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Volume 14, Number 1 A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER January 7 20, 2005
First Draft on Paper
"Red Iron" Steel Structure Formed
For The Eastpoint Theatre
Three Modules Designed Around the Auditorium At 33 Begonia Street
/ / / / / / / / /
The first engineered drawings for
the Eastpoint Theatre complex
were received earlier than ex-
pected, arriving at mid-December
2004..The core module in the de-
sign is the 50 x 100 foot audito-
rium extending to 30 feet in
height, with two modules measur-
ing 16 feet by 50 feet on either
side of the auditorium. In the
front, is a third module measur-
ing 96 feet by 20 feet at a height
of 14 feet which will form the first
ancillary business units on either
side of a lobby. The third module
is designed to accommodate ex-
pansion to other modules of the
same dimensions in future plans,
so as to create a mini-mall of as-
sociated businesses such as a
book store, financial advisory of-
fices, accountant, etc.
The complex is designed by
Charles W. Embden, P. E., of
Vulcan Steel Structures, Adel,
Georgia, and certified to with-
stand wind loads up to 140 mph.
The complex depicted in the line
drawings contains 8500 square
feet of enclosed space overall. A
foundation plan is being devel-
Continued Cries for "Public Input"
Comp Plan Rhetoric Fills
ABARK Request for Paid Consultant Rejected
The discussion on the comprehensive plan was started by Alan Pierce,
new Director of Administrative Services, and acting county planner.
At the meeting of the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday, Janu-
ary 4th. Mr. Pierce said,
"At the request of the public the Board agreed to hold a final public
consensus workshop on Jan. 18 to review/discuss issues related to
the comp plan. The workshop was set before I was hired so I had
limited input. Therefore, I would like to briefly describe to the new.
Board members what the county currently has in its proposed comp
plan. Then, after listening to other comments this morning, the Board
can tell me what to prepare for on Jan. 18th.
"At this time, the county has prepared a proposed comp plan with
three parts. Part One updated data and analysis relevant to a list of
issues the state expects a comp plan to deal with, and updated goals,
objectives and policies to deal with the new data. Part Two-a St.'
James Island Overlay and a series of policies describing the types of
controls that would be implemented on development on St. James
Island. Part Three-a series of land use map changes, some of these
changes are on St. James Island and some are not.
S'These three parts have been submitted to DCA, and DCA has re-
viewed them through a document called an ORC report (Objections,
Recommendations, and Comments). As a consultant, I prepared a
response to that ORC report, and shared with the Board and the
public an abbreviated draft response on Nov. 16. The Board has a
legal responsibility to respond to the findings in the ORC. Florida
Statute creates a window of 120 days for a county to respond. Our
120 days are up on Feb. 15. The Board can take longer, but legally
DCA can not grant an extension.
"There could be a fourth part-an Economic Development Element
that was submitted to the Board by Ms. Anita Grove on behalf of a
committee that worked on the element over the summer. Mark
Curenton returned the element to Ms. Grove and recommended she
reformat the recommendations in the style of Goals, objectives, and
policies similar to the rest of the comp plan. She and Mr. John Gore
are working on that task. I recommend the Board include the Ele-
ment in the comp plan, but the Board needs to review it, as it will be
Board policy upon adoption. If the Board moves forward with an adop-
tion hearing within the 120 days window, it may be that the Eco-
nomic Element will not be finished in time, and the Board may have
to announce that it will be amending the comp plan again this year,
which it is legally allowed to do, and will include the Economic Ele-
ment, and any other changes it approves over the next few months.
'There could be a fifth part to the plan. And these are the issues that
were raised by the public, but were not covered in the submission
reviewed by DCA.
'The county, through Tom Taylor, went through a public visioning
exercise, and it yielded some 400 separate comments. Some of those
comments have been addressed in the plan, some are not suitable for
a comp plan about growth management, some are not yet refined
Continued on Page 9
The two smaller modules on ei-
ther side of the main. auditorium
are designated "activity rooms" for
the time being, to be available for
general meetings, rehearsals,
dressing areas, intimate cinema
or video presentations, and other
uses commonly associated with
convention-type forums or semi-
nars for small groups. one of the
modules would be equipped for
TV recording and editing. A pro-
jection room across the backside
of the complex, cutting through
the main auditorium, would join
all three units for film and other
media presentations, as needed.
These first draft plans are for the
"shell structure" of the complex.
Considerable remodeling would
then be designed and performed
to accommodate the screen, sta-
dium seating, handicapped seat-
ing, ramps, restrooms, projection
and concession areas at the front
of the large module or main audi-
The basic plan for the "shell struc-
ture" includes full insulation,
steel roof and siding but thus far
does not include heating and air
Eastpoint Theatre.......... 1
Comp Plan............. 1, 9
Museum Property .... 1, 2
Year In Review..............
Franklin Briefs ............ 2
Airport Problems ........ 2
Rag Time to Dixie ........ 2
By Richard E. Noble
The proposed Fort Gordon
Johnson Museum property in
Lanark Village was once again
before the Franklin County Com-
mission on Tuesday, January 4th.
David Butler was first to speak
and gave a brief history of the
property in question. He ex-
plained that the original property
was zoned Commercial. "This
property was called the Beach
Club Property. It had a liquor li-
cense. It was Commercial prop-
erty in the middle of a high den-
sity, residential area," said Mr.
Butler. It could not be developed
by the original owner as Commer-
cial, he explained further, so it
was then re-zoned as residential
where upon it was bought by the
Museum group and re-zoned,
once again, to a special use Z-1
zoning-a special designation de-
signed for public use. At that time,
there was an agreement that if the
property didn't get developed un-
der the Z- 1 zoning it would be
returned to a residential zoning
of R-1. This happened. The new
owner then as per the agreement
brought it before the Commission
and the public, as required, and
the property was re-established as
R-5 residential where it presently
stands. "And that is where we are
at," concluded Mr. Butler.
Education Encore ....... 2
Editorial & Commentary
............................... 3 4
Business Card Directory
Real Estate News ........ 9
Bookshop ................ 10
Linda Minichiello, spokesperson
for the Camp Gordon Johnson
group, then explained that the
property in question is the sole
asset of the World War II memo-
rial Camp Gordon Johnson group.
If the property were to be rezoned
from R-5 to R-1 it would devalu-
ate this property, greatly deplet-
ing the group's assets and dimin-
ish their ability to buy a new prop-
erty and re-establish themselves
in a new location. She petitioned
the Commission to allow the prop-
erty to remain R-5.
Carol Andersen, a Lanark Village
resident, presented a petition with
forty-two names of property own-
ers in the surrounding area who
are opposed to the R-5 zoning.
She brought up parking and con-
gestion problems in the area,
along with water pollution and air
quality degradation concerns. She
repeated her claim that the area
could not support any R-5 type
increased density development. "I
do not oppose housing develop-
ment in that area, as long as it is
consistent with the other hous-
ing in the area. I don't have a
problem with it. It is just that
when they want to put high-rises,
two stories on stilts, we would not
be able to get any kind of sea
breeze..." She went on to express
Continued on Page 2
The Year In Review
A Report and Commentary by Tom W. Hoffer
2004 was a Franklin County year of remarkable events, many con-
centrated into political and economic issues. In seeking a way to cat-
egorize those issues and events, I have evolved a categorical scheme
that reaches for a level of mutual exclusivity but alas does not quite
fulfill that ideal. This is to be explained a tad later for those who want
to wade through this summary of notable events during 2004, "lest
we forget." As in life, many circumstances in county life are intercon-
nected and continuing. Yet, I hope there is some value in reviewing
the major news stories published in these pages for the usual rea-
sons and for the sake of continuity in particular. Both our county
officials and the electorate sometimes have very short memories.
The most publicly visible chain of events involved the four hurricanes
reaching Florida, and each barely touching Franklin County. These
were named, in order of their arrival, Charley, Francis, Ivan and
Jeanne. Ivan flooded downtown Apalachicola. Jeanne was a
"near-miss" to Franklin County. Charley did not result in any major
damage in Franklin and no road closures were made.
The Chronicle editorialized on the escape route state of affairs follow-
ing Ivan's impact. Continuing into 2005, the State Dept. of Transpor-
tation is still repairing or refurbishing the shaky lanes of highway 98
between Eastpoint and Carrabelle, appearing to prepare for yet an-
other storm season., in 2005. The editorial read, in part:
"Once again, Franklin County escaped serious damage from the last
Hurricane, Ivan, which followed on the heels of Charlie and Bonnie.
Yet, the county still lacks fast, safe and reliable evacuation routes in
the face of rapid development and construction. As usual, by the
conclusion of each storm, there is some road damage to Highway 98
between Eastpoint and Carrabelle in particular. This road section is
crucial to an escape from Franklin County, yet each storm always
manages to wipe, out a major section of roadbed or shoulders. The
Department of Transportation seems content to simply repair and
rebuild the same roadbed instead of re-routing 98 in this destruction
of 98 to a safer zone a few hundred feet to the north of the bay wa-
"An inquiry to the Chipley Office of the DOT revealed that there has
only been limited planning for new escape routes in this area, and
the often repaired roadbed between, Carrabelle and Eastpoint. An
environmental, study was conducted some time ago, we are told, and
it was not economically feasible to rebuild the highway to a safer
zone. We. are the first to admit that highway construction is, by far,
not an economical undertaking and we are at a loss for a
"bargain-basement" sale of redesigned roadways. Seems a little, strange
to have built a 73 million dollar bridge to St. George Island only to
have a repaired two-lane, washed out roadway as an escape route
from the county during a severe storm. Some priorities are a little out
of joint here, it would seem. There is a dirt-covered alternate road
through Tate's Hell, nearly parallel to 98 between Eastpoint and
Carrabelle, but that is a risky alternative."
A report received from Washington, D.C. described the Florida con-
gressional Delegation uniting to raise money at a hurricane fundraiser.
Allen Boyd was co-chairing the event.
In an unprecedented bipartisan effort, the Florida Congressional Del-
egation on November 17, 2004 joined concerned;Washingtonians at
the J.W. Marriott at a special fundraiser to raise funds for the Florida
Hurricane Relief Fund. Over a home-style dinner created by family
celebrity chef Art Smith for over 250 attending guests, "A Family Af-
fair for Florida's Families" benefit dinner raised more than $1 million
to help communities across the state "rise and rebuild" by providing
funds for needs not covered by federal and state agencies, insurance
and other disaster relief agencies.
Florida residents are coming through a trying time in the aftermath
of four hurricanes, said event co-chair Rep. E. Clay Shaw (R-FL)
"My wife Emilie and I would like to thank everyone who has reached
out to help our neighbors in need.
My wife Cissy and I are honored to be co-chairing this important
event with Congressman and Mrs. Shaw," said event co-chair Rep.
Allen Boyd, (D-FL). "It's extraordinary to see both sides of the aisle
unite to work together to ensure that Floridians get back on their
feet. The contributions raised will go a long way toward rebuilding
the homes and businesses of hurricane victims and give the resi-
dents of Florida a much-needed helping hand.
EASTPOINT WATER AND SEWER
In Eastpoint, the water and sewer system identified nearly $5 million
in,needed improvements in order to make it to 2014. The implica-
tions of this development are obvious but I will repeat them.
News of more development projects may be received with many cheers
and high anticipation, but when the bills come in for creating needed
infrastructure, such as water and sewer, the cost of expansion and
development begins to spread out to embrace more taxation and higher
costs to Individual households. These gut-wrenching costs can follow
a project for a good many years. In Franklin County, these costs could
easily raise property taxes so as to exclude local residents from the
usual benefits of property ownership. Yet, the march of expansion
continues in the Eastpoint area as it becomes the gateway to St. George
Island, where real estate costs have nearly reached the heavens.
The utility audit of the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District was pre-
sented to the water board last week by representatives of
Baskerville-Donovan, Inc. auditors. The preliminary cost estimates
for repairing the water system totaled $1,573,775. The preliminary
estimates to refurbish and repair the vacuum collection system (sewer)
totaled $3,160,000 with both improvements capped at just under $5
The audit was conducted to evaluate the current capabilities of the
water and sewer systems. For the water system, a computer model
was developed to assist in performing a hydraulic analysis of the
system before and after improvements. It is important to note that
the summary of the analyses and recommended improvements are
made to meet anticipated demands for current users and demands
through the year 2014.
Eastpoint is a coastal community located on the eastern shore of
Apalachicola Bay in Franklin County. The current population of
Eastpoint is estimated at about 2,200 people. Based on recent records,
the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District provides service to about 630
sewer customers and 865 water customers. Although the area is pri-
marily known for the seafood industry, its proximity to St. George
Island and other coastal communities will most likely have a signifi-
cant impact on future growth and development.
To the east, the Carrabelle water district sought to expand their ser-
vice area as announced in April.
At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, April 6,
2004, Carrabelle Mayor Jim Brown requested that the County Com-
missioners grant a request by the Carrabelle Water and Sewer Dis-
trict to expand their service territory east to the Alligator Point Water
District and west of Carrabelle to the Yent Bayou area. The proposed
expansion would by-pass and exclude the Lanark Village Water and
Mayor Brown explained that the treatment plant will have a capacity
to process 2 million gallon of sewage daily and will be able to service
all of the proposed district expansion. Brown went on to say that with
a plant that has such a large capacity they will also need to expand
their customer base.
Carrabelle Attorney Dan Cox told the Commissioners that the expan-
sion did not intend to move into any Areas already served by another
Water and Sewer District. The Commissioners asked for more infor-
mation and said they will need to look at the County Water and Sewer
District Ordinance that originally created the Carrabelle Water and
Sewer District franchise. The Commissioners briefly discussed the
possibility of a County Water and Sewer District. The Commissioners
did not take action on the expansion issue.
In late November, consultant planner Alan Pierce presented four sce-
narios to the Franklin County Commission concerning the erosion
problems at Alligator Point.
"Scenario #1-FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is
writing damage reports that will provide the county approximately
Continued on Page 5
Inside This Issue
At Lanark Village
Museum Property Zoning
To Remain The Same
Board decision is a positive outcome for the museum.
.Page 2 7 January 2005
i January 4, 2005
Commissioner Noah Lockley,
Jr. and Commissioner Bevin
At the outset. County Judge
Russell swore in the incoming
Constitutional officers, including
Doris Shiver Gibbs (Elections Su-
pervisor), Jimmy Harris (Tax Col-
lector), Marcia Johnson (County
Clerk) and Doris Pendleton (Tax
Solid Waste Director
Mr. Van Johnson presented the
"At the November 16, 2004, meet-
ing, I received Board authoriza-
tion to purchase one New
Freightliner Dump Truck for use
within the Solid Waste Depart-
ment. $75,000, was set aside in
the Solid Waste grant to cover this
expenditure. However, after add-
ing the optional 4-Way Rear Gate
* the cost of the truck exceeds the
budget amount by $5,500. The
four-way gate system will elimi-
nate debris and large items from
getting hung up while dumping
the truck. Therefore, I am request-
ing Board approval to expend an
additional $5,500, from the Solid
Grant to purchase the truck with
the option. The Board approved
the motion to purchase the truck
with optional rear gate system for
'The Keep Franklin County Beau-
tiful Program has been inactive for
several months, due to the mov-
ing away of the Program's Direc-
tor. Approximately nine years ago
much effort went into establish-
ing the programs existence in the
During that time the program was
very instrumental in initiating
several community cleanup
projects along with providing pub-
lic education on litter prevention,
recycling, waste management and
beautification to encourage citi-
zens to take pride in Franklin
Because of the danger of losing
the ,benefits of this program. I
have exchanged ideas with some
members of the Apalachicola Bay
and River Keepers about the pos-
sibility of their organization un-
dertaken the Program's function.
With the Boards approval, I would
like to approach their full mem-
bership concerning this possibil-
ity and report back to you at a
later date. The Board approved.
Ms. Pam Shelton of the St. Joe
Community Foundation pre-
sented the Board with a $200,000
check to "jump start" the
Carrabelle Recreation Park.
Director of Administrative
The new Director, Mr. Alan Pierce,
made the following report:
Mr. Pierce recommended that the
Board authorize ARPC to continue
to the bi-annual Hazardous Waste
Assessment for the county for
$3,200. They have been doing it
for the past ten years, and it is
cost effective to have them con-
tinue. The Board approved.
Provide Board with copy of sec-
tion of Florida Statutes that de-
fines hotels, motels, and other
lodging establishments. "By the
definition in the Statutes, STEAM-
ERS is not a hotel or a motel. A
hotel sleeps 25, and a motel, has
to have at least six rental units..
The Franklin County Zoning Code
does have a term called 'Tourist
Oriented Commercial facility" that
does not have a definition. Does
the Board want the Planning and
Zoning Commission to review the
STEAMERS situation and see if it
can develop a definition for a
'Tourist Oriented Commercial fa-
cility" that might apply to STEAM-
ERS? Any recommendation by the
P and Z will not be effective until
the Board takes action, and I be-
lieve this will require amending
the Zoning Code if a definition is
created for Tourist Oriented Com-
mercial facility. The Board ap-
proved the recommended change
to amend the zoning code.
Board action to appoint an alter-
nate to the ARPC, if it did not do
it when Chairman Sanders was
made the ARPC member. And also
to appoint a representative and
alternate from Carrabelle. Cur-
rently it is Raymond Williams, and
he is willing to be re-appointed.
