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puc reducks

NATIONAL PARK & SEASHORE-GETTING CLOSER

Ed Slavin's "emerald necklace of parks," his draft bill to create the 130,000-acre St. Augustine National Parks and Seashore, will come before the SJC BCC on November 1st at 9 a.m.  (See Government Ch. 3, Comcast.)

The group is giving a presentation to the BCC, asking for an endorsement of the proposed bill.  Former SJC Commissioner Sarah Bailey will attend, among others, in support of the bill.

Not since 1939 has anything like this been attempted.  The 1939 bill  involved the Carnegie Inst., the St. Aug. Restoration Commission, U.S. Sen. Claude Pepper (and two others).

For a look at the bill, please log on to:
http://www.staugustgreen.com/

If you wish to urge the BCC to support the proposed bill, call or email SJC!


Edited to fix left-margin thingie!
bieramar

Slavin's earlier synopsis in a Letter to the Editor:
http://staugustine.com/opinions/2...ll-embracing-park-best-gift-450th

...and the link posted by puc reducks (it slipped from the left margin):
http://www.staugustgreen.com/

I've always supported and lobbied for the consolidated park idea - one of Slavin's best initiatives since he moved to St. Augustine.
puc reducks

bieramar wrote:
Slavin's earlier synopsis in a Letter to the Editor:
http://staugustine.com/opinions/2...ll-embracing-park-best-gift-450th

...and the link posted by puc reducks (it slipped from the left margin):
http://www.staugustgreen.com/

I've always supported and lobbied for the consolidated park idea - one of Slavin's best initiatives since he moved to St. Augustine.


Thanks for fixing that, Bieramar!  Did not know about that left margin thingie!
puc reducks

[deleted]
puc reducks

Government Channel 3 in Southern SJC.

Government Channel 29 in Northern SJC.

Tomorrow is the day!
puc reducks

GOOD LUCK WITH PROPOSAL FOR ENDORSEMENT TODAY ON DRAFT BILL BEFORE THE SJC BCC, ED ET AL.!
tsiya


County rejects national park, seashore


A proposal to turn over 133,000 acres of St. Johns County, water management and state lands to the federal government for creation of a national historic park and seashore was denied unanimously Tuesday by the County Commission.


http://staugustine.com/news/local...tional-park-seashore#.TrE42UMaJTU
puc reducks

And without anyone on the BCC asking even ONE QUESTION. I think that smacks of "We've already made up our minds."  ONWARD!
tsiya

No need to ask questions we know what is going on. Very Happy
bieramar

puc reducks wrote:
And without anyone on the BCC asking even ONE QUESTION. I think that smacks of "We've already made up our minds."  ONWARD!


My understanding is that the Commissioners were pushed into hearing Slavin's formal presentation because the state/federal legislative delegation (Representatives and Senators representing St. Johns County) asked for the Commission's position - following Slavin's presentation before the delegation.

Promoters of the proposal also need to get the City of St. Augustine and the City of St. Augustine Beach (and maybe Hastings) on record.

Even when local governments don't sign on to a proposal, just the fact that they voted without discussion is relevant if it is moved to a higher level.

You may remember that the ultimately fatal flaw in the last effort to obtain local rule by creating a Charter county government was the bypassing of the County Commission, and going straight to another level.  The resentment of being bypassed, and the emnity towards those who manipulated the process obscured the merits of the proposal itself.

You may also remember that First Tee got a $1+ million federal grant after local governments passed resolutions stating what a wonderful program it was - without a clue that they were supporting such a huge piece of earmarked pork.
puc reducks

tsiya wrote:
No need to ask questions we know what is going on. Very Happy


Bully for y'all.   Very Happy
puc reducks

Not certain of the two examples you've drawn, Bieramar.  Could have been before my time here.

Whether asked for by a legislative delegation or not, I think SJC--and as you stated above--SA and SAB need to hear it.  And they most likely will.  Would be silly not to.  JMO.
scrutney

ed speaks, or emails as the case may be.
(i broke up the paragraphs to make them a little more easy to read):



Dear St. Johns County Commissioners:

Thank you for your courtesies at this morning’s SJC BCC meeting. Today marks the first time that the BCC members discussed a proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore since 1940. It was about time. The last time BCC discussed the issue was 71 years ago. We have nowhere to go but “up.” We will be back.

