4/19/2017: Commission on Ethics; Women's Giving Alliance; Robert Gold; 'Booze Bill'

Apr 19, 2017

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with former Jacksonville City Council President and chair of Florida’s Commission on Ethics about a move by legislative leaders to place additional restrictions on the commission’s operations. Ahead of Wednesday’s Women’s Giving Alliance annual forum we heard from Alliance President Ellen Wiss and speaker Mike Beard, the executive director for the United Nations Foundation Advocacy and Global Health. St. Augustine historian and author Robert Gold talked about his latest book “Dead and Gone,” and St. Augustine Distillery CEO Philip McDaniel discussed a bill in the state legislature to benefit distilleries in Florida. 

Commission on Ethics

The Florida Commission on Ethics is sounding the alarm about proposed restrictions on its independence. On Friday, the commission is meeting to discuss a move by House and Senate leaders to place restrictions on the commission’s operations, including independent oversight of the state’s ethical questions in government.

Women’s Giving Alliance

Beard said his goal is to eliminate poverty. The Women’s Giving Alliance has set up an initiative to break the cycle of female poverty locally. Members pool their donations to have a greater impact on the community. The annual forum was held Wednesday at the University of North Florida.   

Robert Gold    

Gold is proof it’s never too late to pursue your passion. He recently started publishing historic crime stories set in St. Augustine and other romantic regional cities at the age of 84. His second novel in print now, and “Dead and Gone” will coming out later this month.

Booze Bill

The owners of the St. Augustine Distillery are watching a piece of legislation very closely as it moves through the process in Tallahassee.

If passed, the so-called “booze bill” gives the state’s distilleries the same opportunities to sell their product to the public that wineries and breweries have in Florida.

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