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Category archives for: Backgrounders

Psychiatry as Industry of Death: Scientology Blitzes Shrinks in New Clearwater Museum

| October 4, 2015

The museum, “Psychiatry: Industry of Death,” occupies most of the 1st floor of new headquarters for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in Clearwater. The Church of Scientology has long been at odds with the field of psychiatry.

Weekend Briefing: Guns’ 36-Kills-a-Day U.S. Habit, Hurricane Joaquin’s Waves, Godspell at CRT, Matt Beyrer at Ocean Art

| October 2, 2015

Beyond the routine of the latest mass-shooting, Joaquin is moving away, Godspell should not be missed at City Repertory Theatre, Paul Krugman picks up on the resilience of vodoo economics.

Flagler County Youth Center Marks 10 Years in Continuing County-School Board Partnership

| October 1, 2015

Flagler County government built the $1 million youth center as part of a tax-supported referendum 10 years ago. The school board staffs it, under the leadership of Cheryl Massaro, its one and only director.

Rick Scott, Who Made Millions as Hospital CEO, Now Faults Hospital Costs

| September 28, 2015

The proposals are the latest in a series of moves by Scott, who made millions as CEO of HCA/Columbia, to revamp the hospital industry. The Legislature will have to enact his proposals.

Police Body Cams: Exemptions From Public-Record Disclosure Belie Intended Transparency

| September 26, 2015

Police body cams were intended to improve accountability and public access to cops’ work. Access exemptions in Florida and many other states are instead countering their intended purpose.

“He Kept Pushing Me Mentally”: Anna and John Pehota’s Life Before She Shot Him

| September 25, 2015

Anna Pehota shot dead her husband John in their Hammock trailer Sept. 23. John’s best friend recalls four decades of knowing the couple he calls “the sweetest in the world.”

New Laws Next Week On Revenge Porn, Domestic Violence, Trafficking, Cop Funerals

| September 25, 2015

Among 27 new Florida laws starting next week, it’ll be illegal to post sexually explicit material without the knowledge of people identified in the images, criminal penalties will increase on sex trafficking, the state may spend $5,000 on cop funerals.

Weekend Briefing: Godspell at CRT, Jeb Bush Channels Romney’s “Free Stuff,” Drug Take-Back Saturday

| September 25, 2015

Jeb Bush puts Mitt Romney’s foot in his own mouth with his latest insult to minorities, “Godpsell” continues at Palm Coast’s City Repertory Theatre, drug take-back Saturday in Palm Coast.

8.8 Million More People Got Health Insurance Last Year, Largely Due to Obamacare

| September 19, 2015

The increase, due to the Affordable Care Act, is unprecedented since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago. Expanding Medicaid–as Florida did not–would have added to the ranks of the insured even more.

Everybody Likes Pre-K. Defining It Is Another Matter.

| September 12, 2015

While there’s a growing consensus on the value of preschool, states disagree on where the programs should be based, who should run them, or how the government should support them.

For Every US Soldier Killed in Afghanistan, 13 Children Were Shot and Killed in America

| September 6, 2015

Between 2002 and 2012, at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 made up over two-thirds of all youth gun deaths in America.

Privatize the Flagler Beach Pier? Commission Says Yes to 6 Events Per Year, to Make Money

| September 1, 2015

The Flagler Beach pier already generates well over $300,000 a year for the city, and rising, but commissioners want more: they’d close off the pier to private parties six times a year, for $155 an hour plus additional fees.

Flagler, Among Top 10 Counties With Most Concealed-Weapon Licenses, Will Fast-Track Permitting

| August 31, 2015

Flagler has 8.24 concealed carry permits for every 100 residents. Starting Jan. 1, the Flagler Tax Collector’s office will accept concealed-weapon permit applications for $134 and renewals for $72.

With Florida Leading U.S. in Child Drownings, States Are Pressed to Improve Prevention

| August 30, 2015

Florida had 50 drownings of children 15 or younger last year, by far the most in the nation. California was second with 36. Better pool-safety regulations help.

