Friday, April 24, 2015


The New York Times

Three weeks after former deputy Debra Maynard filed to run for Sheriff, it's no April Fool's joke.

Word going around the campus of the "NEIL J. PERRY CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMPLEX" is that the High Sheriff knows he's toast.

The word is that one of his acolytes may retire soon and run for the job.

We, the People have no more need of authoritarian coverup artists.

Another One Bites the Dust, And Another One, And Another One: St Augustine Is Being Razed and Who Will Shed A Tear for Our History and Culture?

Carpenter House, which survived 70 years with its unique lean, did not survive the 2-1 vote of the St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board -- two members recused themselves because they are consultants paid by "developer" DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, who wants to put a Planned Unit Development and hotel for the wealthy in the last remaining primarily residential historic area, HP-1.

DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, of State College, Pennsylvania, patronizes neighbors.

Unjust steward building owners have destroyed three historic buildings in 211 days, spitting in the face of St. Augustine's inept regulation of historic building preservation.
First, former Mayor LEN WEEKS, a/k/a "CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS," destroyed Don Pedro Fornells House, 62A Spanish Street (210 years old), on September 25, 2014, a date that will live in in infamy, fined only $3600 by the City's limp, ineffectual code enfacement board.  There are now only 33 Spanish colonial structures left in St. Augustine. Replacement: an inauthentic knockoff.

Second, St. Paul African-Methodist Episcopal Church Pastor RON RAWLS was allowed by 5-0 vote of City Commission December 8, 2014 to destroy 2/3 of Echo House., 100 MLK (89 years old), refusing to take back the property subject to the right of reverter and refusing to make RAWLS honor his commitments to save the building -- financial records show he did not even try to raise the funds or perform the work to preserve the historic African-American community building structure..  Replacement: shades of Janis Joplin -- a parking lot, with playground (odd mix).

Third, State College, Pennsylvania lawyer-developer DAVID BARTON CORNEAL was allowed by 2-1 vote of Historic Architectural Review Board April 8 to destroy 105-year old CARPENTERS' HOUSE.  CORNEAL hired two HARB members, who recused themselves from voting.  CORNEAL did not rebut city inspector testimony that the CARPENTER'S HOUSE was not falling down and was in fact safe; its unique lean preserved by interior wall systems.    The cool, funky building existed when Wlliam Dean Howells visited St. Augustine and lived in the adjoining home at 246 St. George Street.  Now CORNEAL wants to turn the Dow Museum of Historic Homes into a Xanadu for the wealthy, destroying HP-1 in the process.  This sham is being pushed by former elected officials and current city officials, and by craven, paid-for, unjust stewards who periodically recuse themselves on city boards, taking developer money, while retaking their seats for other matters for which they have not been paid.  Pitiful.

The city staff read  the building inspector's statement but inexplicably did not call him as a witness. CORNEAL ignored warnings from City Attorney ISABELLE LOPEZ about demolition before time to file an appeal expired.  CORNEAL is represented by former City Commissioner DONALD CRICHLOW and employs PAUL L. WEAVER, III, HARB VICE CHAIR and JEFREMY MARQUIS,  the two HARB members who recuse themselves, also speaking through non-lawyer MARK ALAN KNIGHT, fired City Planning and Building Director (1998-2014); unauthorized practice of law by KNIGHT is a possible criminal misdemeanor, one about which our City refuses to seek a legal opinion from the State Attorney General or State Ethics Commission.


Chair of HARB until November was CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr. (center) who destroyed 211-year old DON PEDRO FORNELLS HOUSE without permit.
Sick society of building-destroyers.
On left, RANDALL ROARK, now HARB Chair, only vote to save CARPENTERS HOSUE
next (between him and WEEKS) is LES THOMAS, architect
on WEEKS' right are PAUL L. WEAVER, III, HARB vice chair, now working for DAVID BARTON CORNEAL
at right, former HUD archaeologist ANTOINETTE WALLACE, who voted to demolish CARPENTERS HOUSE.

Another beautiful day in a beautiful place

St. Augustine is worth saving from the forces of greed, bigotry and dishonesty.
Our authentic selves will help save our authentic Ancient City.

Monday, April 20, 2015

County Pays Tree-killing Penalty to City; Claims Only Four Trees Cut!

Will wonders never cease. We'll just see about that.

RICK PERRY SPEAKING HERE MAY 14, 2015 -- Indicted ex-Governor of Texas to speak at Flagler Gymnasium, Rod & Gun Club

Come hear RICK PERRY, indicted former Texas Governor, speak at Flagler College Gym at 5:30 on May 14, 2015. No charge. Thank our friends at the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee for making this event free and open to the public. Bring subpoenas.

