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Backgrounders
Category archives for: Backgrounders

In Fear of ATS: The Palm Coast City
Council’s Red-Light Camera Delusions

| March 1, 2015

After coming close to suspending its red-light camera [program, the Palm Coast City Council has retreated, again exposing a willingness to do its camera vendor’s bidding before looking after its residents’ interests.

Shackling Juveniles: Despite 2009 Court Decision, Practice Continues Away From Courtroom

| March 1, 2015

Florida’s Supreme Court found shackling juveniles “repugnant, degrading, humiliating, and contrary to the stated primary purposes of the juvenile justice system” in a 2009 decision barring the practice in courtrooms, but shackling carries on elsewhere.

Palm Coast Watering Restrictions for Daylight Saving Time

| March 1, 2015

Watering restrictions during Daylight Saving Time begin March 8 and run through Nov. 1 in 2015. Here’s the landscape irrigation policy for Palm Coast, aligning with the restrictions issued by the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Why Almost 1 in 4 Floridian Driver Has No Car Insurance: Poverty

| February 28, 2015

Florida’s poverty rate is 17 percent and 23.8 of its motorists are uninsured. Uninsured drivers face stiff fines in many states, but some that have such penalties on the books often fail to enforce them.

Net Neutrality: If History Is Any Guide, The Battle Is Far From Over

| February 27, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to approve new rules that effectively barred Internet companies from prioritizing some Internet traffic over others.

Palm Coast Will Borrow $30 Million to Build New Sewer Plant, Pledging No Rate Increase For 5 Years

| February 26, 2015

The new plant would be financed with a 20-year loan at less than 1 percent interest, and the city’s total debt load would rise to around $200 million. It also depends on steady growth in coming years.

Pot. Beer Wars. Gambling. Even Pension Reform. Sen. Rob Bradley Says Bring ‘Em On

| February 26, 2015

Many of this Florida legislative session’s thorniest issues — and more — rest in the hands of Sen. Rob Bradley, a laid-back junior legislator and chairman of a committee dubbed by Senate President Andy Gardiner as the “Thunderdome.”

Special Election Candidates Slog Through Only Local Forum, Except When Talk Turns to Guns

| February 25, 2015

The largely plodding Q&A forum organized by three Flagler business groups held few surprises and featured Senate candidates David Cox and Travis Hutson and House candidates Adam Morley and Paul Renner.

Palm Coast May Reduce Red-Light Cameras to 5, But Won’t Scrap Program For Fear of ATS

| February 24, 2015

Fearful of a lawsuit from ATS, its red-light camera provider. the Palm Coast City Council says it would reduce the cameras from 43 to five, but not eliminate them, even if it means ending all its revenue from the cameras but preserving that of ATS.

County Attorney Al Hadeed Responds to “Extreme Allegations” in Ex-Supervisor Weeks’s Florida Bar Complaint

| February 24, 2015

The Florida Bar complaint against Hadeed by Kimberle Weeks, never made public until the county administration released it Monday, was part of a series of similar maneuvers Weeks and an ally filed with the state ethics commission and the state elections commission.

As FAA Issues Rules, New Palm Coast Drone Company Beguiles Realtors and Others

| February 23, 2015

CAVU Aerial Photography, a drone company in Palm Coast since August, has been showing Realtors, communications companies and others the many uses of drone technology, which is expected to boom with the FAA’s new, more permissive rules.

FPC’s Dustin Sims Is One of Three Finalist For State Assistant Principal of the Year

| February 23, 2015

The Assistant Principal of the Year receives a cash prize of $2,500 and a weekend resort stay at the Walt Disney World Resort and theme park admission also courtesy of Disney Youth Programs.

From His Flagler Beach Home Base: Ray Black Jr.’s Road to NASCAR’s Truck Series

| February 20, 2015

Ray Black Jr., competing tonight in NASCAR’s Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, tells of his joujrney from Alabama to Flagler Beach, and the wisdom in not wrecking.

FHP Launches “Operation Race to Safety” on I-95, Targeting Aggressive Drivers

| February 19, 2015

Coinciding with races and the traffic they bring at the International Speedway, FHP will be conducting Operation Race to Safety between Thursday, February 19 and Sunday February 22, 2015.

Publix Doesn’t Want You To Buy Liquor In Grocery Stores. Wal-Mart and Target Do.

| February 18, 2015

A proposed law to end Florida’s 80-year-old prohibition on liquor in any but stand-alone stores cleared a House committee over the objections of Publix, some sheriffs and liquor store owners.

