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Environmental Experts Set To Discuss Oil Spill Effects and Settlement Issues At Local Seminar
By: Kelly Woodard

The Surfrider Foundation’s Emerald Coast Chapter is partnering with the knowledgeable and experienced coastal monitoring experts of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to bring you a first of its kind training session this Saturday, July 18
th from 9:30-11 am at the Perdido Key Visitor’s Center & Chamber of Commerce, located at 15500 Perdido Key Drive. Find out important information on endangered coastal species, beach pollution, coastal erosion, post-storm observations, and oil related impacts.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide.
The Emerald Coast Chapter has been active and protecting the Florida Panhandle since 2004 when a handful of local surfers rose up to prevent surfing from being outlawed in Walton County. Since that time the Emerald Coast Surfrider Foundation has protected public beach access, including the filing of an Amicus Brief with the US Supreme Court supporting the State of Florida’s assertion that the beaches are held for the public trust.
Joining the Surfrider Foundation is the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Established by a $500 million commitment from BP in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the 10-year research program aims to mitigate the impacts of hydrocarbon pollution and stressors on the marine environment and public health from the spill, as well as improve society’s understanding of oil spill issues.
The oil spill science outreach program allows Sea Grant specialists to find out what types of information target audiences want and develop tailor-made products for those audiences. The outreach specialists produce a variety of materials, such as fact sheets and bulletins, focused on meeting stakeholder information needs. The specialists also gather input from target audiences through workshops and work with researchers to share oil spill research results at science seminars that are facilitated by the specialists.
These two environmental powerhouses will come together for a one time only seminar to discuss the direct impact the oil spill is still having on our local environment and what to expect from the recent settlement between BP and the federal government to award five Gulf Coast states with a tentative settlement of approximately $18.7 billion.
The seminar is free, and residents from all over the area are encouraged to attend as all areas of the gulf coast will be addressed. For more information, visit or call 334-482-2843.
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Woman Arrested For Child Endangerment After Leaving Child In Hot Car
By: Kelly Woodard

Leaving a child or pet locked in the heat is a mistake that only takes a moment to make but can change the course of your life forever. One Arkansas woman found out how serious of an offense it can be after she was arrested in Gulf Breeze on Saturday after bystanders rescued her child from a locked vehicle.
Witnesses at the Gulf Breeze Walmart say they heard the cries of a young child coming from inside a locked vehicle in more than 90 degree heat in the midday sun. Upon further inspection, witnesses say they discovered a five year old in the backseat, screaming and profusely sweating inside the sweltering car. Her mother, Christin Renee Deam, was nowhere to be found.
Several customers said that store managers were notified, and the child’s parents were paged in the store for over an hour with no result. Authorities were contacted via 911, and a bystander broke the car window and rescued the ailing child. Deam finally arrived on the scene after deputies and emergency response vehicles had arrived to evaluate the child’s health and take witness statements.
Initially upon being questioned, Deam gave police a false name. She was transported to the Santa Rosa County jail and charged with child neglect and held on a $5,000 bond. Investigators advised there will be additional charges pending. DCF was also notified of the incident. The child was subsequently released to a relative.
Sadly, this scenario is becoming all too common. Many children and pets are not as lucky as Deam’s little girl after being locked inside a vehicle, even if “just for a few minutes”.
Heat and humidity can be silent killers for those who don’t take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. Serious health concerns caused by extreme temperatures are heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even death.
“Children, the elderly, and pets are at the highest risk of overexposure to the heat,” said AlertID Founder, Keli Wilson. “Taking steps to prevent overheating and recognizing the symptoms of heat exhaustion are easy steps everyone can take this summer to beat the heat.”
As record high temperatures spread across the gulf coast in the next few weeks, AlertID reminds us that heat related injuries are preventable, especially when following their “Beat the Heat Tips”. Wilson said these are some of the top things to remember this summer to keep your family safe.
1. Stay Hydrated: The rate at which the human body can absorb fluids is less than the rate it loses during extreme temperatures. Drinking beverages that contain sugar, caffeine or alcohol will only further dehydrate the human body. Drink water regularly, even before you are thirsty, as thirst indicates dehydration.
2. Keep cool: If you don’t have AC at home, keep rooms as ventilated as possible. Consider going to a public pool, shopping mall or other air conditioned building. Even a few hours in air conditioning can help you stay cool before you go back in the heat. Wear cool, loose, light- weight clothing to stay as cool as possible.
3. Limit Outdoor Activities: Try to limit outdoor activity to early morning or evening hours and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest hours of the day.
4. Avoid Harmful UV’s: If it’s not possible to stay out of the sun, avoid harmful rays by wearing wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
5. Never leave someone or a Pet in a Closed Vehicle: The temperature inside a closed vehicle can exceed 140 degrees within 30 minutes. Despite this clear and present danger, injuries and deaths among children, seniors, and pets occur every year.
6. Check on elderly loved ones and those with special needs: Extreme heat without AC can be especially dangerous for elderly and those with health issues, who are more affected by the heat.
7. Pets: If pets need to stay outside, give them plenty of shade and water. Consider a small pool for the animal to stay cool.
Most importantly, always check your backseat before locking up your car. With so much going on in our daily lives, it only takes a second to become distracted and forget a child or a pet in the car. With no way of helping themselves out the vehicle, you are responsible for their safety.
Take a second to double check your car, pet’s water bowls, etc. to keep them safe as the temperatures rise this summer.
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Scantily Clad Sailors Storm the Waters Of Pensacola Bay For the 35th Annual Bikini Regatta
By: Kelly Woodard

