Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday December 12th 2017

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The Buzz 8/10/17

Around the World Innisfree Hotels founders Julian and Kim MacQueen embarked on Aug. 7 for what will be a record-setting journey in their HondaJet around the globe traveling to four continents and 80 countries in 80 days.

“What we were waiting for was this new Honda Jet to come out,” Julian MacQueen said to Inweekly publisher Rick Outzen on News Talk 1370 WCOA’s “Pensacola Speaks” last week. “Honda has never made an airplane before. I put my order in 10 years ago for the airplane, and they finally came off the production line.”

Macqueen’s plane is the fifty-fifth jet produced, which gives him an opportunity to set records for the model.

“Because it’s just been produced, no one has set any World Records with it,” he said. “So I kept real quiet waiting for mine to come off the assembly line. Then made the announcement to Honda Jet that I’m going be the first to fly around the world in it. They jumped on it, and they’re sponsoring me. Everybody’s excited about it.”

The first stop on the trek was Greensboro, N.C. where the HondaJets are made and to have dinner with the founder, Michimasa Fujino.

“The range of the airplane is a little bit over 1,000 miles,” he said. “That’s kind of the limitation, so every three hours we’ll land and have a bite to eat. Then in some cases we’ll already be at our next destination. In other cases, we’ll just get fuel and keep going.”

The journey also has as a cultural component. He said, “The idea is to look at all these different cultures and how people do hospitality around the world and bring some of those great ideas back to Pensacola.”

Readers can check out the blog and photo gallery of the MacQueens’ journey online at aroundtheworldin80stays.com, on facebook.com/aroundtheworldin80stays, or on Instagram and Twitter using the handle @80days80stays.

Helping Our Veterans Thanks to a grant from America’s Warrior Partnership,90Works, a Pensacola based nonprofit organization, will now take on the work of the Panhandle Warrior Partnership program that closed earlier this year.

“When we knew we wanted to continue the program, we went to the community,” said Cheree Tham, Director of Community Integration for America’s Warrior Partnership, “We asked them what they wanted, and they chose 90Works.”

90Works claims a 90 percent success rate in helping people become self-sufficient in 90 days. The non-profit plans to use America’s Warrior Partnership’s Community Integration model to aid veterans who had relied on the Panhandle Warrior Partnership.

America’s Warrior Partnership model is structured to empower communities through training, mentorship, and structure to conduct proactive outreach by connecting existing resources, according to Tham. The model is active in nine communities across the country and has served nearly 34,000 veterans in three years.

“We have been training and working with staff in the Florida Panhandle for a few months now,” she said in phone interview. “And there has been a lot of outreach and engagement within the community.”

90Works aims to reach even more veterans in need through community events, meetings, networking and other means.

“90Works has been involved with the Panhandle Warrior Partnership for quite some time, and so they are very familiar with the program’s goals to help veterans,” Tham said.

90Works will also utilize America’s Warrior Partnership’s WarriorServe™, a secure information system that streamlines the collection and analysis of critical veteran information. The system provides a holistic solution for military veterans by offering a myriad of services in a community to meet their individual needs.

“It’s been a wonderful experience to watch the panhandle community embrace this program,” Tham said. “And we love having these leaders in the panhandle area and look forward to more community outreach and engagement.”

For more information on the organization and how to get involved, visit AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.

Hayward Applies According to the city’s social media, Mayor Ashton Hayward and his leadership team are working on an application for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2017 Mayor’s Challenge.

U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 or more are invited to participate. The City of Pensacola was one of the first 300 cities that sent in a RSVP and received an Idea Accelerator workshop last week. The workshops put on by the Bloomberg organization are designed to help city leaders strengthen idea development by drawing upon the expertise of the community.

Officials posted on the City of Pensacola Facebook page, “Thank you Anne Stake, facilitator for yesterday’s workshop and for coming to Pensacola. We are excited about the possibilities, and appreciate your time and expertise.”

The mayor will need to submit his best idea by October 2017. The winning ideas must address an urgent challenge and how the city will tackle that challenge in an innovative way.

In January 2018, Bloomberg will announce the 35 Champion Cities that will be awarded up to $100,000 to begin to bring their ideas to life.

To learn more, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org.

Support for Safe Sidewalks Robert Doss, Jr., Director of Transportation for the Escambia County School District, supports Pensacola City Councilwoman Sherri Myers’ effort to construct sidewalks on Burgess Road.

For six years, Myer has tried to get funding from Mayor Ashton Hayward to build the sidewalks to create a safe path for children to walk to the three public schools in the area.

Mayor Ashton Hayward has taken available funds that she believed were available for the sidewalks and applied them to the budget for the $8 million community center he wants to build at Bayview Park. In a recent viewpoint, the mayor said his budget was about needs, not wants.

Doss’s letter, dated August 3, views the sidewalks as a need.

“As you know, sidewalks not only offer a safe place for children to walk to and from school, they also provide safe walking access for the community as a whole,” wrote Doss.

“I support the installation of sidewalks along Burgess Road and along other roads on which Escambia County School District students are inclined to walk in order to avoid drainage ditches, sluiceways, swales, or channels as they travel by foot or bicycle between home and school.”

