Our Camping Trip VS Sal Zurica

Our Camping Trip VS Sal Zurica

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Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#1 Oct 17, 2008
Dear residents of Sunny Hills:
I would like to tell you all about a camping trip that my 10-year-old son and I took this past weekend on Saturday, October 11th. It was very exciting and I encourage you all to read on. I considered writing a newsletter of my own and breaking the federal law by sticking it in your mailbox, or wherever I please, since some other people have no qualms about doing such. I decided that wasn’t a good idea and I would rather not follow in the footsteps of certain law-breaking people in our community. Ms. Karen Schoen was kind enough to allow me to put this in the community newsletter. I will present the facts and not be afraid to state my name at the end of this letter. If my grammar and spelling is incorrect, please do not make fun of me because I just finished reading the Sunny Hills Town Liar … excuse me, Crier. Reading such garbage could cause one’s grammar to be off. I do, however, thank you, Sal, for your monthly supply of toilet paper since that is the only purpose for which I can think to use the poorly written, gutter-spewing Town Crier. If anyone gets offended by this letter, I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry because at this point I’m more than a little ticked off as a concerned citizen of Sunny Hills. I strongly suggest that certain people who have nothing else to do but wake up in the morning to see who they can harass for the day not take matters in your own hands again and cause trouble for me and my family. I’m a young buck and this young buck will not put up with your garbage. I am not scared to stand up for what is right and voice my opinion just because two egotistical people have stepped over their bounds and think the insignificant, tiny bit of authority that has ever-so-kindly been given to them by people far above them has went to their head and gotten the better of their poor judgment.
Most of you have never met my wife, son, or I. We are like every other hard-working, young family in our community, working well above 40 hours a week, struggling in our down-economy to try and make ends meet. We have lived here about 2 years and are just learning some of the Washington County ways. As a law-abiding, tax-paying, bank-bail-out-subsidizing American citizen, I do not deliberately set out to break any laws. I did, however, inadvertently break a law this past weekend and for that, I do apologize. I was not aware of the need for a Sunny Hills resident to purchase a camping permit before camping in any of the local Sunny Hills parks. However, according to a conversation with a not-so-gentleman, I should have known that, even though there was no sign posted on the premises at Little River Park! I and my son were rudely informed of this necessity at about 1:00 am in the morning as bright lights were shone in our faces and sirens blared. One would have thought we were menacing, gun-toting criminals by the way we were approached and treated that night. We were also informed that we were about to be arrested and sent to jail and that a $125.00 fine would be imposed. Imagine how this made a middle-class American father feel, who is trying to instill in his 10-year-old son respect for the law!

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#2 Oct 17, 2008
Let me explain what led up to this ridiculous event. My son and I had not been camping in about 2 years. The necessary supplies were gathered and we planned to camp at Falling Waters State Park, since it is right up the road and has a stocked fishing pond and hiking trail on the premises. I worked that Saturday until 2 p.m. and we rushed home to get our camping gear packed in the car so we could set out on the greatly anticipated adventure. I called Falling Waters to make sure the office would still be open for us to register and pay for our camping site. To our dismay, all camping sites were filled. It seemed as if everyone was camping this past weekend and who could blame them?! It truly was perfect camping weather! I called other nearby state parks and all were filled. It was at this point, with my son bouncing off the walls, ready to go camping with Dad, I had to break the news to him that we didn’t have a place to go. Now mind you, we once lived in Georgia and we would go on 1-week primitive camping excursions in the north Georgia Mountains. Since we live between Litard Log and Little River Pond, we decided we would go to Little River Pond. Upon our arrival, we saw no signs posted prohibiting camping or requiring camping permits, so we set up camp. We knew there were no bathrooms or other amenities, but if we needed to “go”, we are guys! Or, we could always go to our house nearby. By 6 pm, we had our camp set up and the crickets and frogs began their symphony shortly thereafter. All was well, or so we thought! We fell asleep around 9 pm. At about 1:15 a.m., I was awakened by loud noise and bright flashing lights shining through our tent.. I looked out our tent screen to see who it was. I could only see bright headlights and white and yellow flashing lights on top of a vehicle. At first, I thought it was Glen Zanetic, our Fire Chief, checking on the premises. Then, my son was rudely awakened to a blast of a siren coming from the vehicle, much like what you would hear from a police vehicle. I yelled out of the tent,“We are okay Glen!” Then a man’s voice yelled out,“Step out of your tent!” Needless to say, by now, I knew this wasn’t Glen. At this point, my 10-year-old is concerned about what’s happening. I told him to stay put and I would be right back. As I proceeded to put my shoes and cap on, I was yelled at once more to step out of my tent. As I stepped out of the tent, I was approached by this short, old man with his flashlight shining in my face.“Let me see your camping permit,” he says loudly. I said,“What the hell is a camping permit?” He said I must have a camping permit to be on this property and stated I was trespassing on private property. He then asked, once more, for a camping permit.. Again I informed him that I did not have one nor was I aware of a need for one. I call this man “Barney Fife” because neither he nor his side kick bothered to tell me their names or produce a badge or identification, unlike a true law enforcement official would do. Also, his demeanor reminded me of the overbearing, egotistical, overly-vigilant little jerk on The Andy Griffith Show. As a matter of fact, they never once explained who they represented! One was interrogating me in a very menacing way as the other stayed in the driver’s side of the vehicle. Once Barney Fife learned I had no camping permit, he shook his head and yelled to the man in the vehicle,“We got another one Sal, call it in!” At this point, I realized these two law enforcement wanna-be’s were seriously about to call in the Sheriff’s department and have me arrested for trespassing on “private property” and now my son thought his father was about to be hauled off to jail and only God knew what was about to happen to him!

