Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Support St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore -- Even Sheriff David Shoar Called It a "No-brainer" Four (4) Years Ago!

"Needed: A Revolution in Thinking" by Professor Carroll Quigley, Georgetown U. School of Foreign Service (1975)

An article by Carroll Quigley in Today’s Education, March-April 1975,
originally published in the National Education Association Journal 57 (May 1968), pp. 8-10:


Needed: A Revolution in Thinking

By CARROLL QUIGLEY  Professor of History, Georgetown University,  Washington, DC.  (Originally published in 1968)

   Every event, every human experience, is unique. It occurs at a certain place, at a certain moment, to persons at a specific age and condition and in an arrangement of all these which will never be repeated. Never again will that event happen at that place, at that time, to those people, under those conditions.

People can deal with such unique events by action. The baseball player at the plate faces that unique and never-to-be repeated pitch and by making a never-to-be-repeated swing at it may be able to hit the ball over the fence for a home run. This is an example of how individuals, by action, can deal successfully with the unique events that make up the living experience of humankind.

But people also try to deal with the continuous stream of unique events which make up their lives by other methods besides action. They try to think about them and to communicate with others about them. To do this, they classify unique events into general classes or categories and they attach names or labels to such categories.

This process of classification and labeling ignores the qualities which make events unique and considers only those qualities which events are believed to share or to have in common. In this process, each society (and each person in that society) classifies its experiences and events into categories and then gives labels to these categories and puts a relative value on them -- regarding some of them as good or desirable and others as less good and less desirable.

Each society has such a system of categories and of valuations of categories. This is known as the society's "cognitive system." It is the most important thing we can know about any society and the most difficult to learn. When individuals speak of the "inscrutable Chinese" or the "mysterious East," they are really saying these remote peoples have cognitive systems that are different from theirs and are therefore more or less incomprehensible to them.

Getting to know the cognitive system of any people (or even of other persons in our own society, since no two persons have exactly the same cognitive system) is difficult because it is not easy even to take the first step to recognize that we ourselves have a cognitive system, a distinctive way of looking at the world that is not the way the world actually is but is simply the way our group conventionally looks at our world.

The best way to recognize that one's own group has a distinctive way of looking at things and that our own way is not the way things necessarily are is to deal with groups who have cognitive systems different from ours and who are just as certain that their way of seeing things is the way things actually are.

Such an experience, called "cultural shock," may lead to cognitive sophistication -- the recognition that all cognitive systems are subjective; that each is misleading to those who have it; and that although each enables those who have it to function within their own group, it handicaps them in dealing with persons from other groups. Moreover, even within a single society or group, cognitive sophistication is necessary whenever the experiences of that society are changing so rapidly that the old ways of looking at actuality handicap rather than help in dealing with the society's problems.

When people or groups with different cognitive systems interact, frictions and clashes occur, in many cases, without anyone's being able to see why. This happens even where there may be a maximum of goodwill on both sides. The difficulty occurs because individuals are unaware that they have a cognitive system of their own and, while seeing fully what other people do that irritates them, they cannot see why anything they are doing should irritate anyone else.

Cognitive sophistication makes it possible to know both one's own cognitive system and that of the different group with which one works so that one may be able to translate both talk and actions from one such system into the other, while recognizing the conventional and arbitrary nature of both.

Cognitive sophistication is so rare and so difficult to acquire that interaction across cultural barriers is a frequent cause of conflict. This applies to all relationships across cultural barriers -- not only to those with other nations and major cultures but also to those within a culture, such as relationships between suburbanites and slum dwellers or between races or social classes.

The cause of such cognitive conflicts may arise in large part from the different ways in which peoples look at time. Time is undivided duration, but in order to think or talk about it, each culture must divide it.

Our culture divides time into two parts, the past and the future, which meet at the present moment -- an instant without duration. This is reflected in European languages, which have tenses in the past, present, and future. But some peoples, such as the Bantu of Africa, do not have time classes of this sort in their language or social outlook. Many Bantu tongues divide verbs into those concerned with completed and uncompleted actions. They have no future tense because they categorize the future and the present together into a single form concerned with unfinished actions. (Similarly, in English we sometimes say, "I am going to school tomorrow," using the present tense for a future action.)

In the usual Bantu cognitive system, time is quite different from what it is to middle-class Americans, since it consists of a present of long duration and great importance; a past of less importance and moderate duration, such as can be held in personal memory; and almost no future distinguishable from the present.

Among some of these people, the future is not conceivable beyond the next few days and certainly has no meaning in terms of years. These people live in and value the present with all its problems, pleasures, and human relationships. Such people, even if they are given birth-control devices, are unlikely to use them, simply because they have no training in subjecting present relations to a hypothetical event nine months in the future.

Such cognitive differences are of great significance, especially when value systems are different. The African values the present, whereas many middle-class Americans put all emphasis on the importance of the future and are ready to make almost any sacrifice in the present for the sake of some hypothetical future benefit. In contrast to both, the aristocrat of today, like the ancient Greek, usually puts highest valuation on the past.

In our society, the latter viewpoint is now generally ignored, but the conflict between the "future preference" of the American middle-class suburbanite and the "present preference" of the lower-class slum dweller leads the former to regard the latter as shiftless, irresponsible, and lacking in self-discipline, while slum dwellers may regard the suburbanites' constant present sacrifice for future benefit as making them dehumanized and inhibited. In my opinion, the collapse, over the past two decades, of middle-class efforts to export our "self-enterprise" economic system to "underdeveloped countries" or to abolish ignorance and poverty in our own cities has been caused primarily by the existence of cognitive barriers -- specially the one associated with time.

But there is much more to the problem than this. People can deal with their experiences consciously only if they have a cognitive system. This is why individuals cannot remember the events of the first year or two of their own lives, before they had acquired a cognitive system by learning to talk and rationalize. The events of that period of "infantile amnesia" are incorporated in people's neurological and metabolic systems, as can be shown by getting individuals to relive an early experience under hypnosis, but they cannot consciously recall and verbalize the experience until they have categorized it, something they could not do when it occurred.

The cognitive system of any people is of major importance because it includes all those unconscious classifications, judgments, and values which trigger most of an adult's initial responses to events. Every culture, including our own, has a cognitive system at its very foundation, and this is what really keeps it functioning, because it enables large numbers of people to live in the same society without constant clashes and conflicts. A few examples will serve to show this.

We divide the whole range of colors, as found in the rainbow, into six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. With our European background, we think a view is beautiful if it consists of alternating horizontal bands of green and blue, as in a landscape consisting of a foreground strip of green shore, a blue lake beyond, a farther shore of green trees and hills, and a blue sky beyond that.

But to a Bantu of dry Africa, such a view is a rather boring panorama of a single color, for many natives of that language group place green and blue in a single category with one name, although they divide the lower red-orange-yellow portion of the spectrum into a larger number of basic colors with different names. That is why what impresses us as a beautiful view of shore, lake, and sky strikes them as a rather monotonous field of one color, whereas, conversely, an African landscape, which to us seems to be a dull expanse of semi-parched soil with dry grasses, may seem to them to be an exciting scene of many different colors.

(As Americans of European background have become familiar with the African-like views of Arizona and New Mexico, many have come to feel that these semi-desert views are preferable to the more "conventional beauties" of New England, Wisconsin, or upper Michigan. And the Navaho or other natives of our Southwest show their preference for the red-orange-yellow portion of the spectrum by their extensive use of these colors and their scanty use of green, blue, or violet in their arts.)

A somewhat similar example exists in respect to distinguishing and naming the various states of H2O. In our culture, we divide that range into no more than five or six categories, such as ice, snow, slush, water, and steam. But some Eskimo groups who are vitally concerned with how a dogsled moves on snow divide snow alone into 50 or more different categories, each with a distinct name. Today, in our own culture, as the sport of skiing grows more popular, we are developing numerous names for snow conditions on ski slopes to describe different skiing conditions.

Another significant example of any culture's cognitive view of experience may be seen in the way it divides the life span, especially the preference it places on these divisions.

Many native societies of Africa, for example, are formally divided into six or seven rigid stages, and the transitions from one to another are marked by formal, often painful, "crisis ceremonies.” Frequently, there is little contact between different age classes. Thus, youths of seven to 11 years may live together in bands with almost no contact with parents, while the age group 18 to 28 may be almost totally devoted to war or hunting and forbidden to marry until they move, as a group, into the next age range, say from 28 to 45.

By contrast, in the medieval period, Christian Europe divided a person's life into only two stages, childhood and adulthood, separated at about age seven by First Communion. There was a slight tendency, arising from the Jewish Bar Mitzvah, to make another division at about age 13, marked by the sacrament of Confirmation, but generally, anyone over seven was spoken to and treated as an adult.

Over the last five centuries or more, however, our Western culture has changed its cognitive view of this matter to become more like the African, until today we have at least six or more age classifications: infants, children, teens or adolescents, the college crowd, the young marrieds, middle-aged people, and retired persons. There is increasing segregation of these -- in education, in living quarters, in reading and entertainment, and in commercial markets (as in a department store).

The generation gap has become a familiar problem, and communication across age-group barriers has become a major issue. Moreover, female preference for the adolescent period has given us hordes of 40-year-old women trying to look like adolescents. The influence of such cognitive changes on all aspects of life is evident.

The power and affluence of Western civilization do not result from our technology, our political structure, or even our economic organization but from our cognitive system, on which they are based. That system began to develop before 500 B.C. with the introduction of the idea, in Palestine and Persia, of one God -- omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect -- and with the growth of two-valued logic in Persia and Greece.

Although our cognitive system has made our civilization the richest and mightiest in the world, its continued use without cognitive sophistication is leading us to disaster. Lynn White, Jr., pointed this out in his article, "The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis," in Science for March 10, 1967.

Professor White's thesis is that when the Judeo-Christian faith established the view that there is no spirit in nature other than the human, the world was reduced to a created object to be exploited by humans, and the way was thus opened to the destruction of nature and to the total pollution of the world -- a consequence that may have become inevitable with the rejection, in the latter thirteenth century, of the message of St. Francis to treat all nature as sacred.

The cognitive techniques derived from our underlying outlook have included ( a) using analysis rather than synthesis in seeking answers to problems; (b) isolating problems and studying them in a vacuum instead of using an ecological approach; ( c) using techniques based on quantification rather than on qualification study done in a contextual situation; (d) proceeding on the assumption of single-factor causation rather than pluralistic, ecological causation; and (e) basing decisions and actions on needs of the individual rather than needs of the group.

 In our society, if we want to know how something functions, we take it apart, cut it up, isolate it from its context; we analyze its factors and assume that only one is an independent variable. We then quantify the changes this independent variable makes in all the other variables that are assumed to be dependent on it. Then we make the independent variable one link in a chain of such independent variables, each surrounded by its system of dependent variables, the whole forming a chain going back to some original cause in the past or extending forward in a similar chain to some ultimate goal in the future.

From such reasoning, given to us from the Greeks through Aristotle, we got the "final" causes ( or goals) and the "Unmoved Mover" (that which is the first cause of all movement and does not itself move) of Aristotelian metaphysics, and, today, we still use this way of thinking, even though we no longer believe in Aristotle's metaphysics.

The now obsolescent mode of thought and cognition just described might be contrasted with a newer method which is, incidentally, closer to the thinking processes of southern and eastern Asia, which were never much influenced by transcendental Hebrew monotheism or by Greek two-valued logic.

This newer (or older) way of looking at experience tries to find how anything functions by seeing its relationships to a larger system and, ultimately, to the whole cosmos. To do so, it uses an ecological and qualitative approach, seeking to grasp the whole contextual situation of innumerable factors, all of which are changing at once, not only by quantitative changes within a fixed identity (such as Western logic can handle) but with constant shifts of identity and quality.

This more intuitive and less logical point of view is now sweeping the West as is evidenced by the fact that our traditional Western categories and cognitive assumptions were rejected not only by youthful hippies but also by those hardheaded, analytical people on whom the survival of the West depends.

The stumbling block, of course, is that our whole institutional setup is based on the old method of thought. For example, our educational system is based on the methods of categorization, specialization, and quantification, which must be replaced. This old method of thought is seen on the lower levels, where objective tests assume such things as two-valued logic (True, False), the principle of contradiction (Yes, No), and the principle of retained identity, just as, on the highest levels, the great increase in the use of computers assumes the possibility of objective analysis and quantification of life experiences.

It is difficult to reform our old methods of thinking no matter how bankrupt they may be. Standing in the way of change are the pressures exerted by institutionalized establishments, the profits of powerful groups producing equipment based on old ways of thinking, and the need which the large bureaucratized organizations have for persons with narrow technical training in the older cognitive patterns.

On the other hand, if we do not make such reforms, we may well be destroyed by problems that cannot be handled by the established methods of specialization, isolation, and quantification. These problems are already swallowing us up in the crises of environmental destruction, urban blight, social and racial tensions, poor mental health, and international conflicts that threaten to lead to nuclear annihilation.

Dr. Carroll Quigley

FUTURE PREFERENCE: In the spirit of JFK and Georgetown Professor Carroll Quigley, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have the future before us!"

In 1974, at my high school graduation, I quoted Adlai Stevenson's cliche-ridden speech, stating in what William F. Buckley, Jr. called his "most analytic" remark: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have the future, before us!"
In 1991, Presidential candidate Clinton named Carroll Quigley as an important influence on his aspirations and political philosophy, when Clinton launched his presidential campaign in a speech at Georgetown.[2]:96 He mentioned Quigley again during his acceptance speech to the 1992 Democratic National Convention, as follows:
As a teenager, I heard John Kennedy's summons to citizenship. And then, as a student at Georgetown, I heard that call clarified by a professor named Carroll Quigley, who said to us that America was the greatest Nation in history because our people had always believed in two things–that tomorrow can be better than today and that every one of us has a personal moral responsibility to make it so.[17]
(Wikipedia)(text)(video).   Clinton said:

We meet at a special moment in history, you and I. The Cold War is over. Soviet communism has collapsed and our values -- freedom, democracy, individual rights, free enterprise- they have triumphed all around the world. And yet, just as we have won the Cold War abroad, we are losing the battles for economic opportunity and social justice here at home.
Now that we have changed the world, it's time to change America.
I have news for the forces of greed and the defenders of the status quo: Your time has come and gone. Its time for a change in America.

DOW PUD Unanswerable Questions: Public Hearing August 24, 2015

Thank you, Mayor Shaver, Vice Mayor Horvath, Commissioners Freeman and Sikes-Kline, for asking tough questions.  Commissioner Todd Neville might just as easily have had a sign over his forehead, saying "I'd rather be sailing." (The odd man out, the CYA CPA, who does not deny that he sups with DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's son weekly).

City Commissioners July 27th peppered four feisty CORNEAL court dogs -- fired City Planning and Building Director MARK ALAN KNIGHT, City Planning and Building Director DAVID BIRCHIM, ROGERS-TOWERS partner ELLEN AVERY-SMITH and DAVID CORNEAL's project manager, MICHAEL A. CONROY -- with a series of seemingly insurmountable hurdles and unanswerable questions, "a high bar," while passing the ordinance to actual sworn testimony at a second public hearing on August 24, 2015:

1.  Why is the tax exemption on the Planned Unit Development (PUD) document, when the tax exemption application was withdrawn?  (Nancy Sikes-Kline).
MARK KNIGHT: "We did not want the agendas cluttered up."

2.  Where's the parking?  There are no documents.  (Nancy Shaver and Leanna Freeman).
ELLEN AVERY SMITH:  CORNEAL does not want to disclose it publicly, because "residents… scared" people agreeing to provide parking.  Commissioner Leanna Freeman said it was a "huge deal," that documents must be provided.   Architect Vice Mayor Roxanne Horvath stated that a three year lease is "not a long term lease." Commissioner Freeman stated that "valet parking" 3-4 blocks away is inadequate. 

3. Where's the compliance with existing standards for hotels? Or exceeding those standards? (Nancy Shaver, et al.)  Sitting two seats from me, CORNEAL court dog, PM and GC MICHAEL A. CONROY, visibly and audibly exasperated, exclaimed: "Jesus!" (Earlier, one of CORNEAL's eleven deluded dim-bulb corny court dogs claimed falsely, without being sworn, there would be no laundry trucks and no delivery trucks.  Huh?!).

4.  What happens if promised parking no longer exists?  (Vice Mayor Roxanne Horvath).  "Code enforcement," replied dodgy City Attorney ISABELLE LOPEZ.  (It's a joke, with pitifully small fines by state law, you will kindly recall from the September 25, 2014 destruction of Don Pedro Fornells House by ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr., longtime business partner and law client of ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.: LEN WEEKS was fined $3600 by the Code Enforcement Board on November 12, 2014, after which he was hugged by LOPEZ, who hired an inept contract-attorney to "prosecute" LEN WEEKS without cross-examination).

5.  Why does CORNEAL's PUD application have both its own zoning category and historic preservation district HP-1? (Mayor Shaver).  To allow construction of apartments in two of the eight surviving buildings, said ELLEN AVERY SMITH and MICHAEL A. CONROY.  "Hedging his bets," muttered Commissioner TODD NEVILLE.

