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For now, the future of the conjoined pair of golf courses is in the hands of governmental bodies (the Fort Lauderdale City Commission has asked for revisions) and the voters. If residents of District 4, the county's upscale district of beachside cities, are thinking green when they vote next Tuesday, Jim Scott could be in trouble.

Do You Believe in Magic?

Representatives of a Utah company blew into Fort Lauderdale last week, like barnstorming medicine men, claiming to have a little piece of magic in a cloud-and-sky-decorated trailer parked outside the Broward County Library. The company, AquaMagic, says its technology "creates water out of thin air." In the trailer was what seemed to be a giant dehumidifier that filters air, condenses it to make water, then filters the result.

The 'Pipe took a swig the other day and lived to tell the story.

Company President Jonathan Wright, a tall, gentle fellow, stands by in a blue company button-down shirt. He fills clear plastic cups for passersby. At least two of them agree: AquaMagic water tastes exactly like, well, real water.

"Yeah! Tastes good!" says Julie Aikman, a Broward County employee who's carrying a banana.

Joshua Washington, who works across the street, wanders up, Newport in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

"Water made from air?" he reads. "It's produced from rain water?"

"The air," Wright corrects gently. "You know, the humidity in the air?"

Washington takes a sip. "Nice," he pronounces.

Wright makes a pitch in the mayor's office.

"We've got an exciting new technology that can help with preparing the community for disaster — " he begins.

Mayor Ben Graber interrupts him, with the brusqueness of an official who's accustomed to hearing pitches.

"I'm a scientist," he says. "I understand the process."

He wants facts. How do you avoid pollutants? Electrostatic filter. How much does the machine cost? $35,000. How is it powered? Gas. What's the cost? Thirty cents for a gallon of water.

Graber sounds impressed. "Very, very interesting," he says. He wants his own taste, but he's not making any hasty purchases. In fact, none of the cities that AquaMagic has hit thus far on a 183-stop "hurricane tour" have bitten (though they've sipped). Some are getting grants and some are trying to find the money, Wright claims.

"We're at the cusp of a fair bit of action," he says.

Big problem, though. A Miami company, Air Water, which is peddling what seems to be the same machine, and inventor James Reidy are both poised to do some legal sparring.

The air-into-water industry has been mired in legal troubles practically from the beginning, when Reidy drank water out of his dehumidifier and deemed it pretty good. Reidy sold his patent rights to several companies, the latest being Air Water Corp. in Miami, and copycat companies have sprung up around the country. But Wright won't get sucked into that dispute. He insists that AquaMagic uses totally different technology and won't be caught in Reidy's web of patent-infringing imitators.

Like, You Know, Conversation

There's a wrong time, there's a wrong place, and there's even worse than that — like a beered-up Patrick Ryan Nelson dropping by a party at the home of Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton around 10 p.m. July 15.

The hefty, 22-year-old Nelson explained later that he was in the neighborhood and decided to pop in to say hello to the mayor's daughter, Staci. Instead, he encountered her 18-year-old brother, also named Patrick.

The two Patricks' accounts of their interaction differ, but the result is undisputed: In front of the house, Nelson and Newton exchanged nasty words, Nelson got out of his truck, the two shoved each other, Nelson fixed the smaller Newton in some kind of mild headlock, Newton's girlfriend ran inside to get the mayor, and out with the mayor came a phalanx of guests, including some off-duty police officers. Then Nelson shoved one, David Jones, who made short work of, in the parlance of police reports, "escorting" Pat Nelson to the ground.

Wilton Manors Police Officer Gary Blocker responded to a call for back-up and found fellow WMPD Officer Jones and Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Don Solinger holding Nelson on the ground.

Asked by Blocker who would win in a fight between the Patricks, Patrick Newton's girlfriend, Stephanie Scott, said, "Not to be mean to my boyfriend, but I believe Nelson would have taken it."

But her boyfriend did have protection that night. In his statement to Blocker, the mayor's son casually referred to officer Jones as "D.J." and officer Solinger as "one of my dad's friends, Don."

Nelson didn't do much to clear his name in the station afterward. He signed away his Miranda rights, waiving his right to an attorney, and explained to Blocker that he was just trying to ask the mayor's son about his sister. "I was like, 'What's up?'" his sworn statement reads. "Where's whatever Stacy blah-blah-blah. And he's like, 'I don't know.' And I was like, 'Dude, what's going on?' Blah-blah-blah, and he was like, you know, conversation..." He later tells the officer that he has had "probably about, I don't know, a six-pack" to drink that night.

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