Recent Posts

One Giant Leap for Jacksonville

Casey Craig A faint fireball slowly reaches into the stratosphere, followed by a long, thin plume of white smoke. When the burning light in the sky went out and the smoke cleared, cheers and applause echoed across the horizon. For Floridians, NASA shuttle launches were a celebrated pasttime statewide: crowds would gather to watch from the launch site in Cape Canaveral to all across the west coast. But, in 2011, the Space Shuttle program folded, ending an era spanning over three decades.  With recent developments, fans of the cosmos may have a new hope: the US launched the newly-independently operating …

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Pave Paradise, Put up a Private Island

Emily Jeffries In the midst of 2020’s seemingly endless problems, some have hoped that these catastrophes will act as catalysts for real change in America; from our cultural attitudes, to the very structure of our legal systems. Jacksonville, like many other cities in the US, is struggling with the affordable housing crisis, alongside the climate crisis.  For coastal Florida in particular, hurricanes, flooding, and rising sea levels are of grave concern. While conservation and affordable housing may seem unrelated, they go hand-in-hand when vibrant ecosystems are demolished to create high-end housing. These new developments are often marketed with attractive buzzwords …

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You Can’t Live to Depend

Robin Franks When Delphine Brock finishes teaching, she sits for a few moments, alone in silence. “I just need to sit, because it’s so much. It’s overwhelming.” It is a rare but needed pause in her unending relay of meeting the critical and varied needs of her adult students. For nearly 15 years, Brock, 64, has led a national Child Development Associate (CDA) certification course held at the Kids Hope Alliance. The class is free for local childcare workers and certification helps students earn more money, allowing them the possibility of opening their own childcare business. It is a raise …

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Players By The Sea Theatre, Worth & Lauren New Voices winners, New Voices Young Voices

Players By The Sea is Looking for New Voices

New Voices Program at PBTS Puts Important, Relevant Stories Into The World Players by the Sea is looking for new voices to participate in a year-long program designed to bring original works to the stage. Established in 2016, the was created as a vehicle to nurture and develop scripts by local playwrights. Now that theatres have gone dark during the pandemic, Players revived the program after a yearlong hiatus into a virtual platform “New Voices: Voices Unheard.” “I created the New Voices program as a way for to help nurture and elevate the voices of local playwrights. At that time, …

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ANNUAL ARTS AWARD PLANNED WITH A NEW TWIST

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville 44th Annual Arts awards is scheduled for September 2, 2020. The theme for this year’s event is “Bridges: Connecting Arts, Business and Community”.  To work within the unknowns of the current public health and social climate, they have planned an exciting hybrid event that will combine videos and interactive streaming for a virtual Arts Awards event that can’t be missed.  “Moving forward with this reimagined Arts Awards will actually allow us to acknowledge the extraordinary individuals and businesses who are advocates and champions of arts and culture in our city to a much broader audience”, …

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Will the Florida Theatre’s Darkened Stages and Empty Seats Survive COVID?

The iconic marquee at the Florida Theatre is among the most recognized landmarks in the downtown Jacksonville landscape. Since its second act from a movie house to a performing arts venue, the neon lights have illuminated some of the biggest names in entertainment, until March when it all went dark. No one could have predicted what was to come in early 2020. After closing out 2019 on a high note, the year was off to an auspicious start. But when Numa Saisselin, president of the Florida Theatre, took the stage March 12 to welcome the audience to that evening’s show …

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No Decline? Then stay online.

Lindsey Nolen What started as a small Facebook group comprised of parents worried about the implications of reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic has become a collective voice of opposition. With more than 3,100 members, the Duval Schools Pandemic Solutions Team has been able to consistently share information and updates, plan rallies, and call for action. The idea for the group began after the release of the Duval County Public Schools’ preliminary back-to-school plan on June 23. In response, Marla Bryant, a parent of an incoming DCPS, reached out to parents who have served on different DCPS task forces over …

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The City Destroyable

John Aloszka In an ill-advised move to position Jacksonville as the bland new city of the south, the Curry administration adopted the slogan It’s Easier Here. I don’t need to tell you why that’s a horrible slogan—you are reading Folio, which means you are a functioning human.  Some cities adopt slogans that unify, like Columbus Ohio’s cheeky Columbus campaign. Or uplifting slogans, like Orlando’s The City Beautiful.  These send a succinct overarching message to visitors, businesses, and citizens. It’s Easier Here is just a lie.  May I suggest for Jacksonville: The City Destroyable. After all, it seems that City Council …

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Talking Tall

Susan Armstrong Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels has starred in so many local videos that some folks call them “The Sheriff’s Reality Show.”  Daniels is running for re-election, so his intended audience for the voluminous videos is typically Clay County residents and the 6 and 11 0’clock news.   But on Tuesday, June 30th he stepped up his game. In a videoed press-release to the entire nation, the sheriff appeared to be channeling Walking Tall tough-talking cowboy, Tennessee lawman Buford Pusser. In his 3-minute video, Daniels, much shorter than Pusser, stood in a parking lot on a hot Florida day with …

