Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Needed: Investigation, Resignations, Healing, St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore

Need federal investigation of 62 Spaniah Street collapse. Now.
Len Weeks, whose business partner AND lawyer is Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr., must resign from chairmanship of Historic Architectural Review Board. Also chairmanship of Parking and Traffic. And seat on Visioning (poor attendance record -- missed yesterday, and has early at prior meetings).
CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. must be investigated by OSHA and FBI -- he recklessly violated city code, risking deaths of workers and residents. We must remedy this Kristallnacht with a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore, preserving and protecting our precious historic and natural heritage forever. www.staugustgreen.com

WEEKS, BOLES and "Criminaolids"

Sociologist and criminologist Edward Alvord Ross wrote in 1907 about "criminaloid" personalities: "Nature has not foredoomed them to evil by a double dose of lust, cruelty, malice, greed or jealousy. They are not degenerates tormented by monstrous cravings. They want nothing more than we all want - money, power, consideration - in a word, success; but they are in a hurry and they are not particular as to the means."
Never again must we let them ruin the history and nature in St. Augustine, Florida. http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2007/052007/ross.html

Ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS Destroyed House and Coquina Wall ILLEGALLY -- Without Permit or Archaeological Survey, Swore Falsely That No Work Had Been Done

Ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR., a/k/a "LEN WEEKS" directed construction workers to tear down a coquina wall at 62 Spanish Street. He had them dig two feet trenches around 62 Spanish Street without a permit or paying an archaeological excavation fee.

Then he swore falsely that no work had been done, obtaining a permit after the work had been done.

Then the building collapsed.

Don't take my word for it: the permit application swears that no work had been done. An "after the fact permit" was issued at twice the normal cost. And here's the chronology from the St. Augustine Planning and Building Director, David Birchim, AICP:

Friday, September 19, 2014:

Len Weeks Construction applied for a building permit to “pour footing around the Farnell House at 62-A Spanish St. and coquina wall” Plans for the new foundation were submitted at that time and were produced by Dixon Design Group, Inc. and signed-sealed by Gerald Dixon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014:

In response to a comment concerning the foundation plans, Gerald Dixon writes a letter which is forwarded to the Building Official with an e-mail from Len Weeks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014:
The coquina wall on Hypolita Street is removed without approval of the Historic Architectural Review Board. Plans for the reconstruction of the wall were not submitted to determine if this is a “remove and replace to match the existing” building permit, that can be administratively approved, or if HARB approval is required for the demolition and reconstruction. The city staff observes the coquina wall has been removed and the trenches for the new footers around 62 Spanish Street have begun to be dug out on the east and north sides, prior to the permit being issued, a verbal warning is given to the contractor to obtain the building permit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014:
The City Archaeologist, Carl Halbirt, goes to the job site and observes the trenches have been dug for the new footers, no archaeology permit was obtained.

Thursday, September 25, 2014:

At approximately 9:40am, an “after the fact” building permit with double permit fees for the new footings is issued.
At approximately 10:00 a.m., the city Building Inspector does a building inspection on the footings and it does not pass inspection.
At approximately 11:30 a.m, Len Weeks contacts the building official and informs him that the building is collapsing.
At approximately 12:00 p.m., [David Bircham], the Building Official and Building Inspector arrived on the site and observed the building collapsing.
[David Birchim] notified the Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works Department, City Manager and City Attorney of the situation. The job site is secured.
The Building Official and city Fire Marshall declare the building to be an unsafe structure and immediate safety hazard.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., the building is taken down with a controlled demolition.

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's morning in St. Augustine

In five weeks and one day, we elect a new Mayor.
Out with the rude, crude, barbarous ways of our ancien regime.
Out with the "GOTCHA" government.
Out with the "smeared, bleared and teared with trade" government that works only for favored business owners.
Out with crony capitalism.
Out with the "willful, heedless destruction" of our natural and historic resources.
It's our town.
It's our time.
It's time for a change.

(With thanks to the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and Robert F. Kennedy for the quoted phrases).

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Healing Requires St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. Now.





On September 25, 2014, St. Augustine began with 34 historical buildings downtown. We ended the day with 33. The St. Augustine Record and the City government have gone all soft and squishy.
No investigative reporting.
An "inside job" investigation by the Assistant City Manager, TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD.

This case reminds me of the Texas teenager who killed four and was given special treatment because he was a rich kid. How revolting.

Septenber 25, 2014 is a date that will live in infamy.

It has been suggested that LEN WEEKS a /k/a "CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR." deserves kid glove treatment as an ex-Mayor and a "scion" of St. Augustine. (He moved here at age 2).

Having wrecked an historic building as his contribution to our 450th celebration, LEN WEEKS deserves no special treatment. None. His activities, actions and finances must be closely scrutinized federally. His business partner and lawyer, JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., must also be investigated. Now.

"Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

Fr. Tom Willis Posts on Facebook, and Ed Slavin Responds

Fr. Tom Willis: I am so tired by (sic) the h----s in our town. If you don't like it here, please consider other options. The "vocal minority" -- and it is a minority -- doesn't have a real clue of what's going on. They project a negativity on just about everything.

Good citizens of St. Augustine -- the town we love, the town many of us were born in, the town we call our home -- please start standing up to the naysayers, the carpetbaggers and those who would have no real clue. Those who harp on the negative will never be able to advance our town.

Edward Adelbert Slavin: We love it here. Please. Listen. Look. Learn. Don't chill coerce, or discourage citizens' God-given rights to engage in First Amendment protected activity. Ever. This is democracy in action. There are problems. They will not be ignored. We will make it better. We see the problems and we have a right to be here. Use of pejoratives is unhelpful. "Carpetbagger" has two meanings -- one historic and one political. Which did you have in mind? If it were not for Henry Flagler, et al., known Northerners, St. Augustine's historic treasures would not have been preserved. More than half the people in Florida and in St. Augustine have lived here less than ten years. I have lived in St. Augustine since November 5, 1999. Please discuss maturely what We, the People have to say and our well-documented and researched concerns. Please don't ever again insult people for accidents of birth or duration of residency. It is so unkind and unChristian to suggest someone move if they are a dissenter -- sounds like the technique of the Spanish Inquisition, which resulted in mass migration. And being born here or called a "scion" is no substitute for answering questions and government accountability. And insults are no substitute for thought. As LBJ said after Selma, "We SHALL overcome." Please call me today to discuss. As JFK said, "Here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own." :) Cordially, Ed Slavin 904-377-4998

Edward Adelbert Slavin Pray for healing, pray for the truth to be exposed, and pray for wrongs to be righted. Pray and work tirelessly for a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. America's Best Idea. Amerca's Newest National Park for American's Oldest City. Now. www.staugustgreen.com
St. August Green™
St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore, Scenic Coastal Parkway

