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The Live Wire, Monday, Oct. 11: A Nate Update, St. Pete Goes for Crist, Plus Yukon Gold

| October 11, 2010

Puma yukon

A Yukon puma. See the World Gallery below. (DigitalART /Flickr)

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The Latest on Nate

We have an update on 7-year-old Nate Truelove’s condition.

Nate has been in critical condition in Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando’s ICU since he was thrown from a car in a Sept. 19 wreck on Old Kings Road. Charlene Yazurlo, his great-grandmother, who lives in Flagler Beach, said that Nate has been opening his left eye more, and that on Sunday morning, while his family turned on some wrestling on TV (a favorite of Nate’s), he appeared as if he were watching.

Charlene visited Nate on Friday. Here’s what she wrote the next day to family and friends following Nate’s recovery:

John and I went to visit Nate yesterday. He looks pretty good, considering what he’s been through. He appeared to try to open his left eye to look at us. He is also able to cough. His room is all decorated with photos and balloons.

nate truelove old kings road wreck

Nate Truelove (courtesy of Nate’s family)

His Grandma Truelove was also there. We were hoping that when John said, “We are”, Nate would respond with, “Penn State”, but I think we’ll have to wait awhile for that. Nate is not yet “awake”.

The doctors did a spinal tap this morning and took cultures. The hope is that the fluid that is in the ventricles on the right side of his brain will drain into the spinal column (I think I’ve got that right).

It’s difficult not to be discouraged when I know we have so much to be thankful for.

Last month Heather and Mike planned a birthday party for Kahliyah’s 3rd birthday. [It is scheduled for next week]. Life does turn on a dime!

Heather has received some donations–enough to pay her water bill, and part of her electric bill. Leslie’s friend, Bill, loaned her money to pay her rent. She’s very grateful for such generosity.

We’re thankful for all of the people who have played a part in providing such good medical care for Nate. The men and women of the Flagler County fire department and paramedics who arrived at the scene literally saved his life.

We praise the Lord for providing for all of Nate’s needs.

Thanks so very much to each of you for your thoughts and prayers, past, present, and future.

John, Charlene, and all of Nate’s family

The family is asking for help, particular to help pay small every-day bills as Nate recovers. Nate’s mother Heather Jenkins has opened an account in her son’s name. Checks may be made out to Heather Jenkins or Nathaniel Truelove and sent to any Bank of America by mail–or walked into any Bank of American branch. The checks will be conveyed to Jenkins’ account. The Bank of America in DeLand is at 2599 South Woodland Blvd., DeLand, FL 32720.

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St. Pete Times Endorses Charlie Crist

From the St. Pete Times: “Whatever his flaws, Crist offers a fresh approach and is well known to Floridians. He moves easily among Republicans and Democrats who are not party activists. He is fiscally conservative and socially moderate. He has praised Ronald Reagan and embraced Barack Obama. He respects differing opinions, adopts good ideas regardless of their source and treats everyone with uncommon decency. That is the prescription for restoring the Senate’s once-proud tradition of collaboration and compromise. Democrats attack Crist for being too conservative, and Republicans attack him for being too liberal. Both sides accuse him of shifting positions to please everyone, and there is some truth in that. But it was his willingness to stand on conviction that left Crist so at odds with the Republican Party that he had to run for the Senate as an independent. […]

Ironically, Crist’s biggest failures as governor came when he strayed from his populist instincts and acquiesced to the Republican leadership, especially in the Legislature. He has a solid environmental record but let the Legislature gut the growth management law last year to please powerful developers. He is a strong advocate for open government but let lawmakers take key water management district decisions out of the sunshine.

Four years ago, we did not recommend Crist for governor in the general election, and our concerns proved to be well placed. […] But overall, the first governor from St. Petersburg exceeded our expectations. He steered the state reasonably well through an economic crisis and acted as a moderate check to an arrogant, right-wing Legislature beholden to special interests. […] The pragmatic populism that characterized Crist’s time in Tallahassee would serve Florida and the nation well in the Senate. He supports portions of health care reform and wants to improve the landmark law rather than repeal it. He wants to encourage renewable energy and fight global warming but resists the cap-and-trade system stalled in Congress. He would extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, but he also would have accepted Obama’s proposal to extend the tax cuts to all but the highest income households as he pressed for more. He opposes the Arizona immigration law but says there must be a comprehensive federal solution to the problem. All of this reflects a reasonableness that is missing in Washington.[…]

