Thursday, February 25, 2021

St. Augustine Record Erroneously Announces Legislative Delegation Meeting "Tomorrow"

We no longer have a hometown newspaper, but a mucked up version of USA Today

Earlier today, GANNETT's sere St. Augustine Record erroneously posted on the front page of its website today an "advance," or meeting announcement article for a meeting "tomorrow" for our St. Johns County Legislative Delegation.

But two helpful government employees  -- in the St. Johns County Administrator's office and St. Johns County Government TV office -- both confirmed there is no St. Johns County Legislative Delegation meeting tomorrow, nothing on the calendar, and no arrangements for any meeting to be broadcast live (as the mistakenly featured, indicted article states for a meeting that was held in December 2020).

Ms. Sheldon Gardner, author of the article, did not return a telephone message.  

Ms. Shorty Robbins, Rep. Cyndi Stevenson's local office director, confirmed the meeting was held in December 19, 2020.  (Updated at 4:06 pm).

As of 3:18 pm, the item in quo (below) is no longer on the front page of the Record's website, but it is still posted, found on a search, still unadorned by a date.

How inept.

We fondly remember when we had a local daily newspaper, pre-GANNETT, when the best example of the Record's nincompoopery was on Jay Leno's Tonight Show segment of funny newspaper headlines -- "100 YEARS OF PUBIC SERVICE" on the front page in.1995, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Record being founded by Henry Flagler frontman.

While Wall Street oligarchs raise newspaper prices and decrease newspaper quality, the rest of us are living with the results -- a crappy excuse for a newspaper that ill-serves the public.

Here's the mistakenly featured article, for a meeting already held:

St. Johns County legislators will discuss priorities for upcoming session Friday

Meeting open to public, will be streamed live

Sheldon Gardner

St. Augustine Record

St. Johns County's Legislative Delegation for the Florida Legislature is scheduled to hear from dozens of speakers Friday on a wide range of topics, including mental health, infrastructure and schools. 

The delegation ― made up of State Sen. Travis Hutson, delegation chair and State Rep. Cyndi Stevenson and State Rep. Paul Renner, all Republicans ― holds meetings to hear from locals about their priorities and to discuss upcoming legislative issues.

The next regular session of the Florida Legislature begins on March 2.

The Legislative Delegation meeting will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the St. Johns County auditorium at 500 San Sebastian View in St. Augustine. While the meeting is open to the public, seating will be limited because of COVID-19. 

People can watch the meeting live on the county's website at 

The meeting agenda already had more than 40 3-minute presentations scheduled as of Wednesday morning, so there may not be time for additional public comments. The deadline has passed to be added onto the agenda.

The presenters include representatives from local elected bodies, tourism officials, schools, nonprofits and other organizations. 

The St. Johns County School District is focusing on a few priorities in the next session of the State Legislature, including keeping the district's ability to collect tax revenue at its current level, said Colin Kirkland, director for policy and government relations at the St. Johns County School District. 

Greg White, president of the nonprofit West Augustine Historical Community Development Corporation, plans to talk about an effort to bring a medical complex to West Augustine along with housing for veterans and seniors. 

Wildflower Healthcare has a clinic in West Augustine that provides medical and dental services to people who are uninsured, but White's project would provide a traditional medical complex that would expand options for local residents. It would include dental and medical services and support for substance abuse and mental illness, he said. 

St. Augustine Commission Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline, who will speak on behalf of the City Commission, plans to focus in part on getting funding for sewer upgrades in West Augustine and funding for construction of part of State Road 313. 

"The top priority for us will be a budget request for a septic-to-sewer project in West Augustine," she said. 

The city's other priorities include affordable housing, mental health funding, sea level rise infrastructure and keeping local control over short-term rental regulations, she said. 

Representatives for other organizations scheduled to present include, among others, the County Commission; the City of St. Augustine Beach; Flagler College; the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind; St Johns River Community College; the St Johns Education Association; the St. Johns County Clerk of the Circuit Court's office; the North Florida Land Trust; the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce; the local tourism and convention bureau; the Port, Waterway and Beach District; the Anastasia Mosquito Control District; the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center; the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum; Flagler Health+; St Augustine Youth Services; Betty Griffin House; and SMA Healthcare.

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