Pensacola’s cabal of obstructionists would like us to see the Community Maritime Park and the relocation of the Main Street sewage plant as an either-or issue. They want us to accept that this area can’t do both.

That just isn’t the case. These capital projects involve two separate government agencies – Community Redevelopment Agency (City of Pensacola) and ECUA.

ECUA can pay for the $167 million relocation and construction of a new plant within its rate structure….for as little as $6.75 per month for its residential customers.

CRA can pledge its revenues to finance a bond issue for the park development.

We can and should do both. I’m sick and tired of people coming up with every excuse possible not to do anything progressive.

Pensacola is about to become the Brownsville of the Panhandle.

IRAQ WAR HURTS U.S.

September 26, 2005

Here’s a quote that we need to hear more often:

“Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

These words aren’t from some dope-smoking liberal. Pres. Dwight Eisenhower said them back in 1953!

War has a cost. And it’s more than a scorecard of how many of our boys die and how many terrorists we kill.

The War has cost over $200 billion in the past two years – that’s right just two years! We need those dollars here, especially now as we rebuild our Gulf Coast states.

Last week the Santa Rosa Press Gazette wrote a news article on the spending of Rebuild Northwest Florida -titled “Who Gets Those Rebuild Dollars?” Link: http://www.srpressgazette.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=browse&id=2376

Our Buzz in the Sept 22 issue gives the highlights of that article.
Link: http://www.inweekly.net/article.asp?artID=1860

Rebuild’s board of directors is a virtual Who’s Who of Pensacola. They have successfully raised close to $5 million – we can’t be sure since they would let anyone see their books. Yet they won’t tell the public how they are spending the money.

Instead they have the PNJ (whose publisher serves on their board) doing personal vignettes.

Why the secrecy? Nearly every other non-profit in this community keeps its finances transparent. If you call them for a set of financials, they will provide them.

What are they hiding? For months, I’ve publicly and privately asked for the financial reports. Each time I was promised them, but they never came. I’ve repeatedly told them that it’s better to be open than have the public and the media find out something wrong.

The Santa Rosa Press Gazette is the beginning of the media finding how Rebuild manages its money. Let’s hope Rebuild comes up with a more detailed report soon.

Congress established the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood (SELA) Control Project after six people were killed in massive rainstorms in May 1995.

Over 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Starting 2003 as the Iraq War escalated, Bush and Congress began cutting back on SELA. Even when engineers began reporting the levees were sinking, funds were cut.

In the 2006 budget hearings, the House of Representatives wanted to cut the New Orleans district budget 21 percent to $272.4 million in 2006, down from $343.5 million in 2005. The House figure was about $20 million lower than the president’s suggested $290.7 million budget.

Meanwhile, Congress has allocated over $200 BILLION for the Iraq War since April, 2003. Another $19.9 billion was spent on Homeland Security through 2003.

Pres. Bush and Congress gambled that New Orleans would not need to have the levee system repaired. They lost the bet!

Democrats, here’s your chance. Pres. Bush and his administration have blown it with their slow, inept response to Hurricane Katrina.

Where are you? You claim to be the party for the common man. It’s time you prove you can lead in a crisis.

Bush’s press conference was a joke….little more than a photo for Miss. Gov. Barber and Ala. Gov. Riley. Yet no one has spoken up from the Democrat side.

Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry, etc need to be leading convoys of food and supplies to Miss & La. They need to find shelter for the evacuees. Moveon.org has done a lot, but very little from the Democrat Party.

Why?