January 27, 2012
- City News
This morning, we took an historic step toward
reinventing our Central Florida economy and
changing the way we travel as we celebrated the
commencement of construction on SunRail.
Over the last several years, our community has
worked relentlessly to advance a vision for
SunRail as the critical first step in the effort
to reduce traffic congestion, give our residents
desperately-needed alternatives to their
automobiles and create tens of thousands of
Today, that vision began turning into reality.
In about 28 months (May of 2014) Central
Floridians will, for the first time ever, have
access to a commuter rail line that will connect
our communities along a 61 mile path that
includes stops in the City of Orlando and
Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties.
I want to thank all our residents, our
businesses and our civic partners for their
support over the past few years as we have
worked together to bring about a new era of
transportation and job creation in Central
Neighborhood Watch Unit of OPD receives National
Night Out Cup
The Neighborhood Watch Unit of
the Orlando Police Department (OPD) received the
National Night Out Cup. Thank you to all of the
Neighborhood Watch Block Captains who
participated in National Night Out and to all of
the great sponsors. With their help, the OPD placed first in the nation for
its National Night Out participation.
Free 2011 Income
You will need to file your 2011 income taxes no
later than April 17, 2012. The Orlando
Neighborhood Improvement Corporation (n (ONIC) in
partnership with the Heart of Florida United
Way, FAMU Law School, Barry Law School and IRS
are hosting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
(VITA) Program at various locations and times
from January 28 - April 14. Find out if you
qualify for various tax credits such as the
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Making Work Pay
Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Hope Credit and
American Opportunity Credit.
To take advantage of this free service, you must
have with you:
- Proof of Identification (driver’s license or
other photo ID).
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse
and dependents and/or a Social Security Number
verification letter issued by the Social
- Accurate birth dates for you, your spouse and
dependents on the tax return.
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W2G,
- A copy of last year’s tax returns, if
- Total paid for day care and the day care
provider’s name, address, and tax ID number.
- College tuition expenses, Form 1098T, if
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for
direct deposits for up to three accounts.
- To file taxes electronically on a married
filing joint tax return, both spouses must be
present to sign the required forms.
VITA Dates and Locations:
- Saturday, January 28, 2012, 10 a.m.
- 3 p.m.
at Boca Club Apartments, 3314 C.R. Smith St.,
Orlando, FL 32805
- Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at
Hidden Cove, 4900 S. Rio Grande Ave. Orlando, FL
- Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Boca Club, 3314
C.R. Smith St. Orlando, FL 32805 4 - 8 p.m.
For more information and future dates, please
call LaSonashia McFadden or Amanda Kinzey with
Free Leadership Training at the Community
Topic: Enhancing Neighborhood Safety: It’s a
Date and Time: Saturday, February 11, 9 a.m. –
Location: Orange County Internal Operations
Center I, 450 East South Street, immediately
west of Channel 9 TV Station
Feeling safe in your home is very important to
how you feel about where you live. Crime
prevention experts will discuss the top crime
and safety issues that adversely affect
neighborhoods and the many resources and
solutions to increase safety in your home and
neighborhood. Find out about crime prevention
grants, Neighborhood Watch, Citizens on Patrol,
gang prevention, youth programs and more!
To register for this workshop, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2646932045
or call the Orange County Neighborhood
Preservation and Revitalization Division at
Maintaining Active and Productive Association
As with any situation involving volunteers,
neighborhood organization committees need
specific direction and clear objectives to
accomplish their tasks effectively and
efficiently. Here are some general tips to
ensure committee productivity:
- Clearly define and discuss the goals and
objectives of the committee up front. Have the
committee create a written work plan for the
specific event or the year ahead.
- Make sure all the committee members “buy in”
to the role and responsibilities of the
- Set a regular day and time for committee
meetings. Ensure meeting time and committee work
is as productive as possible. No one wants to
feel like they are wasting time.
- Ensure the work of the committee is accepted
and makes a valuable contribution to the
- Consider using subcommittees to increase
individual responsibilities and focus on goals.
