Grow Up Walton County

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Kaydence, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    By Jason Blakeney | Daily News Executive Editor
    Posted at 9:00 AM
    Updated at 9:24 AM

    With most local elections behind us and the summer tourist season winding down, you might think it’s time for a little local relaxation at beaches along the Emerald Coast.

    Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

    In Friday’s, edition Daily News’ Annie Blanks reported on an unfortunate incident in south Walton County.

    A man was arrested for criminal mischief under $200 and booked into the Walton County Jail, Blanks reported, after destroying no trespassing signs on the beach. He was upset, according to the arrest report, because “the property owner causing his guest grief for being on the beach above the mean high tide water line.”

    This act in itself is embarrassing. It doesn’t bode well for the reputation of the area. But the most embarrassing part is reaction to the story on social media.
    The word “hero” is getting thrown around, and for that, the people using it, “liking” it and supporting it should be ashamed.

    To be clear, this man wasn’t arrested because of his opposition to House Bill 631 or his support of customary use. He wasn’t arrested for peacefully protesting. He wasn’t arrested for expressing the belief that all beaches in Florida should be public.

    He was arrested because he destroyed someone else’s property. And this is where the line should be drawn.

    Regardless of what side of the HB 631 argument you live on, this can’t be normalized, accepted or enjoyed. Acts like this only guarantee more turmoil.

    If you support customary use, encouraging others to break the law isn’t OK. It doesn’t matter if you believe all people have a fundamental right to use the beach. Right now, HB 631 is the law. Right now, legally, you don’t have a right to use some of the beach. Right now, you have a clear legal path to get that right back.

    How can those supporting customary use expect homeowners not to react with ignorance and violence if that’s what they are confronted with? And what if you do win in court? What if customary use is again enacted? What if you can return to recreationally using the entire beach? Do you expect homeowners to follow those rules? Of course you do.

    The point is that we can’t pick and choose which laws and ordinances we choose to follow. You don’t have to like the result of HB 631, but it’s the law. It doesn’t matter that it’s a bill that shows corruption in the Legislature. It doesn’t matter that it targeted Walton County. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t popular.

    Encouraging the behavior and insulting real heroes who risk their lives in our community and around the world to enforce our laws and defend our freedom is not acceptable.

    Behavior on both sides of this issue has been ridiculous. Grow up, Walton County. There is no excuse for this.

    Jason Blakeney is the executive editor of the Northwest Florida Daily News. You can reach him at jblakeney@nwfdailynews.com or 315-4404.
     
  2. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Wow. I certainly haven't seen a single person support this guy. Much less call him hero. His behavior is unlawful and hurtful to the cause of customary use. How many people did this writer see supporting this kind of behavior to tell us all to grow up?
     
  3. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    It was mostly social media and even comments on newspaper reports about it. It was a little mind boggling.
     
  4. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    I think going to Vizcaya (not once but twice) to antagonize the homeowners is just as disrespectful and according to the law, trespassing is also an arrest-able misdemeanor. Harassment isn't kool.

    I support customary use but early on I didn't like a lot of things that occurred.
     
  5. EZ4144

    EZ4144 Beach Lover

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    Signs are people too!!!
     
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  6. Poppaj

    Poppaj Beach Fanatic

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    "The grains of beach sand must be refreshed from time to time with the ink of no trespassing signs. It is its natural manure."

    Thomas Jefferson, Spring Break 1776
     
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  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Civil disobedience is a very important form of protest when our right to peacefully sit on a beach is at stake. You may not agree but that doesn't make it any less effective or important. Maybe you have a different idea and that's fine.
     
  8. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    So many people?
     
  9. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    Civil disobedience generally won't get you arrested. Tresspassing can.
     
  10. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    Far more who applauded his actions and said that signs were "trash" so they should be thrown away. Some people just defended his actions, but others actually called him a hero.
     
  11. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    Stick to Jones complaining . We're doing the work on the beach.
     
  12. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    LOL! Jones is repulsive history!

    The beaches belong to all of us.
     
  13. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I'm glad I missed all this. What a sad time we're experiencing in so many ways. The signs on the beach are such a terrible sight on our beautiful beaches in Walton County. Between signs, removal of trash can service from whole areas, vendor chairs and umbrellas gone wild, homeowners chasing off families from the beach, more signs going up each day, and a man arrested for trashing signs... we are ruining our own coast.

    Keep working on what you want South Walton Florida to be as a community. But keep it friendly. We're all in this together That guy is not part of any solution.
     
  14. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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  15. boomerang

    boomerang Beach Lover

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    Mr. Huckabee go back to where you came from

    TRADER
     
  16. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    Is he behind the editorial?
     
  17. FactorFiction

    FactorFiction Beach Fanatic

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    So many like to blame Gov. Huckabee for the recent beach issues. There is plenty of blame to go around starting way back to when federal land was sold to private individuals/enterprises. Even in very recent history, beaches change hands and projects are approved that have deeded beach. Kind of hard to put everything back in Pandora's box. The BCC can definitely help with the conflict by making and ENFORCING rules on the beach that help prevent "reserving the beach" for people that are not even using the beach for hours on end and sometimes whole days. They can also help by curbing "beach spread" and banning shade structures other than traditional beach umbrellas of 6or 7 feet in diameter.. We could market our beaches as eco-friendly and stop behaviors that don't fit that category. Most of all, we need consistent, proactive, timely ENFORCEMENT of the rules we have. That won't happen without establishing clear and effective rules, hiring a LOT more enforcement, creating effective, prominent signage at every access and actually giving tickets for violations of posted rules.
     
  18. boomerang

    boomerang Beach Lover

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    You are to blame Mr. Huckabee - don't deny it.
     
  19. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    Who do you believe to be Mr. Huckabee among us?
     
  20. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    It seems that current BCC legislation enables chair vendor control of much of the limited resource of the public beach accesses, but it also seems that we turn a blind eye to some of the “resort” communities and all of their rules and signs and instead focus on the smaller communities and “mom and pop” individual homeowners. I think we’d make more progress in these conversations if we were consistent in the adjudication of these scenarios.
     

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