Urban Jacksonville Weekly #55 – Monster Truck Backflip Edition

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Photo via JaxScene

All this month we’re supporting Walk a Mile In Their Shoes 5K

Walk a Mile In Their Shoes 5KSulzbacher Center
Saturday, March 27. Walk with Joey and Tony, we’re doing the one mile fun run with the kiddies! Abel is doing the 5K and Jack is sleeping in.

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A special thanks go to Abel Harding for joining us in the studio. Abel actual set the record for least amount of comments during the show. We love you man!

Coming Up on Urban Jacksonville Weekly

NEW coffee sponsor

Bold Bean Coffee
sippin on: Mexico Altura Chiapas

Return of RAM

C&W Tour/Burro Sales Trip
went awesome!
best show in Houston
Burro stuff being carried in new shops

Recommendations

Jonathan – keep on talk of budget talks
Abel – Penguins at the Zoo
Joey – Pecha Kucha 8 and The Warriors at the 5 Points Theatre
Tony – Gum Bunch Pub after RAM
Jack – shows!

TONIGHT – East of the Wall, Goes Cube, Galactoid and a surprise! @ The Devil’s Playground (Facebook Event)
MONDAY – Caspian, Antarctic, Arms & Sleepers @ Warehouse 8B (Facebook Event)


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Urban Jacksonville Weekly Episode #28

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You can now listen right now, click the play button above.

Special Guest – Terry Lorince of Downtown Vision

Joey – Android is for SUCKAS!

What is Downtown Vision?
non for profit
formed 2000
make downtown premiere place to work, live, visit
get businesses to work together
art walk, hemming plaza market
creating a better downtown experience
Joey – living downtown?
14 downtown ambassadors – report on condition of downtown
contract with Catholic Charities for clean-up
originally, ambassadors picked up trash (insurance/worker’s comp issues)
Joey – hotline?

Questions:

Abel Harding asks With the proposed cuts in funding for public service grants, Jacksonville’s homeless population is likely to be impacted with fewer services available to them. How do you think that will impact downtown businesses?

Terry – see more transients, strain existing shelters
Joey – Is DVI working with groups on the homeless issue?
Terry – Transients are the issue more so than the homeless. Development/climate make Jacksonville popular place for vagrants, makes them more visible.
Tony – Troublemakers aren’t necessarily homeless but they all get lumped together in people’s eyes.

Matt Abercrombie asks how can we expedite getting artists into vacant and underutilized spaces downtown? who are the sympathetic landlords and what can artists do to make contact?

Terry – Vacant stores downtown is an issue. How do we ratchet up the Art Walk? Jim Draper a major voice to bring artists downtown. DVI has relationship with property owners. What to do between now and when the economy picks up. Leasers have conditions for people using space. Lots of interest from both sides. Interested – terry

Our role is as matchmaker. Fortunate to have Art Center Cooperative.
Tony – Give it a name. Jim Draper as liaison/face.
Joey – Artists find a way to be recognizable and follow-up.

Matt Uhrig asks Many property owners dropped their venue once the DVI demanded to be placed on liability insurance. What liability does the city have once a person steps off a sidewalk and into a private building?

Terry – city owns the sidewalk but DVI assumes liability during art walk, venue assumes liability once patron enters establishment
Tony – BG’s insurance didn’t go up
Back to artists
Tony – use City Hall Annex

Yvonne asks if DVI would ever consider sponsoring (funding/paying) artists to paint murals on the many vacant buildings in downtown? it would be another appeal of art walk, it’ll also help give more life to downtown.

Terry – Thinking the same thing.
Jack – How does DVI feel about street art?
Terry – If you give an inch, they’ll take a mile.
Jason (ContentDG) – Familiar with the urban face-lift project?
Terry – $100,000 to contribute to Laura St facade improvement. Decorating on a dime. Rethinking spaces is one of the biggest challenges.
Jonathan – Budget?
Terry – Going to be a tough year. About 1.2 million. Looking at 50% budget cut.
Joey/Tony – Have you looked into social networking?
Terry – Facebook page, 2 MySpace pages, mobile website, DVI website

Recommendations

Joey: Content Design Group site and UJ/TT Mixtape Release Party
Tony: Eat Up Downtown and International Dog Day at the Riverside Arts Market.
Jonathan: Last Thirsty Thursday Suns Game
Terry: terry and The Sinclair
Jack: Infintesmal BBQ

Music
Wednesday August 19
Club TSI
National Dairy

Thursday August 20
Jack Rabbits
Poison the Well

Friday August 21
Club TSI
Nomadic Sun
Juicy Pony
Honey Chamber

Shantytown Pub
Wudun
Lazerstar
Sleeping In the Aviary

Saturday August 22
Steamworks
EMA
Future Computers
D.M. Waltz

Sunday
Sinclair
Infintesmal BBQ #4

Quality of Life at Stake Part II

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Old school picture of Downtown Jacksonville

Recently City Council has taken the line of looking for ways to tighten it’s belt. The Mayor calls this a slogan for a bumper sticker, implying Council is only paying lip service to reducing government spending. While Ron Littlepage has an interesting take on this who knows how everything will shake out. One thing’s for sure, there will be lots of budget talk between now and late September when City Council votes on the issue.

