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Chuck E. Cheese and Big Brothers Big Sisters Team Up To Benefit Local Kids
By: Kelly Woodard

Fun time with the family benefits kids all over the Gulf Coast as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and Chuck E. Cheese’s in Pensacola team up this November to hold a roundup donation campaign after the state’s recent budget cuts.
The agency lost $162,500 in funding, and Paula Shell, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, says the organization is feeling the repercussions. But thanks to this all month event, you can help. Guests of Chuck E. Cheese’s can round their purchase up to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Customers can also make a donation of any amount to Big Brothers Big Sisters at any time by visiting the personnel at Chuck E. Cheese.
Shell said of the event, “Every donation certainly helps. Even if it’s just a few cents to bring your purchase up to the next dollar. We appreciate every gift and hope that you’ll visit Chuck E. Cheese’s to show your support.”
For the past 26 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has been the area’s leader in one-to-one mentoring by serving children ages 6 to 18. With a mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida served 635 children in Northwest Florida last year alone.
For more information or to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, call Natalie Chism at 850-433-5437 or via email at
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Appeals Court Overturns Florida Credit Card Surcharge Law
By: Kelly Woodard

A divided 11
th Circuit court ruled in a split decision on November 4th that a Florida law forbidding merchants from imposing a credit card “surcharge” is an unconstitutional regulation of free speech.
Florida makes it a second-degree misdemeanor for “[a] sellor or lessor in a sales or lease transaction to impose a surcharge on the buyer or lessee for electing to use a credit card,” while the State expressly allows the offering of a discount for the purpose of inducing payment by cash.
Florida business owner Duana Palmer got the shock of her life when she received a cease and desist letter from the attorney general for charging customers that paid with credit a 2-3% surcharge in addition to the purchase price to cover the fee that credit companies charged her for each swipe. Palmer was shocked to discover that was against the law.
“I received a letter telling me to stop being honest with people about the surcharge we were having to pay for credit cards,” Palmer said, “and found out that we weren't allowed to do that. We actually could be fined or put in prison.”
Palmer along with three other Florida businesses, including a hobby shop, a specialty jewelry shop, and a sporting good shop, challenged the law after all four businesses claimed that the price difference between cash and credit is more accurately described as a credit-card surcharge, rather than a cash discount. A federal appeals court ruled that the law violates retailer’s rights to free speech and struck it down rejecting the State’s idea that the law allows for misleading business practices.
Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection is calling on the attorney general to appeal the ruling, saying customers now risk surprises at the checkout counter.
“This ban has been protecting consumers for quite a while and we think it should be upheld,” said FLACP Spokesman Brad Ashwell. “We're not happy with this decision. We think it will lead to more potential ambushes for consumers that are unexpected.”
But Palmer disagrees with Ashwell saying, “In no way are we trying to confuse or take advantage of our customers. We are simply being up front about what fees are to be charged when paying with credit. If a consumer is confused, we encourage them to ask questions. Be informed. Allow us to explain your options. That is how we retain our customers and build successful businesses.”
The Attorney General's Office is still reviewing the court's decision and has yet to announce whether it will appeal.
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“EggHeads” Unite For the Best Backyard Food In Town At The Pensacola EggFest
By: Kelly Woodard

