Community Thread

Amendment 1 on Florida’s November ballot has garnered emotional debate on both sides. To discuss the issue by phone Wednesday, Screven Watson, board member of Consumers for Smart Solar, supports the amendment and Stephen Smith from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy opposes it. We also spoke with Richard Naylor, external relations manager; Robin Tanya Watson, executive director; and recent graduate Asia Howard about the Year Up Jacksonville program. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with physical therapist Laura Bunso Bittencourt about the use of physical therapy instead of medication to ease pain and Rev. William Francis about getting more local faith leaders to use their positions to help the high number of African Americans in Jacksonville who are HIV positive.  

   

WJCT News

WJCT’s quarterly program Community Thread started a conversation about the politics of arts education this month.

The program reflected a national debate over whether science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs should include the arts, or what’s called a “STEAM” approach.


Opioid Addiction

The problem of people abusing prescription pain medication, then often advancing to heroin use and overdosing, has become a serious public health crisis in this country. 

Christine Meyer, supervising program attorney for the Guardian ad Litem Program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, joins us to discuss special training going on in the judicial system to help kids whose parents have a substance abuse problem.

 

Downtown Jacksonville projects could move along much more quickly if Jacksonville voters approve a half-cent sales tax extension. That’s what the city’s Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace told a real-estate group Tuesday.

The professional group CREW Jacksonville hosted other community members at the Riverplace Club downtown to hear from Wallace.

He presented DIA’s 10-year plan investment plan, which includes:

exterior of building
John Burr

The historic Elks building in downtown Jacksonville just sold for 4.5 million dollars.

In this week’s "Business Brief," WJCT analyst John Burr tells News Director Jessica Palombo why investors are starting to take notice of the city’s urban core.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

WJCT’s Community Thread project invites listeners to submit questions about topics that affect all of us. It started with a TV show on public schools in November. Now, our WJCT News reporters are working to answer questions that didn’t make it on the show.

This one comes from Vickie Robinson. She wants to know: How successful is Duval County’s pilot program for single-gender learning at Butler Middle School? And does the district plan to expand single-gender learning to high schools?


Community Thread
WJCT News

 

WJCT’s "Community Thread" invites listeners to submit questions on topics that affects all of us. The project started with a TV show on public schools last month. Now, our WJCT News reporters are working to answer questions that didn’t make it on the show.

 

 


For this episode of Community Thread, we are joined by Nikolai Vitti, Duval Schools Superintendent; Terrie Brady, Duval Teachers United President; Tim Sloan, a parent who has a daughter in sixth grade at Landon Middle and a son in second grade at Thomas Jefferson Elementary; and Cheryl Grymes, the Duval School Board Chair.

The Nation's Report Card, released this week, finds declines in reading and math across the country. Another report, this one from the Council of Great City Schools, finds kids are taking too many standardized tests. We begin the hour with a look at both reports and their implications with Colleen Wood, founder of 50th No More and Vice-Chair of the Network for Public Education Action, a national political advocacy organization.