As a reader, you might only think about Folio Weekly’s Best of Jax twice a year: once when you vote and again when you pick up the issue or go to the website to find out who won.
But here at Folio Weekly’s international headquarters, we’ve been working on Best of Jax for months.
It begins in May when we start compiling the list of categories for the ballot and decide which ones to keep, which ones to cut and which ones to add.
In June, we brainstorm several ideas for themes. This year, our passion for “Game of Thrones” pushed us to pick royalty. At that time, we create a logo for that year’s awards.
In July, we create the online ballot and launch it by the end of the month. While all of you are busy voting in August, we’re searching for models and props to bring our theme to life.
When voting ends, we start tabulating the votes. Because the ballot is open-ended and people can type in anything they want, it takes time to comb through each answer and add it to the appropriate place. It’s a laborious but somewhat humorous task sifting through the creative spellings of Northeast Florida’s favorites. But every vote counts!
Meanwhile, we shoot photos for the cover and topic headers that run inside. We shoot everything in at least two ways so we have different poses for the two Best of Jax issues — this year on Oct. 9 and Oct. 16.
Once we have a list of winners in early September, we assign writers to research and summarize their laurels in individual blurbs. Our staff photographer shoots more than 50 winners in four counties in about three weeks’ time.
Then, we compile and edit all the text and photos into the first and second Best of Jax issues. Once those are designed, proofed and printed, we still have to upload it all online.
We also produce laminated posters and door stickers for winners to hang with pride.
It all seems worth it when we get to celebrate with the winners at the Best of Jax party.
After a few …
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.
A mixture of local talent and world-renowned experts are scheduled to give talks at the TEDx Jacksonville Connecting Currents event, to be held Oct. 26 on WJCT's sound stage.
Participants include Barbara Colaciello, Jacksonville Beach actor, playwright and storyteller; Hank Coxe, a Jacksonville attorney; Nancy Soderberg, UNF professor and former UN ambassador and White House advisor; Bruce Ganger, executive director of Second Harvest North Florida; Ben Warner, president and CEO of Jacksonville Community Council.
Also, Matt Rutherford, the first person to complete nonstop single-handed voyages around North and South America; former U.S. Rep. Robert Inglis, with the distinction of being uninvited to the Tea Party; TEDGlobal Fellow Aman Mojadidi, an American Southerner born to Afghan parents; Chevara Orrin, a black Jewish mother, activist and survivor who will discuss simple human interaction; Lawanda Ravoira, an expert on challenges girls in the juvenile justice system face; and Patricia Siemen, a Dominican sister and attorney who will discuss the long-term ecological health of the Earth.
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.
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 …
Hans Tanzler served as mayor of Jacksonville for 12 years and is known for his efforts to clean up the St. Johns River, revitalize downtown and complete major skyscrapers. Tanzler is also known for his government consolidation efforts.
Tanzler died July 25 after suffering a heart attack at his family farm near Gainesville.
Former mayors and other political leaders remembered the 86-year-old Tanzler as the champion of consolidating the City of Jacksonville and Duval County governments in 1967. He served as mayor from 1967 to Jan 2, 1979, when he resigned to run for governor, which he lost to Bob Graham in a seven-man Democratic primary.
As news of his death spread, city leaders shared some recollections about Tanzler and most of them mentioned consolidation:
“Mayor Tanzler led a life dedicated to public service and his legacy will be forever remembered by our citizens and all who had the opportunity to know him. He guided our city through consolidation, paving the way for much of the success we enjoy today,” said Mayor Alvin Brown.
Former Mayor John Delaney agreed, saying,] “It would be hard for any Mayor to have a greater legacy.”
Former Mayor Tommy Hazouri said Tanzler set the standard for the mayors who followed him.
“I am honored to have known him, and grateful for his leadership and friendship,” Hazouri said.
Former Mayor John Peyton also cited the consolidation issue.
“He was the right man at the right time. He was critical to our consolidation in the 1960s.”
Mayor Alvin Brown has unveiled a proposed 2014 city budget that contains $60 million in cuts and layoffs.
The $952.9 million budget includes $181.3 million in pension and retirement obligations and the mayor urged the City Council to approve the pension reform plan he negotiated with city police and fire unions.
The City Council has until Oct. 1, but it wants to see what a committee appointed by the mayor to explain the pension situation recommends.
The mayor also said he would veto any budget that contains a tax increase.
The 400-page budget is available online at www.myjaxbudget.com under the resources link. You can also read or watch the mayor’s budget address at the same website.
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?
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 …
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.
Brian W. Taylor, former chief operating officer and chief commercial officer for ocean shipping line Horizon Lines, has been unanimously chosen by the Jacksonville Port Authority Board as its top choice for new chief executive officer.
The board directed that contract negotiations begin immediately with Taylor. Details on his potential contract were not released.
For about 30 years, Taylor led Horizon Lines, the nation’s largest ocean shipping and integrated logistics company and most recently was vice president of sales and operations for New Breed Logistics in High Point, N.C.
In April, the Board’s last unanimous selection, Juan Kuryla, backed out after deciding to stay in Miami, where he was deputy port director. The Board had offered him a salary of $300,000.
The Board has been scrambling to find a new CEO after Paul Anderson resigned last December to become CEO in Tampa. Roy Schleicher, who has been serving as interim CEO, was also a finalist for the post. JaxPort is seeking to have its harbor deepened from 40 feet to 47 feet, while competing with other East Coast ports.
Taylor, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., holds a Master of Business Administration in Economics and Financial Management from Concordia University in Montreal.