Westgate, Cocoa Beach, And Expectations.

Last night the Cocoa Beach Board of Adjustment met and unanimously decided to pass a special exemption to Westgate Resorts allowing the company to erect three amusement rides in walkway near the Cocoa Beach Pier, which is owned by Westgate.

We had written about the agenda item here and were interested to see whether Westgate would have to supply the same information other applicants would have to supply or would Westgate get preferential treatment of some sort.

We should have known better than to even wonder.

Proposed location of rides.

First, we want to say that Westgate has done a good if not great job of renovating the Pier and making it better than it was when it was first constructed. The Pier had falling into disrepair and Westgate changed that.

However, it should be remembered that Westgate didn’t do the work out of the kindness and goodness of their heart. They did it to make money. A profit off of their investment. We take no issue with them looking to make a buck off of the Pier and their investment in it. It’s a business and we respect that. However, unlike many, we don’t feel the need to thank them for it. We don’t need to give them accolades for engaging in their business of buying, renovating and maintaining properties.

Many of the people who supported this project cited how great Westgate had been in the renovation of the pier. Some of the supporters (most actually) work for Westgate in some capacity now or in the past. Many of them spoke about the exacting standards and planning the company exhibits on a constant basis. Being great in the past may mean people are less skeptical of you. It doesn’t mean that you get a free pass from the City.

If you think they should be thanked endlessly, let us know the next time City officials come to your home and thank you for making improvements and maintaining your property.

The agenda item itself started out with City Planner Sue Ryan making the presentation for Westgate. It was not, as one would hope and expect from a City employee, neutral in any way. Ryan said Westgate had plans in place to address lighting concerns for both neighbors and sea turtles saying “they can turn [the lights] down.

Last meeting, when the BOA was dealing with the outdoor proposed outdoor seating at the marina restaurant, the applicant was grilled on the type of lights that would be used and was asked to show the fixtures they would use to shield the lights from residents living across the water. The BOA wanted an exacting plan.



Cocoa Beach: The Pier And Amusement Park Rides.

This ought to be interesting.

Today at 5:15 PM, the Board of Adjustment will hold a meeting at which time one of the agenda items is allowing Westgate Resorts, the owners of the Cocoa Beach Pier, to install three amusement park rides in the pedestrian walkway of the area.

Proposed location of rides.

This is going to be fascinating to watch.

Westgate is one of the “big hitters” in the City and has a great deal of pull within City Hall. Will this application get any special treatment that other businesses have not?

“What special treatment?” you ask?

The BOA has, for better or worse, been extremely hard on businesses and have put restrictions on noise and impact far beyond what may be allowed by the Code and by law. They have literally made smaller companies and businesses jump through hoops that existing businesses to not have to comply with and in doing so, place the newer companies at a disadvantage with increased costs.

For example, the BOA has often taken into consideration complaints and concerns from home owners and condos that are not abuttors or even abuttors to abuttors.

Here, just to the south of proposed location there is a group of condos. Just to the south of them, there is another group of condos. Will the BOA consider the impact of these amusement rides on those condos?

For example, anyone who has ever gone to the yearly Our Savior Carnival (or any carnival or State Fair) knows the volume of music from rides is incredibly loud. They are designed that way. The music is designed to draw people in. In many cases, the music is so loud that you cannot communicate on the ride.

But there is another reason for the volume of the music. It is there to cover up the mechanical noise of ride itself. Once again, if you have ever attended a carnival or State Fair, you know you can feel the ground shake when walking past rides. That music and vibration will be transmitted to the condos and while you can reduce the volume of the music, you cannot reduce or eliminate the vibration. In fact, if you think about it, most portable carney rides like this get set up on dirt to help dissipate the vibration. Here, the rides are being set up on concrete – in effect a drum head that will extend the vibration out further than if the ride was sitting on dirt.

If you look at the documentation within the agenda item, there is no data on volume or vibration.

Will the BOA consider that or let it slide because, well, because it is Westgate?


A Peaceful Day Of Fishing Ruined.

Two men were legally fishing in a public park and lake in St. Petersburg, Florida when they were approached by a little kid who asked them “Do you know fish feel pain? When you hook them in their mouths it really hurts them. So please stop fishing.”

Filming the incident appears to be the parents of this child.

The fishermen were respectful, polite and simply disagreed with the child. The father then got involved starting to yell at the two men who wanted to fish and enjoy the day.

The father then compared the fish to a dog, and being allowed to fish the same as owning slaves.

You can’t argue with logic like that because there is no logic. But the father persisted. It seems clear that he wanted to get a rise out of the men who never obliged the man until he took the fish the two had caught and threw it back into the water proclaiming “I just saved a fish!”

The encounter was posted on YouTube.

