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This Week in Flagler and Tallahassee: Arts Galore, Taser Time and Creekside

| October 2, 2011

Firefighter-paramedic James Cosgrove, left, cut off his fingers with a chainsaw--sort of: he was play-acting during Saturday night's first portion of a two-day EMS competition hosted by Flagler County Fire Rescue, featuring 10 teams. (© FlaglerLive)

Note: all meetings are open to the public. You’re welcome to send tips or suggestions to

The Week’s Quick Links

Note: The Flagler Beach City Commission, the Bunnell City Commission and the Tourist Development Council do not meet this week.

The Arts This Week: Galleries, Theaters, Performing Arts

miro garden arts performing arts palm coast flagler county this weekA new show opening at Hollingsworth gallery with a reception Saturday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m.: “7 Cameras,” a photography exhibit featuring the works of the works of Steven Benson, Dan Biferie, Nik Clements, Jennifer Kaczmarek, Mercedez McCartney, A.J. Neste and Mark Townsend. The gallery is located at City Marketplace behind Walmart, 160 Cypress Point Pkwy., Suites 209B & 210B (upstairs northeast corner). Call 386/871-9546 or 386/237-9988.

The Flagler County Art League‘s new show also opens Saturday, Oct. 8, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.: “The Animal Kingdom,” a show featuring works in various media themed around animals, with miniature art and photography along with featured retrospectives of the works of Ernie Baudhuin and the drawings of Anna Lokshina. The Flagler County Art League is also located at City Marketplace behind Walmart, 160 Cypress Point Pkwy. Call 386/986-4668 for details.

A new show at Flagler Beach’s Gallery of Local Art (GOLA), opening Friday, Sept. 7 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring the works of Jan Obendorfer. A note from GOLA: “Jan is a local girl, native to the Daytona Beach area, who grew up just two blocks from the beach. Her love for art first became apparent while studying under Nina Masters at Seabreeze High School, and continued to grow while taking classes at Daytona State College, which was DBJC at that time! Before Jan graduated from college, Eastern airlines offered her a glamorous career as a flight attendant, and for 15 years, Jan traveled around the world serving coffee. While living and working in several areas of the eastern part of the United States, Jan’s art had to take the back burner to an even greater adventure, raising a family. Jan’s three grown children are now living in three different states pursuing their own adventurous lives. Jan & her wonderful husband, Charles stay very busy feeding their travel bug in the summers by visiting family.

The Flagler Playhouse’s “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” three more performances Sept. 7, 8 and 9: Don;t miss this musical comedy that will have you laughing your wits off. Those will be the play’s three final performances. The Playhouse is located at 301 E.Moody Blvd. in Bunnell. Call 386/586-0773 for tickets ($20 for adults, $12 for students) or visit the Playhouse website. Read the play’s FlaglerLive review.

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Flagler County Commission

flagler county commission government logo The commission meets at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, at the main chamber of the Government Services Building in Bunnell. Commissioners are expected to approve new district boundary lines. The item appears on the consent portion of the meeting, meaning that it would be approved in batch with many other items, without discussion–unless one of the commissioners pulls the item for discussion. At 11 a.m., commissioners will also hear a presentation from Farm to Flag, a non-profit project between Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties “to create a business model that will restore vitality and sustainability of small and medium size farms.” The business would supply locally grown fruit and vegetables to military and public institutions in 11 northeast Florida counties. County commissioner Milissa Holland is pushing the initiative locally. The full agenda and back-up material for the meeting is below.

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Palm Coast City Council

palm coast city logo The council meets Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Palm Coast Community Center. As she has in Flagler Beach and Bunnell, County Commissioner Milissa Holland will make a presentation to the council on the third annual Feed Flagler project and fund-raiser through Thanksgiving.

The council will head about a major development it hasn’t heard from in a long time: the Palm Coast Park DRI, or development of regional impact, a 4,700-acre project, vacant for now, extending from Hargrove Grade along US1 to Matanzas Woods Parkway. Palm Coast Land LLC wants to rezone some 2,600 acres from various designation to a Master Planned Development (MPD). Previously, 2,000 were rezoned accordingly. The council is also being asked to approve an amended development order for the DRI, which proposes to eventually have 3,600 residential homes and just over 3 million square feet of commercial, office and industrial space originally approved in December 2004. The developers are asking for a nine-year extension on the development order’s expiration.

