Pensacola, Florida
Sunday October 26th 2014

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Winners & Losers 4/24/14

Winners
Pensacola Ice Flyers
Pensacola’s professional hockey won its second consecutive Southern Professional Hockey League championship on Saturday, April 19. The President’s Cup Finals was the team’s third consecutive championship series in which they have competed. This season the Ice Flyers set records for most wins (38), consecutive wins (13), road wins (21) and attendance (114,537).

Gene Valentino
Gregory Marcille, Chief Assistant State Attorney, sent out a letter on Thursday, April 17 on its investigation on whether Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino had violated the state’s public records law in fulfilling a request  from Perdido Key resident Douglas Underhill. Based on its review, the state attorney’s office determined that Underhill had received all records requested and “the failure to provide the records at the time of the original request was inadvertent.”

Pensacola State College
For the third straight year, the community college is hosting the Florida SkillsUSA State Conference and the 2014 Worlds of Possibilities Career Expo on April 28-29. The event engages over 4,000 middle and high school from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and more than 2,000 high school and college students from throughout Florida. The three-day event has more than an estimated $3.5 million economic impact on our local community.

Losers
Florida Legislature
Once again the state’s lawmakers are tinkering with public education. They want to turn textbook decisions over to local school boards, prevent school districts from collecting students’ fingerprints, palm scans and iris scans and suspend the statewide school grading system, which has been modified 16 times since 2000, for a year. Will any of these changes make our public schools better? Who the heck knows? It’s an election year.

Gun Sweepstakes
The New York Times reports the Republican Party has found a new way to collect voter data—gun sweepstakes. In these online contests, people are willing to handover personal information—first and last names, email addresses and phone numbers—for chance to win Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle. The irony is most gun advocates fiercely oppose gun registration, yet they freely give out their personal data for these contests.

BP Cleanup Operations
On April 16, BP sent out a press release that said the U.S. Coast Guard had ended patrols and operations in Louisiana. Similar operations ended in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi in June 2013. Oil company officials said that the company had spent more than $14 billion and more than 70 million personnel hours on response and cleanup activities. Meanwhile tar balls still litter our beaches.