Media Clips May 2012
Headline: Why Jacksonville needs anti-discrimination law Date: May 2, 2012 Re: Check It Out: Independent Library Funding Link to online story: http://bit.ly/Kqj7rR Value: $248.92 Copy:
An ordinance will be introduced soon in City Council that should be passed quickly and signed gladly by Mayor Alvin Brown. The ordinance will strengthen the city's laws banning discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin or disability. Added to the laws for the first time would be discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. Every other major city in Florida and most major cities in the U.S. have similar laws. It's time Jacksonville joined them. One argument in favor is simply this: It will be good for business as we try to attract jobs and talent to our city. Listen to Steve Halverson, the president and chief executive officer of Haskell, who knows a thing or two about business. He and a group of advocates for the legislation met with the Times-Union editorial board earlier this week. "It's time for Jacksonville to modernize its laws," Halverson said. Jacksonville can't be competitive, he said, if the city ignores 5 to 10 percent of the workforce. "To me, it's more personal than that," Halverson said. "It gets to a question of fairness. "As a CEO you have a basic duty to protect your people, to protect them from any unfair discrimination of any kind. "If you don't do that, you are not a very good CEO and not a very good person." Former Mayor John Delaney told the editorial board that as president of the University of North Florida, he has sometimes been unable to attract professors to the school because it's not illegal to discriminate against gays in Jacksonville. "You can fire somebody for just being gay," he said. "You can kick someone out of a restaurant for being gay. You cannot rent because you are gay. ... "It's about talent, and it's about fairness." In 2009, two studies done by UNF and Jacksonville Community Council Inc. at the request of the city's Human Rights Commission found that discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people was rampant here. According to a Times-Union story about the studies, 40 percent of the 235 GLBT people surveyed by JCCI had experienced recent problems, including job losses, housing harassment, school suspensions and violence. Even in conservative Jacksonville, the UNF study found that more than 90 percent of the people surveyed believed that sexual minorities should receive equal treatment in the workplace. This ordinance would not apply to religious institutions, and it has nothing to do with gay marriage.
"It's a matter of conscience," Councilman Warren Jones, who will introduce the legislation, told the Times-Union. There's no plausible reason for the council not to make this needed change and for Brown not to approve it. "It's about time," Delaney said. "You don't want to be on the wrong side of history here. "Frankly, a no vote is a helluva black eye." firstname.lastname@example.org, (904) 359-4284
Headline: Jacksonville has lost 2,000 hospitality jobs Date: May 4, 2012 Re: Mention of JCCI Link to online story: http://bit.ly/Jpvu7m Value: $160 Copy:
There are 2,000 fewer leisure and hospitality jobs in Jacksonville in 2012 than there were in 2008, according to an On Numbers analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. As of February 2012, there were 64,200 leisure and hospitality jobs in Jacksonville, down 3 percent from 66,200 in February 2008. Forty-four of the 100 biggest metropolitan areas had more leisure and hospitality workers in February 2012 than during the same month in 2008 The 100 major markets, taken as a group, added 43,000 leisure and hospitality positions during the past four years, a gain of 0.5 percent. Here is how the other major markets in Florida fared in the same time frame: Orlando gained 7,600 jobs, or a 3.78 percent increase. Miami lost 3,400 jobs, or a 1.28 percent decline. Tampa lost 2,100 jobs, or a 1.61 percent decrease. To continue reading subscribe now
Headline: Mayor Alvin Brown Names Appointees to Jacksonville Children's Commission Board Date: May 9, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Link to online story: http://bit.ly/JPZCK1 Value: $100 Copy: Mayor Alvin Brown announced four appointments to the Jacksonville Children’s Commission board. Pending City Council approval, each commissioner will serve a four-year term with the ability to be reappointed for a final four-year term. There are eleven voting members, one from each of the seven school districts and four at-large appointments. The appointees are: Ju’Coby Pittman: CEO/President of Clara White Mission, a community center for Jacksonville’s lowincome and homeless individuals that provides housing, vocational training, drop-in day center, daily meal program, computer lab and prevention programs for adults and at-risk youth. Ms. Pittman received a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration and Honorary Doctorate from Jones College, and is a graduate of Edward Waters College CLIMB program. She previously served on the Cultural Service Grant Committee; the boards of the Enterprise Zone Development Agency; Habijax and the State of Florida Homeless Commission. She will serve as an at-large appointment.
