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Thursday Briefing: District Spelling Bee, Warmest Year on Record, Healthcare for Military Families

| January 21, 2016

weather december 2015

It wasn’t your imagination: December was a torridly hot month, and 2015 was the warmest year on record. See below. Click on the image for larger view. (NOAA)

Today: Sunny, high in the upper 60s, lows in mid-50s.Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 269.
Today’s tides: at the beaches, at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: à la débandade, adv. (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.

Flagler County District Spelling Bee at Wadsworth Elementary’s cafeteria, 6 p.m. Competitors representing every district school–the winners of their individual schools–will be competing for the county trophy.

Healthcare Seminar for military families: Haven Hospice and First Church of Palm Coast are holding a free seminar for military veterans, active duty military members, and their families on Thursday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at First Church of Palm Coast, 91 Old Kings Road N., Palm Coast. The topic of the seminar is: “Honoring those who have served: Healthcare, Homecare and Hospice Care.” A light lunch will be served, and many community resources will make presentations.

Local News Recap:

Updated jail bookings and day and night shift incident summary reports are available here.

As County Has Yet to Pick a Site, Flagler Library Construction May Not Start Before 2018: The Flagler County Commission has been talking about a library expansion for going on three years, but it may be five years before a new branch is actually built as various factors have yet to fall in place.

Fire Demolishes Family Home in Western Flagler After French Fries Are Left Unattended: It was the second house fire in the western portion of Bunnell to demolish a family home in seven weeks.

Sheltering Tree cold-weather shelter plans new location: It hasn’t found one yet, but the cold-weather shelter, which has kept its home at Bunnell’s First Methodist Church for a decade, is looking to move after a chnge in church leadership. “It takes a lot of money to open an establishment, it really does,” Sheltering Tree Director Carla Traister tells the Observer. “It’s a hard thing to find a place where the neighbors will not say, ‘Not in my backyard.’”

accidental open carry florida gun legislation

The question will be what defines an accidental display. (Paul Weaver)

Opposing Open Carry, Sheriffs Instead Propose Immunity for Accidental Display of Guns: The Florida Sheriffs Association, which has opposed the open-carry measure, outlined proposed steps that would provide immunity to people who inadvertently or accidentally display firearms. However, a release from the association noted the proposal “stops short of Florida becoming a complete open-carry state.”

Trump Surges to “Crushing” Lead in Florida While Clinton Begins to Strengthen Again: The latest poll of likely voters by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative shows Trump surging to a 47.6 percent lead among Republican candidates. His nearest competitor is Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, more than 30 points behind (at 16.3) followed by Rubio and Bush, hobbling in at 11.1 and 9.1 percent.

In State Government:

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

Numerous legislative meetings are scheduled for today, but no floor session.

The Senate is scheduled to meet in a floor session at 1 p.m.

The Florida College System Council of Presidents meets near the Capitol. (8:30 a.m.)

Cabinet Gets Dozier School Report: University of South Florida researchers will present a final report to Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet about excavation work at the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. The researchers have looked for the remains of people buried at the former school site, where children are alleged to have been abused and died. Scott and Cabinet members in September began discussions about the future of the site in Jackson County but agreed to wait to make decisions until receiving the USF report. (9 a.m.)

Enterprise Florida and the Florida Defense Support Task Force will hold a meeting that will involve discussion of efforts to protect and enhance military installations in the state. (9 a.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Tallahassee, 101 South Adams St., Tallahassee.)

The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions at 11 a.m.

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:

PR Releases:

Click on the link for more details.

Smoke may be visible from Bulow Park prescribed fire: Smoke may be visible Wednesday in the area of State Road 100 and Old Kings Road as the result of a planned, prescribed fire in Bulow Park. “The Flagler County Land Management Department will be working together with Flagler County Fire Rescue, Florida Forest Service and private consultants within a 77-acre area of Bulow Park,” said Tim Telfer, public lands and natural resources manager. “Smoke may be visible in this area throughout the day.” This prescribed fire, also referred to as a “controlled” fire, will remove the hazardous level of fuel on the property. Potential fires have a greater risk of being destructive the longer vegetation accumulates. “Excess fuel causes fires to burn hotter and move faster, which can cause unpredictable results,” Telfer said. “Wildfires can cause immense economic damage and result in the loss of habitat for wildlife.” Prescribed fire greatly reduces the potential for wildfire. It opens the forest floor and increases plant diversity for wildlife, including gopher tortoises. “Within a week of the fire, new plant life will start to grow,” Telfer said. “This provides fresh new shoots for wildlife.” The timing of the fire will be determined by the appropriate weather conditions, including wind direction and humidity. “Prescribed fire is important to protect our public lands,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “But it is also important to ensure that the conditions are right.”