6.  The City's approval of the homes'  museum use was a "big deal," Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline said, and anything beyond that would be an even  bigger one.  No one disagreed.

7.  Commissioner Freeman said it was a "red flag" and Mayor Shaver said it was "puzzling" why CORNEAL proposed apartments.

8.  A land planner educated at UF, Commissioner Sikes-Kline said the internal circulation plan was poorly articulated and "not taken very seriously."  Sitting two seats from me, CORNEAL PM CONROY exclaimed, "My God!"

9.  Commissioner Sikes-Kline, a longtime historic preservationist who helped save our Bridge of Lions, raised the issue of Prince Murat House, asking how the PUD would educate anyone about history.

10.  Commissioner Freeman, an attorney, said she did not mind moving the PUD to a second hearing, but that it would face a "high bar."

11.  Mayor Shaver wanted to move to remand to PUD, based upon "extraordinarily weak" written  documentation, "extremely weak" on answering PUD ordinance questions, an utter lack of evidence on parking, and a lack of support for a "change in zoning" in the Nation's Oldest City's "oldest and most established" neighborhood.  Commissioner Sikes-Kline agreed, saying there was a "lack of detail and specificity."  Mayor Shaver asked, "do we want to go to a second reading based on wishes and promises?"

12. CONROY, admitted that "Money is tight….," later expanding: "we're running tight on money" CORNEAL spent more than $600,000 on 102 Bridge Street, the former M&M Market (former home of Thomas Jefferson's great-granddaughter).  CORNEAL needs some approximately $15,000/month from nine (9) rentals to pay for historic renovations.   Thus, CONROY admitted, CORNEAL is undercapitalized.

13. Stating the bleeding obvious, as the DOW PUD lay in shreds, DAVID BARTON  CORNEAL lawyer ELLEN AVERY-SMITH admitted, "We have not fleshed out the details."

The vote to have an actual public hearing, with sworn testimony, was only 3-2, with Mayor Shaver and Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline voting no. 

At the August 24, 2015 hearing, expect questions of CORNEAL, ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr., fired City Planning MARK ALAN KNIGHT, ex-Vice Mayor DONALD A. CRICHLOW, HARB Vice Chair PAUL M. WEAVER III and ex-HARB member JEREMY MARQUIS questions about lawbreaking, including possible violations of state Ethics and Sunshine laws.  Ask questions. Demand answers.  Remember: democracy is no spectator sport.

3-2 VOTE on 108 Bridge Street Rezoning

DAVID CORNEAL won a Pyrrhic victory July 27 at City Commission, rezoning 108 Bridge Street.  He got approval to build apartments. CORNEAL appealed to "Native St. Augustine" nonresidents; KKK-style hatred of renters in pushing his $500/night hotel for the former DOW MUSEUM OF HISTORIC HOMES.  In winning approval for permantizing rentals right down the street, the steatopygous Pennsylvanian showed the emptiness of his arguments -- that if Commissioners did not support a DOW PUD, he would rent out the buildings to "anyone." Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline and Mayor Nancy Shaver both both voted "no" twice, against rezoning and against a comprehensive plan amendment.

Vanishing Ex-Vice Mayor DONALD A CRICHLOW

At City Commission on July 27, I called out former Vice Mayor and City Commissioner DONALD A CRICHLOW for lobbying City Commissioners within days of leaving office, in apparent violation of F.S. 112.313(14).

CRICHLOW vanished, never speaking in favor of DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's Planned Unit Development for the DOW MUSEUM OF HISTORIC HOMES. Wonder why?


Developer toady DAVID BIRCHIM, City Planning and Building Director, admitted at the City Commission meeting on July 27, 2015: "special events are not allowed in HP-1" under the proposed special event ordinance, or currently.  Thus, DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's DOW PUD plan fails on Equal Protection grounds -- no favoritism for big shot schnooks, please.

Unsworn testimony from false "friends" of DAVID CORNEAL's Proposed HP-1 Hotel; CORNEAL should sue Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences for Fraud

One lugubrious goober actually said CORNEAL would have no deliveries and no laundry trucks. Magic!  Another conceded there would be "limited public access."  That's the problem.
It's a museum.
That's what God intended, Kenneth Worcester Dow endowed, and the State of Florida paid $2.1 million to preserve and protect.
It's our money.
It's our museum.
It was a museum, and it shall be a museum again.  If DAVID BARTON CORNEAL sues the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences for fraud, I will cheer him on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Snooty, snarly, snotty City Commissioner TODD NEVILLE (R-PROCTORVILLE, Flagler College, Flagler Hospital), the "CYA CPA" who opposes procurement audits, said July 27, 2015 (watch tape) that he wanted to speed building demolitions, in response to a housekeeping ordinance that would clarify that no demolitions should take place until after appeal time expires. The ordinance was inspired by my unsuccessful appeal, denied 4-1 on standing grounds, of the illegal demolition of CARPENTER'S HOUSE by demolition derby contestant DAVID BARTON CORNEAL and his henchman, MICHAEL A. CONROY, who ignored City Attorney Isabelle Lopez's e-mail to fired City Planning and Building Director MARK ALAN KNIGHT.

Incredibly, odd TODD NEVILLE wanted a "shorter" period for appeal, say "15 days."

The business accountant appears to be a jejune, radical right-wing Republican Know-Nothing who thinks he's Mr. Know-it-All.

Mayor Nancy Shaver deftly deflected the CYA CPA's Philistinism: sweetly stating: "It's statutory," referring to the 30 days in the ordinance, taken from mandatory state law.

Odd TODD NEVILLE does not know as much about historic preservation or civil rights as a hog: he is the developer's and commercial landlords' hey-boy and CYA CPA.

As Bill Clinton said, "If you're driving down the road and you see a turtle on a fencepost, you know that somebody put him there." We know who put Odd TODD NEVILLE on City Commission. Read his financial reports.  (Lots of "protected" addresses -- who are they?)

During the discussion of my right to legal standing on Carpenter's House demolition, NEVILLE and developer-coddling City Attorney ISABELLE LOPEZ damned and demeaned me as nothing but a "gadfly."

PREDICTION: When shady ex-Mayor JOE BOLES' tedious tendentious toady, odd TODD NEVILLE, runs for Mayor next year, Nancy Shaver will win.  NEVILLE, who brags he talks to rebarbative reprobate Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR "every week." Think about it. (I was talking to Sheriff's candidate Debra Maynard recently, after an early-morning Commission meeting on utility issues. Odd TODD NEVILLE glared at her inside the Post Office and glared at the two of us outside the Post Office. We wear his scorn as a badge of honor.

No Bicycles on Sidewalks Without Further Study, Analysis and Investigation, Please

Photo credit: Old City Life/

As a pedestrian in Washington, D.C. at DuPont Circle, and as a pedestrian in Deerfield Beach, Florida, I had first-hand experience with obscene, cursing bicyclists who thought they owned the sidewalks.  A bicycle messenger in D.C., once nearly crashed into me, crazily speeding, then cursing me for existing.  A couple of funny-tawking New Yorkers speeding on their bicycles in Deerfield Beach likewise sped, then cursed me for existing.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians.  Palm Beach County, Florida has separated bicycles and pedestrians, and for good reason.

Wealthy bicyclists want to careen down both roads and sidewalks, insouciant to safety.  In fact, bicycles are now using both sidewalks (illegally) and the roadway (unwisely) at our Bridge of Lions.

Before the new bridge, signs told bicyclists to walk their bikes across the bridge.  Now, they go anyway they want, slowing vehicle traffic while endangering pedestrian walkers.  Enough.

Anyone who has ever been hit, or nearly hit, by a bicycle on a sidewalk will agree with HEATHER NEVILLE, who stated on Facebook that pedestrians, automobiles and bicycles don't mix well.

Yet Ms. NEVILLE, accompanied by an uncomfortable policeman, Commander Steve Fricke, wants Commissioners to amend ordinances to allow bicycles on sidewalks.
Ms. NEVILLE was rambling and incoherent in response to Commissioner questions about uneven and inconsistent sidewalks and the risk to pedestrians of vehicles of speeding bicyclists going on and off sidewalks as they end.
Ms. NEVILLE exceeded the bounds of logic and civility by talking over Commissioners, evading and avoiding their questions, and proposing a really dumb idea in a presentation that exceeded ten minutes.
Ms. NEVILLE is the founder and Executive Director of Velo Fest. She happens to be the spouse of Commissioner Odd TODD NEVILLE (R-Flagler Hospital and Flagler College), a/k/a the "CYA C.P.A." opposed to procurement audits of 450th contracting waste, fraud and abuse.

By way of emotional blackmail, Ms. NEVILLE said it is technically illegal for a child to ride a tricycle or bicycle on a sidewalk. That is not the issue -- some adult bicyclists are aggressive, run stoplights, and act like Republican lords of all they survey.

