Title: Franklin county chronicle
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089927/00044
 Material Information
Title: Franklin county chronicle
Uniform Title: Franklin county chronicle
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Tom W. Hoffer
Place of Publication: Eastpoint, FL
Publication Date: August 10, 1994
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Franklin -- Apalachicola
Coordinates: 29.725278 x -84.9925 ( Place of Publication )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089927
Volume ID: VID00044
Source Institution: Florida State University
Holding Location: Florida State University
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text




...page 6

The Franklin CountyChronicle

Volume 3, Number 15 Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th 10 August 25 August 1994

FDA Proposals

Limiting Shellfishing

Called "Drastic"


Commissioner Braxton

Braxton and
Lessee Shuler
Solution to
Zoning Problem

At the Zoning Hearing scheduled
for 5 P.M. on Tuesday, 2 August
1994, involving the controversial
zoning of property owned by
Commissioner Dink Braxton and
Sportsman's Lodge owner Robert
Allen, Mr. Braxton announced that
he and lessee Craig Shuler had
reached an agreement resolving
the dispute. The revised plan for
the use of the land was drawn up
by Garlick Environmental
Associates, Inc. for the lessee of
the property, Craig Shuler, who
plans to construct a recreational
vehicle park on the land, providing
employment for disabled
The controversy between Mr.
Braxton and Mr. Allen has been
brewing for several weeks. Bob
Allen owned property in the
Magnolia Bluff area on the Bay
and he leased the property to Craig
Shuler. When he checked the
zoning for that land, he discovered
that itwas zoned R-l, residential.
Dink Braxton lives on property
adjacent to the Allen tract, and he
discovered that part ofhis property
was zoned C-3, commercial. Part
of the zoning appeared to be a
scrivener's error, but there was
disagreement over what zoning
changes there should be, if any,
for either the Braxton property or
the Allen property. Braxton and
Allen argued for zoning, R-l and
C-3 respectively, citing historical
uses, either commercial or

The Franklin County Commission
met on 5 August for a special
meeting to examine federal Food
and Drug Administration (FDA)
proposals for oyster harvesting
Monica Lemieux addressed the
commission and stated that an
Interstate Shellfish Sanitation
Conference was scheduled to meet
the followingweek. Lemieuxstated
that the FDA had submitted five
proposals for recommendation at
the conference; two of the
proposals were described as
drastic. One of the FDA proposals
would limit oyster harvesting
between the months of April and
October for all gulf states. Another

for Seminole-
Owned Resort
in Jackson
Amid high expectations, euphoria
and excitement at a news
conference in Marianna last
Tuesday, 2 August 1994, the
Executive Directorofthe Marianna
Chamber of Commerce
announced that the Seminole
Nation of Oklahoma has plans to
build a tourist resort in Jackson
County. The estimates ofeconomic
impact to this area, likely to be
experienced throughout the entire
Panhandle Region, include a
speculated 4,000 jobs and a $60
million annual payroll. The resort
could be operation within two
years according to Wendell Taylor,
Executive Directorofthe Marianna
Chamber. "This resort would serve
as an alternative to the theme
parks in Central Florida, offering
similar amenities at a more
affordable price of admission."
The Sweetwater Family Resort, as
it is now called, would occupy
1,500 acres, and consist of a 500-
room hotel, restaurants,
convention and meeting center,
bowling center, bingo parlor, a
virtual reality theater, retail shops
and a 100-acre theme park.
Additional revenues would be

Continued on page 10 Continued on page 10

1010 aT ro1/ w /A
Veteran of Radio Retires
Radio veteran Ty Stanley ended his work as a disc jockey
22 July at Oyster Radio. Stanley began his lengthy
career as a DJ in 1974. He worked in a variety of formats
that included gospel, soul, adult contemporary, country
and disco. Mr. Stanley plans to move to Leon County and
begin work in property management. Ty Stanley began
with WOYS in January of 1993. "I'd like to thank the
Plessingers for giving me the opportunity to work on the
WOYS staff," stated Ty, "and I'd like to thank the staff
for accepting my off-beat humor."

proposal would limit the sale of

half shell oysters between the
months ofApril and October. "Most
of what we have in our bay," said
Lemieux, "is shell stock. Those
two proposals would, in essence,
put our workers out of business
for seven months out of the year."
Lemieux asked the commissioners
to adopt a resolution in opposition
to the FDA proposals. The
commission voted unanimously
to do so.
Ms. Lemieux informed the
commissioners that the Marine
Fisheries Commission (MFC) were
scheduled to meet on 5 August to
discuss the recommendations of
the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) to/ oppose
restrictions on the winter
harvesting. "Our position is that
any restrictions are premature,"
said Lemieux, "because the bay
has not been adequately assessed
and surveyed to determine exactly,
what the conditions of the winter
:beds are." -
Ms. Lemieux also stated thatLeroy
Hall would be attending the Marine
Fisheries Commission in Ft.
Walton Beach. She asked the
commissioners to draft a letter to
the MFC requesting a complete
survey and assessment of the
bay prior to enacting any,
restrictions of the winter
harvesting beds. The commission
voted unanimously to do so.

, In final business, Ms. Lemieux
stated that the Department of
Health and Rehabilitative Services'
(HRS) guidelines for obtaining food
stamps were too exclusive to many
Franklin Countyresidentsaffected
by Tropical Storm Alberto. She
asked the commissioners to
consider petitioning Governor
Chiles to waive the requirement
That food stamp recipients must
not have any assets (i.e.
."utomobile(s) or home owners).
County PlannerAllan Pierce stated
that if the Job Training and
Partnership Act (JTPA) funds are
made available to Franklin County
residents at an early enough time,
the governor may not want to
loosen the food stamp guidelines.
Pierce said that there was
approximately 2.5 million dollars
available in JTPA funds to put
those affected by Tropical Storm
Alberto back to work.

A Resolution in Opposition

to All Proposals to Limit
Harvesting of Oysters in

Apalachicola Bay
WHEREAS, Apalachicola Bay is one of the last productive nursery
areas in the State of Florida, and
WHEREAS, approximately 90% of the state's oysters are produced in
Apalachicola Bay, and
WHEREAS, the Federal Food and Drug Administration has initiated
a proposal to the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference which
would either close oyster harvesting completely from April through
October of each year or allow for only the sale of shucked product from
April through October of each year, and
WHEREAS, the vast majority of the oysters produced in Apalachicola
Bay are utilized in the half shell market, and
WHEREAS,the State of Florida has already implemented three of the
five proposals submitted to the conference, and
WHEREAS, the industry representatives have taken steps to provide
for consumer awareness and protection,
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS that the State of Florida,
through its Florida Department of Environmental Protection, provide
absolute objection to any and all proposals which would limit either
the sale of Apalachicola Bay Oysters or completely close our Bay
during the months of April through October.
This Resolution adopted in special session of the Franklin County
Board of County Commissioners, this 5th day of August, 1994.
Copies to: Virginia Wetherall, DEP
Governor Lawton Chiles
Senator Pat Thomas
Representative Alan Boyd, Jr.

Trinity Church

Receives Grant for

Historic Preservation

After many months, Secretary of State Jim Smith sent official
confirmation to George Chapel that the requested $64,900 was
included in the legislative appropriations last session, and the money
is now available to make needed repairs to the historic Apalachicola
The grant was initially written to pay for restoration work to preserve
Trinity's Ionic columns at the entrance, replacement of pilasters and
clapboards, repair the original shutters, among other items.
Chapel chairs the Trinity grant project and is assisted by several
county experts including George Surrat, Jerry Henderson, Margaret
Meyer and Mary Robinson, who met on Saturday, 6 August, to review
the documents which have to be signed in order to implement the grant
and start work.

Utility Rate

Case Continued

As the Chronicle goes to press, the St. George Utility rate case
continues into the fourth day of hearings, this time in Tallahassee. The
utility service is a Class B water utility providing service for about 993
water customers on St. George Island. In January, the company filed
an application for approval of interim and permanent rate increases.
The interim rate increases were eventually approved subject to bond
and refund, but were not put into effect. The utility sought to obtain
approval for the permanent increases, and hearings began in
Apalachicola on 20 July 1994. After two days, a third session was held
in Tallahassee at the headquarters of the Public Service Commission
on Wednesday, 3 August 1994.
In simple terms, the basic positions of the parties are as follows. The
St. George Island Utility Company, Ltd. is seeking a rate increase
based on its net loss in water operations, involving the test year ending
31 December 1992. The utility proposes to increase its water revenues
to meet customer needs and in order to produce a reasonable rate of
return on its rate base, about 8 per cent The Office of Public Counsel
(OPC) opposes the increase because, it says, the proposed rates are
excessive. The OPC argues that utility's application reflects numerous
"adjustments representing expenses which were identified in
contemplation of this rate application and are of doubtful validity." The
St. George Water Sewer District takes the position that the current rate
should be rolled back to reflect the actual cost of the utility, and other
provisions of Florida law. The Staff of the PSC, however, opines that the
utility "...is entitled to some level, as yet undetermined, of a rate
One reason this case is so long in hearing, with reams of prefiled
Continued on page 8

Barbara Sanders (left) and Tommy Day (right)

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Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

Apalachicola City

Commission Tables

At-Risk Youth Program

at Community Center

met on 2 August for their regular
meeting. Mayor Howell was away
on vacation and Commissioner
Frye presided over the session.
Franklin County Recycling Center
Director Van Johnson. addressed
the commission and asked to have
an inter-local agreement signed
in order to extend an InterCoast
Recycling Grant for an additional
year. The grant provides
educational information to the
community as well as the facilities
to enable community members to
recycle. The commissioners voted
unanimously to have the
agreement signed. Johnson also
asked commissioners, on behalf
of the Franklin County Public
Library for possible future funding
and the use of the community
centerfor county library functions.
Commissioner Hill asked that the
county library write a proposal of
their requests and submit it to the
next Apalachicola City
Commission Workshop.
Charles Belcher of the Utility
Company also addressed the
commission and explained how
his company could help the city
maintain their water tank and
curb city expenses.
Commissioners concluded major
business by reviewing a request
by HRS to use the Apalachicola
Community Center once a week
for an hour. HRS had requested
the center's use for an at-risk
youth program for individuals
between the ages of 13 and 17.
Commissioner Hill stated, "I am
strictly in favor of their [HRS]
concept, however, the use of the
community center... it s down to a
very very narrow scope of use. If
we could take this program and
expand it to include all groups... to
keep them out of trouble, that's
beautiful. I don't have a problem
with the use on an occasional

Carrabelle City


Propose 8.675

Millage Rate
By Rend Topping
Carrabelle City Commissioners
propose to lower the millage rate
for the budget year starting in
October to 8.675. This will be a
slight roll back rate from lastyear's
8.680 millage. Commissioners are
estimating that the rate will garner
them the proposed $169,900 of
their 1994-95 budget The change
is due to increases in property
values within the city limits.
However the budget and proposed
village will have to go to its first
public hearing on 1 September.
The budget includes money for a
small pay raise for all city
employees and some money set
aside for incentive raises for some.
There were no big surprises in the
budget although the amount
budgeted for the animal control
program has been raised by $500,
making the new amount budgeted
$2,000. Another areaof increased
cost was in the insurance which
has almost doubled from $4,500
to $7,000. The commissioners set
$2,500 to buy fireworks and to
provide Christmas displays. There
is also a provision of $3,900 for a
part-time secretary.
Recreation needs will be getting a
proposed $5,500, which is up
2,550 over this lastyears budget.
Even so the city will hope to have
$45,340 in a contingency fund.
The commissioners seemed
satisfied that they had a good
working budget for the coming
Commissioners also addressed
construction at the airport This
has been a thorny issue involving
problems with the Corps of
Engineers over a small wetlands.
James Wadell of Baskerville and
Donovan led off the pre-
construction workshop held as a
part of the special meeting. He
said that he believed that now,
finally, all the problems with the
various agencies have been solved.
Commissioners gave the go-ahead
for C.W. Roberts to start paving
the apron. It was stated that the
company had given an extension
of one year on the bid price and
they now requested that they
would be able to start in about 10
days. They also asked for an
extension of duration of work.
Commissioners agreed that was a
reasonable request. Money for the
parking apron project was
obtained through grant from the
Department of Transportation.
The project had been stalled for a
long time. All permits are in place
and valid. Commissioner Jim
Phillips got laughter from the
audience when he made it clear
the city would not pay any more
than the amount on the contract.

At the same meeting city
commissioners discussed the
possibility of seeking more money
for water and sewer improvements
badly needed in the City system.
Baskerville and Donovan
engineers agreed to see if they
could seek out sources of money
and will draft proposals to place
before commissioners.

basis. but on a regular basis...I'm
opposed to that."
The at-risk youth are defined by
the fact that they had some drug
involvement, were involved in
criminal activity orwere habitually
truant or dropped out ot school.
Commissioner Hill made a motion
to deny regular use to the HRS
program and Commissioner Lowe
seconded the motion.
Commissioner Elliot objected. "I
think we should look into this a
little more. It is a community
center I'd rather see it used than
not used. I can't see a better use
for something than to help kids
who've gota problem in our society.
Hill responded. "I agree with the
concept. though I'd like to expand
the program. Let's reward some of
the good kids." Elliot returned,
"The good kids have six other
days....they"re [HRS] only asking
for one day... for an hour. It might
be the difference between a kid
going to prison and not going to
prison." Hill concluded HRS has
a facility of their own. I'm looking
at the fiscal cost of the thing."
Commissioner Hill later withdrew
with motion to deny regular use
and asked that the matter be
tabled for further observation. The
commissioners voted
unanimously to table the HRS


to Regulate

Guns in

By Carol Ann Hawkins
will present the first reading of a
proposed ordinance for regulation
of firearms in Carrabelle at the
September City Commission
meeting. The ordinance, ifapproved,
would make it illegal to discharge a
firearm within the City and would
also control reckless and careless
display or discharge of weapons,
including firearms, pellet guns, BB
guns, and archery. Webster told
commissioners that the City may
want to make a separate ordinance
that makes it a criminal offense to
recklessly display or discharge a
weapon. The ordinance will not
include flare guns or starter pistols
if they are used properly.
Pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns,
machine guns, etc. are specific
examples that will be listed in the
Webster said he had talked with the
State Attorney's office, and was told
that if the City of Carrabelle wants
to enact an ordinance that basically
makes it Illegal to discharge a firearm
within the city limits, the State
Attorney's office would be glad to
pursue it. Under the State
Constitution, certain exemptions
include the right to discharge a
firearm if you are in the lawful
defense of a personal property and
the right to use reasonable force to
protect yourself or your property.
Law enforcement officers and
military personnel in the lawful
performance of their official duties
can discharge firearms.


