Saturday, January 26, 2008

Escambia County Hires from Within to Replace Touart

I’m sure many in Escambia will cry cronyism after the commissioners elected the acting administrator to the top spot in the county. The new county administrator, Bob McLaughlin, has been with the county for twelve years.

I’m being optimistic and think that McLaughlin will act in good moral character when he takes his new spot in the county.

The new county administrator should act in the best interest of the county. Not in his best interest.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Three Things that Will Improve Downtown Pensacola

Moving the Main Street Sewage Treatment Plant – I recently went on a bike ride by the Trillium property and I was thinking about the placement of the new stadium in relation to the sewage treatment plant. After seeing the close proximity of the Trillium property to the plant, I can’t believe the CMPA is even thinking about letting the Pelicans throw a first pitch at the stadium before the plant is moved.

The new stadium will be right across the street from the treatment plant. No one will go to games if the wind from the plant is going to waft through the stadium. The plant needs to be moved before the Pelicans play their first game (if in fact they ever get to do that).

Attracting Tourists and Conferences to Downtown - We need to be competitive with other cities when it comes to attracting business conventions and tourists to downtown Pensacola.

Our close proximity to Pensacola Beach makes downtown an attractive spot for conference attendees. These visitors are willing to spend their money in Pensacola.

Opening Up Downtown to the Water – Pensacola needs to use their waterfront as a tourist attraction by getting rid of spoiled areas on its coastline. Other cities have opened up refurbished industrial areas near their waterfront and they’ve thrived.

Baltimore is one of these cities. The city turned a old dingy port into a major draw for tourists. The area has many hotels, tourist attractions and restaurants. We need these amenities in Pensacola.

The Pensacola City Council should adopt these plans and lead Pensacola towards a better tomorrow.

Check Out this Independent News Blog Post about Giuliani Event

In his blog, Rick Outzen has an excellent account of Giuliani’s visit to Pensacola. The evening was a whirlwind of activity where a whose-who of Florida politics gathered to mingle.

I was not able to attend and did not hear if Giuliani mentioned 9/11 during the event.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Independent News Thinks PNJ's Call for Paul's Resignation is a Little Silly

Rick Outzen just posted a blog post about the PNJ's op-ed that calls for Paul's resignation from the Escambia County School Board. The satirical piece says the PNJ is calling for too many resignations in the community.

Outzen and The Pensacola Blog agree that Paul should be able to keep his job as superintendent.

Roy Wins Bout in New York City! What’s Your Favorite Roy Story?

Congratulations to Pensacola native Roy Jones Jr. for beating fellow light-heavyweight fighter, Felix Trinidad. Jones won in a judge’s decision.

Roy is a great guy. Whenever I run into him in Pensacola, I don’t make a scene; I just give him the bachelor nod. You know the gesture, the nod hello. I would see Jones at Dodge’s Chicken on Nine Mile where he was filling up his hummer.

What’s your favorite Roy story? Let’s hear your stories Pensacola.

Should Pensacola Sue the State for Letting Red Clay Wash into the Bay?

In October, red clay from the I-110 construction project was eroded by torrential rains and washed into Pensacola Bay. The State of Florida told everyone the rains were “acts of god” and there’s nothing that could have been done about the erosion because their preventative measures - that keep the clay from ending up in the bay - were overwhelmed. There's nothing they could have done, but they would make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

Well – the State has let it happen again. Archer-Western, the company doing the I-110 construction, has allowed more clay to wash into the bay. The State failed to provide proper oversight of the company’s efforts to prevent erosion at the construction site.

Florida’s Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection told Pensacolians they would make Archer-Western take the proper precautions to prevent clay from eroding into the bay, even during record-breaking rains.

We’ve heard this several times since the heavy October rains, but clay keeps spilling into our waterways. Since the beginning of the I-110 construction, the State has allowed the red clay to make its way into the bay. They say they’ve fined Archer-Western, but this isn’t working. The State is not preventing the clay from ending up in the bay.

Florida has failed to do their job and it’s time for Pensacola to do something about it. It’s time for the city to take action.

The city should sue the state if they fail to make sure that Archer-Western is doing all they can to prevent the clay from ending up in the bay. I’m sure if the state is threatened with paying the city for damages, they would make sure the bay won’t ever be stained red with the clay from the construction project that they are overseeing.

Why should Pensacola sue the state? They should sue because the clay from the I-110 construction project is killing marine life in our beautiful bay.

It's time for you to have your say Pensacola.

Do you think this is even a problem for us? Do you care that there’s red clay in they bay? Do you think the city should sue the state if more eroded clay from the I-110 construction is washed into Pensacola Bay?

If you do, you can use the email addresses I have provided below and email the state agencies overseeing the I-110 construction. Let them know how you feel about their lack of oversight. You can also email the city to encourage them to take legal action if the state does not prevent future erosion.

Florida’s Department of Transportation
Tommy Speights – District 3 – Public Information Officer

Florida’s Department of Environment
Sally Cooey – Northwest District – Public Services Officer

City of Pensacola
Tom Bonfield – City Manager

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Is The Pensacola News Journal Afraid of The Pensacola Blog?

My Use of PNJ Content Falls Under the Legal Realm of Fair Use

On Thursday, Mike Suchcicki, the Pensacola News Journal’s multimedia editor sent me an email that asked me to stop using their images on my blog.

Here is the email:


It is the policy of the Pensacola News Journal to never allow the posting of our copyright content, which includes photos, cartoons and articles, on other web sites. Therefore we must request that you no longer post any content obtained from the Pensacola News Journal web site,, and that you remove any photos, cartoons or other content from our web site that you have used on

You are free to link to our content, and we will be happy to provide you with the proper links.

If you have any questions, please write or call.

Thank you for your understanding and for your prompt attention to this matter.

Mike Suchcicki
Multimedia Editor
Pensacola News Journal

I could have just not responded to the email and kept using their images because my use of their images is legal and does not break any copyright laws.

Instead of ignoring the email, I sent a reply to Mr. Suchcicki asking if we could work out an arrangement for me to continue to keep using their altered images on my blog.

I promised to never use any images from their website that are unaltered; I will never use images like cartoons.

Instead of pissing off the PNJ, I wanted to work out an agreement where I could legally use some of their content from their site that I would alter for artistic expression and present in a newsworthy manner.

Plus, I don’t make any money from my blog. I am not taking away any ad revenue from I have a full time job in grassroots communication; I do this for fun because I love the community of Pensacola and want my blog to be a complement to their website. I want The Pensacola Blog to be an additional source of news where people can meet, step beyond the headlines and discuss the issues. I will pose questions that will get the discussion going. I will hopefully also offer some insight into the issues of concern in Pensacola, FL.

Here was my response to the Pensacola News Journal:

Hello to Mike and gang,

In order for me to continue posting the Pensacola News Journal's content on my blog, there has to be some kind of arrangement that we can work out. Are you sure that I have to take them down?

My blog is on the up-and-up; I'm legit. Every time I use one of your images on The Pensacola Blog, I make sure to give your paper the credit.

Under the body of each post, I make sure to tell the reader where the image came from. It always looks like this: [Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]. The text of Pensacola News Journal is always hyperlinked to your paper's website. If the credit is too far away from the image, I will move it closer. I could also start linking to the story on your website that corresponds to the image that I am using in my blog.

Also, I'm sorry for linking to Jim Paul cartoon today. I understand that this post crossed the line and I violated the fair use doctrine in the federal copyright laws. In the future, I will never use any of your images on Pensacola Blog that would break US copyright laws.

I will only use your photographed images. From now on, The Pensacola Blog's use of your photographed images will under the legal realm of the fair use doctrine. I will no longer post your cartoons on my blog or any other content from your website that would break the law.

I would love to discuss this further and look forward to working something out so that I can keep using your photographed images on my blog.

As a sign of goodwill, I will not post any more of your images on The Pensacola Blog until we have made an arrangement for me to use them.

Talk to you soon,

Chris Olson

Hopefully, the Pensacola News Journal will help out an amateur blogger that just wants facilitate conversation amongst Pensacolians. I’m not sure why this would be a problem when I am not profiting from my blog.

I hope The Pensacola News Journal and The Pensacola Blog can work something out.

Paul Admits to Lying about the Events that led up to His Arrest

Yesterday, the PNJ snagged an interview with school board superintendent (for now), Jim Paul. He revealed that he may have in fact been lying about the amount of drinks he had on the night of his arrest. He also admitted to being drunk when he was pulled over.

“Maybe I did have three drinks”, Paul told the PNJ reporter. He then revealed that he was intoxicated when he was pulled over. “Obviously, I had too much to drink.”

Paul had originally said he was not drunk when he was pulled over and that he only had two glasses of wine on the night of his arrest.

Paul is finally telling the truth.

Do you think there was an admission of guilt in the PNJ interview?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ice Pilots Want to Buy the Hanger

The Pensacola Ice Pilots hockey team wants to buy the Pensacola Civic Center from Escambia County. What - I tought the Ice Pilots were on the brink of going out of business?

I guess they are financially sound now and the team wants to buy the building. The county seems receptive to the purchase.

In order for it to happen, the state and city would have to approve the deal.

On Tuesday, the city and county will meet in a joint session to talk about the sale. If you would like to go, the meeting is open to the public.

Do you think the county should sell the civic center to the hockey team?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jim Paul’s First Court Date is February 6th

Jim Paul was told today that he will have to show up to court on February 6th to admit his guilt or innocence for driving under the influence of alcohol on a highway in Clearwater, FL. Paul will most likely plead guilty and try to make this thing go away.