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#3 Oct 17, 2008
All of this drama because we were camping!! The whole situation would have been comical if my son was not involved. Still not knowing who these men were, I was trying my hardest to appease these men and get out of the trouble we were obviously in. I told Barney Fife that I’d never heard of a camping permit and didn’t know, due to the lack of signs on the property, that there was such a requirement. He proceeded to state, again, that it would be a $125 fine for failure to have the $10 camping permit! Now, without knowing the history of how the camping permits came about in the first place, I thought to myself,“My $1200 annual property taxes don’t cover using these parks?” and I said that to the man and he said,“Nope, you have to have a camping permit.” I told him I was sorry and that I really didn’t know. He asked me how long I lived here and what was my address. I told him and explained we have been here about 2 years. He told me I have lived in Sunny Hills long enough that I should know about the required camping permit. At which time, the man in the vehicle piped in and reiterated the need for a camping permit and the fact that I would be fined $125 for not having one and that I was trespassing on private property. So I asked both of them,“So I’m supposed to get my son out of the tent and break our camping gear down now, at 1 o’clock in the morning?“Yes!” Barney Fife exclaimed,“You need to leave!” At this point, I was getting angry and I told Barney what a crock of bull this was and told him that we were just trying to have a short camping trip and told him about our original plan to stay at Falling Waters State Park. Barney Fife said,“Well, you can stay here tonight but you better leave just as soon as daylight breaks!” Needless to say, our camping adventure was now ruined. What also did not make sense is why, when “daylight breaks”, we could not stay on the property and fish for a few hours. A permit is not required to be on the property during daylight hours! Nevertheless, as instructed, we broke camp first thing that morning.
The following Monday morning, I called Deltona Corporation to inquire about the need for a camping permit and to find out who these two men were. That’s when I learned they were volunteers. I was then told to call Washington County Recreation Department and inform them about what occurred. The lady on the phone asked if I knew the names of the two men and I told her the guy who was interrogating me called the other man “Sal”. The lady said,“Oh, no. Salvatore Zurica… I am so sorry that happened. Someone will call you soon and when they do, explain to them what happened.” David Corbin, the director of Washington County Parks & Recreation called shortly afterward and apologized, even though he did not have anything to do with these guys or their unprofessional behavior. Mr.. Corbin explained about the camping permits and why they are required. He explained the permits must be purchased at the Recreation Department in Chipley between the hours of 8 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. He also explained the permits are used to offset the cost for general maintenance of the parks. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with paying a $10 fee to aid in the upkeep of our parks. I also understand the need to patrol the areas in order to prevent vandalism of the properties. Again, before knowing about camping permits, I thought our property taxes took care of it. Mr. Corbin knows about the lack of signs now and informed me signs will be up this week. Of course, at this point, until there is another way to obtain a permit, I will not be able to camp again in Sunny Hills because my work schedule is Monday thru Friday and the Chipley office is too far from my workplace to allow time for me to obtain a permit. I suggested to Mr.. Corbin perhaps the recreation department should utilize the Deltona Office at the main entrance or even the Sunny Hills Fire Department to issue camping permits.

