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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

6/22/2017: Riverkeeper; Pelocity; Flamingo Magazine; Kerry Speckman


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman (01:02) about JAXPORT’s newly modified plan to deepen the river’s channel. Retired Captain Matt Tuohy from the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and Pelocity CEO Stephen Pollan (33:04) talked about the company’s program to help veterans find jobs. Flamingo Magazine publisher Jamie Rich (40:31) told us about its summer edition and Kerry Speckman (45:16) let us know what’s going on around town this weekend. 


It’s a cost saving move to deepen the river at 11 miles instead of 13. The funding plan would rely on up to $150 million from Jacksonville taxpayers, along with state and federal funding for a total of up to $480 million. JAXPORT has long argued the river deepening will bring jobs to the region and is necessary for the port to compete with other port cities to attract Asian cargo. Critics, however, raise concerns about the cost of the project, its environmental impact, and  and the project’s lack of transparency. The St. Johns Riverkeeper has filed a lawsuit challenging the project.


Jacksonville is a city rich in military history. To support local veterans, the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition was created to help veterans find a job after they have transitioned to civilian life. Now, it is partnering with a local company Pelocity to bring even more jobs to veterans and veteran-friendly employers.

Flamingo and Kerry Speckman

The summer edition of Flamingo Magazine just hit the newsstands and explores some of the hidden gems and history of Florida. The issue includes seaplane adventure in Vero Beach, the hidden history of Micanopy, and “Dr. Beach” reveals what he believes are the best beaches in Florida and writes about his environmental concerns. Speckman told us about several upcoming events including Thursday’s  “An Evening with Mayor Jake,” a conversation with former Mayor Jake Godbold, the Kona Skatepark 40th anniversary celebration and a “Night at the Zoo,” where guest can see how the animals act after the sun goes down along with live music and food trucks.     

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax