Recent Posts

Celebration of Life

Artis Gilmore on his storied basketball careeer, growing up during Jim Crow and the death of his daughter. You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. At 7-foot-2 with size 18 feet, basketball legend Artis Gilmore has a stride that stands for itself. His footsteps are as light as air as he nods gracefully under each doorway. His presence is silent yet palpable. Gilmore was born in 1948 in the small town of Chipley on the Florida panhandle. He grew up poor, living in a three-room house with dirt floors that …

Read More »

First Toilet Paper, Now People?

For local restaurants, recovery includes coming to terms with a new service economy.  “It’s devastating because we want to be busy but we just don’t have the manpower to stay open later and get the food out fast enough,” said owner and operator Mary Jane Culhane. Culhane own’s Culhane’s Irish Pubs located in Atlantic Beach and Southside and 5 Sisters Spirit Vodka based in Atlantic Beach. She, among many other restaurant owners in the Jacksonville area, are facing a major shortage in staff.  Culhane has been making an effort to hire more staff for the past six months, spending lots …

Read More »

Daddy’s Here for You

After his “Dirty Daddy” book was released to acclaim, Bob Saget is now hitting the road with a stop at the Florida Theatre. Bob Saget’s first words to me were, “So Carole Baskin killed her husband?” It was clearly a statement more than a question. Even though I was just a guy from Folio Weekly calling to do an interview for his upcoming performance at the Florida Theatre on July 18, he had done his homework. If you have ever had the chance to listen to his podcast, “Bob Saget’s Here’s For You,” you know he is a great interviewer …

Read More »

Dear Dumbs: At what point should I take my wedding ring off after a divorce?

Dear Dumbs: I love your podcast. It’s funny, informative and inspiring to say the least. I’ve been married for four years. My wife and I have recently had some issues which has led to us making a mutual decision to invoke a trial separation. We’re using it as a time to take a step back to see what’s really important to us. At least that’s what I thought. It’s been two weeks now and my wife posted some pictures of herself on Facebook of a night where she was out with her friends having fun. Nothing unusual about that. However, …

Read More »

An Emerald Unearthed

As downtown development moves from fantasy to reality, Groundwork Jacksonville is increasing park space and connecting neighborhoods.  The Emerald Trail broke ground earlier this month with an ecological restoration project at McCoys Creek. The greenway will link 16 neighborhoods in the urban core with about 30 miles of bicycle/pedestrian trails. Groundwork Jacksonville raised private funds to build the trail’s masterplan in collaboration with the community and PATH Foundation. City Council adopted the plan in 2019, and last month they voted to double the gas tax and allocate $132 million in construction funds to the Emerald Trail. This took a cut …

Read More »

For Undocumented Citizens, a Different Kind of Vaccine Anxiety

There has been a lot of debate over the COVID-19 vaccine. Is it safe or potentially dangerous? Will it last, or will we have to come back each year for more vaccines? Will there be any side effects or none at all? There are a lot of questions to be asked, but are we asking all the right ones? One question, in particular, has many people living in America wondering: If I get the vaccine, will I get deported? Undocumented immigrants do not feel safe in many situations. A worldwide pandemic only adds more uncertainty to the list. They worry …

Read More »

Artists you need to know: Sola Fide!

Arms adorned with tattoos, colorful pins decorating trendy jackets, slick pairs of shades to tie everything together — these guys look like they were born to be in a band. The members of SolaFide! (pronounced sol-a-fee-deh, so-la-fee-day, or really anything but so-la-fyde, as they’ve become accustomed to letting you know) have been making music since before they graduated high school, splitting off into duos and recording instrumental demos until the final lineup of Joseph Arns (vocals), Chase Barrett (bass), Devon VonBalson (drums) and Jonas Miller (lead guitar) was solidified. The group is just coming off the release of their sophomore …

Read More »

Friends of the FBI

Over seven sessions, participants in the Citizens Academy got a crash course on the FBI. During this season of commencement ceremonies and graduations celebrations, many graduates are donning caps and gowns and festive attire. However, across town I joined 27 community leaders in a unique graduation ceremony––one that required protective eyewear, hearing protection and hard-toe shoes. As a graduate of the 2021 FBI Jacksonville Citizens Academy, I knew I was taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The FBI Jacksonville Citizens Academy gives community leaders, such as my husband Pastor John Allen Newman and me, a behind the scenes look at …

