Monday Briefing: $4.9 Million for Old Kings Road Extension, Naming Buildings, Confederate Flag Debated
FlaglerLive | July 6, 2015
Today: Afternoon thunderstorms, high of 89, low 72. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 401.
The weather in Filadelfia, Paraguay: high 72, low 56. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: ornithopter, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.
Today’s Briefing: Quick Links
- In Flagler and Palm Coast
- Local News Recap
- In Court
- In State Government
- PR Releases
- Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports
- Local Road and Interstate Construction
- In the Press
- In Coming Days in Flagler and Palm Coast
- Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section)
- Cultural Coda
Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
The Flagler County Commission meets: Commissioners are expected to approve a $4.9 million bid by Petticoat-Schmitt Civil Contractors to build the Old Kings Road extension from Forest Grove Drive to Matanzas Woods Parkway, and a $130,000 contract with Strickland Sod Farm for sod along John Anderson Highway, a purchase order that was initially approved in 2012 with a not-to-exceed condition of $50,000. The county administration says up to 400,000 square feet of sod will be required to “stabilize and repair” the right of way, following the widening of the highway. The commission will consider adopting a policy for adding the names of individuals to buildings, monuments, benches and trees. The policy also provides for establishing a wall or hall of honor for people who have made substantial contribution to the county. In an odd proposal, the county is being asked to be a conduit for a $2 million bond issue by the city of Jacksonville on behalf of a non-profgit, Brooks Rehabilitation, that’ll be spending some of the bond proceeds on two developments in the county. The commission will be holding a public hearing on that matter. Expected appointments: Rose Mazzullo to the Flagler County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, Robert Snyder to the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida until October 2016. The full agenda and background materials for the meting are here. (9 a.m., Government Services Building Board Chamber.)
Flagler Chamber Membership Director Thompson Is Fired, Then Insurrection Breaks Out: Dozens of chamber members disagreed with the firing and made their opinions known immediately, helped by Luis Garcia, the chamber member who instigated what amounted to a 24-hour insurrection that resulted in an unusual outpouring of support for Thompson, a web page and a Facebook page created on her behalf, and those web pages being taken down barely a day after they’d gone up.
Red-light cameras: Only four are still around, one is inoperative, and the rest are coming down, the News-Journal’s Tony Holt reports. Palm Coast residents have been seeing workers take down the horrid things since mid-June, a process that’ll take a month. (Paywall-protected.)
Say Goodbye: Old ITT Landmark and School Board Clunker to Be Demolished By Year’s End: Corporate Plaza, the hulking three-story building off Corporate Drive, near Palm Coast Parkway, that once was the face of the nascent city in its ITT headquarter days, and that the school board bought in 2002 for $3.5 million, will be demolish later this year for $200,000.
Baiata Bird Sanctuary: The News-Journal writes about the sanctuary at BNature Scapes created in memory of the late Nature Scapes founder Mary Lou Baiata, who died last year of cancer. Trudy Tappen runs the sanctuary as a non-profit in a converted potting shed. “For Chris Baiata, Marylou’s son, preserving his mother’s legacy and taking care of the six original birds at Nature Scapes was something he knew he had to do,” the article states. (The story is paywall protected, but you can read about the sanctuary in our story of last September here.)
Circuit Judge J. David Walsh holds felony arraignments in more than three dozen cases starting at 8:30 a.m., along with probation violation arraignments and pre-trials. Courtroom 401. County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens holds hearings starting at 9:15 a.m. in Courtroom 404, and hears juvenile cases in the afternoon.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is expected to be among the speakers during an unveiling of a Statue of Liberty replica at Florida International University. The unveiling will take place during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony. (10:30 a.m., Florida International University, Modesto Maidique Campus, 11200 S.W. Eighth St., Miami.)