I hope that you will want to discuss the issue again in the very near future, in more detail, with a full briefing from County staff and full discussion of the fiscal and environmental impacts.

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.” Falsehoods were spread today without any questions by the BCC members.

We look forward to the opportunity to answer your questions about the National Historical Park and Seashore in an atmosphere where our rights are respected and not neglected. Unfortunately, at this morning’s meeting, a rude few were allowed to make personal attacks without the Commission’s civility rules being enforced. There was no civility apparent on the part of the opponents, whose specious arguments included comparing Park proponents to Hitler and Communists. We have some 400 National Park installations throughout our Nation – our National Parks are “America’s best idea.”

Adlai Stevenson said, “As scarce as truth is, the supply seems greater than the demand.”

Sadly, the BCC did not raise the quality of debate, and tolerated rude behavior from hatemongers and purveyors of fear and smear. The BCC does not function well in an emotion-laden environment, in which people make imitations of gunfire noises, after writing about killing, and shooting the Park (and Park supporters) “between the eyes.”

No one cautioned the crowd after they booed the Park supporters.
It appears that three minute time limits were enforced unequally – several Park opponents were allowed extra time, while park proponents, including Dr. John Brendel, Ph.D., a retired professor, were not allowed more time – Dr. Brendel was not allowed one (1) extra sentence to conclude his remarks. This was unfair.

Again, SJC BCC members asked not a single question. I was not prepared for that – after five (5) years of working on this proposal, I would have welcomed your questions. We expect you to ask them.
In the future, I would appreciate if you would kindly look us in the eye and ask us questions. That is what our Founding Fathers had in mind. Both the democratic method and the scientific method will thrive only when questions are asked and answered, as Carl Sagan said. A “cold bench” – County Commissioners who do not ask questions – does not inspire confidence in the process.

We do like the idea that one of the Park opponents suggested this morning – a referendum on a St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore.
What do you reckon?
Thank you again.
With kindest regards, I am,

Sincerely yours,
Ed
Ed Slavin
www.staugustgreen.com
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
tsiya

Must of been the energumens again! Very Happy
puc reducks

I think Ed has made several good points.  Thank you for posting, Scrutney.

It's important to maintain the high road, despite l'opposition du jour.

Important and totally possible!

As Ed Slavin has said many times, "We shall overcome!"
puc reducks

[double post\
puc reducks

Ed's rebuttal to Tea Partyers at the Nov. 1st, 2011, SJC BCC meeting.


Guest column
Civility: Raise quality of the debate but lower the voices

Posted: November 5, 2011 - 11:40pm

By ED SLAVIN
St. Augustine

I confess: Twelve years ago, I left an angry telephone message, calling a young Oak Ridge, Tennessee Department of Energy lawyer a “Nazi” after DOE’s abuse of four of my whistleblower clients (Oak Ridge security clearance personnel). I learned my lesson: when our voices are raised and we are emotional, it is difficult to solve problems. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

Both the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street groups are angry at injustice. I agree with Occupy Wall Street — dangerously regressive policies destroy the middle class, create poverty and make the wealthy wealthier. I also agree with our local Tea Party’s support for the independence of Anastasia Mosquito Control District (defending it against an ill-advised attempt by the St. Johns County Commission last year to take it over). For three decades, I have been outspoken about ending government waste, as a journalist, citizen and advocate.

We all believe that large organizations are running the country, and ruining lives. As Robert Kennedy said, “It is not enough to allow dissent, we must demand it, for there is much to dissent from.”

Locally, there are two separate and distinct groups, each calling themselves the “Tea Party,” each attending County meetings, often misbehaving.

I’ve met with local Tea Party members to understand their views.

However, with all due respect, some local Tea Party members and supporters have repeatedly shown disrespect for differing points of view. This process started with House Speaker John Boehner, who stated in 1995 that “Most employers would describe OSHA as the Gestapo of the federal government.”

Some local Tea Party leaders have not learned how to control their anger. Their misbehavior is routine at County government meetings, taken for granted by public officials and news media. Honest public servants and citizens are accused of “treason” and called “Fascists,” “Communists,” “Fabian socialists,” “Marxists” (and more) by misguided, loud, angry people. Any good points are drowned out by demeaning personal attacks.

Tea Party members misbehaved once again on Monday, November 1, 2011 in connection with the proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. Angry bullying tactics persuaded County Commissioners to vote against supporting a proposal to create pollution-free green jobs, raise property values, help small business, preserving our history and nature here in our Nation’s Oldest City. Commissioners asked no questions.