Read More »

Breaking out of the Shadows

Go inside one of Jacksonville’s underground breakdancing clubs.  In the break dancing community there are different titles one can call themselves. A breaker, a B-boy, a B-girl or the most familiar term, a break-dancer. Whatever someone’s chosen title is, they all share the same passion. Here in Jacksonville, the local breakers want this feeling to be shared. What started out as private gatherings, now they bring their mats to areas that will welcome them.  “We like to spread the love. We want everybody to have a chance to see breaking. We want everybody to have a chance to gain the …

Read More »

QUINNTESSENTIAL

Quinn Enriquez came out to the skate community, now he hopes there’s space for others to do the same. Skateboarding. You either get it or you don’t, and because of this, skateboarding attracts the right kind of people: free thinkers, adrenaline junkies, people who are lost, people who feel found and everything in between. Sometimes, skateboarding can be looked at as a microcosm for the outside world with many things happening in the skate industry reflecting what’s happening in the rest of society, but I’m glad to say that recently it hasn’t been one of those times. Florida has celebrated …

Read More »

Artists you need to know: Ashton Chase

Whether he’s on stage earning his BFA or the studio recording under the name Ashton Chase, Chase Pittman keeps busy.  After the pandemic forced him to continue his acting studies at Ohio’s Otterbein University virtually, the Jacksonville rapper returned to his hometown. He’s since spent the last year and a half launching his career with a handful of singles, a full-length album and live shows up and down the state. Now, he has a flurry of new projects in his back pocket, ready for release just as summer rolls around.  Q: You’ve blown up in a relatively short period of …

Read More »

Keep It in the Family

Riverside United debuts a new mural that celebrates soccer and Jacksonville.  Funded by its own members and celebrating the sport and neighborhood they love, Riverside United Soccer Club unveiled a new 53-foot-long mural painted by Jason Tetlak. Riverside United, which plays weekly at Memorial Park and Riverfront Plaza (former site of The Jacksonville Landing), has been a neighborhood staple for eight years.  “The mural was a way to commemorate the club’s presence in the neighborhood over the last eight-plus years,” said Riverside United founding member Joey Simons. “Soccer murals are big in other countries in South America and Europe and …

Read More »

Come Here Often?

You’ve heard of work from home, now get ready for Mike Vannucci’s work-from-beach lifestyle. For the last 16 years Mike Vannucci’s life has been by the shore—never confined in a room, instead only surrounded by open skies and white sand. Before 2005, Vannucci’s work consisted of roofing houses and putting up dry wall. When his back started to disagree with the profession, he set out to look for a side job. It was when his friend brought up the idea of buying a beach business that inspired him—even after his friend changed his mind. “I’m like, man, that sounds like …

Read More »

Living with History

Raymond Turknett creates models of American nostalgia and Jacksonville history.  Raymond Turknett’s roots in Jacksonville’s Westside go as deep as the 1700s. The end of the Wesconnett portmanteau is attributed to his family name; the neighborhood was made up of family farms until the Naval Air Station was built nearby.  By the time Turknett was born in the early 1950s, suburban sprawl was set in motion. Schools and subdivisions, parking lots and gas stations cropped up on what was once the rural land between Blanding Blvd. and the Ortega River.  This new landscape inspired much of what would become Turknett’s …

Read More »

Vert Skating Never Stopped in North Florida

Backyard pioneer Brennan Gagnon is keeping the dream alive.  Vert skating is not for the faint of heart. High-flying aerials, inverted hand plants and lip tricks are burly enough to scare even the most experienced skaters.  Short for “vertical,” vert skating is exactly what it sounds like. Skaters ride on ramps, usually over 10-feet-tall, with transitions that end up at straight 90 degrees. Like riding a pendulum, they drop in one wall and fly down the transition toward an identical wall with enough speed to rocket into the sky. Consequences are high, but so are the rewards. A niche community within …

Read More »

