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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

1/11/2017: HRO Expansion; Anne Frank Exhibit; Going Green- Fleet Farming


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Darnell Smith from Jax Chamber and Pastor R. L. Gundy about the latest attempt to expand Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to include the LGBT community.        

We also heard from Voices of Hope programming chair Rebecca Rejtman Bennett and Museum of Science and History curator Paul Bourcier about a new exhibit about Anne Frank and our Going Green segment highlighted Melissa Beaudry of Fleet Farming. 


HRO Expansion

Supporters are hoping the third time will be the charm to expand Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to cover the LBGT community. A bill was introduced Tuesday night at the Jacksonville City Council meeting which included public comment from supporters and opponents. A vote by council isn’t expected until at least next month. Both business and some faith leaders are lobbying hard on the HRO expansion. Smith and Gundy talked about why they support the ordinance and how they believe it will benefit the community.  

Anne Frank Exhibit

WJCT is a participating partner in the Voices of Hope community initiative that is organized around the “Anne Frank: A History for Today” exhibit coming to Museum Of Science and History this month. It is associated with the play “Letters from Anne and Martin.” which is comprised of an imagined conversation between Anne Frank and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The first performance is at 8 p.m. on Jan. 14 at the Ritz Theatre & Museum. The performance is intended for adults. The second performance, intended for families and teenagers, will take place at 3 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the Jacksonville Main Public Library. Admission to both performances is free.


Going Green- Fleet Farming

Beaudrey is hoping to unite the community and offset some of the negative environmental effects of food production by creating small community farms. Fleet Farming is a first of its kind for the area. It involves people turning their front yards into gardens to grow vegetables instead of grass.   

She said some homeowners in the Riverside area have already agreed to participate.  

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.