He suggested Frank Mathis as the
alternate. The Board approved re-
appointment of Mr. Williams, and
the appointment of Bevin Putnal
to the ARPC Board.
The Board has received a warn-
ing letter from the CDBG people
in DCA stating that unless the
Lanark Village drainage project is
bid out within the next 30 days
the county stands to lose all re-
maining CDBG funds. Mark
Curenton has already contacted
Congressman Allen Boyd, since
these are federal funds, to seek
his assistance. He has also con-
tacted Ms. Debbie Belcher,
Franklin County CDBG grant ad-
ministrator. She says the situa-
tion is not that grim.
Mr. Pierce will continue liaison on
The Board informed a Juvenile
Justice funded program called
"Franklin's Youth Enhancement
Project" was not funded.
The Board was informed that the
sidewalk project in Eastpoint is
moving ahead. There is a pre-con-
struction conference in Chipley
DOT office on Jan. 12, at 10:30,
if any Board member would like
to attend. The meeting is really for
DOT personnel and the contrac-
tor but it is open to the public.
ABARK is seeking funding from a
variety of agencies for a water
quality study of the Lanark Reef
Area. One purpose of this study
will be to establish baseline wa-
ter quality in St. George Sound,
between Carrabelle and Alligator
Harbor. The study is supposed to
cover the area of St. George Sound
that is not being covered by the
study being done as part of the
DEP SummerCamp stormwater
permit. The ABARK study will
cover a wider area, and could be
of value if and when anyone
comes back to the county trying
to develop the Lanark Reef sand-
bar. I recommend the Board write
a letter of support for the project.
The Board approved.
On High Hazard Areas in
Unkept Promise Has
Hindered a Timely
Conclusion to the Draft
Commissioner Sanders has taken
to pen and pencil again, this time
writing to the Division of Commu-
nity Planning within the Dept. of,
Community Affairs concerning
the location of coastal high haz-
ard areas in Franklin County.
This meeting appeared to be cru-
cial before the draft comprehen-
sive plan can be concluded. Ms.
"As you are aware, Franklin
County is in the midst of rewrit-
ing its comprehensive plan. One
of the major issues of concern is
the location of the Coastal High
Hazard Area within the County.
At my. meeting with you in Novem-
ber. you promised to organize a
meeting with all the concerned
parties on this issue. This letter
is a reminder of that promise.
Franklin County would still like
to hold this meeting, and requests
your assistance to organize such
a meeting, with all the interested
parties, including FENIA, the
Corps of Engineers, and Florida
emergency management officials,
invited. You can contact our
County Planner, Alan Pierce, at
(850) 653-9783 if you have any
questions and to coordinate the
Aired To The
Vegetation and Buzzards
By Richard E. Noble
There were unexpected problems
out at the Airport, Mr. Ted
Moesteller reported. The first
problem-"... the painter had
made a mistake and the engineer
decided that it was easier to move
the lights-thus shortening the
runway by 50 feet. This did not
set well with me so I shut down
the job ... As of now, we just spent
$150,000 for a runway that is re-
ally 400 feet longer than painted
and lighted and if stands, will be
published as such. Certain air-
craft are currently limited and
prohibited from our airport by
insurance and regulations that
require more runway. Just be-
cause the concrete is there doesn't
make it legal to land on or to take
off from. Other than this the run-
way looks great."
'This is a big one... advised Mr.
Moesteller. It seems that the road
department didn't show up as Mr.
Moesteller had expected. Unfor-
tunately, they were on Holiday.
Attention was brought to this
shortcoming and immediate ac-
tion was recommended.
On top of all of the above, it seems
that the airport is becoming
over-run with buzzards. For some
reason hunters are using the area
for discarding the remains of their
wild hunting endeavors. These
scattered entrails are attracting a
population of Buzzards. Buzzards
and/or birds on or near an air-
port are a no-no. Bird attractants
are not allowed on or near any
airport. The birds can obstruct
aviation and cause accidents that
could be very serious. This new
Airport Industrial Park area is
unfortunately being used by lo-
cal citizens as a garbage dump,
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
explained Mr. Moesteller. It was
decided that the police should be
notified with regards to this prob-
lem. The sheriffs department will
be patrolling this area in the fu-
Ted Moesteller then pointed out
the value of this airport and its
needed improvements to the
County Commission-it has three
runways and some 1100 acres of
land; it could and sometimes does
even now, provide an emergency
landing area for the surrounding
communities; it could possibly be
used as an emergency for Tyndall
Airforce base; and, of course, it
would serve as an obvious attrac-
tion to new residents and the fu-
ture development of this area.
But, it needs big investments-a
storm sewer for example that
could cost in the area of
$900,000. Mr. Moesteller recom-
mended that the Commission
seek some help for these Airport
improvement projects from the
state. He also requested that
someone from the Board volun-
teer to assist on the Airport Advi-
sory Committee. The newly
elected Mr. Crofton volunteered
and was approved by the Com-
Time To The
Ragtimist Bob Milne, the top rag-
time/boogie-woogie pianist in the
country, will present a concert at
the Dixie Theater in Apalachicola,
FL, on Saturday, January 8 at
7:30 p.m. The Theater is located
at 21 Avenue E, Apalachicola.
"Unbelievable," "intoxicating" and
"virtuoso" are words critics have
applied to the music of ragtimist
Bob Milne. The Guadalajara Re-
porter said, "His dazzling piano
playing leaves no white keys,.
black keys or even cracks un-
touched." The El Dorado Gazette,
in Georgetown, CA, reported: "Bob
Milne wowed the audience ... wild
and spectacular and got thunder-
ous applause." The New York
Times called him "master of the
A full-time solo concert pianist,
Bob Milne receives rave reviews
wherever he tours, all over the
U.S. and Canada, Japan, Ireland
and into Mexico. He has played
concerts aboard the USS George
Washington aircraft carrier; in
Japan, where he was awarded
honorary citizenship of the town
of Kananchou; and in the Derry,'
Ireland, jazz festival.
He has beenagiven the most dis' -
tinguished honor of being inter'-
viewed about his piano-playing
career by the Library of Congress
in October 2004, for the national
archives. Bob is the first piano
player to be documented since
Jelly Roll Morton in 1938.
Although he refers to himself as
a "saloon piano player," which is
how he claims he honed his craft,
Bob Milne comes from a classical
background, having excelled as a
French horn virtuoso at the
Eastman School of Music. Com-
pletely self-taught as a pianist;
Mr. Milne makes the piano sing
in a variety of styles. With an "im-
pressive display of versatility," he
plays everything from melodic
19th-century ballads to ragtime
and piano roll styles, from blues
and boogie-woogie to Harlem
stride, from old gospel and hill-
billy to classical-sounding pieces
of his own composition.
Tickets are $15 and can be pur-
ichased at the Box Office in ad-
vance or at the. door on the
evening of the concert if not sold
out. For more information call
Gulf Coast Community College's
Office of Lifelong Learning ari-'
nounces Education Encore
classes for Spring 2005, sched-
uled to begin on Wednesday,
January 26. Registration is cur-
rently open to all area adults over
50, whether permanent Florida
residents or out-of-state visitors.
Beginning January 26, classes
will meet at the Gulf/Franklin
campus in Port St. Joe on six (6)
consecutive Wednesday mornings
and range in subjects from com-
puter basics and beginning draw-
ing, to genealogy and antiques. A
registration fee of $60.00 will al-
low a participant in the program
to take one, two or three classes.
Sandra Adkins, Education Encore
coordinator for the Gulf/Franklin
area, announces a continuation
of previously popular classes as
well as additional participant-
requested topics. Returning com-
puter instructor Bill Barker will
again teach two classes of com-
puter basics as well as "Com-
puter: Internet and E-mail." Ac-
cording to Ms. Adkins, Mr.
Barker's courses are limited to the
number of computers available
and generally fill up during regis-
tration, so she encourages inter-
ested participants to register early
for Mr. Barker's classes.
Applications for GCCC's Educa-
tion Encore classes are printed on
the program's brochure, available
at the Franklin/Gulf campus at
Port St. Joe, and distributed to
Franklin and Gulf County librar-
les, chambers of commerce, and
Mildred Melvin will teach a new
course, "Nutrition Now," which
will focus on aging and physiologi-
cal changes that affect the ways
our bodies respond to the foods
we eat. Participants will explore
responsible and healthy eating
Marie Brusher, an accomplished
artist from Bay County, will re-
turn at popular request, to teach
a two-session workshop on water-
color. Incorporating lectures,
demonstrations, and hands-on
practice, this course will cover
watercolor processes and materi-
als. Ms. Brusher has prepared a
required list of basic materials for
students to bring to the work-
Tom Adams returns to teach "Be-
ginning Tai Chi." A popular class
or several years, this active par-
ticipation course will teach the
complete 24-posture sequence of
Yang Style Short Form, and is
appropriate to those -students
with no formal experience with Tai
Chi, a low-impact exercise cred-
ited with improving circulation,
flexibility, strength, and balance,
and with particular benefit to se-
nior adults. Participants should
wear comfortable clothing and
shoes for this class. Mr. Adams
will also teach an advanced Tai
Chi class, which will include prac-
tice on perfecting the 24-posture
sequence as well as introduce se-
lected Chi Gung exercises. Adams
studied Tai Chi while living and
working in Asia.
"Antiques and Collectibles,"
taught by Logan Adams, will dis-
cuss the collecting, of antiques
since the 19th century. Adams
will focus on decorative and utili-
tarian ceramics and glass, their
visual and tactile qualities, iden-
tification of objects, and procur-
Genealogist Laura Moody will of-
fer "Beginning Genealogy" for stu-
dents who wish to research their
families' ancestors. Participants
will learn to locate and interpret
recorded materials. Ms. Moody
has prepared professional charts,
forms and research instructional
sheets for in-class distribution
Local writer Dawn Radford will
return to teach two separate
classes, "Spanish for Travelers"
and "Creative Writing'." The Span-
ish course will emphasize tech-
niques for communicating with
non-English speakers of Spanish,
as well as encourage understand-
ing and appreciation of the Span-
ish language and its relevant cul-
tures. Students should expect
games, songs, and interaction,
rather than tests and grades. Ms.
Radford, who holds post-graduate.
credentials in Spanishiohas or-
dered a practical textbook (avail-
able at Books-a-Million in
Panama City) for the class
and recommends a paperback
Spanish-English dictionary for in-
"Creative Writing" is structured to
encourage journal writing and the
creation of finished works (mem-
oirs, poems, stories) from journal
entries. Students will need note-
books and pens and a desire to
write. Ms. Radford, who holds
MA-English and MFA-Creative
Writing degrees, conducts this
test-free writing workshop with
open discussions, practical exer-
cises, individual critiques, and
Thom Lewis, of the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Com-
mission and a resident of St.
George Island, will return to teach
"Bird Watching and Identifica-
tion." A popular class for several
years, the course will teach basic
tools and skills needed to enjoy
finding and viewing area birdlife.
Students at all levels of birding
experience will be guided in de-
veloping their skills and knowl-
edge of location, timing, viewing
Shirley Brown, nationally recog-
nized photographer from Bay
County, will return to teach her
popular course on digital and film
cameras. Students are expected
to provide their own cameras,
film, and developing. Ms. Brown
will discuss the history of photog-
raphy, as well as camera opera-
tion and maintenance, lighting
details and photo restoration.
Interested adults are invited to a
special Education Encore recep-
'tion at Gulf Coast Community
College's Gulf/Franklin campus
at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Janu-
ary 19, 2005 for introductions to
Education Encore staff, instruc-
tors, and classes. Former and
potential students may attend the
reception to learn more about the
program, meet fellow participants,
and enjoy free refreshments.
Education Encore is an education
opportunity for adults over 50
who wish to participate in enrich-
ing personal, social, academic,
and cultural learning experiences.
Courses involve a stress-free for-
mat free of tests and grades. In-
terested adults may team more
about the program by attending
the January 19 reception, by ac-
cessing the Education Encore web
core), or by calling (850) 872-3823
or (800) 311-3685, extension
is thetime t
On Behalf of Alligator
Letter Reminds Castille of
Chairperson of the Franklin
County Board of Commissioner,
Ms. Cheryl Sanders, has written
the Secretary of the Department
of Community Affairs, reminding
her of a commitment to take ac-
tion on beach renourishment at
The letter speaks to the issues
"Several months ago, I met with
you to discuss Alligator Point. As
you know, Franklin County is
faced with a problem of the great-
est magnitude. The Alligator Point
Road has suffered so much ero-
sion that it is beyond our ability
to maintain it. When we met I told
you that unless the county re-
ceived some outside assistance we
would be forced to seek permits
to extend the revetment which
protects the road. You stated you
would much prefer to rebuild the
beach and you promised to put
Alligator Point on your list of is-
sues to discuss with the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, as the
Corps has sand on the
Apalachicola River that is suitable
for Alligator Point beach
renourishment. This letter today
is to remind you of your commit-
ment. There is now less than six
months to the next hurricane sea-
son. The county has FEMA funds
to extend the existing revetment
approximately 1000 feet. We will
be forced to submit a permit to
the Department for this work in
the next 60 days unless the De-
partment provides the county
with an alternative.".
'"The Alligator Point road is the
only evacuation route for some
300 homes. By a Legislative-
funded study in the early 1990s;
the road meets the functional
classification of being a state road,
yet the state refuses to take the
road. By Department analysis,
this section of Alligator Point is a
critically eroding shoreline. The
Department has assisted in fund-
ing the.des.ign and engineering for
a series "of -groins that 'oidf'
allow the shore to 'talb-ilize '.-at h-
out a revetmenr but the cIunILy
needs state funding for the con-
struction, and we need sand. We
have approximately 3000 feet of
road along the Gulf of Mexico
without any beach. During rough
weather, the waves are constantly
undermining sections of the road.
It is completely unacceptable to
go through another hurricane
season without some effort to pro-
tect the road."
PINK L. PUMPHREY, 78, of Wild-
wood, passed away Friday, Dec.
3, 2004. She was born in Crystal
River to Joseph & Lassie (Pitts)
Lolley. She moved to Wildwood in
2003 from Crawfordville, FL. Pink
was a member of the Wildwood
United Methodist Church, The
Parkwood Oaks Craft Club and
several other Parkwood activities.
The Franklin Chronicle
Survivors include 3 sons: James
"Jimmy" of Crawfordville, Ronald
"Ronnie" of Crawfordville, and
Paul P. Pumphrey of Wildwood. 2
Daughters, Norma Jeanne Holly
of Silver Springs and Cindy
Pumphrey of Crawfordville. 12
Grandchildren and 21 Great-
grandchildren. Friends may .call
Monday, December 6th from 2-5
p.m. at the Banks-Page-Theus
Funeral Home Wildwood. Funeral'
Services will be at 10 a.m. Tues-
day at Florida National Cemetery,
Bushnell, with Reverend Harry
Holloman officiating, and mem-
bers of the Wildwood Fire Depart-
ment serving as pallbearers.
Home, Wildwood is handling the
Banks-Page-Theus Funeral Home
410 N. Webster
Wildwood, FL 34785
Museum from Page 1
her notion that water quality
would be degraded and that, in
general, the area could not with-
stand further development.
Mr. Butler then returned to the
podium to contend with Ms.
Andersen's criticisms. He ex-
plained that the Lanark Village
area surrounding the property in
question already had the highest
density zoning in Franklin county;
and whether or not the building
would be a high-rise or not was
not a stipulation of either the R- I
or the R-5 zoning, and since the
property was already approved for
the Museum the traffic and con-
gestion would probably have been
even higher than the present resi-
dential R-5 designation, and that
they already had approval for the
20 some water hookups. To re-
zone the property as R-I would.
actually be a reverse type of spot
zoning, Mr. Butler proposed, since
everything in the surrounding
area is either R-5 or special high-
density zoning from previous de-
"We've had a developer offer us
100,000 dollars for this property."
This would be a great advantage
to the not-for-profit Camp Gordon
Johnson Museum organization he
explained, reaffirming the state-
. ments made by Ms. Minichiello.
Commissioner Cheryl Sanders
then expressed her discontent
with the proposed R-5 designa-
tion. A debate ensued about
height of buildings, density, in-
creased property values etc. A
contention made by Ms. Sanders
was that the people living in the
VilJage may eventually be priced
fright out of their homes.
"All that I would ask the board is
that you would treat us just like
you would anybody else," con-
cluded Mr. Butler.
The board took no action which
in effect was synonymous with
denying any request for change in
the zoning, therefore the property
remained as it was before this
[ was still slightly confused about
the decision, so I spoke to Mrs.
Minichiello about what had tran-
spired to find out if she and her
group were happy. She was happy
with the decision and told me that
it would be a great help to their
Museum project. She also re-
minded me that there would be a
fund raiser dinner at Lanark Vil-
lage on the 29th of January at 6
p.m. It will be a complete spa-
ghetti dinner for $5.00, all of
which will go to the cause of fur-
thering the future of the Fort Gor-
don Johnson World War II Mu-
- ~9 1 I
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
7 January 2005 Page 3
EDIORIAL & COMMENTARY
From The Fisheries Research Institute, Nils Stolpe
Equity In Fisheries
Virtually all of our important fisheries, both commercial and recre-
ational, are managed by Fishery Management Plans (FMPs). These
plans, which are generally created by the appropriate regional fishery
management council(s), are approved by the Secretary of Commerce
before being implemented. The management measures that the insti-
tute can include limits on the number of participants in particular
fisheries, on who those participants can be, on how many fish of a
particular species they can catch, on how, when and where they can
catch them, and on how large (or how small) they must be. Addition-
ally, an increasing number of fisheries are being managed for the
bycatch of other species.
