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Articles by Jeffrey C. Billman and Billy Manes

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Happytown

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Happytown | 9/10/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

By now you’re familiar with the meme of unexpected choreography in public spaces: a lunchtime crowd milling around a mall or museum or tourist trap seems to be going about its merry way until, ...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 8/20/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

And now it’s time for another edition of What’s Up With Alan?™, our attempt to keep you up to date on the comings and goings of Orlando’s favorite congressman, Alan Grayson! This week’s ins...[MORE]

Other people's money: City commissioners get an open line of credit you get the bill

7/30/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

If you had a $30,000 annual slush fund courtesy of someone else, what would you do? If you were Orlando city commissioner Daisy Lynum, you’d travel. A lot. You’d fly to places like Los Angeles,...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 7/23/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

The sad hobo dance of baked beans warmed over trash fires is well and truly upon us in the City Beautiful, and the Orlando Police Department ­– always at the ready with a press release – is u...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 7/16/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Last week, Orange County commissioner and mayoral candidate Linda Stewart did something that few contenders for higher office would think wise in an economic downturn: She proposed a billion-d...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 7/2/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

We’d be remiss if we didn’t take 30 seconds to reflect on the passing of our very close, hirsute friend Billy Mays. Back in September, Mays invited us over to his palatial estate just out...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 6/25/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Hey, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies: Have you ever come across a particularly sordid miscreant and thought, “This fellow could use a good skull-cracking”? Well, unsheathe your batons an...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 6/18/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

And we’re off. On June 8, the anti-growth rabble-rousers with Florida Hometown Democracy announced that they’d collected enough petitions – 676,811, to be exact – to put their proposed constit...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 6/4/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Remember Bill Dillon? He’s the guy who was finally released from prison in 2008 after serving 27 years for a murder he didn’t commit [“26 years,” Oct. 11, 2007]. Thank you, DNA testing. Bec...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 5/7/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Just when we thought the Florida Legislature couldn’t get any dumber … actually, we’ve never thought that. This legislative session has been a cornucopia of Republican idiocy, helmed b...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 4/30/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Two weeks ago, we spoke with University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith [“Ponzi scheme,” April 16], who says Florida has to dramatically alter its tax structure to keep pace with a c...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 4/16/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

This week in the gay: Everyone’s a homo! First the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-gay marriage law, and wingnuts’ heads exploded amid cries of “judicial tyranny” while ...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 4/9/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

What’s that sound? It’s Buddy Dyer’s dream of a tourist-financed urban utopia crashing to the ground under the cold, bitter weight of – what’s that thing? – reality. On April 2, the Orange Co...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 3/26/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Over the years, we’ve grown accustomed to our friends at the Liberty Counsel being on the case when it comes to denying gays equal rights and making sure Christians can erect monuments anywher...[MORE]

State of the city:Perilous: Scrutinizing the mayor's annual feel-good address reveals some cracks in the facade

3/5/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Another early morning in February, another opportunity for Mayor Buddy Dyer to tell us how we’re on the brink of becoming “the next great American city.” Then we drive back to the office, past ...[MORE]

Happytown

Happytown | 3/5/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Journey back with us to 2007, when everything was wonderful. Real estate values were sky-high. Condos broke ground daily. The city’s coffers overflowed. Anything was possible. We could drop a...[MORE]

HAPPYTOWN

Happytown | 1/15/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

And now it’s time for the inaugural edition of What’s Up With Alan?, our attempt to keep you up to date on the comings and goings of Orlando’s new favorite congressman, Alan Grayson! This we...[MORE]

WHAT'S NEXT?: Local notables weigh in on 2009's big story

1/1/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Wondering what 2009 has in store? So are we. We thought it’d be fun to put that question to some local notables – politicos, journalists, rabble-rousers, psychics, – to get their insights on t...[MORE]

HAPPYTOWN

Happytown | 1/1/2009 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

Hey, guess what! The year’s brand new, and though nothing is going on this week we’ve still got space to fill. And you know what that means: This wildly popular column’s wildly popular annual ...[MORE]

THE SILVER LINING: The eight best stories from a year that kind of sucked

12/25/2008 | By Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes

The Year of Our Lord 2008 was anything but puppies and rainbows. Economically, this was the worst year America has seen in decades: The stock market crashed. The auto industry flopped. Media co...[MORE]

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