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: Mayor’s race should be about Jax, not parties”
October 31, 2022

Opinion: Mayor’s race should be about Jax, not parties

While the political world is hyper-focused on the midterm elections, the day after next Tuesday’s voting opens another chapter in local politics. Nov. 9 is the day the Jacksonville mayor’s race gets real.  The major players vying for the seat are Daniel Davis, Leanna Cumber, Donna Deegan, Audrey Gibson and Al Ferraro. Davis, the CEO of the Jax Chamber of

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Featured image for “Jax lore: Alpha Paynter, ghost of TacoLu”
October 25, 2022

Jax lore: Alpha Paynter, ghost of TacoLu

Before it was TacoLu, the iconic log cabin off Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach was home to the famed Homestead restaurant for 80 years. According to widespread local tradition, its founder Alpha Paynter never left even in death. In honor of spooky season, here’s a look at the history and folklore behind one of Northeast Florida’s best-known haunted buildings. A

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Featured image for “Opinion: Molly against the machine”
October 23, 2022

Opinion: Molly against the machine

Dozens of endorsements are flying, and most of them are of the “Well, it would be news if they didn’t endorse Candidate X” variety. Others are exceptions to the rule.  This cycle’s leading example: Jacksonville first lady Molly Curry’s backing of Democrat Lakesha Burton for Duval sheriff.  Burton has some traditionally Republican backers, and crossing party lines for endorsements is

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Featured image for “Opinion: Requesting relief for the people”
October 19, 2022

Opinion: Requesting relief for the people

I am one of the millions of people who submitted an application for student debt relief. I attended the Florida State University as an out-of-state student from 2004 to 2008. My mother paid cash for my first three semesters. My remaining time at FSU — including my summer in London, where I interned at NBC — was financed by student

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Featured image for “Jax lore: Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery”
October 18, 2022

Jax lore: Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery

Jacksonville’s historic spaces offer no shortage of secrets and local folklore, and Evergreen Cemetery, the city’s oldest active cemetery, is no exception. Here’s a look at the ghost stories attached to this venerable burial ground. Founded in 1880, Evergreen Cemetery is Jacksonville’s oldest cemetery still in operation. The 167-acre site is the final resting place of 14 Jacksonville mayors, five

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Featured image for “Opinion: Can the insurance crisis be fixed?”
October 16, 2022

Opinion: Can the insurance crisis be fixed?

As I said in my last column, Northeast Florida was very blessed in that it largely ducked the wrath of Hurricane Ian. I was very fortunate to have escaped any damage because, unbeknownst to me, I did not have homeowners insurance as the storm was taking its tour of destruction across the state. Florida’s insurance crisis has been widely reported:

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Featured image for “Downtown Jacksonville’s 10 largest office buildings”
October 11, 2022

Downtown Jacksonville’s 10 largest office buildings

Downtown Jacksonville is home to the region’s tallest buildings, featuring nearly 8 million square feet of commercial space and more than 2 million square feet of government buildings. An additional 539,000 square feet of office space is either under construction or nearing completion. Florida’s fourth-largest downtown office market behind Miami, Tampa and Orlando is also home to three Fortune 500

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Featured image for “Opinion: Will Crist’s empty bus hurt in North Florida?”
October 9, 2022

Opinion: Will Crist’s empty bus hurt in North Florida?

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist brought his “Together Florida Tour” to Northeast Florida last week. Sort of. The Crist campaign advised reporters Thursday that the “Crist Campaign’s tour bus (would) make stops in North Florida to collect supplies and basic necessities for Floridians in Southwest Florida who were hit hard by Hurricane Ian.” How did that go? Here’s how it

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Featured image for “Opinion: Focused on the future”
October 5, 2022

Opinion: Focused on the future

Tomorrow, Till will open in theaters (in a limited release) nationwide. Sixty-seven years after the gruesome murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi, the impact of his young life, cut down by racist, white supremacist vigilantes, will receive the big-screen treatment. The director, Nigerian-American filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu, has promised that her film does not dwell on the brutality of

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Featured image for “Jacksonville could become an oyster town again”
October 4, 2022

Jacksonville could become an oyster town again

Oysters have been a staple of First Coast diets for thousands of years, although local oyster harvesting ceased in 1994 due to pollution. The rise of new oyster houses in San Marco and the Downtown Southbank shows that interest in this savory bivalve delicacy hasn’t waned — could it help spark a long-awaited rebirth of the Jacksonville oyster industry? Oysters

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