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Thursday Briefing: Lifeguard Competition in Flagler Beach, McLaughlin’s 100, Ginsberg’s Poem to Bernie Sanders

| July 16, 2015

david hasselhoff surf championship

Flagler Beach Ocean Rescue today and tomorrow hosts the 2015 James Mac McCarthy Memorial’s Regional Surf Lifesaving Championship July 16 and 17, with Juniors on July 18. David Hasselhoff will not be there. But here’s here.

Today: high of 90, low 72 Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 401.
The weather in Culiacán, Mexico: high 98, low 76. Details.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: plutography, 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. Many can be heard or seen live through each agency’s website.

flagler county commission government logoFlagler County’s Economic Opportunity Advisory Council meets at 9 a.m. in the board chambers of the Government Services Building, with a presentation by Jane Fifer, president of VMA, a manufacturers’ trade association in Flagler and Volusia counties.

Regional Surf Lifesaving Championships, hosted by Flagler Beach Ocean Rescue, begins its first of two days of competition in Flagler Beach (three, including juniors on Saturday) just south of the pier, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participation is $20 per competitor. Competition site is on south side of pier. Drop off trailers at police station, at 204 S. Flagler Ave. No vehicles on the beach. No exceptions. See a full schedule of events here. Contact Tom Gillin, the director of parks and recreation in Flagler Beach, for additional information, at

Palm Coast’s Utility Standards Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Utility Office, 2 Utility Drive, Palm Coast.

Local News Recap:

Giuseppe Verdone Is Sentenced to Life Without Parole in Carjacking of Chinese Restaurant Owner: Verdone, 24, will not see another day’s freedom. Circuit Judge J. David Walsh sentenced him to life without parole on two counts each, and to 30 years each on two other counts. Verdone declined to address the court before sentence. Other than a steely look, he would show no emotions.

Public Art Soars Increasingly Into View, Part of Gargiulo Foundation’s Gifts to Palm Coast: This Saturday (July 18), the Gargiulo Art Foundation is also sponsoring a panel discussion featuring Gargiulo and two other local artists the foundation invited to create new art inspired by pieces currently exhibited in public places around Palm Coast. On July 25, the foundation dedicates two more sculptures in the continuously soaring installation of great blue heron sculptures in the “Flight of Life” series at Waterfront Park in Palm Coast.

joseph bova

Joseph Bova arriving in court Wednesday. (© FlaglerLive)

A Heavily Medicated Bova, Accused Store Clerk Murderer, Declared Competent for Trial: Walsh judged Bova incompetent last October, and has been at a state hospital in Gainesville since, under heavy medication. His attorney, Raymond Warren, argues that he is still incompetent, and if anything, may have in some ways regressed since last year, or could slip back into incompetency, if he is deemed competent now.

Against Protest, Walton County in Panhandle Joins Marion to Let Confederate Flag Fly For Now: After a heated public hearing, the Walton County Commission on Tuesday voted to postpone for two weeks a vote on whether to take down the Confederate flag at the county courthouse in DeFuniak Springs.

Longtime Florida Scenic Highway coordinator Garry Balogh retires: Balogh dedicated 19 years to the program and is known as its godfather. Health reasons compelled him to retire, the News-Journal reports. More than 40 people attended Balogh’s retirement celebration. (Story paywall-protected.)

In Court:

(© FlaglerLive)

(© FlaglerLive)

Circuit Court Judge Michael Orfinger hears injunctions starting at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 101, then foreclosure hearings at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 402 followed by non-jury trials. Judge J. David Walsh holds drug court starting at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 401. In the afternoon, starting at 1:30 p.m., he holds docket soundings and hears pleas. County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens hears pleas starting at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 404.

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

In State Government:

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

The Revenue Estimating Conference will look at data about tobacco taxes and the state’s legal settlement with the tobacco industry. (9 a.m.)

The Florida Defense Support Task Force, which works to protect Florida’s military installations and missions, meets. (9 a.m., Westin Tampa Harbour Island, 725 South Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa.)

Kidcare analyzed: The Social Services Estimating Conference will discuss caseloads in the KidCare subsidized health-insurance program. (1:30 p.m.)

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive


The U.S. Senate is expected to pass education legislation that repeals most of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind law.

House Republicans plan an investigation of Planned Parenthood following an anti-abortion activist’s secret video of a Planned Parenthood official explaining how the organization provides fetal tissue to researchers, a practice the organization says it conducts with patients’ consent.

Television’s Emmy Awards nominations are announced at 11:30 a.m. live here.

