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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


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


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



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


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


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.




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

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is in the early stages of developing a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan. The organization is asking for help in gathering information reflecting the current levels of bicycling and walking for residents living in Northeast Florida, attitudes about cycling and walking and opinions about barriers that currently exist. Community input is invaluable. Click here to go to the survey. The survey will be open until Jan. 31.

Folio Weekly is also interested in your opinions. Leave your comments below.   More


Mayor Alvin Brown is making an urgent plea asking for Jacksonville residents to help ease the crowding problem at Animal Care and Protective Services by adopting one of the 90 dogs crowding the facility.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work for this city to reach a no-kill status and we want to make sure we keep it that way,” the mayor said in a press release Feb. 19.

Division Chief Scott Trebatoski said with 50 to 100 dogs entering the facility each day, the shelter is becoming too crowded. The current adoption fee through the end of the month is $14 for any dog or cat, which includes spaying or neutering, rabies vaccinations and microchips. It does not include the $20 city licensing fee.

ACPS is located at 2020 Forest St. Regular adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The shelter can be contacted on Facebook or Twitter.   More


Mayo Clinic Jacksonville has received a five-year $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue its study into the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease. The clinic’s Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s disease has received funding for research since 1999. In recent years, that funding has dropped to about $500,000 a year, said Dennis Dickson, a neuropathologist and the center’s director. Unlike a yearly grant, the current grant is guaranteed for five years. Mayo researchers have identified 10 genes connected to Parkinson’s or related neurodegenerative diseases.   More