Coast Update
Emerald Coast Hospital
Administrator Kenneth Dykes
provided the Franklin County
Commission with an update of his
facility's progress with the use of
disproportionate funds.
Dykes first apologized for a recent
error in which an Apalachicola
resident was overcharged $250 for
ambulance services. He stated that
the facility's rates for an Advanced
Life Support run were in line with
rates of the surrounding counties:
Emerald Coast charges $230 per
such run. Dykes said that the
hospital would be receiving a new
ambulance at the end of August.
Concerning customer service,
Administrator Dykes Introduced a
new Community Relations staff
member, Paul Sandou, to the
commission. Dykes said that Mr.
Sandou would be responsible for
interviewing all patients and making
sure that patients were satisfied
with services.
Concerning disproportionate shares
monies firammell Funds), Dykes
stated that three hundred and
twenty-three thousand dollars had
been spent of the overall seven
hundred and seventy-nine thousand
dollar fund. Money spent has been
allocated to equipment such as
hospital beds, monitoring systems
(Life Pak and Data Scope), radio
equipment for the Emergency
Medical System, laboratory,
computer, diagnostic, office and
planning equipment. Dykes also
stated that twenty-seven thousand
dollars was allocated to the
expansion of clinic and home health
services related to the hospital. He
said that eleven thousand dollars
was spend to repair the facility's
roof and one hundred and twenty-
five dollars was spent on bills.

Mr. Dykes told commissioners that
he has not received from the state a
format in which to report the
spending. He did promise to present
to the commissioners the
documentation as soon as it was

Carrabelle City


Meeting Round-Up

By Carol Ann Hawkins
* Approved Baskerville-Donovan, Inc. Utilities' Improvements Proposal;
Task Work, $11,500; direct expenses, $1,000.
* Approved request by Russ O'Steen, Chairman, Carrabelle Recreation
Committee, to spend balance of Recreation Committee's budget on
bleachers, etc. for Dr. George L. Sands, Jr. Ball Field.
* Approved rebidding on repairs to James Brown residence (Classie
Lowery dwelling) and Viola Rickards residence.
* Tabled action on Community Development Block Grant
#93DB-1A-02-29-02-H21, written response to eight findings of specific
non-compliance with Federal and/or State Regulatory Requirements.
* Approved proposed Community Development Block Grant Citizen's
Participation Plan, updated to include the Mandates of theAmericans
With Disabilities Act (ADA).
* Tabled formal amending process to eliminate the Northwest Florida
Regional Housing Authority's 10 units of public housing from the
City's contract with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for
rewiring and installation of double-paned windows in each unit.
* Approved Set-Back Variance requested byThelma Rowell to place an
8 ft. wide front porch on the front of her 12 ft. wide mobile home,
leaving 17 ft. front instead of 25 feet. Disapproved request byThelma
Rowemlfor Set-Back Variance to place a 12 Ft. wide carport on rear
of mobile home, leaving a I ft. rear, instead of 10 ft. Lot #1, Block
211 (48), Keough's 2nd Addition, Avenue I North/First Street East.
* Motion to ask Building Inspector to inspect Merle and Lesia Long
property (The Old Fish House), lying between Marine Street and
Carrabelle River and advise City of condition; City will in turn write
to owners, advising them of City's intentions based on Building
Inspector's report.
* Approved sending a letter to Carrabelle Port & Airport Authority
requesting that they consider establishing and charging base fees
and landing fees for both commercial and private operators at the
Carrabelle-Thompson Airport.
* Approved request by Candy Neel to purchase one City Occupational
License for her Treasure Trove Mini-Mall in lieu of licensing each
vendor. There is only one door to the building. Neel pays all utilities
and sales tax; nine or ten spaces are all under one roof with no
dividing walls. People pay her for table space, then leave; same as
consignment sales. Approved with consignment stipulation.
* Approved purchase of 1994 Police Car to replace vehicle totaled on
22 July 1994 when Officer Larry Litton, in pursuit of a violator,
collided head-on with another vehicle that was left of the center lane
while passing two vehicles ahead.
* Approved the revised Department of Transportation plan.

Funds Run Short

for the Animal

Control Authority

By Lisa More
The Franklin County Animat
Control Authority (ACA) met on
25 July at the Apalachicola City
Hall. Members of the Animal
Control Board have started a thirty
day advertising campaign for a
new Franklin County Animal
Control Officer.
Due to recent personnel problems
at the Franklin County Animal
Shelter, theAnimal Control Board
stressed that applicants for the
position must be certified as an
animal control officer. The shelter
temporarily ceased operation but

Mayor Howell


Better Cable

Cablevision Representative Robert
Massalina appeared before the 26
July Apalachicola City Commission
to respond to a list of complaints
from the city.
Mayor Bobby Howell immediately
attacked Cablevision's performance
saying,"Y'all have thepoorest public
relations of anybody I've ever
seen...y'all have not responded to
one criticism...not one."
Representative Massalina stated he
was not aware of all the criticisms
that the mayor had mentioned.
Howell returned, "Well I want to
make you aware. Everybody that
comes in is not aware and that's not
an excuse. I'm not willing to do a
thing until they {Cablevision} come
down here with someone who knows
what's going on and is capable of
handing our questions.
Massalina asked the mayor if
Cablevision had responded to any
of the commission's complaints and
Howell responded that they had not.
Some of the city's complaints
1. The City Commission does not
agree with a 15-year contract
and would like the term to not
exceed 5 years. The commission
would like a 3-year term without
an automatic renewal clause and
negotiations after the term ends.
2. The City Commission does not
agree that payroll increases
should be a basis for an increase
in rates.
3. The City Commission does not
agree that a franchise fee should
be paid to the city on an annual
basis. They would like to see it
paid on a quarterly basis.
4. Mayor Howell expressed a
concern with the unbalanced
volume on the channels (decibels
vary too much).
5. The City Commission would like
to have the Sunshine Network.
6. The City Commission is
concerned with the quality of
Channel 6.

plans to reopen as soon as
management and facility
adjustments are completed. Non-
certified applicants will be
considered but professional
experience with animals is
The shelter is currently under the
supervision of Betty Rickards, a
former volunteer. Following a
19 July Animal Control Authority
meeting, the board agreed to pay
Rickards for her temporary
services at the shelter, despite the
budget difficulties.
All animals formerly housed at
the shelter have been removed in
order to decontaminate the facility.
Animals not adopted by the public
were requested by the ACA to be
relocated to Tallahassee or
Panama City's animal shelters.
ACA member Dr. Hobson Fulmer
suggested pet licensing as one
possible way to generate animal
control funds. Enforcing shelter
fines and written citations were
also proposed.
Without appropriate funding for
the shelter, the ACA may face the
same problems which led to the
9 July shelter closure. The animal
control officer performs many
duties and has too much
responsibilities in operating a
shelter alone. More money is
needed to ensure extra help or to
provide additional employees. The
facility is also in need of better
equipment to properly maintain
its animal population.
Dr. Fulmar regretfully stated,
"Ninety-nine percent of our
problems are due to under-
The Board of Franklin County
Commissioners will review the
1994-95 Animal Control budget
request on 9 August at 10 A.M. at
the Franklin County Courthouse.




School Board to Raise
Village Rate
The Franklin CountySchool Board
is making provisions to raise the
school tax by one-third of one mil.
The '94-95 millage rate is
tentatively set at 7.65 mils. The
final budget adoption will occur
on 7 September.
Maintains Tax Rate
voted on 28 July to maintain the
millage rate at 8.29. The rate is
subject to change before the final
adoption in September.

1111111111111111111 IIIIIIIICII 11111 LI~ iiI11111111111111 1111111111111111111 Ic

: Hans & Esther New Owners
= Highway 319 and 98
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Accepted Master Card Visa

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fo aryBues

Welcome Home.

ay "Yes"toall ofthis:

- 2x6 exterior walls/R-19 insulation
- 2x8 floor/R-13 insulation
- R-30 insulation ceiling
- Central cooling/heating system
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- Generous closet storage space
- 8 foot ceilings

- Wood cabinetry in kitchen
- GE range, dishwasher,, garbage
disposal and water heater
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- Superior quality carpeting and
Armstrong Treadway vinyl
- 4-star energy rating
- Additions & upgrades available





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J.W. "Jack" Porterfield, Owner



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69Q7-2 .376

- I


Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

The Franklin County Chronicle 10 August 1994 Page 3

Editorial and


University System

Chancellor Responds to

Dr. Roberts on the State

University System...

Publisher's Note: Dr. Churchill Roberts addressed, a long
letter to Chancellor Charles Reed, head of the Florida
University System concerning his observations on the
lack of funding for higher education and related matters.
The Chronicle published Dr. Robert's letter in the last
issue, 260794. The Chancellor has graciously given us
permission to publish his response in this issue, 100894.
The Chronicle expects to continue such commentaries
and opinions in future issues and readers are invited to
contribute their perspectives on a set of problems which
involve the entire citizenry. After all, Florida's higher
education system is too important to leave the
decision-making to just the Chancellor's office or just
the Board of Regents, or any other single entity, including
academics. Indeed, those entities may be Jeopardizing
the system through inaction, incompetence, political
agendas of a different sort, or the pitfalls of remaining in
isolation from the constituency higher education is
apparently supposed to serve. There are federal and state
tax dollars, along with private donations, at stake here.
All citizens need to make this subject their business.

July 11. 1994
Dear Dr. Roberts:
Thank you for your recent letter expressing your concerns about the
state of higher education in the SUS (State University System) and
UWF (University of West Florida).
I have given considerable thought to many of the points raised in your
letter and appreciate hearing these from your perspective, informed as
it is by your long service to the SUS and by your position of academic
leadership at UWF. I have discussed your thoughts with others and
understand some of your frustrations. Let me respond from the
System perspective, which may provide some additional dimensions to
the points you raise and how to address them. I want to end by asking
you to help us meet the challenges facing our SUS.
What we see from here is a state system of higher education and all of
its constituent institutions struggling to adjust to, and then be
effective in what is nothing less than a new era in higher education, not
just for Florida but in most, if not all, other states.
Across the nation, the need and demand for higher education remains
r strong; however, as never before, the public is asking difficult questions
about the quality and productivity of higher education, a movement
that is driven by the great pressures on state budgets. Higher
education is being asked to be accountable, to show that it is higher
quality, and productive and effective for the funding provided. All state
services are facing this challenge, which is a predictable outgrowth of
the budget cutbacks of the early 1990s and the increased funding
being demanded for health care, corrections, and other state services.
What makes this a new era for higher education is that the combination
;of these forces and challenges likely is here to stay. Future budget
increases for the SUS must be linked to the assurance that the
additional dollars will be better spent on higher education because of
its promise and record of quality and productivity.
These events place the SUS in Florida in a particularly challenging
situation because Florida now lags most other states in support of
higher education. The Board of Regents recognizes the need for
increased support to restore the level of funding lost since 1989 and
to regain a position of national leadership in higher education funding.
'A major goal of the 1993 Master Plan is to establish reliable and stable
sources of funding.
4 The situation just described is affecting all of our universities, each of
which is working to show that it is now using state funds in the most
Continued on page 10

i 904-385-4003 (TALLAHASSEE)
ON Facsimile 904-385-0830
Vol. 3, No. 15 10 August 1994
: Publisher Tom W. Hoffer
Editor and Manager Brian Goercke
Columnists Judy Corbus
Contributors Carole Ann Hawkins
...............Rene Topping
............Paul Jones
. ..............Randle Leger
S............Lee McKnight
.............Darl R. Ostrander
.............Ernest Rehder
.............Lisa More
..............La Keshia Barnes
.............. Amanda Loos
Survey Research Unit Tom W. Hoffer
S: .............Eric Steinkuehler
Sales Staff.................
Brian Goercke (653-9584)
Will Morris....................(on leave)
Betty Roberts .............(697-3506)
Tom Hoffer ...................Tallahassee
(904-385-4003 or
Computer Systems and
Advertising Design Maxwell Stemple,
Production & Layout Design ................ Barbara Metz
............. Derek'Hillison
Proof Reader Barbara Metz
Video Production David Creamer
Citizen's Advisory Group

George Chapel Apalachicola
Sandra Lee Johnson Apalachicola
Grace and Carlton Wathen .............. Carrabelle
Rene Topping Carrabelle
Pat Morrison St. George Island
Elizabeth and Jim Sisung Eastpoint
Brooks Wade Eastpoint
Wayne Childers Port St. Joe
Back Issues
For current subscribers, back issues of the Chronicle are available
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To others back issues are priced at 350 each plus postage and
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merely add 350 to the price quote above. In-county subscriptions
are $15.90 including tax. Out-of-county subscriptions are $21.20
including tax.
All contents Copyright 1994
Franklin County Chronicle, Inc.
It. -. .

