First Coast Connect

Weekdays 9 a.m.

Hosted by Melissa Ross, First Coast Connect is an hour-long call-in program that features local newsmakers, civic and community leaders, artists and people planning a variety of events across Northeast Florida, along with a weekly roundtable of local journalists.

Tuesday on First Coast Connect:

 

 

  • Bill Bruce on the controversy regarding proposed development on Cumberland Island

  • Holly Tyrrell of Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices and Chriss Spires of Montoya & Associates, on “Money Matters” program  

  • The Forking Amazing Restaurants “Collaborate and Give” kickoff

  • Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, Co-creator of Science of Parenthood coming to Jacksonville

 

 

Join the conversation:

  • Call: (904) 549-2937 (Note: This line is only active during the program, 9:00-10:00 a.m.)

  • Tweet: @MelissainJax

  • Email: firstcoastconnect@wjct.org

  • Comment on Facebook at First Coast Connect

 

Learn more about the First Coast Connect Book Club

Subscribe to the First Coast Connect podcast on iTunes

First Coast Connect is sponsored in part by Baptist Health and North Florida TPO.

Education coverage is sponsored in part by the Chartrand Foundation.

 

 

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with local residents Judy Sheklin and Lori Shad who will be attending Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. As part of NPR’s “A Nation Engaged” collaboration with local stations we asked listeners what they want the new president to know about themselves and their community as he takes office. We also spoke with Read 66 spokesman Chris Boivin and Jacksonville Public Library regional manager Keli Mathis about their initiative to get more people to read. Gregory von Hausch, president and CEO of the St. Augustine Film Festival, talked about this weekend’s films and events. 

      

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with the first female ringmaster for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Kristen Michelle Wilson. We also spoke with George Maxey, executive director of the New Town Success Zone, and Dr. Ivan Porter, nephrologist at the Mayo Clinic, about a new collaboration and we heard from Colonel Brian Bell, commander of the 125th Fighter Wing of the Florida National Guard about the possible arrival in Jacksonville of the new F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. 


Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” on the heels of the fatal Martin Luther King Jr. Day shooting at the Jacksonville Landing we spoke with life coach and metacognition expert Grayson Marshall Jr. He regularly speaks with youth groups and others on ways to end violence. We were then joined by the new dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine Dr. Leon Haley. We also heard a recorded interview with Texas singer-songwriter Eric Taylor.   


Friday on “First Coast Connect,” was our weekly Media Roundtable. Our panel included Andrew Pantazi and Dan Scanlan from the Florida Times-Union and WJCT business analyst John Burr. We also heard from Florida Theatre president Numa Saisselin about its new partnership with Community First Credit Union and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Alhambra Theatre we were joined cast members of their current production of the play Come Blow Your Horn, Tod Booth, Lisa Booth and Jessica Booth.  

  

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke by phone with St. Augustine resident Bill Hamilton from the Environmental Youth Council about its event Sunday, Earth2Trump. We also spoke with international field educator and founder of Global Workshop Matt Colaciello about a panel discussion he is moderating Saturday on climate change.  

      

  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Darnell Smith from Jax Chamber and Pastor R. L. Gundy about the latest attempt to expand Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to include the LGBT community.        

We also heard from Voices of Hope programming chair Rebecca Rejtman Bennett and Museum of Science and History curator Paul Bourcier about a new exhibit about Anne Frank and our Going Green segment highlighted Melissa Beaudry of Fleet Farming. 


Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with new 4th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Charles Cofer. He spoke about some of the changes he had and will make in the office. First Coast Connect book club leader Stacey Golding talked about her favorite Leo Tolstoy novels. Dr. Robert Cywes from Jacksonville Surgical Associates joined us to talk about programs to help diabetes patients control their weight, and Tito Sosa of Water Me Green told us about his upcoming event with Green Drinks Jax. 

    

Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke by phone with public pension expert Bob Klausner about how some other cities around the country are dealing with their pension problems. We also heard from Lourdes Norman-McKay, professor of biological sciences at FSCJ and Dr. Pauline Rolle from the Duval County Health Department about an upcoming TEDxFSCJ talk exploring the role vaccines play in public health. WJCT contributor Cole Pepper also brought us the latest news on the Jaguars’ search for a head coach.  


        

Friday on “First Coast Connect,” our first Media Roundtable of the year. Our panel included Claire Goforth from Folio Weekly, Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, WJCT Business analyst John Burr and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We also heard from the founder of The Center for Sustainable Agricultural Education and Conservation Angela TenBroeck and bandleader and violinist for the Sultans of Swing Chris McKhool joined us by phone to talk about their latest CD “Subcontinental Drift” and an upcoming appearance in Jacksonville.  

          

  Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we were joined by Jacksonville Transportation Authority Vice President of Long Range Planning and System Development Brad Thoburn to discuss plans to extend the Skyway.        

Local environmental activist Josh Weber spoke about his opposition to the proposed Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline and we hear a live in-studio performance by local bluegrass band Grandpa’s Cough Medicine.  


    

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” John O’Brien, CEO of Vista Energy Group and a member of the public administration faculty of Flagler College, joined the show to talk about how jobs could be affected by trade and automation in the Trump era. Lutheran Services Florida Executive Director LaTanya Wynn-Hall talked about enrollment in the organization’s Head Start program, and Players by the Sea Marketing Director Kris Jackson and actress Kristin Walsh joined us to talk about the play “Eurydice,” opening Friday.  


Tuesday on First Coast Connect, we discussed making financial New Year’s resolutions with Cheryl Barnett, senior vice president at First Tennessee Bank. We were joined on the phone by Laurence Cotton who served as principal researcher and consulting producer of the documentary “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.” Cotton will be in Jacksonville for a screening followed by a question and answer period of the film next week.

Local Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members President Willetta Richie and vice president Betty Burney discussed an upcoming screening of the movie “Hidden Figures.” The primary characters depicted in the film were members of the African-American college sorority. 


Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” it was our final episode of 2016 with the annual year in review Media Roundtable with guest host Ryan Benk. Our panel included A.G. Gancarski from Florida Politics, Dan Scanlan from the Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and WJCT business analyst John Burr. We also spoke with Harvard School of Public Health researcher Steve Gortmaker about the financial incentives Jacksonville could receive by passing a tax on sugary drinks. 


Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” guest host Jessica Palombo spoke with “Reveal” host Al Letson about an upcoming episode focusing on Jacksonville. We heard from Trauma One paramedics Chad McIntyre and J.D. Montgomery on their goal to train people to stop life-threatening bleeding. We spoke on the phone with the the co-directors of the PBS documentary “Meet the Patels,” Ravi and Geeta Patel, and American Association of Retired Persons - Jacksonville field coordinator Justine Conley talked about some of the events the organization has planned for 2017.   

   

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” guest host Jessica Palombo spoke with Local Initiatives Support Corporation CEO Janet Owens and Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation CEO Paul Tutwiler about bringing more business development to northwest Jacksonville. We also heard from travel blogger Judy Wells about some places to travel over the holidays. Lea Wells from We Rock The Spectrum told us about her gym that caters to special needs children. We heard an interview Melissa Ross recorded last week with 16 year-old singing sensation Jackie Evancho and Duval County Schools Director of Arts Jeff Smith told us about a free arts magnet information meeting and other events Tuesday night at county schools. 


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