FPL’s Jacksonville plant purchase: The state Public Service Commission will hold a pre-hearing about a Florida Power & Light proposal to buy a coal-fired power plant in Jacksonville and later shut it down. FPL has a long-term contract to purchase power from the Cedar Bay Generating Plant. If regulators approve the purchase, FPL would end the purchased-power contract and ultimately shut down the plant. A full hearing on the purchase is scheduled to start July 28. (1:30 p.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)
Veterans Hall of Fame: Gov. Rick Scott will host an induction ceremony for the 2014 class of the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The inductees are the late LeRoy Collins Jr., who served as a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserve; retired Army Maj. Gen. James Lee Dozier; retired Col. Harry Frank Farmer Jr., a physician who served in the U.S. Army, Florida Army National Guard and U.S. Air Force Reserve; retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Eugene Cecil Johnson; and retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Lawrence F. Snowden. (3 p.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.)
State Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach, is scheduled to start a series of town-hall meetings. (6:30 p.m., Port Orange City Hall, 1000 City Center Circle.\.)
The European Central Bank meets today to decide Greece’s financial fate.
President Obama addresses the Syrian situation in a speech this afternoon.
Pope Francis, in Ecuador, talks global warming.
The South Carolina Senate today debates the fate of the Confederate flag still flying on the South Carolina Capitol grounds. You can watch a live broadcast of the debate here.
Disabled American Veterans at Flagler Beach’s parade: If you were a pre-parade reveler on Flagler Beach for the Fabulous 4th Festival, you may have been among the lucky individuals who received a complimentary flag from Jim Booe Chapter 86 of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). In their efforts to promote a heightened sense of patriotism in Flagler County, the flag distribution on the beach and along the parade route was part of the DAV’s Flag Flagler campaign, and integral to its overall flag program for the holiday and throughout the year. DAV 86 veterans and Auxiliary members surprised beachgoers with the free flags, and rows of flags could be seen stuck in the sand along the beach throughout the morning. “When beachgoers saw the flags being handed out, I couldn’t believe the response,” said Dawn Vello, DAV Auxiliary member. “Everyone wanted one. And when they learned the flags were free of charge, they were just thrilled. The response was so awesome, I promptly ran out of flags! Luckily I was working with other colleagues and we were able to canvass many of the crowd.” “We’ve been working hard to ensure all veterans’ sacrifices are not forgotten here in Flagler County, especially the sacrifices of disabled veterans,” said DAV 86 Commander Raymond Parker. “Working directly with the Salvation Army to achieve functional zero, eliminating homelessness among veterans in the community, was a major milestone in our county’s efforts. We want to make the same impact with our flag and patriotism program. I had the distinct privilege of being asked to serve as Grand Marshal for this year’s ‘Stars and Stripes’-themed parade. And I was honored to accept.” Chapter 86 DAV’s flag and patriotism program began shortly before Memorial Day 2015 when DAV members decorated with flags approximately 80 military-identified graves in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bunnell. That same weekend, DAV 86 worked with the City of Flagler Beach to host and effect the City’s Memorial Day Tribute for 2015. Shortly thereafter, DAV Chapter 86 launched their flag replacement campaign, to distribute and replace tattered and worn American flags in Flagler County, to provide requestors with a brochure on how to honor and display the American flag, and to retire old flags with an appropriate ceremony, all for the low price of the new flag that’s made right here in the USA. If you are interested in a new or replacement flag for your home, call the DAV at 439-2122, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, phone number and dimensions of your old flag. They’ll set up a convenient time for replacement in Flagler County.
