JaxPort’s Board of Directors have voted unanimously to inform the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that it wants to dredge the harbor to no less than 47 feet deep to keep the port competitive.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had recommended Monday that the St. Johns River shipping channel be dredged from its current 40-foot depth to 45 feet deep. Port members, however, said recommended depth is not deep enough for the port to service larger cargo ships from Asia.
The JaxPort board members said they think the 47-feet depth is needed to keep Jacksonville competitive to other East Cost ports.
The federal government will pay 75 percent of the cost to dredge up to 45 feet. Anything deeper than that depth could be paid for with state, federal, local or private funds.
There were no cost figures discussed at Monday’s meeting. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will release the draft results of its harbor deepening study in May.
The deputy director of the Port of Miami is the unanimous choice by the Jacksonville Port Authority’s board to become the next CEO of JaxPort.
At a meeting April 22, the board approved starting negotiations with Juan Kuryla to replace Paul Anderson, who left at the end of the year to take the position as the director of Tampa Port Authority, said Nancy Rubin, the port’s spokesperson.
The board conducted much of its search behind closed doors with one-on-one interviews with the eight candidates. It cut down the number of finalists to three before selecting Kuryla. Interim JaxPort CEO Roy Schleicher and Michael E. Moore, the former CEO of Global Container Terminals were the other finalists.
When he left the post he had held for only 23 months, Anderson complained about the instability at JaxPort, where competing appointments by the governor and mayor kept changing the port’s leadership.
Anderson was the state’s highest paid port executive in Jacksonville with an annual salary of $320,0000. He is paid $350,000 in Tampa.
The board will have to negotiate a salary and benefits with Kuryla.
Pedestrians, bicyclists and traffic fatalities in Jacksonville are increasing dramatically, prompting the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Transportation to start a new safety campaign, “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow. Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident.”
The campaign is asking motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to be more aware of each other and be more alert.
“We’ve got a serious problem in Jacksonville,” said Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford, who spoke at a news conference March 1 with Transportation Secretary Greg Evans and Maj. Anthony Allen of the FHP.
Traffic fatalities in Jacksonville have increased 34 percent, up from 103 in 2011 to 138 in 2012. Motor vehicle versus pedestrian fatalities increased to 32 in 2012, up from 23 in 2011, and motor vehicle versus bicyclist deaths increased to nine, compared with 5 the previous year.
The $100,000 campaign, funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, will include radio and television advertising, billboards and brochures.
The craft beer industry is asking the Legislature to approve the sale of a new size of growlers, which are reusable containers for taking home draft beer.
According to the bill’s summary, it is currently legal for craft beer makers to sell 32-ounce and 128-ounce bottles of beer. Beer makers want to make 64 ounces a legal size as well. They say it is a better size for most consumers, holding about four pints.
The 64-ounce growler is the industry standard and is readily available and much cheaper to acquire than 128-ounce and 32-ounce bottles, beer company officials said.
The name “growler” is believed to have originated in the early 20th century due to the rumbling noise made by the carbon dioxide that rattled the lid of beer pails.
The legislation was up before the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on March 14 and has also been referred to three other committees.
University of North Florida President John Delaney announced April 12 that “The Power of Transformation” fundraising campaign exceeded its goal of $110 million and raised more than $130 million.
Funds raised during the campaign that started in 2009 will be used for student scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, academic enhancements, capital project and Transformational Learning Opportunities.
More than 16,000 students attend the University of North Florida.
The iconic blue Main Street Bridge will be closed the night of March 29 for the filming of a music video by rapper Rick Ross and his song, “Box Chevy.”
Jeffrey Harper, executive producer of Miami-based Dre Films, said the bridge will be operated on a hold and release basis from 8 p.m. March 29 through 5:30 a.m. March 30.
“We don’t want to inconvenience the citizens of Jacksonville,” he said, explaining that during breaks in the shooting, traffic will be let through.
