January was busy for us here at Stevenson Klotz. The month was full of annual planning and reconnecting with clients in the new year. We finished collecting books for our Santa’s Bookshelf philanthropy, and we helped a number of clients. We are grateful for a wonderful 2015, and look forward to an even better 2016. If you or a loved one are in need of services of an attorney this year, please contact us. If it is not a practice area that we work in, we will be happy to help you find a lawyer to work with you. Our Youth music Project begins again in March. Come by the office on gallery night to see the kids perform!
Harriet's Pickled Shrimp
Harriet was my grandmother’s best friend. My grandmother made this recipe often. Because it keeps for a long time in the refrigerator, it seemed to always be a snack when I went to my grandmother’s house.
Boil water with pickling spice, celery tops, and salt. Boil at least 5 minutes before adding shrimp. Boil for about 2 minutes and let cool. Drain and peel shrimp.
Whisk together ingredients for sauce.
Place in a jar or container in layering fashion the onions, bay leaves (4 per layer), and 2 layers of shrimp. Pour a little of the sauce over each layer. When finished, pour remaining sauce over all layers. Let stand at least 48 hours in refrigerator before serving.
Eric and I have known each other almost since I moved here in 2007 from my law practice in Jackson Mississippi. We met at the courthouse sitting next to each other at one of my first hearings in the Escambia County Circuit Court. We introduced ourselves and started talking about music we liked. That led to talking about the fact that both of us had, since school, been playing in bands. He was a drummer and I play guitar. Not long after that we swapped some discs with music we liked on them. It didn’t take long to realize we had a lot in common. We both loved our criminal and personal injury law practices. We also both had two kids the same ages. And we both had similar ideas about how lawyers should fight hard, fight for the little guy and make sure that we did it in a way that the clients knew they genuinely had someone in their corner. That’s how the roots of Stevenson Klotz sprouted years ago. And we have been working on cases together since then. Finally, this year, we formally opened our firm together. We’ve fought a lot of hard fights and have a lot of energy left in us to help clients in a way they won’t experience elsewhere. We also played a lot of music together in our spare time. We are a great team and want to continue to be your families’ law firm.
Potentially Dangerous Drugs to Watch for:
Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) is a blood thinner, marketed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. This newer type of blood thinner received FDA approval in 2011 to reduce the risk of strokes, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) for patients who have atrial fibrillation (AF) or have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery. We are currently screening cases for people who have taken this drug and have suffered serious side effects or death from bleeding, blood clots or thromboembolic injuries. The effects of Xarelto® can’t be counteracted like the older and more well know anticoagulant drugs like Coumadin. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact us for a free case screening.
Each month, we like to feature people we work with, our neighbors, or people who are influential in our community. This month, we feature Rick, publisher of the INWeekly, Pensacola’s free weekly newspaper, and RicksBlog, both of which have received national attention through Rick’s hard hitting journalism. Eric recently sat down with Rick and talked with him about his paper, Pensacola, the ups and downs of running a small business, and where to get the best steak dinner in the Mississippi Delta.
Eric: I know you have a background as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), how does a CPA get into the newspaper business?
Rick: I was a misfit for a CPA, but I knew how to run a business. My primary role when INWeekly was founded was running the business. However, when Hurricane Ivan happened, we had to change the model. About 75% of our advertisers were out of business, temporarily if not permanently, so I had to start writing more. I found I had a little bit of a knack for it. The paper was starting to do well when Ivan hit, but because of a lack of advertising, we had to decide what kind of paper we wanted to be. We decided to narrow down the number of pages because we had fewer advertisers. We got rid of a lot of columns and interest pieces in the paper, and we honed in on rebuilding the community and the major problems of the area that the storm revealed like the wastewater treatment plant and generational poverty. During that process we also uncovered other major problems such as the use of excessive force by local law enforcement with overuse of tasers and deaths in the jail. We earned our reputation as being fearless with no sacred cows at that point. I wrote very angry at that point, but built a big following by being the first paper to support the Community Maritime Park, starting Pensacola Young Professionals, and fighting for the city charter. Then the BP oil spill and Billings’ murders happened, and I began writing on a national basis with The Daily Beast and was profiled in The New York Times. We became the little paper with the big voice for the South.