Ultimately, in those few instances where these other controls don't
work and a commercial fishery exceeds its allowable harvest in a
given year, "paybacks" are instituted. In these, commercial overages
are deducted from the subsequent year's allowable harvest. It's im-
portant to note that such measures are seldom required because of
the effectiveness of the management measures in place in controlling
commercial fishing mortality,
Every IMP must be in compliance with ten National Standards, as
enumerated in the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act (available at http://www.mnfs.noaa.gov/sfa/
magact/index.html According to the Act, "any fishery management
plan prepared, and any regulatioti promulgated to implement any
such plan, pursuant to this title shall be consistent with the follow-
ing national standards for fishery conservation and management."
Among the ten National Standards (emphasis added) are:
#1-Conservation and management measures shall prevent over-
fishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield
from each fishery for the United States fishing industry.
#2-Conservation and management measures shall be based upon
the best scientific information available.
#4-Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate
between residents of different States. If it becomes necessary to allo-
cate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fisher-
men, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such
fishermen; (B) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and
(C) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corpo-
ration, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.
(It's important to note that neither these nor the other seven National
Standards differentiate between commercial and recreational fishing
nor commercial and recreational fishermen.)
Primarily due to regulations imposed in FMPs to conform to these
National Standards, it's fair to say that commercial fishing is among
the most heavily regulated modern industries. There is no facet of a
commercial fisherman's workday that isn't strictly controlled by gov-
ernment regulation, and penalties for not abiding by those regula-
tions are among the most onerous of any that the Federal govern-
ment can impose, ranging from fines that can reach into hundreds of
thousands of dollars to lifetime expulsion from the commercial fish-
And then, of course, there's recreational fishing.
While nowhere in the Magnuson Act is it stated or even implied that
recreational fishermen should be excluded from the National Stan-
dards or from any of the requirements of the Act, in practice commer-
cial fisheries are the only fisheries that it is effectively managing.
This isn't to say that recreational angleri aren't being managed. As a
matter of fact, at times it might even seem that the management
measures they are forced to contend with are verging on excessive.
However, the sum total of all of these measures, in recreational fish-
ery after fishery, still fail to add up to effective management.
Why is this so? The overriding reason is that there is no control of
recreational fishing mortality. There are no controls on the number
of people who can recreationally fish and there are no controls on
what they can catch or when they can catch it. Some coastal states
require recreational fishing licenses, but no states limit the number
of recreational licenses issued. Some recreational fisheries have closed
seasons, but the closures apply only to keeping fish of particular
species, not to catching them. Some recreational fisheries have mini-
mum or maximum (or both) size limits, but those size limits apply
only to fish that are kept, not to those that are caught. An unlimited
number of recreational anglers can fish in any area with any gear at
any time, and can catch and release any number of any sized fish of
any species, with no constraints imposed on them whatsoever other
than those on what they can keep.
But if recreational anglers are out there catching fish, as an over-
whelming amount of research in recent years has shown, then they
are out there killing fish, no matter how careful they are with their
catch and release techniques.
And there are never any "paybacks" for recreational overfishing.
The inability of the managers adhering to the current philosophy of
recreational fishing management to manage recreational fisheries
effectively is seen plainly in popular recreational fisheries like those
for summer flounder and striped bass. In the Mid-Atlantic summer
vtM ,% POST OFFICE BOX 590
c--' EASTPOINT, FLORIDA 32328
S Facsimile 850-670-1685
ON e-mail: hoffer531 @gtcom.net
THE FRANKLIN COUNTY CHRONICLE, INC.
Vol. 14, No. 1
January 7, 2005
Publisher ...... ...................Tom W Hoffer
Director of Operations. Andy Dyal
Contributors. Dawn Radford
.......... Carol Noble
............ Richard Noble
............ Skip Frink
and Production Artist Diane Beauvais Dyal
Circulation Associate Jerry Weber
Production Associate ............................ Tawnee Sadler
Citizen's Advisory Group
Rand Edelstein Alligator Point
Karen Cox-Dennis ........... Apalachicola
Skip Frink ............................................. Carrabelle
David Butler ........... Carrabelle
Elizabeth and Jim Sisung ........................ Eastpoint
Bedford and Eugenia Watkins .............. Eastpoint
Barbara Revell .......................... ........ Lanark Village
Richard Harper ........................................ St. George Island
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 a 10 page issue would
cost $2.00 postpaid. Please write directly to the Chronicle
for price quotes if you seek several different or similar
issues. In-county subscriptions are $16.96 including tax.
Out-of-county subscriptions are $22.26 including tax.
Changes in subscription addresses must be sent to the
Chronicle in writing.
All contents Copyright 2005
Franklin Chronicle, Inc.
flounder fishery, every year for year alter year the recreational target
quota is exceeded in spite of increasingly stringent bag and season
and size limits, and the excess catch is in large part due to the mor-
tality of released fish. And in the striped bass fishery on the East
coast the recreational discard mortality in recent years has exceeded
the commercial harvest.
But it's most obvious-and most serious-in the offshore fishery for
highly migratory species, the so-called "big game" fisheries for tuna
and billfish in which the participants venture far offshore in boats
valued upwards into the millions of dollars.
The white marlin, a much sought quarry of the "big game" angler, is
caught by the same techniques in the same offshore waters in the
same seasons as several species of tuna and several other species of
Atlantic billfish. While white marlin stocks off the East coast are se-
verely reduced and considered "overfished," there is absolutely no
control by the National Marine Fisheries Service on recreational fish-
ing effort. Any recreational angler who wants to (and can afford to)
can go out on the ocean and catch as many white marlin as he or she
wishes. In fact, every year there are NMFS sanctioned fishing tourna-
ments up and down the coast in which white marlin are the quarry;
tournaments in which hundreds of boats participate, hundreds of
white marlin are caught, and the largest white marlin killed and landed
can win hundreds of thousands of dollars for the angler who caught
The federal government's attitude concerning protecting white mar-
lin from the assault of those anglers fortunate enough to be able to
pursue them is best expressed in a brochure titled "Atlantic Billfish-
What are the regulations?" In this brochure, prepared and distrib-
uted by NMFS, we read that that agency has "established a recre-
ational catch-and-release fishery management program for Atlantic
billfish in recognition of the unique characteristics of the billfish fish-
ery, including the conservation ethic of recreational billfish anglers
which provides multiple recreational opportunities without adversely
impacting the stock. Therefore, all Atlantic billfish released alive by
anglers are not considered as bycatch" (see http://
We presume that "the unique characteristics of the billfish fishery"
include the one about the participants being very rich guys with very
expensive boats who know how to push the right buttons in Wash-
ington, and that their "conservation ethic" includes the completely
false assumption that every released fish will in fact survive. How-
ever, the idea of providing multiple recreational opportunities with-
out adversely impacting the stocks-apparently a thick tongued way
of restating the catch and release mantra of "live to fight another
day"-is as offtarget with Atlantic billfish as it is with striped bass
and summer flounder.
In a recent review of the literature (currently in press), fisheries sci-
entist Jean Cramer reports post release mortality of recreationally
caught white marlin determined by Virginia Institute of Marine Sci-
ence researchers John Graves and Andrij Horodysky of up to 35%
(with a 95% confidence interval of 15% to 59%), which, NMFS's and
those guys with the real expensive boats pronouncements to the con-
trary, one would be hard pressed to consider as "not impacting the
stock." In fact, Dr. Cramer's analysis reveals that "if post release
mortality... is 35% or more then the removals of white marlin by the
U.S. recreational fishery are, on the average, greater than the total
catch of white marlin by the U.S. longline fishery." The U.S. longline
fishery, we must mention here, has long been considered-at least by
the self-styled recreational fishing "conservationists" and their allies
in Congress-the biggest threat to white marlin stocks. In fact there
are currently proposals to amend the Magnuson Act to close longliners
out of even larger areas of the Atlantic.
Of course,' there are no complimentary plans to restrict recreational
fishing fort white marlin in these areas or anywhere elsej,."catch and
release" and the anglers' built-in conservation ethic supposedly be-
ing all that is required. So we have the longline fleet, composed of less
than a hundred boats, which has already accepted significant re-
strictions for conservation including large closed areas, still being
blamed for the plight of the white marlin fishery while the unlimited
number of recreational anglers, who have done just about nothing to
conserve these fish up until now beyond proclaiming themselves
conservationists and shifting the blame to the longliners-are expected
to continue doing nothing. And this in spite of National Standards
stating that "conservation and management measures shall prevent
overfishing, shall be based upon the best scientific information avail-
able, and shall be fair and equitable to all fishermen."
Unfortunately, there has yet to be any commitment from NMFS to
impose the National Standards on the/recreational fisheries, in spite
of inarguable evidence that those fisheries, with their completely un-
controlled mortality, can and do have greater negative impacts on
fish populations than commercial harvesting. Isn't it time that the
federal fisheries management establishment recognize and control
all forms of fishing mortality, whether recreational or commercial?
For more information on these issues, please visit the Fisheries Re-
search Institute website at http://www.fisheriesresearch.org or the
New Jersey Fishing website at http://www.fishingnj.org.
St. George Island
United Methodist Church
You ARE INVITED To
SUNDAY WORSHIP 9:30A.M.
201 E. Gulf Beach Drive on the Island
Z927-2088 Website: sgiumc.org Rev. Anthony F. D'Angelo
850-697-3919 ^ MyW
Ocklockonee River Front Home-On an acre of land, dock,
pier, 2BR/2BA, 1081 sq. ft., screen porch. From your bedroom
or your living room enjoy the sunrise. $795,000.00.
Gulf Terrace Home-Sitting on 2 acres, fenced, guest house,
screened-in gazebo, greenhouse, attached 2-car garage, de-
tached 3-car garage (boat storage) great for rental property.
Sopchoppy River Front Home-This 3BR/2BA is situated
on .87 acres. Minutes away from Ocklockonee State Park and
Ocklockonee River. Home built in 2001, split plan, screen porch.
Call to see today. $345,000.00.
Gulf Front Lot-On 1.01 acre. This is the last acre before
entering Bald Point State Park. $1,200,000.00.
Bayside Realty, Inc.
160 Laughing Gull Lane Carrabelle, FL 32322
697-5470 697-3919 877-577-7177 Fax: 697-9607
Realtors-Beth Barber, Petra Myrick, Karla Bass, Deene Cook
Friends Of The Franklin County Public Library, Inc.
Eastpoint Branch & Administrative Office
29 Island Drive, Unit #3
P.O. Box 722
Eastpoint, Florida 32328
This has been another exciting year for the Franklin County Public
Library. Our Library Director was among the 27 national winners of
the 2004 New York Times Librarian award for outstanding public
service: we hired an additional Library Assistant: we received funding
for a new youth program-WITH-IT! (Winners In Tune Have It To-
gether); we were awarded renewed grant funding both for the FROG
Family Learning Program and the TIGERS youth program; we took
part in the national September Project; we established a monthly book
club; and TIGERS was published in the 4th edition of American Li-
brary Association's Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults as
one of the top five library programs for teens in the nation.
Along with our achievements and successes, our need for assistance
continues. The FRIENDS function at many levels in support of the
Library's mission. We provide financial support to supplement the
Library's operational budget, support a variety of programs that en-
hance and expand library service, and have raised funds to enable
the construction of our new library branch in Carrabelle. An added
bonus is that all local level funding serves to increase matching State
Aid to Libraries and benefits overall library services in the County.
Becoming a FRIEND will assure the continued and future operations
of the Franklin County Public Library, .related programs of the Friends
of the Franklin County Public Library, Inc., and the Library's future
If you already are a FRIEND and have renewed your membership for
the current year, .we thank you. We truly appreciate, your presence,
your input, and your voice.
Last year, we established a Building and Operations Endowment Fund
to ensure the the future existence of the Library and to help bring to
fruition a second permanent library location in Eastpoint. In the com-
ing year, we plan to begin a special fund drive to help make our vision
a reality. We will again welcome your support and your assistance.
The Franklin County Friends joined forces with Wakulla and
Jefferson County Public Libraries to form the Wilderness Coast
Public Libraries in 1992.
Currently, from two small branches and a program center, the
Franklin County Public Library serves 3400 registered borrow-
ers; offers temporary residents free borrowing privileges, and
strives to meet community needs.
The Friends supplement the library's limited budget, conduct
fundraisers, serve as fiscal agent for grant programs and provide
support for library related projects. The group received a national
award from Friends of Libraries U.S.A. for their dedication, com-
mitment, and support of a small public library, and the Commu-
nity Awareness Award specifically for conducting the Summer
Food Service Program.
The Franklin County Public Library has received the American
Public Library Association's Excellence in Small and/or Rural
County Public Library Service award for outstanding community
service; the American Library Association's Excellence in Library
Service to Young Adults award (in 1997 & 2003) receiving the
honor of being listed among the nation's top five library youth
programs; the Betty Davis Miller Award for youth program excel-
lence; recognition from Horizon's on-line magazine as one of the
top ten innovative libraries in the United States; recognition from
the Governor for providing outstanding family literacy program
Regular Friends of the Library meetings are held monthly alter-
nating between Carrabelle and Eastpoint branches. A Volunteer
and Friends Recognition Tea is held annually, Special programs
are hosted by the Friends on a regular basis.
The Mission of the Friends
The mission of the Friends of the Franklin County Public Library
is to support the Franklin County Public Library's plan to pro-
vide current, high-demand, high-interest, informational, educa-
tional and cultural materials for persons of all ages, and to sup-
port the library's efforts to serve as a central focus point for com-
munity activities. The Friends seek to accomplish this through
fund-raising, support services, and promotional activities which
will encourage growth of the library in the community.
I would like to support the Friends of the Franklin County Public
Name Categories of Membership:
Address Student/Senior Citizen .....$ 5.00
Family .............. ..... 25.00
Telephone Business/Supporting ...... 100.00
Telephone Sustaining....................... 250.00
My company has a matching Pa tor ........................ 500.00
gift program: Benefactor ..................... 1000.00
Eastpoint Branch Building Fund
Carrabelle Branch Special Fund
Endowment Fund Contribution
Family Literacy Program Donation
Youth Program Donation
Special Contribution for
Gift in memory/honor of
Please make checks payable to: Friends of the Franklin County Pub-
lic Library, Inc. (FFCPL, Inc.)
:==-- -- -AC. "'' ^
jfir t apti t C)urd)
St. George Island
501 E. Bayshore Drive
R. Michael Whaley, Pastor
Join us as we praise and
worship the living Christ!
Sunday Bible Study 10:00 a.m.
Worship & Praise 11:00 a.m.
Sunday Night 7:00 p.m.
Wed. "Power Hour" 7:00 p.m.
"Walking in Christ"
Highway 98 & 6th Street
I n e r 1R111r11n11il I^^- t--- 'v` lnu;--r-- I A L4 -%
Thp Franklin Ch mnielp.rl
Page 4 7 January 2005
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
The Franklin Chronicle
EDITORIAL & COMMENTARY
Letter To The Editor
I am writing about the single district voting. I didn't know how to get
it changed until I saw on the news about Gulf county changing back
to countywide voting. I called the Gulf county clerk of court and found
out. The county commissioners have to agree to put a referendum on
the ballot so the people can vote on it. I have also talked to three
commissioners about this. I am not able to go to the commission
meetings or go door to door to talk to the citizens of Franklin county,
so I will try to reach the people through the newspaper. The Lord
willing we have almost two years to work on this. I feel like the county
commissioners should be accountable to all the citizens of the county.
So let's get busy and let our corpmissioners know what we want them
to do, and most of all vote. If we don't vote we have no right to com-
plain. You may say tlhat I'm only one person, what can I do? Well,
when Marilyn O'Hara wanted prayer and bible reading taken out of
the school, a lot of people said, "0 she can't do that," but with mil-
lions of signatures she did.
God Bless and Happy Holidays,
Strong Implications for Affordable Housing
Housing Demand Predicted
In The Next Quarter Century
The Brobkings Institution, Washington, D.C. has released a report by'
Arthur C. Nelson that predicts 154.8 housing units will be needed in
2030. In 2000, there were 115.9 housing units in the United States.
There will be 94 million more people in the U.S. by 2030, an increase
of 33% to 376 million souls.
To serve that population, at least 60 million housing units will have
to be built. Around 20 million would replace aging or destroyed homes,
according to the Brookings Institution report.
These predictions are somewhat startling now, with a country al-
ready trying to cope with traffic congestion, urban sprawl and pres-
sures on the natural environment. The southern part of the United
States will experience the greatest growth in the next 25 years.
Arthur Nelson, director of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech,
opined, "We need to get the message out to planners so that they see
the big numbers... There may be no better time than now to plan the
shape of the landscape."
Saint George Island
Volunteer Fire Department
P.O. Box 682
Eastpoint, ISL 32328
As you know the islandI co1tfiues to gr6,w with nore houses busi-
n ssse; residentss and visithrs'oeveiy yea: Because of rhis, your St.
