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Innovative Taiwan Technology Promises a Healthier, More Responsive World

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Taiwan Excellence's Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoCOmm 2015 hosted 70 guests and four award-winning companies. (l-r) Creative Village visionary Craig Ustler, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Advantech Sales Manager Brian Wilson, Commissioner Regina Hill, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, AG Neovo Sales & Marketing Director David Meng, Chiayo VP Alwin Chin, TECO Director General Philip T.Y. Wang, Commissioner Samuel B. Ings, and BXB International Sales representative Stacy Chiang. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

by Mellissa Thomas

Taiwan manufactures over ninety percent of electronic devices distributed by the world’s largest tech companies, including Apple and Dell, and continues to be at the forefront of innovation, as was demonstrated at Taiwan Excellence’s Taiwan Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015 Wednesday morning. Titled “Taiwan: The New Stratosphere,” the press conference featured products developed by Taiwan Excellence Award-winning manufacturers Advantech, BXB, AG Neovo, and Chiayo that promise to improve public safety and patient care. Special guests included Philip T.Y. Wang, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Miami, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Commissioner Samuel B. Ings, Commissioner Regina Hill, and Consul Generals to Haiti and the Czech Republic. Creative Village visionary Craig Ustler moderated the press conference.

 

Award-Winning Products for a Safer World

Advantech Sales Manager Brian Wilson presented the Advantech Pocket Pad, a tablet that helps medical personnel in hospitals learn about their patients more quickly and efficiently. When patients visit the hospital, the Advantech Pocket Pad can be used for easy identification and tracking of patients and their medical histories, and doubles as a barcode scanner. Wilson pointed out that the tablet is embedded with the Microsoft Windows 8.1 operating system and is the “ideal” seven inches: just large enough to see information clearly and just small enough to fit in a pocket.

Advantech Sales Manager Brian Wilson presents the Advantech Pocket Pad at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

Advantech Sales Manager Brian Wilson presents the Advantech Pocket Pad at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

 

BXB’s International Sales representative Stacy Chiang presented BXB’s new WPA-3000 PA System. This multi-language system is able to transform a public address system into an emergency command station by triggering simultaneous communication across a network to first responders and security. Chiang also noted that the device can even detect the oncoming threat of an earthquake and help communities initiate evacuation or preparation before the earthquake hits.

BXB International Sales representative Stacy Chiang presents her company's WMP 3000 PA system at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

BXB International Sales representative Stacy Chiang presents her company’s WMP 3000 PA system at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

 

David Meng, AG Neovo’s Sales & Marketing Director, introduced the company’s latest 1920 x 1080 HD digital display, with which he immediately wowed the press guests by striking the screen directly without causing any damage. “Can you do that to your screen?” he playfully engaged. What makes the screen so sturdy, as he explained in his slide deck, is the company’s proprietary “Optical Glass,” which is easily cleaned and is oil, shock, and water resistant. The display is already in use in many industries worldwide, as he showed in a series of photos during the presentation: in a Mercedes Benz showroom, in a dentist’s office, in a restaurant, and even as a two-sided display in a major mall.

AG Neovo Sales & Marketing Director David Meng presents his company's sturdy 1920 x 1080 HD display at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

AG Neovo Sales & Marketing Director David Meng presents his company’s sturdy 1920 x 1080 HD display at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

 

Chiayo Vice President Alwin Chin presented the company’s advanced audio-linked gooseneck conference system, which can link up to sixty microphones in one conference. Just one switching adaptor and audio converter enables the entire system, and it is equipped with an easily noticeable “TALK” indicator LED on both the gooseneck and the base, and a microphone that automatically shuts off after idling for five minutes.

Chiayo Vice President Alwin Chin presents his company's gooseneck conference system at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

Chiayo Vice President Alwin Chin presents his company’s gooseneck conference system at the Taiwan Excellence Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

 

“The partnerships that I see and the opportunities that are ahead are incredible,” Mayor Jacobs said. “I think we in Orlando and Orange County are poised to partner with the world.”

TECO Director General Wang presented Mayor Jacobs with a token of appreciation for Orlando’s cooperation with Taiwan during Taiwan Excellence's Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

TECO Director General Wang presented Mayor Jacobs with a token of appreciation for Orlando’s cooperation with Taiwan during Taiwan Excellence’s Products Launch and International Press Conference at InfoComm 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

 

The press conference wrapped with a two-prize raffle that featured last year’s Taiwan Excellence Award winning products.

“I think [Taiwan] is on top of technology that can help healthcare,” said former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello after the press conference. She then added some recommended next steps.

“What they need now is to be able to find a way by which they find a way to increase the language translations, they have to make sure that the protection of the identity of the patient is not broken or cannot be hacked, and more than anything, if they can make a way by which the ambulance driver can be able to connect information to the emergency room, lives will be saved. I think if anyone can do it, it’s this technological group that seems to know what they’re doing.”

 

So, Who is Taiwan Excellence?