Then, if you're so inclined, you can pay $300 to drink alcohol with indicted former Texas Governor RICK PERRY. Or pay a mere $60 to have dinner with him at the St. Augustine Rod & Gun Club, formerly the venue for racist KKK-related meetings 1963-64 during the regime of Sheriff LAWRENCE O. DAVIS.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lighthouse Zoning Challenge filed With Florida Division of Administrative Hearings by Edward Ruben Anderson: IN HAEC VERBA

Filed March 23, 2015 8:00 AM Division of Administrative Hearings

Claudia Lladó
Clerk of the Division
Division of Administrative Hearings 1230 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3060 (850) 488-9675
Dear Ms. Llado,
My name is Edward Ruben Anderson, and I am requesting a review (Florida Statute 120.56 Challenges to Rules) of the City of St. Augustine approval of an application to amend the Future Land Use Map for 81 Lighthouse Ave. St. Augustine FL 32080
My wife and I are property owners in the City of St. Augustine, FL. I recently spoke at 5 city meetings, (i.e. City Planning and Zoning; City Commission meetings) regarding the re-zoning of 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine, FL 32080. The property (which includes the actual St. Augustine Lighthouse) was purchased from St. John's County and is now privately owned within a Residential Low Density neighborhood.
The purchase required a zoning reassignment from Government Use to a conforming zoning distinction of the applicant's choice. The applicant, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, chose Maritime Use District which also required an amendment to the Comprehensive Use Plan and Future Land Use Map from Recreation Open Space to Residential Medium Density/Mixed Use.
I believe this invokes the Florida Growth Management Act of 1985 and requires that the City of St. Augustine provide for the minimum requirements of public health and safety to the adjacent residential neighborhood concurrently with the development of the applicant's development.
The surrounding neighborhood, referred to as "Lighthouse Park Neighborhood" and “Carver Subdivision”, is a small, residential neighborhood on the Salt Run Bay and the majority of the properties, including ours, are still on septic tanks. Previously, the City of St. Augustine's public works director stated that the city sewer transport lift stations are at capacity and the City of St. Augustine is not accepting applications from existing residences for sewer access. Additionally, there are no sidewalks on the narrow streets (13ft.-16ft.), few traffic controls, and little storm-water management capacity. In short, the city has no intention of developing the existing infrastructure and related community services, nor do they (or the private “not-for-profit” corporation which now owns the property) have the funds to do so. The current baseline assessment for the city shows that the city has 140 million dollars in deficiencies for the basic city services of roads, sewer, water, and storm water management.
Now that the legislative action and quasi-judicial hearing are complete and the City of St. Augustine has amended the Future Land Use Map to a distinction of higher density and increased intensity of use, I am requesting a review of the process by the State of Florida as this appears to me to have been pushed through without the funds to pay for the infrastructure which is contrary to the intent of the Growth Management Act of 1985. The adverse effects of this decision being that my family, and adjacent residential community, will by paying for the basic public services of sanitary sewer for 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine FL 32080, which I, and the majority of my neighborhood, do not have access to.
I have included a timeline of the public City of St. Augustine meetings with a short personal note and links to the City of St. Augustine website which provide for the testimonies of the proceedings:
August 5th, 2014 Planning and Zoning Meeting Item 8C # 2014-0068
NOTE: (Initial confusion as to whether or not I would be allowed to speak. Continuance filed by applicant)
To amend the future land use designation from Residential Low Density to Residential Medium Density and to rezone the property from Residential Single family-two (RS-2) to Residential General one (RG-1).
(c) 2014-0068 Susan S. Bloodworth – Applicant McClure Bloodworth, P.L.
St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum - Owner 81 Lighthouse Avenue
To rezone the property from Government Use (GU) to Maritime Use District (MUD) in association with the transfer of this property from public to private ownership.

January 6th, 2015 Planning and Zoning Meeting Item 11C # 2014-0143
NOTE: (Application revised approximately 10 minutes before the meeting, approved for recommendation to the City Commission)
McClure Bloodworth, P.L. – Applicant
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc. - Owner 81 Lighthouse Avenue
To amend the Future Land Use Map from Recreation and Open Space to Residential Medium Density/Mixed Use and Rezone the property from Government Use (GU) to Marine Use District (MUD) to allow for the Lighthouse complex including a text amendment to the Future Land Use map recognizing the height of the lighthouse.
January 26th, 2015 City Commission Meeting Item 9A # 2015-03 and # 2015-04 NOTE: (No public comment allowed, unanimous vote to continue to second reading)
1a. Consideration of Ordinance 2015-03, amending the Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Map to reclassify a parcel of land containing approximately 4.6 acres and located at the northeast corner of the intersections of Carver Street, Anastasia Avenue and Red Cox Drive, excluding the St. Augustine Lighthouse Tennis Courts, from Recreation and Open Space to Residential Medium Density Mixed Use (with map notations). D. Birchim, Dir., Planning & Building
1b. Consideration of Ordinance 2015-04, amending the zoning for the property located at the northeast corner of the intersections of Carver Street, Anastasia Avenue and Red Cox Drive, excluding the St. Augustine Lighthouse Tennis Courts, from Government Use (GU) to Maritime Use District (MUD). D. Birchim, Dir., Planning & Building
February 9th, 2015 City Commission Meeting Item 9A #2015-03 and #2015-04