With tailgating season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to get your grill on at the Pensacola EggFest sponsored by Kia Autosport this Saturday, November 14
th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Blue Wahoo’s Stadium, located at 301 W. Main Street in downtown Pensacola.
Festival patrons will be able to browse the newest in Big Green Egg technology while witnessing numerous demonstrations and seminars to help you become a world class “egg” chef. After you’ve looked around, tie on a bib and try some of the best grilled entrees around. Your ticket gets you admission to the event and all the tastings your heart desires, so bring your appetite.
Think you’ve got the “chops” to be crowned the best griller in town? Register your four-person cooking team to be a part of this great event for just a $50 donation. Your EggFest team can prepare anything you want like briskets, ribs, chicken, pork, Boston butts, or even something a little closer to home like fish, shrimp, or oysters.
The lighting of the Eggs will begin promptly at 6:30 am on Saturday, and chefs may prepare proteins, and sauces ahead of time. EggChefs should be prepared to provide a minimum of 250-300 bite sized samples to the tasters. Grillers will be competing for the People’s Choice Vote and a chance to win cash and prizes. For more information about the competition or to sign up, call EggFest Chairman, Jerold “Buck” Hall at 850-261-7639.
Be sure to enter the raffle to win an outdoor kitchen package that includes a large Big Green Egg and nest from Escambia Electric Motor as well as plenty of accessories like outdoor grilling equipment and delicious meats from The Butcher Shopp.
The Pensacola EggFest is proud to have the Hampton Inn, Pensacola Airport/Cordova Mall Area as the official hotel for the event, and will offer out of town guests a special EggFest rate of $119.00 a night. Just use the code “EGG” when booking or mention that you are coming to EggFest if booking by phone.
All proceeds will benefit Chain Reaction, a local organization whose mission is to empower teens to learn through service. The program is teen-directed, teen-driven and teen-organized using volunteerism as its teaching tool. Since 2003, Chain Reaction has provided local teens ages 13 to 18 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties with safe, meaningful and educational service activities.
Thanks to Chain Reaction, teens discover their innate strengths and untapped abilities, unite as a team of connected, committed citizens, and believe in themselves to achieve more and aspire to see the good in all things in a safe, fun and empowering environment.
Tickets for the Pensacola EggFest are only $25 if purchased in advance, and $35 at the door. Tickets are available by visiting or at Escambia Electric Motor, located at 1101 W Main St. in downtown Pensacola.
Last year’s EggFest drew over 1300 people and 75 “egg chefs” to the Wahoo’s stadium, and this year’s event is expected to bigger and better than ever so don’t miss it!
For more information, call EggFest Chairman, Jerold “Buck” Hall at 850-261-7639.
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A Good Republican Slugfest
Making Sense by Michael Reagan

A funny thing happened at the Republican primary debate in Milwaukee Tuesday night.

A debate broke out.

Episode 3 of the GOP's presidential debates was the best yet — if you're more interested in what the candidates think about the issues than what they think about each other.

Unlike the fiasco put on by CNBC last month, the moderators on the Fox Business Network didn't try to get the candidates to fight among themselves or ask stupid liberal gotcha questions.

In fact, FNB's classy and competent journalists — Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto and the Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker — were the night's biggest winners.

But what about the candidates? Who won or lost?

I did my duty to God and party and watched the so-called "undercard" debate, where Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie slugged it out. 

Santorum stuck up for the family and the workingman as usual while Huckabee tried to sell his unsellable Fair Tax idea, which has no chance of becoming a reality — ever.

Rising New Jersey heavyweight Chris Christie clearly won the undercard debate on points, despite the pesky attacks of his fellow governor Jindal.

Christie fought off Jindal with one hand while throwing a dozen hard jabs at someone who wasn't even in the ring — Hillary Clinton. He proved he deserves to be with the first tier at the next debate in Reno on Dec. 15.

In the main event Tuesday there were no clear winners or losers.

John Kasich got in a good zinger about Donald Trump's fantasy promise that he'd round up and deport 11 million illegal immigrants, but overall he was too angry-looking and yelled too much.

Jeb Bush, once again, acted more like an awkward wallflower at a seniors dance than a future president. He needed a memorable moment but didn't get it.

Bush did get a chance or two to show he's smart on foreign policy and realistic on immigration.

But in this silly primary season he and Kasich are out of place. This time it's not just about having brains or experience. It's about having style and personality -- and being an outsider.

Speaking of which, Trump, except for his cheap verbal snaps at Kasich and Fiorina, behaved himself.

He did OK when he answered questions but seemed like he was there more in body than spirit.

He again promised to rebuild our military and kick everyone's butt in the Mideast.

But his "Make America Great Again" bumper-sticker boasts are looking more dubious all the time. Maybe The Donald should ask Bush if he could sublease some of his position papers.