Ideology-intoxicated Tea Partiers actually compared Park supporters to Adolf Hitler. They told Commissioners that our Park/Seashore proposal would lead to “one world government,” and “make us slaves in our own homes.” There was loud booing and simulated gunfire noises directed to proponents of our Park and Seashore. County Commissioners and staff are now apparently accustomed to it.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.” Falsehoods and slander are not policy arguments. The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” A constant, humorless, drumbeat of fear-mongering, slander, scorn and ridicule is not “dialogue.” It is beneath the dignity of a free people. Enough meanness!

Opponents of the Park and Seashore had one excellent idea — they suggest a referendum. I agree. Let’s vote.

Meanwhile, let us learn from Nov. 1. We all love our country. Rights must be respected.

Let’s strive to raise the quality of debate. Resolve to be kinder. Let’s lower our voices. When we learn from and listen to one another, we can solve problems. It is up to each one of us to make democracy work better, from the Courthouse to Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. Say “no” to angry, uncivil behavior. As William Shakespeare would ask, “What do you reckon?”

******
Ed Slavin (B.S.F.S., Foreign Service, Georgetown University, J.D., Memphis State University, now University of Memphis) has lived in St. Augustine for more than 12 years, moving here on Nov. 5, 1999. He first proposing a St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore on Nov. 13, 2006.
jasmine

Good article by Slavin, Puc.  More facts, less emotion - "the pen is mightier than the sword."
bieramar

jasmine wrote:
Good article by Slavin, Puc.  More facts, less emotion - "the pen is mightier than the sword."


Agree, and his universal "Any good points are drowned out by demeaning personal attacks" principle is a reminder all of us could benefit from having pasted on top of our composing screens.

I've begun to use the "preview" edit screen just to take a second look at my "thoughts in words" just in case my comments could be inferred by a reader to be a personal attack, even when I don't intend them to be.
jasmine

bieramar wrote:
jasmine wrote:
Good article by Slavin, Puc.  More facts, less emotion - "the pen is mightier than the sword."


Agree, and his universal "Any good points are drowned out by demeaning personal attacks" principle is a reminder all of us could benefit from having pasted on top of our composing screens.

I've begun to use the "preview" edit screen just to take a second look at my "thoughts in words" just in case my comments could be inferred by a reader to be a personal attack, even when I don't intend them to be.


I know I get a little to emotional about things that are close to me, but I try not to attack the poster, just the subject matter of the post.  Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, even if I don't agree with that opinion, hence, a good debate.
scrutney

bieramar wrote:
Agree, and his universal "Any good points are drowned out by demeaning personal attacks" principle is a reminder all of us could benefit from having pasted on top of our composing screens.


ed asking others to raise the quality of the debate reminds me of a carnival barker asking the calliope player to turn it down a bit.

i'm pretty sure that the commissioners had made up their minds before the shouting and booing started, so it strains credibility to imply that they were persuaded one way or the other by the tea party...a tea party which i might add, they've never paid the slightest attention to in the past.

and just what the hell is a fabian socialist anyway?

point the fourth: my gut hunch is that the messenger tainted the message...ed should back the hell off on this and let faye armitage be the point person. and even she may be hoisting around a bit too much baggage to sell this bill of goods.

other than that, i wish ed the best and i agree that there should be a referendum even though we the people have shown, time and again, a propensity to vote for that which we cannot afford.

and seeing as the author of the op ed loves to crib from the likes of kennedy, moynihan and shakespeare, i'm sure he'll allow a little verbal pilferage of my own:

"and so, to sum it all up, i perceive everything i say as absolutely true, and deficient in nothing whatever, and paint it all in my mind exactly as i want it to be." ~ cervantes.
tsiya

It's amazing how liberals continue to accuse their opponents of the very sins they themselves are most guilty of. Do they ever really read the rebuttals to their crap? It appears that they listen just enough to see things going against them then turn their brains off. Hell, are they ever turned on?
puc reducks

Scrutney, Much as I love ya, you are dead wrong.

Tsiya, SOS.
puc reducks

jasmine wrote:
Good article by Slavin, Puc.  More facts, less emotion - "the pen is mightier than the sword."


YOU are so right in so many ways, Jasmine.  