NOTE: (Public comment presented before the revised applicant’s presentation, continuance for a third City Commission Meeting)
81 Lighthouse Avenue:
1. Public Hearing-Ordinance 2015-03, amending the Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Map to reclassify a parcel of land containing approximately 4.6 acres and located at the northeast corner of the intersections of Carver Street, Anastasia Avenue and Red Cox Drive, excluding the St. Augustine Lighthouse Tennis Courts, from Recreation and Open Space to Residential Medium Density Mixed Use (with map notations). D. Birchim, Dir., Planning & Building
2. Public Hearing-Ordinance 2015-04, amending the zoning for the property located at the northeast corner of the intersections of Carver Street, Anastasia Avenue and Red Cox Drive, excluding the St. Augustine Lighthouse Tennis Courts, from Government Use (GU) to Maritime Use District (MUD). D. Birchim, Dir., Planning & Building
March 9th, 2015 City Commission Meeting Item 8B #2015-03 and 2015-04
NOTE: (Size of lot disclosed to be approximately 6.5 acres, not 4.6 acres. Unanimous vote to approve application by City Commission)
1a. Public Hearing-Ordinance 2015-03, amending the Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Map to reclassify a parcel of land containing approximately 4.6 acres and located at the northeast corner of the intersections of Carver Street, Anastasia Avenue and Red Cox Drive, excluding the St. Augustine Lighthouse Tennis Courts, from Recreation and Open Space to Residential Medium Density Mixed Use (with map notations). D. Birchim, Dir., Planning & Building
1b. Public Hearing-Ordinance 2015-04, amending the zoning for the property located at the northeast corner of the intersections of Carver Street, Anastasia Avenue and Red Cox Drive, excluding the St. Augustine Lighthouse Tennis Courts, from Government Use (GU) to Maritime Use District (MUD). D. Birchim, Dir., Planning & Building

In summary, I, Edward Ruben Anderson, do not feel as though the requirements were met to amend the State Adopted Future Land Use Map and I am requesting a review of the process per Florida Statute 120.56 “Challenges to Rules” for non-compliance with the Growth Management Act of 1985.

Edward Ruben Anderson
60 Magnolia Drive
St. Augustine FL 32080
(904) 547-1006

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What is Hyperscreens LLC: BBB report

Hyperscreens LLC Founders Chris Conlon and Robert Kenny, Jr. install Hyperscreens at St. Augustine amphitheater

Phone Number: (904) 209-2250
The number is 50871.
Type of Entity
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Business Management
Mr. Robert Kenny Jr., Co-Founder
Mr. Chris Conlon, Co-Founder
Mrs. Nora G Cozad, Finance Manager
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Robert Kenny Jr., Co-Founder
Business Category
Electronic Equipment & Supplies - Wholesale & Manufacturers
Computers - Bulletin Boards
Computers - Multimedia
Computers - Wholesale & Manufacturers
Electronic Equipment & Supplies - Dealers
Products & Services
HyperScreens, LLC sells the following brand(s): 3M, hyperscreens , Intel, Samsung

HyperScreens, LLC offers the following product(s): 42" | 55" | 65" Free-Standing & Wall-Mounted hyperscreens

Method(s) of Payment
All industry standard payment options accepted
Refund and Exchange Policy
1 Year Manufacturer's Warranty

They Were In A Hurry: "Hyper" to Spend $400,000 on No-bid "Hyperscreens" Contract Falsely Claimed to be "Sole Source" Because of 3.5 Month Deadline

Hyperscreens at St. Augustine Visitor Information Center

The Forever King: Ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.

BOLES was in a hurry, so turned to his minions to rubber-stamp yet another no-bid contractor for local start-up company



JAMES PIGGOTT, City of St. Augustine General Services Director, Never Checked with U.S. General Services Administration on Purchase of $400,000 Hyperscreens for Visitor Information Center: They Were in a Hurry (3.5 month deadline).


TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD, City of St. Augustine Assistant City Manager, allegedly researched technology and wrote "sole source" memo signed by City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E.: no electronic copy of the "sole source" memo has been produced by City Hall


"They were in a hurry?" City Hall has not provided an electronic copy of Assistant City Manager TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD's "sole source" memo, signed by City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. Wonder why? Could it be that City Hall rubber-stamped someone else's memo, and did not have a copy on any City Hall computer?

Friday, April 17, 2015

County destroyed trees without permits from City (or permission from State?)

County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK and political boss DAVID BERNARD SHOAR (f/k/a "HOAR", Sheriff of St. Johns County

Go to the St. Augustine Amphitheater tomorrow for the Farmer's Market or the Bob Dylan concert.
Check out the huge swath of trees killed by St. Johns County's Board of County Commissioners without ever seeking a permit from the City of St. Augustine.
They are at the northeast side of the property the county leases from the state, subject to an agreement not to kill trees without permission.
There have been "verbal conversations" between the city and county staff, but only after the murderous tree killing orgy.
County Administrator MICHAEL WANCHICK and County Attorney PATRICK McCORMACK must answer questions. Now.