Commissioner Hill (left) and Apalachicola Community Center (right)

Down and Out at the Apalachicola

Community Cent<

It was stated by the famous New England Poet, Robert Frost, that
"home is a place where, when you have to go there, they have to take
you in."Unfortunately, in the case of the Apalachicola City Commission
with strong exception to Commissioner Elliot), the Apalachicola
Community Center is the place where, when a community group needs
to use it, they are denied use and fed a myriad of excuses as to why they
cannot use it.
At the 2 August Apalachicola City Commission meeting. this writer
was once again reviled at the limited use that commissioners are
making of the community center. The HRS had requested to use the
community center for one hour per week to conduct an at-risk youth
program for kids between the ages of 13 and 17. Commissioner Hill
objected to the "narrow scope of use" for exclusively at-risk individuals.
Hill also stated that the community center should be used for "good
kids." Other excuses as time constraints and fiscal responsibility were
offered by commissioner Hill.
As of the 2 August meeting, no community group has regular access
to the community center. In fact. with
the exceptions of the summer recreation program, Public Service
Commission meetings and one high school dance, the center has not
been used for community activities.
Upon the opening of the community center, recreation board members
(Carl Petteway and William Lane) made the following recommendations
to the Apalachicola City Commission for the Apalachicola Community
It seems to us that the City has historically provided centers) for the
use and enjoyment of our citizens. Through the efforts of the City,
Recreation Board, individuals and groups, the City encourages the use
of the centers) as a place to provide recreational, educational and
cultural activities for the citizens of our area.
It was also stated by Rose McCoy, who was very instrumental in
obtaining the grant money needed to open the center, that "There is a
need in Franklin County to provide a community center for students
of all ages for educational, recreational, social and cultural
participation." McCoy continued, "We must have organized activities
which are designed to foster desirable outcomes for our future citizens,
the children of Franklin County. They have limited opportunities to
participate in a variety of community activities.. We can never do
enough as members of the community to meet the needs of our
Commissioner Hill later related to this writer that he was not opposed
to the HRS program, as stated in the 2 August meeting, but he would
like to see the program make use of other community centers as well
and not rely solely on the City's facility, Commissioner Hill felt that too
many groups want to "take a ride on a free horse." The issue that needs
to be addressed is that the ultimate "free horse" was a federal grant
from the Department of Community Affairs that the city has been
galloping on. The community center cost $360,617 to build. The
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that the city received to

build the community center amounted to $300,267. Hi-Ho Silver,
Awayl If the city can ride a free horse, why can't those who live within
the city ride it also?
Upon hearing the City Commission's verdict on their request, Tommy
Pitts, program administrator for Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties,
stated philosophically, "If they don't want to serve the kids of their
community, that's their decision and we have to respect that I just feel
that it's (the use of the community center) a small investment for a lot
of potential good return."
Author's note: Although this writer realizes that his previous
editorials have been slightly unfavorable to city and county
commissioners, he stands by the provision, 'spare the
commentary, spoil the commissioner .' Although in this case,
it may not hurt him as much as it does the commissioner.
Brian Goercke

County Appeal to

the Governor
Dear Governor Chiles:
This letter is to request your
assistance with the Department
of HRS (Health and Rehabilitative
Services). The disaster associated
with Tropical Storm Alberto has
left many panhandle families out
of work, especially in Franklin
County. In order to qualify for
food stamps these families cannot
have assets like a home or
automobile. For those people who
have worked hard to acquire a lot
of land or an automobile, they are
ineligible for food stamp
assistance. :
During times of disaster, it is our
understanding that you have the
authority to allow for a waiver of
the normal eligibility Jimi
requirements. We feeF many
families are entitled to temporary Sincerely,
assistance until such time as our
bay reopens and they can go back Jimmy G.
to work. We would appreciate your Chairmai
immediate attention to this matter. Commission

my G. Mosconis

in, Board

of County

Cat Scratch Fever

Animal (Out Of) Control in Franklin County

By Kelley S. Scudder
On Saturday, July 30th at 10:00
P.M. I was attacked, in my
backyard by awild cat The attack
and the rabies shots that I received
were not nearly as frustrating or
painful as the (lack of) response
that I received from county
officials. Shortly after the attack I
telephoned the Franklin County
Health Departmentforassistance.
I knew that rabies could be
contracted by a cat scratch and
did not knowwhatto do. Since the
Health Department was closed I
left a message on their machine,
explaining the urgency of the
situation. They never returned my
call. I then contacted the Sheriffs
Department to see if they could
assist me. Officer Carl Whaley and
his father arrived within the hour.
They searched in vain through
dense thickets in an attempt to
locate the cat. An hour later we
realized that we would be unable
to locate the animal.
On Saturday night and Sunday
morning I tried to telephone the
Emerald Coast Emergency room,

no one answered their phone. I
finally realized that I would have
to spend the entire day in the
Emergency Room at Tallahassee
Memorial Hospital to begin the
series of painful rabies injections.
The following day I arrived at the
Health Department. I pleaded with
Janice Hicks for assistance in
catching this animal. She assured
me that the Sheriffs Department
would set a trap outside of my
home by that evening. No trap
was set. According to the
dispatcher, the Sheriff's
Department had no record of the
Health Departments request.
Once again, we were forced to
spend the entire evening in fear of
this wild animal that would not
leave our yard. Each evening this
cat would climb our screens and
scratch at our door. We were
terrified. Neither I nor my family
could walk into our yard after
The following day I attended the
Franklin County Commissioners
meeting. I asked the
Commissioners to simply tell me
who was responsible for catching

Our service is far-reaching, never
ending. Available to all faiths...
Dependable in all situations.

serving all of Franklin County
653-2208 697-3366

Kelley Scudder
and disposing of, or quarantine
of, suspected rabid animals. Mr.
Mosconis informed me that the
"Health Department is responsible
to catch the animal" and to "find a
place to quarantine the animal."
He assured me that he would
contact the Health Department
that afternoon and would
personally call me that evening to
confirm the Health Department's
response. I received no such call.
I contacted Mr. Brent Mabrey, at
the Health Department. Ms. Hicks
had left the office for the afternoon.
Mr. Mabrey had Just been notified
of the situation and he also
guaranteed that the situation
would be taken care of "one way or
another" that evening.
Officer Whaley left a baited trap
outside my home that afternoon.
The cat was trapped within two
hours. I thought the battle was
over. I was verywrong. I telephoned
the Sheriffs Department to come
and pick up the trapped cat. The
dispatcher said that "B.J." had
informed them that no animals
were to be picked up in the Sheriffs
cruisers but someone might be
able to pick the animal up
tomorrow. A trapped, screaming
cat in this area is definitely "gator
bait" I didn't need to add alligators
to the list of wild animals running
around the yard. So I contacted
Mr. Schuler, of the firm that
represents the county, to inform
him of the situation. Within thirty
minutes the Sheriffs office had

offered to pick up the catand Jack
Frye, of the Animal Control
Authority and Mr. Mabrey arrived
at my home to pick up the animal.
Mr. Frye informed me that the
"control of these situations on
weekends and evenings was the
responsibility of Don Hammock."
The animal was removed and has
since been shipped out for testing.
In the meantime I have completed
most of the rabies shots required
for possible exposure.
When the Franklin CountyAnimal
Control Officer was fired the
Franklin County Commissioners
had an obligation to the people of
this county to hire a temporary
replacement. The County
Commissioners are also obligated
to inform the health Department
and the Sheriffs Department as
to their roles in rabies exposure
prevention and control. If your
child is bitten or one of your pets
is attacked by a suspected rabid
animal who will help you? If you
are unfortunate enough to be
attacked on a weekend the Health
Departmentwill not respond until
Monday morning, after they've
checked their machines. By then,
it could be too late. By then, if
your family has been exposed to
the rabies virus and you have not
received the necessary injections
the results may be fatal.
As an adult, the rabies injections
have been a long and painful
process. I can only imagine the
horror that this situation would
bring upon a child or elderly
individual. Please! Contact your
County Commissioners. Ask, no
demand, that they protect you,
your families, your pets. The
County Commissioners are
obligated to make certain that,
until an Animal Control Officer is
hired, that someone be there to
answer our calls, to retrieve and
quarantine suspected animals and
to make rabies serum available
within the county. The County
Commissioners are paid to serve
the people of Franklin County.
I would personally like to thank
Officer Carl Whaley for his
assistance during this crisis. He
attempted to respond to a situation
that no other county official was
willing to take responsibility for.
Maybe our Commissioners could
learn from Officer Whaley the true
meaning of public service.

I I -r

- 4 . 10..... t 1hi C

The Edge

By Randle Leger
Ask any angleryou know and you will be told "today's fishing is tougher
than it has ever been." Our waters are feeling the pressure of
overharvest, pollution and habitat destruction. The result is that we
,'have more people chasing fewer fish. The state departments responsible
for assuring the health and vitality of our natural resources have had
little effect in sto ping the downward trend of Florida's fishery. Their
best laid plans o en were implemented too little, too late.
There is hope for the future, however. We are really just learning how
,;to manage our resources. Presently, most fishermen believe the
downward trend is continuing, but today's increased public awareness
.on the plight of our fishery, hopefully, will have a positive effect in the
near future.
In the meantime, while we are waiting for our waters to fill-up once
i again with fish willing to bite anything thrown their way, we must learn
to deal with the situation that we have. To be consistently successful
,at today's flshingyou have to have an edge. This edge is the tremendous
, amount of accurate information available through newspapers and
,television. Information that will allow you to plan a successful trip
before you even leave home.
There are at least three major factors you should consider before
heading out for a day of fishing: daily tides, solunar tables and the
Weather. The type of fishing you do will determine which of these
factors are the most important, but the successful angler knows that
all are important at one time or another.
The tidal flow of our beautiful Gulf may not be as strong as that of the
Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, but the tides are, never the less, the single
most important factor in salt or brackish water fishing. Whether you
are chasing grouper in the deep water, trout on the shallow flats or
bream and ass in the coastal rivers, the tide determines for the most
part when fish feed. The tide's flow makes it possible for a fish to simply
sit and wait for food to come its way. It's a lazy, or should we say,
efficient method of feeding. The fish prefer to spend the least amount
of energy to yield the most amount of nourishment; it's simply nature's
way of survival.
As a general rule of thumb you can always count on a rising tide to
provide you with plenty of saltwater action. This is nothing new of
course. Our fathers were taught this by our grandfathers and their
fathers before them. However, you can take this to a higher degree. If
you pay attention on your next trip out you may find that a particular
period of the rising tide was the best, such as the first or last half or
maybe even the middle. For example, early season redflsh around the
Aucilla River would willingly snag a gold spoon on the first half of a
rising tide, but by the time the water was at its high point the fish were
fed up and gone. As the season progressed the prime time began to
change and the last two hours of a rising tide became the hot time. It's
important to break the tide's daily flow down into sections in order to
make the most of our limited time on the water. Similar to the fish, fish
when it's the most efficient.
Tidal movement also spurs freshwater fish into motion. All of our

Tide Tables

St. Marks Lighthouse

August 10th 27th Eastern Standard Time
10 H 4:44 AM 3.9 Ft. 19 H 1:55 AM 3.3 Ft.
W L 10:50 AM 0.5 F L 7:15 AM 1.6
H 4:54 PM 4.0 H 1:31 PM 4.0
L 11:02 PM 0.5 L 8:19 PM 0.0

11 H 5:13 AM 3.9 20 H 2:31 AM 3.5
STh L 11:37, AM 0.4 Sa L 8:04 AM 1.3
H 5:43 PM 3.7 H 2:17 PM 4.1
L 11:36 PM 0.8 L 8:56 PM 0.1

12 H 5:45 AM 4.0 21 H 3:02 AM 3.6
F L 12:30 PM 0.4 Su L 8:46 AM 1.0
H 6:40 PM 3.4 0 H 2:58 PM 4.1
SL 9:28 PM 0.3
13 L 12:13 AM 1.2
Sa H 6:23 AM 3.9 22 H 3:31 AM 3.7
L 1:35 PM 0.5 M L 9:25 AM 0.8
H 7:50 PM 3.0 H 3:36 PM 4.0
L 9:56 PM 0.5
14 L 12:57 AM 1.6
Su H 7:10 AM 3.8 23 H 3:58 AM 3.7
L 1:55 PM 0.5 Tu L 10:02 AM 0.7
H 9:22 PM 2.7 H 4:12 PM 3.9
L 10:22 PM 0.7
15 L 1:55 AM 1.9
M H 8:17 AM 3.7 24 H 4:23 AM 3.7
L 4:24 PM 0.5 W L 10:38 AM 0.7
H 11:03 PM 2.7 H 4:47 PM 3.7
L 10:46 PM 0.9
16 L 3:18 AM 2.1
Tu H 9:54 AM 3.6 25 H 4:47 AM 3.7
L 5:44 PM 0.3 Th L 11:14 AM 0.7
H 5:24 PM 3.5
17 H 12:20 AM 2.9 L 11:12 PM 1.1
W L 4:54 AM 2.1
H 11:28 AM 3.7 26 H 5:11 AM 3.7
L 6:47 PM 0.1 F L 11:53 AM 0.8
H 6:05 PM 3.2
18 H 1:13 AM 3.1 L 11:41 PM 1.3
Th L 6:14 AM 1.8
H 12:37 PM 3.9 27 H 5:38 AM 3.6
L 7:37 PM 0.0 Sa L 12:38 PM 1.0
H 6:55 PM 2.9

Tide Corrections For Your Area
High Low
SSteinhatchee 0:15 0:03
Aucilla River + 0:03 + 0:05
Shell Point + 0:05 + 0:03
SDickerson Bay + 0:16 + 0:20
SBald Point + 0:33 + 0:19

Alligator Point 0:08 + 0:11
Turkey Point 0:12 0:18
Dog Island + 0:07 + 0:06
St. George Island (East End) 0:15 + 0:06
St. George Island (Sikes Cut) + 0:49 + 1:32
Apalachicola + 2:00 + 2:44
St. Joseph Bay 0:24 0:51
Panama City 0:43 0:44
St. Andrews Bay (Channel Entrance) 1:31 2:02

Wakulla angler Kevin Chepa boated these two huge bass
during a noon solar period. As any good fisherman knows,
it pays to know when fish are active.
coastal rivers offer excellent bass and bream fishing near the Gulf and
it is centered, for the most part, around a dropping tide. Freshwater
fish often prefer to time their active periods with a dropping tide
because this is when the water is least saline. In addition, a dropping
tide is apt to bring freshwater prey that the fish are more familiar with.
This is not to say that freshwater fish will refuse a shrimp if it drifts by,
nor that they won't feed on slack or rising tides. Simply put, if you are
looking for consistent freshwater action in coastal waters, then adhere
to a dropping tide.
As the tides control our salt waters, the sun and moon controls our
inland waters. Every object in the universe is surrounded by its own
electromagnetic field. The closer two objects are to one another and the
more directly the fields are aligned, the stronger the force between the
two objects. It's like revolving two magnets around one another, as the
distances and angles change so do the degrees of attraction. Each day,
there are several points when the sun and moon's proximity to Earth
causes increased activity in both fish and game.
In addition to daily activity periods there are certain times of the month
that are more productive than others. One time is during the new
moon, which occurs when the moon is passing overhead at the same
time as the sun. The other is the full moon, when the moon is directly
overhead at midnight. During these periods, fish and game may be
active at any point throughout the day or night rather than just at
particular times.
The moon's orbit around the Earth and the Earth's daily rotation is
slightly different in length so the activity periods provided by lunar pull
changes approximately 45 minutes a day. The sun's high points are
perfectly consistent and occur each day at noon and midnight
It's easy to do your own test to gauge the effectiveness of solunar
periods. The increased activity is especially noticeable in the upper
level predators such as all large fish and mammals. The common
Continued on page 5

No New

Until After
Election Day
By Darl R. Ostrander
After two years of public hearings,
studies and rewriting, Florida's
new seatrout regulations were
once again shelved. Just a month
ago the Marine Fisheries
Commission announced that it
would be acting on the new
regulations. In a press release,
dated 10 June it appeared the
commission was ready to make
it s presentation to the governor
and cabinet.
This is not the first time that the
seatrout regulations have been
put on the shelf, but this time it
was not a request from the
governor to rewrite the regulations
or a new study that required
changes in the regulations. This
time the culprit is the success of
the Save Our Sealife (SOS)
referendum. Early in the month of
July the SOS Committee exceeded
the number of verified signatures
needed to put the referendum on
the ballot in November. The Marine
Fisheries Commission and the
governor's cabinet have decided
o wait and see what happens on
election day. Sources inside the
Marine Fisheries Commission feel
that there is almost no way any
new regulations, commercial or
recreational, will go on the books
before 1995. Even if the Save Our
Sealife referendum passes it will
not take effect until July of 1995.
This will amount to another full
year passing without any new
seatrout regulations.
At the core of the new regulations
is a reduction in the recreational
limit from ten fish to two fish (an
80% reduction) and a commercial
reduction from two hundred
pounds per day to fifty pounds per
day (a 75% reduction). There is
also growing pressure inside the
commission that the only way to
save the seatrout would be a
complete moratorium on all
potted seatrout angling for upto
three years. In any case what
influence the net restrictions in
the Save Our Sealife referendum
would have on the spotted seatrout
population is unclear. There have
been no studies or biological
models produced by the Marine
Fisheries Commission concerning
this issue.


