Monday Briefing: Supreme Court Goes Lethal, Puerto Rico Goes Greece, Flagler Goes Jet Skis
FlaglerLive | June 29, 2015
Today’s weather: Almost chilly: high of 82, low of 71. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 497.
The weather in Taizhou, China: high 86, low 78. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: Paul’s Walk, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.
Today’s Briefing: Quick Links
- In Flagler and Palm Coast
- Local News Recap
- In Court
- In State Government
- PR Releases
- Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports
- Local Road and Interstate Construction
- In the Press
- In Coming Days in Flagler and Palm Coast
- Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section)
- Cultural Coda
Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
Flagler County Emergency Management holds a local mitigation strategy meeting at the Emergency Operations Center, behind the Government Services Building in Bunnell, 1 p.m.
An explosion at Santore Fireworks’ plant on County Road 305 caused minor manage and no injuries early Friday morning.
Flagler County doctor uses non-profit to promote cancer fight: A feature on Palm Coast gynecologist Karen Toppi, who has had her own battle with cancer, and who founded the Hope for Help Foundation to help patients through their struggles. News 13’s Jason Wheeler reports.
Charter schools in Flagler and Volusia: the good and the bad, run down by the News-Journal’s Annie Martin. The story’s headline aside, however, the focus is entirely on Volusia’s charters. (Paywall-protected)
Mountain bike trails in Flagler: The News-Journal’s Jim Haug features the 7-mile trail at Graham Swamp: “Regulars arrive after work “like clockwork,” filling up the small parking lot at the trailhead soon after 5 p.m., Garrett said. The trailhead is 2.3 miles north of State Road 100 on the west side of Colbert Lane.” (Paywall-protected.)
An algal bloom was spotted in Dead Lake at Bull Creek. Testing is ongoing.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday legalized gay marriage in a 5-4 decision authored by Anthony Kennedy, who wrote: ” “The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”
County Judge Melissa Moore Stens holds various hearings in the morning and juvenile pre-trials and arraignments in the afternoon, Courtroom 404. Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger is in status hearings, Courtroom 301. Judge Walsh does not have court sessions today.
A foreclosure sale is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the civil department lobby.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees discusses issues such as a five-year capital-improvement plan. (8:30 a.m., University of Central Florida, Fairwinds Alumni Center, Orlando.)
The Central Florida Water Initiative Steering Committee holds a session in Jacksonville to gather feedback. The committee includes representatives of the St. Johns River Water Management District, the South Florida Water Management District, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Tohopekaliga Water Authority. (4 p.m., University of North Florida, Adam W. Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Dr., Jacksonville.)
Nuclear-deal negotiations resume again with Iran today as a deadline on the deal approaches.
The Supreme Court ends its session today with three cases, including a decision on lethal injection.
Flagler County Ocean Rescue jet skis ready for Fourth: Flagler County Ocean Rescue will unveil two new jet skis that are just in time for service over the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend. Flagler County Fire Rescue has 30 firefighter-paramedics who are also trained for marine rescue. “The training on the new equipment will continue all next week to ensure we are ready for the Fourth,” Fire Rescue Chief Don Petito said. Two new jet skis, two all-terrain vehicles and two trailers to pull the skis were purchased with money from the close-out of the Hammock Dunes Development of Regional Impact agreement. The equipment is staged in two strategic locations along the beach, making them easily accessible when necessary. The official unveiling of the jet skis will be at 1 p.m. July 1 at the Mala Compra Road ocean access point. “It is important to have these life-saving vehicles available,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “The beach within the City of Flagler Beach has lifeguards, but nothing was in place for services to the north end of the beach.” The total cost of the project was $100,432 and also includes construction of the two staging buildings and the miscellaneous smaller equipment and safety gear required for an ocean rescue. These new jet skis bring the number up to three in northeastern Flagler County. The other is housed at Fire Station 41 in The Hammock. While calls that require jet skis are infrequent in Flagler County, response time is critical. A kayaker was rescued earlier this year after being flipped out of the boat. “If someone is in trouble in the water, we want to be able to get them assistance as quickly as possible,” Petito said.
