Monthly Archives: February 2016 (page 6)

Tuesday’s El Faro Hearing: 4 Main Questions

Tuesday was the first day of a Coast Guard hearing into the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship. In Jacksonville, the Marine Board of Investigation focused on the relationship between the ship’s crew and its operator, TOTE Services.

One TOTE representative said El Faro’s captain was responsible for making the final decision to sail near the hurricane that sank it.

Continue reading »

One Spark Partners with Art Walk for Two-Day Event

Jacksonville crowdfunding event One Spark has been shortened from a week-long event to two days.  Today officials announced that this year’s One Spark event will be April 6-7. This announcement comes after months of speculation about the fate of One Spark, after numerous changes within the organization.

Continue reading »

02/15/16: Religious Freedom Restoration Act; TAVR; The American Legion; Cole Pepper

  Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri announced Saturday that he will suspend his push to adopt local discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

Hazouri is withdrawing his bill that would amend the city’s human rights ordinance to protect those citizens from discrimination in jobs, housing and public accommodations. The move means this divisive local issue will be put on the back burner, at least for now, leaving Jacksonville one of the largest major cities that still lacks legal discrimination protection for the LGBT community.

The HRO has been controversial in large part because opponents have raised religious objections to the legislation.

We’ve also seen the debate over rights vs. religious liberty at the national level.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. recognized a for-profit corporation’s claim of religious belief. Following this ruling many states, including Florida, have since proposed expanding state religious freedom laws to include for-profit corporations.

We speak with Toni Van Pelt is co-founder, president and Congressional lobbyist for the Institute for Science and Human Values. She’ll be speaking about the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and what she calls its its dangers to secular society and government at an event presented by the First Coast Freethought Society.

Continue reading »