Title: Franklin chronicle
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089928/00023
 Material Information
Title: Franklin chronicle
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Russell Roberts
Publication Date: November 3, 1995
Copyright Date: 1995
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Franklin -- Apalachicola
Coordinates: 29.725278 x -84.9925 ( Place of Publication )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089928
Volume ID: VID00023
Source Institution: Florida State University
Holding Location: Florida State University
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

1 1




Published Every Other Friday


franklin Chronicle

Volume 4, Number 22


3 November 16 November 1995

Perspective From A

Seafood Dealer

Brooks Wade and Florida Shellfish, Eastpoint




Deficiencies at

Area Hospitals

A Wallace Pleads
The frenzy is on for the 1995 Florida Seafood Festival. "In Wallace Plea s
King Retsyo We Believe" t-shirts are displayed outside of orueld v rk
the Franklin County Courthouse. These Florida Seafood t Cru y
Festival t-shirts are being sold for $10. Anim

SSt George Island resident William
S .. Davnd Wallace pleaded No Contest
S. ito charges of Cruelty to Animals
I__ on 17 October.
^^^B-^l*>-'*i.64~e3s~iS IN OME06W-Hi^

Brooks Wade; owner and operator of Florida Shellfish, discussed
a variety of issues and subjects with the Chronicle on the occa-
sion of the Florida Seafood Festival. After some brief references to
his background, he tells us about blue crabbing, a relatively new
fishery in Apalachicola Bay. He comments on the problems con-
nected with fisheries management, the importation of out-of-state
oysters, regulation, and operating a seafood house in Franklin
County. BW is the abbreviation for Brooks Wade. The Chronicle
interviewer was Tom Hoffer, publisher.

Brooks Wade (B'W): ...I started this particular business almost ex-
actly three years ago, but I've been involved in the oyster industry
since the early 1980s...
...It's a style of life and a work that I enjoy and a world that I like to
live in...There's certainly better...financial decisions to make than
entering this particular industry but if you are prone to it, emotion-
ally and physically, it's still a good choice...I'm probably the world's
biggest romantic about the seafood industry anyway. That's what at-
tracted it to me since I was eight or ten years old.
...I went to college at Florida State...and graduate school...and I tired
of going to school...bought a beat up old boat and 200 blue crab traps
and became a blue crabber. And, my heart's been with the seafood
industry ever since. We buy and sell crab, and I catch some myself as
The Process of Crabbing
It is a 5-or 6-hour day on the water-sometimes a little longer, de-
pending on the weather. Most crabbers leave at dawn and are back
here by 2 p.m. That's our house requirement. We usually load the
trucks [then]...
What is a good day? It depends on how many traps a crabber pulls. A
good harvest is two or three pounds to a trap...Ten years ago four or
five pounds to a trap was a good day...Every trap has its own line and
float...Hopefully, you have good territorial knowledge so you can relo-
cate your traps and you know where they are and you go back to
them. You also respect other people's areas...
Question: Is there any problem with poaching?
BW: Sometimes...Once it starts happening and it happened once early
this year. Every legitimate crabber intends to catch the person doing
it but it's a rare event that we do...Sometimes traps are stolen, some-
times crabs are stolen. It's an intermittent problem.
...To be at all successful, requires a tremendous amount of local knowl-
edge. Local, meaning geographical local knowledge. It's a tough fish-
ery to break into because it takes so long to learn where to put the
traps, and to learn the behaviour of the crabs in this particular area...
The Business
Crabbing is a growing fishery here [in Eastpoint]. It's probably a much
larger, more economically substantial fishery in Franklin County than
most people are aware of...I think we have 8 or 9 fishermen working
here [in Eastpoint] and maybe there's another ten in the
County...There's probably 20 or so crabbers working in Franklin
County...On a regular basis...catchers. A lot for a small bay. we have
way too many traps for the territory we have to fish...[It is] almost
totally unregulated. Because of the net law, lots and lots of fishermen
are now moving into the crabbing industry, There are more crabbers
than there were last year.
Because [of oystering] crabbing has been, at best, a sideline industry.
It's coming on strong now because of the weakness in the oyster in-
dustry and the lack of the net fishery...an up and coming fishery.
[But] there are just too many fishermen for the crabs that are
available...It needs intelligent regulation, but that is not happening.
There is a danger of every resource being exhausted by overfishing,
but developmental pressures, and all of that...in the absence of intel-
ligent regulation.
Continued on page 5




New Major

Major Pippin
Major Royce Pippin.began his first
day at the Franklin Work Camp
on October 27. Fresh from Holmes
Correctional Institution, Pippin
stated that his first day as the
work camp's major was only the
second time that he has ever been
in Franklin County. "I'm just
happy to be here," said Pippin,
"And I'm eager to get out into the
Mindful of the working atmo-
sphere and operation of Franklin
County's facility, Pippin indicated
that the Franklin Work Camp was
one of the more highly thought of
institutions in Northern Florida.
"I don't think I would have left
Bonifay as quick as I did other-
wise," said Pippin, "I was well
aware of Franklin's reputation."
Major Pippin stated that the edu-
cational programs as well as the
work camp's farm seemed quite
impressive. Referring to the farm
at Holmes Correctional Institu-
tion, Pippin said that the facility
had a few rows of turnip greens
and tomatoes. "It looks like a lot
of work has been spent in
Franklin's farm and I'm anxious
to see what all has been planted
out there."
Concerning educational possibili-
ties for inmates at the Franklin
Work Camp, Pippin affirmed, "I'm
for anyone who wants to help
himself. I think that the individual
has to want to change when it
comes to education and rehabili-
tation; but I'm more than willing
to go that route."
It was in 1984 when Royce Pip-
pin began working in the Depart-
ment of Corrections. Pippin had
worked under the rank of captain

for the past eighteen months. He
stated that one of his long term
goals had been to one day coordi-
nate a work camp under the rank
of major. "It's a goal I'd set some-
time back. I've accomplished that
and it's a good feeling."
Major Pippin is a native of
Bonifay. He is married to Patty
Pippin and has two children,
Jerrid and Hannah. "I'm just
proud to death of them," beamed
Pippin. Interested in community
activities, Major Pippin has
coached little league baseball and
has participated in the juvenile
oriented Royal Ambassadors Pro-
gram. "I like working with kids.
and I especially enjoy community
based activities."
"I want to strive to do the best I
can here," concluded Pippin, "And
wherever that takes me, I'm sure
it be in a positive direction."



The 10 October death of Carra-
belle resident Debra S. Ratliff is
being considered an accident by
the Franklin County Sheriffs De-
According to Lt. Johnnie Turner,
the injuries that covered the back
of Ratliffs head indicate that she
was not pushed out of her
husband's (Bob Ratliff) truck. Lt.
Turner concluded that Ms. Ratliff
fell out of the truck when she held
the door open and threatened to
jump out. The vehicle had been
traveling at approximately 30
MPH. Turner stated that Ratliff
had one leg inside the vehicle and
one dangling on the roadway
when the sheriffs department in-
vestigated the incident.
"This was just an unfortunate and
tragic accident," said Turner, "It
is believed that alcohol was in-
volved in this particular case."
Services were held for Ms. Debra
S. Ratliff in Virginia. Ms. Ratliff
was 41 years old.

Mr. Wallace allegedly shot, par-
tially skinned and then cut the
tongue out of a pet chow owned
by Tina Shiver and under the care
-of Wallace's--neighbor, .Barbara,
Hicks, on 16 July 1995. The de-
ceased animal was then left in the
master bedroom of Wallace's girl-
friend. Margie Robertson.
According to the 14 August prob-
able cause report prepared by Of-
ficer Joseph Ham of the Franklin
County Sheriffs Department, Ms.
Robertson stated that her son told
her that Mr. Wallace had "torn the
house up" and latter admitted to
killing the neighbors' dog.
Robertson said that she had made
Wallace angry because she was
away from her residence on
16 July. According to the prob-
able cause report, Ms.
Robertson's daughter heard
Wallace state, "I'll kill her [Ms.
Robertson] first and then I will kill
Officer Ham stated that Wallace
was very nervous when he was
confronted about the matter. Ac-
cording to Ham, Mr. Wallace said
that he wanted the dog killed be-
cause it had caught one of his kit-
tens. Wallace said that "one of the
others" may have killed the dog.
When Officer Ham asked if he
could search Wallace's truck,
Wallace initially agreed, but later
concluded that it would be a vio-
lation of his rights for Ham to
search his vehicle. Officer Ham
noted that there were "a bunch of
things piled up in the back of his
[Wallace's] truck."
Mr. Wallace was fined $250, or-
dered to pay $250 to the Frank-
lin County Humane Society and
$500 in restitution to Ms. Barbara
Hicks. Adjudication was withheld
against Wallace.
Franklin County Humane Society
President Rene Topping latter
commented, "I think It's really sad
when people are cruel to animals.
Often, when people are punished
for such an offense, they usually
come to their senses latter."





Effective 1 November 1995, the
Franklin County Animal Shelter
will be open for adoptions and
other business on a restricted
schedule due to the recent resig-
nation of Shelter Manager Betty
Until the position is filled, Frank-
lin County Humane Society mem-
bers will be manning the shelter
on a volunteer basis.
Please call the shelter for an up-
date on the new hours (670-
8417). The Humane Society
wishes to thank Betty for her great
dedication to the shelter animals
during her period of service.

