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2013 February
Archive for: February, 2013

In Search of Civility in Our Political Life

| February 28, 2013

How have we reached a point when anger, obstructionism, bipartisanship and manufactured crises have replaced diplomacy, cooperation, negotiation and problem solving? Paula Dockery asks and answers.

Florida Posts 32% Drop in Youth Lock-Up Rate Since 1997, In Line With U.S. Numbers

| February 28, 2013

The peak nationally came in 1995, with 107,637 juveniles incarcerated on a single day, and dropped to 70,792 on a single day in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. During that time, the overall incarceration rate dropped by 41 percent.

Jamesine Fischer Pleads Guilty in Hit-and-Run, Will Serve 21 to 36 Months in State Prison

| February 28, 2013

Jamesine Fischer Thursday morning pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident with a death, in the hit-and-run killing of 76-year-old Francoise Pecqueur in Palm Coast in November 2011.

Between Firings and Wrist-Slaps: How the Flagler Beach Fire Department Was Gutted

| February 28, 2013

Flagler Beach City Manager Bruce Campbell fired the fire chief and four others while retaining Acting Fire Chief Bobby Pace, who falsified records, after a three-day suspension. Volunteer firefighters were hired in the others’ place to ensure that the city remains protected.

Repeat Folly: Florida Prepares to Boom Again By Busting Local Environmental Authority

| February 27, 2013

Bills in the Florida Legislature would take away Flagler’s and other counties’ authority to ensure that development doesn’t sprawl without required infrastructure, and would virtually demolish environmental land acquisition programs. Milissa Holland argues that such bills make a mockery of local control.

From Bankruptcy to Granny Nannies: Navigating the Shoals of Long-Term Care

| February 27, 2013

Long-term care insurance is expensive, but the costs of long-term care are far more so. The experiences of local residents and businesses contending ding with reality almost everyone will eventually face illustrate the dilemmas of aging in a society with a meager safety net. A special report.

Gov. Scott Loses Welfare Drug-Testing Case Again, But Vows to Fight On to Supreme Court

| February 27, 2013

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the state had not shown a “special need” for drug testing applicants to the program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It upheld a preliminary injunction issued in 2011 by U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven.

Tipsy on Daytona Beach’s Example, Palm Coast Considers Getting Its Own Liquor License

| February 26, 2013

The Palm Coast City Council is now considering applying for its own liquor license and, in an even more remarkable move, designating Central Park as a civic center where vendors could sell booze at special events under the city’s umbrella.

Picking on Poorer Parents, Florida Targets Early-Learning “Fraud” That Doesn’t Exist

| February 26, 2013

Allegations of “potential” fraud in Florida’s early learning programs have served as the basis for repeated attempts at a legislative cure – including this year – but are melting away under scrutiny by investigators.

What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Funding

| February 26, 2013

President Obama has directed the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence as part of his legislative package on gun control. The CDC hasn’t pursued this kind of research since 1996 when the National Rifle Association lobbied Congress to cut funding for it.

32-Year-Old Palm Coast Store Clerk Is Killed in Apparent Hit; Assailant Still at Large

| February 26, 2013

32-year-old Zuheily Roan Rosado was shot and killed shortly after 10 p.m. at the Mobil gas station and convenience store on State Road 100. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has no suspect in sight.

In a Coup for Coastal Cloud, Gov. Scott in Flagler Today to Dedicate New IT Company

| February 26, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott will join the Flagler County Commission Tuesday morning in the ribbon cutting ceremony of Coastal Cloud, a cutting-edge Information Technology consulting company to be headquartered in Flagler County.

In Rubio’s Republican Party, Appeals To Victimhood Are Getting Old

| February 25, 2013

Republicans over the last decade or so have become a party that tethered their Election Day successes to an appeal to the lesser angels in people, on convincing voters they need to fear forces trying to take things away from them, that they need to look out for Number One, argues Dan Gelber.

Flagler’s West Side, Tired of Black Sheep Label, Wants Better Fire-Rescue Services

| February 25, 2013

Response time to emergencies in Western Flagler County can be very long, prompting west side residents to urge county officials to set up a more permanent rescue station there. Officials have been listening, and may soon have a plan.

Task Force Stands Its Ground Against Changing Florida’s Castle Doctrine Law

| February 25, 2013

The panel charged by Gov. Rick Scott with reviewing the state’s ‘stand your ground’ self-defense law did not recommend any major changes to the statute, although it did make suggestions for tweaks by the Legislature in the upcoming session.

