According to the Florida Today, Clerk of the Courts Scott Ellis, got into a war of words with Brevard County Commission Vice Chair Robin Fisher over a remark allegedly made by Ellis at a meeting of the Brevard County Ronald Reagan Club. The confrontation took place when Ellis was speaking to the Commission as a private citizen.
The incident that led to the confrontation dates back to a Jan. 23 meeting of the Brevard County Ronald Reagan Club, where somebody joked that Fisher had killed more dogs that Michael Vick, an NFL quarterback who served time in federal prison for animal cruelty related to dog fighting.
Fisher, a Democrat, was not at the meeting, but did hear about the joke. He was not happy, and fired off an email on Jan. 30 to the person he believed told it: Ellis.
What was a private feud in emails between Ellis and Fisher became public at the County Commissioner’s meeting.
There are a couple of interesting things to watch in the video. The first is that Fisher interrupts Ellis and the Chair of the meeting, Mary Bolin Lewis, allowed him to do so. Secondly, Ellis does not back down. He maintains that he did not make the joke / statement in question. Third, Fisher makes a very odd comment in this exchange: (more…)
William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died. He was 90.
His son, William Guarnere Jr., confirmed Sunday that his father died at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Guarnere was rushed to the hospital early Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm early Saturday night.
Guarnere, whose combat exploits earned him his nickname, lost a leg while trying to help a wounded solider during the Battle of the Bulge. His commendations included the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
In 2007, Guarnere helped write a nationally best-selling memoir called, “Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends,” with fellow south Philadelphian veteran Edward J. “Babe” Heffron and journalist Robyn Post. (more…)
We want to say right off the bat that we are not against efforts that promote the well being and the ecology of the planet. This is our home and we want it to remain healthy as long as possible. We don’t consider ourselves to be “tree huggers” or anything like that, but we do recognize the beauty of nature and how we have to protect it at the individual, governmental and corporate level as much as we can.
At the same time, we have to recognize that there are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing amongst us. There are those who profess to be looking out for the planet but may have ulterior motives.
As an example, we point to the “LEED” certification program by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). When the group was first started, it was a consortium of businesses. There is nothing wrong with that as we happen to like businesses but it made us wonder if the businesses were interested more in selling products or helping the environment and energy costs.
Our first interaction with someone who was a big supporter of the LEED’s certification program was through Helmut Kohler, who was the City of Satellite Beach’s Energy Conservation and Efficiency Columnist. In the April / May 2011 edition of the Satellite Beach Beachcaster, Kohler was introduced this way:
[Editor’s Note: In 2010, the City received a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy for $200,518. The primary task is to replace inefficient air conditioning and lighting in the Civic Center that has been in use since the building was built in 1966 and identify energy savings in other City buildings. The City’s share of this project is $3,780. This is 1.9% of the total project cost. In its efforts to promote energy efficiency, the City requested that the grant award include funds to publish articles addressing energy efficiency in each issue of the Beachcaster while the work is under way.
Following is the first of that series of articles that will run until April 2012. As his introduction indicates, the author is well qualified for this task. It is our hope that these articles will provide residents and businesses with ideas and resources to help reduce energy consumption and, in so doing, save money.] (emphasis ours)
This past week, former Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division Lois Lerner again appeared in front of the House Ways and Means Committee to answer questions on her role and what she knew in the IRS scandal dealing with 501(c)(3) groups.
After being warned by Chairman Issa that the Committee would consider holding her in contempt of Congress is she declined to testify, Lerner again invoked her Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution.
Frankly, the investigation into the IRS saga has been a mess. If there is one issue that should unite the country, it is discovering whether the IRS targeted groups based on their political ideology. This go round it is Republicans saying that Tea Party groups were targeted. The next time it may very well be groups that lean to the left side of the political spectrum.
No matter what or who the IRS is targeting, if it is because of a group’s political leanings, it is wrong – morally, ethically and legally wrong.
However, Lerner’s refusal to testify is troubling on many fronts. First, there is the issue that in her opening statement at a similar hearing, Lerner said she was “innocent any wrong doing.” There are lawyers who have opined that once Lerner read that statement, she opened herself up to questions and could no longer invoke her rights under the Fifth Amendment.
The issue is further clouded by Lerner’s being interviewed by the Department of Justice:
In a press conference Wednesday, lawyer William Taylor III said Ms. Lerner had given a lengthy interview to Justice Department prosecutors within the last six months, as part of the agency’s investigation into IRS targeting of conservative tea-party groups for burdensome special scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Some legal experts said it can be risky to expose a client to Justice Department interviews without a grant of immunity. Ms. Lerner’s lawyers said she got no immunity from DOJ.
Why Lerner would talk to one part of the government investigating the allegations but not another part of the government is fodder for much speculation. Yet once again, the question is raised “once Lerner spoke to investigators, had she waived her Fifth Amendment rights?” (more…)
A 200+ mile backpacking experience through Yosemite National Park captured by Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill. This project was filmed over the course of 10 months. We spent a combined 45 days in the park capturing the images in this video.
We like the image to the left. It was suggested by a friend made the comment of “once in awhile a blind squirrel finds a nut” and then was turned into that image by our graphics guy. The image is a compilation of 4 different images and because it is a “new” work, it is protected by copyright laws. Not all people respect those rights and so when we search for the image on the internet, it has been used by over 800 different sites without a single attribution to us.
A friend from a now defunct blog asked for an image on the Constitution. He was writing a post claiming that some people were looking to “burn the Constitution into ashes.” The result was this:
That image too have been popular and other than the original blog, no one has given our graphics department attribution when they use the image.
Most of the time we don’t care. (Well, we care a little because it takes the work that is done here and adds to other blogs or in some cases, online newspapers.) We did find an image of ours from the “Satellite Beach” series that we do for posts on meetings and all things Satellite Beach that was being used by a local realtor. He was upset when we wrote him and asked that he either remove the image or attribute it to us. When he initially refused, we told him we would be contacting his hosting company with a demand letter to take it down.
Our point is that while we aren’t angry that others use the images that are created here, we think it is reasonable to say where the image came from. That’s what we do. If we use an image that we don’t modify or composite into something else, we say where we got it.
Which brings us to Getty Images. In case you aren’t aware, Getty Images is a company that takes a lot of pictures at specialized events. (more…)