I hope he doesn’t lie under oath

Should an Escambia County Man be Allowed to Develop on the Wetlands He Owns?

The PNJ printed a story in last Sunday's paper about a developer that wants to build retail space on his 20 acre parcel of land at the intersection of Highway 98 and Blue Angel. Local environmental groups have come out against the development because they say it violates the county's ordinance against building on wetlands. The Emerald Coastkeepers say the county would be breaking their own law if they approved the proposed development.

The Emerald Coastkeepers wants Mike Blanton to cut down on the size of the development and limit the impact on his lands' wetlands, even though he has already cut down on the proposed acreage. The developer has already cut down on 16,000 feet from the planned development, but the Coastkeepers say that this is not enough downsizing.
That area is somewhat of a small percentage of the develpment's planned acreage. The new retial area will be built on at least 250,000 acres of land. That wetlands saved will be a small percentage when compared to total numbers of acres in the development.

Now that you have the background information on the proposed wetland development, do you think Blanton should be allowed to build on them? Check out the PNJ article for further analysis.

Pensacolains Featured on Scarborough's "Morning Joe" this Morning

Residents showed up at the Fish House this morning to watch the taping of Joe Scarborough’s news show which airs on MSNBC. The broadcast that started at 5 a.m., featured some Pensacolians like a young boy that was on camera to introduce the weather girl.

Some parts of this morning’s broadcast were taped at the show’s New York location where they usually do it. One of the show’s talking heads read the entertainment news and added that “Pensacola is not known for its entertainment.”


Well – he’s kind of right. We can’t even build a simple minor league baseball stadium.

Does anyone who went to this morning's broadcast want to talk about their experience?

Man that Shot Girlfriend Yesterday Turns Himself In

At around eleven this morning, the man accused of shooting his girlfriend in the back of the head during a domestic dispute, has turned himself into authorities. Reginald Smith has yet to be charged with a crime; Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies want to interview him first.

The suspect has a history of criminal activity. Last April, Smith was released from prison after serving a six year sentence.

Assuming that Smith will be convicted of his crime, and given that he is 48 years old, do you think he will die in prison?

Does Paul Lie When He's at Work?

Yesterday, the PNJ and Pensacola Blog agreed that Paul is lying about what happened on the night of his arrest. The PNJ thinks he should resign; I don't agree because he lied about something that happened in is personal life and not on the job.

Do you think Paul should resign from his position for lying about something that happened off the clock?

PNJ Columnist Says King is Embarrassing Himself and Should Resign from CMPA

PNJ Columnist, Reginald Dogan, thinks Hugh King should read the writing on the wall, man-up and resign from his position on the Community Maritime Park Association board.

Dogan is right; King should just save himself the embarrassment and resign. He should walk away from the CMPA before they are forced to give him the boot for his cocaine charge.

The CMPA hinted in their last meeting that they could be voting to oust King from the board. It is in King’s best interest to resign before he is forced to leave. As Dogan says, “If King has any dignity and self-respect left, he should save the board the trouble and resign.”

In response to the possible ousting, King is embarrassingly playing the race card to save his spot on the board. That’s just sad.

Hey Hugh – be a man and resign. It’s the right thing to do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Man Who Shot His Girlfriend in Head During Domestic Dispute is Still on the Loose

An Enlsey man named Reginald Smith shot his girlfriend in the back of the head during a fight they were having in their home off of 100 East Ensly Street. Smith and Mary Spencer had been dating for 10 years.

The Escambia County Sheriff's Offiice in the misdt of a man-hunt to find Smith. The last time the fugitive was seen, he was was fleeing the scene on foot.

California Resident Donates Money to Put Up Anti-Dogfighting Billboards in Escambia County

Somebody that used to live in Pensacola gave a local animal right’s group some money to put up anti-dogfight billboards in Escambia County.

Is dog fighting really that bad of a problem in Pensacola that there needs to be a local campaign against it?

Patti Won't Talk to Media After Being Arrested for Battery Yesterday

One day after he was arrested for misdemeanor battery, the PNJ tried to talk to Frank Patti about getting arrested for punching one of his customers in the throat after he was insulted by the patron. The Joe Patti’s Seafood owner would not talk to the press because his lawyer had advised him against doing so. He did add that he wanted to tell his side of the story, but said he didn’t want to “go against my attorney”.

Patti was arrested for punching Robert Lavett who called Patti an "old man" and called his family “crooks”. Lavett went on the insult tirade after he became irritated that Patti would question him about the credit card which didn’t have Lavett’s name on it. The car was in his mother’s name; she had just dropped him off at the fish market and was waiting in the car.

Patti told police he didn’t punch Lavett because the customer insulted him; He punched the customer because he said Lavett made a threatening motion towards him. Today, the PNJ interviewed Lavett and he flatly denies that he tried to lunge at Patti.

