Pensacola, Florida
Monday October 15th 2018


Winners & Losers 5/18/17

Donovan Black
The University of West Florida senior received two honors this semester, the 2017 Grady-Rayam Prize in Vocal Performance and the UWF Arts Advocacy Award. Black was named the male winner of the upper division, receiving a cash award from the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation in the Grady-Rayam competition in February in Lakeland. Also, the UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities faculty selected Black as the 2017 recipient of its Student Arts Advocacy Award, an honor that recognizes students who bring attention to the essential role of the arts in Florida’s quality of life.

Alex Andrade
Gov. Rick Scott appointed the attorney with Moore, Hill & Westmoreland to the First Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. A member of the 2016 Inweekly Rising Star class, Andrade maintains a general practice with a focus on civil litigation, real property, and commercial litigation. Before being admitted to the bar, he worked as a certified legal intern in the Office of the State Attorney in the 1st Judicial Circuit. Exclusively handling domestic violence cases, Alex handled multiple jury trials and a number of bench trials.

Pensacola Heritage Foundation
The group broke ground on its 11-foot-high sculpture of Spanish Gen. Bernardo de Galvez, which will be installed at the intersection of Palafox and Wright streets in downtown Pensacola. The Florida Legislature included in the state budget $100,000 to help. Gálvez is the hero of the 1781 Siege of Pensacola during the Revolutionary War. On Dec. 16, 2014, the United States Congress conferred honorary citizenship on Gálvez, citing him as a “hero of the Revolutionary War.”

Could the third try be the charm? Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has tried three times to curb panhandling downtown and the homeless in city parks. Three years ago, he asked the City Council to form a committee to study how to improve human services and hire a consultant for $30,000. However, the city has done nothing to improve services for the homeless, not a good recipe for lasting success. The ball is now in the ACLU’s court. Were they only bluffing to sue the city?

White House Communications
The botched handling of the firing of FBI Director James Comey will be a case study for public information officers for years. The initial explanation for the dismissal was President Donald Trump made the decision based on the independent review by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of Comey’s dealing with the Hilary Clinton emails. According to the President, that narrative was completely false. In an interview on NBC, Trump said he made the decision, and the Rosenstein’s report didn’t weigh into the firing. The President has since said he may discontinue press briefings. Someone cue the calliope music or the “Benny Hill” theme song.

City Appointments
The Pensacola City Charter gives the City Council the power to approve the mayor’s appointments of department heads. Over his tenure, Mayor Ashton Hayward has limited the approval votes to the port director, airport director, police chief and fire chief. Now he refuses to let them answer council questions in a public meeting before the vote. Next, he may ask the appointees to wear paper bags over their heads.