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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

9/13/2017: Hurricane Irma-Climate Change; Women Veterans; FCC Book Club 'Catch 22'; 'Lost Springs'


Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard how climate change affects storms like Hurricane Irma with Jacksonville University climatologist Jeff Martin (01:13). Ahead of the Ken Burns PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War,” we spoke with female veterans Rene Johnson and Margaret Yarborough (27:09). Our monthly First Coast Connect Book Club with Stacey Goldring featured the classic novel “Catch 22” (38:48) and University of North Florida Gallery of Art Coordinator Jim Draper talked about the gallery’s latest exhibit (45:09). 

Irma Climate Change

The First Coast continues the long and difficult process of cleanup and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Thousands in our area are still without power. Damage from flooding, downed trees and high winds is extensive throughout our area and Florida. In Irma’s aftermath, the debate is once again in full swing over how much warming oceans and rising seas are driving these increasingly powerful storms. Martin said there isn’t a doubt climate change is a factor in the development of stronger tropical systems.

Female Veterans

Iconic documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is out this month with a much-anticipated new documentary series. “The Vietnam War,” a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick premieres on WJCT Television Sunday, September 17. The ten-part, 18-hour documentary series tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film.

Book Club - ‘Catch 22’

The classic satirical novel by Joseph Heller tells the story of World War II army Captain John Yossarian and the soldiers around him on Pianosa Island in the Mediterranean Sea. The book  has been heralded as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century as Yossarian and those around him try to maintain their sanity while performing their duties and awaiting the day they are able to return home.  

'Lost Springs'

The “Lost Springs” is a fascinating new exhibit chronicling the tragic demise of the iconic springs of the Ocklawaha River in North Central Florida. The project debuts Thursday on the second floor of the Student Union on the UNF campus. Another exhibition, “Margaret Ross Tolbert: Lost Springs,” is also set to appear at MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville beginning Sept. 23. The documentary “Lost Springs” will be screened at the Student Union Auditorium Sept 28, Oct. 3 and Oct. 12.  It’s a collaboration between Gainesville painter/activist Margaret Ross Tolbert and St. Augustine-based environmental filmmaker Matt Keene.

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