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Weekend Briefing: Beatles Tribute at the Auditorium, Picnics and Pops Moved, DeSantis at Ocean Art Gallery

| April 17, 2015

Miro's 'The Flight of the dragonfly in Front of the Sun' ('El vol de la libèl·lula davant del sol'), 1968.

Miro’s ‘The Flight of the dragonfly in Front of the Sun’ (‘El vol de la libèl·lula davant del sol’), 1968.

Today’s weather: sunny, high of 78, low of 66, a bit warmer and thunder-prone Saturday and Sunday. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 250
The weather in Barcelona, Spain: High of 66, low of 57. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: papabile, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.


Today’s Briefing: Quick Links

In Flagler and Palm Coast:

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

Gail Wadsworth. (© FlaglerLive)

Gail Wadsworth. (© FlaglerLive)

Traffic Ticket Collections Free Amnesty on Friday: 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)

Friday: “American English” at the Flagler Auditorium: It’s the complete Beatles tribute show. “The show begins with the early years of Ed Sullivan and includes classic Beatle favorites such as She Loves You, Twist and Shout, I Want To Hold Your Hand, and many others,” the promoters’ website states. “American English captures the very essence of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Next, you’ll take a trip with American English as they recreate the psychedelic era of The Beatles. Every musical and visual detail is magically shaped in a colorful journey back in time. You’ll witness incredible versions of selections from Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. All the songs are performed completely live without any tapes or backing tracks.” ($29 for adults

Friday at the Flagler County Youth Center: Friday Done Right for 7th and 8th Graders. (6 p.m.)

Friday and Saturday at the Matanzas High School Pirates Theatre: “Footloose,” a student play. (7 p.m.)

Ribbon-cutting Friday at the Fog Room Vapor Co., 101 Palm Harbor Parkway, STE 8 in Palm Coast, 4 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, State Cup Soccer Tournament at Indian Trails Sports Complex in Palm Coast. More details here.

Ron DeSantis. (© FlaglerLive)

Ron DeSantis. (© FlaglerLive)

Saturday, Ocean Art Gallery in Flagler Beach will host U.S. Rep. DeSantis’ ten finalists from District 6 in the 2015 Congressional Art Competition. Three judges will select the winner from the students’ art, which will be on display in the gallery at 200 S. Oceanshore Blvd., DeSantis will be there. “It is a distinct pleasure to have the ten student finalists, their families, friends, and Congressman DeSantis in our gallery for the selection of the winning piece of art from District 6 in this national competition,” gallery owner Frank Gromling said. The public is invited. For further information, contact Ocean Art Gallery at 386-693-4882.

Sunday, Picnics and Pops: The Palm Coast Arts Foundation hosts its 8th annual Picnics and Pops concert wiuth the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, but the venue has moved. It will not be held at Palm Coast’s Town Center, where the grounds are too wet, but at the Coca-Cola Pavillion at Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach–Exit 273 off of I-95, near the Harley Davidson dealership. The much-anticipated Picnic and Pops this year will be led by Maestro Christopher Confessore, guest conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Guests arrive at 6:30 pm and a full concert performance begins at 8 p.m. You are encouraged to bring your own food and drinks. For individual tickets, or to purchase tables of ten, contact the PCAF office at 386.263-2991 or go on-line to General Admission is $45 ($40 for PCAF Members) in advance of the performance; $45 at the gate if seating available.

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:

Circuit Judge J. David Walsh hears family and juvenile cases in the morning and afternoon. Judges Melissa Moore-Stens and Michael Orfinger hear non-jury trials.

In State Government:

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

State Ethics Commission meets to take up a series of issues, including a judge’s recommendation that former state lawmaker and Congressman David Rivera pay nearly $58,000 in fines and restitution in a case that focuses on travel reimbursements and financial disclosure. (8:30 a.m.)

Florida jobless numbers for March are released at 10 a.m.

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida


President Obama’s immigration overhaul goes before a federal judge in New Orleans today. Details here.

