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THE FLOG

Folio Weekly Editor Denise M. Reagan is going Downtown.

After 18 months of advocating for Downtown Jacksonville and the arts through her columns, Reagan has taken a job as communications manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

Reagan joined Folio Weekly in July 2012. She focused on increasing the publication’s credibility through tight editing, story choice and distinguishing between news and opinion. She launched the popular Specktator blog by Kerry Speckman (winner of Best of Jax Best Blog), the Bite-sized column by Caron Streibich and the controversial but entertaining Crime City column by Wes Denham.

She helped design and launch a completely revamped folioweekly.com in January 2013, increasing the publication’s reach and readership. The new site includes all of the content from weekly printed issues plus stories, blogs, photo galleries and videos available only online.

Reagan gained a following for her weekly Editor’s Notes, covering timely community issues, politics and the arts; she won an award from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for column writing during her first year.

Her use of social media greatly increased Folio Weekly’s Facebook fans and Twitter followers, engaging them in conversations that often ended up in the printed issues.

Her last day at Folio Weekly is Dec. 6. Her first day at MOCA is Dec. 9. Her last Editor’s Note will appear Dec. 11.    More

THE FLOG

UPDATE: As a result of this story, the schoolteacher referenced in this story has been dismissed from the jury.

Richard David Smith III is a name familiar to Folio Weekly readers, who saw his byline on almost a weekly basis a few years back. Last week, he came very close to serving on the latest Trial of the Century of the Week — the Michael Dunn retrial that tops our local news every evening. But it didn’t quite happen.

Smith spent three days at the courthouse for jury screening, a process he describes as “very long” and filled with “odd questions” from “too many lawyers trying to be comedians,” making “a lot of jokes about budget cuts.”

Some of those japes came from Angela Corey, who seems intent on improving her public image with this case. Folks on hand were treated to cornball quips like “I might break into song,” a joke she made while being told to hold the mic by the judge.

Many of the questions, Smith says, had to do with “race and gun ownership” — a trend reflected in the composition of the jury, many of whom have guns. It seemed to him — and to me — that the sweet spot in jury selection, those agreeable to prosecution and defense, led to a preponderance of gun owners with children. Given the fact that 10 of the 12 jurors are white, clearly there were factors other than race that came into play.

“I think the defense wanted white males, particularly gun owners,” he says. “I couldn’t quite figure out what the prosecution was looking for other than minorities and/or people with children.”

During the jury selection process, Smith asked for and received a private sidebar. When he divulged that he had written for Folio Weekly in the past, he says, “Angela Corey expressed great sensitivity to things that had been written about her there.” [Editor’s note: Ha.]

“She said, ‘you know …   More

THE FLOG

One Spark needs help — and lots of it. About 800 volunteers are needed to support on-the-ground operations during the April 17-21 event, which is billed as the world’s first crowd-funded festival.

“We are looking for volunteers with a shared passion for Jacksonville, especially downtown, and the desire to make One Spark a great experience for attendees,” said One Spark Volunteer Services Manager Meredith O’Malley Johnson.

A volunteer open house is scheduled 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Main Library, 303 Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville. One Spark team members will pass out volunteer information and answer questions.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and take a one-hour training session before the festival. Volunteers must agree to work at least one four-hour shift during the festival week. Visit BeOneSpark.com for more information.

  More

THE FLOG

 

Most people have at least heard of and may have listened to the informative, engaging TED Talks. A 1984 conference that began in California really took off six years later and has been held annually ever since. The talks have become more and more popular after being broadcasted online for free. TED Talks are held to a max of 18 minutes, giving viewers a fun, fast way to learn while also being thought-provoking and inspiring. 

TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, and Design" but has widened that scope since 1984 by exploring, connecting, and educating on any "idea worth spreading," which is the TED slogan.  

