Monday, January 30, 2006

Green GOOP

Why does it seem like this article lulls you to sleep until the end where it says they are going to decrease the standards?

On Riverkeeper.

Check the Riverkeeper web site, there is a good news update on this.

From the Riverkeeper:
TMDL Update
As we mentioned before, EPA rescinded their approval of the state’s TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) for nutrient pollution, as a result of a legal challenge by Riverkeeper and Clean Water Network. The state TMDL model used dissolved oxygen levels that were below state water quality standards, and as a result, the TMDL was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Now, EPA must establish a new, more protective TMDL by January 23. EPA released a draft TMDL in early December. The new TMDL would require a 40% nutrient load reduction in the freshwater section of the river and 60% reduction in the saltwater section.

A meaningful and legal TMDL will be a huge step forward toward a clean and healthy St. Johns River and the cost to comply will be a wise and prudent investment in the future of our river and quality of life.

Sometimes our papers are written so obscure that I think that they don't want you to know what in the heck they are talking about. Could that be true? I mean, why couldn't that text be used. It is straightforward. Does any one dispute that lower TMDL is better for the river? Just wondering aloud.

When we were doing Take Me to the River this summer and the green algae was all the rage I was constantly trying to find scoop on the goop. Thankfully the Riverkeeper was there to help me through it, no good information was available from the DEP or EPA. Zero with the exception of a 2000 web story...


Please see the note below from our Adams Street neighbor Ian. I've never seen a show directed by (downtowner and cultural main man) Robert Arleigh White, but I have seen Jan Wikstrom knock it out of the park. All of Ian's shows sell out and for good reason. So don't delay. Warm up with some sitar and wine! Here is the info direct from Oasis...enjoy!

Dear Oasis friend,

Happy New Year! I just wanted to invite you all to see the magical, hilarious, disturbing and provocative piece of writing by Tony Kushner known as Homebody. Actor Jan Wikstrom and her director Robert Arleigh White have been fine tuning their version of this wildly theatrical and scarily informed piece of writing.

Please come early to have a glass of wine and enjoy the enchanting sitar music of Arvid Smith. The bar opens at 6:30.
Show starts at 7:30
and runs just under an hour.

Due to Jan’s busy schedule, we are only able to offer two performances of this show (Thursday, February 2nd and Thursday, February 9th). Please make a reservation on our hotline (386 5675).

Thanks for your continued support of the Oasis!

Ian Mairs, Director

For immediate release
Contact Ian Mairs (904) 386 5675
Poetic, timely “Homebody” may startle local audiences Another Oasis/JMOMA collaboration
The startling and poetic monologue, Homebody a play by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tony Kushner will run on Thursday, February 2 and Thursday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m. both nights. The Oasis Theater Studio is producing the show, in association with the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art. It will be held in the Museum’s theater, at 333 North Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville. Tickets are $12.00.
Conceived in 1999, the monologue served as a springboard (and first act) for  Kushner’s full length play, Homebody/Kabul. The work is a brilliant tour-de-force about a middle-aged British matron’s obsession with Kabul, a place she has never visited.
Musings about her own loveless marriage pull the audience into a series of fantastical meditations on isolation and interconnection, mystery and familiarity, and the clash between Western and Taliban values. Written prior to September 11, 2001, the play sent a chill through New York audiences at its premiere in December 2001.
Robert Arleigh White, a well known Jacksonville actor and director, will direct the production.
Award-winning actress Jan Wikstrom stars as the Homebody.
Seating is limited. Reservations are encouraged. Cash or checks only. To make a reservation call (904)386-5675

Friday, January 27, 2006

Jax Parks...Get Out There!

Images are from Jax Parks, they are not attributed to anyone, but they are great so I'm thinking they are Wes Lester.

Many folks have asked what I've been working on lately. Well its time to talk about it. "It" is a MASSIVE undertaking, a collaboration if you will between dozens of city, state, federal agencies, civic groups, eco non-profits, and the infrastructure of our Parks, Recreation, and Entertainment department.

See the posted events list below (everything of course is subject to last minute change, but this is pretty complete). We've been working on this thing for some time and you may ask, but Tony, your experience is in low cost, high impact events, all inclusive and all FREE, this looks like it would cost a FORTUNE! Ahah! Most of the things listed below our excellent Park system already does! The only special things we added involve river access, including boat rides (guided water taxis) north and south of town, free canoe and kayak rentals and a one day come back of Take Me to the River. These enhancements come courtesy of our AWESOME partner the CVB. Talk it up. Lets make this the launching pad from the BIGGEST to the BEST!


Kick-off ceremony with Mayor John Peyton
Saturday, March 4th: Participate in the Third Annual Jax Sports Fest!• Presented by: Recreation Activities staff with the City of Jacksonville
• Time: Morning
• Location: Cecil Recreation Complex and Cecil Aquatics Center
• Description: Free clinics by celebrity athletes and experts. For more information, please call 904-630-4100.
 Basketball (Cecil gym)
 Softball
 Baseball
 Football
 Cheerleading
 Soccer
 Jr. Golf Clinic (pending golf partner approval)
 “Lifeguard Rodeo” competition - Demonstrations and competitions for and by lifeguards at Cecil Aquatics Center.

