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First Coast Connect

Special Committee On Resiliency; Vote-By-Mail; FCC Book Club; SurfearNEGRA

This 2017 file photo shows a flooded San Marco street during Hurricane Irma.
Jessica Palombo
This 2017 file photo shows a flooded San Marco street during Hurricane Irma.

Concerns about the effects of climate change are especially acute here in Florida.

The state's eroding infrastructure is already struggling. In fact, Monday night in Riverside, residents had to contend with flooded streets unable to handle the water runoff after a storm.

The City Council has established a Special Committee on Resiliency to prepare the city for rising sea levels. We spoke to District 14 Councilwoman Randy DeFoor, who leads the committee, about its work.


Absentee voting by mail isn't new, but safety concerns amidst COVID-19 have increased public interest in mail-in ballots. Early voting is underway, and locals are choosing to vote from home.

Related: Local, State And National Election News

The Duval County Supervisor of Elections faces scrutiny from voter advocacy groups for not promoting mail-in balloting aggressively enough (registered voters in Duval County can request a mail-in ballot either online or over the phone).

We spoke to Duval County Supervisor of ElectionsMike Hogan, and Brad Ashwell, who is the Florida state director of All Voting is Local, about the subject.

RELATED: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

FCC Book Club Selection

First Coast Connect Book Club leader Stacey Goldring announced August’s selection is American Pastoral by Philip Roth. The book examines the nostalgia versus the reality of the American 1950s. The story is told through the eyes of Swede, an all-American kid who becomes a successful businessman and then a father during the 1970s. 


Next month’s selection will be Manhunt by James L. Swanson, which tells the story of the 12-day chase for John Wilkes Booth. You can sign up for an online discussion of the publication at


Anact andSurfearNEGRA, are working with Jacksonville photographer Malcom Jackson to help empower young girls of color to learn how to surf. The group created a limited edition tote bag to pay homage to the Black Lives Matter Movement. The bag, which features an image by Jackson, is made from sustainable plant fibers . Proceeds of the bag will go towards sending girls of color to surf camp. Briana Kilcullen, the founder of Anact, joined us with details.

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.


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Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.