Reaching close to 2,000 plus subscribers in the Avalon Park area and surrounding communities

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Volume III Issue VII

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

                   

IN THIS ISSUE

A+, Back 2 School Rally, Timber Creek, Kindred Documentary,   The Case for Uptown Avalon, East Orlando Safety,  Orange County, Block Party, Adopt a Tree, Jennifer Wins!, EO Real Estate, 40 Things I phone has Replaced, and AP Gazette Opportunities
Outsanding Schools in Avalon Park and Surrounding Neighborhoods
Congratulations to local Schools for all their Hard Work in 2012-2014 school year!

•     Avalon Elementary School
•     Avalon Middle School
•     Camelot Elementary School
•     Discovery Middle School
•     Stone Lakes Elementary School (Top 20 School- all of Florida)
•     Sunrise Elementary School
•     Timber Lakes Elementary School
•     Waterford Elementary School
Timber Creek News
Newsletter

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
  • Mon.-Fri. August 11-15 Pre-planning for teachers (Aug. 13 is a staff development day.) 
  • Mon. August 18 First day of school for students 
  • Mon. September 1 Labor Day holiday (Schools and district offices are closed.)
  • Wed. October 22 End of 1st marking period (47 days) 
  • Thu. October 23 Student holiday/teacher workday 
  • Fri. October 24 Student holiday/teacher professional day 
  • Mon. October 27 Begin 2nd marking period 
  • Mon.-Fri. Nov. 24-28 Thanksgiving Break · Students are out all week · District offices are open Nov. 24-26 · Nov. 24-26: Teacher non-workdays
  • · Nov. 27-28: Teacher holidays
  • 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 
Kindred Documentary
One Local Resident's Mission

The Travesty of the Legal Abuse, Drugging, and Disappearance of American Children


Contribution by Amy Meador, Avalon Park Resident

Hoover Drive Entertainment will shortly begin production on KINDRED, a documentary with a unique take on a largely unaddressed issue. Two outspoken women with traumatically intertwined childhoods use one and her new teenage son’s story to shed light on the plight of the children trapped in or mysteriously disappearing from the foster care system.

There are currently over 100,000 kids in the foster care system. The conditions in those living arrangements must be seen to be believed. A deplorable fact we uncovered is that many children listed on the roster are actually unaccounted for. We cannot be certain if they are dead or alive. Michael, the boy we're profiling, is one of these at risk youths, only recently safe, representing thousands more still in the direst need of help.

Michael is an amazing kid who languished in group homes, foster care, and ran away, living briefly on the streets at the age of 11, viewing this as safer than “home”. By giving him a platform to speak his truth, it will help others to understand how immediate and desperate and surprisingly repairable, if confronted, the situation is. The foster care system can be tackled and resolved in our children’s lifetime. There are almost no other issues facing us today that can be said about.

Heavy pharmaceuticals were used to silence the symptoms of his traumas. At one point, there were ten different medications in his system. By purposely doing this, the state tried to make him comply or involuntarily kill him trying. His new therapist has him off all medications as they are not needed. None of this nor the extent of the abuse were disclosed before the very last phases of the adoption.

Mike’s final caseworker, whom we will be interviewing, began his career with Mike’s case and ended his career with Mike’s adoption. He has chosen to become an adoption recruiter instead. This individual truly wanted to help Mike get placed in his awaiting new home, but was blocked by a broken system that cannot get out of its own way.

Hoover Drive plans to record in-depth interviews for five days in October. Due to the real time nature of documentary production and our resources coming from donations, we can only shoot what we are backed to.

Hoover Drive has completed a budget that brings production costs to $9,000. Travel and lodging accounts for 40%, 30% for equipment, 10% for group funding and rewards fees, 20% for post-production (to date). We would love to expand our schedule if backing permits. Of course, the quantity of our footage and production quality all depend upon YOU!

What is at stake?

