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Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Grinch is alive and well in Daytona Beach

The Grinch in Daytona Beach thanks to corruptionThe City of Daytona Beach, Florida, has banned Santa from walking up and down a street handing out candy canes and dispensing Ho Ho Ho’s to passersby.

According to code enforcement officials, Santa is an "animated sign" which is illegal in Daytona Beach.

The store owner that sponsors the jolly old man has been sent a warning that she will be fined if Santa is still there come Monday morning.

This Santa has been a fixture for many years and only now did the Daytona Beach Code Enforcement decide to put a stop to the jolliness.

Selective Code enforcement has been a fixture of modern Daytona Beach, where influential political patrons routinely engage corrupt elected officials to abuse their powers and keep enemies and competitors under control.

Daytona Beach has been besieged by widespread political corruption in City Hall which has literally drowned this once bustling beach town into a wave of crime, unemployment, homelessness and overall despair.

Owner to Be Fined If Santa Appears Outside Store
WFTV, Friday, November 21, 2008

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Starting Monday, a Daytona Beach store owner will be fined if Santa appears outside of her business. So long Santa! The jolly old elf has been banned from a Daytona Beach street.

Daytona Beach code enforcement officials are kicking Santa off a city sidewalk and have sent the store owner who put him there a warning.

"I don't understand why they would do that, I want Santa on the street!" said one resident as she hugged Santa.

The live Santa Claus has been a fixture on Beach Street for several years. He hands out candy canes outside of Sheila LaBosco's store. He bellowed, "Ho, Ho, Ho" but code enforcement said, "No, No, No."

"They came in and said, 'We're gonna cite you for having Santa on the street,'" said

"That's unacceptable," said shopper Leslie Neese. "Santa is part of Christmas and he's been out there for seven years now taking pictures with children."

A city spokesperson said a review of article 18 of the city code considers Santa an animated sign and officials say LaBosco is "exploiting Santa Clause."

City code officials said making an exception for Santa would not be fair to other businesses as officials consider Santa a form of solicitation, just like someone waving a sign.

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A few days later, but only as a result of press coverage and massive public outcry at the abuse of powers, Daytona Beach City Management relented and allowed Santa to do what he has been doing for many years... Dole out candy to passerby children.

Santa Gets Reprieve, Can Hand Out Candy
WFTV, Monday, November 24, 2008

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Santa Claus took on city hall in Daytona Beach and won. The city had threatened to fine a store owner if Santa appeared outside of her business Monday, but now the city appears to be backing away from that threat.

Santa has been a regular feature at Labosko's Jewelry on Beach Street for eight years. He was back in front of the jewelry and pawn shop Monday after the city of Daytona Beach changed its mind over a controversial code enforcement decision.

Friday, the city's code enforcement threatened to cite the owners if Santa stayed out front. They said the jolly old elf was considered an animated sign and the business was exploiting Santa.

The store owners have paid Santa for the past seven years to help draw in business and this was the first time there's been a problem. Sheila Labosko said she's relieved the city changed its mind and blames a neighboring jewelry business up the street for complaining.

"We are fierce competitors here on Beach Street. It's been a real battle," she said. "[Our competitors should] get their own Santa Claus. Get with the show."

Jessup's Jewelers said he didn't call code enforcement, but he does have a problem if Santa starts handing out flyers instead of candy canes, as Labosko did and was cited for last year.

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