Saturday, January 31, 2015

Transforming Dysfunctional City Government

Only a few American Presidents (Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Clinton and Obama) faced challenges not unlike that faced by Mayor Nancy Shaver and City Commissioners: transforming dysfunctional institutions.
Our City of St. Augustine city government reminds me of what JFK said about Washington, D.C.: "a city of northern charm and southern efficiency."
Like the seven labors of Hercules (cleaning the Augean stables), the task before us daunting: after so many years of corruption, we are making real progress. But it is deeply hurtful to hear how people are treated by city employees, and how many have turned off to involvement in government.
Since April 11, 2005, we've attended government meetings, even in the face of threats by threatening officials who lack respect for the law. The 2014 election proves there are more of us (We the People) than there are of them (deluded lugubrious goobers).
Keep asking questions.
Demand answers.
It's our government.
We need City charter amendments, including one making permanent the 35 foot building height limit, already threatened by dandies and damned developers who don't appreciate the need for protecting "our village" (in the words of Henry Dean, former executive director of two Florida Water Management Districts, a lawyer who helped persuade St. Augustine Beach to put the measure on the 2014 ballot, with 2/3 of the voters supporting it).
What do y'all reckon?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

End Free Gala Tickets for City Upper Managers

1. Please respond to 1/19 e-mail (below).
2. Please provide all data requested, today. Your nine (9) day delay and desuetude is inculpatory; it further exemplifies our City's lack of customer service standards.
3. Our City is again in violation of Article I, Section 24 of our Florida Constitution and our Open Records law and is in bad faith by refusing to communicate.
4. I hereby respectfully request you agree to mediation by Pat Gleason in the AG's office. Your unjustified, vague threat to charge me for these records is retaliatory.
5. Who gets free gala tickets, who authorized, who paid, how and why?
6. We, The People, have a sacred right to KNOW. Please don't be dismissive or condescending again, Mark: Just because it's in our budget doesn't mean you get to spend it or that it creates an "entitlement."
7. What makes upper City managers think citizens should buy them and their spouses free tickets to galas? The Florida League of Cities says no other Florida city has any galas: St. Augustine has two (2) of them, one for lights and one for the birthday of a perpetrator of genocide and murder. Free tickets for well-paid employees adds insult.
8. Please explain it to me like i was a six year old. Does any policy reason exist for free tickets for the richest employees? Where does all the money go? Please provide records.
9. I see no job requirement, no legal duty and no public benefit for anyone ever attending any gala at public expense. The public perceives errant self-indulgence by privileged managers who think they are the elite. Please pay for your own tickets and encourage your colleagues to do the same. It is "perks" like this that create mistrust in our government. Enough.
10. I strongly counsel and urge you and every other City upper management employee who thinks their household "deserves" or is "entitled" to free gala tickets to get ready for this: You don't deserve them. You didn't earn them. It is not a bona fide occupational benefit.
11. MY SUGGESTION TO CITY HALL: Buy your own tickets for the February 28, 2015 Noche de Gala in honor of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, AND be prepared to explain to investigators, forensic auditors and reporters your breach of fiduciary duty these many years in billing taxpayers for all of your parties.
Thank you.
With kindest regards,
Ed Slavin

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some St. Augustine PZB Members May Need Spinal Implants, Training, Ethics Rules for Illegal Practice of Law

64.8% of St. Augustine Beach voters voted on November 4, 2014 to put the 35 foot height limit in their city charter. Yet on January 6, 2015, despite our 35 foot height limit in the older City of St. Augustine, PZB voted 6-1 to allow two 65 foot buildings, only to be rebuffed January 26, 2015 by 5-0 vote of St. Augustine City Commission. PZB badly needs training. And is fired former City Planning and Building Director MARK KNIGHT the only advocate available to represent developers, apparently practicing law without a license? What's going on here? I am mystified as to the other-directed, addled thinking of PZB. Enough. Thanks to PZB Chair Sue Agresta for voting against in PZB, and to City Commissioners for rejecting 65 foot tall buildings.

CHARLES ROBERT SERAPHIN Lawsuit to Be Filed, Alleging "Tortious Interference," Civil Rights Violations, In Firing for Misusing City Resources in Campaign

Former City of St. Augustine 450th celebration employee or contractor CHARLES ROBERT SERAPHIN was fired in October for Little Hatch Act violations and misusing City offices, time, computers and telephones to call a citizen to libel, slander and defame Mayor Nancy Shaver, then a candidate. CHARLES ROBERT SERAPHIN just said he is about to sue the City of St. Augustine, City Manager John Patrick Regan, P.E. for allegedly violating his civil rights and Mayor Shaver for alleged "tortious interference" with his rights as a city employee or contractor. As they say in the Navy, "any port in a storm." For a good time, go watch "The Insider" in which a tobacco company threatens CBS and 60 Minutes with a bogus "tortious interference" claim to suppress Dr. Jeffrey Weigand's interview about tobacco chemistry practices. SERAPHIN asks the City of St. Augustine to preserve all documents. It better, and has a bad record of not doing so.

Hotelier FARID ASHDJI Threatens Nation's Oldest City With Crack Motel

The developer of one of two garish proposed 65 foot hotels rejected by City Commission Monday night threatened that if he did not get his way, he could turn his Quality Inn into a motel with crack addicts. Watch the tape of FARID ASHDJI's remarks on This style of sophistry was noted by Folio Weekly re: corrupt developer lawyer GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE (who has died in 2013) -- threatening to do something worse on a property if you don't get your way. This is an erroneous and unethical style of "legal argument." Call it "errorism." Here in our Nation's Oldest City, our elected officials don't bargain with "errorists" any longer. Thank you, Commissioners.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Howard Zinn Nailed It Again

“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those special people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.”
-Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

Monday, January 26, 2015

City's 35 Foot Building Height Vindicated, Two 65 Foot Hotels Defeated

City Commissioners tonight twice unanimously defeated efforts to inflict "spot zoning" by amending our comprehensive plan to allow two 65 foot tall hotels. St. Augustine will forever remain a charming small town, and roundly rejects wealthy developers' materially false and misleading arguments to ruin it with excessive building heights. Three cheers!

Richard Goldman Is Wrong. Again.

After tonight's City Commission twin unanimous votes against two 65 foot hotels in Our Nation's Oldest City, St. Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau Executive Director Richard Goldman was overheard to say to hotel speculators that the vote was "foolish" and "folly." Richard Goldman insulted the values of City residents (and Commissioners for listening). Richard Goldman is wrong. Our Commissioners were right. Richard Goldman needs to apologize for having wasted so many opportunities to help promote historic and environmental tourism, wasting tens of millions of dollars of bed tax money, while promoting the fungible agenda of Anytown, U.S.A. Time to focus on what's needed to preserve and protect what we love: the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. Now!

Homage to Ernie Banks

Ever-cheerful Chicago Cubs baseball player Ernie Banks would often say, on the day of a double-header, "it's a beautiful day -- let's play two." I read that in The New York Times today and We, The People did that in our St. Augustine Commission tonight, defeating two 65 foot hotels in Our Nation's Oldest City. Viva!

4-1 Vote On Yacht Club Lease

Kudos to Mayor Nancy Shaver for voting against the no-bid, reduced price lease to the St. Augustine Yacht Club of our Salt Run Community Center. The terms of the lease will be reformed to require the nondiscrimination provision include sexual orientation. If the all-white Yacht Club continues to discriminate, it could be a material breach of the lease. This could lead to cancellation.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ed's Guest Column: 7-Eleven rebuff just a beginning in St. Augustine

Sunday St. Augustine Record Guest Column: 7-Eleven rebuff just a beginning in St. Augustine
Posted: January 24, 2015 - 4:16pm

St. Augustine
We, the people, in St. Augustine just stopped 7-Eleven from erecting a 12-pump gasoline station across the street from our historic, protected Waterworks building, carousel, library and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind — at an “F” failing intersection. Its building permit was canceled.

We shall overcome!

Two well-organized communities (Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood), represented by zealous counsel, Jane West, testified through exquisitely-well-spoken witnesses, before five attentive city commissioners, who arrived at the correct legal decision. They overturned, on 11 unassailable legal grounds, a building permit that would have wrecked our Nation’s Oldest City.

“We band of brothers and sisters” made history [January 15th], while preserving our city’s history forever.

As astronomer Carl Sagan told our American Bar Association meeting in Atlanta in 1991, our Constitution, like the scientific method, is based upon self-correcting mechanisms to arrive at truth and a correct decision.

The city staff’s issuance of a permit was corrected by the city commission, after hearing all of the evidence.

Now we move forward to even greater heights, knowing that developers no longer own our city government, as in years past.

What’s next?

■ Enacting the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. Let’s preserve and protect forever what we love and cherish here in St. Augustine. Let’s honor this magical place with a “St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore,” first proposed in 1939 (making for better, clearer, more succinct “branding” than sesquipedalianisms like “Guana-Tolomato-Matanazas-National-Estuarine-Research-Reserve,” “Anastasia State Park,” etc.)

Visitors love National Parks (“America’s Best Idea”). Congress just enacted seven new national parks, expanded nine and directed studies of eight more possibilities. Where’s ours? St. Augustine and St. Johns and Flagler counties’ natural beauty must be preserved and protected. It deserves more NPS stewardship, for our 11,000 years of history and incomparable endangered vistas/nature. It’s up to us.

■ Let’s not wait for Congress. Let us act now to preserve and protect St. Augustine’s Historic Preservation (HP) Districts. Let’s ban HP-unsuitable activities. Here are 10 activities to consider banning permanently from HP Districts. These include: Adult bookstores, casinos/gambling, chain restaurants and chain stores, classrooms, discos, dormitories, fortune-tellers, pawnshops, routine daytime 18-wheeler truck deliveries and tattoo-parlors.

■ Saint Augustine wrote, “an unjust law is no law at all.” St. Augustine city commissioners, please repeal/amend dysfunctional “unjust laws” that purport to criminalize singing, painting, acting, music or dancing. Several successive anti-artist, Nuremberg-style laws were ruled unconstitutional — a blot on our escutcheon (loony laws probably rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court’s June 26 Massachusetts abortion law picketing First Amendment case).

Barbaric, Obsolete, Negative, Anti-Busker Ordinances (BONABO) wasted millions of dollars oppressing artists. A few commercial landlords (campaign contributors) demanded police enforce their prejudices, rolling out the “Unwelcome Wagon” with hundreds of artist, musician and entertainer arrests — all in our name. These Jim Crow-style arrests injured reputations of our talented tourism workers and damaged our image. These were self-inflicted wounds, bringing shame upon our city and making St. George Street much less intriguing. Enough cruelty and barbarism.

Everyone misses buskers. Let’s welcome them with rational, fair regulations developed with mutual respect and understanding. Let’s re-open our locked, gated Spanish Garden after 14 years.

Diversity, healing ancient wounds and respecting human rights are vital 450th legacies.

Nine languages were spoken in St. Augustine within a few years of its founding by Europeans, Africans, Catholics, Jews, workers, soldiers and sailors.

Diversity is our strength. Our Nation’s Oldest City’s best years are ahead of us. Let us dedicate ourselves to making this a more vibrant economy and a happier, greener place — a “shining city on a hill.”

Blessed and Cursed

We're blessed to live here, but deserve better governments. St. Johns County is seemingly still run by energumen. While we love our new Mayor, our City upper staff is still stuck in the mud with poor attitudes and bad manners. Too little diversity, too little talent, too much anger at their past mismanagement having been exposed. Did they really think that putting a landfill in a lake was a good idea? Bad managers with bad customer relations skills: they do not reflect the expectations of the residents. Too willing to rubber-stamp developers' plans. Enough.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Never on Sunday? (SJC Library hours) Why?

I have asked St. JOHNS COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK and COUNTY ATTORNEY PATRICK FRANCIS McCORMACK why NONE of St. Johns County's six (6) libraries is ever open on any Sunday. The one on Anastasia Island is closed both Sunday and Monday. In other locales, libraries are open seven (7) days a week, including rural towns in Virginia. Waiting for answers from our estimable officialdom. Is there a policy reason? Could this be legal? What does this say about Commissioners' values (and ours)?

Republican Rag Raga

St. Augustine Record not carrying stories about the scandal of Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT illegally firing FDLE Director Gerald Bailey without concurrence or vote by Cabinet? Same viewspaper that never reported conviction of BERNARD KERIK, former NYC Police Commissioner under Mayor RUDOLPH GIULIANI? Same viewspaper that won't cover $60 million fraud settlement against RPM International, former corporation of County COmmission Chairman JOHN H. "JAY" MORRIS? Same viewspaper that covered up the September 2, 2010 Michelle O'Connell case, covered by The New York Times, PBS Frontline, Dateline NBC, Good Morning America and Dr. Phil? Same viewspaper that omits local news and views critical of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, waste, fraud, abuse, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery and mismanagement by local governments while it regularly runs retired CIA Operations hater's hate-Israel columns (while claiming to publish only locals' local-issues columns)? Same viewpaper that runs ANN COULTER's ranting cant every Monday morning? Same viewspaper that refused to cover Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr. and City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRIS scandals and blandly supported "Business As Usual" (its trite trope du jour). Same viewspaper that was the only US newspaper not to have President Barack Obama's election on page one in 2008?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

St. Johns County Commissioners Hiding From Scrutiny (Again)

"The Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County, Florida, will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. at the Airport Conference Center, Meeting Room A, 4730 Casa Cola Way, St. Augustine, FL 32084. The purpose of the special meeting is to have discussion of Development Trends, Future Growth, Community Programs and Services, Economic Vitality, and Future St. Johns County Revenue Options." They will talk about inflict a sales tax increase and other unwise policies without Government TV coverage. I have asked these rebarbative Republicans to videotape it and broadcast it. As Jefferson said, "A public office is a public trust."

St. Augustine Needs A Real Newspaper: What Do You Reckon?

Speaking truth to power for 40 years, including ten years On The People's Business in St. Augustine, Florida.
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

Oppose No-Bid Lease for Yacht Club of Our Salt Run Community Center

It's back, now supported by the St. Augustine Record, on the agenda for the January 26, 2014 City Commission meeting. I oppose the "entitled" one-percenters' demand for a no-bid lease for the Yacht Club for our Salt Run Community Center, which they have monopolized since packing the City Hall meeting room on November 13, 2006.

Oppose Raising Height Limit for Two Hotels on U.S.1

City Commission meeting is Monday, January 26, 2015. Come speak out in support of protecting and preserving our small city. Since 1927, skyscrapers have been banned (in the wake of the six story bank building). We don't want tall buildings. Tell ethically challenged fired St. Augustine Planning and Zoning Director MARK KNIGHT and his two hotel clients NO, NO, NO skyscrapers in Our Town. Go on, git!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Let's name our St. Johns County Sheriff's Department new Training Center for Michelle O'Connell, who was shot on September 2, 2010 and was victimized a second time by bogus "investigations" and an internationally-acclaimed coverup by Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR. Speakers may attend and speak on February 3, 2015 at 500 Sebastian View, St. Johns County Administration Building Auditorium.

White Collar Crime Speaker Intimidated By St. Johns County Commissioners January 20th

On January 20, 2015, citizen Thomas F. Reynolds spoke about white collar crime and Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR in the context of the proposed St. JOHNS COUNTY SHERIFF's TRAINING CENTER. He was interrupted and heckled by St. Johns County Attorney PATRICK McCORMACK and Commissioner PRISCILLA BENNETT a/k/a "RACHAEL BENNETT," et al. when he spoke about white collar crime. How gauche and louche.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

February 28, 2015 Is DAY 1550 Since The Shooting of Michelle O'Connell: Save the Date

February 28, 2015 is the date of the Noche de Gala, when our City of St. Augustine, Florida honors the 497th birthday of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the founder of St. Augustine, who committed murders in the name of the Spanish monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church.
No other Florida City organizes and spends money on galas: we have two!
Some people get free tickets to the gala.
Others protest.
Others shake their heads in disbelief at honoring a man who committed war crimes, mass murder and genocide.
Menendez also ordered the first anti-Gay hate crime in what is now the United States (1566 murder of Gay French translator of the Guale Indian language, ordered by Menendez and written down by his brother-in-law, a crime that helped convince United States District Court Chief Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. to order Rainbow flags to fly on our historic Bridge of Lions June 8-13, 2005 for Gay Pride).
Commencing September 2, 2010, when Michelle O'Connell was shot to death in the home of Deputy JEREMY BANKS, there has been an ongoing coverup by the former St. Augustine Police Chief, DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, who is now the St. Johns County Sheriff, elected in 2004 with a quarter million dollars in campaign contributions, coronated in 2008 and 2012 without opposition.
While the New York Times, PBS Frontline, Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, et al. have covered the case, the St. Augustine Record has mainly covered it up.
How shall We, The People of St. Augustine and St. Johns County regard the gathering of the 1%, including politicians and business people and clergy who all look the other way and say nothing to call for Justice for Michelle O'Connell?
What do We, The People think about our public officials celebrating a murderer's birthday without leading?
Where will you be on February 28, 2015?
Whose side are you on?
Justice for Michelle O'Connell or celebrations for a mass murderer's birthday?

Monday, January 19, 2015

DISCLOSE Truth About CIty Stingray Technology

Still waiting for answers and documents on City's use of Stingray eavesdropping technology. It's our money.

END Free Formal Gala Tickets for City Manager, Attorney, Directors, Spouses

No other City in all of Florida puts on fancy formal galas, the Florida League of Cities reliably reports to me.
Yet our City of St. Augustine puts on two (2) annual, one for Nights of Lights and one to celebrate our murderous City founder, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, where the City Manager, City Attorney, and other managers (and their spouses) get free tickets.
No free tickets for gardeners, laborers, secretaries -- just for the 1%.
It's in the City budget, approved by Commissioners, as City Comptroller Mark Litzinger wrote me today.
It's wrong.
It's snobby.
It's effete, impudent snobbery. They are paid enough -- maybe more than enough.
They well-paid city employees don't need free tickets.
They have not earned such perks.
They should not be rewarded for mediocrity or mendacity.
There is no such thing as a free ticket (or a free lunch).
Let's stop it.
Let's stop it now. The next gala is on February 28, 2015 at the Lightner Museum and City Hall.
It's our money.
Buy your own ticket, Mr. Regan, et al.
If not, people just might picket, and remind you who paid for your ticket.

HALT Fired Planner MARK KNIGHT's Unlawful Practice of Law

Fired City of St Augustine Planning and Building Director MARK KNIGHT is practicing law without a license, as the City has no rule empowering non-lawyers to represent corporations before City Commission and Boards. At issue: two Planning and Zoning Board decisions to waive height limits for hotels on Ponce de Leon Blvd. MARK KNIGHT and the hoteliers must be stopped. In 1927, the six-story bank building was built. Our community in its righteous wrath forbade skyscrapers. No more. Not in our town, not in our time. Developers, knock it off.

PAY the Piper, 7-Eleven & Woe Unto Your Lawyers

Florida law provides for attorney fees to be paid to prevailing parties in writ of certiorari actions challenging City zoning decisions. 7-Eleven will end up paying all of the City of St. Augustine's legal fees, expenses and costs at every level. Every single dime.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rotten Fish, 7-Eleven, Monopolists, Cowards and "Anonymice" vs. City Commission and "We, The People"

My Polish-American grandmother often bought food from horse-drawn "huckster" carts selling fish, fruit and vegetable sellers in her Polish neighborhood in Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia.

My skeptical Nanny would ask rhetorically when I was a six-year-old,"Ever hear a huckster holler rotten fish?" Nope.

The hucksters are Japanese multinational monopolist 7-Eleven Corporation, lawyers JAMES PATRICK WHITEHOUSE, DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT (son of the former Commanding General of the Florida National Guard, namesake, whom Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT appointed to the St. Johns River Water Management District.

The rotten fish is a proposed 12-pump gasoline 7-Eleven station across from the Old Waterworks Building, a Nationally-registered Historic Place, adjoining the Main Branch St. Johns County Public Library, Davenport Children's Park and Carousel, Nationally-regisered Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood neighborhoods, escape routes from the barrier beach, and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and badly-gridlocked failing intersection and roadways (San Marco Blvd. and May Street).

The monopolists are 7-Eleven and The St. Augustine Record, run by cowards, who never offend an advertiser or potential advertiser (like 7-Eleven). On December 1, 2014, the Record restored anonymous "anonymice" commenting, which is now in overdrive as 7-Eleven and law firm employees and lobbyists post materially false and misleading statements about the project.

The hucksters and monopolists pushing this rotten fish are aided and abetted by cowards and bullies like MARK KNIGHT, former City Planning and Building Director, the Judas Iscariot who billed 30 hours of "work" at $150/hour to give dodgy testimony deemed "unreliable" and untruthful by City Commissioner Leanna Freeman. Under cross-examination by Jane West, MARK KNIGHT admitted he "counseled" 7-Eleven when he was a city employee and falsely claimed he had been given a "traffic study" that does not exist in City files. MARK KNIGHT was fired and he and the City refuse to say why (his resignation agreement contains an illegal gag order violating the First Amendment and environmental whistleblower laws). MARK KNIGHT now works for 7-Eleven's former law firm, which he advised to file a permit application before the ban on San Marco Avenue gasoline stations became effective (despite the pending ordinance doctrine). MARK KNIGHT, who often seemingly practices law without a license in front of City staff, boards and the Commission, deserves to be hailed in front of a federal grand jury for his perfidy.

The City staff who wrongfully approved the permit refused to delay the permit for consideration of traffic and evacuation issues. They were impaired by Assistant S. Johns County ADMINISTRATOR JERRY CAMERON, who ordered the County's new Emergency Management Director NOT to cooperate with me on evacuation questions. Color CAMERON conceited and an enemy of our City's citizens and their rights. Likewise, 7-Eleven refused my request to consider moving its project two blocks away, to U.S. 1, putting safety last and greed first.

In January 16 and 18 news stories and a January 18, 2015 editorial, the St. Augustine Record once again failed to fulfill its "watchdog function" and onee again failed to inform its readers adequately, while acting as if there were any merit whatever to 7-Eleven's position. People unfamiliar with the facts and law should not write editorials, but that is apparently considered a bona fide occupational qualification at the rebarbative dull Republican Record.

The St. Augustine Record is known to local residents as "the mullet wrapper," the mullet being medium-size bait for sharks (like 7-Eleven and the ST. JOHNS LAW GROUP, DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT and JAMES GEORGE WHITEHOUSE).

Everyone in the room Thursday supported the residents and opposed 7-Eleven.

Unknown people who hide behind anonymity should not be empowered to attack our leaders with libel and threats, but that is what the Record allowed people to do in threatening City leaders, including being rounded up and shot in the Slave Market Square (2013), before "anonymice" comments were abolished by Delinda Fogel, Publisher, who said the anonymous threatener had a "write (sic) to his opinion." How gauche. How louche. We suspect the pro-7-Eleven commenters are 7-Eleven lawyers, toadies and employees."

We, The People were heard and heeded in a six-hour hearing before City Commission on January 15, 2015. Watch it here, and don't take the St. Augustine Record's word for anything. This was the best-run and best-done quasi-judicial hearing I have seen in ten years of attending City Commission meetings, with stellar legal representation by Jane West and great work by Mayor Nancy Shaver, Commissioners Leanna Freeman, Todd Neville, Nancy Sikes-Kline and Roxanne Horvath. Their decision is well-nigh irrefragable, based upon public health and safety considerations and some eleven (1) independent legal grounds, including the pending ordinance doctrine in Florida law and some ten parts of the mandatory Entry Corridor Guidelines, which City staff erroneously felt was not mandatory legal authority.

Florida School for the Deaf and Blind President Dr. Jeanne Prickett, FSDB students, faculty and staff, and citizens George Gardner, Melinda Rakoncay, Matthew Shaffer, Skip Hutton, Gina Burrell, Lisa Loyd, Bonnie Patrick, Tom Reynolds, Wesley Scoviner, et al. deserve great credit for standing up to the ill-advised City staff. I pity the City staff, which was ill-advised on legal issues and not told of the pending ordinance doctrine and given low-quality advice by the City Attorneys. "What they need is leadership," Mr. Shaffer testified. Amen. We "band of brothers and sisters" conquered City Hall AND 7-Eleven Thursday, and the tatterdemalion St. Augustine Record is too money-hungry and advertising-addled to care.

For our 450th, let's give ourselves a birthday present: St. Augustine needs a REAL newspaper, not a "mullet wrapper," a prawn, a pawn for monopolists, a huckster for rotten fish, so run by monopolists and cowards, and printing errant nonsense from monopolists and "anonymice.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Michigan hate speech defendant who lost $4.5 million jury verdict now lives in Palm Coast

Dawn of A New Day!

Citizen concerns respected and not neglected -- heard and heeded and not disrespected. No 7-Eleven in our Historic area next to Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and across from our library, carousel and Old Waterworks, at a failing intersection. Restoration of artists and musicians to their rightful place in our downtown, with negotiations underway. Rodman Dam to be torn down, allowing the Ocklawaha River to flow freely once again. What a wonderful world we live in -- citizens organizing and winning victory after victory. Viva!

Friday, January 16, 2015

LEN WEEKS' Parking & Traffic Committee ABOLISHED

Thank you, Commissioners, for abolishing history-destroying building-killer LEN WEEKS' secretive Parking & Traffic Committee, which never appeared on television, meeting in an outbuilding conference room. Well done. Monday, when we celebrate the birthday of Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., might have been the defunct Committee's next meeting: WEEKS said he wanted to meet on MLK Day because "everybody's off."


Pitiful excuse for an attorney.

What's Next After 7-Eleven Victory?

We, The People, in St. Augustine just stopped 7-Eleven, a Japanese multinational corporation, from erecting a twelve-pump gasoline station across the street from our historic, protected Waterworks building, our carousel and our library, at a failing intersection. Its building permit was cancelled.
We shall overcome!
Two well-organized communities (Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood) ably represented by zealous counsel (Jane West), testifying through exquisitely-well-spoken witnesses, before five attentive City Commissioners, who arrived at the correct legal decision, overturning on eleven (11) unassailable legal grounds a building permit that would have wrecked our Nation's Oldest City.
"We band of brothers and sisters" made history yesterday, while preserving our City's history forever.
As astronemer Carl Sagan told our American Bar Association meeting in Atlanta in 1991, our Constitution, like the scientific method, is based upon self-correcting mechanisms to arrive at truth and a correct decision. The City staff's issuance of a permit was corrected by the City Commission, after hearing all of the evidence.
Now we move forward to even greater heights, knowing that developers no longer own our City government, as in years past.
We who love this town are being heard and heeded.
What's next?
Now we work toward the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

No "Historic" 12-Pump 7-Eleven Gasoline Station at May Street & San Marco Avenue

We The People won another one. 5-0. More later. Meanwhile, thanks to all who made this day possible, particularly attorney Jane West and neighbors, including former Mayor George Gardner and community leaders Melinda Rakoncay, Matthew Shaffer, et al. More later. Watch the entire hearing on

Historic City News Exposes Mummy Cat Productions LLC Flummery on City's "Journey" Film Syndication

Here and also here. Read all about it! We need a forensic and performance audit of all City functions. Now, please.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

John Stewart Skewers Anti-Gay Florida Court Clerks, Zings St. Johns County Homophobe Picketing Against "Perversion" Here

Thanks to Court Clerk Cheryl Strickland, St. Johns County is not a punchline for jokes (but one of our homophobic KKK members are).

Flagler College Dominates Town & Gown Meeting, Members Plan Six Months of Possible Sunshine and Open Records Violations

With two "sides" seated separately, the public disrespected, excluded and silenced and excluded and no live streaming video (only audio) available to the residents, the City of St. Augustine-Flagler College Town and Gown Task Force meeting began poorly today. Without audio, who knows who said what? Without accurate minutes, we may never know (and only shallow minutes were contemplated).

Under artificial pressure (unexplained) to vacate the room at 4:30, citizens were not allowed to speak into microphones, could not be heard, and did not identify themselves. The committee bragged it finished "with two minutes to spare." How louche and lugubrious.

Flagler College members endeavored to limit the scope of the group and its work, attempting to bar expressions of opinions. They and other board members plotted and connived how to exchange documents (including Flagler College expansion plans) without sending them to Assistant City Administrator TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD, claiming this would not make them public records. We will just see about that.

No mention was made of Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) or the Spanish Garden. One of Flagler College male members interrupted women members with chauvinistic chutzpa, with Lincolnville resident Judith Seraphin talked over after only some ten words at one point.
At the end, one board members said (with microphone still on) that he was a member of the St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Agency and hated public comment, stating that "it's always the same two or three people" and "it's always a rant." This board member's name is DAVID RICE, SENIOR PASTOR AT ANCIENT CITY BAPTIST CHURCH. The ungraciously run committee is set to finish work in six months. Another exercise in futility? Let the CONTROL GAMES begin.


The Town With Two Mayors: Forensic and Performance Audit Needed As Our Gift for the 450th

Monday night, DANA STE. CLAIRE (a/k/a "PRIMA DANA") thought it was cute to have his no-bid MUMMY CAT PRODUCTIONS, INC. on stage at Flagler College Auditorium at the precise time that City Commission was working on the peoples' business, putting ex-Mayor JOE BOLES on stage while our real Mayor, Nancy Shaver, was presiding at the Commission meeting, including discussion of 450th planning and a no-bid Yacht Club lease (pulled at our request). Your sins have found you out, PRIMA DANA. The details of MUMMY CAT's soft-peddling African-American history, making factual errors, and trying to profit from the City's intellectual property are being investigated. The whole world is watching.