Group funding is an amazing opportunity for people to get directly involved with this project and cause. By helping to fund this, YOU will be making a difference in the life of a child. Without KINDRED spotlighting the need NOW, more people will needlessly suffer. Fear is the monster that these children live with everyday...that we can help destroy. We think that is pretty special.

Hoover Drive Entertainment intends to make KINDRED a documentary that educates, initiates conversation, raises awareness and can become a symbol of hope for those not yet able to stand up for themselves that help is on the way! We can BE the change! PLEASE help make this a reality!

Please check out and like our Kindred Facebook page and our @KINDREDmovie Twitter account.
40 Things the iPhone Has Replaced 
Written by Linda Bilyeu

Owning an iPhone is like having a genius on hand, at all times. This small, yet powerful bit of technology packs a punch. Even though there is no app that could actually punch some one, even though owners might want one.

Having a iPhone is like having a personal assistant, who works free of charge. Even though you do have to pay monthly fees, which in comparison to a personal assistant is still a lot cheaper.

The iPhone has replaced countless things that at one time or another we all used. We no longer need to have so many items that required storage and took up space. Now all we have to do is click on our trusty friend and touch an app.

Mind you, an iPhone is fragile. If you are not careful, the phone could crack or break. Be gentle with yours and it will treat you right. Be sure you have a protective case and give it plenty of Apple Juice, so it never runs out of energy.

On the list you might be sad about some things that were replaced by the iPhone. You might not be ready to part with certain things since they have become a way of life for you. You might be lost without them. Change isn't always easy, but like every thing else in life - we get use to it and learn to adapt.

Chances are you might not have an iPhone, but your smart-phone also replaced many similar things...

