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THE FLOG

The University of North Florida’s student newspaper, the Spinnaker, is considering a move from a weekly tabloid to a glossy magazine published monthly.

Spinnaker Editor in Chief Jacob Harn said May 15 that student leaders have had internal discussions with Media Adviser John Timpe and university administrators, and the business office is evaluating how the move would affect revenue.

The Spinnaker also wants to hear from students, faculty, staff and alumni through a survey made available this week. The early response in discussions has been positive, Harn said.

“We’re keeping our eyes open in a digital age and focusing on the website for daily coverage,” Harn said of the plans.

The tentative plan for publishing a magazine would call for 10 monthly issues — including two double issues — beginning in Fall 2013.

“People can expect more investigative news pieces and longer and more in-depth feature pieces,” if the student publication makes the change, Harn said.

The Spinnaker plans to print three more issues in its current tabloid format — once each in June, July and August.

Timpe said the students’ enthusiasm has been a driving force in giving them a chance to make the change for the fall semester.

“It’s enthused not only the print staff, but also the TV, radio and digital staff here. There have been a lot of lively discussions,” Timpe said.

Timpe sees an opportunity for students to experiment where other traditional media might not have the initiative.

“Media operations of all sizes are still trying to figure out the future and to some degree the present,” he said. “That’s one of the benefits of working with a college media outlet. They’re full of students ready to try something new.”

The Spinnaker currently publishes a weekly run of 4,000 issues. Timpe said the monthly run would likely be 10,000 to 12,000 issues, …   More

THE FLOG

I don't know art, but I know what I like. And I think I like George Zimmerman's latest painting.

It is absolutely brilliant, on an artistic level. The yellow ink on a red backdrop -- evocative of the Chinese flag in its bold use of what in America are condiment colors. The primitivist rendering of the subject, the eyes frozen without soul, the Katherine Harris bangs,the gaudy necklace like a Kool Moe Dee gold chain; this painting lays it all bare like a chicken plucked and slaughtered. 

 

Forget who painted it. If it were Basquiat, you'd feel differently. The style, reminiscent of the brilliant painter and iconoclast, Lee Harvey. Bold strokes used in bold ways to make bold statements.

 

And the quote up top? Perfectly understated. Sort of, well, at odds with the Zimmerman public persona -- a Travis Bickel figure who fights with trolls on Twitter and creates bizarre publicity stunts and claims that Sean Hannity is the last honest man in national journalism.

He plays a buffoon on TV. But what if he is working us all?

Angela Corey is not a popular politician, though she is effective. She plays hardball, and she doesn't lose. Which is part of the reason she alone among local political figures would merit being the subject of a painting at all, never mind one of this quality and thematic resonance.

I have, of course, some unsourced theories on Zimmerman's paintings. One of them being that there might be no better way for him to launder money than by creating a dummy market for some awful paintings -- like that first one he did, allegedly plagiarized, that still netted $100k.

Brilliant! Never occurred to Aileen Wuornos, Casey Anthony, or Ted Bundy to bring it like that. George Zimmerman's first painting: a dummy shell, intended to establish a market price for anything with his imprimatur. A price for the celebrity that comes with shooting a teenage boy in cold blood because he was getting pummelled by that boy, whom he stalked in …   More

THE FLOG

Earlier today, and only 13 days after his deadline (he could be a Folio Weekly writer!), Dr. Dr. Herbert M. Barber Jr. — the Jacksonville Port Task Force consultant whose rather … shall we say … colorful views on poor people, environmentalists, integration and Barack Obama being a terrorist are contained in a 2012 book he wrote that nobody in the city bothered to Google before signing on the dotted line — finally turned the draft report that was due Feb. 13. (In keeping with his anachronistic sensibilities, it seems, he only filed a hard copy and not a digital one; the city has promised to email me a copy of the report as soon as it’s digitized, probably tomorrow see below.) 

The city responded with a very polite “thanks and by the way your services are no longer needed”: 

“In accordance with Section 8 of the Contract and Section 3.23 of RFP, the City has elected to terminate the Contract for convenience. Accordingly, this letter shall serve as the City’s written notice of termination to Xicon. The Contract shall be deemed terminated effective immediately upon receipt of this notice.” 