Last October, Jacksonville hosted its first TEDx (the "x" indicating an "independently organized event),“Collective Genius.” TEDxRiverside/Avondale hosted nine speakers, four recorded TED talks and four entertainment performances. Jeff Spear, TEDxJacksonville media liaison and partnership relations director, said “the event was very successful and completely sold out.”

On Oct. 26, TEDxJacksonville's evolved and expanded event theme will be "Connecting Currents." The theme refers not only to the St. Johns River, the location of the event, but also the connections between Jacksonville's history, culture and people.  

The organizers are accepting applications from those who would like to speak or perform. Spear said speakers must have great ideas that are worth sharing but must also be able "to make the presentation of their lives." As anyone who has watched TED Talks knows, the "E" for entertainment is always emphasized. Those who want to speak or perform (as well as those who want to suggest speakers andperformers) are encouraged to apply early, although the official deadline is June 30.

TED Talks require not only engaging performers and speakers but also a responsive audience. Those, who wish to attend this year’s event must complete an application, …   More

THE FLOG

The University of North Florida’s student newspaper, the Spinnaker, is considering a move from a weekly tabloid to a glossy magazine published monthly.

Spinnaker Editor in Chief Jacob Harn said May 15 that student leaders have had internal discussions with Media Adviser John Timpe and university administrators, and the business office is evaluating how the move would affect revenue.

The Spinnaker also wants to hear from students, faculty, staff and alumni through a survey made available this week. The early response in discussions has been positive, Harn said.

“We’re keeping our eyes open in a digital age and focusing on the website for daily coverage,” Harn said of the plans.

The tentative plan for publishing a magazine would call for 10 monthly issues — including two double issues — beginning in Fall 2013.

“People can expect more investigative news pieces and longer and more in-depth feature pieces,” if the student publication makes the change, Harn said.

The Spinnaker plans to print three more issues in its current tabloid format — once each in June, July and August.

Timpe said the students’ enthusiasm has been a driving force in giving them a chance to make the change for the fall semester.

“It’s enthused not only the print staff, but also the TV, radio and digital staff here. There have been a lot of lively discussions,” Timpe said.

Timpe sees an opportunity for students to experiment where other traditional media might not have the initiative.

“Media operations of all sizes are still trying to figure out the future and to some degree the present,” he said. “That’s one of the benefits of working with a college media outlet. They’re full of students ready to try something new.”

The Spinnaker currently publishes a weekly run of 4,000 issues. Timpe said the monthly run would likely be 10,000 to 12,000 issues, …   More

THE FLOG

I don't know art, but I know what I like. And I think I like George Zimmerman's latest painting.

It is absolutely brilliant, on an artistic level. The yellow ink on a red backdrop -- evocative of the Chinese flag in its bold use of what in America are condiment colors. The primitivist rendering of the subject, the eyes frozen without soul, the Katherine Harris bangs,the gaudy necklace like a Kool Moe Dee gold chain; this painting lays it all bare like a chicken plucked and slaughtered. 

 

Forget who painted it. If it were Basquiat, you'd feel differently. The style, reminiscent of the brilliant painter and iconoclast, Lee Harvey. Bold strokes used in bold ways to make bold statements.

 

And the quote up top? Perfectly understated. Sort of, well, at odds with the Zimmerman public persona -- a Travis Bickel figure who fights with trolls on Twitter and creates bizarre publicity stunts and claims that Sean Hannity is the last honest man in national journalism.

He plays a buffoon on TV. But what if he is working us all?

Angela Corey is not a popular politician, though she is effective. She plays hardball, and she doesn't lose. Which is part of the reason she alone among local political figures would merit being the subject of a painting at all, never mind one of this quality and thematic resonance.

I have, of course, some unsourced theories on Zimmerman's paintings. One of them being that there might be no better way for him to launder money than by creating a dummy market for some awful paintings -- like that first one he did, allegedly plagiarized, that still netted $100k.

