November 2017 –
We are releasing the November Key Notes a bit early to highlight the October 27 blood drive on Perdido Key. Please participate if you can. Two other worthwhile Perdido Key area community events are also featured:
Blood Donation Drive on Perdido Key Friday, October 27- FirstService Residential is hosting a blood drive by OneBlood from 10 AM until 4 PM on Friday, October 27, 2017. The event will be held in the Shrimp Basket restaurant parking lot at 14620 Perdido Key Drive near the FirstService Residential Perdido Key offices. Those donating will receive a Halloween T-shirt, a Shrimp Basket fried pickle coupon, and a wellness checkup.
Perdido Key Chamber Fall Golf Tournament Friday, November 10 – The Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce and a number of local businesses are sponsoring the annual Fall Golf Tournament featuring the “Perdido Business Showcase.” A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Frank Brown International Foundation for Music which provides grants for further study to local students with serious interest in music; it also sponsors the region’s annual Songwriters Festival. The tournament will be at the Perdido Bay Golf Club beginning at 9 AM on Friday, November 10, 2017, with group and individual entry fees required. More information is available on the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce website.
Heron Trot 5K Race at Big Lagoon State Park Saturday, November 18 – The Friends of Pensacola State Parks non-profit organization is sponsoring a 5K run to help support area State Parks. Registration is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the race; check-in is at 6 AM on Saturday November 18, with the race following at 7 AM. Participants will be provided with water, bib, light snack, and T-shirt. For more information go to www.eventbrite.com or call 850 776-9747
RESTORE Projects Advance at US Treasury
Escambia County has been notified that its Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MYIP) for use of RESTORE funds (BP Oil Spill penalties) has been approved by the US Department of Treasury. The MYIP includes the Perdido Key Gulf of Mexico Beach Access and Perdido Key Multi-Use Path proposals. The approval allows the County to submit the individual projects for Treasury review to ensure compliance with applicable regulations before final approval, which is anticipate for early 2018. For more on this issue, see The Pulse October 20, 2017 article by Drew Buchanan, “$8.6M Plan for Oil Spill RESTORE Projects in Pensacola Signed Off by U.S. Treasury.”
PKA Board Elections
The Perdido Key Association’s 2018 election cycle is approaching. As directed by the PKA By-Laws, the Board will create a Nominating Committee to solicit PKA Director Candidates. After candidates are determined, ballots will be sent to PKA members along with the PKA Annual Membership Meeting notice approximately 30 days prior to the February 24, 2017 scheduled meeting where the voting will take place. If interested in serving on the Committee, please contact any PKA Board member.
We would also like to invite candidates to run for the Board of Directors. You do not have to be a permanent Perdido Key resident to participate actively in PKA Board decisions since the Board has very good conference call capabilities and routinely conducts business with Directors participating remotely. If you would like to help provide direction for your Perdido Key community organization, please consider running for a PKA Board position once the candidate determination process begins.
Looking for Excitement? Help Cleanup Rt. 98!!
PKA’s quarterly cleanup of Rt. 98 on Saturday, October 21, 2017, was going well, though with more trash than usual evident – apparently from a successful summer season in the region. There were lots of Florida Lottery ticket stubs along with the expected plastic bags, paper cups, and assorted cans and bottles. But one of our volunteers received a start when she picked up a piece of discarded cardboard – revealing a very healthy copperhead! Keeping track of fast moving vehicles on the stretch of Rt. 98 near the Bauer Road intersection where PKA picks up litter is exciting enough, but a poisonous snake is another matter altogether. A good deal of caution and proper clothing are clearly needed in our continuing cleanup efforts!
Damage from Hurricane Nate
The Perdido Key area was spared widespread damage when Category 1 Hurricane Nate passed to the west on October 7 and 8, 2017, but some local sites still required substantial recovery and repair efforts. The Perdido Key Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (Johnson Beach) was closed until October 13 because of sand on the roads; other areas of the Seashore, such as Fort Pickens, remain closed because of substantial damage to roadways. Areas of Escambia County received up to 7 inches of rain causing minor local flooding; Mobile sustained substantial flooding to its downtown area, but without significant damage. Three tornadoes touched down in nearby Alabama counties, but only minor damage was reported. Pensacola Beach had some minor beach erosion while Perdido Key beaches may have escaped without much sand loss.
