David Alfin was sworn-in as Palm Coast’s fourth mayor this evening in a simple ceremony and a well-attended meeting in which he made a point of defining his tenure as a service to residents, but also as a mission to bring civility and consensus to a sharply divided council. There was pointed symbolism and a few pointed remarks during the meeting.
Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins this afternoon denied a motion by James Harris’s attorney to release Harris from jail, on bond, pending trial on three charges of molestation involving his stepdaughter over what she says is a period of five years. She is 14. Harris is the 61-year-old owner of Jimmy’s Hang 10, the Flagler Beach restaurant, who was arrested on July 2.
As of Monday, 11,863 inpatient beds in Florida were being used by Covid-19 patients, about 22 percent of all inpatient beds in the state, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data show. No other state had as high of a utilization rate. The number of in-patients at AdventHealth Palm Coast on Monday was 80, more than double the January peak.
Not big on hard work: County Commissioners Dave Sullivan, Joe Mullins, Donald O’Brien and Greg Hansen aren’t interested in pre-scheduled workshops to vet and discuss county business, as Palm Coast and the school board do, and as Commissioner Andy Dance was recommending. After agreeing to such a schedule just three weeks ago, the commission, with Dance in dissent, rejected it on Monday.
Bob Snyder, the Flagler Health Department chief, had managed to make it through a year and a half of the pandemic’s most viral trenches unscathed, even when he was unvaccinated for two-thirds of that time.
Today, Snyder revealed he was among the “breakthrough” cases, contracting the delta variant recently despite his January vaccination. The infection barely sidelined him.
Flagler Health+ and Palm Coast United Methodist Church celebrated the groundbreaking expansion of each institution on July 27 in North Palm Coast as Flagler Health+ openly competes with AdventHealth and the church will build a “North Campus” to reach more youth.
As many Flagler County residents got infected in the past seven days as did the total number of Flagler residents did in the first seven months of the pandemic last year, from January to Aug. 1, 2020. Two Flagler County commissioners today joined a very small number of elected officials who are asking residents explicitly to mask up and to get vaccinated, as the county’s vaccination rate remains below 50 percent.
A two-vehicle crash just past midday at Royal Palms Parkway and Point Pleasant Drive in Palm Coast resulted in the death of one of the drivers, according to authorities. The Palm Coast Fire Police shut down Royal Palms Parkway at Belle Terre Parkway to the west and Town Center Boulevard to the east.
Victor Barbosa, the Palm Coast City Council member, announced in a terse Facebook post: “3 day in the hospital fighting covid and pneumonia.” Two days before his hospitalization he was at an election-night party for Alan Lowe where someone described him as “pretty wore out,” and where no one was masked.
The big lies lost. But Palm Coast isn’t out of the woods. Alan Lowe may have been rejected by 73 percent of the electorate, but David Alfin’s 36 percent win, with less than 10 percent of the actual electorate, is hardly a rousing victory for a campaign that won more by default than acclamation, with incendiaries like Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa still on the council.
Earlier this month Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly took part in a fact-finding trip along the Texas side of the border with Mexico with several other law enforcement officials and U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla. “The border crisis,” he argues, “is coming to you whether you like it or not.”
The mayor was acting on her own, representing herself rather than the city of Flagler Beach. The statement was issued within hours of Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing an executive order banning masking requirements in public schools, and as he has continued to counter efforts by communities to institute more restrictive safety measures in the face of Florida’s (and Flagler’s ) unprecedented surge in covid cases.
The Palm Coast Canvassing Board had a quiet and uneventful session today, poring over 81 ballots that had to be judged valid or not. The absence of Alan Lowe partisans suggests their vague claims of a contestable election was nothing more than that.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he will issue an executive order to prohibit school districts from imposing mask-wearing requirements as students return to classes in August. The order contradicts the recommendations of physicians, public health officials and the CDC and is issued as Florida is again the epicenter of the covid pandemic and its hospitals are being overrun.
Flagler County Health Department Administrator Bob Snyder on Thursday said that whether vaccinated or not, students indoors should be wearing masks. Snyder’s unequivocal declaration stresses similar recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and physicians at AdventHealth.
Florida and Beyond
Canadian dads were much more likely to show warmth, provide emotional support, engage in caregiving and use positive discipline. In fact, American dads outperformed their Canadian counterparts on only one of the survey measures – the use of spanking and other harsh disciplinary tactics.
The governors filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The filing doesn’t make these states party to Mississippi’s defense of its statute, but voices their legal support for that state’s case.
It’s Andy Dance’s 58th birthday, shared with that of James Baldwin, the County Commission meets and will likely approve a lease moving the Bunnell Branch library to Marvin’s Garden.
Briefs and Releases
More Florida and Beyond
Reminding Americans of where they came from – such as the statements by Biden administration officials – creates empathy for immigrants, generating more favorable attitudes toward immigration.
A dangerously hot day with heat indexes up to 109, the Observer interview with John Sbordone and Beau Wade, when majorities become tyrannies. Ann Frank’s last diary entry.
Acknowledging that journalism can inflict wounds unnecessarily, AP will no longer name those arrested for minor crimes when the news service is unlikely to cover the story’s subsequent developments. Often, such stories’ publication hinges on an odd or entertaining quirk, and the names are irrelevant. Yet, the ramifications can loom large and be long-lasting for the persons named.
Republicans were emboldened in the 23 states where they control the governorship and both houses of the legislature. Other factors include a newly conservative U.S. Supreme Court, GOP backlash over former President Donald Trump’s reelection loss and a tidal wave of social media campaigns and commentary aimed at galvanizing conservatives by playing up divisive cultural issues.
A Celebration of Life for Paul Harrington, the two-time candidate for Flagler Beach City Commission who died on April 14, is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at 210 South Central Avenue in Flagler Beach.
A succession of record-breaking natural disasters have swept the globe in recent weeks, shocking climate scientists. We are used to treating each natural hazard independently from another. That’s a mistake. They are all connected.
Facial masks may be one of the most cost-effective strategies to prevent the diffusion of Covid 19 infection. Nevertheless, fake news is spreading, scaring parents about dangerous but false side effects of masks in children.
The Palm Coast Canvassing Board meets to go over mail-in ballots and provisional ballots in the special election for mayor, and to announce official results. A word from the Tao Te Ching.