Wednesday, December 31, 2014

St. Augustine Welcomes Gay Weddings

Some Florida court clerks are threatening to abolish courthouse weddings when Gay marriages commence January 6, 2014.

Gays and Lesbians are welcome in St. Augustine, where we won a federal court order for Rainbow flags in 2005, where we won "sexual orientation" as a protected class in CIty of St. Augustine Fair Housing ordinance in 2010 and in City of St. Augustine Fair Housing and employment nondiscrimination ordinances in 2011, and won equal pension rights for survivors of City of St. Augustine Gay employees in 2012. Our St. Johns County Clerk of Courts, the Honorable Cheryl Strickland, and her lawyer, Geoff Dobson, are prepared for weddings commencing January 6, 2014.

I was proud to write the first article for an American Bar Association publication on Gay marriage in 1991 and proud to bring and settle the Duane David Rinde v. Woodward & Lothrop Gay rights domestic partnership equal discount benefits case in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County Maryland in 1989-90.

Errant court clerks who are not "comfortable" with Gay marriage need to retire.

They were elected to perform secular duties.

Got to love these court clerks in Duval, Clay, Baker, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties. Bigotry helps encourage G/L spouses to marry here in St. Augustine, where God intended. Diversity is good for business. Bigotry is bad for everyone. G/L people will not wish to live, work or marry in bigoted places. St. Augustine welcomes diversity.

As one perceptive Florida Times-Union reader commented: "Those who want to marry simply drive a few miles down the road to St Johns [C]ounty and get married. St Augustine is a great venue for that."

Happy New Year, 2015: 450th year of St. Augustine arrives at midnight

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Today's Record has the tiniest of stories and tiniest, tinniest of look-back stores on the election of Mayor Nancy Shaver.
One column headline. Tiny little picture. How gauche and louche. How boring and predictable.
The Record's owners and controllers are spiteful and neglectful of their duty to their readers. The election brought a sea change, rejecting the corrupt ancien regime of bad-ole-boys and their right-wing reign of error, no-bid contracts, developer coddling, racism, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, waste, fraud, abuse, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery.

OPEN RECORDS LIES: Governments lying about having "no documents," when they do,

Stop. Now. City of St. Augustine, Florida and St. Johns County Water Management District, this one's for you.

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Mass Weddings" or Individual Nuptials for Gay and Lesbian Couples in St. Augustine

It is being reported by AP that "the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitor and Convention Bureau is also waiting for a decision. It filmed an advertisement and has it ready to go out, pushing the area for same-sex beach weddings. 'That’s when the whole campaign kicks off,' explained Virginia Sheridan, spokesperson for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitor and Convention Bureau. “To have weddings, honeymoons, to promote just the wonderful opportunity to have a wonderful welcoming relationship happen here, take place here and be officiated here.'
Once the law allows it, organizers plan to hold a mass wedding with 100 gay and straight couples who are ready to hold hands and walk down the sandy aisle. “It’s going to be on Fort Lauderdale Beach,' she said. 'It’s going to be a sunrise ceremony. There’s going to be an officiant, so it will be a marriage that is done with respect, honoring everyone.'”

Sounds like one of Rev. Moon's mass weddings of thousands of his followers, or Alexander the Great's wedding ceremony for 80 of his officers.

Sounds kind of crowded. Kind of creepy. Ft. Lauderdale? Yuck. It's a big city. No charm. It reminds me of what JFK said about Washington, D.C.: "A city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency."

Lots of hot sun, sand and toaster ovens. In a word, too tacky for words?

What do you reckon?

St. Augustine offers a hip, quiet, cool, historic alternative to the "mass wedding" and madding crowd in built-up urban areas like Ft. Lauderdale. Check us out.

Read more here.

Sexism, Misogyny or Indecency? St. Johns County to Host "Cherry Popping Daddies" Event

To: mwanchick ; pmccormack ; wabare ; wproctor ; foia ; ghastings ; rgoldman ; runkiii ; dcook ; wfcf
Sent: Mon, Dec 29, 2014 4:09 pm
Subject: "Cherry Popping Daddies" musical event at St. Johns County Cultural Events Division's Ponte Vedra Concert Hall February 13, 2015 -- Open Records and Electronic FOIA request for event and radio spot approvals and citizen complaints to St. Johns County, TDC, VCB, FCC and Flagler College Radio station WFCF re: possible indecency, obscenity, sexism in music group name suggestive of "rape culture"; applicable standards and civil rights

Please send. Thank you.
Ed Slavin

Towering Ego: St. Augustine Already Has an "Observation Tower" (the Lighthouse) and Does NOT Need Another

A retired New Jersey engineer/businessman dreams of building a tower taller than the cross (which is 250 feet). What a nightmare.
A similar tower blotted the sky near Gettysburg battlefield until it was demolished in 2000.
We already have a fine observation tower (the Lighthouse) and it is authentic and evocative (the symbol of the St. Augustine Record).
We, The People, shall defeat any efforts to ruin our City with another tall building. The six story bank building erected in 1927 stirred outrage and resulted in our height ordinance.
We're a small town, not Paris or Seattle, and don't need a Space Needle or an Eiffel Tower, thank you.
May this tower never darken our Nation's Oldest City.