And let's hear it for the pen-and-ink brigade!
puc reducks

bieramar wrote:
jasmine wrote:
Good article by Slavin, Puc.  More facts, less emotion - "the pen is mightier than the sword."


Agree, and his universal "Any good points are drowned out by demeaning personal attacks" principle is a reminder all of us could benefit from having pasted on top of our composing screens.

I've begun to use the "preview" edit screen just to take a second look at my "thoughts in words" just in case my comments could be inferred by a reader to be a personal attack, even when I don't intend them to be.


Agree w/both paragraphs, Bieramar.  It isn't possible, however, to account for all those personal quirks out there, esp. in/from people one hasn't met and doesn't really know.  It's all guess work, but some (you, e.g.) have more to draw upon than others.

*****

Sayin' g'bye for another while.  Another eye surgery looms.  If I can see without my magnifying glass, I'll be back after the holidays!

Y'all take good care--and be kind to one another.
scrutney

puc wrote:
Sayin' g'bye for another while.  Another eye surgery looms.  If I can see without my magnifying glass, I'll be back after the holidays!


we'll miss you puc...take care of your eyes.
i'll bust a wishbone for ya.
jasmine

scrutney wrote:
puc wrote:
Sayin' g'bye for another while.  Another eye surgery looms.  If I can see without my magnifying glass, I'll be back after the holidays!


we'll miss you puc...take care of your eyes.
i'll bust a wishbone for ya.



I'll be in touch PUC, take care of yourself.
scrutney

from ed's...(i'll try to be nice, puc) umm...blog:

Top Ten Reasons Why Some Florida Energumen Oppose More National Parks and Seashores

10. Right whales don’t vote.

9. Florida beaches are for condos.

8. National parks are for Socialists.

7. Who needs good jobs at good wages?

6. Someone told me some fishermen might not like it.

5. This is one world government!

4. It definitely won’t be segregated.

3. National Parks are for Communists.

2. Adolf Hitler would support national parks

1. Outdoors? What’s that? Let’s pave it over.

This is not as funny as it sounds – for a good time, go to the St. Johns County website and listen to the “debate” from two local Tea Party factions: *

*(scrut) ed posted an expired link which doesn't work...here it is:
http://www.sjcfl.us/GTV/media/aud...0Proposed%20St.%20Aug%20National%
20Historical%20Park%20and%20National%20Seashore%20Act.wma">
jasmine

I'll take your word for it Scrut,  Great minds at work
tsiya

Ed is pushing agenda 21. It's a UN boondoggle not in the interests of the USA. The UN shouldn't be trusted to control or influence anything.

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/
scrutney

from ed's blog:

Quote:
Tea Party Sophists Used Phony Thomas Jefferson Quote in Attempt to Impugn St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Act

Government big enough to give you everything you want...(Quotation)
The following statement, or variations thereof, is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson:

"A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...."

We have never found such a statement in Jefferson's writings. As far as we know, this statement actually originates with Gerald R. Ford, who said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have," in an address to a joint session of Congress on August 12, 1974.[1]

This quotation is sometimes followed by, "The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases," which is most likely a misquotation of Jefferson's comment, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yeild, and government to gain ground."


i'm not sure if ed wrote this 'expose' or he cribbed it from someone else (although it's hyperinked all to hell and if his blog is any indication, ed's computer skills are shall we say, lacking. so my gut hunch is that it's...umm...borrowed without attribution.)

regardless, ed obviously doesn't think that a quote from an incoming president, with 25 years experience in the house of representatives, who's predecessor was threatened with impeachment for herculean abuses of power and resigned in disgrace, has the quite panache and gravitas as the same quote, mis-attributed to a founding father.

maybe.

but from where i sit, it's the difference between the musings of a seasoned hooker and a misty eyed newlywed bride, on the subject of human sexuality.

tsiya

Ed is a big fan of the U.N. and Agenda 21. It will lead to an eventual erosion of our national sovereignty, which is fine with him.
bieramar

Ed Slavin on his blog wrote:
Top Ten Reasons Why Some Florida Energumen Oppose More National Parks and Seashores

10. Right whales don’t vote.

9. Florida beaches are for condos.

8. National parks are for Socialists.

7. Who needs good jobs at good wages?

6. Someone told me some fishermen might not like it.

5. This is one world government!

4. It definitely won’t be segregated.

3. National Parks are for Communists.

2. Adolf Hitler would support national parks

1. Outdoors? What’s that? Let’s pave it over.

This is not as funny as it sounds – for a good time, go to the St. Johns County website and listen to the “debate” from two local Tea Party factions: *

*(scrut) ed posted an expired link which doesn't work...


