Buzz: Guns at Metro Park, Spark Grants and More

You Don’t Have to Park Your Gun

Those attending the World of Nations May 2-5 celebration at Metropolitan Park found a long list of things that were forbidden at the park when checking the Internet about the event. They were told not to bring food or beverages, camcorders, Frisbees, balls, “weapons or anything that could be construed as a weapon,” but were told it’s OK to bring a firearm. State law allows people with concealed carry permits to take their guns with them. In certain places, like EverBank Field, schools and government meeting places, guns are forbidden, but city parks aren’t exempt from the law. Cities and county governments aren’t allowed to add any exemptions not granted by the state. That’s against the law.

I’m on a Boat!

After six years of work, Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute will have a state-of-the-art river classroom for its students this fall. The 45-foot-by-12-foot vessel and new dock, with a total value of about $500,000, will allow students and faculty to take to the water for research, classes and study. The pontoon vessel can accommodate up to 28 people. It will be delivered in July, and classes begin in September. A. Quinton White, executive director of MSRI, said he hopes to eventually have all marine science and biology classes spend time on the St. Johns River.


Another Spark

Now that One Spark is over, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is announcing the Spark Grant Program. It’s an initiative to “spark” creative expression in the Spark District, an area in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville. The group will coordinate the placement of performance and visual art in Jacksonville’s urban core. Up to seven grants for arts and cultural programs will be awarded from a pool of $60,000. The application deadline is May 30. For more information, go to


The Day the Rock Music Died

The big mystery is solved. Rock 105, which ended its rock programming on April 28, is becoming WOKV Newstalk 104.5 FM. For the time being, that places WOKV at three positions on the dial; it also broadcasts on 690 AM and 106.5 FM. Cox Radio, owner of all three stations, said a new format will eventually be announced for 106.5 FM. Cox changed the format of Rock 105 after its 33-year run as a hard rock station.


Amped for Amphitheater

A new arts and entertainment plaza with a 2,000-seat amphitheater is being built on Riverside Avenue next to the 220 Riverside project. The 2.5-acre site, known as Unity Plaza, was donated by Hallmark Partners, which is building a mixed-use retail and housing project. Its new executive director, Jen Jones, told The Florida Times-Union she plans to hold events at the site about 260 days of the year.