FWC On Board For Fall Snapper Last week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a recommendation from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to allow a 24-day red snapper fishing season on weekends from Oct. 1 through Nov. 22.
A Gulf Commission representative told FWC commissioners during their three-day meeting at the Pensacola Beach Hilton that its conclusion on the recommendation came from “public testimony” and federal oversight.
But during the meeting, several local charter fishermen said they would prefer the fall season to be broken in half—or even completely nixed—so next year’s season could start in late May instead of June.
Many believe the fall, a relatively quiet time of the year for charter captains, would be a waste and much of the season’s quota would not be used.
“I would like to see all of October, or a push to the end of May next year,” said Captain Mike Eller. “There will be (hundreds of thousands) not used. This is the one time we’re asking.”
Because of this year’s closure due to the Deepwater Horizon spill, NOAA estimated that roughly 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4 million quota was not met by recreational fishermen. It is estimated that it would take 39 days to reach the 2.3 million-pound mark.
The notification of the fall season will be published by the Gulf Commission on Sept. 13.
Airport Upgrading Wayfinding The Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport will soon be adding a new wayfinding computer software package to its terminal building that will help navigate visitors.
“It’s going to allow us to do scheduling and wayfinding within the terminal building,” says Melinda Crawford, airport director. “One of the things we’re working on is making a regional visitors booth that will allow us to display different areas in the regions we serve and also allow for a promotion of the area. We’re also getting ready to install TV monitors in the concourse.”
In August, the airport completed a $35 million expansion, which included a new screening and baggage area, restaurant and two new gates and loading bridges.
The $66,000 wayfinding updates are expected to be complete by the end of the calendar year along with other aesthetic updates, according to Crawford. The Symon Digital signage system will model many hotels, convention centers and colleges.
In all, $4.5 million will be spent on improving the airport’s appearance. Improvements include: new floor tiles, bathrooms, a landscaping overhaul, sidewalk widening, televisions, brighter overhead lights and improved crosswalks from the terminal to the concourse.
“We’ve focused on customer service issues in the past year,” adds Crawford. “When we did the construction project (in the spring), we focused on assisting the screening process. This is just another technological improvement. Hopefully we’ll have all construction at the airport completed by April of next year.”
The airport enterprise is overseen by the Pensacola City Council, but runs on no tax dollars to operate. The 1,400-acre facility received roughly $45 million from the FAA for runway work from 2001-2007.
No Go For Dwight Show The SMG Group with the Pensacola Civic Center had been in talks of bringing in country artist Dwight Yoakam as part of a TDC-funded free show on Oct. 9, but the IN is now hearing that the concert is off.
City Councilman Larry B. Johnson, who sits on the TDC board, says he confirmed with SMG head Cindy Pennington this afternoon that the concert has been canceled.
“There was concern about it being a free show,” he says. “I don’t really understand it, but we are currently trying to plan another show later in the month.”
Johnson says there was $75,000 allocated for the Civic Center show out of the $1.4 million the group received for tourism promotion from BP. DeLuna Fest received $300,000 and $50,000 was given to the Pensacola Seafood Festival for its entertainment acts.
The Civic Center currently sits in a hole of roughly $1.8 million.
Santa Rosa Sells All Glass John Tonkin, executive director of the Santa Rosa County Clean Community System, Inc., tells IN that the county is now selling all of its recycled glass.
“One hundred percent of the glass collected in Santa Rosa County is processed by the (pulverizing) machine,” he explains. “If the sale is successful, we will be able to expand our operation to include more separating of single-color glass. This will involve separating the glass at the point of collection.”
The program, known as “Santa Rosa Sunshine,” uses an Andela glass pulverizer to create glass pebbles and sand that can be used for lawn decorations, aquariums and more. The pulverizer was acquired through an Impact 100 grant, but the fees to operate the machinery are estimated to be $15,000 per year—a fee that the county hopes to offset by charging for the glass.
Here are the prices listed for the glass:
—50 pounds mixed-glass pebbles, $15
—25 pounds mixed-glass pebbles, $10
—50 pounds mixed-glass sand, $7.50
—25 pounds mixed-glass sand, $5
Bulk mixes will also be available for $60 per yard of pebbles and $40 per yard of sand. You can buy the glass at the Green-Up Nursery, 6758 Park Ave., Milton.