Our readers – under 40 years old – hit the polls heavy after work. Veteran poll watchers report more young voters than past elections.

Will it be enough to pass the park and elect Grover Robinson? We’ll know in a couple hours.

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Stidham will lose

September 1, 2006

lensPrediction: Escambia Co. School Board member Cary Stidhim is on her way out of office. Her challenger Gerald Boone has out raised her $14,428 to $4,235.. Worse, she is being endorsed by the teachers’ union and that is the kiss of death in school board races. Her reports shows checks from Union president Gail Husbands, executive director Tom Wazlavek, activists Bill Vincent and Debbie James.

The last of the micro-managers will be ousted on Sept. 5th.

First, Finkelstein and DeWitt. Now Cary.

viewfinderStudents are graduating from college with huge loans to repay ($50,000-$70,000). A little under 40% of these students have an unmanageable debt level before they get their post-college job. Furthermore, half of black students and almost 60% of Hispanic “students graduated with unmanageable debt burdens.”

Here’s a blog that focuses on loan repayment: How can I repay the student loans I can’t afford?

coffee  If ever question what a university can do for the economy of an area, look at the University of Central Florida. In 1984, UCF and UWF were on equal footing – both small universities under the shadow of UF and FSU.

Orlando and UCF made a commitment to growth. UCF is  now a major university – their athletic teams compete with UF and FSU (yes, they have football team that actually played a bowl game last season). UCF is adding a medical school that is expected to pump $1.4 billion in the local economy within the first decade of its opening.

Yesterday it was announced that Burnham Institute will expand to Orlando – creating 300 high-paying jobs and generating another 3200 over the next 15 years. Burnham seen as ‘big-bang win’ for economy

Folks, we’ve got to get behind UWF and help it reach its potential. The CMP and its downtown campus for UWF are good starts.

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/21/06

August 21, 2006

Rick's BlogHottest posts for today

  1. School Board District 1 race – Bergosh,
  2. Port Royal Cocktail Party Buzz
  3. Intelligent Design and Escambia Co. Public Schools
  4. David Letterman joins BSoc
  5. Evan Johns responds, ‘I wrote that viewpoint’
  6. I am confused….Bilbo politics live in SOC
  7. Donovan emails revisited
  8. Hot, Hot, Hot – Weekend 8/20/06
  9. Donovan emails – 44 pages for your review
  10. Oops, another donation to the Maritime Museum

dinoTodd Leonard supporter and consistent blogger Tom has written that Intelligent Design is taught in the science classes of the Escambia County public schools. I asked the school district to send me the page or pages from the textbook. They emailed a page that has one paragraph on the subject.
Here is what is taught on the origins of life. I think it’s fair and balanced and that ID doesn’t need to be made into a campaign issue.

PDF File:  Origins of Life

Rick's BlogThe hottest posts over the weekend.

  1. Port Royal Cocktail Party Buzz

  2. Latest Touart and Whitehead power grap

  3. Did Elebash write Johns’ viewpoint?

  4. Crist pops out of Barkley House

  5. Review of Sunday papers across the state

  6. BSoc Scorecard – 8/19/06 am

  7. David Letterman joins BSoc

  8. IN YOUR HEAD RADIO still rocks

  9. Kathy can’t pack ‘em in like Charlie

  10. From Slate: Washington Buzz for week ended 8/18/06

questionYesterday, United Way of Escambia County held a meeting in conjunction with Florida Dept. of Health and Partnership for a Healthy Community – labeled “Escambia Community Collaborative 2006”.

Some of those in attendance: Blaise Adams, Evon Emerson, Dr. John Cavanaugh, Dr. Tom Delano, Kevin Doyle, Flack Logan, Michael Duncan, Honor Bell, Dr. Rick Harper,  Steve Deneke, Rhette Anderson, Dr. John Lanza, Francis Dunham and representatives of Legal  Services, Council of Aging,  Dept. of Children & Families, United Celebral Palsy, DEP, Children Home Services, Catholic Social Services, Catholic Charities, Escambia Coalition on Housing, Lakeview Center, Families First and Better Save Our City.

No elected officials – no Escambia County Commissioners, No one from County Administration, no Pensacola City Councilmen and no one from Stop Our City.

Objectives: Define a vision for a strong, healthy Escambia County; community-wide focus to improve priority issues; develop strategies and target resources to combat problems.

Heated moment: PNJ Publisher Kevin Doyle pushed for the group to list six main issues. One participant chimed in what happens if we do a survey, but public doesn’t want to pay for the solution?

My response: “We lead! We say it’s no longer acceptable to be the poorest or second poorest county in the state of Florida.”

At Chamber Pres. Evon Emerson’s request – the group identified these issues:

Education, Affordable Housing, Poverty, Healthcare, Living Wage, Environment, County-wide Public Transportation.

There are more meetings ahead,but this was a good start.

MartiniRandom conversations:

The League of Women Voters is not taking a position on the Community Maritime Park. They are upset with the Pensacola City Council for not following the law on the referendum vote.  SOC drug out the verification process by not turning the signatures in until the last day. They could have had them verified as they got them. The Council put off accepting the verification and establishing the date of the vote as long as possible.

The delay may have saved the City $100,000 by waiting for Sept. 5, but it didn’t follow the letter of the law.

Escambia School Board elections are heating up. Stidham has sought and gotten Teacher Union support…which is not as helpful as it seems. Bergosh will make the run-off in District 1, but no one can tell if Leonard or Waters will be his opponent.

Dem. Gov. candidate Rod Smith is picking up endorsements all over the state. Most impressive one is St. Petersburg Times. Smith picked up major support and dollars in Destin from dormant Democrats. His wife, DeeDee, is in town Thursday.

The African American Heritage Society will host a fall film festival in conjunction with the Pensacola film festival. They will debut a trailer for controversial movie on racism in Jay, FL. The film is produced by a local woman and will has already won a spot on next year’s Tribecca film festival.

PS: BSoc picked up several new members. SOC was home watching Walker Texas Ranger and the Golden Girls.

Again BSoc wins. Yes, We CAN build a better Save Our City!

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/15/06

August 15, 2006

Rick's BlogToday’s Top 10….School Board District 1 races still elicits discussion, Donovan emails also get attention:

  1. School Board District 1 race – Bergosh,
  2. Dateline: Five Flags Rotary….Fairchild
  3. Donovan emails: how SOC got signatures
  4. Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/14/06
  5. Donovan emails – 44 pages for your revie
  6. Donovan emails: Marty never begged
  7. Follow-up email request
  8. Donovan emails: O’Brien says what he wan
  9. Donovan emails: No plan
  10. Donovan emails….something’s missing