August 8 2020                                                                                                                               
Published by former Mayor George Gardner The Report is an independent publication serving our community Contributions are appreciated
History’s Highlight la Leyenda Negra "Black Legend" is the accumulated traditions of propaganda and Hispanophobia accord-ing to which Spanish imperialism is regarded as cruel, bigoted, exploitative and self-righteous in excess of the reality. - Dr. Charles Gibson (1958) Perhaps the most effective weapon against Spain in its 16th century world dominance was a public relations campaign, la Leyenda Negra, the Black Legend. The term was coined by Julián Juderías in his 1914 book La leyenda negra y la verdad histórica (The Black Legend and Historical Truth), to describe the allegedly biased depiction of Spain and Spaniards as "cruel", "intolerant" and "fanatical" in anti-Spanish literature starting in the 16th century. The Black Legend propaganda is said to be influenced by national and religious rivalries as seen in works by early Protestant historians and Anglo- Saxon writers, describing the period of Spanish imperialism in a deliberately negative way. One of the strongest and earliest supporters for the Legend was the Englishman John Foxe, author of the Book of Martyrs (1554). Other critics of Spain included Antonio Pérez, the fallen secretary of King Philip II of Spain. Pérez fled to England, where he published attacks on the Spanish monarchy under the title Relaciones (1594). These books were extensively used by the Dutch during their fight for independence from Spain, and taken up by the English to justify their piracy and wars against the Spanish. Foxe's book was among Sir Francis Drake's favorites; Drake himself was and is regarded by the Spaniards as a cruel and bloodthirsty pirate. The two northern nations were not only emerging as Spain's rivals for worldwide colonialism, but were also strongholds of Protestantism while Spain was the most powerful Roman Catholic country of the period. Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, a student of Spanish colonial history, in his Coronado and our Spanish Legacy: To the Inland Empire, noted, “Only once since the invention of the printing press has a successful campaign of defamation lasting centuries been waged against an entire people. “That nation is Spain, and that campaign of calumny - known to modern historians as the ‘Hispanophobia Black Legend’ - made Span-iards pariahs and demeaned the character of the Spanish people. This myth, I am convinced, has influenced earlier generations of Americans to cast a cold eye on the achievements of our Spanish pioneers.”
Two hotels seek a dozen wall signs    Current sign zone was created for Flagler dorms The City Commission Monday will hear a report on the current building wall signage zone and consider requests from two hoteliers for a total of twelve signs on their Prawn Street hotels. The regular commission meeting begins at 5 pm through Communication Media Technology (CMT) and in the Alcazar Room and is live streamed on CoSA.TV. “Both the Hilton Hotel at 10 Prawn Street and Marriott Hotel at 5 Prawn Street have submitted plans which show wall signs on the top floor of their hotels,” says Planning and Building Director David Birchim, “but they cannot obtain a sign permit for these signs unless the boundaries of Commercial Sign Zone 4 are amended to include these properties.” A Homewood Suites by Hilton is under construction while a Marriott’s Hidden Harbor is under review for permitting. “The current boundaries of Commercial Sign Zone 4 are to the northeast of these properties and they include the Flagler College Dormitories on Malaga Street and the City Fire Station on Malaga Street,” Birchim says. Zone 4 “was created for the Flagler College dorms on Malaga Street,” Birchim. Both Commissioners Nancy Sikes-Kline and Roxanne Horvath raised concerns at the commission’s last meeting that adjusting the sign code could result in a proliferation of commercial building wall signs. Horvath commented she thought the Flagler signage was approved because it is an historic property - the former East Coast Railway offices.