Out with the old, in with the new...
  • The land-line phone. Seriously, who still owns a land-line? It's just an additional monthly expense. You could use that wasted money towards your smart-phone wireless bill.
  • The payphone. With each generation of children being born the payphone is becoming more obsolete. There are people who will never know what it's like to stand inside a phone booth and chat on a phone. That has a cord.
  • A calculator. No need to ever have to seek and try to find your calculator. It even has a scientific calculator, but no cheating allowed for the students.
  • DVD's and DVD players. You could now watch movies via an iPhone. You won't get the big screen cinema, but it'll be a lot cheaper than paying movie theater prices.
  • Flashlight and those expensive batteries. You lose power and with your trusty sidekick nearby you will have a flashlight. No need to have extra batteries on hand.
  • A camera and video camera. The iPhone has a camera which even includes a panoramic option. With the additional apps you could edit your own photos. You could even send your photos to CVS or Walgreens to print, directly from your iPhone. For real! I kid you not. No need to lug around a video camera, just pull your phone out of your pocket and the video is ready to get 'er done.
  • CD's and Boom-boxes. We now live in the world of iTunes and digital music. No more CD's to run out and buy on their release date...just download them. We no longer need boom-boxes since iPhones could be attached to a port and you could blast your personal tunes when ever you want.
  • Rolodex and address books. With the Contact list installed and automatically alphabetized you no longer have to keep your Rolodex updated.
  • A calendar. The iPhone has a calender and date reminder. Just enter the occasions and events you need to be reminded of and you will be alerted. No longer will you need an excuse because you forgot a birthday, anniversary or sales meeting.
  • Alarm clocks and timers. Set your alarm clock to the music of your choice. No more beep, beep, beep - when instead you could wake up to Keith Urban singing to you. No more throwing your alarm clock across the room, because, well...that would be an expensive repair.
  • Books, magazines and newspapers. Many of us still prefer to read an actual book, magazine and newspaper...at one time, I was one of the many - I've now flipped sides and enjoy not having the clutter of reading material in my space. I prefer online reading. I won't officially flip on books until I finish reading the stacks of books that surround me in my space.
  • Phone calls. With texting being faster and more convenient, who needs to make a phone call. That's actually sad. I use to be a phone person. For hours on end. I now place phone calls only when I NEED to. The ironic thing is the iPhone is built around a "phone" that's rarely used.
  • A compass. For some one who has NO sense of direction a compass will become very handy - once I learn how to use one.
  • A GPS and fold out maps. Again, same as above. Once I learn how to use a GPS. I can read a fold out map. Yay, me!
  • Watches and wall clocks. No longer do you have to replace batteries or change the time due to daylight savings time - the time is always available on your iPhone.
  • Greeting cards. You could simply send greeting cards that you create via an app. No more stamps to buy or cards to purchase.
  • Baby's crib mobile. There are apps that play soothing music for your tiny tot to fall asleep to.
  • Photo Albums. You could store thousands of photos in your iPhone with iCloud and then transfer them to your computer.
  • Business Cards. Instead of buying business cards in bulk, purchase less and instead of handing out cards, you could text a photo of it with a little help from your iPhone camera.
  • Trips to the bank - mobile deposit. No need to have to run to the bank to deposit a check any more. Just get 'er done with the banking app.
  • Coupons. Instead of clipping coupons for certain specials, bar codes are now scanned instead. So much easier. Saves time. Less hassle. IBotta is an app to try.
  • Social Interaction. With all the various social media sites, socializing in person is becoming more scarce. I also find this sad, but we continue to make an effort to hook up with our friends and family as often as possible.
  • Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are not needed anymore due to the many apps and Google's assistance. Those bulky books did serve a purpose for many years.
  • Asking some one to take your photo...Selfies are the way to go now.
  • Phone Books. Just search for the number you need and the iPhone will even dial it for you. You'll feel so pampered.
  • Pagers/Beepers. It's all about texting now.
  • Board games, Video games. Download an app and the game is ready to play when you are. You could even play along with family and friends. Sadly, this practice takes away from social interaction.
  • Weather Channel. No longer do you have to wait and wait for the weather channel or local news to announce the weather in your neck of the woods...just search the weather app.
  • Post-its. Now, you could just use the memo app and write reminders. Or even send yourself an email, which is what I do. For the record, I still use post-its. My desk is a rainbow of colors.
  • Having to print a boarding pass while traveling.
  • Bulky headphones. With the modern compact style of earbuds, those large headphones that compressed on our heads are no longer needed.
  • Pedometer. Measure your steps with the pedometer app. Challenge yourself to walk so many steps each day. Go on now, get to stepping.
  • Pens. Your finger is now your pen. You no longer will be accusing others of stealing your pen.
  • Order Pizza. On those evenings that you don't feel like cooking just have your iPhone call and order for you. OK, the phone isn't that smart YET, you will have to help it out a bit. The point is you can order pizza while stuck in rush hour traffic.
  • Schedule Appointments via Zoc Doc. Sounds like a good idea to me!
  • Check the stock market.
  • Watching the news. Most major news stations have livestreaming news. You could watch while laying by the pool.
  • Computers. The iPhone is a mini computer that you could carry around in your back pocket. I rarely need to turn on my laptop any more, unless I really need to.
  • Video Chat with Facetime. When you are missing a family member or a friend, you could just have a Facetime chat. Granted, they must also have an iPhone. When they begin to annoy you, just hang up and blame it on a weak internet connection. Not that I have ever done that!
  • Purchase movie tickets. Avoid long lines at the theater and buy your tickets in advance. How is that for convenience?
  • This concludes my list of things an iPhone has replaced. I'm sure I missed a few. If so, please let us know in the comment section.
    Reminder: Be as smart as your smartphone and never use it to "Text and Drive."
EAST ORLANDO REAL ESTATE
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 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 

2014 East Orlando 1st Annual Back 2 School Rally in Avalon Park a Huge Success!!!!
Neighbors, Community, and Schools uniting to prepare students for success

With Stone Lakes Elementary and Castle Creek Elementary attending this year's rally along with several of East Orlando Pre Schools like Primrose and tutoring specialist like Mathnasium and MBS training club located in Avalon Park, the event was a huge success.  Over 500 pieces of school supplies were distributed by attendees using Back 2 School bucks earned during visits to vendors.   The students/ parents earned the bucks by performing activities at the booths.  They earned between 1 and 5 dollars.  With over 250 in attendance, many participants were able to get everything on their school supply list except for sanitizers and hand wipes at the "School Store."