(904) 927-3305

The REALTOR Advantage: The
Difference Between a REALTOR
& a Real Estate Agent

Not every real estate licensee is
a REALTOR. A REALTOR is a licensee
who has chosen to become a
member of the National Association
of REALTORS, the Florida Association
.of REALTORS and a local REALTOR
organization. REALTORS are bound
by a strict code of ethics which
imposes standards of conduct on
business practices that may not be
addressed in the real estate license
law. Real estate licensees who are
REALTORS are bound by a code of
When you choose a REALTOR, you
can be certain your transaction will
be hand led professionally; the
REALTOR Code of Ethics protects
your rights in real estate-related
activities. A REALTOR is obligated to:

*Protect and promote the best
interests of the client.
*Treat all parties honestly.
*Preserve confidential information
about the client.
*Avoid exaggeration, misrepresen-
tation and concealment of
pertinent facts about the property.
*Provide a level of competent

*Ensure equal
*Present a

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Realtor Association Members:

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Anchor Realty & Mortgage Co.

Bill Bailey Realty

CENTURY 21 Collins Realty, Inc.

CENTURY 21 Marks Realty

ERA Apalach Real Estate

Lighthouse Realty of S.G.I.

Resort Realty

Suncoast Realty

St. George Island Realty, Inc.

Affiliate Members:

Gulf State Bank

Apalachicola State Bank

Cook Insurance

1st American Title

Dodd Title

Citizens Federal

Marks Insurance Agency, Inc.

E. Baxter Lemmond,

Attorney at Law


REALTOR Association of

Franklin and Southern

REALTOR" Gulf Counties, Inc.

HCR Box 168, St. George Island, FL 32328

- -


Page 4 10 August 1994 The Franklin County Chronicle

Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

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Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

The Franklin County Chronicle 10 August 1994 Page 5

The Edge
Continued from page 4
house cat is a good choice for your home test. Cats are at the very top
of the predator pile and three out of five Americans own one or more.
But most important, cats still possess a great deal of their wild nature
and therefore are controlled more by the powers of nature rather than
our daily schedules.
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you are sitting around at night watching television or eating dinner,
pay close attention to your cat. Note the times when the animal is
sleeping and also when it is active. Compare these times with the Astro
Chart. You may find an amazing correlation. If your cat is old or just
naturally lazy then pay attention to the pupils of the eyes. When strong
activity periods occur, the cat's eyes will usually be big and black
regardless of light conditions. This is especially obvious at night on
new and full moons. If you don't own a cat then compare your chart
to the daytime activity of the birds and squirrels in your yard.
The last and possibly most important factor to consider before heading
out on a fishing trip is the weather. A successful sportsman watches
the weather report as if it were his favorite program. He plans virtually
all of his outdoor trips by what the weather is doing. Today more than
ever, having a good understanding of daily weather patterns is critical,
especially with approaching fronts which can bring falling barometers,
overcast conditions, and active fish. Falling barometers allow fish to
move about more freely. Why fish react in this manner has been hotly
debated and studied for years but we still don't know the answer for
sure. But one thing we are sure of is that fish bite better ahead of
weather systems than behind. This is especially true in winter, spring
and fall when cold fronts have enough power to reach the south. Bass
anglers live for those cloudy, pre-front days because they know that
they can catch more fish on one good overcast day than in a week of
clear, sunny weather.
There are drawbacks to fishing ahead of weather systems, however,
namely the danger of getting caught in one of Florida's violent electrical
storms. These storms are predominantly a summertime phenomenon
and they bring Florida more lightning strikes than anywhere on Earth.
Many of the 200-plus people that die from lightning strikes each year
do so right here in the state of Florida. In addition, global atmospheric
changes have served to make the threat of dangerous weather even
worse. Each year it seems that our localweather sets higher and higher
records. Gone are the days of calm, cloudy weather that you could
count on to remain stable and safe. Today's weather seems to go from
bright and sunny to strong winds and dangerous lightning. This is one
reason why it is extremely important for the captain of the boat to know
what type of weather will be faced that day. He is responsible for the
safety of all on board and getting caught in a life threatening situation
is often avoidable by the informed fisherman.
This great planet that we call home has its own rhythm and flow and
we are all part of it. The more we understand about the influences
around us, the more successful we will be on the water. Take the time
to use the information available to you. Tide charts, solunar tables and
weather forecasts can give you the edge you need to make your next
fishing trip a good one.

HIoclmes (904) 653-8878
Middliebrook funeral Home 904) 670-8670




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On The Water

By Darl R Ostrander
Fisherman at Large
It is well known in the saltwater
fishing community here in north
Florida that the flats surrounding
the St. Marks River are no longer
the great angling waters theywere
in the past. A trend that started
three or four years ago has
apparently reached it's peak.
There are very few legal seatrout
left on the flats. You can fish hard
all day and not take a fish in the
slot limit. As little as three or four
years ago a person that fished all
day would be hard pressed not to
double their limit in legal fish.
Today it's easy enough to double
your limit but if you can find a
legal fish among them you're doing
better than most.
As this season has progressed
there are more and more fish up
on the flats, but the size continues
to be small. Most are between
twelve and thirteen inches. The
action is good drifting across the
flats or fishing around the oyster
bars. Unfortunately there are no
areas left that can be counted on
to give up a few quality fish.
The prospects for the fall, winter
and the following spring are good.
Most of the undersized fish now
present on the fiats will be of legal
size. For the time being a change
in tactics may add a little
excitement to fishing the flats. Put
away your heavy tackle and break
out the ultra-life or a fly rod.
On your ultra-lite try using the
same jigs you would use for
speckled perch or blue gill. Small
curly tail jigs in white, pink or
yellow can be very good. Small
silver or gold spinners and little
spoons in the same colors are all
very effective on these small trout.
For some good top-water action
try using a small "Rapala" or other
top-water bait. Sometimes the top-
water action can be wild. The early
morning hours with a moving tide
are best for the top-water baits.
As far as fly fishing goes there is a
growing group of these fishermen
working the flats of St. Marks
every weekend. Popular flies are
bright yellow or pink streamers.
These are cast out and retrieved
in a quick pull-wait, pull-wait
motion. Another consistent tactic
is to drift along with fly trailing the
boat. Floating line and the light
weight of the fly gives the angler
an opportunity to shallow water
troll at the speed of the wind.
For at least the remainder of this
summer the flats at St. Marks
should be considered a catch-and-
release fishery as far as seatrout
are concerned. Fishing for the
family dinner is pretty much out
of the question. Since the majority
of the trout you catch will have to
be released it's a good idea to bend
the barbs down on all your hooks.
Hooks rendered barbless in this
fashion will make It easier for you
to release the fish unharmed.
This does not mean you can't have
fun out there. There are plenty of
fish on the flats and the action
should be pretty consistent
throughout the summer. Try some
of these light-weight tactics. Ifyou
do, by chance, tangle with a trophy
you'll really have your hands full.



Author with 8 lb. Highwater Hawg

High-Water Fishing

By Darl R Ostrander
In Florida it seems it's a case of feast or famine. We either have water
by the bucketful for days or a drought that lasts for months. Well it's
safe to say that the drought has recently been broken here in north
Florida. Some of our lakes are Just now returning to their historical
levels. This article is concerned with the changes that have occurred
with this relatively sudden change in water levels.
Most anglers are more than a little confused by what to do during high
water periods. Many wait until the water returns to normal levels
before resuming fishing. The fact of the matter is that high water can
produce some of the best angling all season. The trick to this is taking
a new look at the water you fish or trying a new body of water that will
give you easier access to the fish.
One thing that high water generally tends to do is put fish on the move.
They may not spread out much and the actual density offish in a given
area can be much higher than it normally would be. By and large the
fish will be in new locations taking advantage of what mother nature
is offering in the way of new food sources. Going to a familiar body of
water and fishing the same patterns that were successful before the
water rose will probably lead to a fruitless day of angling. The angler
should look at this familiar water like its brand new body ofwaterthat
he or she has never fished before. Because that is exactly what it is.
Where it was shallow, it's now deep. Where the current was slow, it's
now swift. Where the water was clear, it's now murky. Whatever the
case high water has a profound effect on the angling.
Some of the changes you may encounter are worth noting. Look for
some of the following possible situations and test them on your favorite
body of water.
Summer patterns where fish have moved to deeper water as the water
got warmer may be reversed by large amounts of cool rain water. Large
fish may return to the shallows to feed comfortably, not only for the
cooler water temperatures but also because the water may be murky
or sediment filled. This creates a low light environment that most
predators favor. Extensive rains almost always lower the water
temperature except in the early spring where the reverse is more often
the case. After heavy summer rains the cooler water may put fish back
on spring patterns. A change in water temperature usually increases
feeding after the fish have acclimated themselves to the new conditions.
Often in less than forty-eight hours the fish will become comfortable
in their new environment In the case of large mouth bass, enough cool
water can make the fish very aggressive. A return to pre-spawn fishing
tactics may be in order to take ill advantage of this situation. Slower
retrieves and slower baits will account for more quality fish during
these high-water periods.
Feeder creeks and streams that produced little food during low-water
periods are now choked with food for forage fish and gamefish.
Concentrations of fish around stream mouths after heavy rains can be
very dense. Often the points on either side of where a stream enters
another body of water or where the current tapers off are the prime
locations for fish to line up waiting for a meal. When you locate one of
these concentration points it may be confined to a very small area.
Casts to either side of the target may bring no response at all but
presentations made directly over or through these holding areas may
bring action on every cast.
When the water rises high enough to create new fishing areas the fish
will often move into these new areas to exploit the new food sources
they offer. Do not hesitate to fish these new areas. Meadows or
woodlands drowned in high water are excellent places for fish to move
into. They offer the same things the fish look for anywhere else, food
and cover. Even lawns and fields that are temporarily flooded are good
sources of food. The fish may not have much cover in these areas so
they will often hang out nearby in the nearest available deeper water.
This often means the original shoreline. This is where the first
significant change in depth will occur.
In lakes and ponds that have no major feeder streams tracking down
the fish can be a little trickier. Lakes and ponds that have extensive
weed growth can change dramatically both in the short and long term
due tohigh water. In the short term, areas where submerged vegetation
had grown up to the surface and made fishing all but impossible are
now open due to the water rising above the fops of the weeds. This
provides not only access for the fisherman but also access for the
predators. These areas harbor forage in large amounts and very dense
cover. These can be very productive locations for another reason. They
have received very little angling pressure during the season since the
weeds grew up. Areas like this can put you in front of fish that have not
seen a lure or bait for months. In the long term, areas with lily pads will
suffer from die-off after heavy rains. Even a modest rise in the level of
a lake can cause extensive die-off. Pads that do not reach the surface
after the water comes up will expire in a matter of days. Even when the
water returns to normal levels it will take weeks, even months, for the
lily pads to repopulate to the same density as before. This situation
may reduce the available cover but inversely it will give the angler
better access to the remaining cover. It will also concentrate the fish
around that cover. In lakes or ponds with no feeders streams and only
modest weed growth look for the smallest amount of change in
conjunction with high water. The effect on bodies of water like these
is to turn back the clock. Patterns that were effective earlier in the
season or in the spring may once again be very successful. Spend some
time pursuing fish in areas that they only frequent during the
spawning season. Check for any low-lying area that may be flooded. If
the lake or pond has a windward side where driftwood piles up this may
be the time to work that area. Driftwood that has piled up along shore
may now be completely submerged and provide excellent cover for
High water effects rivers and streams more dramatically than any
other body of water. Fishing a river during a flood is not only a fruitless
endeavorbut also dangerous. On the other hand fishing a river that
has had only a modest rise or is returning to its normal size after a flood
can be very productive. Often you can gain access to oxbows and
backwaters that are not normally open. The traffic caused by fish
moving in and out of these locations can be very dense. These are the
first areas you should explore. The same reasons that apply to the
flooded areas around lakes and ponds apply here. Access to new
sources of food and cover will always attract fish.
Look at high water as an opportunity to put yourself in front of large
aggressive fish. Tie on your favorite bunker lure and take a look at all
the new water we have here in north Florida.

