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Thursday Briefing: Regulating Flagler Beach’s Farmer’s Market, Amazon’s Lovably Stupid Alexa, Flagler Cigar Launch

| June 25, 2015

flagler beach farmer's market

Regulating Flagler Beach’s Farmer’s Market is again on the agenda of the Flagler Beach City Commission tonight, after the commission’s clumsy and failed attempt in September to pass an ordinance on the matter. (Flagler Beach Farmer’s Market)

Today’s weather: high of 89, low of 73. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 543.
The weather in Karachi, Pakistan: high 99, low 83. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: havelock, 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.

flagler beach city commission logoThe Flagler Beach City Commission meets twice today, first as the Community Redevelopment Agency board, at 4:30 p.m., to approve (on first reading) borrowing $2.4 million to refund its stormwater revenue bond and its CRA bond, floated in 2009. The matter will be discussed in a hearing during the 5:30 meeting as well. The commission then meets in regular session at 5:30 p.m. when it will take up a proposed ordinance relating to the city’s farmer’s market–who may sell there, who may not. In its first version in September, the city commission tried to regulate vendors only to retreat in the face of fierce opposition, and because the proposed ordinance at the time was vague. The current proposal requires all vendors at the market to have a city business receipt. It defines what products and services may be sold. It forbids food trucks. It limits any market’s opration to three days a week. See that story here. Both meetings will be held at City Hall. The full agenda and background materials are here.

Friends of A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway meeting, Hammock Community Center, 3 p.m. No agenda was posted.

Palm Coast’s Beautification and Environmental Advisory Committee meets at 5 p.m. at the city’s main conference room at City Marketplace. The agenda includes an update on the Healing of the Wounded monument planned for Heroes Park (a monument dedicated to victims of PTSD), and a review of beautification award applications.

Flagler Cigar Company launch party, 6 to 9 p.m., European Village: $20 admission fee for non-members. You will enjoy one premium Flagler Cigar of your choice specially paired with a craft-beer, light eats, entry in raffle items, special discounts for cigar purchases, and a $20 Humidor Gift Card for your next purchase.

Eggs and Issues Breakfast with Local Media: The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce hosts a panel discussion with five local media representatives to help small businesses develop better relationships with reporters, journalists and publishers. The panelists are David Ayres of WNZF, Jeff Dawsey of the Observer, Pat Rice of the News-Journal, Pierre Tristam of FlaglerLive, and Jason Wheeler of News 13. $20 at the door, 7:45 to 9 a.m., Grand Haven Country Club, 500 Riverfront Drive, Palm Coast.

Flagler Chamber Seeks Applicants for Leadership Flagler’s 23rd Class. Click for details.

Local News Recap:

Scott’s Veto Pen Hits Flagler’s Top Priority, Sinking $600,000 For Malacompra Drainage: The county administration is “reevaluating how we attack the problem,” studying whether to address the whole Malacompra issue in small increments or not, County Administrator Craig Coffey says. “But at the end of the day we need assistance from the state,” and will seek it in next year’s legislative session. The county will also seek out mitigation dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Administration and from the water management district. There will also be local money, starting with $900,000 available from the close-out of the Hammock Dunes Development of Regional Impact, and, starting in the fall of 2016, a special taxing district that will have residents in Marineland Acres paying a share of the needed improvements.

County’s Craig Coffey responds to Palm Coast’s Jim Landon’s criticism over airport water issue: In a follow-up to the ongoing standoff between Palm Coast and the county over water connections at the county airport, Coffey responded to Landon’s criticism in strong terms in an interview with the News-Journal’s Tony Holt. Coffey said Landon “was out of line and ill-informed when he stated in an email last week to City Council members that the county was usurping state authority and breaking the law by skipping the permit process for a new water line extension,” Holt reports. “The county owns the airport. It did not mislead the Florida Department of Environmental Protection nor would the county be violating any law if it went ahead with the extension, said Coffey. ‘At the airport, we can run utility lines wherever we want without a permit,’ said Coffey. ‘It’s our property.'” The city changed its interpretation of the issue, saying it merely wan ted the county to abide by city standards. (Paywall-protected.)

See Also:

(© FlaglerLive)

(© FlaglerLive)

In Court:

Circuit Judge J. David Walsh holds drug court starting at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 401. Judge Michael Orfinger is in non-jury trials through the morning in Courtroom 402. County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens is in mediation hearings starting at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 404.

