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Winners & Losers 7/14/11

Winners
17TH AVENUE TRESTLE An 18-wheeler driven by a Mississippi man got trapped last week under “Graffiti Bridge.” The truck measured about 13 feet 6 inches tall; the trestle clearance height is 10 feet 8 inches. The truck lost the sleeper portion of the cab and half of the trailer. The bridge is fine.

PACE CENTER FOR GIRLS The school for troubled teenage girls is within $600,000 of its $2 million capital goal for a new school on the Pensacola State College campus. The new facility will be double the size of the current school, 10,000 square feet. Some 150 people and businesses have contributed toward the $1.4 million, including attorney Fred Levin, who donated $50,000.

EDDIE BALL After former PNJ columnist Mark O’Brien wrote in April a column praising the street sign wavers, Ball, one of the multitudes of sign holders in the city, was ticketed for operating a business on a city street or sidewalk without a permit. The charges were dismissed by Judge Thomas Johnson because, according to the judge, Ball was promoting a business, not conducting a business. Christopher Rabby, Ball’s attorney, had filed a motion in April challenging the constitutionality of the city ordinances but that motion was denied.

Losers
MARIE YOUNG The Escambia County commissioner refused to vote in favor of a motion asking the sheriff to help enforce a cease and desist order against a burrow pit owned by the husband of her aide. Tony Green, husband of Aretta Green, has been operating the pit in the Marcus Point area for more than a year without a county permit, according to county code enforcement officials. Young abstained from voting on the motion by Commissioner Wilson Robertson.

PENSACOLA ICE FLYERS The “Boys of Winter” probably won’t be getting any more sweetheart lease deals from Escambia County for use of the Pensacola Civic Center. C.H. Johnson Consulting, the consultants hired to study the civic center, concluded the lease agreement with the team has put both the facility and the County in a financial bind.

PORT OF PENSACOLA Rick Harper, of the University of West Florida Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, interviewed economists and economic development experts about the port. They don’t believe the troubled facility can be a moneymaker and don’t see near- to medium-term potential for job creation associated with the current use of the property. Port users will be firing back soon.