City of Pensacola

Photo via Flickr// Robrrt / https://flic.kr/p/crhie

The giant cross on display at Pensacola’s Bayview Park is being targeted by a Washington-based group, which wants it taken down.

In a letter to Mayor Ashton Hayward and City Attorney Lysia Bowling, the American Humanist Association is demanding the cross’ removal from the city-owned park.

“Several local citizens contacted us to let us know about it,” said AHA Legal Director David Niose, who contends that by having the cross at the park, the city is placing one religion above all others.

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Bayview Community Center is slated for the wrecking ball. The facility is the latest victim of last year’s massive flooding.

For decades, after-school programs and events of all stripes have been held in the center. But the flood caused significant damage, forcing events to be moved to other city-owned facilities. Eric Olson is Pensacola City Administrator.

Lindsay Myers

A proposed multi-million dollar project at Community Maritime Park has been scrapped, after the City of Pensacola rejected the proposed leases for three parcels.

On orders from Mayor Ashton Hayward, city staff brought down the Confederate flag from all of the City of Pensacola’s Five Flags displays on Thursday. It was replaced by the State of Florida flag.

In a written statement, the Mayor concedes that while the Confederate flag represents a part of the city’s history, it also stands as a “painful symbol of racial hatred and ignorance.”

A spokesman for Hayward’s office said in an email that the Mayor would not be making any more statements on the matter.

flaports.org

Work is expected to resume later this year on the DeepFlex project at the Port of Pensacola, after resolution of some financial setbacks. Construction of a half-finished metal warehouse was idled in March.

Published reports say Houston-based DeepFlex has secured emergency funding through its parent firm in Brazil, to address more than $200,000 in liens filed by contractors.

How to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Pensacola area was the topic of a conference Tuesday, involving a number of local organizations.

UWF economist Rick Harper led off the Affordable Housing Summit at Gulf Power Company. During his hour-long presentation, he said the definition of “affordable housing” depends on the percentage of a family’s income that’s used to keep a roof over their heads.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper provides analysis of recently released U.S. Census figures.

“We’ve declined in population over the years, as people have moved out to the suburbs,” said Harper, referring to the number of people living in the City of Pensacola, which is the urban core of a larger metro area including Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The metro area population estimate for 2014 is 474,081.

A familiar visitor from Pensacola’s original mother country sailed into the Port of Pensacola Wednesday morning. The Spanish tall ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano is part of Pensacola’s 66th annual Fiesta of Five Flags.

The reception at the T.T. Wentworth Florida State Museum welcomed the crew of the ship, a training vessel that’s the third tallest tall ship in the world.  

Bob Barrett

Since 1889, 14 members of the Pensacola Police Force have died in the line of duty. Wednesday morning, the city took time to remember their service. Pensacola Chief of Police Chip Simmons stood in the shade outside Police Headquarters Wednesday morning addressing dozens of citizens, dignitaries and fellow officers and asked they would be willing to sacrifice for their fellow man. "You are looking at a wall with the names of men that did just that. They put their lives on the line for their community...for all of us. And it cost them dearly."

The two-acre piece of city-owned property in downtown Pensacola known as “Hawkshaw” is back on the market.

A request for proposals, or RFP, has been issued by the Community Redevelopment Agency. It invites real estate developers to submit plans and a bid to buy the land, which the CRA acquired about 20 years ago.

Office of the Mayor

If Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward gets his way, those paid to lobby him, the City Council and other city staff would be required to register.

Besides their names and affiliations, the registry would oblige lobbyists to disclose their clients, and the subject matters they want to influence.

Hayward announced through his digital newsletter last fall that he wanted the adoption of such an ordinance. Three months in the making, the proposal is set to go before the City Council in the next few weeks. 

VT-MAE

In September, Pensacola was announced as the new home for a portion of V-T Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Inc. -- formerly known as ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks back at the project – originally code-named “Project Stallion.” 

Meeting in special session, the Pensacola City Council voted 7-0 to approve the 30-year lease – which was signed immediately after adjournment by Mayor Ashton Hayward. 

Beginning in March cohabitating unmarried adults – gay and straight – were able to register as domestic partners with the City of Pensacola.

Ordinance number 41-13 was approved in December, 2013, setting up a Domestic Partnership Registry, or DPR, and providing registered domestic partners with various rights and benefits. Sponsored by Councilman Larry B. Johnson, the DPR was also opened to those living outside the Pensacola city limits.

City of Pensacola

  Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward’s second term is underway, having been sworn in last month. As Hayward sat down with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody, he touches on that victory, downtown renaissance, and the City Council.

DD: Mayor Hayward, you won re-election last month with 65% of the vote. What mandate does that margin of victory carry into your 2nd term?

City of Pensacola

The Pensacola City Council met in special session Tuesday, electing new leadership and overseeing the swearing-in of Ashton Hayward to a second term as Mayor.

The new-look City Council features Andy Terhaar as President and Larry B. Johnson as Vice President for the coming year. Terhaar was selected on the third ballot, fending off challenges from outgoing president Jewell Cannada-Wynn and Charles Bare.

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