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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Latest on Lot J; Social Media Misinformation; Black Restaurant Week; Tiny Dock Concert

This rendering illustrates a view of the proposed Lot J project.

The Jacksonville City Council continued to review Shad Khan’s controversial Lot J proposal Thursday.

Proponents of Lot J are eager to see something take the former Jacksonville Landing’s place as a Downtown hub. They believe Lot J will create jobs and a favorable return on investment to boost Jacksonville’s economy.

Opponents say taxpayer funds should go towards revitalizing the urban core, supporting people who are unhoused, and free school lunch programs. 

Related: UNF Poll Finds Most Jacksonville Voters Opposed Proposed Lot J Deal

Wednesday, the Downtown Investment Authority Board recommended approving the deal conditionally. If the Council approves the project, more than $200 million in taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for the live entertainment district next to TIAA Bank Field.

A poll out of the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research (UNF PORL) lab found that most surveyed voters disapprove of the Lot J proposal. Pollster Mike Binder of the PORL joined us with the numbers along with David Bauerlein, who’s been covering the story for the The Florida Times-Union.

Social Media Misinformation

A new research project at the University of Florida is studying the effects of COVID-19 misinformation on social media - particularly Twitter. The researchers want to know who we can trust with real-time information regarding the global pandemic.

Dr. Yan Wang and Dr. Lisa Platt, the principal investigators of the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) project, launched it in June to investigate how credible information on Twitter suppresses coronavirus misinformation. They spoke with us about the project.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Black Restaurant Week

Black Restaurant Week, a national movement celebrating the flavors of African, African American, and Caribbean cuisine; is here through Sunday. Kristopher Smith of LISC Jacksonville, joined us with ideas of how to celebrate in Jacksonville.

Tiny Dock Concert Series

An Ortega resident drew inspiration from NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series to create the Tiny Dock Concert Series. The socially distanced event is said by the organizers to be a safe way to hear live music from the water. Brian Osborne, the event’s creator, told us more.

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