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#4 Oct 17, 2008
My wife and I plan to be at the commissioners meeting to contribute ideas to make the permits more available to working families.
Since this incident, I have talked to many people about Salvatore and his trusty sidekick regarding their unprofessional behavior on Saturday night, including the Sheriff of Washington County. Several of the Commissioners have called to apologize for Sal’s behavior. You know, I can see being threatened to go to jail if I had a big party out there and I was drunk, running wild women in the park, blaring loud music, destroying property, doing drugs, littering, etc. But my 10-year-old-son and I were asleep! We didn’t even have a fire burning!! Yet, we were treated like we were the worst of criminals! We were threatened and Barney even had his siren blowing! Makes you wonder what shortcomings these two are over-compensating for! If Sal and his sidekick had conducted themselves in a professional manner, I wouldn’t have written this letter nor would I be angry. This incident has certainly given me the opportunity to learn more about current events in our community. It has also spurred me to become more involved with the community, which is the good result of this bad situation. I have also learned a great deal about Salvatore and his role in Sunny Hills.

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#5 Oct 17, 2008
I must say, Sal, your reputation precedes you and I don’t mean that in a good way. Evidently, you pride yourself on being a bully and a busy body under the guise of someone who is concerned about the welfare of the community. I had a phone conversation with Salvatore Zurica yesterday and unfortunately it was not very pleasant. I asked him in a soft, respectful voice,“Why did you do what you did Saturday at 1 a.m.?” He replied,“Well, I didn’t turn you in did I?” I said,“No, but was it necessary to blast your siren and threaten a $125 fine, leaving my child scared that we were going to jail?” He said,“You were breaking the law by trespassing on private property and you should go to jail and pay a $125 fine!” I said,“private property?…..that’s public property!!” He said,“No it is not. It is private property and you were trespassing. If you have a complaint against me, then file it!” and subsequently hung up the phone. It has been suggested that the person I dubbed as Barney Fife was, in fact, a man named Mario Corradino. I called him to ask if he was at Little River Park on Saturday night. He told me he was not and that his patrol time was Friday night. So I still don’t know the true identity of the “mystery man”. You would think with all the bravery he exhibited on Saturday night, he would not be afraid to reveal his identity now.
Due to all the stories of harassment and slander I have heard about Zurica and his bully cohorts and from his own nasty words I have read in his “Town Liar” newsletter, I called him back and informed him that if he or his buddy comes on my property (WHICH IS PRIVATE PROPERTY) I will have them arrested for trespassing. I also told him to never leave his toilet paper newsletter on, in or around my mailbox again.
My wife and I have made an investment in Sunny Hills and from all I have learned in these past few days about the bullying, harassment, slander, finger-pointing, and outright warring that has been going on for years out here, it is no wonder people look at me funny when I tell them I live in Sunny Hills. Now I know why. All of this nonsense has caused Sunny Hills to have a bad reputation. If you don’t believe me, ask some folks who don’t live in Sunny Hills. The reputation isn’t that great because of all this bickering. From reading the Sunny Hills Town Liar and from my own personal experience, it is easy to surmise who the real trouble maker is and who is truly responsible for Sunny Hills’ failure to move forward and for the poor reputation of the community. My point being, Sal shut-up and get a real life! May I suggest to you using your boundless energy and all that extra time you have on your hands for making truly positive changes in the community instead of allowing yourself to be ruled by all that negative energy that is oozing out of your every pore. I, unlike you, truly want to see this community move forward and beyond the griping and pettiness. I would like to see my property value increase. I am tired of our community having the reputation it has. We don’t deserve it! This community has a lot to offer and is truly unique and surrounded by natural beauty. It’s time for Washington County and the surrounding areas to meet the new, real Sunny Hills.
Sal, your behavior was wrong and I am calling you on it. When I called you to ask you why you did what you did, you didn’t even have the decency to apologize for the rude behavior of you and your cohort. People who were not even present Saturday night have apologized on your behalf. Yet you are not man enough to apologize for your own reckless, rude, unprofessional actions. Remember,“Pride comes before a fall” and “he who thinks he stands, beware that you do not fall”. You think you’re high and mighty. Unfortunately for you, this time, you stepped on the wrong toes.
Thank you,
Patrick Sallinger, Concerned, Harassed Citizen of Sunny Hills
[email protected]
dont you know

