Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida on August 24, 1998 · Page 19
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Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida · Page 19

Tallahassee, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, August 24, 1998
Page 19
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Monday, August 24, 1998 Tallahassee ' Democrat , I i ! Calendar, 2 Briefs, 4 ! Obituaries, 5 ' Whafs in a name? : tai streets have similar monikers, one's got to go. 2 ww.tallahassee.com boeahState Winners should honor unsung 'state heroes Mi Bill Cotterell STATE AGENCIES Memo to Jeb Bush and Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay: please pencil in "lunch with 1,000 or so state employees" on your calendar for Nov. 10, precisely one week after one of you gets elected governor. The same goes for Cabinet candidates. And Gov. Lawton Chiles, too, might want to take . a break from hunting what-ever's in season during the fall to drop by the Civic Center that , Afternoon and say "thanks" to pie people who have worked . for him these past eight years. . I That's when the Davis Pro- ' Suctivity Awards will mark their 10th anniversary of sing- ing the praises of the "unsung heroes" of state government The cash awards, plaques and (certificates of merit are pre- r sented annually to individuals, ieams of state workers and en-iire state agencies that show Jnitiative in holding down costs, increasing productivity andor ' collecting state revenue that !used to fall through the cracks. The slate nominates its best si More than 3,000 state employees have been recognized 'by the Davis awards since 1988. i Florida TaxWatch, which administers the awards program, ;estimates the value of employee suggestions at $2.5 billion in deduced operating expenses or ; enhanced revenue collection. J "This year, nearly 700 nominations have been received 'from state agencies, the courts 'and the university system," ;said Dominic Calabro, president of TaxWatch. "These ! nominations represent the best I throughout state government individuals who strive to j make government effective, ef- . i ficient and accountable to the ) taxpayers of our state." Past winners have included: f B Liz House, a research and training specialist at the i Agency for Health Care Admin- istration who developed a com-! puter program called "Sigma" j that cuts processing time for I third-party insurance claims in ; the Medicaid program. Tax- Watch estimates $2.2 million was recovered from insurance companies in the first seven months that AHCA used Sigma. Jeffrey Weller, an envi- ronmental specialist for the Department of Transportation ) who saved nearly $2 million by ( designing a new method to ; handle stormwater. I The staff of the Bureau of Teacher Certification, which ! facing a 40-percent work ; I force reduction put in 13,000 unpaid hours to ensure the ; safety of school kids. ' Mark your calendars now ; Not to throw a damper on ;the enthusiasm of TaxWatch ) and other Davis Award corpo-' rate sponsors and not wanting to take anything away from i the efforts of those teacher-certification folks why were they allowed to log all that unpaid overtime? The Labor Department's wage and hour people might want to log a little produitivity-enhancing time finding out how that happened. ' But the Davis Awards named for the archly conservative Jacksonville brothers who founded the Winn-Dixie grocery stores are a fine tribute to state employees. They really recognize what's right in state e government The big luncheon on Nov. 10 will be a chance for the next governor and Cabinet crew to pay their overdue respects. heller's ne wwing i louche dbyan angel ! "When we're surrounded by beauty, I think it 's healing, " says the woman who donated the artwork. . By Karen E. Olson DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER Shewears a long teal robe and carries a bouquet of blush-colored roses. At night, the light from The Shelter transforms her opalescent wings into prisms f 'J casting rain- r-bows across ,"4 Tennessee Street. She's the stained-glass Tn( AmG shelter's new COMECTION Women's Center. And she's the creation of Dr. Noreen LeGare, who wanted to give homeless women a taste of beauty and a source of inspiration. "It's a different kind of food," explained LeGare, 43, a marriage and family therapist "It's a kind of ""X LeGare The counselor wanted to give