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Monday Briefing: Gunter Grass Is Dead, Desalination in California, Rubio Announces

| April 13, 2015

The great and often controversial German writer Gunter Grass is dead. See below. (N.C. Mallory)

The great and often controversial German writer Gunter Grass is dead. See below. (N.C. Mallory)

Today’s weather: cloudy, high of 81, low of 67. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 287
The weather in Mandalgovi, Mongolia: High of 68, low of 41. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: lovelify, v..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.


 

Today’s Briefing: Quick Links

In Flagler and Palm Coast:

Note: all meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

Palm Coast’s Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool opens for the 2015 summer season, from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Hours through April will be 2-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; hours and days of operation will expand later in the spring. The pool is heated.

The Bunnell City Commission meets this evening at Bunnell City Hall, 201 West Moody Boulevard, at 7 p.m. The commission, among other business, will Consider former Bunnell Police Officer David Barbee’s request for a retirement ID card, a badge and a firearm. The council will also consider approving a $2 million bank loan. The full agenda is here.

The Bunnell Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meets at 6 p.m. at city hall’s commission chambers, 201 West Moody Boulevard. The agenda is here.

Flagler County Land Acquisition Advisory Committee meets at 3:30 p.m. at the Government Services Building in Bunnell. The committee elects its chairman and vice-chairman today. The agenda is here.

Flagler County Schools’ VPK and Kindergarden Roundup: Registration for VPK or kindergarten will take place at all Flagler County elementary schools on Tuesday, April 14, from 4 to 6-30 p.m. Download your enrollment form here. For m ore information, see the flier here.

On Tuesday: Property Appraiser and Tax Collector present: Flagler County Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston and Property Appraiser Jay Gardner give a presentation on the functions of their respective offices at the Palm Coast Community Center Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.

Carver-Auction-Full-Square-Online Auction for George Washington Carver Foundation: The annual auction, raising money for the Carver Center in Bunnell, is on through April 27. Make your bids here. The auction is the primary fundraising event for the Carver Center. In the past, money raised has been used for big-ticket items like ceiling insulation, furniture for the library, a scoreboard, bleachers, as well as money for scholarships and summer camp. “At this point, we are gearing up to assist the county with an addition to the center,” said Flagler County Commissioner Barbara Revels. “Flagler County is applying for a community development block grant to build additional classrooms and meeting space. If that happens, we’d like to be ready to help with what we can to furnish it.” Revels is a member of the George Washington Foundation and was part of a team instrumental in bringing the center up to sustainable level, saving the center from an uncertain fate. The Carver Center is a recreational facility that also offers tutoring, after school study, internet access and also serves the community with GED classes, employment counseling and other services.

In Court:

Judge Charles Cino holds traffic infraction arraignments in 47 cases at 9 a.m., Courtroom 101. Judge J. David Walsh holds sentencing hearings in felony cases at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and three plea hearings at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m, Courtroom 401.

In State Government:

Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.

Deepwater Horizon spill: The Senate Agriculture Committee hears a presentation from Patrick Juneau, claims administrator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (4 p.m.)

Drone surveillance: The Senate Criminal Justice Committee will consider a bill (SB 1178), filed by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, that would place limits on the use of aerial drones. In part, it would make it illegal to use drones to capture images of people or private property if the intent is to conduct surveillance. (4 p.m.)

Marco Rubio is expected to announce his plans for the 2016 presidential election at 5:30 p.m., at the Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida

Beyond:

Four former Blackwater guards face sentencing in Iraq case today. “he men were charged in the deaths of 14 Iraqis at a crowded traffic circle in downtown Baghdad, killings that caused an international uproar and became a dark episode of contractor violence during the Iraq war,” the Military Times reports.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the start of Lebanon’s civil war, which lasted 15 years.

Today also marks the anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, in 1963. “Though she did not set out to do so, Carson influenced the environmental movement as no one had since the 19th century’s most celebrated hermit, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about Walden Pond,” Eliza Griswold wrote in The Times three years ago.