Rubio, 39, is exactly what Florida and the nation do not need. He says Washington is broken, but his solution is not to work with Democrats to find common ground on the nation’s most pressing problems. He would lock arms with the obstructionists who would rather deny the Obama administration any victories than move the country forward through negotiation and compromise. Even more concerning, there is a yawning gulf between Rubio’s legislative record and his rhetoric pushing fiscal responsibility. It was during his term as state House speaker that indicted former Rep. Ray Sansom inserted $6 million into the state budget for a community college building that was really an airport hangar sought by a friend. It was Rubio who made the $48 million “Taj Mahal” courthouse in Tallahassee a priority for his pals on the appellate court. And it was Rubio who charged thousands of dollars to his Republican Party credit card for personal expenses such as repairs to the family minivan, groceries and plane tickets for his wife. He says he has paid those expenses. The federal government needs fiscal discipline, but his legislative record and personal conduct reveal Rubio is a badly flawed disciple. This Senate race presents a rare chance for Florida voters to change the political calculus, to break the partisan standoff in Washington and try a fresh approach. If we miss this opportunity, it is hard to imagine other established public servants staking out the middle ground between increasingly polarized political parties. The Times recommends Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate.” The full endorsement.

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$197 million Everglades Restoration Land Deal with U.S. Sugar Closes Tuesday

From the Sun Sentinel: “After more than two years of legal fights and financial problems, the South Florida Water Management District on Tuesday is set to close on a deal to buy 26,800 acres of farmland to be used to help restore water flows to the Everglades. The district envisions building stormwater storage and treatment areas to hold, clean and deliver water needed to replenish what remains of the Everglades. […] The land deal initially pushed by Crist first called for spending nearly $2 billion to buy all of U.S. Sugar’s more than 180,000 acres, sugar mill and other facilities. The sinking economy and plummeting property tax revenues led to the deal being downsized three times, resulting in the 26,800-acre version. The deal includes a 10-year option for the district to buy U.S. Sugar’s remaining land. Deal opponents, led by the Miccosukee Tribe and U.S. Sugar competitor Florida Crystals, waged a legal fight against the purchase arguing that it cost taxpayers too much, took money away from other overdue Everglades projects and unfairly enriched U.S. Sugar at taxpayers’ expense. […] U.S. Sugar can use the citrus land that is part of the deal — almost 18,000 acres in Hendry County — rent free, while continuing to pay the taxes on the property. The company must pay $150 per acre each year to lease back the sugarcane land in the deal, which includes almost 9,000 acres in northern Palm Beach County.” The full story.

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More Amendment 4 Hysteria: The Florida Tax Watch Report

From GoToby: “A report released yesterday by the non-profit, non-partisan Florida TaxWatch exposes the soaring costs of Amendment 4, a measure that has drawn diverse and nearly-universal opposition from Florida’s leading Editorial Boards, business groups, tea parties, unions, civic organizations and Gubernatorial candidates. […] According to TaxWatch, local case studies suggest that Florida taxpayers are likely to face costly litigation resulting from the passage of Amendment 4, which could exceed $1 billion. […] Dr. Henry Fishkind, a Florida economist, argued in a radio interview that Amendment 4 would inundate voters with thousands of pages of technical planning data, and promote greater politicization of the planning process. Additionally, Fishkind goes on to refute a pro-Amendment 4 argument that comprehensive land use plan allowing for additional growth and development are easily amended.” The full story.

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A St. Augustine Republican Juror Speaks Against Sex Offender Law

From the St. Augustine Record: “She was Juror Number 6, a woman with some mighty definite ideas about right and wrong. She’s a conservative Republican, a law-and-order woman who doesn’t want criminals coddled. And she’s appalled that the state can lock people up for what they might do. “Do you remember the movie where you get arrested for future crimes?” Kathy Martin asked. “I didn’t realize in America you could be given an indefinite sentence. “They hide you in a hospital, but that’s the only difference.” Similarities between the recent civil commitment trial of Robert Richard Sanzone in St. Augustine and the 2002 movie “Minority Report” became unmistakable as the three-day trial progressed, said Martin. “I’m not a bleeding heart liberal, but I would like to think someone can’t incarcerate me because they think I might do something.” Martin originally was the alternate on the five-woman, one-man jury that began to hear testimony Sept. 27 in Sanzone’s trial before Circuit Judge J. Michael Traynor.” […]

“There was no “Road to Damascus” moment for Martin or, apparently, for the other jurors as the trial moved toward its conclusion. “This is supposed to be about violent sexual predators, and I kept waiting for the violence to come up,” Martin said. “I kept waiting for one of the witnesses to say he threw (them) against the wall or pushed (them) to the ground or pulled a knife. “When I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I thought … well, I listened politely to the closing argument, but by that time I’d made up my mind.” “The full story.

