Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday July 23rd 2019


Winners & Losers 5/2/19

Fred Levin
The attorney and University of Florida alumnus was honored at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in recognition of the 20th anniversary of his $10-million donation to the law school—the largest cash gift in the history of the University of Florida and the second largest cash donation ever to any public law school. In March, Levin donated an additional $6 million to the law school to be used for scholarships. The gift was made in honor of his late wife, Marilyn, who also was a philanthropist, having donated funds for Sacred Heart Hospital’s Children’s Miracle Camp and the Gulf Coast Kid’s House.

Durrell Palmer & Chakeita Simpson
On Saturday, April 20, the couple held a “Bunny Hop” golden egg Easter egg hunt at the Garden District Cottages. Palmer and Simpson funded the entire event out of their pockets and gave away golden egg scholarships. A few weeks earlier, the couple also hosted another charitable event, Fish Fry 4 Homeless.

Jane Castor
With her victory in the Tampa mayoral runoff, Castor became the first openly LGBTQ person elected mayor of a top-100 city in the Southeastern United States. Only five out lesbians have ever been elected mayor of top-100 cities—three of them elected just this year. Before this cycle, only two lesbians had been elected big-city mayors—former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and current Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

National Rifle Association
Oliver L. North announced last Saturday that he would not serve a second term as the National Rifle Association’s president. The organization is under investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James regarding its tax-exempt status. North and his supporters had tried to oust the gun group’s longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre, over questions regarding the organization’s spending. LaPierre countered with a letter to the board in which he accused North of threatening to release damaging information about him and other executives if he refused to step down. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that the NRA’s affiliated charity, the NRA Foundation, had transferred more than $100 million since 2012 to the NRA and had loaned $5 million to the NRA in 2017. The transfers concerned some tax experts, according to The New York Times.

Santa Rosa Government
Charles Edsel of MarketGraphics Research Group told the Santa Rosa County Commission that the county must develop 10,676 new homes by the end of 2024 to meet the demand of its population growth—2,000 residences more than what the county’s inspection department is currently approving annually. According to Edsel, the county must approve and develop 154.7 housing lots per month over the next 69 months “starting now.” It’s a nice problem to have, but the county must gear up its departments and infrastructure to accommodate the unprecedented growth.