Folio Weekly cover story, “Problems at the Core,” follows proponents and critics in depth as they debate the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Florida’s schools. Yesterday, Florida’s Board of Education voted to allow districts to choose their own teaching methods and materials in line with Gov. Rick Scott’s stated policy of local control for public school curricula. It does not change the standards upon which those curricula are to be based, i.e., CCSS.
The Florida Department of Education adopted CCSS in 2010, began implementing them in 2011, and on Oct. 15 addressed the appendices to the Common Core Compact.
Florida’s Board of Education voted 5-1 to allow local districts to voluntarily decide whether or not they will adopt the Common Core appendices, Florida Times-Union reporter Matt Dixon said. He said an editing error removed the word “appendices” from his story in the Oct. 16 Times-Union. There is no indication at this time that Florida will ditch CCSS, i.e., the goals upon which local curricula will be based.
The appendices would have extended the 45-state Common Core Compact, or memorandum of understanding, to matters going beyond just the standards, or learning benchmarks, into the realm of curriculum. “Standards” are “what” students should learn, while “curricula” are “how” they learn those standards, i.e., by which teaching strategies and course materials. Curriculum matters, proponents have said all along, are to be determined by local districts.
Scott suggested the move toward local district control of curricula in a letter to board chairman Gary Chartrand dated Sept. 23. That same day, Scott declared in an executive order that Florida would withdraw from the 18-state test-development consortium, Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC), and abdicate its position as fiscal agent for …
One of the more interesting local electronic artists on the rise: the enigmatic Shoni, whose sound blends a classic shoegazer sensibility with downtempo beats and an ethereal aesthetic. She has many great things planned for 2014 -- but one more major event planned for 2013: a video release party at Rain Dogs for her new song "Space Bars", available on Spotify.
The video that she will premiere Wednesday evening, she informs Folio, has high production values, reminiscent of a Hype Williams joint. It took two days to shoot, and when Shoni saw it just last night, she tells Folio that "it gave me chills."
The local media was clamoring for an interview with the reclusive Shoni... but Folio Weekly snagged an exclusive, in-depth Q&A. Read on to find out more about the event, her influences, how she creates music, and the Ludacris cover that started off what Shoni fans call Shonimania!
Folio Weekly: Tell us about the event you have at Raindogs 12/18.
Shoni: The Space Bars music video premiere is being hosted at Rain Dogs on Wed, Dec 18. There will also be live performances by Shoni, Ritual Union, and Ascetic (all female-fronted music projects that employ digital instruments).
FW: Why did you pick Rain Dogs for this event?
Shoni: We chose Rain Dogs for the music video premiere because of its relationship to the music and arts scene here in Jacksonville. It’s quickly becoming a haven for members of the local arts community with its open mic nights and intimate appeal. I like the energy there.
FW: What does it mean to “employ digital instruments”? Do all of you have similar sounds?
Shoni: What I and the producers I work with create is music through the medium of technology. Sometime I’ll sit down with an electric guitar and work out chord progressions and sometimes I’ll start my work on a recording program using MIDI inputs. The result …
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.
Folio Weekly didn’t have to look far to find its next editor. Jeffrey Billman was senior writer and news editor at Orlando Weekly.
Billman has a history of working for alternative newsweeklies. He was news editor at Philadelphia City Paper and has worked as a freelancer. He was also senior editor and writer at-large at Philadelphia Magazine, and has won awards for investigative reporting, feature writing and religion writing.
Billman and his wife, Adri — along with their two dogs, Belle and Sebastian (yes, after the band) — will move to Northeast Florida as soon as they can find a place to live and get their Orlando house on the market.
Billman, who plans to start work sometime in December, invites Folio Weekly readers to get in touch with him on Twitter (@jeffreybillman) and Facebook (facebook.com/jeffreycbillman), or email him (email@example.com), especially if they have tips on where he should live and what he should do when he arrives.
Folio Weekly asked Billman a few questions to help readers get to know him.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, moved to Orlando for college, and ended up staying for a decade, then ended up in Philly, came back to Orlando for year and now Jacksonville.
Where did you go to school?
I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida, in journalism and political science/public policy analysis, respectively.
Have you been to Northeast Florida before accepting this job? What do you know about the area?
Truth be told, I have a lot to learn — which is always, to my mind, one of the best parts of moving somewhere new. I’ve driven through Jax on several occasions, and spent a little bit of time here reporting on stories, but there is much to discover.
What interested you about Folio Weekly?
For starters, I’ve been looking for an …
Folio Weekly is a finalist in two categories of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) awards announced May 22.
In column writing for publlications with less than 50,000 circulation, Editor Denise M. Reagan was selected as one of three finalists for three Editor's Notes submissions:
Between a Nugget and a Hard Place: Chick-fil-A president’s right to voice same-sex marriage stance is just as sacrosanct as equal rights
In the Mouths of Babes: Smoking continues its hold on youth and young adults
Adopting a New Idea: The holidays are a good time to take in a stranger
In cover design for the less than 50,000 circulation category, Chad Smith, Walter Coker and Reagan were selected as finalists for three pages (see photos above):
Fall Arts Preview, Sept. 11, 2012
Jim Draper, Dec. 11, 2012
Antique Animals, Dec. 18, 2012
Every year, AAN honors reporters, artists, columnists, photographers, web producers, editorial assistants, creative directors, designers and editors of the alternative news industry. The finalists were selected by judges at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio Universit as the most outstanding from a field of more than 900 entries submitted by alternative publications across the U.S. and Canada.
