Today’s weather: Back to hell: high of 91, low of 73. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 397.
The weather in Quelimane, Mozambique: high 79, low 64. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: Paul’s Walk, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.
Today’s Briefing: Quick Links
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Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
The Flagler County School Board meets for a pair of meetings this morning. The first, at 9 a.m., is designed to close the books on fiscal year 2015, which ends today, and approve a couple of financial matters. The second is noticed as a workshop–where votes may not be taken–to hear a presentation by Finance Director Tom Tant on the next fiscal year’s budget, now that the Legislature has passed one and the governor signed it. Tant will also outline the proposed capital outlays for the year. Board members are also scheduled to discuss, as part of next year’s budget, the fate of the Flagler Technical Institute’s two programs for adults with disabilities, which employ 11 people and enroll 85, and which has lost its state-backed $535,000 funding as part of last-minute deal-making during the special session that ended two weeks ago. Kevin McCarthy, the director of FTI, will present options to the board to “patch” the program with local dollars for three months until the district and FTI secure a new line of funding. Absent that money, the program may face elimination, though the board may also seek out a dollars from other local governments to keep it going. For more background, see the story here. The first meeting, at 9 a.m., will take place in board chambers at the Government Services Building. The second meeting, immediately after the first, will adjourn to the Superintendent;s Conference Room on the third floor of the GSB. Both meetings are open to the public.
The Palm Coast City Council meets in workshop at 9 a.m. at city offices at City Marketplace. The meeting begins with a presentation on “Prosperity 2021,” the city’s economic development blueprint. The council will also again discuss a proposed ordinance amending regulations for bars, fences and walls, an issue that drew a lot of varied opinions last time around. The council will also take up the matter of an easement in Beverly Beach, previously under county jurisdiction. The matter will likely lead into another discussion of the latest situation between the city and the county on water issues–a situation that has brought matters between the two governments to their lowest ebb in years.
- Palm Coast’s Jim Landon Retaliates Against County in Series of Accusations, Then Says Conflict Is All But Resolved
- Palm Coast Points Finger Back at County Over Airport Water Clash, But Agrees to Executive Summit
- County Rips Into Palm Coast Government Over Shackled Airport Water Deal
The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board meets to discuss a tentative 2015-16 budget. (1 p.m., district headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Palatka.)
Social Media Day and Entrepreneur Night in Palm Coast: Palm Coast government declared June 30 Social Media Day, Mashable, which conceived the international event, highlighted Palm Coast’s role, and of course Palm Coast’s Office Divvy is marking the occasion on June 30. ” “With this proclamation and the event on June 30th,” Office Divvy’s Lisa Ekinci says, “we are putting our red dot on the map for Palm Coast and Flagler County; and creating a differentiator for our community as a socially savvy community in Florida, in these United States and in the World,” Ekinci said. Hashtag for the local event is #SMDayPC and hashtag for the worldwide event is #SMDay2015 Event will be celebrated at COWORK by Office Divvy on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. RSVP are required here.
Independence Weekend Closing Notes: All local government offices, including Flagler County, Palm Coast, the School Board, Bunnell and Flagler Beach will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. So will the county courthouse. For your safety the Flagler Beach pier will be closed to the public at 6 p.m. on July 3rd and will reopen at 6 a.m. on July 5th, to accommodate the coast’s fabulous fireworks show. If the fireworks are postponed due to inclement weather the pier will re-open at 6 a.m. on July 6.
With 11 Jobs and Life Skills for 85 Disabled Adults at Stake, School Board Scrambles for Lost Money: Two weeks ago the Legislature eliminated the state’s $10 million Adults with Disabilities program, and with it a $535,000 grant that had paid for a pair of programs under that umbrella in Flagler County, serving 85 people with profound disabilities, five days a week, and employing 11. Come Wednesday, those two programs—Step Up Industries and Community Inclusion—may be gone unless the school board, meeting today, figures out a solution.
Students show high passing rates in algebra exams: “The Flagler County School District ranked eighth out of the state’s 67 school districts in passing rates for algebra one end-of-course exams, and 34th in the state for passing rates in state 10th-grade English language arts exams, according to data released by the Florida Department of Education Friday,” the Observer reports.
Businesses, including gas station, filling new Shoppes of Palm Coast at Belle Terre and SR100: “Newmark Grubb Phoenix Reality Group announced in a media release Friday that the $2.9-million sale of the commercial land parcel was complete,” the News-Journal reports, with Gate, Aldi and Tractor Supply Co. all prospective tenants, and more remaining. (Story paywall-protected).
A leprosy case in Flagler County: The first such case in Flagler in at least 15 years was reported Friday, according to the News-Journal, though leprosy is not entirely uncommon, with 10 to 12 cases reported in Florida every year. “Reports show the most recent case came out of Bunnell and stemmed from the victim being exposed to armadillos. Health officials were notified about the infection June 19, and investigated the claim to confirm it,” the paper reports. (Paywall-protected.)
