Circulating to over 5,000 plus subscribers in Orlando and surrounding communities

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Volume IV Issue I

Delta Rocket over Publix- Photo Credit:  Amy Meador
AVALON PARK GAZETTE
Volume IV Issue I
Building Community One Issue at a Time

Don't forget to share with Your Neighbors
Pictured Above:  Encore in Avalon Park, Assisted Living Facility

                   

IN THIS ISSUE

Recess for Students, Encore Library, MBS Basketball Clinic, JT Charter Review,  Free Little Library, Aubrey's Silent Auction, East Orlando Safety,  Orange County, Neighborhood Grant,  Block Party, East Orlando RealEstate32828.com, Biggest Yard Sale, and AP Gazette Opportunities
Recess of All Orange County Students  

Retrieved from Caroline Rowland Article, Reporter, Bay 9 News

Parents and students protested Tuesday, January 27, to get mandatory recess for Orange County elementary schools.

The school board has said they will not enact a districtwide policy on recess, because there isn't enough time in the school day.

Parents and students protest outside the Orange County School Board to get mandatory recess for Orange County elementary schools, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

A group of parents called Recess for all Orange County Schools is not taking no for an answer.

The group is asking for 20 minutes of recess every day for all elementary school kids.

"Everybody is blaming someone else. Principals are blaming the district, the district is blaming the state, the state is saying the district can handle it, but what it basically comes down to is testing has become more important than our children," said Amy Narvaez, a mother.

Narvaez and almost 100 other mothers went to the school board two weeks ago. They were told no policy would be enacted. The group is now reaching out to state officials or anyone who will listen.

"I have yet to meet anyone that doesn't work for the district that doesn't believe that children deserve a daily break,” said Narvaez.

There is not a state-mandated recess policy. However, there is a physical education mandate of 150 hours a week.

Narvaez and other parents said it isn’t the same as having unstructured play time, which is something they said all their young children need.

“Some schools are getting 10 to 20 minutes per week of recess,” said Narvaez. “One school pulled five minutes three times a week from their lunch hour and they are calling that recess."

The school district said they would not be commenting further on the issue and that recess is not on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.

SIGN THE PETITION!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/recess-for-all-orange-county-public-elementary

Once we get close to our signature goal we will bring the petition to a school board meeting and will invite members of this group to join us and show support.

FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1488473858106039/
MBS Advanced Basketball Clinic
Avalon Park's "Athletics and Academic" club Supporting Student and Athletes, one Champion at a time

*Sunday, February 22, 2015 1:00-5:00 pm Avalon Middle School

*For boys ages 10-14, intermediate and advanced

*Focused & fun instruction to help improve skills: Technical elements, advanced techniques, game situations, mental conditioning, and more

*Fun scrimmage at the end

*Highly qualified and experienced coaches

*10% goes back towards funding AMS Fitness Department

*Early Registration: Now-February 8th, Save $5.00 using coupon code: clinic

*Register online at http://mbstrainingclub.org/sports-camps.html

*Registration Deadline: February 15th

*For more information, email mbstrainingclub@gmail.com
Some Question Charter Review Appointments
Retrieved from East Orlando Post and edited by AP Gazette on January 26, 2015

Paying an Old Debt or Business as Usual or Both?

It's no secret, that East Orlando Post are not fond of Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson.

They have heavily reported on the delays and construction of Alafaya, resulting in a number of accidents and have reported on her destruction of public records after sending illegal communications to a business lobbyists claiming that it was merely "Girl Talk" prior to making a decision with the commission that would impact said business.  They have also reported that she appeared to have accepted large campaign donations from developers while publicly rallying against more development.

So, when the latest round of appointments were made to the Orange County Charter Review Commission, the post noted that it was no surprise to see Commissioner Thompson willingly placing the bulls-eye on her back, AGAIN.

The Post's argument

The CRC, which meets every four years to decide about potential adjustments to place before voters, allows each County Commissioner to nominate two individuals from their district to serve on the review board. And just who did Jennifer Thompson appoint from her district? None other than Maribel Gomez-Cordero, her former opponent in the August 26th elections this past summer.

Gomez, who ran as a Democrat, was a registered Republican up until a day before the filing deadline. In a non-partisan race, that's an odd thing to do unless something foul is afoot. Gomez-Cordero, who raised under $2,000 in 8 months of campaigning, and rarely held public events, was seen by many as a spoiler candidate who Thompson convinced to run in order to split the Hispanic voter between Gomez-Cordero and Democrat Euri Cerrud.

Suddenly before the filing deadline, Gomez-Cordero coughed up the $3,000 filing fee to qualify, raising eyebrows considering her fundraising history and modest yearly income. Gomez-Cordero would go on to place second against Thompson, and ahead of Cerrud. Democratic polling following the filing deadline showed Gomez-Cordero siphoning the Hispanic vote from fellow Hispanic candidate Cerrud, as Thompson planned...it seems.