Don’t be worrying about Dr. Dr. Barber, you guys. Dude’s still gonna get paid. Per the notice: “The City is hereby relieved of all further obligations other than payment for the amount of services actually performed to the date of termination. … Please provide the City with an invoice within 30 days of this notice for services completely up to the date of this notice of termination. The City greatly appreciates your cooperation on this matter.” 

Because Dr. Dr. Barber’s work was mostly completely by the time the city found out about his book (from me, natch) — his final report was due March 2, and he was to present to the task force March 11 — he can (and probably will, since he only hates government money when less deserving people get it) …   More

FOLIO DIGITAL

POWER UP: Curry's Budget Proposal

Whether you feel the Lenny Curry’s recent attempts at purging potential opponents from high ranking board positions is business as usual for a party boss, or not, on Monday, Sept. 14, the new city council approved the Mayor’s $1.1 billion budget, and did so unanimously.

NEXT: You Don’t Have to Go Home, but You Can’t Stay Here >>>   More

Jag City

Listening to the national media before the Atlanta game, it was hard not to feel a little bit giddy.

The Jaguars, many folks predicted, would beat Matt Ryan and his Falcons with ease. The Atlanta Falcons, unfortunately, didn’t get the memo. And the way they handled their business underscored why the Jaguars are a 5-9 team.

The first drive was an augury: Atlanta got the ball first, and drove 80 yards down the field in 8 plays and 4:12, pushed by 44 yards from Julio Jones and FSU product Devonta Freeman knocking over the pylon as he crashed into the end zone on a 5-yard run. Matt Ryan: six for six on the drive.

The second quarter featured a second efficient Ryan drive, culminating in an 11-yard strike to - Jones, putting Atlanta up 14 to 3. Those who were waiting for the Falcons to self-destruct like they did a week before in Charlotte began to realize that wasn’t going to happen.

After trading punts, Jacksonville had the ball inside its own 20 with 1:42 left in the half. Bortles, in 2-minute mode, had the offense on the move against a soft Falcons zone, until throwing one of those classic poorly timed interceptions in the end zone. The interception, returned to the Jacksonville 14, set up a Falcons field goal, putting Atlanta up 17 to 3.

The Jaguars, for a second week in a row, needed some magic in the final 30 minutes.

And, for a moment, they were getting it, chunk play by chunk play, on a 9-play, 4:20-drive that covered 80 yards and cut the Falcons’ lead in half, ending with a Bortles bootleg for the touchdown.

Then Ryan served up a pick to Paul Posluszny, giving Jacksonville the ball inside the 50 and all the momentum in the world, as Bortles moved the ball down the field in a drive that culminated with a strike to Allen Robinson, tying the game up at 17, which was where it stood at the end.

Jacksonville punted the ball back in short order, a three and out forced by an aggressive Falcons’ defense, as each team saw …   More

JAG CITY

People often accuse me of lacking a sense of humor. I know a good joke when I hear one, though. Exhibit A:

“Gus Bradley has never talked about the playoffs in his time with the Jaguars” — Random CBS Z-List announcer so deadpanned. So typical of how the national media has treated Jacksonville football over the years. Even during the 14-2 regular season in the 1990s, there was always this kind of condescension toward the River City.

Now that there’s been a long stretch of mediocrity-or-worse, the rhetoric and results line up.

The Saints game was one of those when someone (who was lucky enough not to be watching the game) might look at the final score, see 38-27 and 368 passing yards, and think that it was another seamless performance by the fantasy football-friendly Jags’ offense. However, the signature play of Sunday’s game was not on the stat sheet: It was Blake Bortles being hit in the groin with a shotgun snap.

The final score and final box score (larded with garbage time production) might lead one to believe this was a competitive game.

Don’t buy it. The outcome was never in doubt.

The Saints came out and disrespected the Jags on offense, storming down the field with 4:27 elapsed and 70 yards from Brees on that first drive, as he cut through the Jags’ defense like it was preseason.

After a Jags’ punt, the Saints had the ball again at their own two.

This set up a 98-yard drive, culminating with a Brees-to-Cooks strike for 71 yards, putting the home team up 14-0 at the end of one quarter, with 169 passing yards from Brees.

