Tuesday Briefing: School Board Talks Settlement of Discipline Lawsuit, Missing Dog Harley, Morrison’s Nobel
FlaglerLive | June 2, 2015
Today’s weather: some thunderstorms, Highs in mid-80s, lows in low 70s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 525
The weather in Lamia, Greece: high 81, low 58. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: pleonexia, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.
Today’s Briefing: Quick Links
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Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
The Flagler County School Board meets for a 4 p.m. workshop and a 6 p.m. meeting at the Government Services Building in Bunnell. The workshop will focus on a tentative agreement between the district and the Southern Poverty Law Center stemming from a legal complaint the center filed in 2012 regarding the disproportionate disciplining of black students in Flagler schools. At 5 p.m., the board will recognize this year’s crop of school employee retirees. It will also likely approve a new contract with its service employees’ union and approve a new facilities use handbook and fee schedule.
The Palm Coast City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. at the community center on Palm Coast Parkway. The council will hear a presentation on the city’s various revenue sources, and approve the coming year’s road resurfacing list, which includes two dozen streets and a 4-mile stretch of Old Kings Road, from just south of Palm Coast Parkway to Town Center Boulevard. The council will also recognize June 30 as Social Media Day, and the role Office Divvy, the Palm Coast company, has taken “in hosting discussions and business events in Palm Coast and Flagler County” related to the day. The full agenda is here. Watch the meeting live on Palm Coast TV here.
Flagler Beach’s Planning and Architecture Review Board meets at 5:30 p.m. The full agenda and back-up materials are here.
Belle Terre Elementary School 6th Grade Oscar Night and After-party, at the school cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.Full Moon Beach Stroll at Gambler Rogers State Park: Join a Ranger for this educational full moon beach stroll. All ages welcome, minors must be accompanied by an adult. The program will leave from the beachside pavilion. Visitors will learn about fun and interesting moon myths, facts and the effects of the moon on the tidal ecosystem while enjoying the spectacular rise of the full moon. Please bring water and dress for the weather. RSVP is required. Please visit www.Eventbrite.com to register online or RSVP by calling 386-517-2086. Registration will close after the maximum number has been reached. Multiple dates are listed for registration in the event the program closes due to capacity. This event is free with regular park entrance of $5 per carload of two to eight people, $4 for one person in a car and $2 per pedestrian or bicyclist to be paid the day of the event. To request assistance or more details, please contact Jennifer Giblin at (386) 517-2086 or via email at Jennifer.Giblin@dep.state.fl.us. A printed ticket is not required.
Vacation rentals: Just five days after hearing arguments, Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger ruled against an attempt to stop Flagler County government restrictions of the short-term vacation rental industry from taking effect. But the ruling also found the ordinance unconstitutional if applied to vacation rental contracts that predate the day the ordinance was passed in February.
Patrick Johnson, the Flagler County Health Department Administrator for the past 11 years, , is leaving his post in the county at the end of June for a job at a public health department in North Carolina. The resignation takes place as the health department is undergoing major changes in line with changing state policy, and expects layoffs ahead.
Floridians could still get a reduction in their cable-TV and cell-phone bills as part of a new House tax-cut package, but the overall plan likely will fall short of the tax cuts sought by Gov. Rick Scott.
Responding to fellow-Councilman Steve Nobile, Mayor Jon Netts makes the case against changes on the council: The discussion Nobile started on appointing a possible charter review committee continues to ripple, with Netts, in an Observer column, taking on the notion that the council-manager form of government needs alterations. It is, Netts wrote, the most prevalent form of government. “Why council/manager? Why not? Wouldn’t you want an individual with at least a master’s degree in administration and specialized training and credentialing from a nationally recognized organization to administer the day-to-day operations of our city?”
Palm Coast’s $9 million City Hall is 50 Percent Complete: The 41,000-square-foot complex will include the new council chambers for meetings, and improved audiovisual systems “so City Council meetings and workshops will move from the Palm Coast Community Center and the City Market Place, respectively, to the new City Hall when the building is ready for occupation,” reports the News-Journal’s Tony Holt.
County Judge Melissa Moore Stens holds traffic-infraction arraignments starting at 8:45 a.m. in Courtroom 101. Circuit Judge J. David Walsh is in pre-trail hearings morning and afternoon (9 a.m., 1:30 p.m.), including the cases of Luis Betancourt and Carisa Hall (home invasion) (Courtroom 401).
