Municipal Minutes e-Newsletters

Municipal Minutes is an award-winning, electronic newsletter for the Gainesville community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017. To subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter, enter your email address in the lower left area of this webpage and click subscribe.

November Featured Information

Holiday Closings:
November 12 - City offices will observe Veterans Day Monday, Nov. 12. Residential curbside collection of refuse will not be affected by this holiday. RTS will provide holiday bus service on Nov. 12. Only routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will run from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. depending on the route. Please plan accordingly.
November 22-23 - In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, city offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23. Residential curbside collection service for solid waste, recycling and yard trash normally scheduled for Thursday will be delayed until Friday. That is the only collection day that will be affected. All bus and paratransit service will be suspended Thanksgiving Day. RTS will provide holiday bus service Friday, Nov. 23. Routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711 will run between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. All other routes will be suspended. Please plan accordingly.

Affordable Housing Open Houses - Nov. 7 and 10: We are hosting a series of open houses about how we can address affordable housing in Gainesville. At these open houses, the public will have the opportunity to learn what the city is doing to address housing affordability in our community and provide feedback on a variety of city initiatives around affordable housing. Other local groups that provide affordable housing options have been invited to attend, as well. Attendees are encouraged to engage with departmental staff to discuss the proposed gnvRISE plan designed to encourage the creation of more affordable housing in the city. A survey on affordable housing in Gainesville will be available at the open houses for attendees to complete. The remaining open houses are:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 4-7 p.m. at the Westside Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at GTEC (2153 SE Hawthorne Rd.)

To view information about gnvRISE affordable housing plan elements, please visit http://www.cityofgainesville.org/DepartmentofDoing.aspx. For those who are unable to attend, but would like to complete the survey, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GNV2018Affordable. Following the series of open houses, the Gainesville City Commission will be updated on the community’s feedback at a special meeting on Nov. 29.

Save the Date for the Longest Table - Dec. 8: On Saturday, Dec. 8, join the conversation and your community at Gainesville's Longest Table! The Longest Table is about engaging with your community - your neighbors, your peers and new friends - to build and strengthen relationships in our community. Pre-registration is required (https://LongestTableGNV2018.eventbrite.com). Enjoy dinner at Depot Park and dialogue designed to strengthen relationships and unite our community as we all work together to enhance the quality of life in Gainesville and Alachua County. We will be featuring a movie in the park at 5:30 p.m., so enjoy the movie and make a day of it!

Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries: Daylight savings time (DST) officially ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, which means we turn our clocks back one hour. Gainesville Fire Rescue wants to encourage residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when you change your clocks every time there is a time change. This is the perfect time to adopt this simple, life-saving habit. The National Fire Alarm Code recommends a minimum of one smoke alarm on each level of a home, including one inside each bedroom for new construction and one outside each sleeping area. Homes should also have at least one working carbon monoxide detector. Through Project: Get Alarmed!, Gainesville Fire Rescue offers free smoke detectors including installation to homeowners who apply. Call 352-334-5065 or stop by any fire station for an application. Once the application is submitted, you will be contacted for an installation appointment.

Sign up for alertGNV!: Hurricane season continues through November. Now is a great time to sign up for alertGNV.org, a new alert system that will help keep residents, city staff and emergency personnel safe and informed with fast and reliable emergency notifications and public service announcements. alertGNV will alert residents to a variety of events, ranging from severe weather, fires, floods, hurricanes and other emergencies, to more routine announcements such as road closures and utility maintenance. Messages will be sent to residents on their preferred method of contact – cell phone, SMS, home phone, email, fax and more – to ensure real-time access to potentially lifesaving information.

