Category Archives: News

Celebrating the Life of John Henry Hankinson, Jr.




Florida lost an environmental giant on March 3rd when John Henry Hankinson, Jr. died.  On March 7, 2017 hundreds gathered at the Fort King Presbyterian Church in Ocala, FL for a celebration of his life. The service included not only friends and family, but environmental leaders from across the state and Southeast region of the United … Continue reading Celebrating the Life of John Henry Hankinson, Jr.

My Friendship With “The Black Hat Troubadour” Will McLean




  By the time I met Will McLean he had already penned most of the hundreds of songs and poems he has become famous for.  He’d already performed at Carnegie Hall and made friends with the late Pete Seeger.  His glory days performing on the “Old Marble Stage” at the Florida Folk Festival were long … Continue reading My Friendship With “The Black Hat Troubadour” Will McLean

Winner and finisher of the 2017 Will McLean Best New Florida Song Contest Named




The winner of the 2017 Will McLean Best New Florida Song Contest  (out of 62 entries) is Mary James, better known as “Mean Mary,” in the music world.  Though she resides now in Tennessee, her roots are in Florida and Alabama (Her family lived in the North Florida area when Mary was born, but the … Continue reading Winner and finisher of the 2017 Will McLean Best New Florida Song Contest Named

Protest planned over Sleepy Creek water permit request




This site continues to follow various updates on water permit requests from the former Adena Springs Ranch (now Sleepy Creek Lands in Marion County), a cattle operation owned by Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach. Scroll down for various stories, pictures, audio and video from the past several years) UPDATE:  Protest planned over Sleepy Creek water permit … Continue reading Protest planned over Sleepy Creek water permit request

Florida cleans up after Hurricane Matthew and experts say remember past history




Update November, 2016: Florida’s East coast experienced serious beach erosion from Hurricane Matthew and many businesses and homes suffered severe damage from the huge tidal wave associated with the hurricane.  In particular, Florida Highway A1A in Flagler County was washed out and many homes along North A1A from Vilano Beach northward have been declared uninhabitable because … Continue reading Florida cleans up after Hurricane Matthew and experts say remember past history

Jody’s Story—- Surviving 9/11




September 11th, 2001 changed the life of Jody Blanchard forever.  After escaping from the World Trade Center complex after the first plane hit, Jody packed her belongings and escaped NYC and moved for a short period of time to Gainesville, FL.  She was hoping to put the horrific images she saw behind her.   That … Continue reading Jody’s Story—- Surviving 9/11

The 9/11 Museum and September 11th, 2001—A Personal Reflection




(My personal reflection follows this story)   September 11th, 2016 marks 15 years since the terrorist attacks which took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania.  On May 21st, 2014  the 9/11 Memorial Museum opened to the public for the first time.  Those in charge of its design have had … Continue reading The 9/11 Museum and September 11th, 2001—A Personal Reflection

Archival television program features many of Florida’s greatest folk songwriters




The 1988 Pines and Palms television program hosted by the late Don Grooms featured several singer songwriters who have since passed on. They may have left this earthly life, but their music lives on. Their songs can still be heard on the stages of many music festivals around the state. In 1988, Grooms who was … Continue reading Archival television program features many of Florida’s greatest folk songwriters

Disney adds new alligator warning signs and barriers following death of two year old




Update: Disney contracted workers have been roping off areas and placing new warning signs along the beach in front of the man-made lake by the resort hotel where a 2-year-old died after being snatched by an alligator on Tuesday. The body of Lane Graves, the toddler who was dragged into a lagoon Tuesday evening at … Continue reading Disney adds new alligator warning signs and barriers following death of two year old