SLAPP This: Florida Scores a Big Free Speech Victory Against Intimidation Lawsuits

| August 27, 2015

It was a rare success in the last Florida Legislative session: a new law protecting the public from frivolous corporate or otherwise intimidating lawsuits intended to silence public expression in government issues.

Disaster Economics 101: Flagler Businesses Are Made Part of County’s Recovery Plans

| August 27, 2015

Kevin Guthrie, the county’s emergency services director, told some 80 Flagler business leaders what role they must play in the immediate recovery after a disaster to ensure that the local economy returns to normal.

Cashing In on Pot: How Business Is Getting High on Marijuana’s Potential

| August 24, 2015

The industry totaled $2.66 billion in U.S. sales in 2014, up 74 percent from $1.53 billion the year before, with expectations that the market will expand exponentially as more states legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

Entrapments of Color Blindness: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 10

| August 19, 2015

There’s a bit of vomit to start off Chapter 10 of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” much of it from our contributing writers, who have a hard time understanding how it takes Scout 25 years to discover what her father is about.

2nd Only to Texas With Military Retirees, Florida Facing Stiff Competition For Them

| August 10, 2015

Military retirees are some of the best-educated, best-trained and youngest retirees around. Florida has nearly 200,000 of them. States are using their tax codes to lure them.

Scout’s Dishonors: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 9

| August 9, 2015

In Chapter 9 of “Go Set a Watchman,” Harper Lee gives us a short biography of Scout’s past between various deaths and blood flows, without as yet revisiting her recent discovery about a bigoted father.

Atticus Finch, Grand Wizard of the KKK: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 8

| August 4, 2015

In Chapter 8 of “Go Set a Watchman,” Scout discovers that her father Atticus is the leader of a KKK-like organization, and her boyfriend is just as much as a white supremacist.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 7: Doxology Sings Dixie

| July 31, 2015

In Chapter 7 of “Go Set a Watchman,” a church service turns into an example of Northern aggression against Southern hymnals and Doxology.

In Walton, One Confederate Flag Replaces Another as “Compromise” Is Termed a Cop-Out

| July 28, 2015

The Panhandle’s Walton County Commission today voted 4-0 to replace the Confederate battle flag with the first flag of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars, on government grounds, eliciting applause from some and ridicule from others.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 6: Skinny Dipping Sins

| July 27, 2015

In Chapter 6 of “Go Set a Watchman,” Scout and Henry take a dip in the waters off Finch Landing, fully clothed, but no one believes they stayed modest.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 5: Days Of Her Lives

| July 24, 2015

In Chapter 5 of “Go Set a Watchman,” Scout flashes back to childhood as she skates on a date with Henry.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 4: Maycomb Delta

| July 23, 2015

In Chapter 4 of “Go Set a Watchman,” Scout and Henry have a date after Lee gives us a brief history of Maycomb, in words almost identical to those used in Mockingbird.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 3: Aunt Alexandra’s Trash

| July 21, 2015

In Chapter 3 of “Go Set a Watchman,” Scout and Aunt Alexandra rumble over Henry, and our 10 readers respond every which way.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 2: Atticus-Scout Reunion

| July 20, 2015

Ten diverse and opinionated members of the Flagler-Palm Coast community take on Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” in a new experiment in communal reading, chapter by chapter. Join us.

Flagler Live-Blogs Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 1: Back to Maycomb

| July 19, 2015

Ten diverse and opinionated members of the Flagler-Palm Coast community take on Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” in a new experiment in communal reading, chapter by chapter. Join us.

Abandoned by Family, Giuseppe Verdone Is Sentenced to Life Without Parole in Carjacking of Chinese Restaurant Owner

| July 15, 2015

Judge J. David Walsh imposed two life terms and two 30-year terms, all concurrently, after denying a motion for a new trial. Verdone, 24, declined to address the court.



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