The issue of bicycles on sidewalks is worthy of debate -- not an inept presentation by a Commissioner's wife, serving on the board of the Northeast Florida Transportation Planning Organization as a result of a benefaction by the NEVILLE's wily wedding officiant, ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr. Enough guesswork and impulsive behavior in public policy formation, please.

Biketoworkblog offers some insights Ms. NEVILLE avoided and evaded:

3 Reasons to Not Bicycle on the Sidewalk

For most people who bicycle to work, riding on the sidewalk is an occasional necessity; but it should be the exception rather than the rule. In today’s post I give three reasons to not ride on the sidewalk (and two reasons why you should).
A bicycle on the sidewalk
When I was a child, I biked as a child, but when I became a man, I started riding in the street.
Photo by Richo.Fan.
I have a friend who insists on riding on the sidewalk. He is convinced that doing this is just safer; he has been hit by cars twice.

Risks of Riding a Bicycle on the Sidewalk

Risk #1: Getting hit by a car
There was a bumpersticker that was already old even when I was growing up: If you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk. I doubt that it was ever funny, but the more I ride, the more I realize it’s true. Every car drives on the sidewalk from time to time because sidewalks are so often found between the roads (where people drive) and the stores, homes, and offices (where people park).
A button with a not pithy truthI think this close relationship between parking and sidewalks is particularly dangerous. When people are just getting into their cars, they are not fully engaged: they are putting on their seat belts, adjusting their mirrors, inserting their tasty beverage into their cup holder, etc. And they are doing all this just at the time they are most likely to encounter the sidewalk.
To the driver, the sidewalk crossing a driveway is part of the driveway. Cars don’t stop at the edge of the sidewalk because drivers are not expecting traffic there. Cars stop (if at all) at roads because that is where a driver expects to encounter other cars. Remember too that drivers often cross sidewalks in reverse and can’t see very well.
Stay away from sidewalks…there are just to many cars there.
Risk #2: Hitting a pedestrian
One of the reasons I bike to work is because it limits the amount of damage I can do. Sidewalks can be full of people walking, playing, eating, and generally being oblivious to their surroundings. If you hit a pedestrian at high speed you can seriously hurt them, and the chances of accidents are pretty high:
  • Pedestrians are unpredictable: they don’t walk in straight lines, they don’t pay attention, and they travel in herds. If you come up behind a pedestrian and call “on your left,” they will inevitably jump left.
  • Sidewalks are generally narrow: there is not a lot of room to maneuver.
  • You can get sued. If you hit and injure a pedestrian on the sidewalk you can (and probably deserve) to be sued.
Whenever I ride on the sidewalk, I make it a rule not to ride faster than I could travel on foot (running). I don’t know that this makes a lot of sense, but it makes me feel safer around pedestrians.
Risk #3: Getting a ticket
In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. Check with your local bike shop, bike collective, or police department to find out for sure.

Reasons to Bicycle on the Sidewalk

Reason #1: It is occasionally safer
If you need to travel from Point A to Point B and part of that journey is on a narrow street with no shoulder or with a dangerous bike lane (these do exist), you might consider riding on the sidewalk. Keep in mind the three risks above. The same is true for roads where the bike lane is blocked by construction, double parked vehicles, or trash.
Reason #2: It is significantly more convenient or fun
Yeah, fun. I occasionally find myself on a road that leads to a light that experience has taught me does not  change. When this happens, I ride through the pedestrian plaza by the library for convenience and for pleasure–it is a nice spot (sometimes I even slalom through the lampposts). When you are in control of your commute, it should be enjoyable.
Question: Why do you (or don’t you) ride on the sidewalk? Enter you answer in the comments below.

Day 1791 Since Michelle O'Connell Shooting: "Coverups Never Work"

FBI interviewing witnesses. Special Prosecutor Jeffrey Ashton, State's Attorney, is also on the case. Some 1739 days ago, Michelle O'Connell was shot to death. The coverup is unraveling, and has been unravelling for 1739 days.
Do guns recoil forward?
That's what Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, State's Attorney RALPH JOSEPH LARIZZA, Chief Homicide Prosecutor and Ex-Judge ROBERT KEITH MATHIS, and Medical Examiner PREDRAG BULIC would have you believe. The "Gang of Four" needs to be out the door.
Justice for Michelle O'Connell
As Senator Howard Henry Baker, Jr. Said During Watergate, "Coverups Never Work." What do you reckon? Do St. Johns County elected officials coverup for each other?
Justice for Michelle O'Connell.
Ms. O'Connell was shot to death with the service pistol of Deputy JEREMY BANKS in BANKS' home on September 2, 2010, shortly after she told BANKS she was breaking up with him.
On July 22, 2015, BANKS' lawsuit against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis.
This leaves FDLE Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers as the sole defendant.
As my friend James Nelson Ramsey, longtime District Attorney General of Anderson County, Tennessee, explained to me in 1981: "If you sue somebody, you confer rights on them."
Now, Agent Rodgers can take the sworn deposition testimony of Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR and Deputy JEREMY BANKS. Now.
The New York Times, "Two Gunshots on a Summer Night" by Walt Bogdanich & Glenn Silber (November 24, 2013):
PBS/Frontline, "A Death in St. Augustine (November 26, 2013): NBC News Dateline, "Two Shots Fired" (April 18, 2014):
Folio Weekly: Jeff Billman, "Somebody's lying -- An activist accuses the St. Augustine Record of bowing 
to pressure from Jeremy Banks' attorney. The paper accuses her of spreading misinformation" (September 17, 2014),,10912
Dr. Phil, "The Mystery of Michelle O'Connell" (November 3, 2014):
Folio Weekly, "Murder, He Wrote," by Susan Cooper Eastman (November 19, 2014),
Folio Weekly, "The Proxy War," by Derek Kinner (March 4, 2015):

Photo credit: The New York Times

PREDICTION: The truth will be revealed to two grand juries and wrongdoers can and will be prosecuted.
Yes we can!

LIVING WAGE of $15/Hour. Now.

Based on Massachusetts Institute of Technology statistics, the Living Wage for two adults and two children in St. Johns County is $14.64/hour.
We, The People must persuade our representatives to adopt a Living Wage for all city and county employees, city and county government contractor employees and city and county franchisee employees of $15/hour.
Working people struggle to exist. Meanwhile, clear-cutting, history-destroying, Temple Destroyers -- depraved developers and other one-percenters and their captive bureaucrats are vastly overpaid ($225,000/year or $112.50/hour for malfeasant County Medical Examiner PREDRAG BULIC, and nearly as much for City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK, and their dumb 'ole lawyers. Enough.
Those who do the work, play by the rules, raise the kids, and expect better, deserve high-wage jobs.
No more ditch-digger demeaning wages dictated by the dictatorial one-percenters.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Birchim
Sent: Tue, Jul 21, 2015 12:51 pm
Subject: RE: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.

Correct, no permit is necessary to remove a sign anywhere in the city.

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:49 AM
To: David Birchim; Jennifer Wolfe;
Subject: Re: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.

Even in historic area?

-----Original Message-----
From: David Birchim
To: easlavin <>; Jennifer Wolfe <>; ilopez <>
Sent: Tue, Jul 21, 2015 11:23 am
Subject: RE: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.

The wall sign I believe you are referring to was permitted in 2006 and it was done by the Old St. Augustine Village (Museum of Arts and Sciences). No permit is necessary to remove a sign. I hope this answers your questions.
David Birchim

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:38 AM
To: Jennifer Wolfe; David Birchim;
Subject: Re: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.
Would any permit be required? Has anyone examined lately? Thank you!

-----Original Message-----
From: Jennifer Wolfe
To: David Birchim <>; easlavin <>; ilopez <>
Subject: RE: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.
I do not have anything pertaining to the “General Store” sign.

From: David Birchim
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:31 AM
To:; Jennifer Wolfe;
Subject: RE: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.

I do not have any documents responsive to this request.
David Birchim

From: []
Sent: Saturday, July 18, 2015 8:33 PM
To: David Birchim; Jennifer Wolfe;
Subject: Request No. 2015-248: Any permit or approval to remove/deface/materially alter "General Store" sign from Dow Museum of Historic Homes, or related legal memo, notes, e-mails, meeting minutes, etc.

Please send. Thank you.

DOW PUD PUSHER CORNEAL: "I'm not out of money at all"

DAVID BARTON CORNEAL's Gainiesville-based hey-boy, Project Manager and General Contractor MICHAEL A. CONROY said CORNEAL is cutting up two historic homes into nine apartments to make money to finance historic building restoration, stretching the schedule to two years, shocking discredited "Native St. Augustine" human shields/shills, who thought CORNEAL was the wealthy savior of historic buildings.

