/are pathetic and tragic.

Dogs were/are shown being forced to run/race to empty stands.

No one, or very few, it seems, cares about dog racing here anymore.

But many people do care about the beautiful dogs that are doing the racing/running.

It as usual, all comes down to money.

The city of Melbourne has a lot at stake here, not the dogs of course which are merely pawns in an unwilling activity, called sport, and neatly disguised,  but the gambling that is done on the property which is a big money maker for the owners.

This subject is a sore one for me and many who love animals and despise all forms of racing using them without their consent.

We, who believe all forms of these quasi-sports, or competitions involving unwilling participants, is, or should be, illegal.

That includes dog and  horse racing, bull fighting, dog fighting and a myriad of other cruel forms of evil, being put upon innocent animals.

All kinds of animal racing does frequently end badly for the animals, and can result in either injuries or death.

Or both.

The most encouraging sentence seen while researching this story was:

” Greyhound dog racing across the country is in a declining trend.”

This is sweet music to the ears of animal lovers who have been fighting for years to end these brutal,  cruel sports.

Those who are in control at the state level have consistently failed to protect the dogs and ” in 2016, our Florida Legislature failed to pass what would have separated the dog racing sport from Gambling.”

Are they being financially rewarded by the gambling industry to keep rejecting this?

We all know the answer, don’t we?

This state has, since the beginning of Scott’s tenure, been both anti-animals and women.

Few expect any changes until he is gone.

So Dear Greyhounds, we who love you know that you are suffering, but we have no control or say in this, as all of the control to stop or change this,  is seated in Tallahassee.

Please know that we will keep fighting to free you from your life of Hell and will rejoice with you, when at last Greyhound Racing here and everywhere, will be forever gone.

 

Places to learn more:

Forced to run: Forced to run, should Florida end Greyhound racing?

Greyhound racing may soon end in Florida

Florida’s Greyhound racing may be headed for the finish line

Gambling Deal Could Mean End Of Dog, Horse Racing In Florida

Grey 2 K

End Dog Racing

 

 

The Promise~

CircusProcessionElephants1888

Circus Elephants
Picture credit: Wikipedia Public Domain

 

This morning on our News was an ugly twist to a story that had not been expected.

You may remember the post written months ago about the Ringling Bros. Circus retiring their elephants to a Retirement Sanctuary here in Central  Florida. This was a source of immense  joy for me and many others who love them and have fought to set them free.

We were all looking forward to this day, thrilled that finally, these long abused, beloved animals would find peace, after so many years of pain and misery at the hands of greedy owners.

Not that this particular circus is the only one, all of them treat animals badly, one way or another and all should be shut down. Only Humans should be in any future performances, as they and only they, are WILLING participants in a dirty little business.

But back to the reason for this posting today.

As expected months ago, when the Circus promised to set their elephants free today and send them all to the Retirement Village here in Central Florida.

Today, they were to be finally, forever free.

All well and good. For the moment all was calm, then this morning came the shoe that fell hard on all who love them, yes they will be coming home to us, but with one very ugly BUT…

These beloved, eternally abused, animals will now be even further insulted/assaulted, with testing, experiments and God knows what else, all in the name of Cancer Research.

It is their extreme bad fortune, that elephants do not contract cancer and scientists are fascinated by this for good reason.

Dr. Joshua Schiffman went to Utah in 2008 to do Cancer Research, then in 2012 he went to a lecture that changed his life.

He had observed blood testing being done with Zoo elephants and wanted to investigate the possibilities.

Schiffman got permission to use the blood already being drawn weekly from the Zoo elephants and a new lab idea was born.

Like me, he is a cancer survivor, like me, he lost a beloved dog to cancer, but that is where our similarities end.

If his work/research had stopped here with these younger, not retired elephants, I would not be writing this, but it did not.

It was expanded and became all inclusive and will be done on the retired elephants in Florida.

I do not object to using blood that was being drawn to assure the health of the elephants. What I object to is that now that they are supposedly retired, they could for the first time in perhaps all of their lives, be allowed to rest, relax and just be elephants.

It has bothered me for many years that so many millions of dollars are spent on Cancer Research, yet the cure for it still eludes us.

The return for the expenditures on Cancer Research in this country is meager, if it were a business, it would have been bankrupt years ago.

As a cancer survivor, I do understand the reasoning behind it all, what I am not happy about is that these particular animals have suffered for a lifetime and should be allowed to have some peace. They have earned it, they were promised it.

PETA, the Humane Society, countless animal groups and individuals have been fighting for this for so long and it seemed it was about to come to fruition, like the affect of Black Fish for marine animals, the public pressure has had profound affects on those who continue to do harm to animals.

It actually in both cases, I believe, came down to money or profit, both of these businesses have been losing money because of their treatment of animals in their care and the public outcry to it.

Boycotts and bad press worked on Sea World.

Can we do it again?

I for one would like to try.

As a collective group of animal lovers, can we all now Boycott the Circus, until the retired elephants here in Florida are allowed to do just that, retire!

It is up to us, these suffering animals are at the mercy of their owners and have no voice.

This Blog was created for a singular purpose, to give a voice to those who cannot speak.

Will you join me and speak for them?

They need to keep their promise~

Ringling Bros. Media Line 703 448-4120

 

Places to learn more:

The Ringling Elephants Are Taking Their Final Bow

Forget the elephants: Ringling Bros retiring the big performers

Ringling circus elephants to retire, be used in cancer research at University of Utah

Could elephants hold the key to cure cancer?

Elephants may play a role in preventing cancer, says Brown graduate

Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation

 

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