Here's the e-mail I sent the City of St. Augustine:

RE: St. Johns County government tree-killing in apparent violation of St. Augustine City Code secs 25-53 and 25-56 (2015); enclosed St. Augustine Amphitheater lease (see paragraph 8) and SJC-FDEP Land Management Plan

Dear Messrs Birchim and Lippi:
1. It appears the St. Johns County government's recent tree-killing at our St. Augustine Amphitheater violated both our St. Augustine City Code section 28-56 and section 8 of the FDEP-SJC lease. I requested documents on this event pursuant to my Request No. 2015-82, to which Mr. Birchim replied that he had no documents, but had "verbal discussions" with county staff.
2. Please investigate the unpermitted cutting of a large swath of trees at the northeast end of the property leased by the FDEP to the County for the St. Augustine Amphitheater's own private campground, adjoining the State's campground. The County lease boundaries are established by the enclosed Lease and Management Plan between SJC and FDEP.
3. Kindly assess a fine against the St. Johns County Administrator and Board of County Commissioners in personam the maximum under St. Augustine City Code section 25-56, as amended by ordinance 2015-09, which adds joint and several liability for organizations and individuals performing and directing illegal work (25-53), does not recognize after-the-fact permits for protected trees and raises the price of illegal tree-cutting to the following fees for after-the-fact permits:
$100 for each tree three (3) inches or more but less than seven (7) inches dbh.
$200 for each tree seven (7) inches or more but less than twelve (12) inches dbh.
$400 for each tree twelve (12) inches or more but less than twenty (20) inches dbh.
$800 for each tree twenty (20) inches or more dbh.
4. Do not show any favoritism toward St. Johns County as a government agency, for as Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis wrote, dissenting in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 485 (1928): "Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."
5. Let justice be done.
6. Enclosed are the FDEP-SJC Lease and Land Management Plan for our St. Augustine Amphitheater.
7. As the Plan and FSU report reveal, this land is potential home to endangered species, including wood storks, piping plovers, Anastasia Island beach mice and loggerheads. In the words of Woodie Guthrie -- friends with my late mentor Stetson Kennedy -- "this land is our land…."
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

City Code Section 25-56 requires permits before tree-killing, forbids after-the-fact permits for protected trees

Sec. 25-56. - Tree removal and replacement.
Permits required. It shall be unlawful for any person directly or indirectly to cut down, destroy, remove or effectively destroy by damaging any tree in the city without first obtaining a permit as herein provided. This requirement shall apply to all trees three (3) inches or larger dbh., and to Southern Red Cedar trees (juniperus silicicola) more than two (2) feet tall or having a trunk diameter at a point three (3) inches above ground level of more than one (1) inch. Provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful to remove a tree other than a Southern Red Cedar (juniperus silicicola) which is less than three (3) inches dbh., nor shall any permit be required for the removal of such tree. In addition, it shall not be unlawful to remove an exempt tree or an invasive species and no permit shall be required for the removal of such.
Permit applications and application fees.
Permits for removal or relocation of trees shall be obtained by making application for permit to the city planning and building division. The application shall indicate the number, species and diameter breast height (dbh.) of each tree to be removed or relocated and the reasons for the removal or relocation. Such applications for permits for removal or relocation of trees shall be accompanied by a fee of twenty dollars ($20.00). Such fees are hereby declared to be necessary for the purpose of processing the application and making the necessary inspection for administration and enforcement of this section.
Permits for removal or relocation of trees associated with a site plan for a development shall be obtained by making application for permit for the development to the city planning and building division. The application shall be accompanied by a site plan. When the permit for the development is issued it will include tree removal, relocation and replacement as indicated on the approved site plan for the development.
Application review. Upon receipt of a complete application, which may include a site plan for a development, the city planning and building division shall review such application which may include a field check of the site and referral of the application to other departments or agencies as necessary to determine any adverse effect upon the general public welfare, adjacent properties or city services and facilities.
The planning and building division may issue a tree removal permit for trees which are not considered preserved trees.
To remove a preserved tree anywhere on site, approval shall first be given by the code enforcement, adjustments and appeals board, or by the planning and zoning board, if such approval is related to the review of a site plan.
In determining whether or not a permit required by this section should be issued, the city planning and building division shall consider and base all decisions on the following:
The condition of the tree with respect to disease, insect attack, danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interferences with utility services.
The necessity of removing a tree to construct proposed improvements in order to allow reasonable economic use of the property.
The relief of the land where the tree is located and the effect removal of the tree would have on erosion, soil moisture retention, diversion, increased or decreased flow of surface waters and the city master drainage plan or similar plan adopted by the city commission.
The number and density of trees existing in the neighborhood on improved or unimproved property. The planning and building division shall also be guided by the effect removal of a tree would have on property values in the neighborhood where the property is located and on other vegetation in the neighborhood.
Whether the tree has been designated a preserved tree.
Impact upon the urban and natural environment, including:
Ground and surface water stabilization.

Water quality and aquifer recharge.

Ecological impacts.

Noise pollution.

Air movement.

Air quality.

Wildlife habitat.

