City notes: Wilkes chosen as recipient of 12-Point Award by Boy Scouts
The Black Creek District Boy Scouts of America presented 4th Judicial Circuit Judge William A. Wilkes with its 12-Points Award on Friday at the annual 12-Points Award Dinner.
Wilkes, a 33-year veteran of the bench in the circuit, was recognized for his service to the community, the example he sets for young people and living the ideals embodied in the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.
Keynote speaker was state Sen. Rob Bradley, who is Wilkes’s nephew. Bradley spoke of the guidance and example that Wilkes provided for him in his development as a young lawyer.
Scouting’s 12 Points are the principles all scouts are expected to learn and honor: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”
Duval County Public Schools have gone green
Duval County Public Schools ranked the third-lowest of 67 school districts in the state for energy costs per full-time equivalent and near the bottom third on cost per square foot, according to the state Department of Education.
In 2010, the district founded the Green Champions program as a way to engage schools in a districtwide initiative, “The Greening of DCPS.”
Central office personnel reached out to school-based personnel to recruit earth-friendly teachers and staff who would champion green, sustainable practices in their schools. The program goals are to reduce costs by eliminating waste, conserving natural resources and incorporating sustainability into the curriculum by allowing students to engage in these efforts.
The program has produced tangible results since its inception. Energy and water consumption have declined by more than 35 percent; recycling quantities are increasing and solid waste quantities are decreasing, contributing to cost savings that are redirected to critical district programs.
Duval County Public Schools won Florida’s Best Green School District Award in 2012 and won Florida’s Sustainability Legacy Award in 2013 in recognition of these efforts.
The state report can be found at fldoe.org/edfacil/aemor.asp.
Help wanted Saturday to eradicate air potato
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District and the First Coast Invasive Species Working Group are asking for volunteers to be part of Saturday’s eighth annual air potato roundup.
“People often wonder how they can get involved and help out,” said biologist Jessica Spencer. “The annual Air Potato Roundup is a family-friendly event where people of all ages — even little ones — can get outdoors together and make a difference.”
She said 162 volunteers removed 4,940 pounds of air potatoes from nine sites last year.
The event is 9 a.m.-noon at locations in Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, St. Augustine and Orange Park.
Worksites include the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Tillie K. Fowler Park, Jacksonville University, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Tree Hill Nature Center and the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens in Jacksonville; Howell Park in Atlantic Beach; Fort Mose Historic State Park and St. Johns River State College in St. Augustine; and Montclair Elementary School and St. Johns River State College in Orange Park.
For more information about the locations, visit 1.usa.gov/1j3UMLQ.
Gift certificates from Kayak Amelia and Ripple Effects will be awarded for the two largest potatoes found.
Crenshaw shares tip on filing taxes for free
U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, explained Internal Revenue Service free tax preparation services Friday during a program sponsored by the Computer and Communications Industry Association at the University of North Florida. A workshop on how to use “Free File” also was presented.
The program provides free access to software that prepares and e-files federal taxes online at no cost to the user.
Taxpayers with a 2013 adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less is eligible to use “Free File” to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. Additional information is available at IRS.gov/freefile.
Library honors African-American leaders
A permanent exhibit, “Three Local Icons You Should Know,” depicts the Rev. Dallas James Graham, minister, mortician, civic leader and the library’s namesake; Mary White Blocker, an educator who advocated for equal pay for African-American teachers; and Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and civil rights activist who founded the Daytona Education and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, which later merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, and is now known as Bethune-Cookman University.
The library along Myrtle Avenue opened in 1965 as the Myrtle Branch Library and was renamed after Graham in 1977. Nearly 94,000 people visited the Dallas James Graham Branch Library last year, checking out books, DVDs and other materials more than 92,000 times. More than 6,219 people attended nearly 370 programs at the library last year.