Dr. Carson didn't hurt or help himself at the debate, either. But he also needs to start sharing some of his substantial policy ideas — if he has them.

Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina did great each time they had the stage.

Fiorina killed with her tough foreign policy stand and her rant on crony capitalism.

Cruz warned that if the Republicans join Democrats "as the party of amnesty, we lose" in 2016.

He had the best quip of the night when he said that the politics of immigration would be much different "if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press."

Rand Paul showed up to debate this time.

He made his libertarian points well and landed a sharp sucker punch on Marco Rubio's chin by asking how his plan to spend $1 trillion on families and $1 trillion on rebuilding the military could qualify as a fiscally conservative position.

Anyone forced to single out a winner would probably pick the crowd favorite, Kid Rubio. He was smooth, quick on his feet and hit hard with both hands on foreign policy.

He, Cruz and Christie are the best debaters among the establishment candidates.

If they are going to get a chance to knock out Trump and Carson, however, the GOP bosses have to dump the undercard now and get the top five or six contenders on the same stage in Reno.
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

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It seems like I can’t turn on the TV or open any of my social media apps without seeing something about the “Starbucks Christmas Controversy”. If you have been living under a rock for the past few days, let me explain.
Each year when the holiday season rolls around, many of us flock to Starbucks for the delicious steamy crack in a cup called Caramel Brulee Latte, Peppermint Mocha, or Chestnut Praline Latte. In the past, you couldn’t help but notice the festive holiday cups adorned with ornaments, snowflakes and candy canes. This year, Starbucks has chosen to use plain red cups for the holiday season…..and people are losing their minds.
Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks' vice president of design, said the change was meant to embrace “the simplicity and the quietness” of the holiday season. Okay. That’s a good enough reason for me. (Also, I have better, more important things to worry about than what’s on my coffee cup.) But for some, the decision has become a personal attack on the holiday season and religion itself.
As I read through the madness that has stemmed from the change, I came across a rant by a woman claiming that the absence of snowflakes on the cups “denies the hope of Jesus Christ and his story.” Seriously? By not having snowflakes on a coffee cup we are denying “the hope of Jesus”? If you need to find religion and catch the holiday spirit of Jesus by looking at a few snowflakes that’s just fine with me, but I personally don’t define my Christmas or relationship with Jesus based on a coffee cup. If you do, well….more power to you. I just find it sad.
I could understand the company coming under attack if the cups had previously featured direct religious symbols, but they didn’t. They featured snowmen and Santa, both of which have nothing to do with religion.
As a Christian myself, it would never cross my mind to walk into a Starbucks, order my coffee, see that my cup is now missing a reindeer, and make a connection between that and the company hating Christianity. But as I said earlier, I have better things to do.
Also, I believe in the idea that if you’re offended by something or someone, you just ignore it and move on rather than try to cause a national uproar. It’s called being an adult. I blame the “everyone gets a participation ribbon” generation.
In all honesty, I’m not upset with Starbucks for taking away my favorite Christmas cups. I’m upset with Starbucks for giving in to the “Politically Correct” movement. If someone walks in there and gets offended by a couple of snowmen or ornaments on their cup, then they deserve to go home a stew in anger because they are flat out morons. If you have time in your life to be upset or offended by such trivial things, you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the world.
There are starving children all over the world, some of which live in your neighborhoods and go to your kid’s schools. There are child abusers, drug dealers, and murderers walking the streets free because our legal system has failed us. There are terrorists groups planning attacks right now, but we allow them to infiltrate our country because we don’t want “to hurt anyone’s feelings” or “violate their rights”.
There are bigger fish to fry out there than coffee cups.
Drink the coffee at Starbucks, or don’t. The issue should be as simple as that. But until I hear my barista say, “Here’s your coffee, and Jesus sucks”, I don’t have a problem with a stupid red cup. What I do have a problem with is them running out of caramel for my Caramel Brulee Latte. That, my friends, is a true holiday travesty.