Have 5 minutes? Catch up on what's newsworthy about:
Following are excerpts from newspapers, magazines, press releases and online news in chronological order starting with most recent:
New State Pier Rises from the Gulf
Mobile Press-Register, December, 2007
The new Gulf State Pier will be bigger & better, with more space and nicer amenities! With construction already started and pilings on the way, the foundation should be in place by March of 2008. At 20’ wide and 1,512’ long, the new pier boasts 687’ more length and 4’ more width for a much more comfortable and hospitable feel.
The new amenities include a concession area with restrooms, picnic tables, a snack bar, and a tackle shop. There are additional restrooms halfway down the pier, as well as a saltwater intake structure for the Marine Resources Division’s use. Once you reach the end of the pier, you will have a 65’ wide (as opposed to the old 30’ wide) octagonal platform where you can feel free to enjoy the view and relax. The entire structure will be 20’ higher than the old one, so it’s a good thing that it will have wooden handrails meeting the new American Disabilities Act guidelines. The parking lot will be the same size as the old one, with plenty of handicapped spots amid the 250 spaces; and a sturdy ramp will lead you to the pier. This new pier will be perfect for beach goers of all ages to enjoy.
Additionally, in order to protect our newest area attraction, the decking will be built using 5’ square wooden panels which will blow out in the case of a storm to maintain the superstructure of the pier itself. The pier is being built 250’ east of the old structure, as this will be a much stronger location.
The New Edition of Retirement Places Rated Names Georgetown, TX
The Best of 200 Places to Hang Your Hat
Press Release, September, 2007
Thanks to its strong economy and housing market, Georgetown, Texas, was rated the country’s #1 place to retire in the eagerly awaited seventh edition of Retirement Places Rated: What You Need to Know to Plan the Retirement You Deserve (Wiley; September 2007; $24.99). This completely revised and updated resource, by best-selling retirement author David Savageau, includes profiles of 200 retirement areas in more than 40 states.
Savageau uses the following seven factors to rate and rank the top 200 areas: Climate, the Economy, Available Services, Ambience, Costs of Living, Housing, and Personal Safety. Each chapter features an introduction with facts and figures, “Judging” and “Rankings” sections that explain how the places are rated, place profiles for easy comparison, and an “Et Cetera” section with essays on various topics. With easy-to-read charts and graphs, and informed commentary, Retirement Places Rated, 7th Edition, is a valuable source for anyone planning to retire.
What other areas made the top of the list? Here are the top ten retirement places, according to the book:
Gulf State Park Plans Millions in Upgrades
Press-Register, Sunday, September 23, 2007
From its Gulf fishing pier to stands of longleaf pine, a series of projects are planned at Gulf State Park to repair lingering storm damage and update facilities.
Alabama and its two coastal counties stand to receive more than $51.1 million to spend as part of the project, and according to an early budgeting plan a substantial portion of that -- more than 16 percent -- is slated to be spent on Gulf State Park.
"Obviously, the Gulf State Park was a real priority, it's a real jewel in the Alabama State Park System," said Will Brantley, state lands manager for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "This funding really helps us make a difference in that park."
As early as November work could begin on building a new fishing pier at the park. The old 875-foot-long pier was trashed in 2004's Hurricane Ivan and plans call for a new structure -- about 50 percent wider and extending into the Gulf of Mexico twice as far -- to be built about 350 feet east of the ruined pier, Park Superintendent Hugh Branyon said.
According to the state's spending plan, the new 1,510-foot-long pier will be built to withstand storm-strength wind and waves and will have an octagon with rest rooms at its center and a larger octagon at its terminus. Plans also call for a bait and tackle shop, pavilion and refreshment stand at the pier's entrance.
Five, Hidden Affordable Beach Destinations
SmarterTravel.com, May 14, 2007
(SmarterTravel.com has named Gulf Shores, Alabama, as one of the top five hidden, affordable beach destinations. This is an excerpt from the online article)
When most Americans think of Alabama, sugar-sand beaches and palm trees aren't the first things that come to mind. Many forget that Alabama's heel nudges onto the Gulf of Mexico, its coastline a natural extension of the Florida Panhandle. In fact, this region, Gulf Shores, has 32 miles of enviable waterfront real estate. Once again, the ignorance of others is a boon to the enlightened traveler.
"Gulf Shores is a bit of Florida mixed with southern charm and hospitality," says writer Andrew Der, who visited the area in 2005. "It rivals any Florida destination I've seen, but without the expense or the crowds."
Most visitors come to spend a week relaxing on the beach with occasional forays out to visit the attractions. Playing golf at one of the Gulf Shores golf courses and fishing are also popular pursuits.
Tourism Breaking Records on Coast
The Islander, 2007
Taxable lodging rentals for the 2007 summer season (June- August) reached $129.4 million, a 13.2 percent increased over the previous benchmark period of 2004.
While visiting the 32 miles of sugar-white shores, summer guests spent $219.2 million in taxable retail sales, a 27.7 percent increase over summer 2004's $171.7 revenue.
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