Sunday, March 5th: Explore the Timucuan Trail State and National Parks!• Presented by: The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service, the Florida Park Service, and the Preservation Project Jacksonville.
• Times: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
• Location: Ribault Club, Fort George Island Cultural State Park
• Description: Meet at the Ribault Club for a water taxi tour of the Fort George River and the Nature Conservancy’s new Balu Machaba Preserve. While at the Ribault Club, enjoy the exhibits, gift shop and lovely scenery. Additionally, two educational programs will take place throughout the day at both the Ribault Club and the nearby Kingsley Plantation. The boat tour and educational programs will take place on a first-come first-serve basis on the event day. We encourage you to come to the Ribault Club early to reserve your spot.
o Please register at the Ribault Club on the event day for one of the following boat trip tour times: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
o A “Discovering Archeology” program will be presented by Elizabeth Pavlinsky, Park Services Specialist, Florida Park Service at 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 12:45 p.m. at the Ribault Club, Fort George Island Cultural State Park. Bring the whole family to discover how archaeologists reconstruct the lives of ancient people who once lived at the Talbot Islands State Parks. This hands-on interpretive presentation is intended to inspire young minds to learn about and appreciate Native American culture through the objects they have left behind.
o An “Island on the Edge” program will be presented by the National Park Service Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve staff. Times: 2:00pm. Location: Kingsley Plantation grounds, 11676 Palmetto Ave., Jacksonville, FL, 32226, 904-251-3537. Program description: Fort George Island was caught between the struggles of the world’s super powers for over 300 years. A cultural crossroad, Park Rangers will look at the importance of Fort George Island and the events leading up to the plantation period and beyond. Rangers will discuss the intriguing relationship between Zephaniah and Anna Kingsley and how an ever changing political climate drastically impacted their lives and those they enslaved. A look at Zephaniah Kingsley’s controversial views on race and society will offer insight into a poorly understood period of Florida history. Rangers will discuss the daily life of slaves on a Sea Island, the crops they grew, and the rich culture that emerged. The ranger will tell tales of the two private clubs on Fort George Island and the recreational dreams following the Civil War.

Saturday, March 11th: Explore the River at Walter Jones Historical Park!• Presented by: The St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Mandarin Historical Society and the City of Jacksonville
• Times: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Location: Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road
• Description: Join the St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Mandarin Historical Society and COJ naturalist Jean Schubert at a family fun day at Walter Jones Historical Park in Mandarin. The boat tour and educational programs will take place on a first-come first-serve basis on the event day. Please call the St. Johns Riverkeeper at 904-256-7591 for more information on this River exploration event.
o 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon – “Wondrous Waterway” program presented by Jean Schubert, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville. The St. Johns River has so many features that make it a true wonder worth learning about. Join us to learn about this magnificent river’s rich history as well as the marine mammals that call it home. Please call 904-630-3577 for more information on the Wondrous Waterway program.
o 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. – Boat trip featuring the St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon
o 12:00 noon – 12:50 p.m. – Boat trip featuring educator Shorty Robbins will portray a passenger on the historic Maple Leaf
o 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. – “Florida’s Living Symbols” program presented by Jean Schubert, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville. Are you new to the state or a long time resident? Whichever you are, here’s your chance to learn more about our state bird, butterfly, reptile, fish and mammals with this program during the anniversary month of Florida’s statehood. This program is for ALL ages. Please call 904-630-3577 for more information on the Living Symbols program.
o 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Free canoeing and kayaking provided by Kayak Amelia.
o 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. – Meet the St. Johns Riverkeeper
o Games and activities for kids and food will be available during the event. Tammerlin will provide musical entertainment at a time to be announced. Boat trips are for a suggested donation of $10 per person, $5 for children, or $20 per family.

Sunday, March 12th: Explore the past at Fort Caroline National Memorial!• Presented by: The National Park Service Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve
• Times: 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
• Location: the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center at Fort Caroline National Memorial; 12713 Ft. Caroline Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225, 904-641-7155.
o “Battles for the Bluff” will be presented by the National Park Service Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve staff.
o Programs will take place from 11:00-11:30 a.m., 1:00-1:30 p.m., 2:00-2:30 p.m., 3:00-3:30 p.m. Participation in programs will take place on a first-come first-serve basis on the event day.
o Program description: Timucuan Preserve staff members in period dress will present four 30 minute historic weapons demonstrations (11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, and 3:00pm) featuring matchlock, flintlock, percussion muskets, and the Preserve’s Civil War era cannon. This exciting program will offer visitors a look into weapons of the past. Programs will include historic weapons demonstrations of the many types of muskets and cannon that were used in the defense of historic St. Johns Bluff. Note: There will be other happenings at Fort Caroline this day. (?) NPS to provide details.

* Note: JaxParks… Get out there! will promote the Clean It Up/Green It Up St. Johns River celebration on March 18th, 2006 as a way to encourage stewardship of our parks and giving back to the community.


