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First Coast Connect

7/26/2017: Civil-Asset Forfeiture; GO Auto Recycling; Judy Wells; Beyond The Core

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Larry Hannan (01:04), lead writer for the Fair Punishment Project, on the U.S. Justice Department decision to reinstate what’s called civil-asset forfeiture. Our “Going Green” segment featured Nick Fiore (33:30), general manager for Go Auto Recycling. Travel blogger Judy Wells (42:53) talked about her trip to the arctic, and WJCT News Director  Jessica Palombo (48:50) told us about WJCT’s Beyond the Core listening tour, which starts Wednesday evening. 

Civil-Asset Forfeiture

Civil-asset forfeiture is when  law enforcement seizes property if they think someone has earned it through criminal activity or if they suspect said property has been used in the commission of a crime. Asset forfeiture is an old practice that predates our modern era, but it didn’t really gain prevalence until prohibition in the 20s and then again during the War on Drugs decades later. The rationale has always been that it can put a dent in criminal activity by attacking criminal enterprises, like drug cartels and mafias, where it hurts the most: the wallet. But in recent years the policy has come under fire by criminal justice reformers on both sides of the political aisle, who say it’s fundamentally unconstitutional mainly because most assets law enforcement seize are from people who are never charged with a crime.

GO Auto Recycling     

Ever wonder what happens to your car parts after your old clunker finally kicks the bucket? Well, the most environmentally friendly option is having the empty husk of your petrified sedan repurposed, according to Nick Fiore. The First Coast’s Go Auto Recycling recycles everything from aluminum and iron to thousands of gallons of gas and oil every year.

Judy Wells

Wells talked about her recent Poseidon East Greenland Cruise, which took her along the coast and above the Arctic Circle. While such cruises can be expensive, she said, they offer travelers an experience they can get nowhere else because they travel to places that are not accessible by plane.    

Beyond The Core

WJCT wants to help the whole city go Beyond the Core. We’re going on a listening tour in six different areas of town over the next six months or so. We’ll get to know people in those communities, and then we’ll follow up with stories to help the rest of the city understand each community a little better. The first of our Beyond The Coresessions is Wednesday evening at NAS Jacksonville.

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.