Paul Martinez: owner and operator of a local full-service advertising agency Martinez Advertising Group. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Jacksonville University. Mr. Martinez serves on the boards of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber; the Hispanic Council for Reform of Educational Options and the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board. He is a member of North Florida Hispanic Leadership Alliance and the Regional Leadership Academy of Northeast Florida Regional Council. Mr. Martinez was named “2004 Small Business Hispanic Leader of the Year” by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of Life Work Leadership. He will serve as an at-large appointment. Craig Gibbs: managing partner of Law Office of Craig Gibbs, P.A. He received his Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Mr. Gibbs serves on the boards of the Interfaith Coalition for Reconciliation, Action and Empowerment; AME Housing Agency of Florida; Clara White Mission; Citizen’s Advisory Board Member of Jewish Family and Community Services; GlobalJax and the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. He is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association; the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association and serves as Chair of the Trial Lawyer Section for the Florida Bar. He will represent School Board District 3. Matthew Kane: owner and operator of Greenshades Software, a local computer software firm that specializes in electronic tax filings, W-2 distribution, and payroll-related corporate software. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University (JU) and received his MBA from the University of Florida. Mr. Kane serves as Audit Committee Chair on JU’s Board of Trustees; Marketing Committee Chair of Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.; “Teach for America” in Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Downtown Rotary. He is a Take Stock in Children mentor and is on the JU Leadership Coaching Program. Mr. Kane was a member of the Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Initiative that created “Teachable Moments,” which highlighted successful public school educators in Northeast Florida. He will represent School Board District 4.
Headline: Spring 2012 In Brief: To Graduation and Beyond: College & career readiness in Duval County Date: May 9, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inquiry Link to online story: http://scr.bi/JTv7FA Value: $100 Copy:
Technological advances over the last few decades have revolutionized the way we live, work and interact at an unprecedented pace. As a result, the landscape of our economy has also experienced a rapid shift in the demand for highlyskilled workers possessing at least some advanced or specialized education beyond high school. In Northeast Florida alone, a recent study by the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI) reported that seven out of the top ten fastest growing fields in the Jacksonville metropolitan area right now require at least some postsecondary education of qualified applicants. In this issue, we take a closer look at what it means to be college and career ready, and what Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) is doing to promote postsecondary readiness for all its students.
We found a number of compelling statistics and critical areas of reform needed to create a strategic and supportive college access pipeline for all students in DCPS and beyond. The good news is that postsecondary readiness rates of DCPS graduates have steadily risen over the past few years, thanks in large part to higher curriculum standards and acceleration programs put in place to promote college readiness by DCPS. However there still remains a large number of students not making it to graduation, and too many graduates not prepared for college success. At Florida State College of Jacksonville alone, nearly 60% of enrolling DCPS graduates require some form of academic remediation prior to beginning work toward their degree. We found that students who fall behind in their course credits during the first year of high school are at an extremely elevated risk for not graduating on time, and that African-American students in the district are disproportionately scoring below state college readiness benchmarks on the SAT. At the community level, we found that there is no united set of dentitions, expectations or information shared across institutions about what it means to be college and career ready. There is also no comprehensive system for tracking student outcomes from K-12through postsecondary using one commonly detned set of goals and standards. Our recommendations include the use of a single, streamlined student progress monitoring system within the district to better identify students at risk of falling behind early, dedicated and staffed college access resource centers at every high school, and a community-wide college access coalition to get all entities currently working on this issue on the same page in a coordinated effort to increase the education level of all students in Jacksonville.