More Sunshine on TDCs
Tourism programs around the state have cut their ties with Visit Florida, the state’s tourist marketing agency, because of the new disclosure laws the Florida Legislature passed this year. Visit Pensacola hasn’t.

Visit Tampa Bay, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Orlando and Discover the Palm Beaches are just a few of the programs that have halted co-op advertising partnerships with Visit Florida. In the Panhandle, Santa Rosa County and Visit South Walton have severed relationships with the state agency but not so in Escambia County.

In an email to Inweekly, Visit Pensacola President Steve Hayes said this morning, “No, we have not cut ties with Visit Florida.”

According to news reports, several of the local tourism groups are concerned the new law may require local tourism board members, who serve without pay but who also have full-time jobs in the private sector, to disclose their income.

Summit Registration Opens
Florida Virtual Campus has announced that Florida’s first Open Educational Resources Summit will be held from Sept. 7-8 at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort. FLVC is a Complete Florida Plus Program, managed by the University of West Florida Innovation Institute. Participants will hear from Cable Green, Director of Open Education, and other national and campus leaders involved in defining and driving OER strategy and initiatives.

Dr. John Opper, Executive Director for distant learning and student services at FLVC, said, “Attendees will discuss the components of a sustainable OER program, elements of a successful faculty driven OER program, the key concerns relating to the quality of open textbooks and how to address them and the return on investment for students and institutions.”

Open educational resources are freely accessible and openly licensed text, media and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning and research purposes. The Orange Grove, a state-funded resource, provides an online collection of textbooks and educational materials available to students for free. Students can find textbooks for a range of courses, from precalculus to oceanography to English composition.

State and campus leaders involved in defining and driving OER strategy and initiatives in higher education, including faculty, librarians, instructional designers, administrators and other thought-leaders, are encouraged to attend the OER Summit. Registration is $100 per person. For more information or to register, visit flvc.org/oersummit.

District 2 Town Hall
District 2 Pensacola City Councilwoman Sherri Myers is hosting her quarterly town hall on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 6:30 p.m., at Asbury Place behind Cokesbury United Methodist Church, 5725 N. 9th Ave., across the street from Pensacola State College.

Environmentalist Barbara Albrecht will present “Watershed Wellness: Time for a Check-up for Carpenter’s Creek” to property owners, businesses, local government officials, environmentalists, and citizens understand how to protect and restore our local watershed and fragile riparian areas along Carpenter’s Creek, Bayou Texar and other bodies of water.

Albrecht conceived of the Carpenter’s Creek-Bayou Texar Revitalization RESTORE project and worked with other groups to win funding approval from the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, much to the chagrin of Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Albrecht is the president of the Bream Fishermen’s Association and Watershed Coordinator at the University of West Florida Center for Environmental Diagnostics & Bioremediation. She is active with the Panhandle Watershed Alliance.

Updates on the RESTORE funding for Carpenter’s Creek and Bayou Texar will be provided at the Aug. 22 town hall. Further dates for Carpenter’s Creek clean up events with the Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc. will be announced by Laurie Murphy, the Executive Director.

Refreshments will be available. For accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact Myers, 484-0902. For sign language interpreter, please contact 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

Golfing for a Cause
The Panhandle Charitable Open is less than two months away. Last year, the annual fundraiser set another record by donating $210,000 to local charities.

Since 2006, PCO has contributed over $915,000 to local charities. They need sponsors, donors, and players to make this year the most successful yet. The tournament was originally established in memory of chairman John Peacock’s son, John Ryan Peacock. Starting this year, the tournament will also be in memory of Ashley Lauren Offerdahl.

“We hope you join us in honoring their memory and turning tragic losses into an opportunity to give back and help others,” Peacock told Inweekly.

The FORE! Charity Par-Tee is at Sander’s Beach Community Center on Thursday, Sept. 28. America’s Got Talent Finalist and Comedian Tom Cotter will be the entertainment. The 16th Panhandle Charitable Open is Sept. 28-30.

The website, pcogolf.org, is currently under construction and should be up and running with a new and improved format in the next couple of weeks. If you want to help, please contact John Peacock at 712-7466.

Wanton Loot
Congressmen Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) and Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) will hold a hearing into what Gaetz’s office describes as the “alarming pattern of theft of scientific trade secrets and other improper activities.”

The hearing even has a title: “Wanton Loot: How China Is Stealing Ideas from American Entrepreneurs.” It will be held in the Turnbull Conference Center on the Florida State University campus on Aug. 30, from 1-2:30 p.m.

“There are too many signs to ignore the likelihood that the Chinese government is behind blatant acts of thievery of technology and systems designed in the United States,” said Rep. Gaetz in a press release. “One glaring example took place right in Tallahassee, and we’re going to hear the details so we can fight back to protect our ideas as much as our people, communities, businesses, and borders in the future.”

Gaetz said he is convening the hearing because of the experience of Tallahassee-based Bing Energy that reportedly suffered the intellectual property theft of advanced energy technology by Chinese nationals who then established a separate company in their native country, based on that technology.

“We in Congress cannot sit by and watch our biggest global competitor try to get an edge by stealing from our creative, inventive and entrepreneurial society to profit from the work being done in the United States,” said Rep. Dunn in the same release.