According to its press release, Taiwan Excellence was established in 1992 by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) and Taiwan Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to encourage Taiwan industries to upgrade and incorporate innovative value into their products. The Taiwan Excellence Award is the highest accolade awarded to Taiwan products that encapsulate innovative value.

 

InfoComm 2015

InfoComm 2015 runs from June 13 to June 19, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center, hosting the audiovisual tech industry’s best and most cutting edge companies and products, with over 950 booths and attracting over 30,000 attendees each day. Once there, it is easy to be engulfed in visual splendor, which includes a Tesla display in partnership with Panasonic and London-based large projection display company The Projection Studio. Attendees must beware of shiny new object syndrome.

 

For more information about Taiwan Excellence, visit www.taiwanexcellence.org, and for more on InfoComm 2015, visit www.infocommshow.org.

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A Quick Primer on the Team Solving Orange County’s Affordable Housing Crisis

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Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force held its introductory meeting on April 12, 2019 at the Board of County Commissioner Chambers. Photo: Orange County Government.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange County faces a growing affordable housing crisis, and Mayor Jerry Demings has taken notice–and action. Shortly after his inauguration, he formed Housing For All, an affordable housing task force to face the challenge head-on.

The Housing For All task force doesn’t meet monthly like the County Commission–in fact, their next meeting won’t be until October 4, 2019–but they do work when they’re not meeting. The task force is made up of three subcommittees, Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee and Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee. These three subcommittees meet twice a month to come up with ideas and plans to fix the affordable housing problem.

Each subcommittee has a specific focus on ways to help solve the problem of affordable housing. The Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee is focused on the design of new affordable housing projects, the renovation of current affordable housing that might need fixing and land development for affordable housing units. The Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee is focused on making sure affordable housing is accessible to the major economic zones of the city, develop partnerships with groups and focus on outreach in the county. The Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee is focused on finding ways to increase the supply of affordable housing and how to preserve affordable housing.

At their next meeting in October these subcommittees will update the county on what they have accomplished and what they plan to do in the future. For information from previous Housing for All Task Force meetings or the meeting schedule, visit the Orange County Government website.

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Leyton Blackwell is a photojournalist and Florida National News contributor. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Opening Biopic ‘Te Ata’ Sets High Bar for 2016 Orlando Film Festival

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ORLANDO: Chickasaw Nation Biopic 'Te Ata' Sets Stage for Orlando Film Festival.

ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) – Orlando Film Festival kicked off at Cobb Theaters in Downtown Orlando Wednesday night. The red carpet came alive with excited filmmakers and actors ready to showcase their projects to the Orlando community and, in some cases, to the world at large, including Nathan Frankowski, director of this year’s opening feature Te Ata.

About Te Ata

Frankowski’s biopic feature chronicles the true story of Chickasaw actress and storyteller Mary Frances Thompson, whose love of stories and the Chickasaw Nation fueled her to share the Chickasaw culture with new audiences in the early 1900s, a time when the United States was still growing as a nation and clashed with Native American peoples in the process.

Viewers are immediately swept into the saga from the film’s opening scene with a voice-over folk tale told by Mary Thompson’s father, T.B. Thompson (played by Gil Birmingham). Ironically, though his storytelling places the seed of inspiration in her, it slowly becomes a source of friction between them as she ages.

What makes the film engrossing is the sprawling backdrop upon which Thompson’s journey takes place. While young Te Ata (which means “The Morning”) flourishes with each solo performance and eventually sets her sights on Broadway, the Chickasaw Nation is fighting to secure the funding due them from the U.S. government in the face of ethnocentrism and religious bigotry–to the point that the government passed a law forbidding the sale of traditional Native American textiles and creations, which caused further financial struggle for the Chickasaw Nation. Viewers even experience the Thompsons’ fish-out-of-water feeling as the Chickasaw people’s territory, Tishomingo, shrinks significantly to become part of the newborn state of Oklahoma.

The political tensions are counterbalanced with Te Ata’s experience. Te Ata does her first performances among family, but chooses to leave home for the first time in her life to attend the Oklahoma College for Women (known today as University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma), despite her father’s wishes for her to find a job at home. Viewers immediately empathize with Te Ata’s awkward experience upon her arrival at the predominantly Caucasian-attended College, but cheer her on when that one connection is made, because all it ever takes is one.

Te Ata’s jumping off point occurs when she meets drama teacher Frances Dinsmore Davis, who encourages her to join her class and to share the Chickasaw stories for her senior presentation instead of the usual Shakespeare recitation. From there, Te Ata’s career blossoms from one serendipitous connection to another, taking her performances across the country. She eventually makes it to New York City, hustling to find her place on Broadway, and finds love in the process while performing privately for Eleanor Roosevelt, whose husband was then Governor of New York. The heroine’s journey continues with well-placed highs and lows, keeping the viewer visually and emotionally engaged.

Te Ata is touchingly channeled through lead actress Q’orianka Kilcher who, like Te Ata, has stage experience, and brought it to bear in the role. Kilcher’s magnetic singing, with the help of the film’s sweeping score and indigenous songs, imprints the true Te Ata’s passion for her people onto the viewer’s heart.

