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Thursday Briefing: Women’s Self-Defense, Paramedics in Flagler Beach, Jeb Goes Sour, Colbert Goes Live

| September 3, 2015

palm coast fire trucks maintenance

A Palm Coast Fire Department pumper truck undergoes preventative maintenance last week. (Palm Coast)

Today: high in lower 90s, heat index 99 to 103, low in mid 70s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 201 (+21).
The weather in Vardo, Norway: high 47, low 43. Details.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: quede, 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.

The Flagler County Commission holds its first of two public hearings, and first of two votes, on the 2015-16 county government budget, which totals $189.3 million. The proposed tax rate is $8.467 per $1,000 in taxable value, which will equate to a 6 to 7 percent average tax increase on property owners–somewhat less for homesteaded properties, somewhat more for non-homesteaded ones. See the proposed budget by department and fund here. (5:30 p.m., Government Services Building board chambers.)

Buddy Taylor Middle School holds its curriculum night and book fair for some 1,000 students and parents at 6:30 p.m. in classrooms and the school library.

Local News Recap:

Speculate No More: Ex-Undersheriff Rick Staly Declares Run Against Ex-Boss Manfre: Staly joins a crowded field of candidates that includes Don Fleming, the former two-term sheriff Manfre defeated by a few hundred votes in 2012, and three lesser-known names (John Lamb, Gerald O’Gara and Mark Whisenant). All five are running as Republicans. Manfre is a Democrat perceived as weakened by ethics violations and unusual turn-over at the agency.

Belle Terre pool users plead for city aid: “The city of Palm Coast will place the issue of the endangered Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club on the agenda for a proposed meeting with the Flagler County Commission, City Council members decided at a Sept. 1 City Council meeting,” the Observer’s Jonathan Simmons reports. “The issue of the pool, which is owned and run by the Flagler County school district but may soon be closed because the district can’t afford to run it, wasn’t on the city’s agenda for its regular Tuesday evening council meeting.”

Split Florida Conservation Commission Approves Letting Hunters Kill 10% of Bear Population in 4 Regions: One of the regions includes Flagler County. The bear hunt, approved by the commission in June and set to start Oct. 24, will last from two to seven days. While the hunt is supposed to end in each region once the preset quotas are reached, hunters are guaranteed a minimum of two days of pursuing bears.

Men v. Women: Three Domestic Violence Incidents Land Three Men in Jail on Felonies: Three Palm Coast men ended up at the Flagler County jail in a 48-hour span following unrelated incidents that entailed allegations of substantial violence against women and girls–two of the men’s spouses, a girlfriend, and one of the men’s two teen-age daughters. All three incidents resulted in felony charges.

Gov. Scott and Florida Cabinet Honor 3 From Flagler: John Seth, Rick Staly and Ed Wolff: Rick Staly until spring was the undersheriff in the Jim Manfre administration. John Seth is the long-time band director at Flagler Palm Coast High School, and Ed Wolff is the county’s teacher of the year.

In Court:

(© FlaglerLive)

(© FlaglerLive)

Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger hears injunctions at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Courtroom 101. Circuit Judge J. David Walsh is in drug court starting at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 401, then hears pre-trials and probation violations. County Judge Melissa Moore Stens is in various hearings in Courtroom 404, starting at 10 a.m.

The Florida Supreme Court issues opinions at 11 a.m. The court will also hear arguments in four cases, including two death-penalty cases from the Tampa Bay region. Those cases involve Khadafy Mullens, who was sentenced to death for the 2008 murders in Pinellas County of two men, and Charles Brant, who was sentenced to death in the 2004 murder of a neighbor in Hillsborough County. (9 a.m.)

In State Government:

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

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission takes up a series of issues, including changes to boating-restricted areas in the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers and conservation measures for great barracuda in South Florida. (8:30 a.m., Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, 1881 S.E. 17th St., Fort Lauderdale.)

The state university system’s Board of Governors takes up a series of issues, including the proposed confirmation of Judith Bense to remain as University of West Florida president through Dec. 31, 2016. Also, the board will consider a Florida A&M University plan to improve graduation rates and the employability of graduates and a University of South Florida plan to establish a downtown Tampa campus for its medical school. (10:15 a.m. or upon adjournment of earlier committee meetings, University of Florida, Gainesville.)