Does everyone think Patti will serve time for violating the terms of his parole?

Pensacola Chats Up Senator Bill Nelson Today

Today at Pensacola Junior College, about 50 area constituents showed up to have a talk with Florida’s Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson. The topics of the conversation ranged from the state of the economy, veterans’ benefits, Amtrak service in Pensacola and of course, taxes.

First of all, politicians need to come out and admit they don't have the power to improve the economy. This is the job of the business community and hard working Americans like us. Of course, Nelson didn't admit this.

I’m not sure how much of the federal government’s budget goes towards veterans’ benefits. I'm not sure whether it has been going up or down. We should increase the spending if we have more service members retiring.

Our whole tax structure needs to be restructured; don’t even get me started on that subject.

As for the percentage of our earnings that should be taxed, the federal government should take in as little as possible, while at the same time, sufficiently fund essential government services.

I wouldn’t expect to see the Amtrak blow through Pensacola any time soon. The route from New Orleans to Jacksonville that stops in Pensacola has been closed since Hurricane Katrina. Amtrak isn’t rushing to open up the hurricane damaged route because the government-funded passenger train company is bleeding money. The train is romantic, but Americans just don’t use it enough to make Amtrak any money.

I’m glad the attendees of the Nelson town hall asked such great questions. More Pensacolians need to get out and become politically active. Future Americans will thank you.

PNJ Wants Paul to Resign Because DUI Story "Isn't Believable"

The Pensacola News Journal's editorial board has lost their confidence in Jim Paul; "his credibility is gone". They say he has fabricated the story of what he doing, the night before his DUI arrest. For this reason, they say Paul should step down from his position as superintendent of the Escambia County School Board. The PNJ thinks Paul lied about the events transpired that night and he should resign for doing so.

The paper says he is lying about the amount of drinks he had at the casino, the night before he was pulled over by the police for “swerving and speeding” in his car. Paul said he only had two glasses of wine, even though a breathalyzer told cops that he had a blood-alcohol level of 12%. This seems impossible for a man his size. Paul said he drank two glasses of wine in five hours. It would be impossible for Paul to have a blood-alcohol level with that many drinks in his system. Paul is not telling the truth about the amount he drank at the casino in Clearwater, FL. The PNJ is right; Paul is a liar.

They also call him out for lying about not being drunk, the night he was pulled over before a teacher’s conference near the Tampa International Airport. If Paul had that much alcohol in his system, he would have been inebriated. The superintendent did fail a field-sobriety test that night. Paul should have admitted that he was drunk the night of his arrest.

Should Paul resign for lying to the voters of Escambia County? No – I don’t think lying about the details of the night's events, warrants resignation by the superintendent. People get DUI charges everyday, and most of them go back to work the next day. The man didn’t rob a bank.

The PNJ was on point with the lying part, but they’re off target when it comes to the resignation of the superintendent.

Paul should stay on the job.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Joe Scarborough's MSNBC Morning Show to Broadcast from Fish House

Native Pensacolian and former Florida Congressman, Joe Scarborough, will be airing his show “Morning Joe”, from the Fish House on Thursday.

If you want to sit in the crowd, be at the restaurant by 5 a.m. (when the show starts). Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

Owner of Joe Patti's Seafood Arrested Today for Punching Customer

Joe Patti's Seafood owner, Frank Patti, was arrested today after he punched a customer in the throat. The punch was provoked by an insulting comment from the customer, who was being questioned by Patti about the validity of his credit card.

Patti questioned Robert Lavett, who was trying to use a credit card with his mother’s name on it. Lavett became irritated by the inquiry and called Patti’s family a bunch of crooks. The customer also called Patti an old man.

The insults set Patti off and he came out from behind the counter, and socked Lavett in the throat. Patti was then arrested by Pensacola Police for assault.

Shortly after he was arrested, Patti was released by the police. There is no word on when Patti will be tried for the crime.

Retailers Given Ten Year Contracts to Operate Inside Pensacola Regional Airport

Two businesses have been awarded ten year contracts to operate retail shops in Pensacola Regional Airport.

Varona Enterprises was awarded a contract extension because they have already been operating two gift/news shops and two restaurants in the airport.

The Paradies Shop is also a contract recipient because they plan to open up three retail shops in PNS. The company's new shops will feature items from Pensacola’s major tourist destinations, as well as vacation gear.

Does everyone like the existing shops and restaurants? Are you excited about the items the new retailer will be offering?

King Lashes Out at Pensacola News Journal for Their Coverage of His Arrest and Trial

Hugh King was in a defiant mood when he was in court yesterday to plead guilty to the charge of possessing cocaine. King and a companion frequently held pieces of paper in front of the former city councilman’s face as a PNJ photog was trying to take pictures of him before he heard the judge’s decision in his case.

