Due to YouTube swallowing up my content early this year as I tried to merge accounts, I submit to you City Encounters, a series of short films I directed with the help of a great crew, inspired by my improv comedy and musician friends back in 2016.
The premise of the series was to feature my friends in loosely outlined scenarios where in most cases, things would spiral out of hand. These shorts were shot in the span of 2 days across New York City, and was actually written about!
I recently had the pleasure of collaborating in the production of the recent Collecting Recollections series with Newtown Alive!, a cultural heritage preservation project,”that aims to trace the 100-year history of the African American community of Newtown.” Hosted by Newtown Alive! Founder and ABC7 TV Host Vickie Oldham, the interviewers with Shelia Atkins, Sheila Sanders, and Odessa Butler captured childhood memories of Newtown, their experiences of segregation and activism during the civil rights era, and their impact within the Newtown and Sarasota community. It was a exceptional experience to listen to their stories, and I hope you will too!
Soto is facing two counts of misdemeanor conceal weapons charge, after being found with a Glock 9mm pistol and two knives in a backpack. According to WFLA’s interview with Desoto on why she brought weapsons into her classroom, Soto responded by telling them to “Ask Desantis.” Revelations made on her Facebook Page was also reported to include a message indicating that she was conducting a “revolutionary act.”
School district would have to opt into the “Guardian’s Program” in order for teachers to receiving the training. As of this time, both Sarasota and Manatee counties have opted out, despite Manatee school board member, Scott Hopes, advocating for the district’s inclusion into the program.
On Thursday, U.S Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, released a public statement strongly condeming the Russian cyber-hacking of two florida county voter databases after attending a classified briefing via Twitter.
In the release, Buchanan describes the alarming nature of the cyber security threats posed to state voting systems, stating ‘Vladmir Putin is not our friend’ and called on a bipartisan approach to deal with future election inteference.
Gov. DeSantis told reporters that he was not ‘allowed to disclose’ information related to the FBI investigation due to signing a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for a private briefing. via Politico.
My boy is sick yet again today, so it’s time for some more unreleased content in lieu of not being able to get out there and find some scoops for your fine people of southwest Florida.
Today, I present to you the unreleased PSA video I created a few month’s back in my graduate program for ThinkProgress.org. What follows is a one-minute piece on the expensive failure, the Avrocar: A joint top-secret U.S. and Canadian military flying saucer built in the 1950’s and 60’s.
In lieu of fresh content for today due to Sammy getting a double whammy stomach virus and mild ear infection, I bring to you a spec video I created while shooting for the “Seen on Scene” for the St. Jude’s Foodlosophy 2018 event in November of last year. Foodlosophy is an annual charity event hosted by St. Jude’s Research Hospital that brings together some of Sarasota’s best chefs to create meals inspired by child patients of the hospital.
In this video, I spoke with Chef Christian Hershman of Sarasota’s The Overton. We spoke about his philosophy driving the event as chef-chair, and how the event continues to resonate with him.
Please keep in mind the final audio was never mixed down, hence all the “clicking and clicking,” of pans and dishes. It’s annoying, I know.
Also keep in mind that this video below is spec, and is no way affiliated with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Would love to hear feedback and comments on it!
Hope you’re all having a good day, and I’ll hoping I’ll get this boy into better shape!
The Chinese government announced a new set of tariffs on American goods upwards of $60 Billion dollars on Monday, according to The New York Times. The tariff increase is reportedly in response to the Trump Administration’s $200 million dollar tariff hike on imported Chinese goods.
John Wong runs Wong Kai Imports in Bradenton, a family-owned specialty store of ethnic food products that he has owned for the last 38 years.
From Chinese pork buns, hard-to-find vegetables, teas, and condiments, Wong Kai import’s ethnic food goods from China and other Asian countries for retail and wholesale customers.
Despite the good business he has received of late, Wong claims that he is already witnessing the negative impact on local businesses due to the potential trade war with China.
“This lady I talked to today, and it hasn’t even started yet, her container is coming in is already 25 percent on top of normal before she paid for it,” Wong said.
“It’s not right,” he added.
Wong is not alone in his concern, as media reports reflect this week:
The Washington Post reported the fears expressed by U.S soybean farmers are witnessing the effects of stalling exports to China.
“We’re Freaked.” CBS News quoted the official statement by the American Apparel Association in response to the prospect of retail price hikes.
In 2016, Wong voted for the president.