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
The House Finance & Tax Committee considers a proposed tax-cut package. During this spring’s regular session, the House proposed $690 million in tax cuts, with the largest chunk coming from a cut in the communications-services tax on such things as cell-phone and cable-TV bills. (9 a.m.)
Health Care: The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the Senate’s proposal (SB 2-A) to use federal Medicaid money to offer health insurance to about 800,000 Floridians. (11 a.m.)
The Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology will start two days of meetings to review computer models. (8:30 a.m., 1801 Hermitage Blvd., Tallahassee.)
Florida’s university system and the National Science Foundation will continue hosting a two-day conference focused on National Science Foundation grants. (Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa.)
The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in three cases, including death-penalty cases from Polk and Marion counties. The Polk County case involves Thomas Rigterink, who was convicted of fatally stabbing two people in 2003, while the Marion County case involves Michael Bargo, who was convicted in a 2011 fatal shooting. (9 a.m.)
Supporters of expanding health-care coverage, including young adults who fall in a “coverage gap,” will deliver petitions to the office of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island. (10:30 a.m., fourth floor, the Capitol.)
–Compiled by the News Service of Florida
The U.S. Senate could approve a bill this afternoon that would scale back the government’s authority to conduct domestic spying under the USA Patriot Act. The bill is the USA Freedom Act.
Representatives from 20 countries meet in Paris to discuss strategy on stopping ISIS, as the Iraqi prime minister blames the world.
Two World War I soldiers, now dead, are awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama. It had been denied them because of racism: one, Pvt. Henry Johnson, was black, the other, Sgt. William Shemin, was Jewish.
North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos are the first American sports team to play in Cuba today since the embargo that started near the middle of the last century, and is nearing its end.
Roland Garros: Stan Wawrinka faces Roger Federer in the quarterfinal, 10 a.m. Tennis Channel.
Flagler Palm Coast High School Band undertook a beach cleanup day on May 30 to give back to the community. A volunteer reports: “We had 67 volunteers including parents, siblings, and Kohl’s Cares – Associates in Action Team volunteers. This event was part of Kohl’s Go Green event, in which Kohl’s gives grants to 501c3 organizations, in this case Flagler Band Boosters, for doing good environmental works. Working through the rain and into the sunshine, the group split up to cover north & south of the Flagler Beach Pier both on the beach as well as east of A1A. Many huge garbage bags were filled, especially with cans, bottles, & thousands upon thousands of cigarette butts. Volunteers were rewarded with a well-deserved BBQ at Wickline Park after a morning’s great yet fun work.”
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and Starbucks is hosting “Coffee with a Cop” Friday, June 5 from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at Starbucks located at 216 Palm Coast Parkway NE, Palm Coast. Coffee with a Cop offers the public the opportunity to openly talk with Sheriff Jim Manfre and members of the Sheriff’s Office in a relaxed and neutral environment. This program allows citizens to sit down, one-on-one with Manfre and discuss law enforcement concerns they find important while enjoying their favorite cup of coffee. “I wanted to give the public the opportunity to get to know me and my employees that serve the community where they live. It will give us a chance to become acquainted with one another while discussing law enforcement issues,” Manfre said. Coffee with a Cop provides “distraction free” time with Sheriff Manfre and his employees without pending radio calls or cellular phone interruptions. For questions or additional information, please contact Deputy Paula Priester at email@example.com or call 386-586-4813.
The Florida Department of Transportation and Geico unveil “Safe Phone Zones” at Florida Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Service Plazas as a Kickoff to Summer Driving Season. The safety campaign tackles distracted driving on Florida’s roads. As part of a national effort to encourage drivers to pull into a safe location to use their phone for calling, texting and accessing mobile apps, Florida has designated 64 Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Turnpike Service Plazas throughout the state as “Safe Phone Zones,” more than any other state. (see attached map) The new highway signs sponsored by GEICO can be seen along the highways leading to those FDOT facilities. Additional signage within the facilities reminds motorists to take this opportunity to use their cell phones in a safe location. “Motorist safety is our top priority and we are committed to reducing distracted driving on our roads,” said FDOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations, Brian Blanchard. “By calling our Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Service Plazas ‘Safe Phone Zones,’ we are saying they are much more than just Rest Stops – they are Safe Stops.” This morning, Assistant Secretary Blanchard was joined by representatives from the Florida Highway Patrol, the Federal Highway Administration, GEICO Insurance and Travelers Marketing. 71 Safe Phone Zone signs have already been installed along FDOT highways and
Florida’s Turnpike mainline; nine additional signs will be installed at a later date. “Distracted driving crashes in Florida have increased 25 percent since 2012. DHSMV applauds the Department of Transportation and GEICO for providing ‘Safe Phone Zones,’ and reminding drivers to do the right thing and pull over if they need to use their cell phones,” said Florida Highway Patrol Major Cindy Williams. “FHP wants to remind motorists that when driving, always keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your mind on driving.”