In the Press:

Four million refugees have poured out of Syria and into neighboring countries: “With Syria’s neighbors increasingly shutting their borders to refugees and thousands trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety, the war in Syria is creating the worst global refugee crisis in decades, putting new pressure on the United States and other Western countries to open their doors — and in turn, prompting domestic political backlash. Not since the wave of people who fled Southeast Asia after the war in Vietnam have the world’s industrialized countries been under such intense pressure to share the burden of taking in refugees, experts say. Nor has the task of offering sanctuary been so politically fraught. The United Nations high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, has stepped up calls for industrialized countries, including the United States, to shelter 130,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years. […] he United States is scheduled to take in its largest tranche of Syrian refugees to date — up to 2,000 by the fall of this year, compared with a total of about 700 since the civil war in Syria began four years ago, according to the State Department.” The full story.

USS Independence rediscoveredNOAA, partners, survey ‘amazingly intact’ historic WWII-era aircraft carrier: “NOAA, working with private industry partners and the U.S. Navy, has confirmed the location and condition of the USS Independence, the lead ship of its class of light aircraft carriers that were critical during the American naval offensive in the Pacific during World War II. Resting in 2,600 feet of water off California’s Farallon Islands, the carrier is “amazingly intact,” said NOAA scientists, with its hull and flight deck clearly visible, and what appears to be a plane in the carrier’s hangar bay. Independence (CVL 22) operated in the central and western Pacific from November 1943 through August 1945 and later was one of more than 90 vessels assembled as a target fleet for the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests in 1946. Damaged by shock waves, heat and radiation, Independence survived the Bikini Atoll tests and, like dozens of other Operation Crossroads ships, returned to the United States. While moored at San Francisco’s Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, Independence was the primary focus of the Navy’s studies on decontamination until age and the possibility of its sinking led the Navy to tow the blast-damaged carrier to sea for scuttling on Jan. 26, 1951. “After 64 years on the seafloor, Independence sits on the bottom as if ready to launch its planes,” said James Delgado, chief scientist on the Independence mission and maritime heritage director for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “This ship fought a long, hard war in the Pacific and after the war was subjected to two atomic blasts that ripped through the ship. It is a reminder of the industrial might and skill of the “greatest generation’ that sent not only this ship, but their loved ones to war.” More from NOAA here.

Child abuser in the NFL? No problem: “The NFL has reinstated star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was suspended after being indicted by a Houston-area jury in September 2014 on charges that he had physically abused his 4-year-old son with a tree branch (aka a “switch”). After negotiations with prosecutors, Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault in November and agreed to pay a fine, perform community service, and be placed on probation. Peterson may be traded, as he’s reportedly upset with the Vikings for backtracking on their initial decision to let him rejoin the team while charges were pending. (The NFL didn’t officially suspend Peterson until November, but the Vikings held him out of games after Sept. 7.)

Bernie Sanders on the O’Reilly Factor:

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:

varn park flagler county parksSculptural bathroom at Varn Park: Before long, visitors to Varn Park will enjoy a new dune walkover, more parking and new bathroom facility that could easily be mistaken for a work of art. “The bathroom will look like a stingray,” County Engineer Faith Alkhatib said. “It’s just beautiful. Most of our parks have typical square bathrooms but we were able to do this one with an artistic feature.” The dog-friendly, 8-acre park has been closed since mid-December and is scheduled to reopen at the end of May. The parking lot is being expanded from 42 regular parking spots to 106 spots including four that are ADA-compliant. A current dune walkover is being refurbished with ADA ramps added for accessibility near the new bathroom facility. The new dune walkover constructed at the north end of the parking was also constructed with both ADA ramps and stairs. Additionally, ramps will be built from the new added– parking area to the existing sidewalk along State Road A1A. “The new bathroom is more environmentally friendly as we have connected to a central wastewater collection system and the existing septic system has been removed,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. The total cost of the project is $549,420 and 80 percent of those costs will be reimbursed from federal grant dollars issued through the Florida Department of Transportation. Local funds and in-kind services will cover the remaining 20 percent, or $105,000. “This is why I love my job,” Alkhatib said from atop the new dune walkover. “Look at all of this our residents and our visitors can come and enjoy.”

