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A new connection

On October 26, the Port of Palm Beach entered into its 19th sister-Port partnership–this time, with the Port of Cap-Haitien in Haiti. It happened thanks to state Rep. Al Jacquet (District 88) or, actually, as he said, to his legislative aide, Kesnel Theus. Both natives of the Caribbean island, Rep. Jacquet and Mr. Theus both travel to Haiti often and, as the Representative said, they both hope that a “strong, cohesive, lasting relationship” will occur between the two with streamlined operations, smooth information exchanges and cargo and cruise line growth. To learn more about the Port’s other sister-port partnerships, most in the Caribbean, click here. And to learn more about Rep. Jacquet, pictured, who will begin his second term in the Florida Legislature this fall, click here.

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Those pesky Amendments

Still feeling unsure about the meaning and purpose of the 13–or is it 12?–constitutional amendments that will be on the statewide ballot November 6? Here are two un-biased, nonpartisan options to learn more:

* WLRN, the local National Public Radio (NPR) station, has a page that explains, in clear detail, each of those pesky amendments as well as every local ballot initiative in not only Palm Beach County, but also Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Click here for that helpful visit.

* League of Women Voters of Florida evaluates the Amendments online. Click here to read what the non-partisan, national nonprofit has to say, including, and we quote: “(o)ur board examined every amendment that voters will decide on and determined positions on each. We weighed already-established League positions heavily in our decisions.”

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Obama & Gillum: Friday!

‘Tis true: our first black president will be here on Friday to stump for our soon-to-be first black governor! Former President Barack Obama and current Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will be joined by all the power players–including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson–at noon at the Ice Palace Films Studios, 59 NW 14th Street in Miami. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must first get tickets, which are available at locations listed –all south of Palm Beach County (PBC)–from noon to 8 p.m. today and Thursday. For local PBC-related Gillum information, check in with the Mosaic Group, his local lead team, here.

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‘Existing while black’: news and satire

“Have you ever been followed in a store? Have you been pulled over for no apparent reason? Has someone called the police on you because of the color of your skin?” Those are questions the Huffington Post wants answered. The nationally known website has a category of news called ‘HuffPost Black Voices,’ which covers the national black community and has begun an #ExistingWhileBlack project that is seeking stories from black people across the country. Click here to learn more–and to send in your story. Similarly, the New York Times, believe it or not, is doing a parallel, though satirical, project: a hotline for white people to call when they “can’t cope with black people living life near them.” The hotline is a partnership between the iconic paper and comedian Niecy Nash. Watch the funny, tongue-in-cheek infomercial here.

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…Who his Daddy is?

One of the candidates for state attorney general is the son of the first black chief justice on the Florida Supreme Court. That would be Democrat candidate Sean Shaw, a lawyer who currently represents the Tampa area in the Florida House, and his father, Leander Shaw. The elder Shaw, who died in 2015 at age 85, earned his law degree from Howard University, taught law at FAMU and practiced law in Jacksonville before then-Gov. Bob Graham appointed him to the state District Court of Appeals in 1979 and, in 1983, to the state Supreme Court. He served as chief justice from 1990 to 1992 before retiring.
“When I was growing up, he was just my dad,” candidate Shaw said in a recent interview with the Miami Herald. “We went fishing and tinkered around in the shed. The older I got, the more I realized how big a deal he was.”
And learn what a big deal his son–lawyer, former insurance consumer advocate, current state Representative–is, too, here, and what he plans to do to fill his father’s big shoes.

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…Who created MoviePass?

Did you know…that the founders of the wildly successful app MoviePass are two men of coco? ‘Tis true. Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt created the subscription-based service in 2011 because, as Mr. Spikes said in an Apple Store interview, “Streaming is huge, but people still enjoy going to the movies. Some things are just meant to be seen in theatres with a bucket of popcorn.”

For a flat monthly fee and a onetime setup charge, MoviePass subscribers can see a standard 2D film each day at theatres anywhere across the country. Every, single, day. Today, the app has 1.5 million subscribers. To read more about this coco duo, click here.