All governments need Ombuds and Inspectors General. St. Augustine 450th Director DANA STE. CLAIRE (a/k/a "PRIMA DANA") and this effort to profit from then CIty's IP must be investigated as part of an overall forensic audit of the City of St. Augustine, top to bottom. Let that be our gift to ourselves for the 450th --- clean government.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7-Eleven Must Donate Land For City Park

Letter: An open letter to 7-Eleven's CEO
An open letter to 7-Eleven's CEO
Posted: January 13, 2015 - 7:06pm
By Gwenda Marks and Jay A. Jubert,
St. Augustine Record

Dear Mr. Suzuki: St. Augustine, Florida is celebrating its 450th anniversary.

The first city in the U.S.A. needs your immediate action!

Despite opposition from citizen and community officials, 7-Eleven is building a 12-gas-pump convenience store in a quiet neighborhood at the entrance to our national historic treasure.

This location is currently congested, hazardous and under planning improvements by the Florida Department of Transportation.

We propose that you donate this land to make a great 7-Eleven Park, fountains and all!

We are asking you to please be a responsible corporate citizen.

Be a global model for your vision and sensitivity and let the national 450th party show the world your good sense. Announce a Preserve and Prosper 7-Eleven Historic Park.

Please work with your customers.

Exorcisms Needed: Calling Pope Francis

Something about the fog and flummery these past few days reminds me of William Friedkin's 1973 pic, "The Exorcist," filmed on the campus of my alma mater, Georgetown University.

Last night, amid fog and rain, only a few dozen intrepid souls trod into the Lawrence Lewis Auiditorium at Flagler College, named after the late Henry Flagler, co-founder of the Standard Oil Monopoly, to view a short film originally paid for by the City of St. Augustine, on 450 years of St. Augustine African-American history. The short film contains inaccuracy (Spanish left in 1819, not 1845), and sugarcoats our history. Worse ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. joined disappointing 450th director DANA STE. CLAIRE on stage with the producers, while our Mayor and Commissioners were across Granada Street in the long-schedule Commission meeting. How gauche. How lauche. How graceless. How classless. We, The People, caught the producers red-handed trying to profit from the City's work-for-hire work by charging TV stations for it -- the City owns the intellectual property and rights to its reproduction. All profits must be disgorged, if it takes a fraud and RICO lawsuit and a constructive trust to bring them back. (The same company, Mummy Cat Productions, LLC

Dodgy ex-Mayor BOLES, who made a career of bilking the City (along with ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.) previously went through the motions of wanting the CIty to exploit the 450th branding, was apparently okay with the scam, having appeared on a program in October with the procedures. In fact, one of the Mummy Cat producers, LURA READLE SCARPITTI, the new Chair of the Chamber of Commerce's Tourism and Hospitality Council, who also puts out a snooty rich-white-guy magazine on 80 pound color card stock ("OLD CITY LIFE"), appeared with her husband (ANTHONY SCARPITTI employed in PR by Sawgrass County Club, whose CEO was VCB Chair) in our City Manager's horse-drawn carriage during Nights of Lights. Small world for these monopolists and no-bid contract beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, bilious wight BOLES was scheduled to be "master of ceremonies" of the annual perverted, fetishistic "gala" in honor of bloodthirsty Pedro Menedez de Aviles, the murderer who founded St. Augustine (whose 1566 anti-Gay hate crime was the first in North America, unobserved so far by our City and State in their airbrushed observances of the anniversaries of the founding of Spanish Florida and of St. Augustine (named after an African bishop). We'll just see about that.

Meanwhile, the dodgy Tallahassee lobbyist-directed SUNSHINE NEWS erroneously reported January 6, 2015 that BOLES was still Mayor, still not running a correction a week after being telephoned and written about it. Errors and no facts, eh?

Meanwhile, the ethically-challenged City staff continued with their mediocrity and mendacity (below), slow-dancing with the Yacht Club and proposing Sunshine and Open records violations by the St. Augustine-Flagler College Town and Gown Task Force.

The 1% are partying like it's 1999, as if LEN WEEKS were still Mayor and WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS a/k/a "BILL HARRISS" were still City Manager. With their all-white police and fire departments and all-white Rotary, country and other clubs, you'd think it was 1860.

For sheer effrontery, they take our cake and steal our treasure.

That's why we need Pope Francis here later this year, to deliver a stunning rebuke like he delivered against the corrupt Roman curia, excoriating depredations of our environment and history, Xtrevilism, vanilla greed, genocide, racism, homophobia, waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery, incompetence and no-bid contracts.

What do you reckon?

Eleven Embarrassments at Last Night's City Commission Meeting

1. City Manager John Patrick Regan's fast-talking used car salesman presentation on 450th planning -- too little, too late?
2. Mummy Cat's "Journey" movie, the City's intellectual property, a work for hire about to be broadcast on a third of the TV stations in America, complete with erroneous statement that Spanish left Florida in 1845, something I asked Dana Ste. Claire to have corrected a year ago.
3. Lack of followup on citizen and Commissioner concerns.
4. Failure to involve people who volunteered at 2007 Kickoff Meeting.
5. Failure to promote New York Times Travel Section and other articles: there has not been a New York Times Travel Section article dedicated to St. Augustine since September 5, 2003.
6. Failure to provide requested details of Tapestry exhibit.
7. Failure to explain how our City managed to offend the Seminole Tribe.
8. Failure to address Federal St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission, or violations of Federal Advisory Committee Act in failing to hold open public meetings.
9. Failure to explain lack of public comment on all agenda items, as Commission supposedly approved on December 1, 2014.
10. Failure to discuss management shortcomings leading to second-time pulling of no-bid Yacht Club lease of our Salt Run Community Center.
11. Failure to discuss Sunshine and Open Records concerns about City of St. Augustine-Flagler College Town and Gown Committee.
Enough gooberishness. Enough effrontery, flummery, dupery and nincompoopery. This is our town, our time and our money.

Danny Hutto, R.I.P.

On January 7th, Danny Hutto died. He was a kind soul, the retired President of our Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. We will miss him. Our condolences to Mrs. Hutto and the rest of his family.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yacht Club Lease Pulled From Agenda For Second Time

Thank you, St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver and Commissioner Todd Neville! As liberal Manhattan Republican Barry Farber, a native of Greensboro, N.C., always ended his broadcasts on WOR-AM in New York "Keep askin' questions." Salud! Viva!

An Ode to Joy: Restoring Street Art and Music to Downtown St. Augustine's Historic District

For years, joyless commercial landlords abused the government of the City of St. Augustine to arrest hundreds of our street artists and musicians for singing, playing music and painting, a violation of protected activity rights under the First Amendment.

Tonight, St. Augustine attorney Thomas E. Cushman won Commissioners' agreement to make amends and correct the City's illegal ordinances in light of case law, promising a lawsuit if the ordinances are not corrected. Three cheers to the artists, musicians, Mayor Nancy Shaver and our community. We shall overcome.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Reject No-bid Yacht Club Lease of Salt Run Community Center

Dear Mayor Shaver and Commissioners:
1. This proposal is based upon greed, not need. Please reject this poorly-drafted special interest no-bid lease of our Salt Run Community Center as a violation of public policy. See Restatement of Contracts, 2d, Section 178 (Contract violation of public policy).
2. The Yacht Club lease proposal:
a. has a nondiscrimination clause that does not include sexual orientation or gender identification as protected classes;
b. lacks a security deposit requirement;
c. lacks proper due diligence or staff analysis (staff did not analyze finances or obtain the Yacht Club's 990, which I have requested);
d. is evidently unadorned by any neighborhood notice, charette or meeting;
e. was the result of a no-bid lease without an RFP or RFQ;
f. is a typical form book lease that fails to protect the public interest; and
g. involves reducing the rent from $1500 to $1000 per month, based upon assertions of declining membership, unadorned by any accounting records or financial analysis.
3. This proposal stinks. This is our Salt Run Community Center, which the Yacht Club agreed to run. Instead, it is being run as a private club, with little opportunity for residents to enjoy, as we could when it was a restaurant and community center.
4. The Yacht Club has not yet provided a list of dates when citizen groups were able to use it. Why?
5. In the year before the lease was approved, the Salt Run Community Center was used some 150 times (see below).
6. How often has it been used as a Community Center since then?
7. Where is the signage stating this is the "Salt Run Community Center?"
8. How are citizens notified that they can use our Salt Run Community Center without charge?
9. It was a lovely restaurant and community center before the Yacht Club got it, removing the name "Salt Run Community Center."
10. It should be open for breakfast, lunch and weddings, and not just Republican or neighborhood meetings.
11. Below are the minutes of the November 13, 2006 City Commission meeting where this no-bid lease was the result of clamorous cheering by 75 Yacht Club members.
12. Please reject the lease. Please do not begin our City of St. Augustine's 450th year by rubber-stamping another long-term lease of our Salt Run Community Center to wealthy yacht owners. Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

P.S. Record editorial January 16 endorses the Yacht Club deal.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Front page Record article on St. Johns County and Gay marriage: "Unlike neighbors, St. Johns County shows tolerance of Gay marriage"

Ms. Cheryl Strickland, our St. Johns County Clerk of Courts, deserves credit, along with her lawyer, Geoffrey Dobson. Three cheers! Viva! St. Augustine is an island of progressivism in a sea of Philistinism in NE Florida. Our elected officials and legal community are responding nicely to the will of We, The People on Gay rights issues and they have been since December 10, 2012, when St. Augustine City Commission adopted on its third unanimous vote an amendment to our Fair Housing ordinance adding sexual orientation as a protected class. St. Augustine is not Jacksonville or Orange Park: we take care of our own. Good article quoting Stratton Pollitzer of Equality Florida, Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, former County Commission Chairman J. Kenneth Bryan and Court Clerk Cheryl Strickland. Thank you.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Correction: City Manager John Patrick Regan, P.E. Is Apparently NOT a Member of the St. Augustine Yacht Club, Inc.

While listed by sail number on the St. Augustine Yacht Club, Inc. website, but he tells me he is not a dues-paying member.  Understood.
The dues are expensive, and only affordable by the 0.1%.
John and Felicia raced in races, but their jib is broken on their sailboat.

Two dogs in two mangers: Spanish Garden and Lighthouse Restaurant Yacht Club Lease: City Commission Meets Monday, January 12, 2015

Our St. Augustine Spanish Garden, walled off for nearly fourteen (14) years by willful whim of St. Augustine Foundation, Inc., preventing the public from enjoying lands that were once under care of the State Preservation Board.  See below.

Our St. Augustine Lighthouse Restaurant, City-owned, leased without competitive bidding to the Yacht Club since 2005, depriving all but a few rich yacht owners (and Republican Club members) from enjoying CIty property.  See below.

Two dogs, two mangers.  Privatization of the commons by the 0.1%  Enough flummery, dupery, nincompoopery, waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, corruption and no-bid leases and privatization of our public lands.

How low can they 0.1% go?  See below.

Come speak out at City Commission Monday night, 5 PM, Lightner Museum and City Hall, 75 King Street.  See below.

"Tear down this wall": Time to repeal musician and artist suppressing Nuremberg Laws

Photo credit: © 2014 Historic City News/Michael Gold
Ed Slavin and Felicia Regan December 5, 2014, at reopening of Hypolita Street, with actual musicians performing at right, on a rare "blue moon" day, when the iron gates of the walled Spanish garden controlled by "St. Augustine Foundation, Inc. were actually open (although no one was actually allowed to walk inside)

There is so much to be proud of in our City of St. Augustine since Nancy Shaver became Mayor and John Regan became City Manager.
The list is long.
On Monday night, January 12, City Commissioners are being asked to end the "reign of ruin" of anti-music, anti-artist, anti-busker discrimination, exclusion and ignominy created by William B. Harriss, erstwhile City Manager. Enough.
These ordinances are addictive, and appeal to Tinpot Napoleon social dominators -- people who see the government as a bullet in their guns.
Let's tell the City's commercial landlords to stop creating problems.
Let's tell them they've ruined St. George Street and made it a dull, inauthentic t-shirt mall with loud recored music.
Let's tell them to talk to their neighbors -- to get along with the buskers, instead of stalking them with cameras.
Let's tell them to make requests if they don't like the musical selections.
Stop criminalizing art, music and entertainment.
A June 2014 unanimous Supreme Court decision makes it likely those efforts likely violate First Amendment rights (finding even a "content neutral" sidewalk regulation must be "narrowly tailored," which 25 foot limitation was not in Massachusetts abortion picketing law).
It's time to start solving problems instead of inventing them.
Stop referring to landlords and merchants as "residents" and buskers as "them" (or as "Gypsies" or "vermin," as in the recent past).
Stop listening to history-destroying building killer LEN WEEKS, who brought on these unjust laws (and destroyed 62A Spanish Street on September 25, 2014, a date that will live in infamy).
Stop dividing "us" from "them."
Stop dividing young from old.
Stop dividing rich from poor.
Stop dividing us.
Stop making St. Augustine look like a sick place that is still run by hick hacks -- the people who ruined our 400th celebration with racist bigotry seen worldwide.
As Bill Clinton said (in another context), "they're themming us to death."
We don't need "Jim Crow" laws attacking the First Amendment (again).
We don't need Nuremberg Laws that make it a crime to make a living as a musician or artist.
These are working people, and this is an anti-worker ordinance.
As the Supreme Court's Gay marriage DOMA decision proved, founding lawmaking on hatred is like building a castle out of sand in the tidal zone in a hurricane -- they lose.
The City of St. Augustine must make available City property, such as the courtyard of the Casa de Hidalgo, for buskers.
The City of St. Augustine must welcome buskers, as in then-Mayor George Gardner's March 24, 2003 plan (reprinted here).
No more discrimination and First Amendment violations, please.
Likewise, the hideously walled Spanish Garden, run by the St. Augustine Foundation, Inc. must at last be re-opened to the public, including street musicians.
It is public property, given to the people of Florida, and it has since 2000 been wrongfully fenced off as the world's dullest private park, selectively used as Foundation bosses desire, as are other properties formerly owned by our State of Florida. I have written the Foundation, which is under the wing of Flagler College and the "iron heel" of Dr. WILLIAM L. PROCTOR, Chancellor of Flagler College, arch-conservative former state representative and Republican lord of all he surveys.
It's time for healing. Or else. For as my mother said, "Time wounds all heels."
President Ronald Wilson Reagan said at the Berlin Wall, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." In Ronald Reagan's spirit, our City must say, with one voice, "Messrs. Weeks and Proctor, tear down this wall."

Reagan and Gorbachev in front of piece of Berlin Wall on display at Reagan Presidential Library.

