12/8/2016: JEA Emails; Larry Baker; An Evening In December

Dec 8, 2016

Thursday on First Coast Connect, WJCT reporter Ryan Benk discussed his investigative report on emails discovered on servers that violate JEA rules.

Florida author Larry Baker joined us by phone to talk about his the challenge a white male faces in creating compelling minority characters. The 20th edition of “An Evening in December” is set for Friday on Amelia Island. We spoke with Director Pam Helton and Producer Sharon Lennon.  


JEA emails

JEA announced it’s conducting an internal investigation into emails circulated by the utility’s employees it has deemed racist in nature.The emails have surfaced at the same time the federal government is looking into Jacksonville’s public utility for alleged racial discrimination in its hiring practices. WJCT has learned the emails contained offensive jokes and were sent and forwarded using JEA work email accounts. At least one of the employees who forwarded the messages was a JEA supervisor.

Larry Baker

He’s an award winning Florida novelist. Baker is also a white male.

He said that creates a dilemma when he tries to write compelling characters of different races and genders.

Baker will be speaking about this issue Sunday using his latest novel, “The Education of Nancy Adams” as an example.

His talk is titled “White Privilege and Cultural Appropriation: The Obligation of Fiction?” at 3 p.m. at the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center.


An Evening in December

It’s the annual celebration of the classic Christmas story told with a unique blend of choral music, drama and dance.

Accompanying a choir of over 90 singers are 14 instrumentalists from the region, including the Jacksonville Symphony, the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and the University of North Florida.

The theme of this year’s presentation is “This Baby Changes Everything.”  Complementing the music is an original drama developed by the Amelia Baptist Drama Team and presented by church and community actors. It will be presented 7 p.m. Friday and twice Sunday, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Amelia Baptist Church in Fernandina Beach.   


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