Commissioners want clearer PUD vision for Dow property
Posted: July 28, 2015 - 11:24pm

While plans to develop the former Dow Museum of Historic Houses are moving forward, commissioners said this week they need more answers before the plan gets to a final hearing.

The Planned Unit Development application for the Cordova Inn, a proposed boutique hotel, would, as submitted, allow developer and owner David Corneal to use the property for apartments, if necessary, and later convert them back for the inn if the PUD application is approved.

Commissioners questioned the need for Corneal to keep existing zoning uses.

Ellen Avery-Smith, an attorney for Corneal, said Monday the move to keep existing zoning to allow for apartments was a “hedging of the bet.” If the PUD is approved, Avery-Smith said Corneal would then need time to convert the property to an inn and wouldn’t want the buildings to be considered nonconforming use.

Some commissioners had several questions and concerns about the application, which they advanced to a second reading that’s scheduled for Aug. 24. Some said the application needs to be fleshed out by second reading for the project to get a serious look.

Mayor Nancy Shaver, who voted against sending the PUD to second reading, said Tuesday she wants details on the request to keep the existing zoning.

Avery-Smith and another of Corneal’s representatives said Monday that part of the apartment plan came about after delays in the project and a need to generate revenue.

Corneal confirmed Tuesday that delays to the project have added to the cost, and he is planning to use the properties for apartments if necessary.

“We can’t sit on our hands and see what’s going to happen,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of money, and we’ve got to generate some income to pay the debt.”

Corneal says the cost is always greater than expected when renovating old buildings.

“I’m not out of money at all,” Corneal said when asked about funding for the project. “It’s just a matter of where am I going to put the money? In a hotel or ... into rentals?”

However, Corneal said a boutique hotel would bring in more revenue to sustain the properties. The property is a collection of historic houses dating back to the 1700s, and Corneal says using the property as an apartment would not allow for the kind of preservation and restoration he would like to do.

“So our fallback position, or plan B, is that we will rent apartments out if we don’t get the PUD,” he said. “It will be a shame.”

However, Corneal said he is not anxious to rent.

“We’re waiting for the PUD and hoping that people realize the merit and what we’re trying to do historically,” he said.

Shaver said Tuesday that she wants more clarity about parking plans and that she still has a number of concerns about the PUD document, adding that the narrative seems rather vague.

Corneal said Tuesday that parking is not an issue and he has secured a lease for a parking site.

Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, who also voted against advancing the PUD, said she wants more information on the plan for the apartments and a better plan for access to the site as well as details on how the plan fits in with the goals of the historic preservation district.

“I view PUDs as contractual zoning,” Sikes-Kline said. “So like anything, when you’re spelling out a contract with someone it’s an instrument of trust,” adding that it’s important to get as much detail as possible in a contract.

Commissioner Todd Neville did not share the concerns of Shaver and Sikes-Kline about keeping existing uses in the PUD.

He voted to move the PUD forward so people can be heard and have their comments taken into consideration. There is no public hearing on first reading, but more than 20 people spoke related to the item at Monday’s meeting, even though their comments could not be officially considered.

Neville said Tuesday he understood Corneal’s decision to consider alternatives and why he’s asking to keep the rights to use the buildings as apartments.

“That’s a normal business move,” Neville said.

Federal St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission: AWOL or Missing in Action?

Anyone seen these folks (other than at illegal secret meetings at the FLORIDA CRACKER CAFE?)

Backsides Turned to "We, the People" in St. Johns County and St. Augustine, Florida

Attend a meeting of the St. Johns County Commission, St. Augustine City Commission for the first time? Notice something passing strange?

Our overpaid staff members' backs are to the audience.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the Parliamentarian and other staffers face the audience. Ditto the U.S. Senate. Ditto the St. Augustine Beach City Commission, which has the staff located to the right side.

And that's the way it was at the St. Johns County Commission, until its new building was constructed, with Commissioners high on a dimly-lit dais, and staffers backs to the table.

Nothing could be ruder. Of course, the City of St. Augustine's City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney have their backsides to the public, while the Deputy Clerk can be both seen and heard, to the side.

After ten years of enduring corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery, no-bid contracts and bigotry from local governments, it's time for them to stop. Point this out when you speak to local governments.

When the St. Augustine Beach City Charter Review Committee consultant, Mariyn Crotty, arranged tables to have committee members' backsides to the audience, I objected. It was changed at the next meeting.

We the People should be able look into the eyes of overpaid St. Johns County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK, St. Augustine City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., and their overpaid hireling attorneys PATRICK McCORMACK and ISABELLE LOPEZ. They should not be able to use unseen signals to public officials to stage-manage events, or show their disrespect by having their backsides to the world. Enough.

Symbols are important. Craven or crooked local government managers are in bed with developers -- as symbolized by what Thomas F. Reynolds, Jr. and Dr. Roy F. Hinman, II, M.D. have rightly called "the Developer Debt Relief Program" -- more $24 million in forgiveness of developer obligations. While in bed with dodgy developers, they literally have their backsides to We, the People. Enough.

Government legislative body staff should face the public, not show their butts:

U.S. House of Representatives

Town of Hastings Town Council (Ed Slavin file photo)

Stop the Dow PUD

The story in this morning's Record about the 3-2 City Omission vote to send the Dow PUD to a second reading and public hearing is in the link below.  Moving to a second reading was an expected outcome,but it was heartening that the our commissioners were willing to take the time to hear from the public even though this was not a public hearing on the PUD.  It was also very good to see that most of the commissioners and were familiar with the PUD's details and concerned about its impact on the neighborhoods around it.  The issue is far from decided and much work remains to be done.  Second reading is expected to be on August 24th.

Although accurate overall, there is one error in the article, the public comments were not "about evenly divided." Fifteen speakers were against the PUD and 11 in favor. (58% against- 42% in favor). In an election, a 16 point margin of victory would be considered a "landslide." Many thanks to those who came out last night and shared their concerns. It was good to see our supporters continue to maintain a high standard for a civil debate and decorous conduct in the hearing room. 

Click here for the article: Dow PUD Moves to Second Reading

On behalf of Protect HP-1,
Lee Geanuleas
287 St George ST



St. Augustine City Commission votes 3-2 to advance Cordova Inn PUD to second reading
Posted: July 27, 2015 - 11:09pm
The Cordova Inn project is on the former Dow Museum of Historic Houses of St. Augustine property on Cordova Street.

St. Augustine commissioners voted 3-2 to advance a PUD for the former Dow Museum of Historic Houses on Cordova Street after close to an hour of presentations and questions that went late into Monday night.

Commissioners voiced concern about changes in the PUD as well as what they saw a loose ends in the application, especially with parking requirements and a request to keep uses in existing zoning.

“I want it more buttoned-up,” said Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, who voted against moving the PUD forward.

Mayor Nancy Shaver also voted against it. Commissioners Todd Neville and Leanna Freeman and Vice-Mayor Roxanne Horvath voted in favor.

Officials said more details can be worked out at second reading. The focus of first reading was making sure the application is sufficiently complete.

Major concerns centered around additions made to the application, such as keeping existing uses in the property’s historic preservation zoning district, which commissioners questioned.

David Corneal, who purchased the property, has already started renovating two buildings for use as an apartment, though he plans to use the property as an inn, said Ellen Avery-Smith, an attorney for the applicant.

He has done that to bring in revenue as he awaits a final decision on the PUD and in case it does not pass, she said.

However, if the PUD was approved the apartments would be converted back to use for the inn.

That change was made in July.

Corneal, who is also renovating property on Bridge Street, plans to build an inn at the property, but some neighbors have been opposed. Resistance to the plan includes zoning protection concerns, while others have voiced support for the plans.

The item was on first reading on Monday so a public hearing was not required. Still, more than 20 people spoke during general public comment at Monday’s meeting, even though their comments technically cannot be considered by commissioners in their decision-making.

The comments were split about evenly between those in support of the of the development and those who spoke against the development or spoke in general against the idea of commercial growth and rezoning in historic residential areas.

“Save our heritage ... and what remains of residential St. Augustine,” said Lee Geanuleas, of St. Augustine.

He said his comments were directed at protecting zoning in general, though he is against what has become known as the Dow PUD.

Frank DuPont, of St. Augustine, said he has lived in the city for more than 70 years. He was in support of the PUD.

“This will be part of the charm,” he said of the development.

Nancy Noloboff, encouraged commissioners to protect livability.

“I’m against changing the zoning,” Noloboff said during a break in the meeting. “We have zoning in place. We need to follow it.”

The PUD is expected to come back for second reading in August.

