What happened on Tuesday at the Palm Coast City Council is indefensible and dangerous. But it’s nothing new. We’ve simply not been paying attention to a perilous degradation of public discourse and behavior. We are slowly becoming a crueler community debased by primitive instincts, because no one in charge, or too few people in charge, are standing up and saying enough.
Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
Inmates filed suit over bright lights being on 24 hours a day at the Flagler County jail. A federal judge dismissed the suit on a technicality–the jail is not an entity that could be sued–but the jail administration had previously sought to address the issue with eye masks and is exploring other possibilities.
With $243,000 in cash and savings and $1.4 million in assets, the Flagler Playhouse begins to light up its stage again in Bunnell with workshops and, come September, a new season starting with Neil Simon’s “Rumors.”
Members of the public will be able to enter and move through courthouses across the state, including the Flagler County courthouse, while in-person court proceedings will continue to have mask requirements and social distancing.
Mark Phillips, a frequent presence at city and county meetings who aggressively rushed the dais during the Palm Coast City Council meeting Tuesday to confront Mayor Milissa Holland, was trespassed from City Hall the next day, records show. He has the right of appeal.
The annual Palm Coast fireworks celebration of Independence Day will return this year on July 3 along with the traditional Central Park picnic, with no restrictions on attendance except for a recommendation of physical distancing.
The developer of the Lighthouse Habor Luxury Apartments complex says the apartments will be marketed to “more affluent transitional folks” rather than workforce tenants, though Palm Coast is experiencing a shortage in workforce housing.
Catalytic converters, the pollution-control devices on all gasoline-powered cars and trucks, can be more valuable contraband than drugs–easier to acquire, easier to sell, and less punishable if caught. The sheriff’s office arrested two men in a local sting operation targeting converter thieves.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order overriding local county and city masking regulations doesn’t apply to school districts. The Flagler district announced making rules will stay in effect for the next four weeks, becoming voluntary with summer session and the next school year.
Palm Coast’s bet on a vast expansion of the Tennis Center into the Reilly Opelka Racquet Center rests on hopes for a much larger population ahead that would be keyed into tennis and pickleball, but optimistic–speculative–figures don’t match up with current trends despite a surge in 2020 in racket-sport participation.
The Palm Coast Precinct at 14 Palm Harbor Village Way was originally supposed to open in 2018 but fell victims to delays and successive changes of plans before reverting back to its original intent.
An unnerving, and to Mayor Milissa Holland frightening, incident interrupted tonight’s Palm Coast City Council meeting as a man menacingly walked up to within a foot or two of the mayor before a Flagler County Sheriff’s commander quickly stepped between him and Holland and eventually directed the man away from the dais.
The Palm Coast City Council this evening revoked its year-long, never-enforced but influential mask mandate on the heels of the city administration lifting mask requirements in city facilities and county government doing likewise on Monday.
Lauryn Darnell, one of four co-conspirators in the armed robbery and shooting of Carl Saint Felix on Palm Coast’s White Star Drive in 2018, pleaded today to conspiring to armed robbery and principal to armed robbery and will be sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years’ probation.
Benjamin Allen, accused of shooting 17-year-old Elijah Rizvan to death in front of 7 Westford Lane in Palm Coast almost two years ago, faces life in prison if convicted. He previously turned down a plea deal requiring him to serve 30 years in prison, with a possibility of early release after 25.
Florida and Beyond
Brown, 74, was a member of the U.S. House from 1993 to 2017, where she represented parts of Flagler County for several years, after serving in the state Legislature. The Jacksonville Democrat was convicted on fraud and tax charges related to her role in using contributions to the One Door for Education charity for personal expenses and events.
Mischaracterizing LGBTQ-supportive policies as harmful to young people are a staple strategy conservatives use to galvanize their base. A record number of anti-transgender policy reforms were introduced this year in state legislatures across the country.
Multiple courts have recognized that government officials who use their social media accounts for official purposes violate the First Amendment if they block people from those accounts on the basis of their viewpoints. Several elected officials in Flagler County routinely do so.
Briefs and Releases
More Florida and Beyond
DeSantis, who will be on the ballot in 2022 as he seeks a second term as governor, signed the bill (SB 90) on the Fox News show “Fox & Friends” after an event with supporters in West Palm Beach.
Facebook’s quasi-independent Oversight Board today upheld the company’s suspension of former President Donald Trump from the platform and Instagram. Six questions and answers on this Oversight Board that made one of the most politically perilous decisions Facebook has ever faced.
President Biden has announced the most ambitious plan since FDR’s New Deal for enhancing the well-being of working Americans while trimming the fortunes of America’s super rich. The president has promised to fund his big plans for infrastructure, jobs, and education entirely with taxes on the top.
More than a decade after walking away from the governor’s office, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist launched a campaign Tuesday to try to unseat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022.
Former President Donald Trump has claimed at times that he’ll start a third political party called the Patriot Party. In fact, most Americans – 62% in a recent poll – say they’d welcome the chance to vote for a third party. His chances of success taking that route are slim.
From abortion restrictions to vacation rentals, many high-profile bills died Friday when the Florida legislative session ended. Here are 10 issues that did not make it through the Legislature.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of late March, three months into the country’s effort to vaccinate the masses against the coronavirus. Of those, CVS was responsible for nearly half, and Walgreens for 21%, or nearly 128,500 wasted shots combined.
Holocaust denialism’s dregs on the fringe don’t get much attention because responsible institutions from publishers to campuses to media organizations kept them in their gutter. Election deniers are owed no less.
Ask the Doctor
In this latest installment of FlaglerLive’s “Ask the Doctor” column by Dr. Stephen Bickel, the medical director at the Flagler and Volusia Counties Health Departments, the doctor takes on an intriguing question about covid and the Russian flu of the late 1970s, whether booster vaccine shots will be needed, how allergy shots or colonoscopies affect vaccination, and so on.