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First Coast Connect

Homeless at the Beaches; 'ART IS LIFE'; algae blooms; holiday food safety

Sydney Boles

The city of Atlantic Beach may ban homeless people from sleeping in public. A new proposed ordinance would restrict where the homeless in the Beaches community could sleep or camp out.

Supporters of this measure, first proposed by the Atlantic Beach Police Department, say it’s being driven by safety concerns. However, advocates for the unhoused say the bill would essentially criminalize homelessness.

We spoke to WJCT News' Dan Scanlan, who has been covering the story, and Dawn Gilman, CEO of Changing Homelesness, about the issue.


Jerry Saltz, a former truck driver and self-described “failed artist,” went on to become a Pulitzer Prize–winning art critic and New York Times bestselling author.

An early champion of forgotten and overlooked female artists, Saltz has celebrated the pioneering work of African American, indigenous, LGBTQ+, and other long-marginalized creators. He has also become beloved online, amassing more than a million dedicated followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Throughout the early years of the 21st century, Saltz has reported on a period — from the cultural reset of 9/11 to the rolling social crises of today — that he considers among the most important, dynamic and world-changing in all of art history. Now, he brings together more than 20 years of work in a powerful new volume that traces how the visionary artists of these years have both documented and challenged the culture:

We spoke with him about his new book: ART IS LIFE: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night.

Algae blooms

Since Hurricanes Ian and Nicole hit Florida, there have been several reports of algae blooms along the St. Johns River. None of the samples collected up to this point are showing evidence of toxins being present, but some results are still pending.

It’s also worth noting that toxins can show up at different stages of the algae life cycle. In other words, there could still be toxins, even if none were detected in a sample.

Dr. Gerry Pinto, a research scientist at Jacksonville University, joined us to explain what all this means.

Holiday food safety

Whether you dine on a traditional holiday meal this year — or opt for something more exotic — keep safety in mind. That starts with shopping and goes through preparing the feast and storing leftovers.

Keith Schneider, a UF/IFAS professor of food science and human nutrition, joined us with some safety tips for holiday meals.

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Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?