Tour de France: Stage 12 today takes the cyclists 195 km from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille in the third of three days of climbs in the Pyrenees. The live feed here.

tour de france

Click on the image for larger view.

Police Notes:

Wildfires: The Florida Highway Patrol continues to monitor a wildfire in the area of US1 and Big Oaks Road which may affect roadways in St Johns County. Motorists are encouraged to use caution when traveling in these areas. Visibility may deteriorate quickly due to smoke/fog type conditions, especially during the night time and early morning hours. Motorists are reminded to reduce their speed as necessary to avoid a collision and utilize their low beam headlights in order to adapt to changing weather conditions.

PR Releases:

palmetto b erries flagler

(Gaylon Keeling)

Don’t pick palmetto berries on Flagler County property: Palmetto berries on Flagler County might be tempting to pick, but county ordinance forbids it. “It’s palmetto berry season, which means it is the time of year when both Flagler County staff and private property owners see people on the side of roadways to pick the berries,” Flagler County Land Management Coordinator Mike Lagasse. “While some private property owners allow the harvesting of the berries with permission, please be advised that picking palmetto berries is not allowed on Flagler County owned or managed preserves and parks.” It’s also prohibited to remove soil, rock, sand, stones, trees, shrubs, plants or wood materials. “Palmetto berry harvesting activities reduce the amount of food available for wildlife and can create unwanted trails and debris on our public lands,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. In the past, palmetto berry harvesting has been problematic at Mala Compra Park, River-to-Sea Preserve and Varn Park in the northeastern Flagler County. Other areas of concern include Haw Creek Preserve, Princess Place Preserve, Shell Bluff and Betty Steflik Preserve. “Sometimes people will say that they received permission to pick the berries, but this is absolutely untrue of Flagler County public lands,” Lagasse said. “There are no licenses in effect for individuals to harvest palmetto berries or any other vegetative material.” If you see someone you suspect of harvesting palmetto berries on county-owned property, please report it to Lagasse at 386-313-4064.

Commissioner Nate McLaughlin holds up his piece of the ribbon from the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area ribbon cutting on Wednesday to commemorate the opening of its new campground that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. He is pictured with Florida State Parks Director Donald Forgione.

Commissioner Nate McLaughlin holds up his piece of the ribbon from the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area ribbon cutting on Wednesday to commemorate the opening of its new campground that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. He is pictured with Florida State Parks Director Donald Forgione.

Commissioner Nate McLaughlin reaches 100th Ribbon Cutting: Flagler County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin has attended 100 ribbon cutting ceremonies and he has the ribbons to prove it. The latest was held today (Wednesday, July 15) by the Florida Park Service at the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area to commemorate the opening of its new campground that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. It provides 30 sites for RV-camping and another four to accommodate tent campers. “I like to attend these ribbon-cuttings as a show of support for our community, our businesses and our organizations,” McLaughlin said. McLaughlin stores his ribbons in batches of 10 on the bookshelves of his office in the Government Services building, but they aren’t kept in any particular order. “I’ve saved a piece of the ribbon from every single one of these events held to inaugurate the opening of a new business or building,” he said. “It’s important to me.” McLaughlin also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Finnegan’s Black Cloud, The Surf 97.3 FM, Dentique Dental, Varn Park, Junque in the Trunque, Brookdale Palm Coast, the Palm Coast Arts Foundation, Sensible Water, and local attorney Mike Davis – and that’s just since June 10.

In the Press, In the News:

Florida Sen. Brandes wants an investigation of red-light camera contracts: State Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, asked Wednesday for a Florida Department Law Enforcement investigation of contracts between local governments and a red-light camera company implicated in bribery schemes in other parts of the country. Brandes, an outspoken critic of red-light cameras, asked for the investigation into contracts involving RedFlex Traffic Systems. The Chicago Tribune reported June 19 that the former CEO of the firm had pleaded guilty in a federal bribery investigation in Ohio. Also, a Tribune investigation uncovered wrongdoing in a Chicago contract that involved allegations of bribes paid to a politically connected former city official, according to the newspaper. “State law enforcement should take a look into all contracts that exist in Florida with RedFlex to determine if this type of corruption occurred in our state, and to bring those to justice who violated public trust,” Brandes said in a prepared statement Wednesday.–News Service of Florida.

