Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday July 23rd 2019

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The Buzz 6/27/19

Expensive Drink In May, British politician Nigel Farage was doused with a $6.50 banana and salted caramel milkshake while campaigning. The media labeled the political protest “milkshaking.”

Last week, a judge ordered the milkshake tosser, Paul Crowther, to pay £520 (about $650) in damages, including £239 ($330) for Farage’s lapel microphone, plus his dry cleaning and distress.

Earlier this month, Congressman Matt Gaetz was grazed by a slushee, tossed by Amanda L. Kondrat’yev. She was charged with simple battery. How much will Kondrat’yev’s protest cost her?

Polling District 1 In an Inweekly/Political Matrix poll of 450 likely Republican voters in State House District 1, we found that 52.4 percent would re-elect controversial State Rep. Mike Hill today, with 22.4 percent saying they wouldn’t and 25.1 percent undecided.

However, when we looked at Hill’s attempt to ban abortion even in the case of rape, incest, domestic violence and similar issues, we found about only 34 percent of the GOP respondents agreed with him. Over 48 percent disagreed with Hill’s position, and another 17 percent were undecided.

We found a similar disconnect between Rep. Hill and the Republicans in his district regarding protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination by employers. At the May meeting of the Women for Responsible Legislation, Hill had stated that such legislation was “not the value of Northwest Florida.”

Over 48 percent of the Republicans polled disagreed with Hill’s opposition to laws protecting the LGBTQ community in the workplace, and another 17 percent were undecided.

The persons sampled were likely Republican voters of the Florida House District 1 with a voting score of 100 percent for the general election cycles. The voters were called using an Interactive Voice Response system during the hours of 1-7 p.m. between June 11-14. The Margin of Error for this study is +/- 4.5 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.

And Mike Liked the Results After being called “fake news” for two weeks by the state lawmaker and his supporters, Inweekly has picked up an unlikely new fan—Rep. Mike Hill.

The District 1 representative is using an Inweekly/Political Matrix poll in a solicitation to Republicans asking for contributions of $500 or $1,000.

“I’m honored to serve in the Florida State House, and I look forward to continue working with leaders like you across the state to support free-market policies, to preserve the consumer-client relationship and to ensure care for all Floridians,” wrote the lawmaker.

He included the results of the Inweekly/Political Matrix poll that found “that 52.4 percent would re-elect me today.”

“We’re now just months away from decision time in the State of Florida and our country,” said Hill. “You’ve stood beside me, and it’s time for us to build a dominant campaign operation.”

New Partnership The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) and the Andrews Research & Education Foundation, the research arm of the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, have signed an agreement to collaborate on human-performance research.

“We’re really fortunate to have two world leaders in human-performance right here in our community,” said Ken Ford, co-founder and CEO of IHMC. “This partnership is going to leverage the work of both organizations for the benefit of sports medicine as well as programs geared toward improving the capabilities and resilience of astronauts, fighter pilots, divers and other elite members of our military.”

The two will share office and lab space at their Pensacola and Gulf Breeze facilities. The scientists and doctors will collaborate on research into areas ranging from optimizing physical and cognitive performance to developing technologies aimed at helping high-performing humans like professional athletes, astronauts and fighter pilots.

“People here at AREF are thrilled they’ll be able to work with IHMC in areas that will help us with neurosurgery, neuroscience, ophthalmology and, of course, sports medicine,” said Ashton Hayward, Andrews Research & Education Foundation president.

Immediate plans include IHMC and AREF personnel working together on current ongoing research projects as well as developing proposals for future projects and grants.

Celebrating 120 years In June 1899, a small group submitted the original application for establishing an Orthodox congregation in Pensacola, making B’nai Israel one of the oldest Jewish congregations Florida. Its officers were Alex Lischkoff, president, N. Weiland, vice president, M. Solomon, secretary, and N. Zung, treasurer. The trustees were C. Marcus, H. Cashman, J. Morris, J. Herschkovitz and S. Israel.

