First Coast Connect

By WJCT News

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Description

Hosted by Melissa Ross, First Coast Connect is an hour-long call-in program that features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, arts, activities across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, along with spot news features and a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

Episode Date
6/15/2018: Media Roundtable; Music Of Motown
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Our weekly Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect with guest host Ryan Benk featured Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods , Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton and Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth . Topics discussed included: Mayor Lenny Curry’s plan to tear down the Jacksonville Landing and replace it with a public park. The latest appearance in Federal Court of suspended Jacksonville City Council members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown regarding their fraud charges The proposal by developer Tom Dodson to build 14-hundred homes on 400 acres of the Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve and swap the land for 400 acres he owns on Black Hammock Island (01:08) We were joined by Stage Aurora founder and CEO Darryl Reuben Hall and singer Akia Uwanda who told us about their Father’s Day dinner and concert Music of Motown which will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Rhythm Factory (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter
Jun 15, 2018
6/14/2018: Transgender Identification; Void Magazine; Bowling For Rhinos; 'A Chorus Line'
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Thursday on First Coast Connect with guest host Jessica Palombo we talked about the shooting of three transgender woman in Jacksonville and problems with police misgendering the victims with Jacksonville Coalition for Equality Dan Merkan , WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride and transgender activist Savannah Bowens (01:00). We heard about the latest stories coming this week in Void Magazine with editor Matt Shaw (30:35). The Jacksonville Zoo’s Toni Piccolotti and Tirzah Nichols told us about a fundraiser called Bowling for Rhinos to help raise awareness and help protect the world’s falling rhinoceros population.(39:09) Apex Theatre Executive Producer Ian Mairs and young artists Matthew Kemp and Adelyne Anderson joined the show to talk about their upcoming performance next week of A Chorus Line (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 14, 2018
6/13/2018: Julington-Durbin Creek Land Swap; Going Green; Judy Wells
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect with guest host Ryan Benk we heard about a controversial preservation land swap proposal by Bartram Park Developer Tom Dodson in which the state would give him back about 400 acres at theJulington-Durbin Peninsula in return for the state receiving about 400 acres on Black Hammock Island. We discussed the issue with Florida Times-Union reporter Steve Patterson, St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman and former Mayor John Delaney, who has been hired by the firm that represents the developer (01:19). Delaney will start in the new position in September. Our latest edition of Going Green featured Greener Solutions Air owner Curt Kinder who discussed ways to keep your HVAC environmentally friendly and how to determine the best HVAC for a home or business (32:09). Travel blogger Judy Wells told us about her recent trip to China’s Shaanxi Province (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 13, 2018
6/12/2018: Prison Visitation; Moveable Feast; Book Club; Revival
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect with guest host Ryan Benk we heard about the move by the Florida Department of Corrections to change the ways visitors can visit inmates with Florida Times-Union reporter Ben Conrack (01:27). Our latest edition of Movable Feast with Leigh Cort from the Women’s Food Alliance featured Kimberly Francoeur from Brides on the Bus (35:16). First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring told us about her experience recently at the 2018 Book Expo America in New York City (39:08). We heard about the upcoming fighting game event Saturday at WJCT studios, called Revival XV. Good Luck Have Fun (GLHF) Gaming Bar manager Landon Paul and Brian Ritchie and Ryan Bonifant with Villain Productions gave us the lowdown.. Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 12, 2018
6/11/2018: Civil Rights Task Force; The Laramie Project; Yoga 4 Change; Cole Pepper