The Florida Supreme Court releases its weekly opinions at 11 a.m.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga will give a “State of the Judiciary” address during a luncheon at The Florida Bar’s annual convention. (12:30 p.m., Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton.)

In State Government:

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

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, ending its three-day meeting today, will consider proposed regulations for catching barracuda in South Florida. (8:30 a.m., Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.)

The Florida Statewide Council on Human Trafficking meets at Stetson University College of Law Tampa Law Center, 1 p.m.


Charleston massacre: funerals for the nine victims begin today.

Charleston massacre: The U.S. Justice Department may file hate-crime charges against Dylann Roof today over the massacre.

Women’s World Cup: The women are off. In Copa America, it’s Bolivia v Peru in a quarterfinal match at 7:30 p.m., BeInSports1.

PR Releases:

Dr. Schalit and Maria Schalit

Dr. Schalit and Maria Schalit

Rotary Club of Flagler Beach Installs New Board Members, Awards Citizen & Rotarian of the Year: The Rotary Club of Flagler Beach held their Installation Banquet on Thursday, June 18th at Halifax Plantation, installing their board members for 2015-16, and announcing their Rotarian of the Year and Citizen of the Year. Installed for 2015-16 were officers: President-Kathy Somers, Secretary-Debby Meyer, Assistant Secretary–Amanda Bailey, Treasurer–Kim Carney, Assistant Treasurer–Sean Palmer, President-elect–Mario Carmo, and Past President–Kim Carney. Directors Jordan Farrell, Karen Farrell and Roseanne Stocker were also installed. Past-President and Sunshine News Liaison Sandra McDermott, owner of Coast Title Insurance Agency was selected as our Rotarian of the Year. She is passionate about children and honors young children through her work with our Interact Club and soon to be EarlyAct Club. She was also named the Flagler Business Women’s Woman of the Year in 2010. The Rotary Club of Flagler Beach Citizens of the Year were announced and are Dr. Curtis J. and Maria Schalit. Dr. Schalit is the chief of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at Halifax Hospital Center in Daytona Beach and partner at Florida Oral & Facial Surgical Associates. The couple founded the Flagler American Youth Football association, and helped fund and are running the football leagues at the new Bunnell multi-sports fields. The league provides scholarships and uniforms for the children who cannot afford to do so for football and cheerleading. Their Wolf Pack team is the current 2014 FSYFL Supers Division State Champions, and their cheerleading team are 2014 UYFL Tiny Tot National Champions. He and Dr. John Akers formed Operation Changing Lives which is a team of dedicated medical professionals with compassionate hearts volunteering their efforts to provide safe, effective reconstructive surgeries to correct facial disfigurements due to birth defects, trauma or disease. The Schalit’s also provide a Christmas Celebration to bring gifts to needy children complete with Santa, elves and a sleigh.  They also touch the lives of single moms through their Millennium Woman – a program that takes a single mom and gives her a full make-over.

Take Care and Be Manatee Aware: Fourth of July celebrations include backyard cookouts and colorful fireworks, but also expected is a high volume of waterway traffic, as this is one of the busiest boating holidays of the year. Save the Manatee Club reminds recreational boaters that they could be boating close to manatees and other Florida wildlife, so be extra cautious. “Manatees aggregate to breed in the warmer months,” said Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for the Club.  “Groups of manatees that typically consist of one female and multiple males are called ‘mating herds.’ It’s important to keep a safe distance and do not approach, touch, or disturb them.  Such disturbance can interfere with breeding activity, which is against the law.” Save the Manatee Club produces and distributes public awareness and educational materials free to boaters, shoreline property owners, schools, and to the general public.  Numerous Florida boaters are carrying the Club’s “Please Slow Manatees Below” waterproof banners to warn other boaters that manatees are in the area.  The Club’s boat console stickers and shoreline property signs both feature the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) hotline number to facilitate the rescue of an injured or orphaned manatee, or to report harassment.  Call the FWC at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cellular phone, or use VHF Channel 16 on a marine radio, or text or email to  The Club also offers free, family-friendly public awareness manatee signs and posters for sites where human/manatee interactions are a problem.  These materials are distributed around Florida to state, municipal, and county parks; marinas; and other places where harassment of manatees is a concern. Cynthia Lyons from Orangedale, Florida, in St. Johns County, requested one of the Club’s free dock signs hoping to slow down boat traffic in her area where manatees are often seen.  “A friend who lives nearby had put up a manatee sign, and we wanted to do our part too,” said Cynthia.  “We hope that it brings awareness to the issue.” More “Manatee Protection Tips for Boaters” can be found on the Club’s website at  Also download the free Manatee Alert App for iPhones and iPads at, which notifies boaters when they are approaching manatee speed zones and helps facilitate the reporting of injured manatees and manatee harassment. Also check out the Club’s new animated boating video, “Share the Waterway,” at for more tips.  The Club is thankful to all those in the boating community who operate with care. The free materials listed can be obtained by contacting Save the Manatee Club via e-mail at, by regular mail at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). For more information on manatees, the Adopt-A-Manatee® program, or to sign up for the Club’s free e-newsletter, visit the Club’s website

