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First Coast Connect

4/11/2017: Delegal On Pensions; Book Club; UNF Communications Master's; Towler 'Woman With Heart'

  Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard from local labor attorney Tad Delegal about Mayor Lenny Curry’s pension reform plan. The First Coast Connect Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring focused on the classic novel “The Stranger.” University of North Florida Communications Department Chair and director of the master’s program Brian Thornton talked about the school’s new master’s degree program in communication management and Florida Blue Foundation vice-president Susan Towler talked about being this month’s “Woman with Heart” raising awareness of Volunteers in Medicine. 

Tad Delegal On Pensions

Curry last week presented his city employee pension reform plan to the City Council. He said the plan will save the city money and solve Jacksonville’s fiscal problems. However, critics like Delegal are raising alarms, saying over time the pension fix will end up costing much more than first meets the eye. Delegal said the final numbers are still unknown and the plan also has critics who say it will take several years longer to pay off the city’s pension debt than the Mayor is claiming.  

Book Club- ‘The Stranger’

This month’s First Coast Connect Book Club featured read is “The Stranger” by Albert Camus. It’s theme and outlook are often cited as examples of Camus’ philosophy of the absurd. It’s the story of main character Meursault, who attends his mother’s funeral and a few days later kills a man who was in a conflict with a friend. Goldring also talked about an upcoming movie based on the book ”The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Produced and starring Oprah Winfrey, it tells the story of Lacks, who cells were taken without her consent and used to develop several medical breakthroughs include the polio vaccine, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization. The movie premieres on HBO April 22.              

UNF Communications Masters  

They’re the largest generation in the workforce. According to Forbes, “Millennials embrace a strong entrepreneurial mindset and they are often on the lookout for opportunities that can continue to move them up the ladder.” UNF is targeting this millennial mindset with its new masters degree in communication management. It’s aimed at mid-career professionals looking for more employment options. 

Towler- ‘Woman with Heart”

All this year, 12 local women are being honored as “Women With Heart” byVolunteers in Medicine.

Each month, one of the woman wear a heart-shaped diamond necklace created by Beard’s Jewelers in hopes it will start conversation regarding the work of Volunteers in Medicine. The necklace will be sold off via a raffle in February to raise funds for the organization.

Towler is also director of corporate social responsibility for Florida Blue.    

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.