The state Office of Greenways and Trails will start holding a series of meetings across the state to seek public input about “opportunity maps” for the state’s network of trails. (4 p.m., Camp Helen State Park, 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach.)

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

Police, Fire and Emergency Notes:

Wednesday’s Storm Totals: From Bob Pickering, weather technician at Flagler County Emergency Services: “Here is a quick rundown of the rainfall amounts received yesterday…what makes these notable as these amounts occurred within 30-45 minutes in most cases. This represents intense rainfalls that were exceeding 2 inches per hour. There were no significant issues reported from yesterday’s storm – BP”

Location, Source – Amount and duration
Bunnell, Flagler EOC – 1.57” recorded in 40 minutes
West Palm Coast. Skywarn Spotter – 1.30” recorded in 40 minutes
East Palm Coast, Fire Rescue Staff – 2.20” recorded in an hour
West Palm Coast, Skywarn Spotter – 1.50” recorded under an hour
Southwest Palm Coast, Skywarn Spotter – 1.30” recorded in 40 minutes
Eagle Rock, Skywarn Spotter – 1.90” recorded in 40 minutes

flagler beach fire department morgan walden

Morgan Walden.

Flagler Beach Fire Department’s Walden and Thomas receive State Paramedic Certifications: Flagler Beach Fire Captain Robert Pace announced the recent achievements of two of the City’s firefighters. Firefighters Morgan Walden and Mark (Andy) Thomas have both completed their state certification exam and are now certified paramedics. The State Paramedic Certification follows both Walden and Thomas graduating from Paramedic School at Daytona State College during August of 2015. Captain Pace says the entire department is proud of their accomplishments. Walden and Thomas’s certifications will add strength to the emergency response service provided to the citizens of the City of Flagler Beach.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Florida Attorney General’s Office to offer Seniors Vs. Crime, a free program targeted to help senior citizens who become prey to criminals. The FCSO has provided office space and resources for the program to open in Flagler County. “I am proud to partner with the Florida Attorney General’s Office to offer such a great program to our seniors,” said Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre. On Thursday, September 3, from 11 a.m. to noon, members of the local media are invited to learn about the new program at the Palm Coast precinct located at 160 Cypress Point Parkway. Seniors vs. Crime “provides direct services to seniors who have been victimized by businesses or service providers,’’ said Ken Seymour, a retired South Florida detective who has helped bring the program to Flagler County. “If you feel you’ve been taken advantage of, cheated out of money, or someone has not delivered on what they promised, there’s something you can do,’’ Seymour said. Each Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., six volunteer “senior sleuths’’ will be on hand to help seniors try to resolve their case, first through informal mediation. If a case is deemed to be criminal, it will be turned over to law enforcement officials. Formed in 1989 by the Attorney General, Vern Thornton and the American Association of Retired Persons, the program uses retired citizens not only to educate Floridians on consumer fraud, but also to help in some consumer investigations. In addition, the volunteers regularly conduct seminars on how seniors can protect themselves from becoming crime victims. Millions of dollars have been returned to unwitting seniors who may have been victimized. Since the program began here unofficially in July 2015, at least 15 cases have arisen, generally through word of mouth or referrals from local authorities. For more information about Seniors vs. Crime, call the Sheriff’s Office Palm Coast Precinct Project Office at (386) 586-2634, or online at

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:


PR Releases:

melissa moore stens flagler county judge candidate elections 2012

Melissa Moore Stens. (© FlaglerLive)

County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens on the 8th Amendment and Flagler’s Pre-Trail Release Program: Mark the 228th anniversary of the birthday of the U.S. Constitution with the Flagler County Friends of the Library on September 18 at 1:30 p.m., as the Friends sponsor “A Look at the 8th Amendment,” presented by Judge Melissa Moore Stens. The program will be in the meeting room of the Library, 2500 Palm Coast Pkwy NW. The topic for discussion will be the pre-trial release program, funded by the County Commissioners in 2014. The pre-trial release program is a program by which defendants are released on their own recognizance to pre-trial supervision. Before determining that a person is eligible for pre-trial release the factors listed in the Florida Statutes and the Rules of Criminal procedure are taken into consideration. This opportunity is given in lieu of posting a monetary bail and therefore implicates and ensures that the 8th Amendment is being complied with. Refreshments will be served.

