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Local Progressives Take Page from TEA PARTY Playbook

This morning, about a dozen citizens drove an hour through the morning fog to meet with staff at the Jacksonville offices of U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and discuss their concerns about several of Donald Trump’s cabinet picks as well as his legislative priorities.

The group, Indivisible Nassau County, which has 188 members on Facebook, is part of a national network of independent groups that sprung up in the response to Donald Trump’s election. “Indivisible” groups utilize “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” a guideline written by former congressional staffers on how to organize and oppose Trump’s policies utilizing tactics employed by the Tea Party during Barack Obama’s presidency.

At Rubio’s Southbank office this morning, the group was prepared with a letter highlighting the items they wanted to discuss today, which individual members signed. They shared a similar version of the letter with Senator Nelson’s staff at his office several blocks away.

“We are here to introduce ourselves and to bring up some of the concerns we have about some changes in policy,” Paula Ferreira told Folio Weekly. Ferreira was chosen to act as the group's spokesperson in today’s meetings. Members told FW that her intelligence, articulation and experience living under a dictatorship in Africa inspired them to select her to speak on their behalf today.

Trump nominees they voiced opposition to today include Rex Tillerson, who is tapped to serve as secretary of state; Scott Pruitt, whom Trump has selected to head the Environmental Protection Agency; and Betsy DeVos, who is up for secretary of education.

Ferreira said they are concerned about Tillerson’s ties to Russia and potential conflicts of interest stemming from his time as CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil, which they believe inhibits his ability to effectively serve as secretary of …   More

Correction: Seminole Nation Rises Against Sabal Trail Pipeline

An article posted to the Folio Weekly website, "Seminole Nation Rises Against Sabal Trail Pipeline," incorrectly implied that Bobby C. Billie is affiliated with the Seminole Nation and, further, incorrectly stated that he was a member of the Council of the Miccosukee Semanolee Nation of Central Florida. Billie is a member of the Council of the Original Miccosukee Semanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples. Due to these inaccuracies and, in accordance with standard FW policy, the article has been removed from our site.

Though the opinion-based article was posted by a user of our website and was not commissioned nor written by a member of our staff or an individual under our employ, we regrettably did not immediately detect and correct the errors and/or omit the article from our website.   More

THE FLOG

AMBIENT USA

If there’s a shared poignancy between a fertile and bucolic landscape and the almost-comfortingly familiar lifelessness of a big-box-mega store, Jake Longstreth captures it on the canvas. The magic occurs when he splits the difference. Is a Best Buy parking lot allowed to be as a sacrosanct as a forest? Depending on one’s headspace, both places are either imposing or inviting; or a simultaneous blend of the two.

The 39-year-old Longstreth isn't alone in seeing the literal bigger picture of not only what we perceive - but also immortalize. Multimedia arts-guru Ed Ruscha is one artist who opened the parameters of what is fair game within land/city/suburban-scape artworks. “I'm interested in glorifying something that we in the world would say doesn't deserve being glorified,” the now 79-year-old, iconic American artist once explained. “Something that's forgotten, focused on as though it were some sort of sacred object.”

Longstreth expresses his own glorification of numinous woodlands and commonplace suburban silence through a mix of sharp, brilliant photorealist images and other works imbued with more abstraction, if not a kind of tonal disintegration. The piece Facade (AMC) (oil on canvas, 24 x 30,  2012) offers us an almost-scientific view of the mundane fascia of a building. Upon further viewing, the static mood of the piece seems to become energized as the yellow color of the structure pulsates into a kind of yellow-blue mist on the horizon. In Longstreth’s work, the power is in the subtleties and the patient viewer is rewarded as the facets and details deepen and reveal themselves.

Longstreth’s upcoming exhibit at Flagler College’s Crisp-Ellert Art Museum (CEAM), entitled Pastures and Parking Lots: Outtakes and Other Rarities, 2003-2016, features 25 oil and acrylic paintings that are spread over two rooms in the gallery space; one room is primarily pictures of corporate franchise architecture; …   More

Best of INSTAGRAM

Looking for some insta-piration? Do you want to see more of Jax without leaving your house? Do you just need some fresh content on your feed? Check out these accounts featuring cute dogs, the best Jax memes, and of course a foodie or two.

 

@explorejacksonville - I love nature, but hate going outside. So instead I just open my window and scroll through this account to get my dose of Jacksonville’s beautiful scenery. Professionally photographed and heavily edited scenery still counts for something.

@cheeky_chis - CUTE DOG ALERT! Sophie, Kilo, Panda and Kiwi are adorable little Chihuahuas who live in St. Augustine and will absolutely brighten up your feed. Who doesn’t love puppers? (Puppers and Doggo are millennial slang for canines, FYI.)

@natedoesfood - This local foodie is #goals, and I’ve discovered many amazing eats through his account. Be warned: his pics could cause a spontaneous 8 a.m. trip to Murray Hill to get bread (that you don’t even need!) from Community Loaves. Also note: @communityloavesjax is actual #breadporn.

