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asonj23

Folio Weekly Cover Story

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Speaking of getting the couthouse and convention center rolling, has anyone seen the latest Folio? The cover is titled "I told you so". They are referring to their so called fortelling of the failure of the BJP. Did they have some sort of insight that construction costs would quadruple in 2 years time?

They also kept referring to the other administration's attempts at BJP type plans with tax hikes that were ultimately misguided. It seems to me that all of the funds collected fromt the half cent sales tax hike has been spend peoperly.

Has the BJP failed?

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It's been a success in my opinion...everything I wanted to see built has been. I don't care if they ever build the new courthouse. I'm sick of hearing Judges whine about all of the perks they think they need. I would much rather see some out-of-the-box thinking on how to semi-privatize it where it exists, incorporating greenery and retail/restaurant. That way those (incarcerated) attending court can still be shuttled there underground. Or move everything including the jail out of the riverside area entirely (maybe LaVilla or Brooklyn?) and take advantage of that prime real estate between downtown and the entertainment venues.

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I also think the plan has been a success, because it has improved the region's quality of life and image. Imo, if anyone has issues, those should focus on electing better people to represent you in the Mayor's Office and City Council.

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You have to remember, good news is NO news. If everything in the BJP had been completed on budget and on schedule, Folio would never have run a "Great Job, Jacksonville" story. The media, particularly alternative newspapers like Folio, are only interested in controversies and things that go wrong.

You can't spend 2.2 billion dollars on a huge multitude of projects running the gamut from preservation, highway construction, construction of huge civic buildings, septic tank remediation, environmental cleanup, etc and expect everything to go off without a hitch.

The fact of the matter is, most cities would never even attempt something as ambitious as the BJP. They have neither the broad tax base, the political will, or the vision to even attempt it. Because Jax had a consolidated government and a popular mayor that was willing to take a risk and spend some political capital, the BJP was enacted.

Personally, once the courthouse gets built and the mass transit ROW gets purchased, I would be fine cancelling the remaining projects. I never supported the highway construction aspect.

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I agree. Folio Weekly has a similar problem as Ron Littlepage. Their existence, their very purpose, is to be contrarians. Sure, when you also oppose something, you'll wind up agreeing with them by default. However, that never makes them seem more credible in my eyes. It's like being negative just for the sake of being negative.

As for the BJP ... can you imagine still having the old arena and ballpark? Only after seeing our new arena did I realize what a joke our city must have seemed like to out-of-towners who visited the old one! The new libraries have also been nice, so far.

I'll pick up a copy of Folio and read it, though. But I certainly hope they focus complaints where they belong - on the road projects. Every other project, cost overrun, and delay combined (even the eventual courthouse) is only a fraction of the roadwork costs.

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^^ Excellent post Captain. The Ballpark was the oldest in the entire league that the Suns play in. The SECOND oldest, (in Greenville BTW) was many years newer. It's replacement is under construction now.

The Arena was not only tiny and accoustically challenged, it looked like either a UFO spaceship or a water treatment plant. It was a sweet day when it was imploded.

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The BJP was one of the best things to happen to not only Downtown, but to the entire city. Did they actually expect it to go off without a hitch? There's always going to be issues and problems when a city is spending that much money on public projects.

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I agree with everyone's posts in that the BJP has been sucessful. The only thing that worries me would be misallocations of funds due to singular agendas requesting the money for items not originally on the docket. This plan has by far been the best ting to happen to Jacksonville and should be compared to previous administrations.

I can only hope that Peyton has some ideas to make up the negative balance and get these last few big projects finished. It appears that construction costs have leveled slightly and now could be a perfect time to reasses the situation to ensure the survival of a sucessful plan.

I agree. Folio Weekly has a similar problem as Ron Littlepage. Their existence, their very purpose, is to be contrarians. Sure, when you also oppose something, you'll wind up agreeing with them by default. However, that never makes them seem more credible in my eyes. It's like being negative just for the sake of being negative.

I just wish more of the people relied less on these people and made up their own damn minds. Nobody wants to do a little research to develop their own opinion so they just ride the coat tails of some controversial magazine or columnist.

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From Ron Littlepage's column today:

School officials took some heat earlier this month when a development group said it might back out of a deal to buy the old Southside Generating Station site from JEA for $40 million unless the School Board agrees to allow Prudential Drive to be extended through the School Board's adjacent property.

Baloney.

The School Board is eventually going to sell its riverfront administration building and the surrounding property.

