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THE FLOG

A quartet of superheroes, Superman, Spiderman, Batman and Robin, dropped in this week on some real-life superheroes — youngsters facing health challenges at Nemours Children’s Clinic.

Delighted children watched as the superheroes dropped in with ropes and buckets to clean the windows on the 11-story tower on the Southbank of the St. Johns River on Monday and Tuesday.

Employees from City Wide Maintenance of Jacksonville donned the capes at the request of clinic staff and took time during their lunch hour to meet and greet the children.

Who says superheroes don’t do windows?

  More

THE FLOG

Dixie Egg Company of Jacksonville has donated 86,400 eggs to the Second Harvest North Florida food bank to help put food on the tables of the hungry for the Easter season.

“We are thrilled to donate much-needed proteins to the Second Harvest Food Bank just in time for the Easter holiday.” said Jacques Klempf of Dixie Eggs.

“This is an amazing blessing for us at this time of year,” said Bruce Ganger, executive director of Second Harvest. “Eggs are excellent sources of nutrition and proteins for those who are hungry and for those who have food allergies and dietary restrictions. This is the perfect gift at the perfect time.”

The donation equals 7,200 dozen eggs.

  More

THE FLOG

Folio Weekly cover story, “Problems at the Core,” follows proponents and critics in depth as they debate the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Florida’s schools. Yesterday, Florida’s Board of Education voted to allow districts to choose their own teaching methods and materials in line with Gov. Rick Scott’s stated policy of local control for public school curricula. It does not change the standards upon which those curricula are to be based, i.e., CCSS.

The Florida Department of Education adopted CCSS in 2010, began implementing them in 2011, and on Oct. 15 addressed the appendices to the Common Core Compact. 

Florida’s Board of Education voted 5-1 to allow local districts to voluntarily decide whether or not they will adopt the Common Core appendices, Florida Times-Union reporter Matt Dixon said. He said an editing error removed the word “appendices” from his story in the Oct. 16 Times-Union. There is no indication at this time that Florida will ditch CCSS, i.e., the goals upon which local curricula will be based.

The appendices would have extended the 45-state Common Core Compact, or memorandum of understanding, to matters going beyond just the standards, or learning benchmarks, into the realm of curriculum. “Standards” are “what” students should learn, while “curricula” are “how” they learn those standards, i.e., by which teaching strategies and course materials. Curriculum matters, proponents have said all along, are to be determined by local districts.

Scott suggested the move toward local district control of curricula in a letter to board chairman Gary Chartrand dated Sept. 23. That same day, Scott declared in an executive order that Florida would withdraw from the 18-state test-development consortium, Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC), and abdicate its position as fiscal agent for …   More

One of the more interesting local electronic artists on the rise: the enigmatic Shoni, whose sound blends a classic shoegazer sensibility with downtempo beats and an ethereal aesthetic. She has many great things planned for 2014 -- but one more major event planned for 2013: a video release party at Rain Dogs for her new song "Space Bars", available on Spotify.

 

The video that she will premiere Wednesday evening, she informs Folio, has high production values, reminiscent of a Hype Williams joint. It took two days to shoot, and when Shoni saw it just last night, she tells Folio that "it gave me chills."

The local media was clamoring for an interview with the reclusive Shoni... but Folio Weekly snagged an exclusive, in-depth Q&A. Read on to find out more about the event, her influences, how she creates music, and the Ludacris cover that started off what Shoni fans call Shonimania!

 

 

Folio Weekly: Tell us about the event you have at Raindogs 12/18.

Shoni: The Space Bars music video premiere is being hosted at Rain Dogs on Wed, Dec 18. There will also be live performances by Shoni, Ritual Union, and Ascetic (all female-fronted music projects that employ digital instruments).

 

 

 

FW: Why did you pick Rain Dogs for this event?

Shoni: We chose Rain Dogs for the music video premiere because of its relationship to the music and arts scene here in Jacksonville. It’s quickly becoming a haven for members of the local arts community with its open mic nights and intimate  appeal. I like the energy there.

 

 

FW: What does it mean to “employ digital instruments”? Do all of you have similar sounds?

Shoni: What I and the producers I work with create is music through the medium of technology. Sometime I’ll sit down with an electric guitar and work out chord progressions and sometimes I’ll start my work on a recording program using MIDI inputs. The result …   More

THE FLOG

The historic Bostwick Building, which was in danger of being demolished, is under contract to be sold, its owners said.

“We have someone interested in restoring the building who understands the Bostwick family history with the building and is interested in preserving that in addition to the building itself,” Val Bostwick, senior sales associate with Johnson Enterprise Inc., told the Financial News & Daily Record.

The building, located at the corner of Ocean and Bay streets in Downtown Jacksonville, has become known as the “Jaguar building,” because of the mural of the jaguar visible in the structure's windows

The mural, painted by Jacksonville artist Jim Draper, will be removed from the building before the renovation and it will retained by Carter Bostwick, president of Guaranty Trust Investments.

The former Guaranty Trust and Savings bank was the first building permitted after the Great Fire in 1901.   More

THE FLOG

Folio Weekly didn’t have to look far to find its next editor. Jeffrey Billman was senior writer and news editor at Orlando Weekly.

