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Backgrounders
Category archives for: Backgrounders

When a County Commissioner Calls The Supervisor of Elections A “Bitch”

| August 19, 2014

In a conversation with a reporter Monday, Flagler County Commissioner Frank Meeker referred to Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks as a “bitch” in what he termed a slip of the tongue, quickly apologizing afterward.

The Phony War Over Campaign Signs

| August 17, 2014

The problem isn’t the county’s ban on campaign signs at the public library, it’s the dismal slate of candidates on this year’s primary ballots, but Flagler’s Ronald Reagan Assembly candidates and Supervisor of Elections Weeks have teamed up to play up a bogus controversy.

Every Town a Ferguson:
Reflections of a Scary Black Kid from Brooklyn

| August 16, 2014

Next time you feel intimidated by a black man, try to understand that it’s not about you, writes Jon Hardison, as much as it reflects remnants of a fear of what the average black American grew up with.

Manatees No Longer Endangered? Not So Fast.

| August 15, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering downlisting manatees from endangered to threatened, reducing their protective status. Save the Manatee Club’s Katie Tripp argues the proposal rests on too scanty data.

County Commission Candidate Mark Richter’s Past: Felony Conviction, 7 Weeks in Navy, and Unanswered Questions

| August 14, 2014

Flagler County Commission candidate Mark Richter refused to document claims about his recent past or answer questions about his background until records obtained by FlaglerLive compelled him to address a few issues. But he left many questions unanswered.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

Tennessee Williams’s “Suddenly Last Summer” Gorges on Flagler Stage in Palm Coast Arts Foundation Fundraiser

| August 8, 2014

“Suddenly Last Summer” will be staged for one performance only on Aug. 16, at Lohman Auditorium in Marineland, under the direction of City Repertory Theatre’s John Sbordone, starring Annie Gaybis and Ann Kraft.

On Medical Pot, Palm Coast and Flagler Beach Governments Are Smoking the Wrong Stuff

| August 4, 2014

Flagler Beach’s actual and Palm Coast’s planned zoning restrictions on medical marijuana are wrong-headed, needlessly antagonistic toward medical pot users, and based on more misinformation than public expectations on medical marijuana.

Extensive Plagiarism Detected in Flagler School Board Candidate Maria Barbosa’s Interview

| August 4, 2014

Out of 15 questions Maria P. Barbosa answered, 14 instances of plagiarism were detected, including lines lifted from her opponent Andy Dance’s website, from School Board member Colleen Conklin’s interview, and from numerous other academic, journalism and political web sites.

Misleading TV Report Raises Overblown Fears About “Flesh-Eating” Bacteria on Beaches

| August 1, 2014

Flagler County Health Department Director Patrick Johnson and his staff have been fielding calls from tourists worried about reports of “flesh-eating” bacteria on local beaches. And they’ve been telling them to relax: the reports are misleading and outright false.

Study Reveals Severe Tornado-Awareness Gap in Palm Coast Despite Ready Warnings

| July 31, 2014

More than half Palm Coast residents warned of December’s tornado took no safety precautions afterward, a new study finds, alarming officials about an apathy they say must be countered, though Palm Coast’s response to the study has been more muted than another city’s where tornado awareness is far more heightened.

Briefing : Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana Legalization

| July 30, 2014

The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, known as Amendment 2, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Florida. The measure would legalize medical marijuana through an amendment to the state Constitution. Here’s a briefing, including the ballot summary and the full text of the amendment.

Palm Coast Data Lost 70% of Clients in 6 Years; Parent Company Posts $2.9 Million Loss for ’14

| July 30, 2014

Palm Coast Data now performs subscription fulfillment services for 405 magazine titles representing 90 clients, down from 1,050 magazines and 300 clients when it inked a deal with Palm Coast government in 2008 to stay in the city and pledge to increase the workforce by 700. That increase never took place.

Q&A Forum Featuring All Candidates for Local Office Monday at Palm Coast’s Hilton Garden Inn

| July 30, 2014

It starts at 5 p.m. with a little booze and at 6 p.m. with a lot of questions. The public is not only welcome but urged to be there: voter apathy has been embarrassingly pronounced in Flagler County, with the last two off-year election primaries striking successive turn-out lows of 23 and 22 percent.

Impeaching Obama, Ghastly Gaza, The Times Goes to Pot, Sarah Palin Goes Oprah

| July 30, 2014

The GOP fantasizes about impeaching Obama, The New York Times finally loves pot legalization, Gaza explodes all sorts of myths, Sarah Palin launches a ghastly channel, Siegfried Sassoon reminds us of heroism’s ironies, and what your stomach does to a burger.

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, 1949-2014

| July 27, 2014

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, 1949-2014: military and economic aid broken down by year, from the Congressional Research Service reports.

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.

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