• WGCU Gulf Coast Live!
  • WUSF Florida Matters
  • WJCT First Coast Connect
  • WMFE Intersection
  • It's About Florida

The Marissa Alexander Case on WJCT’s First Coast Connect

There’s new controversy surrounding Florida’s so-called Stand Your Ground law – a Jacksonville woman claimed she had the right to fire a gun and fend off her abusive husband under the law, but the defense claim did not work. 31-year-old Marissa Alexander faces 20 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Jacksonville case is drawing national attention, and critics say it’s proof the state’s Stand Your Ground law is not evenly applied. We spoke to Aaron Morrison, a reporter who is covering the case for The Loop 21, an online platform offering insight, resources and opinions on African American issues.

The city of Jacksonville has hundreds of historic buildings that have stood the test of time, but these lasting landmarks tell only a portion of the city’s history. Dozens of other buildings of great architectural and historical significance have been left to wither and decay. Urban planner and writer Ennis Davis examines the history of 14 of these structures, along with stunning color photographs, in his new book, Reclaiming Jacksonville. Ennis joined us with more about the book.

For the many service members and veterans who return home wounded or sick, it can be a lonely transition back into the civilian world. However, there is an annual event coming up that works as a springboard to get veterans back into their communities, and their favorite sports. It’s called The Warrior Games. Joining us with a preview we welcomed Corporal Justin Gaertner, US Marine Corps, who will be participating in the games.

And we spoke to Ron Reagan, son of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, about his new book about his father, My Father at 100.

Dozens of young dancers from St. Johns, Duval and Flagler Counties will have the chance to shine this weekend. They’ll perform in the St. Augustine Ballet’s production of Peter and the Wolf. Artistic Director Luis Abella and Executive Director Joy D’Elia joined us with more about the production.

If you missed any portion of today’s program, be sure to check out our podcasts at or listen to the replay of this program tonight at 8 pm on WJCT Arts.

You can join in on the discussion by clicking the add comment button. We value your feedback.


Gulf Cost Live: Arts Edition – Hannah Kandel / Giwayan Mata

20-year-old Naples artist Hannah Kandel has been selected by the United Nations for the 2012 Autism Awareness Stamp. Her painting titled “Crazy Love” was one of eight selected as the result of a worldwide search for talented artists with autism.


Plus, the all-woman African dance and drumming troupe Giwayan Mata from Atlanta performs in five Collier County schools in May thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Giwayan Mata Performances – Contact – Janice Paine -Program Manager, United Arts Council of Collier County -239.263-8242

Tuesday, May 1

Naples High School – 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, May 2

PACE Center for Girls– 10:00 a.m.

Immokalee Middle School – 3:45 p.m.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Immokalee Community School  — 9:30 a.m.

Village Oaks Elementary – 3:00 p.m.

The show will be live at Noon on 90.1 FM
Call in: 1-877-428-8255

Click here to go to the show’s page

Intersection: Hispanic influence in the November elections

Democrats and Republicans are reaching out to Hispanics during this election year, but it’s no easy task, says Luis Martinez-Fernandez, professor of history at the University of Central Florida.

This week on Intersection 90.7’s Mark Simpson talks with Martinez-Fernandez and the Rev. Nino Gonzalez of Orlando’s Iglesia El Calvario, the state’s second-largest Hispanic megachurch, about how influential Hispanics will be in the November elections. Martinez-Fernandez and Gonzalez say the state’s largest minority group is fast-growing and diverse, composed of Cubans, Puerto Ricans and many others with divergent political views.

“People talk about the so-called Hispanic vote,” Martinez-Fernandez says. “I argue there’s no such thing.”

Gonzalez, who is active in engaging his congregation in the political process, says Hispanic evangelicals are a growing and perplexing voting block for strategists who often believe Hispanics lean more democratic.

In what ways do you think Hispanics will influence the November elections? Tune into Intersection on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. The show is rebroadcast Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Or listen online and share your perspective here on Florida Talks.

Gulf Coast Live: St. Matthew’s House in Bonita Springs / Harry Chapin 2012 Hunger Summit


Last week, Bonita Springs City Council members approved a one year moratorium on permits for future homeless shelters in the city, but not before St. Matthew’s House staff submitted a development order to build a new shelter in the community.

St. Matthews House says the additional shelter space is needed to serve the number of homeless individuals and families in Southwest Florida, but members of the citizen group BSafe Bonita have been fighting the Naples-based shelter and social service provider citing safety and other concerns including the proposed new shelter’s proximity to residential homes, a school and a day care center.  We’ll consider both sides of the debate.

Plus, this Friday marks the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s 5th annual Hunger Summit.  The Harry Chapin Food Bank works with about 150 soup kitchens, church pantries and other local partner agencies to deliver millions of pounds of food each year to those in need in Southwest Florida.   We’ll talk with Food Bank staff ahead of the summit for a closer look at the problem of hunger in Southwest Florida.

We’ll also talk with the summit’s keynote speaker Jen Chapin.  The daughter of the late, Harry Chapin continues her father’s mission through her work with grassroots support organization WhyHunger.  The urban folk, funk and soul musician also will perform Friday night at the Alliance for the Arts with guitarist Jamie Fox.