Billman has a history of working for alternative newsweeklies. He was news editor at Philadelphia City Paper and has worked as a freelancer. He was also senior editor and writer at-large at Philadelphia Magazine, and has won awards for investigative reporting, feature writing and religion writing.

Billman and his wife, Adri — along with their two dogs, Belle and Sebastian (yes, after the band) — will move to Northeast Florida as soon as they can find a place to live and get their Orlando house on the market. 

Billman, who plans to start work sometime in December, invites Folio Weekly readers to get in touch with him on Twitter (@jeffreybillman) and Facebook (facebook.com/jeffreycbillman), or email him (jeffreycbillman@gmail.com), especially if they have tips on where he should live and what he should do when he arrives.

Folio Weekly asked Billman a few questions to help readers get to know him. 

Where are you from originally?

I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, moved to Orlando for college, and ended up staying for a decade, then ended up in Philly, came back to Orlando for year and now Jacksonville.

Where did you go to school?

I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida, in journalism and political science/public policy analysis, respectively.     

Have you been to Northeast Florida before accepting this job? What do you know about the area?

Truth be told, I have a lot to learn — which is always, to my mind, one of the best parts of moving somewhere new. I’ve driven through Jax on several occasions, and spent a little bit of time here reporting on stories, but there is much to discover. 

What interested you about Folio Weekly?

For starters, I’ve been looking for an …   More

Our Picks

Continuing the conversation, TedXJacksonville presents Community Health Salon, a Ted Talk focusing on community health. Speakers will examine larger ideas about health and discuss their local impact.

“We will show pre-recorded Ted Talks about health initiatives and follow with a discussion,” says Daniel Austin, Jacksonville Community Council Inc.'s communications manager.

Discussion topics include health disparities in Jacksonville, teen sexual health, and how Jacksonville plans to combat food deserts. the talks will be moderated by local community health leaders, such as Dr. Christine Sapienza, Jacksonville University's Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Dr. Kelli T. Wells, Duval County director of Florida Department of Health, and others.   More

THE FLOG

Folio Weekly is a finalist in two categories of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) awards announced May 22.

In column writing for publlications with less than 50,000 circulation, Editor Denise M. Reagan was selected as one of three finalists for three Editor's Notes submissions:

Between a Nugget and a Hard Place: Chick-fil-A president’s right to voice same-sex marriage stance is just as sacrosanct as equal rights

In the Mouths of Babes: Smoking continues its hold on youth and young adults

Adopting a New Idea: The holidays are a good time to take in a stranger

In cover design for the less than 50,000 circulation category, Chad Smith, Walter Coker and Reagan were selected as finalists for three pages (see photos above):

Fall Arts Preview, Sept. 11, 2012

Jim Draper, Dec. 11, 2012

Antique Animals, Dec. 18, 2012

Every year, AAN honors reporters, artists, columnists, photographers, web producers, editorial assistants, creative directors, designers and editors of the alternative news industry. The finalists were selected by judges at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio Universit as the most outstanding from a field of more than 900 entries submitted by alternative publications across the U.S. and Canada. 

The winners will be announced during a July 13 reception at the AAN Annual Convention in Miami.   More

THE FLOG

Last month, you may recall, a Florida judge declared unconstitutional the comically gerrymandered congressional districts created by Republicans in the Legislature, ruling that they blatantly violated an amendment the state's voters had overwhelmingly approved in 2010. 

In a scathing opinion, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis ruled in Tallahassee that the Legislature's Republican political consultants had "made a mockery" of the redistricting process, tainting it with "partisan intent."

Lewis said that the districts, drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature after the 2010 census, flouted voter-passed constitutional amendments intended to eliminate gerrymandering — that is, often-bizarre and irregular lines that make a district safe for one party or the other.

Gerrymandering "has been criticized as allowing, in effect, the representatives to choose their voters instead of vice versa," he wrote.

Specifically, Lewis found that congressional districts 5 and 10 had been drawn to favor the GOP, and that neighboring districts had been affected as well. Those two districts, and any others affected, will need to be redrawn, he said.

District 5, of course, is the sprawling slice of weirdness that stretches from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando, snagging black communities along the way (and thus making the adjoining Republican districts safer, which is the whole point). It belongs to Corrine Brown, GOP foot soldier. And she was none too thrilled about Lewis’ ruling: "Minority communities do not live in compact, cookie-cutter-like neighborhoods, and excessive adherence to district ‘compactness,' while ignoring the maintenance of minority access districts, fragments minority communities across the state," she raged. 

The Legislature decided not to appeal, for that would only be more embarrasing. Instead it asked Lewis to let the districts stand until after the November election. 

Today, he said …   More

THE FLOG

Law enforcement agents and prosecutors have announced multiple conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering charges against 57 people who were involved with Internet café operator Allied Veterans of the World. Law enforcement officials said the operation masqueraded as a charity with less than 2 percent of the profits going to veterans.

They said this is just the first wave of arrests, and more charges are possible. The roles of Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba and FOP Vice President Robbie Freitas, were not revealed at a multi-agency news conference in Orlando.

Officials also would not discuss what involvement former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll had in the case. She resigned March 12, a day after being questioned by investigators.

Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis, who represented Allied Veterans, was called one of the masterminds of the $300 million racketeering scheme. Investigators claimed he received about $7 million.   More

 
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