The ease with which the property owner or agent can alter or revise the proposed development or improvements to accommodate existing trees, including the tree or trees proposed to be removed.
Issuance of permit. The planning and building division shall issue the removal permit unless, upon consideration of the criteria set forth above, the division finds any of the following will result:
That the property owner or agent will not be unreasonably affected in shifting the location of the proposed structure, building or improvement, which shift will maintain the existence of the subject trees and still permit construction of such building or improvement on the site.
That the property owner or agent will not be unreasonably affected in modifying the design of the proposed structure, building or other improvement, which modification will maintain the existence of the trees proposed to be removed and still permit construction substantially similar to that originally proposed.
That the removal of the subject trees will have a substantial adverse impact on the urban and natural environment.
That the subject trees are preserved trees and removal must be reviewed by the code enforcement, adjustments and appeals board or the planning and zoning board.
Denial of permit. If the planning and building division denies the removal permit it shall set forth with particularity its reasons for such denial in writing.
Appeals. When a tree removal permit, including a permit for the removal of a preserved tree not involved with a site plan for new development, has been denied by the planning and building division, the property owner or agent may appeal this decision to the code enforcement, adjustments and appeals board. The code enforcement, adjustments and appeals board shall approve or deny the appeal and may impose conditions as required, such as specific tree species and sizes for the required replacement trees. The board may require more stringent replacement requirements than is required by this chapter. The code enforcement, adjustments and appeals board shall not be empowered to relax the standards and requirements contained herein. If a preserved tree is approved by the board to be removed, a minimum of two (2) shade trees a minimum of ten (10) feet in height shall be used as replacement. The replacement of trees that have been removed after board approval shall be done within thirty (30) days after the tree has been removed.
Relocation and replacement. As condition to the granting of a permit, the property owner or agent will be required to relocate the tree being removed or required to replace the tree being removed with a tree somewhere within the site. Native vegetation shall be replaced with native vegetation. Shade trees must be replaced by shade trees. Understory and palm trees may be replaced by any type tree. Replacement shade trees shall be a minimum of ten (10) feet high and understory trees shall be a minimum of ten (10) feet high when planted. Each Southern Red Cedar tree (juniperus silicicola) removed shall be replaced with a minimum of two (2) Southern Red Cedars of such a size and quality as shall be determined by the city building official to be assured of such Southern Red Cedars' continued viability and growth. The property owner or agent shall also be required to replace the relocated or replacement tree should same die within three (3) years from date of planting.
Public lands. No tree shall be removed from any public property or public right-of-way except in accordance with the provisions of this section.
"After the fact" tree removal permits.
The application fee shall be fifty dollars ($50.00).
The planning and building director may issue an "after the fact" tree removal permit for trees which are not considered preserved trees, but only after considering the above mentioned factors and the reason why a permit was not obtained prior to the removal.
If the planning and building director denies the "after the fact" tree removal permit, he/she shall set forth with particularity the reasons for such denial in writing. When such permit is denied, said denial may be appealed as stated above to the adjustments and appeals board.
No "after the fact" tree removal permits shall be issued for the removal of preserved trees. Any such action shall be subject to code enforcement proceedings wherein any explanation or reason for removal without a permit and evidence as to the tree's condition prior to removal may be presented as mitigation.
(Ord. No. 04-17, § 1, 10-25-04; Ord. No. 09-17, § 1, 5-11-09)

City ordinance 2015-09 increased after-the-fact permit fees

Sec. 25-56. Tree removal and replacement. ...
(i) “After the fact” tree removal permits.
(1) The application fee shall be fifty dollars ($50.00). as follows:
a. $100 for each tree three (3) inches or more but less than seven (7) inches dbh.
b. $200 for each tree seven (7) inches or more but less than twelve (12) inches dbh.
c. $400 for each tree twelve (12) inches or more but less than twenty (20) inches dbh.
d. $800 for each tree twenty (20) inches or more dbh.
. . .”

City website on tree removal

Tree Removal
Urban trees improve the quality of life of cities. They contribute not only to the aesthetic beauty of a city, but also provide environmental benefits.

Section 25-56 of the City Code states that it is unlawful for any person directly or indirectly to cut down, destroy, remove or effectively destroy by damaging any tree in the city without first obtaining a permit. This requirement shall apply to all trees 3 inches or larger in diameter at breast height. The cost of this permit is $20.00 and can be obtained from the City’s Planning and Building Department.

Of particular importance is the Southern Red Cedar. Southern Red Cedar trees larger than 2 feet in height or a trunk diameter of 1 inch at the point 3 inches above the ground may not be removed without a permit.

For new construction, a tree survey is required and shall indicate all trees on the lot or lots, and the type and size of each tree. In addition, the footprint and eave of the roof of any proposed new structure(s) shall be indicated on the survey.

For existing structures, bright orange tape will be provided to the applicant to indicate the tree or trees proposed to be removed. There is a space provided on the application to indicate a reason for the removal of a tree or trees.
Click here to view and print a copy of the Application for Tree Removal Permit.

Questions concerning tree removal in the City should be directed to 904-825-1060.

Curiouser and Curiouser

City of St. Augustine Assistant City Manager TIMMY BURCHFIELD allegedly wrote a "sole source" memo justifying no-bid purchase of $400,000 worth of "hyper screens" for the Visitor Information Center. No electronic copy has been supplied. I've asked for it six times. Asked whether the General Services Administration's Cooperative Purchasing program was checked, the City has not responded. Twice today, City Hall bureaucrats hung up the telephone on me. Yes, I do wear their scorn as a badge of honor. We've made a lot of progress since April 11, 2005, but one thing our City Hall is deeply deficient and defective in is manners. So much for Southern hospitality, in a corrupt City Hall (Chicago writ small) where there's an odd mix of "Southern efficiency and Northern charm," as JFK said about Washington, D.C.

I don't believe that a 3.5 month deadline justifies "sole source" procurement. Do you? No one ever told Commissioners about it until Mayor Nancy Shaver started asking questions.

