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ICE CREAM AND HATE

The owner of one local business is finding out exactly how fast word travels on the Internet – and how mighty and swift its vengeance can be.

Early this morning a screenshot of a Facebook spat between Angela Lannon Wilcox and Lisa Thomas, Heather Allen and Brian Guiry was posted at Imgur.com/irWgbiF.

Thomas said that it all started when she posted a video from the Republican National Convention during which a Queen song plays in the background on her Facebook page. “I put that video up because it’s hilarious,” Thomas said. She said tongue-in-cheek banter ensued with people asking about whether the RNC had permission to play the song, if Donald Trump knew Freddie Mercury was gay, etc.

The lighthearted conversation took a darker turn when Wilcox commented, “Do you have something better … we have the BODY COUNT … what you hot … sheep.”

This sparked what can only be described as an epic war of words.

“[Wilcox] came out of nowhere very angry, being a bully,” Thomas wrote today via Messenger.

After Thomas commented that she had “no idea” what Wilcox wrote, Wilcox fired back. “[T]hat’s because you are stupid. The number of people killed by Islamic Extremists. You didn’t understand, because you are a stupid regurgitating dummy of the Left.”

Thomas demurred that she didn’t understand because of “poor grammar” and pointed out that is “ironic” that Wilcox would “be screaming about Islamic extremists in the name of Trump.”

Wilcox responded, “yes…and you is so educated …is you employing anyone? … I have 4 employees…how mannies checks do you sign each week…or are you just another unemployed ‘intelligent’ liberal? DUMBASS.” [sic]

It got worse from there. Guiry, Thomas and Allen’s attempts to lighten the mood with jokes seemed to …   More

Truancy on the Planning Commission

Many feathers were ruffled when Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry purged three members of the Planning Commission last year in what some viewed as a power grab, others as hindering the political careers of liberals who might be powerful adversaries, still others as revenge for their daring to support - and in the case of one commissioner, work for the campaign of - former Mayor Alvin Brown whom Curry bested in the May 2015 election.

Given that two members' terms expired last year, offing three others meant that Curry had appointed five of the nine members of the commission, arguably giving a majority vote to people who share his priorities concerning land use and zoning. (The Planning Commission reviews proposed land use and zoning code changes.)

Stacking the deck doesn't work so good if one of your appointees doesn't show up for meetings, though.

One of Curry's appointees was Nicole Padgett, whom he tapped to fill the at-large seat vacated by Nate Day, whose term had expired. At the time, some took notice of the fact that Summit Contracting Group, which Padgett's husband Marc owns, gave $78,000 to Curry's political action committee, Together for a Greater Jacksonville, when he was running for mayor, and that the Padgetts individually also contributed $1,000 apiece to Curry's campaign. Nicole Padgett is listed on Sunbiz.org as the company's chief administrative officer.

According to city records, since March, Padgett has missed five meetings. In fact, those records reflect that she's missed every other meeting since the commission's March 3 meeting. These are the meetings she has missed: March 17, April 21, May 19, June 23 and Aug. 4.

Sure, the meetings are probabaly a total snooze-a-thon (unless something is going down in Riverside/Avondale, cause folks there are passionate about zoning - to put it mildly). But agreeing to serve on a commission doesn't mean you only have to attend meetings when you feel like it. The bylaws are quite …   More

THE FLOG

Creative CAPACITY

The arts are fascinating and compelling in part because the membrane separating art from the “rest of life” is so permeable. In Jacksonville, a city that struggles to maintain private galleries and art spaces, that permeability is especially important because it makes room for independent spaces like Space 42, a recently cleaned up warehouse in Riverside, to open its doors. The space and the idea behind it—arts incubator—have much promise.

It is a hopeful beacon.

On April 28, Space 42 inaugurated the space with the work of Michael Alan. Alan, an NYC-based artist stages live drawing events. For this April night, it was hosted in conjunction with a show of Alan’s small works.

Upon entering the building (after paying a $20.00 entry fee), the first thing to notice was the scent of spray paint hanging in the air—that delightful chemical promise of a migraine. Visitors milled around as paint and detritus covered models moved slowly on a de facto stage area; one playing a makeshift didjeridu in front of a wall that seemed as if it had been spray-painted to ape the organic nature of years of graffiti. Turgid music sounded in the space and the overall effect was one of the “art scene” in a movie that perhaps took cues from “Wolf of Wall Street.” It felt contrived with overtones of cupidity.