Texas conspiracy nuts: a Military Exercise Is Met by Some With Suspicion: “Despite the Internet chatter about trains with shackles and Walmart stores being closed to be used as detention camps, this small West Texas town on Wednesday seemed to be surviving the start of Jade Helm 15, the military exercise that some people fear is actually a ruse for a federal takeover of the state. No military equipment or personnel were visible. No tanks were rumbling past the beige-metal community center on Main Street next door to the fire station here, the scene of 4-H Club meetings and family reunions. But that did not mean that people were not on the alert. “I’ve been looking,” said Jack Campbell, 61, who was picking up his mail at the post office. Dr. Campbell said that he had concerns about the exercise, and that he purchased extra ammunition for the weapons he keeps in his home. “Just in case,” added Dr. Campbell, an emergency physician in San Angelo, 20 miles away. “People are just vigilant. Not vigilantes, but vigilant. They don’t want to be caught off guard.” […] According to some right-wing bloggers and activists, the exercise is part of a secret plot by the Obama administration to impose martial law, confiscate firearms, invade red-state Texas or prepare for instituting “total population control.” A report on Infowars, a website operated by Alex Jones, a libertarian-leaning talk radio host from Texas, suggested Helm was an acronym for Homeland Eradication of Local Militants.” From The Times.

Sisters hold party to pay for mother’s Dignitas suicide: “Two sisters are selling tickets for a party to raise money to enable their mother to commit suicide at a Swiss clinic. Jackie Baker, 59, wants to travel to the Dignitas euthanasia clinic after developing motor neurone disease in February. Her daughters Tara O’Reilly and Rose Baker are desperately trying to raise £8,000 so their mother can “die with dignity” in Switzerland. Hairdresser Tara, 40, is selling tickets for a girls night out with drag artist and playboy waiters to raise the funds for her mother. Tara said: “It’s what she wants. We were very upset at the beginning but I think we have come around to it now. Jackie, of Morriston, Swansea, developed motor neurone disease in February but has deteriorated rapidly and is wheelchair-bound. The former keen amateur photographer is also unable to use her arms to lift a camera and her speech is fading.” From the UK Telegraph.

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:

Lane closures planned for Palm Coast Parkway work July 20 – July 24: On Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24, between the hours of 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. From 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 until 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, 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.

Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission’s Customer Advisory Committee Meeting: A meeting of the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission’s Customer Advisory Committee is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, July 17, 2015 at LYNX Central Station, 455 N. Garland Avenue, Orlando, FL in the second-floor multi-purpose room. Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status. Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Ms. Jennifer Smith, FDOT District Five Title VI Coordinator, 719 S. Woodland Boulevard, DeLand, FL 32720, or by phone at 386-943-5367, or by email at Questions? Please contact Steve Olson at or 386-943-5479.

In Coming Days:

Click on the links for more details:


Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):

best comments flaglerlive

(April Killingsworth)

Common Sense, in “Good and Bad of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Caution and Selective Cooperation Ahead“: “No one knows the details of the deal but the Republicans are out in force criticizing it already. Never mind that Bush couldn’t get it done when he was in charge. Think about it, what is the alternative? War? This is at least a start and don’t forget the basic premise…we are telling another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do. Would we allow another country to dictate to us? P. S. Trump criticized the deal , on camera, while admitting he knew nothing about it. He said he knew people who knew about it. What a moron.” Respond to Common Sense here.

Cultural Coda:

Allen Ginsberg’s Poem to Bernie Sanders, 1986

From Open Culture: “The Senator from Vermont has unabashedly referred to himself, throughout his long political career, as a democratic socialist or, on occasion, simply a “socialist”—a word that strikes fear into the heart of many an American, and resonates widely with another portion of the electorate. Debates over what this means rage on. George Will calls Sanders’ socialism a “charade.” Thor Benson in the New Republic accuses him of playing “loose with the terminology.” The history and current state of “socialism” is so long and complex that no one definition seems to suit. Its political baggage in American discourse, however, is undeniable. This was just as true in 1986, when Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem in praise of Sanders, then mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Ginsberg playfully draws on the loose associations we have with the word, hammering it home with tongue-in-cheek repetition, then turning reflective. […] Calling it “Burlington Snow,” Ginsberg composed the poem—equal parts goofy and sincere—on a visit to the city, one of many pilgrimages made by left-wing writers and artists after Sanders’ string of attempted foreign policy interventions.

burlington snow alen ginsberg bernie sanders socialism

Socialist snow on the streets
Socialist talk in the Maverick bookstore
Socialist kids sucking socialist lollipops
Socialist poetry in socialist mouths
—aren’t the birds frozen socialists?
Aren’t the snowclouds blocking the airfield
Social Democratic Appearances?
Isn’t the socialist sky owned by
the socialist sun?
Earth itself socialist, forests, rivers, lakes
furry mountains, socialist salt
in oceans?
Isn’t this poem socialist? It doesn’t
belong to me anymore.

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