St. Augustine Weekend on C-SPAN

St. Augustine Weekend on C-SPAN
A dozen feature segments will air throughout the weekend
Three weeks ago crews from C-SPAN visited St. Augustine and spent five days interviewing local historians, authors and civic leaders and touring historical sites gathering material on the literary life and history of the city for a special weekend of programming featuring the Nation's Oldest City.
That weekend starts today, Friday, April 17.
The programming includes 12 individual segments, six each for Book TV (C-SPAN2) and for American History TV (C-SPAN3). In addition to having the segments sprinkled in throughout the weekend on the respective networks, both AHTV and BOOK TV will have a block of programming devoted to the St. Augustine segments:
-- Book-TV: Saturday, April 18 at 12pm (noon) ET on C-SPAN2 (Comcast channel 104),
-- American History TV: Sunday, April 19 at 2:00pm ET on C-SPAN3 (Comcast channel 105).
For a description of the 12 segments, click here. To confirm C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 availability in your area, visit the Comcast site here.
Additionally, C-SPAN has created a special St. Augustine city web page at where each segment will be available to view after it airs. In addition, all video segments will be available indefinitely at the C-SPAN Video Library site at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Debra Maynard for Sheriff of St. Johns County (From Supervisor of Elections Website)

Candidate : Debra Maynard
Office : Sheriff

Available reports...
Candidate's Statement

About me:
I moved to St. Augustine in 1998 and attended the Law Enforcement Academy at St Johns River. I was honored to be class leader and graduate with the highest overall achievement "Medallion Award."
I have a B.S. in Criminal Justice and an M.A. in Human Services Counseling: Criminal Justice.
During my years as a Deputy in St Johns County, my specialty training included:
• Emergency management
• Laser/radar measurement
• Breath test operator
• Criminal law
• Field training officer completion
• Line supervision
• Advanced ground combatives
• Internet investigation
• General instructor techniques
• Crime Scene processing
• Special training from the University of South Florida as a Master Trainer for Crisis Intervention.
Also during my time at SJCSO I was shift evidence technician and honored to be the Crisis Intervention Team coordinator and liaison for the Health and Human Services Advisory Council. As Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) coordinator I had the privilege of training county, city and law enforcement employees from other agencies with the help of local judges, counselors and doctors in the area of mental health crisis intervention.
Before going into law enforcement, much of my professional career was in education, where I specialized in aiding children diagnosed with learning disabilities. I also received certification as an interpreter for the deaf (ASL) from Pennsylvania through the Pittsburgh Hearing, Speech and Deaf services office. I have office management experience in medical/dental and am currently an office/project manager for a local plumbing company.
I have two children, Benjamin and Ashley and have been blessed with four grandchildren and am a current member of Good News Church.
Note: The candidate's photograph and statement are supplied by the candidate and are not endorsed by the County Supervisor of Elections or checked for accuracy.
Go Back

The following financial reports are available:
In KindExpenditures
& Distributions
View PDF
Candidate qualifying forms and miscellaneous documents

More history to be destroyed by greedy developers?

HARB approves demolition of listing 'carpenter's house' on former Dow Museum property
Posted: April 16, 2015 - 4:36pm

David Corneal and his team were tired of waiting. They demanded an answer from St. Augustine’s Historic Architectural Review Board at Thursday’s meeting.

It was close, but Corneal liked the final decision.

Despite the attempt of chairman Randal Roark to continue the issue for the second time, the HARB board voted 2-1 to allow Corneal to demolish the red “carpenter’s house” on his property at 145 Cordova St.

The house is part of what used to be the Dow Museum of Historic Houses of St. Augustine. It is now owned by Corneal of St. Augustine, and he is restoring the property with the intention of turning it into an inn.

Corneal and his representative Mark Knight first brought the issue before HARB a month ago, but the board continued it because it wanted more information.

Corneal has a proposal for a Planned Unit Development that would allow him to use the property as an inn, but that will not be heard by the Planning and Zoning Board until May 5. He will also meet with HARB again in May to ask for an opinion of appropriateness for the project.

On Thursday, Knight brought a layout of the proposed finished product of what’s being called the Cordova Inn. He showed that the space vacated by the carpenter’s house would be used for the stage of a small amphitheater.

For the most part, though, the applicant’s argument was the same Thursday as last month: The building is unsound and simply not salvageable. And it’s also not historically significant.

“It’s worthless; it’s falling apart,” Corneal said Thursday. “It was a carpenter’s shed, and now it’s falling down.”

Corneal stuck by the same engineer’s report he relied upon last meeting that said the building was unsafe.

At Thursday’s meeting, city staff also read the summary from a city building inspector that did not portray the house as being in the same state of decay as Corneal’s report.

Instead, the inspector, who was not at the meeting for reasons city staff could not explain, wrote that the carpenter’s house had problems but was not necessarily a lost cause.

The report said work done 15 years ago had stabilized the building, keeping the it from listing further. It did say that water damage has continued because of probable leaks from the fireplace and roof.

“I cannot say that the building is not structurally unsafe; however, it is my opinion that while the building is not currently inhabitable, an effort could be made to save it for historical value,” the report said.

Knight and Corneal argued that the carpenter’s house was an “ancillary” building and not of historical significance.

Several people from the neighborhood did speak out against the plan to demolish the structure, saying it is more than 100 years old and contributes to the historic character of the area. And they wondered if a real effort was being made to preserve the building.