To address some one of the things the man says in talking about the Garden of Eden, it is clear his understanding of the Bible is about as deep as the fish’s. Well, maybe not. They fish might have more understanding.


Black, Millennial, Female and… Conservative.

In our experience, Antonia Okafor’s experience is not unique. Those on the left who claim to be “inclusive” don’t want people who don’t think like they do.

It might even be said they don’t want people who think at all.

Antonia Okafor, a young, single, black woman, recently discovered that’s she’s a racist, sexist, misogynist. How in the world did this happen? None other than Antonia Okafor explains.


What Racism?

One of the staff members here got a call from their 90 year old mother the other day.

It was a call no child wants to hear.

“Someone tried to rob me,” she said.

It seems the woman went to have a fingernail that was chipping and ripping apart fixed professionally. She went to a local manicurist to have the work done. She parked next to a parking lot which also is home to a “Park and Ride” for the bus system. This is where you can park your car and then hop on a bus.

The mother came out of the shop and a black male came up behind her and demanded her money.

She said “no.”

The man then demanded her wallet and purse..

She started to hit the man with her cane and yelling for assistance.

The man grabbed her purse, but she wouldn’t let go of the strap and kept swinging and yelling.

A black man at the bus stop heard the commotion and came over to help. The would be thief stopped and started to walk away when two other black men went after him. They chased the robber but eventually lost him. They returned to the scene and gave the police a description of the man.


Cleaning Sidewalks of Urine and Human Waste Is “Racist.”

Councilmember Larry Gossett

Just when you think you have seen and heard it all, you hear more things that make you go “what the aitch ee double hockey stick?”

The City of Seattle has a problem with homeless people around the City’s Courthouse.

There are two main issues – attacks or the threat of attacks on people and the unsanitary conditions including urine and human waste on the sidewalks.

Two judges brought their concerns to a City Council Committee.

Two King County Superior Court judges are asking for help cleaning up the courthouse at Third Avenue and James Street after they say two jurors and half a dozen employees have been assaulted.

The judges, Laura Inveen and Jim Rogers, acknowledged Tuesday that there are difficult underlying circumstances contributing to the unsanitary and potentially frightening atmosphere around the courthouse.

They — along with King County Sheriff John Urquhart — also recognized that there are two elements at play: crime and the fear of crime, with the latter being just as likely to keep people away as the former.

The nearby blocks host most of the city’s homeless-shelter beds and many of its social-service outlets, which draw those who need help and the people who prey on them. That’s nothing new, Rogers said.

But, for whatever reasons, things have gotten worse over the past few years and jurors and potential jurors report being afraid to go to the courthouse, the judges said.

The judges said they have started hearing from jurors who want to do their civic jury duty at the county’s superior courthouse in Kent because they don’t want to come to the downtown courthouse.

“I’ve never seen it this bad,” Rogers said in a Tuesday morning presentation to the Metropolitan King County Council’s committee on government accountability and oversight.

[Iveen] and Rogers asked the county to take immediate steps to clean up the courthouse with a daily power-wash of the surrounding sidewalks, which reek of urine and excrement.



“The Rules Of Someone’s Property Don’t Apply To Me.”

Lenore Skenazy at is having problems with an incident that happened at a Lego Store in New York.

The backstory to this is that a woman was arrested for leaving her alone in a Lego Store for two hours while she went shopping elsewhere in the mall.

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office says a Pittsford mother is accused of leaving her ten-year-old child alone in the Lego Store at Eastview Mall for approximately two hours while she shopped.

Deputies say that 44-year-old Jia Fan was arrested at about 5:37 p.m. Sunday evening. She is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Egads. That seems over the top to us. Arresting the woman?

We agree with Skenazy that the woman should not have been arrested.

However, Skenazy then jumps the shark a bit by trying to blame the Lego Store for this.

The store has a policy that kids under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.


When “Science” Isn’t Scientific.

This ought to make some heads explode:

A new study found adjustments made to global surface temperature readings by scientists in recent years “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

“Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published [global average surface temperature (GAST)] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming,” according to a study published June 27 by two scientists and a veteran statistician.

The peer-reviewed study tried to validate current surface temperature datasets managed by NASA, NOAA and the UK’s Met Office, all of which make adjustments to raw thermometer readings. Skeptics of man-made global warming have criticized the adjustments.

The study itself can be found here.

We are just going to cut and paste the entire summary and conclusions page:


In this research report, the most important surface data adjustment issues are identified and past changes in the previously reported historical GAST data are quantified. While the notion that some “adjustments” to historical data might need to be made is not challenged, logically it would be expected that such historical temperature data adjustments would sometimes raise these temperatures, and sometimes lower them. This situation would mean that the impact of such adjustments on the temperature trend line slope is uncertain. However, each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history.


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