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First Coast Connect

5/02/2017: Jim McCarthy; Vicky Gunning; Brain Stem Strokes; Florida Theatre 90th Anniversary

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect," we spoke with North Florida Land Trust President Jim McCarthy (1:02) about the legislature moving to zero out Florida Forever funding despite the passage of Amendment 1, the law voters approved in 2014 to earmark preservation dollars. Vicky Gunning  (24:24), managing partner of the Dallas office of Locke Lord and co-chair of the firm’s real estate and real estate finance practice, previewed her talk Tuesday about closing the pay gap with Jacksonville’s Commercial Real Estate Women. Terrell Hogan attorneys Matt Sowell and Fadi Chakour (35:25) talked about the dangers of brain stem strokes and Florida Theatre executive director Numa Saisselin (41:57) talked about the venue’s 90th anniversary. 


Jim McCarthy

On issues ranging from medical marijuana and solar power to education to gerrymandered districts, critics of the current legislative session in Tallahassee are charging that legislators are trying to foil a series of ballot initiatives passed by Florida voters. One is Amendment 1, a land and water conservation amendment which was overwhelmingly approved in 2014. Now, there’s concern funding has been zeroed out for conservation, despite the amendment’s passage into law.

Vicky Gunning

When America first put the Equal Pay Act on the books in 1963, women earned 59 cents for every dollar paid to men. Today, almost 50 years after the Equal Pay Act became law, women are paid an average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. The gender wage gap has narrowed, but it has not disappeared and has been virtually flat over the past decade. In almost two-thirds of families led by single mothers or two parents, mothers are either the primary or co-breadwinner. In two-parent families, with the wage gap and the loss of jobs traditionally held by men in this economy, reliance on a woman’s income in their family budget is even greater.

Brain Stem Strokes   

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is the number one cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. Most of us know the classic symptoms of stroke: numbness, confusion and trouble walking. But a small percentage of strokes are “brain stem strokes.” Such strokes can be even more dangerous and it’s important to know the warning signs and get treatment as soon as possible.  

Florida Theatre 90th anniversary

The Florida Theatre opened to the public on April 8, 1927, as a movie palace. The audience took in a live stage show, including an 18-piece orchestra, and then the main attraction: a two-reel silent film with musical accompaniment on a $100,000 Wurlitzer organ. When the theater opened, it was one of 15 in downtown Jacksonville and one of six in a four-block stretch on Forsyth Street. It’s the city’s sole surviving movie palace from the era.

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.