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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

9/16/2016: Media Roundtable; Transformations; TPA Fest; Ras Midas

Media Roundtable Week in Review Logo

Our Media Roundtable Friday featured David Bauerlein from the Florida Times-Union; A.G. Gancarski of Folio Weekly; former Examiner reporter Fred Matthews and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Tim Gibbons. We also heard from Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless CEO Cindy Funkhouser about its upcoming annual “Transformations” event. The Performers Academy’s Director of Development JaMario Stills discussed this weekend’s TPA Fest and longtime Reggae artist, composer and producer Ras Midas stopped by to talk about his new album. 

Media Roundtable

The panel discussed the possible benefits Jacksonville could receive from the NCAA announcing they will pull athletic events out of North Carolina over the state passing legislation deemed to discriminate against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Could Jacksonville not expanding the city’s Human Right Ordinance to protect LGBT’s be a hindrance that could send those events elsewhere? They also talked about plans by JEA to lower electric bills and the upcoming closing of the University Club, a longtime place for local business leaders to meet and entertain clients.               


Every year the Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless celebrates the successes of being able to help the homeless find employment and a place  of their own to live. Funkhouser spoke about the theme of this year’s “Transformations” being ‘It Takes a Village.’ It will focus on the community partners who play a role in helping the homeless. It will also highlight the lives of three people who previously had been residents at Sulzbacher. The event will be held Thursday, Sept 29 and the Times Union Center.

The Performers Academy

Jacksonville’s Performers Arts Academy is a center for performing arts education on the First Coast. It’s holding TPA Fest this weekend including ballet, bands and beer. Stills talked about the academy and the festival.

Ras Midas

He’s been producing critically acclaimed reggae music since 1974 and has been heard around the world. A native of Jamaica, Ras Midas now lives in Jacksonville and is about to release a new CD. He spoke with Ross about his career and music.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.