Celebrate national Park and Recreation Month in July with the City of Palm Coast: To mark the 30th anniversary of national Park and Recreation Month in July, the City of Palm Coast is planning a month-long celebration – ‘80s-style!
With 14 City parks, a public pool, more than 125 miles of trails and paths, a golf course, a tennis center, a community center, and many recreational programs for adults, teens and children, it’s easy to enjoy leisure time in Palm Coast! Fun activities are planned all month long to give everyone an opportunity to experience parks and recreation opportunities.
“Our beautiful parks, recreation amenities, and popular programs contribute to an outstanding quality of life in Palm Coast,” said Luanne Santangelo, Director of Parks and Recreation. “This past year, we opened the newest park in Palm Coast – Long Creek Nature Preserve. Please join us in July by getting outdoors at our parks and trails and by attending one or more activities being offered during national Park and Recreation Month.” Some facts about Palm Coast Parks and Recreation:
· Last summer, 772 youth in grades K-8 participated in Summer Camp
· In fiscal 2014 (Sept. 30, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014), there were 786 reservations at the Palm Coast Community Center and 40,479 visitors to the Community Center
· Since opening in April 2015 there have been 9,478 visitors to Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool
· Between Oct. 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014, 25 sporting events were held at Indian Trails Sports Complex/Indian Trails Middle School – bringing an estimated 58,601 visitors to Palm Coast
· Palm Coast has 28 parks and green spaces, with 881 acres (357 acres developed for recreation use)
Most Park and Recreation Month activities and events are free or discounted, and all are designed to encourage families to spend quality time together utilizing parks amenities and facilities.
Barb and Bob Johanson Win Top Sales Award: Watson Realty Corp. Palm Coast is excited to announce Barb and Bob Johanson of “The Johanson Team” have won Top Salespersons for the month of April for the office. The team brought in well over a half of a million dollars in sales for the month of April to earn the top spot. “This is quite an accomplishment for us, and it feels good to know that all of our hard work pays off, not just for us but for our buyers and sellers as well,” said Barb Johanson. “Summer is one of the most popular times to move and we are looking forward to serving the summer real estate buyers as school is out,” she added. Barb and Bob Johanson attribute their success to working together as a team as well as having over 30 years of extensive sales experience.
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through June 24:
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 80 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues. Landscape irrigation work continues. Utility connection tie-ins has begun. Two day water samples were taken andbacteriological test have passed. The applications for clearance
will be sent to Florida Department of Environmental
Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 98 percent done: Contactor will be doing pressure testing.
Holland Park, 20 percent done: Installation of 8″ water main, installation of 24″ RCP storm water pipe has begun.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 60 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 continues and concrete sidewalks have been constructed. Painting of exterior walls continues. FPL transformer and pad have been installed. See ongoing images of construction here.
Colechester at College Waterway Bridge Rehabilitation Construction, 16 percent done: Inside bents and pilings have been painted. Sheet piles were delivered. Demolition on seawall has begun.
County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 20 percent done: A storm structure crossing the road was completed on the east
side of I-95. Fill dirt continues being hauled in to raise the overpass and ramp areas. The city’s portion of the project is also 20 percent done.
Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 88 percent done: Work on parking and drive thru areas continues. Water meters have been installed.
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, 75 percent done:Utility Department Water Distribution crews have flushed the new water main. Contractor has set up for pressure testing. Utility Department Water Distribution crews have removed the old 8″ water main and preparing for extension of North Old Kings Road to Matanzas Parkway.