But considerable damage was done to some area piers and boat launches. The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier in Gulf Shores was closed for about a week to repair damage from a twenty foot wave that upended sections of the deck. Many piers and boat launches along Santa Rosa Sound were damaged as well, along with piers in Fairhope and Point Clear. Sources for this article include Pensacola News Journal October 8, 2017 article by Anne Delaney “Hurricane Nate: Piers, Boat Docks Damaged in Santa Rosa County; “Real-Time News from Mobile October 9, 2019 article by John Sharp “Hurricane Nate aftermath: 6 inches of rain in Mobile, 6 foot storm surges, minor damage,” and Al.com October 9, 2017 article by Ben Raines “20 foot waves during Hurricane Nate damage Gulf State Pier, Meaher Park.”
Frontier Airlines to Chicago as Well
In addition to its planned direct service from Pensacola to Denver, Frontier Airlines will also begin direct flights from Pensacola to Chicago. The Denver service will begin in April 2018 and the Chicago service scheduled for May 2018. For more on this issue, see The Pulse October 17, 2017 article “Frontier Airlines Launches Flights to Denver and Chicago from Pensacola International Airport.”
Active Debate on Downtown Fish Hatchery
One of the remaining undeveloped portions of downtown Pensacola’s waterfront is located on Main Street between Joe Patti’s and Blue Wahoos Stadium. The Gulf Coast Marine Fisheries Hatchery and Enhancement Center, however, has been in the works for several years to occupy the waterfront site. The $18.8 million project would reportedly clean up environmental contamination and provide public access to the waterfront, in addition to the fish hatchery function itself. Prominent local businessman Quint Studer has recently reversed his support for the project and Pensacola News Journal editorial cartoonist Andy Marlette has emphasized the sponsors’ failure to meet the contract requirement to begin construction within three years. The Pulse journalist Derek Cosson, on the other hand, emphasized that the facility will be BP funded and remains consistent with the 2010 Pensacola redevelopment plan. For more on this issues, see Pensacola News Journal October 17, 2017 article by Joseph Baucum “Opponents argue hatchery project site conflicts with urban core redevelopment plan” and October 21, 2017 article by Andy Marlette “The Hatchery that Never Hatched”; see as well The Pulse October 18, 2017 article by Derek Cosson “Pulse Check: Five Facts You Need to Know About Pensacola’s Hatchery Project.”
Mid-West Sector Plan Opt-Out
On September 7, 2017, the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners again heard arguments regarding the request for an opt out from the Escambia County Mid-West Sector Plan, a land use document for the northern Rt. 29 corridor (north of I-10, west of Rt. 29, and south of Rt. 196) that established a number of districts designated for greater development while leaving other areas available for residential use and greater environmental protection. As with the first hearing conducted in March 2017, the Commissioners voted 4 to 1 in favor of the opt out, with District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill dissenting. The decision will allow former County Commissioner Wilson Robertson to pursue commercial development on an 8.67 acre parcel of land designated as a Conservation Neighborhood by the Sector Plan. Along with defense of his no vote, Commissioner Underhill lauded the efforts of Jacqueline Rogers, who argued strongly in defense of keeping the sector plan as is, and other women advocates of Escambia County, such as former Perdido Key Association president Annie Griffin, for their tireless and extraordinary work in defense of their communities.
Nov 2-13 – Pensacola Foo Foo Festival of culinary, musical, theatrical, and creative events
Nov 3-5 – Alabama Pecan Festival in Mobile
Nov 7-8 – Blue Angels practice at NAS Pensacola
Nov 9-12 – Fairhope Film Festival
Nov 9-19 – Frank Brown Songwriters Festival at various venues on Perdido Key
Nov 10 – Perdido Key Chamber Fall Golf Tournament 2017
Nov 10-11, 18, 22, 25 – Pensacola Ice Flyers at the Pensacola Bay Center
Nov 11 – Veteran’s Day, various events in the region
Nov 12 – Pensacola Marathon beginning near 10th Avenue and Colfax Street
Nov 17-30 – Ice Skating Rink and Photos with Santa at The Wharf in Orange Beach
No v 18 – Mobile Renaissance Faire and Pirate Festival
Nov 18 – Heron Trot 5K Race at Big Lagoon State Park
Nov 18 – Heron Trot 5K Race at Big Lagoon State Park
Nov 18-19 – Coastal Hunter Jumper Horse Show at Escambia County Equestrian Center
Nov 23 – THANKSGIVING
Nov 24-30 – Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home
The following websites provide additional information about events taking place in our great Gulf Coast region:
Perdido Key Association Board of Directors