@riverside_memes - Tasteful memes that poke fun at the craft-beer loving bearded men, farmers’ market moms and the fake indie chicks with uneven bangs that all frequent Riverside establishments. If you don’t think they’re funny then you either don’t visit Riverside or you live there and they’re making fun of you. 

@callimariebakes - Her beautiful, colorful page classifies Calli as true #instagoals, plus she has her own cookbook BAKES. You can probably find her making artisanal cakes at Brew Five Points.

@chip_southworth - Local artist, activist and all-around interesting person using thought-provoking art to spread awareness of human rights, among other things.

@colelocurto - His stunning photography often focuses on the diversity of the inhabitants of Jacksonville and St. Augustine with some scenery sprinkled in. If you’re looking for …   More

THE FLOG

Man Who Lied About College Degree Appointed to UNF Board of Trustees

A little more than three years ago, Adam Hollingsworth got caught in a whopper while he was serving as Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff. In Dec. 2013, the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times’ Capitol bureau revealed that Hollingsworth had lied about earning a public relations degree from the University of Alabama in 1990 when he actually graduated nearly two decades later in 2009. The Herald reported that Hollingsworth originally artificially inflated his resume when he was working for CSX Corporation, with which he was employed from 1995-2000 and again from 2002-2004.

In a written statement to the Times/Herald, Hollingsworth said, “For many years, I publicly stated that I was a graduate of the University of Alabama, however, I did not complete my degree until 2009. I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation. I have learned from this failure in judgment and know that, over the last several years, my life and character have and will continue to grow from this.”

Scott, who was then gearing up to run for reelection, stood by Hollingsworth and kept him on staff until after his win the following November, when his office tucked Hollingsworth’s departure into the bottom of a press release announcing the promotion of Melissa Sellers to chief of staff.

Hollingsworth, a Jacksonville native who previously worked for numerous local politicians, including Corrine Brown, Ed Austin and John Peyton, subsequently seemingly dropped out of sight until last month when Scott appointed him to the University of North Florida Board of Trustees. The appointment is subject to approval of the Florida Senate. 

In an email to Folio Weekly, John W. White, president of the United Faculty of Florida, UNF Chapter, objected to Hollingsworth’s appointment and questioned whether someone who had previously been caught lying about their academic credentials was a suitable choice for the board.

“Such a brazen lie …   More

THE FLOG

Distraction from the PAIN

There are many different types of pain that respond to treatments other than opioids or Tylenol. As someone suffering acute systemic autoimmune disease, often referred to as Lupus, for over a decade, I've had to experiment on myself to find effective ways to manage my condition and the different types of pain I suffer.

Honestly, the best painkiller I have found is an absorbing book. Newspapers work the same way but they have to make you really angry to have any analgesic effect. Human-interest stories can make you uncomfortable but rarely transport you to the pain-free realm of total distraction. But a person cannot read every waking hour. If something interrupts my reading (like a phone call from a doctor’s office), the spell is broken. Mundane appointment schedules and unpaid bills rush into my mind – along with all that pain.

Marijuana is effective for me to manage the pain caused by my disease. It helps me focus. Under the influence of pot I can only concentrate on one thing at a time.

Pot distraction can be helpful as a treatment for sympathetic nerve disorders. If you feel cold and your extremities are turning blue from lack of circulation, like mine, it is because your nervous system is trying to save your life from hypothermia, even though it is a balmy 80 degrees. The sensation of extreme cold is painful and probably accounts for some of Florida's success as a tourist and retirement destination. Opioid painkillers are not effective for treating pain caused by cold. A case of the shivers combined with opioid painkillers, which commonly cause nausea and vomiting, would be one of those suitable tortures for an eternity in hell.

Like many people, I've had my stomach sewn up, although not for cosmetic reasons. I was making so much stomach acid because of my disease that it was literally burning holes in my throat. Opioids were great for the post surgical trauma but they did nothing for pain from the internal acid burns. Lack of appetite …   More

THE FLOG

10 Ways to Comfort a LIBERAL

So, it happened. After all the campaigning, blogging, hashtags, voting, letter-writing, whining and complaining from every corner of the earth and internet, Donald J. Trump – Drumpf if you’re nasty – has officially been voted the next President of the United States by the Electoral College.

Those of you who love some #MAGA are probably feeling pretty elated right now – but some of you may be wondering about the liberals in your life. Everyone has at least one latte-sipping SJW in their friends list or family circle, and odds are they’re feeling pretty blue about yesterday’s vote. Sure, it’s easy to mock and easier to gloat, and I bet you’re pretty fucking tired of all that “Trump voters are racist” and “Donald supporters are fascists” and so on that you’ve endured these last few months.