Oyster and water quality task force update: Palm Coast city staff serves on the Oyster and Water Quality Task Force. The committee is administered by the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve staff. Staff attended a committee meeting that brought together regulatory agencies, scientists, educational institutions, non-governmental agencies, and general public interests. The mission is “recognizing the role that oyster habitat plays as an indicator of water quality, and the cultural importance of shellfish in our region, we seek to ensure the sustainability of oysters in Guana, Tolomato, and Matanzas rivers by working to understand and improve the health of our estuarine waters.” To date, 21 projects are underway and were discussed during the meeting. On a local front, there are efforts to further evaluate the source of fecal hotspots within Guana and Pellicer Creek systems.

In the Press, In the News:


  Fact-Checking the Knaves:

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through Jan. 15:

Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, 1 percent done: Located at 5625 North US Highway 1, the school received a Development Order for a new 13,794 sq. ft. early learning center to be located on the south side of their 8.6-acre site. The architecture of the new one-story building will be very similar to the existing church and school facilities that are located just north of the proposed new building.

Holland Park, 49 percent done: Grading and installation of sidewalks continues. Restroom permit issued. Plumbing and Electrical underground inspections. Electrical conduit installation continues. Pavilion lighting being installed. Stormwater installation begun in Playground area.

County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 76 percent done: Retention ponds are being excavated and fill continues for the ramps. (Not in the Dec. 15 update.)

Palm Harbor Parkway Roadway Extension, 38 percent done: The headwall for the double barrel stormwater pipe has been installed and tied in. The water main and reuse main have been extended towards Forest Grove Drive waiting on the
closure of the road next week to make the road crossing.

Colechester Bridge, 94 percent done: Sea walls have been completed and forming of the western abutment almost complete.

Palm Harbor Extension, 45 percent done: Met on site with contractor to discuss water and sewer testing and construction meter placement.

North Old Kings Road Extension to Matanzas Woods Parkway, 19 percent done: Asphalt was installed on the new section of roadway adjacent to the old roadway at the intersection of Old Kings Road and Forest Grove. (Not in the Dec. 4 update.)

Old Kings Road Force Main 90 percent done:: The contractor has tied the 8″ force main to the 16″ force main in front of the new Master Pump Station on South Old Kings Road. On January 13, 2016 the contractor installed a 16″ X 8″ wye and an 8″ valve in front of the existing lift station on Old Kings Road South. An 8″ wye and an 8″ 45 elbow fitting was installed to complete the connection from the existing 8″ force main to the new 16″ future force main.

Heartland Dental at 782 Belle Terre Pkwy, 99 percent done: Project nearing completion a utility substantial was scheduled for January 14.

Island Walk Shopping Center Phase 2, 11 percent done: Stormwater piping being placed and pond excavations
continue. Pressure test on new 8″ water main was completed January 12.

Road and Interstate Construction:

Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway to be closed starting Dec. 18: Effective Friday, Dec. 18, the City of Palm Coast will be closing the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway. This road closure is required as part of construction operations for the Palm Harbor Parkway extension, which is currently under construction. Palm Harbor is being realigned and extended to connect directly with Matanzas Woods Parkway where it intersects with Old Kings Road. Message boards will be placed to advise motorists and other travelers of the upcoming change, and a public meeting has already been held for residents living in that area. Both the Palm Harbor extension and a separate extension of Old Kings Road are being built in preparation for the new Interstate 95 interchange to open next June at Matanzas Woods Parkway. As part of the projects, traffic patterns around Matanzas High School will be changing. One goal is to turn Forest Grove Drive back into a residential street as it was originally intended to be. The upcoming road closure of the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway is part of that project. Forest Grove will be turned into a cul de sac on that end. Once the separate Old Kings Road extension is completed, in June 2016, the Forest Grove Drive access to the high school will be closed because it will no longer be needed. Instead, motorists and other travelers will get to Matanzas High School via the new signalized intersection at Matanzas Woods, Palm Harbor and Old Kings. For more information, please contact Palm Coast Communications Manager Cindi Lane at 386-986-3708 or

Cultural Coda:

Ludwig Thuille: Piano Concerto in D

Ludwig Thuille (1861-1907) was an Austrian composer of Savoyard ancestry who learned his art from his father. “Thuille’s distinction as a composer rests partly on his cultivation of chamber music at a time when many of his contemporaries were ignoring the genre,” the Grove Music Dictionary writes. “His early Sextet op.6 (1891), a rewarding vehicle for piano and wind ensemble with its expert instrumental balance and sweeping lyricism, was an immediate success; still more individual and intense is his mature Piano Quintet op.20 (1901). […] A judicious moderation marks Thuille’s style and distinguishes it from the music of his more famous contemporaries. Although his use of harmony was often adventurous, Thuille’s innate conservatism restrained him from attempting the extreme experiments of Reger, and in his imaginative, sometimes radiant orchestration he avoided the radical innovations of Mahler. Nor was he attracted by the symphonic poem, as were Strauss, von Schillings and other members of the Munich School; the most appealing traits of his music are its structural clarity and ingratiating melodic invention.”

See Also:


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1 Response for “Thursday Briefing: District Spelling Bee, Warmest Year on Record, Healthcare for Military Families”

  1. YankeeExPat says:

    Just a little bit of revelation for the Climate Change Deniers / Evolution Deniers

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