Fast forward to late last week, and we get the news that Thompson has selected her one time rival to serve on the Charter Review Commission - how convenient. While some might praise Thompson for appointing a previous opponent to an important board like the CRC, it reeks of a political quid pro quo.

I can only imagine the text messages between these two....

JT - Thanks so much for doing THAT THING this summer for me.

MGC - NP! It's kinda cool being a Democrat.

JT - You know what? I need to secure Hispanic support for down the road, how do you feel about serving on the Charter Review Commission?

MGC - I'm down! BTW, we need to go shoe shopping again.

JT - I'll be like Abe Lincoln, you know? Appointing my rivals and stuff like that.

And the rest, I guess, was just girl talk....

Written by Jacob Engels

Do you agree with the Post's argument... What do you think?
Silent Auction at Mulberry Street in Avalon Park for Aubrey

Aubrey Clark, 10, remains in stable condition after she was struck by an SUV while riding her bike after school Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (PHOTO/Aubrey's Angels Facebook page)
Retrieved from Lena Vargas Article, Reporter, My News 13

Support is pouring in for the family of a 10-year-old Orange County girl who remains hospitalized after she was hit by an SUV last week.

Aubrey Clark is in stable condition, but — like it states on her Facebook page — her family isn't giving up hope that she will one day return to a normal life.

The Facebook page for Clark allows people to offer donations, good wishes and prayers. It also links directly to the Osceola Fire Department Benevolent organization. It's just one way firefighters are supporting Clark's dad, who is a firefighter.

"(It was the) worst day of my life," Aubrey's dad, Danny Clark, said as he choked up. "(I) don't think anyone should have to go through that."

Aubrey Clark and another Citrus Elementary School student were hit by an SUV on Tuesday while they were riding their bikes after school.

The other student is reportedly doing well, but Aubrey Clark remains in critical condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, in Orlando.

Several 911 calls captured some of the drama as bystanders tried to help the two fifth-grade students near the intersection of North Clarke Road and Silver Star Road, in Orange County.

Caller: "There's a little kid on the road that got it, that just got hit. She's lying on the road and it seems like the car took off and jumped the curb and turned and took off."

911 operator: "Clarke and Silver Star? How old is the child?"
Caller: "She looks like she's in elementary school (because) school just got out."

Caller: "Somebody just hit a child. He ran away, but I got the car number."

At the scene, witnesses told News 13 the driver of the SUV, later identified as Lastevie Howard, tried to leave the scene but then came back when bystanders got involved. Howard said he came back on his own. At last check, officials still haven't determined if any charges will be filed against Howard.

Aubrey Clark's family will be hosting a silent auction from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Mulberry Street Bar & Grill located at 3831 Avalon Park E. Blvd., in Orlando.

https://www.facebook.com/www.osceolafdbenevolent.org

.
Realestate32828.com
written by  Eddy Solon, 32828 Realtor, AP Resident
The Solon Group of Keller Williams
http:///www.TheSolonGroup.com

For Foreclosures listings, Home Valuations, and for luxury homes in East Orlando, please visithttp://www.Realestate32828.com

The Latest price per square feet on homes sold in the 32828 can also be located on the site.


REGISTER FOR THE NEXT YARD SALE

September 2014 Yard sale had record number registrations so be sure to register early for Spring 2015, once registration becomes available.  http://www.avalonyardsale.com/
Interested in Submitting an Article

Articles are due by the third Thursday of the Month, email them to Publishing@apgazette.com

You understand by Submitting an article:
1. It may be edited to fit in the issue without my input
2. All final edits are completed by Avalon Park Gazette Reviewers and Editors in conjunction with the contributor, when deemed necessary
3. I will abide by AP Gazette creed, To build community one issue at a time through practical, informative, and lifestyle oriented articles in commitment with Integrity, Trust, Good will and Honesty.
4. I will submit to final edits made by the AP Gazette Team with my input when deemed necessary or without at the discretion of the AP Gazette Reviewers and Editors
5. I will submit an article before the 3rd Thursday of the month prior to 12 pm to be considered.
6. My article may or may not be considered or may be used in a future article under the sole discretion of the AP Gazette Reviewers and Editors.

If you do not agree, please do not submit an article.

AP Gazette Opportunities

1.  Reviewers- to review final submittal of newsletters prior to publishing

2.  Education Contributor-   An article written by an Educator in one of East Orlando schools.  Topics may be anything to do with Education and teacher, student, and parent awareness.  This will be a good place to highlight top achievers in our school (teachers and students).

3.  Sports Contributor-   To discuss East Orlando Sports, anything from little league and up

4.  Political Contributors-   Discuss local politics that impact East Orlando Residents along with other Political contributors

To be able to participate, you must be an East Orlando resident, if writing, submit an article prior to 3rd Thursday of the Month 12:00 pm, and send your interest and brief description of your background to Publishing@apgazette.com   Keep in mind, any neighbor can submit an article.

5.  Safety Contributor- Preferably someone in law enforcement who lives or patrol our community to provide monthly contribution on safety trends, practices, and awareness.