Actually, the comments sound pretty funny to me ––– and some will probably make it into the Minutes when they are posted in a week or so.  

Here's one of the self-identified Tea Partier's take on the Commission meeting:
http://saintaugustineteaparty.com/site/11__01_11_Hearing_Report.html

=========================
scrutney wrote:
ed obviously doesn't think that a quote from an incoming president, with 25 years experience in the house of representatives, who's predecessor was threatened with impeachment for herculean abuses of power and resigned in disgrace, has the quite panache and gravitas as the same quote, mis-attributed to a founding father.


While I don't understand how pointing out that "Tea Party Sophists Used Phony Thomas Jefferson Quote in Attempt to Impugn St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Act" furthers any attempts to get support for the Act (and actually might be counter-productive to that goal), I do understand the irony of those claiming to be loyal constitutionalists misrepresenting and/or misunderstanding the Founders' statements - as happens again and again and again.
tsiya

There can't be much doubt about how Jefferson would view the U.N., Agenda 21 and any surrender of national sovereignty. Atributing a quote to the wrong source, or garbling it altogether, is something liberals have done quite often lately. It doesn't really matter, it's the thought which counts.

I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
Thomas Jefferson

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.
Thomas Jefferson

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson

I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Thomas Jefferson

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.
Thomas Jefferson
scrutney

bieramar wrote:
While I don't understand how pointing out that "Tea Party Sophists Used Phony Thomas Jefferson Quote in Attempt to Impugn St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Act" furthers any attempts to get support for the Act (and actually might be counter-productive to that goal), I do understand the irony of those claiming to be loyal constitutionalists misrepresenting and/or misunderstanding the Founders' statements - as happens again and again and again.


i agree.

Quote:
"A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...."


my only reason for bringing this up is that if it is in fact a gerald r. ford quote (and anything presented as fact on ed's blog must have a jaundiced eye cast upon it...c'mon, he uses the words 'dumped' and 'leaked' as if they were synonymous) it carries as much weight, if not more than if it came from the pen of thomas jefferson.

ford spent 25 years in the house of representatives, was on the warren commission and was the only president to take the office through the resignation of a disgraced president.

by august 1974, ford had been around the block a time or two, and was more than qualified to comment on the tyranny of government.
bieramar

Source of both documented and  spurious (unsubstantiated) oft-quoted Jefferson sayings:
http://www.monticello.org/site/je...-you-everything-you-wantquotation

Ford and Truman are the two presidents in my lifetime whom I most admire for "doing the right thing" regardless of the "shoulds" of the movers and shakers - and even though I didn't agree with their judgments on everything (like their liberal pardoning actions), I agreed with them on more things than I've agreed with any of the others, beginning with FDR.
scrutney

bieramar wrote:
Source of both documented and  spurious (unsubstantiated) oft-quoted Jefferson sayings:
http://www.monticello.org/site/je...-you-everything-you-wantquotation

Ford and Truman are the two presidents in my lifetime whom I most admire for "doing the right thing" regardless of the "shoulds" of the movers and shakers - and even though I didn't agree with their judgments on everything (like their liberal pardoning actions), I agreed with them on more things than I've agreed with any of the others, beginning with FDR.


interestingly enough, that's the exact site from which ed's debunking of the quote originated.
(i did mention that it was hyperlinked...does a hyperlink count for attribution purposes?...beats the hell out of me.)

still, when i'm wrong, i'm wrong.
well done ed.
bieramar

Hyperlinking is an acceptable form of attribution in this century - and the closer one can link to an independently verifiable source close to the original the better; easier said than done, however.

What too many do is cherry pick one quote - often with no understanding of the context - and using it to support some political position.

The Founders were scholars and they were verbose, and it takes a few paragraphs - and some thinking - to understand what they are saying in their 18th century vocabulary and grammar.

And they were no dummies when it came to the fallibility of men - whether those elected to govern or those doing the electing - in a democratic republic founded on the principles of inalienable human rights.  

Remember this was only the second democratic republic which was NOT founded upon a God-given and -guided right of rulers to govern as they chose.

