Certificates dispatched to Daytona Beach have arrived and Randall Phillips, one of the recipients is not happy, according to a comment posted in his name: 

Good site here guys, and for the record I was the one who first stated the area in question “looked like a war zone”. I never mention Beirut. I own a bar here in town and many students from many different foreign countries, continue to frequent my establishment. I would never hint to say that another place to where I’ve never visited looks like a war zone. I’ve lived here in Daytona for more than 30 years and yes our beach side continues to look like a “war zone”. 

He’s also gathered support from a Doug Sawyer who believes I jumped the gun: 

Yeah …looks like you jumped to conclusions about what Randall actually said…looks like you are gonna have to take back your award and maybe apologize…people in Beirut do that, right? 

I’ve re-read the article; it is true that Randall did not mention (in the article at least) Beirut however, the way the article was written, one could infer he did. As Doug suggests, Randall could mail back the certificate (the return address is on the envelope) and if Randall truly didn’t mention Beirut then that’s fine – the certificate would have been unwarranted, I agree. However, I recommend he takes it up with the journalist, Jennifer Sheppard, as it is possible that others might infer the same.

Update – October 4, 2010

Randall has responded to Doug’s request and despite the fact that he probably should have not received the certificate, he’s also decided to take on the charge of ridding the world of “Looks Like Beirut” comments:

Wow wasn’t looking for an apology. I saw what was written and I knew more than likely I would have came up with the same conclusion. I just didn’t want it to seem like “the sea air was getting to my brain”. I will be keeping an eye out for these comment for you too! And respectfully correcting the masses as I meet them!