Buzz: Charter School, UNF Chapel, Corrine Brown and More
Ultimate Summer Guide
Enjoying the summer isn’t just about fun in the sun. Folio Weekly’s Ultimate Summer Guide hits newsstands on May 22. The deadline for free editorial listings is 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 1. Listings may be submitted for consideration at folioweekly.com/summerguide.html or bit.ly/UltSummer.
Choppy Waters for Charter School
In early May, the Clay County Board of Education will learn if it will have its first charter school. It’s voted twice to deny the application of the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy. But the Florida Charter School Appeals Commission has voted 6-0 to overturn the Board’s decision after Superintendent Charles Van Zant recommended the application be denied for a second time because it failed 20 of the state’s standards for charter schools. The Florida Board of Education votes May 4 meeting. Currently, Clay County has no charter schools.
Going to the Chapel
The Air Force Academy has its pointed chapel in the Rockies, Notre Dame has its “Touchdown Jesus” mural on the side of Hesburgh Library in South Bend, and now it looks like the University of North Florida will have a new $6 million interfaith chapel. UNF spokesperson Sharon Ashton said the school’s still trying to raise money for the Interfaith Chapel at the Sanctuary near UNF’s Kernan Boulevard entrance. So far, about $1.3 million has been raised, with another $340,000 in pledges. A design competition has been narrowed down to three firms. The 5,000-square-foot sanctuary will seat up to 250 people. “The on-campus oasis will support religious services, student ceremonies, weddings, lectures and musical performances,” Ashton said.
Corrine Brown’s Medicaid Plea
It probably did as much good as spitting into the wind, but U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown tried to make a case before the Florida House Select Committee on the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act on April 15. The Jacksonville Democrat told lawmakers that the state stands to lose $55 billion in federal funding if the Legislature fails to act on Medicaid expansion, which would cover an additional 900,000 Floridians currently without health insurance. With the Legislature in its final push toward adjournment, no one really knows what it will decide on Medicaid expansion. The big issue: whether it will take federal money or try to finance health care with state dollars. Stay tuned.
After being gone for two years, the historic Jacobs Jewelers’ clock has returned to Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville. The clock, one of 12 left out of 100 manufactured by Seth Thomas Clock Company of Connecticut, has all new workings: computer-controlled chimes, lights, paint, a GPS antenna to ensure accurate time, and a sturdier base, which increases its height to 12 feet. The city paid $51,000 for the clock’s renovation. SouthEast Development Group funded its $25,0000 installation. Jacobs purchased the clock as Jacksonville was rising from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1901, giving it to the city in 1995. The refurbished 2.2-ton timepiece was unveiled by Mayor Alvin Brown on April 17.