Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Town Hall meeting on Drought and Climate in the ACF Basin

Town Hall Community Meeting – Free & Open to the Public
Apalachicola Community Center
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 5:00 – 7:00PM

Let’s talk about the weather! Rather, how does climate variability and drought in the Apalachicola-Chatahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin effect the Apalachicola Bay resource? How do changes in the ACF basin translate downstream? Join us for this special presentation by Puneet Srivistava and David Zierden two of our nation’s climate and hydrology experts, followed by questions and discussion.

This Town Hall Community Meeting is supported by:

Auburn University
Florida State University
UF Oyster Recovery Team and Climate Institute
Environmental & Global Health, University of Florida
UF Center for Public Issues Education
National Integrated Drought Information System
National Weather Service
Florida Sea Grant
Franklin’s Promise Coalition
City of Apalachicola

Contact Andy Kane for more information, KANE@UFL.EDU.

Apalachicola Reserve Hosts Workshop on Bay Friendly Landscaping

~Learn to how to make your yard a pleasant space and help improve water quality~

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will be hosting a bay friendly landscaping workshop on Friday, September  30, 2016, from 1:00-3:30 pm. Yard design and maintenance can have a big effect on adjacent water bodies. Participants in the workshop will learn about resources to help them transform their yard into a luscious bay conscious landscape. The class will also feature innovative Green Infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs, and bio-swales.

Following the discussion portion of the workshop participants will have the option, for a small fee, to assemble their own rain barrel that they can take home. The workshop will be held at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. The class is free, but rain barrels are $20.00 per barrel. Please register for the class in advance.

For more information, contact Emily Jackson at 850-670-7743 or send an email to

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Artist Residency with Joseph Palmerio

Monday, November 28 to Friday, December 2, 2016
Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art
86 Water Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320

Joseph Palmerio is teaching a 3-day workshop, offering a combination of still life and landscape painting, while exploring various palettes. We would like to welcome students with disabilities, including wheelchairs.  Classes will be held downstairs at the Center for History, Culture and Art.  He will give a demo before each exercise so the student has a working knowledge of what it is he is asking them to do. Beginners and experienced painters are welcome.   Mr. Palmerio is an art specialist with 7 years’ experience teaching with disabled populations for the City of Philadelphia.

On Thursday, December 1, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, medical and educational professionals are invited to join Joseph as he shares his expertise as a teaching artist working with disabled individuals.  Friday, December 2, Joe will be visiting students in the classroom.

Cost, $15 for the first day, $20 for two days and $25 for three days, per student, including lunch.  For additional information, please contact: Paulette Moss, Director, at or call 855-APALACH (855-272-5224)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Food Benefit Replacement

Families and individuals who are current food assistance clients may receive replacement of benefits for the value of the food lost because of damage suffered to their home or sustained electrical outages during Hurricane Hermine.

To report food loss or to request replacement benefits, customers can obtain the Food Assistance Replacement Authorization Form by clicking the link below. Customers can submit the form via fax at 1-866-886-4342 or by mailing it to: ACCESS Central Mail Center, P.O. Box 1770, Ocala, FL 34478-1770. Or local fax 850-821-8476.

NOTE: The deadline for submitting the form is September 14, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Graham Asks President Obama to Approve Federal Disaster Assistance

U.S. Representative Gwen Graham Florida's 2nd District
Photo credit Graham's Twitter Page

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As North Florida recovers from Hurricane Hermine, Representative Gwen Graham has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to quickly approve any request from the state for federal disaster assistance.

"Hurricane Hermine and subsequent flooding have caused more damage than North Florida has seen in a generation," Representative Graham said. "We need all hands on deck to help Florida families recover. I hope the president will quickly approve any request by the governor for federal assistance."

Representative Graham sent the letter in advance of the state's likely request for federal assistance to bolster their effort with bipartisan support. State and federal officials are in the process of assessing damages from the category one storm.

Representative Graham has been in communication with state and federal officials since the storm was predicted to hit Tallahassee. Throughout the storm and in the recovery effort, she has been updating constituents on social media, supporting local response efforts and volunteering with the Red Cross and Salvation Army. 

A full copy of Representative Graham's letter is attached and the text is copied, below:

Dear Mr. President:

Hurricane Hermine wreaked substantial damage to private property and public infrastructure in and around my North Florida Congressional district.

As of this morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working with the State of Florida on damage assessments to determine whether federal assistance is warranted. After spending the last several days visiting with people affected by the storm and being briefed by emergency response officials, I strongly believe that federal assistance is necessary.