Brilliant! Never occurred to Aileen Wuornos, Casey Anthony, or Ted Bundy to bring it like that. George Zimmerman's first painting: a dummy shell, intended to establish a market price for anything with his imprimatur. A price for the celebrity that comes with shooting a teenage boy in cold blood because he was getting pummelled by that boy, whom he stalked in …   More

FLOG

UPDATE FEB. 14

The Downtown Investment Authority will continue studying the idea of having a nonprofit foundation to run events at Hemming Plaza. On Feb. 13, Jim Bailey, publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record and chairman of the Hemming Plaza Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority, proposed the creation of a private foundation to take over administration and programming of the downtown park. The organization would be called H.A.R.T - an acronym for the Hemming Arts Recreation Team, after Isaiah Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, who deeded the land for the park to the city. Other DIA board members said more research is needed before such a committee could be formed. Board Chairman Donald Harris said the DIA was still in the fact-finding stage. Bailey’s proposal was to have 10 board members contribute $5,000 each to establish and form a non-profit to run the park.

FEB. 13

The Hemming Plaza Committee of the Downtown Investment Authority is proposing the creation of a private foundation to take over administration and programming of the downtown park. Jim Bailey, chairman of the committee and publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record, outlined the proposal Tuesday. The organization would be called H.A.R.T - an acronym for the Hemming Arts Recreation Team, after Isaiah Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, who deeded the land for the park to the city. If approved by the Downtown Investment Authority, the non-profit foundation would be supported entirely by private contributions and its mission would be “to enhance Hemming Plaza through events, collaboration with local businesses and volunteerism.”   More

Flog

Two Clay County lawmakers are filing a bill that will make public-owned stadiums with professional franchises eligible for a $2 million a year sales tax rebate for the next 30 years, the Times-Union reported. If the bill passes, the city-owned Everbank Field, the home of the Jaguars, would be eligible for a total of $4 million a year based on the new rebate and a rebate the stadium received in 1995. Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, and Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, will sponsor the bill.   More

THE FLOG

In 2010, when the economy was plummeting and businesses across America were being forced to close their doors, four Ireland-born sisters received a phone call that changed the fate of their Atlantic Beach restaurant. Talk about Culhane's Irish Pub had reached producers of the Food Network's “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." They loved the restaurant's website, menu and story, prompting them to contact Mary Jane Culhane about the possibility of being featured on the popular show hosted by Guy Fieri.

"Having our own Irish pub had been a dream of ours since we first came to the states," Culane said. "After 10 years of saving, we were finally able make it a reality. We used our own money to back the restaurant — never taking out loans from any banks — so watching the economy drop in 2009 and knowing that 70 percent of restaurants fail, we were thankful for the publicity that a visit from Fieri would bring."

Before a spot of the show could be secured, production teams were sent to check out the pub in person.

"They wanted to make sure everything was made from scratch and to make sure it was a legitimate, authentic place," Culhane said. "A lot of Irish pubs are all about the bar, but we've always focused on our Irish chefs and authentic food; many of our recipes come straight from our mother's kitchen. That's what sets Culhane's apart."

The creators of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" agreed. A week after learning they had landed a highly-coveted spot on the show, Fieri was in their kitchen. The show highlighted popular Irish comfort foods, like their Guiness Beef Stew, Dingle Fish Pie and Blarney Lamb Sliders. The unique ambiance and close-knit community, too, were emphasized — a true Irish pub atmosphere.

Culhane's has had loyal local customers since it's opening, but being on national television and now having a six-page spread in Fieri's new book has opened up a whole new group of patrons. People travel all over the country, following in Fieri's …   More

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is in the early stages of developing a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan. The organization is asking for help in gathering information reflecting the current levels of bicycling and walking for residents living in Northeast Florida, attitudes about cycling and walking and opinions about barriers that currently exist. Community input is invaluable. Click here to go to the survey. The survey will be open until Jan. 31.

Folio Weekly is also interested in your opinions. Leave your comments below.   More

 
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