Headline: Job market looks healthy Date: May 9, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Inquiry Link to online story: Not Available Value: $546.76 Copy:
Headline: Featured letter: City residents should decide library funding Date: May 9, 2012 Re: Check It Out: Independent Library Funding Link to online story: http://bit.ly/L1c9d3 Value: $174.46 Copy:
Once again the budget process for funding our city government has begun. The library has already been presented with indications that it will have to operate with less money. This is no surprise, but it is a tragedy. Jacksonville Community Council Inc. is presently conducting a study to explore alternate ways of funding our library system. It is apparent that the present funding system is broken and cannot provide the revenue necessary to give us a world-class library system. One of the members of the JCCI study group characterized the present funding process as leading the library into "graceful decay." Is preserving and improving our library important? How vital is a public library system to residents of Duval County? How much are they willing to pay for access to a good public library? The City Council and the mayor seem to feel that other, more mundane items are more important than funding a superior library. Perhaps they are right, and certainly they should be responsive to the will of the people. But how does the government know how much the people value having a good library?' The aphorism "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" is as true today as it ever was, but it becomes really meaningful when it boils down to which you would rather have: city employees enjoying good pensions or citizens able to go to libraries to help them find jobs. With the present funding system, it appears that you can't have both. The choices between those two alternatives are being made year after year by City Council members who have had little or no input from their constituents on the subject. Thus, they can only act in the manner they think best. That's an easy problem to remedy, however. Each of you can write or call the members of the City Council and the Mayor's Office, and let them know how much or how little you value the library. It is, after all, your library, and you â€” not they â€” should decide how good it will be. Tom Brady, Jacksonville
Headline: Journey against violence hasn't ended Date: May 10, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Link to online story: http://bit.ly/JbF7gh
Value: $248.92 Copy:
Tonyaa Weathersbee's Blog It seems that Jacksonville is looking less like the "Bold New City of the South," the moniker coined by consolidation leaders. It's looking something like, "The Sunshine State's Bloodiest City." No one should want to see that nickname stick. But according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Duval County's murder rate was 8.79 per 100,000 residents last year. It edged out Miami-Dade County, which had an 8.66 murder rate per 100,000 people â€” and topped all the counties with 500,000 or more residents. Keep in mind that Jacksonville's per capita murder rate has ranked as the highest, or second highest in Florida for the past 22 years. A city of violence Jacksonville doesn't just lead the state in people who get killed. It also leads the state in people who are hurt or maimed by violence. According to the FDLE, guns are more likely to be used in crimes here, people are more likely to be sexually assaulted here and domestic violence is more likely to happen here than in any other Florida county. All of which tells me this city not only has a problem with violent crime. It also has a problem with indifference â€” and a continued reliance on approaches that deal with the effect and not the cause. That must change. I know it can change because back in 2006, not long after 8-year-old DreShawna Davis was killed when Rasheem DuBose and his brothers Tajuane and Terrell sprayed her grandmother's house with bullets as she was watching a Dr. Seuss cartoon, city leaders began to view murder as something that didn't just happen to thugs but to innocents as well. Under the leadership of former Mayor John Peyton and with DreShawna's face as a reminder, many began to see violence as a problem that had to be stamped out at the root and not just reacted to. So Jacksonville Community Council Inc. gathered some citizens to come up with a report and a strategy on how to reduce murder. In that report, it recommends approaches to problems that I frequently talk about in this column: about how the killing among young adult men must be addressed, especially young black men who see violence as a form of machismo, and how educational and economic opportunities are needed to break the cycles of hopelessness and cultural isolation that lead to violence. Revive Jacksonville Journey It also recommends support for successful programs â€” and the Jacksonville Journey was shaping up to be one such effort. Through it, the city was attempting to reduce crime through bolstering education and services that could steer youths toward a more productive future.
