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THE FLOG

Mayor Urges Adoption of Dogs

Mayor Alvin Brown is making an urgent plea asking for Jacksonville residents to help ease the crowding problem at Animal Care and Protective Services by adopting one of the 90 dogs crowding the facility.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work for this city to reach a no-kill status and we want to make sure we keep it that way,” the mayor said in a press release Feb. 19.

Division Chief Scott Trebatoski said with 50 to 100 dogs entering the facility each day, the shelter is becoming too crowded. The current adoption fee through the end of the month is $14 for any dog or cat, which includes spaying or neutering, rabies vaccinations and microchips. It does not include the $20 city licensing fee.

ACPS is located at 2020 Forest St. Regular adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The shelter can be contacted on Facebook or Twitter.   More

THE FLOG

Mayo Clinic Gets $7 Million Grant for Parkinson's Research

Mayo Clinic Jacksonville has received a five-year $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue its study into the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease. The clinic’s Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s disease has received funding for research since 1999. In recent years, that funding has dropped to about $500,000 a year, said Dennis Dickson, a neuropathologist and the center’s director. Unlike a yearly grant, the current grant is guaranteed for five years. Mayo researchers have identified 10 genes connected to Parkinson’s or related neurodegenerative diseases.   More

RACIST FLIERS DISTRIBUTED IN RIVERSIDE

On July 15, residents of the Riverside woke to find racist fliers inside bags of white rice outside their homes and on the streets. Again.

The fliers, of which Folio Weekly Magazine has obtained four pictures, are credited to the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, otherwise known as KKK Knights. As of press time, FWM has received approximately a half dozen reports from individuals claiming they or their friends found the fliers. All say they found the fliers in Riverside.

The flier to the right was found in Riverside this morning. (Image altered to block out offensive language and the group's phone number.)

Two sources said that unknown individual(s) in a burgundy pickup truck with its windows blocked by towels to obscure view of the occupants distributed the fliers early in the morning.

Similar messages were distributed in various neighborhoods last March and November. In November, News4Jax reported meeting with a man identifying himself as a Grand Dragon Ken with the KKK; in a conversation in his Southside, Jacksonville home, Ken (who declined to give his last name) said the fliers were the beginning of a major statewide recruitment effort.

Other sources said they have received similar fliers with anti-LGBTQ messages in the past.

The north-central North Carolina phone number and website included on the flier matches that of the KKK Knights' phone number on the group's website. A voicemail FWM left at the number was not returned.

The voicemail greeting says the group is “the largest and most active white clan in the United States.” The greeting goes on to say, “Hey whites, for far too long these liberals have lied to you about what the Bible really says when they tell you that you’re supposed to love your neighbor,” and quotes two verses of Leviticus, 19:8 and 21:7, which it implies justifies separation of the races.

The KKK Knights’ website adamantly denies that is a hate group. Rather, it …   More

What We Know about the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

The tragic mass shooting at Pulse Orlando on June 12 left 50 dead, including the shooter, and 53 wounded. The massacre at the popular gay club in Orlando, Florida has the highest death toll of any mass shooting in United States history and is the deadliest terror attack since 9/11.

This dark day in American history has left more questions than answers.

What we know so far is that authorities have identified the gunman as 29-year-old Omar Saddiqui Mateen of Fort Pierce, the American-born son of Afghani parents. News affiliates have reported that Mateen had previously been interviewed by the FBI in 2013 and 2014, but found not to be a threat. The New York Times reports that in 2014 authorities were investigating a link between Mateen and Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a Floridian who became a suicide bomber.

CNN reports that around 2 a.m., Mateen started shooting outside the packed club. After exchanging fire with an Orlano Police Department officer on duty at the club, Mateen fled inside with a 223-caliber AR-15 style assault rifle, a 9mm handgun and an explosive device. Inside, the Orlano Sentinel reports that two additional officeres became involved in the shootout.

Mateen retreated to a bathroom; a hostage situation developed.

"Investigators called to the scene told CNN that, hours later, the bodies remained where they had fallen, their cell phones ringing and vibrating, filling the club with the eerie sound of parents trying to reach children who would never pick up," the Tampa Bay Times reports.