George'Islarid Volunte'r FiIeFDepartmdnt continhties to'gr tow t meet
the needs of the island. For 30 years, volunteers from your SGI Fire
Department have responded to fire calls to protect residents, homes
and property, as well as provide service during natural disasters such
a 1 hurricanes and tornadoes. For 18 years, volunteers from the First
Responder Unit have responded to medical emergencies, swimming
arid automobile accidents, as well as assisting the fire department
wvth natural disasters and fires. We are proud to have 12 firemen
and 12 first responder s, many of which are cross-trained for both
uits. However, we desperately need more volunteers for both units
at' this time. If you are interested, please see Jay Abbott or come to
our monthly training meetings on the second Monday of every month.
This year our East End Firehouse continues to be used by the com-
munity as a meeting place. In addition, we assist the other fire de-
partments in the 'county when they need us, just as they assist us in
times of need. We are growing and increasing our training and exper-
tise all the time. This year we purchased a used aerial (ladder)
truck, due to new state requirements. This vehicle will allow us,
for the first time, to reach the upper floors of buildings on the
island in the event of an emergency and to keep the island's fire
insurance ratings low so your premiums will not increase drasti-
cally. As always, we have ongoing needs for continuing education
and training, as well as equipment upgrades and repairs. We con-
tinue to provide 24-hour emergency care and fire protection, as well
as service to the community.
We are starting our 22nd Annual Hat Drive. Please participate.
This hat drive provides resources required to meet our budget needs
for the upcoming year. Your donation of $100.00 will enable you
to receive a fire department hat; however any donation will be
appreciated. Remember, we are a non-profit organization, therefore
your donation is tax deductible. In addition, we now have copies of
the new 2004 "Treasured Recipes from St. George Island" cook-
book available for $23.45 (includes shipping). They make great gifts
for all occasions.
To all of you who have contributed in the past "Thank You" and we
hope you will support us again. To all new residents or homeowners,
"Welcome" and feel,free to join in. Just ask a fireman or first re-
sponder how to get involved. The firemen and first responders thank
you for your assistance and stand ready to serve you anytime.
Jay Abbott, Fire Chief
Lee Edmiston, Deputy Chief
Franklin County School
By Mikel Clark, Assistant Superintendent
Publisher's Note: This report was distributed to the School Board
at the December 9th meeting. The Chronicle sees this updating
report of continuing interest to the Franklin County community.
We hope this will be the precursor of future reports about the
Teaching And Learning Grant Program
Sponsored by the St. Joe Community Foundation, this year forty-nine
grant applications were submitted through this program by district
teachers, with funding in the amount of approximately $35,000 be-
ing awarded. Awards went to teachers from each of the district schools.
Pam Selton, Executive Director of St. Joe Community Foundation,
facilitated the work of the review committee comprised of community
representatives from the schools.
Southern Association of Colleges. and Schools/Council
on Accreditation and School Improvement
Based on a request we submitted to Dr. Pat Wentz, Florida's Execu-
tive Director of SACS/CASI, the district has taken the initial step for
consideration to seek the newly approved process for district-wide
accreditation. This year representatives from the regional office will
be invited to present information to the district to assist the district
In planning for the new process. SACS has postponed school site
reviews for district schools under the current process for this year
while the district considers district-wide accreditation. All regular
district schools are SACS accredited. The topic of the new district
accreditation model was included in a report from Nina Marks and
Sharon Philyaw to the School Board last year.
Gulf Coast Community College Courses in the District
During the summer of 2003' and the following months, the district
worked with Gulf Coast Community College, the Florida Department
of Education Workforce Development Department, and the Chancel-
lor of Community Colleges to secure funding for an interactive video
conferencing program to deliver technical education courses from the
main campus in Panama City to the local high schools. Last year
Networking Plus was taught via videoconferencing with "live" sites at
Apalachicola, Carrabelle, and Panama City. In addition to the ITV
class, Gulf Coast agreed to offer a business computer class (Excel) at
Carrabelle High School. Currently, Microsoft Office is being taught at
Carrabelle High School in the evening. These were very positive de-
velopments in reestablishing GCCC classes here in the district, rather
than limiting the offerings to-the very valuable Gulf/Franklin Center.
We believe the experiences that our local people get in .taking college
classes with the convenience of in-district locations will improve the
likelihood that more will travel the longer distances to the Center and
to the main campus to complete their studies.
Our high schools and the district -staff have worked cooperatively
with Gulf Coast to schedule the following courses in Franklin County
for the semester beginning in January 2005.
BCT 113 Construction Blueprint Reading (ITV)
CET 2179 A+ Certification (ITV) .'
OST 2811, Desktop Publishing -
PSY 2012, General Psychogy, . ,,, .,o ,,- ";.-
Criminal Justice/Law Career's Program-The di'gtrilt and' high'd'ool
principals are"''orking \ithl Sharon Burdeshaw. with th '.kulf/
Franklin Center, to develop this program in the local high schools.
Currently we are making preparations for a high school program that
will qualify as a Gold Seal Program. Student interest appears to be
high. We're looking at possibilities of initiating the first course during
' Many other GCCC courses are available in the district through dis-
tance learning. A schedule of Distance Learning Courses is published
and available online or through the high school guidance offices.
Other Franklin County Schools/Gulf Coast Community
The Gulf Coast Community College's "Singing Commodores" presented
a program at Apalachicola High School recently and are being sched-
uled for a spring program at Carrabelle (with other sites possible).
Judy Ham's son, with the GCCC Visual and Performing Arts Depart-
ment, is working with the district and schools to finalize scheduling
Masters Degree Program Planned for the County
The district has been working with representatives from Florida A &
M University:to deliver Masters Degree Programming in our schools.
A recent meeting was very positive with several teachers attending
and many others making contact to indicate their interest. FAMU
Representatives Dr. Leonard Inge. and Dr. Mary Nelson were most
gracious and expressed their willingness to help establish the pro-
gram. Educational Leadership and Elementary Education were among
the programs that were discussed as the group sought to identify
programs that would meet their interests and needs. This initiative is
part of our efforts to make full advantage of the states K-20 organiza-
Electronic Grade Book and Attendance Program
At the request of school principals and teachers, the district is imple-
menting an electronic grade book and "real-time" attendance report-
ing system with new technology. Recently, David Meyer, District Tech-
nology Networking Services Resource Teacher, installed the system
software. Following the installation, principals sent Train-The-Trainer
teams for training provided by a! consultant in the district. The dis-
trict is using the year to train and help staff members become famil-
iar and comfortable with the new program. Use will be phased in,
with implementation of the new attendance reporting being a prior-
ity. As teachers begin to use the eGradebook, it promises to be result
in a more efficient system than the system currently being used. The
new system, when fully implemented should eliminate the redun-
dancy of copying grades from grade books to grade sheets, and the
data entry that is currently required to produce report cards. In the
future this system should help improve parental involvement and
has the potential to provide instant reporting, perhaps reducing the
work currently required for interim reports.
BRIDGES and Comprehensive School Reform Programs
Following the development of a plan for expanding the concept of the
Franklin County Learning Center Program to seek additional funds,
the district administration and high school principals worked to de-
velop and implement school site programs to serve as a transition
program for FCLC students and to address student needs to help
who are behind in their credits to work on individualized programs to
progress toward the graduation and successful careers. Carrabelle
High School has been operating the BRIDGES program this year with
good success.. Apalachicola High School has recently been awarded
grant funding through Title V that will enable the Comprehensive
School Reform Program to move forward with implementation during
the second semester.
Florida High School Athletic Association Approves New
Classification for Small Schools
Small schools playing football face many challenges, many related to
the varying sizes of student enrollments in schools within the same
district and/or classification. The district administration and football
coaches in the district have discussed ways to level the playing field,
including the possibilities of forming conferences to increase the hon-
ors and recognition that can be afforded our district football athletes
(and maybe other sports). One recent development may be a step in
the right direction. Recently, the FHSAA Board of Directors approved
a football classification plan for 2005-08 seasons that was proposed
.by Richard Finlayson, Principal of Aucilla Christian. The new classi-
fication will be Class IB and is projected to include schools with high
school enrollments of 50-236. Schools projected to be included in the
new classification include Apalachicola, Aucilla Christian, Carrabelle,
Cottondale, FAMU High, Graceville, John Paul II and Monroe. Ac-
cording to an article published Saturday, December 4, 2004 in the
Tallahassee Democrat, District I-IB is projected to include
Apalachicola, Carrabelle, Cottondale, and Graceville. District 2-IB
includes Aucilla Christian, FAMU High, John Paul 11, and Monroe.
Final district assignments are scheduled to be released by FHSAA on
December 22, 2004.
The Franklin County School Board's Policies are aligned with Pan-
handle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) Model Policies. This helps
the district maintain and update policies on a regular basis to reflect
new statutes and rules. Currently, the district administration is re-
viewing updates of the PAEC Model Policies for purposes of submit-
ting new revised policies where they are required or needed. Look for
more information within the upcoming weeks regarding your consid-
eration of the updates.
NOAA Oceans And Human
Health Initiative Underway
With an Initial award of $2.05
million from NOAA,. the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin-
istration, the Hollings Marine
Laboratory, located at the South
Carolina Marine Resources Cen-
ter in Charleston, S.C., has be-
gun research into fundamental
;questions about the quality and
safety of our coastal waters aad,
the seafood they dQntain. ,The re-
search is parttbf,NOAA's,new;.
"Oceans and Human Health Ini-
tiative," a program anticipated to
be at least five years in duration.
NOAA is an agency of the U.S.
Department of Commerce.
Along with the grant, NOAA has
designated the Hollings Marine
Laboratory as a "Center of Excel-
lence for Oceans and Human
Health" research. The Hollings
Laboratory is one of only three
NOAA facilities nationwide to re-
ceive such a designation. The
other two Centers of Excellence
in the Ocean and Human Health
Initiative are NOAA s Northwest
Fisheries Science Center in Se-
attle, Wash., and NOAA's Great
Lakes Environmental Research
Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The NOAA labs will also interact
with related programs in the Na-
tional Science Foundation and
National Institute of Environmen-
tal Health Sciences.
'These centers will start an en-
tirely new approach to ocean re-
search. The oceans have a major
impact on our daily health and we
need to learn a great deal more
about what ocean pollution is
doing to both marine creatures
and our food supply," said U.S.
Sen. Ernest Hollings of South
Carolina. "I'm also convinced we
haven't even begun to know the
good that can come from oceans.
One day our oceans will be a ma-
jor. source of new drugs, and these
new centers will speed that devel-
"The oceans, coasts and the Great
Lakes are inextricably linked to
the health of humans who inhabit
both coastal and inland areas,"
said retired Navy Vice Adm.
Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D.,
under secretary of commerce for
oceans and atmosphere and
NOAA administrator. 'These cen-
ters are the cornerstone of NOAA's
Oceans and Human Health Initia-
tive and one of the ways we will
work with our partners to in-
crease understanding of the in-
teractions between human health
and ocean processes."
Established by, Congressrin 2003,
the Qceans and Human.Health
Initiative includes internal and
external peer-reviewed research
as well as distinguished scholars
and trainee program. The re-
search conducted at the HML and
the other NOAA Centers will ad-
dress four key questions: "What
are the cumulative impacts of
coastal development on our ma-
rine life? Are the fish and shell-
fish safe to eat? Is it safe to
swim in the oceans? What can
be done to reduce these prob-
Although a NOAA facility, Hollings
Marine Laboratory is operated as
a partnership among NOAA, the
U.S. Department 'of Commerce's
National Institute of Standards
and Technology, and three South
Carolina institutions: the South
Carolina Department of Natural
Resources, the College of Charles-
ton, and the Medical University of
South Carolina. All of the partners
have critical roles in the Center
of Excellence for Oceans and Hu-
man Health. The laboratory is
named for U.S. Senator Ernest F.
Hollings who has been a
long-term supporter of NOAA's'
critical role in the management of
With the Oceans and Human
Health Initiative, NOAA will con-
duct research and implement pro-
grams that link environmental
conditions in the coastal zone to
human health and socioeconomic
For NOAA's Oceans and Human
Health initiative, the Hollings
Marine Laboratory will be devel-
oping new methods, approaches,
and tools to: (1) evaluate the
health responses of marine organ-
isms to stress, and (2) identify and
Continued on Page 9
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The Franklin Chronicle
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
7 January 2005 Pane 5.,S
Year In Review from Page 1
200,000 to repair and extend the revetment. The extension would be
made with limerock instead of granite. The county would come to
DEP and apply for a permit to extend the revetment by as much as
1000 feet. This scenario is not favored by some of the residents, but
the county can not leave the road unprotected."
"Scenario #2-DEP assist the county in getting a fixed and realistic
time line from the USACOE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) on the
COE will bring sand to Alligator Point. As explained to the Secretary,
if COE can provide sand the county is in line to receive DEP funding
to build groins to stabilize the shore. The cost of building the groins if
sand is present is approximately $2 million dollars. The state would
pay half, and the county would pay half. If sand is not present, the
cost of construction rises to $6-8 million and neither the state nor
the county are prepared to spend that much money on one project.
This scenario is favored by most residents and it is the scenario pre-
ferred by DEP staff, if the COE will provide the.sand."
"Scenario #3-Somebody convince DOT (Department of Transporta-
tion) to take the road, and then it is no longer a county problem."
This was not a viable option at that time.
"Scenario #4-Relocate the road and leave the existing shoreline as
is. While relocation of the road has merit, it was concluded that pri-
vate residents would end up trying to harden the shoreline anyway
as private property was eroded. It was also acknowledged that there
was no source of funds to develop road relocation plans."
Secretary Castille prefers Scenario #2, if the COE will provide the
sand. The meeting concluded with the Secretary agreeing to add the
Alligator Point issue to the list of issues that the state wants the
Corps to deal with. The state has some leverage with the Corps be-
cause the Corps is seeking to renew its dredging permit on the
Apalachicola River. However, because the county will receive funding
from FEMA, and that funding must be used within a fixed timeline,
the county will wait until Jan. or Feb. to see if DEP is successful in
getting sand out of the Corps. If not, then before next turtle nesting
season and, before next hurricane season, the county will be forced
to proceed with extending the revetment, and will seek a permit from
DEP to do so.
The Franklin County Commission established a new dock ordinance,
establishing standards and procedures in May. The ordinance for the
first time established standards for construction and operations.
The Commission also adopted the 11th Amendment to the 1977 St.
George Island Development order bringing to a close, presumably,
the constant bickering between the Plantation and the Resort Village
on commercial development. The revised order eliminated commer-
cial activity at Resort Village and reduced the density of construction
to one unit per acre, and the conversion of the Resort Village hotel to
The Department of Environmental Protection has expressed concerns
about the removal of the advanced wastewater plant but Director Lee
R. Sewell wrote to the Commissioners that "....it is our opinion that
the density required for the plant to operate efficiently (at least 2
units per acre, if not more) would have been a different form of "pol-
lution" and unattractiveness for our community."
The letter quoted above was sent to Cheryl Sander, Chairperson of
the Franklin County Commissioners. In part, St. George Plantation
Director Lee Sewell wrote, "I am writing you and the other commis-
sioners as chair of the St. George Plantation Owners' Association's
Relationship Committee with the Resort Village developers. As you
know this property lies entirely within our gated community but is
not a part of our homeowners' association. For many' years we have
struggled to establish a satisfactory relationship with the owners of
this unique property. As you know, in May we completed an agree-
ment regarding their development of their property and the relation-
ship of that property's future owners with the Plantation. This agree-
ment received the positive votes of 99.5% of our voting members.
This is the strongest endorsement for any proposal on any topic from
our members since the Plantation was created in .1977."
Ms. Sewell's letter continued. ;'As ogr commissioners are well aware, .
there have been several proposals' for hi'gh-density.,devel6pment of
this'pr'operty 6Y'er the years, most of whYrd'were soundly opposed by
our association, as well as by many of our owners individually. Our
new agreement is a reflection of the enthusiastic support of the Plan-
tation Owners Association, as well as a substantial majority of our
owners for the plan you are now considering. In particular, we are
greatly pleased that the density is consistent with that of the majority
of the development west of the Plantation gate (one unit per acre).
On May 21st, many St. George Island residents were shaken from the
crash of an Air Force F-15 airplane on the island, very narrowly miss-
ing substantial destruction in areas of the St. George Plantation.
The investigation board determined that the accident was caused by
a chain of events that led to the pilot's unintentional ejection from the
aircraft, which ultimately led to the crash. The pilot, Lt. Col. Patrick
A. Marshall, was assigned to the Ist 'Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air
Force Base, Florida, when the mishap occurred, and he ejected safely.
Lt. Col. Marshall was conducting an air combat training flight when
an air-regulating valve detached from his torso harness and became
lodged in the area of the ejection seat handle. When Lt. Col. Marshall
turned his head to check his position and pulled the stick towards
him, enough tension was put on the detached valve to raise the ejec-
tion seat handle, causing the pilot to eject.
On 21 May 2004, F- 15C assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall
Air Force Base, Florida, crashed approximately 50 nautical miles
southeast of Tyndall Air Force Base. At approximately 11:57:15 local
(CST), during a three-thousand-foot defensive basic fighter maneu-
vers engagement, the mishap pilot (MP) was ejected from the mishap
aircraft (MA). The MA continued to fly for approximately one minute
and forty-nine seconds before it impacted the ground along the marshy
shoreline of St. George Island, Florida. The MA was destroyed upon
impact, but there was no other damage to government property. The
MP, an instructor pilot and flight examiner, suffered only superficial
injuries. Some local property owners have indicated they suffered
minor property damage caused by the impact, and one individual
has indicated he sustained minor injuries as a result of the impact.