Sunday, March 5th through Sunday, March 12th: “An Island on the Edge” will be presented by the National Park Service Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve staff.
• Times: These programs will be conducted daily at 2:00pm.
• Location: Kingsley Plantation grounds, 11676 Palmetto Ave., Jacksonville, FL, 32226, 904-251-3537. The Plantation is reached by turning off Heckscher Dr. ½ mile north of the St. Johns River Ferry Landing onto Ft. George Rd.
• Program description: Fort George Island was caught between the struggles of the world’s super powers for over 300 years. A cultural crossroad, Park Rangers will look at the importance of Fort George Island and the events leading up to the plantation period and beyond. Rangers will discuss the intriguing relationship between Zephaniah and Anna Kingsley and how an ever changing political climate drastically impacted their lives and those they enslaved. A look at Zephaniah Kingsley’s controversial views on race and society will offer insight into a poorly understood period of Florida history. Rangers will discuss the daily life of slaves on a Sea Island, the crops they grew, and the rich culture that emerged. The ranger will tell tales of the two private clubs on Fort George Island and the recreational dreams following the Civil War.

* Note: Potential Division of Forestry program on Monday, March 6th at Cary State Forest/ Monticello. Would be a by invitation only event celebrating recent acquisitions.

Monday, March 6th:
“Nature Crafts: Starter Flower and Press” will be presented by Lesley Royce, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 10–11:30 a.m. OR 1-2:30 p.m.
• Location: Westside Regional Park Nature Center, 7000 Roosevelt Blvd.
• Program Description: Spring into the season by creating your own flower press. Learn how you can be creative using flowers and plants! We will provide supplies and you need to bring your imagination! Registration required. Please call 904-573-2498 for more information or to register.

Monday, March 6th:
“Trail Walk and Talk” will be presented by Jean Schubert, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 10:00-11:00 a.m.
• Location: Sal Taylor Creek Preserve, Nathan Hale Road
• Program Description: Join us for a morning walk at this timberland site. Dress appropriate for the weather, wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes, use insect repellent; bring water and binoculars if you have them. This program is not appropriate for small children. Please be aware that there are NO restrooms, picnic tables or other facilities, nor running water at this location. Registration required. Please call 904-630-3577 for more information or to register.

Monday, March 6th through Friday, March 10th:
“Take a Test Drive of our Programs” will be presented by Recreation Activities staff with the City of Jacksonville.
• Times: TBA. These will be regularly scheduled classes.
• Locations: TBA
• Program Description: Citizens will be encouraged to try a free session of the following specialty classes. Registration required? For more information, please call 630-3570 (?).
 Yoga
 Kick-boxing
 Aerobics
 Taekwondo
 Art/Pottery

Monday, March 6th through Saturday, March 11th:
“Clash of Cultures” will be presented by the National Park Service Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve staff.
• Times: 10:00-10:45 a.m., 1:00-1:45 p.m., 3:00-3:45 p.m.
• Location: the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center at Fort Caroline National Memorial; 12713 Ft. Caroline Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225, 904-641-7155.
• Program description: Timucuan Preserve staff will present daily 45-minute programs about the clash of cultures of the Timucua, French, and Spanish. These programs will be conducted at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00 pm daily. Showings of the History Channel’s “Conquest of America” featuring the Fort Caroline saga will be presented daily at 11:00am and 2:00pm.

Tuesday, March 7th:
“Wee Workshop: Searching for Signs of Spring” will be presented by Lesley Royce, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
• Location: Camp Tomahawk Park, 8419 San Ardo Rd.
• Program Description: Calling all wee nature explorers (7 years and under) and their adult companions to join in on a search for signs of spring. We will look for buds on trees, new leaves, spring wildflowers, and signs of spring animal activity. Registration required. Please call 904-573-2498 for more information or to register.

Tuesday, March 7th:
“Florida’s Living Symbols” will be presented by Jean Schubert, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.
• Location: Cuba Hunter Park, 3620 Bedford Road
• Program Description: Are you new to the state or a long time resident? Whichever you are, here’s your chance to learn more about our state bird, butterfly, reptile, fish and mammals with this program during the anniversary month of Florida’s statehood. This program is for ALL ages. Registration required. Please call 904-630-3577 for more information or to register.

Tuesday, March 7th:
“Outdoor Observations” will be presented by Jean Schubert, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m.
• Location: Cuba Hunter Park, 3620 Bedford Road
• Program Description: See what’s happening in the wild here in Northeast Florida from the vantage point of an elevated boardwalk in a wetlands ecosystem. Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes, use insect repellent and bring binoculars if you have them. We will meet at the gazebo in the playground. This program is for ALL ages. Registration required. Please call 904-630-3577 for more information or to register.

Wednesday, March 8th:
“Florida’s Living Symbols” will be presented by Jean Schubert, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
• Location: Castaway Island Preserve, 2885 San Pablo Road South
• Program Description: Are you new to the state or a long time resident? Whichever you are, here’s your chance to learn more about our state bird, butterfly, reptile, fish and mammals with this program, during the anniversary month of Florida’s statehood. This program is for ALL ages. Registration required. Please call 904-630-3577 for more information or to register.

Thursday, March 9th:
“Eagle Watch” will be presented by Lesley Royce, Parks Naturalist with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
• Location: Ringhaver Park / Ortega Stream Valley Preserve, 5198-118th Street
• Program Description: Learn about eagle biology and reproduction while we walk out to our resident eagles’ nest. While we talk about eagle nesting behavior, you can help us determine how many chicks are in this year’s nest. Bring binoculars if you have them, and we will have a spotting scope set up to provide a close-up view of the nest. We will meet across from the playscape area by the softball field. Registration required. For more information or to register, please call 904-573-2498.