- Publicly recognize committees and their
members who have contributed to the advancement
of the neighborhood organization.
For more tips on committee productivity, call
your Neighborhood Relations Team at 407.246.2169
to nominate a leader for the Neighborhood
Champion Award. The award will be presented at
the annual Neighborhood and Community Summit on
March 17, 2012.
events, photographs, best practices and
processes that are working in your neighborhood
with other neighborhood organizations throughout
the City. Contact Cindy Light with the Office of
Communications and Neighborhood Relations at
Buy Local Orlando
App Available on iTunes
Get discounts, save
money and support Orlando businesses with the
new Buy Local Orlando smart phone application
available in the Apple iTunes store.
Now, as a
consumer, you can redeem any special offers at
participating businesses using the free smart
phone application which allows you to:
- Search database of
more than 500 participating businesses
- Take advantage of discounts and special offers
at businesses near you
- Check-in to your favorite businesses and share
with your friends on Facebook and Twitter
If you have not
already done so, please also visit the new and
improved website at
allows you to search for participating
businesses by category and neighborhood.
Don't have a smart
phone? You can still support the program and
take advantage of any special offers or
discounts by using the free Buy Local Orlando
consumer cards, which can be printed from the
Local Orlando smart phone application for your iPhone
today and take advantage of special offers and
discounts for your dining, shopping,
entertaining and service-related needs!
All-Star 2012 Recycling Event
During NBA All-Star 2012, as part of the NBA's
overall greening and sustainability efforts,
fans will be given the opportunity to
responsibly recycle unwanted electronic products
such as cell phones, computers, televisions,
VCRs, stereos, copiers and fax machines at this
one day recycling event.
This one day event
will take place on Saturday, February 18, 2012,
from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Orlando Festival Park
(2911 East Robinson Street).
Don't throw away
your old electronics, bring them to be recycled!
For more information, please contact Jody Buyas
On Monday, the Orlando City Council approved a
number of subdivision plots to make way for new
residential development. These developments,
which occur in various areas of the City, are a
positive sign that the City’s local economy
continues to rebound. There is no doubt that
during the recent recession, the real estate and
construction industries were some of the hardest
hit. It is encouraging to see this activity
begin to activate once again in the community.
for Wawa Stores
On Monday’s agenda, in addition to discussing
the residential development, City Council also
discussed a plat and annexation to make way for
two new Wawa stores. One would be located on
Silver Star Road and the other on Semoran
Boulevard. The City
of Orlando is lucky to have a company like Wawa
investing in the region, creating new jobs,
infusing capital into the marketplace and
putting builders and contractors to work.
Expansion in Orlando
Also on Monday, City Council approved the
redevelopment bonus and economic incentive on
behalf of Publix Super Markets. Publix is the
largest and fastest-growing employee owned
supermarket chain in the United States and the
company owns property in the Lee Vista area of
considering constructing an approximately one
million square foot, $188 million frozen
food and produce distribution center on the
site, which will support the company’s
significant growth. The project is expected to
create 156 new jobs over the next three years
paying an average annual wage of at least 115%
of the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
Also on Monday’s agenda, was the annual
funding for the Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ).
Together with District 5 Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum, City Council
has been working to revitalize the Parramore
neighborhood and one of the key pathways is
Children and Education. The work done with PKZ
was recognized by the White House.
Barack Obama formed the White House Council for
Community Solutions to tackle a national
priority: putting every young adult on a pathway
to economic opportunity. To help communities
take action, the Council sent researchers to
review successful “needle-moving” models across
the country and create a toolkit that empowers
communities to replicate these models.
Orlando’s PKZ was
one of the first reviewed. The review culminated
in the release by the White House, last week, of
the Community Collaboratives Toolbox, designed
to guide other communities hoping to create or
improve their own needle-moving programs. The
Toolbox included a detailed case study of PKZ.
The funding on Monday’s agenda will allow the
City to continue funding these types of programs
that help students achieve high academic goals,
engage in out-of-school activities like a new
cheerleading team, and assist teens in finding
jobs and internships.
