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sneakin sally

Beach Comber
Jul 13, 2007
Point Washington

Lessee if I got it right...

FL Energy Assoc. represents out-of-state interests who will profit from drilling off our coasts. Even if it puts our income and property values at risk.

Hands Across the Sand represents actual citizens dependent on our vacation economy, the thousands who enjoy visiting our area, and the property owners, local and remote, who have invested their hard-earned money here.

Does it make me a NIMBY to support Hands? I don't really care what you call me. I know that big money interests always do what they can to paint their opponents as illogical, lacking common sense, liberal, petty-minded, unpatriotic, or whatever. In doing so, they usually gain the support of some of the electorate, who lack the ability to see that they are simply being used. Because, in the end, the big money interests are only interested in themselves.

Dave and friends, I'll be there Feb. 13.


Beach Lover
Nov 14, 2009
Walton County, FL
R Shaffer Revives the Local Hands Across the Sand Movement

R Shaffer's letter published in the Nov 14th edition of the Walton Sun has revived the local fledgling Hands Across the Sand movement. It has been years since anything has riled up local Walton County citizens and 30-A transplants any more than Shaffer's letter and the numerous editorial responses from Sun readers as recently published in the last two editions of the Sun. It seems that the local Hands Across the Sand movement should extend its gratitude to R. Shaffer for fueling debate that has provided the movement much needed local press exposure and notoriety.
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Dave Rauschkolb

Beach Fanatic
Jul 13, 2005
Santa Rosa Beach
Hands Across The Sand In the News

November 27, 2009

St. Joe Company mum on offshore oil drilling

The News-Press Capital Bureau
TALLAHASSEE ? Northwest Florida, proud home of turquoise waters and sugar-sand beaches, has become ground zero in the fight against the Legislature's push for offshore drilling.

At the center of one movement is David Rauschkolb, a surfer turned successful restaurateur and the force behind the statewide Hands Across the Sand protest. Another is Northwest Florida attorney, Billy Buzzett, who is about to launch an anti-drilling ballot initiative.

Chambers of Commerce and county commissions from Pensacola to Destin have passed anti-drilling resolutions. Yet to weigh in, however, is St. Joe Company, the second-largest private landowner in the state.

Special coverage: Visit our special page covering the oil drilling issue, which includes videos, an interactive graphic, photos and more.

In the middle of transforming more than 500,000 acres into beachfront villas and vacation homes, the St. Joe has been absent in the debate. Officials referred all questions to a spokesman who did not return calls.

"I haven't heard anything from the company, but for as long as I've known St. Joe, they've always played things pretty close to the vest," Rauschkolb said.

Through interviews, discussions with his customers at Bud and Alley's, a Seaside landmark, and through his Web site,, Rauschkolb is urging opponents to hit the beach Feb. 13, weeks before the start of the next legislative session.

"If we could get hundreds of thousands of people to go to the beach, we could get the people in Tallahassee to listen," he said. "I'm in the Gulf every day, I taste the water. It's something I'm very passionate about. I'm also a businessman."

Buzzett is no stranger to legislative politics or the Florida Constitution he wants to amend. He's a former executive director of the Constitution Revision Commission and a former St. Joe vice president. Buzzett left St. Joe on July 31 after it downsized. He said he has severed all professional ties to the company.

"I'm very strongly against it," Buzzett said of offshore drilling. "I really think it's a bad idea. This is a good way to have a debate and let the voters decide."

Buzzett is working with environmental activist Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation. They are shopping the proposal to lawmakers in hopes someone will file a joint resolution, the fastest route to the ballot.

But they also are willing to begin gathering the more than 676,000 signatures they would otherwise need to reach the ballot. There would be little hope, however, of collecting the necessary signatures they need before a Feb. 1 deadline for reaching the 2010 ballot.
Either way, Buzzett said, the measure would be a good way to test recent polls that show a majority of Floridians support drilling.

Drilling proponents insist technology has made the risk of a spill negligible. They also say once wells are in production, operations would be submerged, with no rigs to mar the horizon or interfere with training flights from the Panhandle's seven Air Force and Navy training bases every year.

Combined, the military bases account for 70,000 jobs and a $15 billion economic impact. With no legislation available for review, business leaders say they aren't willing to gamble.
"For us, it was an easy vote," said Dawn Moliterno, president and CEO of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. "We just don't believe there is enough information to put our primary industries at risk."

St. Joe has been just as cautious about staking out a position. St. Joe executive Stephen Hilliard sits on the board of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, but he joined the board after it approved its anti-drilling resolution. He declined to be interviewed.
Another St. Joe executive, Jerry Ray, is board member of The Great Northwest, a Panhandle business development group. He was absent when the group passed a resolution that opposes drilling in the military exclusion zones in Northwest Florida.
St. Joe's third-quarter standard financial filing warns investors about the "possible negative effects from oil or natural gas drilling, if allowed off of the coast of Northwest Florida."
Sen. Mike Haridopolos, a Merritt Island Republican who is next in line to be Senate president and sponsor of drilling legislation in his chamber, said he has had no communication from St. Joe about the issue.

Even if St. Joe came out against it, it wouldn't matter, he said. Senate President Jeff Atwater has outlined a process of fact finding and hearings before bills will be heard.
"I'm sure they'll give us their take on it," Haridopolos said. "Right now, we're taking it out of the political arena and just looking for the facts. No one company, no one individual, is going to take precedence over the facts.",0,3196090.column


SoWal Expert
May 8, 2007
St. Joe supporting offshore drilling would be the stupidest and most environmentally damaging thing they have ever done - and that is saying a lot! :blink:


Beach Fanatic
Aug 10, 2009
I back Dave R. 100%. No drilling off shore of FLA and I will go further and say no off shore drilling. Bring it all back to SW Louisiana, and I will not need a "locals club card" for B&A establishments (not that I really do). I used by my Bruno's card today for a wonderful pizza. They even "gave" me some cinnamon knots! That's class!

I just had to show my DL a few months back to get the card and didn't have to beg......not even ask twice. Of course, I remember the Bruno's pizza slice advertisements that were at Tom Thumbs's 14 to 15 years ago. But then again, I am not a local. Sad part is, I could probably dig one up one of those slices!

Good luck on no off shore drilling. I do remember the Galveston beaches. They were really bad.
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