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THE FLOG

CAN GIANCARLO STANTON SAVE BASEBALL IN FLORIDA?

Last Wednesday, Nov. 19, the Miami Marlins reached an agreement with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on a $325 million contract, the largest contract for an athlete in the history of American professional sports. As absurd as it may seem, I find myself in the odd position of defending this admittedly mind-boggling deal. I understand that there are many people who find baseball as enjoyable as listening to your drunk uncle eat mashed potatoes while talking politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table. I know that this contract works out to about $69,000 a day, which is a slap in the face to schoolteachers, fire fighters, and basically every other working slob in America. Those discussions are for another time. I speak to you here strictly as a fan of baseball — more specifically as a rare fan of the Miami Marlins, and nothing else. If you don't care about baseball, you can probably stop reading now. Before you do, consider that there’s a local angle here, too.

You see, Giancarlos Stanton (then known as Mike Stanton) used to hit a majority of his majestic home runs right off of (if not onto) A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. It was there that he called The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (still our best playing field in this city — I'm looking right at you, Khan) home as a member of the minor league Jacksonville Suns. For those not familiar, the Jacksonville Suns serve as the AA farm team of the Miami Marlins. For those not familiar with farm teams, well, they are where major league baseball clubs pay players to hone their skills in order for them to become professionals before joining the parent clubs. The NFL has something similar called college football, except there they don't do silly things like compensate players.

Even while still in the minors, it didn't take an MLB scout to realize that Stanton was going to be special, and his home runs were already the stuff of legend. Anyone who got a chance …   More

THE FLOG

LET'S ALL REMEMBER THE TIME CLAY YARBOROUGH FOUND FOLIO WEEKLY WAY TOO SEXXXY

As you may have heard, City Council President Clay Yarborough has been in the news lately. But what you may not remember is that this isn’t the first time Yarborough has determined that he and he alone should be the decider of what is good and wholesome in our fair city. 

Back in 2008 — long before I was associated with this esteemed publication — Folio Weeky published a cover story by John E. Citrone, then the paper’s managing editor, on Northeast Florida’s BDSM scene. The cover showed a dog collar and had the words “Whip It Good.” 

Clay Yarborough was not amused. Then, as now, he demanded the city get in on the censorship business, for the children. Here is the letter he wrote to then-Mayor John Peyton, demanding that the city remove our publication and distribution racks from all city-owned property because he found an article offensive. (He also objected to “scantily clad women” in a couple ads.) 

Peyton, to the best of my knowledge, did not play along. I suspect Yarborough’s latest anti-MOCA campaign will similarly fizzle. 

From: Yarborough, Clay 

Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 5:07 PM

To: Peyton, John

Cc: Davis, Daniel; Fussell, Ronnie; Gubbin, Barbara

Subject: March 11 Folio

Mayor,

I walked through the door of a Jacksonville Public Library today and my attention was immediately caught by the cover of the March 11, 2008 issue of Folio Weekly with the words "Whip It Good" thereon. Pages 17-23 contain a long, explicit article (with photos), entitled "House of Pain," about a sadomasochism residence on the Westside. The article also explains, in-depth, the details of a stage show performed at a local nightclub in which sexual acts and abuse are graphically simulated, and speaks of the audience members "groping each other"

Here is more (edited for content), taken directly from the article:

Page 17 “A man’s [genitalia] is pierced …   More

THE FLOG

DEAR FLORIDA HOMOSEXUALS: YOU MAY GET MARRIED STARTING JAN. 5

This just in from the Human Rights Campaign’s Twitter feed: 

BREAKING: 11th Circuit declines to extend stay of Florida marriage ruling. Barring SCOTUS action, marriages can begin in Florida Jan 5th!

Will update as we hear more.    More

THE FLOG

KIM CRENIER EXITS STAGE RIGHT

For the last two weeks, I’ve filed columns and blog posts exploring the controversial tweets Duval County Republican Party Secretary Kim Crenier posted in the wake of the Darren Wilson “No True Bill” decision in Ferguson, Missouri, last Monday night. At 10:34 p.m., as tear gas flooded the streets of Ferguson, Crenier, on her own account as well as that of @JaxGOP, excitedly tweeted: “No true bill! May God bless and protect Officer Darren Wilson and his family. Facts are facts.”

I’ve called for the party to explain her comments and to take a position on them and her; I’ve also called for Crenier to resign. In the wake of my original blog post, the story went national, taking off with outfits as disparate as the Washington Times and Daily Kos.

And with good reason. Her comments on the Jax GOP feed were questionable; the ones on her private feed were unconscionable. Her call for law enforcement to “turn the fire hoses” on Ferguson protesters who “probly need a shower” was a throwback to the Bull Connor era. When I asked her about it, she replied that “the civil rights implication never even entered my head” and that “water seemed to be less severe than mace,” which apparently was the chosen crowd dispersal agent of some of her fellow tea partiers in her Twitterverse. (She also had some choice statements about “President Racebaiter” Barack Obama, “our race-baiting, America hating President.”)