6. Tell us your story- Have a personal story about a triumph or a life transition that took place and you think it will benefit others, tell us your story by
emailing publishing@apgazette.com

7.  Have A Birthday or Anniversary coming up, Email us and we will showcase it in the associated issue.  Email publishing@apgazette.com
Encore Library in Need of Books
Encore at Avalon Park is a three phase senior housing community in Downtown Avalon Park

Help us stock our Library! Please bring any books, cds, dvds, and magazines to our Meet & Greet event next Wednesday! Can't make it to the event? You may bring your gently used items by to Shannon at the Encore Building.




https://www.facebook.com/EncoreAtAvalonPark


ORANGE COUNTY NEWS

Neighborhood Pride Grants Program

Orange County's Neighborhood Pride Grants Program provides direct funding to support and assist neighborhoods and organizations in improving the physical and social quality of neighborhoods.

Funding is available in the form of grants to help organizations revitalize and preserve their neighborhoods. The grants program is only one component of the overall strategy to strengthen and regenerate neighborhoods in the County. Click here for more information about the grant program.

Fixin' Up the Neighborhood (F.U.N.)
January 19 through February 14

We need YOUR help for a day! Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Division, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka, will be painting homes in the Plymouth Community near Apopka.  We need volunteers who are excited and willing to help Orange County residents in need.

By working alongside our construction site supervisors and other volunteers, you will have the opportunity to learn new skills, help give a face lift to owner occupied homes in this low-income neighborhood, and provide hope to some residents in the Plymouth community.

First, you will have to register as a volunteer, then click on Construction Calendar to find the painting opportunity that began on Monday, January 19.  Contact volunteer@habitat-sa.org with any questions.

*Lunch will be provided to all volunteers.

Block Party Application

Have you or your neighbors considered having a block party in your neighborhood?  Block parties are a way to welcome new neighbors to the neighborhood or a way to celebrated with neighbors on a annual basis.  If so, there is a block party permit that has to be completed prior to having the block party.   Click here to download the block party permit.

For more information, contact  Luis Mercado at 407.836.8378 or at Luis.mercado@ocfl.net


Sustainability Advisory Board  

Orange County Government is looking for citizens to be part of the Sustainability Advisory Board.  To be eligible to serve, applicants must reside in Orange County (unless the requirement is waived for a particular appointee by a vote of 5 members of the board).  Since there are 2 at-large members in addition to the 7 seats that represent a specific area, any resident of Orange County should be eligible.  As with any advisory board, the Membership and Mission Review Board (MMRB) will select the members of the new board. If you are interested please visit the link below.

More detailed information and application process
EAST ORLANDO SAFETY
32828 Statistics: Zone 22B
Retrieved from OCSO Website
Safety@apgazette.com


MONTH TO MONTH TREND:  UPWARDS
Red indicates an increase of incidents from last month

While 30 incidents were reported last Newsletter, 57 incidents were reported this month in our zone, which includes Avalon Park Area and surrounding communities.     Based on the data available, there were 1 Arm to Person Robbery, 35 Auto Burglaries, 0 Home Invasions, 0 Commercial Burglaries, 15Residential Burglaries, 7 Stolen Vehicles (up 2 more from last month...ALARMING), and 1 Strong Arm to Person Robbery.    We had 7 stolen Vehicles in our neighborhood, up 2 more from last month numbers.  This is very Alarming.  Please be sure to lock and secure your vehicle and remove your valuables.

Avalon Park Residents, Have a safety concern?  Feel free to email our off duty deputy Sal.Saldano@ocfl.net   He is very responsive!   What does off duty mean?  It really does not mean they are completely off duty.   They are hired by funds set aside by our HOA dues, on their off duty hours, to help secure the safety of our Avalon Park community.    We have three deputies, and Sal is the primary coordinator.

To receive future statistics, Subscribe to our newsletter here

Since first step in crime prevention is awareness, everyone can contribute by forwarding these updates to their neighbor.

East Orlando Resident, have an incident, a report, or safety event, please email Safety@apgazette.com to be distributed to our 3,000 plus subscribers.

For more about crime prevention, contact your OCSO Crime Prevention Officer.If you live within city limits, contact your municipal law enforcement agency.
Little Free Library ( Now in Avalon Park)
Founders Square, Avalon Park
www.littlefreelibrary.org 


Take a Book, Return a Book!

What started as an offshoot of a garage sale in Wisconsin has become a worldwide phenomenon, or a "water cooler of literacy," according to Todd Bol, founder of Little Free Library.

In 2009, Bol displayed some books in a miniature red school house during his wife's garage sale. The books were traded or given away in honor of Bol's late mother, who taught neighborhood kids how to read.

Now, there are 20,000 Little Free Libraries in 80 countries, said Bol, 58, executive director of the nonprofit that is based in Hudson, Wis. More than 210 are registered in Indiana and can be found at LittleFreeLibrary.org.

How it works

You erect a small house or weather-proof shelving unit on your front lawn and fill it with books you have enjoyed. Visitors are encouraged to borrow and bring back a book, or take a book and leave one behind.

