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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

11/14/2017: Sasha Polakow-Suransky; First Coast Connect Book Club Anniversary; Heart Walk

Hachette Book Group

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with author Sasha Polakow-Suransky on the rise of white nationalism in Europe (01:24).  

Book Club blogger Stacy Goldring and Jenna Hassell with the Jacksonville Public Library talked about the fifth anniversary of the regular segment on First Coast Connect (30:16).         

David Brown, CEO of and chair of this year’s Heart Walk and Dr. Amy Pollak, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, talked about Sunday’s walk in downtown Jacksonville and the changes in guidelines by several medical groups as what blood pressure level should be considered as hypertension (46:00). 


Sasha Poloakow-Suransky

It’s been a disturbing trend for several years now. The rise of white nationalism. This weekend an estimated 60-thousand protesters gathered in Warsaw in support of white supremacy. They carried signs that read, “Clean Blood,” “White Europe,” “Refugees Get Out,” and “Europe Will be White.”

The European marchers invited American white supremacist Richard Spencer to their event. The rally in Warsaw follows on the heels of recent deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Spencer was involved. In Charlottesville, a gathering of white supremacists led to the death of a counter-protester.      

The Polakow-Suransky book “Go Back to Where You Came From” has been reviewed as an important and timely analysis of the rise of anti-migrant politics and right-wing nationalism around the world.

Book Club Anniversary

Five years ago First Coast Connect began a very fruitful partnership with one of our most valued regular contributors. Our First Coast Connect Book Club leader Stacey Goldring started a regular segment on the show, leading monthly on-air book club discussions.

Stacey leads book club groups all over town, and also runs the popular literary blog, Chapter End Notes. As the segment grew in popularity, the Jacksonville Public Library got on board and partnered with our book club to promote Stacey’s monthly picks.

We also talked about this month’s First Coast Connect Book Club meeting 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m Saturday at the Beaches Branch Library in Neptune Beach. The book discussed will be “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Fans of the book will discuss their remembrances of the book at what it means to them now.    

Heart Walk

It’s an annual tradition here on the First Coast that honors those we’ve lost to heart disease or stroke.

This year’s First Coast Heart Walk takes place beginning 8 a.m. Sunday at Metropolitan Park. It includes one mile and three mile walk options. This year’s focus is on creating a culture of health in Jacksonville. The changes in guidelines in what is considered hypertension is expected help bring more attention to the dangers of high blood pressure.  

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