Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday August 21st 2019


Winners & Losers 1/17/19

Saenger Theatre
TripAdvisor honored the Saenger Theatre, which is managed for the city by SMG, with its Certificate of Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include attractions, restaurants and accommodations located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

Bill Vilona
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Studer/55 have added the recently retired News Journal sportswriter to their staffs. During his 32-year career with the PNJ, Vilona covered MLB All-Star Weekend, FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Super Bowl, five Masters tournaments, NCAA Final Four, NCAA Football National Championship, Atlanta Braves spring training, Florida State football and every season of Pensacola Pelicans and Blue Wahoos baseball. He is a member of the Pensacola Sports and the University of West Florida halls of fame.

Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund
One of the largest CPA-led business advisory firms in the Southeast announced plans for a year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary in 2019. Founded in Pensacola in 1944 by Thomas Saltmarsh, Harold Cleaveland and Charles Gund with only a handful of employees, the firm has grown due to its dedication to its guiding principle, “Achieving success by contributing to the success of others.” Today, the firm has more than 150 employees and offices in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Orlando, Tampa and Nashville.

Mary Beth Jackson
Governor Ron DeSantis last Friday suspended the Okaloosa County School Superintendent. DeSantis said “scathing” grand jury reports alleged “dereliction of duty” by Jackson, and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran recommended the suspension. The announcement came on the same day DeSantis traveled to South Florida, where he announced the suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The sheriff had faced heavy criticism because of his agency’s handling of the mass shooting last February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Senate Community Affairs Committee
Despite concerns from the Florida League of Cities, the Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would largely prevent local governments from regulating homeowners’ vegetable gardens. The Senate passed a similar bill during the 2018 session, but the issue died in the House. The proposal stems from a legal dispute about an ordinance in Miami Shores that banned front yard vegetable gardens. Once again, lawmakers want to preempt local elected councils and commissions.

Federal Budget Deficit
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal budget deficit was $317 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, which is $92 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last year. The U.S. federal budget deficit is on track to reach $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year. In President Obama’s first year, the deficit rose to $1.4 trillion as he brought the economy out of a recession. His administration whittled down the deficit to $585 billion in FY 2016. Once upon a time, Republicans wanted to reduce the federal deficit.