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Winner & Losers 5/24/12

Winners
P.C. Wu
The Florida League of Cities recently honored Pensacola City Council Vice President P.C. Wu with the Defender of Home Rule Award during the Northwest Florida League of Cities’ Annual Summer Dinner. Wu received the award presented for his tireless efforts during the 2012 legislative session to protect the home rule powers of Florida’s cities and for going above and beyond to assist the League in its lobbying efforts.

Baptist LifeFlight
May 14 marked the 35th anniversary of Baptist LifeFlight. In 1977, Baptist Hospital established the third hospital based aeromedical helicopter program in the United States. This past year, LifeFlight transported over 2,100 patients from four helicopter bases across Northwest Florida, South Alabama and South Mississippi. Countless lives across our region have been saved due to this program and the men and women that have served as LifeFlight crewmembers.

LEAP Class of 2012
The brand new USO Flight Deck at the Pensacola International Airport has been officially unveiled. Thanks to the efforts of the Leadership Pensacola Class of 2012, the USO center was completely transformed. Operation HOPE raised more than $130,000 in cash contributions and $70,000 for in-kind, far exceeding the original goal of $125,000.

Losers
Gerard Robinson
The state’s education commissioner has a problem—Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores are coming back dismal. First, the state board of education had to lower the standard for passing on the writing exam because two-thirds of the students failed to score a Level 4 or higher. Then the reading scores came out and only half of the students are reading on their grade level or better. No matter how hard Robinson polishes this turd, it’s still a turd.

Camelot Academy
In 2010, the Escambia County School District consolidated ESEAL and A.V. Clubbs and paid Camelot Schools of Pennsylvania, LLC to take over the programs. Camelot promised discipline, parental engagement, increased attendance, and increased student achievement. Only one of its ninth graders is reading on grade level according to the latest FCAT results. Oops.

Steve MacNamara
Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, was profiled earlier in the month by The Miami Herald, which spurred a series of news articles that raised questions about his job performance and handling of contracts. MacNamara wrote in his resignation that “the recent media attention I have been receiving has begun to interfere with the day-to-day operations of this office.”