Women’s Self Defense course to be held Sept. 14, 21 and 28: Registration is now open for the next Women’s Self Defense course – to be held on three consecutive Mondays in September at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Pkwy NE. The classes will be held 6-8 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 14, 21 and 28, and participants must attend all three sessions. Women ages 12 and older can learn effective methods to ward off attackers from Sgt. Michael Lutz of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Become more aware of your surroundings and the methods to protect yourself. The classes are free, but pre-registration is required no later than 6 p.m. Sept. 12, while space is available, at Two additional Women’s Self Defense courses will be offered last this year: Oct. 26, Nov. 2 and 9; and Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Both of those series will also be held in the evening at the Community Center. For more information, call Palm Coast Parks & Recreation at 386-986-2323.

Rob West.

Rob West.

Palmer Studio Architecture & Interiors Expands Office, Hires Intern Architect: Palmer Studio Architecture & Interiors have expanded and will now occupy half of the Professional Center at 216 S. 3rd Street in Flagler Beach. They have also hired Intern Architect Rob West. “In February, I was fortunate to be invited by Charlie Helm of Alliance Financial Partners to take over a small office space here, and now, seven months later, we’re able take on a lot more square footage,” said Sean Palmer, owner of Palmer Studio Architecture & Interiors. “This increased area will foster greater collaboration with our consultants, help our team work more efficiently, and most importantly, provide better all-around service for our clients.” The new office is roughly four times its previous size and now includes a conference room, printing and binding area, additional workspace, and a little room to grow. Not only has Palmer Studio increased its footprint, but it has also increased the number of employees with the addition of Rob West, an intern architect who recently graduated from the University of Central Florida’s Design in Architecture Program. Like Sean, Rob was born and raised in Flagler Beach, and graduated from FPCHS in 2001. The West family is active in Flagler County as teachers, nurses, DCF Agents, Sheriff’s Deputies, and more. “It’s great to have another young professional choose to make the move back to Flagler. Rob is a great asset to this firm and he will absolutely continue to be a great asset to our community,” Sean says of his newest employee. Palmer Studio is a full service architecture and interior design firm licensed to practice in both Florida and Alabama and can also practice in most other states through reciprocity. They offer residential and commercial planning and design for new construction and renovation projects. Examples of work include homes, restaurants, cafés, churches, offices, retail establishments, recreational facilities, and schools. They are located at 216 3rd Street South, Flagler Beach and can be reached via phone at 386-338-3040, or online at or

In the Press, In the News:

library of americaEdmund Wilson’s Big Idea: The Library of America, a Series of Books Devoted to Classic American Writing. It Almost Didn’t Happen: The nonprofit publisher Library of America has released almost two hundred seventy volumes of classic American writing. Its black dust jackets with an image of the author and a simple red, white, and blue stripe running below the author’s name, rendered in a fountain-pen-like hand, help give the clothbound volumes a timeless feel, as if copies might have been found in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dorm room or Henry James’s steamer trunk. But the series is nowhere near that old. It began publication in 1982. It did, however, take a long time to become a reality.[…] The books themselves would be hardcover, moderately priced, and “uncluttered by textual paraphernalia.” They would eventually include “every important title in American literature in the public domain.” And they would be made “permanently available.” Texts from the scholarly editions of CEAA and its successor, the Center for Scholarly Editions, would be used, when possible. Students and libraries counted as the most likely buyers. Major authors (Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James) would be well represented, but so would minor classics (diaries of George Templeton Strong). Thematic collections such as slave narratives and works in history, philosophy, and other areas “would help liberalize and expand the American literary canon.” One detail, in particular, stands out, “that the ‘American Library’ be printed and distributed by the Library of Congress.” From Humanities.