The board asked if it might be helpful to have Corneal’s engineer respond to the city inspector’s report, but Corneal balked at any further delay.

“The existing building is not retrievable; there is no question about it,” he said. “I have every right to remove that property, and I will incorporate as much as possible into the (amphitheater). I’m not going to spend thousands of dollars to find out what I already know.”

Board member Matthew Armstrong said he wasn’t convinced the building could not be saved. However, he said the work required to make it usable again would be more of a reconstruction than a restoration, which would serve no great purpose.

Therefore, he made the motion to approve the demolition. Toni Wallace reluctantly seconded the motion, agreeing with Armstrong’s view. Since only three of them voted, that made it clear the motion would be approved.

Roark, who had asked for another continuance, voted no. The applicant has the right to demand a decision, and Knight said they would not accept a continuance.

The other HARB member present, Jeremy Marquis, recused himself because he is an architect working on Corneal’s project.

Following the meeting, Corneal said he wants to make the old Dow property into something special that will have minimal impact on the surrounding neighborhood. He hopes Thursday’s vote was a move in the direction of getting his ultimate plans approved.

“I love the project,” he said. “It should be done. It’s the only way to preserve historic properties like this.”

Senator Travis Hutson's Father's House: State Prisoners Working on SR 206 Right-of-way today

It's nice to be the king.


Former HARB Chairman and former Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr. was fined only $3600 for illegally destroying 211-year old Don Pedro Fornells House on September 25, 2014

St. Augustine's conflicted Historic Architectural Review Board voted 2-1 to allow demolition of a 105 year old historic building in HP-1.

City building inspector Randy Hurry's report documented that the building is stabilized and safe.

The process is not "nuts," board member Matthew Armstrong said, rebutting CORNEAL.

Citizens Chris Emerick, Lee Geanuleas, Melinda Rakoncay, David Lowther, Norma Novak, Judith ____, and Debra Geanuleas opposed the demolition. Armstrong and board member Antoinette Wallace, a retired HUD archaeologist, voted for the destruction. Chair Randall Roark voted against. PAUL M. WEAVER III and JEREMY MARQUIST, two other board members, are working for developer DAVID BARTON CORNEAL and recused themselves.

Chris Emerick noted that the building is "safe enough to herd 50 ghost tour people through" without hardhats, noting that there is evidently a key to unlock the gate.

Lee Gianolious noted that the building was more than 105 years old, home of widew, more than just a carpenter's shed. CORNAL has
removed windows from upper stories to hasten destruction, violating city code. Mr. Gianolious said that the board was being asked to "euthanize a sick patient" based on "an opinion paid for by undertaker." An appeal to City Commission is now likely under the precedent we established on Echo House by vote of City Commission last year.

Our citizens are a formidable force and we are being heard and heeded. In the words that Admiral Yamamoto said after Pearl Harbor, all HARB and DAVID BARTON CORNEAL did today was "to awaken a sleeping giant." Onward to victory after victory!

Beach Access vs. The 1%

Why is Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR acting like the Republican lord of our beaches? See Ben Rich's letter and e-mails, below.

Ben Rich Skewers Sheriff on Beach Closing
Letter: Another government nanny?
Another government nanny
Posted: March 25, 2015 - 7:22pm

Another government nanny

Editor: If you are a taxpaying citizen of St. Johns County, beware!

When I came to our county in 1995, you could drive anywhere you wanted on our beaches, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you needed no “sticker” or daily “pass” to enjoy your Atlantic Ocean! Today however, your Sheriff can and does arbitrarily close your beach during its now restricted hours of access, any time he decides for any reason. He did so on March 20, 2015 because he thought that it was a danger: Too foggy. He didn’t close route A1A which runs 300 feet west of the beach, nor did he close any other roadway in St. Johns County due to fog. However, if you paid for a sticker to use the beach from dawn to at least 11:38 a.m. , when I tried to with my grandson, you couldn’t, because the Sheriff thought that one half-mile visibility was too dangerous for me to drive at a maximum of 10 mph over sand. So I drove home with my confused grandson over the 206 bridge and Intracoastal Waterway at 50 mph, 500 yards from the beach in 10-mile visibility!

The next time I decide to go to the beach, will the Sheriff decide that the water is dangerously cold and close it? Will he declare jelly fish a human hazard and close it? Or will he just arbitrarily and capriciously close it because he can?

We are at a time in our country when abuses of power by government officials is the rule rather than the exception. We need to demand accountability in our elected and appointed employees. As you know, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

Do you need another government Nanny? Wake up people!

St. Augustine

Rich is a former St. Johns County Commissioner

Opinion Editor’s note: We suspect, Mr. Rich, that the difference between closing a state road and a beach during a socked-in fog may have been that children such as your grandson are not digging sand castles or chasing errant beach balls in the middle of A1A or 206.