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports:

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through June 12 (the city administration has not provided an update since):

Development Order for 5,000 square-foot Palm Coast Medical Office: The Planning Department reviewed and approved a site plan for Palm Coast Medical Office. This 5,000 square foot medical office project is on a one-acre, vacant commercial site located at 1270 Palm Coast Parkway NW. See the rendering below.

medical office Palm Coast

Beautification Plan for Flagler Palm Coast High School: Beautification plan for the front buffer of Flagler Palm Coast High School is underway. City crews have begun stripping dead sod and weeds from the area in front of the high school to make way for new sod, shrubs, trees and irrigation in order to continue the beautification that was done on Bulldog Drive. This is part of the improvement of one of our more traveled entrances to the City, which also includes the new brick Town Center signs that were constructed by Palm Coast Holdings. Work will continue this summer and be finished before school starts in the fall.

Island Walk Shopping Center (Former Palm Harbor Shopping Center), 80 percent done: A 3rd Grease Interceptor has been installed behind the new buildings on the west end of the project. Three sewer wyes have been installed to serve the Grease Interceptors.

Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 78 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues. Landscape irrigation work continues. Utility connection tie-ins has begun. Conducted site inspection with FPL in prepartion for street light installation to begin 6-22-15. The old 10″ water main into the shopping center near Bob Evans has been disconnected and removed from service and will be grout filled. The 12″ main going into the shopping center near Bob Evans on Palm Coast Parkway has been tired into the new 16″ Water main c.

Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 98 percent done: Forthcoming CO to add curb and gutter with flumes for control of stormwater at both Rymfire and Rickenbacker NE corners. Punch list items. Concrete work completed at Belle Terre

Holland Park, 18 percent done: Rough grading of site. Began installation of new water lines in ball field area. The 1″ water line installation around the Soccer Field for drinking water fountains have started.

Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 54 percent done: Installation of drywall of interior walls, mechanical duct work installation, electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping continues. Installation of exterior windows and exterior wall trim continues. Grading and layout for parking area has begun. Painting of exterior walls has begun. See ongoing images of construction here.

Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 65 percent done: The package Pump Station has been set and plumbing continues. Contractor has installed the Force main into the existing manhole on Wynnfield Drive. The road lane closure for the manhole core to install the force main was completed
and the road has been repaired.

Walmart Addition, 30 percent done: A new Grease Interceptor has been installed replacing the old one outside the new building addition.

Old Kings Road Utilities Work: This week, a Water Distribution crew dug up the existing 10” water main on Old Kings Road, North and installed a new valve. This will allow shut-down of the main so it can be removed and replaced with a new line at a new location in preparation of the Old Kings Road realignment and extension that will be done by the County. The water main relocation is a joint project
being completed by Utility and Public Works crews.

In the Press, In the News:

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are no strangers to Confederate flag debate: “Bush decided in 2001 — with little public discussion — that it was time to retire the Confederate flag. “Regardless of our views about the symbolism of the … flags — and people of goodwill can disagree on the subject — the governor believes that most Floridians would agree that the symbols of Florida’s past should not be displayed in a manner that may divide Floridians today,” said Bush’s spokeswoman at the time. His decision followed the bitter 2000 presidential election between his brother George W. Bush and Al Gore, which hinged on Florida’s 25 electoral votes. Some blacks felt marginalized by the disputed election and complained that their votes were not accurately tallied for Gore. […] In 2001, Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, was a fresh-faced state lawmaker. He co-sponsored legislation in the weeks after Bush’s decision, which stated that no “historic flag commemorating or memorializing the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War … displayed on public property of the state or any of its political subdivisions may be relocated, removed, disturbed or altered.” The legislation, a rebuttal of sorts to Bush’s decision, ultimately failed. In comments this last week, Rubio has said the issue of the flag is one for South Carolinians to decide.” From the LATimes.