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Monday on First Coast Connect with guest host Ryan Benk we heard about the Jacksonville City Council Civil Rights Task Force with Council President Anna Lopez Brosche and civil rights icon Rodney Hurst (01:19). 5 and Dime Managing Director Lee Hamby and actor Brian Niece talked about the upcoming production of The Laramie Project which debuts Friday (31:26). Ahead of her lecture this week at the Women’s Wednesdays Speaker Series in St. Augustine for She is Fierce! we spoke with Yoga 4 Change founder Kathryn Thomas (40:25). WJCT Sports Analyst Cole Pepper joined us to talk about the Florida Gators being one win away from a return to the College World Series, the Jaguars mandatory minicamp this week and Justify winning the horse racing’s Triple Crown on Saturday (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 11, 2018
6/8/2018: Media Roundtable; Jacksonville Daily Record & Observer; The Hunts
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Our weekly Media Roundtable Friday on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union Reporter Tessa Duvall , radio host Angela Spears , Jacksonville Daily Record Reporter Dave Cawton and WJCT Reporter Ryan Benk . The topics discussed included A list of replacements for suspended Jacksonville City Council members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown is on Governor Rick Scott’s desk. Controversy over outgoing Interim Duval County School Superintendent Patricia Willis promoting two relatives . More homicides in Jacksonville including three young men and a transgender victim (01:18). We heard about the new Jacksonville Daily Record & Observe r weekly free publication and updates to the Jacksonville Daily Record with Publisher Matt Walsh and Editor Karen Brune Mathis (35:19). Ahead of their free concert Friday night at Hemming Park we heard from the band The Hunts and Friends of Hemming Park Director Christina Parrish Stone (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org
Jun 08, 2018
6/6/2018: Suicide Prevention; The Florida Chamber Music Project; Summer of '64; Players By The Sea
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In the wake of the apparent suicide Tuesday of fashion designer Kate Spade we spoke with Mental Health America of Northeast Florida CEO Wendy Hughes on First Coast Connect about the rise of suicides in the country , particularly a sharp increase by white, middle-aged women (01:06). Ahead of The Florida Chamber Music Project’s Masquerade Tango Gala Saturday night at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall we spoke with Artistic Director Susan Pardue and heard an in-studio performance (22:03). Local historian Scott A. Grant told us about his recent campaign to help educate residents about the impact Jacksonville and St. Augustine had in the civil rights movement in his presentation, Summer of ‘64 (28:42). We met the new Executive Director of Players by the Sea Suzanne Hudson-Smith who told us about some of the plans she has for the venue and some of the upcoming shows (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 06, 2018
6/5/2018: Gregory Hill Jr. Case; #RealTalk; JAXPAL; Woman With Heart; Lee Hunter
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with local attorney John Phillips about the case of Gregory Hill Jr. Hill was shot and killed by police in St. Lucie County through his closed garage door. A jury awarded the family a four dollar settlement that was reduced to four cents. The case has sparked national outrage and an online fundraising campaign for his children (01:08). This month’s edition of RealTalk with Charles Griggs featured former Duval County school board member Brenda Priestly-Jackson , Chairman of the Jacksonville Library Board of Trustees Ronnie King , and John King , Principal at Gravely-James Academy. The discussion involved school choice in the African-American community (29:25). We heard about some of the events coming up at the Jacksonville Police Athletic League with Executive Director Lieutenant Lakesha Burton (36:48). This month’s Woman With Heart , raising money for Volunteers in Medicine , is Shelley Morgan with The Morgan Group. She is hosting an 8:45 a.m. to
Jun 05, 2018
6/4/2018: Trump Tariffs; Nancy Hogshead-Makar; Hurricane Financial Prep; Cole Pepper
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Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with UNF Political Science Professor Matt Corrigan on how President Trump’s recent tariffs could affect Florida (01:29). Ahead of this week’s She Is Fierce! Wednesday speaker series talk we were joined by Olympic gold medalist and champion of women’s rights Nancy Hogshead-Makar (28:34). With the hurricane supplies sales tax now underway in Florida we were joined by Mary Svoboda , Chief Operating Officer and Chief Lending Officer of Jax Federal Credit Union to talk about how you should prepare your finances for hurricane season (39:25). Cole Pepper joined us to talk about Florida State’s women’s softball team playing this week in the NCAA championship series and Florida Gators men’s baseball team a win away from the super regionals and the Jaguars off-season practices this week (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 04, 2018
6/1/2018: Media Roundtable; Hurricane Season Windows
