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This Week in Flagler and Tallahassee: Local Legislators’ Annual Drive-By Natter

| October 9, 2011

The use of lights in Palm Coast's public parks is running up the city's PR bill as the city administration tries to extract a few dollars more from users. Ralph Carter Park's fields are shown above. (© FlaglerLive)

The use of lights in Palm Coast’s public parks is running up the city’s PR bill as the city administration tries to extract a few dollars more from users. Ralph Carter Park’s fields are shown above. (© FlaglerLive)

Note: all meetings are open to the public. You’re welcome to send tips or suggestions to

The Week’s Quick Links

[Many more items not listed here are in the community calendar.]

African American Cultural Society Celebration

Palm Coast’s African American Cultural Society is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and doing so in grand style. leading up to an address by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. at Matanzas High’s Pirate Theater, the society this week will hold two events: On Friday, Oct. 14, from 6 to 11 p.m., the society is hosting an Opening gala, with dining and dancing, at its cultural center at 4422 No. U.S.1. It’s $65 per person. On Saturday, Oct. 15, from noon to 6 p.m., the society is hosting a free family day at Palm Coast’s Town Center, with youth games, community entertainment, food and various vendors.

For tickets to any of the events, or additional information, call the society at (386) 447-7030.

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The Arts This Week: Galleries, Theaters, Performing Arts

miro garden arts performing arts palm coast flagler county this weekHollingsworth Gallery’s “7 Cameras,” a photography exhibit featuring the works of seven artists, continues through the end of the month. The artists: href=””>Steven Benson, Dan Biferie, Nik Clements, Jennifer Kaczmarek, Mercedez McCartney, A.J. Neste and Mark Townsend. Read a review of the show. The gallery is located at City Marketplace behind Walmart, 160 Cypress Point Pkwy., Suites 209B & 210B (upstairs northeast corner). Call 386/871-9546 or 386/237-9988.

The Flagler County Art League‘s new show, “The Animal Kingdom,” continues through the end of the month. The show features works in various media themed around animals, with miniature art and photography along with featured retrospectives of the works of Ernie Baudhuin and the drawings of Anna Lokshina. The Flagler County Art League is also located at City Marketplace behind Walmart, 160 Cypress Point Pkwy. Call 386/986-4668 for details.

Flagler Beach’s Gallery of Local Art (GOLA), is featuring the works of Jan Obendorfer. A note from GOLA: “Jan is a local girl, native to the Daytona Beach area, who grew up just two blocks from the beach. Her love for art first became apparent while studying under Nina Masters at Seabreeze High School, and continued to grow while taking classes at Daytona State College, which was DBJC at that time! Before Jan graduated from college, Eastern airlines offered her a glamorous career as a flight attendant, and for 15 years, Jan traveled around the world serving coffee. While living and working in several areas of the eastern part of the United States, Jan’s art had to take the back burner to an even greater adventure, raising a family. Jan’s three grown children are now living in three different states pursuing their own adventurous lives. Jan & her wonderful husband, Charles stay very busy feeding their travel bug in the summers by visiting family.”

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Legislative Delegation Public Forum

flagler county commission government logo The Flagler County Commission is not meeting this week, but the county is hosting the annual legislative delegation meeting and public forum on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. Government Services Building in Bunnell. . That’s the meeting where a couple of members of Flagler County’s legislative delegation pretend to listen to the public, make long and usually self-serving statement, take few notes, hardly bother to hide their boredom, then leave. The delegation includes Sen. John Thrasher, who chairs it, and Reps. Fred Costello and Bill Proctor. Proctor didn’t bother showing up last year–a remarkable show of contempt for Flagler constituents who gave him a 60 percent reelection endorsement in 2010. Nor did Sen. Tony Hill, who has a sliver of Flagler County voters in his district, which is mostly Duvall. Hill has been replaced by Audrey Gibson, anyway, now that Hill is working for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. Gibson’s term won’t be official until November, which gives both an excuse not to show up at the delegation meeting. As a spectacle of obsequiousness on the part of local politicians, who think nothing of groveling at the foot of the delegates, and condescending indifference on the part of those delegates, the event is hard to beat as an example of political ballroom dancing that accomplishes less than nothing, though we hear this year may bring a surprise or two from the public, in a possible bleed-over from the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Jacksonville demonstrations. Barring that, the Friends of the Library’s Toddler Storytime at the public library in Palm Coast may, on Friday, Oct. 14 (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.) be more compelling. And useful.

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Palm Coast City Council

palm coast city logo The council meets for its bi-weekly workshop at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the city’s offices at City Market Place. The council will again discuss parks and recreation fees. Fees the city wanted to levy on youth teams and leagues for field usage and light usage at the city’s various parks upset youth league officials, who told council members last week that the costs are too steep. The council wanted the administration to revisit the fee structure and meet with those affected before coming back to the council. That’s not what the council will discuss Tuesday. Rather, it will see a scaled-down fee schedule that has taken out the contentious parts but preserved other parts that sailed through without objections. The council will likely ratify those parts and approve them formally at its subsequent meeting. The council will also discuss an extension of its moratorium on pain-management clinics, and a few other matters. The agenda is below.

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Flagler County Schools

flagler county schools logoThe school board has no meetings this week. It’s Matanzas High School’s homecoming week, with a “powder puff” football game on Oct. 12, “Gooey Games and Bonfire” on the 13th, the homecoming game on the 14th at Pirate Stadium, and the homecoming dance on Oct. 15 in the school’s dining hall.

PSAT: All 10th graders district-wide, as well as select 9th and 11th graders, will be taking the PSAT on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Rymfire Elementary has a “Love and Logic Parent Class” on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in its library. Bunnell Elementary hosts its annual Harvest Hoe Down Fridat, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m.

Flagler Beach City Commission

flagler beach city commission logoThe Flagler Beach City Commission meets Thursday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m. at city hall, and it’s going to be a long one. Two items of particular significance: Commission Chairman John Feind will bring up the future fate of Acting Manager Bruce Campbell. Campbell has three votes to appoint him permanent manager. He needs a fourth. So far, Feind and Commissioner Jane Mealy have been resisting. Feind may be changing his mind. If so, he didn’t say when interviewed on Friday, but he did say that he was happy with Campbell’s work on the budget–Feind’s litmus test–and his work generally as a manager. That suggests that Feind is ready to be the fourth vote. Read a full analysis here. If Campbell gets that vote for the nearly $100,000-a-year job (it’s $90,000 at the moment), it’ll put an end to one of Flagler Beach’s longest manager search, which dates back to last spring.

The second item of note on the commission’s agenda is also a matter that’s been hanging over city business for years: seawalls and beach preservation. This will be the first commission discussion since the city’s town hall meeting on the matter, featuring all sorts of government agencies and private concerns either competing for work or for regulatory influence–and a distinct lack of harmony among them. (See the story.)

The full agenda and background material for the commission meeting is below the links. Or you can download it here.

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Bunnell City Commission

bunnell logoThe Bunnell City Commission meets Monday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Government Services Building in Bunnell. The most significant item of note will be the last: a presentation by four attorney’s firms bidding to have one of theirs become city attorney, which also suggests that some members of the city commission may no longer be looking to continue with Sid Nowell and Associates. Nowell has just consolidated his practice with that of Dennis Bayer in Flagler Beach. Bayer has appeared before the city commission in adversarial cases. The four firms bidding for the job:

  • Nowell, Bayer & McGuire (Sid Nowell would be the lead attorney)
  • Stenstrom, McIntosh, Colbert, Whigam & Partlow (Lonnie Groot, who used to be Palm Coast’s attorney and has been fishing for a similar job since, would be the lead attorney)
  • Gray Robinson (Thomas Cloud would be the lead attorney)
  • Alexander Law Firm (Steve Alexander would be the lead attorney)

The Bunnell city staff has already ranked the four, giving Lonnie Groot top marks, with Sid Nowell in second place, Gray Robinson in third and Alexander in fourth.

Bunnell City Commission meeting agenda, Oct. 10, 2011

Flagler County Historical Society

Sisco Deen

The Flagler County Historical Society (FCHS) will hold its quarterly meeting on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 55 Town Center Blvd., Palm Coast. PCHS member Jim Massfeller will present a power-point program on the current restorations underway of an original section of the King’s Highway in northern Flagler County. Cost for the dinner which includes gratituity is $20. Meeting notices will be mailed to FCHS members today (Saturday, 8 Oct 2011).