What follows is a note I sent to city council and the local news media. It was inspired by Tony Allegretti’s message to council last week titled “Quality of Life at Stake”, hence my title. It’s not pro millage increase or anti-waste reduction, but it is pro-Jacksonville.

Dear Council members and local news media

After reading Tony Allegretti’s message I felt compelled to write and weigh in on this issue myself.

Our city is uniquely positioned to lead the Southeast region into the 20th century by embracing arts and culture. To get there we need retain our smart, artistic people and attract new, innovative thinkers to our city.

We can do this by increasing or maintaining (at a minimum) current levels of arts, culture and historic preservation funding. We should take a step back and look at the long view for our city. What do we want our city to be for ourselves and our children? Personally I would like a city that is seen as innovative, arts and culture forward and architecturally significant. A place where people want to move to, not move away from.

When I moved back to Jacksonville from Minneapolis in 2005 I was distraught to see our city had barely progressed culturally in my 3 year absence. In order to move the city forward I started the Urban Jacksonville blog to show people, through technology, not only what our city had to offer, but what it could be.

What did I focus on? The arts, culture and developing historic neighborhoods. I feel these three items are an important barometer to gauge the health and future of a city. All major metropolitan cities have a history of embracing and supporting the arts. Minneapolis is a vibrant city who focuses on their arts and culture. Because of this, they are a major talent draw in the Midwest region. Attracting the best artists, chefs, designers, architects and musicians from small (Madison, WI) and large (Chicago IL) cities in the Midwest.

Jacksonville would be wise to position itself as an arts and culture leader in the Southeast. Imagine attracting the most talented from Atlanta, Orlando and Tampa instead of losing our best and brightest to those cities on a weekly basis.

We have a chance not only with this budget decision, but in every decision we make to position ourselves as an innovative city. Vision and leadership require tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. Please consider the future of our City and not just the present when making your decisions over the coming weeks.

Thanks for your time,

Joey Marchy

Mayor Peyton on Urban Jacksonville Weekly

This Tuesday at 5:30 Mayor Peyton will be out guest on a special budget issue of Urban Jacksonville Weekly. We’ll discuss how potential cuts to balance the budget could affect the arts and historic preservation in the Urban Core. We’ll also be joined remotely by our political correspondent Abel Harding from JaxPoliticsOnline.com.

Please leave any questions you have for the Mayor regarding the how cuts might effect the arts and historic preservation in the Urban Core on this post, on Facebook or on Twitter with the #ujw hashtag.

Bringing Jacksonville’s Government Into The New Century

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This past week, JCCI released its study of the city’s financial condition and the picture is bleak. Administration after administration funded grand developments via long-term financing. As a result, the city is in a position where future borrowings may jeopardize the city’s bond ratings. Additionally, the city faces shrinking revenues as property values have plummeted. Further complicating issues, the city’s three pension plans are now drastically underfunded.

Before suggesting steps that might be taken to remedy the city’s financial woes; however, JCCI suggested an effort to regain public trust. That trust has vanished in the wake of open government scandals, no-bid contracts and FBI raids.

Two of JCCI’s suggestions involve participation of the community at large, both in developing a community vision and in setting budget priorities. A frequent complaint heard in Jacksonville is voters feel no connection to their City Council Member, much less the Mayor or other constitutionally elected officials.

While some City Council members are faithful in holding town hall meetings, they seem to be the exception. In many cases, meetings are held at inconvenient locations and times that are hardly accommodating for working individuals or families with young children (or political bloggers -Ed).

No Jacksonville City Council members, indeed no local government agencies, have made serious attempts to harness the amazing powers of the web to engage their constituents. Barack Obama may have held an online town hall meeting, but the concept remains foreign to Jacksonville despite the free services of such programs as Cover It Live. In fact, Urban Jacksonville’s recent hosting of a live transit chat roundtable was really a “first of its kind” in connecting bloggers and citizens with a local official in a live online format. (The forum, incidentally, didn’t cost a dime.)

Mayor John Peyton Facebook Page

While Mayor Peyton has established a Facebook presence, he’s unique in soliciting public input via that medium. With the exception of Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, who occasionally engages in political discussion on Facebook, no other local officials are attempting to solicit public input in that manner. No locally elected officials maintain a blog that seeks public input.

Which brings us to the ultimate question—how do we change that? What would you like to see? If you could suggest a communication medium to your district council person, what would you suggest? Would you like online chats? A blog? A YouTube channel? Informal Sunday afternoon question and answer sessions at a public library where constituents can drop by to offer input?

Let’s hear it, Jacksonville.

Abel Harding writes about politics and the superiority of Florida Gator Football at JaxPoliticsOnline.com. Check out The Ghost of Shipyards Past, a 3-part series that will run on consecutive Sundays from JaxPoliticsOnline.com. You can follow Abel on Twitter @jaxpolitics

Urban Jacksonville Weekly Episode 13

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Listen to episode 13 now or subscribe with iTunes.

Listen this week as I fumble through moderating a political discussion with Abel Harding of JaxPoliticsOnline.com. Abel talks political circles around me, it’s awesome. Tune in next week when our guest is Matt Urigh of BikeJax.org

Topics

  • Trail Ridge Council Meeting
  • Courthouse could begin construction this week
  • Mayor’s lame duck status (and how he can leave a lasting impact)

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