The objective is to connect the community.

"It's an informal town square," Bol said. "The books you read reveal who you are as an individual, and you are sharing that."

The registration fee to the non-profit is $34.95. All money after expenses goes to mission programming.

Who's doing it

Angela Espada, 53, owns more than 2,000 books. A couple of years ago, she began running out of space in her Indianapolis home. Her husband, Jose, suggested she give them away or sell them.

She decided she would rather share, and took inspiration from her neighbor, Tom

Evaniew, who embraced the Little Free Library idea after a trip to Oregon. Three years ago, Evaniew erected his book-exchange shop in his front yard, and it became a huge success.

Jose Espada, a wood-working craftsman, designed and built a sturdy Little Free

Library.

"When I was growing up, my mother taught us that books are valuable, and we couldn't throw books away," Angela Espada said. "We taught our daughter a book is not a toy. A book is a treat. It's a necessity."

Courtney Gorman, 39, also learned about the Little Free Library after a trip to Oregon. "I knew my little artful community of Zionsville would embrace the idea," she said.

"Since we put it out three years ago, it's given back to my family. My kids and I sit out on the porch and watch people bring boxes of books and sometimes leave notes," she said. One neighbor wrote, "There was a book in your library that turned my life around."

Gorman sees a bright future for Little Free Library. "Maybe our house becomes the children's books house, and Mr. Jones down the street becomes the travel books house and somebody else would have cook books.

"What's next? Little free farm stands sharing the bounty!"

Written by Frank Espich


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Volume II Issue IX

Delta Rocket over Publix- Photo Credit:  Amy Meador
AVALON PARK GAZETTE
Volume III Issue VIX
Building Community One Issue at a Time

Don't forget to share with Your Neighbors
Pictured Above:  Light Show on Topsail Hill Street, in Avalon Park

                   

IN THIS ISSUE

Recess for Students, Christmas Light Show, MBS Volleyball, Timber Creek, Dozen Deeds,  Free LIttle Library, Thanks 4 Giving Drive Update, The Case for Uptown Avalon, East Orlando Safety,  Orange County, Light Up the Wild,  Block Party, East Orlando Real Estate, Biggest Yard Sale, and AP Gazette Opportunities
Recess of All Orange County Students  

A Facebook group in East Orlando was recently created  by concerned parents to promote Recess in Orange County public schools.  The group was created to try and make a change within the Orange County school district and bring recess back to elementary and middle schools.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that recess in school is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development.  Parents argue that children can’t be expected to sit at a desk and work all day long. They need unstructured play time besides P.E. It’s important at this age to preserve their attention and focus and encourage that love of learning that is especially important with kids in elementary and middle school.

This effort mimics a close by initiative.  In Lee County, a group of parents successfully united with the same goal and made a real difference for their children.   A petition, was established, they contacted their School Board members, showed up in record numbers at meetings, and the Board agreed and directed administrators to work with teachers to restore recess.

The group administrator states that she want to do the same here in Orange County and invite other concerned parents to join the group, sign the petition and contact the school board.   Get engaged.  Invite and get Engaged!.

The parents believe that many parents who send their children to school have NO IDEA regarding the lack of breaks during the day.

SIGN THE PETITION!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/recess-for-all-orange-county-public-elementary

Once they get close to their signature goal we will bring the petition to a school board meeting and will invite members of the group to join and show support.

FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1488473858106039/



MBS Training Club Volleyball All Skills Clinic
Avalon Park's "Athletics and Academic" club Supporting Student and Athletes, one Champion at a time

*Only $10.00
*Pre-register required

At this clinic, we will focus on volleyball techniques
for beginning to advanced players who are looking to improve their skills. This clinic is open to girls and boys, ages 10-14.

https://www.facebook.com/events/400286766804018/
Timber Creek News
Newsletter

Greetings Timber Creek Wolves! Can you believe that the school year is almost half way done? We are so proud of all our students and teachers and parents and community for all they do! It has again been a year of many wonderful accomplishments at so many different levels thus far.

Normally by now, high schools have already received their school grades. Although we are expecting to be an “A” again (based on our initial data), we are still awaiting official word from the state. Please stay tuned for more information about school grades, as we hope to be sharing good news with everyone soon.

Congratulations and thank you to all our academic, performing arts, co-curricular, extracurricular, and athletic teams and coaches for all you do and how well you represent TCHS. Congratulations to our Air Force Junior ROTC instructors and cadets in earned an overall unit assessment score of “Exceeds Standards,” the highest rating attainable during their rated unit evaluation. The Air Force Junior ROTC citizenship program is making a positive impact on the cadets, the school and community. Our ROTC also recently competed in a drill competition winning first place overall!

Thank you to all our teachers who work tirelessly to ensure that students are not only successful but ensure that they develop and maintain a love for learning. Many of our teachers have applied for and received grants that directly benefit students by enhancing mediums of learning through technology, classroom libraries, and additional student support.

