The Flagler County School Board’s day-long “retreat” on Sept. 9, designed to hone leadership and cohesion skills, was a grueling, at times a shocking display of mistrust, dysfunction, dissembling and exasperation by the board members as the fallout from recent issues revealed deep fissures. Whether the board can bridge huge gaps of mistrust remains uncertain.
Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
Flagler County School Board member Janet McDonald at a public workshop of the board last week falsely accused Randy Bertrand, the parent of a student in the district who often addressed the school board, of charging the dais and threatening her life, and accused the board of doing nothing–all proven false by video of the June 2020 meeting.
Palm Coast’s prohibition against small, van-size commercial vehicles in residential driveways is outdated and discriminatory, especially targeting blue-collar workers while refusing to recognize the vastly changing geography of work. This isn’t a majority vote issue. It’s a workers’ rights issue.
Laniece Fagundes stars in the role of Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” the play that opens City Repertory Theatre’s 11th season tonight. Written by Lanie Robertson, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” premiered in 1986 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and landed Off-Broadway soon after, winning a Tony on Broadway in 2014.
In an unexpected turn, what the Flagler County school district thought was a mere formality before the County Commission turned into a 90-minute grilling by commissioners and a parade of doubt by builders who consider the district’s request to double impact fees ill-thought and ill-timed.
The case started only as one of possession of illegal images, but took an unexpected turn when some of the illegal images turned out to have been produced by him, involving a child victim. The child and objects in the background were traced to Steven J. Card’s whereabouts at one of two locations.
Preserve Flagler Beach, the grass-roots group opposing The Gardens development on John Anderson highway, had sued the county commission and the developer, charging that the commission’s Nov. 16 decision clearing the way for the development was illegal. Circuit Judge Terence Perkins disagreed.
At least two school districts — Volusia and Lee — that previously adopted strict mask mandates have decided to allow parents to opt their students out of the policy for any reason, while a third, Indian River, now requires masks only at certain times when Covid-19 surges in isolated schools.
A Flagler Beach resident going to work this morning saw a 4-year-old child catapulted out of the back seat of a car that was making a U-turn on State Road 100 and Old Kings Road. The car kept going. The child suffered minor scratches. The child’s mother and his uncle face felony child neglect charges and drug charges.
What screening of applicants for Palm Coast City Manager will take place in the formal process may be undermined by individual council members’ decisions to circumvent it to champion their own choices regardless, whether those candidates match minimum requirements or not.
GameStop, the store along the Target shopping center adjacent to Kay Jewelers, was the target of a robbery by a student in an alternative program on the campus of Flagler Palm Coast High School. He’d left campus–and was returning there immediately after stealing over $300. A School Resource Officer apprehended him.
DeSantis said the proposal would lead to assessing students in the fall, winter and spring, which would reduce the amount of time spent each year on testing. The state Department of Education said the proposed system will be dubbed F.A.S.T., Florida’s Assessment of Student Thinking.
The actual cost to the city–and to taxpayers–of the July 27 special election that brought Mayor David Alfin to power cost $127,983.15, compared to an initial estimate of $187,764. A low turnout of 26 percent, compared to the 79 percent that voted in last November’s election, drove the cost down.
A divided Palm Coast City Council will vote on Sept. 21 on whether to keep its current regulations banning commercial vehicles in residential driveways, or relaxing the regulation. The vote may hinge on Mayor David Alfin, who has strongly hinted so far that he’s not big on changing the ordinance. Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa want the ordinance relaxed. Eddie Branquinho and Nick Klufas do not.
Has Flagler Beach’s July 4 celebration become too much–too big, too unpredictable–of a good thing for this sliver of a town? Could its interminable parade possibly be scaled back, its fireworks show shortened or ceded to Palm Coast, its Veterans Park activities refocused on families and the flow of booze in public places restricted on the beach, where it is now legal?
Florida and Beyond
Why Royal Palms Parkway remains closed for now, Arbor Day in Palm Coast’s Central Park, Billie Holiday at City Repertory Theatre, “Rumors” at the Flagler Playhouse, “Godspell” at the Daytona Playhouse.
Of the 5.76 billion doses of vaccine that have been administered globally, only 1.9% went to people in low-income countries. Meanwhile, many wealthy countries have begun offering COVID-19 boosters to fully vaccinated, healthy adults.
Billie Holiday tells her story at City Repertory Theatre’s latest production, “Godspell” at the Daytona Playhouse, “Rumors” at the Flagler Playhouse, and Voltaire on reason’s foothold.
Briefs and Releases
More Florida and Beyond
Facebook officials had internal research in March 2020 showing that Instagram – the social media platform most used by adolescents – is harmful to teen girls’ body image and well-being but swept those findings under the rug to continue conducting business as usual.
Florida universities on Monday heralded their advancement in a national ranking of public universities, but none celebrated harder than the University of Florida after cracking the top five on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” for the first time.
The expanded child tax credit is on track to lift half of all kids living in poverty out of it. That will help them lead safer, happier lives well into adulthood. If we have the political will, we can make more smart economic choices like these to give all children a safe and secure childhood, writes the author.
A pair of plays showcasing Flagler’s dramatic talent: “Godspell” at the Daytona Playhouse, filled with talent from FPC and Matanzas, and Neil Simon’s “Rumors” at the Flagler Playhouse, plus a farewell to Norm MacDonald and words of endings by Edith Wharton.
A rally in Washington, slated for Sept. 18, 2021, is being billed as an effort to support people who face criminal charges for their involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
The Palm Coast Planning Board hears various applications, among them one that could save the city the need to build an extra fire station, and a Tarot Card, Psychic, and Palm Readings business wants to set-up shop in the St. Joe shopping plaza.
A fevered pitch in vaccine messaging may make the holdouts even more resistant. The direct, blunt messages to go get vaccinated that worked on three-quarters of Americans may not work for the remaining one-quarter. Some health communication techniques work more effectively than others depending on the audience.
A Texas law deputizes ordinary citizens to hunt down and sue anyone who helps a woman defy the ban (e.g. clinic staff, taxi drivers, someone who provided money for the procedure) with a minimum payoff of $10,000 if they’re successful.