In late October, the Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG),
joined by public health experts released a new report that contains
warnings against eating fish due to mercury contamination in nearly
all of Florida's lakes, rivers and coastline. Florida ranked in the Top
Ten with posted mercury pollution warnings. Their summary read as
"Mercury is a dangerous toxic metal, especially for children. Expo-
sure to mercury can cause attention and language deficits, impaired
memory, and impaired visual and motor function in children. Scien-
tists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimate that one
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in six women of childbearing age in the U.S. has levels of mercury in
her blood high enough to put 630,000 of the four million babies born
each year at risk of health problems due to mercury exposure.
The Florida Department of Health has added 172 rivers and lakes to
the list of Florida water bodies that contain fish with harmful levels of
mercury. The new list constitutes a more than threefold increase over
last year's advisory, and also lists 59 saltwater fish species that carry
mercury warnings. The latest fish consumption advisories include
such popular fish as dolphin, grouper, red snapper, yellowfin tuna
Personalities in the News
Shortly after the County Commissioners approved the reorganization
of the Emergency Management Office, incumbent "Tim Turner" sought
legal action against them, pursuant to the "Whistle Blower" statute
in Florida law. The case is pending into 2005.
North Florida Medical announced the hiring of a new medical pro-
vider, badly needed to respond to increasing demands for medical
Larry Applebee, P.A.C., is the new medical provider at North Florida
Medical Services, Eastpoint, joining the staff headed by Dr. Nancy
Chorba, at the Eastpoint Mall.
Mr. Applebee is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and received
his nursing degree in 1982. He worked as a travel nurse for 25 years,
in many teaching hospitals throughout the south. His recent assign-
ment was in Orlando, Florida, where he worked level 1. Trauma ED
from 1992 to 2000. He returned to school at the University of Wash-
ington, School of Medicine, in the Physician Assistant Program where
he received his degree as Physician's Assistant, Certified, in 2003.
His experience includes work in Effiergency Room, Intensive Care,
Cardiac Care, Open Heart and Cardiac Cath. He was a National Health
Service Corps. scholar.
Larry is married to Paula, and they have two grown children. His
hobbies are hang-gliding and 'gardening.
New postmasters were appointed for Apalachicola and Eastpoint in
Carrying on a fourth generation tradition of postal service, Cathy Watts
has accepted appointment as the Apalachicola Postmaster effective
Ms. Watts' father retired as Station Manager (Jacksonville) in 1982.
Her maternal Grandfather retired as clerk at Station "F" (Jackson-
ville) in 1950. And, Cathy's great-grandfather was Postmaster at
Eastport (note the similarity of names with Eastpoint), Florida, In the
1920s. Eastport was a lumber community north of Jacksonville but
it no longer exists as a community,
.Cathy has been a postal service- employee since October 13, 1988
when she began her career at the mail processing plant in Jackson-
ville. For 15 years following that assignment, she was a Postal Source
Data Technician (timekeeping), and then an Accounting Technician
for another four years. Two years later, she moved up to Accounting
Supervisor in the U. S. postal service, and became Postmaster in
Eastpoint in January 1992. She held that job for 12 years, until her
new appointment as, Postmaster, Apalachicola, this-October.
Apalachicola is, a Level 18 First Class City Delivery Post Office.
Lionel Bliss is the new Eastpoint 'Postmaster, commuting into the
Franklin County area from Crawfordville, Florida.
Mr. Bliss has been a Supervisor at the Tallahassee Post Office for the
last seven years, since 1997. He was also a city carrier for another
four years, and prior to that, he worked in the postal services in Tar-
pon Springs for yet another four years, beginning his postal service in
1980. He married Cheryl Dyer that same year, meeting her in Tarpon
Springs. They have one son and a daughter.
Lionel does not foresee any major changes in postal operations in'
.-Eaptpoinptat,the, present time, m-ainaining hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:3,Q,
p.m. dai y'and 10 a.m. to noon on $aturday's. He arrives, oisite about,.
7 am. dairy, driving over 100 miles each day, round trip. "
Wilburn "Butch" Baker, Jr. was selected in October by the Board of
County Commissioners to be the new full-time Emergency Manage-
Mr. Baker has been employed by the State of Florida as Emergency'
Management Area Coordinator in the Orlando area since 1999. Prior
to this service, he was Emergency Management Director in Franklin
County from 1997 to 1999. He is a graduate of Butler High School in
Huntsville, Alabama and attended two years at the Community Col-
lege of the Air Force in Montgomery, Alabama majoring in electronic
engineering. For a time, he was also employed by WOYS radio as
Station Manager. Mr. Baker earned the rank of Master Sergeant in
the U.S. Air Force and honorably discharged in January 1990.
Finally, in a special meeting held in late. December, Alan Pierce was
hired as the new Director of Administrative Services for Franklin
County, a new administrative position in county government.
Mr. Pierce has been a long term employee in the Franklin County
Planning Office having left his position as County Planner last April
2004 when he joined Preble-Rish. He was selected for the new posi-
tion from a field of two viable candidates that made an appearance
before the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday afternoon.
Six applicants originally filed for the position, but only two made an
appearance for an interview. The second candidate was Kent Shroeder,
Several weeks earlier, District 1 Commissioner Russell Crofton an-
nounced his point-of-view to recruit an administrator from a larger
field than "local candidates". The Board agreed to widen their search
for additional applicants but the search became a narrow one any-
way, most likely due to the ambiguous salary attached to the posi-
tion. Finally, after the interviews, the Board unanimously approved
Bevin Putnal's motion to hire Mr. Pierce, seconded by Russell Crofton.
County Finance officer Ruth Williams informed the Board that there
was no provision for the administrator salary but the Board has de-
cided to make an offered $52,500 from contingency.
The Ilse Newell Concert Series began their 19th season in the fall of
NEWELL CONCERT SERIES
Since 1985, The Apalachicola Area Historical Society And for the Per-
forming Arts the Ilse Newell Fund:... Have Brought Cultural and En-
St. George Island Realty
235 E. Gulf Beach Dr.
St. George Island, FL 32328
LAND FOR SALE:
River Front Lot in Carrabelle! Beauti-
ful one acre riverfront lot on the deep
water of the New River. You can boat to
the Carrabelle River within 30 minutes
from your dream home in the New River
Forest subdivision. MLS#100026.
Spectacular Bayside! One acre with a
MUST SEE Bay View in the Plantation!
Sculpted paths make viewing easy. Feel
the serenity & enjoy the tranquil view of
the water & protected marshlands on this
unique property. MLS#102116. $475,000.
Gorgeous Beach Front Lot! Located in
Casa Del Mar, a unique community on
one of the world's most beautiful
beaches. CLOSE to Bob Sikes Cut where
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tertaining Music and Periormers to Franklin County. The Offerings
have embraced a large range of musical tastes, from rich classical
legacies to modern jazz, performed by professionals within Franklin.
County, and visitors from other locales. Many of these programs have
been shared with the Franklin County school system. The programs
have been performed at the historic Trinity Episcopal Church, the
Dixie Theatre (Apalachicola) and Lafayette Park. The series of con-
certs was initiated by the late George Chapel in honor of his friend,
Ms. Ilse Newell, whose small legacy began the series. The sponsors
have prided themselves on the policy that no one be prohibited from
attending the concert series for financial reasons. Thus, modest do-
nations of $2 per person for each concert is requested.
In early January, a plan for landscaping the Franklin Boulevard area
on St. George Island completely changed the appearance of the entry
to the island by year's end.
ST. GEORGE LANDSCAPING
Kent McCoy, a St. George Island based landscape architect, presented "
a revised landscape entryway plan to the Civic Club on Thursday the ''r
15th of January. The extensive landscape development is being funded "'
by a $100,000 state beautification grant from the Florida Depart- t
ment of Transportation. ,
An earlier lagoon scheme for the entryway, designed jointly by c',
Moorebass Engineers and the entryway design team, has been aban- rw
doned.due to,an unwillingness of the design team to accept a 4' chain 'c3
link fencing demand around the lagoon portion of the scheme filed q
late in the design process by the Department of Transportation. oi
THREE SERVICEMEN STATUE
The City of Apalachicola, already known for oysters, rich history and ,31
friendly people, may soon also be known as the only place in the
country that has a replica of a major Washington D.C. memorial. '
Apalachicola's City Commission, in a special session, March 23 at
6:00 p.m: in City Hall Chambers, voted on a proposed site for a
seven-foot-tall bronze statue of three servicemen from the Vietnam
War era, sculpted by the late Frederick Hart.
This sculpture willfbe identical to the one at the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial in Washington D.C. near the Wall of Honor. The national
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has authorized five regions of the
country to have a replica of the Three Servicemen Statue.
Apalachicola is typical of the small towns from which many of the I
soldiers of that war came and is the place where the first regional
memorial, the Southeast's, will be located. The proposed site in ,i
Apalachicola is a block of city-owned land bordering on the east by ,
Market, Street, on the west by the state-owned Orman House, on the
north by the entrance to Chapman Botanical Garden and on the south
by Avenue 1. "Within this landscaped park space, the memorial will .
have its own identity and plenty of room for people to reflect on the
American soldier's contribution to our way of life," says Jimmy ,'
Mosconis, president of Three Servicemen Statue South, Inc. o
By year's end, the First Baptist Church on St. George Island had *
completed a retreat facility.
The First Baptist Church is building a Christian Retreat Facility on
thirteen acres of beautiful bay front property on'St: George Island.' '
Dozens of volunteers returned to St. George Island in June to erect'
four additional cabins in the second phase of building the Retreat'. '
Many of the volunteers participated in the construction of several ',
Retreat buildings during 2003. The Retreat will provide the opportu-
nity for variofis groups to experience glorious views, solace and tran-
quility conducive to meditation and spiritual reflection.
Proceeds of the Margaret Key estate were to go to the Apalachicola
Municipal Library following her death in 1996.
The Last Will and Testament of Apalachicola resident, Margaret Liv-
ings Key, stated that all the tangible and real property of hers was to
be sold and the proceeds were to go to the Apalachicola Municipal
Library. The Will was dated'January 23. 1996. Ms. Keys died in, 1996
. and ;ht fs,,ar no6nejkf the funds of the estate have.been transmitted to
, the Libratry nor the City of Apalachicola. a,s directed, in the, Keys: will.
Given the elapse of nearly eight years without any formal action, the
City of Apalachicola, and two citizens, Joyce Estes and Shirley N. I
Taylor petitioned the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit Court
for Franklin County requesting an accounting of the estate. The last '
formal activity in the estate was a second order for sale of the home-
stead in 1998. Since then, there has not been a formal accounting ":
nor a distribution of the estate to the sole beneficiary.
An investigation conducted for the petition determined that a local -"
bank is holdirig $418,320.58 in the estate account. The petition re- '
quested an immediate distribution of the estate assets to the City of ;n
Apalachicola to be deposited in a special library fund to be used only ,,.
for the Apalachicola Municipal Library, 'with Trustee appointed by
the Court to properly distribute the money as directed by Ms. Key's ,
will, and to compel the Personal Representative, Clark IHolmes, to file "'
an accounting and close the estate.
On June 30, 2004, Circuit Judge Janet E. Ferris granted the petition .
for accounting. "A final accounting shall be filed by the Personal Rep-
resentative within 60 days from the date of this Order and the estate .
shall be closed," her order read. The Judge reiterated." The monies in ,
this account shall be used solely for the benefit of the Apalachicola ,
Municipal Library. It is clear to the Court that the decedent's intent -i
was that the money received from decedent's estate should be used .
solely for the Apalachicola Municipal Library." The concluding para-
graph of the Judge's order stated, "The Apalachicola Municipal Li- .T
brary Board shall act as an advisory board to the City of Apalachicola '"
and make recommendations for the use of the funds received from ,'
the estate." ,,
DIXIE THEATRE ,:
By late December, the Dixie Theatre Foundation had received a '
$25,000 subsidy from the Franklin County government. The request .,*
had been made to the Commissioners in mid-July.
Dixie Partington, Executive Director of the Dixie Theatre Foundation, -,
appeared before the Franklin County Commission Tuesday, July 20, ""
2004 to request a $25,000 subsidy from county government. ul P
She began her request with an opening statement, "...The Dixie The-
atre is unique. It. is a building with h history that has provided space "
for a wide range of entertainment opportunities for our residents in
Franklin County. We are fortunate indeed, that Rex Partington had L
the foresight and commitment to restore the theatre for the benefit of -*
our community. This was no small feat. We have found that to keep
the theatre open and usable, it requires a financial commitment of
about $80,000 per year to pay the necessary bills. This does not in- '
clude the cost of any production that is sponsored at the theatre.
This amount does include payments on mortgages, a loan from the
city, utilities, insurances, and so forth. We have not been able to meet '"
all of those expenses yet. The theatre cannot survive with only the *.
proceeds from program advertising, ticket sales, and fund raising
events. Fortunately, we have remained open because of the generos- "
ity & goodwill of those who have invested time and money in the Dixie
Continued on Page 6
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The Franklin Chroniclp
Year In Review from Page 5
We have demonstrated that the theatre is a valuable resource for all
of us in Franklin County and, as we begin our 7th year of operation,
we appeal to you tor the first time for financial support to help the
Dixie Theatre serve our residents and attract tourists.
Ms. Dixie Partington was appointed the Executive Director of the Foun-
dation in January 2004.
On Monday, January 12, 2004, Dixie Partington was appointed the
Executive Director ofthe Dixie Theatre Foundation, a non-profit group
founded in 1994 when the Dixie Theatre was purchased by Rex and
Ms. Partington was largely responsible for the theatre operations
during the last year. Ms. Partington has been acting on stage since
early childhood. She was educated at professional schools in London
dnd in Berkeley, California. She has acted in regional, stock and din-
ner theatre throughout the U.S. and in Apalachicola.
Ms. Partington intends to adhere to the original mission of the Dixie
Theatre Foundation, 'To establish and maintain live theatre as an
integral part of individual and community life, to use the theatre fa-
cility as a center of entertainment, culture, and -education, and to
provide a forum for addressing Issues of universal interest and im-
portance." She will expand the theatre to include more community
;involvement, both in participation and programming. Toward this end,
:she has reorganized and expanded the Board of Directors. She also
plans more variety and diversification of the productions and presen-
Political Life in Franklin County
Two citizen initiatives provoked considerable activity in the political
,life of Franklin during 2004. Carrying over from 2003 was the citizen
:initiative to litigate against the Franklin County Board for failure to
,redistrict. In early February 2004, the county settled the redistricting
lawsuit with the Concerned Citizens, Inc.
CONCERNED CITIZENS, INC.
,The Concerned Citizens, chaired by Jerry Thompson (St. George Is-
land), was paid $7,500 by the Franklin County Commission. In ex-
change, the Concerned Citizens have agreed to dismiss with preju-
dice their lawsuits against the County government pending in Circuit
bCourt of Franklin County, and a second proceeding pending in Fed-
eral District Court, Northern District, Tallahassee, Florida.
The settlement was agreed to by both parties, and does not constitute
'an admission of liability by Franklin County.
'Both parties jointly and severally released, discharged, acquitted and
forgave from any and all claims, actions, suits, demands, agreements,
'and each of them, if more than one, -liabilities, judgments and pro-
ceedings both at law and equity arising from the beginning of time to
'the date of these presents in those matters encompassed in the two
,lawsuits and as, more particularly related to redistricting.
The compromise was agreed to by the County Commissioners at a
special meeting on February 5, 2004. All Commissioners except Bevin
Putnal voted for the agreement. Mr. Putnal was concerned that their
action approving the $7,500 payment would invite more citizen ini-
tiatives to make claims against the County.
The civil litigation in Circuit Court involved an allegation by the Con-
cerned Citizens, Inc. that the County Commissioners had redistricted
the county without adequate public notice, in alleged violation of the
Florida Sunshine laws. Just one week earlier, Circuit Judge Janet
Ferris had approved sworn oral depositions to be taken of the county
commissioners as part of the discovery process, and had also re-
jected the county's motion to dismiss the litigation altogether. In the
Federal District Court proceeding, the Court had granted the Con-
cerned Citizens right to file a motion for attorney's fees given their
earlier voluntary dismissal of their litigation against the County when
an earlier injunction was rescinded in the 1986 case. In that case,
the County paid the citizen initiative $10,000 to conclude their litiga-
tion over similar issues.
In the Federal litigation, the County agreed to redistrict and a plan to
accomplish that was adopted by Resolution at a meeting of the County
Commissioners on December 16, 2003. : .j
;' POLITICAL FORUMS -
The second, and perhaps third, citizen initiatives were the formation
of the political forums held throughout Franklin County for the first
President Richard Harper, St. George Island Civic Club, on Thursday
evening, June 17, 2004, announced the formation of a political edu-
cation committee, a non-partisan community association comprised
6f volunteers from St. George Island and all other areas of Franklin
County. Mr. Harper added to his announcement that the' mission is
to help inform the public on matters of common concern by sponsor-
ing open dialogue through appropriate and fair public forums, town
meetings, debates and discussions.
The mission statement of the political education committee contin-
Ued, "...we encourage and solicit county wide participation in this
venture in order to provide all areas of the county with the opportu-
nity to promote an informed, responsible electorate. It is our belief,
and it is our representatives and those representatives will better
respond to our, common concerns and needs."
