The Voice of the Gem City

News September 17, 2021

Get your patriotism out and put it on display today as the Daughters of the American Revolution lead a celebration of the signing of the U.S. Constitution 234 years ago today. DAR chapters across the U.S. are leading bell-ringing and commemorative ceremonies today at 4 p.m.The William Bartram DAR Chapter will be on the steps of First Presbyterian Church of Palatka on the riverfront Friday beginning at 3:45 p.m. In St. Augustine the Maria Jefferson DAR Chapter will be in the Plaza de la Constitucion for the bell ringing at 4 p.m. A ceremony follows in the gazebo including Mayor Tracy Upchurch. Flagler County public library system plans a speech at 2 p.m. at the Palm Coast library on enslaved laborers and the Constitution. 

Expect high tides at the beaches today through Monday as what are now called “king tides” roll in. Those are the extra high tides and a series of them are expected over the next few months. In St. Augustine downtown some flooding may occur. Both Flagler and St. Johns counties will be feeling the effects.

The tides are coming in just at the 2021 International Coastal Cleanup gets underway Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. The pickup will be along A1A in Flagler and St. Johns counties. Bags and gloves will be provided and volunteers are welcome. Pre-registration isn’t required.

Phase 3 of the construction rehabilitation project at the Historic Downtown Parking Facility off San Marcos Avenue in St. Augustine got underway Thursday. Expected to take about three weeks, the work will. Mean only the first and second floors of the parking facility will be available Monday through Friday morning. On Friday mornings the upper portion of the garage will be open for use, according to the city. Intron Technologies is completing concrete maintenance, joint replacements and other repairs, say city officials.

The Palatka Flotilla is on the St. Johns River as the shrimp return. Palatka’s riverfront docks are filling up as people cast nets to catch the crustaceans. You’ll see plenty of boats in the river as well. Shrimp are still more bait size than eating size, as St. Augustine Record columnist Jim Sutton notes. Limit is a 5-gallon bucket. 

Palm Coast today officially begins their search for a new permanent city manager. Ads are going into publications for the $140,000 plus job which requires at least a bachelor’s degree and five years experience. Matt Morton resigned a couple of months ago and the new search is being conducted in-house through human resources. Among names floated at one time former interim Flagler County Administrator Jerry Cameron.

Lots going on this weekend. In Palatka the Arts Council of Greater Palatka Inc. offers popular rock-and-roll group The Grapes of Roth on Saturday at the Larimer Art Center, 216 Reid St. Tickets for the Saturday Nite Lite event are $7 at the door. In St. Johns County  Winona Judd performs tonight at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. In St. Augustine the Sing Out Loud Festival continues with free events at Colonial Oak Park, St. Augustine Amphitheatre and several lounges. You can get free passes for you and a friend for museums in Flagler and St. Johns counties including at Florida Agricultural Museum in Flagler and the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Pena Peck House in St. Augustine. Smithsonian coordinates the annual event. Go to their online site.

Speaking of things to do, hunting season is at hand with bowhunting beginning this weekend in Florida. Fred Whitley from St. Augustine passed along some good advice if you get lost in the woods: Find a possum and follow it. You will be in the middle of a road in no time.

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