Get sailing with the fastest girls in town as the Navy Yacht Club of Pensacola presents the 35
th Annual Bikini Regatta this Saturday, July 18th at the Bayou Grande Marina located on Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Hailed as one of the first PHRF sailboat races geared towards the women sailor - this historical event in conjunction with the Viva Florida 500 Celebration. This race is one of three races which are part of the Ladies Sailing Trilogy Series.
The weekend event kicks off on Friday, July 17
th at 5 pm with the Skipper’s Meeting at NYCP Facility, NAS Pensacola Bayou Grande Marina. Then on Saturday, July 18th the fun gets started as registration kicks off at 10 am. Coffee and doughnuts will be on hand to get you ready for a long day of sailing.
Then at 11:55 am the first warning signal will sound, and the lady sailors will cruise through a course set up on beautiful Pensacola Bay. Then at 4:30 pm, refreshments and Regatta Dogs will be served in the Crow’s Nest followed by awards for the first three places in each class: Spinnaker (All Women); Spinnaker (Mixed Crew); Non-spinnaker (All Women); and Non-Spinnaker (Mixed Crew).
The regatta will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing 2015-2017 including U.S. Prescriptions and the 2015 Pensacola Bay General Sailing Instructions. This regatta will be open to PHRF Spinnaker (All women and mixed crew) and PHRF Non-Spinnaker (All women and mixed crew). A current PHRF certificate is required. For mixed crew classes, each yacht must be helmed by a female and at least half of the crew must be female.
Entries will be accepted during registration on the day of the race or may be completed earlier by using the registration form on the NYCP website ( Completed forms may be emailed to the NYCP Fleet Captain. The entry fee is $35 for US Sailing members and $40 for non-members.
The event is free for spectators.
For more information about the race, contact John Matthews, Fleet Captain at, 850-492-4802 or the Regatta Co-Chairs, Terri Farris at 850-492-9242 or Tony Kirkman at 850-434-7979.
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Trump Towers in 'First Debate'
Making Sense by Michael Reagan

FYI, my fellow Americans.

Donald Trump, a political amateur, has won the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 primary.

It wasn't a formal scheduled TV debate. That political circus doesn't debut on Fox News until next month.

The debate Trump won was the one dealing with illegal immigrants from Mexico that he started three weeks ago when he officially announced he was running for president.

Trump, who didn't bother to use a prepared speech or read from a teleprompter, said blunt and unfriendly things about his fellow GOP candidates and their lousy leadership skills, which the liberal mainstream media gleefully reported.

But what the pundits, many Republicans and the media really went ballistic over was the way Trump characterized the country's illegal immigrants from Mexico.

In case you've forgotten, he said, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best.... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us (sic). They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

The 69-year-old billionaire was trying to make a point about the problem of illegal immigrants who come here and commit crimes, but he was winging it and he messed up.

Trump made his point, but he got it backwards. Most — not " some" — of the 5.9 million illegal immigrants from Mexico who live in the USA are good people.

If Trump were not Trump, he should have hired someone to write a speech for him that said something like:

"Though they have broken the law to enter the United States, most of the Mexican people who've come here are good people who want to work hard and better their lives. But thousands of them are not good people and they are committing crimes like sexual assault, rape and murder after they get here.

"We have to prevent those bad people from getting into our country in the first place and we have to deport them or jail them immediately when they commit serious crimes."

But Trump being Trump, he was more interested in calling attention to the problem than being politically correct.

Predictably, the mainstream media went after Trump. It made him and the clumsy things he said about Mexicans the big story and reporters went around asking the other GOP candidates what they thought about what Trump said, not what they thought about immigration.

Those candidates gave their usual crafted political answers, kowtowing to the mainstream media by dumping on Trump.

Ironically, though, Trump got the last word.

Because of him calling attention to criminality among illegal Mexican immigrants, the issue has become a hot media topic.