But not much is being said about the Journey these days. Not much, in fact, is being said about violent crime at all. The silence, I believe, comes from the fact that until a horrendous tragedy happens, like the slaying of a child like DreShawna, too many people see violence as a problem that happens only to certain people in certain areas of town. Even after a JCCI study, a study that not only documents the problems but outlines solutions and dismantles myths, people are still prone to fall back into that lazy kind of thinking. But what many people don't realize is that when the rest of the country or the world for that matter, sees how bad the city's violence problem is, they won't just see it as a reflection of life in Northwest Jacksonville or on the Westside or Southside, but as a reflection of the entire city and where our values rest. That's why we can't keep pushing the problem to the side. Unless, of course, we don't mind winding up with a nickname we don't want. email@example.com
Headline: Jax Metro Area: Donâ€™t Call It Boring! Date: May 11, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Link to online story: http://bit.ly/KGlkTF Value: $100 Copy: One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing Jacksonvillians (especially my kids) complain about having nothing to do here. In addition to the many offerings of Mother Nature and the variety of professional and semi-professional sports, the Jacksonville metropolitan area offers enough to keep anyone of any age busy. Like music? The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is world-class. In addition, you can see concerts of all genres throughout the year in many different venues. The annual Jazz Festival has something for everyone. If theatre is your thing, we have the Alhambra Dinner Theatre, Theatre Jax, Players by the Sea, the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts, Stage Aurora, the Florida Theatre, the Ritz Theatre, the Murray Hill Theatre, Theatreworks Jax, theLimelight Theatre in St. Augustine, the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre, and the Orange Park Community Theatre. The FSCJ Artist Series brings all kinds of performances throughout the year.
What about movies? We’re not New York or LA, but we do have the Five Points Theatre (now known as Sun Ray Cinemas), the San Marco Theatre, and other venues that show offbeat, foreign and art films. What about the Jacksonville Film Festival? Not enough hours in the day to see all the fabulous movies during that week. Our public library system, especially since the improvements that came with the Better Jacksonville Plan, is fabulous. The Main Library downtown is a sight to see, and some of the branches are amazing too. The library is more than just books–you can find discussion groups, book clubs, movies, all kinds of kids’ activities, and free meeting spaces. I subscribe to a weekly e-newsletter that gives me all kinds of information about things going on in the library system and around town. I also get weekly e-mail updates about new books and bestsellers in subject areas that interest me. You can find fascinating lectures on all varieties of topics throughout the year. Check out the Florida Forum, the Women’s Center, the World Affairs Council Speaker Series, and the Distinguished Voices Lecture Series. Museums? We have the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), and the new CORK Arts District. The Equestrian Center sponsors lots of horse events as well as other things (we saw a fabulous Russian circus there a few years ago). The Riverside Arts Market is open almost year-round, and the farmers market on Beaver Street operates every day of the year. We have two beer festivals every year, and you can take a free tour of the Anheuser Busch plant seven days a week. UNF offers the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, with a wide variety of continuing education classes, hobby classes, lectures–really something for everyone. Want to get involved in the community? Join a study group at JCCI (Jacksonville Community Council Inc.) or take one of its Forward skills series classes. We have a strong Chamber of Commerce here, where you can meet people from all walks of life. You can find all kinds of clubs and networking groups. Finally, take a day trip to St. Augustine or Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island. You’ll find plenty of things to do. I’m sure I’ve left out many other things. The point is that we have a dynamic, growing community, and if you think there’s nothing to do here, you’re just not looking! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite things that I forgot to mention. When this campaign is over, I’ll have a lot more free time!
Headline: Why talk about "why" Date: May 14, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. and Ben Warner Link to online story: http://bit.ly/KnylDf
Value: $100 Copy: Do you think that you might have 18:04 minutes to spare? What if I told you that investing 18:04 minutes might just change the way your view your work and also change the way you communicate with others about your work? Last week I was in Jacksonville, Florida, where I had a chance to talk with Ben Warner, the executive director of Jacksonville Community Council Inc (JCCI), about a TED video we have both seen, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” JCCI found it so compelling that they have changed both how they think about their work and talk about it. This is no small matter when you consider that JCCI evolved from its humble beginning into a “powerhouse” change agent that is working internationally and domestically to “percolate” bottom-up engagement, visioning and action. Look at the JCCI tag line: "Every day JCCI is driven by the bold idea that together we can build a better community." “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is a presentation by Simon Sinek, author of the 2009 book Start with Why? TED's description of the talk: "Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers ... In 2009, Simon Sinek released the book "Start With Why" -- a synopsis of the theory he has begun using to teach others how to become effective leaders and inspire change." So, if you have 18:04 minutes to spare, I hope you enjoy the video, as well as its perspective altering experience.