In conjunction with the Franklin County Supervisor of Elections Of-
fice, the current objective of the political education committee is to
provide for and manage seven public forums scheduled from July 27,
2004 through August 28, 2004 for the purpose of introducing candi-
dates to the voting Public which are running for public office in
The Hillside Coalition of Laborers for Apalachicola (HCOLA) also sched-
uled political forums.
HCOLA has scheduled the first of two forums featuring candidates
for Sheriff, Superintendent of Schools and the Clerk of Court for Fri-
day, July 30, 2004, beginning at 6 p.m. at the 6th Street Recreation
Center, Apalachicola. The second forum is scheduled for Saturday,
July 31, 2004, beginning at 6 p.m. at the 6th Street Recreation Cen-
ter, Apalachicola, featuring all County Commissioner candidates, all
school board candidates, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections and
Property Appraiser. The last three offices do not have any opposition
candidates thus far.
In the fall elections, Franklin County voters approved the proposed
The tax would be levied on transient rentals for the purpose of pro-
viding funds to assist in promoting the community and providing for
certain infrastructure needs created by visitors.
The purpose of the Council and the "bed tax": (1) to create and main-
tain infrastructure for visitors including cleanup activities, rest rooms
and other amenities; (2) Promotion of Franklin County during off-peak
season: (3) Provide support for development of regional and local rec-
reational events; (4) Promote the County's historical relationship with
the seafood industry and promotion of local products.
A/ 2% levy would generate an expected $544,580 per year, based on
the number of rental units, hotel rooms and RV spaces in a typical
year average occupancy rates and average cost of units. Sixty per
cent of the budget would be recommended for infrastructure needs
such as beach maintenance and facility cleanup to service tourism.
Infrastructure needs would also include enhancing countywide rec-
reational facilities and construction of boat ramps, piers and rest
rooms. The remaining 40 percent would be used for administration of
council activities, funding visitor center activities and to promote ac-
tivities and events in non-peak periods.
The primary campaigns in late August wrapped up some races at the
county level. An incredibly close race between the candidates for
Qpunty Clerk of Court resulted in a win for Marcia Johnson with a
four vote margin on recount. Renee Griffin was the losing candidate
ini this very close race. Clarence Williams, incumbent, lost his Dis-
toict 3 seat to Noah Lockley, Jr. in the primary and went on to ulti-
mately win in the fall elections against Michael Moron and Cora Russ.
Ili another narrow race, incumbent JoAnn Gander defeated Frank
Stephens for Superintendent of Schools. Gander garnered about 46%
of the vote; Stephens, 45%. The balance went to a third losing candi-
c)dte, Jeff Weiner. Denise Butler won the school board race in District
;, defeating C. Rex Pennycuff, Teresa Howard and C. J. Ogles. The
incumbent for District 3 school board, Teresa Martin, won her seat
cdfeating Fonda Davis and Richard Bell. In another surprise upset.
school board incumbent Katie McKnight lost her seat in District 5 to
newcomer John Richards.
In the November race for the County Commission seat for District 1,
the winner was Russell Crofton (Democrat) whose major voting
strength came from St. George Island (Precinct 7). Joyce Estes, owner
of a business in Eastpoint and St. George ranked second in the bal-
loting, trailing Crofton by 242 votes. Willard Vinson, one time Com-
missioner and Eastpoint resident, ranked third in the voting, followed
by the fourth ranked Buddy Shiver. All of the candidates in this race
except for Shiver articulated their positions on various issues in their
published advertising. Crofton campaigned on a platform of "Roads
Paved, Higher Paying Jobs, A Commissioner Who Looks to the Fu-
ture Rather Focuses on the Past." "A Clean Bay to Keep the Seafood
Industry Healthy," and "Honest and Hardworking Public Servant."
This seat was vacated by Eddie Creamer (Eastpoint).
The Sheriffs race was won by deputy Mike Mock with 4104 votes. His
opposition, Bruce Barnes, trailed with 1739 votes. Mock won in every
precinct except St. George Island but he was behind with only 20
votes contrasted with those garnered by Barnes.
HOMEOWNER'S ASSN. ON ST. GEORGE ISLAND
Political matters continued to simmer at the Homeowners Associa-
tion in the Plantation at St. George Island, and the continuing escala-
tion of member dues for lot and homeowners. This year, the Board of
Directors raised the dues for both categories by 8%. Russell Crofton,
a longtime member of the Board of Directors, and now a county com-
missioner, insisted that he voted against any increase in dues.
The treasurer of the St George Island Plantation Owners' Association,
Inc., Ms. Lee Sewell informed the membership of the Association that
she will be unable to attend the 2004 annual meeting now scheduled
for Saturday, October 9, 2004, at 10 a.m. at the clubhouse, 1712
Magnolia Road, St. George Island,. Florida. Instead, Ms. Sewell has
sent by mail a "2005 budget overview" dated September 27, 2004
announcing a dues increase and an analysis of Plantation finances.
The 2005 budget consists of $1,884,296 in revenues, including
$1,546,290 from regular association dues, now scheduled at $245P
per house and $1160 per lot. Additional revenues come from the Bob
Sikes Cut Association, Resort Village, and "entrance fees", totaling
$1,834,296. Total expenses are $1,341,341 including.$701,072 for
Personnel, $93,000 utilities, Salaries and Wages $475,600, benefits
$214,472 and Administration $171,170.
The board of directors of the association has increased assessments
for all property owners by 8 %, up to $2540 for a house and $1160 for
a lot. Since 2002, homeowners have paid $7050 into the Plantation
treasury or, as treasurer Sewell described, "...so we had 3 years with
no increase." She added that by the end of 2003 the Plantation passed
the 50% built out point. At the end of 2003, the Plantation was about
50-50 rental-owner occupied. Homeowners pay additional property
tax on top of their homeowner assessments.
The treasurer described the planning for assessment revenues "was
complex this year." New agreements were made with three of our af-
filiated neighbor associations (Bayside, Bluffs, BSCA, Pelican Point
and RVA). As you know we approved a new agreement with the RVA
owners. For this year their contribution will be $12,000. The Bluffs
association has approved a service agreement with the POA that will
set their assessments at the same as the POA. Previously their as-
sessment had been determined by the Ben Johnson agreement and
had averaged about 85% of the POA full assessment. In return for
their paying more, the POA will provide certain defined services such
as maintenance of their boardwalks and pool, general insurance, land-
scape and other services.
As early as February, "concerned property owners" at the Plantation,
St. George Island, organized to "fight" a proposed amendment to their
plan to increase density of homes up to 4.3 units per acre. This evo-
lution began the continued negotiations with the Resort Village, the
commercial development near the airport, to reach an accommoda-
tion with them.
The relationship has not often been a smooth one, marked by acri-
mony and resistance from some of the homeowners, and the Board of
Directors. Many of the homeowners who do not live fulltime in the
Plantation, are apathetic wh l\ Lhe.pernatient residents are moreas-
sertiveof theirjpterests. .. .
Property owners at the St. George Plantation Owners Association were
being "mobilized" once again against a perceived plan that could "...po-
tentially affect development, property values and life in the Planta-
tion," according to a flyer being circulated to Plantation owners.
The flyer states that the "new owners of the Resort Village have sub-
mitted an application to change the zoning of the Resort Village (a
total of 54 acres, 40 acres of which is currently zoned Residential
R-1, one unit per acre property containing substantial wetlands) to
C-4 "Mixed usage" a zoning category which will allow a density of 4.3
units per acre. C-4 is the same zoning category that allows the skinny
minis" now in the commercial district in the center of the island. In
addition, the developers also seek to convert the existing inn to a
12-unit condo. This change of density violates Franklin County's
Comprehensive Plan and will create lots smaller than 1/4 acre. In
order to create 84+ mini-lots plus, access roads, driveways, etc., vir-
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tually all buildable property in this area will need to be cleared of
trees, making the site more susceptible to the flooding that now oc-
curs in this area after heavy rains."
The flyer also stated.
"In addition to the economic impact on Plantation property values,
rentals and sales, aesthetically and environmentally this proposal is
a potential disaster. It is located adjacent to Nick's Hole, the most
environmentally productive seafood nursery in the entire bay with
the greatest productivity and diversity in the Northern Hemisphere
as reported by Woody Miley, former POA member and past director of
the Apalachicola Estuarine Reserve."
The flyer is signed, simply, "Concerned Plantation Property Owners."
The Association has had a committee meeting with representatives of
Phipps Ventures, owners of the Resort Village for several months. At
the last Board of Directors meeting, Boyd Ellison and Lee Sewell an-
nounced that no particular progress in negotiations had been made,
but that the Association was negotiating with Phipps Ventures only
on the role that the subdivision within the gated community would
have to the Plantation Association. No particular issues were men-
tioned as items for negotiation.
The old saw about property values being diminished is purely specu-
lative yet the argument has been made continually that any commer-
cial development in the Plantation will diminish property values. This
argument has been used to elevate litigation costs to Plantation mem-
bers since the 1990s when a small group of property owners pushed
on the issue and attempted to stop "development by Ben Johnson.
Given the much higher costs of Plantation property and housing in
the present term, the bald assertion that property values would be
decreased is just plain nonsense. Yet, the argument is still being made.
Perhaps reflecting their stormy relations internally, the second gen-
eral manager, Paul Bosarge, resigned quite unexpectedly in Decem-
ber. He was the second general manager hired by the Board within
the last two years.
FLORIDA VERSUS THE
ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
The State of Florida plans to litigate against the Army Corps of Engi-
neers is still active.
In early 2005 the State of Florida was to begin a civil lawsuit against
the United States Army Corps of Engineers for violations of the En-
dangered Species Act (ESA) arising out of Corps operations of dams
and reservoirs on, the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river
The letter of intent to begin a civic action against the Corps was sent
to the Secretary of the Army, the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of
Commerce on November 5, 2004.
The letter was written by the law firms of Fennemore Craig which
legally represents the State of Florida in the proposed litigation, signed
by attorney Donald G. Blankenau..
The letter asserts that the Corps has violated, and is currently violat-
ing, the ESA, by operating its dams and reservoirs, absent consulta-
tion required by the law, in a manner that adversely, affects species
listed and critical habitat designated under the BSA. The offending
actions include, but are not limited to, the authorization of and con-
tinued operation of dams and reservoirs to facilitate water withdraw-
als from and below Lake Sidney Lanier by and for various municipal
water providers in the State of Georgia. The Corps' operations likely
are jeopardizing the continued existence of the Gulf sturgeon, an
anadromous fish species; the fat three ridge and purple bankclimber,
two species of freshwater mussel; and the Florida torreya, a species
of tree (collectively) the "ACF Species", all protected under the ESA
and native to the ACF Basin and the State of Florida. Such opera-
tions are also adversely modifying critical habitat designated for the
Gulf sturgeon. Florida has been injured by the Corps' failure to com-
ply with the procedural and substantive mandates of the ESA.
Further, the Corps' practice of 1) withholding water upstream to sup-
port non-native reservoir species, 2) manipulating reservoir releases
needed for navigation in a manner that,sharply depletes Apalachicola
River flows in the spring hasq >.yill 'sgtlt in unlawful takings of
Gulf sturgeon' and. the mussel species, which actions violate Section
9 of the ESA.
Florida intends to commence a civil action pursuant to the ESA, and
the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") for declaratory, injunctive
and other appropriate relief (including attorneys' fees), against the
Corps to redress the specific violations enumerated in Section IV of
Continued on Page 7
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Year In Review from Page 6
Thus, while Florida presently intends to commence an action pursu-
ant to the ESA for relief from the above-described violations, the Corps
may avoid this action if it immediately takes all of the following ac-
1) Terminate its authorization of withdrawals and releases from Lake
Lanier for water supply purposes, and continue to refrain from imple-
menting or performing under the settlement agreement: in the South-
eastern Federal Power Customers litigation, pending compliance with
Section 7(a)(2)'s consultation requirements;
2) Release such water from Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam and other
reservoirs and dams under its control as is necessary and in such a
manner that ensures the ACF Species will not be jeopardized or taken
and that designated critical habitat will not be adversely modified or
3) Initiate discussions with the State of Florida regarding the propri-
ety of the Water Users' withdrawals from Lake Lanier and the re-
leases of water from Lake Lanier for their benefit.
The Franklin County School Board took initial steps in 2004 toward
the consolidation of schools within the Franklin district.
At a special February meeting of the School Board, consultant Dr.
John Watson explained that a second survey would begin the initial
process for the construction of a new K-12 school which would also
double as a hurricane shelter. The new school's projected cost is
$24,000,000.00. Dr. Watson brought out several selling points for
adopting survey plant two. One, such point was declining enrollment.
Dr. Watson believed that the new school would attract those students
who left the school system for various reasons including students
attending charter schools. The new school would cover a projected
enrollment of 895 students and then estimated an additional 20%
increase to bringthe t total enrollment capacity to 1015. Another point
regarded declining enrollment and financial cost. "At the present time
there are 5 schools operating under capacity.
"Dr. Watson pointed out that too much money was being spent on
keeping the 5 schools open.
Dr. Watson said the state legislature would "help small rural counties
who were unable to raise funds for a complete school. The state supple-
ments funding for school, projects and he further stipulated that the
Department of Education (DOE) was "bending over backwards" to
assist Franklin County since no vote was taken on the surveys prior
to the deadline date of January 31, 2004. Dr. Watson stated, "this is
your last chance to acquire a new school." The state would fund
$15,000,000.00 and Franklin County School board would cover
$10,000,000.00 and pledge to pay off this debt in 3 years. If survey
two was approved, construtonstruction or the new school would begin on
July 1, 2005 and school doors would be opened for business in 2007.
This new school would have all the "bells and whistles" such as, new
technology labs, new library, new science labs and equipment and
include common areas such as the cafeteria and media center. The
old school buildings could be converted into adult education and train-
ing centers. The remaining $1,000,000.00 could be used for adminis-
The DOE wants Franklin County School Board to plan to look for a
site that has at least 21 usable acres and nearby utilities such as
sewer and water, otherwise additional costs for utilities would be in-
curred that may not be covered by DOE.
Survey two was approved thereby providing a pathway for the con-
solidation of schools in Franklin County.
In statewide testing, Franklin County students continued to fall be-
low state averages in many categories.
In reading, only 16% of the Franklin tenth graders reached an achieve-
ment level of 3 or better. Those attaining the level of 3 are considered
on grade level." Those below 3 are not at grade level and are deficient.
For high schoolers, running down'the'column for 2004, the percent-
age "on grade level" drops quite-dramnatically as the grade level in-.
The achievement levels for tenth graders in mathematics is consider-
ably better. Nearly half (48%) performed at grade level or better in the
2004 tests. Note the improvement over the years 2001 and 2002 ad-
*The third grade math results appears to be a considerable improve-
ment over the 2002 and 2003 years, with 70%.of the third graders at
grade level or better.
For the eighth grade, the achievement percentage slopes downward
from 2001: to an average of 72 in 2004. Achievement levels for tenth
graders appear stable since 2001, and somewhat more erratic for
those in the fourth grade.
While the statewide results of the writing portion of the 2004 FCAT
(Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) for students in grades 4, 8
and 10 remained high with nearly 90 percent attaining a score of 3. 0
or better, students in Franklin County remained below the state av-
Statewide averages for 4th graders combined scores were 90 per cent
above level 3, in contrast to the same grade in Franklin at 76 percent.
Statewide averages for 8th graders combined scores were 89 percent
at level 3 or better. In Franklin County, 8th graders attained a com-
bined score of 72 percent at level 3 or better. Among 10th graders,
the statewide average combined score was 90 percent taking the writ-
ten exercises attained level 3 or better. In Franklin County, the 10th
graders attained 68 percent at level three.
THREE YEAR DECLINE
In a separate analysis of Franklin FCAT scores, the Chronicle pub-
lished extensive tables showing a three-year decline in FCAT scores.
This year (2003-04), only 19% (or 10 of the 54 groups tested in FCAT)
scored above state averages., Three years ago, the district average
compared to state average was 35%, two years ago 31% and this year
19%. Note the much, higher performance for 2001-02 at Brown El-
ementary, and the appropriate grades involved. Tracking the perfor-
mance at Brown for 2002-03 and 2003-04 also shows a steady de-
cline. What should be apparent to the school administrators are the
specific grade levels identified in this spread sheet analysis and the
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corresponding identification of the instructors involved. The implica-
tion is clear that instruction has a major role in these MAT results
among many other factors. The spreadsheet was generated from public
record on line at www.fldoe.org.
CHARTER SCHOOL APPEAL
The Apalachicola Bay Charter School won their appeal to the State
Board of Education over the issue of their middle school proposal.
The Apalachicola Bay Charter School won their appeal from a Franklin
County School Board denial of an ABC Middle School proposal within
the Florida Dept. of Education, Charter School Appeals Commission,
on Monday afternoon, May 17, 2004.
The Franklin County School Board voted to deny the proposed char-
ter for a Middle School on February 10, 2004. The eight members at
the Appeals Commission, Department of Education, unanimously
voted to grant the appeal to the State Board of Education. The three
hour session, held on the 17th floor of the Turlington Education build-
ing in Tallahassee, reviewed the case involving several issues. Hank
Koslowsky, President of the ABC School Board argued the case for
the ABC Charter School, assisted by Principal Don Hungerford. Bar-
bara Sanders, Franklin County School Board Attorney, argued the
position of the Franklin County School Board assisted by Superin-
tendent JoAnn Gander.