Congratulations to Mrs. Sarah Longino for being selected as Teacher of the Year! Also, congratulations to Mrs. Susan Sanborn for being selected Support Person of the Year! They both work tirelessly and go above and beyond with the goal of keeping Timber Creek a great place to be for students and community.

We invite all parents to participate in SAC, PLC, PTSA, and Foundation as we join together to keep the tradition of excellence thriving at Timber Creek. There are also many other parent organizations that we encourage you to join that directly and positively impact student academic and extracurricular activities. - Gabriel Berrio, Principal

Five TC Teachers Receive Special Recognition

Timber Creek’s own Shawna Sherry, Mike Jones, Lauren Thomas, Kyle Dencker, and Anna Stevens were recognized
at the NAF (National Academy Foundation) Next 2014 Conference in Washington DC. They received a NAF Distinguished
Academy Award for the Academy of Information and Technology.

Orange County Public School Calendar 2014-2015

  • Two Weeks Dec. 22-Jan. 2 Winter Break (Schools are closed. District offices are closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1.)
  • Mon. January 5 Students return to school 
  • Thu. January 15 End of 2nd marking period (44 days) 
  • Fri. January 16 Student holiday/teacher workday 
  • Mon. January 19 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (Schools and district offices are closed.)
  • Tue. January 20 Begin 2nd semester/3rd marking period 
  • Mon. February 16 Presidents Day holiday (Schools are closed; district offices are open.)
  • Thu. March 19 End of 3rd marking period (42 days) 
  • Fri. March 20 Student holiday/teacher workday 
  • Mon.-Fri. March 23-27 Spring Break (Schools are closed; district offices are open.)
  • Mon. March 30 Begin 4th marking period 
  • Mon. May 25 Memorial Day holiday (Schools and district offices are closed.)
  • Wed. June 3 End of 4th marking period/last day of school for students (47 days) 
  • Thu.-Fri. June 4-5 Post planning for teachers 
Parents of Seniors: Soon after January 1, 2015: Remember to complete the FAFSA form for Federal student aid. The website is: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

This should be free so make sure you are on the correct website as there are some others out there.

Incoming 9th graders from our local middle schools are invited to Timber Creek for an informational night on Tuesday, January 27th at 6PM in the Timber Creek PAC.

Valencia Dual Enrollment Night – January 28th – 6PM in the Timber Creek PAC. A representative from Valencia College Dual enrollment will be there to provide information and answer questions. Dual enrollment deadline for Fall 2015
is April 1st! http://valenciacollege.edu/dual/documents/quick-reference-guide.pdf
Christmas Light Show in AP
"Lights on Topsail" boast amazing lighting shows for Halloween and Christmas on Topsail Drive in Avalon Park.

Come see a light and music show and be sure to tune to 89.7 FM when you come by

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DvqFilzcvBo

.
Thanks 4 Giving Drive Update
written by Eddy Solon

Thank you all for giving to the Thanks For Giving Drive, where 172 turkeys were distributed locally to families in need at Castle Creek Elementary and Orange County Academy.

This was just an amazing experience. When I started this drive last year, I was shocked that our community came together to donate 30 Turkeys and this year, I set a goal with the team to triple our numbers from last year. And to be honest, I was a bit intimidated that we would not meet our 90 Turkeys, but not only did we meet the 90 Turkeys, we almost doubled our goal. Thank you to all the local business that hosted our Turkey boxes and for our wonderful community for donating. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! I am Thankful for our community.


If interested in joining next years drive, please email info@theSolonGroup.com
Little Free Library ( Now in Avalon Park)
Founders Square, Avalon Park
www.littlefreelibrary.org 


Take a Book, Return a Book!

What started as an offshoot of a garage sale in Wisconsin has become a worldwide phenomenon, or a "water cooler of literacy," according to Todd Bol, founder of Little Free Library.

In 2009, Bol displayed some books in a miniature red school house during his wife's garage sale. The books were traded or given away in honor of Bol's late mother, who taught neighborhood kids how to read.

Now, there are 20,000 Little Free Libraries in 80 countries, said Bol, 58, executive director of the nonprofit that is based in Hudson, Wis. More than 210 are registered in Indiana and can be found at LittleFreeLibrary.org.

How it works

You erect a small house or weather-proof shelving unit on your front lawn and fill it with books you have enjoyed. Visitors are encouraged to borrow and bring back a book, or take a book and leave one behind.

The objective is to connect the community.

"It's an informal town square," Bol said. "The books you read reveal who you are as an individual, and you are sharing that."

The registration fee to the non-profit is $34.95. All money after expenses goes to mission programming.

Who's doing it

Angela Espada, 53, owns more than 2,000 books. A couple of years ago, she began running out of space in her Indianapolis home. Her husband, Jose, suggested she give them away or sell them.

She decided she would rather share, and took inspiration from her neighbor, Tom

Evaniew, who embraced the Little Free Library idea after a trip to Oregon. Three years ago, Evaniew erected his book-exchange shop in his front yard, and it became a huge success.

