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Tuesday Briefing: Bastille Day, Guns at UF, Transgenders in the Military, Weddings in Flagler, Rambo v. ISIS

| July 14, 2015

eiffel toer bastille day

Today is Bastille day in France. Above, the Eiffel Tower. (© FlaglerLive)

Today: global warming high of 93, low 74 Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 401.
The weather in Paris: high 79, low 64. Details.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: jusqu’auboutiste, n. and adj..
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. Many can be heard or seen live through each agency’s website.

palm coast city logoThe Palm Coast City Council meets in workshop at 9 a.m. at the city offices’ main conference room, City Market Place. The council will discuss its proposed property tax rate for the coming year. It will also hear an update on its energy-saving audit, hear a proposal to pick Brown and Brown as city employees’ provider of benefit services,

flagler county commission government logoThe Flagler County Planning Board meets at 6 p.m. in the board chambers of the Government Services Building in Bunnell to review several items, the most anticipated of which is an application by Sea Ray Boats for a rezoning of 24.4 acres on Sea Ray’s property. Earlier this year the County Commission approved a Future Land Use amendment to enable the rezoning. “This rezoning request matches Sea Ray’s intended use of the subject parcels as an employee parking lot, finished boat storage area, and future maximum 40,000 square foot commercial office building,” the county administration’s summary of the issue states. The matter drew opposition from some residents in Flagler Beach and the hearing before the commission packed three floors of the GSB, but also with large numbers of Sea Ray supporters and employees. Monday’s hearing is expected to draw a crowd as well, but the matter at hand, given the earlier vote, should be less controversial. The full background submitted to the planning board material is here. See a background story here. The planning board will also hear a request from a cell tower company to waive the usual restrictions and requirements for siting a 320-foot tower in the county. The NexTower Development Group tower is planned for a county-owned site on John Anderson Highway, at the southern end of the county. The county planning administration recommends approving the waivers.

The Flagler County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. in the third-floor county conference room of the Government Services Building in Bunnell. No agenda was posted.

The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board meets. (11:15 a.m. or upon completion of earlier committee meetings, district headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Palatka.)

Today’s scheduled historical bus trip across Flagler County was cancelled due to lack of passengers.

city-repertory-theatre-logoCity Repertory Theatre Auditions: CRT is holding auditions for the pop musical GODSPELL on Wednesday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre at 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite B207, Palm Coast. This will be an energetic, no holds barred production, using all aspects of the theatre space and all the talents of the 10 member, ensemble cast. See Facebook page for details.

Local News Recap:

One More Hurdle for Sea Ray as Planned Parking Lot Must First Pave Through Rezoning: The company is applying for what amounts to a zoning change—or what the county is treating as a zoning change—on the land slated for expansion. Some of the land is zoned for conservation, some for low-density residential housing, after the county commission in 2005 approved a change to the less intense designations, then to a planned unit development designation. Now the land would be rezoned commercial-high density. The Planning and Development Board will render an advisory recommendation that the county commission later this month will either ratify or reject. Whatever the planning board does, the commission is expected to almost certainly ratify the zoning change, however.

Flagler County Circuit Judge J. David Walsh.  (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County Circuit Judge J. David Walsh. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler’s Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, Master of Judicial Temperament, Retiring in February: He announced his retirement last week, two years into his latest six-year term and within sight of his 70th birthday, when he’d have been required to retire anyway. There will be no election for his replacement, who will be appointed by Gov. Rick Scott following a recommendation by the Judicial Nominating Commission, though that judge will have to stand for election two years hence.

A middle-of-then night wreck on I-95 claims a life: Micale Annilus, a 40-year-old resident of Houston, Texas, was killed early Monday morning, Dagobert Laurent, 43, and Winderson Annilus, 21, were seriously injured when the car Laurent was driving drifted into tractor trailer driving in the same direction at I-95 near Palm Coast Parkway.

