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COLUMN

Happytown

DPAC looks for some Disney magic, Semoran is just another brick in Tony Ortiz's mustache wall and life is a pizza contest!

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Though Hossfield didn't get a turn at the podium, Ortiz and commissioners Diamond and Stuart were kind enough to allow him to take the handle of one of the city's ceremonial white-spaded shovels for an awkward photo-op. When the city council meets on March 28, Hossfield says, they're expected to vote on an ordinance enforcing a "special overlay zoning district" over the Semoran corridor, which would compel local businesses to tidy up their shrubbery and signage. We imagine that Ortiz will, out of fairness, let Hossfield take the credit when it passes.

Consider these three events:
a romantically themed dog adoption affair, replete with a violinist and fine wine to facilitate the human-canine matchmaking, hosted by A New Beginning Pet Care & Rescue; a campaign to have surfing introduced into the Special Olympics, sponsored by Ron Jon Surf Shop; and more than 400 free pizzas handed out to Central Florida's unemployed, courtesy of Pie-Fection pizzeria.

What do these three happenings have in common? They're all the brainchild of public relations guru Ryan Julison, who, after leaving his corporate communications job at Ginn Resorts last February, became a one-man-PR machine, convincing local businesses to be the vehicles for his "aggressive" ideas. Despite getting the attention of the Orlando Sentinel, the Today Show and the Drudge Report last year, Happytown™ still had not taken Julison's bait. That is, until his latest caper: a pizza-eating contest that tickled our gluttonous dude-bro gland. On March 26 at the Pie-Fection pizzeria on Kirkman Road, five teams of two will compete to stuff down a "Pie-Zilla" - 12 oily pounds of dough, sauce and meat. The team that can do it within a half hour will get $20,000, but in all likelihood, two groaning schmucks will be splitting $500 for eating the most pizza by weight. Hey, it's better than another infection.

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