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Grease at Alhambra Leaves You Feeling Electrified

Summer lovin’ and audiences are definitely having a blast at the Alhambra Theatre’s production of the beloved musical “Grease.” After an indefinite hiatus and reluctantly easing into a new normal, embracing a night of live theatre felt like a familiar hug from an old friend. Social distancing kept the hugging at bay but there was plenty of singing and dancing to such classics as Greased Lightning, You’re the One that I Want and We Go Together. Grease opened July 30 and runs through Sept. 27 with an extra three weeks added to the show’s run to meet the demand since …

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DANCING WITH GHOSTS drops new song in a landscape of cancelled plans

By Stephanie Conner I think I speak for many in saying that this year has been weird, frustrating, or just downright demoralizing, for a lot of people. Many in the music and entertainment industry, especially, are feeling the crunch. Josh Cannon and Stephanie Conner (that’s me) of Dancing with Ghosts–known locally as a highly-productive band–we are the type of artists who need to “create to exist.” 2020 has been quite the ride, and we’ve had to adapt in order to move forward. In this bizarre age of livestreams instead of concerts, and FaceTime instead of dinnertime with loved ones, how …

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Baking it Through a Pandemic

Lindsey Nolen One year ago, Jen and Ray Ezenbacher decided to turn their favorite late night snack into a Jacksonville Beach small business, having never anticipated the challenges coming their way. Despite dealing with a global pandemic, the couple credits devotion to improvement and a supportive local community as to what has helped them survive. Back in 2019, the Ezenbachers were simply thinking about how much they loved cookies, especially Jen’s. She grew up in a family that loved to bake, and was constantly testing recipes from friends. After meeting Ray, it turned out he didn’t mind being a taste-tester. …

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From Both Sides Now

John Delaney New to Twitter, while quarantined some weeks back, I posted something I thought was neutral and clever: That both Trump and Biden would do better if they simply stopped talking and campaigning. Trump, because nearly everything he says seems divisive, either intentionally or ignorantly. Biden, because he has a 50-year career of verbal gaffes that make George Bush look like Laurence Olivier. It is actually a universal campaign idiom: some candidates are better off leaving town so as to not blow a near certain election victory. And to prove my point, Biden stuck to his bunker with limited public …

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Love in the Time of COVID-19

Isa Barrientos  Coronavirus arrived through air and lungs in early 2020. Since then, we’ve cut out most nonessential interaction with strangers and loved ones. Even with loosened restrictions in Florida, many of us choose to stay home and social distance to protect ourselves, our friends and our families. Romance is resilient, though, through pain and pandemic. While we were stuck at home, alone with our thoughts or spending every waking moment with our domestic partners, most of our economy and social scene were on pause. This has forced single people to adapt. “Dating from home” could mean keeping your new …

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Dear Dumbs, Column 1

Terry and Shari Jaymes Dear Dumbs,             My husband suddenly passed a few years ago to cancer. I loved this man completely. I have since met a new wonderful guy who just asked me to marry him. However, something strange happened during the proposal. I had never stopped wearing my wedding ring from my previous relationship. When he asked me to marry him, I froze because I had never removed that ring. I just couldn’t do it and he got pretty hurt. He slipped the ring back into his jacket, and drove me home. We’ve only exchanged a couple of …

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Jacksonville, Florida is the Hidden Gem of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida is a Hidden Gem to Live and Play

Jacksonville, Florida, is emerging as a rising travel destination. But what about a destination to live in? The locals have always known that Jacksonville, or Jax as we like to call it, is one of Florida’s little gems. Now others are slowly discovering that Jacksonville is a pretty cool place to live.  Here are 6 things about Jacksonville, Florida that many people overlook, making it one of Florida’s most underrated cities. 1.  Plenty of Outdoor Activities Jacksonville boasts the largest land area of any city in the United States spreading across more than 840 miles. The St. Johns River runs through …

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It’s a Beautiful Day to be Black

Tallia Amari Lee’s branding Growing up, I was told I had two strikes against me: being a woman and being black.” Tallia Amari Lee Lindsey Nolen “Growing up, I was told that I had two strikes against me,’” said Jacksonville native Tallia Amari Lee, “being a woman and being Black.”  The 24-year-old has seen the city through both ups and downs. It’s from these experiences that she has found the motivation to use her platform as a means to express herself, her beliefs and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Lee believes she’s experienced just about all the …

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It’s Written in the Stars: Lenny Curry

Isa Barrientos Lenny Curry was born under a Cancer sun – a nurturing, family-oriented placement that identifies him with his role as a husband and father before all else. A scroll through his social media tells you that he’s a great dad, he loves his wife and his “crew” (family,) oh, and that he’s the mayor of Jacksonville.  With Mercury and Mars both in Leo, the crab’s family values coupled with the lion’s dramatic and domineering approach make Curry a bonafide Republican. They form a conjunction in the planets of communication and aggression, giving him a sassy edge evident in …