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Jed Bartlet, on our right to be angry

Maureen Dowd's 2008 Sunday New York Times column, setting forth advice from the fictional character, President Jed Bartlett, on the West Wing, in consultation with Aaron Sorkin, to then-candidate Barack Obama:

And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

Ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS' Wife, KRISTY WEEKS, Responds on Don Pedro Fornell Home Destruction

RE: Unsafe, Illegal Destruction of 210-Year Old Spanish Colonial Don Pedro Fornell Home by ex-Mayor of St. Augustine; HARB members must file financial disclosure (Including ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.)
From: Kristy Weeks
To: easlavin ; clweeks
Sent: Sat, Sep 27, 2014 7:30 pm
Mr. Slavin,
You are an inaccurate man filled with hostility, anger and the desire to hurt others.
If you knew my husband, Len Weeks, in the slightest degree you would realize that he has lived his life for preserving St Augustine.
You are no better than Michael Gold with your incorrect information…..you just lack the pathetic disclaimer that nothing you write is true.
Kristy Weeks

County Commissioner PRISCILLA BENNETT a/k/a "RACHAEL BENNETT" responds:
From: Commissioner Rachael Bennett
To: kristy
Cc: easlavin ; clweeks
Sent: Sat, Sep 27, 2014 9:03 pm
Subject: Re: Unsafe, Illegal Destruction of 210-Year Old Spanish Colonial Don Pedro Fornell Home by ex-Mayor of St. Augustine; HARB members must file financial disclosure (Including ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.)

Thank you Kristy for your message. I have always known your husband to be dedicated to the preservation and positive continuation of the historical aspects of our wonderful city. I am sorry that this accident has been spun into a political smear. I believe that such negative attacks prevent good people from extending themselves and their resources for what are "good" but in the long run are also are risky attempts to perpetuate our historical resources. Kudos to you all for your.POSITIVE contributions to our great heritage.
Thank you!

Rachael L. Bennett
St Johns County Commission
District 5
(904)209-0305 office
(904)315-7260 cell

Sent from my iPhone


Sent: Sat, Sep 27, 2014 5:01 pm
Subject: Unsafe, Illegal Destruction of 210-Year Old Spanish Colonial Don Pedro Fornell Home by ex-Mayor of St. Augustine; HARB members must file financial disclosure (Including ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.)
Dear Mr. Weeks:
1. Risking workers' lives, your reckless actions caused the collapse of a 210-year old Second Spanish Period building at 62 Spanish Street on September 25, 2014.
2. Your architect (Mr. Jerry Dixon) and engineer (Mr. Bill Freeman) both told you to perform the trenching and pour the concrete in five (5) foot segments at 62 Spanish Street, correct?
3. You evidently ignored their advice and excavated around the entire perimeter, causing the building to collapse. Why?
4. You worked without a permit from the City of St. Augustine. Why?
5. Your reckless endangerment of employees, residents and visitors -- and your destruction of a 210-year old building -- is a stench in the nostrils of Our Nation's Oldest City.
6. By copy of this E-mail, I am advising the Secretary of Labor and the OSHA Administrator of the need for a civil, criminal and administrative investigation, which I requested verbally on September 25 & 26 of the OSHA office in Jacksonville, Florida and on September 26 of the Atlanta Office of the DOL Inspector General.
7. Please preserve all business documents, paper and electronic, for examination by investigators from OSHA, FBI, the City of St. Augustine and the City's outside investigating law firm.
8. Please explain your selection of such a large construction crane (Caterpillar 320E, weighing 54,000 pounds) in proximity to the city's ongoing Spanish and Hypolita Street project and other historic structures. Please pay for immediate inspection of all surrounding structures to prevent further building collapses, including delicate historic buildings managed by the University of Florida, the City of St. Augustine, and other property owners..
9. Please provide full security, 24/7, as promised to our City Manager, Mr. John Patrick Regan, P.E., in order to prevent and deter anyone from entering the demolition site until it is cleared of debris. Children were seen entering the site yesterday, and could have been killed in a collapse of the remaining room.
10. A.Your partnership with your business lawyer, who is also the Mayor of St. Augustine, JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr., in a no-bid lease from the City of St. Augustine (subleased without permission from the City as required by paragraph 9 of that lease) is unacceptable
10.B. So is your continuing refusal to file financial disclosure forms as Chairman of the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB), which has suzerainty over historic buildings such as the one you wantonly destroyed (the Don Pedro Fornell House).
11. Please submit your resignation as Chairman of the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB).
12. Please submit your resignation as Chairman of the Parking and Traffic Committee (P&T).
13. Please submit your resignation as member of the St. Augustine Visioning Committee.
14. Our City can no longer trust you to serve on any Boards or to believe your advice as a lobbyist on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce (e.g., for ordinances criminalizing First Amendment protected activity by artists and musicians).
15. Please refrain from further destruction of historic structures in St. Augustine, Florida from this day forward.
16. As Robert Kennedy said, "It is not enough to allow dissent, we must demand it for there is much to dissent from…. We dissent from the willful, heedless destruction of our natural beauty and pleasures."
17. The Don Pedro Fornell house was part of our community for 210 years. Your destruction of it is a crime against history. This is unacceptable, and we shall never let it happen again. To redeem yourself, and promote healing, I would appreciate your support -- and the Chamber of Commerce's support -- for a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore Act, first proposed by Mayor Walter Fraser, Senator Claude Pepper, et al. in June 1939, more than 75 years ago. www.staugustgreen.com. This will help preserve our history and nature forever, for your grandchildren, and their grandchildren. I look forward to hearing from you later today.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Clean Up City of St. Augustine, Florida
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

MAYOR BOLES is LEN WEEKS' Lawyer and Business Partner

Outside investigation is essential. "A man cannot serve two masters" is the fundamental principle of conflict of interest law, says SCOTUS.

The "Buddy System" vs. a Full, Fair and Independent Investigation of LEN WEEKS' Destruction of Don Pedro's House

Former St. Augustine Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. is facing two investigations.
How independent?
How competent?

First, TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD, Assistant City Manager, has been assigned to write a chronology and interview witnesses.
He's a bully in a china shop, and will question city employees and otters. He is not a criminal investigator.
St. Augustine and other local governments need inspectors general and ombudsmen. Now.
Too much of the "buddy system" prevails in local government.
We need watchdogs, not lapdogs.

