Friday on “First Coast Connect” it was our weekly Media Roundtable with Florida Time-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, WJCT business analyst John Burr and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We spoke with Dee Quaranta, president of Northeast Florida Women Veterans and singer-songwriter Kim Paige performed live in our studio.
Ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Jacksonville on Saturday our panel talked about President Trump’s budget proposal that includes a large increase in military spending plus large cuts in social programs like school lunch programs and Meals of Wheels. The budget eliminates funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The panel also discussed tension growing between State Attorney Melissa Nelson and the police union and the state announcing it is dropping charges against Allied Veterans of the World attorney Kelly Mathis
There are more than 17,000 women veterans in Duval County and for the past four years the Mayor’s office has declared a week in March to be the Duval County Week of Recognition for Women Veterans. Events throughout the week lead up to a black tie Women Veterans Gala Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Jacksonville.
The Ponte Vedra Beach native is one of the big attractions at the Roscolusa Festival in Nocatee on April 22. She moved to Nashville in 2010 and attended Belmont University. She signed her first professional publishing contract in 2011. Her song “Heart First” reached the top of the music charts in Australia. She opened for Clint Black last Sunday at the Florida Theatre. Part of the proceeds from Roscolusa will be donated to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.