Saturday, March 11th:
“Guided Nature Hike into Fire Adapted Ecosystems” will be presented by Tim Davis, Environmental Specialist, Florida Park Service.
• Time: 2:00 PM. Approximately 1 hour in duration.
• Location: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
• Program Description: Discover the exciting natural communities that are adapted to fire, while leisurely traversing the trails of Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. Explore the plants and animals that thrive in a fire maintained landscape. Please bring comfortable walking shoes, water, bug repellent, and sunscreen. Registration required. Please call the Ranger Station 904-251-2320 for more information or to register.

Saturday, March 11th: Kids Kampus Survivor!
• Presented by: Recreation Activities staff with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
• Location: Kids Kampus at Metropolitan Park, 1410 Gator Blvd.
• Program Description: Following the Gate River Run, families will be encouraged to bring their small children (under age 12) to Kids Kampus to participate in obstacle courses and other age-appropriate fun competitions. Please call 904-630-5437 for more information. Registration required? First-come first-serve? Should this be an education/recreation program rather than a family fun day?

Saturday, March 11th: Take Me to the River!• Presented by: Downtown Vision with the City of Jacksonville.
• Time: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
• Location: Nothbank Riverwalk Park
• Program Description: Following the Gate River Run, Downtown Vision will bring back their City Market Saturday with fresh flowers, live music, local art and entertainment, crafts, and fresh produce.
• Come see the urban park other city’s can only dream about!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Update on columnist critique

I forgot to mention that I think the TU has done a great job of publishing much more balanced letters to the editor. I know they've always come in, and it seems like they've really made an effort to print a broad spectrum lately. IMO. You can stop emailing me about how much better the TU is than it used to be.

Same subject: I also forgot to say that I REALLY like Mike Freeman. He is like how I want to be in 2006, NO BS. Say what you mean and report what you see! His show on 930 in the afternoons is much needed in the city as is his columns (even when he makes sweet love to the gotors)

And Yes, I know about that, you energy sucker. Rearview mirror and fortuitous for us. I'm glad he is here. Big ups. I can't wait to meet Mike. Vrabel still rules.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


In your face, Flanders!

No complaints from couple

Columnist Ron Littlepage, once again, went out of his way to find something to complain about.

This time it was about a slight inconvenience in travel. Let me share several of my experiences on the Skyway.

My husband and I live on the Southside, not far from downtown. On two occasions, we decided to take advantage of free events happening at The Jacksonville Landing.

Not sure if there would be an issue with parking, we chose instead to park at the Kings Avenue Station and take the Skyway to the festivities.

It cost us nothing to park there. For 35 cents each, we jumped on the train, stopped twice and traveled over the river.

On both days, the weather was beautiful, that kind of late fall/early winter weather we have in North Florida, where the air is cool and the sky a bright blue.

We smiled as we saw the boats shimmering on the river, with the clouds and buildings reflected in the still water.

On both those days, we found no flaw in the design of the Skyway. We knew where we were going, where the Skyway would stop and how far we would have to walk to reach our destination.

If the Skyway were meant to service the upper Riverside corridor, as Littlepage seems to suggest, even astute readers would know that a station would need to be built between the Central and Jefferson stops.

A new Skyway line would then need to be constructed down Riverside to perhaps the Blue Cross and Blue Shield building or maybe even the Cummer Museum.

But if that expense proves more than the city budget can handle at this time, some astute readers might suggest that Littlepage take a cab back from the School Board workshop to his office. Then, he could think of something else to opine about.

KAREN GARDNER, Jacksonville

Also see a good discussion of this at Metro Jax

Monday, January 23, 2006

Photography by Sarah G

Sarah G is a commercial photographer who has left a catalog of BG pics on my network. She is available for assignments.

A column on columnists

reminder: this blog is about my opinions only.

Ryan Geddes, Greg Richards, Ivette Yee, etc..The Times Union loses every decent journalist they get. This probably has more to do with being in a middle market than how they run their business. (insert RANT/RAVE here!- whats up with that section?). The madatory sign-in is sweet too. Jeez. Mandatory registration: The last resort of a scoundrel.

I want to rant, believe me, but on my terms, pal, and not in front of the entire southside-call-center-tgi-fridays-reviewing population which an outsider might think is a snapshot (shiver) of us all. Can you believe the new mall?

Ok, I might be getting into troubld here so, if anyone is reading this from the TU, GET BACK TO WORK!

I digress.

The good news is that the editorial board and columnists have steadily improved over my time here in our fair city. Mark Woods is flat out good and brings a much needed reminder of our quality of life each week. He'll probably be here for a while.

Tonya Weathersbee is courageous for her takes and speaks about things that most Duvalians consider unspeakable. Here is an interesting take in an article about an article Tonya wrote.

If you're not into Tonya's politics thats fine, but I think, there is a lot left on the table in terms of Jacksonville waking up and seeing its segregation. Race relations is day to day not by committees and summits, in my humble opinion. Her voice is pretty lonely in the scheme of things around here. I'm glad the TU keeps her around. I like Charlie Patton and Matt Sorgel too.