Second, OSHA is supposedly investigating. But with what level of effort and interest?
Speaking of lapdogs, what is OSHA doing? Did OSHA go to the crime scene on September 25?
The Jacksonville OSHA duty officer (AL) initially reacted to my call September 25 by stating "we don't investigate building collapses if no one is hurt or killed." What? That dog won't hunt.
I explained to the OSHA duty officer (AL) that this was illegal and contrary to federal law and the genius of a free people.
The OSHA duty officer (AL) responded, "Sir, yes sir" and transferred me to his supervisor, Bud.
OSHA Jacksonville supervisor (BUD) was even more obstreperous, talking over me, minimizing the risk of a building collapse on employees, saying "I don't care if it's historic" and similar taunts, pointedly asking, "Who are you" and "Who are you with.
When I started to tell BUD about corruption and Len Weeks and the Folio Weekly cover story, BUD again interrupted me to tell me again that he "I don't care," inaccurately referring to Folio Weekly as a "commercial advertisement" (it is a newspaper). When I told him what I expected, BUD grew huffy, repeatedly interrupting, at first refusing to e-mail me correspondence. BUD even asked me "What's OSHRC?" (It is the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Washington, D.C., where an independent administrative law judge and commission members are ready, willing and able to hear any appeal that an employer may file from an OSHA citation).8
After telling me how little he cared about worker rights and enforcing the law when a building collapses without injuries, BUD then affected martyrdom when I told him I expected him to do his job without fear or favor and referred to OSHA's attitude as "Laziness."
When I called him again the afternoon of September 26, Bud angrily refused to tell me the name of the investigator or supply his or her e-mail, saying only that I would be contacted. Bud officiously accused me of "name-calling," ordered me never to call him again, and hung up the phone.
No Bud, "laziness" is not name-calling: it accurately describes OSHA's attitude. We expected hope and change with President Obama, and the now OSHA Administrator, but OSHA remains fraught with laziness, desuetude, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.
There's another word for OSHA's attitude on worker rights: desuetude (non enforcement). For more, please see my March 4, 2010 testimony to the "OSHA Listens" session held by the Assistant Secretary of Labor, HERE.
I have reported the Jacksonville OSHA office to the Inspector General of the United States Department of Labor for investigation of its breach of the Standards of Official Conduct.
The next time someone calls the Jacksonville office of OSHA to report an imminent life safety hazard, they must be treated with dignity, respect and consideration. No more nastiness, bullying or icy indifference. OSHA works for us -- not construction contractors.
OSHA must investigate the building collapse caused by ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr. Now.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

OSHA Asked to Investigate Ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. Over Colonial Building Collapse

The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been asked to conduct a criminal, civil and administrative investigation of local employer CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, Jr. (LEN WEEKS CONTRUCTION) for the September 25, 2014 collapse of an historic building at 62 Spanish Street, the Don Pedro Fornell home.

The building was a national treasure and no demolition permit was approved before WEEKS' construction crew intentionally caused its collapse by digging trenches on all four sides against City orders.

While no workers were hurt in the September 25, 2014 building collapse, the building, at Spanish and St. George Street, borders two busily travelled streets and could easily have hurt or killed workers and tourists.

OSHA civil fines may be appealed to an independent administrative law judge and presidentially appointed commissioners of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

I made the OSHA investigation request after learning of the building collapse, caused when WEEKS allegedly disobeyed instructions from the City of St. Augustine concerning the historic building, which he destroyed while supposedly reinforcing its foundation. After the building collapsed, the City of St. Augustine approved its demolition after consulting a history expert.

Built in 1804, 210 years ago, the former home of Don Pedro Fornell was a national treasure from the second Spanish period. It was known to have a fragile foundation built of coquina and oyster shells.

WEEKS is the cause of the building collapse through reckless, intentional actions, it appears.

WEEKS allegedly dug trenches 360 degrees around the building, without permission of city officials. He was supposed to wait for word as to when to excavate trenches around only one side at a time, in order to dig two foot trenches to lay a concrete collar to reinforce the building.

WEEKS is holder of a valid general contractor's license that expires August 31, 2016 (number CGC011558); he also has a real estate license that expired in 1994 (number 391461).

WEEKS earned a Master's Degree in Construction at the University of Florida.

WEEKS is also partner with St. Augustine Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. in the building at 81 St. George Street, subject of our investigation and reports in FOLIO WEEKLY concerning the no-bid lease of a City building since 1989. The prime commercial rental property was sublet to their former business, FLORIDA CRACKER CAFE and to SAVANNAH SWEETS, without ever having permission from the City to sublet after they sold the business. In building 81 St. George Street, WEEKS was issued shutdown orders for the City of St. Augustine for construction without a permit. The records are on file at the St. Augustine Historical Research Library at Aviles Street and Artillery Lane.

WEEKS is also Chair of the St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB), with suzerainty over historic buildings such as the one he destroyed on September 25, 2014.

WEEKS is also Chair of the Parking and Traffic Committee of the City of St. Augustine.

WEEKS is also a member of the St. Augustine City Visioning Committee.

WEEKS has long resided in a different city, the City of St. Augustine Beach, Florida, where he recently served on the decennial Charter Review Committee.

WEEKS owns, individually, corporately and with his parents, many historic downtown buildings, collects many rents from shops and restaurants.

An oligopolistic commercial landlord, WEEKS has long advocating criminal arrests and criminal prosecution of artists and musicians for painting, singing, playing music and performing on St. George Street. WEEKS is responsible for enacting several ordinances found to have violated the First Amendment. As Mayor, WEEKS caused many arrests, and was cruelly unfair to citizens seeking to testify against his artist and musician suppression ordinances, which have unconstitutional criminal penalties.

Now, WEEKS' partner, Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr. faces a tough uphill battle in the November 4, 2014 Mayor's election. As a result of his intentional actions less than six weeks before that election, it now appears that WEEKS could be prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated for criminal violations of federal occupational safety laws and criminal conspiracy to violate St. Augustine's rigorous historic protection laws.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dr. Michele Wheatly v. Florida State University

Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT's hick hacks just rejected Dr. Michele Wheatly, Ph.D., an eminently qualified scientist, in favor of hiring Senator JOHN THRASHER as FSU President. Michele Wheatly would have encouraged good science and encouraged women to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers. She is former Provost and Science and Math Dean at West Virginia University. I hope Michele Wheatly sues FSU for Title VII and IX violations and wins. The hiring of THRASHER is an outrage. 'Let justice be done though the heavens fall," as the ancient equitable maxim urges.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

7-Eleven Store Number 35748, 139 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine, Florida -- For a good time, call BRIAN MULCAHY, 7-Eleven franchise manager, 239-691-6057, Brian.Mulcahy@7-11.com

RE: proposed 7-Eleven Store Number 35748, 139 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine, Florida

For a good time, call BRIAN MULCAHY, 7-Eleven franchise manager, 239-691-6057, Brian.Mulcahy@7-11.com

7-11 is looking to open its store here next year (not December 14, as reported on its website). It is looking for suitable franchisees with 700 credit score, $300,000 to invest (7-11 will finance up to 65%), a good personality and business acumen. You will provide personal and credit information, be tested on business knowledge and take a personality test.