Where Obama’s Drone War May Have Gone Too Far: Targeting U.S. Citizens

| February 24, 2013

The Justice Department memo on targeting U.S. citizens references a “broader concept of imminence,” which it holds “does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

With “Twilight,” Rodney King Riots Transform Palm Coast Stage Into a Rap of Revelations

| February 23, 2013

“Twilight,” the new play opening at Palm Coast’s City Repertory Theatre, is a violently exuberant recreation of the world of the 1992 South-Central riots into a unique theatrical experience that manages to coil hope, humor and grit out of despair.

From Guernica to Who Gives a Damn: Modern Warfare’s Droning Savagery

| February 22, 2013

There was a time when people could actually be shocked by the slaughter of civilians during a war. No more. We kid ourselves that our warfare is moral and clean and good and that it’s the other guys who commit the war crimes. Don’t believe it, argues Donald Kaul.

In a Blow to Workers and Home Rule, Florida Moves to Forbid Living-Wage Ordinances

| February 22, 2013

The proposal would expand on legislation passed a decade ago to prevent cities from enacting their own minimum wage levels for private employers doing business within their jurisdictions. The proposal would also extend the ban to other employee benefits such as paid sick leave.

Radiation Sickness: Florida Republicans Tiring of Up-Front Utility Rates for Nukes

| February 22, 2013

Four Republican senators said Thursday they will try to revamp a controversial 2006 law that has led to utility customers paying hundreds of millions of dollars for nuclear-power projects — but stopped short of calling for a total repeal.

It’s Not Just Hotels: Flagler Seeking to Collect Bed Tax From Booming Short-Term Rentals

| February 22, 2013

The Flagler’s Tourist Development Council is spearheading an effort to make sure landlords who rent homes or condominiums on a short-term basis, defined as less than six months, pay the 4 percent tourist development tax.

In Major Shift, Scott Endorses Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion, But Legislature Balks

| February 21, 2013

The announcement was a dramatic move for the Republican governor, who launched his political career as an outspoken critic of President Obama’s efforts to overhaul the health-care system. The announcement also shifts the focus of the contentious Medicaid debate squarely to the Legislature, which would have to approve any expansion.

ACLU Sues Sheriff Manfre Over Jail Policy Restricting Incoming Mail to Postcards

| February 21, 2013

Beginning in January 2011 under Sheriff Don Fleming, inmates at the Flagler County jail have been forbidden from receiving mail other than small postcards, or from writing letters longer than two pages. Judges have generally not endorsed the restrictions, which also apply to inmates awaiting trial, who are presumed innocent.

Online Booking Companies’ Tax Evasion Fleeces Flagler Tourism and Florida Dues

| February 20, 2013

Online booking companies like Expedia and Hotels.com are short-changing Flagler and Florida of millions of dollars in sales and bed taxes, and unfairly competing with local hotels, argues Milissa Holland, yet the Legislature is looking to give those companies more tax breaks. It’s not the way to go.

Rubio’s Rebuttal: A GOP Disaster Reminiscent of Romney, With Hispanic Hues

| February 20, 2013

The performance by Florida’s junior senator following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union was an epic failure, argues Rhonda Swan. If Marco Rubio is the savior of the Republican Party, members of the GOP should start looking for their lifeboats.

Using Underage Volunteers in Sting, Sheriff Cites 4 of 22 Stores That Sold Tobacco Illegally

| February 20, 2013

Four Flagler County store clerks face misdemeanor charges of illegal sale of tobacco to minors after the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office completed a sting operation Monday.

Not in Florida: Civil Union Bill Falters Ahead of a Vote That Would Have Killed It

| February 20, 2013

A measure that would allow for civil unions, granting legal relationship rights to people who aren’t married, stalled Tuesday in a Senate committee in the face of a likely defeat if it had gone to a vote.

Palm Coast Approves 17.6% Water-Rate Hike, Pleasing Bond-Holders More Than Residents

| February 19, 2013

Palm Coast residents will see their water bills jump 8 percent in April, 4 percent in October and another 4 percent in October 2014 as the city grapples with a combination of debt and capital obligations for its utility.

Florida Among States Where Out-of-Pocket Health Costs Exceed Reform Law’s Cap

| February 19, 2013

Even when deductibles are included, 36 percent of policies offered to individuals on the private market exceed the new health law’s allowable limit. Once the cap is enforced, consumers may see higher premiums instead.

Answering Palm Coast, Thrasher Will Pitch Internet Cafe Bill, But Reach May Be Limited

| February 19, 2013

Palm Coast officials want state lawmakers to either ban or more strictly regulate and possibly tax gambling parlor-like internet cafes. Sen. John Thrasher is proposing a moratorium on the parlors, which may not match local demands, as a moratorium was already executed in Palm Coast.

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