Why should the School Board allow its property to be devalued by splitting it in half with a public road?

If the developer needs the road, how about buying the whole shooting match?

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._20026938.shtml

How can having multi-million dollar developments going up on both sides of your riverfront parcel, be a bad thing? Although its currently laid out that way, this site isn't the suburbs. Their property would actually increase in value by having a road serving over 2,000 residents splitting, what would become two significant pieces of property. Littlepage & the school board make no sense. Getting out of Jacksonville and traveling to some other "more urban" communities would do a lot of people good.

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This is yet another example of Littlepage being against a particular project and developer and being against the capitalist system in general. He has never really worked in business (this is quite obvious from his writings) so he has no clue what it takes to make money. I ask again, why is he still in Jacksonville??

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Getting out of Jacksonville and traveling to some other "more urban" communities would do a lot of people good.

He needs to travel somewhere else permanately!!

.... Just noticed your post Riverside. B)

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This is yet another example of Littlepage being against a particular project and developer and being against the capitalist system in general. He has never really worked in business (this is quite obvious from his writings) so he has no clue what it takes to make money. I ask again, why is he still in Jacksonville??

As someone who often defends Littlepage, let me say for the record that he is dead wrong on this issue. The reasons have already been well articulated by others in this thread. I agree that this shows his lack of expertise on real estate. However, he did not attack this particular developer or developers in general, nor capitalism. Actually, if the developer did PAY for the right-of-way, that would be an example of capitalism.

I largely agreed with the rest of his column.

If Littlepage left Jax, who would tell Jeb, Peyton and the rest how off-track some of their ideas are. After all, it's not like there is a competing political party around to do such work.

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Hey guys.

I love and loved the BJP. This whole three ring over the courthouse is a bit ridiculous, though......its one of the better arguments against term limits. If Delaney had been allowed to ride the project out, I seriously doubt that the same outcome would have occured.

I just wanted to add a quasi note in a sort of half defense of Folio Magazine here.

Folio itself isnt against Jacksonville, per se......however Marvin Edwards, their chief writer about downtown and city politics is an out and out lunatic.

Readers of this board may not know that Marvin Edwards is and has been one of the largest walking catastrophes to the Urban Development of Jacksonville into a modern city to occur since the bubonic Plague in europe.

The strenuous list of Mr. Edwards misdeeds and contrarian acts of vandalism and outright sabotage would challenge an even more even temper than my own were they to be listed in print, but a partial listing of them here should suffice.

Marvin is the sole reason that Jacksonville does not currently have a viable public transportation and rapid transit system. When the Jacksonville Transportation Authority had managed to get federal funding to complete a centrally organized light rail system operating out of downtown and tying all parts of the city into one system which would have allowed travel from the beaches to downtown in less than 30 minutes, Marvin and his crew of malcontent fellow travellers went on the warpath.

After engineering every type of manuever possible on the local level to convince Jacksonville that we did not need mass transit and still being rebuffed by the citizenry, Marvin went to CBS with a trumped up criticism of the plan, presented such well known Jacksonville community leaders as Andy Johnson, and pulled a blindside by getting the Jacksonville Mass Transit Plan included in a CBS news program exposing porkbarrel projects.

The vehemence with which Edwards and Co. expressed themselves was enough to convince congress to redline the funding item.

The really awful thing is that this was back in the days when it would have only cost 200 million to complete the system.

The impact that a dysfunctional transit system has had on the urban core has been debilitating, and Mr. Edwards can take full credit for the assasination.

Folio does deserve some blame for continuing to give this one man crusader for a better state of Not Good Enough a bully pulpit, but since Folio is located and serves primarily the southside, who can seriously expect them to know the needs and issues of an urban constituency?

The Real Problem is Marvin Edwards.

God Bless him.

Stephen Dare.

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Welcome to the forum Stephen! Love your restaurant BTW. I look forward to the re-opening at the new location.

Interesting history on the skyway. Does anyone have a diagram of what the entire system was suppose to look like when it was complete?

I remember hearing that the Federal Courthouse was going to have granite on the exterior (instead of concrete) until the project was put on 20/20 as a pork barrel project. After that the GSA or whomever, changed it.

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Welcome, Stephen!

.......what restaurant, Vic?

Boomtown Theatre, formerly of the 1700 block of Main St. in Springfield. Gawd,it looks so empty & desolete with them gone from there. :cry:

I thought I saw a sign the other day that the grand opening is this or next weekend.Maybe Steven will post that info. I know,wrong thread.....

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