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Category archives for: Commentary

Pier Repairs, 52 Dune Walkovers, A1A: Flagler Beach Manager Newsom’s Post-Hurricane Status Report

| January 7, 2017

Among other plans, Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom wants the city to have the longest pier in Florida, but getting there will take a while yet as he updates all repair plans.

Why a Seawall in Flagler Beach Could Harm Sea Turtles and Violate the Law

| January 6, 2017

Flagler Beach’s situation on the ground has changed enough between Hurricane Matthew and recent findings about sea turtles that state transportation department construction plans should be rethought in light of those developments, argues Chad Boda.

Florida Ethics Commission Chairman Decries Vote to Eliminate Office of Congressional Ethics

| January 3, 2017

If the Florida Commission on Ethics did not exist, its chairman argues, thousands of ethical violations and trespasses of good government would occur, continuing to diminish what little trust the people have left in government.

Eroding Florida’s Checks and Balances, One Bill at a Time

| December 31, 2016

A Florida Republican lawmaker’s proposal to give the Legislature the power to invalidate any court’s decision would upend centuries of precedent and make a mockery of a balance of powers, argues Ben Hogarth.

Knowing When To Shut Up: What Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins Could Teach Politicians

| December 27, 2016

Had LeRoy Collins spoken of some things in public as he did privately, he’d be remembered not as Florida’s greatest governor but as a failure who was voted out after serving only the last two years of a deceased predecessor’s term.

Where Flagler’s Democrats Go From Here: A Roadmap to Reclaiming Relevance

| December 23, 2016

It’s time now to turn anger and disappointment into resolve, into commitment, into action, argues Mike Cocchiola, whose five-point plan proposes a way forward for Flagler County Democrats.

Sheriff Manfre: Against Tribalism

| December 17, 2016

In a call against the fracturing of society into self-interested groups, Sheriff Jim Manfre argues for the importance of resisting the worst of the tribal instincts roused by the last election.

Seizing on Orlando Murder Case, Justice Breyer Asks Court to “Reconsider Constitutionality of Death Penalty”

| December 13, 2016

Justice Stephen Breyer characterized the death penalty as cruel and unusual in light of the case of Henry Sireci, 68, who’s been on Florida’s Death Row for 40 years and has yet again been cleared for execution.

Cops Aren’t Under Siege.
Civilians and Liberties Are.

| December 9, 2016

It’s a widely accepted but dangerous myth: that cops are under siege, handcuffed by “new restrictions.” The reality is the opposite, with more unbridled and brutal policing than we care to admit.

Beyond Tweet Storms: What Trump Could Learn from Alexander Hamilton

| December 5, 2016

Hamilton wanted a strong central government. He advocated taxation. He took these positions for practical reasons, not because he was a flaming liberal, argues Jill Richardson.

In Saint Augustine, A Dead Priest Pleads for the Life of His Killer

| November 30, 2016

Father Rene Robert, who was murdered, signed the Declaration of Life in 1995: it is wrong for the state to take the life of a convicted criminal, no matter how vile the crime, and no matter how innocent the victim.

Sorry, I Can’t Give Trump a Chance

| November 29, 2016

Our democracy is too important to play nice with a man who campaigned on undermining it, argues Jill Richardson: “We already have evidence that Trump does absolutely everything he can get away with.”

How The Electoral College Mistrusts Voters

| November 23, 2016

That flaw is the Electoral College. For the fourth time in our history, and the second in 16 years, it has given the presidency to the candidate who polled fewer votes — 2 million fewer in this case — than his principal rival.

School Board Chairman Colleen Conklin On the Trump Election: “Words Matter”

| November 22, 2016

In light of the swastika incident at Palm Coast’s Imagine School and many other hurtful or vile statements during the election campaign, the school board chairman calls on local leaders to denounce messages that erode trust and respect.

It’ll Be Alt-Right

| November 20, 2016

Donald Trump’s appointments and short-lists are pointing the way to an administration not much different than his campaign, suggesting there’s more wishful thinking than reality behind the hope that he’d surround himself with people saner than he is.

