floridaduh

The Bizarre World of Florida

Dr. Beach Demonstrates How Sites Gain His Seal of Approval April 14, 2014

Filed under: Interesting,OK Then .....,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:36 pm

Barefoot, of course, the man who for decades has told us which beach is best stood on the soft white sands of Fort De Soto Park and explained to five TV cameras how it all works.

“Scientifically,” he told them.

aboutd19, a professor at Florida International University, is more famously known as “Dr. Beach.” His website boldly proclaims him “America’s Foremost Beach Expert,” and on his business card photo, he is standing on a beach wearing a Hawaiian shirt, sugary sand cascading from his fingers. He has officially ranked beaches for more than two decades.

He came to the area last week for the Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting in Tampa. On Friday afternoon at the park, just before helping lead a group of the geographers on a tour, Leatherman met with reporters.

Fifty criteria, he explained, determine his annual best beach rankings.

Water and sand quality are key, he said. Safety counts, too. He doesn’t approve of rip currents or drownings, and buried cigarette butts are costly. Amenities, width and parking also matter.

“I have to count off if you bring dogs to a major beach,” he said. “I’m afraid not everybody cleans up, and I’d have to take off for that.

“Also, clean bathrooms,” he said. “Come on.”

In South Beach bathrooms, for instance, Leatherman said he had to hold his nose.

“It’s awful, you know?”

He spoke of Fort De Soto’s beach, however, with reverence. In 2005, he named it the country’s best. After a beach reaches the Dr. Beach summit, he explained, it’s “retired” to make room for others.

Leatherman, 66 and a lover of sand since childhood, said that starting in 2015, he would again consider past champs.

Asked why the same beaches aren’t always ranked in the same order, given that they don’t seem to change much from one year to the next, Leatherman insisted they do change. A lot.

“I keep up with all the beaches. I try to visit them all regularly,” he said.

“I stay up on beaches and, you know, if a beach has a bad year — which all beaches can have a bad year or a bad day — if they had some stormwater overflow from torrential rains, I had to knock some of those beaches back, OK. When we had the oil spill, I had to knock some of the beaches in the Panhandle back, all right. Although this area, I kept it up because I said the oil spill is not coming to Southwest Florida, and it didn’t.”

Several TV reporters, apparently disappointed that he wasn’t judging the park’s beaches, asked Leatherman to simulate the process.

He walked to the shoreline and picked up a wad of sand. “Very fine,” he said. Good enough to earn a 4.5. He gave the color a 4, adding that water quality was “very high.”

He looked up and squinted at the dunes. Normally, Leatherman said, he would use a laser to measure the beach’s width, but he guessed it was about 150 feet. At least a 4.

Dr. Beach seemed im­pressed.

 

Family abducted by aliens. Need help to rent the space shuttle to rescue them!

Filed under: Beautiful,Bizzarre,Florida Nut,Funny,Interesting,Silly,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:32 pm

 As the light turns from green to red at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard, it’s Jeff Stevens’ cue to go on.

Every light cycle, Stevens has a new audience. He smiles, he waves, he twirls and balances a cane. As many panhandlers on Sundays do, he holds a sign. His signs, though, are different.

Jeff-Stevens-panhandling-413

“I used to hold a sign that was ‘Homeless’ and that didn’t really work for me,” Stevens said. He was homeless, but got off the streets and into an apartment in 2011. He got a full time job working at Denny’s. Still, it wasn’t enough to make ends meet.

So he got creative.

“I started coming up with comedy things and trying to make people laugh,” he said. “It just brightens their day.”

Today’s signs included: “Wife + pet tiger abducted. Need help w/ ransom to save my lovable tiger. They can have wife, so much quieter at home. Anything helps! L.O.L.”, “Geico Kidnapped my Pet Lizzard. Need Help w/ ransom to save the little guys life.”

This intersection is center ring. He engages his audience. Sometimes it’s a smile, sometimes it’s a dollar. His performance is nothing new, just the venue has changed.

“One day, I hope to actually get a better job to get back into doing what I used to do, which is travelling the circus and performing with wild cats,” he said.

He says he’s cousins with the famous Ron and Joy Holiday, the subjects of HBO’s documentary Cat Dancers – who gained notoriety when their partner Chuck Lizza was killed by one of their live-in white tigers. Stevens said tragedy after tragedy, from his parents’ death to run-ins with the law, brought him to Florida.

But the show must go on, and Stevens comes to this Tampa intersection every Sunday. He’s holding funny signs to pay his bills. He’s twirling a cane to put some money away in savings. He’s making people smile, like he did under the big top.

“It blesses my heart to see them laughing,” he said. “If I don’t make a dollar or anything, it feels good right here just to see somebody smile.”