In the Press:

gunter-grassGunter Grass is dead at 87: “Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country’s moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday. He was 87. Mr. Grass’s publisher, the Steidl Verlag, said the author died in a clinic in the northern city of Lübeck, which had been his home for decades. No cause of death was given. Mr. Grass was hardly the only member of his generation who obscured the facts of his wartime life. But because he was a pre-eminent public intellectual who had pushed Germans to confront the ugly aspects of their history, his confession that he had falsified his own biography shocked readers and led some to view his life’s work in a wholly different light. In 2012, Mr. Grass found himself the subject of further scrutiny after publishing a poem criticizing Israel for its hostile language toward Iran over its nuclear program. He expressed revulsion at the idea that Israel might be justified in attacking Iran over a perceived nuclear threat and said that it “endangers the already fragile world peace.” The publication in 1959 of Mr. Grass’s wildly inventive masterpiece, “The Tin Drum,” propelled him to the forefront of postwar literature. Critics hailed the audacious sweep of his literary imagination. A severed horse’s head swarming with hungry eels, a criminal hiding beneath a peasant woman’s layered skirts, and a child who shatters windows with his high-pitched voice are among the memorable images that made “The Tin Drum” a worldwide triumph. In awarding Mr. Grass the Nobel Prize in 1999, the Swedish Academy praised him for embracing “the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them.” It described “The Tin Drum” as “one of the enduring literary works of the 20th century.” From The Times.

Survey: Nearly 9 in 10 US Adults Now Have Health Insurance: “The Gallup-Healthways survey found that the share of adults who lack insurance dropped to 11.9 percent for the first three months of this year, the lowest level since that survey began its tracking in 2008. The latest update overlaps with the period when the health law’s second sign-up season was winding down. Coverage gains from 2014-2015 translate to about 3.6 million fewer adults uninsured since the fall, before open enrollment got under way, according to Gallup. “The Affordable Care Act had three major objectives: increase coverage, slow the rate of increase in costs, and improve health,” said Dan Witters, research director for the poll. “The first one is clearly a win. Coverage is increasing; there is no question about it.” On balance, an estimated 14.75 million adults have gained coverage since the fall of 2013, when the law’s first open enrollment season was about to begin, according to Gallup.” From AP.

California looks to desalination: “[F]or the first time, a major California metropolis is on the verge of turning the Pacific Ocean into an everyday source of drinking water. A $1 billion desalination plant to supply booming San Diego County is under construction here and due to open as early as November, providing a major test of whether California cities will be able to resort to the ocean to solve their water woes. Across the Sun Belt, a technology once dismissed as too expensive and harmful to the environment is getting a second look. Texas, facing persistent dry conditions and a population influx, may build several ocean desalination plants. Florida has one operating already and may be forced to build others as a rising sea invades the state’s freshwater supplies. In California, small ocean desalination plants are up and running in a handful of towns. Plans are far along for a large plant in Huntington Beach that would supply water to populous Orange County. A mothballed plant in Santa Barbara may soon be reactivated. And more than a dozen communities along the California coast are studying the issue. […] In San Diego County, which depends on imported freshwater supplies from the Colorado River and from Northern California, water bills already average about $75 a month. The new plant will drive them up by $5 or so to secure a new supply equal to about 7 or 8 percent of the county’s water consumption. The plant will use a huge amount of electricity, increasing the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming, which further strains water supplies. And local environmental groups, which fought the plant, fear a substantial impact on sea life. […] Still, some scientists and environmental groups contend that if rainy conditions return to California, the plant here and others like it could become white elephants. Santa Barbara, northwest of Los Angeles, built its desalination plant a quarter-century ago and promptly shut it down when rains returned. Australia is a more spectacular case: It built six huge desalination plants during a dry spell and has largely idled four of them though water customers remain saddled with several billion dollars’ worth of construction bills.” From The Times.

Road and Interstate Construction:

road-constructionFlagler 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.

Volusia: I-4 Widening from SR 44 to east of I-95, Monday and Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Eastbound/Westbound shoulder closing. Monday through Friday, Eastbound and Westbound lane closures from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Motorists should be aware of traffic shifts near Canal St./SR 44.

