Buzz: New Library App, Marissa Alexander, Mayport Ferry and More

No Action on Alexander Pardon

The Florida Cabinet took no action on a request to pardon Marissa Alexander at its Aug. 6 meeting. The Jacksonville woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot at her husband. She claimed immunity under the state’s “stand your ground” law, but a judge turned down her request. Gov. Rick Scott said he’d received a letter from state Rep. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, about the pardon request and had turned the letter over to General Counsel Pete Antonacci, according to the Miami Herald. It takes at least two cabinet members to start the pardon process. The Cabinet includes Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.


Respect Jacksonville Beach

A Facebook page, Respect Jacksonville Beach, has been started in response to Memorial Day brawls that brought unwanted attention to the community. The purpose of the page, first called Take Back Our Beach, is to highlight concerns at the beach and turn negatives into positives. The page has recently highlighted beach cleanup, sea turtles and a missing child. Check it out at


Mayport Ambassadors

The St. Johns River Ferry is getting a little more informative with the help of ferry ambassadors. About 15 volunteers from the Ferry Task Force have been trained to describe the history of the area, point out local landmarks and answer questions. Promoters hope the program will encourage more people to use Florida Highway A1A instead of Interstate 95. Ambassadors, who attend a training class and get cool shirts before manning their posts, ride the ferry 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call Commissioner Rick Redick at 864-8101.


More Magazine Access

Jacksonville Public Library customers can now read digital versions of their favorite magazine online. The free service through Zinio for Libraries digital magazine service is available to anyone with a library card. The magazine can be viewed on any Internet-enabled device such as a computer, smartphone or tablet. There’s no limit to the number of magazines you can check out at one time and no due dates, and once you download a magazine, it’s yours. Among the periodicals available are Rolling Stone, Esquire, Town & Country, National Geographic, Seventeen and PC World. For details, check out the library’s page on the new service at


There’s An App for That

A new Jacksonville Public Library mobile app will allow readers to renew a book, place one on hold or download a free e-book. The app, JaxLibrary, works with smartphones and tablets. Users can access many popular library services at any time. With the app’s BookLook feature, users can scan the ISBN or barcode of any book and check JPLS for availability. The app was funded through a donation from Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library. Look for the JaxLibrary app icon on homepage to download.


picture sent to Chad

Big Jim Is Back

After 15 months of silence, JEA’s whistle, Big Jim, is back. It signals the time of day for Downtown Jacksonville at 7 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. A lightning strike knocked out the 120-year-old whistle, and JEA officials had to find equipment to bring it back online. Big Jim stands atop the JEA’s Main Street building. Big Jim warned residents of the Great Fire of 1901, marked the end of two world wars, heralded the arrival of electricity, and sounded the arrival of each new year. The 32-inch copper steam whistle can be heard 10 miles away. Now it’s powered by compressed air instead of steam.


Unsafe 911 Center

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper says working conditions at the county’s 911 center are unsafe. The sheriff is asking the county to quickly move forward on a $2.2 million overhaul of its Emergency Operation Center, according to the News Leader. Inside the center, wires dangle from the ceiling and snake across the floor and several ceiling tiles are missing. The sheriff says the whole building is a disaster. Though there are plans to build a new center, the holdup, of course, is money.


Jacksonville Wins Veterans Award

The city of Jacksonville is being honored as the National City of the Year by The Forty and Eight veterans’ organization. The city will receive the award at the organization’s Phoenix, Ariz., convention. The city won the City of the Year award from the group’s state chapter in May. Jacksonville is being honored for its efforts supporting the military and veterans community, including its jobs for veterans program and its work to help homeless veterans find work and housing.


City’s Internet Consolidation

The city of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, JEA and Jacksonville Aviation Authority will save about $200,000 a year by consolidating their Internet service. The new service, being provided by Florida LambdaRail, will double the city’s network capacity, switching from a 355-megabyte network to 1-gigabyte service. It will improve network capacity at city facilities, including many libraries and will provide JSO with increased bandwidth.