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Sally James, Wendy Allard selected 2014 Citizens of the Year

Posted: January 16th, 2015, by editor


Librarians Sally James and Wendy Allard on Wednesday were named the 2104 Outstanding Citizens of the Year by the Pass Christian Rotary Club and Pass Main Street.

James began working at the library in 1983. When she retired in 2013, Allard became the head librarian.

Rotary President Catherine Myers said the library was instrumental in the community’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

“They created and helped sustain a place that soon after the storm became the epicenter of information for the city,” she said. “This place offered vital communication services, including computers and access to the Internet. And it also, crucially, offered a respite from the storm – books, movies, music – things that could give you a few hours of welcome forgetfulness from the destruction around you.”

James was born and raised in Pass Christian, the oldest of 10 brothers and sisters. She married Wayne James in 1959 and they have three children, Kathy, Anne and Tom.

In addition to library work, James has volunteered with St. Paul Seafood Festival and St. Paul Carnival Association for several decades.

Allard and her husband Rick have been living on the coast since 1985 and became Pass residents in 1986. Rick Allard was the 2013 Outstanding Citizen Award recipient.

They have three children, Annette, Stephen and Thomas.

Wendy Allard has been instrumental in developing a library that serves as a community center too – recruiting instructors for classes in yoga, tai chi, cooking and Spanish.

She is also on the board of the Pass Christian Historical Society and will be serving as program director in 2015. She is an active volunteer with Main Street and supporter of the Pass Christian Theater Project.

“In summary, because of their unparalleled contributions to Pass Christian before, during and after Hurricane Katrina, both through the Pass Christian Library and in their work with so many other organizations, and in recognition of their deep-rooted, whole-hearted and unwavering commitment to and love of Pass Christian, this year’s Rotary Club Outstanding Citizens of the Year are Sally James and Wendy Allard,” Myers said.

The city also announced its employee of the year at the banquet.

Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott presented the award to court clerk Robynn Dedeaux for her work in the court department.

Dedeaux lives in Pass Christian with her two sons. She has worked with the city since 2005.

Blue Rose reopens bed and breakfast

Posted: January 12th, 2015, by editor

The Blue Rose Mansion on Scenic Drive recently reopened its bed and breakfast business.
Five rooms have opened with prices ranging from $195 to $275.
While the business has been hosting weddings and parties for several years since Hurricane Katrina, owner Herb Pursley said the time was right for the bed and breakfast to reopen.
“We’re thrilled Pass Christian has so much to offer guests. They wouldn’t be happy without all the shops and restaurants,” he said.
Rooms are decorated with antique furniture and have options for jacuzzi tubs and walk-in showers. A balcony upstairs offers views of the Gulf and harbor.
Guests have access to the entire house, Pursely said. Downstairs there are several seating areas. Upstairs there is a common area with couch and television, along with a stocked kitchen and dining room.
“A different breed of people stay here. They want quiet and they want privacy,” he said.
Pursley said plans are in the works to offer stay packages with local businesses including golf courses, charter fishing companies and local eateries.
“The more you can get going, the more people it brings and everyone does wonderful,” he said.
When the facility is fully booked, Pursley said a three-person staff will run it.
Rooms are blocked out for

weddings so the wedding party can rent rooms.
Pursley said about 75 percent of the weddings at Blue Rose are from out of town or out of country.
Currently overflow guests are sent to neighboring cities for hotel rooms, including a recent 40-room wedding party sent to the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.
Pursley said he hopes a hotel will open down the road on Scenic Drive so people, and money, stays in Pass Christian.
The Blue Rose has been in business since the 1990s operating as an antique store, wedding venue, restaurant and bed and breakfast.
There are no plans to reopen the restaurant at this time, but the Blue Rose does plan to build more rooms north of the main house, Pursley said.
“We are where we want to be,” he said.