The Franklin Chronici received
a Letter to the Editor in late Oc-
tober from Larry R. Wright, P.A.-
C, a former Physician's Assistant
at Gulf Pines and Emerald Coast
Hospital; Mr. Wright wrote criti-
cally of the administrative prac-
tices at both of the said hospital
In his criticism of Gulf Pines and
Emerald Coast Hospital, Wright
listed massive staff layoffs
coupled with administrative indif-
ference, overloading the hospital's
budget with administrative per-
sonnel, newly purchased clinics
and medical doctors and paying
staff members at the two facili-
ties a week to ten days late.
"I have to say that this is the most
incompetentlyu ur;n! -business I
have ever seen," concluded Wright
in his letter, "The employees of
both hospitals and the citizens of
Gulf and Franklin Counties de-
serve better. It would be nice if
someone who was more caring,
honest and medically competent
would take over both hospitals."
On October 27, the Franklin
Chronicle conducted an interview
with Mr. Wright to. gain a better
understanding of his complaints.
During his interview, Mr. Wright
spoke in depth about emergency
room practices, budgetary priori-
ties, medical staff practices, and
an administrative staff that Mr.
Wright felt was unqualified.
Larry Wright began his work in.
Franklin County at Magnolia
Medical Clinic and Emerald Coast
Hospital in December of 1992. He
was moved to Gulf Pines Hospital
in 1993 and worked at the Gulf
County facility until September of
1995. After a period of complain-
ing to administrators about re-
ceiving his paycheck a week late,
Wright and Gulf Pines Hospital
agreed mutually to part company.
Mr. Wright stated that the emer-
gency rooms run by Provident
Medical Corporation had, in the
past few years, gotten into the
abit of being unsupervised by
medical doctors. Wright said that
medical doctors were required to
be at least within phone contact
and available within 30 minutes.
Currently, said Wright, Provident
Medical Corporation's emergency
rooms still do not adhere to such
supervisory regulations.
"There were times early on when
it was really stretched to the
limit," said Wright, "But we were
still able to have the E.R. run ap-
propriately." He continued, "Cur-
rently, they have one doctor cover
two emergency rooms (Gulf Pines
and Emerald Coast Hospital). I
don't think that's kosher. I don't
think it's as often as it was. In
theory it sounds good, but in
practice...you can be lucky; but if
you have an emergency at Gulf
Pines and then an emergency at
the same time in Franklin County,
you're S.O.L. (S*** Out of Luck).
You can't be in two places at one
time. I don't care how good you
Mr. Wright mentioned that one
particular doctor was in Tallahas-
see on two separate occasions
when he was called for emergency
room assistance. Wright was able
to name doctors from both Gulf
Pines and Emerald Coast Hospi-
tal who were asked to cover two
emergency rooms and either
agreed to or declined to offer such
Mr. Wright also noted the danger
of having a medical doctor with a
background in clinical laboratory
research supervise the emergency
Continued on page 2

#rg~Pe '* ?


E'1A .


i, .

k ILI;3


Page 2 3 November 1995 The Franklin Chronicle


Published every other Friday

Fire Consumes



An uncontrollable blaze of fire
completely gutted Carrabelle's
lone music store, the Key of Sea
music store located on Highway
98, at approximately 2:20 A.M. On
Wednesday, 25 October.
Tex Spradlin of the Carrabelle Fire
Department stated the blaze was
believed to be the result of faulty
electrical wirings in the business'
attic. "The fire apparently started
on top of the building, which leads
us to believe that the fire was be-
gun from the wiring." Spradlin
continued, "When we arrived at
the scene at 2:20 A.M., there was
fire shooting out of the roof and
the doors. The windows had al-
ready been busted out by the fire."
Business owner Chaz Mikell
would find out a day later that his
store had been devoured by fire.
As he returned from a visit from
Tallahassee on Thursday after-
noon, Mr. Mikell pulled into his
driveway at the Key of Sea and
found his store destroyed. Con-
sumed by the initial shock, Mr.
Mikell could only stare obliviously
at his loss and question how he
would recover.

Hospital Criticism
from page 1
room and treat patients. "He's not
used to seeing patients," said
Wright, "He definitely, in my opin-
ion, should not be covering emer-
gency rooms. He shouldn't really
e seeing patients, because he's
just a research person. What he
has been trained to do is to look
into microscopes and stuff. It's
scary to think that if you come in
having a heart attack, you've got
a clinical pathologist examining
Mr. Wright was asked to assess
the medical staff that worked for
Provident Medical Corporation in
Franklin County. While most of
Wright's comments were ex-
tremely positive about the medi-
cal staff, there was some criticism.
According to Larry Wright, one
physician had previously been
caught calling in prescriptions for
his wife. "All I know is that the
licensing board came down on
him for that."
Wright stated that two medical
doctors were considered
"candymen" by their patients be-
cause they prescribed freely an

assortment of medications. "They
have patients coming from as far
away as Fountain all the way
down to Apalachicola or Port St.
Joe, because they (patients) know
they can get the medications that
they want, which I would never
Mr. Wright said that one of the
"candymen" was an alcoholic who
refused to seek treatment and
would not admit to having a prob-
lem. He stated that the doctor's
illness was so apparent that he
later wrote a letter to the owner, 4
Hugh Steely, requesting that this
individual not back him up in the
emergency room, because he was
frequently intoxicated on the job.
"And when you called at three in
the morning about someone hav-
ing a heart attack or some other
medical emergency, he would an-
swer, 'What the F*** do you want?'
And that was before he knew who
he was talking to."
"For this corporation to be owned
by an accountant (Hugh Steely),"
said Wright, "It's the most disor-
ganized run operation that I've
ever seen."
Mr. Wright complained that owner
Hugh Steely hired his friends in
both Gulf and Franklin County to
work in administration. "In Gulf
Pines, Mr. Steely hired one of his
friends to be the Clinic Adminis-
trator; he had no medical or ad-
ministrative background at all
and he lasted about six months.
Staff members had to follow be-
hind him and correct all of his
Administrators, according to
Wright, had also asked both doc-
tors and physicians at the hospi-
tals and clinics to increase their
patient load, though adhere to a
staff reduction of nurses and re-
ceptionists. The clinics, said
Wright, eventually escaped such
cuts in staff. "The ones who were
cut were a little upset with the
clinic, because they (clinic staff)
got to stay on and work."
Wright expressed his outrage
against Provident Medical Corpo-
ration by refusing to attend a
beach party that was held shortly
after staff members were laid off.
"How can you fire a bunch of
people and then the very next
weekend have a celebration."
"I think everybody they have
below administration are compe-
tent. None of the administrative
people they have at Gulf Pines
Hospital has any medical knowl-
edge or background."
According to Mr. Wright, hospital
employees were initially being
paid on Thursdays; the hospital
administrators then began paying
their employees on the following
Thursday or Friday.
"And then they would come out
and say, 'we do have checks, but
we need some volunteers, because
we can't pay everyone. So those
of you you can volunteer to not
be paid right now, let us hold your
checks for a couple of days and
those who must have them right
away, we'll give them to you.'" Mr.
Wright stated that, while the hos-
pital was supposedly insolvent,
"The same time they have no
money, they just hired a new doc-
tor; and there are parties and they
(administrators) are going to Or-
lando to watch ballgames." He
continued, "It's a violation of fed-
eral law for someone to withhold
your paycheck."
Mr. Wright felt that Provident
Medical Corporation's propensity
to spend heavily on administra-
tive personnel and medical staff
was one of the main reason why
neither Gulf Pines nor Emerald
Coast Hospital could offer labo-
ratory testing or the services of a
Cat Scan Machine.

Serving Wakulla and Franklin Counties

Business Cards Letterheads Envelopes
Rubber Stamps Carbonless Forms Newsletters
Booklets Church Bulletins Menus
Much More


3053 Crawfordville Hwy.
(across from the courthouse)


1-800-984-2707 (FL Toll-Free)

Member of:
Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce
Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce

"If some patient came into the
emergency room complaining of
chest pains and we thought it was
a heart attack, we couldn't do a
proper work-up, because we
didn't have the test. So, we would
have to end up transferring that
person to another hospital, prob-
ably in Panama City, and lose the
Gulf Pines Hospital did have a
Cat-scan machine, noted Wright,
but that machine was broken and
the company that usually re-
paired the Cat Scan refused to do
so, because Gulf Pines owed them
$10,000. Wright also stated that
Gulf Pines lost the services of their
pharmacy, because they owed
their pharmaceutical corporation
approximately $300,000.
"How can you call yourself a com-
petent facility when you let your
laboratory supplies run out. And
you can't order new ones (sup-
plies), because you have no
money; yet you have an emer-
gency room that is open and
you're trying to treat patients
there; and you can't do it, because
you don't have the capability of
doing the tests that you need.
That's dangerous."
Plantation Owners
Annual Meeting
Heating Up over
As Saturday, 11 November 1995
approaches, members of the St.
George Island Plantation
Homeowner's Association are re-
ceiving numerous election salvos
promoting various candidates and
asserting predictions about the
future of the Plantation.
Dr. Tom Adams, leader of a move-
ment to oust Dr. Ben Johnson's
Resort Village commercial devel-
opment from the Homeowner's
Association, calls the upcoming
election of members to the
Association's Board of Directors,
"... a referendum on commercial-
ization of the Plantation." His
postcard notice to members says
"If you have recently received
"election mailouts", you must be
aware that events in the Planta-
tion have reached a new low mor-
ally and ethically..." Continuing,
"...the letters of the Rodrigues
(Ted Rodrigue and Laura Homan-
Rodrigue) and (Hank) Koslowsky
carry an identical theme crafted
to engender fear and are based on
completely false assertions about
fictitious legal expenses...
Ted Rodrigue, Association mem-
ber and father of one of the can-
didates for the Board of Directors
(Laura Homan-Rodrigue) tells
members in his letter "Your vote'
is crucial at-the November 11'
Annual Meeting to continue the
positive manner in which our'
community is developing."
There are three seats on the Board
of Directors to be filled in the
11 November election. The Board
is also expected to appoint a
fourth person to replace Tom
Outlaw, who recently resigned
from the Board. The Ted Rodrigue
letter characterized the contest in
this way:
"...There are three other candi-
dates for these seats, Amato,
Plessinger, and Gallio. All three
are permanent residents. With