Supreme Court refuses to ban controversial method of execution: “The court’s [5-4] conservative majority said lethal injection remains the most humane method of execution. During oral arguments in April, they had blamed opponents for exacerbating a shortage of drugs that has forced some states to experiment with less reliable alternatives. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the decision for the court. All four liberal justices dissented vehemently, and two of them said the entire death penalty likely is unconstitutional. To prohibit the use of midazolam, a sedative that has left some death row prisoners apparently able to feel pain from the next two drugs in a three-drug cocktail, would have unfairly tied the states’ hands, the justices ruled. “While most humans wish to die a painless death, many do not have that good fortune,” Alito wrote. “Holding that the 8th Amendment demands the elimination of essentially all risk of pain would effectively outlaw the death penalty altogether.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the principal dissent for the four more liberal justices, charging that the ruling “leaves petitioners exposed to what may well be the chemical equivalent of being burned at the stake.” From USA Today.
Puerto Rico’s Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’: “Puerto Rico’s governor, saying he needs to pull the island out of a “death spiral,” has concluded that the commonwealth cannot pay its roughly $72 billion in debts, an admission that will probably have wide-reaching financial repercussions. The governor, Alejandro García Padilla, and senior members of his staff said in an interview last week that they would probably seek significant concessions from as many as all of the island’s creditors, which could include deferring some debt payments for as long as five years or extending the timetable for repayment. […] It is a startling admission from the governor of an island of 3.6 million people, which has piled on more municipal bond debt per capita than any American state. […] Perhaps more important, much of Puerto Rico’s debt is widely held by individual investors on the United States mainland, in mutual funds or other investment accounts, and they may not be aware of it. Puerto Rico, as a commonwealth, does not have the option of bankruptcy. A default on its debts would most likely leave the island, its creditors and its residents in a legal and financial limbo that, like the debt crisis in Greece, could take years to sort out.” From The Times.5 Days That Left a Confederate Flag Wavering, and Likely to Fall: “The stunningly quick collapse of support for the Confederate flag has been told largely through the public pronouncements of one governor, Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina, who persuaded the legislature to reconsider the flag’s prominent perch on the capitol grounds. But behind the scenes, powerful forces — capitalism, Christianity, social media, college sports and a Republican Party eager to extricate itself from the past — were converging. Within five days, decades of resistance in South Carolina, a state that had held fiercely to its Confederate identity, fell away. Some of it was a result of simple demographics, as the aging white leaders with the deepest attachment to the banner found themselves wielding less sway among modern bases of power. The legislature is increasingly drawn from a younger generation, whose politics were forged well after the battle against civil rights and whose members are more solicitous of the state’s business class than its sons of the Confederacy. On social media, prominent black thinkers shaped and dominated a conversation about why the flag must go, setting off a river of retweets and reverberations, while flag supporters trying to counter the argument were shouted down. And, in the country’s most churchgoing region, Christianity played a potent role. White worshipers described themselves as pained by guilt and moved beyond measure after watching relatives of the nine victims in Charleston deliver an unexpected message, distilling the essence of Christianity at a bond hearing for the suspect: We forgive. The consensus among the state’s establishment to remove the flag came about, many civic leaders said, also because of what did not happen: There was no violent reaction, which made the old antagonisms harder to summon. No swarms of outsiders flooded the State House. Instead, the small state and the small city of Charleston seemed proud of their comportment, and eager to atone for the hurt.” From The Times.
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 http://www.matanzas95interchange.com. 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-95 Southbound On-Ramp Closure for Reconstruction: Starting Thursday, June 25, the I-95 southbound on-ramp – accessed when going westbound on US 92 – will have a detour while closed for reconstruction. The detour will be 9:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. June 25 through July 2. This means the left merge, on-ramp to southbound I-95 from westbound US-92 is closed, and a temporary on-ramp will take its place. This is occurring as the existing I-95 southbound on-ramp is demolished and removed. A temporary signal for I-95 southbound access, has been put in place west of the I-95 and US 92 Interchange, near Skip’s Boots and Motel 6. The detour put in place will be from Tomoka Farms Road to Bellevue Avenue to Williamson Boulevard. Businesses west of the I-95 and US 92 interchange, on the north side of US 92, will need to use their entrances along Tomoka Farms Road. Driveways along US 92 Westbound can be used for exit only. Businesses east of the I-95 and US 92 Interchange, on the north side of US 92, can use the intersection at Indigo Drive as both an entrance and an exit.