It trains new franchisees at a training store in Maitland, Florida, with self-paced instruction working hands-on in the store and in a training classroom in back of the store.

The prospective 7-Eleven Store Number 35748 franchisee might work twelve hour days in return for having 7-11 micromanage their every move, pay 1.5 cents per gallon of gasoline, and similar margins on other products.

The prospective 7-Eleven Store Number 35748 franchisee might expect to be the most despised person in St. Augustine, Florida, by virtue of opening an unwanted store at the worst intersection in town (May and San Marco) astride the evacuation route from South Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach and the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The prospective 7-Eleven Store Number 35748 franchisee might expect to be exploited by 7-11, nickeled and dimed, while nickeling and diming their workers. 7-Eleven franchisees allege an array of unfair and deceptive trade practices, and litigation is pending.

The prospective 7-Eleven Store Number 35748 should hopefully be an antitrust lawyer, ready to sue for tying agreements, price-fixing and other violations of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts.

The prospective 7-Eleven Store Number 35748 franchisee might expect to life a joyless existence, then go broke in 6-18 months, because it will be boycotted, picketed and sued.

In the likely event of a hurricane, liability could be huge -- people could die as a result of 7-Eleven Store Number 35748 bottling up an already failing "F" DOT intersection could kill residents of the barrier island, who tend to be wealthy. Personal injury lawyers will target the city, county, state governments, 7-Eleven, and the franchisee of 7-Eleven Store Number 35748.

Today, I asked BRIAN MULCAHY about these risks to me as a franchisee applicant, and asked whether I might move the store one block away, to U.S. 1 to avoid these problems. He grew anxious, said I should speak to my "Town Council," said the land was already bought and paid for, said it was above his pay grade, and disconnected the telephone call before providing me with a contact number for anyone in 7-11 (whose CEO disrespected Our Nation's Oldest City by refusing to answer letters from our City Manager, John Patrick Regan, P.E.).

7-11 has the same lawyer as the City of St. Augustine Beach and the St. Augustine Airport, DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT, who happens to be the son of former Florida National Guard Commanding General DOUGLAS BURNETT, whom Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT wants to favor with an uncompetitive nomination to fill the State Senate seat of Senator JOHN THRASHER, just duked in today 11-2 as your next President of FLORIDA STATE UNIVERISITY, Florida's Rape Capital in our capital city of Tallahassee, whose Police Department makes the St. Johns County Sheriff's Offic look like SEAL TEAM SIX. Read all about General BURNETT, whom SCOTT would grant the nomination over a well-qualified African-American Republican who worked for three Presidents, Derek Boyd Hankerson, who won 30% in the primary.

7-11 will not build a franchise here. The righteous wrath of the people of St. Augustine, the State of Florida and the United States will stop this feckless foreign corporation, owned by Japan.

Call 7-11 franchise manager BRIAN MULCAHY about the clear and present danger to our way of life in St. Augustine, our hurricane evacuations, our children at Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, our Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood neighborhoods, and our historic small town's way of life. Does 7-Eleven wish its contribution to our 450th to be a clogged intersection and botched hurricane evacuations, car wrecks, gasoline spills and massive corporate liability?

You might wish to go and pay 7-11 a visit (picket signs and photos of the intersection and FSDB deaf and blind children are optional) at 7-11 Florida Division office:
1300 Lee Rd Orlando, Florida 32810-5851 (407) 295-3076


Senator JOHN THRASHER is the new President of FSU. Will GOVERNOR RICHARD LYNN SCOTT's campaign manager continue the rape coverups at FSU? Will THRASHER do to FSU what football players do to their victims? Will THRASHER treat FSU the same way SCOTT did the State of Florida? What's next?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Grandson of Late Cuban Dictator FULGENCIO BATISTA endorses JOHN THRASHER For FSU President


Two New St. Augustine PZB Members -- Congratulations!

Congratulations to my friends Deltra Long and Cathy Brown, the latest women elected to our City of St. Augustine Planning and Zoning Board (PZB), until recently all-male and all-white and all straight. Diversity is blooming in St. Augustine. Viva!

The Butterfly Effect

In six weeks, a new Mayor of St. Augustine will be elected.
Like the "butterfly effect," there is a "Nancy Shaver effect."
The distant beat of a brilliant woman, on The People's Business, is already shaking up City Hall.
It reminds me of the cartoon of Fiorello LaGuardia.
Two victories at City Commission tonight -- preserving and protecting the south end of Lincolnville as a passive park forever, and halting a dodgy developer of the former LUHRS PLANT -- show that We, The People, are already being heard and heeded.
Two unanimous votes.
Five to zero.
As James Madison said, "Here, the people rule."
Yes we can!
Yes we do!
Yes we will!

Victory I -- South End of Lincolnville Will Be Permanently Preserved and Protected Forever as Passive Park -- No Building on Top of 35 Feet of Garbage

St. Augustine City Commissioners voted 5-0 to restrict a ten acre site -- the south end of Lincolnville -- from ever being built upon.
This is where our City and businesses dumped garbage and toxic chemicals for a century.
This is where our City took 40,000 cubic yards of solid waste, dumping it in the Old City Reservoir, in an effort to create an artificial wetland to facilitate the Sebastian Inland Harbor Project (still flat, still undeveloped).
This is where our City committed environmental crimes, and wanted to bring the 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated solid waste back, put dirt on top of it, and call it a "park."
This is where activists halted our City's environmental crimes (only after AKERMAN SENTERFITT had billed some $200,000 for legal fees to keep City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS & Co. out of prison and in a vain effort to avoid, evade and skirt requirements to put the toxic waste in a Class I landfill, with another $100,000 to Geosyntec for bogus engineering advice.
This is where three dodgy nascent wannabee businesses -- a coral growing enterprise, an aquarium and a children's museum -- euchred our city into wasting time and money considering building structures on top of 35 feet of garbage (forbidden by FDEP 2011 guidelines).
Thanks to Commissioner Leeana Freeman, and Lincolnvile activists, including future Mayor Nancy Shaver, Cash McVay, and Blake Romeyn Souder, for winning the day.
Now we need to get the National Park Service to invest in the park as part of the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore.
The site is gorgeous -- as Chad Light's video revealed stunningly, with music.
It reminds me of Thomas Jefferson's favorite spot on this planet -- Harper's Ferry, W.Va., where two rivers also converge.
It must be called by its historic, authentic name -- Buena Esperanza (Good Hope).
It is NOT "Riberia Pointe," a name concocted by the City or developers (sounds like a gated community).
The U.S. Board of Geographic Place Names, working with Florida officials and local residents, will choose the name -- this is a question of federal pre-emption. It is a geographic feature (a cape). Local governments don't get to choose place names -- they may recommend them, but they do not get to arrogate decision making to a few unelected officials on the Fourth Floor of City Hall.
Not any more, any way.
Thanks to all for ending the threats to Lincolnville's future and our City's future.
We shall overcome!

Victory II -- Dodgy Shipyard Development Vote Reset for October 27, 2014

At tonight's City Commission meeting, a proposed Planned Unit Development for the former LUHRS boat building plant by speculators -- dodgy undisclosed developers -- got tabled until at least October 27th.
Fired former St. Augustine Planning and Building Director was their mouthpiece, the "planner" for the law firm of SUSAN BLOODWORTH, d/b/a "McCLURE BLOODWORTH." (GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE died last year).
Three neighbors -- a pest control business, pizzeria and donut shop -- objected to their streets being stolen as part of the plant.
Every single public hearing witness who spoke opposed the plan -- only KNIGHT and hired gun experts supported it.
BLOODWORTH barely spoke at all, making an emotional plea against the continuance, saying the speculator was working on this for "three years" and planned to spend $40 million, but would bail without approval instanter.
In response, Commissioner Leeanna Freeman rightly called it "insulting."
The developer and its local lobbyist never spoke.
It never held a public information session or design charette.
It wanted to ram this through before the election, to avoid higher fees and greater public scrutiny.
It broke prior promises the vote would be in October, not September -- a sneak attack.
It wanted to steal our streets, while postponing until another day discussion of an annexation.
No business plans were presented.
No financial records were shared.
No concrete proposals were shared.
No responses on global ocean level rise.
No witnesses (other than me) were sworn in (I volunteered).
This is what the Department of Justice Law Enforcement Assistance Administration's 1977 report, "Corruption in Planning and Zoning" focused on -- developers having their way with us.
This is what Romuluo Betancourt had in mind when he talked about Venezuela's corrupt officials "selling their wares" to multinational corporations.
This is GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE's playbook, which produced unproductive, dodgy and failing PUDs, including the Sebastian Inland Harbor Project, which is still flat (despite false, unsworn promises of a fancy-bears hotel, either a Radisson or a Westin.
The ethically impair developer's dodgy Kinley Horne engineering consultant gave vague, speculative, dodgy and unreliable testimony purporting to predict what the Florida Department of Transportation might do on a traffic signal.
The developer's fired former City Planing and Building Director mouthpiece, Mark Knight, claimed it would create jobs, but offered no details.
This is speculation.
This is a project that reeks of corruption, incompetence, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery, waste, fraud, abuse and election-year desire to ram through a project before the winds of change elect a new Mayor and our PUD and Zoning codes are reviewed, revised and reformed.
Thanks to Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline, Commissioner Leeana Freeman and Commissioner Donald Crichlow for leading the charge against rubber-stamping approval.
We, The People, defeated the dodgy developers.
We, The People, did it again.
We need answers on all of these issues.
We especially, urgently need to stop work at the site.
We urgently need EPA and its Athens SESD lab to take and analyze soil samples for the VOCs (FSU law graduate BLOODWORTH told me several weeks ago she did not know what they were) beneath the buildings that are now being moved/demolished -- there were some 50 tons of VOCS (Volatile Organic Compounds) emitted into the sky according to EPA TRI data when LUHRS was operating.
BLOODWORTH, who said she did not know what VOCs were, lists these credentials:
University of West Florida, B.A.(Political Science, magna cum laude, 1994)
Florida State University College of Law, J.D. (Top 10%, magna cum laude, 1998)
Research & Writing Editor, Journal of Transnational Law & Policy
Recent Developments Editor, Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law
Books Awards – Legal Research and Writing, Commercial Law Seminar, Admiralty and Trial Practice
The Florida Bar
Environmental and Land Use Section

As Kentucky journalist Tom Gish said, "we need to ask a million questions."
Thank you!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Florida State Senator JOHN THRASHER Refuses to Answer FSU Questions About Whether He Believes in Evolution

or Global Climate Change!
JOHN THRASHER, former Speaker of the State House of Representatives and Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, is about to be named President of Florida State University.
What a rebarbative Republican. What a lugubrious goober.
JOHN THRASHER threatened to walk out of a FSU meeting this week after people laughed at his absurd answers.
Funded by the right-wing KOCH BROTHERS, Senator JOHN THRASHER, founder of "Southern Strategy," named after Nixon's racist policies, is a lobbyist who is worth some $10 million dollars.
JOHN THRASHER is former Chair of the FSU Board of Trustees and Chair of GOVERNOR RICHARD LYNN SCOTT's re-election campaign.
JOHN THRASHER lacks an academic background and backbone -- not highly evolved.
No answer on evolution or global climate change.
JOHN THRASHER reminds me of the story LBJ told about the Texas school superintendent who asked the schoolteacher, "Do you believe in evolution?" She responded, "I can teach it either way."
The Gannett-owned Tallahassee Democrat has called for THRASHER's rejection as FSU President, as have a majority of faculty and students.
Don't be surprised if JOHN THRASHER gets the FSU gig this week.
Don't be surprised if retired GENERAL DOUGLAS BURNETT is named to run in THRASHER's place.
Don't be surprised if retired school teacher, Kathleen Trued, a Democrat, wins THRASHER's seat November 4th.
You see, unlike JOHN THRASHER or GENERAL DOUGLAS BURNETT, Kathleen Trued does her homework and has earned the job.
Unlike JOHN THRASHER or GENERAL DOUGLAS BURNETT, Kathleen Trued won't "teach it either way."
Kathleen Trued tells you what she thinks.
Kathleen Trued thinks that Tallahassee corruption stinks.
What do y'all reckon?

Florida Watchdog

Flagler Live

Florida Medical Association


Saturday, September 20, 2014

St. Augustine Record article on next Mayor of St. Augustine

St. Augustine Record article on Mayor's race in Sunday's edition.

Good, balanced article in Sunday's Record.
Four-term incumbent St. Augustine, Florida Mayor JO$EPH LE$TER BOLE$, JR. sounds not unlike Sinclair Lewis' "Babbitt."
Nancy Shaver is well-qualified, knows what needs to be done and is ready to do it. Elect Nancy Shaver for Mayor.

Columbia Restaurant Ends Annual "1905 Prices" Tradition

The Columbia Restaurant chain long had a tradition -- 1905 prices once a year, honoring locals who refer them so much business. The tradition was unceremoniously ended this year.
Columbia says it may do it next year, for its 110th anniversary, and once every five years thereafter. So much for thanking our community for its support -- this Tampa-based chain is all about making money, not paying back to our community. Patronize locally-owned restaurants that won't rip us off.