Supreme Court’s Lethal Injection Ruling Clears Way For More Florida Executions, and Challenges: In the 5-4 majority opinion issued Monday, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Oklahoma prisoners failed to prove that the use of the drug midazolam, the first of the three-drug lethal cocktail used also used in Florida, “entails a substantial risk of severe pain.”
County Judge Melissa Moore Stens holds arraignment in the morning and the afternoon, Courtroom 404. Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger is in status hearings, Courtroom 301. Judge Walsh does not have court sessions today.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
The Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology meets to discuss issues such as hurricane models. (8:30 a.m., Hermitage Centre, 1801 Hermitage Blvd., Tallahassee.)
Millions more Americans would be eligible for overtime pay according to a new proposed rule the Labor Department is issuing today.
Greece is expected to default on a $1.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, which must be repaid by 6 p.m. (Palm Coast time) today.
One more candidate: Today, it’s Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, who announces he’s running in the 2016 presidential election.
Israel divestiture: The Episcopal Church’s general convention in Salt Lake City and the Cleveland synod of the United Church of Christ today vote on divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.
Women’s World Cup: USA v. Germany from Montreal (7 p.m., Fox).
Enterprise Florida CEO visits Flagler: Three months after being appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to lead the state’s principal economic development organization, Bill Johnson sat down Thursday with Helga van Eckert, executive director of the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity and County Commission liaison for economic development, Barbara Revels, to discuss the future of from a local and state prospective. Revels and van Eckert spoke with Johnson about Flagler County’s efforts and recent successes and challenges. “Bill has a wealth of experience and insight on how to facilitate job growth for the state and the region,” van Eckert said. Johnson also spoke to more than 30 businessmen and women, including representatives from Career Source and Florida Hospital Flagler, at the Flagler Chamber of Commerce. “He spoke about his position and his vision for the future,” van Eckert said. “He engaged with the business community leaders to familiarize himself with the county and how we function. At the end of the day, he left knowing that Flagler County is business friendly community with a strong collaborative atmosphere. He sees that we are ready to grow.”
City of Bunnell now has Flag Disposal Drop-off Boxes: Did you know worn, faded, ripped, and tattered American Flags should be disposed of and replaced? Did you also know the proper way to dispose of a worn out flag is by an official flag burning ceremony? We realize citizens are not equipped for such a ceremony, so we’re going to make it easy for you. The City of Bunnell now has two flag disposal boxes located at our Municipal Building at 201 W. Moody Blvd. One is in the main lobby where you pay your water bill and the other is in our Commission Chambers. So please feel free to drop any worn out flags in the boxes and we’ll ensure they receive a proper disposal.
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through June 24:
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 80 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues. Landscape irrigation work continues. Utility connection tie-ins has begun. Two day water samples were taken andbacteriological test have passed. The applications for clearance
will be sent to Florida Department of Environmental
Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 98 percent done: Contactor will be doing pressure testing.
Holland Park, 20 percent done: Installation of 8″ water main, installation of 24″ RCP storm water pipe has begun.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 60 percent done: Installation of drywall of interior walls, mechanical duct work installation, electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping continues. Installation of exterior windows and exterior wall trim continues. Grading and layout for parking area continues and concrete sidewalks have been constructed. Painting of exterior walls continues. FPL transformer and pad have been installed. See ongoing images of construction here.
Colechester at College Waterway Bridge Rehabilitation Construction, 16 percent done: Inside bents and pilings have been painted. Sheet piles were delivered. Demolition on seawall has begun.
County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 20 percent done: A storm structure crossing the road was completed on the east
side of I-95. Fill dirt continues being hauled in to raise the overpass and ramp areas. The city’s portion of the project is also 20 percent done.
Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 88 percent done: Work on parking and drive thru areas continues. Water meters have been installed.
Walmart Addition, 30 percent done: A new Grease Interceptor has been installed replacing the old one outside the new building addition.
Old Kings Road Utilities Work, 75 percent done:Utility Department Water Distribution crews have flushed the new water main. Contractor has set up for pressure testing. Utility Department Water Distribution crews have removed the old 8″ water main and preparing for extension of North Old Kings Road to Matanzas Parkway.
