Pensacola, Florida
Sunday November 23rd 2014

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Winners & Losers 11.21.13


Winners

Blue Wahoos
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos and their home stadium in downtown Pensacola have been awarded national recognition for the entire baseball experience the team and its staff provide. According to Stadium Journey magazine, the Blue Wahoos were rated the “Best Minor League Ballpark Experience” based on the online magazine’s review of more than 100 Minor League Ballparks. This review takes into account not only the stadium, but the quality of the food, the fans, affordability, cleanliness, and the intangible differences the Wahoos provide.

University of West Florida
Military Times ranked UWF No. 22 out of the Top 86 Four-Year Colleges in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2014” list. The list serves as a tool for service men and women to determine the school and degree programs that will most effectively benefit them. The rankings factor in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill and availability of specific programs to help service members.

Pensacola City Council
Kudos to the city council for passing, on first reading, an ordinance establishing a domestic partnership registry. The council has also agreed to examine new ordinances regarding food trucks over the next 90 days. Pensacola City Council has become the more mature, thoughtful branch of city government.

Losers

Downtown Parking
The Downtown Improvement Board is looking into raising parking fees. Some of the options being considered are raising fees closer to Palafox, increasing hours that parking will be paid and doing away with more spaces that are currently free. The increased profits will be used to beautify downtown and pay for infrastructure needs. Some might see the hikes as a regressive tax forcing downtown employees to pay, through their daily parking, for services the city should be providing.

Casino Industry
The Senate Gaming Committee held its Pensacola hearing at 1 p.m. when few voters could attend. Though most of the speakers opposed the expansion of gambling in Florida, it’s difficult to know whether the lawmakers were paying attention. The casino industry has been lobbying for Las Vegas-style casinos for years, edging closer to legalization every legislative session. There is a sense in Tallahassee that 2014 might be the year they get it.

City of Pensacola Planning Board
The board voted last week to change the zoning on the corner of Summit Boulevard and Spanish Trail, which is owned by East Hill Baptist Church, from Medium Density Residential to Commercial. The rumor spreading through the neighborhoods in the area was Dollar General planned to build on the site. A Facebook page has been created to protest the zoning change.