Palm Coast crows about hometown Wimbledon champ Reilly Opelka: The News-Journal’s Tony Holt gathered reactions from people who turned up Monday at the Palm Coast Tennis Center to sign their best wishes on a big placard made for Opelka. “So proud of you and your accomplishments,” wrote former Flagler County commissioner Milissa Holland. (Story paywal-protected.)

(© FlaglerLive)

(© FlaglerLive)

In Court:

Circuit Court Judge J. David Walsh holds a sentencing hearing at 8:30 a.m. in the case of Robert Lyndin Revels, accused in 2013 of lewd and lascivious acts dating back to two incidents, in 2012, involving two pre-pubescent girls, one of them a relation to him the other a relation of his then-girlfriend. In each case Revels was alleged to have asked the girls to touch him on his genitals, and in one case he is alleged to have repeatedly touched the girl ion her private parts. The amended charge is lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim younger than 18 (in one case, the victim was 4), a second-degree felony exposing Revels to up to 15 years in prison. At 3 p.m., Walsh hears a motion in the case of Esteban Alejandro Rodriguez, a 30-year-old resident of Palm Coast arrested in February after a 15-year-old girl in his care reported to school authorities last week that he has been raping her or sexually abusing her since she was in 6th grade. Rodriguez posted bail on $260,000 bond and was released. (Courtroom 401.)

Guns on Campus: The 1st District Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear arguments in a case filed by Florida Carry Inc. that seeks, in part, to require the University of Florida to allow guns in university-owned housing. See the background story here. (9 a.m.)

In State Government:

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

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen is expected to be the luncheon speaker at the summer conference of the Florida Sheriffs Association. (Noon, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, 3030 Holiday Dr., Fort Lauderdale.)

The Revenue Estimating Conference will delve into issues involving slot machines and Indian gaming. (2 p.m.)


Aurora theater shooting: closing arguments today in the trial of James E. Holmes, where jurists must decide if he was legally sane when he killed 12 people and wounded 70.

Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” the prequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” goes on sale. Two million copies have been printed–a quarter the number of copies that actually sold in the first 24 hours after “Harry Potter and the Death Hallows” went on sale.

Tour de France: Stage 10 today takes the cyclists 167 km from Tarbes in the Pyrenees to La Pierre-Saint-Martin, just north of Lourdes. The live feed here.

PR Releases:

Will you join?

Will you join?

The River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization Meets in Palm Coast from 5-7 p.m. Monday, July 27, to receive public input on the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. The meeting will be held at Palm Coast’s Hilton Garden Inn, 55 Town Center Blvd. Specifically, the River to Sea TPO is holding the public meeting to solicit input on the draft Cost Feasible Project List. The 2040 LRTP must be adopted by September 2015. The organization is also holding public meetings in DeLand and Daytona Beach. The 2040 LRTP is a long-range vision of the transportation needs for the R2CTPO Metropolitan Planning Area (all of Volusia County and portions of Flagler County including the cities of Flagler Beach, Beverly Beach, and portions of Palm Coast and Bunnell). Projects selected for inclusion in the 2040 LRTP are intended to reflect the Vision and Goals of the Metropolitan Planning Area and its member governments. This Vision states that: Our transportation system will provide a safe and accessible range of options that enhance existing communities while providing mobility in a fiscally responsible, energy efficient, and environmentally compatible manner. This integrated system will support economic development, allowing for the effective movement of all people, goods, and services necessary to maintain and enhance our quality of life. The vision is also supported by six goals, which promote a balanced and efficient multimodal transportation system, economic development, connectivity and transportation choices, safety and security, quality places and transportation equity and public participation. Development of the LRTP began in spring 2014. This planning effort provides an opportunity to: take stock of current resources and system limitations, reach out to partner organizations and the public to identify future challenges and opportunities, define collective plans and desires for the future, and rioritize efforts and to seek opportunities for a cohesive development strategy. For more information, contact Pamela Blankenship at or 386-226-0422 ext. 20416, or visit

Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches Tourism Division creates a new Wedding Brochure: the brochure will be available at both of the County’s Welcome Centers and to out-of-town brides interested in planning a destination wedding. “We’ve noticed an increase in visitor and website traffic from those looking to plan a wedding in the area,” said Amy Lukasik, TMP, director of tourism marketing for the Flagler Chamber of Commerce. When it comes to saying, “I do,” Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches offer guests a variety of options spanning a wide range of budgets, making the destination appealing to many who are planning the big day. Brides can dream big and put a spin on the traditional beach-side vows, saying “I do” at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, a destination for weddings and events for years, now with a renovated patio area. Lovers looking for a resort-style vibe can set the scene at Hammock Beach Resort, which caters to large parties. A wedding planner will assist in planning every detail of the big day, including preceding events like showers and the rehearsal dinner. Or, couples can make a splash walking down the aisle aboard the 117′ Sundance Yacht, commissioned by Hammock Beach Resort and outfitted with two bars, a full galley, lounge with fireplace, humidor, HDTV, private office/dressing room and an enclosable rear deck. “The Chamber’s tourism division wanted to create a piece of collateral to highlight the top unique wedding locations in one comprehensive and informational piece.” In the future, the Chamber hopes to expand the collateral piece to include details and images outlining different packages available to brides. “The wedding market is expanding in our area and we are responding accordingly to maximize the potential positive economic impact these events can have on the community,” said Lukasik. The wedding information category has been expanded on the Chamber’s website. In the next fiscal year, beginning October 1, additional media buys focused on marketing the area as a wedding destination will be purchased.

David Grussgott

David Grussgott

David Grussgott joins Joseph Pozzuoli Architect as Senior Project Manager. Grussgott has been in architecture since 1996 and received his bachelor’s degree from The New York Institute of Technology. He worked for large and small architectural firms in Manhattan some of them in the field of transportation architecture. Grussgott has lived in Palm Coast for 11 years and has been working towards his obtaining his State of Florida license. “I am excited to be a part of this team and work in the community that I live in,” said Grussgott. “This is a great opportunity, and I couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere to work in,” he added. Grussgott’s duties will include client relations, conceptual design, schematic design and construction documents. Joseph Pozzuoli Architect is located at 314 Moody Blvd., in Flagler Beach. JPA employs six local people and provides designs for residential, commercial, interiors, condos, and businesses throughout Florida from Flagler County to Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, The Hammock and Jacksonville.

(© FlaglerLive)

(© FlaglerLive)

Synchro Belles Finish Strong at 2015 U.S. Junior Olympics: Nineteen members of the Flagler County Synchro Belles (FCSB) Synchronized Swim Team recently attended the 2015 U.S. Junior Olympics in Greensboro, NC. The U.S. Junior Olympics, presented by eSynchro and USA Synchro, is considered to be the premier event for synchronized swimmers across the nation. Synchronized swimmers from age groups 12 and under on up to 18 years of age can compete in team routines, duets solos and figures. The Synchro Belles had seven routines that qualified for the Junior Olympics. They competed with over 1,000 athletes from across the Nation. The 16-19 Age Group brought home a Silver Medal for the Combo Routine. Team members: Yasmin Daiha, Cassandra Gubala, Elyse Hinman, Alexandra McMillin, Paige Areizaga, Samile Daiha, Megan Lake, Chiara Longo, Alyssa Trent and Victoria Woroniecki. Cassandra Gubala and Alexandra McMillin came in fourth place with their Duet in the 16-17 Age Group. The 13-15 Age Group Team came in 8th place in the Nation; team members are Paige Areizaga, Samile Daiha, Elyse Hinman, Megan Lake, Chiara Longo, Alyssa Trent, Victoria Woroniecki, with Sophia Alverez and Grace Weed as Alternates. Victoria Woroniecki came in 7th place with her 13-15 Age Group Solo. Victoria Woroniecki and Samile Daiha placed 6th for 13-15 Age Group Duet. Paige Areizaga and Alyssa Trent placed 19th for 13-15 Age Group Duet. The 12 and Under Age Group Team came in 18th place. Team members are: Alex Alvarado, Rachel Lee, Isabella Lojewski, Sarah Morris, and Ella Steinwehr. Synchronized Swimming has been an Olympic Sport since the 1984 Summer Olympics. It is a demanding sport that requires advanced water skills, strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, precise timing and breath control. The Synchro Belles practice at Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club in Palm Coast, the head coach, Isabella Vasconcellos, founded the team in 2000. The Belles are a nationally ranked competitive team with members ranging in age 6 to17 years of age. For more information about the Belles and upcoming Synchro Camps, contact