If Governor Rick Scott makes a request for assistance, I urge you to expeditiously approve that request and focus all appropriate federal resources to help local and state officials with the recovery. Your timely response will help affected citizens and communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

The parts of North Florida which received the brunt of this hurricane are unique to our state and nation. The path of the storm significantly impacted the Florida state capital of Tallahassee and the surrounding "Big Bend" region, an area which had not experienced tropical weather of this magnitude in more than three decades. Communities to the west and southeast of Tallahassee were also affected by Hurricane Hermine. This includes the Forgotten and Nature Coasts -- a series of coastal communities on the Gulf of Mexico known for their unspoiled shoreline, pristine natural estuaries, and traditional fishing communities which were fighting for economic survival even before the storm hit. 

We have citizens throughout North Florida who have lost their homes and livelihoods and are still without essential services. They need our help, and they need it now. 

Although the storm has passed, we must not lose the urgency to help families and communities recover from Hurricane Hermine. Thank you in advance for expediting federal assistance once requested. 


Gwen Graham
Member of Congress

Emergency Bridge Loan Program Activated to Aid Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Hermine

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist,
Encourages Businesses to Complete Disaster Assessment

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) - Florida businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Hermine may now apply for short-term, interest-free loans through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Activated on Tuesday by Governor Rick Scott, the bridge loan program helps bridge the gap for small businesses between the time impact occurs until other resources are available, including insurance claims or federal assistance. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2016.

Under the program, eligible small businesses with two to 100 employees can apply for loans for up to $25,000 for 90 or 180 day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to August 31, 2016, be located in the 51 affected counties, and demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Hermine.

The following Florida counties are currently approved for the emergency bridge loan program: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, St Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Governor Scott has allocated $10 million from the General Revenue Fund for the program.

The State of Florida is assessing the damage caused by the recent storm. Small businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Hermine are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey. The survey will help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. To take the survey, please visit

The Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance, can provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

"Our goal is to ensure that small businesses impacted by Hurricane Hermine have access to the resources needed to recover as quickly as possible," said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC Network. "We want businesses to know that we're here to help. Our mission is to help small businesses succeed - especially in times of need."

For more information, and to submit an application, please visit

For questions about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program and how the Florida SBDC can help, please contact Florida SBDC Network Headquarters Disaster Coordinator Gerry Goldstein at (850) 898-3489.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

The Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016. Since its inception, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 401,475 hours of consulting to 45,502 client businesses, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained and saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; $947.4 million in capital investments; and 3,857 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network's designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Forgotten Coast En Plein Air recipient of 2016 Henry Flagler Award

Franklin and Gulf County representatives of the Forgotten Coast En Plein Air were on hand tonight at the 2016 Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism held at the Orlando Hilton to receive one of the prestigious Henry Flagler Awards.

The award was in the category of Rural County Marketing for the 2015 Forgotten Coast En Plein Air 10th Anniversary Celebration guide.

The Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism is the premier annual educational conference for the Florida tourism industry and is designed and coordinated by VISIT FLORIDA, the Official Tourism Marketing Corporation for the State of Florida.

The awards named for Henry Flagler were established in 2000 to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Each year, the Flagler Awards honors both individuals and organizations that help position Florida as the number one travel destination in the world.

Flagler was an American industrialist and a founder of Standard Oil. He was also a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida and founder of what became the Florida East Coast Railway.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Notice to City of Apalachicola Utility Bill Customers

Due to Hurricane Hermine, the due date for City of Apalachicola utility bills has been extended to September 14th.  ACH payments will post on September 9th.  Utility bills were mailed out on Thursday, September 1st.  If you don’t receive your bill by September 7th, please contact City Hall at 850-653-9319 to receive your payment amount.

Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners Meets Today at 6

The Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners will hold its regular scheduled monthly meeting today, September 6, 2016, at 6:00 P.M. EDT, inside the Battery Park Community Center at 1 Bay Avenue – Apalachicola.

Topping today's agenda will be a Community Service Award presented to Helen Willis-Escobar for her work with the youth of Apalachicola while overseeing the City of Apalachicola Youth Center. Along with the appointment of a Citizens Board to make recommendations to the City Commission on changes to the city ordinances governing the hours of operations of bars and restaurants and the consumption of alcohol on the public right-of-way.

You can view the full agenda along with meeting documents by visit the official website of the City of Apalachicola at or by clicking the link below.

As always the public is invited and encouraged to attend all meetings of the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners in order to stay informed concerning the operation of city government.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Live Storm Update and Safety Tips from Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson Tomorrow on CNN’s New Day

Tune in tomorrow morning, September 2, 2016, to “New Day” on CNN (Apalachicola Mediacom Channel 35) between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. EDT, and join Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson, as he appears on the show via satellite to give an update and safety tips concerning Hurricane Hermine. New Day is a national morning show of Cable News Network (CNN).