The Appeals Commission was comprised of the Commissioner of Edu-
cation, his assistant, and several other public and charter school,
There were principally two major issues identified in the technical
papers before the appeals board. (1) Whether the ABC Charter School's
appeal was timely within the requirements prescribed by law and (2)
Whether the Franklin County School Board's denial of the applica-
tion for a Middle School was based upon competent, substantial evi-
dence. The Charter School brief asserted that the School Board mani-
fested an "anti-charter school animus." The decision of the Appeals
Board appears to agree with that statement. The decision of the ap-
peals board was, unanimous, 8 to 0.
Development in Franklin
The most visible of all of the massive development projects taking
place in Franklin during 2004 were undoubtedly the activities of the
St. Joe Company, Florida's largest private landowner. Tied into their
activities were environmental concerns that blur clear lines between
environmental issues and economic development. In Franklin, as else-
where, economic interests colliding with environmental concerns con-
tinue to produce tensions, and these tended to come into sharp focus
in the draft comprehensive plan county government has been coping
with since the first of the year. These issues continue to spread into
During 2004, the county had conducted many visioningg" sessions
concerned with the draft plan. When St. Joe released their "100 year
Conceptual Plan" for St. James Island, the firestorm began.'
St. Joe Co. representative, Billy Buzzett presented the conceptual
vision plans and policies for the development of St. James Island at a
visioning workshop on March 24, 2004 at the Senior Center at 6:00
p.m. in Carrabelle. Buzzett distributed a map showing all the com-
munities proposed for St. James Island along with an accompanying
draft of the policies for those communities. There were only about 40
people in attendance at this workshop as compared to the more than
150 people who attended a previous workshop.
Buzzett went over the policies and stressed to the audience that this
Plan is only a vision and will take 100 years to build out if it is com-
pleted. He also stressed that plan and policy changes can occur along
the way over the years depending on the needs of the population and
economy. This proposed plan vision also would be subject to what-
ever is the current Comprehensive Plans of Franklin County at that
On October 5, 2004, the Franklin County Commission reviewed and
approved a final plat of the Summer Camp development, Phase I East
and Phase I West. The developers, the St. Joe Company, had asked
the Board of County Commissioners to delay final plat approval until
they were further along in their permitting.
Billy"B'iUzett, St. Joe company, rinornied the Board of County Com-
missioners that the Company was "...moving forward with the ad-
vanced wastewater treatment plant north of Highway 98, and we're
also pursuing the final environmental permits. Because of Hurricane
Ivan, DEP has delayed the issuance of our dredge and fill permits. We
expect that in very short order." Eddie Creamer moved to approve the
final plat, seconded by Commissioner Jimmy Mosconis. The Board
approved the plat unanimously.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County began construction of their
first home on Saturday, July 1.7, 2004. The address was 579
Brownsville Road, Apalachicola, on land donated by the St. Joe Com-
pany. The slab was barely dry the day before as workers assembled
Saturday morning about 7:30 a.m. under the supervision of Rob
Peterson, general contractor.
Habitat provides simple, decent houses for families who could not
afford to buy a home produced and financed through traditional meth-
ods. Each house is built in partnership with the resident family, which
then re-pays a no-interest loan. The family is required to contribute
402 hours of "sweat equity" toward the construction of the home.
Friends may help with the swveat equity. Since most of the labor and
some of the materials are donated, and since Habitat charges no profit,
the cost is affordable to many low-income families. Mortgage pay-
ments received by Habitat are used to build additional houses. If you
are interested in applying for a house or would like.more information
regarding Habitat, telephone: 653-3113.
/ HOUSING AFFORDABILITY
A privately funded study of housing affordability in Gulf County is
the first "base-line" analysis of trends and regional comparisons pre-
pared for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund by two Florida State University
professors, released in late October 2004.
The principal investigators, Dr. Ralph S. Brower and Janet Dilling,
presented their report at a special meeting on housing affordability
held at the Gulf-Franklin Center in November.
Among their findings is the conclusion that "Housing affordability in
Gulf County is approaching a crisis, driven primarily by escalating
land costs as construction and speculation drive up the price of prop-
erties along the coast and inland navigable waterways." Moreover,
the numbers of dilapidated homes is increasing in the predominantly
African-American community in North Port St. Joe.
The study also concluded that the affordability of housing in Gulf
County was exacerbated by the closing of the St. Joe Paper Co, and
the decline in fisheries-related employment. Additionally, the economic
base of Gulf County increasingly depends on vacation homes and
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On the brighter side of economic news, the new Franklin Prison broke
ground last February. ;
Secretary of Corrections James V. Crosby, Jr. local Franklin County?
officials and representatives from Clark Construction broke ground
on Friday, February 6, 2003 for the 1,335 bed prison facility north ofF
Carrabelle in Franklin County.
The construction of the $53.5 million dollar facility began in March-
Inmates are expected to begin arriving and filling the first completed
dorm in June 2005. Six open bay dorms housing 170 inmates each
and two secure housing units will be constructed.
Additional medical, program and support buildings will be included"
in the complex. The Franklin Correctional institution will employ 295?
persons and have an estimated payroll of about $13.2 million. The6"
total operating budget of the facility is expected to be $18.5 million.
BRYANT GRADY PATTON BRIDGE
The Bryant Grady Patton Bridge was officially dedicated on a cold-
February day, ushering in a streamlined ribbon of highway connect-'i
ing St. George Island with the mainland. ,
Nippy, very cold winds pushed into the dedication ceremonies at the *
Eastpoint side of the new Bryant Grady Patton Bridge dedication onI'
Friday, February 27, 2004 as hundreds of Franklin County citizens',
and various county and state official gathered to celebrate and dedi-"
cate the formal opening of the new county life line. This was not just
a celebration of the new, modern bridge that had already been opened ,
a few days before, on February 16th, but a somber and significant-
recognition of a major milestone in Franklin County social, political.,
and economic life. i
The Reverend Mike Whaley, Pastor of the Baptist Church of St. George' ,
Island, expressed the significance of the milestone in his invocation.,.
In his prayer, he said, "...Father God, as we stand, in the midst of the' ,
splendor of this nature, Father, we stand in awe of the grandeur of',
your creation. We thank you for this engineering feat of this new bridge .
and as you provided a bridge in Chnst. that we might be reconciled,
with you, may this bridge be one that brings unity. May this be a.,
bridge that brings people together..."
The new Bryant Grady Patton bridge, with its modern design, is a*
faster conveyance to and from St. George Island, in a far safer mode;
likely to bolster the Franklin County economy on both sides of the"
structure. For example, memories of the toll years are short, but we'
can now easily recall the growth of the restaurant businesses on the"
mainland when the tolls were removed and more disposable, dollars,
moved from St. George into Franklin County businesses of all types.
The new bridge and ancillary-fishing pier will increase the human
traffic flowing into the entire county, and St. George Islanid' in'par-"
ticular. Many landowners on the EastpoinI coridor have already made
their plans and sought theit rezoning along'those routes flowing from
Carrabelle and Apalachicola with new construction already in place,
and more coming, as land values and property taxes are increasing.',,
And, a new 4-million dollar regional environmental learning center is, ,,
being planned for Eastpoint.
Seth Blitch, Director of the Apalachicola Estuarine Research Reserve,."'
briefed the Board of County Commissioners on plans for the con-" ,
struction of a new regional Environmental learning Center and re- i
search facility in Eastpoint. '
Much of the funding has been allocated, including $3 million in Fed-
eral money, and the balance, of $1.2 million from'thel State of Florida.-I
The new facility will be constructed east of the new'St. George Island-,
bridge off Island Drive, on a site of 27 acres. This Would become the.
third such Research Reserve facility to serve statewide needs on coastal'
monitoring, stewardship and public education. The other centers are i
in St. Augustine and Naples.
The new facility which will feature an 'auditorium seating 180 per- ,
sons, will provide outreach to many more thousands of visitors than. c
the existing two facilities located in Apalachicola and Eastpoint. The'.',
Cat Point site location is easily accessible to traffic from Highway 98 ,2
and Island Drive. The new facility will be about 5400 square feet,-,
with offices for staff, walking trails and visitor parking, occupying"
about 2.25 acres of the total site. The Board .of County Commission-
ers approved a zoning change to public use.
The anger and frustration with the state Fish and Wildlife Conserva-'
tion Commission and many commercial fishermen continued into";"
2005. In particular, one legal case is still pending at the District Court
The First District Court of Appeal ruled on October 26th that the'"
"hybrid" fishing net violated the rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conser-
vation Commission (FFWCC) rule prohibiting seine nets may not have
a mesh larger than two inches stretch. The net approved in a lower
court by Judge N. Sanders Sauls was a "hybrid net", declaring such a
net to be legal. The net proposed by Crum, and Ward would have
mesh larger than two inches. The fishermen have argued that a larger
mesh allows juvenile fish to escape to be caught when they mature,',
Continued on Page 8
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tourist-focused businesses, which contribute to the escalation of land
prices. In the long term, the study authors concluded, tourist fo-
cused businesses and vacation homes will also require the types of
service jobs and employees who are presently unable to afford local,
What to do with the two fishing bridges at St. George and Eastpoint is ;
still a pending issue before the Franklin County Commission. This.
has been considered a very worthwhile project for the economic life of
A new wrinkle to the status of the fishing bridges was added and that'
was the proposal for the county to lease the bay-bottom on which theq
bridge reposes. The Department of Environmental Protection has pro-,
posed a "free" lease if the use of the bridges were non-profit. But, if,
the county leased the bridges or otherwise turned a profit from their;
operations, then the DEP wanted to charge a fee. This "Eleventh,"
hour development was sent to the County Attorney, who is continu-
ing to work on the matter.
Page 8 7 Januarv 2005
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-:and thus preserving the resource and preventing the unnecessary
killing of juvenile fish too immature for harvesting.
This phenomenon has been demonstrated in videotapes clearly show-
ing the escape of the juvenile fish and the capture of larger, more
mature fish ready for harvest, but without killing or entanglement, a
condition imposed by, Constitutional Amendment.
Yet, the State Attorney's Office and the Courts continue to categorize
,most nets as gill or entanglement nets, completely ignoring the dem-
onstration that younger fish populations are not needlessly killed, as
they are with the two-inch mesh.
Now, Ronald Crum and Keith Ward seek either a-rehearing on the
issues or clarification of the First District Court Order that affirmed
the FFWCC declaratory statement that the hybrid net was intended
to be a gill or entanglement net.
When the FFWCC issued their declaratory statement that the hybrid
.net violated the FFWCC rule and the Constitutional Amendment, the
.appeal brief argued, the FFWCC abused its discretion. The brief at-
tacked the cited cases that the State claimed supported the FFWCC
contention that the matter could be resolved without conducting an
. videntiary hearing.
POLICY VERSUS STATUTE
The most recent of the allegations against the FFWCC have been
*.charges that the enforcement of net rules has been on the basis of
"policy" not statutory foundation. The web site Fishing For
'-Freedom.com contains many more accusations of misconduct.
One of the concerns about the so-called "net limitation" restrictions
has been the mesh size in commercially viable nets used by fisher-
men. One such net was demonstrated to improve productivity, re-
duce the killing of immature fish, thereby conserving the resource,
and become commercially viable. This was approved by Judge Sauls
in a Wakulla County case, and demonstrated in a video produced by
A TV program on mullet fishing by local videographer Robert Seidler
inappropriately titled "Mullet Madness-Traditional Florida Fishing
Families in Peril" was shown regionally for the first time on the Sun-
shine Cable TV network on Tuesday, July 6th and Friday July 9th at
8 a.m. Unfortunately, the political audience that needed to see this
project are in very low numbers in those time periods.
Mr. Seidler and his scriptwriter, Lee Berger, had a good organization
to their project. Four fishing families are briefly described, and a day's
fishing work is depicted, each in very stark terms clearly showing Me
impact of the two-inch stretch mesh requirement on the catch of the
In each instance, the byproduct and juvenile fish are an overwhelm-
ing part of the daily catch, with very little left over for the market. The
implication is so clear, one would have to be asleep during the pro-
gram. The implication is that the State of Florida is systematically
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destroying the Florida fishing industry with the two-inch stretch mesh
requirement, that allows the juvenile fish to be caught and later dis-
This finding is so clear in the Seidler project as to be unmistakable
The real culprits in this scenario are those who sit on the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) who are making in-
credibly stupid rules that are actually destroying the resource they
seek to protect. If the mesh were larger, as in the Pringle-Crum net
(up to 3 inches), the productivity for the State's resource and the
fishing community would be increased substantially. This was clearly
demonstrated in the Seidler project. But, the overall tone was so sub-
dued as to lose its impact.
Moreover, the project did not even mention the FFWCC, nor the Gov-
ernor who shares some responsibility for this "madness" if that is an
appropriate word. I don't think that it is. Why? Because the mesh
size decision is not based on biology but politics. This is an inten-
tional and systematic method of destroying the Florida fishing indus-
try. The armchair regulators need to get out of their cushy and
well-traveled environment and get to talk with the fishing community
to learn more about the problems. One is tempted to add, they ought
to stop listening to the lawyers in the Attorney General's office as
well. In that sense, the TV project was well worth the investment, but
the sponsors may have to consider buying time to get it before a mass
The 27-minute program, reviews the history of mullet fishing in Florida
and reveals the struggles of four fishing families from around the
state following the 1994 constitutional net-limitation amendment.
One of the commercial fishermen featured in the film Is Mr. Keith
Ward of St. Marks and his partner Daniel Weston. The two provide an
account of the hardships and hard feelings of mullet fishermen try-
ing to make a living with the smaller nets in area waters. Mullet fish-
ermen from Cortez, Pine Island, and Stuart Florida are also inter-
viewed. The film shows the drastic difference, reasons and conse-
quences of net fishing, both before and after the net limitation, and
how fishermen would like to carry on their traditional fishing prac-
tices in a more sustainable and productive way.
MISLEADING PRESS REPORTS
Indicative of the misleading press reports about commercial fishing
is a late revelation that calls into question the validity of claims by
"Save Our Sealife" propagandists that urged public support for a net
ban. A faked photograph of a dead porpoise was used in their propa-
ganda to allege that commercial fishing was responsible for the de-
mise of the sea creature.
An item on the web site of Fishing for Freedom by Christina Johnson
now calls into serious question the validity of claims that a gill net
was used to kill a porpoise as depicted in the "Save Our Sealife" pro-
paganda campaign in the early 1990s. That campaign led to the im-
position of a "net ban" on the use of gill nets by commercial fisher-
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Fax: (850) 697-4311
Ms. Johnson interviewed a retired marine law enforcement officer
intimately familiar with the discovery of a dead porpoise on the beach
at Marco Island. Johnson's narrative continued,
"One example relayed to me by a retired marine law enforcement
officer, a porpoise had been found dead on a public beach of Marco
Island. Upon Inspection by a Florida State Marine Biologist, it was
determined by the injuries present, that the porpoise had been struck
by a powerboat in the facial area causing serve damage resulting in
death. The State Biologist did not remove the porpoise for autopsy
because cause of death was determined at the scene. Rather requested
the Sheriffs Office Marine Unit to tow it off shore for disposal."
"Strangely, approximately two days later the same marine law en-
forcement officer received a phone call-in the early daylight hours
about a Florida Marine Patrol Officer (Now Known as the FWC) and
some individuals taking photographs of a dead porpoise and a piece
of fill net located at Coconut, Island. This Officer responded to the
call and upon arrival and inspection of the porpoise there was no net
present. The officer was able to immediately determine that this was
the same porpoise, due to the facial injuries, that had been inspected
by the State of Florida Marine Biologist two days earlier and was
towed off shore by the Sheriffs Office Marine Unit. This started a
conversation with the Florida Marine Patrol Officer who was laughing
while telling this officer that the group Save Our Sealife had been
there taking photographs of the porpoise and a gill net. It became
immediately apparent that this was a staged photograph operation
by the individuals involved. Coincidentally shortly thereafter this in-
cident the Florida Sportsman kicked off their notorious "SOS" cam-
paign and these staged photographs, found their way into the pages
of Karl Wickstrom's Florida Sportsman Magazine with the same laugh-
ing Florida Marine Patrol Officer in them.
While cigarettes and other toxic substances are freely sold over the
counter in mass merchandising stores, the oyster industry is throttled
by their own trade associations to reduce the number of deaths and
other serious illnesses from vibrio vulnificus. The bacteria can jeop-
ardize the health of individuals with liver disease or other serious
problems. In Apalachicola, a new process was unwrapped in 1002
that shows promise for post-harvest treatment of oysters, in an at-
tempt to reduce the problem with vibrio.
Dr. Steve Otwell of the University of Florida addressed the Board of
County Commissioners on the subject of the proposed industry based
certified oyster Program (ICOP) that is designed to help the industry
meet certain deadlines in oyster harvesting. Dr. Otwell told the Com-
missioners that the industry is currently under a federal mandate to
install new processing methods for the post harvest treatment of oys-
ters. The first deadline is to require at least 25% capacity for new
processing of oysters by December 2004. "We have already met the
December 2004 deadline, but the next one is gonna be even more
challenging, which is 2006." The reason we have been able to intro-
duce some technological innovations is that our Congressman Allen
Boyd has helped us deal with that challenge. We are on our third year
of funding, and we couldn't have done any of these things without
him." Dr. Otwell described the formation of a new laboratory in
Franklin County that will be serving the needs of the oyster industry.