David Keaton has died. He was the nations’ first exonerated Death Row survivor of the modern era. He never received a nickel from the state of Florida for his years on Death Row for a crime he did not commit. He died in poverty. David was a poet, singer-songwriter, and staunch advocate for abolishing the death penalty. This gentle, soft-spoken man was an inspiration to us all to keep fighting the good fight for life, human dignity, and humane treatment of all beings. For more on David and Florida’s 25 Exonerated Death Row Survivors, please click here. Within hours of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision approving lethal injection drugs, Florida AG Pam Bondi filed a legal motion to get executions rolling again. (From Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty)
Marco Rubio Is Hardly a Hero in Cuba. He Likes That.: “In the lush countryside and teeming city neighborhoods where Senator Marco Rubio’s family cut sugar cane, toiled in tobacco mills and scraped by to make a better life for their children, the first Cuban-American to have a plausible chance to become president of the United States is the island’s least favorite son. “If Marco Rubio becomes president, we’re done for,” said Héctor Montiel, 66, offering a vigorous thumbs-down as he sat on the Havana street where Mr. Rubio’s father grew up. “He’s against Cuba in every possible way. Hillary Clinton understands much more the case of Cuba. Rubio and these Republicans, they are still stuck in 1959.” […] Cuban government officials claim disinterest when asked about American presidential candidates, but Mr. Rubio clearly strikes a nerve, prompting eye rolling, dramatic rocking-chair rocking and unkind comments. By contrast, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the other Cuban-American Republican running for president, hardly registers. […] And for all of Jeb Bush’s closeness to the Cuban-American community of Florida, people here think he is either his father or his brother, caricatured in the Museum of the Revolution as Caesar and a Nazi storm trooper holding a book upside down.” From The Times.
Think Tampa Bay’s condo market is booming? You should see Miami’s: “In the past four years, 221 condo towers have been built, started or announced in Miami-Dade County. Downtown Miami alone boasts seven new towers and an additional 25 under construction, some soaring almost 60 stories high. All that shimmering glass and steel is enough to make people from elsewhere in Florida feel like they just got off the train from Hooterville. By comparison, downtown St. Petersburg has three condo projects planned with only one under way. […] Condo sales, while still strong, have slowed. With their currencies dropping in value against the dollar, European and Latin American buyers are no longer as plentiful. Domestic buyers from the Northeast and California tend to prefer Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. And in a county with a per capita income of just $23,000, few locals are moving into condos starting in the high six figures.” From the Tampa Bay Times.
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through June 24:
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 80 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues. Landscape irrigation work continues. Utility connection tie-ins has begun. Two day water samples were taken andbacteriological test have passed. The applications for clearance
will be sent to Florida Department of Environmental
Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 98 percent done: Contactor will be doing pressure testing.
Holland Park, 20 percent done: Installation of 8″ water main, installation of 24″ RCP storm water pipe has begun.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 60 percent done: Installation of drywall of interior walls, mechanical duct work installation, electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping continues. Installation of exterior windows and exterior wall trim continues. Grading and layout for parking area continues and concrete sidewalks have been constructed. Painting of exterior walls continues. FPL transformer and pad have been installed. See ongoing images of construction here.
Colechester at College Waterway Bridge Rehabilitation Construction, 16 percent done: Inside bents and pilings have been painted. Sheet piles were delivered. Demolition on seawall has begun.
County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 20 percent done: A storm structure crossing the road was completed on the east
side of I-95. Fill dirt continues being hauled in to raise the overpass and ramp areas. The city’s portion of the project is also 20 percent done.
Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 88 percent done: Work on parking and drive thru areas continues. Water meters have been installed.
Walmart Addition, 30 percent done: A new Grease Interceptor has been installed replacing the old one outside the new building addition.
Old Kings Road Utilities Work, 75 percent done:Utility Department Water Distribution crews have flushed the new water main. Contractor has set up for pressure testing. Utility Department Water Distribution crews have removed the old 8″ water main and preparing for extension of North Old Kings Road to Matanzas Parkway.
Lane closures planned for Palm Coast July 2 cancelled: In order to improve the flow of traffic, the eastbound lane closures on the I-95 bridge planned for Wednesday, July 1, and Thursday, July 2, between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., have been cancelled. These lane closures will be re-scheduled in the near future during nighttime hours.
Matanzas Woods Parkway closed: Matanzas Woods Parkway is closed until early August for construction of the Interstate 95 interchange. The portion of Matanzas Woods Parkway that spans I-95 will be reconstructed to accommodate four single-lane ramps for on and off access to the interstate. Other improvements include the widening of the interstate to accommodate new acceleration and deceleration lanes, wet detention ponds adjacent to the roadway, sidewalks, lighting, overhead signs and landscaping. Project details are available and regularly updated at http://www.matanzas95interchange.com. The detour map is available here.