In the Press, In the News:

The Hard Truths of Ta-Nehisi Coates:“Late this spring, the publisher Spiegel & Grau sent out advance copies of a new book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a slim volume of 176 pages called Between the World and Me. “Here is what I would like for you to know,” Coates writes in the book, addressed to his 14-year-old son. “In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” […] “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died,” Morrison had written. “Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.” […] Ta-Nehisi said he thought ­Morrison’s praise was essentially literary, about the echo of Baldwin’s direct and exhortative prose in his own. The week before, The New ­Yorker’s David Remnick had called the forthcoming book “extraordinary,” and A. O. Scott of the New York Times would soon go further, calling it “essential, like water or air.” The figure of the lonely radical writer is a common one. A writer who radicalizes the Establishment is more rare. “When people who are not black are interested in what I do, frankly, I’m always surprised,” Coates said. “I don’t know if it’s my low expectations for white people or what.” […] Coates is not a Christian. The heavy force in Between the World and Me — what makes it both unique and bleak — is his atheism. It gives Coates’s writing urgency. To consider the African-American experience without the language of souls and destiny is to strip it of euphemism, and to make the security of African-American bodies even more crucial. It also isolates him from the main black political tradition. “There’s a kind of optimism specifically within Christianity about the world — about whose side God is on,” he said. “Well, I didn’t have any of that in my background. I had physicality and chaos.” From New York Magazine.

Plan Would Let Transgender People Serve Openly in Military: “The Pentagon is finalizing a plan to allow transgender people to openly serve in the military beginning early next year, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Monday. The plan would end what is seen as one of the last discriminatory rules about who can enlist or be commissioned in the military. It would also represent a tacit recognition of the fact that thousands of transgender people already are in uniform. Some estimates put the number of transgender people in the military at 15,000. Yet much like gays and lesbians under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which was lifted in 2011, the current rules have forced transgender people into a precarious existence in the ranks. The lucky ones have superiors who look the other way; the less fortunate must keep their transgender status a secret, leaving themselves open to harassment or expulsion if their colleagues found out the truth.” From The Times.

From a Times Editorial on the military’s decision: “None of this should be hard to carry out. Several of America’s closest allies have seamlessly integrated openly transgender troops in their militaries. Any doubts about their ability to serve should have been put to rest by the exemplary records of those who have begun transitioning publicly in recent months. Their powerful stories commanded the attention of senior leaders at the Pentagon. Mr. Carter is wise to end a policy that denigrates transgender Americans and damages national security by forcing out good troops the military needs. “Young Americans today are more diverse, open and tolerant than past generations,” Mr. Carter said last month. “And if we’re going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission of national defense, we have to ourselves be more open, diverse and tolerant, too.”

rambo-isisRambo ‘to fight Isis in Last Blood’, Sylvester Stallone confirms: “Rambo’s unquenchable thirst to shoot things whilst wearing a headband has previously taken him to Vietnam, Thailand, Afghanistan and Burma, but in Last Blood he is set to head to Syria, where he will face his toughest enemies yet: Isis. “We have teams scouting Iraq and parts of Syria where Isis have their greatest strongholds,” Stallone genuinely announced at Comic-Con. “We’re working with the locals there to help deliver the most intense and realistic Rambo movie experience ever.” From the UK Independent.

