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First Coast Connect

11/9/2017: Free Speech On Campus; Pancreatic Cancer; Veterans Issues; Veterans Day Parades

Kevin Meerschaert

Thursday on First Coast Connect we had a discussion on free speech on college campuses with University of Pennsylvania professor and author the book “Free Speech on Campus,” Dr. Sigal Ben-Porath (01:00).

We heard about the latest treatments for pancreatic cancer with Dr. Michael Wallace, gastroenterologist with the Mayo Clinic (23:35).          

With Veterans Day on Saturday we spoke with attorneys Michael Stanski and Jason Odom on the general legal needs for veterans (31:45).

There are several events on Saturday to commemorate Veterans Day including parades in Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

Veterans Council of St. Johns County Chairman Bill Dudley and Military Officers Association of America, St. Augustine Chapter President Ron Birchall joined us to talk about the St. Augustine parade (46:00).   

Free Speech On Campus

When white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke recently in Gainesville at the University of Florida, Governor Rick Scott had to declare a state of emergency in that city. Such is the state of our discourse on the nation’s college campuses.

Academia has been rocked in recent years by controversies over speakers that some students or groups find objectionable. Some speakers have been kicked off campus, or faced angry protests. Sometimes protests turn violent.

It’s a hot topic as college is the laboratory of ideas.  It’s the place where students are supposed to learn critical thinking skills, be exposed to different viewpoints and be challenged to expand their worldview.

Ben-Porath’s “Free Speech on Campus”  examines the current state of the arguments, using real-world examples to explore the contexts in which conflicts erupt, as well as to assess the place of identity politics and concern with safety and dignity within them.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer with a poor prognosis if it isn’t detected early enough. There is increasing evidence that patients with the onset of Type 3 diabetes may be a marker that can help predict the potential risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This could be yet another screening tool to help physicians identify pancreatic cancer early enough for more effective treatment and longer life expectancy.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Veterans Issues

Saturday is Veterans Day. For those who’ve served, navigating the transition back to civilian life can at times be even more challenging than their tour of duty.

In particular, military service creates a complex legal environment that veterans and military members need to navigate in areas such as family law, criminal law, property law, and estate planning.

Veterans Day Parades

There are several events taking place around the First Coast Saturday to honor this area’s veterans.

The downtown Jacksonville Veterans Day Parade kicks off at 11:01 am at EverBank Field and makes its way west to the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

The Veterans Council of St Johns County along with the Military Officers Association of America, St Augustine chapter will be hosting its third annual Veterans Day Parade on Saturday in St. Augustine.

This year the parade will be larger than ever before. It will include flyovers, helicopters, military marching bands and many local JROTC bands marching. American flags will be given out to all children. Veteran marchers from all wars, starting with WW II through the War on Terror, are expected to participate.

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.