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Tuesday Briefing: IMAG NE That Sculpture, Anti-Semitism On the Rise, Bigotry Hiding as Religious Freedom

| March 31, 2015

Emma Ann's 'IMAG NE' sculpture goes up at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast today, and will remain there for a month, then at Town Center for a  month.

Emma Ann’s ‘IMAG NE’ sculpture goes up at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast today, and will remain there for a month, then at Town Center for a month.

Sunny, warmer, high of 80, low in upper-50s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 211
The weather in Gisborne, New Zealand: partly cloudy, high of 68, low in low 50s. Details.
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.

Flagler County Schools: Classes resumed today.

In Flagler and Palm Coast:

The Palm Coast City Council meets in a workshop this morning to again discuss changes to city rules controlling fences, the city’s progress report, and the award of cultural arts grants totaling $12,000. That’s round two. Round one awarded close to $18,000, for a total of $30,000 in arts grants this year. The four recipients are City Repertory Theatre, Flagler Auditorium, the Flagler County Art League and Friends of the Library. The list is available here.


In Court:

Joshua Knight–the attorney who represented the “Flagler Palm Coast Watchdogs” and Dennis McDonald against the county and Palm Coast in civil actions, both of which were found to be frivolous, and in both of which Knight and his clients were ordered to pay legal fees–will be arraigned on a domestic battery charge before County Court Judge Melissa Moore-Stens this afternoon. He is one of 49 arraignments. (1:30 p.m., Courtroom 101.) Moore-Stens will also have 57 arraignments starting at 8:45 a.m.

Culture and the Arts:This morning at 9:30, a traveling, interactive sculpture will be installed at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast. “IMAG NE” comes to Palm Coast through the efforts of and co-sponsorship of the Gargiulo Arts Foundation and Friends of the Library, with a $1,500 grant from Palm Coast. The sculpture will remain at the Library for a month and will then be moved to a site to be determined at Town Center. Its creator, Emma Ann, will be at the installation. Her goal, she says, “is for the viewer to interact with the sculpture.” She encourages people to snap pictures of themselves interacting with the work and post it on social media.

IMAG_NE measures 14 feet wide and 3 feet tall by 3 feet deep and weighs 330 pounds, with extra internal ballast weight bringing the total weight to 550 pounds. It is a modular work, allowing relocation. A native of Sydney, Australia, Emma Anna now lives Barranquilla, Colombia. She is a visual artist and creative producer who created IMAG_NE as part of her master’s degree from the University of Technology in Sydney in 1996. Since then, she has worked for local councils in a number of Australian states creating public projects with an emphasis on text, color, modes of communication and the idea of “the mass.” She uses tools of language, popular culture, humor, universal symbolism and everyday technologies to help define both place and community. She has exhibited in shows in Australia, Europe and South America, and her work is held in a number of collections in the United States, South America, Europe and Australia.

The artwork debuted as part of Sculpture by the Sea Bondi in late 2008, where it was awarded the SXS / Art Gallery of NSW Site Specific Prize. Since then it has traveled extensively within Australia and also journeyed to New Zealand and Denmark and, last fall, made its U.S. debut in Boca Raton, Florida. IMAG_NE is featured in Creaticity: Creative Expressions in Contemporary Cities, published by Lemo / Kognitif in Spain, and distributed internationally since 2013. This book showcases a range of leading international projects that are representative of the emerging practice of contemporary, ephemeral public installation.

In Tallahassee:

Abortion waiting period: The Senate Health Policy Committee considers a proposal (SB 724), filed by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, that would require a 24-hour waiting period before women could have abortions. (10 a.m.)

School choice: The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee considers HB 1145, filed by Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, that would allow parents more freedom to choose where their children go to school. The measure would allow parents to transfer their children to any school that has not reached 90 percent of its capacity. (12:30 p.m.)

School guns: The Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee will take up a bill SB 180, filed by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, that would allow school superintendents to designate trained employees or volunteers to carry concealed weapons at public schools. (1:30 p.m.)

Texting and driving: The Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee takes up a series of bills that deal with texting while driving. They include a bill (SB 192), filed by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, and a bill (SB 246), filed by Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, that would make texting while driving a “primary” offense, which would allow police officers to pull over motorists for texting behind the wheel. Currently, motorists can only be cited for texting while driving if they are pulled over for other reasons. (4 p.m.)

Cabinet: Gov. Scott and the Cabinet meet by phone to discuss legal representation in a case about whether the Sunshine Law was broken in the ouster of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. (8 a.m.)

Rosalyn Carter. (Carter Center)

Rosalyn Carter. (Carter Center)

Rosalyn Carter at UF: Former First Lady and mental health advocate Rosalynn Carter speaks tonight the Phillips Center. Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, has worked for more than four decades as a leading advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution. Her emergence as a driving force for mental health during the Carter administration assisted in the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. The event will include a speech by Carter about her book, “Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis,” followed by a moderated discussion. For more information on these book readings, visit the website. (8 p.m., Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and doors open at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.)

–Compiled in part by the News Service of Florida

Keep in Mind:

Gail Wadsworth. (© FlaglerLive)

Gail Wadsworth. (© FlaglerLive)

Traffic Ticket Collections Free Amnesty on Friday, April 17: Operation Green Light is a one-day amnesty giving drivers the chance to pay overdue fines, without having to pay the 40 percent collection feel. Hours at the Flagler County Courthouse will be extended for the occasion, stretching between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth says her office has tabulated 7,793 cases that have gone to a collection agency. Of those, 4,507 are civil traffic cases. The total amount in collections for Flagler County is—to be precise–$1,872,973.91. Most people with such cases are driving on suspended driver’s licenses. You may get your driver’s license restored if you pay the overdue fine. (April 17)

Flagler County Job Fair on April 24: A limited number of spaces are still open for businesses interested in reserving a free booth at the second annual Flagler County Job Fair. The event will take place on Friday, April 24, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Palm Coast Campus of Daytona State College, 3000 Palm Coast Pkwy SE, Building 3. Last year nearly 400 jobseekers attended the inaugural fair, which was hosted by the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Flagler Volusia. This year Daytona State College and the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce joined the effort to positively impact Flagler County’s economic vitality. Among the businesses that have already registered are CoastalCloud, Edwards Jones Financial Service, Beutlich Pharmaceuticals and Target. A complete list of attending companies is available here. Businesses wishing to secure a place at the fair and job seekers interested in registering for preparation workshops should visit the job fair website. For additional information about the fair, please contact Casey Scott at 386-313-4098 or by email here.

Road and Interstate Construction:

Flagler County: County Road 305 between CR 2006 and Tangerine. IMPACTS: Closure in force 3/17/2015 for the 2nd box culvert replacement. Detours detour via CR 110 to CR 95 to CR 2006. Truck Detour via Bunnell (SR 100 – SR 11)

Palm Coast: Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and Florida Park Drive. IMPACTS: Lane shifts and closures will occur and this may cause traffic congestion on this already busy roadway. Most construction work will occur between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. though weather and unforeseen issues may adjust the schedules. This project will be complete by December 2015.

I-4, Volusia County: I-4 Widening from SR 44 to east of I-95, Sunday through Friday, 9 9 p.m. – 6 a.m. Eastbound lane closures between SR 44 to I-95.

I-95, Volusia: I-95 widening from SR 406 to SR 44, Sunday through Friday, 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., Southbound and Northbound double-lane closures on I-95 mainline; Monday thrpough Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastbound/Westbound single lane closures at I-95 overpass on Maytown Road, Indian River Blvd./SR 442.


In the Press:

Marco Rubio confirms April 13 launch: “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio confirmed Monday that he plans to make a big April 13 announcement — likely his presidential bid and likely at the Freedom Tower, an iconic Miami building known as the Ellis Island of the South. […] Rubio’s team plans Tuesday to tour the Freedom Tower, which remains the likeliest spot for his announcement. Controlled by Miami Dade College, the school’s president sent a Friday email labelled “confidential information” to trustees that said Rubio would use the tower as the location for a major announcement at 5:30 p.m. on April 13.The Mediterranean-style building, completed in 1925, is one of Miami’s signature landmarks. It served as the headquarters of the former Miami News and then, after the newspaper vacated the building, became a U.S. processing facility that welcomed Cuban exiles fleeing Fidel Castro’s government after he seized power in 1959.” From Politico.