  


A Special Thank You to all the great contributions and work that helped make this event a success.   Thank you to all the wonderful vendors, especially the Hosts, South East Home Inspection, MBS Training Club, Suntrust Mortgage, and event creator, coordinator, and primary host, The Solon Group of Keller Williams.  Thank you to all the volunteers, especially, the BETA club from Timber Creek High School.  The kids did a great job on buying back the School Supplies from vendors, registration, and running the School store, Laura Neumeister, Avalon Park Neighborhood Watch original Co-Founder, for all the hard work with the registration concept, Stephanie Hodson from APG, Leland Management for the tents, DJ Lucas, and Amy Meador for performing all the essential tasks from concept to event.  




2014 Spelling Bee Winner (beating 24 contestants)

 Olivia from Stone Lakes Elementary



If you are interested in participating next year as a volunteer or vendor, please feel free to email info@thesolongroup.com


ORANGE COUNTY NEWS


Community Connections Workshop
Leadership Skills
Saturday, September 13th ~ 9:00am to 11:00am
450 E. South Street, Downtown Orlando, 32801

This workshop will include learning more about your own leadership style and become skilled at recognizing and working with others. Bringing other board members with you is encouraged. Board members will be able to explore leadership styles and discover ways to enhance working with each other.

Monthly Adopt-A-Tree
Saturday, September 13th ~ 8am to 12pm          
Magnolia Park, 2929 Binion Road, Apopka, 32703

This is a FREE program for all Orange County citizens designed to encourage residents to add trees to our environment.  Adding trees to the landscape has many long-term benefits.  Along with the obvious advantages of shade and beauty, trees provide oxygen, filter pollution, and create habitats for wildlife.  In addition, trees replenish our lost tree canopy that has diminished due to storm damage, age, and development.  Each county resident must provide proof of residency and will receive up to two trees while supplies last.

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  Sharon Cutler at 407.836.8378 or atSharon.Cutler@ocfl.net.

Yeast Bread Baking:  Fun & Easy At Home
Saturday, September 27th ~ 9:30am to 12:00pm
UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, 32812

This hands-on class will be limited to 16 people so that everyone will get a chance to practice skills such as: liquid and dry measuring; hand mixing; electric mixing; kneading; watching a large dough hook; knowing what rising-till-double means; and how to tell when your yeast bread is fully baked.  Space is limited so register soon.

Click here to register.

Movers for Moms

Two Men and a Truck® believes every mom should be celebrated on Mother's Day.  That's why Two Men and a Truck Orlando - West have initiated Movers for Moms® and is teaming up with local organizations to collect essential items to be delivered to women living at Harbor House this Mother's Day.  If you would like to donate items or to find out how you or your organization can join in this effort, contact Alaynah Allen at 407.254.5000 or Alaynah.Allen@twomen.com.

Understanding Your Property Assessment Town Hall Meetings
 

Join Property Appraiser Rick Singh for a discussion on your property value and assessment. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet on-on-one with staffers on specific property issues and concerns including TRIM notices. Learn about the valuation process, property tax exemptions and what you can do if you feel your assessment is incorrect.

Click here for information for the East Orange County meeting
Click here for information for the West Orange County meeting
EAST ORLANDO SAFETY
32828 Statistics: Zone 22B
Retrieved from OCSO Website
Safety@apgazette.com


MONTH TO MONTH TREND:  Downward

While 42 incidents were reported last Newsletter, 26 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, 15 Auto Burglaries, 1 Home Invation, 0 Commercial Burglaries, 7 Residential Burglaries, 1 Stolen Vehicles, and 0 Strong Arm to Person Robbery.