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Friday our First Coast Connect Media Roundtable featured Dan Scanlan from the Florida Times-Union, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews , Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons and Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarsk i. Issues discussed included, Jacksonville City Council members Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown indicted on 38 federal charges including fraud. The Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police endorsing Congressman Al Lawson in his reelection bid over former Mayor Alvin Brown . The battle between the City of Jacksonville and Toney Sleiman Enterprises over the future of The Jacksonville Landing . With Friday being the start of the 2018 Hurricane Season we heard about the best ways to protect your windows and some of the myths about taping windows instead of using plywood with Kevin Pound with EagleView Windows and Doors (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
Jun 01, 2018
5/31/2018: Connell Crooms; Spoiled Parks; Drools Of The Trade
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Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville Mayoral candidate Connell Crooms . He is best known as one of the members of the Hemming Park 5, who were arrested and beaten by police at a protest last year in the park over the Trump administration’s bombing of Syria (01:16). We heard about a new report concerning the dangers national parks, seashores and monuments would face if offshore drilling is expanded in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with Nicholas Lund from the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Resources Defense Council (32:13). Related Story: Four First Coast Area National Parks Could Be Impacted By Offshore Drilling Bryce Pfanenstiel from FORGE Manufacturing talked about their new invention to help dads bond with their new babies with teething tools called Drools of the Trade (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 31, 2018
5/30/2018: Jacksonville Landing Saga; Green Transition Scoreboard
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect we heard the latest about the battle over The Jacksonville Landing with Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein and Daily Record reporter David Cawton (01:09). We discussed the results of the 2018 Green Transition Scoreboard report with the author, CEO of Ethical Markets Hazel Henderson (37:10). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 30, 2018
5/29/2018: Medical Cannabis; Earl Benton Jr; First Coast Rowing Club; Turntable Tuesday
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we heard about Florida’s growing medical cannabis industry with attorney Matthew Ginder . He’s senior counsel in the Cannabis Law practice group at the South Florida firm Greenspoon Marder (01:12). Our May edition of First Coast Success with Karen Brune Mathis featured Earl Benton Jr., founder and CEO of Champion Brand, which is a beverage distributor (22:51). We heard about the First Coast Rowing Club with Head Coach Paul Mokha and young rowers Sanjay Mokha and Danielle Forbes . Both are heading to the national rowing championships (32:26). WJCT Station Manager and Music Director David Luckin told what to expect on 89.9’s Turntable Tuesday (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 29, 2018
5/25/2018: Live From Jacksonville Jazz Festival; Guns To Hammers; Mama Blue
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First Coast Connect was live Friday from downtown Jacksonville at Chamblin’s Uptown to celebrate the 2018 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. We spoke with Jason Lewis , founder of Jazz Fest After Dark and Damien Lamar host of 89.9’s Taste Test . Our Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi , WJCT contributor Charles Griggs , Daily Record reporter David Cawton and Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski . Our topics included: the new NFL policy requiring everyone on the field to stand for the national anthem, the Jacksonville City Council leadership election and the Duval County School Board naming Diana Green as the district’s new superintendent (01:27). We spoke with Guns to Hammers Co-Founder and CEO J.R. Smith . The organization helps disabled veterans with home modifications to bring their dwellings to ADA compliance. The group is holding a meet and greet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Veterans United Craft Brewery (37:56) We wrapped our show with a live
May 25, 2018
5/24/2018: Kids Hope Alliance; Dan Schafer; End Of Life Doulas; Johnson Family YMCA
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Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with newly installed Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joseph Peppers and board chair Kevin Gay about what we can expect the organization will do to help kids in Jacksonville (1:19). Retired UNF history professor Dan Schafer told us about his book Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley: African Princess, Florida Slave, Plantation Slaveowner . A new edition of his 2003 biography of the one-time owner of the Kingsley Plantation has recently published by University Press of Florida (26:52). We heard about International End of Life Doula Association with certified doula Susanna Massari . The organization is having a conference in Jacksonville in October (37:35). First Coast YMCA CEO Eric Mann told us about the construction project to expand the Johnson Family YMCA on Jacksonville’s northside. The groundbreaking was earlier this month (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 24, 2018
