It's another beautiful day in a beautiful place. There is good cause for celebration today.
Our City of St. Augustine is recovering from years of mismanagement and corruption.
Our City just won two (2) Department of Transportation grants – totaling $903,000 -- to reunite our Bayfront and Castillo with the rest of our historic downtown. Winning grants is a wonderful way to celebrate the fine work of our new City Manager, John Regan, who is committed to making St. Augustine a better place for ALL.
Right wing dupery, kookery and nincompoopery have been rejected. Where once the former City Manager refused to apply for grants (or his nephew missed deadines for them), today, our City is partnering with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Transportation.
As Mayor Joseph Boles said in a press release, ““I am overjoyed …It is exciting that the federal government is partnering with us to tell the nation’s oldest story. Our goal is to provide a visitor experience that is safe, accommodating and will lead to a fulfilling experience for everyone.”
There are those in our community – including Republican State Committeeman RANDY COVINGTON – who disdain federal grants – COVINGON has told state and county legislators that local governments should not apply for grants. That’s typical of the nuttiness emitted by the Tea Party.
Partnering with the National Park Service and Department of Transportation will help bring about the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. www.staugustgreen.com
Like federal grants, the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore makes “angry” the tiny group of misbehaving St. Augustine Tea Party and radical Republican apparatchiks, the successors to the ideological perversions of the Ku Klux Klan.
Former St. Johns County Committee Chairman Ben Rich told Folio Weekly that St. Johns Count is “one of the last bastions of the KKK,” but I seriously doubt the KKK will ever again win another election here. There are more of us than there are of them.
But sadly, on November 1, 2011 – a date that will live in infamy – our County Commissioners showed a negative “profile in courage” by rejecting the park idea, based upon inane ranting from Tea Party member COVINGTON, et al,. who compared environmental activists Robin Nadeau (recently deceased), Judith Seraphin, Faye Armitage and me to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, claiming that a National Park and Seashore is Communist and Fascist.
Our governments locally and nationally are too sensible to listen for too long to bigots, bullies and cognitive misers, poor misguided souls who know not that they know not that they know not.
Environmental Racism is going out of style in St. Augustine and St. Johns County.
Civil Rights violations are no longer being tolerated here. Of course, our St. Augustine Police headquarters is still named for Virgil Stuart, KKK-empowering Police Chief who helped the KKK harass protesters here, and called Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an “outside agitator.” (That’s the same kind of cheesy rhetoric that our local Tea Party and Republican Party use today). But Civil Rights, Equality and Diversity are on the ascendancy.
The tawdry, transparent, tedious, tendentious Tea Party and Republican plot to slash minority voting strength fizzled. We beat them 9-1 by vote of the St. Johns County Commission and School Board last month.
Riberia Street is being fixed – ALL of it.
West Augustine is getting water and sewer utilities – at last.
We now have two Civil Rights monuments.We’re getting a National Civil Rights Museum.
We’re working to stop a Hollywood production company from looting our archaeology with an inane TV series on “diggers.”
We’re working to stop the arrests of musicians and artists on St. George Street and our Plaza, and to end the reign of ruin when a couple beastly commercial landlords bossed and bullied First Amendment rights and City Hall in the name of their own bigotry.
Through the grace of God, and with the support of all of the good people here, we’re going to get a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. www.staugustgreen.com
We shall overcome.