Palm Coast Finance Department receives national budget award again: For the 12th consecutive year, the City of Palm Coast has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its annual budget. The award reflects the commitment of the Palm Coast City Council and Finance Department staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. To receive the budget award, the City was required to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, a communications device. Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. The City received outstanding ratings in the areas of Strategic Goals & Strategies, Financial Policies, Capital Projects and Debt Planning. The Budget document was also rated outstanding as an overall communications device with the reviewer stating, “The budget presentation offers the reader a good discussion of the overall approach to the delivery of municipal services. The readers of the document are given a level of information to make judgments on how the City is spending its money and the issues that impact that effort.” The budget book can be reviewed online at (search for “budget”). The City budget is updated and adopted annually using a year-round process that starts with strategic action planning by the Palm Coast City Council, ties performance measures to budget priorities, and supports the City’s adopted goals and overall vision. The budget addresses day-to-day operations, as well as long-term capital improvements and strategies. “To prepare the City’s annual budget, our Finance Department guides a strategic, year-long process that takes the goals and direction determined by the City Council and puts them into a plan that provides the highest level of service possible for the citizens of Palm Coast,” said City Manager Jim Landon. “We work very hard on our budget process, and we’re honored to be recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association again this year. I want to thank and congratulate Finance Director Christopher Quinn, Budget & Financial Analyst Lina Williams and the rest of the Finance Department staff for their hard work and excellence.” Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America, GFOA officials said. For budgets including the fiscal period 2014, 1,424 agencies received the award. The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving more than 18,000 government finance professionals throughout North America. The association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

In Coming Days:

Flagler County Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.

Flagler County Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.

April 19: Appreciation Picnic For Flagler’s First Responders. A new collaborative effort with the theme, “Building Bridges, Building Relationships,” is bringing together Flagler County public safety personnel from various entities. A first-ever appreciation picnic and barbecue hosted by Flagler County Emergency Services on Sunday, April 19, will include firefighters, police officers, Florida Hospital Flagler and Flagler County Health Department staff members, Flagler County Sheriff Officer employees and other emergency management workers to foster relationships and provide services. It is anticipated that the event will be held annually. “We want all emergency management personnel to think of one another as colleagues,” Flagler County Public Safety Emergency Manager Kevin Guthrie said. “Emergency management is the sum of all its parts and no one person can do any one part by themselves; we need all of our stakeholders working together.” The picnic, funded by corporate sponsors, will include food and family-friendly activities like corn hole, a Moon Bounce and a magician. The event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. in Herschel King Park located at 1000 Grady Prather Jr. Cove in Palm Coast. To RSVP please email Suzanne Eubanks at

weatherman bob pickering national weather association awards winner

Bob Pickering. (© FlaglerLive)

April 22: Skywarn Storm Spotter Program Class: This class is also great for first responders, dispatchers, anyone who works outside, school staff, coaches, etc. Meteorologists aren’t the only ones who can recognize potentially disastrous weather. After participating in a free nationally acclaimed weather class hosted by the National Weather Service and Flagler County Emergency Services, anyone can become a trained storm spotter. The Skywarn Storm Spotter Program recruits volunteers to help protect people and property during tornados or severe thunderstorms. There are already over 1,000 storm spotters in Flagler County. “Skywarn is essential to the National Weather Service as weather radars cannot see everything,” said Bob Pickering, Flagler County Emergency Management Technician. “Spotters play a key role not only in advanced warnings, but also storm verification.” During a class taught by Ben Nelson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jacksonville, participants will learn to recognize signs of impending dangerous weather and how to report perilous conditions so warnings can be issued faster. The class will take place on Wednesday, April 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Flagler County Emergency Operations Center, 1769 East Moody Blvd., Bunnell. To sign up for the class, please call Pickering at 386-313-4250 or send an email to:

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 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

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 (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
· $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:

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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