The idea, as clues suggest, was that this was to be a drawing marathon, and in fact some people did bring their drawing materials with them. But the real take away is (one guesses) that Alan stages these events, which through obfuscating the models’ figures (male and female), he is able to then further mediate these forms in his own works. Observing the drawings he had on display including Darth Vader in Me, it seems that he prints out still images from these events, and then in a style that recalls early, early Basquiat (when Basquiat was actively riffing on Peter Max) noodles, doodles, and collages on and …   More

THE FLOG

Activists Demand JSO Drop Charges Against Protesters

Last night, what was intended to be a non-violent protest against the bombings on Syria the U.S. carried out the previous night became a violent skirmish involving officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and several protesters, one of whom was treated at a local hospital for his injuries.

Video footage showing officers punching, restraining and arresting protesters last night was widely circulated on social media, including by Folio Weekly, which shared footage of the incident captured by a local activist on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's protest, "Free the Hemming Park Five," saw a group of approximately 50 gather at the Duval County Courthouse to call upon police to drop all charges against the six people arrested last night. (Initial reports were of five arrests; it was later learned that six were arrested, though activists later said that one arrestee was unaffiliated with the protest.) Several observers indicated that a handful of counterprotesters were among the crowd today, but those believed to be counterprotesters remained mostly silent, taking pictures and video.

Speakers at the event organized by the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition resoundingly criticized JSO's handling of the incident. (The coalition and Jacksonville Against the War on Syria-JAWS co-organized last night's protest, "No War with Syria.") Many questioned why the counterprotester who they believe responsible for causing last night's protest to turn violent was himself not charged by police. Videos of the incident show that man, a counterprotester who goes by the name Gary Snow and is a familiar face at local protests, pushing 27-year-old deaf African American man, Connell Crooms, immediately before officers intervene. Crooms is subsequently pinned to the ground by officers, one of whom punches him several times in the ribs while he is restrained. Crooms was transported to UF Health Jacksonville for treatment for his injuries before being charged and booked.

Along …   More

NEWS

FSU INSTRUCTOR RESIGNS AFTER FOLIO WEEKLY ASKS ABOUT RACIST FACEBOOK POSTS

If you spend any amount of time on Facebook — especially if your posts veer into the world of the political — this sort of thing isn’t unusual. There’s a post, and some comments, and they get heated. And then a friend of a friend jumps in, and things go off the rails.

This episode was no different.

Colin Lively, hair stylist to the rich and famous in New York City and Cleveland, had posted a thread last Thursday night on the police killings in Ferguson, Staten Island and Cleveland. A woman named Deborah O’Connor, a Facebook friend of a friend, interjected.

“YOU elected POTUS, Holder et al. And they are supposed to represent all Americans, not just blacks … why don’t these ass clowns insert themselves into their stories?”

She was just getting started. As the thread went on, and as Lively and others engaged her, O’Connor’s comments took on an increasingly racist, homophobic and just-plain-mean bent:

“Take your Northern fagoot [sic] elitism and shove it up your ass.”

“I teach at a University, you asshole. What do you do?”

“You are an intellectual fraud, just like your Messiah. Obama has single-handedly turned our once great society into a Ghetto Culture, rivaling that of Europe. France is almost at war because of his filthy rodent Muslims who are attacking Native Frenchmen and women.”

“I just looked at your picture and what you do for a living. I’m signing off now. I don’t talk to you people.”

Nobody was safe — not the black president and his black attorney general, who she said want to hand over the country to their fellow blacks and Muslims, not Lively, the “fagoot” hair stylist who started the thread, not anyone else who posted on the thread — all of whom she deemed her intellectual inferiors.

As it turns out, she apparently wasn’t lying about working at a university, or about …   More

THE FLOG

ROBIN LUMB UPSET WITH HOW THE CULTURAL COUNCIL STOOD WITH MOCA

Update: I tweaked the headline, after Councilman Lumb objected that it was misleading: “I think it was pretty clear that I wasn't objecting that the Cultural Council defended MOCA, I objected to how they went about it.” 

