Recent Posts

Bad Cop, Bad Cop

story by SUSAN CLARK ARMSTRONG Sandra Hartley has long been considered a human resource guru by people who know her. “She’s one of the smartest people I know,” said one officer at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, “and one tough broad.” (When Folio Weekly interviewed her, Hartley laughed at the “tough broad” remark. “It’s true,” she said.) She started toughening up at age 17, when she launched a career in human resources, eventually becoming the first female director of administration at the Jacksonville Port Authority. Next, she was promoted to director of external affairs (EA). Then she went to Tallahassee, …

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Home Away from Home

story by BRIANNA BOSTICK JASMYN, the only LGBTQ+ center in Northeast Florida, celebrates its 26th birthday this year. In 1993, Ernie Selorio Jr., an LGBTQ+ teenager, was new to Jacksonville and feeling isolated—even suicidal—in his new surroundings. He and his sister decided to start a support group at Willowbranch Library to allow other young people experiencing the same feelings to come together and support one another. The group went from an idea to a remarkable reality that is JASMYN today. The organization is now headquartered in a Brooklyn campus comprising three large houses in which health services, housing support and …

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Canines & Coronavirus

story by DAVI THE DACHSHUND When a dog in Hong Kong tested positive for coronavirus last month, pets quickly became part of the COVID-19 conversation. That case may have you wondering if your pets are at risk from this virus, too. Here’s the latest on the virus and your pets. Is my dog at risk for catching coronavirus? For now, pets are thought to be safe when it comes to COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats will become a source of infection in other animals or …

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Undead: Goth’s Mystery and History Lives On in Jacksonville

Isa Barrientos It’s Resurgence Goth Night at 1904. Occult symbols project onto dark walls and absinthe drips from cups. A pulse creeps into a creaking bass and a guitar melody, summoning a sea of black cloth to the dance floor. Bodies in intricate layers of corsets and capes, adorned with silver, sway together to the ominous tones. A heavy echo on every note, a voice enters the mix three minutes in: “White on white translucent black capes / Back on the rack / Bela Lugosi’s dead.” . Citing the late star of the 1931 film Dracula, the song carries the …

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Relief for the Arts compiled by The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Dear friends and colleagues, As the country and world respond to coronavirus and the COVID-19 situation, our team at the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville would like to share the following information. First and foremost, the Cultural Council is invested in the health and well-being of the artists, arts organizations, and communities whom we serve. Please follow all directions and recommendations from your local and state authorities as well as entities such as the CDC and WHO. We also want to make you aware of campaigns to include artists and the nonprofit arts community in any federal relief funds that are made available. Please ask your elected …

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Reset Your Intentions

story by COURTNEY STRINGFELLOW Since moving back to Jacksonville in mid-November, I’ve only managed to spend the weekend at my apartment a handful of times. That means I haven’t completely sorted through my belongings and created a space reflective of my lifestyle and passions. As someone who only ever has time to work, eat, sleep and repeat, COVID-19 has given me an excuse to cancel plans, stay in and get productive. My first undertaking was getting items out of boxes and creating a space for them. I hung a couple pieces of art in my main area—you don’t need to …

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Love in the Time of COVID-19

story by GEORGIO VALENTINO If you’re reading this in hard copy, you’ve taken an unnecessary risk. (But thanks for the dedication!) You’ve ventured out of the house and touched stuff. Now wash your hands forthwith! With soap and warm water. For at least 20 seconds. And if you’re reading at home, on your phone or tablet, go ahead and wash your hands anyway. COVID-19 is real, and it’s in Northeast Florida. Take heed, armchair individualists! It’s not about whether you can survive the virus. No, you are responsible for transmitting or not transmitting it to others, including loved ones to …

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Dog Days

story by DAVI THE DACHSHUND If all this talk of COVID-19 has taught me anything, it’s how often my mom touches her face without thinking about it. But as is so often the case when it comes to humans, there are more questions than answers. Namely, “Why are you stockpiling toilet paper?” Whatever the answer to that riddle, my mom and I have been listening to the experts and practicing social distancing and self-isolation. Days typically spent raiding the farmer’s market for local treats, or visiting the neighborhood coffeehouse for a double-shot puppucino, are now passed pacing around the house …

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Mandatory Family Time

story by JEN THORNTON Last week, my youngest daughter planned on attending the SwampCon cosplay convention in Gainesville. This week, she had tickets to see her favorite Broadway musical, Hamilton. Now both of those events—along with hundreds of others in Jacksonville—have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. The CDC recommends cancelling any gatherings expected to have 50 people or more, for the next eight weeks. None of us, including (and especially) our political leaders, were prepared for a pandemic of such frightening proportions. On the bright side, we live in Florida, and researchers believe high temperatures and high …

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Guns & Ganja

story by SHELTON HULL During the last couple of years of writing this column, I’ve been asked one question probably more than any other, and it’s a question I haven’t really been able to get a firm answer to. That question relates to the uncertain dynamic between medical marijuana and guns. Specifically, is it possible to be licensed to legally possess both in this state? It’s a big question here in Florida, where a gun may be the only thing more popular than drugs (well, that and football). In response to the conundrum of cannabis and concealed carry, the short …