When Marijuana Brings Families Together

marijuana restaurant Bryan, 46, a writer who lives in Illinois, began supplying his parents about five years ago, after he told them about his own marijuana use. When he was growing up, he said, his parents were very strict about illegal drugs. “We would have grounded him,” said his mother, who is 72. But with age and the growing acceptance of medical marijuana, his parents were curious. His father had a heart ailment, his mother had dizzy spells and nausea, and both were worried about Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. They looked at some research and decided marijuana was worth a try. Bryan, who like others interviewed for this article declined to use his full name for legal reasons, began making them brownies and ginger snaps laced with the drug. Illinois does not allow medical use of marijuana, though 14 states and the District of Columbia do. At their age, his mother said, they were not concerned about it leading to harder drugs, which had been one of their worries with Bryan. […] For some families, marijuana, which was once the root of all their battles, has brought them closer together. Instead of parental warnings and punishment, there are questions about how to light a water pipe; instead of the Grateful Dead, there are recipes for low-sodium brownies.” The full story.

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World Gallery: The Yukon

The Yukon Territory in Canada, bordering Alaska and the northern fringes of the unknown, is one of the last great refuges of natural beauty almost untouched by human designs. It has a storied history: gold, crooks, potatoes (of sorts). But its dominant story is all about the spectacular and the unimaginable. Here’s a photo gallery by a variety of photographers who’ve been through the Yukon.

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Florida Couple Buys Real Human Skeleton at Yard Sale

human skullFrom the Associated Press: “Judith and Mitchell Fletcher paid $8 for what they thought were a box of scary holiday decorations at a yard sale in Brandon. When they got the box home, they realized they had bought real bones. They called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives took the bones to the medical examiner, who determined they came from a professionally prepared human anatomical skeleton, normally used in medical courses. Sheriff’s spokesperson Cristal Bermudez Nunez says detectives are contacting colleges and universities who may be missing a skeleton. State law prohibits individuals from owning human skeletons, so the Fletchers won’t get the bones back.”

Saturday Night Live at 35: When Richard Pryor Rocked

Thirty-five years ago tonight, Saturday Night Live went on the air on NBC for the first time. Here’s a skit from that season with Richard Pryor–the sort of humor you don’t see anymore, because they wouldn’t dare, because for all their attempts at cutting-edge humor, today’s SNL crews are funnier than they are subversive, which is to say: they only have it half right. The old crew knew what buttons to push, not just for ratings, but for relevance. Watch Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor in action:

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Markowitz Special: It’s the Great Art Blakey’s Birthday

Art Blakey was born in Pittsburgh on Oct. 11, 1919. From The Times obituary of Oct. 17, 1990: “Mr. Blakey, who was also known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina and was until recently leading his band, the Jazz Messengers, played with a mixture of powerful abandon and precise control. An extraordinary drummer, he would turn each piece into an epic voyage, starting out calmly, slowly packing the tune with texture after texture, always controlling the dynamics until a thunderous barrage released the tension. Mr. Blakey shaped each performance by manipulating the texture for his soloists as well; a result was a set of performances that always mixed the excitement of improvisation with a real understanding of the personalities and capabilities of the musicians involved. […]

“While Mr. Blakey was a gifted and important drummer, his contributions to American music as a band leader and talent scout are equally important. Mr. Blakey, like no other band leader for the last 40 years, had acted as a one-man university for young musicians. A partial list of the musicians he hired resembles a history of jazz from the 1950’s to the present. They included the trumpeters Kenny Dorham, Clifford Brown, Bill Hardman, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Wynton Marsalis, Wallace Roney and Terence Blanchard; the saxophonists Lou Donaldson, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin, Wayne Shorter, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson, Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Kenny Garrett and Javon Jackson, and the pianists Horace Silver, Bobby Timmons, Cedar Walton, John Hicks, James Williams, Mulgrew Miller and Bennie Green.”

[…] “The trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who joined the band as a 17-year-old in 1979, said: ”Art was important to me because he always displayed the maximum belief in integrity and quality. Even more important, he represents the most mature man our society can develop because he was making life easier for everyone else. He provided the context for musicians to play and develop. And since we weren’t on his level, he’d subject himself to us so we’d learn. First he just let the musicians play, but then he’d offer subtle advice, but he’d never discourage you: it was always positive reinforcement. He knew that there’s a price to be paid to develop in this music, and he did his best to help us.”

Have a listen:

Art Blakey’s “The Theme”

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

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A Few Good Links

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