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.”
Flagler County Road 302 is Closed to all but local traffic as repaving began on June 7 and the roadway will be closed to all but local traffic. Others will be required to detour around County Road 302 using State Road 100. The roadway will be closed for 90 days, or until early September.
Palm Coast’s Colechester Lane bridge to be closed July 7 through Sept. 4: Palm Coast – Motorists and other travelers are advised that the Colechester Lane bridge will be closed to all traffic from July 7 through Sept. 4 while the bridge is rebuilt. A detour will be established taking travelers over the Colorado Drive bridge instead. Signs will be posted directing motorists to the Colorado Drive bridge. The City of Palm Coast strives for safe construction zones. The City asks for the cooperation and patience of residents as this important bridge improvement project is completed. For more information, contact Palm Coast Customer Service at 386-986-2360.
Volusia: I-95 Southbound On-Ramp Closure for Reconstruction: Starting Thursday, June 25, the I-95 southbound on-ramp – accessed when going westbound on US 92 – will have a detour while closed for reconstruction. The detour will be 9:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. June 25 through July 2. This means the left merge, on-ramp to southbound I-95 from westbound US-92 is closed, and a temporary on-ramp will take its place. This is occurring as the existing I-95 southbound on-ramp is demolished and removed. A temporary signal for I-95 southbound access, has been put in place west of the I-95 and US 92 Interchange, near Skip’s Boots and Motel 6. The detour put in place will be from Tomoka Farms Road to Bellevue Avenue to Williamson Boulevard. Businesses west of the I-95 and US 92 interchange, on the north side of US 92, will need to use their entrances along Tomoka Farms Road. Driveways along US 92 Westbound can be used for exit only. Businesses east of the I-95 and US 92 Interchange, on the north side of US 92, can use the intersection at Indigo Drive as both an entrance and an exit.
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.
- Palm Coast Parkway Project Website
- Florida Department of Transportation Road Project List
- County Road 304 Project Map and Description
Click on the links for more details:
- All Summer: Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Flagler County Children Through Seamless Summer Freeding
- All Summer: Flagler Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Offers Free Summer Activities for Youth .
- All Summer: Swimming lessons and lifeguard classes available at Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool.
- Registration opens for 2015 Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches Senior Games.
- July 10: “Back to the Future” is the Movie in the Park, scheduled for 8:40 p.m. at Central Park in Town Center, 975 Central Ave.
- Sept. 28: Bunnell’s State of the Art Water Treatment Facility Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at 100 Utility Drive (directly across the street from the Flagler County Government Services Building), from 4 to 6 p.m.
Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):
From djsii, in “Say Goodbye: Old ITT Landmark and School Board Clunker to Be Demolished By Year’s End“: “What an absolute WASTE of taxpayers dollars. Who’s pockets were lined as a result of this one? $3,500,000 to purchase, $910,000 to maintain over the past 13 years???? ($70K X 13), $200,000 to demolish (at least that’s the estimate). So for $4,610,000 spent on this elephant we might be able to obtain $1,000,000 if sold for it’s value today; we can wait ten years to sell and hope that we don’t have another 2008 market fluctuation; or we can hope to trade it for some undefined favor in the future. I wonder why the structural flaws or safety issues in this building were not found when it was initially purchased? If the flaws were not there, I wonder why a $70,000/year maintenance program couldn’t fix those problems as they arose? In either case, it smacks of either gross incompetence or graft from the officials in charge at the time.” Reply here.
“He did love secrets. The secret of nobody’s knowing what was going on in your head, thinking whatever you wanted to think with no way of anybody’s knowing. All the other kids were always blabbing about themselves. But that wasn’t where the power was or the pleasure either. The power and pleasure were to be found in the opposite, in being counterconfessional in the same way you were a counterpuncher.”