Time passed, and the Ferguson riots ran their course. Hands Up Don’t Shoot, replaced by I Can’t Breathe. Another week; another black man executed with extreme prejudice by a white cop. And she was still in her spot.

That ends soon. Crenier recently went on a local right-wing radio show, according to the Times-Union, and said that critics had “been calling for my head and calling for me to step down,” she said. “[Local …   More

THE FLOG

ROBIN LUMB ON THE CULTURAL COUNCIL’S PROPER ROLE, #MOCAGATE AND ARTS FUNDING

Last week, I told you how Councilman Robin Lumb — whom we’ve since learned will likely abandon his bid for supervisor of elections in favor of becoming the next Duval GOP chairman, and may seek reelection to his City Council seat — had sent a stern letter to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s board members chiding the organization for an email the group had sent out rallying support for MOCA and its Project Atrium exhibit and against Clay Yarborough, who deemed said exhibit pornographic. In short, Lumb found it distasteful that the Cultural Council was singling out and criticizing one council member. He was also upset that the Cultural Council’s email contained a link to a story I had written that, in his words, contained “disparaging remarks” about Yarborough. (True.) 

The email “is a rather ham-handed effort to exploit the controversy,” he wrote, “an effort that crossed several lines that should not have been crossed and that calls into question whether the Cultural Council understands its proper role and the limits inherent thereto.”

Per his request, I emailed Lumb Friday morning with a couple questions. He sent me his answers last night. As he expressed some concern about being quoted out of context, I told him I’d print our entire email exchange — my full question and his full answers — online, for all the world to see and assess. And here it is, passed along without comment. My questions are in bold. (My fuller thoughts will appear in print Wednesday.)

1) The CCGJ is in a sense repositioning itself less as a sort of pass-through agency — i.e., take money from Council, give money to the symphony and the Cummer and MOCA — than as a group of “advocates/activists” for the arts in Jacksonville. In your email, if I’m reading it right, you argue that the CCGJ should not be in the advocacy business, at least not with public …   More

THE FLOG

OUSTED FSU INSTRUCTOR ASKED SCHOOL OFFICIALS TO SUPPRESS OUR STORY

WCTV in Tallahassee has a story up tonight that basically regurgitates what Derek Kinner posted last night: Longtime Florida State instructor Deborah O’Connor resigned over the weekend after Folio Weekly began asking questions about a string of racist, homophobic Facebook comments she left on a friend-of-a-friend’s post about police shootings. (No link to us or mention of our intrinsic role in this thing, as journalistic convention would dictate is proper, but whatever.) The TV station did get one thing out of the university that they didn’t give us yesterday when we were putting our story together: O’Connor’s resignation letter, and a note she sent the dean before that. The interesting part: 

In her resignation letter to the dean of the business school, O'Connor notes she has a Masters and Ph.D. from FSU and had taught there for 18 years.

She wrote her resignation was "...the path of least resistance", but "I do NOT believe the punishment fits the "crime"."

In her original note to the dean before her official resignation letter was submitted,O'Connor wrote in part, "Is there any chance the story can be suppressed to minimize further injury to my repuation? Thanks and Go Noles".

Nope.    More

THE FLOG

HERE IS DEBORAH O’CONNOR’S RESIGNATION LETTER

On Saturday, longtime Florida State instructor Deborah O’Connor tendered her resignation after Folio Weekly began asking questions about a racist, homophobic Facebook rant she went on Thursday night. On Monday, FSU officials declined to give this magazine her resignation letter, even though it is a public record, though on Tuesday they gave it to Tallahassee media. Last night we put in another request, and finally, this morning we finally got it.

Here it is:

-----Original Message-----

From: O'Connor, Deborah

Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2014 1:17 PM

To: Beck-Dudley, Caryn

Subject: RE: [Manfac] [Cobfac] FW: Publishing Opportunity for Your Undergraduate Students

Caryn

Just a quick note to tell you that I am sending my official letter of resignation effective at the close of this semester later today. I am away from computer.

I talked to Jack.

Is there any chance the story can be suppressed to minimize further injury to my reputation? I think I have paid the price for my ill chosen words.

Thanks and Go Noles

Debbie

 

From: Beck-Dudley, Caryn

Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2014 5:35 PM

To: O'Connor, Deborah

Cc: Beck-Dudley, Caryn; Fiorito, Jack

Subject: Re: [Manfac] [Cobfac] FW: Publishing Opportunity for Your Undergraduate Students

Deborah,

I accept your voluntary resignation. In doing so, I am not agreeing with or admitting to any statements that you have made in your emails which contain several untrue statements and misrepresentations.

Caryn

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

"O'Connor, Deborah" <daoconnor@business.fsu.edu> wrote:

Dear Dean Beck-Dudley,

I am tendering my resignation effective at the end of the present semester. I do this with a heavy heart, having graduated with a Masters and a Ph.D. from Florida State and having taught in the College of Business for 18 years.

