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THE FLOG

Batter Up for the Bridge

 

The Jacksonville Suns and the contractors on the repair and repainting of the Mathews Bridge have reached an agreement to make it easier for fans to get to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville for Suns games.

The bridge will remain open both ways until 10:30 p.m. on the first six Friday night games: April 5, April 26,  May 10, May 24, June 14 and June 21.

The Mathews will also remain open for opening night on April 4 and on Memorial Day weekend and the Southern Leaguer All-Star Game on July 17.

The $22.7 million repair and repainting program on the Mathews Bridge, which began in September 2011, is scheduled for completion later this summer or early fall, said Mike Goldman, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation.

The Jacksonville Suns are the Double-A Affiliate of the Miami Marlins and are members of the Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs.

 

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Folio Digital

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME

Folio Weekly Magazine happily announces that founding publisher and co-owner Sam Taylor has finally completed his “layaway program” to consolidate ownership of the news magazine and other media assets. Taylor is now the sole owner of Folio Media House. Former co-owner and vice president Farrar Martin will remain with the team as an associate publisher.

The consolidation is a “lifelong dream” of Taylor’s, and he looks forward to many more years as the fearless leader of Northeast Florida’s alternative voice.

*A previous version incorrectly spelled Farrar Martin's name   More

DIG THIS GIG

JAKE MILLER, JASMINE V, ALEX ANGELO

Credited with building his own “Millertary” (good grief), the 22-year-old pop singer Jake Miller is on tour promoting his latest release, Rumors. After releasing two EPs independently, he has been signed to Warner Bros. Records. Miller’s music is surprisingly well received, a mixture of Pop and Hip-Hop that is admittedly difficult to master. However, Miller’s sound is more of a combination of Disney Pop star and passable rap. Fortunately for Miller, this type of music appeals to the wide fan base of young teens. If nothing else, his current tour/teeny bopper recruitment drive will most certainly be successful in a probable expansion of his “army.”

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THE FLOG

Training Scenario in Orange Park Only a Drill

If you see a gaggle of law enforcement officers along Wells Road in Orange Park on Wednesday afternoon it is not an actual emergency, it’s only a drill. Some 65 people from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, the Orange Park Police and Fire Departments, Clay County Fire Rescue and Everest University staff and students are working together on a training exercise. The college students will be acting out scenarios such as an active shooter on campus to a hostage situation, and the officers and first responders will be honing their skills for an actual emergency. Remember, it is only a drill.

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FLOG

Mayor Brown’s Approval Rating Down Slightly

A new poll by the University of North Florida showed that about 70 percent of those questioned still approve or strongly approve of Mayor Alvin Brown’s performance. In a similar poll taken last year, 75 percent of those polled approved of the mayor’s performance. In the same poll, 48 percent of those polled approve of the job the Jacksonville City Council is doing.

Those polled showed 40 percent were taking a wait-and-see attitude on newly hired Duval County Superintendent of Schools Nikolai Vitti. About 40 percent had no opinion of the new superintendent. A majority of residents, 58 percent, supported the city adding sexual orientation to its human rights ordinance.

The poll was taken between Feb. 4 and Feb. 12 and included 917 Duval County residents. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.23 percent.   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Race to the Bottom Edition)

TRUMP TRUMP

One of the more interesting developments of the post-Florida-primary week was The New York Times looking into the Republicans' “desperate” mission to stop Donald Trump from earning their party’s nomination. Even Mitch McConnell has joined the fight, which is surprising because the Senate Majority Leader’s priorities are typically as follows: reelection, stifle Obama, reelection, seek out a warm rock from which to absorb sun into his reptilian skin.

Speaking of reptiles: Rick Scott endorsed Trump this week and the Florida Times Union’s Tia Mitchell has some questions for the Florida Governor, one of which he failed to answer in a recent cringe-inducing visit to MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  

The Unpopular Crowd

OK, so the Republican establishment is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Drumpf. And John Kasich won Ohio. And he’s the most moderate candidate, right?

Kasich has balanced budgets. He has broad support among independents. He’s the Governor of the most important swing state. And he gives great hugs.

OK, Republicans: fall in line.

Not so fast… as it turns out, aside from all those previously mentioned qualifications, John Kasich is also a smug, ego-maniac with anger management issues, that nobody likes. And this makes him different from the rest of the Republican field, how?

Meanwhile, shortly after Ted Cruz locked up the Mormon vote in Utah, Jeb Bush went ahead and endorsed the guy whose own kids even find him untenably creepy. While we’re on the subject, if you haven’t seen this video of Ted Cruz’s campaign commercial outtakes, it’s definitely worth a gander, if for no other reason than to see what these assholes are willing to put their families through. 

 

A digression: Is it just me or does Heidi Cruz, especially under duress – which she appears to be in the above video – look and act a lot like Kathryn …   More

Jacksonville Receiving $450,000 in Defense Grants

Jacksonville is receiving $450,000 from the 2012-2013 Florida Defense Support Task Force Grants, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday.

The grants are part of $2.6 million awarded to 10 project across the state “to protect military installations and grow jobs and opportunities across the state,” the governor said

In Jacksonville, the funds will go for the construction of an explosive ordinance disposal bunker at Jacksonville Air National Guard Base and establishing a maritime research center at Mayport Naval Station.

A grant of $100,000 will to the Florida 8 (a) Alliance in Jacksonville to assist veteran-owned and defense industry small business across Florida.

