Helping hands for Dorian’s victims Among Hurricane Dorian’s Bahamian victims a family of six, the Garry family, endured 36 hours outside their destroyed home as Dorian packed 185 mph winds with 220 gusts. They lost their home, church, seven family members, friends, and all belongings. At the request of a fellow pilot, St. Augustine resident Stephen Sipprell flew his plane to the Bahamas to bring the family to the United States. Stephen and his wife Holly welcomed them to make a new household of eleven. With help from the community the Sipprells are assisting the Garrys in literacy, activities, housing near their established support system, transportation, and from dependency to empowerment. The family was admitted legally into the United States on a 1-94 temporary status. Because they are not supposed to legally work in the United States, they are reliant on donations during their stay. To date, $8,000 has been raised toward a $50,000 budget for housing and basic expenses. An account overseen by the Sipprells has been established. Checks can be made payable to "John or Monique Garry" at 4369 Palm Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084.
November 9 2019
Commissioners to be honored for service Commissioners Roxanne Horvath and Nancy Sikes‐Kline will be recognized at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting with 20‐years of service awards from the Florida League of Cities.  Membership Services Manager Mark Raymond Sittig will make the presentation.  “On behalf Of the Florida League of Cities, I want to congratulate you on earning a John Land Years of Service award for twenty years of service to the City of St. Augustine,” League President Leo Longworth wrote ro each commissioner. “You should be very proud of this.” Photo of Horvath (left) and Sikes- Kline at September 2018 dedication of a pedestrian extension connecting the new southern seawall with the Bridge of Lions, originally proposed by Horvath.
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History’s Highlight 75 years ago - D-Day Monday’s Veterans Day ceremonies at Anastasia Baptist Church will commemorate the greatest operation of World War Two, the invasion of Normandy. This is an account from Wikipedia. The Normandy landings were landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D- Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later western Europe) and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front. Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion. The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks. The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year. Photo - A U.S. Coast Guard LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) disembarks troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) onto Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. During the initial landing two-thirds of Company E became casualties.
$700,000 sought to continue West Augustine connections Running on the “resounding success” of a mini-grant program in the area of Duval and South St. Johns Streets, newly appointed Public Works Director Reuben Franklin will ask city commissioners Monday to approve $700,000 “to further the mini‐grant program for sewer connections in West Augustine.” Franklin says $250,000 a year set aside for West Augustine utilities has accumulated to “slightly over $1 million.” The West Augustine area is outside of city limits, but inside the city's Utility Service Area for water and sewer. The current program “has been a resounding success story, as evidenced by the community’s support of the program and the visual improvements to the neighborhood,” Franklin says. “We are actively improving people's daily lives through this project. “One side benefit - we believe the success of the mini-grant program has spurred two rounds of additional funding from the State legislature to install new sewer mains and connect even more residents in West Augustine.” $96,000 sought for shortfall Franklin will also ask for $96,000 from the West Augustine sewer set-aside fund to cover a difference of $95,357 between a State grant amount and the projected cost of the West Second Street sewer expansion and connections project.
River to Sea Loop trail approval, funding sought Public Works Director Reuben Franklin will ask city commissioners Tuesday to adopt a resolution supporting a proposed alignment and complimentary route of the St. Johns River to Sea Loop, authorize a trail maintenance agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation and apply for available dedicated shared use facility funds for design and construction of the proposed trail. “In 2017, the Board of County Commissioners entered into a grant agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to participate in a planning study to complete the St. Johns River to Sea Loop Trail in the county,” Franklin says. “The goal of the study was to evaluate existing conditions and determine the best route to complete the northern portion of the. overall loop which spans multiple counties. “A preferred alignment and complimentary route for the loop has been selected through this planning process and City staff will seek approval of the City Commission.”
Four end city careers City hall is saying farewell to four who have served a combined total of 108 years. Sharon Langford - Visitor Services Manager, began with the city November 13,1989 and retires November 15 after 30 years of service. Jolinda LeVeck, Administrative Coordinator for the St. Augustine Fire Department, joined the city November 29, 1989 and signs out November 29, also with 30 years of service. Tim Burchfield, Assistant City Manager, joined the city May 23, 1990 and retired October 14 with 29 years of service. Paul Williamson, Public Affairs Director, joined the city August 3, 2000 and retires November 15 after 19 years of service.
Comprehensive Plan update faces public hearing Tuesday After two years of study including 19 workshops and public hearings, a proposed update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan goes to the City Commission Tuesday for first reading and public hearing. Planning and Building Deputy Director Amy Skinner says, “This Comprehensive Plan is updated to project to the year 2040. The proposed language in the Goals, Objectives and Policies is a compilation of public input and feedback and working with other City departments.” After second reading and final commission approval state agencies will have 60 days to review the submittal and provide comments to the City. “The actual adoption and any response to agency comments is expected after January 2020.” Skinner says. 
Commissioners to look at mayoral election process An ordinance to place the question of mayoral election process on the March 2020 Presidential Preference Election ballot goes to commissioners Tuesday for consideration. Commissioners split 3-2 at their last meeting on whether to consider a referendum for voters to decide on mayor’s election by popular vote or appointment by fellow commissioners. Mayor Tracy Upchurch and Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline voted against changing the current popular vote method. Upchurch said at the time this first reading would give residents more time to make comments to commissioners.    In the Mail Phil Genovar was a local Nascar pioneer. He operated a racetrack where the Chili's is now located. His family's ancestral land holdings essentially ran from Gonzales Creek to the University of St. Augustine and westward. Former City Attorney Ron Brown
Inaugural Collectors Forum at Lightner Museum If you are a collector, fascinated by the art of collecting or modestly intrigued by the possibility of starting your collection, you’re invited to Lightner Museum’s inaugural Collectors Forum November 14 from 6 - 8:30 pm. Three prominent collectors will share their adventures as they built their individual art collections and offer insights on how to expand your collecting passion. The Collectors Forum will be followed by a tasteful wine pairing reception and an exclusive look at newly designed exhibition areas. Reservations required. Tickets $15 for Lightner Museum members and $25 for non-members. Visit the website.