I recommend the excerpts from Madison and Jefferson, and my comments on them at: http://bumrejects.myfreeforum.org/about347.html
tsiya

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/polit...ting-property-owners-against-epa/
tsiya

FLORIDA REPEALS UNITED NATIONS AGENDA 21 LAW




The state of Florida has repealed its 30-year old growth management law (also called “smart growth,” UN Agenda 21 , “compact development” and “livability”). Under the law, local jurisdictions were required to adopt comprehensive land use plans stipulating where development could and could not occur. These plans were subject to approval by the state Department of Community Affairs, an agency now abolished by the legislation. The state approval process had been similar to that of Oregon. Governor Rick Scott had urged repeal as a part of his program to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years in Florida. Economic research in the Netherlands, theUnited Kingdom and the United States has associated slower economic growth with growth management programs.


http://itmakessenseblog.com/2011/...als-united-nations-agenda-21-law/
bieramar

As a matter of fact - as opposed to anti-UN (whomever the UN is) propaganda - the Florida mandate for the state's Dept. of Community Affairs to review comprehensive land use plans was repealed in October 2011 when the entire Department was eliminated.

However then, as now, local Florida governments can still require and implement growth management programs.
tsiya

Only if local people want them!
bieramar

Draft of testimony next week.

STATEMENT OF STAUGUSTGREEN™, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA  

BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, IN SUPPORT OF NOMINATION OF SALLY JEWELL FOR SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND PROMPT ACTION ON FUNDING FEDERAL ST. AUGUSTINE 450th COMMEMORATION COMMISSION AND ON ST. AUGUSTINE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK AND NATIONAL SEASHORE

MARCH 7, 2013

Chairman Wyden, Senator Murkowski, ENR Committee members:

StAugustGreen™ supports the nomination of Sally Jewell to be America's 51st Secretary of the Interior. As a businesswoman who ran the $1.8 billion/year Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI) Co-Op, we know that Ms. Jewell appreciates the health, spiritual, wealth and job creation values of outdoor recreation.

Our National Parks are truly "America's Best Idea," as Ken Burns' acclaimed PBS series established, quoting Wallace Stegner. As Secretary of the Interior, we know that Sally Jewell will help preserve, protect and expand our National Parks, which created millions of American jobs.  
StAugustGreen™ supports the creation of a St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. See http//www.staugustgreen.com.

StAugustGreen™ urges you to ask Ms. Jewell about DoI discretionary funds to assure full funding of the moribund St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission, created by Congress to support commemorations of St. Augustine history.

We are grateful that Secretary Ken Salazar heard and heeded our July 15, 2009 call for a diverse, knowledge-based Commission under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA): appointed April 14, 2011, its members are diverse people with expertise in Civil Rights, history, nature and National Parks, including former UN Ambassador Andrew Young and, including former NPS Director Robert Stanton, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument Superintendent Gordy Wilson, National Parks and Hispanic history. benefactor Jay Kislak, Rev. Tom Willis, Mayor Joseph Boles, a college president, professors and other diverse experts.

The 450th Commission lacks one thing: its $500,000 annual appropriation - it urgently needs it. The 450th Commission must be fully funded, start complying with FACA, stop holding secret meetings, reject DoI's erroneous conclusion of non-existent FACA exemption, and hold public meetings on the National Historical Park and National Seashore.  

In 1939, the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore Act was introduced in Congress, supported by then-Mayor Walter Fraser, Representative Joseph Hendricks and Senators Charles Andrews and Claude Pepper.

That was 74 years ago. What exactly are we waiting for?  

St. Augustine deserves its rightful place. St. Augustine's story is our Nation's story. Diverse people lived, learned from each other and prospered here since 1565. Our Nation's oldest continually-occupied, European-founded City, St. Augustine has a rich history of cultural diversity - America's original melting pot since 1565.

Many never learn this American history in schools where British-centric chauvinism prevails. The story of the United States as we know it today began in St. Augustine on September 8, 1565; the 800 coloniziers included the first Hispanic-Americans, the first African-Americans (freed and slave), the first Catholics, first Jews and first women colonizers.

That was 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before Plymouth. University of Florida History Professor Michael Gannon says, "When Jamestown was founded, St. Augustine was up for urban renewal."¯  

There were bloody religious wars here, with the Spanish, French and English vying for hegemony. Christian Europeans killed hundreds of Christian Europeans over religion, or which empire would rule. It happened here on what is now United States soil. Our Matanzas River (laughter¯) is named for one September 1565 event in these religious wars, where some 270 Frenchmen were put to the sword.  

