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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

7/19/2017: Mayor Curry's Budget; Dr. Shahriar Nabizadeh; Celebrity Basketball Game; Tiny LEED Home


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we took a look at Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s proposed budget with Nate Monroe from the Florida Times-Union, Claire Goforth, editor of Folio Weekly, and A.G. Gancarski (01:03) from Florida Politics. Dr. Shahriar Nabizadeh (22:19) told us what he believes ails the health care system as Washington lawmakers continue to debate repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. We heard about this weekend’s celebrity basketball game to help homeless students from Florida Blue’s Darnell Smith (38:39). Eco Relics co-founder Annie Murphy, Jenni Edwards with Norsk Tiny Houses and Sarah Boren (45:23), director of policy and programs with U.S. Green Building Council of Florida, talked about the first LEED-certified tiny home being built in Jacksonville. 


Mayor Curry’s Budget

Curry presented his proposed budget to the City Council on Monday. As opposed to spending plans in the recent past, Curry’s now proposing more than $130 million in capital improvements, including demolishing the old county courthouse and City Hall annex on Bay Street. The Council Finance Committee will begin its budget hearings in August.   

Dr. Shahriar Nabizadeh   

This week Senate Republicans will meet at the White House with President Trump to discuss a path forward after their attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare failed. While much of the national discussion about health care reform has focused on politics, not as much has been about the state of health care more broadly. Dr. Nabizadeh talked about the need to focus more on prevention and education measures to lower health costs and be more effective.  

Celebrity Basketball Game

Local celebrities including Duval County School Superintendent Patricia Willis, former WNBA President Donna Orender and First Coast News sports anchor Chris Porter will be participating in a basketball game to raise funds for homeless students. The I’m A Star Foundation HELPS initiative helps the estimated 2,700 homeless students in Duval County. The game will be held 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.Saturday at Paxon School for the Advanced Arts.

Tiny LEED Home

The U.S. Green Building Council Florida, Eco Relics and Norsk Tiny Houses are partnering up to build what they believe will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified tiny home in the U.S. A planning session is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Jessie Ball duPont Center and is open to the public.

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