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HORNS & HALOS: WJCT, Alvin, Oprah and Landrum

28 May

HALOS to WJCT for scheduling the documentary “Under Our Skin,” a story about the horrors of Lyme Disease and the medical community that has all but turned its back on its victims. The Infectious Disease Society of America has contacted individual PBS stations to boycott this important movie with negligible results. It’s billed as a gripping tale of microbes, medicine and money that exposes the hidden story of Lyme disease.  I have seen this movie several times at special showings in Jacksonville and it is eerily accurate as to the horrors victims like my children have endured.  I highly recommend everyone watch it on Thursday, June 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Comcast 211.
UPDATE: It will also show June 17 at 10:00 p.m. on Comcast 212 and on June 29 at 11:00 p.m. on Comcast 8 or Channel 7 for those without cable.

 

HORNS to Landrum Middle School in St. Johns County for changing graduation requirements a month before the end of the school year.  Eighth graders failing the high school course Algebra I were told they could pass eighth grade and retake the course in ninth grade. Then just a month before the end of the year those students and their guidance counselors were told by administration that the students would fail the eighth grade without a passing math credit. It’s suspected the school was pushing the class because it received extra funding from the state, and the state finally caught on. Schools understandably are doing all they can to secure enough funding to teach our kids, but this kind of late-in-the-year maneuver is blatantly unfair to kids. 

HALOS to Jacksonville Mayor-Elect Alvin Brown for turning down the traditional new car provided by the city for all new mayors.  Brown was just fine with the existing car the city already owns for the mayor. With many tough financial decisions ahead of him, Alvin Brown is showing great leadership by walking the talk of budget management.

 

 

HORNS to all the Oprah haters who poo-hooed this week’s grand finale of Oprah’s 25-year daytime TV talk show. Some people expect perfection out of those who reach such great success and celebrity. Even though she may not be like us in money and power, she is every woman in that she learned the very same hard lessons she shared with us over the years. We’ll miss her daily insight on television.

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HORNS & HALOS: Jags, Jessie-Lynne and Jax Parking

30 Apr

HALOS to the Jacksonville Jaguars for snagging
QB Blaine Gabbert from Missouri in the first round of the NFL draft. Reports have it that ticket phone lines were lighting up like crazy at Jags headquarters the next day. With surfer-like good looks, many locals commented that he’ll fit in quite well in Jax. Don’t know if he can ever replace Tim Tebow in our hearts as the local King of Football, but many a mom has already put dibs on
                                               him for her daughter.

HORNS to the Public Parking Division of the City of Jacksonville for blanketing Downtown Jax with tickets after 5 p.m. on such a busy evening last week.  Parking is free after 6 p.m. and it’s common practice for enforcement to stop at 5 p.m. But on such a busy night, there must have been money to be made! With everyone working diligently to increase the use of Downtown Jacksonville, especially at night, this was a pathetic
                                               display of ‘gotcha.’

HALOS literally to Jessie-Lynne Kerr, the beloved and self-named “tough old broad” of the Florida Times-Union.   Jessie-Lynne fought the  good fight with lung cancer and left this life peacefully while at a hospice facility. She was a reporter for 47 years for the TU and lived to meet her goal of making it until her 73rd birthday which was Tuesday.  She left us early Friday morning grabbing headlines on the day of the royal
                                                 wedding, proving that she is a woman who knows how to
                                                 make an exit.

HALOS to the Florida House for passing a bill requiring women to have ultra-sounds performed before they can have abortions. There is nothing sinister in requiring women to understand the depth of their decisions.  Pregnancy is more than a mere nusance, even when inconvenient.  If passed, this law will surely help a growing number of women change their minds upon seeing life inside them. Helping a woman determine she’d
                                                 rather give life than terminate it is all good.

HALOS AND HORNS: Turning Bethlehem in to Iraq in Ponte Vedra

26 Dec

HORNS to Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church on Palm Valley Road for allowing its annual live Nativity Bethlehem village to be used as an airsoft gun battleground. From the miracle of Jesus’ birth to boys and men hunting each other down dressed as Special Forces soldiers. Big disconnect there. Just watching videos of the activity is creepy. Glorifying war scenarios in such a  life-like setting lends to the desensitizing of young men.

  

HALOS to Publix Super Markets for super quick check-out lines on Christmas Eve as well as the day before Thanksgiving. Both days found the stores with gridlock in the aisles from last-minute shoppers, but not at the registers. Lucky for us that at least Publix was thinking ahead even if we weren’t.

 

HORNS to Governor-Elect Rick Scott for planning such an outlandish and expensive coronation uhh, I mean inauguration. Mr. “Let’s Get to Work” needs to learn that perception is everything. Florida citizens are in such dire straits that what they want to see is new jobs and economic stability, not a dog and pony show with Scott jetting to various cities on inauguration day to grace us with his presence. Seriously Mr. Scott?

 

HALOS to all the Jaguars fans who went to Everbank Field on the coldest home game ever to cheer on the Jaguars. How easy it would have been to curl up in front of a fire rather than dragging yourselves downtown. It’s great to see the Jaguars spirit back in Jacksonville.

 

HORNS to the concessions management at Everbank Field for running out of hot chocolate cups on the coldest  game day in the history of the franchise.  Oh they had plenty of hot chocolate, just no cups to put it in. A rookie type mistake that left thousands of fans out of luck.

HORNS AND HALOS: The Mayor, The Congresswoman, Sweet Pete’s and Rockettes

18 Dec

HORNS to Mayor John Peyton for pushing the initiative for digital billboards in Jacksonville. It’s  baffling why such a tree hugger and lover of the Jacksonville landscape and would not only approve, but push for the grotesque blight inducing billboards in light of what should be an iron clad law on the books preventing them. We’ll end up looking like Panama City with flashing billboards all over town. The shame.

HALOS to Sweet Pete’s for putting such a whimsical and quality candy store on Pearl Street  in the heart of the Springfield area of Jacksonville. My first visit there yesterday proved to be a delight, especially since it’s Christmas. It’s like being in an old-fashioned candy palace but without the corn syrup.  It offers fun birthday party activities, great service and awesome chocolate from Pete Berhringer of the Peterbrooke Chocolatier kingdom.

HORNS to Congresswoman Corrine Brown for once again proving that she brings home the bacon to her family. Brown has requested $750,000  for a Jacksonville nonprofit for which her daughter Shantrel Brown is a lobbyist, the Community Rehabilitation Center. Since 2008, Corrine Brown has requested $3 million for the center.  Maybe they could just put it all in that $50,000 Lexus her daughter received from the African millionaire
                                              Brown fought to keep out of federal prison. 

HALOS to the Florida Times Union Center for the Performing Arts for bringing the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” to Jacksonville. A long-time beloved annual tradition in New York City, the show brought it famous 36 high-kicking Rockettes and live nativity scene to town. The show changes a little from year to year, but two sacrosanct traditions are the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” that topple down and “Living Nativity.”