Stealth State Senator, ex-General DOUGLAS BURNETT, arms merchant consultant?

Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT is considering naming a dodgy St. Augustine arms merchant advisor/lobbyist, retired Florida National Guard (FNG) commanding Bridgadier General DOUGLAS BURNETT, a member of the board of the St. Johns River Water Management District, to replace Senator JOHN THRASHER. BURNETT was most noted as FNG commanding general for planning an elaborate flyover ceremony for his rent party, with four aircraft, including two Stealth F-22 Raptors, easily costing $100,000. I reported BURNETT to the Pentagon Inspector General. http://cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com/2010/06/blog-post_192.html

His Stealth aircraft flyover was then cancelled.

General BURNETT told me today he consults with AM GENERAL, manufacturer of HUMVEES, in their dealings with National Guard units around the nation. His SJRWMD bio is more expansive, referring to multiple "defense contractors" as his clients. Here is Burnett's SJRWMD bio:
Mr. Burnett is president of Doug Burnett and Associates, a consulting firm for major defense contractors. He was appointed to a four-year term to an at-large seat on the Governing Board on May 21, 2013. Mr. Burnett is a retired major general with the Florida National Guard, having served during his 47-year tenure as a tactical fighter and airline pilot, technical and personnel program manager, and a commanding officer. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Burnett held several key positions with the Florida National Guard, including Chief of Safety, Group Operations Officer, Director of Operations, Chief of Staff, Assistant Adjutant/Air and Adjutant General. As Adjutant General, he had responsibility for more than 12,000 soldiers and airmen who were engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, as well as responding to hurricanes, wildfires and other major natural disasters. Mr. Burnett served on the Reserve Forces Policy Board, an advisory board to the Secretary of Defense, and was Chairman of the National Guard Domestic Operations Advisory Committee. In addition to his military career, Mr. Burnett was a commercial pilot for Pan American World Airways and National Airlines. He earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a graduate of the USAF Command and General Staff College and the USAF Air War College. Mr. Burnett is past president of the National Guard Officers Association of Florida and has served two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Guard Association of the United States. Mr. Burnett currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Air National Guard, U.S.

Here's my letter to IG Gordon S. Heddell, which stopped the Stealth flyover for his party:
Inspector General Asked to Investigate Flyover Party for General Douglas Burnett's Retirement
June 24, 2010
Honorable Gordon S. Heddell
The Inspector General
United States Department of Defense
Arlington, Virginia 20301-1900 via fax to 703-604-8567

Re: Florida National Guard (FNG) Standards of Official Conduct Investigation --

Dear General Heddell:

1. In today’s St. Augustine Record, it is reported that the Florida National Guard (FNG) will stage a flyover of two F-15s and two F-22s on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at Camp Blanding. See enclosures. That’s four expensive aircraft, including two Stealth Raptors.

2. Why? Because a FNG general is retiring. This makes for one expensive party.

3. I object. I request that you investigate. I have asked FNG for copies of any EIS (including carbon footprint analysis) and of the cost projection. See enclosure, saying FNG will answer “next week.” This is unacceptable.

4. This flyover boondogggler appears to be waste, fraud, and abuse. There are at fifty State National Guard commanding generals. If every one holds a flyover party every time there is a personnel change – along with every single other general officer in the U.S. military -- that is quite a lot of money. Those defending these flyovers may claim they are “training.” This is casuistry. If the General’s purpose is to project an image of hubris, extravagance and arrogance, he has succeeded. In a nation where people go hungry and live without homes, General Burnett should be told that such waste is inappropriate, and should be ordered to cancel the flyover. As you know, “immense expense is mainly in defense” (as former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder once sang in concert with “The Capitol Steps” comedy troupe, to the tune of “The Rain in Spain,” from the musical comedy, “My Fair Lady.”

6. I attended the Gulf War victory parade in Washington, D.C. in 1991 and was proud of and enjoyed that flyover.

7. But these are tough economic times and we don’t have money to waste any longer.

8. The next time America wins a war, by all means hold a flyover.

9. In the meantime, to prevent promiscuous consumption of fossil fuels, to avoid needless emission of greenhouse gases, to save energy and to save federal funds, please prepare a programmatic audit, examine the data and kindly recommend that no more flyovers should be held over mere sporting events or personnel changes.

10. Will you please determine whether the Standards of Official Conduct were violated by this flyover?

11. In particular, is the decision to hold a flyover a gross waste of federal funds, an appearance of impropriety, or a conflict of interest? Who decides to hold flyovers?

12. Isn’t the decision to hold the flyover a slap to hard-working Americans who will pay the costs of General Burnett’s flyover party with federal funds?

13. How many flyovers are held by the military annually, and at what total costs?

14. Who is responsible for changing the wasteful management culture of DoD to stop wasteful flyovers and to command respect for greenhouse gas reduction?

15. What are the environmental effects of flyovers on Global Warming?

16. I have taken the liberty of sharing this complaint with General Burnett and the news media.

17. It is hoped that General Burnett will show greater sensitivity and cancel the flyover out of respect for the large numbers of unemployed and underemployed Americans and Floridians. If not, I request that disciplinary action be considered during the next 24 hours.

18. FNG’s refusal to answer my questions makes this complaint necessary and proper. See enclosure.

19. General Burnett’s staff seems to prefer stonewalling to substance. “Next week,” indeed! To whom do they think they’re talking. General Burnett & Co. work for us. This discriminatory good-ole-boy network must learn to be just stewards of federal funds.

20. Therefore, because of the disrespect that General Burnett has shown for the public’s rights under the Freedom of Information Act, will you please take action today? Will you please order General Burnett to preserve, protect and provide copies of all documents on the flyover and related matters in my FOIA request?

Sincerely yours,

Clean Up City of St. Augustine, Florida
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

Enclosures (2)

c: Honorable Barack Obama
Honorable Rahm Emmanuel
Honorable Bill Nelson
Honorable Eric Holder
Honorable Carl Levin
Honorable John McCain
Honorable Ike Skelton
Honorable Buck McKeon
Honorable Adam Smith
Honorable Roscoe Barlett
Major General Douglas Burnett

The Chance of a Tick on a Bullfrog?

Some people say that the City of St. Augustine doesn't stand the chance of a tick on a bullfrog of getting Pope Francis or the King and Queen of Spain to visit here next year. What do you hear? What do you reckon? Listened to City of St. Augustine's dour PAUL WILLIAMSON interview 450th Director DANA STE. CLAIRE on WFCF this morning (Flagler College radio, "The Break Room"). Hagiography about the 450th, with precious little substance. No sensitivity to citizen concerns, as expressed by Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline and Commissioner Leeana Freeman, who voted against the 450th budget after being stiffed on questions (STE. CLAIRE was still in Spain, having missed his plane).