The light turns green. This show is done. As the audience drives away, Stevens is still on. Smiling, waving, preparing for the next show – when the traffic stops.

 

Man vowed to blow up tax collector’s office over auto tag flap

Lawmen say a man became upset when he couldn’t renew his car tags and threatened to blow up the Santa Rosa County Tax Collector’s Office.

sfl-flduh-auto-tag-flap-20140413-001Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies went to the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s office in Destin to deal with a disturbance. When they entered, they identified a man matching a description given to them during the call. The man was saying, “No, no, no, this is a setup,” the deputy wrote in the arrest report.

When deputies tried to detain him the man declared, “You don’t have the right to stop me” and tried to shoulder his way past the deputies. He was handcuffed despite “significant resistance,” the deputy wrote in the report.

When deputies talked to the agent who phoned in the call, she told them that 46-year-old James Colin Ready of Destin became upset when he learned he couldn’t renew his car tags because his license had been suspended. She said he vowed to make a pipe bomb and blow up the Santa Rosa County Tax Collector’s office. The report didn’t say why he threatened the Santa Rosa County office.

“He said he had served in the military and had killed 159 people and was good at it,” the deputy wrote in the report.

He allegedly said “I’m not kidding” and left the office, then returned and ranted that he was going to make a pipe bomb and blow somebody up, the report said.

He was charged with battery on an officer or firefighter, and threatening to discharge a destructive device.

 

Texas mom sent 8-year-old on beer run in Key West

sfl-flduh-mom-beer-run-key-wset-20140413-001 A mother of two from Sugar Land is in a Florida jail cell after a family vacation that reportedly spun out of control.

Suzanne Simon was arrested Thursday in Key West, FL, on suspicion of felony child neglect.

Police say the 38-year-old environmental engineer smelled of booze and slurred her words when she was taken into custody.

According to a police report, Simon kicked a 12-year-old boy out of the car on popular Duval Street without any shoes. She allegedly did so because the boy was reading the GPS incorrectly.

The report also states that Simon sent an 8-year-old girl out of the car in search of more beer.

Police haven’t officially identified Simon as the mother of the children. However, those who know Simon confirm that the kids belong to her.

“I’m nervous. Where are the kids? I want to know where the kids are. Did she just leave them on the street and take off,” questioned Simon’s friend Mary Lou. “She never mistreated the kids. Never.”

Mary Lou says the father of both kids died in a motorcycle accident years ago.

She didn’t know Simon had gone on vacation but claims Simon called her a couple of weeks ago and said she was lonely.

“What was she doing over there? The kids were in school,” said Mary Lou. “If you find the kids, bring them to me. I’ll take care of them. Those kids are real sweet.”

The little girl reportedly told police that she found a beer on the sidewalk and brought it to Simon. The investigating officer alleges that Simon smacked the girl on her forehead at one point, leaving a red mark.

“I can’t believe Suzanne would do something like that. That’s not Suzanne,” added Mary Lou.

Police say the 12-year-old boy was picked up by two strangers and brought back to his hotel.

News of Simon’s alleged actions after a day of drinking made headlines in the Citizen Newspaper in the Keys.

The newspaper says Simon told an officer that “he should put the boy in juvenile detention as a runaway.”

“Knowing that she kicked him out of the car in the middle of Key West, Florida, I think that’s insane,” said Courtney Maris, who knows Simon.

Courtney Maris’ ex husband went on to marry Simon. That marriage, too, ended in divorce.

Maris says she has had a tumultuous relationship with Simon along the way.

“She was saying terrible things to me about what a terrible mother I was because I hadn’t seen my son. I’m here taking care of my children,” explained Maris.

KHOU 11’s attempts to reach Simon’s family were unsuccessful.

Simon is currently locked up at the Stock Island jail on $5,000 bond. Authorities have not said where the children are.

 

Over sheriffs’ objections, Florida House approves bill to allow concealed weapons during emergencies April 12, 2014

Evacuations caused by hurricanes, toxic spills and riots could be grounds for people to conceal guns in public without a permit, according to a bill backed by the National Rifle Association that passed the Florida House 80-36 on Friday.

b4s_guns041214_12937447_8col“The bells of liberty are surely ringing throughout Florida today,” said Rep. Heather Fitz­enhagen, R-Fort Myers, the bill sponsor. “We are making sure that no Floridian in lawful possession of a firearm must leave it behind while evacuating in an officially declared state of emergency.”

HB 209 passed with six Democrats voting for it, including Rep. Amanda Murphy of New Port Richey and Rep. Carl Zimmermann of Palm Harbor, despite objections from his sheriff.