Aldermen pay for Timber Ridge POA’s paving project

Posted: December 19th, 2014, by editor

The Pass Christian Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved a request from Timber Ridge Property Owners Association for $1,100 to reimburse the cost of asphalt used in a paving project initiated by the association.
On November 5, the board granted permission for the POA to install a concrete curb at the intersection of Henderson Avenue and Royal Oak Boulevard. The area is part of the city’s easement.
The initial request was approved with the understanding that the POA would pay for the work, said Alderman Anthony Hall during this week’s meeting.
Steven Hammons, representing the POA, said he believed the alderman was correct, but asked the city to help the association recoup some of the costs.
Alderman Earl Washington said he also thought the project was not going to cost the city any money.
“I understand this [improvement] for that area, but this is something the POA wanted to do,” he said.
Alderman-at-large Kenny Torgeson said the request was not a huge amount of money for the improvements that were made.
“We are all about trying to beautify the city,” he said. “Henderson Avenue is one of the main entrances to the city.”
The request was approved 3-1 with Earl Washington voting no and Anthony Hall abstaining.
The POA will be reimbursed from excess bond proceeds used for paving in other parts of the city.
In other action, the board authorized the city to rent machinery for the removal and relocation of ice making equipment owned by Pass Purchasing at the west harbor.
The city will rent a crane and forklift from Herzt Equipment Rental for a total of about $3,500 for the partial demolition of the ice house.
City attorney Malcolm Jones said the city is required to provide Pass Purchasing with assistance to move from the old icehouse to the new icehouse. The Uniform Relocation Act requires government assistance to people displaced by federally funded projects.
Pass Purchasing workers have removed the roof and east wall of the old icehouse, Jones wrote in a letter to the board. The rental machinery will be used to remove the equipment inside.
Once the equipment is moved, the board is expected to advertise for bids for the complete demolition of the old icehouse.
The mayor said he wants all of the old seafood processing area demolished, but the three-story icehouse is the main focus for now.
For more, pick up the 12/19/14 edition of the Gazebo Gazette. Available in newsstands now.

‘Lion in Winter’ opens Thursday

Posted: December 10th, 2014, by editor

Christmas 1183, an aging and conniving King Henry II plans a reunion where he hopes to name his successor.
Laced with wry and mordant humor, “The Lion in Winter” tells the story of a truly dysfunctional family, but one that was the most powerful in Europe.
Henry II and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, held sway over England and more than half of France. It was not a marriage made in heaven.
Eleanor had been imprisoned for ten years for her part in a rebellion and was meeting the king, their three sons, the young king of France and Henry’s young ward and mistress for a brief Christmas reprieve from prison.
During the stay, every kind of trickery and device is used by the parents and the sons as they jockey for the succession.
Alliances are made and unmade and intrigues abound. There is a delicious war of wits among all the characters using purposely anachronistic dialogue to heighten what is a thrilling, essentially true story.
 This brilliant comedy captivated Broadway with Robert Preston and Rosemary Harris, who won a Tony for Best Actress, and went on to triumph as a film with Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn winning her third of four academy awards for her performance.
Come enjoy this spectacular cast directed by Will Koolsbergen.
 “The Lion in Winter” will open The Randolph Community Center, on Thursday, December 11. 
Shows will run December 11, 12, 13 and 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m..  Doors open 7p.m.  Rated: PG. Tickets are on sale now:  Call Pass Main Street at 228-452-3315 or email

Aldermen hire new officers

Posted: December 5th, 2014, by editor

The Pass Christian Board of Aldermen on Tuesday hired new patrol officers in the harbor and police departments.
In the police department, the board approved rehiring Edward Walley as a patrol officer to replace the vacancy left by Britt Berden, who resigned last month. Walley previously worked with Pass police before resigning earlier this year in July.
In the harbor department, the board accepted the resignation of Anne Mikish from her full-time patrol position effective December 5. She will remain a part-time patrol officer.
The board hired Brandon Lancaster to full-time harbor patrol. He is currently a part-time employee.
The hiring decisions were unanimous among the board members present. Ward 4 Alderman Victor Pickich was absent.
Pickich has been absent from the the last four regular meetings and also missed two special meetings in October.
The last regular meeting he attended was October 7, according to board minutes.
Pickich, who works as a caterer, said recent jobs have had him working odd hours.
“I’ve had a scheduling conflict with work,” he said. “I’ve been working with the mayor and city attorney about doing phone call-ins for the meeting.”
Pickich said he is well aware of what is going on in the city and responds to calls and e-mails from constituents.
“I’m working to rectify the situation,” he said.
Pickich was elected to the board in June 2013 after defeating Buddy Scarborough in the Republican primary and LyTanya Toomer in the general election.
Pickich filled the Ward 4 seat which was left vacant by Huey Bang when he stepped down in February 2013 due to family and work commitments.
The next board of aldermen meeting will be December 16 at 6 p.m. in the municipal court.
In other action:
• The board approved a $680 summary change order for Twin L. Construction at the library parking lot expansion project.
According to board documents, the change order covers additional dirt work the company had to do.
The $147,000 project added 25 parking spaces north of the library. The project was funded through a CDBG grant that also funded the city hall project.
• The board adopted a resolution allowing public works to maintain Toleman Alley Cemetery.
Volunteers have been maintaining the grounds and requested the city’s help to cut and clear the perimeter.

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