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  PBA uses this blog to post individual articles from our monthly newsletters. Members can comment on these articles.
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  • 09/08/2021 8:12 PM | Anonymous

    September 1, 2021

    Dear PBA Members,

    Finally the sun is shining,  but those cloudy skies and pouring down rain did not stop the curious onlookers during Ida.   The crossover near me has been packed.    We are  truly blessed to have been spared Ida.  This just reinforces how important it is to have an evacuation plan and to be prepared.  Please pray for all of those who are affected by the storm.   Speaking of being prepared,  please Save the Date for our Annual meeting…October 20th  - 6 pm…The Beach Church.    Pizza and adult refreshments like last year and all of that “fun” meeting stuff.  More details to come on that. Please also save Sunday - December 12th for our Holiday Party and  Lights Judging Contest.  Now for some beach updates

    First, an update on the  meeting your PBA board had with Ms. Leigh Davis and SRIA legal counsel, Ms. Mary Jane Bass a couple of weeks ago.  Our intention was to follow up on data submitted on our ideas to combat short term rental issues and protocol for 5g placement on the island.   A gracious Ms. Davis allowed us to discuss “everything but the kitchen sink.”  We were  able to discuss  lease language, and how  it governs and legally applies to short term rentals, a proposed draft ordinance by Commissioner Bender to regulate short term rentals and manage them as businesses along with the fees, fines and enforcement provisions, and how to beef up enforcement at the SRIA for STR violations.  Bill Wray, who has done extensive research on the topic, is hopeful  that the ordinance will be able to pass at the county level.   It, along with Ms.  Davis‘s leadership at the SRIA  should solve many issues.  We  should all be prepared to testify when it is introduced and debated.   Check out our website to see a draft of the ordinance. 

    I believe Ms. Davis has quickly learned what is important to the beach.  I also know she understands that we don’t necessarily believe our lease fees or tax dollars get spent to the best of their ability and that EVERYONE in the county  is responsible for paying for beach renourishment.   We also discussed how EVERYONE who comes to the beach could:  pay a little something more to either cross the bridge, pay to park,  and follow the rules if we could enforce them. 

    When it came to discussing 5g we all agreed that the SRIA board should have been more involved in the initial rollout.  If not, then why do we have an environmental impact review committee? We pointed out that cities and counties all  across Florida are requiring more information before they approve  the placement of these poles.  The municipalities are also winning on every front.  Just like The SRIA used case law to settle the consideration vs. impact fee, they could also use case law to appeal to the FCC to move some of these  poorly placed 5g poles.  Heck, they could appeal to the FCC and ask to remove all of  them because of their environmental impact on a barrier island.  One of the biggest victories for those fighting 5g has been that the FCC just agreed that the emission standards from 1996 are inadequate to deal with 5g emission levels.   They stated that new levels of what is safe need to be defined.  (See ruling on our website). This is just one of the many discussions and debates shaping the conversation about 5g.    ALL of the discussion is favorable for local municipalities, but the question is does SRIA have the will to stand up and fight for the residents?  Clearly they could if they wanted to.

    Upon  discussion of what SRIA can and cannot do, according to a matrix written sometime ago and based on the powers  given them in state statute,  it became obvious that although SRIA has the ability to do things they may not because of the friction it may cause at the county level.  It also became clear that while some actions by leaseholders may  be illegal they do not want to enter into lawsuits because it is costly and timely.  This tone was implied  during  discussions on both STR and with 5g.  While I understand agencies not wanting to be litigious or at odds with the commission,  at what point are they supposed to place the interest of the residents first?  This has been a very frustrating area for me personally because the answer to the question is ALWAYS.

    At the end of the day we felt  the meeting was productive.  We discussed the many public works projects involving crossovers and how the mobi mats are not aiding in the growth of the dunes like the crossovers do.  We discussed the crosswalks, the boat ramp by the access road, the cut throughs,  and the dog parks and lack of enforcement thereof.    In many ways our county is broken and we as residents need to say enough is enough!   We cannot continue to let the county impose more and more on us without getting angry and speaking our minds.   It has been a tough two years on everyone. The businesses cannot find employees,  our liberties have  been checked,  and more and more often government ignores the will of its people.  