The great SUV drivin', deer killin' contrarion Ron Littlepage is sometimes interesting (and good for the river) but mostly just likes to raise hell. His latest rant about the skyway is retarded. I'm not even linking to it. He bashes it for being short and useless and not convenient to what he was doing that day. Well Ronny, we all know its short, and lots of people have to ride it everyday to low paying jobs that frankly, if the skyway weren't there, they might not have. So thanks for the anti skyway commercial. Is there anybody out there that doesn't think it would be better if it went to more places? All it would take is a lot of Federal dollars, and that would come ONLY with support. You're Tony Kornheiser, man, and you must realize it. Come downtown sometime and I'll buy you a burrito. We'll talk about re-opening, errr cleaning up McCoys Creek. I think your a good guy for sure though.

The BEST reason to sign up to read free information over at the TU though is clearly Jeff Vrabel. He's the music critic and a damn good one. He's no pushover. Just ask Good Charlotte

Anyway, these are my takes on my stupid little blog. See you out in the real world, where it really counts.

Special Invite, tour Springfield

Readers of my blog are welcome to come along. The reception should be fresh. Please rsvp to


Community Tour Itinerary

Date January 25, 2005

Special Guests Terry Lorince, Executive Director

Downtown Vision Inc.

DVI Board of Directors & Staff

Bill & Barbara Cesery, Cesery Companies

Hosted by Mack D. Bissette CEO/President

SRG Homes & Neighborhoods. LLC

Ingar Brunnett on behalf of SRG Homes

SRG Homes & Neighborhoods hosts a community tour with guests Terry Lorince of Downtown Vision Inc., DVI Board of Directors & Staff, and Cesery Companies to introduce the current and future developments in Downtown Historic Springfield.

*Projected Itinerary:

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Begin at SRG model home at 1434 Market Street, between 4th and 5th Streets

Overview of success stories and challenges for SRG Homes
and Historic Springfield

Current and projected developments: presented by SRG & Cesery Companies
Open exchange

3:30 pm to 4:50 pm

Walking and Driving Tour
Ingar’s cell phone 254 - 4143

STOP & WALK - Begin at 1434 Market Street – walk towards 1st Street

- Drive towards Market & 9th Street

- Drive through Main Street: Henrietta’s (9th and Main), Springfield Emporium, SPAR office, Lofts on Main

STOP & WALK - Hoyt Terrace (35 W. 5th Street)

STOP & WALK - Meeks, Ross, Paulk and Associates (1354 N. Laura St. & 4th)

Drive by Symphony Showhouses (Silver St. & W. 4th)
Drive by Job Corps Building (Silver St. & W. 3rd)
STOP & WALK - Klutho Park/Hogan’s Creek (Silver St. & E. 1st)

STOP & WALK - Draper Studios and SEESAW Space

at 8th and Pearl Streets (park on Pearl)

- 11th and Silver (Symbiosis Town Homes)

- Shands Jacksonville campus

5:00 pm

(Summit begins 5:15 pm) - mactruQue’s studio lofts at the archives

Springfield Summit 1951 Market Street on the corner of 10th Street

and Reception

Additional information about Historic Springfield

SRG homes

Urban Jacksonville

spar council

The New Springfield

1951 Market

*In the course of the tour, the schedule may change.

The IN crowd.

I typed in the title before I opened the picture.

So anyway, this is a good opportunity to see Mark's before its a mob/mod scene. Its free to get in. A rarity on Bay Street. And the djs are great, plus they have open decks. Inclusivity my friend, inclusivity.

Friday, January 20, 2006

MARCH 11 - Mark Calendars

We're bringing back "Take Me to the River" on March 11 as part of JaxParks...Get out there!

I am writing my consulting site currently and found this about that:

Downtown on the St. Johns

Deep History:

The St. Johns river has been the heart of the area long before our city was founded. The Timucuan city of Ossachite, positioned between McCoys and Hogans Creek, was a thriving village 1000 years ago up to about 300 years ago. Ossachite utilized the river and creeks for food and transportation and featured a grid of roads providing access to the Indians through perpendiculars, much like downtown today.
More info for background at,%20Ossachite.htm


The principles of a grid that provides access to the river through perpendiculars exists today in Downtown Jacksonville. While nearly 70 of our parks provide access to the St. Johns and its tributaries, one of the best suited for access by a critical mass of citizenry is the newly opened Northbank Riverfront Park. With breathtaking views of the river and the city’s evolving skyline the “riverwalk” is rapidly becoming a destination in and of itself. Downtown Vision’s Ambassadors now estimate between 100 and 300 citizens per hour on the riverwalk and many more for programmed events such as “Take Me to the River”
The stated goal of our “Take Me the River” campaign is to highlight these perpendiculars on each Saturday this summer by programming on two of our best access points, Hogan and Pearl St. On Saturdays, all summer long, the Northbank Riverfront Park is transformed in to City Market Saturdays which features local produce, specialty breads, flowers, arts, delicacies, and local wares. The soundtrack for “Take Me to the River” is local and regional musicians, and lots of jazz records, providing an urban oasis for residents and visitors alike. By having “Take Me to the River” on Saturdays we’ve eliminated a lot of barriers to coming downtown. Its easier to park and there is overall less traffic making unfamiliar one way streets more navigable.

