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First Coast Connect

01/21/16: St. Johns Riverkeeper; 150 Years Of Hemming Park; Hot Sardines; Kerry Speckman

Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign a water policy bill Thursday, despite veto pleas from some environmentalists and former governor Bob Graham.

SB 552 is a priority of Speaker Steve Crisafulli, and was one of the first bills the Legislature passed this session. It changes water policy across Florida, from springs to water supply.

In addition to Graham, a coalition of 106 environmental and civic groups delivered a letter to the Legislature asking for significant changes to the bill. One of the groups opposing the measure is the Jacksonville-based St. Johns Riverkeeper.

We speak with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about the bill and her group's efforts to raise awareness about the river.

A special event this weekend in downtown Jacksonville will mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Hemming Park. The plot of land in front of City Hall was originally sold to the city for just $10 dollars on January 23rd, 1866 by the family of Isaiah D. Hart. We discuss the park's storied history, as well as what's in store for the future, with Friends of Hemming Park CEO Vince Cavin and board president Wayne Wood.

We preview the New York jazz ensemble Hot Sardines' performance with the Jacksonville Symphony this week with bandleader Evan Palazzo.

And Kerry Speckman of joins us with a look at events happening around town this weekend.

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Sean Birch joined the WJCT team in late 2011 and was with the company until 2016.