PR Releases:

From left, Undersheriff Rick Staly, Sheriff James L. Manfre, Deputy Lauren Gadson, Sr. Commander Sam Ferris and Detention Services Director Becky Quintieri.

From left, Undersheriff Rick Staly, Sheriff James L. Manfre, Deputy Lauren Gadson, Sr. Commander Sam Ferris
and Detention Services Director Becky Quintieri.

Sheriff James L. Manfre and members of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office welcomed Lauren Gadson to the FCSO last Monday. Sheriff Manfre administered the Oath of Office to Gadson during a morning ceremony held at the Sheriff’s Operation Center. “This is an exciting time for the Sheriff’s Office and the community as construction and renovations are underway for our new inmate facility. The facility is receiving 12 new housing areas and will have 272 beds added,” Sheriff Jim Manfre said. Along with day to day operations, Detention Services Deputies may serve on specialized teams. Agency personnel can become a part of the Corrections Special Operation Team (CSOT), Hostage/Negotiation Team, Mobile Field Force, Honor Guard, Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). The average daily population of the inmate facility is 160. The tentative completion date for the new
inmate facility is June, 2016.

In Coming Days:

Jim Landon. (Palm Coast)

Jim Landon. (Palm Coast)

Lunch ‘n Lecture With Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon, April 15: Landon will update the public on the new City Hall, Holland Park renovations, road projects, what the City is seeing in private development and more. Landon’s talk is titled, “Making Our Future Together,” and will focus on Palm Coast’s future in terms of the economy, growth, projects and progress. The Lunch n’ Lecture will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Parkway NE. The Lunch n’ Lecture is free, but pre-registration is required by 11 a.m. April 13 (while space is available). Landon has been Palm Coast’s City Manager for eight years. In 2013, he received the Florida City/County Management Association’s Award for Career Excellence. Sign up online here or call the Community Center at 386-986-2323 for more information on registering.

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)

Jim Manfre. (© FlaglerLive)

Jim Manfre. (© FlaglerLive)

April 23: Sheriff Jim Manfre will be the guest speaker for the Flagler County Chamber upcoming Eggs & Issues breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Grand Haven Golf Club, 500 Riverfront Drive in Palm Coast. The chamber hosts Eggs & Issues breakfasts five times a year to bring local and business-related issues and topics to light. Guest speakers include elected officials, thought leaders and high profile executives/business professionals. Cost to attend is $15 with advance payment for members or $20 at the door. Future members pay $20 with advance reservations or $25 the day of the event. Seating is limited; reservations are requested by Friday, April 17 at 5 PM.

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.

Matanzas Inlet Beach Clean-up: In celebration of Earth Day, Fort Matanzas National Monument is hosting a beach clean-up on Saturday, April 25, from 9am to 12pm. Join us in removing not only man-made trash but invasive plant life. The event will begin with a safety briefing and an introduction to the park at the ocean-side parking lot on the east side of A1A, just north of the Inlet bridge. Trash bags, gloves, and water will be provided. Please bring sunscreen, appropriate beach wear (including a hat), and your own reusable water bottle. If you would like to participate, please call 904-829-6506 ext. 233 or email Jill_Leverett@nps.gov by April 23.

Volunteers needed for invasive plant removal at Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve, April 29: Bring a friend, bring a kid, bring gloves and a water bottle to Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve on April 29 to help rid it of invasive species like the Brazilian pepper trees along the entrance road. The entrance road will be closed from dawn to 1 p.m. as Land Management and Parks and Recreation staff, with the help of volunteers, remove the plants. Normal park access will be available after 1 p.m. “We appreciate the help,” said Mike Lagasse, land manager. “Non-native plants are displacing the native plants.” Flagler County has a dedicated group of volunteers who have worked at other preserves, like the River to Sea Preserve, protect the native ecosystem. Laura Ostapko is one of those volunteers and a member of “The Pepper Pickers,” a group that started at Gamble Rogers and has recently expanded its scope of work. “We have a sign that says, ‘Restoring paradise one tree at a time,’ because that’s what we are doing,” Ostapko said. “It’s very rewarding when you see what you have done.” Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve is situated on 217 acres along the eastern side of the Intracoastal Waterway south of State Road 100. Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Lagasse at 386-313-4064 or at mlagasse@flaglercounty.org.

Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk and Free Fun Run May 2 in Palm Coast’s Town Center: Register now for the Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk, which starts at 8 a.m. May 2, followed by the Free Fun Run at 9 a.m. The run/walks will start and finish on Lake Avenue in Central Park at Town Center, 975 Central Ave. in Palm Coast. Awards will be given out at Central Park Main Stage after the race. This race will close out the 2014-2015 season in the Palm Coast Running Series. Register for the 5K Root Run/Walk at www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay. (Pre-registration is not required for the children’s Fun Run.) Participants of the 5K Root Run/Walk are guaranteed a race T-shirt and goody bag if they register by April 24. Entry fees and pre-registration deadlines are as follows:

· $25 Online registration closes at 5 p.m. April 30 at www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay.
· $25 Mail-in registration closes April 24 (Mail-in registration is available through April 24. Mail registration form available online with check or money order made out to City of Palm Coast to: City of Palm Coast, c/o Arbor Day Race Pre-registration, Attn: Carol Mini, 160 Cypress Point Parkway Suite B106, Palm Coast, FL 32164.)
· $25 In-person registration closes May 1. Register in-person 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Parkway, NE. Checks, money orders, cash and credit cards accepted.
· $30 Race day entry fee – cash or checks only – at Central Park (along Lake Avenue).
· Veterans with military ID receive free entry

Packet Pick Up will be held at the Community Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1, or at 7 a.m. on race day at Central Park (on Lake Avenue). Prizes will be awarded to the overall male and female runners, as well as the top three men and women in 15 age groups. The race will be chip-timed. Children participating in the Fun Run will receive a ribbon. A ceremony honoring the overall winners for the Palm Coast Running Series will immediately follow the 5K Root Run awards. After the races, enjoy the free Arbor Day celebration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Park. Bring canned food or pet food items and exchange them for a three-gallon native hardwood tree (while supplies last). Feed a Mouth, Get a Tree, Grow a Community is the theme. The event will also feature a butterfly tent, zoo exhibits, green vendors, a fire prevention activity, entertainment and kite flying/building. The popular Native Butterfly release is set for 11 a.m. Complete details are available here. For more information, contact City of Palm Coast Urban Forester Carol Mini at 386-986-3722.

Blood Donations Needed

big-red-busBlood donations are urgently needed. Patients in our local hospitals are in need of blood transfusions, and the need for blood does not take a holiday. That’s why OneBlood is asking people to donate immediately.

Big Red Bus schedule in Flagler-Palm Coast:

Monday April 13th 2:00PM – 6:00PM CVS Pharmacy, 5151 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast
Thursday April 16th 10:30AM -2:00PM Kangaroo Express, 890 Palm Coast Parkway SW, Palm Coast
Friday April 17th 1:00PM – 6:00PM Epic Theatre, 1185 Central Ave, Palm Coast
Saturday April 18th 8:00AM – 1:00PM St Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church Heath Fair
Monday April 20th & Tuesday April 21st 9:00AM -2:00PM Daytona State College- Flagler/Palm Coast Campus, 3000 Palm Coast Parkway, Palm Coast
Saturday April 25th 1:00PM – 6:00PM Epic Theatre, 1185 Central Ave, Palm Coast
Monday April 27th 11:30AM – 4:00PM Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Parkway
Tuesday April 28th 11:00AM – 3:00PM Knights of Columbus Council 7845, 51 Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast
Wednesday April 29th 1:00PM – 5:30PM CVS Pharmacy, 1 Old Kings Road South, Palm Coast

 

 

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1 Response for “Monday Briefing: Gunter Grass Is Dead, Desalination in California, Rubio Announces”

  1. NortonSmitty says:

    Gunter, A person who was secure in his opinions so thoroughly that he could stand on them regardless of the winds that would blow most people down. RIP.

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