In 1923, a house at 400 N. Barcelona Street was purchased and became the new home of B’nai Israel. As the congregation grew in the 1940s, efforts began to build a new synagogue at Mallory Street and Ninth Avenue. Ground was broken on Dec. 2, 1953, and the complex was dedicated on Sept. 26, 1954. The following year, B’nai Israel affiliated with United Synagogues of America, becoming a conservative congregation.

B’nai Israel Synagogue will celebrate the 120th anniversary of its founding with a gala and Jewish music concert, exhibit at Voices of Pensacola and reunion of local musicians and former members the weekend of June 28- 30. The spark that led to this historic occasion was the chance reunion last fall of renowned Cantor and Pensacola native Martin “Moshe” Bear, Rabbi Samuel Waidenbaum and president of B’nai Israel Jerome B. Gordon at the Pensacola Beach residence of former Synagogue President Eugene Rosenbaum.

The festivities will begin 3-5 p.m. Friday, June 28, with a public exhibit on the history of B’nai Israel synagogue at the Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center, 117 E. Government St.

Later on Friday at B’nai Israel will be a brief musical prelude at 6:30 p.m. followed by services at 7 p.m. at the synagogue, 1829 N. Ninth Ave. Shabbat services start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, and will include musical liturgy performed by Martin Bear, Amy Goldstein and Greg Watson. Sunday, June 30, at 11 a.m., Rabbi Waidenbaum will intone memorial prayers at the B’nai Israel Cemetery gravesites of parents and relatives.

The Gala Jewish Music Concert will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, at the main sanctuary complex, 1829 N. Ninth Ave. The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. Headlining the production are New York-based Pensacola native and Cantorial Assembly star Martin “Moshe” Bear and renowned soprano, Broadway performer and Cantor soloist Amy Goldstein, a Yiddish art song featured singer on the Milken Archives.

Joining them is accomplished tenor, former Temple Beth El Pensacola Cantor and veteran Pensacola Opera performer Greg Watson. They are supported by New York-based David Levitt, a New York Times-acclaimed Klezmer multi-instrumentalist, and Alex Gartner, keyboard accompanist and executive director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus.

The ensemble will be joined by former local drummer, author and early childhood education expert Dr. B.L. “Buddy” Fish and Ross Orenstein, who has composed a special birthday song for the occasion. They will perform a varied program of Jewish liturgical, Yiddish, Klezmer, Israeli, Broadway and popular favorites. A reception for program attendees to meet concert performers will follow in the Abe Levin Social Hall.

For ticket information, call the B’nai Israel Synagogue office, 433-7311, or email help@bnaiisraelpensacola.org.

Legend Passes Former Escambia County Clerk of the Court Ernie Lee Magaha, Sr. passed away on June 18 at the age of  91. Magaha first ran for clerk of the court in 1956 and held the office for 14 terms until he was defeated in the GOP primary by Pam Childers in 2012.

In 1995, when Escambia County Comptroller Joe Flowers got in trouble for mishandling county investments and losing $15 million, Gov. Lawton Chiles asked him to assume the additional responsibilities of the comptroller’s office. The two offices were later combined.

When he was term-limited out of the legislature, State Sen. W.D. Childers pressured County Commissioner Mike Whitehead to step aside and run against Magaha in 2002. Magaha trounced him by 33,000 votes.

Five years later, County Commissioner Whitehead and County Administrator George Touart battled Magaha over a new computer system, ordering the clerk of court pay an outstanding bill—$467,060—to Boulder, Colo.-based Solbourne Computer Inc. for Oracle software with which Magaha’s staff had issues.

Magaha had already battled Touart, refusing to pay the county administrator’s $16,115 legal fees in his defense of charges by Arety Angel’s strip club owner Arety Sievers’ that Touart and Escambia County Sheriff Ron McNesby conspired to coerce her into forgiving a $7,000 debt run up by Touart’s son, Matthew.