I have placed two bets (terms: dollar to a donut) that Pope Francis will come.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

7-Eleven: Mayor BOLES makes illegal promise requiring his recusal, two false assertions

Folio Weekly cover art from "The Forever King"

Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., eight-year, four-term Mayor of St. Augustine, is on Facebook, where he made an illegal promise and two false assertions about 7-Eleven. It happened on Monday, September 14 at 4:13 PM.

Of course, the 7-Eleven at May & San Marco is only possible because of something for which BOLES rightly takes credit/blame: he chaired PZB when the Comprehensive Plan was under consideration.

BOLES wrote:

Joe Boles Mimi, Thank you for those words of wisdom. The truth of the 7-11 issue is that none of us like it. It was only brought before the City Commission once and we voted unanimously against it. If it ever comes to us again I know I will vote "no' again.
September 14 at 4:13pm

FACTUALLY, BOLES erroneously asserts that:
1. 7-Eleven only came before the City Commission once; and
2. The City Commission voted against it unanimously.

Both statements are demonstrably erroneous.
1. The 7-Eleven came before the City Commission twice; and
2. Neither vote was unanimous.

First vote was 1-3 against halting tree removal:

Second vote was 2-2 on reversing and dismissing PZB appeal:

Sadly, BOLES' memory may be deficient. It appears that he may be suffering from a Credibility Gap, like President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Furthermore, BOLES' Facebook statement (above) means he probably cannot vote on 7-Eleven again. He stated "If it ever comes to us again I know I will vote 'no' again."

BOLES was dumb as a post to say that.

ILLEGALLY, BOLES promises to vote against 7-Eleven if it comes up again.

This promise means that 7-Eleven's competent counsel could demand BOLES' recusal. The 7-Eleven matter comes up in a quasi-judicial hearing, where Commissioners sit like a court. Legally, BOLES cannot prejudge the matter.

By making this promise in writing, BOLES gives aid and comfort to 7-Eleven. He could never vote on this issue due to having prejudged the matter. Thus, if you want to stop 7-Eleven, vote against BOLES. A former debt collection lawyer who now works on decedents' estates, he lacks common sense -- by making this remark on Facebook, BOLES' vote has been disqualified, in advance, forever.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Knew Economic Royalists and Welcomed Their Hatred

President Franklin D Roosevelt said in 1936: "We know now that government by organised money is just as dangerous as government by organised mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred."

Don't Be Discouraged by Yul Nivver, Spouting "You'll Never" -- American History Teaches That Yul Nivver is Nearly Always Wrong!

Don't Be Discouraged by Yul Nivver, Spouting "You'll Never" -- American History Teaches That Yul Nivver is Nearly Always Wrong!
(reprinted and adapted from September 2, 2007 www.cleanupcityofstaugustine.blogspot.com)

Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.: less than 40% of the vote in primary -- 60.4% voted against him.

City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS was overthrown by "We, The People"