Bortles was picked on the next drive; Allen Robinson couldn’t bring in the pass, but a Saints defensive end did.

From there, you could see some give in the Jags’ defense. Tim Hightower found space running up the middle and, after yet another Jags’ penalty in the secondary, Hightower took a screen pass for 27 yards to the Jacksonville 1, then, …   More

FLOG

UPDATE FEB. 14

The Downtown Investment Authority will continue studying the idea of having a nonprofit foundation to run events at Hemming Plaza. On Feb. 13, Jim Bailey, publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record and chairman of the Hemming Plaza Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority, proposed the creation of a private foundation to take over administration and programming of the downtown park. The organization would be called H.A.R.T - an acronym for the Hemming Arts Recreation Team, after Isaiah Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, who deeded the land for the park to the city. Other DIA board members said more research is needed before such a committee could be formed. Board Chairman Donald Harris said the DIA was still in the fact-finding stage. Bailey’s proposal was to have 10 board members contribute $5,000 each to establish and form a non-profit to run the park.

FEB. 13

The Hemming Plaza Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority is proposing the creation of a private foundation to take over administration and programming of the downtown park. Jim Bailey, chairman of the committee and publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record, outlined the proposal Tuesday. The organization would be called H.A.R.T - an acronym for the Hemming Arts Recreation Team, after Isaiah Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, who deeded the land for the park to the city. If approved by the Downtown Investment Authority, the non-profit foundation would be supported entirely by private contributions and its mission would be “to enhance Hemming Plaza through events, collaboration with local businesses and volunteerism.”   More

Flog

Two Clay County lawmakers are filing a bill that will make public-owned stadiums with professional franchises eligible for a $2 million a year sales tax rebate for the next 30 years, the Times-Union reported. If the bill passes, the city-owned Everbank Field, the home of the Jaguars, would be eligible for a total of $4 million a year based on the new rebate and a rebate the stadium received in 1995. Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, and Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, will sponsor the bill.   More

DIG THIS GIG

If you are longing for the epitome of classic rock, then look much further than Atlanta Rhythm Section. Still, these old school faves have invested 30 years into the genre while obtaining a rather successful career. ARS will be sure to take their audience back in time - predictably to the '70s, the era they specialize in solely. Despite losing two original members, including bassist Paul Goddard, ARS continue to rock the Baby Boomer nation with timeworn concerts.

However their look has been updated, they have since traded in their sleek, tailor-made suits for T-shirts and jeans. The audience can be sure to expect their top hits, “So in to You” and “Champagne Jam” to be in the lineup. Nevertheless, there are ARS fans and other classic rock music lovers who will thoroughly enjoy the melodic flashback.

 

  More

THE FLOG

In 2010, when the economy was plummeting and businesses across America were being forced to close their doors, four Ireland-born sisters received a phone call that changed the fate of their Atlantic Beach restaurant. Talk about Culhane's Irish Pub had reached producers of the Food Network's “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." They loved the restaurant's website, menu and story, prompting them to contact Mary Jane Culhane about the possibility of being featured on the popular show hosted by Guy Fieri.

"Having our own Irish pub had been a dream of ours since we first came to the states," Culane said. "After 10 years of saving, we were finally able make it a reality. We used our own money to back the restaurant — never taking out loans from any banks — so watching the economy drop in 2009 and knowing that 70 percent of restaurants fail, we were thankful for the publicity that a visit from Fieri would bring."

Before a spot of the show could be secured, production teams were sent to check out the pub in person.

"They wanted to make sure everything was made from scratch and to make sure it was a legitimate, authentic place," Culhane said. "A lot of Irish pubs are all about the bar, but we've always focused on our Irish chefs and authentic food; many of our recipes come straight from our mother's kitchen. That's what sets Culhane's apart."

The creators of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" agreed. A week after learning they had landed a highly-coveted spot on the show, Fieri was in their kitchen. The show highlighted popular Irish comfort foods, like their Guiness Beef Stew, Dingle Fish Pie and Blarney Lamb Sliders. The unique ambiance and close-knit community, too, were emphasized — a true Irish pub atmosphere.

Culhane's has had loyal local customers since it's opening, but being on national television and now having a six-page spread in Fieri's new book has opened up a whole new group of patrons. People travel all over the country, following in Fieri's …   More