LEWIS BEAR, JR. The cornerstones of influence in Pensacola are business success, commitment to improving the area and stubbornness to persevere regardless of how monumental the task may seem. Those cornerstones put Bear at the top of the 2009 IN Power List. The president of The Lewis Bear Company, the region’s Budweiser distributor, recently celebrated his 70th birthday. Cheers, Lewis.
GREATER ESCAMBIA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION The foundation opened the Environmental Relief Fund in 2010 to support local nonprofit organizations engaged in providing assistance to individuals and families who demonstrate financial need as a result of this disaster. Through the generous support of the Wells Fargo Foundation and other donors, the GECF raised sufficient funds to award five grants totaling $25,000 to Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen, Waterfront Rescue Mission, Families Count, American Red Cross of Northwest Florida and United Ministries.
SAMI THABET ALSHEIKH The Pensacola High School International Baccalaureate student has been named as a Sunshine State Scholar and will represent the School District of Escambia County, Florida at the 2011 Sunshine State Scholars Program in Orlando.
DEMOCRACY In January, Tunisian ruler Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in a protest movement that lasted only 29 days. A few days later, massive protests rocked Cairo, resulting in the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had been in power for more than 30 years. People are demanding democracy, and against huge odds have forced massive changes in their governments to get it.
CLAY INGRAM Our freshman lawmaker is under fire for leading the charge for the fertilizer industry for a bill that doesn’t even involve his district. His bill aims to overturn a Pinellas County ordinance passed in January 2010 that banned the use of lawn fertilizer from June to September and limited fertilizer-management rules to a single statewide model enforced by the Department of Agriculture. So much for letting local governments run their own counties.
RON PAUL The National Board of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), America’s oldest conservative-libertarian activist group, voted to boot Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) from its National Advisory Board. They didn’t like Paul’s talk of defunding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and what YAF called “his delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement.”
OSAMA BIN LADEN The terrorist leader of al-Qaeda has long argued that Arab people can only assume power through bloody attacks. However, peaceful protests, not mad bombers, toppled a regime that seemed entrenched.
GLENN BECK The Fox News host amazingly sided with the dictator over the people in Egypt. When American troops invaded Iraq, conservatives lauded the war as a fight for democracy. Beck had a completely different take for the peaceful protests in Cairo. He believed the protests marked the beginning of an alliance between Communists and Islamic fundamentalists and will lead to a new caliphate across the Middle East and into Europe. The people were the enemy, not the dictator. Unbelievable!