Mr. Fred McCormack, represent-
ing the Dog Island Conservation
District, requested that the Board
of County Commissioners get le-
gally Involved in settling the ques-
ion of who owns the main road
on Dog Island, so a pier system
with 32-35 slips could be con-
structed. McCormack gave the
Commissioners a brief history of
the island and the problem de-
scribing the Lewis family, who for-
merly owned much of the island
until they sold it to the Nature
Conservancy, but deeded the road
to the County. The Nature Con-
servancy says it is the successor
in title to the road, as well. At the
present time, any application for
a dock facility to the Department
of Environmental Protection
(DEP) must also involve the road,
and DEP will not approve the per-
mit for construction until the
question of who owns the road is
cleared up. Thus, McCormack
asked the Board to seek a declara-
tory judgment on the question of
road ownership but the Conser-
vation District of Dog Island
would pay all costs of such an ac-
tion, since they are the benefac-
tors of the new pier. There are
some additional questions about
a reverter clause and whether the
County still retained ownership
when the ferry operation ceased.
The Board is to write the Dog Is-
land Conservation District for
written assurances of payment
and plans to take further action

two seats already occupied by
permanent residents and one seat
open for appointment we could be
facing a resident board majority
of 6-1...
...Our deepest concern is that
this small group would have ac-
cess to association funds for law-
suits and litigation instead of im-
provements and upkeep to the
plantation infrastructure and
amenities. Is this in your best in-
'The majority of our current board
has steadfastly pursued negotia-
tion with Ben Johnson to improve
our position and to alleviate the
Impact of the agreement brought
to the association for approval by
the negotiating team of Tom
Royal, Jerry Henderson and Dick
Plessinger in 1992. The only in-
telligent way to move forward is
the path of negotiation chosen by
our current president. Expensive
litigation (estimated to cost ap-
proximately $500,000) will not
benefit you and me but will only
result in huge assessments to
each and every one of us."
Board member William B. Hartley,
running for re-election to the
Board, says it more clearly: "Your
message was clear then and my
message is clear now: To Oppose
condos, hotels and shops, Vote for
(Christon) Gallio, (Richard)
Plessinger and (Pam) Amato."
Member B. L. Cosey, whose letter
was enclosed with Hartley's,
brings forward other issues: "If
Jim Bachrach, Hank Koslowsky
and Laura Rodrigue are elected to
our board, we will have the same
condition we have had for the past
Continued on page 7

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In a Fully ResToweb 1905 VicTonian Mansion

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ApaLachicola, FloRla I ,.

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15 Yr. Expelr$ece
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Starting salary: $18,387.20 annually.

OR CALL (904) 653-9744


* -.. .inm i -. a

WILDerness Coast Public Libraries will celebrate the
arrival of the new bookmobile that will be shared with
Franklin, Jefferson and Wakulla Counties with a grand
opening, to be held in Apalachicola, in conjunction with
the Florida Seafood Festival, Saturday, November 4th.
Financed by a Library Services and Construction Act
grant of $78,000 and by $3,992 from WILD, the new
bookmobile has a Bluebird body with a special conver-
sion bookmobile interior that was done by Lee's Custom
Coaches of Largo, Florida.
The bookmobile will be easy to spot among the vendors
as it sports a design of sun, sand, water and trees in
artwork of yellow, green and blue. The red logo on the
rear of the bookmobile is the family literacy symbol.
WILD Bookmobile Services Specialist Catherine Schuyler
"Skyler" will be on hand to welcome patrons, issue
bookmobile library cards and provide the latest informa-
tion about the bookmobile schedule and site locations
here in Franklin County.
The WILD bookmobile is scheduled to visit each of the
three counties for one week in three week cycles. Thus
the circulation period will be three weeks. Schedules for
bookmobile stops in each county will be published soon
in the newspapers and posted in the Eastpoint and
Carrabelle Public Libraries.
The acquisition of the bookmobile is one of two major
projects undertaken by WILD this year. The second
project, for which bids are currently being reviewed, is
the linking of all three libraries with an automation
Please come to the Florida Seafood Festival and check it
out! For more information call "Skyler" at (904) 926-
4571 or the Eastpoint and Carrabelle Public Libraries.

rafty for Halloween


Apalachicola resident Angel McClain visited the WINGS Program
in Eastpoint on October 27 and led students in an Arts and Crafts
instructional for Halloween. "I've always enjoyed working with
kids," said McClain, "And I've enjoyed Arts and Crafts for as long
as I can remember."

HCR 2 St. George Island
Florida 32328-9701
Phone: (904) 927-2282
FAX: (904) 927-2230


Plantation Bayfront, beautiful and comfortable 3BR/2 1/2BA, with great sunsets, furnished.
fans, deck. screened porch, dock, fish-cleaning area, In walking distance of pool, very good rental
potential, must see to appreciate by appointment, only $275,000.
There are others. We also have some excellent homesites. For example: beachfront lot in Plantation,
1 acrt for $345,000; beachfront lots in Casa Del Mar, 1/2 acre for $225.000; lot across street from
beach in Casa Del Mar starting at $119,900; interior lot in Plantation only $45,900; Bayfront lot
in Plantation for $174,000; interior lots in the Gulf Beaches area on paved street starting at
$32000: beachfront lot with 100' on waterfront only $220.000; bayvlew lot with water and septic
tank only $49.900.
Prices will go up again. Give us a call and let us assistyou withyour future Investment on the Island.
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Published every other Friday


E'ditoria and Commentaru

Views from Left Field

Brake Pedal for Break Peddle
By Will Morris
Recently, Tallahassee voters resoundingly rejected a half-cent sales
tax increase, earmarked for more school construction. Various pub-
lished opinions subsequently portrayed this as a rejection of the school
issue. I'm not so sure that was the message at all. I think it was
simply a general refusal to increase a sales tax which is already con-
temptibly excessive at seven cents on the dollar.
I've been thinking that we should have laws which recognize any at-
tempt to charge more than 5% sales tax as felony extortion, providing
for the use of deadly force by the purchaser as justifiable defense of
We might go even further: automatic capital punishment, for betrayal
of the public trust, for any public official who proposes sales taxes in
excess of 5%.
Then again, perhaps that's a bit extreme. Maybe just a sincere apol-
ogy would do (followed by a life sentence on a chain gang, cleaning up
toxic waste sites).
"But the rich pay more sales tax simply because they buy more stuff,
right?" Wrong.
Retail purchases by the rich, as a group, are a relatively small frac-
tion of total sales in our economy-simply because the rich are a
relatively small fraction of the population. The lion's share of sales
taxes are paid by the masses of ordinary, individual consumers, like
you and me. True-individual rich persons buy more stuff than indi-
vidual poor persons.
But, they pay a lot less sales tax as a percentage of their income. For
example: the family with a yearly income of $35,000 or less, will spend
most, if not all of it, to make ends meet. On the other end of the
earning scale, those with yearly incomes of, say, $150,000 and up,
will not spend most of their income to make ends meet. A larger por-
tion of their income will not be subject to sales tax. We don't need to
be economists here, to see the poor paying higher tax rates, in pro-
portion to their income, than the rich.
After the rich have purchased their necessities and toys, they have a
lot more left over. They the return this left over money to a central
fund, from which Unemployment and Medicare are dispersed. Right?
Ha, ha, ha! What they do is this: they invest it, and make even more
money on it (rather than blowing it all-and paying sales tax on it to
Income from most of these investments is called "capital gains"
(whereas income received by people who actually go to work every
day to earn it is called "wages and salaries").
One popular and particularly effective investment strategy is called
"political contributions." This is where they invest money (which is
tax deductible-rather than taxed) in lobbying and campaign contri-
Their-"returns on investments" are "tax loopholes," which frequently
translate to lower income tax rates than those at which the average
worker is taxed. Often, they pay no income taxes at all. Consider, for
example, the unending crusade for "capital gains" taxes breaks.
I fail to see the logic of the "capital gains" tax relief for any enterprise
which is already prospering well enough to reward certain individu-
als with benefits valued at more than ten times the average national
wage. Nor do such individuals or enterprises strike me as being in
need of relief.
Now we begin to approach those who are so well off, that their an-
guished cries for tax relief tend to violate my sense of fair play. Fur-
ther up on the scale, you have the "idle rich" (a.k.a. the "leisure class")
whose pastimes include such gratifying pursuits as "polo" and "fox
hunting" (both performed astride the backs of sturdy horses).
Another particularly gratifying pursuit is called: "Let's manipulate
the tax system to our advantage" (performed astride the backs of

