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Collision Course

Ron Word No one knows what happened the night Christian Gerard Schroom was struck and killed by two hit-and-run drivers while riding his bike home from work in St. Augustine last month. Schroom’s sister, Terri Cox, came to Florida last week to return Schroom’s remains to southeast Michigan and try to understand the events leading up to his death early on the morning of Nov. 18 on Anastasia Island, just past the end of the Bridge of Lions. Unfortunately, fatal bicycle accidents have been all too common with Florida’s outdoor culture, crowded roadways and drunken, distracted and aggressive drivers. Duval …

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Buddy and Sister Act

Written by Cassidy Roddy Think back to the year 1944 when the United States was fighting Germany in World War II. The campground of the 151st Division in the U.S. Army is quiet, save for the sound of one music box and two harmonizing male voices softly singing the tune of “White Christmas.” This is how the family-friendly musical “White Christmas” opens, taking its cue from the 1954 musical film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Alhambra Theatre & Dining has presented a special Christmas performance for more than 20 years. The tradition of staging Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” …

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A Burning Desire

Written by Dan Brown If Ambrose Bierce had worn a zoot suit, survived the psychedelic ’60s and spent a half-century penning some singular music, then he might have resembled something like Dan Hicks. While Hicks might not be as much of as a downer as that 19th-century journalist-satirist (Bierce’s plucky motto? “Nothing Matters”), they both share a darkly cerebral sense of humor and an almost prophetic sense of being ahead of their time, which can play out more like a curse than blessing. Before he vanished in Mexico in 1913 at the age of 71, Bierce had helped create literary …

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Sports Avenger 12/7/12

by TOM WEPPEL NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE Going into this weekend, we see three teams in the AFC with winning streaks of six games or more, then we see two other teams in the NFC with LOSING streaks of eight games or more! Does that sound crazy, or what! And, to get even crazier, two of the three winning teams in the AFC will be playing each other on Monday night! Go figure… Meanwhile, does this not seem like simply a mess of a season for a lot of teams and their starting Quarterbacks? No less than ten different teams have …

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Birth of a Comic

S. Carson Howell Read through the comic “Dan in Space” and you’ll see why creator Josh Rudloff describes it as “Aliens” meets “Office Space.” You’ll also understand why the comic netted its Jacksonville creator a spot at one of the world’s most prestigious comic conventions. The story, set 100 years in the future, follows technician Dan Johnson, an average Joe sent on less-than-average missions. A coffee and pizza junkie, Johnson constantly finds the humor in every formidable situation he encounters. Sure, the comic is quirky and fun, but what sets it apart are its illustrations. Nearly every turn of the …

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All Over the Map

Written by Nick McGregor Dan Deacon is a musical renaissance man. The New York native and Baltimore resident is equally adept at writing danceable electro-pop songs, experimental sine-wave simulations and neo-classical chamber pieces. He’s comfortable throwing beer-soaked all-nighters, fronting 27-person percussion ensembles and leading Carnegie Hall audiences into ecstatic reveries. He’s scored horror films for Francis Ford Coppola, built DIY art collectives from the ground up and created smartphone apps that sync with his live shows. His animated, acid-fried “Drinking From Cups” video is a frat-house favorite, with more than 17 million views, and his sound installations have been exhibited …

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Helping, or Hiding, the Homeless?

Denise M. Reagan The homeless are a lightning rod for those trying to revitalize downtown. They point to the homeless gathering in public places as a reason that more people won’t attend more downtown events. About 4,000 homeless people in Jacksonville each night are looking for shelter, according to the City Rescue Mission. That’s a 33 percent increase in Jacksonville over the past year. CRM says more than 400 homeless people walk the streets of downtown. Mayor Alvin Brown has made reversing the cycle of homelessness a priority. He announced last week that the City of Jacksonville and City Rescue …

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Pensions Pushing the Limit

Ron Word Jacksonville is considered the poster child for bad city pension systems, but a reticent police union chief and confusion over who should negotiate with the city is making it difficult for Mayor Alvin Brown to make any quick sweeping changes to a system he claims is not sustainable. “We have to get real and solve these problems if we want to ensure financial sustainability for our city,” Brown said in October when he unveiled his proposal in a series of meetings with the city’s 6,600 union employees. Jacksonville’s investment in the pension fund has grown from about $10 …

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Sports Avenger 11/26/12

by TOM WEPPEL NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE Heading into the home stretch of the regular season in the NFL, we are certainly seeing some separation from teams who are solid, sharp, and ready to contend for Super Bowl rights…and the teams that are down and out and ready to pack it in for the off-season. If you look at the eight Divisions, you will see that five of the eight teams that are at the top are ahead of their opponents by at least three games…and four of those five are in the AFC! The Patriots, Texans, Broncos, and Ravens are …

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A Funny Habit

Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts283 College Dr.Orange Park, FL View larger map Cassidy Roddy NUNSET BOULEVARD7:30 p.m. Nov. 30Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts, 283 College Dr., Orange ParkTickets range from $21-$58276-6750, thcenter.org Known for her role as Shirley Feeney in the TV series “Laverne & Shirley” from the late ’70s and early ’80s, Cindy Williams has had quite a career. After starring in TV and film (including “American Graffiti,” which helped launch her career), she has produced movies and acted on stage. She stars in the touring show “Nunset Boulevard,” which plays Nov. 30 at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the …

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