The council will also consider adopting a new rental rate schedule for its parks and facilities, repealing its condemnation proceedings against two properties owned by Gus Ajram along Bulldog Drive, and adopting the coming year’s agreement with the sheriff’s office to pay for one school resource deputy. The full agenda, with links to each relevant matter, is below.

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Flagler County Schools

flagler county schools logoThe school board meets twice on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m. for a workshop, and at 6 p.m. for its regular meeting. An item of interest to all parents with children whose bus routes fall within two miles of their school: the district will discuss what Brevard County does–charge a fee for students who still take the bus even though they live within that 2-mikle limit.

Just as likely to elicit interest is the school board’s discussion and action on the sheriff’s request to have school deputies carry Tasers. School Superintendent Janet Valentine is recommending that Tasers be part of deputies arsenals. At least three school board members agree–or did so as of last week. The item is likely to generate a good deal of public input.

Like the county commission, the school board will also approve the new voting districts.


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The Chamber of Commerce’s Creekside Festival

The controversies are, most likely, over: the Creekside Festival is finally here: Food, arts, crafts, the home builders’ Green Expo, various merchants’ other wares (100 vendors in all) and, of course, politicians running for Palm Coast City Council will all be there Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 per car.

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In Tallahassee:

florida state capitol tallahasseeLawmakers return to the Capitol next week with several committees meeting, from redistricting panels to budget committees and some policy panels. Meetings are still in early days, with little of major substance, mostly reviews of interim work and overview-get-to-know-the-emerging-issues-type meetings. There are a few bills that will get votes, however, and budget subcommittees will begin to delve into budget requests.

One committee that may get heated is Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, which will discuss the state’s long-term care ombudsman program, which has faced repeated controversies this year.,

MONDAY, OCT. 3, 2011

SUPREME COURT CONSIDERS CHANGES TO BAR RULES: The Florida Supreme Court considers proposed changes to rules regulating The Florida Bar. The changes have been recommended by The Bar and deal with issues ranging from discipline for ethics violations to fee agreements in personal injury and wrongful death cases to oversight of trust accounts. One proposed change would ease restrictions on out-of-state attorneys to make it easier for them to work pro bono for victims in the wake of a disaster. (Monday, 9 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee.)

SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION MONEY: The revenue estimating conference meets to tweak forecasts on the money available for public school construction. The panel of state economists will meet to adjust previous estimates on the Public Education Capital Outlay program, which receives its funding from taxes on utilities. The figure will be closely watched as the state prepares for another cash-strapped session. (Monday, 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

ROADS, BRIDGES, MONEY: The revenue estimating conference looks at state transportation funding as it meets to adjust earlier estimates in preparation for the upcoming legislative session. The conference is of particular interest to state transportation officials who say the state’s reliance of fuel tax revenue to build and maintain its roads and bridges is about to see slumping revenues as more fuel efficient cars hit the roads over the next several years. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., 117 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

CAYLEE’S LAW COMMITTEE HEARS FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT: A special Senate committee set up to vet whether a “Caylee’s Law” is needed will hear from law enforcement and attorneys about existing laws and hear an update from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on missing children’s cases. Several bills have been filed that seek to create penalties for not reporting a child missing. They’re named for Caylee Anthony, whose disappearance and murder drew immense attention this year. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

JOINT LEGISLATIVE AUDITING COMMITTEE: The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee on Monday discusses a request by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, for an audit of the city of Hollywood, and a request by Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka, for an audit of ABATE of Florida, which gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to promote motorcycle safety awareness. Nelson says ABATE basically just hands out “trinkets” urging awareness of motorcycles. ABATE says it does that, and more, and that crashes have gone down. The committee also will discuss an auditor general’s report on the payroll and People First personnel system at some agencies. That audit, released last December, found most payroll and personnel procedures “generally effective.” The panel also is expected to discuss Transparency Florida, the Website that makes Florida’s operating budget and expenditures available to the public. (Monday, 12:30 p.m., 309 Capitol.)