Bias Backlash: How The Media Propelled Donald Trump to the White House

| November 17, 2016

Over the last full year of nothing else on news channels but round-the-clock Trumpbusters, the true independents viewing at home were quietly making up their minds, working up from annoyance to a slow seethe, writes Nancy Smith.

A School Superintendent’s Message Home In Light of Trump’s Victory: Diversity Is Strength

| November 12, 2016

“First and foremost, we must reassure our staff and students that our school buildings are safe places where we truly value and respect every single individual and do not tolerate bullying or hate speech,” wrote Jack R. Smith in a letter to parents of children in Montgomery County public schools.

The Future of Civil Rights is Up To the Supreme Court

| November 10, 2016

Based on the list of judges Donald Trump has said he would consider for nomination, our civil rights could be in real jeopardy with a Trump presidency, argues Mary Frances Berry.

The Day After

| November 9, 2016

Despite a liberal’s shellshock from a Trump presidency and the dreadful clarity of times ahead, this is no time to decamp or retreat–nor to deny in any way that he is our president.

Why I’m Voting Clinton, Unreservedly

| November 8, 2016

It’s not out of fear of a Trump presidency, although there is that, but in a support of a too-long list of actual policy proposals that shatter the manufactured absurdity of Trump as a viable alternative.

Amendment 2: Medical Marijuana Through the Eyes and Suffering of Those Who Need It Most

| November 4, 2016

For two years Palm Coast’s Jennifer Kaczmarek, the artist-photographer, has followed 10 families struggling with debilitating illnesses that only marijuana alleviate. They plead for Amendment 2, the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medicinal marijuana.

Hillary Clinton May or May Not Have Raped a Child

| October 29, 2016

The FBI director’s McCarthyist revelations of more Clinton emails will change the trajectory of the presidential race some even as it underscores the emptiness at the core of a manufactured scandal.

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| October 27, 2016

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Donald Trump Through the Eyes of a Survivor of Emotional Abuse

| October 26, 2016

Emotional abuse can be hard to pinpoint when you’re the one being abused. So Donald Trump has just provided us all with a valuable service by demonstrating before a live TV audience what emotional abuse looks like in action, writes Jill Richardson.

Flagler’s Most Civilized Local Political Race in Years

| October 26, 2016

The six candidates and incumbents for the Flagler County Commission stand out sharply from other local races for the collective civility and substance-oriented campaigns, and their impatience with partisanship. It’s a rarity worth taking note of in a year of slime.

Your Election Will Not Be “Rigged”
Flagler Elections Supervisor Kaiti Lenhart Explains

| October 24, 2016

Flagler County Elections Supervisor puts to rest any fear or claim that the Nov. 8 election may be rigged, that fraudulent votes may be cast, or that dead people will be voting locally.

The Best and Worst Presidents on Taxes

| October 22, 2016

Ronald Reagan was among the worst–and the best–when it came to tax fairness, Teddy Roosevelt isn’t given enough credit, but a majority of American presidents did little by way of making the tax code fairer. It’s often been the opposite, argues Sarah Anderson.

Early Voting: A Dissent

| October 15, 2016

Early voting gives political parties and special interests a chance to manipulate, to lock up blocs of votes in advance of Election Day and to keep opposition parties and candidates from offering another viewpoint, argues Nancy Smith.

If Trump Ever Had My Vote, He Just Lost It

| October 2, 2016

If Trump secretly conducted business in communist Cuba while Fidel Castro was its president, the Republican presidential nominee should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, not elected to the highest office in the land.

Looking past the Obvious in Trump-Clinton I: Voters May Decide a Different Outcome

| September 28, 2016

We have to reconsider what we thought we saw Monday night and discover how it played where it mattered, in counties such as those in western Pennsylvania, and those clustered along Interstate 4 in Florida. These, more than elite opinion-spinners clustered along our deep-blue coasts, will decide the Nov. 8 outcome, argues Tom Jackson.

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