Troy Victorino and Jerone Hunter were convicted in the murders of six people in a Deltona home in a case that drew national attention. The case became known as the “Xbox murders” because it involved a dispute about some of Victorino’s belongings, including an Xbox video-game system. A panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal ruled a unanimous jury is not necessary in the two men’s death-penalty re-sentencing.
Daily Cartoon and Briefing
Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
Kerri Ann Huckabee, 54, the long-time owner of the Montessori school in Flagler Beach that moved to Bunnell in 2018, was arrested on three felony charges, including a second degree felony, and for kicking two police officers, and was booked at the Flagler County jail. The arrest was the result of long-running antagonism toward her neighbors on South 23rd Street since they moved in in 2018.
A 37-year-old Deltona man on a motorcycle was killed early Sunday morning on I-95 just north of the Old Dixie Highway interchange after rear-ending an SUV.
A Hammock resident rejects the claim that Palm Coast’s and Flagler County’s seniors “contribute least” as they buy up homes, or that they are to blame for the housing affordability crisis. Rather, developers convince your fearless leaders that they cannot make any money unless they cram in as many houses on a property as possible. They convince commissioners to change zoning frequently, for profit.
More Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
It’s college football season in Florida and you know what that means: trash talking, martial metaphors, peculiar rituals involving animals, bizarre clothing in colors not found in nature, bad grammar, mansplaining, and racism. College football reinforces some of our least attractive stereotypes — those Black kids sure are fast! — and extreme gender roles, as well: huge dudes on the field knocking the living hell out of each other, while small (though quite athletic) women with incongruously large bows in their hair cheer them on.
After hearing little more than opposition to the idea, Palm Coast City Council member Theresa Pontieri is stepping back from her proposal to explore annexation of the county’s Malacompra Road and beach in the Hammock, opting for “different options,” she told her colleagues on Tuesday. But she still intends to find beach access for city residents somewhere.
Sean E. Barry, a 33-year-old resident of Butternut Avenue in Bunnell’s Mondex, died at AdventHealth Palm Coast on Thursday afternoon, five days after he was found hanging in an apparent suicide attempt at the Flagler County jail. Barry was not at the jail on a criminal charge, but on a Marchman Act motion his sister had filed with the court in early August as she sought to get him the drug treatment help he needed.
Palm Coast and Flagler County government this week adopted their budgets and tax rates for the 2023-24 fiscal year with little controversy and so few people in the audience at final hearings that you could count them on one hand. The county raised taxes, the city kept its taxes flat. Palm Coast going back to the rolled back rate was not unique, as some council members claimed or thought.
We have a housing crisis in Palm Coast. Too few houses, too few apartments, discriminatory zoning and homesteading laws that make the problem worse. We who live in our sprawling, property-tax-sheltered single-family houses not only see these laws as entitlements. We want the door to more development closed behind us. We got our own. Screw the rest. So just when we need it most, affordable housing is becoming a dirty word.
The Palm Coast Planning Board recommended approval of a rezoning of 62 acres on Old Kings Road some 2.5 miles south of State Road 100 that will clear the way for up to 210 small homes, hours after the Palm Coast City Council annexed the property into the city, from the county. The property is adjacent to Polo Club West, an upscale equestrian community where residents have been worried about the effects of a more dense development on their privacy and property values.
Flagler County and city officials inaugurated the formal opening of the $12.3 million pedestrian bridge over State Road 100, five years in the making, with speeches and a dedicatory run by the Flagler Palm Coast High School track team. But its leading champion, Faith al-Khatib, was absent.
The Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra will open its 2023-24 season with “Beethovenfest,” an all-Beethoven concert, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Lighthouse Christ Presbyterian Church in Ormond Beach, with pianist Michael Rickman, violinist and Solisti founder Susan Pitard Acree, and cellist Joseph Corporon.
The Flagler County School Board has assigned fellow-board member Will Furry to hire a labor attorney–at the district’s expense–who will then shepherd them through firing Kristy Gavin, the board’s attorney, without risking a lawsuit. Board members Sally Hunt and Christy Chong pushed the idea of outside counsel. Board Chair Cheryl Massaro joined them in assigning Furry.