The American Association of Univeristy Women (AAUW) and the Flagler County Historical Society (FCHS) will hold a luncheon to honor Pioneer Women of Flagler County at the old Bunnell City Hall, 200 S Church Street on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 12:00 noon. Cost will be $20 per person with the proceeds to be divided between the two organizations for their respective Scholarship Funds. “I know not the state of the AAUW Scholarship Fund,” historical society archivist Sisco Deen writes, “however the FCHS Scholarship Fund has a balance of $9,000 after the award of a $1,000 scholarship to Krista Roy this year. Krista is attending the University of Central Florida.” Photo of Krista, her Mom and FCHS president Mary Ann Clark is below.

Luncheon tickets must be paid for in advanced. If you are not a FCHS member, tickets can be obtained through the AAUW which may be contacted by calling (386) 585-5564. FCHS members will be mailed invitations near the end of October and will be able to purchase their tickets by mail which will be given to them at the door.

Mary Ann Clark, left, Krista and her mom. (FCSH)

In Tallahassee

florida state capitol tallahasseeThis week, attention will be intensely focused on revenue estimates, as economists look to peg a number to the state’s continuing misery.

Top lawmakers have already tipped off anyone interested that it looks like Florida’s tax collections are going to be found to be as much as a couple billion short, and at least $1 billion, short of the current budget, plus growth.

That means yet another session of budget cuts, which has been widely expected, but still it’s tough to see it in print. The general revenue estimate will be the most closely watched estimate, and it comes out on Tuesday.

Political pros will be looking at another dollar figure on Tuesday, with Q3 campaign fundraising totals due to the Division of Elections for state candidates.

MONDAY, OCT. 10, 2011

COLUMBUS DAY: While some local jurisdictions and the federal government recognize Monday as Columbus Day, it is not a state holiday in Florida. State government offices are open. And while the snowbirds aren’t here yet for the most part, there’s a part of Broward County – around Hollywood Beach mostly – where you may find some turkey dinners on Monday. For Canadians, Monday is Thanksgiving Day.

INNOCENCE COMMISSION: The Florida Innocence Commission meets to discuss Eyewitness Identification and False Confessions. The commission is chaired by Judge Belvin Perry. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Rosen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Dr., Orlando.)

DOE RULEMAKING: The Florida Department of Education hosts a rule development workshop on the standard setting process for the FCAT 2.0 Reading, Math, and Algebra 1 End-of-Course Assessments. It will host similar meetings Tuesday in Orlando and Wednesday in West Palm Beach. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., Turlington Building, 325 W. Gaines St., Suite 1703, Tallahassee.)

COUNTING UP THE SCHOOL KIDS: The Education Estimating Conference will discuss public-school enrollment numbers. The estimate is needed for calculating education spending for the coming fiscal year. (Monday, 3 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

TUESDAY, OCT. 11, 2011

BAD NEWS ABOUT REVENUES: The Revenue Estimating Conference will scrutinize data and come up with a new general-revenue estimate, which is widely expected to show a budget shortfall for next year. Legislative leaders have said the shortfall could be $2 billion. (Tuesday, 9 a.m. 301 Capitol, the Capitol.)

WORKERS COMP RATE HIKES EYED: The Office of Insurance Regulation will hold a hearing about a proposed 8.9 percent increase in workers-compensation insurance rates. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

AQUA WATER RATES DEBATED: The Public Service Commission will hold a hearing about a proposal by Aqua Utilities Florida to increase water and wastewater rates. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey.)

CENSUS TALKS ABOUT VOTING HELP FOR LANGUAGE MINORITIES: The U.S. Census Bureau holds a webinar to discuss the upcoming release of a list of jurisdictions that must provide language assistance to voters. Under the Voting Rights Act, jurisdictions must provide assistance to specific minority groups who are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process. This is the first time American Community Survey estimates will be used to determine the list of jurisdictions. The event will consist of an audio conference and online presentation. The webinar will explain background information on Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, how the list of jurisdictions is determined and provide information on the upcoming release. It will conclude with a question-and-answer session for reporters. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 1-888-324-8115; Participant passcode: CENSUS Note: Stay on the line until operator asks for the passcode. Do not key in passcode. Online: ; Conference number: PW8555041 Audience passcode: CENSUS.)

