Local Color - Staff Picks
Published: July 18, 2012
Best civic romance
Orlando and Orange County Domestic-Partner Registries
Last year, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer made it clear that he would move forward with a domestic-partner registry by the end of 2011, inspiring slightly more conservative Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to wink that she might consider doing the same. But then something strange happened – Jacobs got all vague and general on the terms of such an ordinance, suggesting that people shouldn't even have to live together to register as domestic partners, and she gave the appearance of flaking. Meanwhile, the city went ahead and passed its ordinance in December. Immediately, the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee sprung into action, pressuring Jacobs on her talking points and raising the public profile of the issue in the media. Eventually the committee pushed Jacobs away from her "you can be partners with your neighbor" stance and she finally agreed to sign an ordinance that offered the same scant rights to gay couples that the city's ordinance offers. Everybody wins! Eventually.
Best meeting in the ladies room
United Arts of Central Florida CEO Margot Knight, Planned Parenthood CEO Sue Idtensohn and Fringe Festival producing artistic director Beth Marshall ... all step down
It's hard not to suspect a bathroom-stall smoking conspiracy when three of the region's most powerful – and outspoken – women make the choice to exit their vaunted posts within the stretch of just a few months. You can almost hear the cackles over the hand dryer! The first sign something was up came when bawdy Beth Marshall announced she would be leaving her forever job as Fringe ringleader following last year's successful shenanigans in May (she went on to start Beth Marshall Presents). Then, in September, United Arts queen Margot Knight shocked the arts world with her announcement that she would be leaving town for a hippie-writing-commune gig way out West at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, Calif. Finally, Planned Parenthood powerhouse Sue Idtensohn revealed that she would be retiring in January of this year. All three women have been huge contributors to the landscape of this town; all three also inspired their share of booster acrimony by speaking their minds. They will all – save Marshall, who's still noodling around town, albeit in a quieter context – be sorely missed. Lock the bathroom. No one else can leave.
Best reminder that Jesus is dead
Trinity Broadcasting Network gets sued
It's hard to escape the hairspray stench emanating from the Holy Land Experience ever since Trinity Broadcasting Network's Paul and Jan Crouch bought the holy mess of our own tax-free Jesus theme park in 2007. In March, a whistleblower within the company filed a suit of biblical proportions against the company alleging financial misdeeds and extravagance that included a $50 million jet for Mr. Crouch and $100,000 motor home for the puffy puppies belonging to the missus. The allegations of embezzlement wouldn't be religiously complete without reference to hush money for sexual misdeeds, so they were thrown in, too. Remember that next time you're watching Jesus doing his daily crucifixion out at the park. It's like a prayer.