Amazon’s Alexa, Quite Stupid: “O.K., so Alexa isn’t perfect; far from it, in fact. If there is one glaring flaw in the Amazon Echo — the tiny wireless speaker and artificially intelligent personal assistant, a machine that one always addresses with the honorific “Alexa,” as if she’s some kind of digital monarch — it is that she is quite stupid. If Alexa were a human assistant, you’d fire her, if not have her committed. “Sorry, I didn’t understand the question I heard” is her favorite response, though honestly she really doesn’t sound very sorry. She’ll resort to that line whether you ask her questions answered by a simple Google search (“How much does a cup of flour weigh?”) or something more complicated (“Alexa, what was that Martin Scorsese movie with Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro?”). Other times, she is mind-numbingly literal. One night during the N.B.A. playoffs, I asked, “Alexa, what’s the score of the basketball game?” She proceeded to give me a two-minute, 18-part definition of the word “score” that included “a seduction culminating in sexual intercourse.” Not exactly what I was going for. And yet, after spending three weeks testing the Echo, I really kind of love Alexa. She is just smart enough to be useful. And she keeps getting smarter.” From The Times.

Holy ignorance on climate change: Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books: “When a Republican politician, asked about climate change, says, “I’m not a scientist,” most of us hear just a cowardly way of dodging the question; but the politician’s supporters hear a brave defiance of an alien force. When we hear only “science,” they hear “godless science,” the kind that wants to rob them of their belief in creation and force evolution into their minds. That science is marching in a battalion of forces—the media, the academy, the government—that has them besieged. “I’m not a scientist” does not mean, “I have not heard enough about the science, and need to hear more,” but “I know the evil intent or effect of science, and I will not let it affect me.” They summon a courage not to know. Now Pope Francis, with his encyclical on climate change, has introduced a concern for the poor into the environmental discussion. But conservative Catholics (including five actual or potential candidates for president) forgive him, since he knows nothing about science—if he did, he would realize its anti-biblical animus. He does not know, as the conservatives do, that the masked godless thing must be met by a holy resistance. This is what the French anthropologist Olivier Roy calls “holy ignorance.” It is not a failure of intelligence, but a proud refusal to know things tainted by the arrogance of inevitability. He writes: “There is a close link between secularization and religious revivalism, which is not a reaction against secularization, but the product of it. Secularism engenders religion.” The defenders of the lost cause feel persecuted, and the more support there is for their opponents, the grander they are in their lonely war.

Road and Interstate Construction:

road-constructionPalm Coast:

Lane closures planned for Palm Coast Parkway work June 29 thru July 2:  On Monday, June 29, and Tuesday, June 30, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., motorists and other travelers should expect eastbound lane closures along Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and the I-95 bridge. Two lanes will remain open eastbound. On Wednesday, July 1, and Thursday, July 2, between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., motorists should expect heavy delays. Eastbound traffic will be reduced to one lane on the I-95 bridge. These lane closures are required for street light pole installations. A uniformed law enforcement officer will be on-site to direct traffic. Motorists are encouraged to watch for flaggers and work zone signs.

Matanzas Woods Parkway closed: Matanzas Woods Parkway is closed until early August for construction of the Interstate 95 interchange. The portion of Matanzas Woods Parkway that spans I-95 will be reconstructed to accommodate four single-lane ramps for on and off access to the interstate. Other improvements include the widening of the interstate to accommodate new acceleration and deceleration lanes, wet detention ponds adjacent to the roadway, sidewalks, lighting, overhead signs and landscaping. Project details are available and regularly updated at The detour map is available here.

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.”

Flagler County Road 302 is Closed to all but local traffic as repaving began on June 7 and the roadway will be closed to all but local traffic. Others will be required to detour around County Road 302 using State Road 100. The roadway will be closed for 90 days, or until early September.

Palm Coast’s Colechester Lane bridge to be closed July 7 through Sept. 4: Palm Coast – Motorists and other travelers are advised that the Colechester Lane bridge will be closed to all traffic from July 7 through Sept. 4 while the bridge is rebuilt. A detour will be established taking travelers over the Colorado Drive bridge instead. Signs will be posted directing motorists to the Colorado Drive bridge. The City of Palm Coast strives for safe construction zones. The City asks for the cooperation and patience of residents as this important bridge improvement project is completed. For more information, contact Palm Coast Customer Service at 386-986-2360.

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. Sunday through Thursday, Eastbound and Westbound lane closures as needed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, 9:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. EB road closure between Canal St./SR 44 and I-95 with detour at US 92 exit ramp.Motorists should be aware of traffic shifts near Canal St./SR 44.