Just when you thought #MOCAgate (or were we calling it #boobygate?) was over, here’s this:

Robin Lumb is not a happy camper. This afternoon, he fired off an email to Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville board members, chiding the Cultural Council for not knowing its place. Their crime, it seems, was #standingwithmoca — or specifically, for criticizing Clay Yarborough, our Great Moral Compass, who declared that a picture of a naked pregnant lady reclining on a couch was pornography that would corrupt THE CHILDREN and demanded that the mayor defund the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. (The mayor refused, citing First Amendment issues.)

Yarborough, of course, has been the subject of much derision, both here and nationwide. In The New York Times, the photographer/pornographer(?) in question, Angela Strassheim, quipped that maybe he hadn’t seen enough porn to know what porn really was. At Art Walk last night, a good-sized crowd mocked him with signs like “Ban Boobs from City Hall” (see image above). And in this mag’s pages this week, we wondered what artistic masterpieces would look like if they had to abide by Yarborough’s standards of decency.

We all had a good laugh. 

Councilman Lumb was not laughing. 

When he learned that the Cultural Council had email-blasted a plea for support for MOCA, saying Yarborough’s campaign was “unfortunate and could be viewed as an effort to stifle artistic expression” and linking to a number of anti-Yarborough pieces that had appeared in the local media, ours included, he wrote to “express my profound disappointment with the conduct of the Cultural Council in this matter as evinced by the …   More

THE FLOG

The SPIRIT of the Season

Tis the season for giving! Ordinarily we like to poke fun of, well, everything, but in the spirit of the season, we're taking a break from all that sarcasm to bring you this handy-dandy list of events, charities and more so you can get into the spirit by doing good deeds - that or just work your way off that "naughty" list.

Events

FIRST COAST AIDS WALK. The eighth annual walk is held at 10 a.m. (registration at 9 a.m.) on Nov. 19 at Riverside Avenue Christian Church, 2841 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, 389-1751, jaxdisciples.com. Proceeds benefit local organizations and primarily support the Hitzing Fund, designed to provide photo identification and documentation necessary for healthcare services for low-income HIV clients.

TOYS FOR TOTS/19TH STREET CHARITIES POKER RUN. The Sons of the Beaches hold this third annual run 8 a.m. Nov. 19, starting at FRA Branch 290, Mayport Road. A raffle, silent auction, barbecue and live music by Highway Jones are featured. $20 per bike, $10 per passenger. Details, 866-1165, 237-5277, sonsofthebeachesinc.com.

FEED THE CITY. The 22nd annual event is held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 20 at Clara White Mission, 613 W. Ashley St., Downtown; for details, call 354-4162 or go to clarawhitemission.org.

CHRISTMAS ON THE RIVER. The COA’s annual fundraiser is held 5-8 p.m. Nov. 20 at River House, 179 Marine St., St. Augustine. The Festival of Wreaths, featuring one-of-a-kind wreaths hand-crafted and donated to the COA by local garden clubs, florists, 4-H’ers and Master Gardeners and a silent auction and a wine tasting are featured. Proceeds benefit COA’s programs. 209-3687, coasjc.com.

JOHNSON FAMILY PRAYER BREAKFAST. The annual breakfast is held at 9 a.m. Nov. 17 at Johnson Family YMCA, 5700 Cleveland Rd., Jacksonville. Tickets are $15 per person. For more info, call 765-3589 or go to firstcoastymca.org.

BLESSINGS IN A BACKPACK. ServPro holds its second annual Fancy Pants Golf Tournament 11:30 a.m. Nov. 18 at …   More

SAFE SPACE

It’s been about three weeks since the United States elected businessman-turned-demagogue Donald J. Trump as our leader. There have been protests, Facebook rants and one article after another asking, “How could this have happened?”

But at the University of North Florida, students have remained largely unaffected. Campus remained clear of campaign signs, except for Election Day when Trump/Pence signs were lined up along the Kernan Blvd. entrance and the day President Obama paid us a visit. After Obama's speech, signs reading “I’m with Her” and “Do the Most Good” littered dorm hallways and students' bedroom windows.

