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Wednesday Briefing: Jeb’s Weird Gun Thing, Tourism Council Slushies, An Anti-Gay Bill, Liszt

| February 17, 2016

jeb bush gun america

Jeb Bush on Tuesday tweeted the above picture, with his name inscribed on the gun, and a one-word tweet: ‘America.’ Among the counter-tweets it elicited was this from Wireless Puppet: ‘We know you’re losing Jeb but suicide isn’t the answer. Go paint with Georgie.’

Today: Sunny. Highs around 70. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Tonight: Clear. Lows in the upper 40s. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 6.
Today’s tides: at the beaches, at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: peanutty, 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 Tourist Development Council meets at 10 a.m. in board chambers at the Government Services Building. Among the grants to be doled out: $5,000 for Flagler Broadcasting, owner of WNZF, for this year’s Rock n Rib Fest, and $15,750 in “discretionary” funding, the TDC’s slush fund for events that don’t have to show a cost-benefit analysis as applicants from money from other funds do. The agenda and back-up materials are here.

The Flagler County Contractor Review Board meets at 5 p.m. in board chambers at the Government Services Building in Bunnell.

Flagler County’s Technical Review Committee meets at 9 a.m. in the first floor conference room at the Government Services Building.

Palm Coast’s Planning and Land Development Regulation Board meets at 5:30 p.m. at Palm Coast City Hall, where it will again discuss bottloe club regulations or an outright ban of the speakeasies.

Buddy Taylor Middle’s School Advisory Council meeting is at 6 p.m. in the BTMS Media Center.

Local News Recap:

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

To School Officials’ Surprise, NAACP Accuses District of ‘Obstruction’ and More Arbitrary Discipline: In a terse, six-page letter to School Superintendent Jacob Oliva, the president of the Flagler County Branch of the NAACP accuses the school district of “willfully, intentionally and arbitrarily” engaging in “an unlawful pattern” to keep parents from examining evidence behind the suspension of students from schools and buses and claims there’s been an “increasing number” of such suspensions affecting black students. The letter also paints an alarming picture of conditions at Buddy Taylor Middle School, where students “are in the hallways running, yelling, traveling in mob groups” and insulting teachers.

jim manfre ethics violations

Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre says he will continue to contest findings against him regarding alleged ethics violations. (© FlaglerLive)

Sheriff Manfre Ethics Case: In Eviscerating Language, Judge Recommends $6,200 Fine, Public Reprimand and Censure: The judge is recommending a fine of $6,800, substantially less than the Florida Ethics Commission advocate’s recommendation of $19,000. But the judge is also recommending a public reprimand and a public censure of Manfre by the ethics commission, at an open meeting. That, possibly more than the fine, would stain Manfre’s image with a taint of corruption in the thick of his re-election campaign while giving his opponents ammunition chambered and ready to fire.

County will fight to get back money spent defending officials against ‘legally insufficient’ ethics complaints: “In a presentation before the County Commission’s vote Feb. 15, attorney Mark Herron, who represents the county through its insurance company and is a former chairman of the Ethics Commission, said he believed the Ethics Commission “went off the rails, so to speak, in making its determination” not to award fees to the county in the two cases,” the Observer’s Jonathan Simmons reports.

Flagler Adults with Disabilities One Step program is one step closer to funding: Rep. Paul Renner, who represents Flagler County in the Florida House, is signaling that funding may be provided to subsidize the school district’s adult education’s troubled Adults with Disabilities program, which lost its state funding last year, the Observer reports.

Against Mayor’s Opposition, Palm Coast Council Discovers Public Input at Workshops: The Palm Coast rule against public participation had bee ironclad, largely because of Mayor Jon Netts, who’s run the meetings for nine years, and has always opposed public participation at workshops.

In State Government:

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

Certificates of need: The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a proposal (SB 1144), filed by Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, that would create exemptions to the “certificate of need” regulatory process for new or expanded health-care facilities. The exemptions would be available if facilities meet criteria for providing enough care to low-income and uninsured patients. (10 a.m.)

Waivers for some schools: The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 1714), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would create a “competency-based innovation pilot program.” Under the pilot, some schools could get waivers from state rules related to student progression and awarding credits. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

Autism and criminal cases: The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 936), filed by Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, that would require trained professionals to be present when people with autism or related disabilities are interviewed by police in criminal cases. (10 a.m.)

The House is scheduled to hold a floor session at 1 p.m.

Gambling: The Senate Regulated Industries Committee will take up a pair of bills (SPB 7072 and SPB 7074) that address major issues in the gambling industry. Lawmakers are considering a proposed gambling deal reached by Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida and could make substantial changes in the pari-mutuel industry. (1:30 p.m.)

Poverty: The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee will receive a presentation from Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, about the impacts of poverty on Florida children and families. (4 p.m.)

Anti-gay proposal: The Senate Rules Committee will consider a proposal (SB 110), filed by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, that would seek to prevent clergy members from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their beliefs. The proposal, known as the “Pastor Protection Act,” stems from the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. (4 p.m.)

The Florida Elections Commission will consider cases involving candidates and political committees from various parts of the state. (9 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:

  • Feb. 19-21, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: “The Last Romance,” at Palm Coast’s City Repertory Theatre at City Marketplace.
    Joe DiPietro’s popular romantic comedy is a heartwarming comedy about the power of love. It follows the blossoming, late-in-life relationship between widower, Ralph, and an elegant, but distant widow, Carol whom he meets in a Hoboken dog park. Are Ralph and Carol ready to take a chance on love again? Even if they are, there’s a danger that Ralph’s sister, with whom he’s lived for many years, may get in the way. CRT mainstays John and Sue Pope ​and newcomer Kathryn Weed, ​star in this Valentine’s treat, which plays Friday through Sunday for two weekends. Performances take place at the company’s jewel-box theater upstairs in City Marketplace at 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Palm Coast. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays, February 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, February 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20. Purchase your tickets easily online here or call 386/585-9415.

  • Feb. 29: Flagler Youth Orchestra’s Strings Around the World Concert, 7 p.m. at the Flagler Auditorium. Adult tickets, $6 and children 17 and under are $1. Visit the website.
  • April 2: Cheer at the Pier, a fund-raiser for the Flagler Beach Historical Museum, from 3 to 6 p.m. Call Virginia Giaramita for information at 386/299-8892.

PR Releases:

Click on the link for more details.

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. 27:

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, 50 percent done: Grading and installation of sidewalks continues. Rough grading of Playground area. Restroom slab has been poured. Electrical conduit installation continues. Pavilion lighting being installed. Stormwater piping installation continues 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, 47 percent done: January 25, 2016 the new 10″ water main and 6″ force main
on the east end between the Conservatory and Old Kings Road were tied into existing mains on Forest Grove.

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.

Island Walk Shopping Center Phase 2, 25 percent done: A substantial walk thru for punch list was done January 22,
2016. Chlorination of new section of water main in Phase 2 was completed January 27, 2016.

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:

Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.6, Performed by Martha Argerich (1966)

Previous Codas:


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