Please see my previous email which I want entered into an official record to defend myself …   More

THE FLOG

THE CULT OF DAVID CARR

Editor’s note: David Carr was something of a hero of mine, dating back to the late ’90s when he was editor of the Washington City Paper, before he became nationally known as The New York Times’ media critic. Carr died last week. I never got to meet him, but Carr was a mentor and friend to my predecessor here at Folio Weekly, Anne Schindler, who worked with him at a now-defunct Minnesota alt-weekly called the Twin Cities Reader. She was kind enough to pen this wonderful remembrance of a legend in our field. — Jeffrey C. Billman

David Carr loved a good story, and it was part of his natural generosity that he left everyone he came into contact with at least one good story to remember him by.

In the 25 years I’ve known Carr, I’ve had the good fortune to cross paths with him in a slew of odd places, and whether getting lost on the streets of Tijuana, waging noodle wars in the lakes of the Adirondacks, or watching Sonic Youth aurally annihilate the 9:30 Club, each left an indelible memory.

Carr’s whole life was a caper, and he was ruthlessly candid about not wanting not to miss out. He had to taste everything on the menu, jump into every darkened swimming pool, and yes, “grind himself to the center of the universe” journalistically.

Carr gave me my first job in journalism, at the now-defunct alt-weekly the Twin Cities Reader. He was just shed of his crack addiction and cancer, and new to the job of editor. And he very nearly didn’t take me. After receiving the package of poorly written, sloppily edited college papers that served as my “writing sample,” he asked if I could at least type.

I could not. “It’s going to be difficult to explain to anyone in this newsroom why I would hire you,” he confided, “if you can’t even type.”

I spent that summer learning to type using a textbook, practicing on a series of postcards that I would send Carr as proof …   More

FOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR CHIEF JUDGE MARK MAHON

It seems that Duval County Chief Judge Mark Mahon (DCCJMM to his fans) has rather narrow views of precisely when and where the Constitution applies. On July 1, DCCJMM handed down Administrative Order 2015-3, banning filming in certain areas of the courthouse and forbidding protests on courthouse grounds that “degrade or call into question the integrity of the court or any of its judges.” Nope, that’s not a joke. We checked.

Chief Judge Mahon’s administrative order created a free-speech-less bubble around the courthouse, the Office of the State Attorney, their parking garages, the lawn, the Courthouse sidewalks, heck, maybe even the skies above and the grounds below and everywhere else that freedom lives. Individuals who penetrated the free-speech-less bubble with their vile protests of the judiciary were subject to criminal contempt of court.

Well, why stop at restricting freedom of the press, freedom to peaceable assembly and freedom of speech? Here are some suggestions for DCCJMM for his future administrative orders.

1.     Free speech areas. Possible locations: The Jacksonville Landing (no one goes there, anyway), Cleveland Arms Apartments (they’re already protesting there, so it’s convenient), and I-95 during rush hour (we’re pretty sure there’s a precedent for this).

2.     Judicial chambers should be renamed ‘Star Chambers.’ You’re the star, baby. Let it shine.

3.     On the subject of names, DCCJMM doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi that denotes power and commands respect. So how about Supreme Transcendental Overlord ofLaws? or All Shall Serve the Honorable Overlord of Law and Ennui.

4.     In absentia criminal trials. The government spends buckets of dough shuttling inmates back …   More

FOLIO DIGITAL

HOMOGENIZATION NATION

Either Folio Weekly is experiencing “the change” or it’s getting hot, hot, hot in the Bold City! In less than two weeks, Jacksonville has been graced with the presence of not one, but two, Republican presidential candidates. On Saturday, Oct. 24, Donald J. Trump descended, Voldemort-like, on a moist crowd at The Landing; on Monday, Nov. 2, John Ellis “Jeb”/“don’t-call-me-Dubya’s-mini-me” Bush slithered in and out of the air-conditioned enclave of Kaman Aerospace on the Northside.

It’s often said that like begets like, but the Grand Ol’ Party could not have spawned two more outwardly different candidates. From skin tone – Trump’s tangerine-tinted mug is the envy of Oompa Loompas everywhere, while Jeb! rocks a lighter shade of pale that is all the rage among WASPs – to speaking style – Trump blathers on in semi-coherent gotcha phrases guaranteed to whip his mouth-breathing supporters into a lather while Jeb! speaks in complete sentences that neither escalate nor diminish in pitch regardless of what he’s talking about; their personality brands could not be more different.

Make no mistake, fair voters — for politicians, personality is a brand. And the more powerful the politician, the more manufactured the personality. Which means presidential candidates’ public personas are about as authentic as a Doritos marketing campaign. In spite of both campaigns’ efforts to show how unequivocally different Bushx3 and Trump-a-brain-dump are, they are actually as similar as anyone paying attention would expect. Before you recoil in horror, “But, FW, they seem so different on the news!” let’s peel this onion, shall we? Here is some pre-masticated food for thought:

1. Box Checking. Both Trump and Bush are white, male, Christian American Baby Boomers from exceptionally privileged families who have spawned multiple children and have an …   More