Significant Economic Benefits could come to the Sunshine State by Lifting Solar Policy Barriers: In advance of Governor Rick Scott’s Economic Growth Summit, solar advocates and experts express strong support for the economic growth potential that Florida could have with a robust solar market. Clean Jobs Florida, a survey report sizing up Florida’s clean energy jobs base and its potential, found that a majority of clean energy businesses are small businesses – about 75% have fewer than 10 clean energy employees and growth in these clean energy businesses over the prior 12 months was 11 percent. Despite this growth and the third best rooftop solar potential in the nation, Florida ranks only 13th for installed solar capacity (234 megawatts (MW) presently installed) largely because the state lacks solar policies, such as renewable energy standards and power purchase agreements, which have supported solar investment and jobs in other states. More solar-friendly policies could help the Sunshine State live up to its nickname. “The Sunshine State should be leading the country in clean energy jobs, yet in recent years it has been left in the shadows by other states that actually have smart policies to encourage clean energy growth,” Bob Keefe, executive director of the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), said when the Clean Jobs Florida report was released in the fall. “Fortunately, Florida has a solid foundation on which to build – now it just needs its state leaders to take action to create jobs that are good for both the state’s economy and its environment.” “Solar creates high paying, long term, skilled blue collar jobs,” Mike Antheil, executive director of Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA). “Like any other construction project, there is an entire value chain of labor, engineering, procurement and sales that has roots deep within each Florida community near a solar project. Allowing for more solar options in Florida will create more local jobs and the best part about the ballot initiative is there are no special incentives needed.” “More pro-solar policies in the state of Florida will have a positive impact on the economy for both businesses and citizens. The free market, if allowed to flourish for any industry, will bring untold benefits through job creation to the state,” Tory Perfetti, Florida director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “The more we adhere to the free market, the better off all businesses and citizens will be. Let us remember, a majority of solar industry jobs pay very well and support the middle class, something that Florida needs. Good paying jobs that are created not mandated will always be healthy for any state’s economy. “If a solar ballot initiative is approved, solar development across the state will explode, creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic activity,” said Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Florida has the potential to quickly become a Top 5 solar state, while saving money for homeowners, businesses, schools, churches and local governments.”
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through May 20:
Island Walk Shopping Center (Former Palm Harbor Shopping Center), 80 percent done: A 3rd Grease Interceptor has been installed behind the new buildings on the west end of the project. Three sewer wyes have been installed to serve the Grease Interceptors.
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 76 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues. Landscape irrigation work continues. Fence installation on north side of bridge is complete. Fire hydrant at Florida Park Drive has been relocated. Hydrants installed at Palm Coast
Parkway on water main heading North and East. Contractor continues with dig locates in areas of tie in points for the new 12″ and 16″ water mains.
Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 96 percent done: Finished remainder of paving. Grading for sod at roadway edge. Sodding at Rickenbacker and seeding on south side of Royal Palms.
Holland Park, 18 percent done: Demolition of remainder of park roadway.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 47 percent done: Installation of drywall of interior walls has begun. Mechanical duct work installation and electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping continues. Installation of exterior windows and exterior wall trim has begun. See ongoing images of construction here.
Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 65 percent done: The package Pump Station has been set and plumbing continues. Contractor has installed the Force main into the existing manhole on Wynnfield Drive. The road lane closure for the manhole core to install the force main was completed
and the road has been repaired.
Harley is a 75-pound dog who broke away from its owner at Linear Park on Thursday, May 28, at 10:15 a.m. and ran down Sabal Trail, with owner calling and running after him. “He exited out the other end where the two joggers that had stopped to admire him (which caused the bolting) had tried to cut him off but he was too fast. He went left towards the Jehovah Witness complex and was gone,” Harley’s owner says. At 11:30 a woman driving along Palm Coast Parkway Westbound almost hit him and blew her horn to warn cars. He still had the retractable blue leash on him at that time and was heading toward the fairways condos and the palm harbor golf course. On Monday, a resident who was at Lowe’s reports spotting a dog matching Harley’s colors around 7 p.m. Harley is timid with strangers, not a barker. He is due for his flea meds and heartgard within the next two days.