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.
- Palm Coast Parkway Project Website
- Florida Department of Transportation Road Project List
- County Road 304 Project Map and Description
Click on the links for more details:
- All Summer: Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Flagler County Children Through Seamless Summer Freeding
- All Summer: Flagler Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Offers Free Summer Activities for Youth .
- All Summer: Swimming lessons and lifeguard classes available at Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool.
- June 27: Safety F.I.R.S.T. and Playing It Safe! Expo Set for June 27th in Palm Coast.
- Registration opens for 2015 Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches Senior Games.
- July 2: Stewart Marchman-Act Foundation Annual Dinner and Fund-Raiser honoring Judge Joseph G. Will, at the Daytona 500 Club at the Daytona International Speedway.
- Sept. 28: Bunnell’s State of the Art Water Treatment Facility Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at 100 Utility Drive (directly across the street from the Flagler County Government Services Building), from 4 to 6 p.m.
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):
Jen in “Gay Marriage Is Now Legal in the United States: Supreme Court Rules for Equality, 5-4“: “Ok Palm Coasters I know most of you are all collecting social security and don’t understand love but here is a cold hard fact for all of you thinking that us gay, lesbian, or transgender PEOPLE are out to attack your religious rights. WE DON’T CARE!!! There I said it!!! All we want is the same rights as everyone else….point blank that is it….I know its hard to understand but life goes on!!!! I married my wife on 3-14-15 and let me tell you it was the happiest day of my life!!! This weekend we will be trying for a child……OH GOD LETS SEE WHO COMMENTS ON THAT ONE!!!! Oh and all those rights we just got allows me to see my kid if he or she is in the ICU or if there is a choice that needs to be made god for bid something happens to my wife!!!! If I need to do anything with legal paperwork or benefits!! I know that you don’t understand these simple things because you haven’t ever had to live without the ability to have those rights but I have and a lot of us have!!! Believe it or not there are a lot of gay and lesbian PEOPLE in Palm Coast!! We don’t try and convert your kids, or shove anything down anyone’s throat!! If anything I had to explain to those religious folks ringing my door bell that I don’t want to go to a church that tells me I am going to hell for loving my wife!!! I can’t believe that GOD made us have these feelings that won’t go away just so the devil could rack up souls in hell!!!! Most of us actually just want to be left alone to have our own families and live semi normal lives!!! Now I will be the first to apologize if the end of mankind comes out of us getting equal rights however, despite what some may think it hasn’t happened yet!!! As far as businesses serving us are concerned hey I’d rather you put a sign up that says ” No Gays Allowed” so I don’t waste my money!! My wife and I have encountered more discrimination since Florida approved gay marriage then at any other time however, I will not turn my back when you need my help since I am a public service worker, I will not hate you for hating who I love, I will not hate the businesses that want to turn us away, and I will not let any other posts effect those choices!!! I also will not tolerate being told I have to hide who I am to make you feel more comfortable!! I was once told that I was no better than a serial killer and now I see on here stuff about a pedophile!! Well I am here to tell you that I protect children, and their families regardless of what they think of me and I will continue to do so because regardless of what some people think I fought for the rights in this country for 8 wonderful years in the U.S Army and I love America regardless the opinions and what is great about it is that you don’t have to like me but I also don’t have to hide from you!!!!!! If you are so worry about God coming back pissed off about it then let him Judge me and get off your high horse!!!” Reply to Jen here.
Ivo Pogorelich plays Bach’s entire Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807. Put on your seat belt.