They’re all on the Alliance for the Arts’ First Annual Artists’ Studio Tour – a daylong self-guided tour through 15 diverse studios in the Fort Myers area.


The show will be live at Noon on 90.1 FM
Call in: 1-877-428-8255


Click here to go to the show’s page

Florida’s Water Preparedness on WJCT’s First Coast Connect

Florida is one of the most vulnerable states in the country when it comes to the potential impact of climate change. We’re surrounded by water on three sides, yet a new report finds that if and when sea levels rise, the state is one of the least prepared to protect itself. The Natural Resources Defense Council is out with a new study ranking all 50 states on their climate preparedness, in particular threats to their water supplies. We spoke to Ben Chou, a policy analyst for the NRDC’s Water Program, about the study.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and a whole range of events are on the agenda to raise awareness and offer support to couples who are having trouble conceiving a child. Infertility is a growing public health issue affecting 1 in 8 American couples. Deb Grissett, a local volunteer leader for RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, joined us with more about Awareness Week.

We were honored to welcome comedy legend Bill Cosby to First Coast Connect to discuss his one man show and his stance on issues like the Trayvon Martin case. He will be appearing at the Times-Union Center this Sunday, April 29th.

You can help raise money to fight AIDS here on the First Coast this Thursday just by going out to eat. This year’s Dining Out for Life event features dozens of amazing local restaurants, and a portion of your check will go for research and funding at the Northeast Florida AIDS Network. Dining Out for Life executive director Donna Fuchs joined us along with spokespersons Paige Kelton and Derrick Odom of Action News Jax, with more about Dining Out for Life.

If you missed any portion of today’s program, be sure to check out our podcasts at or listen to the replay of this program tonight at 8 pm on WJCT Arts.

You can join in on the discussion by clicking the add comment button. We value your feedback.

Media Roundtable Week in Review on WJCT’s First Coast Connect

We discussed the week’s top stories with our media roundtable this morning. Joining us to look at the headlines were: Adam Causey, reporter for the Florida Times-Union; Anne Schindler, editor of Folio Weekly; and John Burr, editor of the Jacksonville Business Journal. Topics for our discussion included Governor Rick Scott’s signing of the state’s budget, and the continued debate over prayer on school property in Clay County.

In our Weekend Warrior segment, we spoke to cycling advocates Koula Redmond, of BikeJax, and Garf Cooper, owner of Riverside’s Zen Cog Bike Shop, about events happening during Jacksonville’s Bike Month in May. The First Coast is seen as one of the least bike-friendly areas in the country, and advocates like Koula and Garf are working to change that.

More than 3,000,000 meals were served to Jacksonville’s hungry last year, a 33% increase over the previous year. More than 50% of Duval County school children are on free or reduced lunch. Too many are going hungry in this area, and don’t have access to healthy food when they do eat. Bruce Ganger, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank, and Dr. Oran Hesterman, president of the Fair Food Network, joined us with information about this weekend’s Duval County Food Summit.

Slow Food First Coast is hosting it’s second annual Tour de Farm event this weekend. It’s a chance to tour nearly two dozen family farms across Northeast Florida and learn more about locally-grown ingredients. We spoke to organizer Leslie Kaplan about the event.

We took a look back at WJCT’s 100K in a Day one day pledge drive as we listened to Melissa Ross’ interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about the importance of public broadcasting. You can still donate to WJCT by visiting

And we got a preview of the St. Augustine’s Limelight Theatre’s production of Children of a Lesser God from lead actor Joe Walz.

If you missed any portion of today’s program, be sure to check out our podcasts at or listen to the replay of this program tonight at 8 pm on WJCT Arts.

You can join in on the discussion by clicking the add comment button. We value your feedback.

Jacksonville’s ICARE Group on WJCT’s First Coast Connect

ICARE – the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment – is a coalition of roughly 30 Jacksonville congregations. They come from different faiths and denominations, but all believe that religious unity is needed to right social wrongs in Duval County. They’re seeking stronger commitments from local and state leaders to address urgent problems like crime, homelessness, unemployment and education here on the First Coast. We spoke to ICARE presidents Tan Moss and Vince Kolb about these issues, and ICARE’s annual Nehemiah Assembly happening next week.

Joe Louis Barrow is the song of beloved heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. Though his father is known as a boxer, Barrow is quick to point out that his dad was also a great golfer. Joe Louis Barrow continues that legacy as CEO of The First Tee, a St. Johns County-based organization that uses golf to help young people face an array of challenges and teach them life skills. Barrow joined us to discuss his work with the First Tee and how his father helped to change the game of golf.

This Saturday, hundreds of runners will gather at Ponte Vedra High School for that community’s Relay for Life event. It’s a chance to honor those who have survived cancer, remember loved ones lost to the disease, and raise funds to support cancer research. We spoke to Marcy Sandler, chair of Ponte Vedra’s Relay for Life, about the 18-hour event.

And Jacksonville Magazine’s Kerry Speckman joined us as she does every Thursday with a look at what’s going on around town this weekend. Visit her site for full list of events.

If you missed any portion of today’s program, be sure to check out our podcasts at or listen to the replay of this program tonight at 8 pm on WJCT Arts.

You can join in on the discussion by clicking the add comment button. We value your feedback.