“The mood on campus after the election was not noticeably different,” said civil engineering student Brandon Diaz. “I really don’t believe anything will change for us, at least not for a while.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, many Trump supporters “came out of the closet.” Students could finally sport Trump t-shirts, slap a “Trump/Pence 2016” sticker on their Yeti Tumblers and wear those lovely red hats.

“I am willing to give him a chance partially because he’s backtracking on many of the policies he was hardcore about during the campaign,” said history major John McCrone. “His new policy ideas like a ban on lobbying in Washington sound good, but I’m concerned about all of the cabinet and staff picks." 

Students seem displeased about the white nationalist and anti-gay personnel Trump has surrounded himself with, but largely remain either indifferent or optimistic. “I see people just going about their normal lives,” said student Russell Fidler. “People in the [on-campus] game room are still the same, and I am personally indifferent to the outcome of the election.”

On Nov. 14, UNF president and former Jacksonville mayor John Delaney sent an email to students, staff and faculty urging …   More

Islama-phobicshop

The image is crudely rendered and Islamaphobic with an elbow to the ribs and ha, ha, ha. As an attempt at humor, whoever superimposed the head of Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department firefighter paramedic Jeffrey Abboud onto an image of a man dressed in a military jacket, with a full beard encircling his face and his head wrapped in a black scarf, certainly failed. In the image, it appears that Abboud is holding a human skull topped with a Santa Claus hat, with a cartoon thought bubble above it that reads, "Jingle BOMBS Jingle BOMBS!!!"

The reference is to comedian Jeff Dunham and his skeletal ventriloquist dummy, "Achmed the Dead Terrorist."

Jacksonville's Fire & Rescue Department turned over the main computer at its Myrtle Avenue fire station to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, after firefighters discovered someone had replaced the computer's screensaver with the image of Abboud — who is of Hispanic descent — doctored to look like a terrorist.

JFRD spokesperson Tom Francis said JSO IT investigators will determine who posted the image and when it was discovered and reported. He said that the department's compliance division, in charge of upholding department standards, will also open an investigation.

The slur is timely in its fear-mongering, coming after the Paris bombings and the massacre in San Bernardino put Americans on edge, and bombastic presidential candidate and evergreen blowhard Donald Trump played to the worst in us by saying he'll make Muslims in the country carry IDs and then ban any more from entering.

It's ugly. In Philadelphia, a pig's head was thrown at a mosque. A shop owner in Queens was beaten. Someone threw a large rock through the dining room window of the home of a Muslim family who'd recently moved to Plano, Texas.

Here in Jacksonville, Francis said it is a mistake to see anything systemic or endemic to the fire department in the screensaver. "We do not condone this kind of …   More

THE FLOG

Daily's Place: Ready to ROCK and Roll?

Today, there were two press conferences about the opening of Daily's Place, the new venue, this weekend. The first, hosted inside City Hall at 1:30 p.m., included remarks from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, the city's Sports & Entertainment Officer Dave Herrell and Chad Johnson, Senior Vice President of Bold Events, the Jaguars' newest venture.

The mayor began the meeting talking about the upcoming weekend festivities. After drawing a chuckle saying that while he would attend some events, you wouldn't see him dancing, Curry said, "Daily's Place is adding another family weekend of fun and art."

The new amphitheater constructed at the south end of EverBank Field is set to have its first concert on Saturday, May 27. Daily's Place has a lot in store for 2017, including 42 concerts currently scheduled. However, there have been some questions about whether the venue will be finished in time. From outside the construction fencing this afternoon, seating appeared mostly complete; however, the stage remained unfinished.

Even though Jaguars insiders say that the construction crew is essentially working around the clock, with Saturday right around the corner, some are skeptical. Staff and local officials have no doubt it will be ready in time, however. Johnson said, "Daily's will open this Saturday. We have a great crew working the next three days to put this together. It will make Jacksonville proud with the facilities we can provide."

The 2:30 p.m. press conference, in the lavish US Upper Assure Club West of EverBank Field, included remarks from the CEO of Bold Events, Mark Lamping. The meeting consisted of a run-through on how the venue will operate, its amenities and features and some information on how ready the amphitheater is for Saturday.

Asked whether the venue is safe to hold a concert and if all permits had been obtained, Lamping said, "This is very typical in a project this large. All building systems have been signed off." He followed up, …   More