At the same time, the "Columbian Exchange" began here, with Native American and European cultures interacting, sharing and fighting for dominance. As Chairman Wyden said last month at the Hanford, Washington "B"¯ Reactor, "there is an old saying that those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it... My own view is that history isn't always ideal - it is important to look deep into the well of history to get a clearer understanding of what lies ahead."

Chairman Wyden said the Hanford and other Manhattan Project sites "must be preserved so future generations understand what went on here."¯

St. Augustine was America's first in so many ways: we had the first Catholic Mass and Thanksgiving feast (both on September 8, 1565).

St. Augustine had America's first school, first church, first hospital, first forts, first public square, first park, first system of weights and measures, first cattle, first horses, first pigs, first government with written records, first army and navy, first freed slave communities, first African-American soldiers/ sailors, first African-American general and first government anti-Gay hate crime (on Governor's orders in 1566).

Here there were landmark federal court First Amendment and Civil Rights victories (including a series of 1964 federal court desegregation orders and 2005 court order for Rainbow flags on historic Bridge of Lions in honor of GLBT history, including the Spanish Governor's ordering the 1566 murder of a Gay French translator of the Guale Indian language). While the Spanish Inquisition was here to a small degree, the Spanish governors in St. Augustine never burned a single "witch"¯ (unlike Salem, Massachusetts counterparts).  

Under Spanish rule, of military necessity, St. Augustine grew into America's first shining bulwark of freedom - the first Underground Railroad ran south to St. Augustine, starting in 1740, as the Spanish promised freedom to slaves who would convert to Catholicism and fight for Spain. British "indentured servant"¯ (slaves by contract) fled here from the mosquito-infested New Smyrna settlement, voting with their feet and walking some 70 miles to freedom here in 1777.

St. Augustine survived and outlasted threats to its peaceful existence, including slavery, segregation, hurricanes and "pirates"¯ d/b/a and a/k/a British "privateers,"¯ who twice burned the town to the ground. America's oldest masonry fort - Castillo de San Marcos - was built in response, surviving sieges and cannonballs with its its coquina construction and nightly work restoring sections blown away by day.

St. Augustine survived the Civil War without a single shot - in 1861, an Army sergeant peaceably turned over the keys to the Castillo (Fort Marion), demanding a receipt from the Confederates. In 1862, Confederates left peaceably when United States Marines were sighted offshore. Slavery began here in 1565. Jim Crow segregation was ended by what happened here in 1964, through the courage of local residents and visiting Americans -- the "St. Augustine Movement."¯

In 1964, St. Augustine's 400th anniversary was marred by KKK segregationists, whose violent actions, directed against non-violent Civil Rights protesters, helped President Johnson break the U.S. Senate filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   The "St. Augustine Movement"¯ brought the largest arrest of rabbis in American history, the Monson Motel swim-ins, St. Augustine Beach ocean wade-ins, the beating of Rev. Andrew Young and the arrest of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This was on the evening news and front pages. White House tapes show that in dealing with Southern Senators, President Lyndon Johnson was empowered by the courage of "St. Augustine Movement"¯ as much as by nightly revolting images of St. Augustine.

This included beatings, shootings, acid being poured into the Monson Motel pool, and a policeman jumping into the Monson Hotel pool to arrest native son Freedom Rider J.T. Johnson for swimming there. After federal court rulings, local law enforcement came to defend African-Americans, including those swimming in Atlantic Ocean amid wade-ins.

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act: today, women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and Gay and Lesbian people are protected worldwide because of what happened in St. Augustine - the 1964 Civil Rights Act was the precedent for human rights laws worldwide.

Some of our St. Augustine neighbors who protested in 1964 survive: our elders are sharing their wisdom with future generations and working with Rev. Andrew Young, et. al on several different Civil Rights museums, including the former dental office of Dr. Robert B. Hayling, (first desegregated medical office here - he led the "St. Augustine Movement"¯).  

Rev. Andrew Young said it best back in 1964: "We change history through finding the one thing that can capture the imagination of the world. History moves in leaps and bounds."

In 2014, America and St. Augustine will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ask that you and the Committee come and help us, and that you today urge Secretary-designate Jewell to work with you and us to make the anniversary meaningful, with creation of a new National Park and Seashore. We believe this may be the first National Seashore with a Civil Rights component - the ocean was segregated under Jim Crow segregation. In 1964, African-Americans could not legally swim in the Atlantic Ocean, except two small locations nearly 100 miles apart.  Civil Rights wade-ins at our St. Augustine Beach pier
were international news.   

