farmerGot a phone call from one of the more reliable political observers in Santa Rosa Co. Here are his predictions on the SR county races:

County Commission Winner: Bob Cole

Santa Rosa County School Board: Ed Gray, III Dist 5; Carolyn Wells McLaughlin Dist 3; Robert Smith Dist 1.
Circuit Judge Group 15 Dixie Dan Powell will make the run-off against Mike Schofield or Terry Ketchel.

Circuit Judge Group 23 Gary Bergosh – but will be tight Jeff Lewis is campaigning hard.

Circuit Judge Group 24 Ross Goodman

Sales Tax for Roads – will pass. However, commissioners need to look at rolling back millage.


beerI attended the Emerald Coastkeeper’s BAYOU FAIS DO DO’ Cajun party at Haji Shrine Temple on Saturday Night. Larry B. Johnson helped organize the event. The food was catered by one of the famous downtown eateries in New Orleans – Mothers – red beans & rice, jambalaya, crawfish ettoufee and bread pudding. The only thing missing was the famous Mother’s roast beef po-boys.

EC president and co-founder Mike Papantonio gave an impassioned speech on the importance of environmental activism. He told the audience of 250-300 that there ‘rogue’ corporations in America that  callously harm the environment of a community and won’t change their methods unless a group like Coastkeeper forces them to do so. “They hide behind saying ‘We need to study the issue more’; ‘The science doesn’t exist to fix the problem’;  ‘People will lose jobs’ or “Our scientists don’t agree with your scientists.’ All are delaying tactics to wear out the opposition.”  To learn more about Emerald Coastkeeper, visit Emerald CoastKeepers, Inc.

Some in attendance – Carl Wernicke, Michael O’Donovan, Dr. John Bray, Carol Moore (executive director of EC), Ashton Hayward, Phil Wooley, Judge Marcy Goodman, Bob Tyler,Tony Gentry,Chips Kirschenfeld.
Spoke with Ross Goodman about his campaign for circuit judge against Jim Messer. Armand Grundy-Gomes was there, too – he’s running for Escambia Soil & Water Conservation Board.

Got postive feedback on the IN cover story Left Behind Part 1: Heathcare – although one person let me know the local medical society wasn’t happy with us.

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/4/06

August 5, 2006

Rick's Blog

The top posts of 8/4/06

  1. Sorry, Todd – You are a monkey’s uncle
  2. Stop Our City, Part 4
  3. Port may land big fish
  4. Stidham stalls
  5. Studer Group/Covenant Hospice Alliance
  7. UWF prez speaks
  8. Drinks on the house
  9. Charlie Crist’s double life
  10. IN Your Head Radio – 8/3 show

EyeMichael Speed is running for Santa Rosa Co. School Board against incumbent Ed Gray, III.

We reviewed his campaign report – still aren’t sure who’s backing him? Michael R. Speed.

Speed loaned $1250 to his campaign. His sister Anna Ratliff (SR principal) and her husband Steve (Asst. SR Superintendent) gave $250 each. Speed’s son Jared and his wife (a SR teacher) also gave $250 each. It’s convenient that they each had $250 sitting around for this campaign.

Why is Steve Ratliff trying to unseat an incumbent? What did Gray do to him?

Also we checked with Holley Dirt & Bayside Development (see Who is running Michael Speed?), Speed paid off the judgement plus interest, right before he filed. Where did he get the money to do that?

New logoListen to our latest show online.

Show Lineup

  • Buzz: Marketing slogans
  • News: Democrats chances to win Florida Governor’s race
  • Loaded Gun: Lyndsey Battle
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Listen to Program 3 or Download Program 3

viewfinderTired of a second class library system the Santa Rosa County Commission take over the West Florida Regional library branches in their county – Gulf Breeze, Jay, Milton and Navarre. A Pace library is under construction and will open in 2007.

Computers have been update. 8,000 new books, videos and audio books have been added to the collection, including 1000 new reference books.  

The Santa Rosa Co. system has a new web site: Customers can also subscribe to a new email book newsletter service, called NextReads, which delivers electronic newsletters about recently released titles, related titles, and forthcoming titles covering 20 different subject and genres. A newly created “Kids Zone,” features the children’s catalog, links to games, event information, and much more!   

For further information, contact Linda Hendrix, Santa Rosa County Library System Director at 850-623-2043.


Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/2/06

August 2, 2006

Rick's BlogAnother record. Most visitors to date. Top 25 blogs worldwide


  1. Sorry, Todd – You are a monkey’s uncle
  2. Dammit, why cant we be first in something
  3. Walmart and Healthcare
  4. Charlie just doesn’t get it
  5. Bye, Bye Raymond
  6. Oh, My God, Part II – Check out Tom Wells
  7. Private schools are not that great
  8. Healthcare for some, Part 2
  9. Who makes what?
  10. Letter from Parents of Lisa Dickson


Pensacola, Florida – Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David H. Stafford reminded Escambia County citizens today that Monday, August 7th is the last day to register to vote for those who wish to cast a ballot in the September 5th election.


Florida law mandates that registration books close 29 days before an election. New registrations and party changes must be completed on or before August 7th in order for them to be effective for the September election. Updates to a voter’s address, name, and signature are permitted after the book closing deadline.


Escambia County citizens have several ways to register or update their record:

Online/By Mail: Visit and complete, print, and sign the online application. Be sure to include a valid Florida Driver’s License number, a valid Florida ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number in the appropriate space. Mail the completed application to: Escambia County Supervisor of Elections, PO Box 12601, Pensacola FL 32591-2601. Or, take the completed application to the Elections Office at 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor, in downtown Pensacola. Or, call (595-3900) or e-mail the Elections Office ( to have a form mailed to you.


In Person: You can register at the Elections Office at 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor, in downtown Pensacola, at any Florida Driver’s License Office, and several other governmental offices and public assistance centers. Registration forms are also available to pick up at many locations countywide. For a complete list of locations throughout Escambia County, visit or call or e-mail the Elections Office.

cashRight before the deadline, Santa Rosa County School Board member Ed Gray, III, had an opponent file against him – Michael Speed.

Gray was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to replace Jim Rigby who retired early in May 2002. He successfully ran for election that fall. Prior to serving on the School Board, Gray was the Mayor of Gulf Breeze (1984-92). He was the City president of Peoples First Bank before becoming the executive director of Gulf Breeze Financial Services (City of Gulf Breeze’s successful municipal bond program). On the School Board, Gray has a reputation of sound financial management.

Speed has deep roots in the Santa Rosa School system. I believe his father (or could be his grandfather) was the principal of Gulf Breeze Elementary School – actually when Gray was a student. However, his financial history isn’t as solid as Gray’s.

A review of the Santa Rosa and Escambia county court records revealed several civil cases and judgements against Speed:

Santa Rosa County Civil Cases

Case # 02000058CA 5/9/02 Banc of America Special Fin


Case# 02001501SC 2/27/03 Beard Equipment Company


Case # 01000983CC 12/5/01 Bayside Development Co. & Holley Dirt Co. $11,593.70+

2002926471 SPEED MICHAEL R 4843 1158 01/30/2002 FINAL JUDGMENT $11,593.70 PLUS

Case # 01000772CC 7/27/01 Cowin Equipment, Inc.


Escambia County Civil Cases

Case # 2002 CA 000256 2/1/02 Telco Of Florida Credit Union of Florida

2002969432 SPEED MICHAEL R 4911 407 05/29/2002 FINAL JUDGMENT TELCO of Florida Credit Union of Florida $22,296.19 FINAL JDG 2002 CA 000256

2002971536 SPEED MICHAEL R 4915 89 06/04/2002 FINAL JUDGMENT $12,985.23 CT I/22,920.53 CT II/4448.21 CT III 2002 CA 000256

2006015093 SPEED MICHAEL R 5839 664 02/15/2006 SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT JUDG AMT $40,353.97 –  (Paid off Telco)

Case # 2001 CA 000098 1/11/01 Central Credit Union

2001828839 4684 1529 04/04/2001 FINAL JUDGMENT – Central Credit Union of Florida $16,326.61 PLUS 01 0098 CA 01 Grantee

2001836503 4696 699 04/27/2001 SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT OR 4684 PG 1529 01 0098 CA 01 (Paid off CCU)


Appears most of the judgements have been paid off, except for the Bayside Development Co. & Holley Dirt Co. Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordon Gooden owns those companies.

The big question is who is financing Speed’s campaign? His campaign finance reports will be interesting to see.





Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/1/06

August 1, 2006

Rick's Blog We moved into Top 30 Blogs. Today’s most viewed posts:

  1. Dammit, why can’t we be first in something
  2. Steve K corrects Outtakes column
  3. Walmart and Healthcare
  4. High paying job opens up
  5. SOC secret weapon unleashed
  6. WD Childers campaign card – the backside
  7. Oh, My God, Part II – Check out Tom Wells
  8. WCOA Blog down
  10. IN thoughts on WD Childers going to jail ; Democratic Chair goes after me; PYP Political Forum Update

New logo Also our radio show, In Your Head Radio has taken off and quickly becoming a cult favorite on WUWF & WEBY. If you missed the first two shows, you can download them – IN YOUR HEAD RADIO