Do you have something to share? Submit your stuff
Viewing 41 - 50 of 101

Mayor Brown's Budget Presentation

Earlier this week, Mayor Alvin Brown officially presented his budget to "the City Council, Sheriff Rutherford, Supervisor Holland, honored guests and [his] fellow citizens." As part of the proposed plan, Brown said he will cut $60 million in spending by closing libraries, public swimming pools, community centers and fire stations, shutting down summer youth camps and laying off Jacksonville Sheriff's Office employees.

Obviously, none of these solutions would be good for the city or its residents, but that is for people far wiser than I to dissect. My job, as I see it, is to break down the mayor's actual presentation of the budget.

That said, here are the things that I noticed while watching the 20-minute address.

1. In addition to cutting back city programs, Brown is cutting back on the use of his signature phrases "next level" (which he didn't utter until 11:20) and "effective and efficient" (first mentioned at 18:48).

2. He does not know how to pronounce "Deutsche Bank" correctly. And dude came dangerously close to "gradulating" City Council President Bill Gulliford and Vice President Clay Yarborough a la Corinne Brown's world-renowned "Go Gata" speech.

3. The mayor is also cutting back on using the letter "G." Examples include: "raisin' taxes," "tappin' into resources," "hardworkin' employees," "sendin'...pushin' ... showin' ... and partnerin'."

4. His script was at least 60 pages. I know this because I could hear him turn every ... single ... page ... since, I'm pretty sure, it was written on paper bags—probably from Winn-Dixie.

Check out the mayor's presentation in its entirety by clickin' here (you know I had to):




First Coast Connect: Around Town Events

In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning, here’s what’s coming up this weekend and beyond—Around Town!

July 18-21

Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, Jim King Park & Boat Ramp, Sisters Creek

Aurora Jacksonville Black Arts Festival, Gateway Town Center

July 19

Cedric the Entertainer, 8 p.m., Florida Theatre

July 20

The Bridges Run 5K, 7:30 a.m.,Hemming Plaza

The Kung Fu Evolution, 7 p.m., Times-Union Center

Sublime with Rome, Pennywise, 6 p.m., St. Augustine Amphitheatre

July 24

Toad the Wet Sprocket, 8 p.m., Ponte Vedra Concert Hall


Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:50 a.m. Tune in. Look out.   More


What's in a Name?

The practice of identifying specific hurricanes began back in the 1700s when storms were referred to by the year and the location in which they took place. In World War II, meteorologists named hurricanes after their wives and girlfriends on the homefront (how romantic). A tthe urging of feminist groups in the 1960s, men's names were added to the mix in 1979.*

Today, the National Weather Service has a list of names for hurricanes prepared years in advance. While this system may be great for science types, it doesn’t do much to much to help laypeople keep them straight.

Plus, I always think it’s weird to hear potentially deadly storms referred to by people’s names as if a friend is coming to visit for the weekend: “Chantal should arrive in Jacksonville Saturday morning.”

As a result, I’ve come up with my own local hurricane naming system where storms are given a number and are formally named after they make landfall based on what happened — or didn’t. (Note: By taking this tongue-in-cheek approach to classifying storms, I am in no way intending to minimize the devastation caused by severe weather. Nor am I suggesting that residents disregard severe weather warnings. I'm merely poking fun at local news media and their philsophy that "rain reigns.")

Here, then, are a few of the more recent storms that you probably heard of — but might not remember—and my suggestions for new names.

Tropical Storm Fay (August 2008): A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa toward the Virgin islands and Puerto Rico and within a week was designated a tropical storm. She spent seven days in Florida touching down in the Florida Keys, Cape Romano, Flagler Beach and the Panhandle. But in Jacksonville, Tropical Storm Fay is better known as The One That Caused Corrine Brown to Call the City and Have Sandbags Delivered to Her House.

Hurricane Irene (August 2011): Originating in the Lesser Antilles and quickly …   More


First Coast Connect: Around Town Events

In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning (or for events I didn't get to because other people were too chatty), here’s what’s coming up this weekend and beyond—Around Town!

