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First Coast Connect

3/7/2017: Mike Binder Scott-Nelson Poll; Autism Symposium; Pen Women; 'Unstoppable'

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Mike Binder, the director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida, about a poll released this week giving Senator Bill Nelson a six-point lead over Governor Rick Scott in a hypothetical 2018 U.S. Senate race.

Dr. Peter Szatmari from the University of Toronto and Dr. Peter Mundy from the University of California-Davis Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute joined the show to talk about Wednesday’s ninth annual Autism Symposium on the UNF campus.

Jacksonville Pen Women President Duncan Sawyer talked about the national organization’s 120th anniversary and Pixie Larizza from the Women Business Owners of North Florida talked about their event next week “Unstoppable.” 

Mike Binder Scott- Nelson

Governor Rick Scott is widely assumed to be eyeing Florida Senator Bill Nelson’s seat in 2018 when he leaves the governor’s mansion due to term limits. Right now, Nelson holds a six-point lead over Scott among the state’s registered voters. According to the UNF poll, Nelson leads Scott 44-percent to 38-percent with 12-percent undecided. The poll also found that only 44-percent of Florida voters approve the way President Donald Trump is handling his job. Also, 62-percent said they would have no problem using the bathroom as a transgender individual and 79-percent don’t believe transgender individual is a threat to women or children.               

National Autism Symposium

Presented by Wolfson Children’s Hospital, UF Health Jacksonville and Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville the symposium is an important look at Current Medical Evidence and Interventions Regarding Autism. It’s now estimated one in 68 children are affected by an autism spectrum disorder. Kids with autism tend to be male, and often have difficulty with social interaction and communication. The earlier the diagnosis, the better hope for interventions that can make a difference in treatment.

Pen Women

It’s an organization that began just over a century ago when three female journalists in Washington were not allowed to join the then, all-male press corps. Since that beginning in 1897, the National League of American Pen Women has grown from the nation’s capitol to include branches across the country, including one in Jacksonville. Its goal is to support creative professional women in the arts.

On Friday, in observance of Women’s History Month and the League’s national 120th anniversary, a panel will at UNF will discuss women’s historic role in the arts.


Women Business Owners of North Florida will be highlighting some of the great women business people on the First Coast.  On Thursday, March 16 the WBO will be hosting the event “Unstoppable” at UNF Herbert University Center from 1-5:30pm. Keynote speakers will be Audrey Moran and Michele McManamon.

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.