Jose Espada, a wood-working craftsman, designed and built a sturdy Little Free

Library.

"When I was growing up, my mother taught us that books are valuable, and we couldn't throw books away," Angela Espada said. "We taught our daughter a book is not a toy. A book is a treat. It's a necessity."

Courtney Gorman, 39, also learned about the Little Free Library after a trip to Oregon. "I knew my little artful community of Zionsville would embrace the idea," she said.

"Since we put it out three years ago, it's given back to my family. My kids and I sit out on the porch and watch people bring boxes of books and sometimes leave notes," she said. One neighbor wrote, "There was a book in your library that turned my life around."

Gorman sees a bright future for Little Free Library. "Maybe our house becomes the children's books house, and Mr. Jones down the street becomes the travel books house and somebody else would have cook books.

"What's next? Little free farm stands sharing the bounty!"

Written by Frank Espich


Real Estate Orlando

written by  Eddy Solon, 32828 Realtor, AP Resident
The Solon Group of Keller Williams

For Foreclosures listings, Home Valuations, and for luxury homes in East Orlando, please visit http://www.Realestate32828.com

The Latest price per square feet on homes sold in the 32828 can also be located on the site.

Check out what our local expert is saying about Real Estate in Orlando, Baby Realtor, BabyRealtor.com 




REGISTER FOR THE NEXT YARD SALE

September 2014 Yard sale had record number registrations so be sure to register early for Spring 2015, once registration becomes available.  http://www.avalonyardsale.com/
Interested in Submitting an Article

Articles are due by the third Thursday of the Month, email them to Publishing@apgazette.com

You understand by Submitting an article:
1. It may be edited to fit in the issue without my input
2. All final edits are completed by Avalon Park Gazette Reviewers and Editors in conjunction with the contributor, when deemed necessary
3. I will abide by AP Gazette creed, To build community one issue at a time through practical, informative, and lifestyle oriented articles in commitment with Integrity, Trust, Good will and Honesty.
4. I will submit to final edits made by the AP Gazette Team with my input when deemed necessary or without at the discretion of the AP Gazette Reviewers and Editors
5. I will submit an article before the 3rd Thursday of the month prior to 12 pm to be considered.
6. My article may or may not be considered or may be used in a future article under the sole discretion of the AP Gazette Reviewers and Editors.

If you do not agree, please do not submit an article.

AP Gazette Opportunities

1.  Reviewers- to review final submittal of newsletters prior to publishing

2.  Education Contributor-   An article written by an Educator in one of East Orlando schools.  Topics may be anything to do with Education and teacher, student, and parent awareness.  This will be a good place to highlight top achievers in our school (teachers and students).

3.  Sports Contributor-   To discuss East Orlando Sports, anything from little league and up

4.  Political Contributors-   Discuss local politics that impact East Orlando Residents along with other Political contributors

To be able to participate, you must be an East Orlando resident, if writing, submit an article prior to 3rd Thursday of the Month 12:00 pm, and send your interest and brief description of your background to Publishing@apgazette.com   Keep in mind, any neighbor can submit an article.

5.  Safety Contributor- Preferably someone in law enforcement who lives or patrol our community to provide monthly contribution on safety trends, practices, and awareness.

6. Tell us your story- Have a personal story about a triumph or a life transition that took place and you think it will benefit others, tell us your story by
emailing publishing@apgazette.com

7.  Have A Birthday or Anniversary coming up, Email us and we will showcase it in the associated issue.  Email publishing@apgazette.com
Dozen Deeds in 2015
A local group of  East Orlando business women, men, and neighbors are discussing an opportunity to join forces to commit to performing at least 1 Dozen good Deeds in 2015.  

It’s well known that most New Year’s resolutions fail around the same time the snow is fading. According to a recent report from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, that’s often because we set our sights too high when we’re planning changes.
Want to be able to keep your resolution, feel better and make a difference? Think giving – but think small. If you’ve determined you’ll run a charity marathon each month or build an orphanage, you’re a lot more likely to scrap your plans by spring. But what if you add just a few modest good deeds to your regular lifestyle? 

Simple acts of kindness make a difference

The best news is that you don’t have to singlehandedly dig a freshwater well in a third-world country to make a difference and reap the benefits. So how about resolving this year to perform easy acts of kindness? Here are six simple suggestions to get you started:
  1. Lend a hand. When you see someone struggling with a baby stroller on a set of stairs, or trying to figure out a street map on the sidewalk, take a moment to help out.
  2. Give compliments. Who doesn’t love them?
  3. Be gracious to strangers. Let someone go ahead of you in the grocery line if they’re only buying a single box of Wheaties compared to your cartload.
  4. Go online. E-mail someone a few words of support, make a donation to a worthy cause, or answer a question for someone on your listserv.
  5. Say thank you. It makes a difference, and the opportunities are endless: Thank your bus driver, your babysitter, your basketball coach and your barista.
  6. Clean up your corner. Pick up a piece of litter, recycle your bottles and set your neighbour’s garbage bin upright.
Like any New Year’s resolution, doing easy good deeds means developing a habit. That doesn’t mean it’s hard. When you’re on your way to work, running errands or heading out for the school pick-up, remind yourself to pay more attention to the people and activities around you. Has a fellow pedestrian dropped a scarf? Is that billboard ad about a charity worth checking out online? If your eyes are open, you’ll notice more opportunities to do some small good.

