Beyond Parkland

A inter-generational meeting took place at the Galimore Center in St Augustine. The topic was about guns, violence, mental health and schools. Also what measures has St Johns County Schools taken since the incident in Parkland a year ago. See highlights,

Folio’s Best of St Augustine

Last month, when we announced Folio Weekly’s Best of Saint Augustine, our expectations were modest. After all, although we’re old hands at Best of Jax (with 17 annual readers’ polls under our belts), this was our very first St. Augustine-centric poll. But you, readers of influence, made it an affair to remember. A whopping 73,688 votes were cast across 250 categories, from Best Auto Body Shop to Best Urgent Care Clinic, from Best Art Gallery to Best Wine Bar. That, folks, is the same can-do spirit that forged the Ancient City four-and-a-half centuries ago—and rebuilt it time and again after each dastardly pirate raid. The results are in and, without further ado, this is the Best of Saint Augustine 2019. First Coast.TV got a chance to check out the party.

Vilano and Two Hotels

Vilano has a lot things there and a lot of things coming its way, among the things coming its way are two hotels. A Hyatt and a Holiday Express.

Both buildings will be along Vilano Road, right across the street from one another. Facing the north will stand a three-story Florida vernacular-style Holiday Inn Express with 50 rooms. Facing south will be an art deco-style Hyatt Place hotel with 121 rooms, underground parking and a rooftop bar.

The developer, Farid Ashdji, calls the area one of the “best kept secrets in Florida.” He originally bought one of the properties in 1990 for the location and laid-back beach environment. Watch the video as the town breaks ground, celebrates and gets ready.

Democrats Talk About Second Chances

The St Johns Democratic Party Holiday Lunch was held at the Milano Room at Amici’s in St Augustine. The full attendance event had several speakers under the theme of “Second Chances and Moving Forward Voting and Other Opportunities for Ex-Felons”.
The speakers were Nancy O’Byrne (Compassion in Action), Gary Farris (Second Chances Voter Registration), Tom Cushman (Criminal Defense Attorney) and Emmett Tatter (Former Felon). The information given was a real eye opener on the things that need to change in the system.

Cities for Life 2018

Cities for Life is observed on November 30th each year.  It is a worldwide movement to abolish the death penalty.  It began in Italy with the Community of Sant’ Egidio.  The Community’s Cornerstones are the Gospel, Friendship & Service to the Poor and a Commitment to Justice.  The Community of Sant’ Egidio was successful in abolishing the death penalty in Italy and have since been involved in efforts to end the death penalty in other countries.  Each year on November 30th, about 2, 000 cities in more than 80 countries celebrate the International Day of Cities for Life.  Most churches that take part do so by turning on all their lights and ringing the church bells at 7:30 pm.  Some parishes will have a holy hour or prayer service to coincide with the lights and ringing the bells. Here in St Augustine it was held The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios on 102 San Marco Ave at 6:30pm.

The aim is also to make use of symbolic monuments and squares to hold educational and artistic events aimed at raising public awareness. All cities taking part in the initiative make their major monuments available as “living logos”, which “speak” with the help of special illuminations, thus becoming symbols of a commitment to hold a dialogue with the population aimed at achieving a world without the death penalty.

Night Market at St Augustine Amphitheater & ROWITA

First Coast.TV went wandering through the Night Market at St Augustine Amphitheater, checking it out, now that it has become so popular. We also ran into an interesting ROWITA fundraiser.

“Vote! St Johns County” Music Dance Video

This music video is a bipartisan effort to get the vote out in St Johns County. We want to thank the dancers and the “West St Augustine Groove Elite Stars” dancers and their director & coach Felicia Verdell. Lovely cameos by Nancy Shaver, John Reardon, Alexius Fergunson, Diane Scheriff, Marcy Baird, Joseph Naftzinger, and Alberto Colon. Coordination and support by Jeanette Jones, Felicia Proia, Pat & Joe Chiapetta. Thanks to Jorge Rivera and First Coast.TV for filming, editing and audio. Music by DJ Mazik “Kiki Do You Love Me”

Pecha Kucha / Volume 11

Pecha Kucha Night was back in the Nation’s Oldest City! As temperatures drop and the veil grows thin, people gathered to explore life’s Magic & Mystery on the Front Porch Stage of the St Augustine Amphitheatre. Everyone came for an evening of ideas and community amongst the trees this fall at the Amphitheatre. Talks began at 7pm.

Remember to Vote and Know Your Ballot

A message from the St Johns Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes about the oncoming election of November 6, 2018.

St Augustine Lighthouse 144 Years Later

An anniversary celebration took place on Saturday, October 13 from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. featuring Meet-the-Lighthouse-Keeper photos, a cake cutting at 2 P.M., games on the front lawn, and self-guided tours of the historic tower and Museum exhibits. The celebration will launch a year-long observation culminating with the 145th anniversary on October 15, 2019.