Every month Auto Burglaries seem to trend as the most common incident reported in our area.   In this Issue, we included a separate article specifically discussing safety tips for securing one's vehicle.  We definitely have an opportunity to bring down these numbers drastically through education and awareness every month.  

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 2,000 plus subscribers.
Local AP Resident, Jennifer Thompson, Wins 2nd Term
by Matthew Peddie (WMFE)  

Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson has been re-elected to her seat in District 4.

A crowd of supporters, many wearing green t-shirts cheered Commissioner Thompson, as she celebrated her win over challengers Maribel Cordero and Euri Cerrud.

Thompson thanked her campaign staff for their work over the last two weeks- then outlined her priorities for the next four years.

“Same priorities as before- just making myself accessible to my constituents and open to things as they come up so we can make them happen,” said Thompson.

“I’ve got some roadway projects that I want to get complete and I’ve got some parks that I’m really working on to get complete in the next couple of years.”

Part of Thompson’s campaign focused on the proposed Osceola Parkway extension, which she says could threaten the quality of life of District 4 residents.

She will have some new commissioners to work with too: District 6 candidates Victoria Siplin and Derrick Wallace are heading to a runoff election, as are Bryan Nelson and Alvin Moore in District 2.
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
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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Volume III Issue VI



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

                   

IN THIS ISSUE

Avalon Park Foundation,  Back to School Rally, Birth Mothers who Adopt, East Orlando Safety,  Orange County, Neighborhood Conference, Basics of Vegetable Gardening, East Orlando Expansion, Real Estate 32828, Summer Flag Football Camp, and AP Gazette Opportunities
Avalon Park Foundation
Newsletter

Submitted by Brenda Kolbrich

The Avalon Park Foundation awards a grant at the annual Foundation Gala in November. The grant awarded is up to $5,000 to a local organization. This is one way the Foundation gives back to our local East Orlando community. To apply for the 2014 grant the application can be found at
www.avalonparkfoundation.org.

The deadline for applications is October 1, 2014. 

by Carly Sullens, an Avalon Park Resident

Birth Mothers Who Do Not Want To Be Found

Birth mothers, also known as first mothers, biological mothers, bio moms and natural mothers, are women who became pregnant, gave birth and then gave their baby up for adoption. Some birth mothers gave their baby up for adoption during a time period when adoptions were closed. She was lead to believe she will never see her biological child again once the adoption was finalized.

For some birth mothers, after the adoption happened, they needed to close the door and move on from the painful adoption experience. There are many reasons why a birth mother may not want to be found or have a reunion with their now adult, biological child.

A birth mother may not want to be contacted by their adult biological child for the following reasons:
  • She was promised by the adoption agency her biological child or the adoptive family will never make contact with her.
  • She may have feelings of shame and remorse from the pregnancy and subsequent adoption that is too painful to feel and face.
  • She does not want anyone to know about her secret, of giving birth and giving a baby up for adoption.
  • She has since remarried and had additional children and has not told her husband or current child about her past history of giving a child up for adoption.
  • She may fear what her biological child will say, do or want.
  • Her pregnancy, birth, and adoption experience were traumatic and she may fear the emotions a reunion might resurface.
  • She may have been told by the adoption agency, adoptive parents, or her own family that it is in the best interest of her child to never have contact with her, even when this child becomes an adult.
  • She may have been raped and gave the baby up for adoption instead of an abortion. She may fear seeing the child, now an adult, would resurface the traumatic memory of the rape.
  • She may not want to face the adoptive parents who raised her child.
  • She may fear the adoptive child will ask who his or her biological father is. She may not even know who the father was if the child was conceived when she had multiple sexual partners, or conceived during a one night sexual encounter without ever having contact with him again.
  • She may fear the reunion will bring remorse and painful memories of a broken heart when the biological child's father left her or broke up with her because of her pregnancy.
  • The biological father may have been threatening, abusive, an alcoholic, or treated her poorly. She may be frightened a reunion with her biological child may also reconnect her to a man she fears and wants to stay away from.
  • She may be unsure how to relate to her biological child who is now an adult.
Prepare for a Reunion Even if You Do Not Anticipate One

It is best for birth mothers to be prepared for the possibilities of their biological child finding them. A Birth mother who prepares for a reunion, regardless if it happens or not, will give herself the ability to work through some of her past issues.