July 11

Craig Morgan, 7 p.m., Mavericks at the Landing

Fusebox Funk, 9 p.m., 1904 Music Hall

July 11-14

Jacksonville Suns, Baseball Grounds

Check out some of the Suns' kooky upcoming promo events. 

July 12

JumpingFish benefit concert with Tom McDermott, 8 p.m., Church of the Good Shepherd

July 12-13

Drew Carey, Comedy Zone

July 12-August 3

"Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson," Players by the Sea


Just announced: Backstreet Boys at the Veterans Memorial Arena, August 26. Tickets go on sale July 12. That's tomorrow, ladies!

Happy 47th birthday to Tonca, the Museum of Science and History's alligator snapping turtle. MOSH hosts a birthday party 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:45 a.m. Tune in. Look out.   More


The Boys of Summer: Dazed and Confused

I’m no physician, but I think the Jacksonville Suns staff are suffering from heat exhaustion. I mean, what other possible explanation than dizziness and confusion—two of the most common signs of heat exhaustion—can there be for some of strange promotions scheduled for the rest of the season?

Midget Wrestling (July 11): According to The Little People of America, a non-profit that provides support to "people of short stature" (the preferred terminology) and their families, we shouldn’t even be using the “M” word,” let alone encouraging opportunities for public objectification. This does, however, beg the question: Why doesn't the organization change its name to "The People of Short Stature of America"?

Leprechaun wrestling (July 12): See above with the added insult of contestants having to wear green suits, top hats and fake beards. Please don't make it worse by having the announcer say "top o' the inning to you" all night.

John Rocker Appearance (July 13): The former Atlanta Braves pitcher who gained notoriety for making slurs about blacks, Asians, homosexuals and immigrants, threatening a reporter and using steroids will be at Bragan Field signing copies of his new book "Scars and Strikes." I can only hope Rocker isn't prejudiced against redheads who wear oversized shoes and smell like French fries (which, I'm quite sure, he refers to as "freedom fries") since Ronald McDonald also appears that night.

Family Faith Day (July 14): Don't get me wrong: I think it's great that local church groups and choirs will be performing hymns and giving praise at the game. But someone probably should have checked what radio station was sponsoring the event first. While I'm a huge fan of 107.3 JACK FM myself, I seriously doubt Pastor Purity and Reverend Righteousness would appreciate the lyrics of songs the station plays like, say, "Blister in the Sun," "Brown Sugar" or "Little Red Corvette (you …   More


Jax Residents Shine in the National Spotlight

Two Jacksonville residents took center stage this week as contestants on two of the most popular shows on TV. Carlos Garland, 25, a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and a student at Jacksonville University, performed on "So You Think You Can Dance," while 19-year-old graduate of The Bolles School/University of Florida student David Ferman juggled and did a balancing act on "America's Got Talent." 

The good news is one of them advanced to the next round. The bad news is the other one didn't.

Spoiler alert: Don't click on the links if you don't want to know if:

Garland made it to SYTYCD's top 18 ... 

or Ferman made it to Las Vegas on AGT?








A Ruckus in the River

Have you ever made plans based on a local weather forecast and then wished you could tell [insert local meteorologist's name here] to go jump in the lake — or whatever body of water is closest — for "ruining" your day? If so, then you won't want to miss River Ruckus on July 6.

In conjunction with St. Johns Riverkeeper, Riverside Arts Market hosts this inaugural family-friendly festival to showcase the river's recreational benefits and the importance of respecting, protecting and enjoying it as a natural resource. In addition to a river flotilla, boat rides, paddle board lessons, river crafts for kids and educational information, River Ruckus features a celebrity river jump including three local weather "authorities":

Jim Alabiso, executive director, Jumping Fish, and long-distance, open-water swimmer

Tony Allegretti, Downtown advocate 

Tim Deegan, chief meteorologist, First Coast News

Bruce Hamilton, co-anchor, "The Morning Show," WJXT Channel 4

Kristin Keen, founder and executive director, ReThreaded

Al Letson, host, NPR's "State of the Re:UNION" 

Justin Riney, founder/CEO, Mother Ocean, and project leader, Expedition Florida 500

Dave Roman, senior policy adviser, Office of the Mayorc

Lewis Turner, reporter/meteorologist, First Coast News

Julie Watkins, meteorologist, Action News, and founder, The Girls Gone Green

The festivities get underway at noon with local celebrities set to take the plunge at 12:45 p.m. 

