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Winners & Losers 8.12.10

August 12, 2010 issue

WINNERS

JAN KURTZ The Fiesta of Five Flags Association announced recently that this local artist will be the featured artist for the 33rd annual Pensacola Seafood Festival. Kurtz is best known for her marine biology research and translating her fascination with the environment around us into brilliant naturescapes. One of her paintings has been selected as this year’s Pensacola Seafood Festival’s official artwork. Her work is currently displayed at Blue Morning Gallery in downtown Pensacola.

KYLE MARRERO Take “interim” off Marrero’s business card, as he has been appointed to be the vice president for the Division of University Advancement for the University of West Florida. Marrero’s accomplishments during his interim year included total annual gifts of more than $3.1 million to the UWF Foundation. The annual cash gift total represents the third highest in the last decade and the fifth highest in the university’s history. In addition, faculty and staff giving reached the 40 percent participation level — the highest in UWF history since records have been kept. Marrero’s previous service to UWF includes serving as director of the School of Fine and Performing Arts and chair of the UWF Music Department.

PENSACOLA BEACH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL For another year, this little charter school on Santa Rosa Island has outperformed all the other Escambia schools on the FCAT with 696 total points. The closest public school was Brown Barge Middle School with 630 total points.

LOSERS

MONTCLAIR ELEMENTARY This school needs community help. It’s the Escambia County School District’s only “F” school. Two years ago, it was an “A” school. This past school year, only half of the students made learning gains in reading and only 44 percent did so in math. The School Board, County Commissioner Marie Young and the Chamber should be looking at how to turn this school around. If education is vital to economic development and the future of this community, we need to help our weakest school.

GULF BREEZE The day that most people living in Gulf Breeze have dreaded for two decades may have finally arrived. The “Three-Mile” Bridge is near the end of its useful life. A representative from the Florida Department of Transportation told the Pensacola City Council on Aug. 5 that the Pensacola Bay Bridge will be replaced in the next six years. Will it be six lanes? And if so, will it force Highway 98 to finally be expanded, too?

BP On Aug. 9, the oil giant proudly announced it had established had established a trust fund and had made a $3 billion initial deposit for the $20 billion escrow account created to pay claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon explosion.The fund was announced nearly two months, but only $3 billion has been put in it so far–even BP is getting publicity for the entire $20 billion.