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING: The subcommittee continues its review of public input from the hearings held around the state this summer. Lawmakers are looking at the testimony in preparation for the once-in-a-decade process of redrawing the state’s political boundaries. House Speaker Dean Cannon has said congressional maps will be drawn to follow the Fair Districts amendments, despite the House’s court challenge to the amendment on congressional redistricting. (Monday, 12:30 p.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

DISABILITY AWARENESS WEEK: The Florida Department of Education will recognize Disability History and Awareness Weeks on Monday in the Capitol Rotunda. Guest speakers include Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services Chief Bambi Lockman, and Florida Youth Council Advisor Alex Brown. (Monday, 10 a.m., Capitol Rotunda.)

VETERANS EDUCATION : The Senate Military Affairs and Space Committee consider a bill (SB 94) aimed at making it easier for veterans to get into college classes. The panel also hears a presentation from Space Florida on expanding Florida’s role in the space industry. (Monday, 3 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HOUSE REDISTRICTING: The subcommittee continues its review of public input from the hearings held around the state this summer. Lawmakers are looking at the testimony in preparation for the once-in-a-decade process of redrawing the state’s political boundaries. (Monday, 3 p.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SENATE REDISTRICTING: The subcommittee that will draw Senate maps reviews public input from the hearings held around the state this summer. (Monday, 3 p.m., 17 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

TUESDAY, OCT. 4, 2011

E-COLI, PACKING AND LARGE SCALE FARMS: Senate Agriculture Committee members get briefings by industry representatives on E-Coli testing, citrus packing procedures, fertilizer best management practices and large scale farming. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

SENATE COMMUNITY AFFAIRS: The Senate Community Affairs Committee will consider a proposed committee bill (SPB 7002) that seeks to define “insignificant fiscal impact” in the context of state laws that require local governments to spend money or limit their ability to raise revenue. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

CABINET HOLDS TRUNCATED MEETING: Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet meet for what looks like an abbreviated meeting with the only agendas being one for the Department of Veterans Affairs and one for the State Administration Commission. The Department of Veterans Affairs is submitting its legislative policy and budget requests for the coming year. The Administration Commission is considering dismissing a dispute over land use plans in Manatee County. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Cabinet Room, The Capitol.)

HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING COUNCIL MEETS: A group designed to ensure better coordination of Florida’s public colleges and universities, who are governed separately and sometimes offer competing programs, will meet to discuss a draft of its report to the Legislature, due by the end of the year. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Turlington Building, 17th floor, 325 West Gaines, Tallahassee.)

HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE HEARS RACE TO THE TOP UPDATE: House lawmakers on the PreK-12 budget committee will meet the new education commissioner and hear updates on the federal Race to the Top grant, including an explanation of how much money has been spent to date. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 17 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

IS THERE A NEED FOR NEW HEALTH FACILITIES? The House Health & Human Services Quality Subcommittee will get a briefing on the Agency for Health Care Administration’s certificate of need regulations for new health facilities. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 306 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

MEMBERS TOUR POWER PLANT: The House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee will take a road trip to tour Tallahassee’s Arvah P. Hopkins Power Plant. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 1125 Geddie Road, Tallahassee.)

PHONE FEES AND WATER RATES: The Florida Public Service Commission will take up a proposal to reduce regulatory fees imposed on telecommunications companies and will consider proposed water-rate increases for customers of Lake Utility Services Inc. in Lake County. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

MORE PUBLIC HOSPITAL TALKS: The Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts will continue discussing whether changes should be made in Florida’s public hospitals. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Building 3, Tallahassee.)

OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM DISCUSSED: The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee will discuss a federal review of the state’s long-term care ombudsman program, which has faced repeated controversies this year. (Tuesday, 10:45 a.m., 401 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

PANEL LOOKS AT PUBLIC HOSPITALS: The Senate Health Regulation Committee will hear an update about a commission that is studying whether changes should be made in Florida’s public hospitals. (Tuesday, 10:45 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

SENATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Senate Criminal Justice Committee takes up proposed legislation (SB 138) dealing with military veterans convicted of crimes, and a bill (SB 186) on pretrial substance abuse programs. The committee also will hear from TaxWatch on proposals for criminal and juvenile justice reform, a presentation from state prison officials on recidivism reeducation and other issues meant to better prepare exiting prisoners to re-enter society. (Tuesday, 10:45 a.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

PIP AND CITIZENS BRIEFS: The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will hear interim reports on personal injury protection and Citizens Property Insurance Corp. issues as part of a meeting that will also include consideration of a bill (SB 140) that does away with an annual report on workers’ compensation claims statistics. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

TRANSPORTATION: Senate Transportation hears presentations on the Five Year Work Program, the Wekiva Parkway expansion, impending fuel tax revenue shortfalls and other issues. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., 37 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

DOH REVAMP DISCUSSED: The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will hear an overview of the Department of Health’s legislative budget request and proposed reorganization. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARS UPDATE ON VOUCHER, CHARTER SCHOOLS BILLS: The House K-20 Innovation Subcommittee will hear an update on a number of bills based last session, including an expansion of the John McKay Students With Disabilities scholarship and bills expanding charter schools and virtual programs. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 404 House Office Building, The Capitol.)