Today, our Hispanic history and in particular our African-American and Civil Rights history is too often neglected. True, there is Fort Mose (an underfunded state park threatened with closure, site of the first free black settlement n 1740), and a tiny historical marker in St. Augustine Beach. Yes, there is now a Civil Rights Foot Soldiers monument and an Andrew Young memorial in St. Augustine's Historic Slave Market Square, where Ralph Waldo Emerson observed slave-selling.  Like Atlanta NPS sites associated with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., NPS rangers showing tourists the historic locations of Fort Mose, the Slave Market and Lincolnville will help history come alive, inspiring generations of future Americans to respect equality and the people who struggled to attain it.

The King and Queen of Spain are coming to St. Augustine next year.

Now, more than ever, St. Augustine's key role in U.S. and world history deserves greater National Park Service attention.

St. Augustine's wonderful natural beauty likewise deserves National Park Service protection.

We currently have two relatively small National Park Service installations - Castillo de San Marco National Monument (20.5 acres) and Fort Matanzas National Monument (some 300 acres).  

We can and we will help protect against erosion and flooding. We will protect the winter calving (baby-rearing) grounds of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale (some 300 survive), endangered turtles' nesting grounds, and habitats of bald eagles, beach mice, butterflies and other endangered and threatened wildlife for future generations to enjoy. We will rescue state lands threatened by development by "Temple Destroyer"¯ (in John Muir's words).

These lands must be protected and not neglected - state parks and forests, water management district land, and county beaches, including Anastasia State Park and the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM-NERR) -- into a National Historical Park and National Seashore in two counties, one that will preserve 130,000 acres, rescuing them from threatened development, including a state government at times hell-bent on closing parks or privatizing them, with threats to put golf courses in them (Florida is blessed with 1200 golf courses, thank you, and some of those are failing financially).

Every year since 2006, our St. Johns County Legislative Delegation has heard and talked about the St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore - our state legislators now know that we can save millions of dollars by giving selected state lands to the National Park Service.

The St. Augustine National  Historical Park and National Seashore will help interpret American history that is too often overlooked in our schools - particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native American and Civil Rights history.

We have 11,000 years of Native-American history. We have and 500 years of Spanish, African-American, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Protestant, French, Menorcan, Greek, Haitian, Cuban, Civil War, Flagler-era, Civil Rights, Military, Nautical, Resort and Artistic history, and even Musical history. Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder learned to play music in St. Augustine, at our Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Many jazz musicians retire and play here.

Our economy is still in the ditch, no matter what the local Chamber of Commerce says for quotation in the local newspaper. People are hurting. Stores and restaurants are vacant.  

Tourism is the engine of our economy. Environmental and historic tourists stay twice as long and spend twice as much, and they teach future generations of Americans to appreciate nature and understand our history.

St. Augustine is rated as one of the best places with the best schools, one of the best places to to retire, one of the most cultured places in Florida (Women's Day), hosts one of the ten best Christmas light displays in the world ([/i]National Geographic[/i]), and is one of 20 places in the world to see in 2013 (National Geographic).

With National Park Service branding, our City can recover, as it did so well in past centuries, after hurricanes, British sieges, cannonballs and city-wide pirate arson.

As to the draft St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore legislation, it was once called "perfect"¯ by one of our former City Commissioners, who worked at the CEQ and DOI under Presidents Clinton and Bush. This was after a NPS attorney in 2009 actually refused to read our draft or comment, inaccurately writing that this would be criminal lobbying, misciting 18 U.S.C. 1913.
DoI must open its heart to our community, end its FACA violations and start helping us plan for our historic celebrations - public participation is essential, as one of our former mayors has stated.

Will you help St. Augustine win the respect she deserves from NPS and DoI? As Albert Camus said, "If you don't help us do this, then who else in the world will help us do this?"¯

CONCLUSION
StAugustGreen™ urges your support for:

A. The nomination of Sally Jewell to be Secretary of the Interior;

B. Full funding for the St.. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission; and

C. St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore. http://www.staugustgreen.com

By enacting the St. Augustine National Historical Park and National Seashore legislation, we will preserve and protect nature, property and history, right wrongs and teach tolerance.  Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,
tsiya


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