Jeb Bush Calls Confederate Flag a ‘Racist’ Symbol: “Nearly two weeks after canceling a campaign event scheduled the morning after the deadly attack on a South Carolina church, Jeb Bush on Monday called the Confederate battle flag a “racist” symbol, reflecting the new Republican normal in a Southern primary state vastly altered by the racially motivated killings. The flag was one of “the symbols that have divided the South in many ways, the symbols that were used in most recent modern history, perhaps not at the beginning of the time, but the symbols were racist,” Mr. Bush told an interracial crowd of about 200 people at a $300-million pharmaceutical facility here, explaining his decision as the governor of Florida to move the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds to a museum. “And if you are trying to lean forward rather than live in the past, you are trying to eliminate the barriers that create disagreements, and so I did.” He then applauded Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina “for doing more or less the exact same thing under a lot of pressure.” That was a considerably stronger statement about the flag than what Mr. Bush and other leading Republican candidates said in the early days after the June 17 shooting, when Mr. Bush tread gently on the issue by referring to his decision in Florida and saying he was confident that South Carolina would “do the right thing.” Mr. Bush also initially said that he didn’t know the motives of the man charged in the shooting, before ultimately calling him “racist.” From the Times.
Florida has sent 40 wild-land firefighters to assist in battling wildfires raging in Northern California. The Florida Forest Service announced that the firefighters left Saturday to serve a variety of roles, from front-line firefighting to “mop-up operations,” which include manually creating a fire break around the wildfire. The deployment is for 21 days. “This type of work can be exhausting and hazardous due to California’s extreme terrain and intense flames,” Florida State Forester Jim Karels said in a release. “By assisting other states, our wildland firefighters will build upon their first-class training and experience to become an even stronger firefighting organization for the citizens of Florida.” The two crews sent west consist of 35 Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters and five firefighters from partnering agencies. “We are committed to protecting lives, homes and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire both at home and abroad,” Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in the release. –News Service of Florida.
Wal-Mart bakes Islamic State cake because employee ‘did not know what the design meant’: “Amid recent widespread criticism and calls to take down the Confederate battle flag, a Louisiana man tried to get Wal-Mart to bake a cake with that image on it. When the store refused, he said, he got it to make one with the Islamic State symbol instead. Chuck Netzhammer said he placed an order Thursday for an edible image cake printed with the Confederate flag and a caption: “Heritage not hate.” He said a store in Slidell, La., rejected his design. “The next day I had them do the same for the ISIS battle flag image I brought to them,” he wrote beneath a video he posted on YouTube. “They cheerfully did it and sold me my ISIS cake.” From the Washington Post.
Florida photographer sends ‘snarky’ comeback to same-sex marriage opponent St. Petersburg-based photographer Clinton Brentwood was among the 26 million people who added a rainbow filter to his company logo on Facebook. A client disagreed with his view. “Greetings Brentwood,” the client wrote. “We would just like to inform you that we will NOT be using your services for our wedding. My fiance and I support traditional marriage between a man and a woman and don’t want our money going to places that supports otherwise. Secondly I would like to inquire about how we can get our retainer back from you.” Lee’s “snarkiness kicked in,” he told The Washington Post in a phone interview, and he told the client he would donate her retainer to the gay-rights group GLADD. “My mom says I’m not one to sit quietly in a corner,” he said. “Wow, I’m not really sure what to say here,” he replied to the client. “I would say this disappoints me, but I actually find this to be a good thing because our company now would not like to work with you as well. It’s not that because you have a different view from us, but it’s because, since you don’t like and support gay marriage, no one else should be able to have it. … Personally, I was taught not to judge others and to love everyone else. So I will try not to judge you here and say anything more as to my opinion of you.” “I hope you’ll read the first article in the contract you signed stating that this retainer is nonrefundable,” he added. “But don’t worry, I’m not going to keep it! Because of this conversation, I have decided to donate your $1,500 to GLADD, a group created to help and support gay rights. So let me be the first to say … thank you very much for your donation and support for this great cause!” From the Washington Post.
Lane closures planned for Palm Coast Parkway work June 29 thru July 2: On Monday, June 29, and Tuesday, June 30, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., motorists and other travelers should expect eastbound lane closures along Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and the I-95 bridge. Two lanes will remain open eastbound. On Wednesday, July 1, and Thursday, July 2, between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., motorists should expect heavy delays. Eastbound traffic will be reduced to one lane on the I-95 bridge. These lane closures are required for street light pole installations. A uniformed law enforcement officer will be on-site to direct traffic. Motorists are encouraged to watch for flaggers and work zone signs.
Matanzas Woods Parkway closed: Matanzas Woods Parkway is closed until early August for construction of the Interstate 95 interchange. The portion of Matanzas Woods Parkway that spans I-95 will be reconstructed to accommodate four single-lane ramps for on and off access to the interstate. Other improvements include the widening of the interstate to accommodate new acceleration and deceleration lanes, wet detention ponds adjacent to the roadway, sidewalks, lighting, overhead signs and landscaping. Project details are available and regularly updated at http://www.matanzas95interchange.com. The detour map is available here.
Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and Florida Park Drive. IMPACTS: Lane shifts and closures will occur and this may cause traffic congestion on this already busy roadway. Most construction work will occur between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. though weather and unforeseen issues may adjust the schedules. This project will be complete by December 2015.”