Headline: Jacksonville reverend dies at age 59 of apparent heart attack Date: May 16, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Inquiry Participant Link to online story: http://bit.ly/JlU490 Value: $546.76 Copy:
The Rev. George Harvey's Springfield church usually had from 20 to 30 worshipers at a time, yet he was known around Jacksonville. He preached in prisons, jails and nursing homes. He tirelessly campaigned to reduce the city's murder rate and solve cold-case killings. He urged City Hall to help minority contractors get more business, marched to protest abortion, sent cards to the bereaved, worked with youthful offenders and frequently wrote letters to the Times-Union. Rev. Harvey died Tuesday from an apparent heart attack while sitting in a church pew talking on his cellphone to a man he was mentoring. He was 59. Since 1985, Rev. Harvey had been pastor of Mount Charity Missionary Baptist Church at 1417 Laura St. "He touched a lot of people," said his son, Bryan Harvey. "He loved God, and he loved to help people." During the past four years, he suffered from kidney failure and had been on dialysis three times a week. Born in 1953, the Jacksonville native grew up in Northwest Jacksonville with 11 siblings. He went to work at age 12 for a wholesale candy distributor. He continued working through Raines High School and later earned a master's of divinity degree from Louisiana Baptist University. His father's death in 1977 eventually led him to become a pastor. He was ordained in 1982, and his flock began meeting at the former YWCA on Duval Street. Because his pastoral salary was so small, Rev. Harvey worked through the years at Prudential, AT&T, Citi-Street and the U.S. Post Office. When his house burned in 1986, co-workers gave him furniture and clothing, and he was able to donate $10,000 from the insurance settlement for the down payment on the former Laura Street Baptist at Laura and Fourth streets, his son said. "He turned that tragedy into something of a triumph," Bryan Harvey said. Rev. Harvey picked that site because the area was then filled with drugs, violence, prostitution and other crimes. His congregation remained small because it was directed toward struggling people, many of whom moved a lot to follow jobs and housing, his son said. In 1989 and 1996, two members of his wife's family were killed violently. That led to his taking a deeper interest in homicides, particularly cold cases, and he urged police to pursue any lead, Bryan Harvey said.
Then he added public officials and reporters to his list and regularly attended Jacksonville Community Council study meetings on the city's rising homicide problem, according to a Times-Union story in 2006. "He just was a strong believer in his Christian faith, and he knew his job was to help others and that drove him to do the things he did," said Bryan Harvey, adding that his father taught him how to work on cars, how to be a good businessman and a devoted Christian. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at Potter's House, 5119 Normandy Blvd. In addition to his son Bryan, survivors include his wife of 41 years, Joanne; sons George III and Micah of Jacksonville; Benjamin, Joseph and Jeremiah of Washington, D.C.; daughter, Dinah Harvey of Jacksonville; and 15 grandchildren. Flowers or donations may be sent to the church. firstname.lastname@example.org, (904) 359-4128
Headline: Jacksonville’s pension mess is 'the elephant in the room…' unless it’s just a 'red herring' Date: May 18, 2012 Re: Mention of Jacksonville Community Council Inc. and Steve Rankin Link to online story: Not Available Value: Not Available Copy: As Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown prepares his FY13 budget, there’s a familiar issue looming over the attempt to close a USD 58m deficit: pension liabilities. “All we know is for our own community we have an untenable situation and one that has to be dealt with expeditiously if we’re going to get ourselves out of a hole that threatens the sustainability of our city government,” said Steve Rankin, Program Director at Jacksonville Community Council, Inc (JCCI), a nonpartisan organization that convened a citizens working group to study the pension issue over the past few years. But unlike in other cities where pensions and other postemployment benefits have become