But I’m here to tell you that even if they don’t really want to hear about how thrilled you are that are next president is cozying up to Vlad-the-imprisoner-of-dissenters (Alexei Navalny, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the band Pussy Riot) ‘cause you’re afraid of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and convinced that the U.S. posturing itself in opposition to Putin-the-ix-nay-on-human-rights is a no good, very bad idea, well, you can still be the bigger person and reach across the buffet or dinner table with a few words of comfort and solace in this time of grave distress and discomfort for the “libtards” in your life. (Don’t pretend you don’t call us that – we know you do.)

No matter how much you sneer at them for championing minority rights but not those of working class whites, libtards are still your brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and friends, even if they are pierced, tattooed, ironically bearded and dressed like lumberjacks when you know full well those manicured hands have never held an axe, much less swung one.

So, in the interests of …   More

The Flog

The Warehouse Goes OUT WITH A BANG, in The 5 & Dime’s Stage Reading of ‘Let’s Kill Greg’

Let’s Kill Greg pursues truth in absurdity — taking aim at politics, celebrity, business, entertainment, love, violence, and betrayal.

It’s a recipe for laughs and existential examination concocted for The 5 & Dime’s final, Earth-shattering performance at The Warehouse.

Company managing director Lee Hamby introduced the stage reading of Let’s Kill Greg: A Murder in Two Acts on Saturday night, saying it would be 5 & Dime’s final production at 700 Union St. — “Dirty Dancing staircase” and all. The company enters its sixth season in 2017 with a new permanent location on East Adams Street in Downtown Jacksonville. More details are yet to come, Hamby says.

It's no surprise that writer-director Franklin Ritch began this process with the goal of seeing his work performed as a full local theater production. But after these performances, Ritch now says the stage reading seems like the perfect means to pursue Greg’s end.

To be sure, this 5 & Dime production wasn’t a basic stage reading at all, as the play featured costumes, projection, lighting and quite a few props.

Here, five conspirators with wide-ranging — if somewhat head-scratching — motivations come together with a plot to kill Greg Rainsburg (Jason Collins).

For the ringleader, Felix (Drew L. Brown), this is a plot to assassinate — not murder — as he often reminds us, and maintaining the moral high ground appears critical to his state of emotional well-being. But his true motivations prove a bit more personal.

Valerie (Milan Alley) sees Greg as a political mastermind with a dangerous amount of influence on the president-elect (yes, that one), and she has her own political aspirations. Ritch noted after the reading that he wrote the play with adjustments for either 2016 electoral result in mind.

Meanwhile, Demi …   More

Viral Letter Urges Electors Not to Vote for Trump

In an attempt to stop the Electoral College from electing Donald Trump on December 19, an English professor in New York has amassed the addresses of 280 electors in states that Trump won and drafted form letters people can download that urges electors to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Jeff Strabone tells Folio Weekly that he spent two weeks collecting addresses before making the letters available on his site, directelection.org, on December 5. Strabone said that he emailed an announcement to approximately 10,000 people and cold contacted celebrities, including the actress Deborah Messing, who has been a vocal Trump critic, via Twitter.

Overnight, his humble site became the subject of national attention. Thousands of retweets and countless emails followed.

“It’s turned into a vast movement…. My rough estimate is that over 10,000 people have sent some letters,” Strabone says.

Strabone said that if those people sent just 25 letters each, 250,000 pieces of mail have been generated. He isn't the only one who has endeavored to convince the Electoral College to vote against Trump: a Change.org petition urging the electors to vote for Hillary Clinton currently has 4.8 million signatures.

The letters, which are downloadable in Word documents – on his site Strabone writes that this is to enable people to write their own personal messages if they desire – begin thusly:

I am writing to you in your capacity as a presidential elector. I do not envy the responsibility that you bear during these difficult times when we face a new split between the popular and apparent electoral votes. While I myself believe that Hillary Clinton’s popular margin of victory, over 2.5 million votes nationwide, ought to convince the electors to vote for her, I am writing to ask you to choose her for a different reason: that the electoral college was designed specifically to bar men like Donald Trump from the presidency.

The letters go …   More

THE FLOG

Angela Corey Appointed to Law Enforcement Post

BREAKING: Outgoing State Attorney Angela Corey has been appointed general counsel to the Clay County Sheriff's Office by Sheriff-elect Darryl Daniels.

The announcement that Corey, who has long been well-liked in Clay County, particularly within the CCSO, even as she was the contentious center of scandal after scandal elsewhere, was sent to media outlets via press release this afternoon. The release states in part, "Corey will train the staff on a variety of issues such as constitutional law as well as proper execution of legal search warrants, arrest warrants and probable cause."

In the release, Daniels is quoted as saying, "Ms. Corey is the subject matter expert when it comes to the application of the law and conveying that to law enforcement. I do not want innocent people treated like criminals and have their freedoms removed by someone misapplying the law. I have hired the most tenured person with the expertise to provide knowledge and training to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office."

The appointed position is to begin when incoming State Attorney Melissa Nelson, who bested Corey in the Aug. 30 primary, assumes office next month and will conclude at the end of April according to the release.

Folio Weekly has reached out to Daniels and will update this post with his response.

  More