City Commission Special Meetings/Workshops: At the time of this publication, the following special City Commission meetings/workshops have been scheduled:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.: Empowerment Oversight Committee and homelessness in room 16 (basement) of City Hall
  • Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.: Comprehensive Plan amendment in the City Hall auditorium

Construction and Capital Projects:
Norton Trail Phase 2 Complete: After starting construction in June, the Norton Trail is now complete. The original segment of the multi-use trail connects Northwest 53rd Avenue to Northwest 45th Avenue at the 2300 block near Norton Elementary School. The segment recently completed connects Northwest 39th Avenue to Northwest 45th Avenue creating a one-mile continuous paved trail. In addition to the trail, 10 bike racks were installed providing parking for students close to Norton Elementary. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at broadusm@cityofgainesville.org or 352-393-8406.
SE Fourth Street:
GRU continues to relocate the existing overhead utilities underground within the project limits. This will further enhance the transformation provided by the project that will also include reconstructing the roadway, cycle tracks and sidewalks on both sides, upgraded lighting and improved stormwater conveyance and treatment. Utility work began in February and is expected to be complete in November, with roadwork to follow. More information is available on the project website, or you may contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.
SW 40th Blvd.: Construction has begun on the Southwest 40th Boulevard project, which will construct a new road between Southwest 47th Avenue and the existing terminus of Southwest 40th Boulevard just south of Archer Road. Site preparation is in progress for the roadway corridor and two stormwater treatment ponds. The project is needed to enhance connectivity in the southwest area for all modes of transportation between Southwest 34th Street and Archer Road, tying into other major transportation investments in the area and contributing to relieve congestion along Southwest 34th Street and I-75. This will also improve the level of service at major intersections, and enhance access and mobility, as well as add a multimodal trail. Construction is approximately five percent complete, and is expected to be finished in June 2019. For more information, please contact Stefan Broadus, project manager, at 352-393-8406 or broadusm@cityofgainesville.org.

Wild Spaces, Public Places Project Updates:
SW 47th Ave Trail: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of the construction of a 1,619 foot paved multiuse trail on the north side of Southwest 47th Avenue from Southwest 40th Boulevard to Southwest 34th Street. Construction began in September 2018, and is anticipated to be complete by June 2019.  The trail will connect high-density residential areas to activity centers off of Southwest 34th Street. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.
Duval Park Boardwalk Replacement: This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of the replacement of 959 linear feet of boardwalks in Duval Park.  The boardwalks at Duval Park have been closed to the public since Hurricane Irma.  Fallen trees coupled with severe wood rot created a safety hazard that was beyond the capacity of staff to repair.  Work will begin on site in late November. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.
Depot Park Improvements:  This Wild Spaces and Public Places project consists of the addition of a trail connection between the old RTS parking lot and the trail on the east side of Depot Park. This connection will make it more convenient for park guests to use the overflow parking area. The project is currently going through permitting, and construction is anticipated to begin in November. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

Quality

A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center Hosts Florida Museum Directors: The A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center is hosting the Florida African-American Heritage Preservation Network’s field meeting Nov. 13-15. Museum Coordinator Desmon Walker has prepared an exciting itinerary of meetings, workshops and social events to take place at the Hilton University Conference Center, the University of Florida and Gainesville’s newest historic cultural assets, the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center and the Cotton Club Museum. The more than 25 museum directors who will converge on Gainesville from various cities throughout the state will enjoy business meetings and an opening reception at the University Conference Center, a day-long hands-on workshop entitled “Digitizing to Preserve the Past for the Future,” a dinner reception at the Cotton Club Museum, a chartered bus tour of Gainesville’s historic places concluding with the Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street District and lunch and a closing session at the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center. 

Northeast Pool Closed Nov. 11-23: The Northeast Pool will be closed Nov. 11-23 so a stationary bulkhead can be installed in the shallow end of the pool. This addition will provide four additional lap lanes, and help ease some of the demand for space from swim teams and lap swimmers.

Westside Pool Now Open Year Round: Effective Oct. 27, the Westside Pool is open year round! Come and check out Gainesville's newest heated pool! Winter hours are:
- Monday-Friday: 6-9 a.m. (lap swim - until Dec. 21 or when temps require the pool to be blanketed)
- Monday-Friday: 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. (open swim)
- Saturday: 12-5 p.m. (open swim)
- Sunday: closed

Sweetwater Wetlands Nature Park Tours: Tours are free with park admission, and begin from the Welcome Classroom Pavilion. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water and binoculars. More information is available at www.sweetwaterwetlands.org or by calling 352-393-8437.