Customer Satisfaction With TV, Internet and Phone Service at 7-Year Low: The American Customer Satisfaction Index released on Tuesday the results of its latest study on customer satisfaction with cable TV, Internet and phone service providers, saying that the results declined to a seven-year low. Of the 43 industries on which the survey solicits opinions, TV and Internet companies tied for last place in customer satisfaction. Cable TV and Internet providers have faced particular scrutiny in a year filled with talk of mergers in the industry. Regulators’ reservations about Comcast $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable killed the deal. Charter Communications announced deals last week to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for a total of $67.1 billion.” From The Times.
Introducing Caitlyn Jenner: Speaking publicly for the first time since completing gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. She tells Pulitzer Prize–winning V.F. contributing editor and author of Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.” Jenner tells Bissinger about how she suffered a panic attack the day after undergoing 10-hour facial-feminization surgery on March 15—a procedure she believed would take 5 hours. (Bissinger reveals that Jenner has not had genital surgery.) She recalls thinking, “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?” A counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center came to the house so Jenner could talk to a professional, and assured her that such reactions were often induced by pain medication, and that second-guessing was human and temporary. […] For the Jenner children, the issue of the transition has become a non-issue. They were already aware of their father’s identity as a woman when he told them individually about the transition—Burt and Cassandra had learned from their mother roughly 20 years earlier, when they were 13 and 11; Brandon had assumed it because of the obvious physical changes he had observed; and Brody was told by his mother when he was 29. They tell Bissinger they feel both happiness for their father and inspiration at his bravery, and they all still see their dad as their dad regardless of any gender label. Brandon said he was a little taken aback when he saw Caitlyn for the first time after surgery and she pulled her top up to reveal her new breasts. “Whoa, I’m still your son,” he reminded her. As part of the transition, Jenner started hosting small gatherings called “girls’ nights” with wine and food where Jenner could dress as desired and feel natural in the presence of women, and it was there that her daughter Cassandra met Caitlyn for the first time. “I was just nervous that I wouldn’t make her feel comfortable,” Cassandra tells Bissinger. “I was worried I wouldn’t say the right things or act the right way or seem relaxed.” But almost all of it melted away when she got there. “We talked more than we ever have. We could just be girls together.” From Vanity Fair.
Road and Interstate Construction:
Palm Coast: Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and Florida Park Drive. IMPACTS: Lane shifts and closures will occur and this may cause traffic congestion on this already busy roadway. Most construction work will occur between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. though weather and unforeseen issues may adjust the schedules. This project will be complete by December 2015.”
Sections Royal Palms Parkway will be closed for construction between Belle Terre and just past Rymfire Drive. The lane closures will occur Wednesday, May 27th through Friday, May 29th between 9am and 3pm. Both lanes will be open each evening.
Matanzas Parkway Bridge at I-95 Matanazas Parkway at the I-95 bridge will close on June 5 at 7 p.m. for the I-95 interchange project and will remain closed until Aug. 9. Detour will be via Old Kings Road. Details here.
Volusia: I-4 Widening from SR 44 to east of I-95, Monday and Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Eastbound/Westbound shoulder closing. Sunday through Thursday, Eastbound and Westbound lane closures as needed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, 9:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. EB road closure between Canal St./SR 44 and I-95 with detour at US 92 exit ramp.Motorists should be aware of traffic shifts near Canal St./SR 44.
Traffic will be detoured at State Road (SR) 44/Canal Street, for reconstruction work May 12-14: The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is providing project support to Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) to replace the current crossing surface. Motorists will encounter detours beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 12, and ending at 6 a.m. Thursday, May 14. The SR 44/Canal Street detours are: Eastbound SR 44/Canal Street: North on North Myrtle Avenue, East on Washington Street, South on US 1/North Dixie Parkway. Westbound SR 44/Canal Street: North on US 1/North Dixie Parkway, West on Washington Street, South on North Myrtle Avenue, West on SR 44/Canal Street. For the most up-to-date information on road and lane closures, go to www.cflroads.com and click on ‘Lane Closures.’
The public is invited to learn more about the I-4 Ultimate project during a public information open house, and how the project is transforming Altamonte Springs, Longwood and Maitland, as well as the entire 21-mile corridor. The open house is scheduled Thursday, May 28, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the RDV Sportsplex – Magic Gym, located at 8701 Maitland Summit Boulevard.