Chipley, FL

#6 Oct 17, 2008
Bravo Bravo Bravo...finally someone in Sunny Hills who is not part of the wild west gang has spoken in plain english what this war in Sunny Hillsis all about. POWER POWER POWER Any deputy or employee of the WCSO would be disciplined for doing this to a citize, yet the kindergarten cop squad answers to no one. You wouldnt believe the times I hear the very same thing happen on the scanner at night when the kindergarten cops harass people who are camping. Most of the time they call a deputy out there, taking them away from a real bona fide call. I am sure most people just like Mr Sallinger would gladly get the permit if they were made more accessible to obtain. No one wants to cheat the county out of $10.00. Sal and his buddies are power hungry fools who want to own and control SH. THEY are the people trying to run the FD, Community clubs and the whole area. THANK THE GOOD LORD some innocent family is finally telling it like it is. Sheriff Haddock needs to put a stop to this vigilante group. I would love to shake your hand Mr Sallinger.

VFF

Since: Aug 08

Fort Walton Beach, FL

#7 Oct 17, 2008
I hated bullies in school and have only grown to hate them more in adulthood. Politeness is almost always the better option. Why do they not carry the form to fill out and collect the money? Than they would be helping so I guess I answered my own question.

I hope you used the situation to teach your child how NOT to act to fellow citizens. He may have “authority” over people one day himself. We don't want him using this as the example.

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#8 Oct 17, 2008
All residents will see this letter in the next Sunny Hills Newsletter. A chance was givin for apology. I will not, as a resident put up nor tolerate this behaviour.

I only hope for citizens on my and their behalf that this will cause us all to be able to go forward now and cut the crap.
Your Neighbor

Graceville, FL

#9 Oct 17, 2008
Mr Sallinger?? do you work, how did you ever have time to write this foolish letter? there are two sides to every story, are you sure you were not set up by the Zanetic gang, and are the facts truly as you state them? I have my doubts.Its an election year, and if the SO did "apologize" it was for a vote? You sound like a Rick Warden stooge to me. and he sure needs more stooges. I hope you little son survives the trauma of this. my heart goes out to you. Why not come to a crime watch meeting some time and tell us about tjis. we could arange to have arefeeree there for your protection. If you have to have a pemit at Falling Waters, why not one for our areas? I think you knew you needed a simple permit. Perhaps your wife could have obtained it since you were so rushed. Did you call the county, since you did call Falling Waters . your whole letter sounds like Glen Zanitic to me.
justwondering

United States

#10 Oct 17, 2008
Hey you were probably lucky they didnt pistol whip both of you, People wanting to have power and control this bad will do crazy stuff like that. It is time the Barney Fife patrol is gone! before someone gets hurt,someone wont be as nice as you were and they will find them with the crap beat out of them naked handcuffed to their little patrol car,with thier wrinkled up old asses bloody from head to toe.
nothing to do

Graceville, FL

#11 Oct 17, 2008
Mr' Pat S., Karen uses our postage in Civic letter to to the advantage of Glen, Ron, who ae apparently pals of yours? its not fair for you to use this postage method to send this letter out, unless the Civic assoc. wants to give equal time to other complainers. you floks should pay your own postage or make your own fliers and place them out. It would give you something to do, anf just think how much your son woould learn from this. I'll be watching for your flier.
one who watches

Graceville, FL

#12 Oct 17, 2008
Hey Mr. Sallinger, why don't you and your son watch or listen to Some of Glens tapes or movies next time you have a night off? then yu would really learn about the group you have teamed up with, See ya..
senior observer

Graceville, FL

#13 Oct 17, 2008
this is awfull stuff. this goes beyound the pale. who is going to beat up who?? what a bunch of idiots. We have had the crime watch for many years and will continue to have it. one incident does not bring us down. Mr sallinger needs to get a grip and let this die out. shame on all of you!

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#14 Oct 17, 2008
You know ... you guys can defend yourself all you want, justify all you want, it doesnt matter. This week, I just learned and met people. Pals? Never met them. I asked if I can put a letter in the paper and I was allowed to. Im doing this on my own ... I figured that once I wrote the letter, in truth, you folks will try your hardest to bend it. Justify yourself all you wish ... facts are facts, something your not use to.