At approximately 2:22 a.m., Mateen called 911 from inside the club to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

After three hours, during which those trapped inside frantically called police, loved ones and posted on social media in desperate attempts to get help or escape, law enforcement breached the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades. Mateen was killed by officers. Thirty hostages were rescued.

According to …   More

Flog

City, USTA to Refurbish Courts for Youth Tennis

Tennis Courts at Clanzel T. Brown Park will be refurbished and renovated as part of the USTA’s Davis Cup Legacy program. The City of Jacksonville and the USTA are each kicking in $21,000 for the $42,000 in renovations.

The Legacy program is designed to leave a permanent tennis legacy in the communities hosting Davis Cup events in the United States. Work will begin soon for the project that will convert and refurbish some courts for 10 and under tennis and youth tennis.

The United States defeated Brazil 3-2 in Davis Cup matches Feb. 1-Feb. 3 and advances to face Serbia in April.

  More

ADKINS gets CREAMED

While the rest of you were still sleeping snug in your beds, dreams of #FinallyFriday dancing through your slumbering heads, Kelly Pope and Folio Weekly Magazine were up at the crack determined to give intolerance a smack in the face.

Literally.

Long a controversial figure in local politics, Bishop/Pastor Kenneth Adkins took his tactics to new lows this year when he was contracted by opposition to the expansion of Jacksonville's Human Rights Ordinance, which, had it passed, would have protected people from housing, public accomodation and employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. (Upon meeting with fervent and, some would say, unscrupulous and shameful opposition, the bill's co-sponsor, Councilman Tommy Hazouri, withdrew it in hopes of getting it passed at a later date.)

Then, as if he hadn't spread enough hate and intolerance against the LGBTQ community, days after the Pulse Orlando mass shooting, Adkins unleashed a barrage of appalling tweets that earned him public condemnation from all sides, even the Jacksonville Mayor's Office.

After FWM published screenshots of said Tweets, Adkins *sniffle* blocked us on Twitter.

Last weekend, a story caught our eye about Adkins getting caught lying about an endorsement for a candidate he'd previously represented.

The story also reported that, as penance for lying, Adkins had agreed that anyone who donated 20 backpacks or more to the Glynn County school system this morning, August 5, at Kaufman Parker Realty in downtown Brunswick, Georgia, would get the opportunity to put a pie in his face. "I’m finally using my controversy, my stupidity and my foolishness for some good,’’ Adkins told The Florida Times-Union.

We weren't the only ones tickled pink at the prospect of seeing whipped cream thrown in the face of intolerance.

Attorney John M. Phillips, whom Adkins recently tried to get kicked off the Human Rights Commission, …   More

THE FLOG

BROWARD AND PALM BEACH ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE

Gay marriage legal on southern tip of Florida as four counties all agree gay marriage ban violates U.S. Constitution. Marriages on hold awaiting appeals.

Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen ruled Monday that Florida's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The following day, on Tuesday, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Diana Lewis threw out the gay marriage ban there.  In the past 21 days, four South Florida judges have ruled the ban a violation of the rights of gay residents to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S Constituion — in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and now Palm Beach. The rulings in all four circuits are stayed pending  appeal by Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi

Florida voters amended the state constitutino in 2008 and made gay marriage illegal.  

On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguements in six gay marriage cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, the Associated Press reports today. Each case relates to statewide marriage bans. The Herald reported Monday that the organization Freedom to Marry says LGBT advocates have won more than 30 times in federal, state and appeals courts since June 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court tossed part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in ruling in favor of Edith Windsor, a lesbian widow from New York.

Judge Cohen cited Windsor in his Monday ruling, the Herald reports. 

The Florida Supreme Court delivered a ruling on gay marriage. If the circuit rulings hold, it woudn't legalize gay marriage throughout the state, just in the circuits that have legalized it. A Florida Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage is still sometime down the line.   More

THE FLOG

DOES JACKSONVILLE REALLY NEED MORE COPS? (NO.)

