If we’re talking haunted or creepy destinations in Florida, of course, St. Augustine is going to top most lists. Let’s talk about Castillo de San Marcos, a former military fortress that’s infamous for some of its battles.
Some say the spirits of Spanish soldiers still defend the 17th century fort. Others say a light shines from a fixture in one of the watchtowers that has no electricity running to it. The spooky accounts also include one Spanish soldier in particular who stands at the edge of the fort, looking out to sea just when the sun is about to rise or set. And then there’s the dungeon — where many people have reported the feeling of cold hands touching them. Others say they just felt cold in general while walking through, according to a website called ghostsandgraves.com. Visitors to the fort say they’ve shot videos and photos of glowing orbs, misty shapes and even some shapes resembling bodies. Enthusiasts of the paranormal and supernatural definitely flock to Castillo de San Marcos for a number of reasons — all of which will make your skin crawl.
The Puerto Rican population in Central Florida returned to pre-Hurricane Maria levels, according to the latest American Community Survey, conducted yearly by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The newest estimate of Puerto Ricans is roughly 385,000 in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties, which is similar to before the Category 5 storm ravaged the island in mid-September 2017, driving many Puerto Ricans to Central Florida.
UCF sociologist Fernando I. Rivera, founder of the Puerto Rico Research Hub, explained that Puerto Rico’s migration “is circular.”
“Basically, the economic conditions are what really determine the population movement,” he said. “If you are going to suffer economically here, you would prefer to go back to Puerto Rico and at least be with family.”
The decline is an unusual twist for one of the U.S. mainland’s largest concentration of Puerto Ricans — only second to the New York metro area. In the city of Kissimmee, where Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made a campaign stop last week to announce an economic recovery plan for the island, 1 in every 2.5 residents is of Puerto Rican origin. They represent a large block of voters to be wooed in Florida, with Central Florida positioned as the highly-sought swing region in a state viewed as one of the most coveted prizes in the upcoming presidential election.
Central Florida, a tourism-dependent region walloped by the coronavirus pandemic, hold four of the top seven highest unemployment rates for July, according to state figures. Osceola and Orange rank first and second, while Polk is fourth and Lake is seventh. Statewide, 11.3% of workers were unemployed. Here’s a look at county-bycounty jobless numbers for the month.
Dandelion Cafe closes for good – Orlando Sentinel 8_24_2020
Orlando’s Dandelion Community Cafe has permanently closed amid the coronavirus pandemic and after employees there said they were organizing to address issues with the restaurant.
The vegetarian cafe at 618 N.Thornton Ave. posted on its website that it had closed because of a “variety of factors outside of our control” including the impact of coronavirus.
Opened in 2006,the eatery had hosted art shows and live music and offered a menu of organic options. It was named the best vegetarian restaurantin Florida by Mental Floss in 2017.
“It is with a heavy heart, but clear mind,that I make the decision to per manently close our special place,” a post signed by founder Chris Blanc on the website said. “It has proven extremely difficult to operate a business in this current environment.The last few months have required an almost complete change to our business in the way we serve our community, at great financial cost.”
The cafe’s voicemail, which was unable to accept messages Tuesday morning, said it was closed until further notice. Most ofthe cafe’s staff had recently signed a letter presented to management announcing they were forming a union, according to Kyle Kern, secretary-treasurer of the Central Florida Industrial Workers of the World labor union. The group, dubbed “The Seeds,” did not intend to move toward contract negotiations or a National Labor Relations Board election, but wanted to address grievances with the cafe directly as a group, citing issues such as low pay compared with rising rent costs, Kern said.
In an Aug. 11 Facebook post,the group said the cafe had “locked out” its staff for organizing. Pickets were held outside the restaurant. “The owners of Dandelion have decided they will destroy their entire business to avoid sitting down with their employees to discuss serious problems with their workplace,” Kern said in an emailed statement Monday night. “This is the lowest of the low.”
Kern said about 15 hourly employees would be losing their jobs because of the move.