Winners & Losers 6/14/18
The legendary golfer has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Early in his golfing career, Pate garnered eight PGA Tour victories and seven foreign wins, including the 1976 United States Open and the Tournament Players Championship in 1982. Since 1977, his company, Jerry Pate Design, has developed award-winning golf courses. The company worked on the Vince Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park, Blue Wahoos Stadium and Admiral Mason Park.
The engineering firm donated $20,000 of the $38,000 cost for planning and design services of a Miracle League baseball field in Tiger Point Park in Santa Rosa County. The new ballpark will include special rubberized, wheelchair-friendly baseball fields, sidewalks and paths, dugouts, bleachers and fencing. Plans are for construction to start in the fall after the ball season ends. The Miracle League of Santa Rosa County hopes to welcome its first baseball players by the spring of 2019.
Dan Lindemann & Jerry Holzworth
The two citizens challenged Mayor Ashton Hayward over the $50 per year lease given to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission to build a fish hatchery and won when the agency requested last week that the City of Pensacola terminate the contract. News of the request prompted criticism of Lindemann and Holzworth for costing the city the $18.7-million project, but Gov. Rick Scott silenced the critics when he told the media that the hatchery would be built at a yet-to-be-determined site in Escambia County.
The Tampa Bay Times last week reported that a former employee of Putnam’s agency failed for more than a year to conduct national background checks on applications for concealed weapons licenses. An Office of Inspector General report revealed that between February 2016 and March 2017, the agency didn’t access the National Instant Criminal Background Check System because an employee was unable to log in to the system. Putnam’s office told the Times that the employee was “immediately terminated” after another employee discovered the situation and that every application potentially impacted was “thoroughly reviewed.” The Times noted 245,000 applications were made in 2016 and 275,000 in 2017.
The Secretary of Education told a U.S. Senate committee last week that the Federal Commission on School Safety would not study the role of guns in school shootings, even though President Donald Trump convened the commission in response to the shooting in Parkland, Fla. In fact, the White House stated the commission would study and make recommendations on several focus areas, including “age restrictions for certain firearm purchases.” The gun lobby wins again.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a consent order to Gulf Power concerning its unlined coal ash landfill, fined the utility $32,500 for the violation and ordered the company to develop a four-year plan to address problems with the landfill. The violations in the January consent order were ruled a one-time occurrence. Further tests have revealed contained levels of pollution below what is allowed under Gulf Power’s permit.