Rainy, cool, & flat so far. I’ll let you know if conditions change…in the meantime…
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, Oct. 26, 2009……A Seaside restaurateur said Monday he wants thousands of Floridians to hit the beaches to fight offshore oil-drilling along the state’s Gulf coast.
Dave Rauschkolb, owner of Bud and Alley’s and two other beachside restaurants in the Panhandle resort town, has launched an effort dubbed Hands Across the Sand, which is emerging as the first grassroots opposition to the oil-drilling effort led by Florida Energy Associates, a group of independent oil producers.
Rauschkolb’s goal is to get Floridians to hold hands and literally form a line in the sand to oppose drilling.
The demonstration is planned for Feb. 13 – the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend. Rauschkolb said the event will be accelerated if a special legislative session includes drilling before lawmakers are scheduled to convene in March.
Among the early supporters is former Sen. Jack Latvala, a Republican looking to return to the chamber he left through term limits in 2002. Latvala has promised to organize the Pinellas County protest in February.
“We’ve got 26 miles of beaches in Pinellas County,” Latvala said. “We don’t have a lot of money to hire PR firms or spread it around Florida. But we’re going to have a lot of bodies on the beaches, and I think that’ll say something.”
“I think it will send a very strong visual message,” said Rauschkolb. “I don’t believe that a majority of Floridians want to have oil rigs off our coast. If we get people out, it will show that.”
Rauschkolb developed a website – www.handsacrossthesand.com – to get word out about the event.