Saturday, December 26, 2015

Record Editorial: "Thumbs and Quotes"

Thumbs & quotes
Posted: December 25, 2015 - 11:58pm | Updated: December 26, 2015 - 12:02am


THUMBS DOWN: For the news of the passing of Judge Howell Melton. While he spent years as a Circuit Judge in our district, it was a long time ago and only a few of our “crustier” judges knew him personally. Hamilton Upchurch was a friend and protege. Melton spent his early years in Mayo, Florida, before his law career. He was former president Jimmy Carter’s first appointment to the federal bench. Melton was a friend to St. Augustine and one of its bigger fans. He was a founding trustee of Flagler College and remained on the board for 40 years. Wherever he went in his life, respect preceded him. We’re sure that’s the case today.

THUMBS UP: For Nease High School Principal Kyle Dresback for being named the school district’s Principal of the Year. Congratulations also to Kirstie Gabaldon, the district’s Outstanding Assistant Principal of the year. She is a 16-year veteran of the district, currently helping to run Creekside Elementary.

THUMBS DOWN: For the news that Florida quarterback Will Grier is leaving UF and transferring elsewhere — that has not yet been determined, or announced. Grier would have to sit out a year if he transferred — six games if he stayed. And that’s puzzling, as he was clearly the leader of the team and the top candidate to take over as the starting quarterback. The news will disappoint many Gator fans and, just as likely, please the fans of any SEC team that would have faced him next year.


“The law is like [using] a sledgehammer to crack a peanut.” — Interlachen resident Jack Owen, who was in St. Augustine Monday to protest city ordinances meant to control street vendors, but which artists contend infringes upon their right to sketch plein air in the Oldest City.

“We are protesting because art is illegal, only here in St. Augustine. We are protesting for our rights.” — Eleven-year-old Ethan Bates, speaking at a Monday protest against St. Augustine’s ordinances prohibiting artists from working in select parts of the city.

“We really had a serious problem on St. George Street. ... Sometimes there [were] 50 to 70 entertainers.” — Local businessman and former mayor Len Weeks, speaking about the original intent of the laws protested Monday in downtown St. Augustine. Weeks explained that the intent of the law was to curb street performers on busy downtown streets. But because artists can be termed entertainers, the ordinances encompasses their activity as well.

“I can sit here and say 50 times ‘Here’s what you really need to do,’ but the kids don’t always listen to what I have to say. To hear from their peers that they need to keep up their GPA or they need to get involved in this activity or that club, that’s the power of student leadership on campus.” — Nease High School Principal Kyle Dresback, speaking about a program he initiated at the school that makes mentors out of students — who younger students seem more inclined to listen to and emulate.

“One of the things that sets Creekside apart is we’re really focused on students’ strengths. I feel like there’s a home for every kid here and, as a former elective teacher, that’s always been important to me.” — Kirstie Gabaldon, assistant principal at Creekside, speaking about being named the school district’s Assistant Principal of the Year.

“It’s essentially a floating bathtub.” — St. Augustine Fire Department Captain Carlos Aviles, speaking of the current department fireboat, which is not suited for breaching the inlets or other tasks in higher seas. The boat is underpowered and lacks the design capabilities for big waves and seas — usually the reason it’s called out in the first place. The department is seeking grants and other funding initiatives in order to buy a boat that will save lives, not put those attempting the rescues at risk.

“The name is The St. Augustine Record, but in reality it’s a paper for all of St. Johns County. I think my job is to make sure that’s true, day in and day out.” — The Record’s new executive editor, Craig Richardson, speaking about his promotion Sunday.

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