S 1 904-927-2186
3N 904-385-4003 (TALLAHASSEE)
Facsimile 904-385-0830
Vol. 4, No. 22 3 November 1995
Publisher Tom W. Hoffer
Editor and Manager ............... Brian Goercke
Contributors........... Paul Jones

........... Rene Topping
.......... Wayne Childers
.......... Will Morris
............. Tom Markin
Survey Research Unit .. Eric Steinkuehler

Computer Systems,
Advertising Design,
and Production. ................ Christian Liljestrand
........... Audra Perry
............ Jacob Coble
Layout Garvey Scott
Production Assistant ............................... Cindy Nipper
C circulation .............................................. Lee B elcher
.......... Bonnie Dietz
Citizen's Advisory Group
George Chapel ...................................... Apalachicola
Sandra Lee Johnson.............................. Apalachicola
Grace and Carlton Wathen .................... Carrabelle
Rene Topping ....................................... Carrabelle
Pat M orrison ........................................ St. George Island
Tom and Janyce Louthridge .................. St. George Island
Elizabeth and Jim Sisung......................... Eastpoint
Bedford and Eugenia Watkins................ Eastpoint
W ayne Childers .................................... Port St. Joe
Back Issues
For current subscribers, back issues of the Chronicle are available free, in
single copies, if in stock, and a fee for postage and handling. For example
an 8 page issue would cost $1.75 postpaid. To others back issues are
priced at 35 each plus postage and handling. Please write directly to the
Chronicle for price quotes if you seek several different or similar issues.
If a single issue, merely add 35 to the price quote above. In-county
subscriptions are $16.96 including tax. Out-of-county subscriptions are
$22.26 including tax.
All contents Copyright 1995
Franklin County Chronicle, Inc.

sturdy peasants). Since virtually all of their enormous incomes are in
the form of "capital gains," reduced taxes on such is the obviously
self-serving goal of this pursuit.
To identify the players, just look for the ones constantly walling and
gnashing their teeth for "capital gains tax relief." (The success of this
particularly offensive version of "performance art" requires a certain
lack of sophistication on the part of the audience.)
Their argument for "capital gains" tax reduction goes something like
this: "If taxes on "capital gains" are reduced, then more money will be
left over to invest-resulting on more capital investment, more jobs,
and a more vigorous economy.
Well, how about this argument: "If taxes on "wages and salaries" are
reduced, then more money will be left over to spend-resulting in
more retail purchases, more jobs, and a more vigorous economy."
My two thumbs are down on this latest sequel, "Son of Capital Gains"
(Version '95). Capital Gains tax break? Give it a brakes

The Publisher's Response

While I appreciate Will Morris' contributions to the editorial page,. I
do part company with him on tax issues raised in his latest piece. I do
not think it very productive, editorially speaking, to divide the tax-
payers into so-called "rich" persons, who happen to own stocks and
are thus subject to capital gains taxes, and "others" who make their
living from, as he puts it, "wages and salaries." Such a division is
contrived "
For one thing, many in that "wages and salaries" group also own
stocks in the American economy for various reasons-to keep up with
inflation over the decades and to take profit. This also applies to mutual
funds. The distinctions between the two "groups" is a bit fuzzy when
we consider who is subject to the higher tax rates in capital gains,
versus ordinary income taxes and those rates.
His piece misses a more important point concerning taxes. All taxes
ought to be reduced along with government spending, which was also
the byproduct of the Tallahassee tax vote. Tallahassee is sales taxed
to death, and the Tallahassee public sent a message to the school
board concerning the recent proposal. Most agree, including editorial
opinion and letters published in the Tallahassee Democrat, that this
vote was not a vote against schools. It was a rejection of the usual
panacea that a few more tax dollars will not be too difficult for the
taxpayers to absorb. Well, the public, low and high incomes, sent the
school board a distinct and very clear message. The rejection was
very broadly based in this vote.
The real impact in paying any taxes is directly on individual families,
not "classes" of taxpayers or "groups" defined arbitrarily by income
levels. While most agree that sales taxes would have more impact on
low-income families, that argument misses the real problem. Tax rates
for capital gains are high; much higher than these should be.
Many widows and widowers, who are holding their stocks and mu-
tual funds may want to sell to collect their rightfully earned profits
yet when sold, they will pay a high tax rate due to capital gains.
Others earning wages and salaries are taxed at a much lower rate, as
they should be; as all should be. These old folks need those capital
gain dollars to pay for increasing costs of living to older ages. Their
politics are irrelevant. They need that money. Why should anyone at
the age of 65, who has paid taxes on a lifetime income, have to pay
any taxes at all?
The real problem is the cost of the huge bureaucracies which have been
formed since the Great Society programs created by the late President
Johnson. Most of those agencies are still with us at the Federal level,
although they were created at a time when the Nation was at war in
Vietnam. The bureaucracy, a 20th Century creation, is our legacy to
the new Century 21.
A huge cleaver is needed to reduce our reliance on self-government
through such bureaucracy, regardless of intention. These mechanisms
continue to thrive at the root of.our country's life-blood, and are sap-
ping us of tax dollars, creativity, swift decision-making, and above
all, accountability. This generalization applies to private and public
"business" alike, but the waste is most visible in the public sector. I
think this is not a political issue but a very practical one, and it is
about time we woke up about the implications such bureaucracies
have for our futures.
We need leaders, not committees. We need fair tax laws, not one-sided
tax policies designed to redistribute wealth. Such redistribution theo-
ries belong in the dust bin of history; they are simply not relevant in
today's marketplace.
In conclusion, I would add one additional item for Mr. Morris who
seems so hypnotized by those folks who have the ability to participate
in a capital gain situation. That is the element of risk. The impact of
losing money in an investment is probably equally felt, among the
low-income households that might have put some investment in
stocks, and the high-income household that also might have lost
money in similar investments.
Where the distinction between both groups becomes very contrived
is when both heads of households are reading the financial pages
each day to see how their investment has fared. I would be hard
pressed to see the difference in agony of losses in the faces of either
head of household, just as I would not be able to discern very easily
the joy between both groups when the market is up, and so is their
stock. Risk is always present and that ought to be worth something
when the profit is taken.
If there is a loss, the government only allows anyone to take a portion
of that loss in any given tax year. Yet if there is a gain, the government
takes their huge chunk in one single fell swoop. Regardless of income
group-all are treated the same. Why is that? Well, the government,
and our legislative officials don't explain it very well. Except to say, by
deed and vote, the bureaucracies need the money! I would thinkiit
more productive to explore answers to those questions which burrow
under the rules. Even the element of risk is not given any special tax
treatment. But risk is important to American enterprise, growth, fu-
tures and jobs.
Ever heard about a government committee seriously considering risk
when spending the public's tax money? There is little risk-taking in
government because there is a seemingly endless supply of tax dol-
lars, whether capital gains taxes, or wages and salaries taxes, coming
into their treasuries.
The Tallahassee vote was merely a reminder to the school board that
they need to spend wisely what they already have, and that few dol-
lars were forthcoming to fill in newly defined needs. Move on over to
the Florida educational establishment if you want to firid a pit of
wasted tax dollars, but that is the subject of another editorial piece.
(Perhaps we could convince The Curmudgeon Tom Markin to get into
the Florida situation.)
While, thetr is some disagreement on the role of small business in
creating the largest number ofjobs, jobs are created with this risk in
mind. That leads to those "wages and salaries" we are all concerned
Tom W. Hoffer

Iv II l tIIIIIIII II h th 1i -,s111111 I 1111111111111111111 I i 1ll I Illf I I 1 n1

- Hans & Esther

Special Offer
Weekly Rates
Free Coffee

P.O. Box 1337
Carrabelle, FL 32322
(904) 697-3410

Highway 319 and 98
Downtown Adjacent to Carrabelle River
Reservations Accepted Mastercard Visa

An Open Letter to the Employees of Gulf
Pines Hospital & Emerald Coast Hospital
I would like to say GOODBYE AND THANKS, to all of you, who over
the past several years have been co-workers and friends. I truly en-
joyed the time that I spent working with you. It's a pleasure to work
in a small business where the staff is like family. I will miss the smil-
ing faces and warm greetings. I came with plans to work for as many
years as possible. Unfortunately the conditions were not as favorable
as I had hoped, and was led to believe.
Small businesses have something that is not found in larger busi-
nesses: CAMARADERIE. I won't waste time explaining that, you know
what it means. In most small businesses this is present from the
owners, managers, and ALL employees. However, the Owner and Ad-
ministrator of this business are different. They don't care that you
don't get your paychecks until a week late (which is a violation of
federal law). They don't care that you have bills to pay. It doesn't
bother them that you have small children at home that need food and
clothes. It doesn't bother them that you live from paycheck to pay-
check. It doesn't bother them that the gas company is threatening to
discontinue your service, or the bank is threatening to foreclose. Af-
ter all it's not the gas company or banks fault that you don't get paid
on time.
It doesn't bother them that they lay off 20-30 people, and then a
week later have a big beach party. It doesn't bother them that you
don't get paid on time, they're too busy buying more clinics, hiring
more doctors, and administrative people. While your trying to explain
to your banks, gas company, and every body that you owe money,
they are in Orlando at an Orlando. Magic game, staying in expensive
hotels, and having a great time. It doesn't bother them to lay off good
workers to hire family or friends (some of which have no idea what
they are doing).
I feel sorry for you and the citizens of Port St. Joe. You all need this
hospital. The entire staff are excellent. You have good quality doctors,
physician assistants, nurses, nursing assistants, laboratory, x-ray,
housekeeping, and dietary staff.
I have been in this business for 20 years and have worked in many
businesses before, both large and small. I have to say that this is the
most incompetently run business I have ever seen; .The employees of
bothhospitals and the citizens of Gulf and Franklin counties deserve
better. It would be nice if some one who was more caring, honest, and
medically competent would take over both hospitals.

