Winners & Losers 3/31/16
Pensacola Area Beaches
Our beaches earned double accolades in the latest USA TODAY and 10Best reader polls. The Gulf Islands National Seashore was voted the “No. 1 Best East Coast Beach”, beating out a diverse list of shorelines in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Johnson Beach was voted “No. 2 Best National Park Beach”, recognized for its pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters located within U.S. National Park land.
The owner of Puppy Love Pet Services volunteers for Dogs on Deployment and is an integral part of making the Pensacola Chapter run. She also volunteers as the event coordinator for Service Dogs University. After the tornado hit Pensacola in February, Breazeale raised funds and needed items for the animals that were separated from their humans after the storm. Her efforts have brought pet stores, animal hospitals and other companies to help these misplaced animals.
University of West Florida
Effective August 1, the university will join the extensive list of U.S. colleges and universities to adopt a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy which prohibits the use of any tobacco product or derivative by employees, students and visitors on all university-owned property. UWF has developed an accessible smoking cessation program to assist those who choose to break tobacco addictions. Initiatives within Wellness Services, Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services are readily available for students, faculty and staff.
Last week, the board of directors announced that non-profit, that has cared for the area’s homeless for 66 years, had to make immediate cuts to its services because of considerable reduction in revenues, mainly from its Recycle Center. The Women’s Center in Gulf Breeze must be closed. The Men’s Recovery Program will be restructured and the Career Development Program will end.
Florida Dept. of Health
After catching heat from state lawmakers and the media blasted the Scott administration for cutting FDOH staff and funding while new HIV cases were spiking in Florida, the department’s pencil-pushers quietly revised their statistics, according to the Tampa Bay Times. FODH’s division of disease control deleted 25 percent of the new infections from the 2014 rolls, lowering the number of new HIV cases from 6,147 to 4,613. The adjusted figures put Florida behind California and Texas.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
For the second time, the federal agency has denied aid for the victims of the Century and Ferry Pass tornadoes that struck in February. Last week, FEMA turned down the Gov. Rick Scott’s request to make available to victims individual assistance, such as low-interest loans, grants or temporary housing assistance. Earlier in March, FEMA also denied public assistance that would have assisted local governments with recovery. The agency has determined that the damage did not meet the severity needed to receive federal assistance.