Instead of ignoring or downplaying crimes committed by "unauthorized" immigrants, as the Pew Research Center now calls illegals, the mainstream media have finally started reporting some of the most horrible examples.

The recent murder of a San Francisco woman by an immigrant who had been deported five times has made the biggest headlines.

There's also the illegal immigrant in Texas who killed his wife with a hammer and the one in Arizona who injured a mother and two kids in a hit-and-run. Both immigrants had been deported multiple times.

The statistics about how many illegal immigrants commit serious crimes, or whether they commit more per capita than U.S. citizens, are debatable and hard to come by, largely because the government doesn't care to tally them.

But what's undebatable is that tens of thousands of this country's total 12 million illegal immigrants commit serious crimes each year and we have to do something about it.

Trump, without trying, brought attention to a major issue in a way no other candidate could or would. While the other GOP candidates talked about him, he was talking about a major issue of the 2016 campaign.

Therefore, he started — and ultimately won — the first debate of the GOP's 2016 primary. I bet it won't be the last time he outpoints the professional politicians and their consultants.
Copyright ©2014 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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Editorial By: Kelly Woodard

Being the animal lover that I am, this week I got the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, as my husband and I got up close and personal with baby tigers. Two of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, Boris and Sonja stole my heart and most of my fingers….but nothing beats getting mauled by two of nature’s most majestic little predators.
I found out nearly two months ago that the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo had once again this year been chosen to sponsor several little tiger cubs from the Marcan Tiger Preserve in Ponce de Leon, Florida. A program that acclimates captive newborn tiger cubs to life with human interaction, the zoo keepers allow four people at a time to play the day away with these gorgeous creatures until they are large enough to adapt to life with other tigers.
I called immediately and was told that the waiting list was over a month long. As our tiger encounter day finally arrived, I felt like a kid getting to meet Santa Claus for the first time (and I’m talking about the real one….duh).
I rushed my husband to get ready nearly an hour early because I just couldn’t wait one second more. We drove to the zoo under a crystal clear blue sky with the sun shining on our shoulders all the way to the zoo. That’s when everything changed.
I noticed a dark cloud in the distance and thought to myself, “No way! Hopefully it will go the other direction.” It didn’t. Within minutes of our entering the zoo and the Tiger Encounter area, the bottom dropped out. Not thinking a thing of the storm, as most showers here on the gulf coast last mere minutes, my excitement continued until I heard the zoo keepers radio relay a message, “We are closing the park due to lightning. Please evacuate the patrons.”
My heart dropped. As the zookeepers herded people towards the front gate, I looked at the tiger handler with tears welling up in my eyes, and she said, “Don’t worry. We are taking you guys inside the facility. You get to stay.”
Once we were led inside, the lightning and thunder were nearly in sync as the storm was directly on top of us. The baby tigers growled and groaned in agitation and fear, and I worried that they might not be in the mood to be social. That fear subsided as we stepped into what I know refer to as “the ring” with these 33 pound killers.
Excited to get some “hands on” time with these furry little angels, I reached out for Boris only to be attacked from behind by his sister, Sonja. She latched on with all four paws and dug into the back of my shoulder with her insanely sharp fangs (think puppy teeth on steroids). As she continued to gnaw away at my flesh, I squealed in pain while my dumbfounded husband stood there not knowing what to do.
Thankfully, the zookeeper grabbed a stuffed toy and shoved it between me and Sonja’s face before the now flowing blood ruined my shirt. “Oh yeah, by the way….they are ambush predators and they are learning how to hunt. You have to watch for them sneaking up on you from behind,” she said. That would’ve been a helpful tidbit before I got in the Siegfried and Roy “Pit of Death”.
I armed myself with a stuffed Tweety Bird and decided if these guys were going to play dirty, I too was going to have to learn to play rough. For the next 45 minutes, I ran, tackled, and played hide and seek with these two rambunctious maniacs…and I loved every second of it.
Sure, my husband and I both left with battle scars that included cuts, bruises, and even a ripped pair of jeans, but getting the opportunity to hold those babies in my arms while they nursed from a baby bottle and then roll around on the floor with them as if I belonged in their “ambush” was worth it. It was a truly magical day that I’ll remember forever.
What I took away from the experience the most is how beautiful these creatures are and how fragile life is. Not just because I nearly got taken down by two 33 pound cats, but because there are just far too little of these guys left to enjoy. I’m thankful for programs like the one at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo for teaching us about these amazing animals and allowing us to realize that we must make changes in our habits to ensure their survival.
I hope that I never meet one of these guys full grown in the wild, but I sure do hope that they are out there, thriving. Take the time to learn about what you can do to help nurture the last of our incredible species like the tiger, and support the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. If you do, you’ll be left with a memory you’ll cherish forever.
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