Walking Through our Grief

The Hubbard House’s important work helps families suffering domestic violence. It’s been 11 months since my family was rocked by domestic violence. My 23-year-old cousin Taryn Simmons was fatally shot by the father of her child after a confrontation about child care. A month prior to her death, she sought and was granted a protective order, but that would not be enough to keep her from her untimely death which occurred right in front of her infant child.  As we tried to find ways to grapple with our tremendous loss, my mother and I searched for opportunities to help raise …

Read More »

Hit the Lights

An inside look at how Hit The Lights, one of Jacksonville’s newest full-service production studios, flipped the switch during 2020. If you were a regular at shows before the pandemic, you’ve probably experienced the sensory feast that is a show by Hit the Lights Productions. The production company worked mainly out of Mavericks for the first couple of years, and through the waves of the Landing closing, and 2020, turned into a one-stop-shop for artists from building records to rehearsing them to performing them live. Rob York is the mastermind behind the operation, which started as a lighting company (thus …

Read More »

The Wonderful World of Water Polo

Jacksonville Water Polo brings the Olympic sport to the First Coast.  The water glitters neon blue. Numbered spheres move back and forth, treading water, chasing the ball unnumbered and moving toward the goal posts on either end of the pool.  All of the spheres but one are heads attached to bodies. The one without the number is the ball. Moving underwater, they’re camouflaged under the illusion of refraction. Referees can only make calls on what’s visible in the air between splashes. A game of grabbing, kicking, dunking and pulling lives freely beneath the surface, where fouls are made even with …

Read More »

Finding Florida’s Bigfoot

The Legend of the Skunk Ape goes beyond imagination. Since the earliest recorded human migration patterns, mysterious cryptids, creatures whose existence is claimed but unsubstantiated, have woven their way through folklore, fables and cautionary tales across the world. Recently, fascination with cryptids has been revived; dozens of online discussion boards have sprung up, and Hulu recently produced a documentary centered on Sasquatch. Better known as Bigfoot, its mythos originated among indigenous populations in the Pacific Northwest. While the existence of cryptids like Bigfoot can be the subject of debate, intriguingly, some cultures acknowledge the same creatures under different names. A …

Read More »

The Three Ds from Duval Dominating the Literary Scene

Jacksonville natives Deesha Philyaw, Dawnie Walton and Dantiel W. Moniz shake up the book world with works anchored in the experiences of Black womanhood.  “Do not set us up like this is some anomaly that happened,” Deesha Philyaw demands. Philyaw, the multiple award-winning author of the short story collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is adamant that she, along with authors Dawnie Walton and Dantiel W. Moniz are all (to borrow from Cardi B) “regular, schmegular, degular” born and bred Black women from Duval County who happen to be living their dreams in a major way.    Philyaw’s 2020 …

Read More »

Project Atrium at MOCA celebrates 10 years with special exhibition

And MOCA Jacksonville marks the occasion by going back to the drawing board. Literally. In 2010, artists Christina Foard and Dolf James conceived of Imagination Squared, an exhibition featuring works by local artists of all ages, walks of life and skill levels.The concept was a huge hit, attracting 5,000 visitors for its opening and inspiring the creation of Project Atrium, a 40-foot-tall gallery space showcasing site-specific and site-sensitive installations on the museum’s first floor. The idea to revisit Imagination Squared was sparked by MOCA Executive Director Caitlín Doherty and Senior Curator Ylva Rouse who wanted to engage the public in expressing …

Read More »

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Online, bi-textual and awaiting trial—Clay County’s wayward former Sheriff Darryl Daniels continues to evade the truth and his day in court. Most of the folks in Clay County had never heard of Darryl Daniels until 2015, when he began his race for Clay County Sheriff. Daniels, newly retired from his job as a chief at the Duval County jail, was a short stout man oozing with self-confidence.  Daniels’ strength was in the people who surrounded him. His race pace for sheriff was more of a lollygag, while those around him sprinted. The candidate did what he did best: He got …

Read More »

The People’s Mayor

Malcolm Jackson takes on culture and consolidation with his photos on view at The Cummer.  Malcolm Jackson is proud to have his work on display at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for the first time. “Across the Bridge” is a collection of his photographs captured between 2016 and 2021 that speaks about social determinants of health and the misperceptions of Jacksonville’s Northside and Eastside, which he refers to as “cultural hubs.” According to Jackson, the Northside and Eastside don’t get the credit they deserve for helping to shape and elevate the city. “The only thing Jacksonville’s mainstream media …