Despite triple digit temperatures and the finicky summer weather (tropical!) throngs of people support this “rain or shine” community event by simply showing up, shopping, and leaping from the event to other downtown activities.

Related to Access and Development:
The city is implementing more detailed design standards and design related procedures for riverfront development.
The city is expanding or planning the expansion of the riverwalk in every direction on both banks.
The city is planning a permanent Artist Market under the Fuller Warren Bridge on the Northbank Riverwalk.


If you are over 30 and have skills as a goal keeper (soccer), please let me know. Games are Sunday mornings. The club rarely has openings. Here is your chance.


Long Live the King

I just returned from the Martin Luther King breakfast energized. Don't ask me why it was on the 20th. I feel like it was a good tribute event. Anthony Jones was the keynote speaker. He was good but the show stealer was Christian Outler, a young middle school honor student who memorized "I have a dream" and belted it out to the 2000 in attendence.

I can't believe the footage of the civil rights movement. The fire hoses, the dogs, the beat downs. That was just like 5 years before I was born. I mean, African Americans couldn't even vote in the 60's. Thats f-ed up.

As a tribute, I'm posting Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. If you've never read it, you might find it interesting. (We did not read it at Gulf Breeze High School as I recall). Anyway, be a misfit. Do whats right.

April 16, 1963
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

------- *AUTHOR'S NOTE: This response to a published statement by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama (Bishop C. C. J. Carpenter, Bishop Joseph A. Durick, Rabbi Hilton L. Grafman, Bishop Paul Hardin, Bishop Holan B. Harmon, the Reverend George M. Murray. the Reverend Edward V. Ramage and the Reverend Earl Stallings) was composed under somewhat constricting circumstance. Begun on the margins of the newspaper in which the statement appeared while I was in jail, the letter was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly Negro trusty, and concluded on a pad my attorneys were eventually permitted to. leave me. Although the text remains in substance unaltered, I have indulged in the author's prerogative of polishing it for publication. -------

I think I should indicate why I am here In Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I. compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place In Brimingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self- purification; and direct action. We have gone through an these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro .leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants --- for example, to remove the stores humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttles worth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained.

As in so many past experiences, our hopes bad been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self-purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves : "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct-action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic with with-drawl program would be the by-product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoralty election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run-oat we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run-off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct-action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved South land been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken .in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor. will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

We have waited .for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God- given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six- year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you no forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness" then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may won ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the Brat to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all"

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal .law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I- it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression 'of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.

Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to ace the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's anti religious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "An Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this 'hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to 6e solid rock of human dignity.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At fist I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self-respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best- known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do-nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle.

If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble-rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black- nationalist ideologies a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or. unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides-and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist.

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that an men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we viii be. We be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jeans Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some-such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle---have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation.

Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a non segregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative .critics who can always find. something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who 'has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of Rio shall lengthen.

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leader era; an too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious. irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, on Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious-education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Walleye gave a clarion call for defiance and .hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? l am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great- grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators"' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide. and gladiatorial contests.

Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Par from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it vi lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom, They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jai with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.

I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham, ham and all over the nation, because the goal of America k freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation-and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.

Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if .you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

It is true that the police have exercised a .degree of discipline in handing the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."

I wish you had commended the Negro sit-inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face Jeering, and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy-two-year-old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My fleets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They viii be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he k alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us. all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Are we being Vancouverized?

I read this article about the growth of Vancouver, San Diego, and the rest of us who are building in the urban core. Straight up. It got me thinking. Maybe traffic is our pressure inward. Fuel consumption aside(I don't think we mind spending money on gas).

It's the time. It simply takes too long to get from Ponte Vedra or Jax Beaches into your downtown office. As Jacksonville begins to improve on walkable, livable, and emerging communities we'll see a big interest in in-city living that I think we are rather well suited for.

Monday, January 16, 2006


I was telling a friend about my day Thursday which included giving a speech and my wife giving birth and my friend asked what my speech was about and I said the "state of the arts in Jacksonville". You should check into this group (where I gave the speech) and join the discussion if you have ideas or questions or both. Anyway, I said I left a handout about how we started the Art Walk and he said he'd like a copy. So here it goes below:

Downtown Jacksonville’s First Wednesday Art Walk
A Primer by Antonio Allegretti

Disclaimer: This was written at the beginning of 2005. Art Walk specifics and other information may have changed since this was written.

The first Wednesday Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville was first proposed late 2002 by local artists and arts advocates and spearheaded by Downtown Vision, Inc. Downtown Vision’s 100 Windows of Art program, a precursor to the Art Walk, grew so rapidly and had such a positive response, arts programming became a focus to introduce and re-introduce the citizenry to the Business Improvement District. The 100 Windows of Art program relied on clear, vacant, street-facing, installable, windows to showcase local art. The ongoing revitalization of Downtown soon soaked up many windows and the program lives on in only a few suitable strolling galleries. No less than 80 of the initial windows have seen dramatic transactions, either through the sale of the buildings or lease up. The Art Walk soon took over as Downtown Vision’s Arts programming focus.