After the paper asked for a comment, King admonished the paper for the news of his arrest and trial, that they have been printing. “You’re still trying to lynch me. Print that.”

Whoa – settle down buddy. You’re a public figure and preacher in Pensacola that was caught with an illegal drug. You’re lucky you just got off with probation. Did you expect the paper to not follow your case?

Do you think King is trying to play the race card by using the word “lynch”?

Northwest Florida Blood Center Loses Big Customer

The Northwest Florida Blood Center recently received some very bad news; they have lost one of their biggest customers. Baptist Hospital has decided to end their contract with the local blood center and get their blood from the Red Cross, a national supplier.

According to a WEAR3 report, the loss of Baptist Hospital as a customer will mean the Northwest Florida Blood Center will “lose up to ten percent of its revenue.”

Baptist Hospital has decided to go with the Red Cross as their blood provider because they’re cheaper and more efficient. The PNJ cites a Baptist Hospital press release that says they are going with the Red Cross as their provider because of “significant cost savings.” The national provider can also provide services that the Northwest Florida Blood Center is just not capable of doing.

This means that if the Northwest Florida Blood Center doesn’t want to lose its contracts with other local hospitals, they will need to step up their game if they want to compete with the big boys.

Escambia County Wants Party Throwers to Rent Their Parks

Escambia County is making a big push to get area residents to rent one of their parks for a get-together when the weather gets warmer.

According to the county’s website, the parks and recreation department “will assist you in scheduling and reserving the best facility to meet your needs.” It does sound like the county has entered the tourism industry.

Rental fees for the parks vary according to their size.

You can call 850-475-5220 to get more information about renting an Escambia County park.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wednesday's Giuliani Rally at the Fish House is Free and Open to the Public

In case you haven’t heard, the Republican presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, will be making a campaign stop in Pensacola on Wednesday.

I received an email from the Giuliani campaign that said the 6 p.m. rally is free and open to the public.

The campaign wants everyone that is planning on attending to be at the Fish House before six and the 9/11 mayor “will speak shortly thereafter”.

Hey Giuliani fans - get your butts down to the Fish House if you want to support his campaign.

Have Your Voice Heard in Washington by Talking to Senator Nelson at PJC

If you want give Florida Senator Bill Nelson a piece of your mind, get down to PJC on Wednesday night.

Nelson is talking to constituents to find out what they would like him to do in Washington.

You might not think that talking to the senator would actually do anything, but it does. Surprisingly, politicians actually listen to their constituents and do what they say.

Fish House Will be the Location of Guiliani's Pensacola Campaign Stop

Yesterday, I reported that Rudy Guiliani will be campaigning in Pensacola this week and I've just learned that on Wednesday night, the former New York mayor will be stopping at the Fish House at 6:00 p.m.

No word on what will happen at the event or if it's by invitation only, but I've emailed the Giuliani campaign and I'll release the details when they send them to me.

Rudy is campaigning heavily in Florida before our state's January 29th primary in hopes that a win here will catapult him to Republican front-runner status before the "super Tuesday" primaries. The multiple state primary on February 5th will most likely pick the party's nominee.

Cocaine Connesuir/Former Preacher Gets Probation for Drug Charge

This morning, the former pastor of Greater Union Baptist Church and current Community Maritime Park Associates board member, Hugh King, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine. Afterwords, circuit judge Joel Boles sentenced him to probation for two years and he must also do fifty hours of community service work.

King will also have to undergo an evaluation to see if he has a substance abuse problem. If evaluators determine that King likes the booger sugar a little too much, he will need to enter a treatment program.

King's attorney, Ted Stokes, must think the ex-reverend won't be kicked off the CMPA board because he asked the judge to delay sentencing so that King can continue to perform his duties on the board which includes some travel. Don't worry Stokes, King won't be on the board for much longer and will be able to adhere to the terms of his probation.

King's attorney is going to appeal the sentence.

[Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]

Ron Paul Has Strong Support in the Pensacola Area

In today's PNJ, the paper profiles Ron Paul supporters in the Pensacola area. Paul's backing in this region mirrors the type that we've seen from his other fans across America.

The Republican presidential candidate's tenacious backers in Pensacola are willing to knock on doors and donate money to help spread the Republican congressman's libertarian message.

You don't even need to read the PNJ piece to understand the type of following that Paul has in this area. Just look at all the homemade "Ron Paul for President" signs you see around town. I have yet to see any homemade signs for the other candidates that are running for president.

Like other Paul supporters, Pensacola's backers have harnessed the organizing power of the Internet to spread his message.

Recently, 230 Paul supporters gathered in Pensacola to rally support for the presidential candidate after they organized on the website, The backers in this area have also donated money via the Internet. Paul's campaign contributions have been pouring in from supporters who have donated money using the candidate's website.