Larry R. Wright PAC

Responses from Area


November 2, 1995


I received your fax regarding the letter you received from Larry Wright
Obviously, I'm disappointed that Mr. Wright sent you a letter that
speaks negatively a out the Administration of Gulf Pines Hospital,
but I understand his frustrations.
Larry is.an excellent clinician and I do not recall ever receiving a
complaint about his medical skills. It is no secret that the healthcare
industry is extremely difficult to manage right now, especially in ru-
ral areas. I certainly do not blame anyone who chooses other avenues
of employment. As for the way Larry has accused us of running this
company, out goals are simple. We only desire to provide quality
healthcare to the citizens of Gulf and Franklin County. I arh grateful
that we still have an excellent team of employees that somehow man-
age to "stick it out" when times are so tough.
Brian L. Upton



While I have no particular insight into either the letter or the anger
which seems to have motivated it, I do want to say that, in my judge.
ment, Larry is an excellent Physician Assistant. During the past year
his involvement at Emerald Coast Hospital has.been relatively small.
but we have always enjoyed our association with him and felt secure
in his competence.
Providing rural health care services in today's reimbursement envi-
ronment is an increasingly difficult task. The politics are terrible, the
economics are worse. The one consistent thread that runs through
everything and underpins the whole system in a hospital like ours is
the unusually caring and giving nature of our employees. Most could
find better paying obs but they choose to work here to the benefit of
this community. They manage to provide excellent care in the face of
scarce resources and unfair criticism. They choose to care and build
their dreams for a constantly improving healthcare system despite
late paychecks or lack of recognition. They are in every respect some
of the finest folks on the planet and each of us in this community
owes them a debt of gratitude.
All of us here at Emerald Coast Hospital wish the very best for Larry
Wright. Had it been possible for him to have been more involved with
us, perhaps he could share our pride in our accomplishments over
the past two years as well as our commitment to improving things
even more in the years to come.
Sincerely yours,

Kenneth E. Dykes, Sr.

Apalachicola Bay
Shrimping Workshop
The Marine Fisheries Commission.
has scheduled a workshop to re-
ceive public input on shrimp

minimum count (size) regulations
and allowable shrimp harvesting
areas in Apalachicola Bay. The
public is encouraged to partici-
pate in the workshop, which will
take place on Tuesday, November
28, 1995 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
at the Franklin County Court-
house, Commission Chambers,
33 Market Street, in Apalachico-


The Franklin Chronicle 3 November 1995 Page 3

Snil C1V --A"


Commentary Continued

n i '

Curmudgeon's Corner
Lawyers, the Scourge of America
By Tom Markin
It's time for the American people to rebel against a force that plays a
huge role in the present on-going destruction of our society and our
I'm speaking, of course, of the dreadful racket that is euphemistically
referred to as the "legal profession."
The iron bound monopoly the lawyers enjoy in the U. S. allows them
to financially rape and pillage the land at their will. Last year in dam-
age law suits alone as HALT (Americans For Legal Reform) reported,
Americans spent over $40 billion on damage lawsuits, and more than
half of the money went to pay for lawyers and court costs.
The unholy fees that lawyers charge for their "services" can run as
high as $10,000 a hour, and "ordinary" fees can run hundreds of
dollars. Then there's cheating, of course. HALT contends overbilling
costs legal clients about $5 billion a year, about $6500 for each prac-
ticing attorney in the country.
The lawyers stack the deck in their favor 100 percent. In their search
for "deep pockets"-people with money-attorneys passed laws that
If a person or a company is as little as one percent involved in an
accident they are liable for the entire award.
To show how grossly unfair the liability law suits can get, take a case
In Racine, Wisconsin as an example. When Gene Ellwood drove
through a stop sign at about 50 m.p.h. and plowed into a school bus,
Ellwood's wife suffered severe brain damage. A Milwaukee lawyer who
specializes in personal injury cases sued the bus company, the party
with the deepest pockets. (Remember, Ellwood ran the stop sign.) The
jury awarded Cynthia Ellwood $1.9 million dollars of which the law-
yer received $692,325 in fees and expenses.
I could fill many volumes with similar incidents of such insanity.
Estimated costs to the U.S. economy-that's you and me-are $130
billion a year in product liability and personal injury cases. That's
more than $1,000 for each U. S. household. The big winners are the
plaintiff lawyers who make nearly $20 billion yearly by skimming 30-
40 percent of court judgments as their fees.
The part of this horrific situation that infuriates me the most is that
lawyers now have the power to sue you and me as taxpayers. Not too
many years ago lawyers passed laws to the effect that public entities
can be sued by individuals. (Remember, lawyers have COMPLETE
control of state and federal legislative bodies and alljudgeships.) Prior
to these laws, an individual could not sue a city, county, state, or
federal agency. These new mandates threw open the doors to the
ultimate deep pockets, taxpayer money.
Thus in the Rodney King incident, it wasn't the involved cops who
paid for their sins, it was the Los Angeles taxpayers who coughed up
the millions for the lawyers to share with King. Remember, every time
you read or hear of an award from a public agency-a local case of
sexual harassment comes to mind-it isn't the culprit who pays, it's
you as an innocent taxpayer who hands over the money to,the law-
yer. .. ... - -.i.. .
The lawyers are responsible for the collapse of our criminal justice
system. They defend the animals who prey upon us because there's
big money to be made in protecting the "rights" of these criminals.
The people who sit on death row for years, the endless appeals, all of
the convoluted nit-picking that turns loose the felons, all generate
filthy lucre for lawyers as they free the criminals to continue their
dirty deeds.
The only thing that makes sense in defending ourselves from the
legal racket is to put all legal advice in the public sector, and remove
the profit incentive from the picture. Legal clerks could handle our
divorces, our real estate transactions, court proceedings, etc. With
the profit gone our legal system would become simple and direct,
ending the complex nightmare that now punishes us so dreadfully.
The lawyers have us by the throat, and they are strangling our soci-
ety and our economy as they pursue their evil ends. I say if our citi-
zenry does not have the courage to eliminate most of the legal sys-
tem, then the blame for our dilemma falls on us. Shame on the Ameri-
can people if we do not defend ourselves from this terrible blight on
what used to be our fair land.

Charles Dean Humphries, 75, of
Carrabelle passed away on Mon-
day, 30 October, at the Tallahas-
see Memorial Hospital following a
brief illness. He was a native of
Vidalia, Georgia. He had a career
as a mechanical engineer in con-
struction. He retired to Carrabelle
seven years ago.
He is survived by his wife
Kathleen of Carrabelle; a son,
Charles Humphries of
Bridgewater, N.J.; and, a daugh-
ter, Kathleen Humphries of
Mexico, D.F.
A memorial service will be held in
Carrabelle at a later date. In rec-
ognition of his life long devotion
to the well being of animals, the
family has asked that in lieu of
flowers, memorial donations be
made to the Franklin County Hu-
mane Society, Post Office Box
432. Apalachicola, Florida 32320.

MFC To Hold
3-Day Public
Meeting In
Blue Crab And
Shrimping Workshops
The Marine Fisheries Commission
has scheduled a public meeting
4-6 December, 1995 at the
Cheeca Lodge, U.S. Highway 1,
Mile Marker 82, in Islamorada.
The Commission has also sched-
uled a series of public workshops
on blue crab and shrimp fishing
Issues. The December meeting
will include discussion on the fol-
lowing topics: Trawl Fishing, Am-
ber ack Rule, Spiny Lobster Trap
Reduction Program. Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary, Fed-
eral Councils Issues, and other
meeting action.

