Summertime is finally here. While – absent our normal breakneck programming schedule and without new blog content – it might look a little like we’re taking a siesta* at the Village Square we’re really busy planning for our 2013-14 season. We’re taking stock of past programming and imagining new ideas (tickler: some have to do with incoming asteroids…) Since our last-of-the-season Fast Forward Tallahassee program on May 6, our thinking about future possibilities has already taken us to California and Washington, DC. (Please do contact us if you want to weigh-in as we’re doing all this thinking, we like to hear from you.)
Oh and on the “wishin’ and hopin’” front, it’s OK with us if while we’re summering at the Square, Washington DC goes right ahead and fixes itself, starts to function the way our founders imagined they might, addresses one or two of our BIG FAT problems. But just in case that doesn’t pan out, we’re putting our money on neighbors just like you (in hometowns just like this one) to show Washington what America’s made of. In a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people” maybe that’s exactly as it should be?
I do not tend to see the world the same way as Florida Senator Marco Rubio does. But we had the pleasure of having his recently departed General Counsel Len Collins at our last Dinner at the Square program on immigration. Collins was bright, articulate, exceptionally well-informed and incredibly pleasant. I’d double dog dare anyone to even try to dislike him.
And – given the substantive impediments to any kind of immigration reform and our desperate need to do something, I’ve left our discussion about immigration with the general sense that Senator Rubio is brave to step out and lead on it. Sure, he’s a politician so he’s trying to get a win out of it in the hispanic community, but I like anyone occupying a middle ground these days (for whatever reason) and there is considerable downside risk to him in what he did, since he needs to keep winning primaries to stay senator or be president. If you doubt that, check out the National Review cover skewering him for his support of reform.
So given my recent more personal experience with the Senator’s views (and staff), when I saw the spate of headlines drawing attention to his apparent faux pas demanding a nonexistent IRS commissioner to resign (the former commissioner’s term expired in November – and he was appointed by the Bush administration), I dug a little deeper.
Turns out there is currently an acting director, who served as deputy director in the chain of command where the problem took place. Rubio’s staff says that’s who he was referring to. Now, I don’t know if this was an error on the part of the senator, his staff (more likely) or simply a poorly written statement. But making a headline of it – as so many articles did – just seems small. Are we really going to spend our civic energy being petty?
This is a perfect example of why our tribalism is growing deeper and more impenetrable by the day.
If you like Rubio, you’re likely to give him a break. If you don’t like him, you’re liable to revel in his error. And we had media that did both. (Then there’s this accumulation of ewwww. Some pieces yammered on snottily about a typo.)
Meanwhile over at Fox News, they’re spinning yarns about just how high the order to audit Tea Party organizations originated (and I’m betting you can guess how high they think). Again, they have no intention of giving a President Obama the break they’d have given a President Bush for the identical situation.
Someone’s going to have to grow up. Until that happens, please do read – and listen – with caution.
If you didn’t catch Monday’s Fast Forward program you’re in luck! Here’s the Tallahassee Democrat’s livestream of the program! Program starts at about 10 minutes in, actual presentations start 20 minutes in.
One of the best perks of my job is that people are always sending me wonderful things. I get the best articles delivered to my inbox almost daily, by a wonderful group of citizens. I’m always flattered that they thought of the Village Square when they think of citizenship.
The perks of our Fast Forward Tallahassee program (next Monday 5.6, register now as we’re filling up fast) are a little different, but just as good. I get cool things sent to me about what’s new in our hometown. Since we’ve started our OUR TOWN series, you should know that I’ve loved Tallahassee more. Here’s the latest thing I love. If you don’t know already, we have BEST. That’s Bike-East-Shop-Tallahassee. It’s a partnership between cyclists and participating local businesses, who give discounts to “healthy customers who don’t clog up their parking lot with cars.”
THE VILLAGE SQUARE CONTINUES ‘OUR TOWN’ SERIES
‘Fast Forward’ Forum Focuses on New Projects, Business and Ideas
(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – April 30, 2013 – Hometowns with a “sense of place” are vibrant, engaged, growing and economically successful. They are places people want to live and raise families.
There are new reasons every day why this describes Tallahassee.
On Monday, May 6, The Village Square hosts “OUR TOWN: Fast Forward,” a spirited look at what’s new and what’s coming in Tallahassee. The program will be moderated by WFSU’s Tom Flanigan.
Co-sponsored by Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI), Leadership Tallahassee, and the Tallahassee Democrat, “Fast Forward” will be fast-paced. Six presentations follow a PechaKucha format (Japanese for “chit chat”) with a maximum of 20 slides that advance automatically after 20 seconds. There will be a question-and-answer segment, and a lightening round for the audience to share information about new projects, ideas, events and restaurants around town.
The evening will feature a presentation by Florida State University President Eric Barron on “Entrepreneurial FSU,” a discussion on what’s new on our college campuses presented by Town and Gown Project Director Mike Pate, and a look at the future of Lake Ella through the KCCI project “EllaVate.”
Also presenting are Ed Murray of NAI TALCOR on “Cutting Edge Business” in Tallahassee, Laurie Hartsfield of KCCI on “Our Creative Community,” and Joy Watkins of the Community Foundation of North Florida on “Our Nonprofit Community.” Lee Daniel of Visit Tallahassee with share the top ten reasons people will want to visit Tallahassee and Jay Revell of Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority will present on what’s new and coming downtown.
The program is part of The Village Square’s “Our Town” series, aimed at growing an informed and engaged community, and is made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida.
“Our Town: Fast Forward” will be held Monday, May 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 211 N. Monroe Street (enter at rear Calhoun Street entrance). It is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Participants are asked to make a reservation and to present their printed ticket at the door, and are invited to bring a take-out dinner or purchase dinner at one of the food trucks parked outside St. John’s from 5:00 to 5:45 pm.
Those who are unable to attend can watch the program livestream at www.Tallahassee.com or follow an online discussion on Twitter, hashtag #TDvsq. For more information, to see a full list of program participants, or to RSVP and print your ticket, go to www.tothevillagesquare.org or call 264-8785.
We’re excited about next Monday night’s Fast Forward program, the second in our new series about the latest, greatest, newest around town. If you missed last year’s you missed a lot. This year you’ll be able to catch FSU President Eric Barron on entrepreneurship at FSU, former Democrat publisher Mike Pate on the newest on our college campuses, Visit Tallahassee’s Lee Daniel on new reasons why people will want to visit Tallahassee, Jay Revell on “Fast Forward Downtown” and more… Check out the whole program and reserve your seat by clicking here. Bring your favorite take-out or grab dinner at one of the food trucks parked outside St. John’s. Oh and dessert and coffee is on us!
From Wednesday’s Tallahassee Democrat, by Arek Sarkissian II.
About 150 people gathered on Tuesday night to better understand what’s at stake in the ongoing immigration debate on Capitol Hill.
“I think we needed to get the information out and I think we needed to understand what the issues at stake are,” said Temple Israel Rabbi Jack Romberg, who moderated the panel. “I think that you will find very few people who are truly anti-immigrant — I think more do not understand the depth of the issue.”
The panel and its audience were gathered by The Village Square at St. John’s Episcopal Church for “Immigration & the American Melting Pot.”