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FOLIO ARTS

The Art of Presence and PROGRESS

Artist Morrison Pierce first introduced me to Art Basel in 2007.

A group of eight Jacksonville creatives (including writers, painters, and experimental musicians) all piled into two vehicles and arrived in Miami Beach just in time for an Iggy and the Stooges performance held at the oceanside.

The next morning we all walked to the Miami Beach Convention Center to take in the international art fair known as Art Basel Miami Beach. Originally founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1970, the South Florida version of the art fair kicked off in 2002. Today, it attracts nearly 80,000 artists, private collectors, directors, curators, trustees and patrons of nearly 200 museum and institution groups each year.

During that initial visit, I immediately realized that I would not be able to afford to see the show and that a few of the guys I had ridden down with had press passes. Local writer and Folio Weekly contributor Shelton Hull was kind enough to draft a letter of assignment from Section 8 magazine, to help get me and psychedelic music cohort Seth Ossachite Stephens press access.

With press passes in hand we were suddenly admitted to Basel and all it's surrounding fairs such as SCOPE, Red Dot, and Art Miami. Ten years have flown by and I find myself in Miami Beach every early December to compulsively feed my head with what the international art community has to offer. And in that time, I have covered the fair for nearly as many years for Folio Weekly.

From elegant and extravagant down to inane and undignified, every possible medium of art is represented at Art Basel Miami Beach and its neighboring art fairs. If you can't find the white whale in one of the fairs, perhaps you'll hunt him down in the Wynwood Art District, where graffiti art reigns supreme.

Miami traffic and the logistics involved can be daunting. One year I slept on the beach, and in 2010 Pierce and I were stranded in Miami Beach and slept on the roof of the very hotel we had to leave.

This …   More

THE-FLOG

Turning the PAGE

My fingers have never been heavier typing a sentence than this one: Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.

I did not believe that in the 21st century it was remotely possible that my America would elect a person as president who has been a lightning rod of bigotry, racism, nationalism and xenophobia, who has threatened journalists for doing their jobs, mocked the disabled and treated women as his own personal fuck dolls for his entire adult life. But here we are.

Those of us in the media owe the nation a sincere apology. For we must have let you down in some deeply abiding way, elsewise just under half of the electorate would not have ignored our dire warnings about the results of voting for an inexperienced man who routinely takes intolerance to new and frightening levels. Perhaps we were too smug, too confident in your trust that we, who are tasked with pointing our lenses and pens at that which is wrong and ugly in the world, do in fact know what we are talking about. Perhaps we do not yet grasp the full implications of the Internet age, for we thought that certainly people would not believe the farces and lies published by fake news and propaganda sites, some of which receive their nuggets of deceit directly from foreign nations that have no greater desire than to take America down and destroy our power. For we seem to have underestimated the desire of 50 million Americans to be told things that jibe with their opinions, regardless of whether those things are true.

Today, my morning got off to a different start than most other mornings. Having stayed up until it was certain that Hillary Clinton could not win, I grieved until sleep carried me away and woke five hours later crushed with dread for the years to come. To comfort myself and secure some semblance of normalcy, I sought solace in the woods, running through the rain to pound out the worst of my horror before facing the world.

At work, I gathered the rest of the …   More

Safer Streets for Cyclists and Pedestrians

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

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

THE FLOG

Momentum Grows for Locals Opposed to Trump's Policies

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

In the brisk, sun-washed mid-morning, today citizens from five Northeast Florida counties gathered outside Senator Marco Rubio’s office on the Southbank to urge the senator to oppose Betsy DeVos’ and Scott Pruitt’s confirmations as Secretary of Education and head of the Environmental Protection Agency, respectively, and to express their disapproval of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order that temporarily banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.

In an email to Folio Weekly late yesterday, Indivisible Nassau County co-founder Chad Brockman wrote that they believe that the order “created a backdoor ban on Muslim immigrants.”

As to DeVos, Brockman wrote, “We believe her lack of experience, plans of vision along with outdated policies would be harmful to public education.” Their opposition to Pruitt’s confirmation is based on the belief that “his allegiances to big oil and other dirty energy along with his choices to sue the EPA to block important public health protections prove that he is the wrong choice to lead the EPA.”

Many people outside Rubio’s office held signs of protest, but theirs was not merely a message of opposition; several indicated that they have previously been impressed by Rubio, but said they are concerned that he has been too willing to obey the Republican Party and the president.

“In the end, he folds and falls in line with the party,” Brockman said.

Representing Indivisible groups from Nassau, St. Johns, Duval, Clay and Flagler Counties, the people outside Rubio’s office today were primarily, but not all, white and middle-aged or older. They held signs that read “Save ACA,” “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break free,” “Say No to Sessions and DeVos!!!” and more; their chants …   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