Many years ago I became an avid reader of food labels. Cans, boxes, bags, packaged meats, even deli foods … and it opened my eyes to what was being sold to us as food. I admit to becoming evangelical on the subject, and there are people who groan as soon as I raise it … again.

But many others have responded in a gratifying way, professing shock and amazement at what is in food they have consumed for years without giving a second thought  to its contents.


Alzheimer’s research is getting a boost from the American Association of Retired Persons, which recently announced a major financial commitment to help put development of new drugs on a fast track.

“Alzheimer’s is a 100% fatal disease,” said AARP Florida spokesperson Dave Bruns, referencing the fact that there is currently no cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. “So, this is among the grimmest diagnoses that one can receive and it ranks among AARP members as one of their top fears.”

University of West Florida

Dr. Denise Seabert has taken over as the new dean of the Usha Kundu, MD College of Health at the University of West Florida. "I came to Pensacola from Ball State University (in Indiana). I was there for the last 15 years, coordinating a school health program, and then over the last few years helping to grow a new college of health there."

WUWF Public Media

With the August 28 primary looming, candidates for local and statewide offices are ratcheting up their campaigns. In the first of a two-part report, WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks at the grassroots races.

Fifty-two candidates are on the ballot for 21 seats in Escambia County government and the judiciary. Much of the attention will be on the higher-profile races – Pensacola Mayor and City Council, along with the Escambia County Commission.

WUWF Public Media

In second and final part of our report on the August 28 primary ballot we look at the statewide races, which are expected to be the usual knock-down drag-out affairs.

Gov. Rick Scott is termed out, and there’s a fairly crowded field in the race to succeed him. Seventeen candidates – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, other third parties, and those with no party affiliation – are in the crowded ballot.

But while many are running, few are considered to be serious candidates.

Clipart by Scout

Education officials across Florida are digging into the details of their school and district grades for the 2017-18 school year to see where they can make improvements when classes resume this fall.

The Florida Department of Education released the grades on June 27.

Florida now has more than 1,000 “A” schools (1,027 schools) up from 987 in 2017 and 763 in 2016. The percentage of schools earning an "A" increased to 32 percent, up from 30 percent in 2016-17.


We recently traveled to Canada, about 60 miles north of Toronto. We stayed in a resort that offers skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, golf, hiking and mountain biking in the summer.

We were near Barrie, a lakefront town of about 130,000 people. The area is rural, agricultural and tourist, with shorelines on Lake Ontario.

We could have been in the U.S.; they drive like we do, there is just about every chain restaurant and big box store you can name., and the people are friendly.

University of West Florida

The results of the Performance Based Funding Metrics for Florida’s 11 state universities have been released, and it’s good news for the University of West Florida. That has not always been the case. The first year the funding metrics were used, UWF only 21 out of 50 possible points, which was the lowest of all universities in the state. This year, the story is very different. "We are at 86 of a possible 100 points! That is the highest amount that the university has reached so far" said UWF President Dr. Martha Saunders.

Council on Aging of NWFL

When a new baby is brought home, preparations have been made to keep the child safe from hazards around the house. But many seniors are also in need of many of the same protections.

According to the website about 7,000 elderly deaths are reported as a result of home-related accidents, while millions of others suffer injuries – through falls, burns, drowning, and other accidents.

Jazz Pensacola

Jazz Pensacola is collaborating with the West Florida Public Library to present a Jazz Film Series on Sundays throughout July.

The series features four films that were all released between 1955 and 1961. One is a fictional story, but the others are biopics, chronicling the lives of three musicians who were contemporaries and each became famous in the 1930’s and 40’s. 

“The first one is this Sunday and it’s The Benny Goodman Story,” said Jazz Pensacola co-founder and jazz aficionado Norman Vickers, who helped to pull the series together.

Downtown Improvement Board

Do you have issues when it comes to parking in downtown Pensacola? You’re not alone, according to a new study from the University of West Florida’s Haas Business Center. 

Researchers gathered the data between May 18-June 8. The margin of error is four percentage points and  the survey was a “multi-modal” survey – that is, using a number of methods -- with some help from the Downtown Improvement Board.

National History Day

Max Mateer, a student who will be entering his sophomore year at Pensacola High School in the fall, took home first prize this month at the National History Day Contest finals in College Park, Maryland. It’s the second year in a row that Max has taken first prize in the performance category. He says it was entering the contest in the first place that actually sparked his love of history. "It was part of the gifted class that I was in.


People of a certain age will identify with this sad story. The rest of you, well, you will understand it soon enough. And while I say it’s sad, the good news is that it is redeemed by a happy ending.

The theme is that while we can be stupid, we can also be brilliant. Or, something like it, anyway.

Recently I was scrounging some free firewood from a tree sawed up and left on the curb on West Garden Street. It was conveniently cut into firewood length, so all I had to do was load it into my truck.

And they’re off! 

Florida's primary election season is underway after qualifying ended on Friday.

It’s a full plate for voters in Pensacola, with seats up for grabs on the City Council, Escambia County Commission, the Florida and U.S. Houses of Representatives, as well as an open seat for Pensacola Mayor.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida conducted excavations this summer at the Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site in Milton.

This latest round of research aims to add to the story of the Arcadia Mill Homestead, with a focus on the enslaved people who worked and lived there.

Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce

How do those running for local office stand on certain issues? Do you want more information on them before voting in the August 28 primary? The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is on it.

The Chamber is sending out questionnaires to a number of candidates for local offices.

“We view our role as getting information to people unfiltered, unbiased. But we do not endorse, we do not take positions on candidates,” said Todd Thomson, the Chamber’s VP of Public Affairs.


In this week’s Gulf Stories Moment, Dr. Amy Mitchell-Cook, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of West Florida, discusses the historical significance of the timber industry along the Gulf Coast.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Students whose families live in the Navy Federal area of Escambia County are gearing up to attend two brand new schools.

Members of the media gathered at Beulah Middle School’s main lobby area on Wednesday, taking in that “new school smell.”

The school is 205,000 square feet under one roof  and cost $45 million, funded by the Local Option Sales Tax. Eventual student capacity will be around 1,200.

The first stop on the tour – led by Assistant Principal Marietta McCaskill – was a state-of-the art gymnasium for the Beulah Bears.