- This is located at the old Emergency Management quarters at the
Fortunately, Florida Congressman Allen Boyd, Jr. has responded to
requests from the Apalachicola Bay Oyster Dealers Association with
technical assistance to develop and implement appropriate PHT pro-
grams, Since Spring 2002, he has helped direct funds through the
University of Florida's Aquatic Food Products Program in the Insti-
tute of Food Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and the Florida Sea Grant
Program in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture
and, .Consumer Services (DACS) to investigate new processing meth-
ods to reduce the problematic bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus which oc-
curs naturally in raw oysters. This work has been investigating meth-
ods with high pressure, pasteurization, rapid freezing, and even con-
troversial irradiation. In addition to reducing bacteria, this work has
considered influences on product quality and market acceptance. The
initial results indicate some innovative and unique freezing techniques
may be the most cost-effective approach for Apalachicola. Surveys
compiled by DACS Indicate these techniques could. be available to
meet the 2004.capacity deadline.
Further project -work is investigating development of a new
industry-based,,certified oyster program. The Franklin County Com-
missioners helped advance this idea by unanimous approval to use
county buildings near the Apalachicola airport. The buildings will
house some of the latest analytical equipment that provides more
rapid and accurate measurements for Vibrio vulnificus. The intent is
to offer real-time verifications with every oyster shipment from the
county. The lab could verify traditional and PHT products. No other
company or state has such a program that will attract and assure
In Franklin County, a new fishing industry was slowly emerging in
2004: the farming of clams.
There were 140 fewer operations in 2003 compared to 2001 state-
wide. Most of the Florida aquaculture operations are small. Clams
ranked third in the state for aquaculture sales at an average price of
9t per clam. Clam growing began to take off in 1993 with the number
of growers increasing to 170. But, many growers did not sell clams
last year, less than half reported sales. The demand for luxury sea-
food, such as clams, has been negatively affected by the nation's eco-
A slowly simmering problem has been brewing over the issue of the
surcharge on oyster bags brought to the seafood dealers. The dealers
have complained that they do not receive any benefit of paying out
50 per bag for oysters they buy, and they claim the oyster tongers
are not likely to sell to them if so charged. On the other hand, the
legislation that established this plan applies only to Franklin County
oystering. The tongers have the option of being paid for relaying oys-
ters when the Bay is closed while the seafood dealers do not partici-
pate in any of the revenue derived from the surcharge. The tensions
persist into the new year.
Continued on Page 9
The Franklin Chronicle A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER 7 January 2005 Page 9
P.O. Box 736 347 Highway 98 Eastpoint, Florida 32328
Phone: (850) 670-4000 o107/01-21
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Comp Plan from Page 1
enough to be clear, some the Board may want to include, and some
the Board may feel are not good public policy. But the lists were
created and closure has not been brought to that subject.
"Two of the most vocal proponents of finishing this series of public
workshops have been Mr. Dave McLain and Mr. Don Ashley. In an
effort to understand how the Jan. 18 workshop could be handled so
it would meet their expectation's- as-well as deal with the required
'ORC response, I met with Mr..-.MoL-:i. 'Mr.'Dan TonsAeire,-and-Mr.,
Ashley on Thursday, Dec. 30. I had previously a=ked Mr. McLain' to
research the possibility of having a fa'llitator or mn&iderator available
for the meeting. Mr. McLain did contact a Mr. Jim Stansbury who
was involved in developing the "Action Jackson" vision statement and
brochure. Mr. McLain gave me Mr. Stansbury's proposal to review.
"Upon meeting with Mr. McLain, Mr. Ashley, and Mr. Tonsmeire and
participating in a two hour discussion with them, it became clear to
me, and I think to them also, that in order for a product to be created
that would meet their expectations it would take four to six months,
as well as cost $7500 plus expenses to Mr. Stansbury. This does not
fit into the setting the Board has created of one final public work-
"Mr. Stansbury seems like a competent experienced facilitator, and if
all of the issues that were previously raised are categorized, and
ranked, and then policies written for them, it will take a neutral fa-
cilitator like Mr. Stansbury to accomplish that goal. And it will take
four to six months. But at this time, I believe this new Board needs to
hear directly from the public at this workshop about what are the
additional public concerns. And then the Board can decide if it wants
to spend more public funds on concluding an effort begun a year ago.
Because at this point, the Board has heard nothing about the range
of the issues or what they might be.
"The Board has a comp plan that addresses the requirements set
forth by DCA. The Board needs to finish addressing those issues. If
the result of Jan. 18th is that the proposed comp' plan fails to ad-
dress a number of other public issues that are of concern to the Board,
it needs to develop a procedure for addressing these additional is-
sues. One approach would be to hold everything up until all is dealt
with. But another approach would be to move forward in responding
to DCA, and announce that it will begin a second amendment pro-
cess to deal with additional issues, including the Economic Element
since it is not yet finished, and any other public issues."
The Apalachicola Bay and Riverkeeper group (ABARK) filed a two-
page memorandum with the Commissioners. ABARK termed the Janu-
ary 18th workshop a "Final Consensus-Testing Public Workshop", to
bring the two-year visioning process to closure. From the ABARK per-
spective, the memo read, "Done properly, this Workshop will con-
clude with the priority public concerns and hopes for Frank] in County's
future to be easily and effectively integrated into the proposed Com-
prehensive Plan Update." The ABARK memo also cited a phrase from
the contract setting up the visioning process in 20031 a part of the
contract for the facilitated visioning with Tom Taylor's group at Florida
State University, that seemed to suggest the Franklin County Com-
mission, and Commissioners-in particular, were legally responsible
for fulfilling the agreement. That would presume to contain the inclu-
sion of "priority public concerns" from the ABARK perspective. When
this issue came up at the end of Tuesday's meeting, Commissioner
Cheryl Sanders referred the question to the County Attorney.
The ABARK memo outlined these concerns:
The Workshop needs to be facilitated by a professional, independent
consultant who is experienced with Florida Growth Management law;
That consultant needs time to digest the work product of the prior
Public Workshops and reduce it to useable form for the participants
of the Final Consensus-Testing Workshop;
The consultant needs to prepare an effective agenda for the Work-
shop, and implement that agenda on the day in question; Working
closely with the newly reconfirmed County Planner, Alan Pierce, the
consultant must play a key role in translating the documented prior-
ity concerns from the Workshop within a reasonable span of time
into Goals, Objectives and Policies that can be readily integrated into
the County's response to the DCA's ORC;
Monies set aside for completion of the Visioning process will be needed
to pay for these exceptional facilitation tasks;
Finally, all the preparation and conduct of the facilitation must be
completed by the date now set aside for the Workshop or the Work-
shop must be scheduled for a later date.
The Franklin County Commissioners responded to the recommenda-
tions from ABARK in this manner, by the ABARK concerns: with re-
gard to the hiring of a professional consultant, the Commissioners
did not take any formal action on the request at Tuesday's meeting.
One Commissioner voiced the opinion that the Commission itself was
With regard to additional funding for a consultant, the Commission-
ers did not take any formal action on the request at Tuesday's meet-
ing. The St. Joe Company reminded the audience that they had al-
ready invested about $60,000 into the process and that was all the
The BUSINESS CARD DIRECTORY in the Chronicle pages is an
efficient way to promote your business to the public and save money
at the same time. These ads are strictly business cards magnified
. to 2 columns by two inches, offered to you at 50% discount for two
insertions. Send your business card or copy to: Franklin Chronicle,
P.O. Box 590, Eastpoint, FL 32328 or fax 850-670-1685. Your
check for $15.00 will guarantee position in the next issue.
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With regard to the completion of preparations for the workshop, the
Commission reminded ABARK and others that the workshop was
scheduled for,.Jan'uary 18th. ,
Dah nsmeireqfABARKl otid their reasons r the workshop
including the concern that development practices cur iently conducted
in Franklin County have increased pollution. He was interrupted sev-
eral times by Commissioner Mosconis who suggested other resources
for such evidence about the degrading of water quality in Apalachicola
Bay. Tonsmeire reiterated that stormwater problems typically add to
the pollution problem and that low densities will protect the water.
Their bottom line was that land use amendments-what is allowed
and where it is allowed -are better controls. Alan Phifer of the Alliga-
tor Point Taxpayers Association testified about his concern that the
St. James overlay be included in the revised comprehensive plan.
Billy Buzzett of the St. Joe Company reminded the Commissioners
that the plan is an evolving document subject to amendment but the
specific objections from the Dept. of Community Affairs should first
be addressed. Alan Pierce reminded the audience that the draft plan
did not contain any land use changes, and this aspect appears to be
what the ABARK concerns focus upon.
'Gulf County's member who com-
pleted the curriculum required to:
achieve the highly acclaimed des-
ignation is Alisa Doughty Rush-,
ing of Prudential Resort Realty.
She joins other top producers in
the residential real estate indus-
try who hold the designation
across the nation.
Alisa Rushing earned the "Gradu-
ate REALTOR@ Institute" (GRI)
designation by attending a spe-
cific, intensive series of a mini-'
mum of 90 hours of classroom
instruction, covering a variety of'
subjects including: contract law,
professional standards, sales and
marketing, finance, and risk re-
In addition, they have learned the
fundamentals of brokerage and"
other areas of real estate special-
ization. With this designation and
through increased awareness of
current topics important to the
real estate professional, such as
legal issues, the REALTORS can
better serve prospective clients
The REALTOR Institute is de-
signed to educate practitioners
about local, state and national
real estate practices that affect
them, their clients and custom-
ers. The Institute is taught by
leading real estate professionals
from around the country.
The GRI designation sets the in-
dividuals who have attained it
apart from other practitioners
because it indicates to the public
that the individual has obtained
a professional educational foun-
dation on which to base the ser-
vices they provide and that they
are a member of the NATIONAL
ASSOCIATE OF REALTORS.
Obtaining the GRI Designation is
a beneficial way for a REALTOR
to advance their professional im-
age. The extra measure of knowl-
edge and prestige achieved by
completing this course work is a
tool that will advance a career in
real estate on attracting and
building new business.
Prudential Resort Realty an-
nounces the sale of its property
management division, effective
January 1, 2005, to Diana
Prickett and her new company
Resort Vacation Properties of St.
George Island, Inc. Co-owners of
the new company are Beth
Brinkley, Beth Dearinger, Dana
'Ingalls and Barbara Mathis.
The company manages over 390
vacation properties on St. George
Island. Prudential owner Helen
Spohrer says, 'The time is right
for St. George Island to have a
property management company
that isn't affiliated with a broker-
age." Each business is poised to
move to a new level of service for
customers and clients.
Prudential Resort Realty will con-
tinue as a full service real estate
brokerage firm serving the Forgot-
'ten Coast area. According to
President Rose Drye, Prudential
plans to improve its leadership
position in market share for real
estate sales. Spohrer also looks
forward to focusing her time and
energy on real estate.
Prickett has over 22 years experi-
ence in property management on
St. George Island, and her team
brings an additional 40 years ex-
perience to the new company. Her
leadership abilities have helped
make Prudential's property man-
agement division a success.
Rachel Ward of the Franklin
County Planning Dept. has schec-
uled a public workshop on the C-5
zoning designation to be held at
the St. George Fire Station on
January 10th at 6:30 p.m. A copy
of the proposed zoning district can
be obtained from the Planning
and Building Dept. at 34 Forbes
Street, Apalachicola, 850-653-9783.
Stacy WilViams, Stylist
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Phone: (850) 670-1772
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Land Clearing, Commercial Grading,
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NOAA from Page 4
characterize chemical and micro-
bial threats to marine ecosystems
and human health.
. The Applied Marine Genomics re-
search group, headed by Bob
Chapman of the South Carolina
Department of Natural Resources
and Greg Warr of the Medical
University of South Carolina, will
develop genetic techniques for
evaluating the molecular-level re-
sponses of oysters and shrimp to
multiple environmental stressors.
The Marine Genomics team,
guided by Karen Burnett and Lou
Burnett of the College of Charles-
ton, will also work to determine if
multiple stressors, such as low
levels of dissolved oxygen and
chemicals, affect the degree to
which oysters are vectors for hu-
The Chemical Contaminants re-
search unit, headed by NOAA's
Mike Fulton, will develop meth-
ods for measuring emerging
chemical contaminants of con-
cern in the marine environment
and determining their effects on
key marine species. Initial com-
pounds to be evaluated include
flame-retardants, human and
animal pharmaceuticals, and new
The Franklin County legislative
delegation conducted a nearly
three-hour meeting at the Court-
house Annex Tuesday evening,
January 4th. Senator Al Lawson,
Representative Will S. Kendrick
and a representative of Allan
Bense (Will Weatherford) ap-
peared before the assembly of citi-
zens and constitutional officers to
hear their recommendations for
state legislation. The Chronicle
will present a more detailed list
of concerns presented at the
meeting in our next issue.
Year in Review from Page 8
And, the parade of history continues, with the closing of the Breakaway
Lodge and Marina, to be replaced by anotlier land development project.
Gorrie Wilson and Kendall Wade, life-long friends and business part-
ners for 28 years have sold the Breakaway Lodge and Marina to Harry
Arnold and Bobby Kirvin, as of the end of March 2004. Last week, the
new owners began clearing out the merchandise in the bait and tackle
shop under the monitoring of former owner Gorrie Wilson.
Gorrie announced to the Chronicle as of March 31st, the Breakaway
will be no more never again." The 15-unit motel, the restaurant mati-
aged by Delores Griffin, the dry boat storage, the marina, the bait
and tackle shop, and other associated activities will be permanently
closed down forever.
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Page 10 7 Januarv 2005
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
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(307) The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Refer-
ence. Simon and Schuster, 2002, 949 pp. This work is a
comprehensive yet accessible compendium organized into
chapters that address broad themes such as "Antebel-
lum America," "Wartime Politics", "Armies," etc. with each
chapter including more specific topics. There are timelines
that chronicle major events, brief profiles of significant
players in the war and extensive bibliography. The work
examines the lives of the common soldiers, the role of
women in the conflict, medical treatment, home front
events, maps, excerpts from journals and letters. Other
chapter titles include "Battles and the Battlefield", Weap-
onry", "War on the Water" "Prisons and Prisoners of War",
"Reconstruction and the Aftermath of the War" and "The
Civil War in Literature and the Arts". A final chapter dis-
cusses places for further research, archives, important
published sources and national historic sites. This is one
indispensable one-volume reference on the Civil War,
originally sold for $45.00. The 949 pp work is available
.in limited copies from the Chronicle bookshop for $35.00
(309) Florida's Hurricane History. University of North
Carolina Press, 1998, 330 pp, Paperback. Chronicles
more than 100 hurricanes, from the great storms of the
colonial period to the devastating Andrew and Opal. Must
reading for residents, property owners, and visitors to
Florida, the nation's most hurricane-prone state. Explains
hurricane dynamics, forecasting and preparedness.
Bookshop price = $15.95.
The next quarterly meeting of the
Apalachicola Area Historical So-
ciety will be held at the Gorrie
Museum on Saturday, January
15th at 3 p.m.
Dr. John Gorrie played many roles
in the history of Apalachicola; as
postmaster, mayor, physician and
most importantly as the inventor
of the ice machine. Some portions
of his life were dramatized in a two
act play written by the late Tom
Campbell performed at the Dixie
Theatre. Gorrie's ice machine is
considered by many to be the fore-
runner of air-conditioning.
After a short business meeting,
Treasurer Bill Greer will lead a
discussion of Dr. Gorrie's life and
describe the workings of the ice
machine on display at the mu-
F r a n li n h r o n cl e '
L Now distributed
THE FEVER MAN
A Biography of Dc John Gorrme
(192) Vivian Sherlock's bi-
ography of John Gorrie,
The Fever Man, is available
once again after being
out-of-print for more than
a decade. This is the story
of John Gorrie, young phy-
sician who invented an "ice
machine" that many argue
was a forerunner to air con-
ditioning dozens of years
later. His cooling device was
developed to provide relief
to his suffering yellow fever
patients. A museum in
Apalachicola to this day
marks the work of John
Gorrie just across from his
last resting place in Gorrie
Square, down from Trinity
Church. This book tells
what is now known about
Dr. Gorrie, his work and his
ice machine. Paperback,
New, 151 pp. Bookshop
price = $10.00
(305) Hobo-ing America by
Richard Edward Noble, Pa-
perback. A humorous, light-
hearted, workingman's, true
life, travel adventure story.
Work your way around
America with Dick & Carol
... feel the pain and the joy
shake the calloused
hands that make America
what it is. Bookshop price
RTCHARO EDWARDI NOBLE
Saint George Island & Apalachicola
from Early Exploration
^. -;-.. -*. ,. ,'- .... -"^ si iay sS
(21) Outposts on the Gulf by William Warren Rogers. Uni-
versity of Florida Press, Hardcover, 297 pp. In this book,
Rogers traces and documents the economic, social and
political emergence of the Gulf coast port of Apalachicola
and the pristine barrier island, Saint George. From the
earliest times, both the island and Apalachicola have be-
come intertwined. The account of the machinations of con-
troversial developer William Lee Popham is the first phase
of area development, later leading to the controversial
struggles of the 1970s when environmentalists and sea-
food industries fought to determine the ecological and eco-
nomic fate of the Bay area. The Chronicle has obtained
a fresh supply of newly reprinted volumes at an at-
tractive price. Available elsewhere for $35.95 plus ship-
ping and handling. The Chronicle Bookshop price is much
cheaper at $25.00 per volume.
I Mail Order Dept., Chronicle Bookshop
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7 January 2005
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