In May, the Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of the PUD with exceptions that included limiting special events at the property and requiring the property to be open on a weekly basis for public tours.

The Museum of Arts & Sciences of Daytona Beach owned the property for many years, which is a collection of historic houses that date back to the 1700s.

In 2013, the Children’s Museum of St. Johns backed out of plans to buy the property.

In other business

■ Commissioners passed an ordinance on first reading on Monday night that would require an order to approve a certificate of demolition to become effective 31 days after the order is issued. The ordinance also allows the city manager and the City Commission to waive the waiting period process under certain conditions

■ Commissioners delayed an ordinance regulating special events venues, saying they wanted defined requirements for grandfathering in existing businesses.

Commissioners said they wanted more items wrapped up.

Commissioner Leanna Freeman, who said she would not vote for the ordinance without having more information.

The ordinance creates a definition for special events venue and regulates what categories the venues can be located.

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sponger2 07/28/15 - 04:55 am 81Are they written on toilet paper?
Why have zoning laws in the first place if they can be arbitrarily discarded? They are there for a reason. If I bought in the historic district, I would expect (and this is part of what I paid for) the character, density, parking, and turnover to remain the same. If they are to go ahead with this, the neighbors should be property tax exempt for life, and the life of their descendants, if they choose to live on the property. I can guarantee you this, money is changing hands somewhere regarding this BS.

SkateG 07/28/15 - 09:12 am 30Pulling the Rug Out
Not to be overlooked, Corneal really pulled the rug out from under his few supporters. This from the article: "David Corneal, who purchased the property, has already started renovating two buildings for use as an apartment, though he plans to use the property as an inn, said Ellen Avery-Smith, an attorney for the applicant. He has done that to bring in revenue as he awaits a final decision on the PUD and in case it does not pass, she said."

What?!! He's creating apartments at the Dow when all along his side has decried making apartments there and harped on the evil of renters?!! "Run! Hide the chickens and the kids, evil renters are coming to downtown St Augustine!" Talk about a slap in the face. If I stood up and said it can't be apartments because of some (mostly inane) reason and then had my Dear Leader's minions announce that they're making nine apartments, I'd feel gut-punched. Guess renters aren't so evil when they pay the bills. Ouch!

Also it would appear the owner is under-capitalized if he's so desperate for cash so soon in the application process that he has to take steps that completely undermine his argument for the PUD. Remember, he twice asked for delays in his application being heard by various boards. Applying in April and having a final decision in August is not at all unusual.

Dark days in PUD Land.

Monday, July 27, 2015

"RAMPANT" DOW PUD Supporters Appeal to Anti-Renter, Anti-Family, Anti-Children Prejudices in Violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604?

Unless you are in an over-55 community, rental units cannot discriminate against members of protected classes.  Period.  That includes discrimination against families with children.

Speculator DAVID BARTON CORNEAL threatened "a fallback position," to "rent to anyone I want." His supporters have sent E-mails that children would run "rampant" in rentals.

The only thing running "rampant" is DAVID BARTON CORNEAL and his Gang of Four -- four bought-and-paid for City officials:
1. Ex-Vice Mayor DONALD A. CRICHLOW, illegally lobbying city officials less than two years after leaving office. F.S. 112.313(14)
2. Fired Planning and Building Director MARK ALAN KNIGHT, practicing law without a license.
3. HARB Vice Chair PAUL M. WEAVER, III, testifying before PZB and bragging of lobbying nuns, and

That's what I call "rampant," redolent of the stench of corruption and lawbreaking.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

FDLE Dismissed As Defendant in JEREMY BANKS' Civil Rights Lawsuit; Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers Must File Answer

On July 22, 2015, United States District Judge Brian J. Davis dismissed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a defendant in JEREMY BAKNS' civil rights lawsuit concerning the investigation of the September 2, 2010 shooting death of Michelle O'Connell in BANKS' home. Judge Davis denied FDLE Agent Rusty Ray Rodgers' motion to dismiss.

The case against Agent Rodgers will now proceed to an answer and discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

FDLE was dismissed based upon Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity.

"Viewed in the light most favorable" to BANKS, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (12)(b)(6), Judge Davis ordered that Agent Rodgers remains as a defendant. Judge Davis so ruled based upon BANKS' Amended Complaint stating an "at least plausible" complaint upon which relief can be granted that Agent Rodgers "lied" concerning Agent Rodgers' alleged "misrepresentations and omissions."

Judge Davis noted with frustration, in text and in a footnote, that both parties don't want to disclose facts alleged in search warrant affidavits and that without them, the Court could not determinate their "relevancy to probable cause or its absence."

Privatization Threatens Authenticity, Livability in St. Augustine, Florida

Privatizing public resources is a growing threat to livability.

St. Augustine Foundation walled off our Spanish Garden in 2001. You can enjoy our statue of Queen Isabella only one day annually.

Burghers hounded street artists, attacking our First Amendment, for decades. Our City embarrassed us in the eyes of the world, repeatedly losing First Amendment lawsuits. Meanwhile, our once-lively downtown is now "a t-shirt shop," says PZB member Cathy Brown. Another lawsuit is pending because City Hall still deprecates tourism worker rights.

In 2010, City Commissioners outsourced the 450th celebration to "First America Foundation," handing over $275,000 to a new group, intending to avoid Sunshine and Open Records laws. We stopped them, thanks to pro bono legal representation by Holland & Knight of eighteen of us (we also stopped an illegal five-commissioner Spain trip to "conduct business").

In 2012, our Colonial Quarter was "outsourced" to Pirate Museum proprietor Pat Croce. Result: fewer re-enactors, more alcohol, more merchandising.

In 2014, County Commissioners sold our St. Augustine Lighthouse to a "non-profit": neighbors are now forbidden to walk on former parklands!

In 2014, our City renewed a no-bid, below-market lease with Len Weeks and Joe Boles for 81 St. George Street (Florida Cracker Cafe).

In 2015, Commissioners voted 4-1 (Mayor Shaver dissenting) for no-bid, below-market 20-year lease of our former Salt Run Community Center and Lighthouse Restaurant to St. Augustine Yacht Club.

Developers demanded City land south of Riberia Street (historically Punta de Buena Esperanza, or Cape of Good Hope), called it "Riberia Pointe" and wanted it for a coral-growing tanks, aquarium and children's museum. Lincolnville residents Nancy Shaver, Cash McVay, Blake Souder and Judith Seraphin stopped them -- it's now parkland, and Nancy Shaver is now Mayor.

In October 2014, Commissioners approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the massive Shipyard development along our San Sebastian River, without sufficient protection for public rights to walk along the boardwalk.

Kenneth Worcester Dow gave nine historic homes to the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences (DMOAS) to be protected forever. Our State of Florida paid some $2 million for restoration and exhibits. DMOAS sold it to DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, who wants to inflict a $500/night hotel o n our HP-1 historic district. He's already demolished Carpenter's House. Commissioners, please vote "no" on DOW PUD.

There's hope for preserving livability, authenticity, history and nature in our Ancient City.

On January 15th, Commissioners rejected a building permit for a 7-Eleven in our historic area on eleven legal grounds. Unanimous. 7-Eleven appealed and quickly settled, with our City Commissioners spending $1.4 million to buy the property at the congested corner of May & San Marco. Unanimously.

On January 26th, Commissioners rejected two 70-foot tall buildings on U.S. 1. Unanimously.

Commissioners are now making decisions without fear or favor, based upon the facts and law of record. It's about time.

Enough privatization, conflicts of interest, no-bid contracts and historic building demolition derbies. This is our time. This is our town. Help preserve and protect St. Augustine's history and nature forever from developer flummery and dupery. Support reforms and City Charter amendments. "It takes a village" to save "our village," as veteran environmental lawyer/manager Henry Dean said, referring to our smaller neighbor of St. Augustine Beach (where under his guidance, voters opted to put a Charter ban on buildings taller than 35 feet).

Let's preserve what we love forever. For our 450th legacy, let's join our late Mayor Walter Fraser and Senator Claude Pepper, et al. who in 1939 first proposed a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. It's up to us.

Ed Slavin (B.S., Foreign Service, Georgetown University, J.D., Memphis State University, now University of Memphis) has lived in St. Augustine since 1999 and helped win more than 30 public interest community victories here since 2005.

Overheard Omen re: St. Augustine Record's Future

On July 25, 2015, a man working for The St. Augustine Record at a table offering St. Augustine Record subscriptions (and a raffle) told a prospective subscriber asking about the Florida Times-Union: "Oh, they're the same, but the Record is cheaper."