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Still Truckin’

Dave Hendershot started playing music in the 4th grade, but it took until his freshman year in high school for him to have the opportunity to join a band, where he started out just doing their sound and lights. He was allowed to go to rehearsal if he attended church on Sunday morning. He and his Mom sat in the front row and he “would pretend” he was paying attention. Then on the way home he would get dropped off at band practice where he would “dubiously get high and drink beer and stuff” with his friends in the garage.  …

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Policing the Police

Teresa Spencer  “I’m all about brotherhood and standing for what’s right, but that applies to those who actually uphold the law,” says Deputy Craigmyle, star of LIVE PD. According to the deputy, no one should have to wait “for the facts,” and there is nothing that can justify Floyd’s death. He was handcuffed, lying face down on the ground, pleading for his life and the offi cers did nothing, Craigmyle explained. The experienced deputy believes that the acting officer in the Floyd case let his anger control his emotions, while the other officers stood by idly without rendering aid or …

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Will the Budget Backfire?

Isa Barrientos Lenny Curry proposed his budget for 2020-2021 to the Jacksonville City Council Wednesday morning. Balancing a colossal public health crisis and high tension in race and policing, local legislators had much to take into account in crafting this year’s budget. Despite revenue cuts due to the novel coronavirus, the budget is up 5.5 percent from last year at $1.34 billion.   In protests and petitions, local activists asked the city to cut JSO’s budget and reinvest in the community. Last month, Sheriff Mike Williams asked for $6.1 million more to hire 40 new officers, citing a need for increased …

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Pride in the PGA

FOLIO Staff Folio sat down with Director, Digital Platform Innovation for the PGA Tour, Devon Fox, to talk about her efforts to promote diversity in golf.  FOLIO 2.0: What is the PGA TOUR stance on fostering diversity in sports and in the workplace? DEVON FOX: As a global organization, the TOUR aspires to reflect the regions and communities where we play. We believe diversity of thought and background is vital to our success and growth as a company. We’re always striving to create an inclusive and welcoming culture, and to be a positive example for all our constituents and partners.  …

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Building Bonds

John Phillips Bail bond company owners Joanna Peterson and Tasha Thomas have seen the reality shows about the bail bonds industry. And the terrible commercials. Those shows get ratings and those ads get clients–they also do damage to their profession. For every television advertisement selling any types of legal services, there are many in the industry who loathe the fast food model of justice. You won’t see Joanna or Tasha riding a cartoon jaguar to the jail or pretending to be something they aren’t. They have too much work to do and too many people to help. Thomas bailed out …

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Making the Movement

Nikesha Elise Williams WATCH AS NIKESHA ELISE WILLIAMS READS THE PROLOGUE TO MAKING THE MOVEMENT: 8:46. Eight minutes and forty-six seconds. That’s the length of time it took for former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, to kill 46-year-old George Floyd after his arrest for trying to use a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill to buy a pack of cigarettes in a convenience store. This egregious act of mercilessness captured on camera and streamed around the world via traditional news outlets and social media proved to be the final straw for tens of thousands of people; Black and white alike. 8:46 became a …

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Day or night, pizza with a sight

Lindsey Nolen Steve Arflin, 37, is a Jacksonville Beach native who, after playing football at Louisiana State University, made his way back home to teach at his alma mater, Fletcher High School. Having been an art major (the first in the LSU football program’s history), his passions have led him to vast opportunities, and large canvases.  While teaching at Fletcher High School, a fellow teacher introduced Arflin to her husband, Matt Carson, manager of all V Pizza bars, and a beautiful relationship was formed. Later, co-owner Paul Scott asked Arflin to become the chain’s go-to freelance artist, which ultimately became …

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Fishing the First Coast: Jacksonville and Northeast Florida are a Fisherman’s Paradise, Photos by James Brown

Fishing in Northeast Florida: Jacksonville is a Fisherman’s Paradise

Numerous fish species, unbeatable weather, and a healthy fishing infrastructure make the First Coast a fisherman’s paradise. Our state offers 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, 10,550 miles of rivers, 7,700 lakes, and countless ponds. The First Coast offers a multitude of options. From offshore saltwater fishing, surf fishing, bridge fishing, river fishing and plenty of freshwater ponds or lakes around, there are options far and wide. Inspiration That Lasts a Lifetime Former Jacksonville Beach Councilman and Mayor Rick Hale has been a fisherman in Florida’s waters for close to 70 years. The native’s passion for fishing was largely influenced by …

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Summer for Divorced Dads

Suggestions for divorced dads to spend time with their kids in the summer of COVID including help for kids with disabilities. Father’s Day often marks the official beginning of summer, but the sunny season looks very different for many this year — especially since kids will be less occupied than usual. Summer camps are closed. Daycares have restrictions. Vacations have been postponed or canceled. Many summertime activities like waterparks, movie theaters, bowling alleys, skating rinks and more are still reopening and navigating new social distancing guidelines. For divorced dads, this summer might be even more difficult than usual. So how …

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