The Key to Rereading: Tim Parks in the New York Review of Books: “Let’s reread Nabokov on rereading. On first approach to a novel, Nabokov claimed, we are overwhelmed with too much information and fatigued by the effort of scanning the lines. Only later, on successive encounters with the text, will we begin to see and appreciate it as a whole, as we do with a painting. So, paradoxically, then, “there is no reading, only rereading.” This attitude, I recently suggested in this space, amounts to an elitist agenda, an unhappy obsession with control, a desire to possess the text (with always the implication that there very few texts worth possessing) rather than accept the contingency of each reading moment by moment. […] With a certain kind of reading the pleasure lies in the lock-making process, the progressive meshing of mind and text. Once we are familiar with the kind of experience the text opens up in our minds, we will be less excited. Or at least, the pleasure will be of a different kind, offering the reassurance of the known, or simply a happy reminder of that more strenuous lock-making period. Such a distinction might help us tackle the old chestnut of the difference between genre fiction and literary work. There is no continuing learning process with genre fiction. We know how to read a Maigret and would never dream of rereading one. It always prompts the same reactions. But with a literary novel, we would expect the pleasure of an effort of adjustment, of new vistas being opened in the mind. So Nabokov was right perhaps, or at least for complex novels, which for him were probably the only ones he was interested in. We have to reread.”

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports:

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through July 10:

Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 82 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues and some paving and concrete curbing was completed. Landscape irrigation work continues. Utility connection tie-ins continues. Signage installation has begun. All the new water mains have now been installed and flushed. All pressure testing has passed and is ready for chlorination. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has accepted and has placed into service the 193 feet of new 12″ water main connecting to the new 16″ water main just west of Wendy’s.

Royal Palms Parkway Improvements: Completed.

Holland Park, 22 percent done: Installation of storm water pipe continues.

Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 70 percent done: Installation of drywall on interior walls, mechanical duct work and VAV damper installation, electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping are all 95% complete. Painting of exterior
walls continues. Paving of parking area started. Installation of wall tile in bathrooms is complete and floor tile in bathrooms
has begun. The sewer system has been televised and the concrete slab under the 4″ water meter and 6″ fire backflow assemblies has been placed.See ongoing images of construction here.

Colechester at College Waterway Bridge Rehabilitation Construction, 17 percent done: Outside bents and pilings have been repaired & painted. Sheet piles were delivered. Demolition on east side seawall and sidewalk continues.

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.

Palm Harbor Parkway Roadway Extension, 6 percent done: Contractor working on submittals and coordinating utility work with FPL & ATT.

Island Walk Shopping Center Phase 1, 90 percent done: A manhole was installed in front of the Island Doctors building. A 6″ fire line with backflow preventer was installed behind building on west end of project.

Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 88 percent done: Work on parking and drive thru areas continues. Water meters and backflows 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, 85 percent done: Pressure testing of new water main has passed.

Road and Interstate Construction:

road-constructionPalm Coast:

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:


Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):

best comments flaglerlive

(April Killingsworth)

Michael Van Buren in “4-Year-Old Palm Coast Boy Critical After He’s Found Unresponsive in Locked Van in Driveway”: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and their son right now. I was not in this alone. Deputy Barnett who spotted the child, Deputy Nunziato whose quick thinking started treating him to start bringing his core temperature down, as well as Deputy Wood who deployed the AED all deserve a pat on the back. I also would like to say that I am proud to work with the finest men and women in the state. Credit for any chance this child has goes to each and every one of the first responders that had a part in this call. From the 911 operator and dispatchers to the many deputies that immediately responded as well as Fireflight, Palm Coast Fire Department, Flagler County Emergency Services, and the staff at Florida Hospital Flagler. Lets all say a prayer tonight for this child’s full recovery.” Reply to Van Buren here.

Cultural Coda:

Carl Burgess’s “Drugs” (2010)

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