a primary issue for politicians seeking to balance budgets, Mayor Brown has not made it central to his budget process, and at least one expert interviewed by Debtwire Municipals doesn’t believe the issue is critical for Jacksonville. Brown’s preliminary budget document, which he presented on 1 May, mentions declining revenues, mostly from lower property taxes, first. Expenses in the USD 971m general fund are projected to rise 1.3%, as previously reported, with pension costs increasing USD 23.2m. Inquiries to the city’s finance department about specifics about the pension budget were not returned, but Rankin said that the city’s annual contribution in FY12 was USD 118m, and “if we don’t do anything about it by 2016 it will be USD 180m.” The JCCI report, which was submitted in December, was developed in response to what the JCCI described as a “financial crisis” facing the city, with pensions just one of many areas to be addressed. As the study progressed, Rankin said, “everybody recognized that the pension problem was the elephant in the room, so it became a larger-than-life issue.” The city has three public pension funds, one for general employees, which is funded at 71%, one for correction officers, funded at 46%, and one for police and firefighters, funded at only 43%. Together, the
three funds have an estimated USD 1.6bn unfunded accrued actuarial liability, although according to Rankin, “it’s probably significantly worse than that.” “There’s no one easy answer” as to why the pension funds are so poorly funded, Rankin said. “There was some move by the police and fire pension fund trustees to attribute it to pension holidays. It ignores the fact that the city has never missed funding at 100% or more. In some of the years where they were guilty of taking what some call the holiday, it meant that instead of dipping into the General Fund from which the dollars normally come, they utilized reserves.” Rankin said that a more significant problem for the plans was actuarial assumptions. Neither the investment rate of return of 8.5%, nor the average lifespan, have been updated for many years. But a source familiar with the pension situation in Jacksonville said that the city had taken a so-called pension holiday in the late 1990s. “The plan had assets in excess of its accrued liabilities,” the source said. “During that time employees continued to make contributions to the plan, and the city paid nothing. In the second half of the decade I don’t think they made any contributions at all. That was common practice. They in essence lived off the earnings.” “The funded ratio doesn’t mean anything unless you’re going out of business today,” the source added. “Pension plans, like governments, have an infinite horizon. As long as you have new people coming in and as long as you continue to invest the assets.” The funded ratio, the source said, is “a red herring.” “It’s just politics,” he said. “The amount of money going in exceeds the amount of money going out. It’s hysterical rhetoric.” The city council voted to undertake an actuarial review of the plans last summer, over the objections of the mayor, who wanted to defer the study a year. The review found that the city’s contribution to two of the three funds would have to increase 3% in FY13, for a total of about USD 10m. A separate issue, in which the city enrolled workers in Social Security rather than in the general employee plan, has been challenged in court and is now being considered by a federal judge. The settlement of that lawsuit, according to the JCCI report, could cost the city USD 50m. “We’ve been reasonably encouraged by Mayor Brown who took office last summer and immediately announced that pension reform was one of his top priorities of his administration,” Rankin said. “To date we haven’t seen any public evidence of that. That doesn’t mean that his people aren’t busy figuring out exactly what they need to do, but with every day that passes, the issue gets that much more difficult.” A USD 10,000 tranche of Jacksonville excise tax revenue bonds Series 2002 maturing in 2026 last traded on 29 February at 102.275 with a yield of 1.002. Bondholders could not be immediately identified. by Andrea Riquier
Headline: Tom Patton: Jacksonville needs a plan that transcends political whims Date: May 21, 2012 Re: Mention of JCCI Link to online story: http://bit.ly/LuLJqt Value: $174.46 Copy:
In a 1955 episode of "The Honeymooners," Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, playing Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, discuss one of Ralph's "get rich quick" schemes in which Ralph has bought a parking lot next to planned movie theater ... which turned out to be a drive-in. You'll recall that Ralph always reached for that elusive brass ring, but found it to be just out of reach. There is a metaphor here for Jacksonville. It seems time after time our city reaches for the quick fix, rather than devising a long-term plan. Plans have come and gone, but none has provided the sustainability needed for longterm positive growth. Everything was subject to change depending on the city's leadership. The Better Jacksonville Plan was something of an exception. The voter-approved plan has, for the most part, accomplished its stated goals. But the cost of the County Courthouse soared, and now the current administration and City Council are struggling to find money for increased upkeep, not to mention new furniture. The Landing, which was to have been a seed planted from which a revitalized downtown could grow, never realized its potential. Or the Shipyards ... the so-called "billion-dollar mile" public-private partnership that collapsed, leaving the city owning the land and collecting no taxes. So what makes Jacksonville different from a city like San Antonio, which has a vibrant River Walk entertainment district? Or Indianapolis, which successfully managed to revive its downtown? The difference is a plan which transcends political changes. Indianapolis, for example, determined what they wanted to be, and took the necessary steps to be that. It helps that they are the state capitol, and major foundations like Eli Lily are located there. But foundations don't just give money without a solid plan to on which to base their investments. San Antonio recently created a vision for its future in sessions facilitated by our own JCCI. But even in the 1990s, it boasted an impressive number of restaurants and entertainment venues along its River Walk. If you've been to San Antonio, you know their river is nothing like our St. Johns. Jacksonville needs to undertake such a project, and then make sure it can be implemented independent of changes in government. We have so much to offer that neither Indianapolis nor San Antonio can: a beautiful, natural river in the heart of our downtown and Florida's famously temperate winters. We have a natural beauty not found in such Florida tourist destinations as Daytona Beach, Orlando or Miami. Mayor Alvin Brown and the City Council are working through what appears to be a good foundation for setting a course for the future, but nothing would prevent the next mayor or council from undoing it all. Jacksonville has a great deal of potential looking for an outlet, but without a plan in place that can be sustained beyond the next election, we may eternally be Ralph Kramden ... buying the parking lot next to the drive-in theater. Very well intentioned, but with that brass ring always just out of reach. Tom Patton is a writer and consultant living in Neptune Beach.
Headline: City Notes Date: May 29, 2012 Re: “Am I My Parents’ Keeper?” Link to online story: http://bit.ly/Kxqz8X Value: $112 Copy:
Jacksonville Community Council Inc. announced its summer series called “Am I My Parents’ Keeper?” sponsored by Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. Beginning June 14, the series runs from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. every Thursday through July 26 in the JCCI conference from at 2434 Atlantic Blvd. It is free and open to the public. The series is based on concerns about Jacksonville’s nearly 90,000 seniors and the almost 230,000 people from 40-60 years old. The series will discuss topics regarding aging, caretaking and end-of-life decisions. “For some people, the answers to these questions won’t be necessary for years. For others, they’re important right now.” said Ben Warner, JCCI president and CEO. For more information about JCCI, visit www.jcci.org.
• Correction: A story Monday about Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Charles Armstrong provided an incorrect title. He is an investment advisor at D2 Capital Management.