    We must take the time, yes,  make the time, to participate in local government. Our future and quality of life depend upon it.    I hope you will join us in October at our annual meeting  and in the meantime, challenge both the county and the SRIA to do what they are supposed to do

    Sincerely,

    Rhonda Dorfman

    PBA President

  • 09/02/2021 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    We are keeping our sign In for our clean ups at 7:45 am then we clean up the waterways and watershed from 8-9 am until the weather cools. Rain cancels our events. You can also check our events on our Facebook page and website for updates!

    September 4 (2 sites)

    1) Bob Sikes Bridge, South end, please park by the Grand Marlin.

    2) Naval Live Oaks, 1800 Gulf Breeze Parkway, 32561. We will be meeting by the visitor information center, please let the site captain know if you are willing to drive to another area of the park.

    September 11 (2 sites)

    1) Bay Bluffs Park, 3400 Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL. At the stoplight @ Summit and Scenic Hwy.

    2) Chimney Park, Langley and Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL

    All portions of Scenic need to be cleaned.

    If you would like to pick another spot please do and bring your trash to one of our sites to be disposed of.

    September 18 (3 sites) - INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP

    1)  Graffiti Bridge - N 17th Ave, Pensacola 32502

    2)  Quietwater Beach -  400 Quietwater Beach Road, PNS Beach 32561, meet by the Seashell

    3) Park West right before the entrance to Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach 32561. Please meet in the north parking lot. 

    September 25 (1 site) - Special pier and beach cleanup with NPS, 3rd Coast Divers, Perdido Key Rotary.

    More details to come.

    We hope to see you at a cleanup! If you have your own gloves, bucket or grabber, we encourage you to bring your own due to the pandemic. We will have our regular supplies on hand if you don't have these items (Gloves, grabbers, buckets, bags). Bring sunscreen and bug spray if needed, and lots of water. Closed toe shoes recommended. Kayaks for water cleanups are always welcome! Please wear your Ocean Hour shirt!



  • 09/02/2021 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    From PBA Member Rick Gordon:

    There are many ways, some small, some larger, to control parking on the beach.  

    1. Raise the bridge toll to $3-$5 to encourage car pooling and gain revenue for beach infrastructure.

    2. Raise the resident's annual pass back to the $50 it used to be.  Use the funds for beach infrastructure.

    3. Consider use of the GB school parking lots during the summer (non-school) season and supplement it with low cost or no cost jitney service to Casino Beach.

    4. Regarding parking meters .... as you know we frequent Bar Harbor (Maine).  The town, about the size of Gulf Breeze proper, implemented parking meters in 2020.  They are required from May 1 to October 31 - their prime season time.  I understand that they have collected more funds than anticipated - for town infrastructure use.

    Parking Information | Bar Harbor, ME - Official Website (barharbormaine.gov)

    Bar Harbor also has residential stickers - although for a different purpose than our hurricane passes!  I could see parking meters used in the large public lots on the beach at Casino Beach and Park West - BUT that could cause some crazy parking situations in ALL other locations - so, to me, items 1-3 are much better solutions.


  • 08/30/2021 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    Visit Pensacola Beach - Manatees on the Move!

    By Jessica Bibza

    Did you know manatees are being sighted with increasing frequency in Northwest Florida? More and more coastal residents and visitors are delighted as they see manatees when they are swimming, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, or spending time overlooking the water from their docks and balconies.

    Manatees were historically found primarily in peninsular Florida (Crystal River and further south), only occasionally ranging up along the northern Gulf or Atlantic Coasts. But in the Gulf of Mexico region, more and more manatees are wintering at Wakulla Springs in the eastern panhandle and then roaming further west during the summer.

    In fact, manatees have become such regular summer and fall visitors in Mobile Bay, AL that the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) started a Manatee Sighting Network (MSN) in 2009....