In November, his campaign's website raised 4 million dollars in just one day. This is amazing if you consider the amount of media attention that Paul has recieved; they really haven't been paying attention to the candidate.

If you'd like to know more about Ron Paul and you're unsure of where he stands on the issues, ask one of his supporters to explain them to you. In order to spread his message, Paul's fervent backers are willing to talk your ear off in an attempt to gain more support for the candidate. I've seen it happen several times.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

State and County Say Milton Landowner Must Clean Up Fish Kill on Their Property

On Thursday, State and Santa Rosa County officials told the property owners near ward basin in Milton that they are not going to clean up the fish kill in the area.

On January 5th, landowner Phyllis Blazier found thousands of dead mullet floating in ward basin near her property. The cause of the fish kill was the previous days’ cold weather.

Right after the discovery of the fish kill, state and county officials said that they would work together to clean up the mess. Since then, they have slowly backed off of their original promises.

The officials have come to the conclusion that the fish kill is an act of god and does not pose a health risk to residents in the area. Therefore, it’s not their responsibility to clean it up.

I applaud the state and county’s decision to not clean up the fish kill.

It was a smart decision, but they shouldn’t have originally told the landowners like Blazier that they were going to clean it up the fish kill, if they didn’t think they were going to have to clean it up. The elected officials did a poor job of managing their constituent’s expectations of them.

[Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]

Pensacola Man Exposes Penis to Bus Full of Children

Apparently, Brad Hardy’s idea of a good time is to drive around and try to get young children to look at his penis. Last Tuesday, the Pensacola man drove up next to a bus full of seventeen kids that were sitting on the bus as they were riding home from a day of learning at Workman Middle School.

After the students began yelling at the bus driver that Brady was whipping out his penis in his truck, a Pensacola police officer sitting in her cruiser at the intersection of 12th and Bayou, saw the alarmed children and recorded the license plate number on Brady’s truck. After the police ran his plates, the officer who saw the incident later tracked down the 31 year old exhibitionist at his home near Summit Boulevard.

Ironically, Hardy just happens to be a corrections officer at the state prison in nearby Santa Rosa County. The guard will soon become the guarded.

The future prisoner is out on bail right now and is getting paid by the state to sit at home until he is brought to justice and fired from his job.

Hey buddy, enjoy the freedom while it lasts because you’ll soon spend your days staring at the pale walls of your jail cell. Maybe you can get your cellie to stare at your junk.

Just in case you were wondering, all of the kids that saw man penis are now being counseled in school. Good thing the counselors are there for the children because that would be an awkward conversation for any parent.

Pensacola’s State Representative in Tallahassee Wants to Hear from You

Dave Murzin – R is stopping by three restaurants during lunchtime to talk to constituents about their concerns before he heads back to the capitol to participate in the new legislative session.

The 2nd district’s representative will be at Finnegan’s Wake this Monday, Kooter Brown’s West on Tuesday and Sidelines on Friday. The discussions will take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on all three days.

Get out there and let Murzin know how you feel so that your voice is heard in Tallahassee. Even if you don’t have anything to gripe about, go to the lunches to meet Murzin. You should know your elected officials.

Holy Spirit Returns to Pensacola Church after it went Missing during Ivan

Well – no one really saw the Holy Spirit show up at the Talbot Chapel AME Episcopal Church on Saturday, it was more like a symbolic return. Yesterday, the worshiping spot was dedicated to celebrate the completion of the renovation that took place after Talbot Chapel was heavily damaged during hurricane Ivan.

The PNJ explains the Holy Spirit’s symbolic return in a story in today’s paper about the dedication of the church on La Rua and Rues.

“The rededication service Saturday morning symbolized the Holy Spirit's return to the building and the consecration of the building as the house of the Lord.”

When Ivan blew through the area, the church’s roof and floors were heavily damaged with much of the church sustaining water damage which led to a mold infestation.

The $800,000 dollar renovation was delayed by quarrels with the church’s insurance company. While Talbot Chapel was being repaired, the church’s parishioners worshipped in an annex on its property.

It’s great that Pensacola’s religious establishments are bouncing back after Ivan.

Police Find Stabbing Victim Near Pensacola High School

At about 12:30 today, in the 2400 block of Spring Street near the campus of Pensacola High School, police found a wounded man who had been stabbed three times.

Police don’t know why the man was stabbed or who did it. They also don't know if he was actually stabbed near the high school.

The victim is being treated at Baptist Hospital. Their staff has not disclosed his condition to the public.

Pensacola's Obama Supporters are Meeting Up

On Tuesday night, everyone backing Barack Obama should get down to the Osceola Golf Course to help rally support for the candidate. Pensacola’s Obama supporters are gathering in the golf course’s Yesterday Restaurant to rally support for the Democratic senator’s presidential campaign.