In Coming Days:

Click on the links for more details:

June 27: The Ham Radio operators of the Flagler Emergency Communications Association, licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, will establish a nationwide communications platform simulating emergency conditions for 24 hours beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27th at the Flagler Beach Fire Department Headquarters, 320 South Flagler Avenue, Flagler Beach, Florida 32136. The simulation is part of the American Radio Relay League’s National Field Day, Tours of the operation and an opportunity to learn more about Ham Radio are available throughout the simulation period and are free to the public on a “drop by” basis, no advance arrangements are necessary, all are welcome.

June 30: Social Media Day and Entrepreneur Night in Palm Coast: Palm Coast government declared June 30 Social Media Day, Mashable, which conceived the international event, highlighted Palm Coast’s role, and of course Palm Coast’s Office Divvy is marking the occasion on June 30. ” “With this proclamation and the event on June 30th,” Office Divvy’s Lisa Ekinci says, “we are putting our red dot on the map for Palm Coast and Flagler County; and creating a differentiator for our community as a socially savvy community in Florida, in these United States and in the World,” Ekinci said. Hashtag for the local event is #SMDayPC and hashtag for the worldwide event is #SMDay2015 Event will be celebrated at COWORK by Office Divvy on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. RSVP are required here.

Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):

best comments flaglerlive

(April Killingsworth)

An exchange between Lancer and A tasty bacon dish, in The Climate Pope’s Message: Reversing Global Warming is Humanity’s Responsibility: First, Lancer’s comment: Plants live off of CO2, Pat…didn’t you know that? Without CO2 we would have massive deforestation and plant growth would be limited. Higher CO2 levels means faster growing plant-life. By your argument, a population explosion would be bad since we exhale CO2! I don’t, necessarily, support the coal industry and do see them as major polluters. However, there is no scrutiny against China and India who are bringing more and more coal power plants on line…over 1,000 planned(research it). The international community knows this and, yet, there is no political pressure or international scrutiny towards them for adding pollutants. We have government funded entities caught, red handed, fabricating their data. We have major disagreement amongst scientists(those funded by government and those that are not) whether its a natural phenomena or man-made. Then, we have the living sun, which is not on a thermostat, being more active at some times, than others. It is my belief that this “man-made” hoopla is nothing more than an attempt by government-lovers to install more regulation and legislation that leads to taxation and attempts at increasing government control, period. After all, the Pope is even calling for a “global governance”…who controls that…Russia, China? Would they not act in their own self interest to the detriment of other countries? Of course they would.

A tasty bacon dish’s response: 1. NOAA and NASA haven’t fabricated data. They’re working with data that spans many, many decades collected using methods and/or via devices that have changed as technology has evolved. In the sciences, it is not at all uncommon to account for this by correcting the data to reflect this. Someone finds a mistake, i.e. the temperature isn’t measured at the same time of the day during decade 3, and they correct the data to account for it. This isn’t unique to climatology, it’s done all throughout physics, chemistry, and astronomy. 2. There is a >97% agreeance amongst active climate scientists regarding the role of man in climate change. Calling that major disagreement is like someone saying that they are “a little pregnant” or “not racist but.” 3. You know nothing about the sun. It has an activity period with an 11-year cycle, which the climate decidedly does not. At its most active, the amount of radiant energy hitting the earth increases by less than 0.1%, a fact that has been studied for many, many decades by scientists unrelated to climatology located throughout the world. You’ve chosen to eschew science for pseudoscience because science doesn’t fit your political ideology, and there’s no functional difference between you and someone that denies their children chemotherapy or donated blood for religious reasons. At the end of the day, in all likelihood their kids will die because of their beliefs. Respond to the commenters here.

Cultural Coda:

Johann Baptist Vanhal: Symphony in D Minor

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1 Response for “Thursday Briefing: Regulating Flagler Beach’s Farmer’s Market, Amazon’s Lovably Stupid Alexa, Flagler Cigar Launch”

  1. Sherry E says:

    WHY? WHY? WHY? The need to take our wonderful Farmer’s Market and regulate it to the point that it is totally ruined? Who exactly has been made sick by “food trucks”? Why create a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist? What exactly is wrong with serving prepared foods at such a venue, as long as the food meets health standards and the business is licensed?

    Farmer’s Markets all over the country have prepared foods. . . just look at the successful market at the amphitheatre in St Augustine. Our local government should NOT be in the business of trying to “protect” restaurants, or any other businesses. . . let free enterprise, stay FREE!

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