The Palm Coast City Council today approved on a pair of 4-1 votes land use changes that clear the way for up to 850 housing units on 375 acres on the west side of Seminole Woods Boulevard, three miles south of State Road 100. The proposal, for a project called Cascades, drew sharp opposition from City Council member Theresa Pontieri and an equally sharp defense from the developer, Jeff Douglas of Douglas Properties. The exchange drew in the mayor and other council members and reflects a recurring debate in Palm Coast over the speed, density and purpose of development.
Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were involved in a two-hour, high-risk standoff at 94 Brunswick Lane in Palm Coast Monday night that ended with the arrest of Michael H. Wells, 57, who had barricaded himself and threatened a deputy with what appeared to be a gun after luring him into the house to pick up another firearm. He is being held at the county jail on $102,500 bond.
Across North America, downtowns are recovering from the pandemic more slowly than other urban areas and that “older, denser downtowns reliant on professional or tech workers and located within large metros” are struggling the hardest. The shuttering of a Whole Foods market after only a year in downtown San Francisco in May 2023 received widespread coverage.
Florida and Beyond
The Bunnell City Commission adopts its 2023-34 budget and tax rate, the mosquito board and the Beekeepers Association meet (separately), hopefully without fumigation, Robert Reich on socialism.
BIPOC is an acronym for “Black, Indigenous and People of Color,” and has become increasingly popular in recent years. The acronym came about as a way to address the erasure of Black and Indigenous Peoples and center their unique struggles while promoting solidarity. But BIPOC amalgamates distinct experiences of racism and colonialism and misses those that do not fit within one category, like individuals of mixed ancestry.
Matinee of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at City Repertory Theatre, Palm Coast Farmers’ Market at European Village, your car is to blame for the largest share of greenhouse gases, Purdue Pharma’s guilt.
Briefs and Releases
More Florida and Beyond
A hiring experiment found that participants systematically discriminated against job candidates with names they associated with Black people, especially when put under time pressure. It also found that white people who oppose affirmative action discriminated more than other people against job candidates with distinctly Black names, whether or not they had to make rushed decisions.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has attended at least two Koch donor summits, putting him in the extraordinary position of having helped a political network that has brought multiple cases before the Supreme Court.
Another homage to Krys Fluker, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at CRT, Gamble Jam, a few words about the heart-rending Domenico Scarlatti, the pain of the elderly.
The “degrowth” school of thought proposes a planned reduction in material consumption in affluent nations to achieve more sustainable and equitable societies. Meanwhile, supporters of “agrowth” adopt a neutral view of economic growth, focusing on achieving sustainability irrespective of GDP fluctuations. Essentially, both positions represent scepticism toward the predominant “green growth” paradigm with degrowth representing a more critical view.
The mania to destroy nature to appreciate it, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at CRT, asking a salient question about Trump.
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox meant that so-called journalists could lie with near total impunity, but Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems was a win for all media.
Lucy Morgan, an icon in Florida politics and American journalism, has died. She was a Pulitzer Prize winner and chief of the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times capital bureau in Tallahassee for 20 years, retiring in 2006 and serving as senior correspondent until 2013.
Drug Court meets, the Democratic Women’s Club meets, the decade we lost Earth to global warming, the etymology of “divine wind,” otherwise known as kamikaze.
If police had treated Proud Boys as members of a street gang from the group’s inception in 2016, the events of Jan. 6, 2021, might have been avoided, or at least reduced in severity. Instead, police continues to mistakenly focus on the belief that, like terrorist groups, white supremacists are coordinated in ideology and intent. Evidence shows that perception actually diverts local police agencies’ attention from identifying and managing these groups.
The state university system’s Board of Governors on Wednesday will consider proposals by the University of Central Florida to close three campuses no longer in use. The proposals involve the South Orlando Campus, the UCF Leesburg campus and the UCF Palm Bay campus.
The Palm Coast Planning and Land Development Board meets, Separation Chat, the horrors of flying according to Robert Reich and Henry David Thoreau.