_ I II v Y C I ii I sil I I I

Page 6 10 August 1994 The Franklin County Chronicle

Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

Marian Morris & Crew Agree: QsietEl anc st.george Inn

"You Don't Argue With 20-Foot Seas" Ehach
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By Carol Ann Hawkins
"To me, boating...is essentially a communing with nature, and
with forces that are very great, too...very impressive, and to be
respected always..."
Marian Morris, 20 June, 1994
Marian Morris and her two sailing companions, Gene Lucky (Tampa)
and Tim Beyrer (Carrabelle), who sailed directly into the path of
tropical storm Alberto, arrived safely back in Carrabelle on Thursday,
15 July about 5:30 P.M., weary, water-logged, rubber-legged, and glad
to be home. They'd left Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), which is off the
northern tip of the Yucatan, on Saturday, 10 July around 1 P.M., and
a trip that took them nine days to complete going down took them only
five days coming back. As they neared Carrabelle's Moorings pier in
Marian's Island Song, a 36-foot Westerley, Marian called the Moorings
to ask if her slip was empty and said, "Here I come!"
A lot of local people breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that Marian and
the crew had safely weathered the storm. "A lot of people don't know
that we made it, that didn't really sink in to them, that we had made
it, that we rode the storm out and then worked our way in," Marian
The trio left Carrabelle on Saturday, 25 June, sailing southward
toward Marian's dream destinations, Honduras and Guatemala.
Allowing that adverse weather could possibly occur, Marian's alternate
route was to the western end of Cuba, a route that would have enabled
her to avoid the "ferocious" currents of the Yucatan Peninsula, she said
in a 20th June pre-trip interview with the Chronicle.
Not long into the trip, the vessel's diesel engine developed some
malfunctions and, as the trip progressed, the engine sounded worse
and worse, but this did not deter the determined sailors. Neither were
they deterred by the fact that the short-wave radio wasn't working,
depriving them of what turned out to be vital weather information.
(They didn't know until later that the external antenna had not been
hooked up.) They had no way of knowing that they were soon to meet,
face-to-face, a wild-tempered fellow that all their friends in Carrabelle
and most of the rest of the world already knew about. No gentleman,
he'd been dubbed at birth with the name ofT. D. Alberto, aka T. S.
,and came close to earning a third alias, Category I Hurricane.
Alberto, In his anger, would toss them to and fro, slide them into waves
so hard it sounded like the boat was being hit on the side by a:
sledgehammer, blow so hard it rained "up" their backs, so hard foam
blew off the waves, so hard that rain fell horizontally instead of
vertically, and so unpredictable that the Island Song was blown right
out into the Yucatan Current, the very area that Marian had hopedto
avoid, an area where the current is 3.5 in normal conditions. But, as
Tim said in reflection, "You don'targue with 20-foot seas and gale-force
The storm was building as they neared Dry Tortugas, Islands of South
Florida, westofKeyWest, and accordingtoTim, "conditions deteriorated
from that point on." When 15-20 fobt waves blew in on them close to
the end of Cuba, Marian turned and "ran with the wind, downwind
with the waves." She tried to go due east so she could make it over to
Islas Mujeres, but the wind came around, pushing from the south and
"pushed" them north into the Yucatan Current. About the time Marian
decided to try to make it to Merida, Alberto gave a mighty huff from the
southwest. At this point, Marian and Gene looked at each other and
mutually decided, "We're too old for this."
Strictly hand-steering, Marian said they had "lots of control," but
because the motor was bad, they were unable to go against the waves.
(And Marian isn't sure if they could have gone against the waves even
if the motor hadn't been bad because the waves were so big.) Since they
couldn't go against the waves, they had to go at an angle to the waves
or go downwind. Marian and Gene decided to try to go back to Dry
Tortugas, 160 miles, but the wind kept coming around, and pretty
soon was blowing "right straight out of the west Marian was steering
at the time. Soon, she yelled out, "Genel I've got 180 degrees on the
compass We're going to Islas Mujeres after all!" The Island Song was
going straight south.
For the duration of the storm, the three traded out one-hour watches,
and when they were on their watches, had they not been wearing a
safety line and harness, Tim said they would have been pitched right
out of the boat Aweak leak in the shrouds, backstay, or forestay could
have caused the sail to rip off. The boat heeled so far over, the crew
found it absolutely impossible to stay in a vertical position inside the
cabin. They had to lie down on the bunker or on the floor. Every
morning at dawn, throughout the storm, Tim looked out to see if the
spreaders had seaweed on them. And not knowing officially the extent
of the storm, yet knowing, Tim joked, "What hurricane are we in? I need
to find out the name."
In what 'he described as one of the most frightening moments of the
ordeal, Tim got an answer to his question. In a blowing rain, with
visibility "absolutely nothing. 50-mph squalls out there," a huge
tanker came out of nowhere. "This water that looked like a mountain,
big waves...mountains coming at you, literally looked like mountains,"
Marian recalled. Marian was on watch, between two and four in the
morning, when she saw the bowlight of the huge craft. She cracked the
hatch and yelled for Tim to come up. When he did, he saw the vessel
drifting at them as though it had no steerage to avoid hitting them. "He
didn't sound a horn or signal," Jim said, as though he knew they were
there but couldn't do anything about it Marian yelled, "Left turn,
Clyde, South!" According to Tim, the Island Song and the unidentified
tanker danced "half-circles around each other." Marian called on her
radio, and "a fellah with a real strong accent" answered her call. She
advised him that she needed a weather check, and he told her to "hang
on." He returned to the radio and gave her the weather, very slowly,
repeating the message several times: "Tropical Storm Warning, Tropical
Storm Alberto, blowing..." That was the first they knew ofAlberto, the
rascal, and they'd been in his grip for two days and were actually
toward the end of it.
"Now that scared me a little bit," Marian said. If the storm grew any
worse, she worried that they might not be able to handle it As she
listened to the message being transmitted from the tanker, she stepped
outside and looked, knowing that the storm kept coming out of the
south, "feeding out of the south." It was all dark and black, and it just
kept moving from south to north. She thought that the storm might be
in a temporary lull, but she told her companions that she had a feeling
the weather report was "a few hours old," that they were through the
worst of it, and that what they had just been through was Alberto. They
lost sight of the tanker in about the same fashion as when they first
spotted it. Justas it "came out of nowhere" toward them, it disappeared
into nowhere just as suddenly. In another incident, Gene Lucky was
on watch and spotted another tanker headed in their direction. Gene
made radio contact, the two men got a fix on each other's position, and
each changed course.
On 3 July, when the wind began to change again and come from the
south, Marian tacked her way to Cabo Catoche and anchored there,
right by the lighthouse. The next morning, 4 July, they awakened at
daylight pulled the anchor and motorsailed, angling down toward Isla

Contoy, a Mexican national refuge for over 100 species of birds. "Now,
this is where it get's interesting, Marian said. (She's gotta be kidding,
I thought, as I sat on the very edge of her sofa, fully absorbed in hearing
the details of of her clash on the high seas with bully Alberto). After
they dropped anchored at Isla Mujeres, a man came motoring up to
them in his dinghy, stopped, and called out, "Heyl My name's Terry,
and I'm from Panama City!" (Marian was right How interesting!)
"Practically neighbors!" Marian recalled, laughing, and there were
about 10 other American boats anchored there. Panama Terry invited
the Island Song crew to a Fourth of July celebration, and tired as they
were, they went.
"The ground was shaking, waving under our feet," Marian said, then
gave an amusing demonstration of how they each looked as their feet
touched the earth for the first time in nine days, "sort of like a gorilla."
According to tim, they had "sailed" through 96 hours of the storm.
Marian's poodle, Scarlett, weathered the storm verywell. Tim measured
the intensity of the storm by the clang of the fog bell. [on the heel of the
boat.] At the first clang, they were at a 40-degree heel; at the second
clang the y were at 45-degrees; by the third clang, the spreaders were
collecting seaweed.
After five days in Isla Mujeres, they re-evaluated their situation and
decided the motor was not strong enough to go on, so they headed for
As theyjitterbugged across the CaribbeanwithAlberto, the IslandSong
crew never doubted they'd make it All are experienced in dealing with
rough seas and the boat is a catch-rig made in New England, made to
sail the high seas. Gene Lucky, a veteran of many sailing trips, was
described byTim as "the calm in the storm. All were a mainstay to each
other, but he most of all," Tim said. "There was nothing that rattled
him." Not very well acquainted prior to the adventure, Gene and Tim
made friends rapidly. "He's a wealth of information," Tim said. "We
knew the storm was going to end. We knew the boat was going to take
it. You button it up, and you know your boat is not going to let you
In the 20 June interview, Marion stated that a lot of women are starting
to discover that boating suits a woman's personality a lot "It's not
fast...it's peaceful; well, not always peaceful," she said. On 27 July, in
the middle of painting the interior of her home, having spent time in
North Carolina with her husband, Will, Marion reflected on her recent
sailing experience. "The storm shakes you to reality. If it had been
really nice, I might have forgotten that my motor was bad. But the
storm kind of shook me and said 'think about this...you're going into
reef-laden waters...you don't have the big Gulf of Mexico to run around
in...'" The storm made her alert to the fact that the boat would be in
danger if another bad storm developed.
During the entire experience, Marian said she never feared that she
and her companions would not make it "It never crossed my mind,"
she said. "I never had any real fear." Then she stared somberly at
nothing in particular. For a few moments, we sat together in silence.
Perhaps In their valiant efforts to survive the storm, none of the crew
members had time to allow such a threatening thought to cross their
mind, regardless of the fact thatAlberto, in all his awesome gusto, was
tossing the idea right in their faces, from the south, from the west, from
the southwest and all the way through the Yucatan current
Has this affected future sailing trips for elementary school teacher
Marian Morris? "I'll be going next summer," she said. She hopes to take
a year's sabbatical and solo the Caribbean, a goal she set for herself
a long time ago. Bone-weariness, bruises, and dinghy-butt will not
stand in her way. However, her desire to solo the Caribbean may be
thwarted by Tim, who said, "When Marian takes off for a year to who
knows where, I guarantee I'll be on at least part of that trip." As he told
Marian and Gene on the eighth day of their voyage, "It beats sitting' at
home." And there's also someone else Marian's forgotten about,
another sailing mate whom Marian describes as "quite a little sailor,"
Sara, a Carrabelle High School student who sadly reported to one of
the teachers that Mrs. Morris was "lost at sea." And there may be one
more person Marian hasn't thought of. I wonder if she's ever taught a
middle-aged grandmother reporter how to sail?


By Carol Ann Hawkins
Carrabelle Police Officer Larry
Litton, Injured 22 July In a head-
on collision Just outside the city
limits, may be able to return to
duty by 30 August, according to
Police ChiefJessie Gordon Smith.
Smith said Litton is "doing pretty
good." A fracture to the foot has
sidelined Litton since the accident,
but Smith said the cast may be
removed on 16 August, "Maybe."

The Carrabelle Chamber of
Commerce office, which has been
closed because of damage to the
ceiling caused by the heavy rains
thatbegan 17 June, the first night
of the Waterfront Festival, and
continued for weeks afterward,
may reopen as early as 9 August,
according to Chamber President
JerryAdams. The Chamber leases
the building from Carrabelle Realty
owner Ruby Litton and Litton said
on 5 August that the ceiling is in
the process of being repaired and
involves removing and replacing a
piece of sheetrock.
Adams also said that he and
Apalachicola Chamber of
Commerce President Dan Davis
feel very optimistic about what
theywill be able to do for Franklin
County if each Chamber receives
the $10,000 that the County
Commission has recommended
they receive. Adams said this is a
"tentative proposal" and how
much each Chamber receives
depends on how much Is available
when final budget adjustments
are made. Adams said if the
tentative figure of$ 10,000 each is
cut at all it will be very minimal.

Franklin Associates
Returns to Second Circuit
to Pursue Condo Appeal
Mr. Ben Watkins, representing
Franklin Associates, is bringing a
petition before Judge P. Kevin
Davey, 2nd Circuit Judge,
appealing the City of
Apalachicola's decision to deny
Franklin Associates permission
to build condominiums on the
Apalachicola River last year. The
appeal was recently dismissed at
the last Governor and Cabinet
meeting, when the board sat as
the Land and Water Adjudicatory
Commission. The reason cited was
that the appeal had been filed too
late. Now the matter returns to
the Second Circuit, with a hearing
on the Franklin Associates
petition to be held on 9 September
1994 at 8:30 A.M. The notice of
hearing was addressed to J.
Patrick Floyd, Attorney for the
City of Apalachicola, after filing
on 25 July 1994.

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Pu hlikhirI *wice mnnthlv on the 10th and 26th

The Franklin County Chronicle 10 August 1994 Page 7

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approve the 1995 Budget.
---,- ---,-- ------ --------- --.


Ted J. Mosteller


Concerned for the prosperity, quality of life
and well-being of all present and future
residents of Franklin County.

What are your concerns? How can Ihelp you? '
I'm open to your suggestions. Please feel free
to call me at 653-8166 or drop a line to me at "
151-24th Ave. I want to serve you as your
Franklin County Commissioner from Dist. 4.

Thank You,

Ted J. Mosteller, 7Z 'f4
Candidate for County Commissioner, Dist. 4.
Pd. Pol. Adv. paid by account Ted J. Mosteller (Dem)




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Bob Jones

Speaks At


Chamber of

The Apalachicola Chamber of
Commerce was joined at the
3 August meeting by a guest
speaker, Mr. BobJones, Executive
Director of Southeastern
Mr. Jones addressed the chamber
on the impact that Amendment
#3 (limiting net fishing) will have
on Florida's seafood industry if
approved on 8 November. Jones
presented a brief film and then
gave a personal address to the
chamber. He lateranswered many
.chamber member questions
concerning factors surrounding
the net ban issue.
The videotape presented by Bob
Jones claimed that approximately
40 thousand jobs would disappear
and more than 1,000 families
would lose their livelihood if the
net ban were approved. The
videotape also claimed that the
state of Florida would lose one
billion dollars of fisheries-related
spending which does not include
the sixty million dollars in sales
tax generated from restaurant
sales of seafood. According to the
film, much of the sixty thousand
dollars in sales tax comes directly
from net-caught Florida seafood.
The videotape concluded:
It's not the conservationists
or the economists or the
small business owners of
Florida who want you to
ban the nets. The real
backers of the bill are
outboard motorboats, those
in the rod and reel industry
and investors inTexas. With
one-half million
recreational boats on
Florida waters compared to
fewer than eight thousand
commercial fishingvessels,
ask yourself who is really
damaging the environment?
Bob Jones opened his address by
stating that the FirstAmendment,.
which is the most powerful in the
constitution, is only forty-five
words long. He continued by,
stating that the proposed
constitution for Florida fishermen
would be nearly sixhundred words:
long and would regulate the size
of fish caught and the amount
that could be caught in a specific
season. "The constitution, in our
opinion," stated Jones, "was
established to protect freedoms.
It was not established for fishing;
regulations... that's a major point
in ourvlewpolnt. We think the neL
ban is flawed."