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The Universe in a Raisin

BACKPAGE EDITORIAL FOLIO WEEKLY welcomes Backpage submissions. They should be 1,200 words or fewer and on a topic of local interest and/or concern. Send your submissions to [email protected] Opinions expressed on the Backpage are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Folio Weekly. story by PATRICIA HARRELL Life is busy. Who has time to sit and eat at the table, right? Take this food for thought … (no) pun intended! Between 60 and 70 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders. The number of adults diagnosed with ulcers in the United States has risen to 14.8 million, …

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Deal with the Devil

story by SUSAN CLARK ARMSTRONG This is the first in a series of stories told by eyewitnesses of ongoing controversies at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office under the current sheriff, Darryl Daniels. Gary Cross is muscular, with close-cropped grey hair and intense blue eyes. Now retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, his former colleagues said he was well respected and known for being tough but fair: a “cop’s cop” with a sharp business acumen and an easy rapport with officers, the public, and the business community. Though humbled by the assessment, Cross told Folio Weekly that he believes it was …

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Freewill Astrology: COVID-19 Edition

story by ROB BREZSNY We interrupt your regularly scheduled horoscopes to offer insights about the virus-driven turning point that the whole world is now experiencing. As you’ve probably guessed, all of us are being invited to re-evaluate everything we think we know about what it means to be human. I refer to this unprecedented juncture as The Tumultuous Upgrade or The Disruptive Cure. It’s fraught with danger and potential opportunities; crisises and possible breakthroughs. And while the coronavirus is the main driving force, it won’t be the only factor. We must be ready for more rough, tough healings disguised as …

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Live + Local Music

Live Music VenuesAMELIA ISLAND, FERNANDINASALTY PELICAN, 12 N. Front St. Davis Turner March 11 & 17. Tracie Mattox March 12. Ciaran Sontag March 13. Joe King, Sam McDonald March 14. Shawn Layne, Michele Anders March 15. Soulo Lyon March 16SJ BREWING, 463646 S.R. 200, Yulee Jory Lyle March 14SLIDERS, 1998 S. Fletcher Ave 7 Street Band March 13. Alan & Terry, Milltown Road March 14. Shawn Layne, Paul Ivey March 15. Pili Pili every Wed. Tad Jennings every Thur. Joe & Josh every Sun. Mark O’Quinn every Mon.The SURF, 3199 S. Fletcher Ave. Hupp Huppman March 11. Sam McDonald March …

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Learning the Trade

story by DAVI THE DACHSHUND Inside a classroom at Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology, students are greeted by their instructor—and a ferret named Joey. The teacher’s pet is really a pet, and afternoon snacks are gobbled not by the students but by guinea pigs. It’s all part of the veterinary assistant program, an initiative supported by Duval County Schools Career and Technical Education, where the standard curriculum is supplemented with special academic courses and instruction in a small-animal lab.The indoor lab is full of rabbits, gerbils, turtles and snakes, and then there’s an outdoor space for goats, chickens and …

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Oral Solutions

story by SHELTON HULL The black box on my doorstep had come up from Gainesville, land of Tim Tebow, Tom Petty and the iconic “Gainesville Green,” which was the strain of choice for two generations of stoners in Northeast Florida. The package had been mailed a couple days earlier by one John Montague, the CEO of Maku, which is a leading figure of the (literally) growing cannabis scene in Alachua County. Like all savvy cannabisseurs, Montague has been reading this column for a while now, and he thought I might be interested in hearing about what his company is working …

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Vote for Change

BACKPAGE EDITORIAL FOLIO WEEKLY welcomes Backpage submissions. They should be 1,200 words or fewer and on a topic of local interest and/or concern. Send your submissions to [email protected] Opinions expressed on the Backpage are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Folio Weekly. story by ALEXANDRA PLAZAS ROCHA Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, imposing a ban on abortion referrals as well as a military transgender ban, failing to pass gun safety laws, and seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act are some of the harmful policies that the administration of President Donald Trump has implemented in …

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A Resilient Effort

story by MALLORY HOPKINS After seven years, the City of Jacksonville is finally getting a Chief Resiliency Officer (CRO) to coordinate efforts to mitigate climate change and rising sea levels. City Councilmember Matt Carlucci made the announcement at a Feb. 27 meeting of the Special Committee on Resiliency.The path to getting a CRO was not without its hurdles, but Carlucci says the city is now in the implementation stage. Jacksonville will include $300,000 in next year’s budget for the CRO and one or two staff members. The budget will be presented on Oct. 1, after the end of the fiscal …

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From Broadway to the Bold City

HAMILTON 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, Times-Union Center, Moran Theater, 300 Water St., Downtown, fscjartistseries.org, $99-$399. 300 Water St.Jacksonville, FL 32202 View larger map story by COURTNEY STRINGFELLOW For many, learning about the United States’ founding fathers was part of growing up in the public school system. Nothing special, it was just another topic to study. Even for those students who were fortunate to receive more than a superficial lesson, interest often ended at the classroom door. That was until 2015, when Lin-Manuel Miranda disrupted Broadway with a musical six years in the making. Hamilton has changed the way theatre …