Later in 2007, Magaha was praised for being one of the first in Florida to withdraw all of its county’s money ($75 million) from that state-run investment pool that was suffering from the subprime mortgage slump. Escambia County didn’t lose a dime.

In October 2012, the Board of County Commissioners voted to rename the Escambia County Governmental Complex to the Ernie Lee Magaha Governmental Complex.

United Way Evolves Previously known as the Community Chest, the United Fund and United Way of Escambia County, the organization will now operate as United Way of West Florida.

In April, United Way of West Florida expanded its service area to incorporate Santa Rosa County. President and CEO Laura Gilliam said, “We have been serving Escambia County for 95 years, and as we move forward, it was important to have an identity that represents every person in every community that we serve.”

She added, “We’ve been able to serve our community for as long as we have because of our organization’s willingness to evolve and adapt. As our community changes, so do the issues it faces. We will continue to grow to meet those most pressing needs.”

In July, United Way of West Florida will Stuff the Bus in advance of the 2019-20 school year. Last year, over 35,000 school supplies worth over $60,000 were donated to support children in Escambia County, in addition to $22,800 in monetary gifts. Stuff-A-Thons will be held in Escambia County at 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at the Mobile Highway and Creighton Road Walmart locations. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, they will be held at the Navy Boulevard and Pensacola Boulevard locations.

The Santa Rosa County Stuff the Bus efforts will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the Pace, Tiger Point and Navarre Walmart locations.

United Way of West Florida will again host the single largest day of volunteerism in Northwest Florida, as the 27th Annual Day of Caring will take place on Oct. 4. Last year, over 900 individuals rolled up their sleeves to complete 122 service projects at over 55 agencies and schools in Escambia County. Interest forms for agencies and volunteer groups are due by July 12. Please visit uwwf.org/docinterestform.

On August 8, United Way of West Florida will host its Annual Meeting at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center. This event will highlight the organization’s accomplishments over the past year and feature a catered lunch from Culinary Productions, and Tina McVeigh, senior vice president of Network Strategy at United Way Worldwide, will offer a keynote address.

“It’s an exciting time for our organization,” said Gilliam. “We are thrilled to see what’s to come and look forward to the opportunity to serve this great region as United Way of West Florida for 95 more years.”

For more information, visit the organization’s new web address, uwwf.org, or follow United Way of West Florida on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—@UWWFL.

New Hospice Center Covenant Care, the largest nonprofit home health and hospice care organization in the region, has relocated and upgraded its Center for Hospice Care at West Florida. The new 11-room facility—which is moving from the third to first floor—features an intimate setting where a team of caregivers provides round-the-clock care.

“Covenant Care’s new Center for Hospice Care at West Florida Hospital builds upon the excellent care our team has given to patients at that location for 14 years,” said Jeff Rogers with Covenant Care. “This new space will help us care for our hospice patients in a warm, home-like setting where every member of a family can find comfort.”

The new Center for Hospice Care includes space for family visits and counseling, a private courtyard, meditation area and community gathering space.

“We’ve tried to build in all the comforts of home at a time when you can’t be home,” said Rogers. “Our dedicated team will continue to provide round-the-clock hospice and palliative care that embraces the whole family.”

Pop-Up Presentation The West Florida Genealogical Society has announced a last-minute bonus presentation with professional genealogist Annette Graham on how she used DNA to uncover the surprise great-great grandfather no one in her family knew about. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Annette Graham is a professional genealogist and a researcher with Ancestry ProGenealogists. She runs Blame It On My Roots Genealogy Services, where she specializes in DNA analysis, brick walls, family narratives, and working with probate attorneys to identify unknown heirs. She is a Pensacola native who now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

This pop-up genealogy presentation will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 3 at the West Florida Genealogy Library, 5740 N. 9th Ave.

Mark Your Calendars Baptist Health Care will host a blood drive 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, at Gulf Breeze Hospital, 1110 Gulf Breeze Parkway. Donors must be age 16 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be feeling well that day. Photo identification is required. All donors receive a gift and cookies.