No word on the entrance fee to get into the event. If you want to meet other Obama supporters, you can call 850-944-1884 for more information.

Get involved Pensacola! If you don’t like Obama, find other local events in the area for other presidential candidates.

9/11 Mayor Will Campaign in Pensacola on Wednesday

Six days before the Florida primary, Rudy Giuliani's campaign will be making a stop in Pensacola. There's no word on where the candidate will speak.

Do you think he'll mention 9/11 during his time in Pensacola?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Five Firebugs Arrested for Starting Government Street Warehouse Fire

Pensacola police have detained five children, ranging from 8 to 13 in age, for starting the blaze at the vacant Markham and Sons Co. building in downtown Pensacola.

Investegators say the children broke into the building, found matches and lit some papers on fire. The children let the paper fire get out of control and the building caught on fire. The building is a complete loss after sustaining $150,000 worth of damage.

The fire took place on January 3rd. No firefighters or civilians were injured in the blaze.

[Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]

Did Paul Really Only Have Two Glasses of Wine the Night He was Arrested for DUI?

Yesterday, Escambia County School Board superintendent, Jim Paul, held court with reporters in his office to respond to his DUI arrest that took place during the early morning hours in Clearwater, FL.

Paul told reporters that on Wednesday night, he did not go out to dinner with colleagues from the conference because he was tired and wanted to go back to his room and sleep.

But when Paul got back to his room, he couldn't sleep and drove to the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa to play nickel slots. Who does that?

I usually just drink some water or watch some TV.

And if he was too tired to go out with colleagues, why did he later go to the casino? It sounds like he was blowing off the people that were going out.

So when Paul couldn't sleep, he drove twenty-six miles to the casino, played the slots and drank two glasses of wine. Yes – because when you’re restless and want to sleep, playing slots in a noisy casino is the perfect sleep remedy.

Paul said he arrived at the casino around 10:30 p.m. and was arrested at 3:30 a.m. This means he had two glasses of wine in five hours. How can you have a blood alcohol level of 0.12 when you’ve had two glasses of wine in five hours? That doesn’t seem right; it flies in the face of what medical knowledge tells us about alcohol’s effects on the body.

The PNJ talked to a drug and alcohol counselor about the Paul incident and they said a person that drinks that amount in five hours “should have a blood a blood alcohol level of approximately zero.”

I don’t think Paul has a drinking problem, but I don’t think he’s telling the truth about how much he drank at the casino.

[Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]

Friday, January 11, 2008

CMPA Might Vote on Kicking King Off of Board for Cocaine Charge

The chairwoman of the Community Maritime Park Association, Lacey Collier, says that board member Hugh King should be kicked off “for conduct detrimental to the interests of the corporation.” Collier wants to vote on his ousting at the February 8th meeting of the CMPA.

The CMPA is the association that is guiding the development of the land on which the Pensacola Pelicans are going to hopefully have a stadium to play baseball.

Last April, King was busted for having a bag of cocaine in his pocket when the car he was traveling in, was pulled over. On Monday, King is expected to plead guilty to the charges of possessing cocaine.

After today’s meeting, King said he was “a little surprised” when Collier talked about the potential vote to oust him.

It would take a two-thirds majority of the board to kick King off of it.

I hope the reverend is not trying to play the race card. Responding to the call to oust him, King said he hopes it “wasn’t because I made a strong case for the funding of the Contractor’s Academy.”

The Contractor’s Academy is a committee in the CMPA that was set up to help minorities secure contracting jobs at the maritime park project.

At this point, I think pulling the race card is the only hope that King has to save his spot on the CMPA board.

Jim Paul Says He Won’t Step Down After DUI Arrest

The Escambia County School Board superintendent talked to the press today and stated he won’t resign from his position after being arrested for DUI. Jim Paul concedes that he will be punished for his actions, but he doesn’t think he should have to step down. During today’s interviews, he never justified his decision to not resign.

Paul knows what he did is wrong, but he doesn’t think it means he should leave his job.

The superintendent tries to make it sound like he was “accidentally” driving drunk while he was behind the wheel of his car. He blames his actions on a patron of a casino where he was hanging out, the night he was arrested.

After playing the nickel slots (cheap skate) and consuming a couple glasses of wine, Paul says he was startled by a drunk guy that tapped on his window while he was sleeping in his car which was parked in a garage at the Hard Rock casino in Clearwater, FL.

The PNJ account of the Paul incident infers that the superintendent was frightened and left the parking garage.

On an empty stomach, Paul drove back to his hotel in Tampa and police reports say he became lost and was pulled over by a Pinellas County deputy who stopped him for “speeding and swerving.”

The superintendent should quit blaming the drunken guy; it’s not his fault that Paul drove drunk. OK – so Jim thought he was unsafe in the parking lot, but he should have woken himself, walked into casino and sobered up.