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: Palm Coast – Motorists and other travelers are advised that the Colechester Lane bridge will be closed to all traffic from July 7 through Sept. 4 while the bridge is rebuilt. 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-95 Southbound On-Ramp Closure for Reconstruction: Starting Thursday, June 25, the I-95 southbound on-ramp – accessed when going westbound on US 92 – will have a detour while closed for reconstruction. The detour will be 9:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. June 25 through July 2. This means the left merge, on-ramp to southbound I-95 from westbound US-92 is closed, and a temporary on-ramp will take its place. This is occurring as the existing I-95 southbound on-ramp is demolished and removed. A temporary signal for I-95 southbound access, has been put in place west of the I-95 and US 92 Interchange, near Skip’s Boots and Motel 6. The detour put in place will be from Tomoka Farms Road to Bellevue Avenue to Williamson Boulevard. Businesses west of the I-95 and US 92 interchange, on the north side of US 92, will need to use their entrances along Tomoka Farms Road. Driveways along US 92 Westbound can be used for exit only. Businesses east of the I-95 and US 92 Interchange, on the north side of US 92, can use the intersection at Indigo Drive as both an entrance and an exit.
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.
- Palm Coast Parkway Project Website
- Florida Department of Transportation Road Project List
- County Road 304 Project Map and Description
Click on the links for more details:
- All Summer: Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Flagler County Children Through Seamless Summer Freeding
- All Summer: Flagler Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Offers Free Summer Activities for Youth .
- All Summer: Swimming lessons and lifeguard classes available at Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool.
- June 27: Safety F.I.R.S.T. and Playing It Safe! Expo Set for June 27th in Palm Coast.
- Registration opens for 2015 Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches Senior Games.
- July 2: Stewart Marchman-Act Foundation Annual Dinner and Fund-Raiser honoring Judge Joseph G. Will, at the Daytona 500 Club at the Daytona International Speedway.
- July 10: “Back to the Future” is the Movie in the Park, scheduled for 8:40 p.m. at Central Park in Town Center, 975 Central Ave.
- Sept. 28: Bunnell’s State of the Art Water Treatment Facility Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at 100 Utility Drive (directly across the street from the Flagler County Government Services Building), from 4 to 6 p.m.
Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):
Jen in “Gay Marriage Is Now Legal in the United States: Supreme Court Rules for Equality, 5-4“: “Ok Palm Coasters I know most of you are all collecting social security and don’t understand love but here is a cold hard fact for all of you thinking that us gay, lesbian, or transgender PEOPLE are out to attack your religious rights. WE DON’T CARE!!! There I said it!!! All we want is the same rights as everyone else….point blank that is it….I know its hard to understand but life goes on!!!! I married my wife on 3-14-15 and let me tell you it was the happiest day of my life!!! This weekend we will be trying for a child……OH GOD LETS SEE WHO COMMENTS ON THAT ONE!!!! Oh and all those rights we just got allows me to see my kid if he or she is in the ICU or if there is a choice that needs to be made god for bid something happens to my wife!!!! If I need to do anything with legal paperwork or benefits!! I know that you don’t understand these simple things because you haven’t ever had to live without the ability to have those rights but I have and a lot of us have!!! Believe it or not there are a lot of gay and lesbian PEOPLE in Palm Coast!! We don’t try and convert your kids, or shove anything down anyone’s throat!! If anything I had to explain to those religious folks ringing my door bell that I don’t want to go to a church that tells me I am going to hell for loving my wife!!! I can’t believe that GOD made us have these feelings that won’t go away just so the devil could rack up souls in hell!!!! Most of us actually just want to be left alone to have our own families and live semi normal lives!!! Now I will be the first to apologize if the end of mankind comes out of us getting equal rights however, despite what some may think it hasn’t happened yet!!! As far as businesses serving us are concerned hey I’d rather you put a sign up that says ” No Gays Allowed” so I don’t waste my money!! My wife and I have encountered more discrimination since Florida approved gay marriage then at any other time however, I will not turn my back when you need my help since I am a public service worker, I will not hate you for hating who I love, I will not hate the businesses that want to turn us away, and I will not let any other posts effect those choices!!! I also will not tolerate being told I have to hide who I am to make you feel more comfortable!! I was once told that I was no better than a serial killer and now I see on here stuff about a pedophile!! Well I am here to tell you that I protect children, and their families regardless of what they think of me and I will continue to do so because regardless of what some people think I fought for the rights in this country for 8 wonderful years in the U.S Army and I love America regardless the opinions and what is great about it is that you don’t have to like me but I also don’t have to hide from you!!!!!! If you are so worry about God coming back pissed off about it then let him Judge me and get off your high horse!!!” Reply to Jen here.
Ivo Pogorelich plays Bach’s entire Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807. Put on your seat belt.