Brooker Creek Corridor approved for Hillsborough County ELAPP acquisition

Today the Hillsborough County Commission voted unanimously to acquire nearly 1700 acres for preservation in the Brooker Creek Corridor, along with the approval of selling for bonds for environmental land acquisition. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to purchase environmentally sensitive land under the county’s Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). After years… Read more »

Tampa Alcohol Coalition

The Tampa Alcohol Coalition held their monthly meeting at the Tampa Police Department on Tuesday. They examined DUI statistics and programs to address concerns about alcohol abuse. The Tampa Alcohol Coalition is a community partnership with over 100 members. The coalition collaborates with local and state organizations, agencies, media and officials to prevent high risk… Read more »

Transgendered persons are the latest group protected against discrimination in Tampa

Transgender individuals can now count themselves among the classes protected by Tampa’s human rights ordinance. Today City Council updated the ordinance on a 5 to 1 vote, despite opposition from some religious groups. Equality advocates consider today’s decision a victory for human rights. Tabias Packer with Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT rights organization, applauded the… Read more »

City Council rejects proposal for local vendor preference

The Tampa City Council rejected a proposal today that would have given local businesses preference in bidding for city contracts. The proposal was intended to give local businesses a leg up in the bidding process, but many state-wide construction companies opposed the idea, saying that it might discourage competition. Gregory Spearman is the director of… Read more »

Public Defender on life without parole for juvenile offenders

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether juveniles should be imprisoned for life without parole in cases where there was no homicide. Today, Pinellas County Public Defender Bob Dillinger called such sentencing severe. The Suncoast Tiger Bay Club met at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club this morning. Dillinger said the Supreme Court will have… Read more »

St. Pete’s homeless protest Mayor Baker’s farewell party

Saturday night, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker was given a farewell celebration at Demens Park, courtesy of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. The event was protested by homeless activists who believe that Mayor Baker’s record deserves scrutiny for his mistreatment of the homeless population. A small bridge and a waterway separated the attendees of… Read more »

Transgendered citizens could be protected by Tampa’s Human Rights Ordinance after a second reading.

Tampa City Council passed an ordinance today which would amend the city’s Human Rights Ordinance to add “gender identity and expression” as a protected class. The amendment will now include transgender-identified individuals as a recognized group to be considered for equal treatment under the law. Philip Dinkins is the Chair of the City of Tampa… Read more »

Water: A Global Crisis

Water scarcity as a result of climate change could create global security issues. USF’s College of Public Health recently partnered with the Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Patel Center for Global Solutions for a panel discussion on water issues. Disappearing sources of clean water have been a major concern for bay area residents. Aquatic… Read more »

Special Operations Command Central groundbreaking at MacDill

The U.S. military’s Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new headquarters in Tampa this morning at MacDill Air Force Base. SOCCENT is a subordinate unified command of US Central Command. SOCCENT’s rear headquarters is at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, and their forward headquarters is in the Persian Gulf… Read more »

City Council looks at Gasparilla

The Tampa City Council met this morning in a public workshop to discuss all aspects of the 2010 Gasparilla Parade. Members of the public gave input concerning operations and logistics for the event that some residents are concerned has brought too much chaos to their neighborhoods. Staff from the Tampa Police Department, the Parks and… Read more »

Keep Pinellas Beautiful cleans up Gulfport

The Ocean Conservancy coordinated an International Coastal Cleanup with their affiliate Keep Pinellas Beautiful yesterday as part of a biannual effort to educate the public, business and government officials about the scale of the global marine debris problem. In Gulfport local residents volunteered for the cleanup. Last year, The Great American Cleanup organized 3 million… Read more »

Peta2 sponsors animal cruelty exhibit at USF

This week the Students Protecting the Environment and Animals with Knowledge (SPEAK) are sponsoring an exhibit comparing the exploitation of humans and animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ young adult division, PETA2, was also at the exhibit, showing images of torture, mutilation, and imprisonment. They made the point that all exploited species suffer…. Read more »

Dan Gelber campaigns in Tampa

One of the two Democratic candidates for Attorney General, Miami State Senator Dan Gelber, campaigned in Tampa today. Gelber spoke about the economic and political challenges that Florida faces, and what changes he wants to see. Gelber harshly criticized the Republican leadership in Tallahassee. According to Gelber, the current economic hardship facing Florida is due… Read more »

2009 Bike Bash by the Bay

Yesterday afternoon, South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD), held their 4th annual Bike Bash at Straub Park in St. Petersburg. The event was intended to encourage an expansion of bicycling in the region, while raising awareness about safety and the benefits of cycling. Rachel Van Slyke rode her bicycle to Tampa from Gainesville to… Read more »

The ocean as power plant

Last month at the University of South Florida, researchers from around the state gathered to discuss all types of renewable energies. Compared with some other technologies, energy from the ocean energy is undeveloped but shows potential. Commercial ocean energy harvesting systems do not exist today. Many efforts are underway around the world, but there is… Read more »

SWFWMD hosts district-wide open house

In a district-wide open house last Thursday night, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) solicited input from the public about possible lands the district should acquire for protection, management, and restoration. Only a handful of citizens attended the meeting and voiced concerns about local and regional land acquisition. SWFWMD’s Eric Sutton points out how… Read more »