And in case anyone cares, I will be serving as emcee of the celebrity river jump. To those who don't care, I'll still be the emcee.

Check the photo gallery above to read what the river jump participants have to say about their participation.    More


First Coast Connect: Around Town Events

In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning, here’s what’s coming up this weekend and beyond—Around Town!

June 27-29

Keenan Ivory Wayans, Comedy Zone

"Father of the Bride," 8 p.m., Amelia Community Theatre 

June 28

Leon Washington's Poker Face Casino Night, 7-11 p.m., WJCT


ESPN Friday Night Fights: The Big Brawl in Duval, 7 p.m., Veterans Memorial Arena


"Grease," 7:30 p.m., Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens 


June 29


"Steel Magnolias," 2 and 8 p.m., Theatre Jacksonville


Freedom Festival, 5-9 p.m., Orange Park Mall

June 30

Northside LOVE Arts & Vendors Market, 2-6 p.m., Lonnie C. Miller Park

Mary J. Blige, 8 p.m., Arena

July 1

Breakfast of Champions, 9-11 a.m., Jacksonville Golf & Country Club

Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:50 a.m. Tune in. Look out.   More


NFL Stars Put on Their Poker Faces for Charity

Pro football player Leon Washington has come a long way from growing up on the rough streets of Jacksonville's Eastside to playing in the NFL, where he's been named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams (two times and three times, respectively) and shares the NFL record for most kickoff return touchdowns (eight, tied with Josh Cribbs). 

Now, Washington, who plays for the New England Patriots as a running back/return specialist, is hoping to do the same for other kids in his hometown with the creation of the Leon Washington Foundation, a grassroots organization designed to enlighten, inspire and educate Jacksonville youth and their parents, since, as Washington says, "It all starts at home."

"I had a pretty rough childhood … five brothers and sisters … on welfare. It was hard trying to get by," he recalls. Washington's salvation came in the form of Coach Mike, a police officer who recognized his raw talent playing football in the neighborhood and took him to a Pop Warner game — and Marc Simon, a friend he met at age 10, who gave him a glimpse into a better life, the kind where people live on golf courses and have swimming pools in their backyards. Having someone believe in him and being introduced to a life that he could aspire to are experiences that Washington wants to share with local kids.

Washington hosts "Poker Face" Casino Night, the official launch party for the Leon Washington Foundation 7-11 p.m. June 28 at WJCT. General admission tickets are $25; VIP tickets are $75 and include complimentary drinks, player meet and greet, and guaranteed play on gaming tables with celebrities.

Confirmed celebrities include Tony Carter, corner back, Denver Broncos; Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals, Darrelle Revis, corner back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Michael Robinson, full back, Seattle Seahawks; and Leon Washington, running back, New England Patriots. 

Washington …   More


Who Will Be Ms. Senior Jacksonville 2013?

It's tempting to say that Ms. Senior Jacksonville "ain't your grandmother's pageant," but actually, it is: as long as your grandmother is at least 60 years young.

Pageant director and founder Kenyonn Demps created the pageant in 2009 to enable senior women an opportunity to take center stage—literally. "The pageants allow these women to reinvent themselves, strut their stuff, feel more confident and show our community that seniors still have a whole lot of living to do," she says. 

Contestants compete in four categories including talent (which, for the record, will not involve crocheting afghans or washing anyone's mouth out with a bar of soap): In fact, one contestant will do a Michael Jackson-inspired dance number.

To truly put these ladies' participation in perspective, however, the "least young" competitor, who is 76, was born the same year the Spanish Civil War started and the Hindenberg crashed. FDR was president, a new car cost less than $700 and the average annual income was $1,700. 

And before you even ask, no, there's not a swimsuit category.

The pageant takes place June 29 at FSCJ Downtown Campus.Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, email

Check out the contestants in the photo gallery above.   More