Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Why did St. Augustine City Manager DAVID DOUGLAS BIRCHIM appear to be crying Monday September 25, 2023?

Graduate of UF and UT and a fancy-bears prep school in South Florida, St. Augustine City Manager DAVID DOUGLAS BIRCHIM was the designated javelin-catcher for other-directed City Mayor NANCY SIKES-KLINE.

Their misbegotten attempt at legislating saw both BIRCHIM and SIKES-KLIKE fall flat on their faces. Karma?

"It's a lot easier to toss a hand grenade than it is to catch one." --- Dr. James Edwards, D.D.S., President Reagan's First Energy Secretary, at his 1981 U.S. Senate confirmation hearings. 

The 21st Amendment to our United States Constitution, enacted in 1933 under leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 

The 21st Amendment restored, protected and preserved Americans' indefeasible constitutional right to buy and sell alcohol.  

Regulation of alcohol is a state and local law question, partly determined by city and county zoning laws.  As Jimmy Breslin wrote in How the Good Guys Finally Won (about Watergate), the subtext of every zoning law is, "Bring extra money."

Bar wars have consequences. xxxx

St. Augustine's. nightlife employers and workers turned out in record numbers to City Commission meetings, and defeated a proposed ordinance that would have added regulatory requirements for those restaurants and bars open after midnight.

Chocolatier and hotelier Virginia Whetstone (Whetstone Chocolates) and her husband Bruce Maguire, among other downtown residents, wanted something done about the excessive noise of music and inebriates flowing from some 27 bars and restaurants open after midnight.  Ms. Whetstone once appeared before St. Augustine City Commission complaining about bar noise, saying her hotel guests complained about noise after 8 PM.  In response, I told Commissioners that Brian and I had heard that our sidewalks were rolled up after 9 PM, but that 8 PM was out of the question,

Ms. Whetsone, a Vanderbilt University graduate, usually gets her way with local governments. Circa 1994, Ms. Whetstone founded the St. Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau and once opined that St. George Street businesses should close after 6 PM due to "crime."  (She was apparently referring to meatball crime, and not to wage theft, or tax evasion, or antitrust violations by commercial landlords and employers), 

The St. Augustine Record reported that Ms, Whetstone said circa 1994 that our City should not welcome college students on Spring Break. 

The joyless Ms. Whetstone's right-wing property-owning husband is Bruce Maguire is a former Airport Authority Chair. 

Stiff-necked Bruce Maguire, like his twin brother, is a former Air Force officer and former County Commissioner. 

The Whetstone-Maguire marriage was not merely a routine civil or religious  ceremony. 

It united two privileged scions in matrimony -- it was also a merger of two landowning conservative Republican property owners, privileged people, who act like "Republican Lords of All They Survey," in the words of the late William F. Buckley, Jr. about a Connecticut scion.  

Fun fact: st. Augustine Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline was a bridesmaid in Ms. Virginia Whetstones wedding party in New Orleans, Louisiana, a party city noted for its bars and restaurants in the French Quarter,. 

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