Lawyers Expanding Their Market.

We are big believers in the free market here at Raised on Hoecakes, but even we have problems thinking this law office will have any luck offering services to those in the afterlife……



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Two Fer One Christmas Songs For The Friday Before Christmas!

We asked some friends for a couple of their favorite Christmas songs and this what they came up with.

Surprisingly, the first one with Sponge Bob Square Pants has a good message.

And then there is the old classic song of “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.”

Kind of takes you back to being a kid, doesn’t it?

News And Views From Cocoa Beach.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We got a request from some readers to post the “News and Views” column from Cocoa Beach City Commissioner Skip Williams as the insert which is delivered in the Florida Today had some printing issues making the column virtually unreadable. We are glad to help out whenever we can. Also the City of Coca Beach has a regular City Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 6:58 PM in the City Hall Commission Room. If you cannot get to the meeting, you can view it on the City’s website or watch it on Bright House Networks Channel 199. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.)

Commissioners Corner 12-08-14
Skip Williams

We’re well underway into the Holiday Season. I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving. Both the Cocoa Beach Art Show and the Space Coast Art Festival were complete successes, thanks to all who made it happen. The Downtown Cocoa Beach Christmas parade was well attended and enjoyed by all. By the time this is published, the Cocoa Beach Boat parade will have occurred with Christmas parties at canal homes along the route.

2015 is a very important year as we try to implement facets of our City Strategic

Plan. On December 4th, other members of the Commission decided to approve the Cocoa Beach Comprehensive Plan Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) and authorize City Staff to “transmit” the EAR-based Comprehensive Plan Amendments package (including the 2025 Comprehensive Plan Update) to the State Department of Economic Opportunity. In my mind, there are still issues in the proposed Comprehensive Plan that address changes to how we handle variances for Height and Density that are in conflict with the 5-0 vote requirement you voted for in 2002. Please consider attending the December 18th City Commission meeting and make your voice heard during the Public Comment session. There will be only one more public hearing to approve the Comp Plan revision in the Spring of 2015.

Little Drummer Boy – Whiteheart.

We’ve always liked this version of “The Little Drummer Boy” by the contemporary Christian music group Whiteheart.

To us there is so much power and joy in the music as well as the various harmonies that the version has well stood the test of time.

Breach Of Public Trust.

Cocoa-Beach-Public-TrustIt’s December and you’re up to your eyeballs with holiday festivities. You don’t have time to read this, which is exactly why you need to read it. Some might even be hoping holiday distractions will keep you so wrapped up that you won’t have any time to pay attention to what’s happening here.

There are so many coincidences occurring within the Cocoa Beach city government lately that it’s become glaringly obvious that all might not be as it appears. It seems that only various public communications having to do with the current changes to the 2025 Comprehensive Plan have been mysteriously malfunctioning. So far, each has been explained as a coincidental glitch having to do with technological upgrades the city’s been undergoing over the last several months-the commission room renovation, the website being switched over. After inquiring today, would you believe that now Commissioner Williams’ article in the December email edition of the Cocoa Beach News Network “News & Views” has even fallen victim to a glitch and the city didn’t distribute it to the public? Usually it’s sent out days in advance. So, some good little elves are helping him get the word out about the commission meeting tomorrow night (December 18th, 7pm). In his “Commissioner’s Corner” column, Commissioner Williams asked that you to attend and voice your opinion at the beginning of the meeting during the public comments session on what just happened to height and Density at the December 4th commission meeting.

The following update will help get you up to speed on why you should make a point to be there.

Are you aware that Mayor Netterstrom, along with commissioners Tumulty, Malik and Miller, approved to send to Tallahassee a Comp Plan which includes plans to allow variances to current height and density requirements to be regulated by the Land Development Code (LDC)? The LDC allows for variances based on a simple 3-2 majority vote. In 2002, Cocoa Beach voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum requiring any variance to height and density requirements be a 5 – 0 vote of City Commissioners. The action taken by the City Commission on December 4th effectively allows the subverting of the clear will of the people.

Just prior to the commission’s vote, Commissioner Williams gave a presentation explaining “overarching requirements” (current legal height/density limits) and “issues” with language in the amendment to the Comp Plan. Williams stated that by “maneuvering around or manipulating” what the people voted for, the commission is breaching the public trust.

White Christmas – The Holiday Inn Original.

While most people associate the song “White Christmas” with the 1954 movie of the same name starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, Rosemary Clooney (who played the role of Vera-Ellen’s older sister but in real life was 6 years younger) and Dean Jagger, the first time the song appeared in a movie was the 1942 film “Holiday Inn.”

Holiday Inn starred Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds.

A couple of interesting trivia facts include Reynolds’ singing voice being dubbed using the voice of Martha Mears. In addition, the set for Holiday Inn was used again in the making of the film White Christmas. Finally, the song won an Academy Award for “Best Song.” In a twist of fate, the Oscar for the category was presented by Irving Berlin who had actually written the song White Christmas. Berlin became the first presenter to present an Academy Award to himself.

The first public performance of the song was by Bing Crosby, on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall on Christmas Day, 1941; a copy of the recording from the radio program is owned by the estate of Bing Crosby and was loaned to CBS Sunday Morning for their December 25, 2011, program. He subsequently recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers for Decca Records in just 18 minutes on May 29, 1942, and it was released on July 30 as part of an album of six 78-rpm songs from the film Holiday Inn. At first, Crosby did not see anything special about the song. He just said “I don’t think we have any problems with that one, Irving.”

The song initially performed poorly and was overshadowed by Holiday Inn’s first hit song: “Be Careful, It’s My Heart”. By the end of October 1942, “White Christmas” topped the “Your Hit Parade” chart. It remained in that position until well into the new year. It has often been noted that the mix of melancholy — “just like the ones I used to know” — with comforting images of home — “where the treetops glisten” — resonated especially strongly with listeners during World War II. The Armed Forces Network was flooded with requests for the song. The recording is noted for Crosby’s whistling during the second Chorus


Those Who Can’t…..

Essay-Fail-ROHThere is an old adage that goes something like “those who can, can. Those who can’t, teach.”

We’ve never particularly subscribed to that notion as growing up we had a large number of teachers who were successful in the private sector and then took jobs as teachers.

Still, this report coming out of New York is rather disturbing:

A majority of students training at scores of New York colleges to become teachers flunked a literacy test they have

to pass to be licensed, new figures show.

The state Board of Regents for the first time is requiring would-be teachers to pass the Academic Literacy Skills exam.

It measures whether a prospective teacher can understand and analyze reading material and also write competently. The results show many don’t belong anywhere near a classroom.

The pass rate statewide was 68 percent. Students who failed can pay a fee to retake the test. (emphasis ours)

To state the obvious, something is very wrong here.

Part of what is wrong may be found here:

State Education Commissioner John King said New York needs better-prepared teachers, and the findings show many teacher-prep programs need to straighten out — or shut down.

“It’s better to have fewer programs that better prepare teachers than having many schools that have teachers who are unprepared for the classroom,” King said.

The low-performing colleges will have to come up with corrective-action plans, which could include tightening admission policies or providing more academic support for students.

Mistletoe Kissing Contraption.

Okay, it’s crazy. It seems strange. Only a lunatic would try something like this.

But daggone if it didn’t work and made a lot of people laugh and smile.

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