DOW PUD Does Not Meet Legal Requirements -- City Commission Must Reject on First Reading -- No Favoritism For DAVID BARTON CORNEAL and His Gang of Four (DONALD CRICHLOW, PAUL WEAVER, JEREMY MARQUIS AND MARK KNIGHT)

CITY COMMISSION must reject Dow Planned Unit Development on first reading 7/27: it does not meet legal requirements. It would destroy our most historic residential neighborhood (Old City South) and HP-1 zoning. It would increase congestion. Anything less than a rejection on first reading would be a dereliction of duty and Commissioners' oath of office and potentially invite an FBI investigation.

DAVID BARTON CORNEAL (center) speaks with non-lawyer mouthpiece MARK ALAN KNIGHT (left), fired City Planning and Building Director, and ELLEN AVERY-SMITH (right), partner in Rogers Towers law firm.  (SAR)

PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS -- St. Augustine City Code of Ordinances
Sec. 28-286. - Intent.
The intent of a planned unit development (PUD) is to permit flexibility from the strict application of traditional zoning district regulations by identifying each waiver, variance or exception to such regulation and providing an alternative development condition for that specific PUD. A PUD is a zoning category that can be beneficially utilized in order to create site-specific regulations to address specific development or topographic conditions, historic or architectural features, existing structures, neighborhood patterns or transitioning uses of land. PUDs may be created as in-fill development or redevelopment, or may be developed as traditional residential subdivisions of vacant land. The regulations found in this section may be generally applicable to all PUDs, while others, such as section 28-291, are intended for traditional residential or mixed use subdivisions of vacant land. Amendments to existing PUDs shall comply with the same requirements as found herein for PUD rezoning.

(Code 1964, § 33-70; Ord. No. 05-37, § 1, 12-12-05; Ord. No. 2013-08, § 1, 5-13-13)

Sec. 28-287. - Defined.
A planned unit development (PUD) shall mean the zoning district for the development of a particular parcel of land under unified control which is planned and developed as a whole in a single or programmed series of operations and conditions, with uses and structures substantially related to the character of the entire development. A PUD, established pursuant to ordinance of the city commission, must also include an attached final development plan with specified development conditions and a program for the provision, maintenance and operation of all areas, improvements, facilities and necessary services for the common use of all occupants thereof. As a zoning district, the terms and conditions of a PUD shall be enforceable in the same manner as enforcement of all other city code provisions. All city rules, codes and regulations shall remain in full force and effect, and shall apply to the PUD unless a specific exemption, waiver or alternative condition is included in the approved PUD text and site development plan.

Sec. 28-288. - Permissible uses.
Any use which is permitted by the comprehensive plan may be included and approved in a PUD. Those uses allowed may be allowed in a PUD, but must be specifically identified in the PUD development narrative text. Such uses approved in conjunction with a PUD must provide a justification for the requested use and include defined development criteria in the PUD to mitigate any potential negative impacts of the uses.

(Code 1964, § 33-72; Ord. No. 05-37, § 1, 12-12-05)

Sec. 28-289. - Procedures, application requirements and narrative PUD text.
Application for rezoning to PUD. Each application shall identify and address applicable criteria to its specific plan of development. An application for rezoning to PUD shall proceed in general as for other applications for rezoning; and, in addition to the information usually required for such applications, the following shall be required:
Plats and/or metes and bounds description of the area within the PUD.
The name and address of the owner and, if applicable, evidence of the assignment of an agent who represents the owner.
Evidence of unified control of the entire area within the PUD with all owners within the area of same identified.
An agreement by all owners within the PUD which includes their commitment to:
Proceed with the proposed development in accordance with the PUD ordinance and such conditions and safeguards as may be set by the city commission in such ordinance; and
Provide a written narrative PUD text that clearly identifies by corresponding numbered and lettered paragraphs responses to the following criteria:
Consistency with every relevant goal, policy and objective of the Comprehensive Plan, including but not limited to density and intensity limitations of the Future Land Use Map category for the property; and
For properties currently in the HP-1, HP-2, HP-3, HP-4 and HP-5 districts requesting rezoning to PUD, identification of the specific proposed benefits or enhancements to the property that promote the goals of these historic districts; and
The need and justification for a rezoning to PUD or PUD amendment, including identification of each proposed development condition that would otherwise not be allowed under the existing zoning, including, but not limited to, maximum lot coverage, signage, setbacks, allowable zoning uses and uses by exception; and
Compliance with the intent and criteria in section 28-286; and
Compliance with section 28-288 and justification for any zoning uses; and
The phasing of the PUD or PUD amendment, including all sub-phases; each phase addressing the types of approval required or obtained (i.e.: entry corridor, HARB, building plan, landscaping, etc.) and the proposed commencement and completion of such development according to the plans approved by such ordinance or other related permit; and
Identification of the legally responsible entity or entities for continuing operations and maintenance to such areas, functions and facilities as are not to be provided, operated or maintained by the city pursuant to written agreement; and
A termination date after which all or part of a PUD that has been abandoned by failure to timely commence and complete development of all or part of the phases of the PUD as identified pursuant to subsection (6) shall act as a reversion of the zoning to its pre-PUD zoning district for the areas not in compliance with the phasing schedule; and
If a reversion to pre-PUD zoning district pursuant to subsection (8) would otherwise be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan in effect at the time of the reversion, said reversion shall not become effective unless a Comprehensive Plan amendment is duly adopted; and
A signed statement voluntarily acknowledging and binding the applicant(s), property owner(s), and each of their successors in title, to every commitment made in their application and at hearing relating to the rights, terms, conditions and limitations of the PUD text narrative and final site development plan, including but not limited to the phasing, termination and reversion clauses.

Materials to accompany applications. An application for rezoning to PUD shall be accompanied by the following, in sufficient copies as deemed necessary by the planning and zoning board for referrals and recommendations:
Plans, maps, studies and reports, as may reasonably be required by the city commission and the planning and zoning board in order to make the findings and determinations called for in the particular case. For proposed PUDs currently zoned HP-1, HP-2, HP-3, HP-4 and HP-5, a streetscape demonstrating the size and scale of the project in context with the adjacent properties and existing historic district development patterns. The streetscape shall include at a minimum the subject block and facing block to illustrate how the proposed project meets the scale of the surrounding context. This streetscape requirement is not mandatory for projects that create no visual impact to the exterior of an existing structure. Structural changes in roof lines, exterior facades and elevations and any exterior additions or reconfigurations may require a streetscape, as deemed necessary by staff or the historic architectural review board concurrent with project details.
A written PUD text narrative compliant with all parts of sections 28-286 through 28-291, as applicable. Such PUD text narrative shall also include as an exhibit a final site development plan at an appropriate scale and consistent with the terms of the PUD text narrative, an introductory statement explaining the intended plan of development, clearly indicating where approval of the rezoning to PUD or PUD amendment will benefit the future occupants of the proposed development, will be compatible with the adjacent neighborhood, and will forward the goals, policies and objectives of the city in general. Such justification shall be based on the intent of the PUD, consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, and compliance with all requirements of rezoning to PUD or PUD amendment as found herein.
A final site development plan at an appropriate scale supporting the above statement illustrating:
The location, grouping and height of all uses and facilities.