See Also:

A Once-Sunny Jeb Bush, Bristling in the Long Shadow of Donald Trump: Mr. Bush does not seem to be radiating much joy these days. He said last year that he would run for president only if he could do so with a sunny spirit, but Mr. Trump, the surprise leader in the polls, has turned this summer into a miserable one for Mr. Bush, gleefully ignoring the traditional rules of political engagement. There is the personal ridicule — continually questioning Mr. Bush’s vigor, invoking a since-retracted statement by his mother, Barbara Bush, that “we’ve had enough Bushes” in the White House, and on Wednesday suggesting that Mr. Bush should stop speaking Spanish. But the torment goes deeper than that. Emphasizing bluster over ideas, Mr. Trump has turned the campaign into a tabloid-style clash of personalities, heavy on provocation and insults. What little policy that has been discussed mostly revolves around Mr. Trump’s appeals to anxious white conservatives: stoking fears about immigrants, gang members and foreign countries that, in his telling, are eclipsing the United States. It is a race, in other words, that embodies what Mr. Bush likes least about politics. Mr. Bush is at his most animated discussing policy. And the only thing he may be more passionate about than issues is his conviction that the Republicans must become an inclusive, big-hearted party that appeals to people’s hopes rather than their resentments.” From The Times.

Stephen Colbert, the Late Night Hope: “Having spent a decade in the guise of a grandstanding, nominally conservative commentator, this 51-year-old entertainer is preparing for his greatest trick yet. Can he shed the ironist’s mask he wore on “The Colbert Report” and turn himself into the genial master of ceremonies that an 11:35 p.m. network show requires? And can he do it without sacrificing the irreverence and erudition that made his Comedy Central series a welcome antidote to a poisonous political era? Even as Mr. Colbert has prospered on late-night TV, its landscape has become increasingly competitive in the year and a half since his appointment was announced. He’ll now be expected to hold his own against — if not surpass — friendly rivals like Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s “Tonight Show” and Jimmy Kimmel on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” who have helped break talk shows out of their familiar formats and made viral online content essential to their diet. Mr. Colbert brings his well-honed political savvy to this crowded marketplace, but he cannot succeed solely with the audience of wonkish young insomniacs who tuned into “The Colbert Report” (which drew about 1.7 million viewers an episode in its last season, according to Comedy Central). He’ll have to broaden his reach, in a way that fits his eclectic, brainy comic taste. This is the puzzle that Mr. Colbert and his colleagues have been contemplating during their hiatus, even as they feel certain that they have solved it.” From The Times.

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports:

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through Aug. 26:

palm coast city hall town center

City Hall at Town Center.

Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 88 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway almost complete. Landscape irrigation work continues. Milling and Resurfacing of Roadway continues.

Holland Park, 29 percent done: The dry retention area SWMF-2 has been excavated. Installation of conduit for future ball field lighting continues. Excavation for the new sidewalks west of the ball field has begun. The existing manhole core for point of entry has been completed.

Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 88 percent done: Air testing on the gravity sewer was scheduled for Aug. 27. Floor tile installation continues; plumbing fixture installation has begun; ceiling tile installation continues; millwork items for 1st floor have been delivered. Landscape installation has begun. See ongoing images of construction here.

Colechester Drive Bridge, 32 percent done: Bridge deck being removed, curbing on all sides has been removed.

County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 25 percent done: Contractor has installed approximately 1,000 ft. of reclaim water main total installed 5,000 ft. to date.

Palm Harbor Parkway Roadway Extension, 6 percent done: The stormwater pipe installation at the intersection of Old Kings Road and Matanzas Parkway has started.

Island Walk Shopping Center Phase 1, 92 percent done: The water line for the building on the south west corner near Wells Fargo Bank was installed up to the future fire backflow device for that building.

Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 96 percent done: Pump station start-up and testing completed.

Old Kings Road Force Main – Master Pump Station, 20 percent done: The removal of trees, installation of silt fencing and clearing is at 90%. Pipe for direct bury has been placed along silt fencing ready for installation at 70%.

Road and Interstate Construction:

road-constructionPalm Coast:

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:  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.

Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):

best comments flaglerlive

(April Killingsworth)

From KB63 in ““Somber” Board Severely Cuts Flagler’s Adults With Disabilities Program So It Can Survive”: Time for Flagler County & the City of Palm Coast to step up & help out here – find money! (you do for everything else when you want to) These are your citizens. These are the people that need the most help. Once again our most vulnerable have things taken away. This is going to hurt these families in so many ways. Shame on the State of Florida. It just keeps going from bad to worse.” Reply to KB63 here.

Cultural Coda:

Manuel de Falla – El Sombrero de Tres Picos – Suites 1 and 2


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