Once your routine is established, you’ll also experience a stronger sense of purpose, according to the York University research. And that’s another reason you’ll feel great. As Dr. Wiser points out: "People need to have meaning, to feel appreciated." When you know you’ve made a difference, it’s yet another boost to your mood. Article written by Lisa Bendall.

For more information in joining this collaborative effort, please email Dr. Purvi Gandhi at dr.purvigandhi@yahoo.com


ORANGE COUNTY NEWS

Moss Park's Light Up the Wild!
December 18 - 23, 2014
12901 Moss Park Road

Bring your family and friends to drive through wooded acres of sparkling light displays at Moss Park. Nightly Drive-thru from 6:30 to 9:30pm for $5.00 per vehicle.  Click for event.

Drop by for Wild Santa Saturday, December 20 from 1 to 9pm ~ try a giant airboat ride (nominal fee); take your photo with a baby alligator; explore Santa's Market for stocking stuffers; and enjoy food trucks, hot chocolate, marshmallow roasting, and visit Santa between 7 & 9pm!  Also, join the Santa Run 5K run/walk at 5:30 pm.  Click to register for the run or call 407.254.6840 for more info.

Non-Profit Safety Grant Workshop

Are you part of or know of a non-profit organization and can use funding?  If so, please take note of this upcoming Non-Profit Safety Grant Workshop.  The grant program has available funding for non-profit community service organizations to implement projects that help reduce crime and enhance safety within a targeted community or a targeted population within Orange County.  Applicants must meet minimum county insurance requirements and all other prerequisites. Funding is available for up to $10,000 per organization, through this reimbursement grant program.  For more information about this grant, contact Danny Rivera at 407.836.5449 or danny.rivera@ocfl.net.

Holiday Lights Contest
 Orange County Property Appraiser's Office

It's back! The Holiday Lights Contest! Enter a photo of your home decorated with holiday lights by Friday, December 19 and the Orange County Property Appraiser's Office will feature the winner in their Winter newsletter. To enter, email photos to Events@ocpafl.org.

Block Party Application

Have you or your neighbors considered having a block party in your neighborhood?  Block parties are a way to welcome new neighbors to the neighborhood or a way to celebrated with neighbors on a annual basis.  If so, there is a block party permit that has to be completed prior to having the block party.   Click here to download the block party permit.

For more information, contact  Luis Mercado at 407.836.8378 or at Luis.mercado@ocfl.net


Sustainability Advisory Board  

Orange County Government is looking for citizens to be part of the Sustainability Advisory Board.  To be eligible to serve, applicants must reside in Orange County (unless the requirement is waived for a particular appointee by a vote of 5 members of the board).  Since there are 2 at-large members in addition to the 7 seats that represent a specific area, any resident of Orange County should be eligible.  As with any advisory board, the Membership and Mission Review Board (MMRB) will select the members of the new board. If you are interested please visit the link below.

More detailed information and application process
EAST ORLANDO SAFETY
32828 Statistics: Zone 22B
Retrieved from OCSO Website
Safety@apgazette.com


MONTH TO MONTH TREND:  Neutral

While 30 incidents were reported last Newsletter, 30 incidents were reported this month in our zone, which includes Avalon Park Area and surrounding communities.     Based on the data available, there were 0 Arm to Person Robbery, 16 Auto Burglaries, 0 Home Invasions, 1 Commercial Burglaries, 8 Residential Burglaries, 5 Stolen Vehicles (ALARMING), and 0 Strong Arm to Person Robbery.    We had 5 stolen Vehicles in our neighborhood.  This is very Alarming.  Please be sure to lock and secure your vehicle and remove your valuables.

Avalon Park Residents, Have a safety concern?  Feel free to email our off duty deputy Sal.Saldano@ocfl.net   He is very responsive!   What does off duty mean?  It really does not mean they are completely off duty.   They are hired by funds set aside by our HOA dues, on their off duty hours, to help secure the safety of our Avalon Park community.    We have three deputies, and Sal is the primary coordinator.

To receive future statistics, Subscribe to our newsletter here

Since first step in crime prevention is awareness, everyone can contribute by forwarding these updates to their neighbor.

East Orlando Resident, have an incident, a report, or safety event, please email Safety@apgazette.com to be distributed to our 3,000 plus subscribers.

