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Happytown

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“The East-West and Parramore connectors are starting construction this year,” says Ginger Corless, public outreach officer for Lymmo. “We're looking at finishing the surveys for the North-South connectors now, looking at how we could expand those loops. We do not have a funding mechanismfor the North-South like we did for the West-East, so we don't have an implementation plan for it yet.”

But the goal is to get as much community input and public comment as possible to bring to the Orlando City Council in April, the Lynx board in May and the Regional Transportation Authority in June. If you want to check out Lymmo's plans for expanded service, or add your voice to the public comments, visit lymmostudy.com.

Corless says that Lymmo is hoping to build on the much-vaunted SunRail plan, which will connect cities as far north as DeLand to those as far south as Poinciana. We don't know who would want to travel from Orlando to DeLand, but we do like the idea of traveling from, say, SoDo to downtown, or downtown to Ivanhoe Village, without having to think about parking. Lymmo, Corless says, would pick up where SunRail leaves off,taking people to specific points of interest along the SunRail corridor – a fact that's not lost on the merchant communities along the proposed new Lymmo lines.

Scottie Campbell, executive director of Ivanhoe Village Main Street, was recently at the opening for the Brice Stephens show at Twelve21 Gallery, trying to spread the word about Lymmo and its online survey. If Lymmo does expand its service along a North-South connector, Ivanhoe Village will be directly on its route – which could mean a potential joltof retail and residential interest in the neighborhood, which is already a little island of mixed-use activity. But rather than an island, better public transportation could make it part of an actual retail-residential corridor. In addition, he says, there could be benefits for areas that are traditionally overlooked by the city's big, shiny economic-developmentmachinations.

“You could accuse me of romanticizing the issue when I imagine people from low-income areas being able to travel to the hospital for free, but I can't help the thought,” Campbell says. “The impact could mean much more than safe bar-hopping, although that would be a plus.”

Portlando, ho!

Remember how, back in January, we reported that nine months after WMFE's board entered into a contract to sell WMFE-TV Channel 24 to some Christian broadcasters, the FCC still hadn't approved the deal? And remember how WMFE told us that it was feeling confident that the FCC was getting closer to an answer and that the board hoped for a “quick resolution” to the sale?

Well guess what just happened last week? WMFE asked the FCC to dismiss its petition to sell the channel to Community Educators of Orlando, an arm of Bedford, Texas-based Christian broadcasting company Daystar Television Network. Hal Boedeker reported in the Sentinel's TV Guy blog that WMFE CEO José Fajardo said that it “became clear to WMFE that the current deal we had in place was being drawn out longer than we anticipated”(no kidding) and that the market had improved during the past nine months, so the paltry $3 million Daystar was offering to buy the broadcasting license just won't cut it. WMFE-TV is still up for sale, but now the board is hoping to fetch a better price for the station.

Hopefully for WMFE it doesn't take as long for the FCC to dismiss the petition to sell the TV license as it has taken it to decide whether to approve the sale in the first place. Also, hopefully Jesus won't be involved anymore. He's a buzz kill and a deal breaker.

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