The permit for the filming the video for the sexually explicit song was issued by the Florida Department of Transportation since it controls the bridge. The permit said boat traffic would not be affected.
Melissa Bujeda, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, said the production company will have to pay five off-duty officers and supervisor to handle traffic control on the bridge.
Harper said the producers chose Jacksonville because it is mentioned in Ross’ song. In addition to filming on the bridge, they are also filming at The Florida Theater, because both are iconic in Jacksonville. He expects the video to cost about $30,000.
First there were skinny jeans. Then came the jegging. American Eagle Outfitters recently upped the tight denim ante with jeans that don’t shrink in the wash, eliminate worry about plumber’s crack, and will never give you a wedgie: Skinny Skinny Jeans.
Jacksonville native and 2007 Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate Jillian Rorrer, now an actress based in New York City, debuted the new product for an American Eagle April Fool’s Day promotional video. Rorrer modeled the “jeans,” which were actually nothing more than body paint (and some well-placed underwear), before hidden cameras and unsuspecting customers in a New Jersey American Eagle store in March.
“Every kind of reaction happened. There were some people that were really annoyed by it, and then there were people who believed it,” Rorrer said. “There were these two cute little blonde girls who were like, ‘yeah, maybe I’ll try it!’”
Rorrer also sported the airy denim look April 1 on NBC’s “Today" show, as cohost Savannah Guthrie interviewed American Eagle marketing executives about the “cheeky” prank.
Rorrer said she lost nearly 70 pounds and began a healthy lifestyle regimen while in high school at Douglas Anderson, which helped prepare her for her painted-on performance and sparked an avid interest in nutrition and fitness.
“I realized that food is not just something that I kind of care about, it’s something that I really care about. My whole life, I’ve loved food!” Rorrer said. “For so long I misunderstood what real food was and I was ashamed to love food.”
Now, in addition to acting and working several part-time jobs in New York, Rorrer co-operates funfitfoodies.com, a diet and healthy lifestyle blog. Rorrer says she hopes her fast-paced, driven lifestyle and acting education will help her land a dream role on a cable drama series.
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A quartet of superheroes, Superman, Spiderman, Batman and Robin, dropped in this week on some real-life superheroes — youngsters facing health challenges at Nemours Children’s Clinic.
Delighted children watched as the superheroes dropped in with ropes and buckets to clean the windows on the 11-story tower on the Southbank of the St. Johns River on Monday and Tuesday.
Employees from City Wide Maintenance of Jacksonville donned the capes at the request of clinic staff and took time during their lunch hour to meet and greet the children.
Who says superheroes don’t do windows?
Dixie Egg Company of Jacksonville has donated 86,400 eggs to the Second Harvest North Florida food bank to help put food on the tables of the hungry for the Easter season.
“We are thrilled to donate much-needed proteins to the Second Harvest Food Bank just in time for the Easter holiday.” said Jacques Klempf of Dixie Eggs.
“This is an amazing blessing for us at this time of year,” said Bruce Ganger, executive director of Second Harvest. “Eggs are excellent sources of nutrition and proteins for those who are hungry and for those who have food allergies and dietary restrictions. This is the perfect gift at the perfect time.”
The donation equals 7,200 dozen eggs.
The historic Bostwick Building, which was in danger of being demolished, is under contract to be sold, its owners said.
“We have someone interested in restoring the building who understands the Bostwick family history with the building and is interested in preserving that in addition to the building itself,” Val Bostwick, senior sales associate with Johnson Enterprise Inc., told the Financial News & Daily Record.
The building, located at the corner of Ocean and Bay streets in Downtown Jacksonville, has become known as the “Jaguar building,” because of the mural of the jaguar visible in the structure's windows
The mural, painted by Jacksonville artist Jim Draper, will be removed from the building before the renovation and it will retained by Carter Bostwick, president of Guaranty Trust Investments.
The former Guaranty Trust and Savings bank was the first building permitted after the Great Fire in 1901.