The following information was
received from the Federal
Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), listing various disaster
assistance programs now available
under Presidential declaration.
The telephone number is 1-800-
462-9029. For detailed
information on particular types of
assistance, contact the agency
Disaster Housing Assistance
Program: The Federal Emergency
ManagementAgency (FEMA) may
provide assistance for any
individual or family whose home
has been made unlivable as a
result of the disaster. Assistance
may be in the form of funds to
obtain rental housing or to make
emergency, essential repairs that
are required to make the residence
Individual And Family Grant
Program: Grants ofupto $12,200
may be available to meet disaster-
related serious needs or necessary
expenses which are not covered
by other disaster assistance
programs or insurance. The grant
program is administered by the
State of Florida.
Home/Personal Property
Disaster Loans: Disaster loans
through. the Small Business
Administration (SBA) are available
to homeowners and renters for
restoring or replacing disaster-
damaged real and personal
property. The maximum real
estate portion of the loan is
$200,000 and for personal
property $40,000.
Emergency Assistance:
Emergency food, clothing, shelter
and medical assistance may be
provided to individuals and
families having such needs as a
result of the disaster. Assistance
can be provided by The American
Red Cross, the Salvation Army,
church groups, and other
voluntary organizations.
Business Disaster Loans:
Disaster loans through the Small
Business Administration (SBA) are
available to businesses to repair
or replace destroyed or damaged
business facilities, inventory,
machinery, and equipment or to
cover other disaster related
business losses. The maximum
loan amount is $1,500,000.
Farm Assistance: The Farmers
HomeAdministration (FmHA) may
make emergency loans to farmers
and ranchers (owners or tenants)
whowere operating and managing
a farm or ranch at the time ofthe
disaster .These loans are limited

to the amount necessary to
compensate for actual losses to
essential property and or
production capacity. Further
information is available from the
FmHAofoffice within each county.
Other Agricultural Services:
Farmers and ranchers may apply
for cost sharing grants for
emergency conservation
programs, such as debris removal
from crop/ pasture lands, repairs
to land/water conservation
structures, and permanent
fencing. Further information is
available from the Agricultural
Stabilization and Conservation
Service (ASCS) office within each
Income Tax Assistance: The
Internal Revenue Service may
allow casualty losses that were
suffered on home, personal
property, and household goods to
be deducted on the income tax
return if they are not covered by
insurance. Taxpayers may also file
an amendment tolastyear's return
to receive their refunds faster. Call
the Internal Revenue Service at 1-
Insurance Information::
Assistance and or counseling is
available on insurance problems
and questions, which cannot be
worked out with the insurance
company. Contact the State
Division of Insurance Consumer
Services at (904) 922-3130, or the
Division of Insurance Fraud, (904)
922-3115, of the Department of
Veterans Benefits: The Veterans,
Administration can provide
information about benefits,
including adjustments on VA
mortgage loanpayments. Contact
the Division of Veterans' Benefits
andAssistance of the Department
of Veterans' Affairs, (813) 893-
The Department of Labor: The
Department of Labor is offering
disaster unemployment
assistance to those who have
applied for unemployment and
have been denied such help.
Consumer Services: Counseling
is available on consumer problems
such as price-gouging,
disreputable business practices.
etc. Contact the Bureau of
Investigative and Consumer
Services of the Department of
Business and Professional
Regulation, (904) 488-6602, or the
Division of Consumer Services of
the Department ofAgriculture and
Consumer Services, 1 -800-435-
7352 or (904) 488-2221.

The Apalachicola Estuarine Reserve Demonstrates
Experimental Shoreline Stabilisation Project

By Lee McKnight
One of the major problems faced
by many beachfront property
owners is shoreline erosion caused
by wave action and currents. The
usual method of protecting
shorelines has been by
constructing seawalls, rip-raps
and groins. These structures are
costly and usually result in the
destruction of near-shore marine
habitats in fragile ecosystems. In
the last five years the number of
seawalls and rip-raps on St.
George Island has increased
dramatically. As development
pressure continues to mount on
the island more and more of these
types of projects can be expected
to be constructed, resulting in
losses of vital habitat areas
necessary to maintain the
ecosystem of Apalachicola Bay.
Currently, the Apalachicola
National Estuarine Research
Reserve is testing a new type of
shoreline stabilization system
that, if successful, will prevent
shoreline erosion while preserving
or even enhancing near-shore

marine habitats. The three-year
project is funded by a $22,000
grant from the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) Gulf of
Mexico Programs Near Coastal
Waters Project The project site is
located on Sawyer Street on St.
George Island where the state
owns five adjacent lots. The project
involves the construction of 150-
foot lime rock rip-rap twenty feet
seaward of the mean high mark.
Unlike conventional systems,
there has been no backfilling of
the area landward of the rip-rap.
Instead, plugs of Spartina
alternafloria (a saltmarsh grass)
have been transplanted from
different areas of St. George Island
to the test plot behind the rip-rap.
Another feature of the rip-rap that
is unique is a break in the middle
of it to allow for the passage of fish
and other marine organisms and
to allow a free exchange of water
from Apalachicola Bay. Another
criteria that designers of the rip-
rap had to contend with was cost.
To be successful the cost of the
rip-rap should be comparable to
that of more conventional
shoreline stabilization structures.

Bill Lytle, a Senior Loan Officer with Norwest Mortgage, has
12 years of real estate experience. He also has 9 years of
dedicated service to mortgage lending. Interested in buying
or refinancing a home? Let Bill Lytle help you to take the
hassle out of home buying. Call Bill at 904-265-1812.

Home Cooking in a
Smoke Free Environment

Highway 98 Carrabelle
Phone 697-2297

Construction of the rip-rap was
completed In March of 1994. For
the next two years, the projectwill
be monitored on atleastamonthly
basis by personnel ofthe Estuarine
Reserve to evaluate the success of
the transplanted marsh grass and
ability of the rip-rap to protect the
shoreline from further erosion. At
the end of the evaluation period
the Estuarine Reserve will prepare
a "how to" brochure detailing costs,
plans and benefits of this type of
shoreline stabilization system.

By Paul Jones
The Alligator Point Taxpayers
Association (APTA) is gearing up for
the upcoming general election of new
officers and board members. The
annual meeting is slated for 10
September. This year, six board
members will be replaced or reinstated,
and there is an anticipated major
realignment of new officers. Current
President Ralph Emerson has sold his
home on Alligator Point and will be
moving to Wakulla County. Many
property owners have expressed their

opinion that over the years the same
"good oleboys" are reelected as directors
or officers and surface as "kingpins" in
making the more sensitive decisions
for the Association.
This identical issue arose this time last
year and certain APTA leaders
responded by challenging the electorate
to come forward and place their
candidate for nomination. Good
luckl...The very same factions pulled a
faux pas... they purposely reneged on
issuing a fore-advised newsletter to all
taxpayers regarding the suggested
names of nominees for office and we all
know the rest of the story...or do we??
Anyway, APTA Nomination Committee
Chair Bunky Atkinson has this year's
job of righting the situation and
assuring that this year's selection of
nominees and the election will be
administered in the "Sunshine".
Hoorayl Cablevision followed up on
their promise to provide Alligator Point
cable subscribers with a weather
channel. Unless there is a further
realignment of channel numbers you
can tune to Channel 30 for local and
national weather news.
As a matter of convenience and
sanitation, Franklin County placed a
trash dumpster on the side ofthe road
along a stretch of beach adjacent to the
Alligator Point Campgrounds. The
dumpster is serviced byArgus Services,
Incorporated and is specifically
provided to accommodate trash and
garbage from the usage of the beach. A
large expensive sign was stationed at
the site to advise County Road 370
travelers of the limitations of the
dumpster's use. Even prior to Tropical
Storm Alberto's relocation of the sign,
household refuse was being dumped
indiscriminately in or around the
dumpster. Residents in this areawould
prefer to have the dumpster removed
or policed for violators. Not only is it an
eyesore, but it attracts insects, rodents
and stray cats and dogs.

Bob Jones

Jones stated that the net ban
proponents had cleverly phrased
the net ban amendment to per-
suade voters on Amendment #3.
'It's gonna' say limiting marine
net fishing.' The trouble is they're
limiting marine net fishing to zero."
Jones said that gill nets and nets
over 500 square feet in size will be
banned ten miles out into the
Gulf of Mexico and three miles
into the Atlantic.
Jones said that the commercial
fishermen have been victims of a
hate campaign for the last ten to
fifteen years. He said that
commercial fishermen have been
blamed for killing porpoises,
dolphins, sea turtles and birds
with their nets. "You'd have a
hard time catching a healthy
porpoise in 600 feet of gill net,"
stated Jones. Jones provided
statistics from the Department of
Commerce on stranded sea life.
According to the statistics provided
by Mr. Jones, 1,021 porpoises
were found stranded since 1985.
Twenty-one of those porpoise
deaths were a direct result of
commercial and sport fishermen.
Concerning fatalities ofmanatees,
Jones read a Department of
Natural Resources statistic that
counted 514 manatees killed by
power boats and only 7 as the
result of commercial fisherman.
Jones related that in 42 state and
federal investigations by the
Department of Commerce,
absolutely no sea turtles were
killed by gill nets.
Jones stated that the opponents
of the net ban proposal were going
to approach the issue on a
grassroots level. He believed that
those opposed tonetbanningwere
not in the majority and were not
Heavily funded to be able to buy a
lot of television and billboard
;advertising. "It will be an up-hill
T.-battle," concluded Jones.

Help for Those in

Need After The Flood

ruDliblicu twlqLv 111VAIXIII.Y lull tam, Xvxxx "AaA AWF&AA
-------------- --


Pane 8 10 August 1994 The Franklin County


Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

a .- - --- -

HlV- ~ ~ ~ ?'if ^

Harold McLean, Office of Public Counsel, at the 20-21 July
1994 hearings in Apalachicola.
Utility Rate Case
Continued from page 1
testimony, are the 42 specific issues involved. After the hearings, all
sides will file summary briefs arguing the law and evidence. Eventually,
about or before 10 October 1994, the PSC a final decision on the rate
A period of time normally elapses before the formal oral hearings to
aow various parties to the rate case to profile their testimony. The
Chronicle has published excerpts of these files representing some
aspects of the case on behalf of the St George Utility Company, and
other excerpts on behalf of the opposing entity, the Office of Public
Counsel, headquartered in Tallahassee.
The attorneys and their affiliations are as follows:
G. STEVEN PFEIFFER, Esquire, Apgar, Pelham, Pfeiffer & Theriaque,
909 East Park Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, and GENE D.
BROWN, Esquire, 3848 Killearn Court, Tallahassee, Florida 32308
On behalf of St George Island Utility Company. Ltd.
HAROLD McLEAN, Associate Public Counsel, Office of the Public
Counsel, c/o the Florida Legislature, 111 West Madison Street, Room
812, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1400 On behalf of the Citizens of The
State of Florida.
BARBARASANDERS, Esquire, 53CAvenue, P.O. Box 157, Apalachicola,
Florida 32320
On behalf of the St George Island Water Sewer District
ROBERTJ. PIERSON and MARC S. NASH, Esquires, 101 East Gaines
Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0863
On behalf of the Commission Staff.
MARYANNE HELTON, Esquire, Florida Public Service Commission,
101 E. Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0862
Counsel to the Commissioners.
Thus far, the official record of proceedings in these hearings occupies
1247 pages of transcript, including 387 pages generated on Tuesday,
3 August. That day, "Hank" [Marvin] H. Garrett, Sandra Chase, ,Frank
Seidman, Steve Baltzley, and Ted Biddy testified, or had testimony
inserted into the record on behalf of the St, George Island Water Sewer
The session on 3 August attempted to close amid the uncertainty of
time, and whether Ms. BarbaraWithers, the former Company controller
and accountant of the utility would appear, as her prefiled testimony
has become part of the record.
Here is part of the dialogue from the transcript.
. CHAIRMAN DEASON: Let me make an inquiry as to the
logistics for the remainder of the hearing. We have one witness
that we know of, Mr. Brown. We haveapproximately an houraid
ten minutes left before Commissioner Kfesling dfid I have to
leave, and the question is If that is going to be sufficient time to
do Mr. Brown, and I'm getting shakes of the head, no.
MR. McLEAN: No, sir. Let me elaborate. I have a number of
questions for Mr. Brown that would take more than a hour and
ten minutes by themselves. I have a number of questions for Ms.
Withers, which would take more than an hour and ten minutes.
If there is some notion that they might not call Ms. Withers, the
sum will be considerably more than the two parts, because it is
far more cumbersome to ask questions which were to be directed
to the Company controller for years, the author of the annual
reports, and the author of the affidavit about which we have
talked a great deal. It will be more cumbersome to ask those
questions of Mr. Brown. So we are looking at additional hours
in total if Ms. Withers is not to be called, so we are looking at a
long time.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: So you're saying you have at least an
hour and ten minutes for Mr. Brown -
MR. McLEAN: Even if Ms. Withers is going to be called.
MS. SANDERS: That is the same in my case, Commissioner. I
can ask the same questions of Mr. Brown that I would have
asked of Ms. Withers, but it will take longer. I need to know
whether they are going to call her, and I can tell you more
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Mr. Pfelffer, do you know what you--
MR. PFEIFFER: We have not decided.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Well, it's obvious we are not going to
finish today, and that leaves us two options. One is Friday of this
week, Friday morning is available, but not the afternoon. That
may not be enough time. The other alternative is Tuesday
afternoon of next week. And with that, if we had to, we could
work into the evening on Tuesday to get it wrapped up. I would
not want to do It Friday morning, and then still not finish, if
that's going to be the question. But if it's perceived that Friday
morning would be sufficient, then that would be fine, that would
be that much quicker of getting the hearing done.
MR. PFEIFFER: Your Honor, for my part, I'm scheduled for a
trial in front ofJudge Davey here in circuit court Friday morning,
and so I cannot be here Friday, but I'm available Tuesday
afternoon.and could work until -
COMMISSIONER KIESLING: Let me indicate for everyone, I'm
flying in on Tuesday from Michigan. And my plane is scheduled
to get here at 12:18. But if something happens to that plane, you
may have to go forward in front of Mr. Deason without me until
I can get here. And I am amenable to that, but I need to make
sure that you all know that there Is that possibly. And if it's not
acceptable, then I don't know what we will do.
MR. McLEAN: That is acceptable to us.
MR. PPEIFFER: As with Mr. Deason, who will read the record
of the proceedings that he missed -
MR. PFEIFFER: -you will be the same, and I understand that,
and that will be acceptable.
MR. McLEAN: There is an additional matter. Ms. Withers is
listed in the prehearing statement. She has filed testimony. The
witnesses have relied on that testimony and addressed that
testimony quite a bit
It will prejudice our case if she is not called. Because a number
of lines of questions I have are very separate and distinct from
Ms. Withers and Mr. Brown. If I am to question Mr. Brown today,
it makes a great deal of difference whether Ms. Withers is going
to show up in this proceeding. What I'm saying is that if there is
the chance Ms. Withers is not going to be called, then I'm not
prepared to go forward today with Mr. Brown. I need to sit back
down with my notes, consolidate to the extent that I can to direct
my questions and my concerns to Mr. Brown, which were

hitherto addressed to Ms. Withers.
COMMISSIONER EASLEY: Mr. Chairman, could I Just add that
I think this late in the proceedings it's time to fish or cut bait. and
I would not find it to be an acceptable position to reserve that
decision until after Mr. Brown has been called under these
circumstances. I think that they either have to say they are going
to call her or not right now.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Mr. Pfeiffer, I don't want you to divulge
any of your client/attorney privileged information, but what is
the problem with knowing whether we are going to call Ms.
Withers or not?
MR. PFEIFFER: The problem is that we simply haven't decided,
and I know nothing that requires me to decide. Certainly, if we
are going to finish today, we would not be calling her. And that
is just where we are.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Ms. Helton, do you have some advice to
give this poor old overworked Chairman?
MS. HELTON: I have never seen this situation arise before,
Chairman Deason, so I don't know if I have anything on point to
add. I do know that it's my understanding that the parties are
to let the Commission know and let the other parties know who
theirwitnesseswill bewhen theyfile theirprehearing statements.
And I have always worked under the assumptions that the
witnesses that are listed in those prehearing statements will be
the witnesses that are called for the proceeding.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Well, does that mean that if you list
someone with your prehearing statement you are obligated then
to call them, or to give notice if you Intend not to, and if you're
required to give notice, is there some time frame of giving notice
if you're not going to call them?
MS. HELTON: I certainly think that there is a strong argument
that could be made on that behalf. It's my understanding that
the parties have developed their case, and their line ofquestioning
based on the-witnesses that were listed in the prehearing
statements, and in the prehearing order. Mr. Chairman, ifI
could add. The last ordering paragraph of the prehearing order
states that ordered that this order shall govern the conduct
of these proceedings, unless modified by the Commission, for,
whatever that's worth.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Let me ask this. Mr. McLean, you have
already indicated that without knowing whether Ms. Withers is
or is not going to be called, you would prefer not to even begin
cross examination of Mr. Brown?
MR. McLEAN: Yes, sir.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Is that the same with you?
MS. SANDERS: That is exactly the same. I mean, I have a set of
questions. I can ask them of either person. I prefer to ask them
of Ms. Withers, since we had prepared all along from pre-
Continued on page 9

Pat Morrison testifies to the PSC on water quality by
showing them a stained dish drain board.& .

