May 23 2018
Published by former Mayor George Gardner The Report is an independent publication serving our community Contributions are appreciated
Pool, concerts open Summer season Sure signs of summer, the Galimore pool opens May 25 and Concerts in the Plaza begin May 31. Operated by the St. Augustine Family YMCA, the pool is part of the Willie Galimore Community Center on Riberia Street. The pool will be open through September Details here. St. Augustine's free summer music series returns for its 28th season, serving up some of the best musical entertainment in northeast Florida. The series includes 14 weeks of two- hour concerts held every Thursday at 7 pm in The Gazebo in the Plaza de la Constitución from May 31 through August 30. Visit www.CityStAug.com/Concerts.
History’s highlight The Poppy In order to appreciate the symbolic nature of this simple flower, it is important to understand its history and worldwide significance. In Belgium on the Western Front during World War I, the soil of farmland was turned into bloody battlefields, torn up by miles of trenches and exploding artillery with many of the dead left behind.  Common poppy seeds which may have lain dormant in the earth for decades were exposed to light and began to bloom, red as the blood which remained in the battlefield graves.  A Canadian doctor named Lt. Col. John McCrae observed the red poppies growing near one of Flanders Fields mass cemeteries and in 1915, wrote the poem: In Flanders Fields was published first in Britain and then the United States. In 1923, the red poppy was adopted as the American Legion Family’s official flower and became a national symbol of sacrifice.  It remains as a badge of honor for the veterans of ALL wars. The Poem: In Flanders Fields In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead.  Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow. Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields.
40-foot antenna pole in city historic district? An S&P 500 wireless communication service goes before the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) Thursday, May 24 for a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a 40 foot tall concrete utility pole with an antenna and telecommunications equipment on city-owned sidewalk at Cathedral Place and Cordova Street.    The HARB session begins at 1 pm in the Alcazar Room at City Hall.     Says Assistant City Attorney Tim Burchfield, "new Federal laws prohibit jurisdictions from denying requests for installation of telecommunication equipment on rights of way.    "The only thing we are allowed to do is if it is within a historic zone they can be required to go to HARB to meet any special requirements."    HARB staff will recommend a continuance: “The applicant should consider moving the utility pole to the corner where it can be screened by the palm trees or move it to an area where screening can be provided.”    Crown Castle International Corp., headquartered in Houston, Texas, provides infrastructure for broadcasting, mobile telephony and wireless broadband.
Remembering the fallen     Saturday May 26 – four Spanish outposts Those who fell at four Spanish outposts during the British siege of 1740 will be honored Saturday, May 26 in ceremonies on the south lawn outside the Castillo de San Marcos. The one- hour special event, beginning at 9:30 am, will commemorate Fort Picolata, Fort San Francisco de Pupo, Fort San Diego, and Fort Mosé, attacked by British troops before General James Oglethorpe’s attack on St. Augustine. The Spanish defended these small fortifications valiantly, but many lost their lives in the December 1739 attacks. Later in 1740, Oglethorpe and an English fleet of seven ships appeared off St. Augustine.  For 27 days, the British bombarded the Castillo and St. Augustine.    Monday, May 28 – America’s military Ceremonies honoring America’s service men and women will be conducted Monday, May 28, from 10 to 11 am in the St. Augustine National Cemetery on Marine Street. The traditional ceremonies include a massing of the colors by numerous military and civilian agencies and community organizations and the solemn reading of the roll of military and veterans who have died since Veterans Day. Keynote Speaker will be Maj. Gen. USAF  (ret) Emmett Titshaw Jr., Florida's Adjutant General from 2010 until 2015. The annual remembrance is organized by the Ancient City Chapter, Military Officers Association of America, in conjunction with the Florida National Guard, Veterans Council of St. Johns County, and the National Cemetery Administration.
Plan board to consider marijuana dispensary Two years ago, Trulieve opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in Florida. Almost one year ago, it opened Jacksonville’s first dispensary. Now, the Gadsden County-based company is experiencing a growth explosion, despite what they say are onerous state regulations and a nebulous legal environment.                Jacksonville Business Journal The city’s Planning and Zoning Board June 5 will consider an application by Trulieve, which operates more than a dozen dispensaries statewide, to open a medical marijuana dispensary as a use by exception. The board session begins at 2 pm in the Alcazar Room at City Hall. Trulieve proposes an 1,150 square foot facility in the North Pointe Plaza at 2303 N. Ponce De Leon Boulevard and Gabriel Street. While St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County have banned marijuana dispensaries in their jurisdictions, St. Augustine commissioners voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries at sites with direct access to U.S. 1 for greater emergency service accessibility. A Cannabis Certification Clinic to register for medical marijuana treatment recently opened at SR 312 and US 1.
Monk’s Vineyard on HARB agenda The Monk’s Vineyard on St. George Street will seek a Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) Opinion of Appropriateness Thursday to replace the rear canopy, the front balcony, the second story windows and doors, and the existing stucco on the main façade. The application also proposes covering the low wall in the front with stucco, installing a handrail on the rear stairs and balcony, replacing existing A/C and exhaust equipment, installing new windows on the southern façade, and painting a portion of the front façade. The Monk’s Vineyard last went before the board in 2015 as a potential new owner described modifications to develop a two-floor bar with seating in an historic theme. Nothing further was heard on that application. Local Heros remake Replacement building designs for 18 St. George Street, former home of Local Heros Café which will be demolished, go before HARB, as well as designs for new, larger signs at the Mission of Nombre de Dios on San Marco Avenue. Crichlow has been a regular before HARB over the past year, first to win approval to demolish the existing buildings that stretch from St. George to Spanish Street, and now to design acceptable replacements. The Diocese of St. Augustine appears for a second time for a Variance to the Design Standards for Entry Corridors for a free standing sign that exceeds the maximum size allowed in the Design Standards.
Friday May 25 is National Poppy Day “Each year, the American Legion Auxiliary’s three-quarters of a million members – direct female relatives of wartime veterans – raise millions of dollars through the distribution of red poppies to honor veterans’ sacrifice for the freedoms we, as Americans, enjoy,” writes American Legion Auxiliary Unit #37 President Nancy Birchall.  “All poppy funds collected are used exclusively to support the rehabilitation and welfare of active duty military, veterans and their families.  While Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day are traditional days of remembrance, this year, this Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, is being recognized as National Poppy Day.  Contributions are welcomed, not required; but remembrance is.  “Poppies will be distributed by the Auxiliary members at Post #37 Headquarters that day from 1-6 pm. Women who are interested in joining the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #37 or just learning about its mission are invited to a Poppy Day Social that afternoon, May 25, from 4-6 pm. Wives of Legion members and retired or active duty servicewomen are also encouraged to join us.  For more information call Auxiliary President, Nancy Birchall at 904-794-2883.