No bull – race will not happen in St Augustine

In another classic example of why local news reporting should be directed to local reporters who don’t rely on wire services, Historic City News in St Augustine received an announcement this morning trying to minimize damage from an inaccurate Arizona Associated Press item.

Director of Public Affairs Paul Williams reported that following the “Running with the Bulls” event in Cave Creek, Arizona a week ago, the promoter, who has plans to produce six more events, remarked that St Augustine would be his next venue.

According to City Manager John Regan, although his staff is constantly seeking events to commemorate the city’s rich history and its ties to Spanish culture, “staging a running of the bulls is not one of those events”.

The cart got in front of the bull, in this case, when Arizona reporters published a statement by event promoter, Phil Immordino, saying that he had proposed a similar event to be held in St Augustine. Immordino is president of the Phoenix-based “Golf Tournament Association of America”.

450th Commemoration Director, Dana Ste. Claire, admitted that he did discuss such an event with Immordino; as he has with hundreds of people who offered ideas for special events to be held in the city. “All are invited to present well thought out, organized plans,” according to today’s press release.

Ste. Claire says it never went any further with the promoter because, “he has not submitted any of the required plans to the city”.

Many interpreted the AP wire story to mean the Running of the Bulls was headed for St George Street after hearing about it in the media and seeing an article in today’s St Augustine Record with Peter Guinta’s by-line.

Regan, stated, “City staff has determined that Mr. Immordino’s event, or any similar event, will not be approved because the event would pose an unacceptable level of liability for the city.” Eight people were injured, one seriously, in the Arizona event which is modeled after the highly publicized event conducted in Pamplona, Spain.