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“CHARLEY’S AUNT” BY ACT II PLAYERS   

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM The Dual Critics traveled to Jacksonville’s Mandarin area on March 7 to see the first recent North Florida production of “Charley’s Aunt,” which was staged at the Mandarin United Methodist Church (11270 San Jose Blvd.) by the newly formed Act II Players. The group evolved as a theatre troupe of the Fine Arts Conservatory, and is filled with energetic talented members. This farce by British author Brandon Thomas was first performed on an English stage in 1882 and made it to Broadway in 1893; long runs followed.  The play still …

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THE SECRET OF LIFE

A Science Play Series presented by Actors Collective in partnership with MOSH and sponsored by STAGE Fund Actors Collective presents THREE PLAYS, performed reader’s theatre style, to complement and expand on the themes presented in Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, MOSH’s exhibition that examines the complexities of the genome — the complete set of genetic or hereditary material of a living organism — and chronicles the remarkable breakthroughs that have taken place since the completion of the Human Genome Project more than a decade ago.   The Past – PHOTOGRAPH 51 A play by ANNA ZIEGLER and directed by CARYL BUTTERLEY. A …

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The Bread & Board Restaurant To Expand Into Downtown at VyStar Headquarters

Plans include restaurant and specialty marketplace – Bread & Board Provisions  The Bread & Board continues to branch out from its Five Points neighborhood roots. The restaurant, best known for its baked in-house artisan breads and meats served as sandwiches or sandwich boards, is adding a location at VyStar Credit Union’s headquarters campus in Downtown Jacksonville. More than a restaurant, the 7,200 sq. ft., ground-level space, at 100 W. Bay St., will include a specialty marketplace – Bread & Board Provisions – stocked with top culinary offerings and local retailers. “We are excited to have been approached by VyStar about …

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River & Post Rooftop Lounge isn’t Just for Drinks Anymore

With wonderful views of the St John’s River, the rooftop lounge of River & Post is a nice, serene place to enjoy happy hour after a long day at the office. Recently, Chef Steve Thurston was hired on from the German Schnitzel Haus, where he worked for the past 5 years. Chef Steve has been at River & Post for less than a year, but he has already accomplished quite a feat, opening a brand new kitchen to serve the rooftop bar. Before this, any food ordered would have to come from the first floor kitchen, which as you can …

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Local Florida Community

5 Reasons Why Brits Love Florida

Around 700,000 British expats live in the U.S., and a huge chunk of that population has chosen to reside in Florida. By the estimates of the British consulate in Orlando, approximately 400,000 British expats are in the state. But what makes Florida so attractive to the Brits? Brit-Friendly Culture A Florida retirement has become somewhat of a tradition in the UK. Much of this is because local Floridian culture offers a lot to retiring Brits. Home to the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup, Miami’s version of soccer replaces the traditional green field with sand. For soccer fans, the new …

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Jacksonville Symphony to Perform at JFK Center

Jacksonville Symphony to Perform March 23-29 for the Festival of American Orchestras at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.   The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joins an elite group of musicians chosen to perform as part of the 3rd annual SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras in Washington, D.C. The prestigious event held March 23-29 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the identity and artistry of orchestras in our culture. This year, SHIFT will also feature the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Jacksonville Symphony …

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The Power of the State

story by CHRIS GUERRIERI State Rep. Jason Fischer’s auditing committee has again targeted a political opponent. In this case, it’s a consulting firm run by Ben Marcus, who is challenging Fischer’s re-election in District 16. Fischer claims it’s just a coincidence, but due to his history of weaponizing audits, people are rightfully skeptical. In 2017, after Duval County Public Schools was forced to dip into its reserves, Fischer called repeatedly for an audit of the district’s finances. The move was widely seen as payback after the school board joined a lawsuit against HB 7069, which dramatically expanded charter schools. Fischer …

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Look But Don’t Taste

story by DAVI THE DACHSHUND March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and I happen to have a pertinent story to share. I was playing in my nana’s backyard when I came across some mushy yellow things. They smelled sour but looked good enough to eat, so I gave one a try—and then another. Before I could munch one more, however, my mom grabbed me and started freaking out, as she usually does when I’m doing something I probably shouldn’t be doing. She asked my nana what those things were, but nana didn’t know. I’m pretty sure they fell from a …

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The Grassroots or the Lawnmower

BACKPAGE EDITORIAL FOLIO WEEKLY welcomes Backpage submissions. They should be 1,200 words or fewer and on a topic of local interest and/or concern. Send your submissions to [email protected] Opinions expressed on the Backpage are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Folio Weekly. story by BEN MARCUS Florida parents are freaked out. Our school system struggles to support many of our kids, particularly minority students and those living in poverty, and the proposed solutions are not necessarily what they seem. The education policy debate in Florida is controlled by big-money special interests, ideologues and people so …

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