SOf St. Geor

Sec. Mortham Issues

Challenge to Cut

Unnecessary Regulations

Dear Editor:
There isn't much that government does that can't be done better by
the private sector. In fact, most of the time, the best thing govern-
ment can do is get out of the way and let the private sector work. One
thing that only government can do is to improve the regulatory cli-
mate. Think about it. Only government can change the way it does
business or how it affects you and your business.
As'I have traveled around the State of Florida and listened to people,
one plea came up again and again...Cut burdensome and unneces-
sary regulation. Examples of red tape and waste are everywhere; take
the businessman in Jacksonville, for example, who needed to build a
dock to expand his business. He spent more on lawyers and lobbyists
in order to comply with an outdated rule most believe totally unnec-
essary than he would if he ignored the rule and paid the fine.
Another senseless rule pointed out to me required a person to be
fingerprinted, at a cost of $42, every three years when they renewed
their concealed weapons permit. Last time I checked, fingerprints
don't change and we constantly monitor our permit holders for law
violations. This small change saves $8 million over the next three
It's no wonder that people's frustration with government has reached
an all-time high as evidenced by the popular bumper sticker "Make
welfare as hard to get as a building permit."
I know what you're thinking...How many times have you heard a poli-
tician say we need to cut government red tape? Many people holding
elective office today used the pledge to "fight government regulation"
as a campaign theme. There was no shortage of candidates, includ-
ing the Governor, who were ready and willing to "talk the talk" of
reducing the massive volume of unnecessary regulations. It is now
time to demand that elected officials "walk the walk."
As long as I am reading minds, I'll bet your next question is "What
have you done to reduce government regulation?...
On the day I took office as the Florida Secretary of State in January of
1995, there were 634 rules in place that interpreted statutes. Today
there are 246 rules left and that number is being reduced as you read
this. We continue to examine every rule as a method to improve our
organization and the delivery of service to the public.
The elimination of unnecessary and inflexible administrative regula-
tion is an idea whose time has come. Public and private organizations
should share a common goal; to create an environment where organi-
zations can react with common sense to threats, opportunities and
problems without being handcuffed by excessive, burdensome and
unnecessary rules.


Kennel Manager

For Franklin County Animal Shelter

Approx. 30 hours per week
Salary range $6.0 to $8.00 an hour
(depending upon experience)

Call 697-2299
and ask for an application
Deadline for returning applications'
November 14
Interviews will be held Nov. 18

Applications may be mailed to
P. O. Box 432
Apalachicola, FL 32320
or taken to the shelter


ge Island, Inc.

HCR Box 126

St. George Island, FL 32328-9703
Office: (904) 927-2821
Fax: (904) 927-2314

Property For Every Budget

"Board-Certified Specialists"
Drs. John J. Maceluch
and Gregory K. Morrow
Announce the opening of

Jlomamz to& Joman' Y ae t 6?ar,
Z I rt Yauift a
(at the Arbor Clinic)

OPEN TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1 pm to 5 pm
Providing Nurse Midwife Obstetrics & Gynecology

By Appointment only: 1-904-785-1530 1-800-376-2246

I challenge every unit of government, at the local, state and federal
level, to join me in the task of cutting unnecessary, burdensome and
excessive regulation. We can do much better
I also want to challenge you, the citizens of Florida, to demand better.
Contact your elected officials and urge them to take immediate ac-
tion. If you have trouble getting through, use my name and tell them
I asked you to call.
Sandra B. Mortham
Florida Secretary of State

The End of the Line for

Aquaculture Litigation
The litigation started by David Jones and Joe Square of Apalachicola, which
sought to overturn the Franklin County's veto power over leases in Apalachi-
cola Bay has finished. On 18 October 1995, the Supreme Court of Florida
declined jurisdiction in a close four to three vote among the seven justices.
The three justices who wanted to hear the discretionary appeal by Jones and
Square were Grimes, Shaw and Wells. In February 1991, Jones and Square
started the litigation against the State of Florida, Governor Chiles and others
to test the constitutionality of a statute which gave to the coastal counties the
power to Veto leases in coastal waters next to the county. The county denied
leases to Jones. Square and others involved in the aquaculture demonstra-
tion project conducted by Fort Pierce Oceanographic Institute starting in No-
vember 1989. as a way of bringing new alternatives to the oyster fishery in
Franklin County; The Franklin County recently reaffirmed their position in
denying any leases, in Apalachicola Bay.
^iaA' f~ riPh'WV~~ ^-- T4


Aquacultured oysters taken from Apalachicola Bay



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Salespersons for

the Chronicle

Part-time or full-time jobs selling
advertising space. Modest salary and
generous commissions. Some expenses
paid. Bubbling enthusiasm, engaging
personality, energy of a cheerleader,
simple math skills, and ability to think
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Please call now at 927-2186
and leave a message. For a
more immediate response, call
Tom Hoffer at 904-385-4003

The Franklin Chronicle



Piqpt- 4 3 November 1995 The Franklin Clhronicle

Published every other Friday

Published every other Friday


The Franklin Chronicle 3 November 1995 Page 5

Fisheries Management FL Shellfish from page 1
Continent-wide, the United States is deficient in intelligent manage-
ment of fisheries. I don't care what fishery you cite, excepting maybe
the salmon fisheries in the Northwest-we practice no sensible
management...[Iht the blue crab fishery] I can go and have 100 traps
in the water, or I can go and have 1,000 traps in the water. There is
absolutely no regulation of stocks.
...[in the blue crab fishery], the per trap catch is way down...I don't
want to represent myself as being particularly knowledgeable in the
shrimp fishery-I'm not. But, it has been an interesting result of the
net ban that the shrimpers have survived it, with reduced sizes in
their nets, whereas the gill netters are gone. The shrimpers are still
working.They've had to change their gear, but they're still allowed to
...Florida Shellfish handles blue crabs and oysters. We buy a little bit
of bay shrimp.

"J..t ..,,c

SHof1ines (904) 653-8878
g Middlebrooks jFuneral-ome (904) 670-8670

(Left) After washing, oysters are culled and packed. (Center) When shucked locally, oyster meat is washed in huge vats with circulating
hat water. (Right) Oyster meat is packed in gallon containers after cleaning.

v ,
(Left) Rotating washer cleans oysters. (Right) Interior view
of washer.

Why Out-of-State Oysters?
Florida Shellfish is a business...We encourage the processing and
marketing of locally-caught product...But, [Apaachicola Bay] is closed
[more often] than any harvest area in the Gulf of Mexico-without
exception. We are closed more than any area of harvest in the entire
Gulf. And, because of that, if you want to survive as any oyster busi-
ness, you can't just be open when you have oysters or you won't have
customers...So, you have to buy out-of-state product in order to sur-

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Florida Shellfish started three years ago. You can start a business
with very little money but it's very difficult to do that. I started this
enterprise with very little money and it's very hard to keep up when
you don't have a reasonable amount .of money to pay your bills and
Spay your overhead, and pay your fishermen. The whole industry func-
tions on a COD basis (cash on delivery) with product that you buy
from fishermen or from dealers out-of-state and then if you sell to
your customers, you usually have to give them terms of some kind,
from seven days to 30 days, and therefore it'' difficult in that way.
You have to have something to enhance the cash flow, or you stay
COD for a very long time. It's hard to build a business when the only
terms you have to offer a customer is COD...
I started with phone books and cold calls. Take an area that you want
to explore like New York-I think that's one of the first places that I
tried to sell...I went to the FSU library and Xeroxed the seafood
pages out of the phone book, and started making phone calls. I think
the same thing works if you go to Dothar or Panama City...You can
call the seafood wholesalers, or if you want to focus on the restaurant
trade, if you intend to deliver...This particular business focuses on
selling to wholesalers...We service'a few restaurants...
Question: In the trade, does the word get around as to which suppli-
ers are reliable with safe product?
BW: Certainly. Certainly.
If its hot and you've got a two-day-old product coming from Texas or
Louisiana, in the summertime it is...difficult to handle things with-
out shelf-life difficulties. And, even if the processor and the catcher
(in Texas) does their job with the greatest of skill, still you've got a
two-day-old product when you're processing it. Its already been re-
frigerated and it's subject to shock when you're handling it, and there-
fore it just won't last as long. No matter if you handle all things with
proper technique, you still have difficulties.
...When Apalachicola Bay is open, and it's. August (and miserably
hot) you can still take an oyster off the boat at 2 p.m., process it and
sell it, and it will last for a week.
...I think we are inspected with more thoroughness and frequency
than any oyster industry, in any state...I also think our water quality
standards are more enforced than any harvest area in the Gulf of
Mexico. I think that's one of the reasons we're closed more in the Gulf
of Mexico. The good side of that is that we have the safest oyster
offered in the marketplace.
Question: This is your third year. Does the business look any better?
BW: Certainly not. Lord, no...I think the oyster business is the kind
of thing that if you weren't in it, you wouldn't get into it. It will not be

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any better until the Vibrio issue is resolved. When consumer conll-'
dence in oysters [is better]. My customer list is considerably smaller
than it was 12 months ago.
[Getting into the seafood processing business] is a complex decision
because it's not like wanting to be an accountant or a lawyer or a
sociologist, or a state worker...It's longer hours than almost any other
occupation I can think of. It's a lifestyle decision...It involves you in a
certain kind of community, a certain, kind of natural world that is
either appealing or unappealing. For some...it's compelling to the point
of not having the option of being anywhere else. I feel like that. What-
ever, I have to do it in this vicinity, in this cultural and environmental
setting. I can't be anywhere else and be happy. If one is like that-
and many coastal people are-then jump in; it's the world's best of-
fice. Some processors make a lot of money. Almost no fishermen make
a lot of money...it's a lifestyle decision to make a living...
The appeal is nobody looking over your shoulder everyday. The ap-
peal is you don't have to go to work if you absolutely don't want to--
or going to work seven days a week, if you want to.
To most fishermen...older fishermen have been doing it all their lives.
The appeal is sunrises, birds in the air, and fish jumping in the sea,
simple romantic things like that are what keep most people in what
otherwise is a very chaotic way of making a living, with absolutely no,
security whatsoever.
If the storm comes in, you can starve to death, and so can your fam-
ily, if your wife doesn't work...Almost always [my workers' wives have.
jobs]...They have to have some balance to the way they make a living.:
I used to finance [some boats and other equipment]...I quit doing it. It'
is such an unstable fishery. People come and go in it. There is no way,
to secure the money that you loan. I've had to quit doing it... ,
As an example, I've watched shrimp boats in the days that I used to
operate in Apalachicola...Big Gulf shrimpers, 60- to 80-foot boats ice
up and fuel up at one fish house, and unload at another one that was
paying a dime more. So, one can say to the fishermen, "Well, I get
your fish as long as you owe me money." Unless this is drawn up by
some lawyer, they're going to unload where the price is right.
Question: What is the role of regulation in operating a seafood house?,
It is extensive at all levels. From the design of the fishing boats, to the'
hours that the fishermen can stay on the water, to the way they have,
to transport [their catch]...to how we handle [the catch] when the~l
arrive, to how long they can be on the dock before we have to refriger-
ate the product, it's a highly regulated industry...Probably for very
good reasons. We're selling a product that we encourage the public to
eat raw, basically...At least the half-shell trade does...I have no qualms.
about any of the regulations at this point.