Eric: What are your thoughts on the redevelopment of Downtown Pensacola?
Rick: The three big catalysts for redevelopment of downtown were the Community Maritime Park, removal of the Main Street Sewage Plant, and Quint and Rishy Studer. When that park referendum passed, even though it took six years to build the park, it showed the community was willing to invest in itself. That is when we started to see businesses like Hopjacks, World of Beer, and the Bodacious Brew come in. We began to see a lot of small businesses start up on Palafox Street. The removal of the Main Street Sewage Plant made it possible to have outdoor dining downtown which we couldn’t have. You never knew the level of odor on any given day downtown. We have been downtown since 2005, and when we had guests downtown we had to explain what the odor was. The things that are happening would not have happened if it weren’t for the park and moving the sewer. Of course a big part of downtown is how much the Studers have invested. They have backed up every commitment they have made with their own personal money and have lived through and done quality projects which has inspired others to invest. Now the Switzer family is renovating the Brent Building. There is going to be a new hotel on Main Street. The Beck Building just opened, and there is a lot of interest in downtown. I’m very encouraged by what UWF (University of West Florida) and the Historic Trust are doing and would like to see downtown expand beyond Palafox Street. UWF’s plans, the Studer’s building, and the new YMCA are good signs that downtown is expanding off Palafox to the East. I’d like to see what we can do to the west on Baylen and Spring Streets and all the way west to A Street to where it is thriving too.
Eric: What challenges does Pensacola as a whole face?
Rick: As we see this economic boom happening, we need to make sure that the lowest of the community benefit. Unless we help those at the bottom of the ladder, then we will not have lasting economic growth. It’s great that businesses are opening, but it’s the jobs they create, the wages they pay, and the benefits they offer that are going to be what pushes us ahead. City government also needs to improve. No one wants to be a part of City Government right now. If it wants to grow, the city has to do a better job of showing the public that it is well run and that there is a benefit of being a part of the city, and it just hasn’t done that. Consolidation is dead. Back in 2010 when the last attempt at consolidation was done, there was no enticement for residents of the county to want to be in the city. Escambia County is a confederation of communities. It’s Myrtle Grove. It’s Molino. It’s Cantonment. It’s Ferry Pass. And those parts of the community don’t really consider themselves part of Pensacola. There are a lot of great things going on in the city, especially downtown and the airport, but I don’t think the average Escambia County resident thinks that is enough for them to be annexed into the city yet. The biggest challenge for the county is public education. I think we are seeing that the community is going to take more responsibility for public education. I think that we are going to see more emphasis on pre-K. I think we will see an emphasis on public education, and the Superintendent and School Board will be scrutinized. People are starting to question the money the Superintendent spends and the decisions that are being made.
Eric: Any advice to small business owners?
Rick: Realize you are in it for the long haul. There are no real quick fixes. Find your niche. Develop your brand. Stick to your niche and stick to your brand. A lot of publishing companies do a variety of publications and we have found that sticking to our core publication is our success. The blog and the radio show all feed into our publication and help us stay in it for the long haul. We are the community’s advocate. We are going to push for what we believe is best for the entire community and not one segment. We are not afraid to ask the questions and be the guy in the room saying “there’s an elephant over there.”
Eric: I saw you recently went to your class reunion in the Mississippi Delta. Where is the best place for steak when you’re in that area?
Rick: I’m originally from Greenville, Mississippi which is where I was born and lived until I went to college at Ole Miss. Without a doubt, if you are in that area, go to Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi. You’ll be glad you went.
The balance between work and life can be difficult to achieve, but it’s worth the effort for you and your family—and ultimately for your career. When you’re healthy and relaxed, you’ll do better at work and feel better at home. Here are some tactics for finding the right balance: