Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Inept News Quote of The Day

"They were dealt a harsh blow last year when neighbors in Riberia Point said they didn’t want the attraction there."
-- St. Augustine Record, online as "St. Augustine Aquarium breaks ground at site off S.R. 16," and in print with an even longer headline and subhead -- a PR-generated lead front page article with four (4) photos.

1. There is no such thing as "Riberia Point" -- that was City Hall's name for Punta de Buena Esperanza, the name the Spanish called the neighborhood hundreds of years ago -- the U.S. Board of Geographic Place Names does not recognize Riberia Point.

2. Lincolnville, the neighborhood surrounding acres of fill atop 35 foot tall submerged mountains of garbage, opposed the aquarium. Lincolnville was founded by freed slave African-Americans in 1866. The word Lincolnville does not appear in the article.

3. The aquarium cost City residents more than $50,000 in engineering and staff work for a project neighbors rejected.

4. The Record's former sportswriter, Stuart Korfhage, has consistently been pro-developer (that's his beat). He's also smarmily written that Nancy Shaver was an "upstart" in reporting her primary victory (she is now our Mayor).

5. I reported Shawn and Kathy Hiester to the Small Business Administration Inspector General over their loan guarantee application, falsely reporting on their website that they owned city owned land at the south end of Riberia.

6. FDEP 2011 guidelines and banking prudence militated against building an aquarium, a children's museum, or any other structure on top of 35 feet of garbage. Thanks to Nancy Shaver, Blake Souder, Cash McVay and Judith Seraphin for stopping this outrage.

7. No thanks to the Record for giving the false impression in today's story that Shawn and Kathy Hiester were some sort of early Christian martyrs for the "blow" wrought by "neighbors" who "said they didn't want the attraction" in Linolnville. Record never adequately covered neighbor concerns, including the garbage, or the fact the Aquarium website made materially false and misleading statements, e.g, about start dates and owning city land at "Riberia Point."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Unethical Florida Power & Light: Your Suggestions Appreciated

Florida Power & Light has sent us a settlement offer, offering to reduce our power bill due to an illegal outage, where power was wrongfully cut off because a corporate bureaucrat in Miami did not honor a bill extension. The offer, such as it is, may expire tomorrow if we do not agree to a gag order barring us from being able to talk about FPL's actions, particularly to the new media. What do you suggest?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

St. Philistine, or St. Elsewhere?

I have an inspiration.
Could the developers who love ugliness, kill trees, destroy 211-year old homes and otherwise show they hate St. Augustine GO AWAY.
Let's enact a federal law allowing them to build an offshore island, off the coast of Ponte Vedra, at their own expense.
Let's allow them to throw their weight around and tax themselves, in an independent special taxing district. As H.L. Mencken said, "some Americans have a positive libido for the ugly." Offshore island of snooty Temple Destroyers, I dub thee: ST. PHILISTINE."
We will nickname you, "ST. ELSEWHERE."
In Fiddler on the Roof, the residents of the Jewish stetl say: 'May the Lord bless and keep the tsar, FAR AWAY FROM US!!
What do you reckon?
Then when they pay their money for their infrastructure for their ugly-ass treeless classless island of desperadoes, with forgiveness, let those of us who love and live here in St. Augustine to our departing friends, "Get thee hence." And, like The Raven, we can say of all of the Temple Destroyers' works and pomps: NEVERMORE.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Thanks to Derek Boyd Hankerson, ______________, ______________, _________________, ___________, _______________, B.J. Kalaidi, Michael Gold and a village full of informed and insightful and courageous other citizens engaging in protected activity about the 450th. We're going to learn the truth about government waste, fraud and abuse. Proud to live in St. Augustine, where in the words of James Madison, "The people [now] govern." See below.

Three questionable 450th contracts revealed: Shaver shares 450th contract concerns

Shaver shares 450th contract concerns
Posted: March 27, 2015 - 1:19pm

St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver has detailed her concerns about three contracts that prompted a request for a review of all 450th anniversary contracts.

Shaver and City Manager John Regan also described plans Friday for moving forward.

At Monday’s City Commission meeting, Shaver said she wanted a compliance review of all 450th contracts based on concerns about three contracts. But she declined to provide details.

Commissioners supported her meeting with Regan to discuss her specific concerns, but did not support moving forward with a larger review.

Regan and Shaver met Thursday, and they provided more details Friday.

“My requests are all around good governance, improvement of fiscal responsibility, all of those continuous improvement kinds of things that are really routine in the way organizations run their business,” Shaver said. “This is not about anything having to do with the performance of city employees. We have a superb staff. They work terribly hard.”

Regan will make a recommendation to the City Commission based on their discussions.

City contracts with Mummy Cat Productions LLC, the Noche de Gala, and Hyperscreens for the Visitor Information Center were the focus of concerns, Regan said.

The concerns were about the city’s bidding process and oversight of contracts once signed.

Shaver said the initial review has created opportunities for improvement in the process.

Regan also said the public comments at Monday’s commission meeting raised several issues about funding for the 450th anniversary.

To help answer that question, Regan plans to have staff post information on revenues and expenses on the 450th website (http://staugustine-450.com/financialoverview). That should be done soon.

The city hired Mummy Cat Productions to produce a video for the “Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience” exhibit. Concerns about that contract include whether officials should have gone through a more extensive bidding process that would have opened the door for more bidders, Regan said. The city had a few quotes for the video, and Mummy Cat’s agreement was for $10,000. The other two were for about $25,000. The deal was done according to policy, but it raised questions about the process.

Those questions include whether the city should have done a request for proposals or an advertised bidding process “to open up the field of play because we are committed to minority contractors and fairness and all of those things,” Regan said. Shaver added, “And I think the other question is when you have quotes where two of them are at 25 and one is at 10, different organizations handle that kind of discrepancy in different ways. In other words, typically in my experience you throw out the 10 because ... it’s so far off.”

Another concern was how contracts have been monitored for Noche de Gala.

The Noche de Gala, which began in the late ’90s, is a celebration of the birthday of Pedro Menendez, and it has been advertised as a benefit for historic preservation in the city and for the Lightner Museum building in recent years.

The city turned production of the event over to the Casa Monica Hotel several years ago.

Shaver said in the past three years the contract for the Noche de Gala was done without the appropriate controls that would normally be in place, including compliance reviews.

“So there was clearly a gap there,” she said.

The event has not made money for the city since the Casa Monica Hotel took it over, Regan has said. The event usually did not make a profit for the city.

The final contract of concern was for Hyperscreens at the VIC, and that contract was done as a sole-source contract to meet a deadline and for other reasons, Regan said.

“So the question is, are there things we need to think about with our policy regarding single-source (contracts)?” Shaver asked.

Regan said he believes the three contracts are good examples of what the city can do better.

The contract concerns will likely come before the City Commission on April 13.


Capt_Buzz 03/28/15 - 08:51 am 30Who doesn't review contracts for compliance?
You would think compliance is a primary part of the contract negotiation process. And what government agency doesn't send out a proposal request as part of the contract process? The city's evaluation of price and the value of that price (what is the bang for the bucks submitted) should be the primary requisite for a contract award. You don't award a government contract because the contractor knows somebody that knows somebody in the city administration.

Broken government running out of time: Tale of the dangerously broken bench on our Bayfront

There's a broken bench on our Bayfront.  There's exposed rebar.  Someone could get badly hurt.

A citizen reported it to the City Manager's office, which responded in writing, "There's nothing we can do" because it belongs to the Department of Transportation.

My friend Warren Celli contacted me about it a few minutes ago.

I wrote the City (no response, natch) and called the Assistant General Counsel of DOT and then the DOT office in Jacksonville, sharing the photograph (below) at 4:12 PM on March 27, 2015.

DOT will now fix it.

Stay tuned.  Set your watch.

What I did is standard operating procedure in government.  It's self-evident human technology.

While it took a few minutes of telephoning, it solved the problem.

Solving problems?  Intergovernmental cooperation? That's what governments do, right?

Here in St. Augustine, "it takes a village" because our deeply defensive, dysfunctional City government is, in the words of FDR, quoting Dante, "Frozen in the ice of its own indifference."

Whiteface, Blackface, Authenticity?

No documents yet provided by any government entity on the May 10, 2014 Blackface performance county tax dollars funded.

Our tourists say they miss "authenticity."

What has the 450th provided:

A no-bid, error-ridden, dumbed-down "Journey" film on African-Ameerican history made by white cronies, with no effort to recruit minority filmmakers.

A Blackface depiction of former FSDB student Ray Charles (see below).