As LBJ said to a joint session of Congress after Selma, "We SHALL overcome!"

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Say Yes to Federal Grants

$750,000/year in federal Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development (CDBG/HUD) to solve poverty, including:
Rehabilitation and Preservation of Housing
Water and Sewer Improvements
Street Improvements
Economic Development Activities
Creating Jobs for Low and Moderate Income People
Downtown Revitalization
Parks and Recreation Projects
Drainage Improvements
Prior city managers eschewed grants, fearing audits of their works and pomps. It's our money, coming back to us. It is right and just that the City of St. Augustine should have an accountable process to seek and spend federal grants.
Just say yes to Our Federalism!

No-Bid Yacht Club Lease At Reduced Rent Proposed by City Staff

JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., City Manager, and JAMES PIGGOTT, Director of General Services, have proposed renewing the no-bid ST. AUGUSTINE YACHT CLUB lease for another 10-25 years, at reduced rent, slashing the rent from $1500 to $1000 per month.
The property includes docks and a 1988 building with 1664 square feet, worth more than $200,000, bordering on Salt Run and overlooking Anastasia State Park and Conch Island (future St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore).
Rather than audit all contracts, the City staff members are in a hurry.
City staff want to renew a contract for the richest St. Augustinians. Pretext is declining membership and quid pro quo "services."
Did he inform Commissioners of this possible appearance of impropriety and conflict of interest?
Not in their packets.
While he says he is not a member (see above), it looks like he has been used by the owners and controllers (again).
Vote no!
This property has not been open for community use as promised. Some events were open only to registered Republicans. And the proposed new lease provides for use only by the Yachut Club and neighborhood/community associations."
It was once a community center and before that at the Lighthouse Restaurant. The City's restaurant lease was so poorly drafted that it did not provide for a security deposit on the restaurant. Neither does the Yacht Club Lease.
Like the City's controversial lease of 81 St. George Street to ex-Mayor LEN WEEKS and ex-Mayor JOE BOLES, this lease provides for construction, acting as if a dock on city property does not become city property until the Yacht Club leaves (when basic property law says fixtures to the land are immediately owned by the Owner).
The lease has other questionable provisions, including a no-discrimination provision that omits sexual orientation.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Developer Law Firm St. JOHNS LAW GROUP Ends Some Unethical Advertising Practices re: Two Government Clients

St. Augustine Beach activist Thomas Francis Reynolds won several victories today.

No longer may ST. JOHNS LAW GROUP and attorney DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT advertise their services with a link to their website on the website of the the City of St. Augustine Beach.

No longer may ST. JOHNS LAW GROUP and DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT put the logos of th airport on their website.

Three cheers for ethics enforcement in the State of Florida.

But the St. AUGUSTINE BEACH Commissioners voted January 5th late in the meeting to let BURNETT and St. JOHNS LAW GROUP put St. Augustine Beach's logo on their website as a "representative client," among all those corporations.

How gauche, louche and sycophantic. SAB cowers to power.

DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT is son of the former Commanding General of the Florida National Guard, General DOUGLAS BURNETT. BURNETT was appointed by Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT to the board of directors of our St. Johns River Water Management District and was once on the short list for FSU President JOHN THRASHER's former state senate seat. Small world?

DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT and St. JOHNS LAW GROUP are feeling the heat -- his law firm associate JAMES GEORGE WHITEHOUSE is counsel for 7-11 Corporation at next weeks' court proceeding (January 12) and City Commission appeal (January 15) aimed at attempting to inflict an ugly 7-11 with twelve gasoline pumps at the failing "F" intersection at May Street and San Marco Avenues in the historic district of the City of the St. Augustine.

Marilyn Crotty Returns?

University of Central Florida to get another no-bid contract? Say it ain't so, St. Augustine Beach.
MARILYN CROTTY has previously advised the City of St. Augustine Beach on visioning and chartering, and Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County on visioning.
There are tens of thousands of dollars on no-bid contracts let by hick hacks at St. Augustine Beach and other local governments, including personal service contracts.
MARILYN CROTTY is hostile to public participation and tried to discourage St. Augustine Beach's successful charter provision on building height. (She invoked a mean and base attack at the 2002 pregnant pigs constitutional amendment to Article 10 of the Florida Constitution, which prevented North Carolina's factory farm industry -- that stinky piggy awful offal industry -- from moving here after an environmental apocalypse.
MARILYN CROTTY personally arranged the tables and chairs for the initial St. Augustine Beach charter review committee with the members' backsides to the audience. Get it? Backsides to the public for decennial charter review.
I objected. MARILYN CROTTY desisted, rearranging the chairs.
She stood and walked around and above the charter review committee members patronizing, like your worst third-rate third grade teacher in elementary school. Get it? She is manipulative and pro-status quo, whatever it is, wherever she might appear.
MARILYN CROTTY refused to allow any public participation at all during an all day Mosquito Control District visioning meeting under Chairman BARBARA BOSANKO. (BOSANKO is the overbearing wife of the former County Attorney DANIEL BOSANKO; she called the Sheriff to try to arrest former Army Captain Don Girvan and me for objecting to the $1.8 million no-bid luxury Bell Jet five-seater helicopter -- result: no arrests, no helicopter, full refund, corruption exposed).
The fact that anyone would want to hire the University of Central Florida's MARILYN CROTTY is so revealing of the mediocrities in St. Augustine Beach.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


A January 6, 2015 article in Sunshine State News says JOE BOLES is Mayor of St. Augustine. He lost the election to Nancy Shaver on November 4, 2014 and lost the job on December 1, 2014.

As JFK said during the Cuban Missile Crisis, "There's always some poor SOB who doesn't get the word."

Here's my letter to Sunshine State News.

To Nancy Smith:

Dear Ms. Smith:
1. Your January 6, 2015 article, "Gussied-Up St. Augustine Expecting a Royal Visit for Its 450th Birthday" erred. JOE BOLES is not our Mayor. Nancy Shaver is our Mayor.   
2. Mayor Shaver was sworn in on December 1, 2014 before a huge crowd, with the oath administered by Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince.  
3. I reckon the St. Augustine City Commission may be the only elected legislature in the world with 80% women -- four of five City Commissioners here are women. They are Mayor Nancy Shaver, Vice Mayor Roxanne Horvath, Commissioners Nancy Sikes-Kline, Leana Freeman and Todd Neville. 
4. That's a higher percentage of women running any government, corporation or newsroom that I can find.  
6. The story of why he lost involves greed, corruption, no-bid contracts and Our Nation's Oldest City calling an end to them.  
7. For you to report that the old mayor was still on the job is reminiscent of the 1948 "Dewey Beats Truman" headline in the Chicago Tribune, which President Truman held high, grinning. Rest assured that St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver has a delightful sense of humor and will take your story with aplomb and good graciousness.  PLEASE CALL HER, 303-877-6995.
Ed Slavin

New Year, New Rules: Newspapers Start Reporting Corruption

To be worthy of the term newspaper, one must report news. On January 6th, a week after the poll ended, the recorded finally revealed that the biggest story of 2014 was the special prosecutor in Michelle O'Connell's case, followed by the election of Mayor Nancy Shaver, who defeated JOSPEH LESTER BOLES, Jr.