Message from Orange County Sheriff Office

Well it's holiday season again, and this is the season of giving.  However, when giving lets be sure not to give to those burglars, purse snatchers, and crooks.  By following a few tips, you can be sure your gifts end up in the right hands.
  • When shopping stay alert of your surroundings.
  • Park in a well-lit area, and be sure to lock your car doors and close those windows.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • If you must place your shopping bags in your car, make sure it is well hidden or secured in the trunk when possible.
  • If you are placing shopping bags in your car and you are going to continue shopping at the same location, consider moving your vehicle to a different parking area.  This may give a lurking criminal the impression that you are leaving.
  • If leaving the store after dark, walk with other shoppers to the car.
  • This time of the year means crowded malls, and crowded malls mean it's easy for a child to get separated and lost.  If you are shopping with young children be sure to have a plan in place in case you get separated.
Holiday safety tips are just as important after the holidays; avoid leaving boxes and bags of expensive items (trash) outside before garbage collection days.  A good idea is to actually discard those valuable item boxes, for things such as TV's, laptops, and video game consoles, at the waste department directly.

More crime prevention & safety tips, like these,
can be found on the OCSO website.

Also, during the month of December, many of us are sharing festivities with our family and friends, and this means many of us are sharing an alcoholic beverage as well.  When it comes to holiday safety and happiness, it's important to remember to ALWAYS DRINK RESPONSIBLY.

For more about crime prevention, contact your OCSO Crime Prevention Officer.If you live within city limits, contact your municipal law enforcement agency.
The Case for "UPTOWN AVALON"
Avalon Park Blvd and East Colonial, the new development and area should be referred to as Uptown Avalon
Written by Publishing@apgazette.com



Don't we already have an Uptown Avalon Park?

Tou·ché!  We do have wonderfully built luxury townhomes in Avalon Park situated adjacent to Town Park located, in what most of us call, Down Town Avalon Park, however it is in down town AP, but Up town Down Town.  If that makes any sense.   ( side bar: There are only a few homes left, so if you are interested visit the Remax in Avalon Park).

Making the Case

Here are the facts.  Although many, Avalon Park Residents, distinctly separate their community from other surrounding neighborhoods down Avalon Park Blvd, most of our neighbors have no clue that they do not live in Avalon Park.

"Oh, no Darling, you don't live in Avalon Park, you live in Avalon Lakes..."

Any Realtor can tell you that the majority of residents living down Avalon Park Blvd say they live in Avalon Park.   And most Realtors can also tell you that the majority of buyers who are familiar with the area considers any neighborhood on Avalon Park Blvd as Avalon Park.  Why is that, um maybe, because the main road is called Avalon Park Blvd, the proximity to Avalon Park, and the association and familiarization used as talking points about the community are all factors that play into this perception and belief.

There was a drive a couple years ago to make Avalon Park, it's own city and the surrounding neighborhoods were proposed to be a part of that city, so although many would like to believe Avalon Park ends at the roundabout and the intersection of Alafaya & APB, the reality is that our community extends beyond those parameters.  We have neighbors who live in AP and own local businesses down Avalon Park Blvd, and residents who live in surrounding neighborhoods who directly contribute to our local economy daily, so when we say Avalon Park Community, it has a broader meaning then that of Avalon Park Neighborhood which many of us dutifully pay our quarterly HOA payment to.

I say we should embrace the reality in front of us and capitalize on it while building a broader sense of community.  Staying in our bubble and telling ourselves that "the neighborhood down the street from us is not in our community" will only leave us with very little influence to help encourage more development that can help beautify the area.  A rise in property values down the street equates to a higher rise in Avalon Park.  

So What is being proposed here?

As many of you have seen, the new WAWA, Aldi, Wendy's, Dunkin Dounuts, and several others shops are coming to the area.  It's situated "UP" Avalon Park Blvd about 3.5 miles from "Down Town."   Get where I am going with this?

The shopping plaza is currently being named, Avalon Commons, but I propose that it is renamed Uptown Avalon, not Uptown Avalon Park, but simply Uptown Avalon.   In fact, this entire area, including Grandeville Luxury Aparments, should be considered/ perceived as Uptown Avalon.   When Grandeville first was being developed several years ago, they called themselves Grandeville in Avalon Park, but was challenged and had to change their name to Grandeville on Avalon Park, but now, as our community has matured and the upswing potential of building a stronger brand for our community which can yield more commerce, a rise in property values, and a beautification of the area which will attract more developers.   For the thousands of drivers that pass this intersection daily, the consideration will now be, If there is an Uptown Avalon, where is Down town?  Uptown Avalon seem to be an eventual fit for the area, but who knows!

Of course, there is cons.... there are always cons!

1. More commerce, may lead to more traffic
2. As in the past, news reports associated any crime occurring up Avalon Park blvd as Avalon Park although it was wrong, it will become fact.  Our community understanding will certainly grow which is already the case in some of our groups on Facebook.
3. It will certainly promote community with other surrounding neighborhoods which may be a challenge


In Conclusion...

Should Uptown Avalon become a reality, a vision of more shopping, fine dining, and AP style housing in the area will help promote safer neighborhoods and help bring up an area that has been struggling for years.

What are your thoughts?  Please send them to Publishing@apgazette.com