ASHLEY WILKINSON MEYER The Pensacola native was recently commissioned as the new director of United Ministries. The commissioning service at Greater Little Rock Baptist Church was part of the local-helping agency’s 25-year anniversary celebration. Meyer has nine years experience in non-profit work, counseling, community organizing and outreach. A former young adult missionary with the United Methodist Church, she has spent time in Israel/Palestine and is passionate about peace and justice in that area.
GULF POWER The Florida Public Service Commission voted to reduce the fuel and purchased power charge on Gulf Power customers’ bills. Residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their total monthly bill, including gross receipts taxes, decrease by $3.33, to $122.46, effective March 1. Gulf Power requested this mid-course adjustment due to a reduction in projected 2012 natural gas prices and an unexpected over-recovery for actual fuel expenses in 2011.
LUNCH LADIES On Feb. 21, 2012, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) presented the “Protector of the Environment” award to the Escambia County School Board’s cafeteria operations. This initiative rewards local businesses and food service establishments that promote a positive, safe and clean working and eating environment through the ECUA’s Fats, Oils, and Grease and Backflow Prevention programs.
GREG EVERS & CLAY FORD In the tradition of pleasing lobbyists, the two Pensacola-area lawmakers are sponsoring bills to open up state lands—specifically, Blackwater River State Forest—to oil and gas exploration. No one asked the locals how they felt about it. However, the Florida Petroleum Council is very happy, as well as the Koch brothers. We expect to see similar legislation proposed in other Republican-controlled states.
GOV. RICK SCOTT We need a new bridge for Pensacola Bay. Our Republican governor and lawmakers have raided the state’s transportation fund the past three years to balance the budget and pay for their pet projects, leaving little to pay for our new bridge. Scott’s solution is to make our new one a toll bridge. Good business, but bad government.
FOSTER FRIESS The major donor to the super PAC backing Rick Santorum followed the lead of State Sen. Don “Hang ‘em High ” Gaetz, with his quip on MSNBC about contraceptives. “Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” Friess said, adding: “The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” Those hilarious conservatives, we just can’t get enough of their wit. Tell us the one about the rabbi, priest and imam, Mr. Friess.