The possibility of an adoptee finding their birth mother increases as sealed adoption records are opened and modern technology makes it easier to track down someone when you have their identifying information.

The choice for an adoptee to find their birth mother is an individual one and the reasons behind it are unique as well. The adoptee may want to find their birth mother because he or she is seeking medical history, or wants information on their biological lineage. Or an adoptee may be seeking their birth mother because he or she may hope to grow a relationship with her.

Here are some steps to help birth mothers prepare for the possibility of their biological child making contact:
  • Be aware, if your biological child is now over the age of 18, he or she may try to seek and make contact with you at any time.
  • Be prepared for him or her to write you a letter, call, email you or come knocking on your door.
  • You may want to write a note today listing all the medical information and peculiar traits he or she has inherited so you can offer at least this information when your biological child connects with you.
  • Be forthcoming and truthful when he or she does contact you.
  • Do not ignore him or her and hope he or she goes away.
  • If you are positive you do not want a relationship with your biological child after he or she contacts you then be upfront, truthful and sensitive about your feelings. You will probably devastate him or her. A sharp clean cut is painful but easier to heal than a long jagged and deep cut.
  • Perhaps you can be forthcoming in giving him information about his or her medical history, or who the biological father is, and even help him or her connect to full or half siblings, even if you do not want a relationship with your biological child .
  • If you are unsure how to proceed after he or she contacts you, be truthful about that.
  • Be prepared for him or her to contact you and once hearing his or her voice or seeing his or her picture you might have a drastic change of heart and a need to see your child.
  • Perhaps ask yourself why you are keeping this secret from your husband all these years, and if it is time to have a full disclosure. The truth does set you free. That way, if your son or daughter does contact you, you have already dealt with this part of the experience.
  • If you tell your children, the ones that you raised, you once gave a child up for adoption, know they might be so excited to know their half or full brother or sister they might want to seek and find him or her.
  • Go to therapy. If the past is too much, perhaps it is time to unload the hurt and gain a different perspective of yourself and the situation you were in. Therapy can provide an opportunity to let go of the grief and pain.
  • Some states, such as in Ohio, sealed adoption records are now in the process of being opened. Ohio allows for a birth mother to leave a note with the child's original birth certificate. If the adult adoptee seeks their original birth record, they can be notified if their birth mother would like contact or not and how they would like to be contacted. Know the laws in the state where you gave your baby up for adoption. Times are changing and sealed records are now being mandated by the courts to be available to adult adoptees.
Reunions are Emotional

Times are changing and the rights have shifted away from protecting and sealing the hidden away. The 'hidden away' is a person. Let go of the promise you were told as a young adult that he or she will never find you. This promise offered, formulated from the adoption agency, your parents and whomever was done in a way to be 'supposedly helpful.' When this legal binding promise was made the interest of your son's or daughter's need to know their kin was overlooked. So was the fact he or she would not have his or her necessary medical and heritage information.

Remember your son or daughter is a living breathing part of who you are. Can you make room if he or she does find you? Can you integrate that part back into your life? And if the answer is still, no, then let him or her know you are not at a place in your life to embrace your son or daughter again, and it is not about him or her but your inability to open a door that was once shut.

Mother and Son Adoption Reunion

Adoption Reunion

Reunions are complicated and a life changing event. They are not simple and highly complex. So is adoption. Some birth mothers may fear their adoptive child is seeking them out for revenge because of the initial abandonment. This fear is quite the opposite of what most adoptees feel when they are seeking to find their mom. They usually want an opportunity to meet the woman who is in fact their biological mother, and often this desire to meet their mother comes from a place of love and curiosity.