Paul showed poor judgment when he drove while he was still inebriated, but I don’t know if this reflects upon his duties as superintendent. I’m sure many successful people in America can do a good job at work, even if they happened to have been arrested for DUI in their off time.

Should Paul be fired? I don’t know.

I guess we should look at how the private sector employers treat their employees when they get charged with a DUI. We should also look at how other elected officials across the country are treated when it comes to being arrested for drinking at the wheel.

Paul will probably stay on as superintendent because the school board doesn’t have the authority to fire him. Although, this doesn’t mean that voters of Escambia County will not think about his arrest when he comes up for reelection.

Judge and Teacher Busted Trying to Pay for Sex

This has been a bad week for community leaders. Not only has the Escambia County School Board superintendent been arrested for DUI, but an administrative judge and fourth-grade teacher have been arrested for trying to pay a prostitute for sex.

On Wednesday night, Social Security Administration Judge Robert Goosens and teacher James Hurley were charged with misdeameanors after they were arrested by police in an undercover prostitution sting in Brownsville. Both men are free on bail, but it's still unclear as to whether they will be able to return to their jobs.

Hurley was not allowed to lead his class when he returned to work on Thursday. Judge Goosens future employment with the Social Security Administration is unknown.

Haven't Johns learned that Craigslist is the place to go when you have to pay for sex?

[Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]

Paul Arrest is National News

Things keep getting worse for Escambia County School District Superintendent Jim Paul. News of his Wednesday night arrest for drunk driving in Clearwater, FL has become national news.

The Associated Press has published a story about his arrest.

Today, Paul will release a statement about his arrest. Is he going to announce his resignation?

PNJ Says FEMA Grant Will Save the Federal Goverment Money

In an op-ed published today, The PNJ praises the grant Escambia County recieved to prevent future hurricane damage.

FEMA is spending twenty-million dollars to install hurricane shutters, wind-resistant doors and hurricane straps on the roofs of 3000 homes.

The piece concludes that the spending will save the federal government money in the long run by preventing extensive hurricane damage that would be sustantially more expensive than the twenty-million dollars spent on the preventative measures.

This is a great point.

Jim Paul Will Give Statement on DUI Arrest Today

The word from the PNJ is that Jim Paul traveled back from Clearwater, FL on Thursday night.

Friday, Paul will release his first statement to the media since being arrested for DUI on Wednesday night after attending an education conference near Tampa.

The Escambia County School District Superintendent will respond to charges by the Clearwater police that he was speeding with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 when he was pulled over.

I don't think the next few day are going to be good for Paul.

[Photo Via Pensacola News Journal]

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Uh Oh - Jim Paul Arrested for Drunk Driving!

I'm sure that Pensacola is all a buzz with the news that Escambia County School District Superintindent Jim Paul was arrested last night for DUI.

Paul blew a o.12 in the breathalyzer when he was pulled over in Clearwater, FL where he was attending a conference.

Sh!t is going to hit the fan!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another City Councilman Plans to Run for Re-election

Mike DeSorbo has filed the proper papers to run again for city council representative from District 3.

This news comes a day after Distrcit 7 representative, Robert Townsend, pre-filed his paperwork to hold onto his seat.

Let's hope if the men win new terms, fresh ideas will come from the councilmen who have been in office for at least a decade.

If not, Pensacola needs to start thinking about putting term limits on city council positions.

Fire Breaks Out in Vacant Smokey's BBQ Building

There was a fire this morning at the Smokey's Real Pit BBQ which has been closed for months.

The fire disrupted traffic on Fairfield Drive.

No word on why the fire started or if there were any injuries as a result.

Escambia County Getting Twenty Million Dollars from FEMA to Prevent Hurricane Damage

FEMA is giving Escambia County homeowners $20 million dollars to help prevent future hurricane damage to their homes. The grant money will be used to install hurricane shutters, wind-resistant doors and hurricane straps on their roofs.

Residents of Escambia County may apply to receive the prevention measures, free of charge. The FEMA money should help reinforce 3000 homes .

This is the second such grant for Escambia County. Residents were recently eligible for a five million dollar grant that helped reinforce 800 homes.

Anti-pork Congressman Jeff Miller will be in town tomorrow to announce the new round of FEMA spending.

Clinton and McCain Prove the Critics Wrong

The media had written off Hillary Clinton and John McCain as losers, but the candidates proved them wrong and won their parties' primary in New Hampshire.

Maybe squeezing out some tears helped Hillary win the primary.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Juveniles Suspected of Starting Warehouse Blaze

Local police are on the look-out for five juveniles suspected of starting last Thursday's fire at the vacant Markham and Sons Sign Co. building on Government Street.

Investigators say the suspects broke into the warehouse and started the fire with matches.

State Fire Marshal Kevin Feidor says the suspects should be arrested by Thursday.

The damages to the building will cost $150,000.