  • Ranger Tours are held the first Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. and the second Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • Alachua Audubon Society's "Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands" are held every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. (Sept.-May). Discover the rich diversity of birds (and maybe some rarities!) at north central Florida’s birding hotspot on a 2-3-hour walking tour. Birders of all levels are welcome. Bring binoculars. Birding field trips are led by volunteers from Alachua Audubon Society.

Teamwork

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Nov. 3: The Gainesville Greenway Challenge is a year-round effort whose aim is to restore natural habitat in Gainesville by removing invasive non-native plant species that threaten an ecosystem’s health.  Join the challenge and help us to eradicate the region’s most aggressive invasive plants in Gainesville’s nature parks! The Gainesville Greenway Challenge volunteer workdays take place on the first Saturday of every month from 9-11:30 a.m. Participants will work in local nature parks, removing non-native invasive plants to restore native habitat for the plants and animals that live there, and for people to enjoy. Groups can also arrange for special dates. Volunteers will work outdoors and should bring sunscreen, insect repellent, protective gloves and closed-toe footwear appropriate for wet conditions. The next volunteer workday is Saturday, Nov. 3. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428.

Giveback Thursdays: Take advantage of the warmer weather and enjoy an opportunity to be out in nature every Thursday at a local nature park. Staff provides gloves, buckets, water and bug spray to attendees, and help with removal of invasive plants and trash. For more updates, please visit www.facebook.com/gnvgreenwaychallenge. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428. Check out the Challenge on Instagram @gnvgreenwaychallenge!

Sustainability

Seasonal Energy Tips from GRU: Be sure to check out the seasonal and year-round energy saving tips from GRU. Did you know that for each degree you increase the temperature from the recommended setting (68 in the winter and 78 in the summer), you can increase your energy bill by up to 4%? For more tips for this summer, please read more.

Upcoming Events

Fall Jewel Box Concert Series Continues: The Jewel Box Concerts are a series of multi-genre musical events which feature a spectrum of national and international touring artists from folk to classical and from jazz to bluegrass. The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. The Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Tickets available for purchase at online. The ticket office for the Jewel Box Concerts is 904-886-8378.
-- The Grascals: Thursday, Nov. 1: Two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year Award-winning band The Grascals emerged as a cutting-edge modern bluegrass group in 2004 in Nashville, Tennessee, and rapidly grew in popularity after capturing the attention of legendary country singer Dolly Parton. The group became Parton’s opening act, as well as her band, and soon after they were performing on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry. The Grascals have also performed as an opening act for other renowned artists such as Dierks Bently, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, Patty Loveless and many more. The group performed twice for President George W. Bush and at the Smithsonian Institution for President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball.
-- The Curry's Christmas Show: Wednesday, Dec. 19

Exhibition at the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center Opens Nov. 2: “Black Educators: Florida’s Secret Social Justice Advocates 1920-1960” opens Friday, Nov. 2. Despite the perception of dilapidated schoolhouses and underprepared teachers, in reality, Florida’s black educators not only had a distinct pedagogy, highly organized system and a vibrant school culture, they were early pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement in the later Jim Crow period (1920 – 1960), carrying out social justice organizing and winning Civil Rights victories.  This exhibition shatters the perceptions and explores the realities of black schooling during Jim Crow in Florida. In collaboration with Dr. Deidre Houchen and the University of Florida, this exhibition features multiple exhibits at three locations - A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center, Smathers Library Gallery (UF), and Lawton Chile’s Legal Information Center (UF), and online at http://exhibits.uflib.ufl.edu/FloridaBlackEducators. A reception will be held Friday, Dec. 7 from 7-9 p.m. during Artwalk.