Oyster meat being prepared for packing in Florida Shellfish
Skimming Room. Restaurants comprise the largest buyers
of these products from the Wade Seafood house located in
Continued on page 6


S .
,e-J^ -

^: *:[@ ;-

Please Open Your Heart and Give.

Your donation to t1e United
2 Way &e/ped 428/ow-income
Pregnant women give b rth to
healfty Aabies ut more tAan
S/1,700were urnedaway.


Resident Wins

Fantasy 5

A Carrabelle resident wishing to
remain anonymous is now over
$52,000 richer as of October 27,
since he purchased a winning
ticket for the Fantasy 5 drawing.
The winning ticket was purchased
at the Express Lane #10. The
lucky Carrabelle resident was one
of only six tickets purchased
statewide to share in the Fantasy
5 winnings.

United Way
(904) 681-9281

Paie 6 3 November 1995 The Franklin Chronicle


Published every other Friday

FL Shellfish from page 5
The Process I
For the half-shell trade, the oysters go into a washer that cleans the
mud, dirt and barnacles off...That rotating washer has been around
for ten or fifteen years and. I don't know who originally designed it.
But the pressure wash knocks the barnacles off and cleans the oys-
ter shell...You get trained to notice the undersized oyste-s and grade
them out from the group before these are packed away in ice and
special cartons. We pack 30-pound and 60-pound boxes.
In the skimming room, oyster meats are processed. The oysters are
shucked here; some purchased at other places and repacked here.
After shucking, the oyster meats are moved into a washer. This re-
moves mud, debris, and shell particles off of the meat before it is
packed into the gallon containers, so that the end user, which is al-
most always a restaurant, has a product where they don't have to
worry about trash, shells, and things in their product that they're

Boo(!!)ster Club Hosts

Third Annual Haunted


Those students and residents
participating in the haunted
ouses included: Valerie Hamp-
ton as co-coordinator and as
Annie Palmer the voodoo queen,
Terry Saunders as the dungeon
master, Ryan Martinez and Ron
Jackson as vampires, T.J. Lewis.
as the mad chainsaw man and
Brandon Hillbourn as the
chainsaw man's prisoner, Chris-
topher Rose as the glowing mon-
ster on Friday and the archeolo-
gist on Saturday, Jared Millender
as the chained werewolf, Ruby
Litton, Courtney Cates and Wendy
Allen as the screaming women,
Jason Aultman as co-coordinator
and as the guardian on Friday
and the mummy on Saturday,
David Teems as the mummy on
Friday and the guardian on Sat-

A Four Legged Halloween

Cats and dogs from around Franklin County joined in on
the Halloween celebration at Woofers and Tweeters on
Saturday, 28 October.

Each gallon container of oyster meat is weighed and sealed,
always under refrigeration while in storage.

In regard to aquaculture, I did not think that we needed oyster aquac-
ulture here, in an area that produces more oysters naturally per square
foot than any bay in the western hemisphere. I thought it was a mis-
placed energy, but I was wholeheartedly in favor of clam aquaculture.
This is a compliment-ry fishery. The fishermen can use exactly the
same gear they own. The fish houses can use the exact same gear
they own. There's no extra capitalization required and we have square
miles of appropriate bottom that is not being used for any other fish-
ery purpose. [The decision to quash leases] was a blind, ignorant
decision, I thought.
The seafood dealers meet mostly on a crisis schedule. If there is some-
thing nearly catastrophic, we meet on the issue. There are few regu-
lar meetings.
It is disappointing to me to just look out over the Bay on a nice har-
vesting day and see 25% of the boats you see compared to ten years
ago, when the Bay was literally covered with harvesters. Two decades
ago, we used to send two tractor-trailer-loads [of product] a week to
the west coast. Now, it's just a dog fight to sell enough to pay your
Over the last decade, what has affected the sales of this fishery has
been the lowering of public confidence and the problems associated
with Vibrio.

Red Ribbon Week

A score of spooky ghouls and gob-
lins were unleashed by the Car-
rabelle High School Athletic
Booster Club on October 27 & 28
as they hosted their third annual
haunted house.
Approximately 350 daring indi-
viduals passed through the
haunted house, which was do-
nated by Jim and Pam Lycett, lo-
cated across from Johnnie's Res-
taurant. According to Jully Hamp-
ton, the boosters raised about
$445. The Carrabelle High School
Drama Club, who were in charge
of the games committee outside
of the haunted house, raised an
additional $118. Some of the Hal-
loween games included a ring
toss, darts, a witching well, hun-
gry pumpkin, bobbing for apples
and bite-the-apples.
While some of the props and
haunted house decorations were
donated by the Panhandle Play-
ers last year, Jully Hampton do-
nated quite a few of the supplies
for this year's model and also set
up much of house's props


Valerie Hampton

Carrabelle High School students
Valerie Hampton and Jason
Aultman co-coordinated the event
and also participated as ghoulish
characters in the haunted house.
"Last year," said Valerie Hampton,
"most people who passed through
were either crying or screaming.
This year, they were screaming
and laughing." She concluded,
"Laughing is a way to discharge

D.A.R.E. Officer Bruce Varnes points to his red ribbon
declaring "Proud to be Drug Free."

by veding mai and pecil deiver
throuhout he-ouheast

Terry Saunders
urday, Candy Griffith and Vance
Millender as sea monsters and
Jonathan Tindell as the mystery
_- --- -

David Myers and C.W. Gibbs
worked the event's control room.
v.hile Tom Grillith, Rickp Baker
and David Cone helped to guide
visitors through the haunted
house. The I G.A in Carrabelle
donated refreshments t the event
and Frieda White donated the


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--`-~- I


Published every other Friday


The Franklin Chronicle 3 November 1995 Page 7

Scenes from the 1995 Homecoming Parade in Aalachicola

., r i. .-4... :r. L I.^, a---

Homeowners from page 2
3 years--. e. a board working to
try to help Ben Johnson gain con-
trol of many facets of the POA
(Plantation Owner's Association)
and thus destroying our security
system." Further. Mr. Cosey
stated, "...The Johnson "agree-
ment" and its attempted re-nego-
tiation is an absolute disaster..."
Rod Davis, Association member
who also circulated his letter to
the membership ,stated: "The tac-

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Any property owner wishing to fill the remaining
three year term on the Lanark Village Water &
Sewer District Board, send written request to

Franklin County Board
of County Commissioners.
Apalachicola, FL 32320.

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tic of quoting large S500.000 liti-
gation costs is a figment of Mr
Rodrigues's imagination." Davis
made reference to another orga-
nization. the "Concerned Property
Owners" founded within the Plan-
tation Owner's Association. which
has fought against the Johnson
proposals for developing an area
inside of the Plantation as a com-
mercial development, with restau-
rants, shops, and hotel accommo-
dations. Dadis sees the upcoming
election of new% members to the
Association Board in this way: "I
feel if you have a good thing and
aren't willing to fight for it, some-
one will take it away. The time is
here to change our board align-
ment and elect members who will
return control,to the member-
Homeowner Association President
Lou Vargas has also circulated his
letter among Homeowner mem-
bers. With regard to the Ben
Johnson commercial develop-
ment, called Resort village, he
said: "...I am of the opinion that
the CPO-Hartley (Concerned
Property Owners) strategy...is to
deplete Mr. Johnson's financial
resources through litigation tac-
tics until he gives up the battle
and put in single family houses.
This is an "all or nothing" strat-
egy which is, potentially, very
costly and fraught with danger."
Vargas' view is that this strategy
has added tension to the disagree-
ment to a large degree that Dr.