Commission to consider memorial relocation site City Manager John Regan will recommend to the City Commission Monday a final site at the Trout Creek Fish Camp for the Confederate Soldiers Memorial. “A proposal from Mr. Randy Ringhaver offers Trout Creek Fish Camp located at 6550 FL-13 N. St., in St. Johns County, as more than just a location to place the memorial,” says a city media release.  “At Mr. Ringhaver's expense, the Trout Creek offer includes building a park setting with lighting, sidewalks, and seating so that the memorial can be visited for generations to come.  Additionally, the foundation will be constructed by Mr. Ringhaver.” Since the commission’s June 22 decision to relocate the monument the Veteran's Administration denied requests to relocate the memorial to the St. Augustine or any other national cemetery due to regulations, the Military Museum of North Florida in Green Cove Springs would be a more expensive move, and an offer from a private landowner in western St. Johns County would require payment from individuals wishing to pay respects at the memorial and by appointment only. An executed contract with New York-based Progressive Construction includes a base contract to move the memorial either to temporary storage at the City Public Works compound in West Augustine if a commission decision is not made Monday, or to the final location. Mobilization and relocation could take in 3-4 weeks.  City archeologists have conducted a preliminary investigation and believe the memorial to be in a stable position to move. Once the memorial is removed from its current site, the City's archaeology team will conduct further investigations underground and in the surrounding area.
Wiles to be honored with naming of park Herbie and Annette Wiles will be recognized for their years of service to the community with the naming of the park across the street from their Bay View Drive home Herbie and Annette Wiles Park. A resolution goes before commissioners for approval at Monday’s City Commission meeting. Herbie, who passed away last year at the age of 92, founded Herbie Wiles Insurance, served for 12 years as a county commissioner, was first chairman and charter member of the Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council, and served with numerous city organizations. His wife of 72 years, Annette served with the former Florida Department of Public Welfare and as a social worker for students in the Blind Department at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. And was active with the Junior Service League and Woman’s Exchange among civic services. Photo: Annette and Herbie Wiles as Herbie received the Order of La Florida Award from Mayor Joe Boles in 2013
In the mail (Ref Pizzalley stories in Report July 29 and August 5) The store next door to Maronel’s was the Western Auto Associate Store, owned by my parents (Albert and Gina Spiller) and before that Vincent and Ione Amato. It was sold and closed in the late 1970s. It now houses the Prohibition Kitchen Restaurant & Bar. There was a parking lot behind the store and many people cut through the store to get to St George Street. Daddy called the “cut through” Western Alley. GS Paaso
Commission decision sought on derelict historic property Commissioners will be asked to decide Monday whether to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure on the home of a former regional leader in African American education. A pending foreclosure action is scheduled for a case management hearing on the historic but derelict property at 52 Spring Street on August 12 and Assistant City Attorney Denise May is seeking City Commission direction to advise the Court. The property is significant as the home of black educator James B. Bryant, who taught in St. Johns County, Duval, and Nassau, ultimately becoming principal of the school bearing his name in Yulee. Last year the commission authorized stabilization of unsafe and faulty metal roofing at the property and closed the code enforcement complaint with fines and costs of $59,175. An outstanding mortgage due with interest is $175,000 and there are outstanding back taxes of $14,578.34. A trust for the property would be willing to negotiate the mortgage amounts. The St. Johns County Property Appraiser lists a just market value of $224,105. A structural report showing substantial structural issues raises the question of whether the structure can be restored.
City board positions open City Clerk Darlene Galambos has announced upcoming board term expirations and vacancies: Civil Service Board - term expiration, Les Stern. He’s eligible for reappointment and has submitted an application. Board of Trustees 1977 City Employees' Retirement System - vacancy, Warren Butler has resigned. Planning and Zoning Board - term expirations, Jon Benoit and Karen Zander. Benoit has submitted an application for reappointment. Find an application form for any city board here.
Founder’s Day ceremony in September is canceled Out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, the Diocese of St. Augustine has decided to cancel plans for the annual celebration of Founder’s Day at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios. “We remain open to the public daily and have taken the St. Augustine pledge to support our city and all efforts to ensure the safety of our guests,” said Jon Cares, director of operations for the shrine. The shrine gift shop and Mission Museum are open 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 pm on Sundays. Founder’s Day, originally planned for Saturday, Sept. 5, celebrates the founding of St. Augustine with a reenactment of the landing of the Spanish at the mission grounds, followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Felipe Estévez. On Sept. 8, 1565, Don Pedro Menéndez de Aviles founded the city and Father Francisco Lopez celebrated the first Mass. This year marks 455 years since the founding of the city of St. Augustine.