IBUDGETS EYED: The House Health & Human Services Access Subcommittee will hear a presentation on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ new iBudget system. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 12 House Office Building, the Capitol.)

GET A TASTE OF LIP: The Low Income Pool Council will meet to discuss the $1 billion program that funnels money to hospitals and other health providers that serve low-income and uninsured patients. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Building 3, Tallahassee.)

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY WHEN GOVERNMENT FUNCTION IS PRIVATIZED: The Florida Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that explores whether drivers for the Jacksonville bus system JTA are government employees. The case is Andreas Keck v. Ashleigh Eminisor. Keck was driving a bus that struck Eminisor, who sued him. Keck argued he couldn’t be sued because he worked for Jax Transit Management, which had sovereign immunity. The trial court ruled, however, that Eminisor could sue because JTM was a private corporation independent of the state. JTM is a nonprofit that operates the bus system for JTA. In Keck’s appeal to the First District Court of Appeal, the court said it lacked jurisdiction because he was not performing a “discretionary public function.” The 1st DCA asked the Supreme Court to consider the issue as one of great public importance. (Wednesday, third argument in series starting at 9 a.m., likely around 11 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee.)

SENATE REAPPORTIONMENT COMMITTEE: The Senate’s mapmaking panel meets to discuss plans submitted by senators, civil-rights organizations and the public. The committee will also talk about possible scenarios for drawing maps in Northwest Florida. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., 412 Knott Building, The Capitol)

VAN FLEET TRAIL MANAGEMENT PLAN: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways & Trails will host two public meetings in Polk City for discussion of the proposed draft update to the management plan for the General James A. Van Fleet State Trail. (Wednesday, Public meeting at 10:30 a.m., and Advisory Group meeting at 1:30 p.m., Polk City Government Center, 123 Broadway Blvd., S.E., Polk City.)

GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY: A task force looking for efficiencies in government meets Wednesday and will hear a presentation on the turnpike system. It will also hear from the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority and the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority. Both, along with other expressway and bridge authorities, are in the sites of the efficiency panel, which has suggested the possibility of consolidating them – a highly controversial idea that has locals worried about loss of local authority over their expressways. (Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., 401 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

THURSDAY, OCT. 6, 2011

AIDS AND APD UNDER MICROSCOPE: The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will get an update about an AIDS drug assistance program and will hear a presentation about cost-cutting efforts by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, the Capitol.)

YOU’VE GOT MAIL: The House Appropriations Committee will take testimony and get updates on plans to consolidate the state’s e-mail services. The committee is being asked to look at how to streamline and coordinate e-mail. In January, the state’s main information technology agency estimated it would take five years or more to coordinate as many as 120,000 state e-mail addresses under one administrative system. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 212 Knott Building, The Capitol.)

TRANSPORTATION BUDGET: The Florida Department of Transportation presents its legislative budget request to the subcommittee that funds it, the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Budget Subcommittee. Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also presents its budget needs. (Thursday, 10:45 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building, The Capitol.)

SUPREME COURT OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court releases its regular opinions. (11 a.m.)

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OVERHAUL: The House Economic Affairs Committee gets a business and industry view of changes to the state’s economic development efforts and the creation of the Department of Economic Opportunities. Expected to participate are: Susan Pareigis, president for the Florida Council of 100, David Hart of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Grove of Gulf Power Co., and Florida Chancellor Frank Brogan. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., 102 House Office Building, The Capitol.)

FRIDAY, OCT. 7, 2011
Yom Kippur begins at sundown

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The garden of controversy must be continually cultivated; otherwise, nobody knows you are alive,” Gov. Claude Kirk, (1926-2011) To TIME magazine in 1967.

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida.

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