On Volusia: Sorting Fact from Fiction

As most of you have figured out – I tend to overthink things. . .

I invariably take a deep dive on the issues that bother me, then let my mind wander; always searching for the “why” of the situation, a brooding, ruminative process that often begets more darker questions.

Perhaps this weird contemplative personality quirk comes from decades in law enforcement, where we practice the art and science of forensic investigation – gathering and analyzing items of physical evidence – blood, hairs, fibers, latent fingerprints, ballistics, toolmarks etc. – interviewing witnesses, interrogating suspects, developing timelines and determining the “who, what, when, how and why” of a crime.

Deductive “fact-based” reasoning leading to a logical and legal conclusion.

I’ve found that here on the Fun Coast, it’s difficult for most to begin dissecting the machinations of government, because most people tend to base their examination on the “message” – the official narrative – which is typically pushed as a series of “reframed” facts designed to reduce any negative impact or political criticism.

We receive what passes for “news” from paid governmental mouthpieces – “public information” professionals who are experts in spin and obfuscation – who present a biased interpretation of events as a means of influencing public opinion – then speak “for” our elected and appointed officials when the questions get tricky using canned “talking points” and soundbites.

It is an effective political insulation practice – one that removes any requirement that those we elect to represent our interests should have to think for themselves, formulate cogent answers to our questions and actually communicate with worried constituents.

The process isolates elected officials – cementing the impenetrable wall that separates “us from them” – barriers that are bolstered by talk of further limiting public participation in government (during a time we can’t even be in the same room together), putting “decorum” over citizen input while limiting the competition of debate, extending even more physical and emotional distance between citizens and our increasingly monarchical office-bearers.

Then, there are individual politicians who – in an attempt to paint themselves as a “maverick” – focus on manipulating the minutia of the official message, arguing semantics and inflating their contribution while quibbling process – a dramatic performance that only serves to expose their own ignorance of what’s actually happening outside the Ivory Tower of Power – the things that truly matter to us, the Little People.

Now, imagine a scenario where, as our local, state and national political systems continue to contract and centralize power in external forces with no political accountability, professional journalists and “news organizations” increasingly accept (even reinforce) the official propaganda of government when it serves mutual goals.

Scary, right? 

Well, welcome to our collective nightmare. . .

If the Coronavirus craze has exposed anything, it’s that “media driven hype” has a synergistic effect on our politicians inability to think for themselves – creating a situation where public policy is formulated, changed, then changed yet again – as local government attempts to mitigate the worst case scenarios and subjective projections of those who make a living selling the news – driving reader/viewership with sensationalized versions of reality.

Then, some just get it wrong – because its easier (and cheaper) for a news agency to simply regurgitate an emailed press release than actually seek the unvarnished truth. . .

For instance, in a recent article in The Daytona Beach News-Journal heralding the “opening” of Volusia County beaches, headlined: “Volusia beaches draw crowds:  Reopening of county sands, surf for all activities met with cheers by people, but hesitancy still looms,” didn’t tell the whole story.

The fact is – Volusia County beaches are not open for “all activities” – and any suggestion to the contrary is simply misleading.

For instance, with the exception of highly regulated parking for persons with disabilities, vehicular access to our beach – a century old tradition that defines the Worlds Most Famous Beach – remains completely closed.

To that end, some $30,000 in CARE Act funds have been squandered on 1,800 “utility markers” which will mandate where visitors and residents may park on driving areas of the beach to force separation – an expenditure that passed muster with the Volusia County Council, even as thousands of families seek sustenance at overburdened food banks and small businesses succumb to the unfair mandates of government officials who haven’t lost one dime in salary or benefits since this lock-down began.

Off beach parking remains restricted.

Our ability to peaceably assemble in groups over six – or use our own judgement to maintain adequate social distancing – is officially controlled by unilateral edict of (I think) County Manager George Recktenwald, who continues to remind us that any violation of his diktats carries the possibility of arrest and prosecution for a second-degree misdemeanor.