Appeal Court Upholds Florida’s Ban on Open-Carry, But Case Appears Headed For Supremes

| February 18, 2015

Dale Norman, a resident of St. Lucie County, was arrested at gunpoint for carrying an openly visible handgun in a holster, on his hip. Florida Carry Inc. took his case and has been fighting his conviction since.

Sheriff Manfre Agrees to $183,000 Settlement Over Wage Dispute With 155 Deputies

| February 18, 2015

The settlement will award an average of $487 in back pay to 104 current and former road deputies, and an average of $1,670 to current and former corrections deputies, ending one of three major legal matters burdening the sheriff’s office.

Buddy Holly Story at the Flagler Auditorium: The Boundless Influence Of a Rock Legend

| February 13, 2015

“The Buddy Holly Story,” at the Flagler Auditorium Friday, reflects the enduring influence and popularity of a rock-and-roller whose career spanned just 18 months before he died in a plane crash.

Despite Obamacare Rules, Some Contraceptives May Still Require Co-Pay

| February 11, 2015

Even though an unplanned pregnancy would cost an insurer a lot more than the contraceptives to prevent it, some insurers still try to limit what they cover.

Palm Coast Begins Conversion to LED Street Lights In Latest Push For Conservation

| February 11, 2015

Palm Coast won’t retrofit its 3,000 street lights to LED just yet, but all new installations will be LED, and in a year or 18 months may consider a broader retrofit program if the investment shows solid savings over time.

Parents Ask Judge To Disqualify Union From Challenging School Voucher Program

| February 9, 2015

Lawyers for the state and parents whose children use Florida’s de facto school-voucher program argued Monday that groups including the state’s largest teachers union don’t have the right to challenge the program in court.

Jeb Bush’s Behavior in the Terry Schiavo Case: Unworthy of a Governor — Or a President

| February 9, 2015

Schiavo was brain-dead for 10 years. Her Catholic parents prevented her husband from removing a feeding tube, and Jeb Bush intervened, strong-arming the Florida Legislature to circumvent a court ruling.

Last Tango For Nuclear:
Atomic Power’s Environmental Ringers

| February 8, 2015

The nuclear power industry’s attempted revival is relying on a corps of environmental converts to the cause, including Obama climate czar Carol Browner and ex-EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman.

Gripes Aside, 6,000 Palm Coast and Flagler County Residents Enrolled in Obamacare as Deadline Approaches

| February 6, 2015

Brisk enrollment in Flagler County and Palm Coast is nevertheless accompanied by individuals’ continued struggles, financial and ideological, over the Affordable Care Act even as Florida leads the nation in Obamacare enrollments, with 1.3 million people, and more expected ahead of the deadline.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortions and Repeal of Undocumented Immigrant Attorney Law Filed

| February 6, 2015

In a sign that hard-core Republican legislators intend to press their case at the Florida Legislature, lawmakers this week filed bills that would impose a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and that would repeal the law adopted last year that enabled Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, to become a practicing lawyer.

Strong Job-Creation Pace Continues, Adding 1 Million in Last 3 Months

| February 6, 2015

The U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January, continuing a job-creation pace not seen since 1999, when the economy added 3.18 million jobs overall. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.7 percent.

A Strip-Club Sin Tax That Also Takes Names? This Conservative Says No And No.

| February 5, 2015

Florida lawmakers are considering a measure that would charge a $10 surtax on sex-club patrons and require the business to keep a database of customers. Nancy Smith says no.

Don’t Expect Supreme Court’s Latest Review of Lethal Injection to Kill Death Penalty

| February 5, 2015

States changed from hanging to electric chair because it was a modern, supposedly painless method of execution. Botched executions have rendered that assumption problematic.

“I’m So F— Sorry”: In 911 Call of AK-47 Shooting, Regret and Worries of Going to Jail

| February 4, 2015

In the 911 call, Brandon Williamson describes how he shot his friend Shane Huber and apologized repeatedly as Huber sat or stood near him for 8 minutes before deputies and paramedics arrived.

Salamander’s Hammock Beach Hotel: An Invitation to Future Prosperity in Flagler

| January 31, 2015

Tim hale, a Palm Coast business owner and Hammock resident, argues that Flagler County’s economic future is intertwined with Salamander’s proposed 198-room hotel at Hammock Beach.

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