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First Coast Connect

1/10/2017: Charles Cofer; Book Club- Tolstoy; Dr. Robert Cywes; Green Drinks Jax

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. 


Charles Cofer

Cofer defeated a scandal-ridden incumbent Matt Shirk and has already made a lot of changes to the Public Defender’s office in his first few days in office. Cofer spent 17 years as a county judge and 18 years in the public defender’s office. Cofer said his priorities include bringing salaries and budgets under control and restoring trust in the office.

Book Club- Tolstoy

The name Tolstoy might be associated with “Anna Karenina” or “War and Peace,” but Goldring instead highlighted “Hadji Murat,” which was his last book and was published posthumously. Goldring compared Tolstoy to a chess player in the way he wrote.    

Dr. Robert Cywes

Cywes is a bariatric surgeon in Jacksonville with an innovative approach. His focus is treating the causes of obesity,focusing on their addictions to sugar and starch. He appeared on the show to discuss the success he’s had in reducing the amount of medication patients are prescribed.    

Green Drinks Jax

Every other month, people who either work in an environmental field or are interested in environmental causes or sustainable projects in Jacksonville meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

Lead organizer Tito Sosa started Green Drinks Jax as a way to to foster engagement about environmental causes on the First Coast.

Their next event is from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Jan. 18 at HobNob.  

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.