And, if you do venture down to the beach, I hope you are close to home – or don’t have an aversion to emptying your bowels and bladder in the surf, among your friends, family and neighbors – because, for reasons known only to Volusia County officials, public restrooms remain closed to public use. . .

You read that right.

And, so far, I haven’t heard any working journalist question the reason “why”. . .

What a crock of shit (literally).

9 thoughts on “On Volusia: Sorting Fact from Fiction

  1. My post transferred from whatsnewin NSB
    OK, Have to do this :

    Why can we not drive on the beach Monday?

    Been conversing with a few of our Volusia County Council members :

    Here is the scoop:

    The “County management ” has stated that 6 ft. ” social distancing “On the beach “, ” is not adequate “.
    They want to increase it to 10 ft. + , Even though the CDC and Governor DeSantes state:
    6 ft. ” Social Distancing ” is ” safe ” for Restaurant Table Spaces Dining Outdoors. Etc : Everywhere !

    Therefore :
    They are proposing installing posts at 25 ft. intervals between existing garbage pail mounting posts that are at 50′ Intervals. 1 car / 25 ft.

    That dictates a 19 ft open gap between cars ( 6.25 ft width ave. SUV ) ( 25 ft / car occupied )

    This spacing will reduce Volusia County Beach Parking capacity at least 50% ( Ormond to Smyrna )

    The county is is the process of ordering these posts ( some in ) and then installing them before we can drive and park at our ” new ” spacing.

    I submitted a drawing to the council on 16 ft spacing between posts, which would yield 3 cars per 50 ft and 10 ft between cars but if you opened your door you would ” infringe” upon the next car within the 10 ft “new” social distancing guideline agreed to by the county council . ( No Good for Them )
    I assume, We will have to wait until these posts are aquired and installed before we hear about being allowed to park on the beach.

    Well that’s the scoop: Here is the graphic , News link and link to your County reps making these ” new” rules.

    From Journal article below : “BEACH PARKING PREVIEW: Volusia County has ordered 1,800 utility markers to be installed on the drive-able portions of the beach to ensure social distancing when they’re fully reopened, said Suzanne Konchan, deputy manager.”

    Your representatives which control the beach :
    No photo description available.
    Sorry Graphic would not display
    David Cross

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously the bathrooms remain closed for the same reason restaurants set their thermostats quite low…makes people move along faster. (It’s a hidden way to control people without actually having to state it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In my 66 years, I have never lived in a more mismanaged County than Volusia. Installing more poles on the beach? You are kidding, right?
    Look at the condition of our roads. Look at overgrown drainage basins on LPGA Blvd. that need mowing.
    Look at the illegal stick signs in Holly Hill and Daytona.
    There are 56 Deputy Sheriffs assigned to the County Beach. I have never seen a one in 4 years.
    Look at the Daytona Beach City Council. No talent. No leaders.
    No one elected or in management seem to care.
    Where is the long term vision for Daytona Beach?
    Such a waste.


  4. You can blow the post distance argument off the beach with one look at off-beach county parking. Two feet is good enough for county officials in lots with space more than enough to accommodate the number of beachgoers they decide to grant access. Cramming cars in half the available space makes zero sense since the width of a parking spot for social distancing is sitting right there. Lines already marked cost nothing. I reference Andy Romero Park, but the same applies anywhere parking is limited to half the available space.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As always, Barker’s View is spot-on! I agree 100% with everything Mark 🙂 Thanks for blogging what we’re all thinking (as dismal as it is) – oh the “powers that be” really need to get their world rocked by people like you – I know, I know – you’re not in the political arena – I can’t say I blame you! Thanks for keeping us informed (as depressing as it is) – unfortunately, I have to work for a living, so I’m not on top of things the way you are, so it’s good to know that you’ve got my back & keep me apprised of the crap that goes on when I’m not looking!


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