5/23/2018: Immigration Update; The Faces To Remember; Sulzbacher Village
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Wednesday on First Coast Connect we learned the latest regarding a move in Congress to force a floor vote on immigration reform with local immigration attorney Susan Pai and attorney Ted Hutchinson with public policy group Forward Florida (01:09). We heard about the project The Faces to Remember which is currently focusing on preserving photos and the stories of local Filipinos who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Pacific Theater in WW. II with creator Agnes Lopez (33:06). The ribbon will be cut Thursday on the Sulzbacher Village which will have 70 units for homeless and women and children. We got a preview from Sulzbacher Center President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 23, 2018
5/22/2018: RE:MIND; Moveable Feast; Whestonian
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Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Marion Tischler from RE:MIND , an initiative from local spiritual leaders to help people deal with chemical dependency and mental illness (01:10). Our latest edition of Moveable Feast with Leigh Cort of the Women’s Food Alliance featured Renee Unsworth , creator of website Totally St. Augustine (23:03). To honor the memory of the late Walter Whetstone and the impact of his LaVilla creation, the Whetstonian , we spoke with author and FSCJ professor Tim Gilmore (29:53). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 22, 2018
5/21/2018: AMA President-Elect; National EMS Week; Cole Pepper
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Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with American Medical Association President-Elect Dr. Barbara McAneny about the association’s conference this week at the Prime Osborn Convention Center focusing on gun violence, the opioid epidemic, mental health and obesity (01:16). To mark National EMS Week we spoke with UF Health trauma surgeon Dr. Marie Crandall (29:15). Cole Pepper joined us to talk about the Jaguars beginning off-season team practices, Florida, Florida State and Georgia’s softball teams all making the super regionals. The Armada face Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Jumbo Shrimp play a double header on Monday and the Sharks beat Maine on the road Saturday (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 21, 2018
5/18/2018: Media Roundtable; Virtual Reality
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Friday on First Coast Connect our Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein , WJCT contributor Fred Matthews , Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan . Issues discussed included More political intrigue at JEA The Duval County School Board preparing to hire a new Superintendent A flap at City Hall on how it handles public records requests The city of Jacksonville mourning after a JSO officer dies in a car crash while on duty Good news for Mayport as JTA wins a large federal grant for the St. John River Ferry and the city looks to develop the long neglected property next to the Ferry dock. (01:06) We heard about a new program to use virtual reality to bring the city’s park system to hospital-bound children with Timucuan Parks Foundation Executive Director Mark Middlebrook and Executive Director of virtual reality company VR DREAMZ Peter Von Dyck (46:00) Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904
May 18, 2018
5/17/2018: Eastside Environmental Council; Camps; Miracle On Ashley Street; Springfield Home Tour
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Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke to Eastside Environmental Council founder and CEO Wynetta Wright and development manager Teena Anderson about their work to cleanup their neighborhood from contaminants and prevent discharge of pollutants into the St. Johns River (01:06). We heard about the many opportunities in town to send your kids to summer camp with Fun4FirstCoastKids.com website creator Terri Mashour (29:52). The 24th annual Miracle of Ashley Street is Friday. It will features a big luncheon fundraiser for the Clara White Mission . We heard a preview from CEO Ju’Coby Pittman (38:37). The 40th annual Historic Springfield Home Tour is this weekend. SPAR Executive Director Kelly Rich gave us a look at what to expect. Kerry Speckman joined us talk about other events this weekend including the musical Chicago at the Times-Union Center (46:00). Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org , 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @ KMeerschaertJax .
May 17, 2018