“The bill is crazy, it’s absurd,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

Gualtieri and the Florida Sheriffs Association lobbied against the bill, calling it too vague. There is no way to know for how long, or in how large a geographic area, a gun owner might qualify to conceal a weapon after an evacuation order.

Also, the bill applies to those who are “in lawful possession” of guns. That’s not the same as a gun owner, and could apply to adult children or spouses of gun owners with clean criminal records who are found carrying guns.

A companion bill, SB 296, is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and awaits a hearing in the Appropriations Committee before a floor vote.

Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, had supported the bill but now opposes it because of its vagueness.

“At what point do we have control over knowing when someone is no longer evacuating?” asked Dean, a former sheriff of Citrus County. “In most of my experience, officers are there to help you in an emergency. I’m not really sure what advantage you have by sticking a gun in your belt.”

Rep. Victor Torres, D-Orlando, said it makes the job of law enforcement too risky during emergencies.

“You are introducing concealed firearms in an environment that is already teeming with tension,” said Torres, a former New York City transit cop. “If this bill passes, I hope that tragedy is not a byproduct of our decision here today, and if it is, I hope we are ready to accept responsibility.”

But gun-rights advocates like Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, said concerns were overblown.

“Every single time we’ve made changes to protect the Second Amendment rights of people, we hear about this wild, wild West,” Smith said. “It’s going to be more dangerous. Shootings everywhere. And yet, we have one of the lowest rates of crime we’ve ever been at.”

Another NRA-backed bill, HB 523, was approved by a wider margin, 94-22, minutes later. It authorizes county tax collectors to accept applications for licenses to carry concealed weapons and firearms in an effort to make the permits more accessible.

“This bill is to ensure that Floridians do not have to wait six months to drive multiple hours to have their concealed weapons permit, at the time perhaps a natural disaster occurs,” said its sponsor, Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa.

 

“When police searched his car, they found condoms, the loaded handgun and a shovel and duct tape inside.”

3489808_GA loaded handgun, shovel and duct tape were found in the car of a man Davie Police say was arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Antonio Seisdedos, 36, was arrested Thursday on charges of engaging in a sexual act with a person under 16, computer pornography and child exploitation and traveling for computer pornography and child exploitation, according to a Davie Police arrest report.

Seisdedos was being held on $14,500 bond Friday, court records showed. No attorney was listed in court records. Efforts to get a comment from someone at Seisdedos’ address were unsuccessful.

According to the arrest report, the victim’s mother went to police after she found several text messages on the girl’s phone from Seisdedos. Seisdedos and the teen texted about having sex in the messages, which dated back to February, the report said.

When police spoke with the teen, she admitted to having oral sex with Seisdedos in his car, the report said. She told police she had been approached by Seisdedos outside a Publix, and he told her she was cute and asked if they could exchange phone numbers, the report said.

The girl said she told Seisdedos she was just 14, the report said. She also admitted to sending him naked photos of herself, the report said.

Using the teen’s phone, police contacted Seisdedos posing as the girl and arranged to meet with him. He didn’t show up for the first meeting but when he showed up to a second arranged meeting, he was taken into custody, the report said.

When police searched his car, they found condoms, the loaded handgun and a shovel and duct tape inside, the report said.

Seisdedos refused to speak with officers without his attorney, the report said.

 

Here’s a recipe for disaster: Posing as a cop to get stuff to cook meth April 11, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Drugs,Dumb,Interesting,Stupid,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:25 pm

sfl-flduh-posed-cop-methmaking-20140410-001A man who impersonated a law enforcement officer to buy products to manufacturer methamphetamine is arrested on multiple charges.

According to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, the Vice/Narcotics Unit along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were investigating John Travis Clark of Chat Holley Road.

As a result of the investigation, a search uncovered 1,500 grams of suspected meth oil and paraphernalia used to manufacturer methamphetamine. The investigation identified Clark as a suspect after he had identified himself as an undercover law enforcement officer to purchase pseudoephedrine, a chemical used in making meth.

Clark was charged with multiple charges and booked into the Walton County Jail.

===

Here is the press release from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office

On Thursday, April 3, 2014, members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/ Narcotics Unit along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) conducted an investigation targeting John Travis Clark, of 3222 Chat Holley Road, Santa Rosa Beach, who was suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine.  As a result of the investigation, agents searched Clark’s residence and located approximately 1500 grams of suspected methamphetamine oil and paraphernalia used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.  The investigation identified Clark as a suspect after Clark had identified himself as an undercover law enforcement officer to facilitate the purchase of pseudoephedrine, which is a precursor chemical used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

John Travis Clark was charged with manufacturing and trafficking in methamphetamine and impersonating a Law

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,612 other followers