“My client and I are very pleased that the prosecutor exercised her discretion wisely and we commend her for doing so,” attorney Evan Nappen said. “We’re glad that the matter has been resolved.”
Nappen, who handles many NRA cases, said there are efforts by a number of legislators to get the definition changed to exclude antique firearms from the law.
“Hopefully the state will highlight the need to do that,” he said.
VanGilder was at risk of losing his pension as a result of the charge.
The man was relieved that the issue was now over, Nappen said.
That’s the good news, but because this is New Jersey and public officials don’t like when they are embarrassed and their questionable actions are brought to light, the ridiculous law is not being changed. Even though the Federal law on gun possession exempts antique firearms, New Jersey doesn’t care. Instead of trying to do the right thing, the prosecutor is using the VanGilder case as an example of what could happen to other citizens. (more…)
(photo courtesy Malcolm Denemark of the Florida Today.)
In case you missed it, 19 manatees were rescued from drains in Satellite Beach in an operation that took the cooperation of Satellite Beach Police, Fire Department, Public Works Department, SeaWorld employees and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Operations ended at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday along the 500 block of Cassia Boulevard. Firefighters, SeaWorld employees and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission left the site after inspecting the remaining culverts and drains.
“There were at least 19 or 20 that were rescued,” Capt. Jay Dragon of the Satellite Beach Fire Department said. He added that all of the marine mammals – also known as sea cows – were in good condition.
“They were all released back into the river,” he said.
The operation captured the attention of neighbors and the national spotlight as rescue crews pulled away drain covers and used construction equipment, fire engines and even a truck ladder to carry out the mass rescue of the manatees that somehow became trapped in the city’s drainage system.
The work of the agencies deserve great applause. As the manatees themselves cannot thank the workers themselves, it is up to do it for them. Floridians in general and members of local communities specifically seem to have a special place in their hearts for the gentle sea cows and the rescue / saving of these creatures is great news.
Now that the animals have been saved, an “after action debriefing” of sorts is sure to take place (as it should.) Questions will focus on what the responders did right will be asked. Questions on what they did wrong will be asked. Questions on how to improve will be asked. Questions on how the mammals got into the drainage system in the first place and can that be prevented in the future will be asked and addressed.
But there is something else that should be noted: expediency overruled safety rules. (more…)
(image courtesy of the Brevard County sheriff’s Office.)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This was forwarded to us and we wanted to let readers in the local Satellite Beach / Brevard County area know about it.)
Friends of Daniel Vukovich, the 17 year old teen who was beaten last week in Satellite Beach, have established a fund to help the family pay for Vukovich’s medical expenses.
If you are not aware of the event,
Vukovich was on his way to an adult education class when he was attacked, police say. His mother was inside the home when she heard loud banging and went to investigate. What she found was her son, bleeding with wounds – initially thought to be the result of a gunshot to the face – that were later determined to be caused by a crowbar.
The teen, with fractures to both sides of his head, remains in critical condition at Holmes Regional Medical
Center in Melbourne. He was airlifted to the hospital within 30 minutes of being beaten, according to court records.
As often is the case, the “noise” and discussion surrounding the case has seemed to mask the fact there is a young man fighting for his life. This horrific incident is just as much about the victim and not the policies to prevent this from happening again (if not more.)
Daniel is a 17 year old high school studrnt that was ambushed in his driveway and severely beaten with a crow bar as he was leaving for school. Daniel suffered severe head and facial injuries and has required extensive surgery. His stepfather is a firefighter at Patrick AFB and has been my friend for 20 years. We are trying to Raise money to cover the medical expenses for the family of Daniel Vukovich. Daniel has a long road ahead of him and his family needs our support. Every little bit will help his family in their time of need.
Do the rich pay their fair share of taxes? It’s not a simple question. First of all, what do you mean by rich? And how much is fair? What are the rich, whoever they are, paying now? Is there any tax rate that would be unfair? UCLA Professor of Economics, Lee Ohanian, has some fascinating and unexpected answers.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This may seem like a strange time to have a post on an event that took place nearly three months ago, but we feel that some of the things happening in Satellite Beach all tie in together. We didn’t comment on this at the time but recent events have demonstrated that people in the Satellite Beach government are eager to not only turn a deaf ear to criticism, but to seek to silence those who do criticize or take a critical view of the City’s actions.)
On December 3, 2014, the City Council met for what was to be the last City Council meeting of the year. The dais was festively decorated with colors suitable for the traditional season of giving. Item number 9 on the agenda that day was to “discuss and take action on holiday bonus for City employees.”
The video link for the meeting is here. We’d like to embed the video except for some strange reason, the City of Satellite Beach does not allow embedding of videos of the City Council meetings. This has always been odd to us as we have asked and never gotten an answer as to why with “transparency” being such a buzzword with the City Council and the City Manager, the ability to embed videos was disabled. After all, former City Manager Mike Crotty allowed embedding of videos. Former interim City Manager Ayn Samuelson allowed embedding of videos into web sites such as this one.
The presentation of the agenda item begins roughly at 26:21 where City Manager Barker says the City would like to give holiday bonuses to City employees. She says that the employees are not getting raises this year unlike other cities in the county. (Of course, other cities hadn’t given raises in the past due to the economic downturn while Satellite Beach gave raises from the “Salary Survey” several years ago.) She said that employees were facing increased costs due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare). Of course, no other citizen in the city was facing such costs either. Barker said that employees had not gotten raises during the economic downturn. (After all, all the citizens paying taxes must have gotten raises during that time, right?) She then proceeded to address one of the issues that we had raised which was the need to increase the City’s reserves saying the plan to replenish the reserves was on track. (In other words, because the City is claiming to be “ahead of the plan,” they shouldn’t try to get even further ahead an increase the reserves.
We want to be clear on one major issue: overall our objection is not with the bonuses themselves. It is the timing of the bonuses that concerned us then and concerns us now. (more…)