    To continue reading this article, click the link below:

    https://visitpensacolabeach.com/manatees-on-the-move-blog/

  • 07/26/2021 8:25 PM | Anonymous

    The Escambia County Building Services Department is offering a virtual two-day course on floodplain management on Wednesday, Sept. 15 and Thursday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

    Fundamentals of Floodplain Management will discuss elevation certificates, freeboard and hydrostatic vents. This introductory course will also focus on additional elements of floodplain management and details what Certified Floodplain Managers do in their day-to-day roles.

    The cost is $100 for Florida Floodplain Managers Association members and $300 for non-FFMA members. Register for the course online at FLfloods.org/calendar. For more information, contact Sally Cook at training@FLFloods.org

    Click HERE to view flyer.

  • 07/26/2021 7:28 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations!  If your reading this newspaper you survived the busiest week of the year on the beach,  or…you just got  into town!   After resting up and  putting my house back together,  I took a  quick survey of some of our PBA street captains and all seems well.  Rarely do I partake in the  madness at the core during Blue Angels, but I did this year and was impressed with the organized chaos.   The operation was the closest thing I’ve seen to Mardi Gras day in New Orleans,  and I thought all of our agencies did a great job.  From public works to the sheriff’s department it’s amazing how it all comes together so kudos to the  SRIA and Chamber for pulling it off year after year.  To our beach visitors I must say I saw the most creative parking I’ve  ever seen.   Thank you Blues for a great show!

    Just like the Back to School specials that begin to pop up after the 4th it’s back to work time for the Advocates too.   Advocate board members have been working hard  confirming stats and gathering data in preparation for a short term rental ad hoc  committee.  The goal will be  to pull together agencies in government and the private sector with the purpose of stopping vacation rentals from acting as an unregulated business on the beach, to improve safety,  and to prevent  the construction of anymore monster  hometels.  Commissioner Bender is set to unveil legislation in the Spring  for regulation and we are hoping that all agencies, both private and public  will better understand what can and can’t be legally done.  Members have been calling in and reporting infractions when they see them with thanks from Ms. Davis. 

    Under the new SRIA leadership we have seen improved communication and  response to complaints, enforcement  on lease violations, and progress with better signage at the dog parks.  Internally an effort is being made to provide more information to SRIA board members so they  can make informed decisions.  They were also able to get Verizon to make good  on a promise from December 2020  to paint the ugly 5g poles.  If you  want your swf painted please let Ms. Davis know as this was a test of the new color to see if they looked better. 

    In fact LOTS of forward progress has been made in the regulation of 5g.  Unfortunately it has had to come from residents filing suit with the FCC or complaining to their local governments non stop until they do something.   What we have consistently seen both locally and throughout the country is that the industry pushing 5g will come to the table to meet and comply with local governing agencies if the local governing agencies USE their voice to regulate  on behalf of their constituencies.  Please go to  pbadvocates.org to see all of the progress and how other counties on the Gulf Coast are addressing residential concerns over 5g  and how they negotiated for more aesthetically pleasing swf.  We have also posted a revised 2020 study which details the possible impact to migratory animals such as our nesting bids and sea turtles. 

    Enjoy your Summer.   When  you put away those summertime decorations make sure you know where your Christmas decorations are  because PBA will be hosting a Holiday Lights contest.  If  your not a member please join today.  Go to membership@pbadvocates.org

    Thank you for your support.

    Rhonda Dorfman

    PBA President


  • 07/15/2021 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    Read the following articles for more information and facts on 5G:

    9 Facts About 5G You Need To Know

    https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/facts-about-5g/

    Grassroots group plans 5G pole protest in Dewey Beach

    https://www.capegazette.com/article/grassroots-group-plans-5g-pole-protest-dewey-beach/222233

    New cell towers spoil the scenery and crowd people’s homes

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/5g-towers-dewey-beach/2021/07/11/455e3866-e0f4-11eb-9f54-7eee10b5fcd2_story.html?fbclid=IwAR1vSy8twmOIrKyiJMcL7VUwnn1buRjoWRvtBS8-yUTXuGij0YXPf2e1bvI

  • 05/18/2021 7:27 PM | Anonymous

    Click the link below to view the Northwest Florida Water Management District Flood M.A.P Program Virtual Open House Experience

    https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/e7d5c77dc3234e02934cb82b88f96981/


  • 05/10/2021 7:35 PM | Anonymous

    Hello Beach Residents! Welcome Guests! Welcome to this gorgeous place we call home.

