Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

5/18/2017: School Funding Bill; Lyme Disease; Springfield Home Tour And Kerry Speckman


Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we discussed if Governor Rick Scott should veto the school funding bill HB 7069 with Duval County School Board member Becki Crouch and Lynn Norman-Teck (01:21), executive director of the Florida Charter School Alliance. We heard about the increased dangers of Lyme disease in Florida with Kerry Clark, professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of North Florida and Dr. Shirley Hartman (29:58 ), a local clinician specializing in lyme disease. Christina Parrish with the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council joined Kerry Speckman (45:15) to talk about some of the big events this weekend. 

School Funding Bill

Florida Governor Rick Scott is facing mounting pressure to veto an education bill passed in the closing days of the legislative session. Educators and parents have flooded his office with emails, petitions and phone calls, asking him to veto the budget and the bill that would add $24 to average per-pupil spending while transferring nearly $140 million to boost charter schools around the state. All this, as new report in Thursday’s Washington Post revealed the Trump administration wants to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, and channel those savings into its top priority: school choice.

Lyme Disease  

This is expected to be the worst year yet for the transmission of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. Scott has officially declared May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Florida. We discussed with Clark and Hartman the importance of learning about the risks of all tick-borne infections, including Lyme disease.

Springfield House Tour & Kerry Speckman   

Last month, SPAR kicked off “Second Sundays,” a series of events to highlight life in Springfield. The 39th annual Tour of Homes is from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Seven houses will be featured, including the former home of St. Elmo Acosta, a longtime Jacksonville public servant who was the namesake of the Acosta Bridge. Speckman talked about other events this weekend, including the Southeast U.S. Boat Show and the Oyster Jam Music Festival, both at Metropolitan Park.   

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.