What is watered grows
The return of rain after one of the driest January-February-March periods in Polk County history has transformed the sad patch of dirt in front of my house.
It shouldn’t be a revelation since – like most of my neighbors – I don’t have a sprinkler system. When we have rain, we have grass. But it is awe-inspiring nonetheless to see an army of tiny green shoots rise up from sandy soil that was barren a couple of weeks ago.
And it has been a great reminder that what is watered grows.
This is true of local media. Many communities across the country have become “news deserts.” Every week, two more local newspapers close, according to the Washington Post. That erosion has left more than 70 million Americans with only social media or polarizing national news as their primary source of information.
We’re grateful there has been enough support in Lakeland to not only maintain a nonprofit local news organization like LkldNow, but grow it steadily over the past several years. We’ve been watered by grants, sponsorships, and readers who voluntarily donate a little bit each month.
Lakeland also does an admirable job of nurturing fledgling businesses. In addition to Catapult, the Well, SCORE and the Chamber of Commerce, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency recently approved three-year funding agreements with the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation ($375,000) and Prospera USA ($225,000) to advise entrepreneurs in Midtown and Downtown.
What is watered grows. But the reverse is also true – as the many houseplants I’ve killed over the years could illustrate, were they not long gone.
The RP Funding Center has been making news with the departures of the Lakeland Magic and Florida Tropics. Like the Broadway series that no longer exists, the basketball and soccer games were sparsely attended, making them slightly more than break-even propositions at best and money losers at worst. Faced with the decision to subsidize these events or let them go, the city appears to have chosen the latter.
We will continue to report on all of this. But resources are not infinite. As the landscape gets greener over the coming weeks, it’s a good time to remember that we all vote every day with the things we give our time, money and attention to. What is watered grows.
A housekeeping note: LkldNow relies on Mailchimp as our email service provider for these newsletters. In March, a bug in Mailchimp kicked about 75 subscribers off the recipient list. Thanks to some of our most loyal readers who immediately sent up a flare, we were able to restore access pretty quickly – only to have the bug reemerge about two weeks later, affecting about 150 subscribers.
Again, we restored access to the weekly newsletter immediately. However, if you were in that group and also subscribed to our daily or instant emails, you may not be getting those. If you are having any issue receiving emails, please reach out to Trinity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many major projects are planned, but needs outpace funding. Transit planners ‘treading water’ with population growth and rising costs.
The public is invited to greet 87 veterans on Tuesday evening when they return from a day-long chartered flight to Washington, D.C.
A different independent bookstore will be featured each day through Saturday, with deals and giveaways to celebrate small business and literacy.
Coach Jerry May died in July at 59. He coached football and softball at George Jenkins High School for 20 years.
Polk County plans to end curbside recycling in October 2024, but Lakeland residents can continue to use blue bins.
After seven seasons, the Florida Tropics soccer club announced Friday that it can no longer afford to play at the RP Funding Center.
CURATED LAKELAND NEWS
Local high school students spend hours in auditoriums each week due to shortages of teachers and substitutes | ABC Action News
Lakeland murder suspects arrested in Delaware, charged in ‘mistaken identity’ ambush of man on dirt bike | News Channel 8
Deputy Blane Lane to be added to Polk County Law Enforcement Memorial at May 4 service in Veterans Park | City of Lakeland
Eight young adults with disabilities graduate from Project SEARCH and land jobs with Lakeland Regional Health | ABC Action News
With hurricane season nearing, officials caution that only 2% of Polk County homes are covered by federal flood insurance | Patch
Health department urges Polk County residents to ‘drain and cover’ as mosquito-borne illness risk increases | Fox 13 News
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: You can drop off unwanted meds at LPD on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | FDLE
Judge rules prosecutors can see N. Lakeland quadruple homicide suspect’s disability and VA medical records | The Ledger
29-year-old Lakeland woman killed in 9 p.m. road rage shooting on I-4 was ‘just getting her ducks in a row,’ family says | News Channel 8
Lakeland Swan Derby 2023 | Friday | 5:30 to 9 p.m. | Lake Mirror
The annual Swan Derby is a free community event and a fundraiser for Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine. It will include paddle boat races, a derby hat contest, prize raffle, live music, food trucks, and a kids play area. The evening will be capped off with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
First Light Yoga at Hollis Garden | Saturday | 8:30 to 10 a.m. | Hollis Garden
The Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department has teamed up with yoga studios in the community to provide a series of free yoga classes in one of Lakeland’s most serene locations. Participants must be 14 or older and should bring a yoga mat or towel. No registration is required; however, spots in the garden are available first come, first served the morning of the class.
Kids Museum Day | Saturday | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Florida Air Museum
The Florida Air Museum, just south of Lakeland Linder International Airport, is offering free guided tours to young aviation enthusiasts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and free admission to everyone from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be bounce houses, a local author’s corner, sno-cones, a food truck and more.
Harrison School for the Arts Musical Theatre Showcase | Saturday | 7 p.m. | Harrison Performing Arts Center
Admission is $10 for this live musical theater review featuring high school students and the Class of 2023 Senior Showcase.
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