Johnson Is not likely to cave-in.
With regard to the CPO position
on negotiating the matter with Dr.
Johnson. Mr. Vargas said, "...I
quickly learned .. that it was im-
possible to satisfy their concerns
because resolution of each con-
cern merely brought forth new
concerns. It is difficult to pin
down a moving target, particularly
one which advances a strategy
that is totally inconsistent with
reaching an amicable solution to
a difficult situation."
He concluded on one letter, "Ru-
mor and innuendoes run rampant
are too often made to appear as
facts in this topsy turvy world of
-Plantation politics." Dr. Johnson
-has received many of these letters.
He had this response for the
"Galio, Amato and Plessinger are
aligned with Bill Hartley and a
small group of permanent resi-
dents who are fighting me every
step of the way. This group has
already expended many tens of
thousands of dollars of their own
money litigating against me. If
they win the election, they will be
able to use the Association's funds
to carry on their fight.
"If the Hartley group wins the elec-
tion, the odds are very good that
the Association will sue me. The
last time the permanent residents
controlled the Association, they



sued another developer, and
spent about $500,000 on
attorney's fees...
"I'd much rather spend my time
and money building hotels and
creating lobs, rather than litigat-
"...The Vargas group is less fanati-
cal, less emotional, and a whole
lot shrewder. I think they are less
likely to sue me, but they would
be much tougher opponents if liti-
gation does occur."
Another issue ,which recently
stimulated opposition to the com-
mercial development in the area
adjacent to Nick's Hole, inside the
Plantation, has been Dr.
Johnson's application for a waste
water treatment plant.
The postcard notices from Dr.
Tom Adams and the Concerned
Property Owners stated: "...It has
been the concerned owners who
have tried to protect the fragile
eco-system of the bay by protest-
ing the proposed sewer plant right
next to Nick's Hole, an area which
is prone to severe flooding in
heavy rainstorms. Do you really
want a sewer plant in this loca-
tion? It is the majority board
(Vargas, Koslowsky, Bachrach
and Outlaw) who has sat silent
on this issue.



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The candidates for the Board of
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dos, Hotels and Shops" in the lan-
guage of William B. Hartley, him-
self a Board member, are Chris-
tian Gallio, Richard Plessinger
and Pam Amato, promoted as a
slate in the letters of Rod Davis,
William B. Hartley, Tom Adams
and B. L. Cosey. Candidates for
the Board in another slate who
are being promoted in the corre-
spondence of Ted Rodrigue and
Laura Homan Rodrigue are Jim
Bachrach, Hank Koslowsky, and
Laura Homan-Rodrigue.


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' E- i.

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Page 8 3 November 1995 The Franklin Chronicle


Published every other Friday

the Chronicle Bookshop

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with Josepl E. Pc:rsico
Joseph E. Persico. In time
for the political season,
Colin Powell is also the em-
bodiment of the American
Dream.Born in Harlem to
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(46) New. GOING OUT: The
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In a matter of world of
amusements was created
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common pursuit of a good
time We meet the colorful
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beginning with Thom
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when his phonograph made
money playing music; he in-
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dictation. Sold nationally for
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(44) New. Lamar Archaeol-
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A comprehensive and de-
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edge of the late prehistoric
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and were ,ancestors of the
later tribes, including the
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263pp. Sold nationally for
$20.95. Chronicle Bookshop
price: $15.00. Paperback.

OF I. F. STONE. By Robert
C. Cottrell. Published by
Rutgers University Press,
388 pages. At the time of his
death in 1989, Stone had
completed the passage he
once predicted to his wife
"from pariah to a character
and then...a national insti-
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radical and determined in-
dividualist, perhaps
America's foremost left-wing
journalists of the post World
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Stone's own publication, I.
boosted him to legendary
stature, a model for investi-
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demonstrates that indeed
one individual could make
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AM SPOCK. The long-
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the pointed-eared alien that
the author knows best. Pub-
lished by Hyperion, sold na-
tionally for $24.95.
Bookshop price = $19.95.

W E 0 M .... "

(21) New. University Of
Florida Press. William
Roger's History, Outposts
On The Gulf: St. George Is-
land And Apalachicola
From Early Exploration To
World War II. Sold Region-
ally For $30 Or More. Avail-
able From The Chronicle
Bookshop For $25.00.
(22) New. University Of Ala-
bama Press. Fair To
Middlin':The Antebellium
Cotton Trade Of The Apa-
River Valley. Sold nation-
ally at $26.95. Available
through the Chronicle
Bookshop at $21.00. Hard-

(23) New. University of Ala-
bama Press. Navy Gray-A
S Story Of The Confederate
SNavy On The Chattahoo-
chee And Apalachicola
.'.- //, Rivers. Sold Nationally at
i .i $27.50. Available through
S the Chronicle Bookshop at
Sm $22.00! Hardcover.
(25). New. Ginger-My
iSTRTI tory. Autobiography of the
dancing partner of Fred
Astaire. Sold nationally for
$22.50. Bookshop price:
$7.00. Hardcover.

Please Note
Books from the mall service of the Chronicle Book Shop are new and
used, and are so-designated In each Item description. Some titles
may be temporarily out of stock, in which case a second shipment
willbe made, normally in 14 days. Books are shipped in 48 hours,
normally. Some of our books are publishers' closeouts, overstocks.
remainders or current titles at special prices. Most are in limited supply
and at these prices may sell out fast. If any book Is sold out your
money will be refunded by bank check. To offer the lowest possible
prices all orders must be prepaid. We do no billing and do not accept
credit cards.

More Savings
A $35+ purchase order in books will earn you a
bonus one-year subscription to the Franklin
Chronicle at no additional charge!
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King Retsyo


If you're looking for a good way to
have fun and help the local com-
munity, this year's King Retsyo
Ball is the Way to do it. The Ball
will be held this Saturday night
beginning at 9 at the National
Guard Armory in Apalachicola.
It's being hosted by the Franklin
County Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Organization and all of the pro-
ceeds will go to help that group.
Live entertainment will be pro-
vided by the popular Tallahassee
Band Centerline. They cover the
gamut of popular music, from
rock and roll, rhythm and blues,
and country. And of course, there
is the seafood buffet to go along
with the music. Food this year will
include shrimp, oysters and craw-
fish, plus all the trimmings. Tick-
ets are only $12.50 per person,
and can be purchased at the State
Attorney's office in the Franklin
County courthouse, at the Oys-
ter Radio Studios, or by calling
653-9226. You can also pick them
up at the Seafood festival infor-
mation booth Friday and Satur-
day. And for those of you who
have never heard of the Big Broth-
ers/Big Sisters Organization, it's
an early intervention program
which matches adult volunteers
with children from single parent
households. The hope is that with
the extra guidance, the child will
remain on the straight and nar-
row, and not find him or herself
in trouble with the police, or
worse. The program is looking for
adult volunteers, and if you would
like to help all you have to do is
call the Assistant State Attorney's
office in Apalachicola at



Season of

the Newell

Series Begins


19 November

The famous Gilbert and Sullivan
operetta, "H. M. S. Pinafore" is the
opener for the Tenth Anniversary
Season of the Ilse Newell Fund for
the Performing Arts on Sunday af-
ternoon, 19 November, at historic
Trinity Episcopal Church in Apa-
lachicola, at 4 P.M..
This satire has been an American
favorite since its first performance
in 1878. The musical project fea-
tures numerous local singers and
personalities under the direction
of Ms. Nancy Totman.
An admission donation of $2 is
requested for each concert in this
series, with a donation of $1 for
children over the age of 5. All chil-
dren must be accompanied by an
adult. Those wishing to sponsor
the series are invited to send their
donations of $100 (Patron), $50+
(Associate) or $25+(Friend) to: Ilse
Newell Fund, % Mr. William Greer,
Post Office Box 342, Eastpoint,
Fla. 32328




By Louise Alien
Christmas is just around the cor-
ner, and we have begun to get
things ready.
Franklin Co. Work Camp, has
placed boxes out at Gulfside, Red
Rabbit in Apalachicola, plus in
Carrabelle, Taylor Building Sup-
ply in Eastpoint, The Market Place
on St. George Island. If you have
large items to donate please call
Sargeant Randy Cook at 653-
We are also puttingjars out in dif-
ferent businesses thru out the
county, for people to donate their
change for "Toys for Tots," or a
person may make a donation at
any of the Apalachicola State
Bank Branches.
We have planned our next meet-
ing for Nov. 15th at 2 P.M., at the
Carriage House in Apalachicola.
At this time we will have the "Little
Stars" ready to be picked.
For more information, please call
Louise Allen at 653-9790-WK or
653-9446 HM or drop by Florida
Jobs & Benefits, 122 Market St.

Beautiful .ALE
100% Olefin Loop Pile


$1099 $loll

Call now for Free Estimate
The Supply Dock
Bayside Floorcovering

IV7dlii1T II

.FJZ7 1
* .

Pine St. Mini Mall St. George Island

Fishing Tackle 0 Gifts Sportswear 0 Wildlife Art
Guide Service 32 Avenue D
904 653 9669 Apalachicola, FL 32320

Public Notice
ERS approved at the general monthly meeting held on October 16,
1995 after proper consideration and a finding of good cause,
announces the continuation of the moratorium prohibiting new
connections to the District's water and sewer facilities for all new
construction within the District boundaries. This moratorium shall
commence October 16, 1995 and run for a period of one calendar
year, unless prior termination by the District Board for good cause.
James Lawlor
District Chairman
October 17, 1995

80 Commerce Street


Adirondack Chairs Trunks Dressers *
Tables Flowerpots Handmade Toys

Now is the time to
subscribe to the


The Chronicle is published every other Friday.
Mailed subscriptions within Franklin County
are $16 ($16.96 including tax) for one year, or
26 issues. The out-of county rate is $22.26
including taxes. All issues mailed in protective
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Q Out of County
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Franklin Chronicle
Please send this form to: Post office Box 590
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~U - 1___ ~a I

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