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A new community center, a new website and an old saying

All three are about one thing: community uplift

When people pull up to 251 W. 11th Street for a Farm Share free food giveaway on October 27, they may think they’re coming to the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy. But they won’t be.
They’ll be coming to the Judge Edward Rodgers Center for Community Development, a newly created service center that plans community social and cultural events, a small-business incubator and a host of holistic partnerships with organizations that are committed to the same thing: community uplift.

The Center is the brainchild of its namesake and the Greek organization to which he’s belonged for more than 70 years: the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The West Palm Beach-based Delta Delta Lamba chapter’s nonprofit arm, the Alpha Educational Foundation, will oversee the facility.

Besides the Farm Share partnership, the Alphas are also partnering with the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County for a career fair on November 28. It will also be at the Judge Rodgers Center.

And we, here at cocowire, are also on the Judge Rodgers team. He is a supporter of cocowire and, indeed, is to be the only voice of opinion on the site. That’s because he has lots to say, he’s lived through many experiences and he will share it at will. And when he’s done, he adds that old tagline, ‘just so you know.’

But the Judge is also 90 years old. So, as we launch cocowire and the Alphas launch the community center, we realize we have to give him some space. So, the weekly ‘Just So You Know’ opinion pieces will be written by a host of smart, capable and opinionated people who live here and who will talk about what’s happening here—whenever the Judge doesn’t feel like it.

So, that place located at 251 W. 11th Street? It’s about community uplift, just like its namesake. Just so you know.

Marian Dozier is the founder of and created To learn more about Judge Rodgers, click here and, about the Alpha Educational Foundation, here. And to learn more about Homestead-based Farm Share, which works to end food deserts statewide, click here.

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He loves her, she loves him

From what we understand, this picture of Andre Cammock, 27, and his daughter, three-year-old Jazmine, are typical: they’re always together, always happy, always, well, cute. They are shown hanging out at the Hope Botanical Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica. The picture was sent in by Jada Brown of West Palm Beach, who is friends with the young Dad and his young daughter and sees them on her visits to the Caribbean Island. “He always talks about how much he loves his daughter,” Ms. Brown said. “Her mother died when she was born and, ever since, it’s been just the two of them.”

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‘Black Wall Street’ is back–again

It is confirmed: the locally produced play ‘Black Wall Street’ is a hit! West Palm Beach-based Producer/Director/performer Hallie Balbuena–we call her The Drama Queen–learned last week that the play will perform January 11-12, 2019, at the Black Heritage Festival in Tampa. The statewide draw makes sense. The play sold out each of the three times it played this year in Palm Beach County–in March and in July–and people are still talking about it, Ms. Balbuena says, because the story resonates. “We are so excited,” she says, adding, “I’m also focused on the Kravis Center for 2020 or even 2021 for the 100-year anniversary of the massacre.” The story certainly remains relevant: a white mob destroyed the wealthy black business district in 1921 in Tulsa, Okla., that came to be known as ‘Black Wall Street’ and, just last week, the Tulsa Mayor announced efforts to further unravel the covered history of the attack. Read about that here. The good news: the story is being told. And about that Black Heritage Festival in Tampa Bay? It’ll be held from January 10-20, 2019, and features a wide variety of entertainment, community discussions and, as we now know, at least one hit play. Click here to learn more.

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AARLCC doesn’t play

The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) is a coalition of hard-working, well-connected mostly former students from the formerly segregated Roosevelt High School in West Palm Beach. They have been working for more than a decade to ensure the school site itself is not only saved, but converted into a community uplift center with a focus on learning, cultural enrichment and history. That is of critical importance, says Debbye Raing, a now-retired longtime educator who is also an AARLCC charter member. “In order to move forward, you have to look back,” she said.”Our past shapes our future.” People are getting it: for one, the nonprofit has a multi-million dollar commitment from the School District of Palm Beach County to support their dream. For more information on their work and their plan, contact Vice President Donald Gibson at 561-758-2313 or The nonprofit meets on the first Monday of each month at Gaines Park in West Palm Beach.