DOE RULEMAKING: The Florida Department of Education will host the second of three rule development workshops on the standard setting process for the FCAT 2.0 Reading, Math, and Algebra 1 End-of-Course Assessments. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Jones High School, 801 S. Rio Grande, Orlando.)

CAR INSURANCE FRAUD SUMMIT: Several state officials, industry representatives, and others with a stake in personal injury protection auto insurance fraud participate in a summit on the issue sponsored by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, industry groups and others. Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka and Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Rundle and Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Westcott are among the participants. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., University of Miami, Fieldhouse Multipurpose Room, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables.)

THIRD QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS: Candidates for state offices must report fundraising totals for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

OBAMA TO FUNDRAISE IN ORLANDO: The Obama re-election campaign hasn’t released many details, but the president will be in Orlando on Tuesday for two campaign fundraising appearances. One will be at the home of trial lawyer John Morgan, who runs the firm where former Gov. Charlie Crist works. Morgan is one of a handful of Floridians who has been a major Obama bundler this year. The $1,500 per person event also will feature appearances by basketball players Grant Hill, Patrick Ewing, and Doc Rivers. Obama will also attend a fundraiser at Orlando’s downtown Sheraton. The campaign hasn’t released times. (Tuesday.)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 12, 2011

DCA HEARS MAJOR TOBACCO APPEAL: The 1st District Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear arguments in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s appeal of a Levy County case that involved an $80 million verdict for the daughter of a dead smoker. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.)

AQUA HEARINGS CONTINUE: The Public Service Commission will take public testimony about a proposal by Aqua Utilities Florida to increase water and wastewater rates. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Magnolia Building, 702 E. Orange St., Lakeland.)

CITIZENS BOARD MEETS IN ORLANDO: The Citizens Property Insurance Board of Governors will meet in Orlando. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Peabody Hotel, 9801 International Dr., Orlando; teleconference number 888-942-8686, code: 8419204389#)

DOE RULEMAKING: The Florida Department of Education hosts a rule development workshop on the standard setting process for the FCAT 2.0 Reading, Math, and Algebra 1 End-of-Course Assessments. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Palm Beach County School District Support Center, 1400 N. Florida Mango, West Palm Beach.)

SMALL BIZ DISCUSSES BURDENSOME FEDERAL REGS: Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, a coalition created by the National Federation of Independent Business, holds a news conference to talk about federal regulations the group says stifle small business growth in Florida. NFIB Florida Executive Director Bill Herrle and two small business owners, Jay Lunt, president of Folkers Window Company in Pensacola, and Don Curtis, president of The Forestry Company in Perry, will speak. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Florida Press Center, 336 E. College Ave., Tallahassee.)

THURSDAY, OCT. 13, 2011

CONSERVATION PROJECTS AIRED: The state Acquisition and Restoration Council will hold a hearing about Florida Forever and land-conservation projects. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee.)

SUPREME COURT OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court releases its regular opinions. (11 a.m.)

FRIDAY, OCT. 14, 2011

GAUGING THE IMPACTS: The Revenue Estimating Conference will hold a so-called Impact Conference to discuss the costs of legislation. (Friday, 9 a.m., 301 Capitol, the Capitol.)

MEDICAID LONG-TERM CARE DISCUSSED: The Long-term Care Managed Care Technical Advisory Workgroup will discuss moving seniors into managed-care plans as part of the state’s Medicaid overhaul. (Friday, 9 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Building 3, Tallahassee.)

CONSERVATION COUNCIL MEETS: The state Acquisition and Restoration Council is scheduled to meet to discuss Florida Forever and land-conservation projects. (Friday, 9 a.m., Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee.)

CLEANING UP THE BP NUMBERS: The Revenue Estimating Conference will meet to continue discussing the economic impact on Florida of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (Friday, 1:30 p.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

–Tallahassee calendar Compiled by the News Service of Florida.

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1 Response for “This Week in Flagler and Tallahassee: Local Legislators’ Annual Drive-By Natter”

  1. Inside Man says:

    No doubt about it – Bunnell’s next attorney will be Mr. Cloud.

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