Bill writes about this in a letter to his birth mother. Adoption: A Letter To My Birth Mother Who I Never Knew.

He states in this heartfelt letter:

"It is not for me to judge you; you did what you thought was right at the time and I can never know why you made that decision because I wasn’t there and I am not you. There is no blame in this letter."

This sentiment is often shared by many adoptees.

He continues with his letter:

I guess I wanted you to know that I love you and I wanted to thank you.

Each birth mother has a decision when her biological child seeks and finds her. She can either provide the opportunity for a reunion or disown the reunion. Before she makes a decision to deny her biological child of a reunion, it is recommended she firsts reconcile her own past and makes peace with who she is now and who she was then. Reconciling the past and making amends can be life altering and freeing. It might just help her understand why she fears a reunion and what the walls around her represent. It also might help her break down the walls and initiate the process of reuniting and hold her baby in her arms, sometimes for the very first time.

http://hubpages.com/hub/What-To-Do-If-You-Are-A-Birth-Mother-And-Do-Not-Want-To-Be-Found

REAL ESTATE 32828
written by  Eddy Solon, 32828 Realtor, AP Resident
Remax Avalon Park
http:///www.Realestate32828.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.

If considering selling, you must determine an estimate
of what your home is worth or what you will need to
begin the process.


Free Lawn care and Carpet Cleaning Offer- Expires
July 31st


The Solon Group Real Estate posted an offer.
List your home with us and get *Free Carpet Cleaning
and Lawn Care! Like our page!


Recent under contract/ Purchased/ Sold
12306 Gingham Ct, Orlando, FL, 32828 
(3 days)


10045 Mooreshire Cir, Orlando, FL, 32829
(6 days)



4204 Austen Falls Lane, Orlando, Fl 32828
(Sold in 20 days)

Photo: Sold!!!!!! Pending within a day, sold within 2 weeks! Beautiful Avalon Park Town Home.   Our wonderful Seller took our advice and were able to sell their house quickly and for top dollar.   If we can't sell it, we don't want it!  It's that simple.  We are not afraid to educate on market realities while working aggressively on your behalf.  Don't waste your time.   Call 321-800-8213 or email Realestate32828@gmail.com to sell or rent your home.



Avalon Park 3rd Annual Summer Flag Football Camp 2014
mbstrainingclub@gmail.com

June 9th-13th
9:00 am -12:00 pm

Location:

Avalon Middle School Football Field

Register online at:

www.mbstrainingclub.org

Cost: $75

Thank you to our most recent Sponsor (Below) who have made a committment:




If you would like to become a Sponsor of MBS, please email sponsorships@tsb4sb.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
 
Back to School Rally in Town Park
Getting inspired to kickoff a Great School Year


Bounce Houses. Music. Giveways. Tutoring. After School Programs

We are still in needs of sponsors, partners, and volunteer for this event.  Please email avalongazette@gmail.com if you would like to participate.

 

ORANGE COUNTY NEWS


Save the date! Save the date! Save the date! 
2014 Florida Neighborhoods Conference
July 10 to July 12, 2014
Loews Royal Pacific Hotel
6900 Hollywood Way Blvd

In lieu of holding the Community Conference, NPRD and the City of Orlando will be hosting the 2014 Florida Neighborhoods Conference.

Click here for more information.

Monthly Adopt-A-Tree
Saturday, July 12th ~ 8am to 12pm
Orange County Extension Education Center, 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, 32812
                                   
This is a FREE program for all Orange County citizens designed to encourage residents to add trees to our environment.  Adding trees to the landscape has many long-term benefits.  Along with the obvious advantages of shade and beauty, trees provide oxygen, filter pollution, and create habitats for wildlife.  In addition, trees replenish our lost tree canopy that has diminished due to storm damage, age, and development.  Each county resident must provide proof of residency and will receive up to two trees while supplies last.