As The New York Times reported in 2000:

Much-Derided Gettysburg Observation Tower Is Felled

Published: July 4, 2000

One hundred and thirty-seven years after Union troops bested Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Confederate legions in their desperate gamble known as Pickett's charge, the National Park Service today demolished an observation tower that has been a magnet for criticism from historians, park officials and battlefield preservationists.

At 5:02 this afternoon, after four minutes of delay and two countdowns, a group of Civil War re-enactors, some dressed in Confederate gray and others in Union blue, fired dummy charges toward the tower. Less than 10 seconds later, 15.5 pounds of demolition charges that had been placed on the tower exploded, collapsing the structure.

Taking down the 307-foot structure, the Gettysburg National Tower, is the first step in an effort to restore the battlefield to its appearance in 1863, Park Service officials said.

''This is sacred ground,'' the secretary of the interior, Bruce Babbitt said. ''Americans come here to learn of their past, to understand how it was in those days when we remade ourselves as a new nation.''

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Studs Terkel on Florida's Heroic KKK-infiltrator Stetson Kennedy (from New York Times Magazine, 2006)

Stetson Kennedy, in all the delightful years I've known him, has always questioned authority --whether it be the alderman or the president. He has always asked the question ''Why?'' Whether it be waging a war based on an outrageous lie or any behavior he considers undemocratic, he has always asked the provocative question. In short, he could well be described as a ''troublemaker'' in the best sense of the word. With half a dozen Stetson Kennedys, we can transform our society into one of truth, grace and beauty.

Studs Terkel,  Chicago (published January 22, 2006) 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's been a wonderful decade. Thank you for being a part of it! The work continues…...

Gay Pride Rainbow Flags on Bridge of Lions June 8-13, 2005, By Federal Court Order of Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Preserving and Protecting St. Augustine From Those Whom John Muir Called "Temple Destroyers"

Our Nation's Oldest City FINALLY spent some $10 million remedying Riberia Street neglect after we invoked our 1871 Civil Rights Act (Ku Klux Klan Act) and our Fourteenth Amendment to our United States Constitution (Equal Protection clause)

Ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS a/k/a "CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS Fined for Recklessly Destroying 210 Year Old Spanish Colonial Don Pedro Fornells House Without Permits

Exposing Greed, Bigotry, Waste, Fraud, Abuse, Misfeasance, Malfeasance, Nonfeasance, Flummery, Dupery and Nincompoopery

We, The People WON, Reversing No-Bid $1.8 Million Bell Jet Luxury Helicopter Purchase for Mosquito Control, Exposing Sunshine Violations by Board Chair, Winning Full Deposit Refund on Fancy Helicopter Incapable of Killing a Single "Skeeter"
(Mosquito Control Is Becoming a World Model on Organic Mosquito Control Without Poisons, Thanks to YOU)

Halting 7-Eleven's Threat To Our Historic Neighborhoods
Yes we can!

Global Climate Change Threatens Our Way of Life
St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore Promises Coastal Erosion Planning, Protection for Nature and History Watch YouTube video

Halted Commissioners Pretextual Firing of 16 St. Augustine Beach Police as Retaliation for First Amendment Protected Activity in Blowing the Whistle About Police Chief's Alleged Misconduct

Uncovering The Facts On Crony Capitalist Government

City Fined for Illegal Dumping of Landfill in Lake, Sewage in Saltwater Marsh; Millions Wasted on Environmental Disasters

Exposed No-Bid, Below-Market Lucrative Lease of City Property to Favored Ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS and Mayor JOE BOLES, Ripping Off City for $2-3 Million Over 25 Years -- The Ripoff Continues but All City Contracts Will Be Subject of Forensic Audits, and Mayor BOLES Was Defeated by Informed, Empowered Residents -- "We, The People"

PIERRE THOMPSON, Grandson of St. Augustine Record Founder, Fined For Destroying Bald Eagle Nest Tree

"Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant"
Informing People About Corporate Oligarchs

The Unmaking of A Mayor 2014
Epic Election Campaign Unites Nation's Oldest City
Incumbent Loses to "Newcomer" and "Upstart" With Support of "We, The People"

Shock and Awe

The Dawn of a New Day in St. Augustine

Healing Begins

See you next year!

Ed Slavin
P.O Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084