    Spring is definitely in the air and the changes coming to Pensacola Beach are as fresh and welcomed as the weather. Just as we welcome in a new season we would also like to welcome Ms. Leigh Davis our new S.R.I.A. Executive Director and Mr. Juan Lemos, our new Director of Development and Environmental Services. ThePensacola Beach Advocates would like to officially welcome them to the most beautiful place they will ever work.

    We are so fortunate to have such qualified individuals assume the reins as Executive Director and as Environmental Services Director for the S.R.I.A. The S.R.I.A. Board also has a new chairman at the helm and it is our local elected member, Dr. Thomas Campanella. Just like the winds are always changing on the beach, I am hopeful that this new leadership brings many welcomed changes to our local governing body. At the Advocates, polling of our members suggest we can improve the governance of local matters on the beach. During this research, we discovered SRIA is defined as a dependent board having authority over the municipal affairs on the beach.

    As you know all of our county commissioners have an appointment to the board, and we the residents have an elected representative. Do you really know what S.R.I.A has the authority to do? The statutes gives them the ability to not only manage the leases on the beach but to do so much more…and they have the ability to enforce it. If you are a member of PBA, check out the document on our website. It reads like a city charter.

    I bring all of this up because recently we have had problems similar to those of other beach towns in the state of Florida. We have had a proliferation of “hometels,” 5g poles that were erected without proper committee approval, unlicensed businesses operating illegally, and decisions made unilaterally that should have been heard and debated by the SRIA board. At S.R.I.A. board members have committees that they have been assigned where most matters should be discussed before decisions are made. It seems like policies get created, but very little input is given by the board members who are appointed to serve.

    The majority of residents do not want the S.R.I.A. to go away. In fact, the staff receive very commendable remarks. We want our dependent governing board to bare their teeth, show some grit, and flex their muscles where the statutes say they can. I hope that the relationship our chairman and new executive director will bring to the table will be one of extensive dialogue, debate, and exchange before decisions are made. Welcome to the most beautiful beach in the world… let’s keep it that way. If you would like to join the Pensacola Beach Advocates please go to our website at pbadvocates.org and join today. Make your voice heard exponentially when we meet, share, and educate on matters that count for the residents and leaseholders on the beach. Also save the date -June 5th - for the Sea Turtle Homecoming and Baby Shower. Permits and planning are in the works.

    Rhonda Dorfman

    PBA President


  • 04/29/2021 1:54 PM | Anonymous

    Dive a little deeper and you’ll discover Pensacola Beach hosts a fragile and diverse eco-system with abundant wildlife and plant life: from the inquisitive Bottlenose dolphin to the mighty Bald eagle to the rarest of all sea turtles – the Kemp’s Ridley. All call our pristine beach home. Did you know we even have carnivorous plants on Pensacola Beach? (Don’t worry – Sundews prefer to eat insects.)

    The SRIA recently launched a new, content-rich website showcasing the many unique creatures and features of Santa Rosa Island. The Pensacola Beach Eco Trail website is an extension of the physical “Footprints in the Sand” Eco Trail on Pensacola Beach, which consists of nearly three dozen informative, educational signs scattered across the island. An interactive map hosted on the website guides visitors along the physical trail, which stretches from just outside the Gulf Islands National Seashore Fort Pickens gate to Park East – just before the Opal Beach area.

    Stunning imagery and videos illustrate the wide variety of plant and animal life that can be found here. Nearly all of the photos and videos showcased have been graciously shared by 21 local photographers and videographers, and the written content for the site was contributed by subject matter experts.

    So, dive in here to discover the many natural wonders of Pensacola Beach. Or, better yet, grab your hat and binoculars and go explore the actual trail along our beautiful barrier island in person, with the aid of the virtual map embedded on the site.

    Read the full article HERE.


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