Prevention is a Game Changer for Kids

Prevention keeping St. Johns County kids out of prison was a lovely presentation to those who came to St Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Lincolnville. Presented by Compassion in Action, the guests were Jennifer Sartiano, Lt. Mike Strausbaugh and Loretta Robinson. They informed the public in attendance about the advantages of the Boys & Girls Club, statistics that show the incredible difference that an institution like the Boys & Girls Club makes in a community like ours.

Two Proclamations for 2017

City of St Augustine (COSA) started the year 2017 with two proclamations. The topics were trees and Jewish history. First Coast.TV got to speak to Rabbi Merrill Shapiro before the commission session started.

Vilano’s Dressing of the Palms

Vilano Beach’s Dressing of the Palms offers a unique kind of season decorative display over the holidays, from October 30 through December 31, 2016. The palm trees that line the streets of Vilano Beach’s Town Center are decorated by local artists in true St. Augustine style.

Local businesses and individuals adopted a tree for decorating beginning on October 30, 2016. The decorating period took place throughout November, and the trees remain decorated through the end of the year. Artists of all kinds — residents, schools, business groups and community organizations — can show off their artistic skills and imagination as they decorate the palms lining the main street of Vilano Beach.

21st Annual Christmas Caroling with Miss Carrie

21st Annual Christmas Caroling On the Red Train with Miss Carrie

Monday, December 19, 2016, Train Departed at 5pm

Ripley’s Red Train with Miss Carrie Johnson brought cheer and song to St. Augustine eldercare facilities. The train departed from the Willie Galimore Recreation Center, 399 Riberia Street, St. Augustine at 5pm on Monday, December 19, 2016. Stops included a caroling stroll through St. Joseph’s Convent, Bayview Nursing Home and Buckingham Smith Assisted Living. Along the way, carolers enjoyed the Christmas lights and spread cheer through the streets. The Red Train ride was free, Christmas songbooks were provided.

 Miss Carrie has been coordinating Christmas caroling to local nursing homes since 1995. “This year will be special because we sustained Hurricane Matthew,” said Miss Carrie. “There’s a lot to be thankful for.”

 This year alone 636 homeless students are enrolled in the St. Johns County School District. Any funds from this event would go to a $500 scholarship for a graduating homeless student in St. Johns County. Please consider donating to the fund so that more students can get help with school expenses and more college-bound high school seniors can receive the scholarship. “I would like for the citizens of St. Johns County to open their hearts to help our homeless children,” said Miss Carrie. 

Kareem’s Dream Cookies

Kareem is 12 years-old & attends middle school in St. Johns County. He recently participated in an Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration alongside Leah as two of the founding members of ‘The Interfaith League: Youth Inspiring Compassion and Diversity’, representing Islam and Judaism respectively. Truly touched by the outpouring of love and support he experienced after this event – especially after enduring increased ethnic/religious verbal attacks in school – Kareem’s Dream is to shower love upon others in his town…love in the form of cookies decorated in various interfaith symbols to be gifted to local churches, temples, mosques, and schools.  If you are blessed to get one of these cookies……Enjoy!

The Write People Return to Lincolnville

On December 11th, The Write People gathered at Lincolnville Museum to share some of their works and support the Lincolnville Museum. First Coast.TV was there to see what this talented bunch was up to.

Firsthand Reports from Dakota: “Reflections on DAPL”

On Monday evening, November 21, at 7 p.m.,  three local activists recently returned from  Standing Rock, North Dakota, recounted their on-site experiences and shared images of the  current crisis there. The program, which was held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship was free and open to the public.

For months the  human rights violations and  environmental  harm being done in the area of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have been all but suppressed by mainstream media. Despite this, a major international campaign has grown from the original grassroots movement. Last month committed Robin and Eddie Mahonen and Rev. Thomas Schmidt  of St. Augustine  traveled to the site to lend support for the movement and to  report back to our community on what they have witnessed with their own eyes. 

 The pipeline company  reports that the  project is continuing “full throttle” through sacred burial sites and that it intends to continue tunneling under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for 17 million people downstream.  Unarmed “water protectors” have met with a strong militarized police response. Petitions, letters, and actions were available for signing during a later reception.  

 For information, call Jo Anne Engelbert 904-460-1190.  Sponsored by Amnesty International, Compassionate St. Augustine,  and the UU Fellowship of St. Augustine. 

First Coast.TV Wishes You A Happy Thanksgiving

First Coast.TV and all its staff wishes all our viewers a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.

SOTA Awards Given

When someone buys or renews a “State-of-the-Arts” license plate in St. Johns County, they are supporting the State of the Arts (SOTA) Grant Program of the St Johns Cultural Council.  This year’s grantees represent a diverse range of cultural activities serving diverse populations. Young people at the St. Johns County Youth Academy are given an opportunity to take piano lessons.  At-risk students can learn art as an incentive to complete homework. Senior citizens can learn the art of storytelling.  And a church can offer after school enrichment programs by using professional artists to teach children. “These are small grants, up to $500, that have big impact.

To celebrate the grants that were awarded, the St. Johns Cultural Council hosted a reception on Monday, November 7, 2016, 5:30-6:30pm at the Crisp – Ellert Art Museum, Flagler College for the grant recipients and the community. This lively gathering was free and open to the public. 

Fall SOTA grants were given for the following cultural programs:

  • St. Augustine Community School of the Performing Arts
  • St. Augustine Ballet
  • Limelight Theatre
  • Florida Literary Arts Coalition
  •  Artist Cultural Education (ACE)/Nancy Christensen
  •  Compassionate St. Augustine
  •  Cyprian Center for Expressive Arts
  • St. Johns Technical High School
  • Switzerland Point Middle School
  • Southeast Branch Public Library


St Augustine Voted 9th in the USA

Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with St. Augustine, Florida, recognized among the Best Small Cities in the World. St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, is located in the northeast area of Florida, and placed 9 out of 15 in the category of Best Small Cities in the United States.

 “The readers of Condé Nast recognized St. Augustine for its 450 years of history as the oldest city in the country, and its stunning Spanish Colonial architecture,” said Richard Goldman, President/CEO of the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau. “The Castillo de San Marcos, Lightner Museum, and the destination’s pristine beaches also earned high marks.”

 In the category of Best Small Cities in the U.S. – those under 150,000 residents – St. Augustine ranked number 9 out of 15.

First Coast.TV sat down with Kathy Catron, Director of Communications for St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau to speak about this anouncement.