homeless women a taste of beauty and a source of inspiration. spiritual food. It's like someone planting a garden in your living room ... When we're surrounded by beauty, I think it's healing." The counselor has always loved the look of stained glass". "Every time I saw it I would 'ooh' and 'ah,'" she said. "In my mind, I said, Tm going to learn to do this before I die.' About three years ago, 1 said, 'What am I waiting for? " ' LeGare has made dozens of gifts for her friends. This spring, while reading a book about meaningful ways to exercise creativity, she decided to share her passion with the larger community. "I realized stained glass is something that not everybody gets to see," she said. "Glass is expen sive. It's a labor-intensive kind of work. So it's kind of a luxury item, for people with resources." She knew people who cooked for The Shelter. When she called to offer her artistry, she didn't realize a new women's wing was opening. "I was completely thrilled when I went over there to see the new place," she said. "They had a 50-inch square window. It was like the dream window for a stained-glass person ... It felt like serendipity." She chose her angelic design from a pattern in the Carousel Collection. During her summer travels, she used free moments to wrap copper foil around each of the window's 100-or-so pieces. Chuck Ale and Karen Pritzl of Florida Stained Glass donated the materials and helped complete the figure. It was installed in July by Richard Vowles of Klnco Ltd. "It was a pleasure to do it," LeGare said. "It wasn't a chore in any way." As a therapist, she has worked with many women in crisis. Although she's never felt threatened by the possibility of homelessness, she realizes her luck could change. "I truly believe that anything can happen to anyone," she said. "It's not like anyone is ever immune to having tragedy hit them. I've seen people faced with life-threatening illnesses. ... When I see that, I do think, 'That could be me, that could be my husband.' " Next, the center needs bus Springtime near Tallahassee i 1 -. T lip hi 'Tl I ... fl 1 ' ; r x Tallahaee Summertime , is springtime for Clay Brackin, who is swimming at Sulphur Spring, and Russell Leamon, who is preparing to jump. The popular watering hole is on Old Plank Road in Newport. CAROL CLEEREDemocrat KA ci- I (363) mi I Newport Spring fto&J ' i (old Sulphur Spring) ' ! J CO JOHN ROBERGEOemocrat Tucked away in tiny Newport is icy Sulphur Spring, once believed to have medicinal powers. Today, many locals seek it out as an antidote to the summer heat. By Kathleen Laufenberg DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER NEWPORT Dust billows behind your car as you rumble down the chalky dirt road that leads to Sulphur Spring in Wakulla County. On a; recent weekday morning e with school back in session' and most folks at work the an- 4 cient and popu lar watering hole on Old Plank Road in Newport was deserted. "Golden straws of sunlight fell through the trees. A tidy row of discarded shoes flip-flops, huara-ches, black ballerina flats mys- Place I Place Maps is an occasional feature spotlighting the Big Bend's special places. For the summer months, it will take readers on the road to the coast and other cool spots. If you'd like to share an idea, please vrite us at 277 N. Magnolia Drive, 32301; fax us at 599-2295; or e-mail us at tdfeatrstdo.infi.net teriously lined the water's edge. Beside them lay a hooked tree branch, shaped just right for snag ging the sink's rope-swing. And in the cold, clear spring below, finger fish flickered, shiny as new dimes. Spring-fed sinkholes such as this one used extensively by locals, but lying mostly on St Joe Co. property are what make the Big Bend unique. Unfortunately, many sinks have been cordoned off by property owners because of trash and misdeeds. But Sulphur Spring is still clean. And so you drink in the spring's Please see SPRING, 4C Mitchell running as 'open-minded' alternative The first-limp candidate describes himself as "more concerned about people" than state Sen. Charles Williams. By Bill Cotterell DEMOCRAT CAPITOL BUREAU CHIEF Anticipating the question asked most often by voters, Richard Mitchell sometimes prefaces his stump speech by asking, "Why am I running for the Florida Senate?" Sometimes, in candidate forums across the 18-county fourth Senate district, the answer to Mitchell's question is smiling right back at him: Sen. Charles Williams, D-Tallahassee, the conservative incumbent who has represented the Big Bend and top of Florida since 1992. Mitchell He's pro-choice on abortion, supports affirmative action and described last week's "sales tax holiday" as "ridiculous." Mitchell, a former Navy jet pilot making his first bid for public office, shies away from describing himself as more liberal than Williams. He prefers to see himself as "more concerned about people," claiming that Williams has shown greater devotion to big business especially the insurance industry in his legislative tenure. "I'm not more liberal," Mitchell told an interviewer, "but I'm more open-minded." This story is part of a series of profiles leading up to the Sept 1 primary. "N l ienaie i District incumbent Charles Williams will be profiled on Tuesday. When challenging an incumbent, it is always necessary to make that person the issue. Mitchell seeks to do that by questioning virtually everything Williams has done in politics. Williams moved from Suwannee County to Tallahassee; Mitchell, who opens every speech by noting "I'm, a sixth-generation North Floridian and farmer," said he will stay in Jasper if elected. Mitchell is pro-choice on abortion and supports affirmative action, two positions opposed by Williams. The senator voted for last week's "sales tax holiday" and the $50 state payment to homeowners that Gov. Lawton Chiles vetoed. "It's about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Mitchell said of the tax breaks. "Sure, it's nice to get away from taxes but ultimately, who does it benefit? It benefits business and we need to focus on people." With students attending classes Please see MITCHELL, 3C A stained- '". glass angel, created and donated by Dr. Noreen : I LeGare, watches over residents of The Shelter's new Women's Z- Center. ; Special to the Democrat - ' passes for volunteers. Call 224-8448. J IN BRIEF H ; Helpful events for golfers, advocates and students : The Red Cross (878-6080) j Please see CARING, 2C Chalk dust or politics? In a wide-open race for education commissioner, who is best-suited for the job a politician or an educator? By Gary Fineout DEMOCRAT CAPITOL BUREAU Before Frank Brogan, the political path to education commissioner usually meant a trip from the fourth floor of the Capitol to the first The three education commissioners before him who served a total of 24 years were all former state legislators. Unlike them, Brogan in 1994 made the leap from educator to education commissioner. A former teacher, principal and school superintendent in Martin County, Brogan who has pushed school reforms has been a fairly popular education commissioner. He appeared a shoo-in for re-election with a hefty campaign treasury and little opposition. Then he jumped onto Republican Jeb Bush's gubernatorial ticket and cleared the way for what has become the most active Cabinet race of the Sept. 1 primary. Three Democrats state Rep. Keith Arnold, Peter Rudy Wallace and Ron Howard and two Republicans state Rep. Faye Culp and Tom Gallagher are running to succeed Brogan as the top advocate for education in Florida. And with the crowded field of candidates has come the question of who is best-suited for the job a politician or an educator? Two of the candidates are legislators one of whom has teaching experience. Two others are former state lawmakers. And the other is a former Palm Beach County commissioner and retired teacher. Former Education Commissioner Ralph Turlington said the job requires more than just an understanding of how schools operate. "It is not a job of administering education," said Turlington, who is now retired and living in Tallahassee. "You're not there operating a school, you're not there teaching a student You are working to bring about attention to education. You've got the bully pulpit for education in the state." Turlington, who following a brief career as a professor at the University of Florida, spent 22 years as a legislator before serving as commissioner from 1974 to 1987. Two other recent commissioners Doug Jamerson and Betty Castor worked in public schools, but they were better known as state legislators. Please see EDUCATION, 5C uffii ifll ' 1 i li fci ! k fca hi tim Am toiimhtltmkhkh.M h 'H .M ifr..frViflTiiiiifr!lNrh i .rfmr ! fc fc lnVfcjhl JHtb-ii fN rVn Kif fc h" fc. frn, JfcTt fmnnftfofc,, fnn J

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