Our all-white County tourism and City 450th staff are not promoting African-American tourism here in St. Augustine.

They'd rather fly the pirate flag and show fawning obeisance to the likes of DAVID BARTON CORNEAL, PAT CROCE and the friends of ex-Mayors JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. and CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.

What "authenticity?"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Government-funded Blackface Performance in St. Augustine, Florida (The Ray Charles Show featuring Frank Rondell)

(Photo credit: St. Augustine 450th website, http://cdn.staugustine-450.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Ray-Charles-BERLIN_2-400x200.jpg)

What are your thoughts?

It happened in St. Augustine, Florida on May 10, 2014: a government-funded blackface performance. Flagler College apparently tried to cancel Romanza's reservation for the Lewis Auditorium, but was threatened with breach of contract litigation. I have filed Request No. 2015-68 today:

Good morning:
Please send all city, county, elected official, TDC, VCB, Cultural Council and Romanza videos, photos and documents City, County, VCB and TDC Participation, Approval and Spending on "Blackface" as Main Event Performance for Romanza, May 10, 2014 at Flagler College (The Ray Charles Show featuring Frank Rondell) , including:
(1) proposals, press releases, press coverage, event photos, videos and logistics and after-event reports to government funders at TDC/VCB;
(2) BCC, VCB and TDC minutes and e-mails on government-funded tourist bed tax paid blackface as the main event at 2014 Romanza event,
(3) requests for cancellation of the "blackface" event, held at Flagler College Auditorium,
(4) threats of breach of contract litigation if "blackface" event were cancelled;
(5) concerns expressed about racism and potential civil protests at "blackface" event;
(6) all concerns posed by Flagler College, SAPD, COSA, TDC, VCB, Cultural Council and 450th as to the appropriateness of government-funded "blackface" performance at Flagler College as part of our 450th.
(7) all inquiries as to the legitimacy and bona fides of Romanza as a 501c3
This request is also being sent to each elected city and county official, and to VCB, Cultural Council and Romanza as government contractors, under F.S. 119.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084

Bigots Against Health Care For All

Some Putative "True Florida Crackers" are going "crackers" over the Affordable Care Act. Last year, State Rep. RONALD RENUART, M.D. kicked me off his Facebook friends list for answering a question from a small business owner with accurate information). Yesterday, I posted on my blog and on several FB groups about the 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Viciously attacked AND kicked off the "True Florida Cracker" FB site for being proud of our country. I wear their scorn as a badge of honor. :) By the way, Republicans rejected RENUART, who had to resign to run for State Senate; he's leaving April 7th, after his successor is elected in the special general election to replace Sen. John Thrasher.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

County's Bossy Beach Code: Enough! We Need St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. Now.

Ben Rich's letter (below) is spot on. Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR's reign of error includes not only the Michelle O'Connell coverup, but beach dictatorship, too.
Sheriff's deputies patrolling our county beach code are looking to make money for the county, like Ferguson, Mo. with sand.
No beer or wine on the beach.
No fires.
No fun.
What is this, Florida or the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
Our County Beach Code is written by dull Republican Baptists who reject the First, Ninth and 21st Amendments.
Young crypto-Fascists with pith helmets and cardigan sweaters and funny haircuts, glaring at beachgoers.
The St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore, like other national seashores, WILL allow beer and wine and permits fires on beaches.
You can look it up.
Tell county burghers their days of beach dictatorship must end.
And, Sheriff SHOAR told me the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore is a "no-brainer."

Ben Rich Skewers Sheriff on Beach Closing

Letter: Another government nanny?
Another government nanny
Posted: March 25, 2015 - 7:22pm

Another government nanny

Editor: If you are a taxpaying citizen of St. Johns County, beware!

When I came to our county in 1995, you could drive anywhere you wanted on our beaches, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you needed no “sticker” or daily “pass” to enjoy your Atlantic Ocean! Today however, your Sheriff can and does arbitrarily close your beach during its now restricted hours of access, any time he decides for any reason. He did so on March 20, 2015 because he thought that it was a danger: Too foggy. He didn’t close route A1A which runs 300 feet west of the beach, nor did he close any other roadway in St. Johns County due to fog. However, if you paid for a sticker to use the beach from dawn to at least 11:38 a.m. , when I tried to with my grandson, you couldn’t, because the Sheriff thought that one half-mile visibility was too dangerous for me to drive at a maximum of 10 mph over sand. So I drove home with my confused grandson over the 206 bridge and Intracoastal Waterway at 50 mph, 500 yards from the beach in 10-mile visibility!

The next time I decide to go to the beach, will the Sheriff decide that the water is dangerously cold and close it? Will he declare jelly fish a human hazard and close it? Or will he just arbitrarily and capriciously close it because he can?

We are at a time in our country when abuses of power by government officials is the rule rather than the exception. We need to demand accountability in our elected and appointed employees. As you know, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

Do you need another government Nanny? Wake up people!

St. Augustine

Rich is a former St. Johns County Commissioner

Opinion Editor’s note: We suspect, Mr. Rich, that the difference between closing a state road and a beach during a socked-in fog may have been that children such as your grandson are not digging sand castles or chasing errant beach balls in the middle of A1A or 206.

This Is Satire

During the Blitz, Edward R. Murrow would intone, "This is London."
Since so many people in the Internet age are literal-minded and humorless, I labelled a post as "Satire" earlier on the Facebook page, St. Augustine Voice:
The 1%, a/k/a "DAVID SHOAR-ostitutes," a/k/a "BOLES-WEEKS Axis of Evil," a/k/a "MASSA PROCTOR's overseers," are sick and tired of your Yankee liberal commie pinkos walking light in your loafers and drinking your white whine and asking for Yankeethings, like audits, accountability, accounting, procedures, due process, First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment rights. If you don't like it, go back to where you came from!
Some of the most outspoken supporters of Mayor Nancy Shaver have been here the longest, with families who voted with their feet fleeing from British oppression in 1777.
On the other hand, Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR, f/k/a "DAVID BERNARD HOAR," moved here at age 19 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where is he descended from a long line of HOARS. He changed his name to get elected.
The heirs of Standard Oil monopolist HENRY FLAGLER, who started FLAGLER COLLEGE, and hired WILLIAM L. PROCTOR, a/k/a "MASSA PROCTOR," are likewise recent arrivals.
JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. is from Coral Gables (Miami ritzy suburb).
JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. is from Charlotte, NC.
CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR., who has been known to stay as BOLES' guest at his home in Blowing Rock, NC., is originally from New York State.

St. Augustine Voice

Someone with remarkable video editing techniques has assembled a new Facebook page, "St. Augustine Voice." Enjoy!

There are two videos from Monday's City Commission meeting that are remarkable. One is a satire. The other is a repetition of Commissioner LEANNA FREEMAN repeatedly saying "we" had "debates, publicly and PRIVATELY" on the 450th.

If you had a Sheriff or State's Attorney or Florida Department of Law Enforcement with integrity and independence, you could report the Gang of Four for possible violations of Florida's Sunshine law if you believed there were violations.

What do you reckon?

ACA Fifth Anniversary

Five years ago today, as President Barack Obama was signing ACA into law, I was sitting in the Emergency Room at UF Shands Hospital in Jacksonville, with a detached retina. We are still proud of his accomplishment. That day, several of us "patients" talked about the medical-legal system of profiteering, sharing stories. I was appalled at what I learned. My first boss was Ted Kennedy, who nearly died in a 1964 plane crash that broke his back; EMK made national health care the cause of his long life. We SHALL overcome!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Activists Activate Audit, Provide Spinal Implant For City Commission

Monday night, two dozen speakers spoke out in favor of government accountability.

They were: Mses. Peggy Bliss, Sandy Lenny, Nancy Hubert, Helene Sullivan, Laurel Welch, Patricia Riley, Judith Seraphin, Pamela Farnsworth, Deltra Long, Susan Rathbone and B.J. Kalaidi, and Messrs. Richard Thompson, Hunter Miller, William Hamilton, Ronald Mickler, Michael Gold, John Versaggi, Roger Bansemer, Andrew Shirmacher, Jay Bliss, Thomas Day, Peter Englebrecht and Ed Slavin (that would be me).

ALL spoke in favor of government accountability. Not one speaker was against. (Postscript: as of St. Augustine Record now has an anonymous poll on its website, allowing multiple voting by the same IP address: how gauche and louche).

Not one person spoke against an audit. As Legal Counsel for Constitutional Rights of the Government Accountability Project (1989-1993), I am so proud of our fellow residents for supporting government accountability.

Questioning the city -- "It's what we do best," said Mr. Mickler.

"We need everyone here to listen," Ms. Kalaidi said.

"A lively session," Mayor Shaver said.

Restore the Chairs, Turn Down the AC, Let "We, The People" Be Heard and Heeded In St. Augustine City Hall

I agree with Jay Bliss and Ron Mickler: please restore all of the chairs removed from City Commission meeting room and turn down the air conditioning. Mr. Bliss asked: "Why are 35 people stuck outside?"

City Has Power to Operate Bus Line

City of St. Augustine City Ordinances, Charter Laws
Sec. 3.04. - City may operate municipal bus line.
An additional power is hereby granted to the city commission and the City of St. Augustine, Florida, to wit: The City of St. Augustine, Florida shall have the power and authority to buy, purchase and sell, to lease and mortgage, and to maintain and operate a municipal bus, or bus line for the carrying of passengers and freight within the city limits of the City of St. Augustine, Florida.

(Laws of Fla. (1931) ch. 15500, § 6)

We Shall Overcome

David Brooks writes in the New York Times that: "The challenge for Israel is to respond to extremism without being extreme." This is the challenge of Mayor Nancy Shaver in responding to the BOLES-WEEKS Axis of Evil, with four Commissioners trying to run interference on wasteful 450th spending -- $3.6 million in lucrative contracts.

"The Untouchables" vs. "We, The People" of St. Augustine

Our Nation's Oldest City is like "Chicago, writ small." St. Johns County may be the most corrupt in Florida, exposed by The New York Times, PBS Frontline, Dateline NBC and Dr. Phil.

$3.5 million spent on 450th Commemoration contracts. A 211-year old building illegally destroyed without permits.

Like Al Capone in Chicago, ex-Mayors JOE BOLES and LEN WEEKS reckon themselves "Untouchable." No Inspector General.

No Ombudsman. Unqualified "audits" by the same firm that has "audited" the city's books for three decades, a firm that has not shown current qualifications from annual government audit training.

We want answers. We want the truth. We're going to get it.
There are more of us than there are of them, history is on our side, and in the words of James Madison in 1822, "Here, the people rule."

450th Contract Whistleblowers wanted

Anyone with concerns about waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, price-fixing, bid-rigging, anti-competitive practices, no-bid contracts and other irregularities, please contact St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver, the FBI or me, Ed Slavin, 904-377-4998, EASlavin@aol.com

City Commission OKs limited contract review amid public support

City Commission OKs limited contract review amid public support
Posted: March 23, 2015 - 11:52pm

St. Augustine City Commissioners approved taking the next step in reviewing 450th anniversary contracts, but on a limited scale.

All commissioners approved having Mayor Nancy Shaver meet with City Manager John Regan to discuss any specific concerns about the contracts.

Then the issue will be brought back before the commission for further discussion on how to move forward and possibly expand the review.

Commissioners disagreed on having Regan come back with options for contractual review for all the contracts.

Shaver said she had concerns based on her review of the 450th contracts but declined up go into specifics, although commissioners asked repeatedly for them.

Commissioners agreed that there was a call for a review based on public feedback.

During the public comment period earlier in the meeting, people started calling for an audit of the 450th anniversary contracts.

More than 20 people spoke in support of the effort, which was brought up by Shaver at the previous meeting — when most other commissioners did not agree with moving forward. Those who commented wondered why.

“Why not answer her questions?” said Ron Mickler, a St. Augustine resident, during a break. “What’s the big deal?”

Pat Reilly, of St. Augustine, cited her business experience and said audits are a routine part of the business world.

“It makes you a better, stronger organization,” Reilly said during a break. “And it says to the public you have nothing to hide.”

While she believes no one is hiding anything, an audit would clear up the matter, she said.

Reilly reminded commissioners that they have talked about openness and transparency in government, and moving forward with an audit would send a message that the commission is willing to look at things in an open and transparent way.

People came prepared with pieces of paper with the word “AUDIT” written in big, bold letters.

Several people raised the signs during some people’s comments.

The Alcazar Room was overflowing at City Hall, and some people had to wait outside.

There was a buzz in the room and applause broke out frequently as people supported Shaver’s request for an audit.

Judith Seraphin, of Linvolnville, supported the audit and said millions have been spent on the 450th anniversary. “And what do we have? ... Seriously, I’m a businesswoman, and I have to have audited (finances) every year.”

At the March 9 meeting, Shaver said she wanted an audit of contracts for the 450th anniversary celebration to make sure they are in compliance.

Her request and comments that followed sparked debate among commissioners and rebuttal from Commissioner Leanna Freeman. Most commissioners did not want to move forward with a contract review.

Earlier in the March 9 meeting, the commission discussed and approved, 4-1 (Shaver dissenting), a license agreement with Mummy Cat Productions. The agreement allowed the firm to use the video produced for the “Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience” exhibit in an expanded documentary — one that had already been produced and sold before the license agreement was approved.

In the city’s initial contract to pay $10,000 for the exhibit video, the city kept intellectual property rights of the film. So permission was required to modify it.

The license agreement took care of that officially. James Whitehouse, attorney for Mummy Cat Productions, said previously that officials were in touch with the city throughout the process to make sure they were doing the right thing.

Shaver said she wants to make sure the city is getting what it’s paying for from the contracts. And she said it is her understanding that 450th contracts do not have the same oversight as other city contracts.

Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline and Vice Mayor Roxanne Horvath said previously that they wanted more information about Shaver’s proposal.

Commissioner Todd Neville said previously he was not in favor of funding a review of 450th contracts, since the event will be over in six months. He said his position would not change unless new facts were presented.

Shaver said previously she would be willing to wait until after the 450th celebration to review the contracts. She said a review could help the city find any problems with compliance and correct issues in the future.

Comments (2) Add comment
LocalColor 03/24/15 - 08:55 am 20Why "limited"?
What is the Junta so afraid of, hmmm?

Joe Weeks 03/24/15 - 12:00 pm 00Great and powerful OZ
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Monday, March 23, 2015

In the words of my first boss, Senator Ted Kennedy, for whom I worked as a Georgetown freshman and sophomore, 1974-1976:

Ms. Carrie Johnson Honored

The "Voice of Lincolnville," my friend Ms. Carrie Johnson, was feted and honored by St. Augustine City Commission tonight. How cool is that? We love Carrie, who led us at St. Paul A.M.E. January 10, 2008 in singing "We shall overcome" after we exposed the nefarious plans of then City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS to take 40,000 cubic yards of illegally dumped contaminated solid waste -- a landfill dumped in a lake (Old City Reservoir) and return it to Lincolnville, put dirt on top and call it a "park." I shared with Carrie and her son the Folio Weekly photo of her singing with Judith Seraphin and me at St. Paul A.M.E.The waste is now in a Class I landfill. Hubristic HARRISS now works for Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR (and both are appointees of Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT on our Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, HARRISS holding the only "citizen" appointment like a proverbial dog in a manger.

450th Never Invited President Barack Obama and Delayed Inviting Pope Francis: Why?

Our City of St. Augustine's imploding 450th Commemoration never bothered to invite President Barack Obama. Why?

Our City of St. Augustine delayed from March 13, 2013 to March 13, 2014 -- a year -- to invite Pope Francis.

We know that St. Augustine 450th Director DANA STE. CLAIRE (a/k/a "PRIMA DANA") has connections: in fact, on October 20, 2012, when Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke here, "PRIMA DANA" was allowed to cut in line. The people in front of me objected. I allowed "PRIMA DANA" to cut in line ahead of me.

Our Nation's Oldest European-founded City's 450th commemoration was apparently all about AD MAIOREM BOLES/WEEKS GLORIAM (For the greater glory of ex-Mayors JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. and building destroyer CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.)

A federal grand jury must now investigate BOLES, WEEKS, STE. CLAIRE, et al. Please see below

Commission Punts on Musicians and Artists: We Shall Overcome!

After a desultory discussion with counsel, Commissioners left to another day what to do about restoring joy to our streets. Mayor Nancy Shaver talked about how dull and joyless our Plaza de la Constitucion has become, and St. George Street, as a result of anti-artist and anti-musician ordinances.

Oddly, the counsel's discussion included not a word about a 9-0 Supreme Court decision last year holding that even a content-neutral statute must be narrowly-tailored, finding that the Massachusetts abortion clinic picketing statute was unconstitutional. That law prohibited people within 25 feet. Our dumb 'ole St. George Street artist and musician suppression ordinance bans having fun within a four block area of St. George Street and the entire Plaza (Slave Market Square). Even though the Supreme Court's decision bans criminalizing such protected activity, our counsel never shared this datum with Commissioners (something I shared with City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. at 8:31 AM, the day after the Supreme Court's decision last year).

Our jumpy joyless lawyers and artless dodgy city commissioners are anti-music, anti-art, anti-fun and once again voted in lockstep with their masters, the WEEKS-BOLES axis of cosmic blunderers.

Reckon we need to elect a musician to St. Augustine City Commission, and defeat the foul Philistine four. I recommend Sam Pacetti run against Leanna Freeman. Viva!

Palookaville Democrats in St. Johns County, Florida Blow Another Opportunity To Advance Environmental Causes -- Overlap With Rhythm & Ribs Festival!

Will Rogers said, "I do not belong to any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

Our St. Johns County Democrats scheduled an April 11, 2015 environmental event, excluding the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore, picking the same day as the Rhythm and Ribs Festival, the most popular annual event in the City of St. Augustine. Let's hope everyone boycotts the pitiful Democrats' poorly planned program.

No wonder St. Johns County Democrats have become a third party, behind Republicans (52%) and "Other" (24%)

See below.

In "The West Wing," President Bartlet had some choice words for Josh Liman's scheduling SNAFU.

I would not let the St. Johns County Democratic Party schedule a cub scout cupcake bake sale.

Pitiful losers have not run a candidate for a county-wide partisan office since 2006. Nine years ago. Pitiful.

And they have the chutzpa to be snooty about people who know stuff and obtain results.

God forgive these estimable energumen.

Dozens Speak In Support of 450th Contract Compliance Audit

Two dozen residents spoke in support of a 450th Commemoration contract compliance review and audit tonight. Commissioners voted for Mayor Nancy Shaver to meet with City Manager John Patrick Regan, P.E. about three questioned contracts, then report back on how to conduct a contract compliance audit of some 80-100 contracts.

Some $3.6 million has been spent on the 450th, including no-bid sole-source high-price contracts, with none of the usual City contract controls.

Lengthy public comment concluded with everyone agreeing that there needed to be a contract compliance review and audit. People who helped elect Mayor Shaver joined people who had never spoken to Commissioners before, a diverse group of people wanting government accountability and process review.

Cronies of ex-Mayors JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. and CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. do not want questions asked. They demand what the St. Augustine called "Business As Usual" in its endorsement of BOLES last year. They refuse to admit any errors were made, and were anxious for Mayor Shaver to spill the beans in public, acting like criminal defense lawyers at a deposition (a noisome Florida procedural nuance not allowed elsewhere).

Mses. Peggy Bliss, Sandy Lenny, Nancy Hubert, Helene Sullivan, Laurel Welch, Patricia Riley, Judith Seraphin, Pamela Farnsworth, Deltra Long, Susan Rathbone and B.J. Kalaidi, and Messrs. Richard Thompson, Hunter Miller, William Hamilton, Ronald Mickler, Michael Gold, John Versaggi, Roger Bansemer, Andrew Shirmacher, Jay Bliss, Thomas Day, Peter Englebrecht and Ed Slavin (that would be me).

ALL spoke in favor of government accountability. Not one speaker was against. (Postscript: as of St. Augustine Record now has an anonymous poll on its website, allowing multiple voting by the same IP address: how gauche and louche).

Not one person spoke against an audit. As Legal Counsel for Constitutional Rights of the Government Accountability Project (1989-1993), I am so proud of our fellow residents for supporting government accountability.

Questioning the city -- "It's what we do best," said Mr. Mickler.

"We learn from the past," Ms. Bliss said. "Everyone wins," she said.

Mr. Versaggi and Ms. Riley spoke of the corporate standard of care for auditing, not rebutted by Commissioners.

Yet four fearfully fetid Commissioners --- other-directed -- would not modify the agenda, forcing nearly three dozen concerned residents to stick around until the contract discussion, which did not begin until 9:47 PM.

Chagrined looks marred the contorted countenances -- and marked the "funny walks" (worthy of "Monty Python") -- of City Hall apparatchiks REGAN (a/k/a "Minister of Propaganda"), Assistant City Manager TIMOTHY J. BURCHFIELD, Comptroller MARK LITZINGER and 450th Director DANA STE. CLAIRE (a/k/a "PRIMA DANA").

We wear their scorn as a badge of honor.

After nearly ten years -- my first City meeting was April 11, 2005, and i was threatened with arrest by City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS for defending African-Americans' civil rights against annexations -- our Nation's Oldest continuously occupied European settlement is starting to look more like home and less like the "most lawless city in America," as Dr. King called it.

Yes we can!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Temple Destroyers" Want to Destroy St. Augustine: We Won't Let Them

DAVID BARTON CORNEAL wants to turn the Dow Museum of Historic Homes Into a $500/night Hotel, destroying our history for profiteering.

John Muir called them "Temple Destroyers." We won't let them destroy St. Augustine and St. Johns County. Tirelessly support the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. www.staugustgreen.com

Be a "pest for justice," as the rabbis arrested with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it last year.

St. Johns County Democrats Slip to THIRD PLACE, Behind "Other"

Inept St. Johns County Democratic Executive Committee scored another major milestone this month.

"Other" now has more adherents than Democrats here in St. Johns County. Latest statistics on the website of the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections:
Republican: 85,253 (51.955975%)
Other: 39,727 (24.105165%)
Democratic: 39,107 (23.728968%)
Total: 164,087

Credit where credit is due: the Headquarters of the St. Johns County Democratic Executive Committee is run by two harridans who manage to scare off every new Democrat who comes in to volunteer. These energumen are a stench in the nostrils of the Democratic Party. They imitate Republicans, instead of reaching out to Democrats. They are a disgrace to the human race.

They are so in bed with the St. Johns County political machine that our State Democratic Committeeman, WILLIAM McCORMICK, actually goes to the podium at county meetings to praise the incumbents, sucking up to their plan to raise sales taxes. That is a One Way Ticket to Palookaville.

SJC DEC Chair NELL TOENSMANN's latest overt act of intimidation of First Amendment rights: they have excluded the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore from their putative "Earth Day," to be held at the Willie Galimore Center on April 11, 2015 from 10-2. A First Amendment violation in a City of St. Augustine park? We will just see about that one.

2016 Elections -- What Local Offices Are Available to Reformers?

St. Johns County
2016 Local Offices Scheduled for Election
o Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
o Property Appraiser
o Sheriff
o Supervisor of Elections
o Tax Collector
o County Commissioners – Districts 1, 3 & 5
o School Board Members – Districts 2 & 5
o County Judge – Group 2
Special Districts
o Anastasia Mosquito Control District – Seats 1, 3 & 5
o St. Augustine – St. Johns County Airport Authority – Groups 4 & 5
o St. Johns Soil & Water Conservation District – Groups 3 & 4
o St. Augustine Port, Waterway & Beach Commission – Groups 2 & 4
o Municipal Service District of Ponte Vedra Beach – Seats 2, 4 & 6
o City of St. Augustine – Seats 1, 2 & 3/Mayor o City of St. Augustine Beach – Seats 1 & 2
o Town of Hastings – 2 Seats
Community Development Districts
o Aberdeen Community Development District – Seats 2 & 4
o Brandy Creek Community Development District – Seats 2 & 4
o Durbin Crossing Community Development District – Seats 2 & 4
o Glen St. Johns Community Development District – Seats 2 & 3
o Heritage Landing Community Development District – Seats 1 & 5
o Heritage Park Community Development District – Seats 2 & 4
o Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District – Seats 2 & 5
o Marshall Creek Community Development District – Seats 4 & 5
o Sampson Creek Community Development District – Seats 2 & 4
o St. Johns Forest Community Development District – Seats 4 & 5
o Tolomato Community Development District – Seats 1 & 3
o Turnbull Creek Community Development District – Seats 2 & 4
o World Commerce Community Development District – Seats 4 & 5

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Re-Elect Mayor Nancy Shaver: The Choice Is Clear

Rebarbative Republican Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR is planning to run for re-election. He'd be smarter to run for the County line. Running with him will be ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., who supports SHOAR and thinks that the coverup vote will help him "take back" City Hall. Talk about tripping the light fantastic!

One-percenter BOLES is wrong. Support Mayor Nancy Shaver for re-election in 2016. She's smart, she's tough and nobody owns her. She's the only current elected official who dared speak out for Justice for Michelle O'Connell, way back on December 23, 2013. Viva!