To reflect on the news of the day, Jacksonville Today seeks to include a diverse set of perspectives. These opinion columnists are independent contractors who are paid for their contributions and are not involved in news decisions.
Featured image for “Opinion: Silence is not assent”
November 30, 2022

Opinion: Silence is not assent

As a child I would sometimes get in trouble in school, and then again at home, for trying to express my point of view when I disagreed with something my teachers or parents did or said. To my insistent protestations I was rebuffed with standard parenting quips: “Stay in a child’s place” or “Stay out of grown folks’ business.” At

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Featured image for “Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws”
November 29, 2022

Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws

You may think your miniature Christmas Village is a quaint tribute to the building traditions of yesteryear. However, its walkable, mixed-use, architecturally diverse layout is a flagrant violation of modern zoning laws and an affront to the single-family development ascendancy. Christmas villages are popular seasonal displays in no small part because they have the qualities that make real neighborhoods and

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Featured image for “The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast”
November 22, 2022

The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast

Five decades before the Pilgrims celebrated their feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts, French and Spanish colonists held feasts of celebration on Florida’s First Coast. Origins of Thanksgiving Thanksgiving has its roots in European traditions. All across Europe, it was customary to give thanks to God after the yearly harvest and other important events. In the age of colonization, it became customary

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Featured image for “Opinion: The ‘resign to run’ trap”
November 20, 2022

Opinion: The ‘resign to run’ trap

I’ve written about politics in this town for many years and expressed my share of frustrations, including with candidates running for higher office while still an incumbent. The most glaring example of that obviously has been mayoral races, where a member of the City Council runs more often than not. When candidacy and incumbency converge, it raises questions about what

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Featured image for “Opinion: DeSantis and Trump’s ‘freedom’ isn’t free”
November 16, 2022

Opinion: DeSantis and Trump’s ‘freedom’ isn’t free

Freedom.  That’s the word that’s been slung like dice since campaigning began for the 2022 midterm elections. Entire narratives were built around the word to justify politically expedient policies that reopened counties, cities and classrooms from COVID-19 closures. Careers were made by silencing dissent, limiting choice, supporting revisionist history and amplifying bigotry, hatred, violence and harm toward difference — race,

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Featured image for “LaVilla’s Railroad Row in color”
November 15, 2022

LaVilla’s Railroad Row in color

Between 1890 and 1920, more than 20 million immigrants arrived in the United States. Many found Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood as a destination to pursue the American dream, as the district was home to the largest passenger railroad station south of Washington, D.C. Sandwiched between the city’s major railroad depots and the riverfront, West Bay Street emerged as a place where

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Featured image for “The last days of Adventure Landing”
November 8, 2022

The last days of Adventure Landing

For 27 years, Jacksonville Beach’s Adventure Landing has been one of the most popular attractions for kids and their families anywhere on the First Coast, but current plans for the property will shutter the park in the near future. The Jaxson’s Bill Delaney and photographer Erik Hamilton stopped by to take one last look. The adventure begins Adventure Landing came

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Featured image for “Opinion: What redistricting reveals about the Jacksonville City Council”
November 6, 2022

Opinion: What redistricting reveals about the Jacksonville City Council

Anyone from a dysfunctional family would have felt at home during Friday’s redistricting schmozz on the Jacksonville City Council.  Proving again that the personal is political, the 19-person elected body approached the court-mandated second swing at drawing equitable maps north and west of the river just as it did the first: They were determined to maintain the current power structure,

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Featured image for “Opinion: Are we irretrievably broken?”
November 2, 2022

Opinion: Are we irretrievably broken?

The attack ads this election cycle have been vicious. Opponents on both sides have been characterized as racist, dangerous, liars and just all out wrong. While the rhetoric may seem standard for the divisively gerrymandered country at all levels, I’m concerned with the deeper narratives such rhetoric supports.  As a writer, I know that words matter. They can be bent

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Featured image for “5 mid-century modern neighborhoods in Jax”
November 1, 2022

5 mid-century modern neighborhoods in Jax

Covering nearly 875 square miles, Jacksonville is a diverse community with a wide collection of neighborhoods appealing to different lifestyles. Located a short drive from the urban core are a ring of post-World War II neighborhoods characterized today by their mature developed landscape and American ranch and mid-century modern residential architecture. Here are five neighborhoods that developed rapidly on the

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