Frankowski, who worked closely with the Chickasaw Nation in creating the film, honors Te Ata’s memory and legacy in a cohesive, sweeping tale that will edify audiences everywhere.

 

 

Florida National News Editor Mellissa Thomas is an author and journalist, as well as a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with degrees in Entertainment Business and Film. She also helps business owners, CEOs, executives, and speakers double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book.

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New Solar Co-op Hopes to Shine in Orange County

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (FNN News): Orange County launches solar co-op. Photo: Orange County Govt.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (FNN NEWS) By Orange County Government —Orange County homeowners looking to add solar power to their homes have an opportunity to do so at a discount through a new solar co-op program. The initiative is spearheaded by Orange County Government, the League of Women Voters of Florida and Florida Solar United Neighborhoods (FL SUN), which is a local nonprofit working to organize solar co-ops across the state. According to the Florida Public Service Commission, 11,626 utility customers (less than 1 percent) in Florida have rooftop solar installed. In Florida, these co-ops have worked with nearly 340 homes and businesses across the state.

Above photo (from left): Orange County employees Lori Cunniff and Jon Weiss (both have solar); co-president of the League of Women Voters of Central Florida Sara Isaac; Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Florida Director of FL SUN Angela DeMonbreun

Solar co-ops provide bulk discounts – up to 20 percent – for a group of homeowners who are interested in purchasing solar panels. As part of a solar co-op, citizens benefit from the educational process and each participant signs his or her own contract with the installer, and everyone gets the discount. All homeowners who reside in Orange County are eligible to participate in the co-op.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs officially signed up for the co-op and she’s hoping other residents will consider joining as well.

“This technology is an excellent long-term investment and we’re delighted to invite our residents to participate. The Orange County Solar Co-op is a powerful way to leverage our collective buying power and go solar together,” said Mayor Jacobs. “Florida’s outlook is bright for solar and Orange County’s Co-op can help lead the way.”

The solar co-op supports Jacobs’ goals in her Sustainability Initiative, “Our Home for Life,” which seeks to reduce barriers to alternative energy and increase renewable energy production by 10 percent in 2020 and 25 percent by 2040.

Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase panels. After the co-op receives bids from solar installers in the area, members will select one or two companies to perform the installations at a group discount.

The exact price of a PV (photovoltaic) system is dependent on homeowners’ preference in system size and their home’s energy consumption. Additionally, there is a federal tax credit of 30 percent towards installation costs. Homeowners have the option to install the size PV system that fits their budget.

“Experts tell us Florida’s sunshine gives it the potential to be among the top three states in America for solar power, and by joining in solar co-ops Floridians can start planning for the sun to help pay their electric bills,” said Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. The League of Women Voters of Florida has partnered with FL SUN and various markets in Florida, including Orange County and St. Petersburg, to promote solar initiatives.

In addition to promoting the solar co-op to residents, Orange County is encouraging its more than 7,500 employees to consider signing up.

East Orlando resident Jon Weiss, director of Orange County’s Community, Environmental and Development Services department, is one employee who already participated in a solar co-op and had solar installed in May of this year.

“The co-op really helped us understand the solar project costs and benefits. I realized the questions I had were the same ones that my neighbors had, and I had confidence in the information provided by the contractor selected by the co-op.” said Weiss. “We sized the system to match our budget, and are very pleased with the savings on our power bill. Our up-front investment should be recouped within the next five to six years.”

In considering going solar, Weiss suggests that your home’s roof be in relatively good condition as the panels can last 20-25 years.

Orange County has a goal to obtain 500 participants in the co-op program with 30 percent of the residents opting to Go SOLAR. The co-op deadline to sign up is December 2016. Orange County is sponsoring Community Power Network and FL SUN, 501(c)(3) non-profits, to provide technical assistance to neighborhood solar co-ops at no charge to participants.

“I am excited to work with Orange County residents to educate them about the benefits of solar energy,” said FL SUN Co-op State Director Angela DeMonbreun. “If you’ve ever thought about going solar before, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. We have established that this model works in Orange County and in other states.”

FL SUN expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters. Grants from Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Barancik Foundation and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy broadly support FL SUN’s work.

As part of the Go SOLAR Florida initiative, Orange County and other partners have worked to streamline the permitting process for solar installations. Now solar permits in the county can be processed in a single day on a walk-through basis. Also, use of one of the standard designs that have been pre-approved by the Florida Solar Energy Center can save additional time and money.

To learn more and register for an information session, visit www.flsun.org/orange-county or email solarteam@flsun.org. Upcoming information sessions are as follows:

· Aug. 22 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Orange County Agricultural Extension Office located at 6021 S. Conway Road in Orlando.

· Aug. 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Meadow Woods Recreation Center located at 1751 Rhode Island Woods Circle in Orlando.

· Aug. 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church located at 1901 E. Robinson Street in Orlando.

Additional meetings will be scheduled as well, so visit www.flsun.org/orange-county for listings.

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