Headline: J.F. Bryan, Pam Reynolds, J.B. Birdsall elected to Thomas Jefferson Foundation board Date: May 30, 2012 Re: Profile on JCCI Board Member Link to online story: http://bit.ly/LlnFBP Value: $100 Copy: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—J.F. Bryan of Jacksonville, Fl., Pamela Reynolds of Richmond, Va., and John “J.B.” Birdsall of Charlottesville, Va., have been elected members of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit organization that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923. J.F. Bryan, IV, a Jacksonville, Florida native, was involved in the insurance industry for thirty years; he spent the last 13 years as President of Independent Insurance Group before the Company was sold to American General in 1996. Bryan currently serves as Chairman of the Board of LISC (a local initiative to redevelop challenged neighborhoods). He serves as Chairman of the Reinhold Foundation, and is a member of the Board and Past Chairman of Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL, the Schultz Center for Teaching & Leadership, the James Madison Institute, Episcopal Children Services Foundation, Jacksonville Symphony Assn., Ronald McDonald House Advisory Board, Body & Soul, Bethune-Cookman College, the Jacksonville Zoo, and Evergreen Cemetery. He is a member of Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. board. Bryan also served many years on the board of Jacksonville University (he recently received an Honorary Degree for his 21 years of service), the Non-Profit Center, Episcopal Relief and Development, as well as a six year term as Regent of the University of the South, his alma mater. He has been a life-long active member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Jacksonville. He and his wife Peggy are the parents of three sons and five grandchildren. J.B. Birdsall is the former President of a Florida based family-owned containerized shipping business which operated owned and chartered vessels throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean regions. He retired from that position in 1987, and with his wife, Mary Scott, (a Charlottesville native) moved to her childhood home in western Albemarle County. Birdsall remained active on the Boards of both Tropical Shipping and its parent, Nicor Inc., until the latter was merged with AGL Resources in December, 2011. Since moving to Charlottesville, Birdsall has served on the Board of the Piedmont Environmental Council. Land preservation through the use of conservation easements has remained one of his constant pursuits. He was a founding member of the College Foundation at his alma mater, the University of Virginia, and has also served the University as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. Pam Reynolds has been a stalwart supporter of cultural heritage in Richmond and the mid-Atlantic region. She is the past chair of the Board of Trustees of The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), and served on the VMFA board from 1999 through 2010. Reynolds has served on the boards of the Arts Council of Richmond, the Richmond Symphony, Theatre Virginia, Theatre IV, the Carpenter Center, Friends of the Kennedy Center, CenterStage Foundation, the Virginia Opera, the Richmond Board of
Stratford Hall, and the American Council for the Arts. She has also previously served as chair or co-chair of the Richmond Children’s Festival, Richmond Ballet’s Gala in New York, A Richmond Celebration and VMFA’s Faberge´ Ball. Reynolds is married to Richard S. (Major) Reynolds, III, grandson of Richard S. Reynolds, Sr. the founder of Reynolds Metals Company and President of the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation. “The Foundation is truly fortunate to welcome these exceptional individuals and friends,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. “Mr. Bryan, Mrs. Reynolds and Mr. Birdsall have committed their time to serving important initiatives in the past and we look forward to the opportunities their leadership will bring to Monticello in the future.”
Headline: JCCI presents its Summer Series Date: May 31, 2012 Re: “Am I My Parents’ Keeper?” Link to online story: http://fcnews.tv/Kxrard Value: $100 Copy: Jacksonville, Fla. – Jacksonville Community Council Inc. is pleased to announce its Summer Series, “Am I My Parents’ Keeper?” sponsored by Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. “Am I My Parents’ Keeper?” a community inquiry, was born from concern for Jacksonville’s nearly 90,000 seniors (2010 US Census) and the almost 230,000 people finding themselves in the so-called “sandwich generation,” which encompasses those from 40-60 years old. This six session lunch-hour series will ask the important questions and provide useful resources to help the community broach the tough topics regarding aging, caretaking, and end-of-life decision making. Beginning June 14th, the series runs every Thursday through July 26th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the JCCI Conference Room, located at 2434 Atlantic Blvd. It is free and open to all including local media. “For some people, the answers to these questions won’t be necessary for years. For others, they’re important right now. ” said Ben Warner, JCCI president and CEO. With the largest number of people over 65 in US history, the focus will be learning to have the difficult conversations and shifting into a caretaking relationship with one’s elders, Warner said. “78 million baby boomers are reaching retirement. The challenge is thinking about how we manage this life transition,” Warner said. “The baby boomer generation has caused new conversations at every step of their life cycle, mainly due to their sheer demographic immensity. Now, they’re reshaping the conversations about aging.” Throughout the course of this series, JCCI will serve as a home base for a live FAQ discussing everything from Medicare paperwork to the right time to take away the car keys. The discussions will be recorded. Podcasts will be available on jcci.org. For more information about JCCI and the Summer Series, visit www.jcci.org.