Water &

Sewer Rifll .

Will Have

Penalties in


By Carol Ann Hawkins
Carrabelle City Commissioners
adopted an ordinance that
changes delinquent water and
sewer charges, cut-offprocedures
and turn-on charges. Effective 1
August 1994, Water and/orWater
and Sewer customers who do not
want to pay their bills by the 10th
of the month will be charged a 10
percent delinquent fee. If the bill
is still unpaid by the 15th of the
month, water service will be cut
off. In order to have water service
restored, the outstanding bill, the
10 percent delinquent fee and an
additional $5 turn-on charge must
be paid.
Sewer bills that are not paid by
the 10th of the month will result
in an additional 10 percent
delinquent fee charge, and if the
bill. is not paid within three
months, sewer service shall be
cut off. In order to have sewer
service restored, the outstanding
bill, the delinquent charge and
the actual cost to the City to restore
service must be paid.
No delinquent charge shall apply
to civic organizations, benevolent
groups, churches or upon the
death or hospitalization of an
individual user. Ordinance #130,
read by Charles Lee Daniels,
amends Section 21.5 of Ordinance
#162. The City has installed a
new, computerized billing system
and now has the capability of
computing penalties individually.
Ordinance #130 also states, "It is
in the public interest and public's
welfare that the Water & Sewer
delinquent charges be changed..."


Dr. Hobson Fulmer D.V.M.
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Eastpolnt, FL 32328
670-8306 Office
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Your full service 1318-A N. MONROE
warranty center for Tl( 2246342
|l TE2 Monday-Friday 9a.m.-6 p.m.
marine electronics Saturday 10 a.m. 4 p.m.

The Guardian Ad Litem Program needs
volunteers for Franklin County. If you are 19
years of age or older, and are interested in
representing abused and/or neglected children
through the court system, please volunteer
with our program. We provide 32 hours of
training (to be held in Franklin County if
there is enough interest) and assistance with
your casess. Please call (904) 488-7612, and
speak with Mary Hopping or Jayne Brady.
Remember...WE NEED YOU!

Where The Locals Eat
Seafood Homemade Soups
Pasta Steak Sandwiches
Munchies Take Out
Beer & Wine

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for Breakfast & Lunch
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Dinner 6:OO p.m.
Tues Saturday "
Watch the game on our large screen TV's
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Why not host an exchange student for the 1994-1995
school year and enhance your corner of the world? It's a
lifetime of experience for your family.
For more information, please call your local International
Exchange Coordinator:
Jean Heaton
or call 1-800-44-SHARE.
(Sorry, only one student per family)




1/011 -

Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

The Franklin County Chronicle 10 August 1994 Page 9



CALL: 904-670-8626

Hooked on Books

Gibson Inn Annex
54 Market Street
Apalachicola, FL 32320

Owners: Pete & Rachel Roman 653-2420

This 4BR/2BA beach cottage offers spacious great room with
combination dining/kitchen, covered porch to relax and enjoy the view
and beautifulwooded backyard. Downstairs has 2BR/ 1BA apartment
with large kitchen. $189,000,00
RESIDENTIAL building site in peaceful area. nicely vegetated and just
a shoirtis~pnqc. S Bay, $13.000.00 ..... .,
ST. GEORGE PLANTATION Canal front one acre home site with
vegetation. $56,500.00
BAYVIEW building site with great view of the Bay and located in quiet
area. $22,000.00
INTERIOR residential site with nice vegetation and in a peaceful area.
ST. GEORGE PLANATION Bayfront one acre home site with terrific
view of the Apalachicola Bay. $60,000.00

Utility Rate Case
Continued from page 8
prehearing, all the way through every step of the way. But if they
want to, you know, sandbag us, I can modify, I can ask them of
Mr. Brown, but I will need to prepare for that.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Mr. Pfeiffer, it appears that there is no
clear cut answer to the dilemma that we are in at this time. I
understand that to a certain degree you should have latitude to
call witnesses as you see fit. But, at the same time, I think the
opposing counsel needs some type of guidance for them to
prepare their case as well, that is the whole reason we go through
all the effort and time devoted to prehearing conferences and
prehearing orders, issue identification and witness identification.
When do you think you will know?
MR. PFEIFFER: We propose to advise the forum at the beginning
of the proceeding Tuesday afternoon.
COMMISSIONER KIESLING: Mr. Chairman, could I just point
out one other item that I think is of import on this. The parties
agreed to let St. George take its rebuttal witnesses in a different
order than that that was set forth in the prehearing. And as I
recall, they said that they were willing to agree to that, as long
as it was not to their prejudice. And had we stuck with the
rebuttal order as it was in the prehearing, Mr. Brown would have
testified first. And to that extent, I think that then the answer to
that would have already been known. And I believe that it's
prejudicial to the parties to, at this late date, permit St. George
to decide at some later time who they are going to call. I mean,
I think that if we had taken them in order, we would know the
answer, and the parties would have been able to prepare
And I simply believe that it is a trial strategy that could prejudice
the other parties in the case. I think there is authority for
requiring them to make that disclosure at this time and not at
the beginning of the last day of hearing.
MS. SANDERS: Commissioner Deason, to follow along with
that, Ms. Withers was present in Apalachicola. I mean, all along,
every time we have asked Mr. Pfeiffer he has named her in the
order. I asked him again this morning and he said Ms. Withers
would follow Mr. Brown. We have been led to believe that all
CHAIRMAN DEASON: I hate to interrupt you, let me ask this
legal question. If you think it's important to your case to have
Ms. Withers here, do you have the authority to request the
Commission to subpoena her, and if that is the situation what
is the time frame involved in having that executed?
MS. SANDERS: I was going to ask the Commission to call her as
your witness, since she is the lady that keeps all of these records
that we can't keep track of, or the Company can't keep track of.
I can subpoena her, yes, sir. I would have subpoenaed last week,
if Mr. Pfeiffer had told me last week that he would not have her
available for cross examination, after having presented her
profiled testimony. I don't believe that takes long. I can't imagine
that- to tell you the truth, I have never served a subpoena out
of the PSC, but I send it to the Leon County Sheriff.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Well, I guess what I'm trying to determine
is, if you have a right to have this witness appear anyway, since
you have relied upon that, and if that is the situation, we can just
go ahead and short circuit this and just have her appear. You
have that right anyway. And I'm just trying to get to a logical
conclusion as quicklyand simply as possible with the least
amount of trouble and effort.
MS. SANDERS: I understand.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Mr. Pfeiffer, do you -
MR. PFEIFFER: I know of nothing that permits them to offer
additional testimony. We filed prefled testimony in this
proceeding. They filed preffiled testimony in this proceeding.
We filed rebuttal testimony. I have reviewed your rules. I see
nothing in your rules that requires us to call witnesses for
whom we have submitted pre ed testimony. I understand
that if we do not call them, their testimony will not go into
the record. ,


Building Supplies

Highway 98
Carrabelle, FL
(904) 697-3332





SO1County Commission

District 2
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Gene Brown
3 August 1994


Chairman Deason

Frank Seiden

CHAIRMAN DEASON: Mr. Pfeiffer, I agree with you that you
have the right to prepare your case as you see fit, and call the
witnesses that you see fit. But In an effort to streamline this case
and put all parties on notice, we went through the prehearing
process, we issued the prehearing order, and this person was
listed,and the opposing counsel indicated that they have relied
upon .that. And now they are saying that if that person Is not
called, they would have relied to their detriment. And my
question is if they think it's important enough to their case, if
you choose not to call, do they have the ability to subpoena that
witness anyway and have that witness appear.
MR. PFEIFFER: Ifwe had never filed any preffiled testimonywith
Ms. Withers, if we had never listed her as a witness, this record
would be no different than if we simply do not offer her
testimony. And they wouldn't have been in a position to call her
or call any other rebuttal witnesses as I understand your rules.
CHAIRMAN DEASON: We are going to take a five-minute recess
at this time, I'm to discuss this with legal minds here at the
Commission, and then we will come back.
(Brief recess.)
CHAIRMAN DEASON: Call the hearing back to order. I want to
explain to the parties where I think we are at this point, and
explain how we are going to proceed. Obviously, Mr. Brown is yet
to testify on rebuttal. We are not going to conclude him today,
therefore we are not even going to begin that cross examination
The question has come up as to whether the testimony of
Barbara Withers is going to be presented by the utility. And I
understand that the argument from opposing counsel is that
they have replied upon having the opportunity to cross examine
that witness, and if that witness is not available, they would
have to change their case or preparation, in any event, for the
cross examination of Mr. Brown, and they believe it would be
much more expeditious to ask those questions directly to Ms.
Withers. I hope I have characterized that correctly.
As I explained earlier, I think the Commission goes to a great deal
of effort and time to go through a prehearing process where
issues are identified, positions taken, and witnesses and exhibits
identified. I think this is very advantageous to the process, it
puts all parties on notice as to how the hearing is going to
proceed, and everyone is supposed to judge themselves
I believe that from the sense of equity and fairness that parties
have relied upon the expectation that Ms. Withers would testify.
And I believe that it is within the authority of the Commission
to have her appear when this hearing resumes on Tuesday.
Now, if the utility company does not wish to sponsor her prefiled
testimony, that's understandable, and she would notbe required
to provide that prefiled testimony. However, she will be made
available, and subject to cross examination as an adverse
witness. And If any of the parties wish to follow that up with a
subpoena, certainly that is within their authority to do t at. And
with that we will reconvene this hearing on Tuesday of next
In the end, Chairperson Deason ordered the utility to produce the
witness Ms. Barbara Withers at the next session, scheduled to occur
on Tuesday, 9 August 1994, at 1:30 p. m.
Earlier, Sandra Chase, an employee of Gene Brown and the St. George
Island Utility Company, Ltd, testified. She said, in her preffled
testimony, in response to a question about Mr. Brown's management
of the utility,
As I stated earlier, I have been working with Mr. Brown since
1981 and I have participated in most aspects of the utility
company operation. When I was hired the utility had
approximately 400 customers and only one homeowners'
association on the Island. Now there are approximately 1,200
customers and at least five homeowners' associations. He has
personally negotiated, contracted and supervised all
improvements to the system to keep up with the island growth.
During that time, Mr. Brown has hired numerous managers who
failed to "manage" the utility. Mr. Brown allowed each manager
an opportunity to work independently. Never did any of the
managers fully perform without having to consult or involve Mr.
Brown. Mr. Brown has made himself available day and night for
utility company purposes. When the operations managerwas on
vacation in Texas during December 1989 an unexpected cold
front froze several meters and some pipes. Mr. Brown took
control until he could fly the operations manager back to the
island. There have been numerous emergencies and crises over
the years that Mr. Brown has handled dutifully. Instead of
criticism, he should be complimented for using his
resourcefulness to keep the system intact under difficult
circumstances. Instead of focusing on several managers who did
network out, the focus should be on the three or four employees
dedicated who have worked with the utility throughout the
years. This should also be an expression of Mr. Brown's
competence as a manager. My opinion is that the company
would have failed but for Mr. Brown's management. He is being
blamed for problems that arose under other general managers
prior to the fall of 1991 when he took over as manager. Instead
of criticism, he should receive credit for solving the problems
after he took over the direct management
Q. If Gene Browm is removed as manager, would you
continue to work for the company?
A. No. I have discussed this possibility with other employees of
the company and they are in agreement To say the least, it is
disturbing to me and other employees to be involved in the unfair
and outrageous attacks on Mr. Brown's management of St.
George ,Island Utility. It constitutes a personal attack of our
integrity because we are part of the "team." If Mr. Brown made
any imprudent decisions regarding the water company over the
past few years, they were to contribute money from his affiliates
to make up the operating deficit.
Marvin "Hank" Garrett testified along similar lines in preflmed testimony.
His remarks were in part:
Q. Can you describe Gene Brown' s ability as a manager?
A. I thinkhe is an outstanding manager. When Iwas hired, Gene
set one basic overall goal, to solve all of the existing operational
problems, to make the necessary improvements to the system,
and to bring the level of service into full compliance with all DEP
and PSC requirements while providing a safe and adequate
supply of water to all of our customers. This goal has been met
by Gene and me working as a team. I talk with him daily, either
at his office, at his house, on his mobile phone, or personally
When he comes to the island or I go to Tallahassee. He is always
available to advise and assist me in whatever I am doing and in
whatever problem I may be having. I can remember calling him
on his mobile phone during weekends when we have had pump
failures or other operational problems. He has always responded
immediately by doing whatever is necessary to get the job done.
This has included his calling contractors at home on the
weekend to insist that they immediately go to the island and
install a new pump to avoid any possibility of an outage, and it
has included things like picking up a new 400 pound transformer
in his truck and meeting me on the road in my truck so that the
part could be immediately installed without any break in
service. We often talk from our home telephones or on our mobile
phones. In my opinion, both of our mobile phones are an
absolute necessity if the company is to be managed efficiently,
and if we are to continue operating with very little possibility of
an outage, which were frequent before I took this job.

The Chronicle will continue to report on the case as the official and
formal hearings move into the summary and argument stage.

