October 18, 2021
Watch this video of a recent panel discussion “Renaming Confederate Memorials: A Reckoning with History.”

Diedre Houchen, Alachua County Equity & Community Outreach Manager, moderated the discussion.

Carolyn Parker Elementary school was used as a case study. 

Professor Paul Ortiz, UF Dept of History, Professor Rik Stevenson, UF Dept of African American Studies, and Ms. Kim Gregg, a teacher at Carolyn Parker Elementary School served as panelists.
Upcoming Harry Potter Animal Adoption Event
Alachua County Animal Services is hosting a Harry Potter Adoption Event on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Animal Services Shelter (3400 N.E. 53rd Avenue, Gainesville). During the event, all adoption fees are waived.

Animal Services is transforming the shelter into "Hogwarts Castle" and encourages visitors to dress up as their favorite Harry Potter character. The event features Harry Potter inspired snacks, games, and crafts.

"Come meet the animals from 'Gryffin-dog,' 'Raven-paw,' 'Huffle-pup,' and 'Slobb-erin'," said Alachua County Animal Services Director Ed Williams. "We will have a contest to see which House has the most adoptions and wins the House Cup. Come and help your favorite House win.”

Pet adopters must be 18 or older and show identification with proof of current address. If there are already pets in the home, the potential adopter must show proof that owned animals are current on rabies and county licenses. All adoptable cats and dogs are examined, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped before leaving Animal Services.

Landscape Fertilizer Ban in Effect Through February Within Alachua County
​The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) reminds residents that Alachua County’s landscape fertilizer regulations prohibit using landscape fertilizers containing nitrogen from July through February. 

In a recent survey of more than 1,000 residents, 55% said they don’t use fertilizer at all. Those who want to commit to joining the 55% can visit EPD’s table at the Grove Street Farmers Market (1001 N.W. 4th Street, Gainesville) on Monday, October 18, and Monday, October 25, 2021, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors who commit to not using fertilizers will get a free t-shirt (to spread the message). Residents can also go to the Alachua County Fertilizer Code website to sign the Fertilizer Free Yard Pledge. Those who sign the online pledge will receive a bumper sticker showing support for the County’s water supply.

“Fertilizers are a source of pollution to our surface waters, groundwater, and springs, so we want to ensure that citizens are aware of the fertilizer ban,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Water Resources Program Manager Stacie Greco.

Upcoming Community Conversation Forum – A Better Future for Florida
The Alachua County Environmental Protection Advisory Committee (EPAC) is hosting a community conversation related to various issues associated with population growth in Florida over the next 50 years. The discussion is on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, from 6 p.m.to 7 p.m. The event is virtual using Zoom (Meeting ID: 850 3377 8314). Participants can call in by dialing 929-205-6099. 

Sexual Assault Recovery Support Groups Open for Registration
The Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center’s sexual assault recovery support groups are open for registration. These online groups begin later this Fall. There is no cost to participate. Several sexual assault recovery support groups are offered for female survivors of sexual violence, adult survivors of childhood sexual violence, male survivors of sexual violence, and LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence. To participate in any of the groups, call the helpline at 352-264-6760.

Support groups are a safe place to openly share one’s feelings and build relationships with others who have a shared experience. Some of the group’s goals are to reduce isolation and increase one’s understanding of the healing process.

“We invite people who have experienced sexual assault to join others in releasing the pain and shame that often lingers after sexual abuse,” said Program Director Laura Kalt. “Many find the group setting to be a rewarding experience and useful in their long-term recovery.”

Crisis Center Receives Pete Fisher Humanitarian Award
The Alachua County Crisis Center is honored and elated to receive the Pete Fisher Humanitarian Award from the Florida Counseling Association. Named after the former President of the Florida Counseling Association and the Founder of the Peer Counseling Program at the University of Central Florida, this award recognizes a significant contribution to the betterment of humanity and the human condition.

“We are very proud of this richly deserved award. Our community is so fortunate to have a resource like the Crisis Center,” commented Alachua County Commission Chair Ken Cornell. “If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Crisis Line at 352-264-6789.”

The Alachua County Crisis Center offers crisis and suicide intervention services, including 24/7 crisis hotlines and mobile crisis response to all residents of Alachua County. Last year the Crisis Center responded to over 50,000 calls on the Crisis and 311 Critical Information lines. Staff and volunteers work over 52,000 hours annually to operate their programs fully.

First Annual Alachua County Artists Conference
The Alachua County Arts Council is pleased to host the first annual Artists Conference on Friday, January 21, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Jack Durrance Auditorium, on the second floor of the Alachua County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st Street, Gainesville). The conference is for local Alachua County artists. Attendees can join either virtually or in person. This year’s conference is free to all attendees. Those interested in arts funding from the County should participate in this conference.​