Annual Cane Boil and FiddleFest on Nov. 24: Celebrate bygone American traditions at the Annual Cane Boil and FiddleFest. Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., held at Morningside Nature Center. This event combines traditions of giving thanks and fall harvest with live fiddle, banjo and string-band music, which were major influences on American entertainment for more than 150 years. Bring your holiday guests, friends and family out to Morningside’s beautiful Living History Farm to experience the making and bottling of sugarcane syrup, biscuits hot from the wood cookstove, live roots music, horse-drawn wagon rides and living history interpreters and demonstrators bringing a country day in 1870 to life. The Longleaf Pine Youth Fiddle Contest is for musicians 18-years-old or younger. Contestants may download the registration form online before Wednesday, Nov. 21 (recommended), or may register on-site the morning of the event from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Pre-registered contestants should also check-in during this time. The contest starts at 10 a.m., concluding with judging and presentation of prizes, awarded to first, second, third place winners and runners-up in each of the three divisions. Traditional music played by talented, local musicians will follow all afternoon. Make this event part of your Thanksgiving weekend tradition! Event admission is free!

Downtown Festival & Art Show Weekend Information (Dec. 1-2): North Florida’s art scene swings into high gear on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with the arrival of the highly acclaimed Downtown Festival & Art Show. The streets of historic downtown Gainesville, from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre will be transformed into a celebration of art and creativity complete with live music, performing arts and a spectacular array of food. More than 100,000 art lovers will fill the streets to enjoy and purchase one-of-a-kind artwork. The festival features 240 local and national artists displaying original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. Children can create their own art at the Imagination Station, a free hands-on art activity. For music lovers: enjoy continuous, live entertainment on four stages by local bands and solo musicians. Dance companies also catch the eyes of the crowd with ballet, jazz, modern and international dance performances.
Entertainment Schedule
Festival Map
2018 Artist Listing

Depot Park parkrun 5K on Saturdays: Depot Park Parkrun is a free, weekly 5k for people of all abilities (whether you walk, jog, run or volunteer). We invite you to join us and experience the parkrun community for yourself. Register one time at https://www.parkrun.us/register/ and bring the printed barcode with you to any of the thousands of parkrun events worldwide.

Register Now for Out of School Days: Need a place for your kids to go on teacher work days or school holidays? Out of School Days camp hours are from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Fees are $6 per day/per child for city residents (proof of residency required) and $9.25 per day/per child for non-city residents. Lunch is not provided. For more information, please visit the When School is Out webpage.  During the day camp kids will enjoy games, activities and crafts that encourage achievement, a sense of community, good health and strong character! Full day camps at Eastside Recreation Center and Albert "Ray" Massey Recreation Center for 1st-8th graders on the following dates:

  • Friday, Nov. 2
  • Monday, Nov. 19-Wednesday, Nov. 21
  • Monday, Feb. 18

Sign Up for Foundations Academy and Lay the Groundwork for Success: Consider choosing Foundations Academy for your child's after-school enrichment program. A foundation is an underlying basis, principle or groundwork for something. At Foundations Academy, we strive to lay the groundwork for success by creating an atmosphere where students, parents, staff and community members work together to create an inspirational and safe place for students to learn and grow. Foundations Academy takes place through Friday, May 31, and is open for kids in grades 1-8. Foundations Academy is available at the four following locations: Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.), Clarence R. Kelly Community Center (1701 NE Eighth Ave.), Eastside Community Center (2841 E. University Ave.) and Porters Community Center (512 SW Second Ave.). Complete information is available on the When School is In webpage.

Youth Coed Basketball: Youth coed basketball has no tryouts, all kids play and it's fun for everyone! For kids age 5-14, this coed basketball league develops skills on and off the court. Practices take place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center (MLK). Games begin in January, and take place in Alachua County and the surrounding areas. Registration is open until Nov. 21 or until all the teams are filled. Volunteer Coaches are needed! For more information on the program, please visit our Youth Athletics webpage or call 352-334-5067.

