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Category archives for: Backgrounders

Floridia Mosquitoes Are Spreading Chikungunya Virus Once Limited to Caribbean Travelers

| July 21, 2014

This year, 81 cases of Chikungunya have been identified in Florida, including 15 diagnosed last week, including two contracted in Florida. Until Thursday’s announcement, all the cases had been contracted by people who had been traveling in the Caribbean.

Israel’s March of Folly

| July 20, 2014

Israel’s latest attack on Gaza reflects yet again that peculiar blend of arrogance and bigotry that has characterized Israeli policy toward Arabs since 1982: the arrogance that Israel is infallible, and the bigotry that sees Arabs either as inferior creatures to be walled off or as terrorists to be killed. It shouldn’t be surprised when the beasts rebel.

Palm Coast Activists Drop 1,600 Postcards to Rep. Ron DeSantis, Seeking Better Gun-Safety

| July 16, 2014

The national, week-long “Not One More” campaign was inspired by the passionate plea of Richard Martinez, father of a victim of the May 23 mass shooting in Santa Barbara, in which Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 13 before killing himself.

Two Florida Teens Missing 44 Days
Are Found in Montana, Out of Gas

| July 10, 2014

Ivy Warhul, 14, and Ronnie Sousa, 16, went missing on May 27 at 4 a.m. when they left the Gulf Coast area in a gray Honda Element, and were spotted in Flagler before being found by an alert sheriff’s deputy in Montana on July 9.

Flagler Beach Fireworks Scheduled for July 4, Palm Coast on July 3

| July 4, 2014

Flagler Beach fireworks and parade schedule and route, and other 2014 Independence Day activities on July 4th in Flagler Beach and July 3rd in Palm Coast’s Town Center.

Bulldog Drive War Over: Palm Coast Settles With Ajram, Paying Him $215,000 More Than It Offered in 2011

| July 2, 2014

Palm Coast agreed to pay GEA Auto owner Gus Ajram $1.15 million for his two properties on Bulldog Drive, $25,000 more than even he was asking three years ago, ending years of acrimony and clearing the way for the city to eventually (and again) widen Bulldog Drive unimpeded.

Obama as Worst President Since 1945, Pains of Being a Black Gun Owner, Target’s Gun Ban, Killing Civil Rights

| July 2, 2014

A new poll finds a third of Americans rating Obama the worst president since World War II and Reagan the best, Target finally bans guns from its stores, how the Civil Rights Act could never pass today, Huckleberry Finn’s censors, and more.

Thank You EPA: Satellite Imagery Shows Dramatic Air Quality Improvements

| July 1, 2014

An animated map created from NASA satellite data shows stunning improvements in air quality in U.S. cities between 2005 and 2011.

Crist and Scott Campaign Cash Keeps Rolling In, But Spending Differs Widely

| June 30, 2014

Scott’s political committee spent about $3.94 million on advertising during the first three weeks of June, while Crist continued to stay off the airwaves, funneling money to the Florida Democratic Party instead.

On Tuesday, 158 New Laws Go Into Effect in Florida. Here Are the Highlights.

| June 26, 2014

Here’s a run-down of the most important of the 158 new laws going into effect in Florida on Tuesday, from granting parents power to contest textbook selection to the “Florida GI Bill” which is intended to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation, to lowering college costs.

John Thrasher’s Quest for FSU Presidency Out of Special Treatment With New Consultant

| June 25, 2014

The search for Florida State University’s next president won’t be sidetracked again for a powerful state politician — or any other individual — who wants the job, the new consultant said.

USA 2, Portugal 2:
Triumph and Agony

| June 22, 2014

Beating Ghana was thrilling, but only beating Portugal will prove that the Americans are serious about their World Cup campaign. Against whiny, brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo, and without Jozy Altidore, the Americans may have a crucifying 90 minutes in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

Room For Debate:
Should The Washington Redskins Change Name?

| June 22, 2014

The U.S. Patent Office’s decision to block trademarks for the Washington Redskins has renewed debate on the NFL team’s name, which Indians find offensive and the team owner and NFL commissioner defend as traditional and respectful. The debate is outlined.

Don’t Buy The Flagler Beach Fire Department’s Deceptions: City Doesn’t Need New Aerial Fire Truck

| June 21, 2014

The Flagler Beach Fire Department is veiling its unwise request for a new $600,000 fire truck under the guise of “fire safety equipment,” a deception–and a purchase, with money the city cannot afford–residents should reject, argues Rick Blehumeur.

For Floridians, Affordable Care Act Lives Up To Its Name: Average Monthly Premium Is $68

| June 19, 2014

The $68 a month average premium is considerably less than the national average of $82. The plans are subsidized through tax credits taken in advance. Ninety-one percent of those who enrolled in Florida received the financial help, averaging $278 a month.

Colombia 3, Greece 0: Juan Valdez Beats Zeus

| June 14, 2014

Colombia can be among the surprises of the tournament, and they’re playing in a group that favors it: anyone in Group C can win it, anyone can advance.

