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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

8/23/2017: Disabled Transportation; 'Nature Deficit Disorder'; Morgan Fairchild


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard about transportation issues facing people with disabilities with Tyler Morris from the Independent Living Resource Center, board member Sharon Hoffmeyer and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk (01:13). We heard about ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ from Hipcamp CEO Alyssa Ravasio (32:00), and we spoke with actress Morgan Fairchild, who’s currently appearing at the Alhambra Theatre (39:35). 


Disabled Transportation

Getting around Jacksonville can be hard, given its large size and gaps in public transportation, and for the disabled, the picture is even more complicated.

Imagine being stranded without a ride to the doctor or arriving hours late to medical appointments that your life literally depends on. Those are Florida patients’ most common grievances with a company the state pays to arrange medical transportation for people with disabilities. The company, LogistiCare, coordinates subcontracted transportation services — everything from taxis to ambulances depending on patient’s needs.

At the same time, public authority JTA has been hit with a lawsuit from two local women, one who is blind and one who is hearing impaired.They say JTA is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by failing to make proper accommodations for disabled riders.

‘Nature Deficit Disorder’

Too many Americans, especially kids, don’t spend enough time outside, some doctors say. Because campsites on public land around Jacksonville can be booked up to six months in advance, Hipcamp is offering a way to unlock access to nature preserves, farms and ranches, even at the last minute. With 3.5 million users, Hipcamp is a startup that invites users to discover new campsites on private land.

Morgan Fairchild

Actress Morgan Fairchild has been performing since the 1970’s. Appearing in more than 150 movies and television shows – everything from “Dallas” to “Roseanne” and “Friends”-- she was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in “Murphy Brown.”

Fairchild made her Alhambra Theatre debut back in 1973 opposite Arte Johnson in “The Seven-Year Itch.” Now, she’s back more than 40 years later, starring on stage as Lexie in the new production of “Dixie Swim Club.”

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