Going into 2020 as of this moment, he’s lost confidence in the president’s ability to focus on the plight of the American people, equating his dispute with China to a petty family squabble.
“The way I look at it is, you are helping the people of the United States, and now you are trying to, you know, ‘you don’t do this for me, I’m not going to do that for you’,” Wong said. “It’s like a sibling, your kid, your brother and sister.”
The potential impact of Trump’s potential trade war and immigration focus having a chilling effect on Asian-American voters are already being felt according to Vox.com’s Li Zhou, where exit-poll data indicated a 77 percent increase in Asian-Americans who voted for Democratic house candidates in the 2018 midterm election.
President Trump continued his justification via Twitter on Tuesday with claims that the 25 percent increase on imported Chinese and foreign “dumped” steel will help save the American auto industry.
In one year Tariffs have rebuilt our Steel Industry – it is booming! We placed a 25% Tariff on “dumped” steel from China & other countries, and we now have a big and growing industry. We had to save Steel for our defense and auto industries, both of which are coming back strong!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2019
Despite President Trump’s continued hostile tone on the web, John Wong hopes that cooler heads will prevail.
“This trade war, hopefully both sides talk about it,” Wong said. “Not just the United States and China, but the whole world.”
For more information and updates on products from Wong Kai Imports, visit their Facebook page.
There’s a lot resonating with me on this Mother’s Day at this point in my life.
I absolutely appreciate the continuing love and unconditional support I’ve received from my mom, Val. Thank you for demonstrating how to continue to grow, explore, and engage life at every stage. I use those tools every day, and for that I love you.
love you too, Nan (my grandmother), for being a steadfast, hilarious, and compassionate grandmother to me and great-grandmother to Sam!
Julia, you’ve been a wonderful support to Sammy and me and I appreciate how well we’ve done with raising Sammy so far. I know we will be great partners in the years to come, and I look forward to developing the bright, sweet, goofy, curly-haired boy that we love. I will never forget your strength, care and resilience through the difficult times (as it was in this photo). Sammy will no doubt be better for this.
Thank you for the constant support you have given to Julia and me throughout the years. You have been so crucial in making Sammy’s day to day a better experience, and I will never, ever, not be appreciative of that.
You are the master of gift giving and no doubt about it, Sammy plays in that lovely kitchen every day and makes food for us. With any luck, he’ll be as capable as you in the “one-butt.”
I took Sammy to the pool this morning, where we met a little boy who loved playing with Sammy. We all played together in the pool, where he and Sammy grabbed onto each arm as I launched them both in the air.
In playing with this other friendly little guy, I could feel that something was missing by the urgency of him wanting to have me interact with him. My gut feeling was confirmed as his babysitter told me that his father past away, the boy was no more than four.
It made me think about his mom.
It made me think about his dad.
What is each day like after that?
Enduring all of the emotional freight of a child wanting his daddy and perhaps feeling helpless, yet carrying on nevertheless.
I admire that strength- and realize that no matter the frustration, exhaustion, and ambiguity we enter into, through the different seasons of our lives, we have to keep going.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all, and to those I deeply care about.
The 10th Annual Harvey Milk Festival celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary this Saturday, May 11 in Sarasota. The festival honors the enduring activist legacy of pioneering LGTBQI political activist and San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk.
This year’s celebration brought together a diverse array of emerging local artists, musicians, roller derby bombers, food trucks, jello shots, and an array of political activist groups and vendors.
(Photo: Alex M Buono)
The festival crowd was young and old, with fishnets or chest-mounted baby (or leashed fur-baby), teal-haired or bald. That said, everyone was flawless.
The stated mission of Festival organizers is by “fostering emerging talent in musicians and artists who support diversity and reject discrimination. While we promote equality for LGBTQ people through supporting equal rights legislation.”
Harvey Milk’s historical mark being the first openly gay politician in America was tragically cut short, when November 11, 1978 Milk and then San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a rival city supervisor.
The festival’s impact continues throughout the year with youth outreach and scholarship programs, performance art and other events.
Here are some headlines that you may have missed this week:
Kathryn Varn delivered a great profile on controversial Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in this week’s Tampa Bay Times.
Varn’s profile digs deep into Gaultieri’s tenacious rise through the ranks of law enforcement and his recent forays into advocacy for arming Florida’s teachers and introducing the Warrant Service Officer Program for several county law enforcement agencies to serve ICE warrants to the undocumented in jail.