League meeting turns into a housewarming

Published: Monday, November 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 31, 2004 at 11:39 p.m.
  • Missing cities: An Alachua County League of Cities meeting Tuesday night turned into a housewarming party for the LaCrosse City Council when half the members of the organization failed to show up.
    The league, which meets four times per year in the city halls of its members, aims to address issues that affect all eight municipalities in Alachua County.
    This fall's meeting fell on a night when a few of those municipalities were meeting to discuss countywide visioning plans.
    State open-meeting laws prohibit government leaders from discussing business without a quorum.
    That means the handful of city commissioners from Waldo, Hawthorne, Newberry and LaCrosse who showed up Tuesday were stuck swapping hurricane stories and eating LaCrosse Commissioner Barbara Thomas' homemade cupcakes in the city's new City Hall.
    "I'm not real sure what happened," said Louie Davis, league president. "I guess people just got tied up and didn't make it."
    LaCrosse Mayor Diane Dubberly said she didn't mind the informal gathering.
    "We had a good time with everyone chitchatting," Dubberly said. "It wasn't what we expected, but I don't think it was a total waste, either. And Barbara's cupcakes were delicious."
  • Trash art: If you can't see merit in trash, don't worry. Others do - as fodder for art.
    Alachua County is holdings its seventh annual Trashformations: The Art of Recycling competition. High school and college students are invited to create art works that are made of at least 70 percent reused or recycled materials.
    The deadline is Nov. 12. High schoolers and college students will compete in separate categories and cash prizes will be given.
    The winning entries will be on display at the Florida Museum of Natural History through Dec. 3. Call 374-5213 for more information.
  • Election excitement: With Alachua County's early voting wrapping up today, voters and elections officials said the program has attracted a surprisingly large turnout.
    More than 1,500 people cast their ballots Friday, forming an hour-long line, Supervisor of Elections Beverly Hill said. Though the wait was perhaps longer than many expected, the voters seemed to be in good spirits, Hill said.
    Three University of Florida students, Saberin Jamshed, Anna Berlanga and Tasha Shangeri, said their desire to vote in person came from seeing some of 2000's electoral chaos from their homes in Palm Beach County.
    "There was something creepy" about the computerized voting machines now used in Palm Beach County, which do not leave a paper trail, Berlanga said.
  • Quote of the week: "I'm really pleased to be here. I wish I had ridden my bike - I would have gotten here sooner," a tardy Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan at the dedication last week of a bicycle trail.
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