"The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

"We The People" have won more than 30 progressive victories in St. Augustine and St. Johns County since 2005.
Optimists are winning and pessimists are losing.
St. Augustine is about to elect a reform mayor.
Local corruption is being exposed by Folio Weekly, The New York Times, PBS Frontline, NBC News Dateline, ABC News Good Morning America, and soon CNN, Anderson Cooper and Nancy Grace. The Michelle O'Connell case, like the no-bid mosquito control helicopter before it, shows how corrupt St. Johns County has become under one-party Republican misrule.
Our American Founders originated the idea of "future preference": as expressed by our Georgetown University School of Foreign History Professor Carroll Quigley (whom Bill Clinton quoted in his 1992 acceptance speech). Americans believe that we can make a better future for future generations. Ours was the first nation in world history to have this idea, which distinguishes Americans from all of history's rotten, corrupt monarchies.
But Americans' core beliefs, including "future preference," were shaken and challenged by a wrecking crew approach to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, limited government and the rule of law. FDR taught us to oppose "organized money" as much as an "organized mob."
Organized money hires lobbyists to engage in sneak attacks on all of America's great progressive victories, including President Theodore Roosevelt's legacy of antitrust laws and his Square Deal as well as the New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society. The intentional wrongs and grievous errors of this wrecking crew are as innumerable as the molecules of water in the oceans.
Unlike our Founders, Big Money defenders like Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. just don't like average people.
They never met a big corporation or a wealthy person they didn't cater to and serve amiably. They share the view of Hobbes and other "nattering nabobs of negativism" -- a misanthropic hatred of humankind.
From City Hall to the County Commission Taj Mahal to Tallahassee skyscraper to the U.S. Capitol, t hey steep the Nation in their pessimism, and fight all things progressive. Like the National Association of Manufacturers, they fight every decent legislative proposal every offered.
"Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me" said Jesus Christ.
There are who exploit and cause misery, like City former City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS, who put the contents of the old city dump into our Old City Reservoir, kicked the artists and entertainers off of St. George Street, empowered tree-killing, wetland-killing speculators like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD. HARRISS smirked at reformers, thinking he would always have five Commissioners' votes in his hip pocket and the names of 300 Republicans who he would call anytime things don't go HARRISS' way.
Those days are over.
HARRISS' one-time hey-boy, John Patrick Regan, P.E is now City Manager, and has reformed.
HARRISS' hand-picked City Attorney, RONALD WAYNE BROWN, has retired.
HARRISS' other hey-boy, Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., is about to be retired.
Instead of working for a Living Wage and other measures to grow the economy and solve poverty, some cynics in our Nation's Oldest (European-founded) City sought to cadge votes the old-fashioned way - - by marginalizing poor people here in St. Augustine. As President Bill Clinton once said, "they're themming us to death." The notion of marginalizing homeless poor people -- and calling them "bums" -- is akin to the fascist political tactics that led to the concentration camps in Germany and the killing fields in Cambodia.
The owners and controllers are constantly struggling to divert our attention from their crimes.
The discouragers have their own vocabulary to keep people passive, starting at an early age. They tell children, "you can't fight City Hall," even though our American Founders disagreed with such hierarchical concepts.
They also frequently discourage people with the negative construct "You'll Never!"
"You'll Never" is the doom-and-gloom killer of dreams, the discourager of reforms and the denier of truth.
Imagine this "You'll Never" construct with human form and a name -- let's call him "Yul Nivver" (perhaps he looks a bit like the late Yul Brynner, who played the angry absolute monarch of Siam in the play and movie of "The King and I.:\").
Like the King of Siam played so well by Yul Brynner, Yul Nivver is a "cognitive miser."
Yul Nivver "knows not that he knows not that he knows not."
Yul Nivver is the sour- apple teacher who says to a high schooler, "you'll never" get into a first-rate college or become a musician -- he's the misogynist who discourages women students from pursuing their dreams.
Yul Nivver is the cynic who says to grownups, "you'll never" overthrow a corrupt political regime, whether at home or abroad.
Yul Nivver is the gnome who said to Americans, "you'll never" reform health care -- though every other Western nation has followed the example of Bismarck's Germany (in the 1880s) and provided decent health care for all citizens.
Yul Nivver is a know-it-all who sews unhappiness.
Yul Nivver is an anti-literate energumen who wants to bring everyone down to his level of fear and gloominess.
Perhaps Yul Nivver is clinically depressed and wants everyone else to be depressed with him.
Yul Nivver doesn't think very much. That's because Yul Nivver doesn't read too much. Mostly, Yul Nivver watches FOX News. Yul Nivver emotes, always with negative emotions.
In short, Yul Nivver is no fun to be around.
Invoking George Bernard Shaw, Senator Robert Kennedy said, "some [people] see things as they are and say why. I see things that never were and say, 'why not?'" Deep down, Yul Nivver likes things as they are, because he always and everywhere discourages reform, disparages reformers, and prattles on about what is "politically do-able," as if his termagant's tunnel-vision must limit everyone else's imagination, forever.
Yul Nivver is a killjoy and a mocker and a meddler. Yul Nivver is against Gay rights, hates Gay marriage and wants everyone to be miserable, like him.
Too many politicians these days are of the Yul Nivver variety -- people who supported Bush, Cheney and Idaho Senator Larry Craig and now support Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT and Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr.
In 2014, send these satraps to well-deserved retirement.
If anyone heeded Yul Nivver, Americans would never have declared independence, abolished slavery, ended racial segregation or liberated women and Gays. .
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, Americans would never have defeated Nazism and Communism and Apartheid.
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, there would be no autos with safety glass, seatbelts or airbags.
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, there would still be major coal mine disasters killing hundreds of miners at a time.
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, Americans would not have stopped tobacco companies from marketing their products to children, for generations raised watching Bette Davis and other move stars smoke, part of the corrupt Hollywood system of "product placements" dismantled by the tobacco settlement. (Tobacco killed the actor Yul Brynner, who filmed a TV commercial before he died).
If Americans heeded Yul Nivver, we wouldn't have abolished child labor, sweatshops and Yellow Dog contracts; there would be no National Labor Relations Act, no minimum wage laws, no eight hour day, no laws protecting workers safety, no free democratic trade unions and no laws against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and education. On this Labor Day, we remember Yul Nivver and know that we've defeated him, again and again -- it's part of our civilization that progressives unite and defeat tyrants all the time.
If Yul Nivver were in control, there would be no environmental laws and no Foreign Corrupt Practices Act making it a crime for American corporations to bribe foreign officials.
In 1981, I was editor of a small weekly newspaper in East Tennessee, the Appalachian Observer. Local residents had seven generations of ancestors. Time had tormented their beautiful mountains, with stripmining, political corruption and environmental pollution from Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plants. Cynicism abounded.
Yul Nivver was there. Yul Nivver said we'd never eject a crooked school superintendent, imprison a crooked Sheriff, or expose the pollution by the Department of Energy and Union Carbide in Oak Ridge.
Yul Nivver was wrong on all three counts.
We did it. Working together, our newspaper and local activists transformed the place. A referendum was passed for election of the school superintendent, sending 13-year veteran school dictator PAUL EUGENE BOSTIC, SR. to well- deserved retirement. Activists encouraged Sheriff's deputies to blow the whistle to the FBI and U.S. Attorney, helping send corrupt Sheriff DENNIS O. TROTTER to federal prison (entrenched Trotter was twice Tennessee Sheriff of the Year). Activists helped win declassification of long-secret pollution, exposing the largest mercury pollution event in world history -- bigger than Minimata in Japan -- helping spur cleanup of U.S. nuclear weapons plants everywhere.
Again, Yul Nivver was wrong on all three counts.
In 2005, our City of St. Augustine City Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject Rainbow flags on our Bridge of Lions -- kicking Gays and Lesbians in the teeth for the third time -- though every other local group was allowed to fly their flags to promote and commemorate history. After the City's May 23, 2005 vote, Yul Nivver made his inevitable appearance: "You'll never" get a federal court to overturn the City's decision, Yul Nivver said. On June 7, 2005, two weeks to the day later, U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. ordered the Rainbow flags to fly. The Rainbow flags flew from June 8-13, 2005, proving Yul Nivver wrong, once again.
Foreign-funded real estate speculators are ruining our beautiful seaside community. I've drafted a proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Highway . Maurine Boles, Andrew Young and Sheriff David Shoar all love the idea.
Inevitably, Yul Nivver has already weighed in.
Though his own mother Maureen Boles supports the idea, crabbed St. Augustine Mayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. once said he doesn't want to "federalize" historic preservation. A member of the federal St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission, BOLES has never joined his mother, Andrew Young and Sheriff David Shoar in supporting the park.
BOLES' no-bid lease business partner, ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. likewise is standing in the schoolhouse door, standing in the way of a National Historical Park and National Seashore.
WEEKS is apparently driving the bus, speaking for BOLES when Folio Weekly called about their $2-3 million profit from a no-bid lease of 81 St. George Street.
BOLES and WEEKS see the 450th as a way to make money for themselves and their cronies, not to elevate history teaching and preservation of our history and nature.
What short-sighted selfish people.
Yul Nivver has said there will be no national park, seashore and scenic highway like those elsewhere in our land, inflicting a too-modest vision for the 500th anniversary of Florida (2013) and the 450th birthday of St. Augustine (2015).
Let them squirt wine on each other.
Let them eat cupcakes.
BOLES never met a developer he was not willing to kiss up to -- BOLES won less than 40% of the vote in the August 26, 2014 primary election. BOLES' opponent in the 2014 general election is the real deal -- an elegant lady who knows management skills and listens to the people.
She is a great campaigner, and BOLES is quaking in his Gucci loafers.
In 1944, my mother heard FDR speak in Philadelphia: as FDR said, "I'm an old campaigner, and I love a good fight."
Yul Nivver doesn't have a chance, folks, because hope and history are on our side.
This year is the time to fight corruption, not by half-measures or by being mealy-mouthed, but by talking sense to the people of our city, county, state and nation.
Hapless cronies like JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr. must be thrown out of office, on their uncaring ears.
We will help melt Yul Nivver's heart, just like the King of Siam yielded at the end of "The King and I," on his deathbed signalling his son that absolutism doesn't work. Show Yul Nivver the way and the wave of the future.
As Robert Kennedy said in South Africa, "it is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal or stands up for the rights of others, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples create a current that can wipe out the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
It is up to us. What do you reckon?