Friday on “First Coast Connect” it was our weekly Media Roundtable with Florida Time-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, WJCT business analyst John Burr and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We spoke with Dee Quaranta, president of Northeast Florida Women Veterans and singer-songwriter Kim Paige performed live in our studio.
Springfield’s Historic Housing Debate; Florida’s Tallest Structure; & From Robotics To Reading — #28
On this episode of Redux, we’ll look at a dispute between one historic Jacksonville community and a non-profit housing organization that already will cost taxpayers millions of dollars — and possibly much more when it’s settled. Then, in collaboration with public radio stations throughout the state, we bring you our contribution to Decision Florida, which is a look at the issues during this legislative session. And finally, who says it’s a bad idea to play video games in class? Certainly not this Jacksonville middle school. But first, one developer wants to make Jacksonville the home of the tallest structure in Florida.
Auditors said Duval’s new elementary English Language Arts curriculum is highly aligned with state standards. But while school principals are feeling good about its implementation, teachers aren’t necessarily sold. School board members heard the results of the second phase and final recommendations of the curriculum audit by the company Educational Directions Thursday afternoon. Results from the first phase which focused on the curriculum’s alignment, were presented in December .
A new commission convened Thursday to begin measuring how well the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is implementing task force recommendations from last year. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams asked the four taskforces to write a strategic plan. Now, the Commission on Progress will study how well police are doing at increasing transparency, community engagement, training and resources.
The Duval County School District is launching a safety hotline for students and parents. The email and phone system is for reporting threats.
Thursday on “First Coast Connect” Florida State College Jacksonville President Cynthia Bioteau talked about a new program that will pay for the tuition of some local students. We also spoke with Generation W founder Donna Orender and Web.com Senior Vice President Mary Kellmanson about their upcoming conference. We were joined by artist Lauren Fenterstock, whose work will be on display beginning Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Project Atrium. We spoke with Erin Thursby about Saturday’s GastroJax in Hemming Park and Kerry Speckman told us about this weekend’s events.
The nonprofit that manages downtown Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is getting another chance to prove it can handle the responsibility. Mayor Lenny Curry originally planned for the city to take back control of the park after the Friends of Hemming Park misspent public funds . But Curry last week announced he’d extend Friends’ lease another six months. Business owners around Hemming want city government to know the park’s condition directly affects their livelihoods.
The St. Johns Riverkeeper is hosting a two-week event to acquaint Northeast Florida residents with the river. Riverkeeper spokeswoman Shannon Blankinship said many people see the river when driving over a bridge, but not many actually get up close and personal with the water. “We want to get more people on the river because the more people that we have on the river, the more people are going to know how the river works, how it functions, where it is, what it looks like and why they should respect it, protect it and preserve it,” Blankinship said. Blankinship said the Riverkeepers want to highlight recreational uses of the river through eco tours. Starting Saturday, residents can go to places they normally wouldn’t explore. Guided tributary and creek tours will bring visitors to preserves and recreational areas the river runs through. But because the St. Johns River is 310 miles long, they will also witness areas experiencing issues related to low water levels— like higher levels of
The Jacksonville City Council approved a bill Tuesday that encourages city contractors to consider hiring felons. The bill, 2017-35 , sponsored by councilman Garrett Dennis requires businesses contracting with the city for at least $200,000 complete an…
Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the proposed settlement between the city of Jacksonville and two nonprofits regarding a plan by Ability Housing to renovate an apartment building in Springfield that would house homeless veterans. Ability Housing Executive Director Shannon Nazworth joined us to talk about its plans and the deal with the city. We also discuss the growing problem of digital abuse against the elderly in senior living facilities with Joanne Hickox, executive director of Seniors on a Mission, and attorney Steve Watrel, who focuses on elder abuse cases. Author and financial planner Jeanette Bajalia talked about her new book “Planning a Purposeful Life” on how seniors can make sure they don’t outlive their savings.