The winners will be announced during a July 13 reception at the AAN Annual Convention in Miami.
Law enforcement agents and prosecutors have announced multiple conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering charges against 57 people who were involved with Internet café operator Allied Veterans of the World. Law enforcement officials said the operation masqueraded as a charity with less than 2 percent of the profits going to veterans.
They said this is just the first wave of arrests, and more charges are possible. The roles of Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba and FOP Vice President Robbie Freitas, were not revealed at a multi-agency news conference in Orlando.
Officials also would not discuss what involvement former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll had in the case. She resigned March 12, a day after being questioned by investigators.
Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis, who represented Allied Veterans, was called one of the masterminds of the $300 million racketeering scheme. Investigators claimed he received about $7 million.
Until the Mathews Bridge was built 60 years ago, Arlington residents had to take a ferry or the Main Street Bridge to get to the other side of the river.
On April 13, Old Arlington Inc. is celebrating of opening of the Mathews Bridge in 1953, which had been dubbed the bridge to “nowhere.” Within seven years of its opening, there was a major shift in Jacksonville’s population to the east.
Events include a bridge rededication 10:30-11:30 a.m., a classic car show, art show, pottery demonstration and tours of Norman Studios at 6337 Arlington Road. There will also be a dancing exhibition and activities for children. The celebration runs noon-4 p.m.
When the interior of the Wardrobe Cottage at Norman Studios is completed, Old Arlington Inc. will be moving its offices into that building.
For more information, contact myarlington.org.
A 13-year-old Jacksonville boy had the coolest birthday ever when his father rented a movie theater, and Jonah and his friends got to play video games for five hours on the big screen. Now the video of his party has gone viral, with hundreds of hits on Gawker and Reddit.
Jonah’s father, Travis, rented out Sun-Ray Cinema in Five Points for five hours for $300 and supplied unlimited beverages and pizza to his guests.
But the coolest part was the ability to play all the top video games including “Dead Space 2,” “Minecraft,” “Halo” and “Portal” on the theater’s giant screen.
His father said Jonah is an awesome kid and deserved an awesome party. He said Jonah has Type 1 diabetes and regularly does fundraising events for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The Walk To Cure Diabetes.
Jessica Pieczonka will be attending this year's Folio Weekly Beer & Music Festival Aug. 16 for free. Pieczonka received two VIP tickets for correctly answering all of the questions in our landmarks quiz. Pieczonnka was one of 17 to correctly answer all 20 questions; her name was then randomly drawn from that pool.
"I'm so excited! I never win anything like this. I can't believe I got all the questions right!" Pieczonka said.
About 70 people took the quiz and can check their answers here to see how close they were to being Northeast Florida landmark geniuses.
1. What was the original name of Marineland when it opened in June 1938?
c. Marine Studios
The original vision for Marineland was to create an underwater set with a variety of marine life for the purpose of filming scenes for motion pictures and newsreels.
2. For whom was Amelia Island named?
b. Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain
Princess Amelia of Great Britain was the second daughter of George II of Great Britain. Georgia’s founder and colonial governor, James Oglethorpe, renamed the island in honor of Princess Amelia.
3. What is the official name of the Jacobs Jewelers clock?
a. Greenleaf and Crosby Clock
The clock’s previous location was in front of the Greenleaf and Crosby Building at 208 N. Laura St., Downtown
4. What’s one of the Bridge of Lions’ nicknames?
a. The Most Beautiful Bridge in Dixie
Connecting downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island, the bridge was completed in 1927 and has long been a symbol of the Nation’s Oldest City.
5. The Duval County Medical Society was formed in what year?
The Duval County Medical Society was the first medical society in Florida and was instrumental in forming the Florida Medical Association in 1874 in Jacksonville.
6. How many stations does the JTA Skyway currently have?
c. 8 (Central Station, Convention Center Station, Hemming …
When the land Jennifer and Robert Sanders had been leasing for Heritage Farms went up for sale, they scrambled to scrape together resources to buy the property on Hood Road. Unable to raise or borrow enough money, in May they were dismantling the farm and “counting the days or weeks to move” when a surprising turn of events brought about by the application for capital investment Jennifer filed in association with her One Spark entry, Growing Power with Will Allen, changed everything.
After One Spark, Stache Investments Corp., an investment company owned by Shad Khan, contacted the couple to schedule a meeting to discuss a possible funding arrangement. They soon met with Jim Zsebok, Stache Investments’ chief investment officer, and were offered a tentative loan agreement.
Following a minor delay to conduct an environmental assessment of the property, it became official this week when The Daily Record reported that Stache Investments provided the Sanders with a $280,000 mortgage, $270,000 of which went to pay for the 2.58 acre property.
“I just mailed off my first payment a few days ago, and every night when I close the gates, I go, ‘Well, it’s mine, lock, stock and barrel.’ It’s a lot to be responsible for, but it’s a lot of opportunity,” Jennifer Sanders said.
She said Heritage Farms is more of a market garden than a commercial farm. Market gardens grow a high variety of product on relatively small acreage, typically 20 acres or less, and usually do not rely on mechanized farming equipment. The couple, who have been busily selling tomatoes, peppers and herbs, intend to initiate another round of crowdfunding in coming months to expand into aquaponics so they can start selling fresh fish in addition to vegetables, ornamentals and plants at the roadside stand they plan to soon add to the farm. They also intend to hire up to five additional employees to work the family farm alongside the couple and …