Read More »

You Better Boogie, B*tch

Reviewing a culture that bumps and hustles for a new generation.  Roughly 45 years ago, it was everywhere. LED tessellations shifting and flickering beneath platform shoes, polyester-clad bodies pressed together in dim corners, the marriage of funk and Philadelphia soul … so many memories and colorful tropes encapsulated in one simple word: disco. Throughout the ’70s, the glossy genre dominated airplay and culture. Like a circadian rhythm (and blues), hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath thundered through radios by day, while soul-funk forces by the likes of Gloria Gaynor and Chic brought the boogie nights. As …

Read More »

It’s Time to Burst our Bubbles

In his May Publisher’s letter, John M. Phillips ruminates on the world returning to normal, and how in some ways it shouldn’t. Lives matter. Yes, that’s true. But adding an adjective or descriptor seems to make people upset or think it’s somehow escalating one life over another. It is not. However, even though (all) lives matter, (all) lives are not treated the same. The preamble to the Declaration of Independence is easy to believe, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” It sounds nice, but our forefathers didn’t believe it then. Many don’t believe …

Read More »

Gas tax, mayoral race and Jaguars analyzed in new UNF poll

The UNF Poll shows that residents are opposed to paying more at the pump, but would support individual projects within the mayor’s proposed gas tax. The UNF Public Opinion Research Lab released the results of a new poll conducted from May 11 to May 16, 2021. The poll, which was released on May 18, asked respondents about the gas tax, local officials, the 2023 mayoral race and the Jaguars. The poll shows that 58% of respondents opposed the Mayor’s proposed gas tax, which would be used to fund infrastructure projects across the city. However, respondents favored some of the infrastructure projects without …

Read More »

Dear Dumbs

Help me! An old bat keeps calling me fat. Question: Dear Dumbs, I love the podcast. It’s my go to. I was wondering if you can help me here. I have a problem with my mother. She’s 82 years old. Almost every time we talk she talks about how she hates fat people and mentions how other family members are so fit. The problem is that I’m fat and I feel like she’s taking shots at me. Am I overreacting? Is she passive-aggressive? Should I say something? Trinity, Orange Park Response: SHARI: Oh boy, Trinity. I feel your pain. Overreacting? …

Read More »

Demi Lovato Dancing with the Devil Review

The pop star unravels her overdose in 2018 and her recovery since then. “This is the first time we’re telling the truth––for her,” said Sirah, Demi Lovato’s former sober companion and best friend. YouTube’s original series Dancing With The Devil takes viewers on an inside look at the singers life on tour while friends, family and former assistants reveal the more complicated side of her struggle with addiction.  22 minutes in length, this is the first episode in the series that will reveal the nitty-gritty details in Lovato’s journey to taking on the heavy burden of fame while fighting for …

Read More »

I’m Weird on My Birthday

Local, guilt free, ways to celebrate your birthday this year. I’m weird on my birthday. Not like Charlie Sheen weird, more like a melodramatic case of the birthday blues. I’m bashful and tenuous, and then I am ungrateful and uncomfortable. My “weird” attitude usually puts a damper on any celebratory gesture done for me and allows me to set unrealistic expectations that keep me right where I want to be—in my delicious kiddie pool full of self pity with a pack of smokes. Researchers connect birthday blues to fears of aging, high expectations, lack of accomplishments, social pressure, estrangement from …

Read More »

Into the Spiral: How Jacksonville’s Mac Jones Rose to the Top of the NFL Draft

The Bolles graduate, and former Alabama Quarterback, is a sought after player in the draft. Holly McCorkle Jones met Gordon Jones on her first day at her new job at a downtown Jacksonville law office. However, it wasn’t the usual story of falling in love at the office.  “It was my first job out of law school,” she described. “They had the big dark doors, and they were showing me my office and said, ‘You’ve met everyone at the firm except Gordon Jones.’”          As a prudent new associate, Holly had done her homework. She replied, “You mean the little guy …

Read More »
   
X
X