A fact-finding mission was completed in December of 2002 reviewing Seattle’s First Thursday Art Walks. These Art Walks have more than 20 years of history and the basic infrastructure helped build the base for what would become Jacksonville’s First Wednesday Art Walk.

Things that worked in Seattle have worked here. For example, art is everywhere. In Pioneer Square, the cornerstone of the Seattle walk, art is on the benches, on the sidewalk, in the trees. Much is the same here, on the sidewalks, in Hemming Plaza and at the Jacksonville Landing, where our Farmer’s Market and Community Art Bazaar reside respectively. Drum circles beat in Seattle just as they do here in Jacksonville, giving the walk a pulse and contributing to the soundtrack. Bands play on the curb, lights flicker on the water, and people stroll our downtown just as they do in many art-forward cities around the country.

Everything is a gallery. Certainly Seattle has more galleries and even gallery districts, but the lofts, the offices, and all of the retailers feature art and open doors on Art Walk night. This was important to the foundation of our Art Walk. When we started the walk we had only our Modern (JMOMA) and a gallery on the second level of Modis building (Gallery L) as true galleries. It was important for us to make art venues in non-gallery spaces. Restaurants and pubs, lofts and retirement homes, office buildings and banks, churches and even tunnels, all have been filled with local art through our Art Walk.
What started as eight venues has grown into consistently more than thirty venues with even more on the horizon. With attendance growing each month by an estimated 20%, we’ve seen crowds of more than 7,500. Weather has played a particular villainous role on our Art Walk but has proven more bark than bite. Even on terribly rainy or cold (or both) days, the Art Walk brings a large, energetic, and interested crowd. Much can be made of attendance numbers, and to individual venues they are important, but the conversations, the tapas, the wine, the experiences, of our walkers are the real value of the walk, not the clicker at the turnstile.

If you have to have a quantitative analysis the best numbers from the walk came from our Marketing Plan. Our Marketing Plan is a comprehensive coordination of sponsored and purchased impressions. We estimate our total reach from our Marketing Plan is nearly 2,000,000 impressions per month. This includes print ads in Folio Weekly, Entertaining U, Downtown This Week, on air with 260 spots per month on WJCT (National Public Radio), Nightly mention on Electro Lounge’s (89.9) Art & Events Calendar, our PBS self-produced television program Downtown Now, Daily Billboards, and our web page which receives more than 1,000,000 hits per month. Flyer distribution (10,000+ per month) and “word of mouth” remains the cornerstone for our marketing strategy. Our flyers go to art departments of local high schools, each of the borough’s shopping districts, key visitor kiosks, local hotels, and en masse to the Downtown workforce.

In addition to our Marketing Plan the Art Walk has been featured and mentioned in many publications and broadcasts. First Coast News has broadcast live twice from Art Walk venues, Channel 4 has monthly Art Walk weather updates, through our official Art Walk Meteorologist Richard Nunn. The Florida Times Union has written multiple stories about the walk and about venues and artists featured on the walk. Our venues and artists, in turn, mention the walk in stories about them. The Art Walk has also been featured in Skirt Magazine, Jacksonville Magazine, Arbus, Florida International Magazine, and The Daily Record. The strength of our Public Relations relies on each venue’s commitment to enhancing one’s experience Downtown while on the Art Walk. Each venue then acts as a PR coordinator expressing their gallery and exposing their artists.

Our Art Walk utilizes several street teams to disseminate our flyers/passports. One team focuses on clubs and pubs, one on office workers, one on schools, and one on retailers Downtown and in the surrounding boroughs. Downtown Vision also has its own street team, the Downtown Ambassadors. Ambassadors are crucial to keeping Downtown clean and safe and also are a huge part of Art Walk story-telling. Besides their normal duties of umbrella assists and directions, they serve as flyer distribution, clean-up crew, live-action trolley stops, and a networked communications team vital to a smooth walk. And they serve Downtown all the time, not just Art Walks. More information on the Ambassadors award-winning program can be found at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the First Wednesday Art Walk Downtown? The Art Walk is a monthly promotion sponsored by Downtown Vision and patron companies to invigorate the streets of the center of the city. Local artists showcase our regional talents in painting, photography, sculpture, music, poetry, dance, and almost anything creative. The backdrop is Downtown Jacksonville’s unique historic architecture, well situated grid system of streets, and of course our beautiful St. Johns River. As many as 34 venues have been on the monthly Art Walk and each is unique. There is no set agenda for visiting the venues, we encourage a “start anywhere” and “go anywhere” approach. We also utilize creative incentives to compel folks to visit multiple venues. Once a walker has visited 10 or more venues and returns to Headquarters, they will receive a free gift. The gifts are as creative as the program. We’ve given away Downtown Sounds, a cd co-produced with Water Music (Los Angeles), providing a soundtrack to your downtown expeditions, Downtown Ground, freshly ground gourmet coffee sponsored by Downtown’s Martin Coffee Co., and Vintage Jazz Fest Posters, provided by WJCT, our local NPR and PBS stations to name a few.