- Palm Coast Parkway Project Website
- Florida Department of Transportation Road Project List
- County Road 304 Project Map and Description
Texting and Driving Public Service Announcement Unveiling: Chiumento Selis Dwyer, the Palm Coast law firm, has been working with Flagler Sheriff’s PAL, Florida Hospital Flagler, Flagler County Schools, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler County Fire Rescue and a group of local Matanzas High School students on a “No Texting & Driving Campaign.” Over the past few weeks the group has been working on a No Texting & Driving PSA and will host a PSA Premiere event of this video on Wednesday, June 3rd, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Matanzas High School Pirates Theatre.
For the Poor, Access Flagler First: The overarching message coming from the many social services agencies that participate in Access Flagler First is that there is help available for those who need it. ElderSource brings a motor home for the every-other-month event, which is held at Cattlemen’s Hall at the Fairgrounds, to provide individual counseling. SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteers provide the “crown jewel” of services offered – advice about all of the insurance options for those who are turning 65. “There is help out there,” said volunteer Vivian Rowe. “We also help people do thing like apply for assistance if they need it. We are willing to do the secretarial work. We don’t make the decisions and we think that everyone who needs help should apply.” Access Flagler First was started four years ago by Janet Nickels, program manager for Flagler County Human Services, and Pastor Charles Silano, of Grace Tabernacle Ministries. About 40 social services agencies have agreed to provide information and assistance. “That says something about all of the social services agencies here in Flagler County,” Nickels said. “There is a need here and they have committed to do this.” TRAIL, which stands for Transitioning youth with disabilities into Real vocational opportunities through Action planning and Individual Learning, was given the spotlight in April. TRAIL is part of the Flagler County School District and serves 18- through 21-year-olds with disabilities who are looking for employment. Nutritious food and “gently used” clothing is given out at each Access Flagler First. “We provide food for about 350 families,” Silano said in April. “This time we had dry goods for them, a whole frozen chicken, bread and fresh vegetables.” The next event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5. For more information and to access a full list of participants, visit the website.
Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Flagler County Children Through Seamless Summer Freeding: The Flagler County Schools, Food & Nutrition Services Department is please to announce that free breakfast and lunch meals will be made available at no charge to all children in the community who are 18 years of age and under. Free meals will be available at the following sites from June 8th – August 14th and closed on July 3rd. Closed site means it’s just for children who are attending camp through the school location. An open site means anyone can come in and have a meal. Menus available online at FlaglerSchools.Nutrislice.com.
Bunnell Elementary – Closed Site: 800 East Howe Street Bunnell, Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Imagine School – Open Site: 775 Town Center Blvd Palm Coast, Breakfast from 9 to 9:30 a.m., lunch 12:30 p.m.
Versie Lee Mitchell Community Center – Open Site: 405 E Drain Street, Bunnell, Breakfast, 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., Lunch, 12:30 p.m.
Wadsworth Elementary School – Open Site: 4550 Belle Terre Parkway Palm Coast, Breakfast, 8 a.m to 9:45 a.m. , Lunch, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Reverse Church – Open Site: 4601 East Moody Blvd. Bunnell, Breakfast, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information call or email Amy Holstein, Food Service S Specialist for Flagler County Schools, 386-437-7526 x1305 or by email, HolsteinA@flaglerschools.com
“The Art of Selling”, a business seminar, will be offered by the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 17. Registration is now under way. The seminar will be held at City of Palm Coast offices, 160 Cypress Point Pkwy., Suite B106. A $10 early-bird, reduced registration fee is available now through May 31. From June 1 to 17, the registration cost is $15. For enrollment information, contact the Palm Coast BAC at 386-986-2499 or log onto www.PalmCoastBAC.com. Seminar Topics will include: The 7 steps of the sales process, how to improve the odds of making quota, preparation approach and discovery, and so on. The seminar will be taught by Ray Peter, Area Manager of the Florida Small Business Development Center. The Palm Coast BAC is a partnership between the City and the SBDC hosted by the University of Central Florida.
Blood donations are urgently needed. Patients in our local hospitals are in need of blood transfusions, and the need for blood does not take a holiday. That’s why OneBlood is asking people to donate immediately.
Big Red Bus schedule in Flagler-Palm Coast:
None provided so far this month.
Hear Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech on the Radical Power of Language (1993):