Anti-Semitic incidents rise in Florida and across nation: “Last summer, South Florida saw a spate of anti-Semitic incidents involving synagogues and cars spray-painted with swastikas, “Hamas” and hateful symbols, as well as protestors holding offensive signs at anti-Israel rallies. The region was not alone. Operation Protective Edge — a military operation Israel launched in the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014 — fueled anti-Semitic activities across the country. On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League released its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents showing a slight increase in 2014 over the previous year in Florida and a huge jump nationwide. […] Seventy incidents of anti-Semitism were reported in Florida in 2014, a slight increase from 68 in ADL’s 2013 audit. Of the 70 incidents in 2014, 50 were classified as harassment, threats and events, five fewer than the previous year; 19 were classified as vandalism, up six from the previous year; one incident was classified as assault. There were no assaults in 2013. The majority of Florida’s incidents — as has happened in previous years — occurred in the southern part of the state, with 21 incidents in Miami-Dade County, 19 in Palm Beach County and 11 in Broward. In 2013, 11 incidents were reported in Miami-Dade and 11 in Broward. The ADL audit, which has been done every year since 1979, showed that there were 912 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2014, an increase from 751 incidents in 2013. Florida continues to be in the top four states reporting incidents of anti-Semitism, with New York, California, and New Jersey reporting more incidents than Florida.” The Miami Herald.

Eroding Freedom in the Name of Freedom: “When the federal government adopted a religious protection act in 1993, same-sex marriage was not on the horizon. An informal coalition of liberals and conservatives endorsed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because it seemed to protect members of vulnerable religious minorities from punishment for the exercise of their beliefs. The federal legislation was set off by a case involving Native Americans who were fired and denied unemployment benefits because they took part in ceremonies with peyote, an illegal drug. Twenty states, including Indiana last week, have since passed their own versions of religious freedom laws. But over time, court decisions and conservative legal initiatives started to change the meaning of those laws, according to liberal activists. The state laws were not used to protect minorities, these critics say, but to allow some religious groups to undermine the rights of women, gays and lesbians or other groups. […] The clash of values erupted again after Indiana adopted its own version of a “religious freedom” act last week. Arkansas is expected to approve a similar law this week. […] While these laws do not mention gays or discrimination, the timing is no accident. As bans on same-sex marriage fall, those promoting such laws have made no secret of their desire to protect conservative Christian individuals and businesses, such as caterers and florists, who choose not to sell services to same-sex couples. This is not discrimination, the supporters say, but protecting religious liberty. But a denial of service by public business is the essence of discrimination, civil rights groups respond. They add that these latest religious freedom laws include language that could open the way to even wider discrimination.” From The Times.


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3 Responses for “Tuesday Briefing: IMAG NE That Sculpture, Anti-Semitism On the Rise, Bigotry Hiding as Religious Freedom”

  1. Sherry Epley says:

    It was fascinating to see the mayor of Indianapolis interviewed this morning, saying that he is strongly urging the governor to immediately put into law anti-discrimination protections for the gay and lesbian community. . . like they have in other states with similar religion protection laws.

    It was even more eye opening to hear the governor of Connecticut point out that the fellows flanking the governor of Indiana when the controversial bill signed are well known bigots against gays and lesbiens.

    This from Politico:

    Mike Pence is a bigot, according to one of his fellow governors.
    “When you see a bigot, you have to call him on it,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
    Story Continued Below

    Malloy, the incoming chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, on Monday signed an executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana in response to a “religious freedom” law signed last week by Pence. Critics say the law, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians; Pence insists it’s meant only to protect religious communities from government encroachment on their civil rights.

    “The reality is, the governor’s not a stupid man — but he’s done stupid things,” Malloy said. “Signing this law and, quite frankly, promoting this law knowing exactly what it was going to do was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do.”

    The law’s aim was to discriminate, Malloy argued, noting that two of the people present at the bill’s signing have campaigned against same-sex marriage and have compared homosexuality to beastiality”.

  2. A.S.F. says:

    Operation Protective Edge is not a “cause” of Anti-Semitism. Anti-Semites look for, and prey on, any excuse that presents itself to leak like poison into the public water supply.

  3. Nikia says:

    Art in Palm Coast. Love it.

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