Why the First Wednesday? Originally we thought that trying this event on a Friday or Saturday would be too competitive with other events. At the time there were very few people coming Downtown during the weekends. There was no precedent for an event like this. When asked on the day of the first Art Walk (by the board of DVI) how many people would come out, I had to guess. I said 250. We have never had a walk (even in hurricane-ish weather with less than 1000 walkers). We needed a week night were we could compel the 60,000 plus employees to come out after five and enjoy some local art and flavor. Thursday was out because the JMOMA was closed on Thursday nights. A large number of folks attend church on Wednesday which by most accounts is our biggest attendance drawback for having the walk on this night. Going forward, patrons, artists, and venues alike are interested in changing to a weekend night to increase the universe of people who can attend. It is simply more difficult to get folks out on a school or work night. The early consensus favors Friday. Worth noting here is that the Art Walk does not close streets down, import portable restrooms, or otherwise make an “event” out of the walk, making any night a prospect. The real value of downtown and a street-front experience is seeing it for what it really is Monday through Friday and on the weekends. The City of Jacksonville does a most excellent job of throwing events, parties, concerts, and fests. The Art Walk should be thought of as a promotion not an event. I think of it as a monthly symphony of private downtown businesses, artists, and patrons.
How does a space Downtown become a Venue? A lot of important infrastructure decisions had to be made to answer this question. The Art Walk itself is limited to the Business Improvement District (the 90 blocks Downtown Vision is charged with advocating and improving). After Parties and associations may be made outside of the BID but the participating venues are (with few non-profit exceptions by trolley) all within the core. A venue must have accessible restrooms and insurance. Each venue is responsible for whatever happens in their venue much the same as any other night or day. Downtown Vision and the Art Walk cannot claim victory for excellent experiences nor defeat for lousy experiences. The beauty of Downtown and the Art Walk is that it is what it is. We are constantly working with managers/curators to represent their venue accurately so that expectations meet realty when a patron visits a venue. Each venue provides its own experience, supplying DVI with info about their space, curating the installation of art, coordinating music, beverages, and food if they wish. Our job is to promote what they are doing (through info provided by the venue) and relay that info to encourage visits to each venue. On occasion we will consult and refer artists to help a venue with their experience, but the experience is usually best left in the hands of the people responsible for the space. Which brings us to one of the most important maxims of the Art Walk: We do not recruit venues, they come to us. This is easily the best qualifier on interest and earnestness.

How do artists become involved in the Art Walk? The short answer is to walk the walk. Find a place that fits your art and try to speak with the person responsible for that venue. I think artists find that most of the venues are more than willing to speak with them and review portfolios. We have also started monthly meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month as mixers for artists to meet each other and venues and discuss projects and walks. One of the missions of the First Wednesday Art Walk is to provide exposure for any local artist. We do this through our “drop in” gallery, the Community Art Bazaar.

What is the Community Art Bazaar? The Community Art Bazaar is in keeping with our mission to provide exposure to any local artist through the Art Walk. This space is usually in the Jacksonville Landing, either outside or inside depending on the season (for lighting) and the weather. Artists simply “drop in” on the day of the walk an hour before it starts (4pm). Artists set up their work using available tables and their own easels. We do not ask for registration or reservation. Meaning if you can’t or don’t make it, you don’t feel guilty about missing the show. It is up to you if you want to come or not. We always have a mix of new and recurring artists at the CAB, making each walk special. For some artists it is very difficult to show work for the first time. The CAB strives to be open, accessible, and not daunting. We also charge no commission, meaning, if any art is sold that transaction is the completely between that artist and patron. The Community Art Bazaar has been an invaluable part of the Art Walk. More than 150 artists have shown their work for the first time and dozens have sold work for the first time at the CAB. One crazy night, every artist sold something. In addition to the artists showcasing their work, we invite local non-profits to have a presence at the Community Art Bazaar. Many orgs use the CAB as an additional outreach venue. Much thanks goes to the Jacksonville Landing for hosting this important venue.

Why did we go with slick, edgy art direction for a promotion that seems so grassroots? We needed to compel folks to come Downtown. Downtowns are thought of as creativity centers. We think our ever-changing art direction helps encourage folks to experience the walk and come downtown in general.

What non-profit and civic organizations are or have been involved with the Art Walk? Here is a partial list. Remember, all non-profits and civic orgs are invited to set up a presence at the Community Art Bazaar.

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum
Riverside Avondale Preservation
The Jacksonville Film Festival
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Cummer Café Nights
Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art
JCCI Forward
Cathedral Residences
First Presbyterian Church
Jacksonville Public Library
Jacksonville Transit Authority
Karpeles Manuscript Museum
Brooklyn Arts & Design Center
Art With a Heart
Community Hospice with Cummer Art & Gardens
Springfield Preservation & Revitalization Council
First Coast MPO
Café Muse & Studios
Improv Jacksonville
First Coast Reads
Otis Smith Foundation
Six After Five
The Nature Conservancy
The Florida Theatre
American Ballet Theatre

In conclusion, the Art Walk has been a resounding success. We estimate the economic impact of the Art Walk for the 2004 calendar year at approximately $360,000. Of course the goodwill and transactions live on in tenant lease-up of retail and residential properties Downtown along with the adoption of Downtown as a destination to those who have been introduced and re-introduced to our city’s vibrant, diverse, and emerging urban core.