With the doom and gloom of upcoming hurricane season predictions, concern for public safety recently married with technology in Orange County. That marriage is giving birth to a new system to alert the public of dangers ranging from severe weather to Amber Alerts. The new system, OCAlert, uses text messaging technology to deliver alerts to any citizen wishing to subscribe to the service.
On May 19th, around 7pm, residents in the East Lake Reserve area of Narcoosee Road got a firsthand look at an army of police officers in action. Osceola County and Orange County officers arrived with some twenty-five or more units in total. Every side road for two miles was blocked off by a patrol car. Police search boats were on the scene. Police officers in body armor jackets with rifles were present. Aviation units from Orange County were in the air. Even K-9 units from both counties were on the scene.
Since the last issue of the Orlando Tribune, the top controversial story in Orange County continues to be the Wekiva River study. Various departmental officials and commissioners continue to clash on exactly what is going to be achieved with the ongoing studies regarding nitrates in the Wekiva River.
In 2004, Governor Jeb Bush signed The Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Wekiva Parkway and protection of the Wekiva River system. The Wekiva River — downstream from the Little Wekiva River – has also been the focus of federal protection efforts. U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum introduced legislation in 1999 seeking to include the 42-mile-long Wekiva River in the National Wild and Scenic River system.
Recently, local law enforcement officials and county commissioners came together at the South Orlando YMCA for a Community Crime Forum. Led by Commissioner Linda Stewart of District 4, the purpose of the forum was to discuss concerns over neighborhood crime and safety. An open meeting, attended by a number of citizens, the forum dived in to some of the core problems facing Orange county communities, with potential solutions discussed.
The University of Central Florida, along with the rest of the public universities in the state, are looking to legislators for $3.5 million in fast cash to be injected into efforts to beef up security on campuses statewide. In the wake of the recent Virginia Tech massacre, new approaches are being considered to secure the campus and its community from similar events.
As the heat of summer approaches, the need to conserve water rises. In anticipation of the potential for stretched water supplies, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners will consider an upcoming proclamation that declares the month of April as Florida’s Water Conservation Month.
Earth Day is just around the corner. For those of you who do not know the story behind Earth Day, the national day of observance was the brainchild of United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who called for the first Earth Day to be held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people participated in that first event, and it is now observed each year by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries. Since its inauguration, Earth Day has become the largest secular holiday in the world.