Im 35, lived here since Feb 4, 2007. Nice place to live, just learning Sunny Hills, decided its time for me and my boy to go camping. Set camp at 7 pm Saturday evening, harrassed at 1 am Sunday morning. Granted, your word against mine .. I dont think I'm dumb enough to waste time making up "foolish" stories. If you had a say or part to your story and it did not line up with mine, you would only be lying, of which Im sure your good at. I dont have time to put up with nonsense and every good resident in Sunny Hills should not have to put up with it either. I work approx 55 hours a week and at this time, Im on lunch, I work in PCB, FL ... is there anything else you would like to know?

Your crime watch will change. Mark those words.

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#15 Oct 17, 2008
Im sorry, I don't want to follow in any of your footsteps and lie ... I moved here from Nebraska in '78 .. grew up in Lynn Haven ... moved to Ga in 94, moved to Sunny Hills in '07.

With my conversation with the deputys last night, Im very well aware of the good people who is part of the Crime watch. Have I met them? No ... Ive only met the ones who I have heard and personally witnessed rude harrassing behavoirs. This is what this is about, respecting your fellow citizens. I'll be damned if I will sit back and watch or let it happen. There are always power tripping people within any group ... just some goes overboard.

Saturday night was in fact overboard.

Now, you don't worry about my son ... Ive got that under control, you just better make sure you dont have the gumption to harrass me nor my family ever again. Saturday night was the first and last time. Again, I don't put up with non-sense.
scout

Youngstown, FL

#16 Oct 17, 2008
I am glad to know there is crime watchers out there doing just that, crime watching!
As far as they new, you could have been a wanted felon, kidnapper, sex predator, and so on. Did you have to pay a fine? Did they let you stay the night without permit?
So the night wasn't a complete waste, and now you know you have to obtain permit. Move on!!!!
Wyatt Earp

United States

#17 Oct 17, 2008
senior observer wrote:
this is awfull stuff. this goes beyound the pale. who is going to beat up who?? what a bunch of idiots. We have had the crime watch for many years and will continue to have it. one incident does not bring us down. Mr sallinger needs to get a grip and let this die out. shame on all of you!
You need to wake up and see this is not the only incident. There are some worse than this. How about the other day when Barney and Gomer gave a thief a ride home after he just stolen a motocycle from a house. When they passed him on Concord pushing the bike with wires hanging out all over they helped him push it into the woods so it wouldn't get stolen again then gave him a ride home. I thought this is the kind of stuff they are suppose to prevent.
Wow

Plainview, NY

#18 Oct 17, 2008
The can of worms is open.I wonder is this a coincidence or something else-county wants to take FD and camping problems,strange,verrry strange.

Since: Oct 08

Panama City Beach, FL

#19 Oct 17, 2008
Oh and, Falling Waters. Falling Waters has a gate, that you drive through and before you drive through this gate, you pay to get in. After you pass the gate you will find bathrooms, showers, nice camping areas, a stocked pond, employees and voluteers, clean areas, dumpsters for trash, parking lots, decks and trails ... One would expect to pay a fee.

Little River Pond has a trash can, one picnic table and a boat ramp. I have been there many times to relax, to fish. There is two present signs .. one for "No alcoholic beverages" and the other is a shot up blue sign something to the affect of boating registration.

Therefore, as a new citizen, I thought the parks was for our use for enjoyment ... I truthfully never heard of, in my life of a camping permit. Especially as a residence, I thought it was part of Sunny Hills for our enjoyment. David Corbin explained to how the camping permits came about and the number of parks in the Washington County area. Im learning. I know now.

If I was on the crime watch team and part of my job was to check permits in parks, what I would have done was come around no later than 8 or 9 pm, and then check to see if the campers has permits.

I would have never blew a siren and wake the dead at 1 am in the morning and then harrass the apparent sleepers in the tent. If in fact there was wrong doing, I would have done the job I was asked to do in the correct manner and would have called the Sherriffs department.
ME NOT YOU

Panama City, FL

#20 Oct 17, 2008
senior observer wrote:
this is awfull stuff. this goes beyound the pale. who is going to beat up who?? what a bunch of idiots. We have had the crime watch for many years and will continue to have it. one incident does not bring us down. Mr sallinger needs to get a grip and let this die out. shame on all of you!
They will encounter the wrong people one day. The patroll will end and rude jerks mouths will be shut. What idiouts to think they have any right or authority to ask for anything or drive a wana be patroll car around. STUPID

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