Now is the time to

subscribe to the

Franklin County


Pape 10 10 August 1994 The Franklin County Chronicle

Published twice monthly on the 10th and 26th

County Planner Pierce

Describes Franklin

County Development

and Utility Rate Case

Publisher's Note: Franklin County Planner Alan Pierce
wrote to the Public Service Commission (PSC) the
following profile. This is about development in Franklin
County from 1988 to 1994 principally, for background to
the St. George Utility rate case but he was not called on
directly to report his findings. The Chronicle considers
his remarks to be very pertinent to the context for the
utility company's requested rate increase, and overall
development in Franklin County.
Thus, we are excerpting Mr. Pierce's letter initially
directed to Mr. Robert Crouch of the Public Service
Commission in late April 1994. His remarks are very
consistent with this newspaper's goal to provide more
analysis and perspective to our readers.

By Alan C. Pierce, County Planner
St. George Island is at the center of the growth in Franklin County. Of
the 466 new homes permitted in the county since Jan. 1, 1988, 293
have been on the island. In terms of percentage, new home construction
on St George Island represents 63% of the new homes built in the
county for the six years this report covers. The total number of
structures on St. George Island is estimated, by the Franklin County
Planning Office and the Franklin County Property Appraiser's Office,
to be approximately 1,100 units. This includes counting each
townhouse and condominium as an individual unit. It also includes
businesses. This figure does not include those units currently under
construction or that were finished last year and are not yet on the tax
roll. With those added in, the grand total of units on the island is
approximately 1,200.
The development on the island has been almost exclusively residential.
From January 1, 1988 to March 30, 1994, the county issued 293
permits for new houses on the island, In this same time period, the
county has issued 3 building permits for the construction of new
commercial buildings. Because of the predominance of residential
construction the remainder of this discussion will focus only on single
family development.
An analysis by year of residential building is provided below...
1988-39 residential permits issued
1989-35 residential permits issued
1990-40 residential permits issued
1991-38 residential permits issued
1992-60 residential permits Issued
1993-64 residential permits issued
(3 months) 1994-17 residential permits issued
The western part of the island is a private development known as St.
George Island Plantation. In area it represents about one-fourth of the
island, yet it has seen about one-half of the building activity. Of the
293 permits issued, 151 permits were issued for development inside
the Plantation. ... I have no explanation for the increase in the growth
rate inside the Plantation, or of the reduction outside. As an aside,
houses in the Plantation are generally larger than houses outside.
As part of the county building permit application we ask the applicant
their source of potable water. Before a building permit is issued in the
Plantation, the county must have a letter from the Utility Company
stating water is available for a specific lot, or that water is not available
and that a temporary well is acceptable until water is available. This
is a requirementofthe DevelopmentOrderwhich created the Plantation.
The Development Order was submitted initially by Leisure Properties
and approved by the Franklin County Commission in 1977. As a
matter of habitsome contractors provide uswater letters fordevelopment
outside the Plantation. Out of 293 permits issued, 249 said theywould
be hooking up to the Utility. The county has on file 174 letters from
the water company. The other 75 who said they were using the Utility
Company did not submit a letter to the county because they were
building outside the Plantation.
Thirty-seven permits were issued indicating use of a private well as a
source of water. All but one of these are outside the Plantation. The
sole well in the Plantation had a letter from the Utility Company stating
that they could not provide water at that time, but when water is
available they will have to hook up to the Utility Company... At least
1 of the houses outside the Plantation which indicated use of well has
connected to the Utility Company because the well water was not
There were 7 permits issued with no indication of where water service
would be coming from. All 7 were outside the Plantation and the source
of water could be private wells or could be the Utility Company.
The County Planning Office is not well versed in statistical methods or
the extrapolation of data, thus, I hesitate to forecast future growth
rates for the island. Certainly in a general way, if interest rates stay
down, development is likely to continue at its current rate. There are
two possible indications of growth that I do have confidence in. One,
the price of real estate continues to rise, which I believe is an indication
of the desirability of the island for the future. Two, the county
continues to record residential subdivision plats on the island.
One variable affecting growth will be the impact of the build-out of
beachfront lots. There are currently 451 beachfront lots on the island.
This number does not include the small lots in the commercial district
which may be built on singly or in combinations. It also does not
include those tracts on the east end of the island that have not yet been
subdivided into one acre lots.
Including a development at Sunset Beach that was just approved by
the Board of county Commissioners, there is enough land for
approximately 50 more beach front lots to be created on the east end.
The ultimate number of beachfront lots will be near 500. In the last
six years, 102 houses have been built on beachfront lots, 66 in the
Plantation and 36 outside. Since many of the houses built prior to
1988 were on the beach, it is my estimation that approximately half of
the beachfront lots on St. George Island now have structures. Using
the figure of 100 beachfront houses being built every six years, and
with approximately250 lots still available to build on, in 15 years every
lot on the beach will have a house.
The activity on interior and bayfront lots is not as great, and there are
more of those lots, so total buildout of the island is difficult to judge.
There will be approximately 900 lots in the plantation when all the
residential areas are platted. I have not included the Ben Johnson
property in these calculations. There are approximately 1600 lots in
the old subdivisions, and there will be approximately 500 lots on the
east side of the island (this includes counting the 100 units at 300
Ocean Mile as separate lots.) The grand total of lots on the island Is
approximately 3000. In rough figures, with 3000 total lots and existing
structures numbering 1200 this leaves 1800 lots available for
development. At a rate of 300 units every sixyears, the overall buildout
of the island will occur in 36 years. This date may change dramatically
if any number of things happen, one of which is availability of water.
The point of this public hearing is to consider a rate increase for the
Utility Company. The county has no expertise in rate structures or the
costs of running a utility, but it does have an interest in the performance
of the Utility, Company. Whatever the decision of the Public Service
Commission is regarding the proposed rate increase, the Commission
should keep in mind the impact it will have on the county.

A point that will undoubtedly be raised by either the utility company
or the commission itself are the measures the county government may
be willing to take in order to ensure an adequate supply of water to the
island. I cannot speak for the Franklin County Board of County
Commissioners on this issue, but I do know that the availability of
water is of concern to the Board. In recent years, the Board has heard
several presentations from various individuals regarding the adequacy
of fire protection on the island. While the PSC's review of the rate
increase proposal may not include a full discussion of the needs of fire
protection, it is imperative that there be some consideration of the
topic. There appear to be few avenues open to the county as it tries to
protect the interests of its citizens and property owners when it comes
to providing adequate fire protection. The Board is aware that the
Ut ty Company claims it was not built to provide fire protection.
However, at this time the Utility Company is the only entity poised to
address this issue. I am sure the Board would like for the PSC to work
with the Utility Company to make sure fire protection is maintained
across the entire island.

Chancellor Letter
Continued from page 3
productive ways and will do so with future funding increases. We must
make our case for additional funding more effectively and specifically
than ever before. It is important that each university can show that
funds are allocated in ways that recognize and encourage productivity
The University of Florida has led in the development of analytic models
that universities can use to relate resource use to departmental and
program results. I know that over the past several years, President
Marx and Provost Friedrich have been seeking to make decisions with
these goals in mind. One of these objectives is to align funding more
directly with its impact on student enrollment, both in serving and
attracting students. The recentdiscussion about the suspension of the
Nursing Program is a good example of the kind of decision facing many
universities nationwide: How to use the total of its available resources
most cost effectively? In this case, the decision was to retain the
Nursing Program, which Is needed in the UWF area, but to explore how
it couldbe altered to make it more suitable to the needs of practicing
nurses, and in the process, more cost-effective in the future.
It will become increasingly important for all of our universities to
evaluate regularly the quality and effectiveness of their programs. You
mentioned the requirement that your Communication program
participated in a recent systemwide program review, which had as one
of its conclusions the need for more resources. While I understand
your feelings that the process may not have yielded information that
UWF did not already know, it is critical that such evaluations be
conducted on a systemwide basis involving all programs, to permit the
Chancellor, BOR (Board of Regents), and the individual universities to
develop the information needed to make sound program and budget
Your points about making careful budget decision and the need for
flexibility in resource use are important at any time, but especially
now. It will be even more critical that the consideration and possible
funding of any new initiatives be based in the assurance that they will
become a cost-effective function of the university and not negatively
affect the support of existing productive programs.
With respect to the flexibility of a university to distribute its resources,
the facts are that compared to the past, there is a great deal of
flexibility, although not extending to the PECO-personnel tradeoff to
which you referred in your letter. However, as you know, flexibility will
not solve the basic problem of a lack of sufficient resources but will help
in reallocating existing resources to meet the higher priorities. Many
of our universities are involved in making these difficult reallocation
While you may not realize it, many of the conditions which you
reference in your letter are affecting other universities as well. Given
its relatively slower growth in enrollment and its regional population
base, it is understandable that UWF feels the brunt of these forces
more sharply. I want to assure you that the Board of Regents and its
staff recognize the situation systemwide and at UWF. Regent Julian
Bennett, a lifelong resident of Northwest Florida, is deeply interested
and active in learning both about the systemwide and the particular
issues affecting the region in which he lives. While all Regents are
expected to balance statewide and regional interests, Regent Bennett
has made it clear by his actions that he wishes to be a leader in
positioning UWF to prosper in the future.
President Marx is taking steps to respond to the new situation affecting
higher education in Florida. His efforts to reallocate resources, make
programs more suited to student needs, and establish both a wider
and deeper pool of potential students to recruit are in the right

Beach Restoration Plans

Heard at County Commission

The Franklin County Commission
were intrigued by the ideas of
independent beach restoration
owner, Mr. Bill Parker, at the 2
August regular meeting.
Mr. Parker urged the commission
not to place a breakwater system of
large rocks to combat the problem
of erosion in the troubled Alligator
Point area. Parker stated that the
Corps of Engineers and the state of
Florida had determined that rocks
cause erosion. Parker explained how
his system operated:
When the storm comes, It
captures your beach and

Bill Parker

drags it out into the water.
You ve all been to the beach
and waded out waist deep
and all of a sudden you're
ankle deep. That's your
beach...lyingJust offshore. In
most areas those are known
as ridges. In most areas, there
there are two and sometimes
three ridges. When the next
storm comes along, this ridge
is trying to come ashore. At
that time, I put my webbing
(sand web system) straight
out. What happens is the
waves come in and stir up the
sand and settle it up and the
current running along the
beach, which is known as the
longshore transport system,
sweeps the sand sediment
into and through my nets.
Thus, it stabilizes and returns
the beach to where it belongs.
Mr. Parker explained that a
maintenance program was also
available to the city at a minimal fee.
Parker said that he could issue a
license to the county and instruct
their employees in the maintenance
of the beach. Parker requested
exclusive rights to furnish the
equipment needed for maintenance.
Parker estimated his work would
cost one million mile. He said that
previous work had been completed
within thirty days. Parker stated
that dredging costs between 3-5
million dollars per mile and takes
several years to complete. Parker
felt that the Federal Emergency
Management Assistance program
(FEMA) may be willing to fund his
project and concluded, "If FEMA
money is available, I'd like to show
the county and people what we can

Franklin County School Board
1994-95 School Calendar
(Adopted May 5, 1994)
August 9, 10. 11. 12 Teacher Planning Days
August 15 School Opens (1st Day Students)
September 5 L-bor Day (no school)
September 26 End 1st 6 Weeks (early dismissal)
(Report Cards October 6)
November 7 End 2nd 6 Weeks (early dismissal)
(Report Cards November 15)
November 11 Veterans Day (no school)
November 24-25 Thanksgiving Holldays (no school)

December 16 End 3rd 6 Weeks/Ist Semester
(Report Cards January 10)
December 19 January 2 Christmas Holidays
January 3 School Resumes (Students return)
January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday (no school)
February 16 End 4th 6 Weeks
(Report Cards February 28)
February 20-21 Teacher Inservice Days
March 20-24 Spring Break
April 11 End Sth 6 Weeks
(Report Cards April 20)
April 14-17 r-ater Break
May 25 Carrabelle High Graduation
Adult Graduation
May 26 Apalachlcola High School Graduation
Adult Graduation
End 6th 6 Weeks (Last Day for Students)
(Report Cards June 1)
May 29, 30, 31, June 1 Teacher Post Planning
June 12 Summer School Starts
July 12 rsat Day Summer School

r -
| To St. George Sound

I Oyster

Lots 1-16, Block 2 I
Unit I East I
S-------- --- -- ----------
Pine Street
LJ Mini Moll JL



Another Mixed Use Approved by Board of
County Commissioners for St. George Island
The Board of County Commissioners approved another
mixed use, residential and commercial, for property on
St. George Island in the business district on Tuesday, 2
August 1994. This was the second parcel so designated
in the commercial areas on the island. The map below
depicts the property and location of of important

Continued from page 1
generated through a 150,000
square foot Manufacturer's Outlet
Center which would house up to
80 retail shops. A major attraction
in the complex would be the
Seminole Cultural Heritage
Cret.en I, r.h.ictfli a ml Ntlir t

American Museum.
The 1,500-acre site is currently
owned by Reiff Properties of
Marianna. Robert RyalsRealty and
Crossland Realty in Tallahassee
helped in the negotiations for the
sale of the propertyto the Seminole
Nation of Oklahoma. The project
must have approval from State of
Florida agencies, and the U. S.
Department of the Interior, which
would hold a trust for the Seminole

The resort would be located near
the intersection of Interstate 10
and State Road #276 (Exit 20 in

We thank the Calhoun-
Liberty Journal for their
help with this report.

Continued from page 1
residential. Now, the leased
portion where the recreational
vehicle park is to be sited will be
C-3, commercial, with the number
of sites for individual vehicles
reduced to 25, down from 40 or
so. Minor adjustments to the the
residential zoning linewillbe made
so as not to cut through the
Braxton home.


Face the Issues on F4('


FLORIDA CROSSROADS is designed to help Florida citizens
examine, the politics, programs and plans which affect their
everyday lives.

Traditionally, Public Television has been
committed to providing programs that inform,
educate and inspire. In this spirit, Florida Public
Television with support from the Florida
Department of Education brings FLORIDA
EST 8 P.M., Thursday Night into the homes
of Floridians each week.


August 11 Ocean County Three communities on Florida's
Atlantic Coast want to separate from Duval County and establish
Florida's 68th county. Producer John Thomas talks to the major
players in the latest dispute among the beach towns on Florida's
First Coast
August 18 Blueprint 2000 Florida's School Improvement and
Accountability Law, or Blueprint 2000, sets new educational
goals for our state, and delegates responsibility for how these
goals are met to the local school district Blueprint2000 challenges
each community to work together to create and put in place its'
own solutions. Visit Lake Silver Elementary School in Orlando to
take a look at one school's experience with the process.
August 25 The Shell Game In 1992, nine people died after
eating raw oysters in Florida. The state of Florida says that these
deaths could have been prevented. When oysters are cooked, the
killer bacteria, vibrio vunificus dies as well, and oysters are safe
to eat. Producer Jay Garant travels to Apalachicola Bay, where
most of Florida's oysters are harvested, to learn about Florida's
shellfish industry.



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