“These investments are critical to supporting military jobs and further establishing Jacksonville as a major hub for aircraft basing,” the governor said.

Mayor Alvin Brown thanked the governor, saying, “This is a remarkable opportunity not only to strengthen our part of national security, but promote jobs and economic development at the local and state levels.”

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Flog Poll

FLOG POLL (REGGAE-NOMICS EDITION)

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THE SILVER FOX

As I watched Sunday evening’s Democratic debate from Flint, MI, I was not alone in my being struck by how much actual policy and nuance was discussed, relative to the Republican debates, which focused more heavily on which candidate was more full of fallacies and which candidate had a tiny phallus. I was also struck by how pretty damn boring the whole thing was.

With Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead, most Dems seem content having the boring primary.

After Super Tuesday, many polls had HRC ahead by double-digit margins in both Mississippi and Michigan. Then, much to the chagrin of HRC supporters, we had to go and have  another Tuesday.

Sanders' Michigan victory surprised a lot of pollsters. And though Bernie was beaten, rather brutally, in Mississippi, his win in Michigan has given the Sanders campaign renewed hope that he’ll fare well moving forward… Or not.

Anderson Cooper will moderate as CNN and Univision host another boring ass debate tonight (Wednesday) from Miami.

WHO'S GOT TWO THUMBS, A DRESSAGE HORSE, AND IS DOWN WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?

After a sincere and potty-mouthed (for a stiff Mormon guy) scolding from ol’ Mitt,  Drumpfmentum was marginally slowed. The runner up from the 2012 Presidential election doubled down on his efforts to stop The Donald in the most logical way possible. He went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to read mean tweets.

My favorite has to be @VOTE4TRUMP_2016’s claim that he or she wished for a time machine so he or she could “go back and punch [Mitt Romney] in the throat.”

LOL, @VOTE4TRUMP_2016. Don’t we all? Wait… do we?

WHAT THE HEIL? 

Speaking of Drumpf, he seems to be doing everything he can to keep the Hitler comparisons fresh in the minds of voters, as a pledge of support from a crowd of mouth-breathers turned into an (un?)fortunate photo-op for the Republican frontrunner (below). …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Escape From New York Edition)

 

The battle for New York is over, the frontrunners of both parties earning decisive victories in one of the most hyped primaries since that one that happened last week.

Feel The Bern Givin’ you the Feels?

To be fair, Sanders certainly outperformed expectations in his native state. Two weeks ago he trailed Clinton by double digits. Then he won Wyoming, got tickets to Hamilton and an invite to hang with The Pope (kind of). Momentum may be on his side.

Five Thirty Eight sees the race for the Democratic nomination tightening moving forward. While there are no numbers to back up the assertion that follows, Sanders seems to have benefited from a rather heavy-handed documentary (see:campaign ad) featuring the Vermont Senator walking the streets of his hometown, as actor/director/uber-Bernie Bro Mark Ruffalo tosses the candidate softballs and tries desperately to engage him in extensive periods of eye-contact, to no avail.

Enjoy the awkwardness below:

 

You Ain’t No Bern, You Bern

While Sanders had Ruffalo in his corner in New York, Hillary had the support of a half-dozen dorks at Columbia University. Also HRC got 6 in 10 Latino votes, 6 in 10 female votes, and two-thirds the minority votes in the NYC primary where 40% of registered voters are nonwhite.

Regardless, if your Facebook feed hasn’t yet made it clear, it ain’t cool to like Hillary. As I said weeks ago, Sanders is the perfect candidate for my generation: dug up like some old vinyl (a single like Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” for example) by a demographic Hell-bent on coopting things from the past. “Authenticity,” the buzzword of the generation that gave rise to the hipster, is often used to describe Sanders’ appeal. Just replace reclaimed wood with Bernie’s speeches from the '80s and you have, in a nutshell, the soul of why he’s popular with the under-30 crowd in the first place.

So it’s not all that …   More

LET THERE BE LIT

On March 5, the 14th annual Douglas Anderson Writers’ Festival comes back home. After having outgrown the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts campus, where the festival began in the late 1990s, the last several festivals have been hosted at the University of North Florida, but with the $13 million expansion of Douglas Anderson’s campus, completed this year, the festival’s organizers decided it was high time to bring the festival home.

In the 20 years since its founding, the event has brought scores of the highest caliber writers to Jacksonville, including Billy Collins, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood and Richard Ford.

This year’s headliner is Andre Dubus III, best known for his best-selling novel “House of Sand and Fog,” upon which the 2003 film featuring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley was based. Poets like Richard Blanco and William Trowbridge and fiction writers Tom Paine and Ron Carlson are offering Saturday workshops.

The 2016 festival, which features 17 writers, is the work of three D.A. creative writing teachers — Liz Flaisig, Tiffany Melanson, and Jennifer Bundy — and is funded largely by the school’s creative writing booster club.

Poet and creative writing teacher Melanson says that bringing the festival home allows the school to showcase its achievements to the community. In that way, it performs a role similar to D.A.’s Extravaganza, the annual showcase of music, writing, dance, cinematic arts, and visual arts that packs the house at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts each February.

Unlike Extravaganza, though, Melanson says the writers’ festival may have lost community understanding of its connection with the school when it was held at UNF.

Though the festival has featured some of the best-known American writers, it bills itself as “a student literary festival,” offering D.A. students a true immersion in literary arts.

Creative …   More