A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center - Sundays at the AQJ: Sundays at the AQJ (A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center) is a free series of cultural happenings and events designed to educate and empower the community through history and culture. Seating is limited, so please RSVP by calling 352-334-2010.
Coffee & Conversation (held every second Sunday from 3-5 p.m.): Subject matter experts present topics that spark honest and stimulating dialogue among community members over coffee and refreshments. From culture and politics, to economics, race relations and more, participants address compelling and pressing issues affecting our local and global communities in ways that promote inclusion and unity amongst us all.
The Missing Pieces - Black History Series (held every third Sunday from 3-5 p.m.): Discover what you missed in history class as we journey through black history predating the slave trade up to the present day. Insightful and thought-provoking, these lectures are designed to expand your knowledge of history and engage you in dialogue about the monumental and global accomplishments of Africans of the diaspora who have advanced math, music, language, the sciences and so much more for thousands of years.
Adventures in Black History (youth programs held every fourth Sunday from 3-5 p.m.): Storytelling with the Griot, arts, crafts, movies and more!  Join us for a fun-filled day at the museum as we dance, sing and learn about African and African American history and culture.  Appropriate for age five and up.

Free Environmental Education Fall Programs Continue: The free, educational and fun-filled programs at Morningside Nature Center continue through May at Morningside Nature Center. There are many chances to explore our local heritage and environment. These fun, interactive programs provide a great chance for children (accompanied by an adult) to travel back in time to the 1870s at the Living History Days on the Living History Farm, or make new animal friends at Barnyard Buddies or Frogs and Friends Friday! The farm is open to the public from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, all year long, except holidays.
Living History Days: C’mon home to the Living History Farm and experience a time when the rooster’s crow and the rising sun, not an alarm clock, welcomed a new day! During Living History Days, interpreters portray day-to-day life on an 1870 Florida farm. Living History Days take place the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Saturday dates are Nov. 3, Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6 and May 4. Step back in time, enjoy nature, and experience Florida as it was!
Barnyard Buddies Program:
Morningside Nature Center has a farm, e-i-e-i-o! On this farm, youngsters, with an adult, can meet and greet farm animals by helping staff with afternoon feeding on the Living History Farm. This program is free, but the animals love donations of carrots, squash, apples, sweet potatoes and melons (please give these items to a staff member and not directly to the animals). With a sheep here, and a cow there, learning about heritage breeds is fun! This program takes place Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at the Living History Farm.
Frogs and Friends Friday:
At the Frogs and Friends Friday program, children, with an adult, can join a Morningside Nature Center animal caretaker for an exciting and educational program featuring live amphibians and reptiles. Youngsters, with an adult, can join an animal caretaker for an exciting and educational program featuring live amphibians and reptiles. This free program begins at 2 p.m. the first Friday of the month in the Education Building. Frogs and Friends Friday dates are Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Jan. 4, Feb. 1, March 1, April 5 and May 3.

Events on the Promenade at Depot Park: Come out for Events on the Promenade with fun activities all month long. November highlights include new weekly 5Ks (free!), kids' yoga, dancing, movies and more! For a full lineup of events, visit http://www.depotpark.org/events and follow us on https://www.facebook.com/depotpark/.

Bo Diddley Plaza Activities: Head to Bo Diddley Plaza to decompress after work, listen to great music or find an amazing variety of seasonal produce! There’s Yoga on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. and the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesdays (4-7 p.m.). There are also many community events taking place at the plaza. Check out a full listing of events at https://www.facebook.com/pg/BoDiddleyPlazaGNV or www.bodiddleyplaza.com

Art Exhibitions at the Thomas Center Galleries:
-RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change is what happens when artists are inspired by the very materials they hold, stitch, carve, fold, print, cut, weave or shape. Each piece in the RockPaperScissors exhibit telegraphs a bit of creative obsession with tactile satisfaction -  from the way pigment integrates with the fiber of cotton rag paper, to the touch of silk threads intertwining, to the cold smooth feel of alabaster as it is endlessly polished by the artist’s hand. Materiality itself acts as muse in RockPaperScissors, giving viewers a glimpse into how artists both command and yield to their materials in the creative process. The exhibition continues through Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

Gainesville Police Department Community Calendar: Did you know that GPD has a community calendar? The calendar shows meetings like neighborhood crime watch meetings, the Black-on-Black Task Force meetings and the Homeless Coalition meetings. Click here to find out the dates of these meetings and more!

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