Heart Disease

Friday on First Coast Connect, our weekly Media Roundtable. Our panel included Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth, Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, blogger Fred Mathews and WJCT business analyst John Burr. We also spoke Jacksonville Library director Barbara Gubbin about the this year’s Jax Reads initiative with the book “The Namesake.” Dr. Amy Pollak from the Mayo Clinic and heart attack survivor Kathy Ellis talked about Go Red for Women Day, as part of Heart Disease Awareness Month and we met Kim Brown, head coach of the newly formed Jacksonville professional female football team the North Florida Pumas.


    

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Yvette Hyater-Adams who was recently appointed regional envoy of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture about their initiative the People’s State of the Union. Dr. Saumil Oza, chief of cardiology at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside, talked about a recent decline in life expectancy rate, and we were joined in studio by comedians Paul Rodriguez and Shaun Latham. 


         

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

Hundreds of Jacksonville women received free heart screenings at the fairgrounds Wednesday morning, organized by the nonprofit Take it to Heart.


Saying “retreat is better than defeat,” the most prominent supporter of expanding equal protections to this city’s LGBT community withdrew his bill on the topic last week.

Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri says he wants a chance to work further with city attorneys to clarify exemptions, focus on the business side of the bill and continue to educate the public about the matter.

Hazouri joins us to discuss this.


  Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri announced Saturday that he will suspend his push to adopt local discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

Hazouri is withdrawing his bill that would amend the city’s human rights ordinance to protect those citizens from discrimination in jobs, housing and public accommodations. The move means this divisive local issue will be put on the back burner, at least for now, leaving Jacksonville one of the largest major cities that still lacks legal discrimination protection for the LGBT community.

The HRO has been controversial in large part because opponents have raised religious objections to the legislation.

We’ve also seen the debate over rights vs. religious liberty at the national level.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief. Following this ruling many states, including Florida, have since proposed expanding state religious freedom laws to include for-profit corporations.

We speak with Toni Van Pelt is co-founder, president and Congressional lobbyist for the Institute for Science and Human Values. She’ll be speaking about the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and what she calls its its dangers to secular society and government at an event presented by the First Coast Freethought Society.


Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced in a memo last week that he is changing city employment policy to prohibit discrimination of any kind.

Curry also said that he does not support any further anti-discrimination legislation, including the two competing human rights ordinance bills currently before the Jacksonville City Council. 

One of them, sponsored by Councilman Tommy Hazouri, would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment or public areas based sexual orientation, gender identity or expression by amending the city’s existing HRO.

The other bill before the Council, introduced by Councilman Bill Gulliford would let voters decide on those protections instead of the Council.

In Florida more than a dozen cities have adopted a human rights ordinance that includes non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. However, Jacksonville remains the largest American city that has yet to do so.

We discuss the latest the two bills before City Council with Florida Politics writer A.G. Gancarski, who has been following the story.


Ted Cruz upset Donald Trump in last night’s first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses in a surprise victory.

On the Democrats’ side, Hillary Clinton wins a narrow victory over Bernie Sanders. Now the 2016 nomination fight is on to New Hampshire.

Political junkies here in the US are following the election closely, of course, but what you may not know is that the 2016 presidential election will be the biggest betting event of all-time.

Paul Krishnamurty, chief analyst for the world’s leading betting exchange, Betfair.com, and blogger at PoliticalGambler.com, has been successfully predicting elections since the turn of the century. In 2008, he backed both Barack Obama to become President and John McCain for the Republican nomination.

Krishnamurty early on called Ted Cruz for the GOP nomination, and has placed bets on Hillary Clinton as the slight favorite to win the presidency.

Paul Krishnamurty joins us to discuss how he thinks the 2016 election will play out following the Iowa caucus.


The local activist group Families of Slain Children held a conference Monday about the ongoing issue of gun violence in Jacksonville following the shooting death of a 22-month-old boy on the city's Eastside.

There’s a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest in the murder of Aiden Michael McClendon.

We speak with Families of Slain Children founder and CEO Beverly McClain.


The search for missing Jacksonville toddler Lonzie Barton enters its sixth day Tuesday. We discuss the latest updates with criminal justice analyst Dale Carson.


Jeff Turner / Flickr

With Florida still leading the nation in foreclosures, this week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it will provide grants to support 30 housing counseling organizations across the state. Half a million homes around Florida are still underwater or in foreclosure including many thousands in our area. We speak with foreclosure defense attorney Chip Parker of the firm Parker and DuFresne.

Shannon LeDuke / WJCT

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed sweeping new regulations governing broadband Internet service. The FCC will vote on the proposal later this month. The measure would guarantee what is known as net neutrality by banning broadband companies from discriminating between different content providers based on how much they can pay. We speak with Ray Hollister and Tom Braun, the hosts of WJCT's technology podcast Deemable Tech.

News4Jax

The collapse of a section of Liberty Street in downtown this weekend is brining renewed concern about Jacksonville's roads and bridges. The state of the nation's infrastructure is also an issue in the proposed budget announced by President Obama this week, with the president calling for nearly half  a trillion dollars in transportation construction spending. We look at infrastructure concerns and possible solutions with Rick Mullaney, director of Jacksonville University's Public Policy Institute, and A.G. Gancarski, columnist for Folio Weekly and Florida Politics.