pensacola beach

IHMC

Over more than 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Pensacola News Journal, I watched certain  community issues that never seemed to go away. Everyone agreed on the problem, but no one could agree on a solution.

So we debated the problem, over and over.

One such evergreen issue is traffic on Pensacola Beach. Actually, it’s two problems. Traffic, and parking.

I see no real solution for parking. This area is growing, and tourism is growing. What isn’t growing is the size of the beach. There simply isn’t room.

Jonathaon Beebe-Franqui

The numbers are in and by all counts, the Memorial Day beach cleanup program on Santa Rosa Island conducted by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community was a resounding success.

It’s a tall order to clean up after an estimated 75,000 people around the clock over a three-day period. But PSouth Operation Beach Clean organizer Dwayne Beebe-Franqui says everything was “fantastic.”

Courtesy of PSouth

A beach cleanup project during the annual LGBT Beach Reunion during Memorial Day Weekend – at Pensacola Beach and Park East is aimed at keeping the sand and water beautiful during and just after the holiday.

More than 75,000 people – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – are expected to gather on the beach, mainly in the Park East section of Santa Rosa Island. And when a crowd that size forms – gay or straight – there’s a vast amount of debris that’s left behind. That’s where PSouth Operation Beach Cleanup comes in.

IHMC

Having lived almost all of my life in Northwest Florida, I can’t really speak to how it is to live in other places. But the variety of lifescapes offered by this area must be hard to beat.

That is underscored by our recent move from rural Garcon Point to urbanized Pensacola Beach. The culture shock could hardly be overstated.

FDOT

Soon you make not have to go searching for a dollar bill to get to Pensacola Beach: beginning May 31st, the Bob Sykes Bridge, connecting Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach, will begin accepting Sun Pass for the one dollar toll.

Photo via Flickr// Jandy Stone / https://flic.kr/p/gXJzd

In case you missed the first one, another lifeguard tryout is scheduled for April 30 by the Santa Rosa Island Authority.

Candidates are asked to be at the UWF Aquatic Center a little before 1:00 p.m. on that Saturday, to fill out the paperwork for a possible spot at Pensacola or Johnson Beaches.

Photo via Flickr//Ben Ferenchak

Aspiring lifeguards should mark Saturday, January 30 on their calendars, for tryouts to work at Pensacola Beach.

Senior Lifeguard Alex Johnson is making the call to join him at 6:30 that morning at the University of West Florida Aquatic Center. But he warns that the requirements for employment will be challenging.

Ferry service on Pensacola Bay is moving full speed ahead towards a launch date of March, 2017.

The latest step forward is the National Park Service’s award of a contract to All-American Marine. The Washington state-based firm will design and build two aluminum double-decker Catamaran-style ferry boats, each with a capacity of 150-passengers.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

If you’re heading to the beach this holiday weekend, remember you’re not just sharing the shoreline with friends, family and fish. Take the time to watch out for shore birds.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

    

On Tuesday morning Chris Carter was loading the metal skeleton of a pop up beach tent onto the trailer of his truck. The Gulf Breeze resident says things looked a lot different over the weekend. "Over the weekend it looked like a catastrophe. There were these pop-up tents and tents and air mattresses and floats. The storms came through...Sunday morning and everyone left in a panic and the beach was in disarray."

wcmu.org

The parties are already underway for this weekend’s annual gathering of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender at Pensacola Beach’s Park East.

About 150,000 people have attended the LBGT-related events the past couple of Memorial Day weekends. Ted McCrary, the general manager of Emerald City – the downtown Pensacola bar that serves as party central -- is expecting about the same, if not a slightly higher number this year.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

The Santa Rosa Island Authority is at a bit of a crossroads.

The authority, which provides many services and events on Pensacola Beach, has been funded over the years, for the most part, with the lease fees paid by homeowners on the island. However, those home owners are now also being charged ad valorem property taxes. Some have called paying both property taxes and lease fees a form of double-taxation.

SRIA

  

The Santa Rosa Island Authority has agreed to hire a community planner to prepare for a future where its primary source of funding could soon disappear.

Photo via Flickr//Ben Ferenchak

Dangerous surf conditions along the local beaches are in the forecast for early this week, as the number of lifeguards on Pensacola Beach are at their normal October reduction in force. Red flags are also up at Navarre Beach in Santa Rosa County, where lifeguards will be on duty through October 31.

visitpensacola.com

  Seven local advertising agencies are teaming up to work with the group Visit Pensacola as “Showcase Pensacola” which will market the area to potential visitors.

Work on promotional and public relations projects for Showcase has been going on since early spring, by the Appleyard Agency, E.W. Bullock Associates, Ideaworks, IDGroup, Southern Media, AC Advertising and Duncan McCall. Dick Appleyard says normally, they’re a very competitive lot.

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