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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

8/17/2017: Kids Hope Alliance; Manhattan Beach; Ron Whittington; Historical Society Photo Contest

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  Today on “First Coast Connect,” Florida Times-Union reporter Tessa Duvall joins us to discuss the proposal by Mayor Lenny Curry to merge the Jacksonville Children’s Commission and Jacksonville Journey (01:12). We learned the history of Jacksonville’s Manhattan Beach from The Beaches Museum’s Brittany Cohill (16:58). Local author Ron Whittington told us about his new book, “Free Surface Effect” (36:52), and Wayne Wood from the Jacksonville Historical Society talked the organization’s photo contest (44:34).   

Kids Hope Alliance

A new audit shows the Jacksonville Children’s Commission is doing pretty well.But that isn’t stopping Mayor Lenny Curry from planning to merge the commission with the Jax Journey to create the Kids Hope Alliance. Critics say Curry is politicizing services for low-income kids in the city, something the mayor denies. He says the move will eliminate wasteful duplication of services and therefore leave more dollars to help young people.

Manhattan Beach

Renowned as Florida’s first African-American beach, Manhattan Beach is now part of Hanna Park. It was created around 1900 and used by African-Americans who were working for Henry Flagler as he was building railroads and resorts up the East Coast.

The beach’s history is the topic of the Beaches Museum’s Boardwalk Talk at 6 p.m.Thursday at the museum chapel. The talk is free for museum members with a suggested donation of $5 for non-members.   

Ron Whittington’s New ‘Parker Glynn’ Novel

When the honeymooning nephew of a spy chief goes missing in Grand Turk, and twisted criminal torturer Diego Delgado puts a double agent under wraps, Homeland Security calls in Parker Glynn after a two-year hiatus. The businessman-turned-spy soon finds himself in the middle of an al-Qaeda plot to cripple major U.S. ports and kill thousands in the process, and he’s the only person who can stop Delgado’s secret personal vendetta against his native country and the U.S. Whittington is the creator of the Parker Glynn thriller series. He is holding a series of book signings beginning 5 p.m. Friday at Monkey’s Uncle.

Jacksonville Historical Society Photo Contest

The Jacksonville Historical Society’s Through The Lens photo contest is seeking photos that highlight everyday life in Jacksonville and celebrate the community, including shots of places, events and social and cultural life. Up to four photos can be submitted per person. The deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 22.    

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