  • b.
    In the case of residential development, the number of residential units, their location and number of stories.
    A multi-modal circulation system including any vehicular, public transit, pedestrian and bicycle access points, driveways, walkways or crosswalks, parking areas, transit shelters or bus stop loading areas, bicycle racks, and rights-of-way, streets or sidewalks to be dedicated.
    A system of open space and recreational uses, with the acreage to be dedicated and that to be retained in common ownership.
    A topographic map at an appropriate scale showing contour lines, including all existing buildings and wooded areas.
    Statements indicating how the problems of maintenance and ownership of common facilities will be resolved.
    A schedule of development, including the staging and phasing of:
    Areas to be developed, in order of priority; and
    The construction of streets, utilities and other improvements necessary to serve the proposed development; and
    The dedication of land to public use, if any.
    Each of the above elements shall be listed as to their relative order of improvement with an estimated time schedule for their accomplishment. It is, among other things, the intent of this requirement that the schedule of development be such that a staged implementation of the PUD would not result in land use conditions which would establish a precedent for the use of adjoining undeveloped property for purposes other than that shown on the approved PUD.
    Developer neighborhood notice. At the time of filing a PUD or PUD amendment application, the applicant must submit to the city's planning department a copy of the developer neighborhood notice mailed to the Neighborhood Council of St. Augustine, Inc., or its successor, by regular U.S. mail at the current mailing address provided to the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, as made available on that agency's website. The developer neighborhood notice shall include the following information:
    The project name, property owner(s) and applicant(s); and
    The existing zoning and requested rezoning, the physical address or location of the project, and a brief description of the application request; and
    The developer's project coordinator contact information, including name, mailing address, telephone number and email address; and
    The following statement in prominent font:
    "Please contact the developer's project coordinator directly if a courtesy neighborhood informational meeting is requested of the developer. The courtesy neighborhood informational meeting will be presented by the developer, not by City staff. It is not an official City meeting or hearing on the project application. The developer neighborhood notice is not intended to be a legal notice, nor should it be relied upon to provide affected party status or standing. The developer neighborhood notice is an additional, courtesy informational tool provided to the public to facilitate early, voluntary and direct communication between the City's neighborhoods and PUD development applicants. This document was prepared by the developer and the City does not warrant its accuracy. The official complete application public record will be available for review after filing at the City of St. Augustine Planning and Building Department, 75 King Street, St. Augustine, Florida, during regular office hours." 
    In addition to the developer neighborhood notice, the city planning and zoning department may provide additional courtesy information regarding pending applications to individuals and organizations that request it or as part of the city's public information outreach initiative. Such additional courtesy information may be provided in person, by U.S. regular mail, electronic mail or posting on the city's website, as reasonably practicable. This additional courtesy information is not intended to be a legal notice, nor should it be relied upon to provide affected party status or standing.
    Action by the planning and zoning board and the city commission. Following the public hearing as required for all applications for rezoning, the planning and zoning board may recommend and the city commission may enact an ordinance establishing a PUD, including any special conditions related thereto, based upon findings that:
    No adverse effect finding. The proposed PUD does not adversely affect the orderly development of the city, the health and safety of residents in the area, the natural environment, the use and development of adjacent properties or the general neighborhood.
    Consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and PUD regulations finding. The proposed PUD is consistent with the comprehensive plan and meets the intent and criteria of sections 28-286 through 28-291, as applicable.
    Need and justification finding. In order to permit the use of more flexible land use regulations and the most advantageous techniques of land development, the PUD must affirmatively comply with each applicable PUD regulation found in this section and clearly identify the need and justification for rezoning to PUD. The objective of a PUD is to encourage ingenuity, imagination and design efforts on the part of builders, architects, site planners and developers to produce residential, commercial, industrial or institutional developments, or combinations thereof, that effectively integrate existing historic and neighborhood patterns, or effectively transition between adjacent development uses.
    Site-specific conditions and mitigation finding. The site-specific development conditions for the proposed PUD:
    Permit a creative approach to the development of land; and
    Accomplish a more desirable environment than would be possible through the strict application of the existing zoning district requirements; and
    Provide for an efficient use of land; and
    Improves the appearance of the area through the preservation and enhancement of historic and natural features, recreation areas and open space, and effectively transition from existing development patterns to the PUD; and
    Provide an environment of stable character compatible with surrounding areas; and
    Retain property values over the years.
    A PUD or PUD amendment shall first be reviewed by the planning and zoning board, followed by review by the historic and architectural review board if such review is required. The city commission may remand a PUD application for further review by its planning and zoning board or historic architectural review board, such review shall be limited to the scope of review as expressed by the city commission. The city commission may expressly limit the additional review to only one such agency, after which the PUD application shall be promptly scheduled for further action by the city commission. Nothing in these regulations is intended to remove the historic and architectural review board's reviewing authority after a property has been rezoned to PUD.
    Deviations from ordinance creating PUD. In order to facilitate minor adjustments to the plans approved as part of the ordinance creating a PUD, the city commission may approve changes in such plans, without the adoption of an ordinance to modify the PUD ordinance, if as a result of such changes:
    There are the same or fewer number of dwelling units and/or floor area; and
    The open space is in the same general location and in the same general amount, or a greater amount; and
    The buildings have the same or less number of stories and/or floor area; and
    The roads and drives follow approximately the same course and have the same public or private rights therein.
    Expiration of time limits provided in ordinance creating a PUD. If development actions required by the ordinance creating a PUD are not taken within eighteen (18) months from the date of approval by the city commission, such ordinance shall become invalid and no further action shall be permitted under same.
    (Code 1964, § 33-73; Ord. No. 05-37, § 1, 12-12-05; Ord. No. 2013-08, § 1, 5-13-13)
  • Sec. 28-290. - Implementation of a PUD.
    Development plan. The final development plan shall be attached to the PUD ordinance as an exhibit and shall be the only development plan associated with the PUD unless and until an amendment to the PUD is pursued via amendment to the PUD ordinance or via minor amendment procedures.
    Record plats. If the PUD ordinance requires the recording of record plats, such plats shall be submitted to the city commission for final approval.
    Approval of development plans. The planning and building department shall review all development plans; and, if found in compliance with this Code, and the PUD ordinance shall approve same.
    Permits required. All construction in the development of a PUD shall proceed only under applicable permits issued by the planning and building department; and no building permit, certificate or other document authorizing construction or occupancy within a PUD shall be issued, except in accordance with the approved PUD ordinance and all regulatory provisions in existence at the time of the permit except as otherwise exempted or waived in the PUD text.
    (Code 1964, § 33-74; Ord. No. 05-37, § 1, 12-12-05; Ord. No. 2013-08, § 1, 5-13-13)
  • Sec. 28-291. - Standards and criteria for stand-alone residential and mixed use PUD subdivisions.
    The following performance standards are intended for standalone residential and mixed use PUD subdivisions. These projects typically include exclusively residential uses or mixed use projects developed on vacant parcels with defined boundaries and a self-contained subdivision identity separated from adjacent properties through a visible perimeter break. 
    Density of developments. The total ground occupied by buildings and structures for residential use shall not exceed thirty-five (35) percent of the total ground area of that portion of the PUD devoted to residential use. The density and intensity of development within a PUD shall be consistent with the density and intensity allowed within the City of St. Augustine Comprehensive Plan.
    Open space. The PUD may include residential lots of smaller size than would be permitted by the zoning regulations otherwise applicable to the site, provided the overall density is not increased. The excess land shall be utilized as open space. The open space shall be utilized as a park, for either passive or active recreation or as a conservation area. The open space shall either be dedicated to the City of St. Augustine or be maintained by a community association composed of residents of the PUD. Land recorded as open shall not be encroached upon by any residential, commercial or industrial, primary or accessory use.
    Waiver of yard, dwelling unit, frontage criteria and use restriction. Minimum yard, lot size, type of dwelling unit, height and frontage requirements and use restrictions are waived for the PUD, provided the spirit and intent of this chapter is complied with in the total development of the PUD. However, the City Commission of St. Augustine may, at its discretion, require adherence to minimum zone requirements within certain portions of the site if deemed necessary in order to maintain the spirit and intent of this chapter.
    Support legal documents for open space. Legal documents which assure adequate management and maintenance of the open space area must be provided by the developer for all areas proposed for common ownership by the residents of the PUD. Legal instruments provided for dedications, covenants, community associations and subdivision controls shall:
    Place title of common property in a form of common ownership by the residents of the PUD; e.g., a duly constituted and legally responsible community association, cooperative, etc.
    Appropriately limit the use of common property.
    Place responsibility for management and maintenance of common property. The St. Augustine City Commission, at its discretion, may require the applicant to enter into a contract with St. Augustine for maintenance of commonly held properties.
    Place responsibility for enforcement of covenants.
    Permit the subjection of each lot to assessment for its proportionate share of maintenance costs.
    Access. Access to each single family dwelling unit shall be provided via either a public right-of-way or a private vehicular or pedestrian way owned by the individual lot owner in fee or in common ownership with the residents of the PUD.
    Privacy. Each dwelling unit within the PUD shall be provided visual and acoustical privacy. Fences, walks and landscaping shall be provided for the protection and aesthetic enhancement of property and the privacy of its occupants, screening of objectionable views or uses and reduction of noise.
    Community facilities:
    All utility facilities proposed for dedication to St. Augustine must be acceptable by the city as to the size, shape and location, and shown by the applicant to be of benefit to the general public.
    All requirements for off-street parking and loading (article IV, division 2) shall apply to the PUD unless otherwise waived or modified.
    Access and circulation shall adequately provide for firefighting equipment, furniture moving vans, fuel trucks, refuse collection, deliveries and debris removal.
    All PUD's shall provide for underground installation of utilities, including telephone, power and cable television in both public and private rights-of-way. Provisions shall be made for acceptable design and construction of storm sewer facilities, including grading, gutters, piping and treatment of turf to handle stormwaters and prevent erosion and formation of dust.
    Specifications for street design, publicly used driving and access aisles, sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, including those providing interconnectivity between phases of the PUD or between the PUD and adjacent properties, shall conform to the rules and regulations adopted by the City of St. Augustine.
    (Code 1964, § 33-75; Ord. No. 05-37, § 1, 12-12-05; Ord. No. 2013-08, § 1, 5-13-13)