Amendment 1

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Democratic Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, who is currently a state representative (01:20).

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Updated 7/18 to include Graham's clarified position on the proposed JAXPORT dredge.   

Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis and former Mayor Jake Godbold are endorsing the former congresswoman over her two major rivals in the Democratic primary.


John Moran

Environmentalists unhappy with Florida lawmakers are vowing to keep fighting over this year’s lack of funding for land acquisition under the state’s Water and Land Conservation Amendment.

The activist group — 1000 Friends of Florida — said Wednesday it plans to make conservation funding a priority in the 2018 legislative session.

A key component of the strategy involves mobilizing the citizenry, says the group’s Ryan Smart.

The Florida Legislature might vote to stop allocating money to the Florida Land Acquisition Trust Fund in the upcoming budget.

However, Jim McCarthy, chair of the North Florida Land Trust, said this goes against Amendment 1, which was passed by Florida voters by more than 70 percent in 2014, and shared his concerns about the issue Tuesday on First Coast Connect.

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect," we spoke with North Florida Land Trust President Jim McCarthy (1:02) about the legislature moving to zero out Florida Forever funding despite the passage of Amendment 1, the law voters approved in 2014 to earmark preservation dollars. Vicky Gunning  (24:24), managing partner of the Dallas office of Locke Lord and co-chair of the firm’s real estate and real estate finance practice, previewed her talk Tuesday about closing the pay gap with Jacksonville’s Commercial Real Estate Women. Terrell Hogan attorneys Matt Sowell and Fadi Chakour (35:25) talked about the dangers of brain stem strokes and Florida Theatre executive director Numa Saisselin (41:57) talked about the venue’s 90th anniversary. 

 

Leonard J. DeFrancisci / Wikimedia Commons

The Jacksonville City Council is asking for conservation dollars to clean up First Coast waterways.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

A Jacksonville City Council bill is asking for more environmental conservation money for North Florida. The language in the measure is based on a resolution a new group is pushing Florida city governments to adopt, and some Florida city officials are questioning the group’s motives.


Tuesday on First Coast Connect we heard about the future of solar energy in Florida with A1A Solar founder Pete Wilking. Suzi Lemon, from the human resources firm Dynamic Corporate Solutions, spoke about the, now in limbo, overtime rule for salaried employees, and in our on-going series “First Coast Connect Rising Stars” we met Odd Rod,also known as Roderick Borisade, a local spoken word artist. 

 

With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting in the state, Florida voters have decided to legalize medical marijuana and reject a controversial constitutional solar-power amendment backed by private utility companies.

Peter Haden / WJCT

A lawsuit alleging the Florida Legislature improperly used funds meant for buying conservation land could be expedited.

Circuit Judge Charles Dodson of Tallahassee scheduled a hearing Friday. If Dodson grants a summary judgment motion, conservation groups could get a verdict as soon as the Dec. 5 hearing.


Our weekly Media Roundtable included Tessa Duval, reporter for the Florida Times-Union; Tim Gibbons, editor of the Jacksonville Business Journal; Claire Goforth, editor of Folio Weekly, and WJCT reporters Lindsey Kilbride and Ryan Benk. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with humor essayist Dave Barry about his latest book, “Best. State. Ever,” and singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter about her latest album and concert next week at the Florida Theatre. 


Quillen aboard the Archimedes
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

A traveling protest against Florida’s solar Amendment 1 launched Tuesday in Jacksonville.  The boat covered in solar panels will stop in high-trafficked areas as it heads south.

Amendment 1 on Florida’s November ballot has garnered emotional debate on both sides. To discuss the issue by phone Wednesday, Screven Watson, board member of Consumers for Smart Solar, supports the amendment and Stephen Smith from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy opposes it. We also spoke with Richard Naylor, external relations manager; Robin Tanya Watson, executive director; and recent graduate Asia Howard about the Year Up Jacksonville program. Host Melissa Ross also spoke with physical therapist Laura Bunso Bittencourt about the use of physical therapy instead of medication to ease pain and Rev. William Francis about getting more local faith leaders to use their positions to help the high number of African Americans in Jacksonville who are HIV positive.  

   

solar panels
U.S. Navy / Flickr

The League of Women Voters of Florida and other organizations launched a campaign Wednesday opposing Amendment 1.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

This article was updated at 2:45 p.m.

With primary early voting underway, WJCT News is taking a close look at what voters are deciding in our series, “What’s On Your Ballot?”

State Constitutional Amendment 4, which would make it cheaper for property owners and businesses to buy and install solar panels, is the first of two opposing solar amendments Floridians will vote on this year.


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