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Flog

Bill Would Give City $2 Million for Stadium Upgrades

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

PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE, FIREFALL, ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION

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.

 

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THE FLOG

Culhane's Featured in Guy Fieri's New Book

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

Safer Streets for Cyclists and Pedestrians

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

THE FLOG

Mayor Urges Adoption of Dogs

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

THE FLOG

Mayo Clinic Gets $7 Million Grant for Parkinson's Research

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

What We Know about the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

The tragic mass shooting at Pulse Orlando on June 12 left 50 dead, including the shooter, and 53 wounded. The massacre at the popular gay club in Orlando, Florida has the highest death toll of any mass shooting in United States history and is the deadliest terror attack since 9/11.

This dark day in American history has left more questions than answers.

What we know so far is that authorities have identified the gunman as 29-year-old Omar Saddiqui Mateen of Fort Pierce, the American-born son of Afghani parents. News affiliates have reported that Mateen had previously been interviewed by the FBI in 2013 and 2014, but found not to be a threat. The New York Times reports that in 2014 authorities were investigating a link between Mateen and Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a Floridian who became a suicide bomber.

CNN reports that around 2 a.m., Mateen started shooting outside the packed club. After exchanging fire with an Orlano Police Department officer on duty at the club, Mateen fled inside with a 223-caliber AR-15 style assault rifle, a 9mm handgun and an explosive device. Inside, the Orlano Sentinel reports that two additional officeres became involved in the shootout.

Mateen retreated to a bathroom; a hostage situation developed.

"Investigators called to the scene told CNN that, hours later, the bodies remained where they had fallen, their cell phones ringing and vibrating, filling the club with the eerie sound of parents trying to reach children who would never pick up," the Tampa Bay Times reports.

At approximately 2:22 a.m., Mateen called 911 from inside the club to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

After three hours, during which those trapped inside frantically called police, loved ones and posted on social media in desperate attempts to get help or escape, law enforcement breached the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades. Mateen was killed by officers. Thirty hostages were rescued.

According to …   More

Flog

City, USTA to Refurbish Courts for Youth Tennis

Tennis Courts at Clanzel T. Brown Park will be refurbished and renovated as part of the USTA’s Davis Cup Legacy program. The City of Jacksonville and the USTA are each kicking in $21,000 for the $42,000 in renovations.

The Legacy program is designed to leave a permanent tennis legacy in the communities hosting Davis Cup events in the United States. Work will begin soon for the project that will convert and refurbish some courts for 10 and under tennis and youth tennis.

The United States defeated Brazil 3-2 in Davis Cup matches Feb. 1-Feb. 3 and advances to face Serbia in April.

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THE FLOG

BROWARD AND PALM BEACH ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE

Gay marriage legal on southern tip of Florida as four counties all agree gay marriage ban violates U.S. Constitution. Marriages on hold awaiting appeals.

Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen ruled Monday that Florida's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The following day, on Tuesday, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Diana Lewis threw out the gay marriage ban there.  In the past 21 days, four South Florida judges have ruled the ban a violation of the rights of gay residents to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S Constituion — in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and now Palm Beach. The rulings in all four circuits are stayed pending  appeal by Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi

Florida voters amended the state constitutino in 2008 and made gay marriage illegal.  

On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguements in six gay marriage cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, the Associated Press reports today. Each case relates to statewide marriage bans. The Herald reported Monday that the organization Freedom to Marry says LGBT advocates have won more than 30 times in federal, state and appeals courts since June 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court tossed part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in ruling in favor of Edith Windsor, a lesbian widow from New York.

Judge Cohen cited Windsor in his Monday ruling, the Herald reports. 

The Florida Supreme Court delivered a ruling on gay marriage. If the circuit rulings hold, it woudn't legalize gay marriage throughout the state, just in the circuits that have legalized it. A Florida Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage is still sometime down the line.   More

THE FLOG

DOES JACKSONVILLE REALLY NEED MORE COPS? (NO.)

Heading into the mayoral election in May, the big hullabaloo currently shaking up Jacksonville’s political blogosphere is the recent TV attack ad by Republican Lenny Curry’s PAC peeps that aims to directly link the budget cuts and subsequent elimination of 147 police positions under incumbent Democrat Alvin Brown to an increase in the city’s crime rate, namely murder and rape. You’ve no doubt seen these omnipresent ads. They’re the ones that come on in between your Family Guy reruns, featuring spooky music and darkened imagery — basically likening 2015 J-ville to the alternate reality timeline in Back to the Future II wherein Marty McFly’s bully, Biff Tannen, is at the head of a morally corrupt, criminal-laden Hill Valley. The ad was blatant fear-mongering and, according to an investigation by First Coast News, riddled with factual inaccuracies and false interpretations (that’s media speak for “lies”). Murders and rapes did increase during Mayor Brown’s first term (though not at quite the astonishing rates indicated in the ad), but the overall crime rate went down. Mayor Brown did have something to do with the budget cuts (as did the cratering economy, but details), but he did not cut 147 officers; the final determination of the allocation of police force resources belonging to Dudley Do-Right (aka Sheriff John Rutherford), who also attributes the budget cuts to the rise in crime rates and is, conveniently, a supporter of Curry.

Of course, revealing the true figures and political motivations behind the manipulated statistics presented to us in the ad is all well and good but, from what I gather, every organization analyzing this ad seems to focus so much on the correlation that they are entirely ignoring the causation. Like conditions created by the hopelessness of unemployment and poverty. Like inadequately funded and staffed community youth outreach programs in high-risk neighborhoods. …   More