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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

Courtesy of friend-of-Folio Weekly Marvin Edwards, here’s an op-ed the Times-Union published on July 11, 1993, from Thomas Petway III, a partner of Touchdown Jacksonville!, the ultimately successful group that was, two decades ago, trying to land this city a professional football team. 

If we win, we get our NFL team and the excitement of 10 great home games each year [ed. note: 10?], plus a major economic boost that includes 2,000 new jobs and an impact of $1 billion by the year 2000. 

We will have seized the most important moment in our history, ensuring a Jacksonville of the 21st century that will be full of hope and promise and a community in which our children and grandchildren will want to live and work. Jacksonville, too, will be a first-class city! 

Petway goes on to tout Jacksonville’s advantages over competing cities. The first one: 

Having an NFL quality stadium, which Jacksonville is assured with the Gator Bowl renovation agreement reached between Touchdown Jacksonville! and the Mayor’s Office which calls for all NFL renovation costs to be paid by our new NFL team. [Emphasis mine.]

Guess that agreement had a shelf life. 

 

    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

THE FLOG

Until the Mathews Bridge was built 60 years ago, Arlington residents had to take a ferry or the Main Street Bridge to get to the other side of the river.

On April 13, Old Arlington Inc. is celebrating of opening of the Mathews Bridge in 1953, which had been dubbed the bridge to “nowhere.” Within seven years of its opening, there was a major shift in Jacksonville’s population to the east.

Events include a bridge rededication 10:30-11:30 a.m., a classic car show, art show, pottery demonstration and tours of Norman Studios at 6337 Arlington Road. There will also be a dancing exhibition and activities for children. The celebration runs noon-4 p.m.

When the interior of the Wardrobe Cottage at Norman Studios is completed, Old Arlington Inc. will be moving its offices into that building.

For more information, contact myarlington.org.   More

THE FLOG

A 13-year-old Jacksonville boy had the coolest birthday ever when his father rented a movie theater, and Jonah and his friends got to play video games for five hours on the big screen. Now the video of his party has gone viral, with hundreds of hits on Gawker and Reddit.

Jonah’s father, Travis, rented out Sun-Ray Cinema in Five Points for five hours for $300 and supplied unlimited beverages and pizza to his guests.

But the coolest part was the ability to play all the top video games including “Dead Space 2,” “Minecraft,” “Halo” and “Portal” on the theater’s giant screen.

His father said Jonah is an awesome kid and deserved an awesome party. He said Jonah has Type 1 diabetes and regularly does fundraising events for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The Walk To Cure Diabetes.   More

THE FLOG

Jessica Pieczonka will be attending this year's Folio Weekly Beer & Music Festival Aug. 16 for free. Pieczonka received two VIP tickets for correctly answering all of the questions in our landmarks quiz. Pieczonnka was one of 17 to correctly answer all 20 questions; her name was then randomly drawn from that pool. 

"I'm so excited! I never win anything like this. I can't believe I got all the questions right!" Pieczonka said.

About 70 people took the quiz and can check their answers here to see how close they were to being Northeast Florida landmark geniuses. 

1. What was the original name of Marineland when it opened in June 1938?

c. Marine Studios

The original vision for Marineland was to create an underwater set with a variety of marine life for the purpose of filming scenes for motion pictures and newsreels.

2. For whom was Amelia Island named?

b. Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain

Princess Amelia of Great Britain was the second daughter of George II of Great Britain. Georgia’s founder and colonial governor, James Oglethorpe, renamed the island in honor of Princess Amelia.

3. What is the official name of the Jacobs Jewelers clock?

a. Greenleaf and Crosby Clock

The clock’s previous location was in front of the Greenleaf and Crosby Building at 208 N. Laura St., Downtown

4. What’s one of the Bridge of Lions’ nicknames?

a. The Most Beautiful Bridge in Dixie

Connecting downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island, the bridge was completed in 1927 and has long been a symbol of the Nation’s Oldest City.

5. The Duval County Medical Society was formed in what year?

d. 1853

The Duval County Medical Society was the first medical society in Florida and was instrumental in forming the Florida Medical Association in 1874 in Jacksonville.

6. How many stations does the JTA Skyway currently have?

c. 8 (Central Station, Convention Center Station, Hemming …   More

THE FLOG

When the land Jennifer and Robert Sanders had been leasing for Heritage Farms went up for sale, they scrambled to scrape together resources to buy the property on Hood Road. Unable to raise or borrow enough money, in May they were dismantling the farm and “counting the days or weeks to move” when a surprising turn of events brought about by the application for capital investment Jennifer filed in association with her One Spark entry, Growing Power with Will Allen, changed everything.

After One Spark, Stache Investments Corp., an investment company owned by Shad Khan, contacted the couple to schedule a meeting to discuss a possible funding arrangement. They soon met with Jim Zsebok, Stache Investments’ chief investment officer, and were offered a tentative loan agreement.

Following a minor delay to conduct an environmental assessment of the property, it became official this week when The Daily Record reported that Stache Investments provided the Sanders with a $280,000 mortgage, $270,000 of which went to pay for the 2.58 acre property.

“I just mailed off my first payment a few days ago, and every night when I close the gates, I go, ‘Well, it’s mine, lock, stock and barrel.’ It’s a lot to be responsible for, but it’s a lot of opportunity,” Jennifer Sanders said.

She said Heritage Farms is more of a market garden than a commercial farm. Market gardens grow a high variety of product on relatively small acreage, typically 20 acres or less, and usually do not rely on mechanized farming equipment. The couple, who have been busily selling tomatoes, peppers and herbs, intend to initiate another round of crowdfunding in coming months to expand into aquaponics so they can start selling fresh fish in addition to vegetables, ornamentals and plants at the roadside stand they plan to soon add to the farm. They also intend to hire up to five additional employees to work the family farm alongside the couple and …   More

Voting has started for an online competition in which the Jacksonville Humane Society is trying to win a $25,000 award.

To vote, go to jaxhumane.org and click on the “Bark the Vote” icon. Voters can vote only once day until Aug. 31 and must have a Facebook account to vote.

The Community Engagement Award is part of the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge in which 49 shelters across the country are competing, according to a news release.

To be considered for a $25,000 Community Engagement Award, a shelter must finish in the top three of the online voting competition.

  More

THE FLOG

Two Folio Weekly readers alerted us to this amusing sign taped to a barricade over a pothole on Oak Street in Riverside Aug. 21.

The sign reads," This pothole has been here almost one year! But we are putting a swimming pool in the stadium?"

“I thought it was pretty funny, so I thought I would share,” wrote Kelly White, a senior account executive at The McCormick Agency. Her office is near the pothole.

John Winkler, president of Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County, also emailed photos of sign he happened to see. He said it was coincidental that First Coast News’ Ken Amaro showed up with a photojournalist at the same time.

“It is the beginning of the great revolt to restore core services and end the circus subsidies — pitchforks and torches cannot be far behind,” he wrote.

Read Folio Weekly’s cover story about the taxpayers' investment in EverBank Field here.   More

 
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