Mexico 1, Cameroon 0: Nothing To Lose

| June 13, 2014

An evenly matched game between two formerly competitive teams that don’t have it this year, and barely qualified, which should make this a lot more fun than it deserves to be: in essence neither team has anything left to lose and can make a stepping stone of the other.

Staving Off a Major Blow, Palm Coast Data Settles With German Publisher, Extending Relationship

| June 12, 2014

Heinrich Bauer LLC, one Palm Coast Data’s major clients, released some claims on the company in exchange for more than 10 percent of the company’s stock and a pledge to stay with Palm Coast Data through 2018. The alternative would have represented a significant blow to Palm Coast Data, which has already been weakened by successive losses over the years.

70 Years Ago: Remembering 15 Flagler County GIs Who Took Part in the D-Day Landing in Normandy

| June 5, 2014

Of the over 400 individuals from this county who answered the call of duty in World War II, 15 Flagler Countians were on duty in England in June 1944, in preparation for the D-Day landing in Normandy. Here are their stories as culled by the Flagler Tribune at the time.

Florida Leads Nation in Inmates Who Serve 100% Of Their Sentence, Increasing Chance of Re-Offending When Released

| June 5, 2014

A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds Florida leading the nation in inmates who “max out” their sentences — serving 100 percent of their time and being released with no supervision beyond the prison gates, thus increasing the chance of re-offending. Almost a third do re-offend.

Flagler County Adds a 7th Ambulance Unit But Reduces Staffing on Some Fire Engines, Triggering Concerns

| May 29, 2014

Staring May 20, Flagler County Fire Rescue reduced fire engine staffing from three firefighters to two at two of the county’s three fire stations to make possible the addition of a seventh ambulance unit, reducing response time or the need for aide from neighboring counties. But the shift has triggered opposition from the firefighters’ union, on safety grounds, and fears among residents.

Tri-County Drug Sweep Nets 57 Arrests, 20 in Flagler, But Many Back On the Streets Swiftly

| May 28, 2014

Dubbed “Operation Safe Summer,” the three-county drug sweep was conducted to reduce the amount of drugs available as summer break approaches, officials said, but by late afternoon several of those arrested were already back on the streets, and many more would likely follow.

Maya Angelou, On the Pulse of Mourning

| May 28, 2014

Starting with ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ Maya Angelou’s seven-part autobiography redefined the art of memoir writing while giving voice to a form of literary jazz and blues that trace the liberation and triumphs of a black woman in a culture that, as a result, bears her mark.

Flagler Gun & Archery Club Raises $3,150 for American Cancer Society

| May 28, 2014

The Flagler Gun & Archery Club’s Cancer in the Crosshairs fundraiser on May 4th raised $3,150 for cancer research in the name of Marlene Germain, who died in December of pancreatic cancer, the club announced.

Drunk Drivers and Boaters Beware: Sheriff Deploying Extra Patrols in Flagler Over Memorial Weekend

| May 23, 2014

Flagler Sheriff’s deputies will be conducting extra patrols this weekend throughout the county. The extra patrols will take place on our local roads and waterways during the three-day Memorial Day holiday. But deputies will not set up check points.

Florida Prisons Want To Slash Kosher Offerings; Justice Department Says It Would Be Illegal

| May 22, 2014

In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.

From a New Branch Library to a West Side Fire Station, Flagler Commissioners Weigh Sales Tax-Funded Projects

| May 22, 2014

Most of the $2-million-a-year sales tax revenue the county commission voted in almost two years ago is spoken for–a new jail, a new sheriff’s HQ–but a few million dollars remain spendable. The administration is proposing a long wish list that commissioners will now rank.

Dispute Over State’s Shifting Juvenile Detention Costs to Counties Simmers Again

| May 19, 2014

The dispute goes back to 2004 and centers on DJJ’s handling of a law that requires counties help pay for “predisposition,” or the costs of detaining underage offenders before they are sentenced. It affects 38 counties. The 29 poorest counties in the state are considered “fiscally constrained” and aren’t part of the cost-sharing formula.

As City Market Place Plays Hardball With Palm Coast, Gallery’s and Theater’s Future There Dims

| May 15, 2014

The new owners of City Market Place want to jack up rent on Palm Coast city offices by 33 percent, and slam similar increases on Hollingsworth Gallery and other long-time anchors of the strip mall, making every one of those tenants question whether they will be there much longer–and placing a cloud on the future of some tenants, such as City Repertory Theatre.

PERT: Why Flagler Students Are Forced to Take the Stupidest Test You’ve Never Heard Of

| May 14, 2014

Why are a slew of high achievers at Matanzas High School and FPC who have already succeeded in various courses having to take the so-called Post Secondary Educational Readiness Test on top of all other tests? How many unnecessary, time-consuming tests are we going to continue to subject our students to?

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