FOGMEN: Sheriff Shoar Limits Beach Access and the St. Augustine Record Mocks Ben Rich for Reporting on It

Ed: You read my letter regarding the policy of the Sheriff regarding beach closure that was published in the St. Augustine Record, uneffectionately referred to as the St. Augustine Mullet Wrapper or St. Augustine Parrot Cage Liner. It is uncommon for any paper to make editorial comments regarding a letter that THEY choose to publish and even more uncommon for any reputable publication to allow letters to be published regarding opinions of special interest responders referencing by name the writer of another letter. This is what has happened at the Mullet Wrapper. I do not read or subscribe to the MW but my one of my neighbors does and she brought me the response letter today. She also brought me a copy of the one I wrote when it was printed. I responded to the Opinion Editor with the email below. Now the paper has decided to wrachet up the heat on me personally so maybe it is time to do the same to them and the special interests they represent.

The people of St. Johns County do not realize how close they are to losing beach access and have grown complacent regarding their God given right to visit THEIR Atlantic Ocean. If the special interests, waterfront home owners, developers and their ilk have their way, there will not be any vehicle access to the ocean within St. Johns County within 4 to 6 years. The Sheriff will still patrol the beach with his vehicles, garbage trucks will still drive on the beach, heavy equipment will still be operated day and night, but cars will be forbidden. Once access is gone, government will make sure that it stays gone.

The email below was sent to the MW within two days of my letter. Maybe you should do what you can to make our citizens aware of what their elected officials have planned for their future. Ben sends

[Witness B],

Just got the paper today as I am not a subscriber and my neighbor brought me a copy. In reference to your “Opinion Editor's Note”, you started your comments with, “We suspect, Mr. Rich....”. Who is “We”? This letter was sent to YOU so I can only conclude that these are your comments in the “Opinion Editor's Note”.
I was limited to 300 words in my letter. Had I been able to explain more, the letter would have included the results of my telephone calls made that day to our elected and appointed officials regarding the closure of the beach. Some of those FACTS that you failed to research before making your speculative opinions are:
First, the authority for the Sheriff to control the beach comes from a designation that the beach is now a “Florida State Road”, a concession that was part of the agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in negotiations regarding the control and protection of the turtle nesting areas (this information and some other information was supplied by SJC Staff). According to SJC, A1A and the beach are considered the same legally with regard to the Sheriff's authority. By proximity, if one is unsafe due to fog, so is the other. Proceed with caution is usually the rule of the day on a state highway (it was on A1A this day), not access denial. If one is unsafe, so is the other. Using the logic of your comments, the Sheriff was derelict in not closing A1A on the date in question. In fact, A1A actually crosses the beach and goes over the ocean at Matanzas Inlet! People fish, park to load/unload their vehicles, and walk across that roadway, children and all, day and night, in 50 MPH traffic, fog or no fog, lightning, wind, rain, with no police interference! No safety issue there I guess.
Second, I inquired about the “safety” issue that you raised regarding “sand castles” and “beach balls”. Like you, the Sheriff obviously believes that children crossing A1A in 45 to 60 MPH traffic carrying those same balls, sand pails, fishing rods, towels, coolers, chairs, cell phones, a partridge in a pear tree, along with all of the stuff that they were going to drive down onto the beach, can do so much more safely than driving it there. Those children are in the same fog (or in this case, lack thereof) and are in no danger. Is that your implication? You describe the scene as “...during a socked in fog...”. I was there pal. I drove my car there and arrived at 11:38 according to a satellite controlled watch. You do not know what you are writing about. “Socked in”? Bullshit! By the way; your remark regarding balls in the road was just sloppy considering that there is a park and playground for children just north of the Crescent Beach entrance which is on the west side of A1A. Soccer is played their routinely. It has no fences, curbs, or restrictions to entering the high speed highway. Gee Jim; do you think that children ever take balls to a park? This was almost noon, as in lunch/picnic time. Oh, that's right, I read it so it must be true: they only take their balls to the beach! Ball on A1A, no problem; ball on the beach, dead kid. WTF!
There was a time when this sort of conduct was looked into by our independent press. What is the long term plan of SJC and the Sheriff regarding beach access? Why is the 10 MPH State Road being treated differently than the other State Road(s)? Why is there such concern over vehicle safety at an ocean, where you swim in the feces of every sea creature, all of which eat the same seafood we do, along with animals that can and will eat you? About 40,000 people are killed with hundreds of thousands if not millions more maimed in traffic accidents each year in the U.S. Alone. How many are killed and maimed in traffic accidents on beaches each year? Is the justification for closure sound or is it in conflict with common sense? Is there an indication of a political agenda for special interests where everything from mice to safety of children (YOUR fog claim not mine), from high water or dirty water, to lightning storms and other excuses can be used to restrict Atlantic Ocean access to the public? Why don't we force evacuate residents along the beach when some of these potentially “dangerous” problems arise but we force evacuate visitors who have, unlike the residents, paid to enjoy their ocean? What sort of pressure is applied by the owners of the multimillion dollar homes/condos along the beachfront to choke off public access to what I have had them describe to me as “their beach”? What are the political contributions to our elected officials from these individuals and associated PAC connections that would indicate another agenda? Why has the general public been referring for years to the law enforcement officers on the beach as “Beach Nazi's”? If strong arm enforcement has been used to deserve that label, what was the purpose of those tactics and who directed that they be employed?
As you ended your comment, I will end mine regarding YOUR sarcastic and condescending remarks. “[Witness B] is a former St. Augustine Record journalist.” Cheap shot [Witness B]. You of all people should know that respect is based on trust.