"Ideas have consequences." So said my Georgetown University Political Theory Professor, Jose Sorzano, self-described "crazy Cuban" who served as Deputy UN Ambassador under Ambassador Jeanne Kirpatrick and President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

"Ideas have consequences." The idea that you could coverup domestic violence, coverup the shooting of a Sheriff deputy's girlfriend and hold on to political power as the Sheriff of St. Johns County does not work. Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR must be investigated, indicted, prosecuted, convicted and removed from office if he is guilty of obstruction of justice. Likewise, Deputy Sheriff JEREMY BANKS be investigated, indicted, prosecuted, convicted and removed from office if he is guilty of obstruction of the September 2, 2010 shooting death of Michelle O'Connell.

"Ideas have consequences." Too many local public officials and clergymen have given fawning obeisance to Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, shockingly supping with the Sheriff at monthly meetings of the Christian Marketplace, dedicated to proselytizing in government workplaces. Anyone who thinks they will be re-elected in 2016 by standing next to Sheriff Shoar needs their conscience and their head examined.

"Ideas have consequences." The idea that you kiss up to developers and their pet Sheriff while betraying your readers and ignoring a family's demand for justice is untenable. St. Augustine and St. Johns County deserve a newspaper.

The St. Augustine Record is unworthy of the name.

"Ideas have consequences." The Record is guilty, guilty, guilty.

"Ideas have consequences." The Record is guilty of having fired experienced reporters, spiked too many stories, stiffed too many readers' columns out of spite, and tilted the news in favor of crooks owners and controllers. My friend J.D. Pleasant says "if you want something covered up, tell the St. Augustine Record."

What's next? You tell me!
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

New Year, New Rules: Right of Laymen to Cross-Examine Hearing Witnesses on Ex Parte Contacts: Thank you!

St. Augustine, Florida City Attorney Isabelle Lopez just invited tonight at 7:11 PM a non-lawyer to cross-examine opponents on ex parte contacts with Planning and Zoning Board members. New year, new rules, new precedent. Thank you.

The non-lawyer in quo is Mark Knight, fired former Planning and Building Director of the City of St. Augustine, acting as a non-lawyer advocate for several hours before PZB, possibly practicing law without a license working for the law firm of McClure Bloodworth, former law firm of the late GEORGE MORRIS MCCLURE.

At the December 8, 2014 City Commission appeal of the Echo House demolition permit, Ms. Lopez did not advise me of that right, nor did any of the five City Commissioners disclose any of their ex parte contacts. I have requested reconsideration of the building-killing permit euchred by St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc. and Rev. Ronald Rawls. Next meeting is January 12, 2014 at 5 PM.

Zingers From Howard Zinn

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
-Howard Zinn

"Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson that everything we do matters is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere.
A poem can inspire a movement.
A pamphlet can spark a revolution.
Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back."
-Howard Zinn

Saving St. Augustine Beach

Mayor Andrew Samuels and Vice Mayor Richard O'Brien were unanimously reappointed last night to their positions. Congratulations to the pair. Now: "Earn this" (in the words of the denouement of "Saving Private Ryan,' spoken to Matt Damon's character by Tom Hanks' character). You have no African-American city employees and a reputation as a racist city with long-segregated beaches. What are you going to do? EEOC is watching you. So are We, The People.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Bigoted Babbitry

Telling the world of your "100 Years of Pubic (service), making Jay Leno.
Printing nothing on the front page when President Obama was elected (only paper on Earth).
Habitually backing the wrong candidates for election, supporting corruption, endorsing mediocrity, slapping activists, cowering to developers, catering to crooks, censoring letters and columns, campaigning against music and art on St. George Street, leaving public meetings early, ignoring big money in policies falsifying the news, omitting the names of the victim and the alleged shooter in the O'Connell case ab initio, reporting breathlessly when an imposter Ringo Starr appeared at the behest of a hotel PR person, firing all the good reporters because it saves money, running front page headlines on a bogus anti-Gay lawsuit that was quickly dismissed and arrests that are immediately reversed: that's some RECORD.
Worth of Pravda or Izvestia.
Happy New Year, St. Augustine WRECK-IT.
You don't know what a front page is for (omitting key stories, while pumping up trivia).
You don't even know what a newspaper is for (to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, not the reverse).
You're owners and controllers can be downright perverse.
BUT we forgive your devious, supercilious, silly, petty, vindictive "works and pomps."
But we're all laughing at your refusal to post Biggest Story of the Year Results, coronating government staff as if they were "leaders," and attacking Mayor Nancy Shaver for asking questions about the dumb 'ole 450th, a flop and foible of failed Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.
She was elected to ask questions.
She will continue to ask questions, whether the Establishment and the WRECKord's ethically-challenged publisher and editor like it, or not.
How gauche and louche.

Thank you, Cheryl Strickland

Our local court clerk here in St. Augustine got it right. Courthouse weddings continue here.

Dishonor Role Roll: No More Flori-DUH Courthouse Marriages in Fifteen Traditionally KKK Counties

Sixteen traditionally KKK counties ban courthouse weddings. Click here

(revised, now it's 15)

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Record's Lying Ann Coulter Does It Again

Monday's St Augustine WRECKORD again prints a false, demagogic Ann Coulter column demonizing "liberals," falsely flaming Yale law professors for making up a "hoax" upon which Griswold v. Connecticut was based (establishing right to privacy).
Easily verifiable as untrue by a well-educated former law clerk to an appellate judge (ANN COULTER), the false claim is emblazoned on the Record's editorial page today.
What gooberishness.
Wikipedia verifies the facts set forth in the case as follows: "Shortly after the Poe decision was handed down, Estelle Griswold (Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut)[3] and Dr. C. Lee Buxton (a physician and professor at the Yale School of Medicine)[4] opened a birth control clinic in New Haven, Connecticut, in order to test the contraception law once again.[5] Shortly after the clinic was opened, Griswold and Buxton were arrested, tried, found guilty, and fined $100 each.[5] The conviction was upheld by the Appellate Division of the Circuit Court, and by the Connecticut Supreme Court.[6] Griswold then appealed her conviction to the Supreme Court of the United States. Griswold argued that the Connecticut statute against the use of contraceptives was contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...nor deny any person the equal protection of the laws," (Amendment 14 Section 1).[7] The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the Connecticut Statute was unconstitutional."
Right-wingers owning newspapers print Coulter because they have no facts, just like the fatcats who own Fox News.
They inflame rather than inform.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Florida Makes 36 States: Gay Marriage Unstoppable: Read My National Blog, FOUR OWLS

Defeating Corruption Biggest 2014 Story

Defeating corruption in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, Florida was the biggest news story of 2014, the St. Augustine Record's poll reveals(behind paywall, but first ten views free each month).

More than 40% of local newspaper readers in a vote-oncen online survey believe Nancy Shaver Defeating Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. was biggest story of 2014, by vote of some 40% of readers. Runner-up was the Governor appointing a new Special Prosecutor in Michelle O'Connell's September 2, 2010 shooting at the home of St. Johns County Deputy JEREMY BANKS, with some 20% of readers. That's 60%.

The two top stories are about "We, The People" triumphing over corruption, conflict of interest, bigotry, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, waste, fraud, abuse, flummery, dupery, nincompoopery and incompetence in government. One reader comment said that the election of Nancy Shaver was "n unbelievable race for the soul of St. Augustine."

Readers are voting for news about corruption. How cool is that? The data supports one inference: Message to the newspaper business (and it is a business, engaged in manufacturing a product): We need more reporters and fewer fluffers, please. People are rejecting faux "news" that fails the laugh test.

P.S. Record never ran print article. Never answered my e-mail queries. Apparently stopped poll in media res.
P.P.S. Record just ran results online -- over 70% chose Michelle O'Connell and Nancy Shaver, in that order. How cool is that?