Also on Monday, City Council approved an item
that will help the City continue to provide
weatherization, energy conservation and home
energy rehabilitation to low-income households.
Through the POWER program, a partnership with
OUC, the City is able to help residents reduce
energy consumption and lower their utility
bills. Since the summer of 2010, 70 homes have
qualified for the program.
Did You Know?
President Obama Visit
Last week, Mayor
Dyer traveled to Washington, DC for the US
Conference of Mayors Winter Meetings. While in
Washington, he got word that the President was
traveling to Orlando for an important
announcement about tourism. The White House was
nice enough to extend an offer to Mayor Dyer to
fly with President Obama aboard Air Force One
back to Orlando. The steps the President
announced out at Walt Disney World will make it
easier for visitors from other countries to
enjoy all that Orlando has to offer and will
also help strengthen our local economy.
Orlando Ranking in fDi
fDi magazine has
ranked Orlando the top city in the country for
business friendliness in its annual rankings of
the “top cities for the future.” Orlando was
selected because of its recognition as an
emerging technology and innovation hub. Orlando
continues to build on its strength with the
development of the Creative Village already
underway. Studies estimate that the Creative
Village will create 6,500 jobs during construction and 5,000 permanent jobs at
build-out. For more information on the venues
click here or updates.
Black History Month in
Next month, we
will be celebrating Black History Month. This is
a time to honor and rejoice in the many
achievements and contributions of
African-Americans to Orlando’s rich history and
culture. On Saturday, February 25, Commissioner
Samuel B. Ings and District 6 will be hosting
the 1st Annual Walk for Peace. The one-mile walk
will start at the Frontline Outreach Center (300
C.R. Smith Street) and make its way to conclude
at Hankins Park (1340 Lake Park Court). There,
local speakers will address the public and local
businesses will host a job fair. This event is
to recognize the central role of African
Americans in US history. For more information
call Cynthia Wilson, Aide to Commissioner Ings,
City Academy Applications
Want to learn more about your City government?
The City of Orlando is currently accepting
applications for the 2012 Mayor's City Academy.
This 10-week program offers citizens a unique
look inside their City government. Participants
will interact with City employees and take part
in real life situations. They will tour Orlando
City Hall and the Amway Center, interact with
our police and fire departments, learn about
downtown development, participate in activities
with our Families, Parks and Recreation
Department and learn more about our housing and
transportation initiatives. Participants will
leave the program being more informed, engaged
and ready to get involved in their City
information and the online application for the
Spring 2012 session, visit
All applications must be submitted before 5 p.m.
on February 3, 2012.
Mayor in the
School Dedication Parade
On Saturday, January 21, Mayor Dyer joined
Senator Gary Siplin, Orange County Public
Schools and the Evans High School family to
celebrate the dedication of the new high school
which opened earlier this month.
The Wall that
Heals: Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Call for
Also on Saturday, Mayor Dyer joined the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund at the “Call for
Photos” ceremony, a national campaign to locate
the photos of the 58,272 service members
memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Wall in Washington, DC. At the event, The Wall
that Heals, a traveling half-scale replica of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was on display
for residents to visit.
Florida Hotel and Lodging Association Golden
On Thursday, Mayor Dyer joined Central
Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA)
President/CEO Rich Maladecki at the 2012 CFHLA
Golden Pineapple Awards. The CFHLA Golden
Pineapple Awards recognizes excellence from
hospitality and tourism “front-line” employees.
This morning, Mayor Dyer joined elected
officials, the Florida Department of
Transportation, community leaders and Central
Florida residents for the SunRail
groundbreaking. SunRail, Central Florida’s
first commuter rail line, will provide a
desperately-needed alternative to congested
roadways and rising gas prices while also
creating 250,000 construction and operation jobs
and $8.8 billion in economic impact over
the next 30 years.
Corridor Trunk Public Meeting
Blues B-Q Festival
Orlando Wetlands Festival
2012 Recycling Event
Rising Stars Challenge
Fit Run, Walk & Dribble
Saturday Night Presented by State Farm
State of the
and Community Summit
click for details
400 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801