Basics of Vegetable Gardening in Central Florida
 
New to Florida and like to grow your own vegetables, this class is for you. Learn the basics of Florida vegetable gardening including soil preparation, adjusting soil pH, fertilizing, irrigation, pests and diseases. Gardens may be grown year-round in Florida, vegetable gardening season starts in September in Central Florida.

Saturday, July 12th ~ 9:00am to 10:30am
Wednesday, July 16th ~ 10:00am to 11:30am
Orange County Extension Education Center, 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, 32812

Thursday,July 17th ~ 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Jessie Brock Community Center, 310 N. Dillard Street, Winter Garden, 34787

 FREE.  Register online athttp://OCMGS.eventbrite.com.

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  Sharon Cutler at 407.836.8378 or atSharon.Cutler@ocfl.net.

2014 Florida Neighborhoods Conference
July 10 through July 12

This year the Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Division is hosting the 2014 Florida Neighborhoods Conference (FNC) in lieu of hosting the yearly Orange County Community Conference.  Please share with your neighbors that we will be hosting the 2014 FNC and we encourage you to register and attend the 2-day event.

The Florida Neighborhoods Conference (FNC) is just weeks away!  This year marks the 18th year of FNC and Orange County is proud to host this statewide event. The Conference will be held July 10th through July 12th, at Loews Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal Orlando.  Participants will benefit from over 25 workshops that illustrate local government programs, answer homeowners associations concerns, and provide assistance with projects and initiatives designed to enhance and revitalize neighborhoods.  The FNC is a 2-day conference where citizens, community leaders, grassroots leaders, and non-profit organizations can learn about improvements that can be made in their communities.  Platinum Conference Sponsors this year include Bright House Networks, TECO Peoples Gas, and Truly Nolen.

Visit Ocfl.net for more info.

EAST ORLANDO SAFETY
32828 Statistics: Zone 22B
Retrieved from OCSO Website
Safety@apgazette.com


MONTH TO MONTH TREND:  

While 59 incidents were reported last Newsletter, 36 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, 5 Auto Burglaries, 36 Commercial Burglaries, 15 Residential Burglaries, 6 Stolen Vehicles, and 1 Strong Arm to Person Robbery.

This month and every month after, we will report a summary of crimes reported in our specific area and adjacent neighborhoods.  The first step in crime prevention is awareness.

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 2,000 plus subscribers.
 

Abrakoodle Artistic Flare

Some Photos taken from the Kid Art Installation

Photo Credit: Amy Meador

Exclusive: Work on $53.3M east Orlando interchange may start next year
by Anjali Fluker, Senior Staff Writer, Orlando Business Journal


The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority is set to approve an agreement that is the first step in getting things going on the long-awaited Innovation Way/State Road 528 interchange in east Orlando.

The $53.3 million project — which has been called a critical link in the Innovation Way corridor, set to attract high-wage jobs to the area — will involve the construction of a full interchange with a loop ramp in the northeast quadrant and a flyover above SR 528, documents showed. It also would include the removal of an existing interchange at ICP Boulevard and the extension of Amsterdam Avenue to ICP Boulevard, documents said.
The cost of the project is being split by the authority, Orange County and Salt Lake City-based Suburban Land Reserve, the developer of the nearby International Corporate Park that wants to develop a 6,000-plus home community near the interchange.

The project would require additional approvals before construction could begin. However, documents said construction is set to begin 10 months after an agreement is finalized and then would be completed 18 months after breaking ground.

The agreement also said that design of the project is contingent on Coral Gables-based All Aboard Florida’s intercity passenger rail corridor connecting Orlando International Airport to downtown Miami. All Aboard Florida, which plans to build a $1.5 billion privately funded system, is building a new passenger rail corridor from an existing freight rail line in Cocoa into Orlando along SR 528.

Meanwhile, the meeting could be one of the last hosted by the authority, as Gov. Rick Scott is slated to sign a bill that would consolidate it into a regional expressway authority.
 

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