Heading into the mayoral election in May, the big hullabaloo currently shaking up Jacksonville’s political blogosphere is the recent TV attack ad by Republican Lenny Curry’s PAC peeps that aims to directly link the budget cuts and subsequent elimination of 147 police positions under incumbent Democrat Alvin Brown to an increase in the city’s crime rate, namely murder and rape. You’ve no doubt seen these omnipresent ads. They’re the ones that come on in between your Family Guy reruns, featuring spooky music and darkened imagery — basically likening 2015 J-ville to the alternate reality timeline in Back to the Future II wherein Marty McFly’s bully, Biff Tannen, is at the head of a morally corrupt, criminal-laden Hill Valley. The ad was blatant fear-mongering and, according to an investigation by First Coast News, riddled with factual inaccuracies and false interpretations (that’s media speak for “lies”). Murders and rapes did increase during Mayor Brown’s first term (though not at quite the astonishing rates indicated in the ad), but the overall crime rate went down. Mayor Brown did have something to do with the budget cuts (as did the cratering economy, but details), but he did not cut 147 officers; the final determination of the allocation of police force resources belonging to Dudley Do-Right (aka Sheriff John Rutherford), who also attributes the budget cuts to the rise in crime rates and is, conveniently, a supporter of Curry.

Of course, revealing the true figures and political motivations behind the manipulated statistics presented to us in the ad is all well and good but, from what I gather, every organization analyzing this ad seems to focus so much on the correlation that they are entirely ignoring the causation. Like conditions created by the hopelessness of unemployment and poverty. Like inadequately funded and staffed community youth outreach programs in high-risk neighborhoods. …   More

Folio Weekly Magazine's EXCLUSIVE Interview with THE PRESIDENT

You probably already know that the president was in town last week; but you didn’t know that Folio Weekly Magazine scored an exclusive interview. That’s right, we’ve got that kind of clout. Before you ask why it took us this long to post this because, like, that was so last week, we are an alt weekly, folks, not the New York Times (also our fact checker was on strike*).

Okay, we actually scored an interview with the co-president. 

This is our exclusive interview with the incredibly charming, energetic and word-and-world-wise Tatiana Saleh, co-president of the Spoken Word Club at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and community outreach coordinator of Élan literary magazine. We interviewed Saleh in the midst of the beautiful frenzy of creativity being showcased at the March Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville.

We owe a special thanks to the Teen Advisory Board at the Jacksonville Public Library for serving our community by getting teens involved in their local libraries and for graciously helping us coordinate this interview.

(The interview is lightly edited for length and readability.)

Folio Weekly Magazine: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

Tatiana Saleh: I'm 18 years old, a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. I'm the eldest of five girls. I’m half black, half Hispanic. Been at D.A. studying creative writing for the past four years.

FWM: How long have you been co-president of the Spoken Word Club? 

T.S.: I became a member last year, co-president this year.

FWM: How did you feel when you became co-president?

T.S.: Responsible in the sense that when I was just a member of the club, it was just about what I wanted to say… Now it’s about helping others say what they want to say… Before Spoken Word I was really nervous speaking in public; I credit the club with being able to speak in public.

FWM: What do you do at …   More

THE FLOG

Survivor Miley to Lead Mutt March

A survivor named Miley will lead Mutt March, Jacksonville Humane Society’s fundraiser walk at the Jacksonville Landing from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. March 2.

Miley collapsed and nearly died of respiratory distress from a walk at the JHS. JHS set a goal of raising $100,000 to care for shelter pets at the Mutt March.

“Miley is the perfect dog to represent JHS at Mutt March. She and so many others like her have overcome medical obstacles to bring great joy to their adoptive families. That wouldn’t be possible without the funds raised at Mutt March,” said Denise Deisler, JHS executive director, according to a press release from the JHS. “We are depending on Mutt March to raise enough money to care for the thousands of pets who rely on JHS for medical care and shelter each year.”

The 2-mile Mutt March fun walk and festival will have entertainment, activities for kids and pets, a silent auction and vendors with walking along St. Johns River.

Last year’s top fundraiser, JHS board member Lis’e Everly will walk Miley and lead hundreds of other dogs and their families in Mutt March.

“I am walking with Miley in the Mutt March to ensure JHS has the funds needed to care for all of the pets waiting for families with which to share their love,” Everly said. “Dogs like Miley stand by us offering us unconditional love, greeting us with enthusiasm and making us smile through the saddest of tears.”

To register for Mutt March, visit jaxhumane.org/muttmarch.   More