Friday, April 24, 2015

Yay, beer!: growler bill clears House and Senate is headed for Governor Scott

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:18 PM

Who says the Florida Legislature can't come together in Tallahassee to pass some truly meaningful bills that will have a positive impact on many Floridians?
FLICKR USER THEDIGITEL BEAUFORT
  • flickr user TheDigitel Beaufort

Okay, so we're not talking about accepting $51 billion in federal money to extend health coverage to a million people or buying US Sugar land to embark on Everglades restoration. But state lawmakers in the State Senate and its more conservative counterpart, the State House, have come together to pass a bill everyone likes; one that ends a state ban on 64-ounce beer growlers, the News Service of Florida's Jim Turner is reporting.

The arbitrariness of such a ban is pretty obvious when one considers that 32-ounce and gallon-size growlers are actually legal.


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ACLU calls for end to Tampa Police policy targeting black people on bikes

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 3:50 PM

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor. - WIKIPEDIA
  • wikipedia
  • Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor.
The Tampa Bay Times analysis of an aggressive Tampa Police Department policy that has led to a disproportionate amount of African Americans getting cited for minor bicycle-related infractions has brought national attention to the department, and most of that attention comes in the form of scorn.

Among the latest sources of said scorn: the American Civil Liberties Union, which has called for the practice to just effing stop.

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Proposed "body farm" doesn't pass smell test for Lithia residents (Updated)

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Professor Erin Kimmerlee addresses the audience
  • Professor Erin Kimmerlee addresses the audience
Since USF announced a proposed “body farm” at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's training facility in Lithia, area residents have been up in arms.

On Friday afternoon, The Tampa Bay Times reported USF announced it will cancel its plan to pursue such a facility at that location.

Perhaps the biggest criticism has been on the lack of communication with and input by local residents for the project, known as the Facility for Outdoor Experimental Research and Training or FORT, which has been in development for more than a year.

The project's proponents attempted to rectify that Thursday night in the packed cafeteria of Pinecrest Elementary, but the is intention to educate locals about their proposal was met with fear and outrage.

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Sh*t happened 4/24/15: Lo-fi thieves, air pollution & more

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Screen_Shot_2015-04-23_at_9.59.35_PM.png

Wasn't yesterday great, what with the swimming through the humid air to the mailbox, then breaking a nice, funky sweat after getting back into the AC? Looks like the summer pattern is here; you know what they say about the more things change...

Four people were arrested and charged with stealing $400,000 worth of apartment rental payments at more than a dozen complexes around the bay — by using a wire hanger with what amounts to a wad of gum on the end to pull the envelopes out of drop boxes. Hanger: free. Gum: 89 cents. Turning something you saw on a Saturday-morning cartoon in the '70s into a lucrative crime spree it took a joint task-force operation to bring down: Priceless.

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After nine-hour meeting, Pier committee lands on a recommendation

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 12:51 AM

About 70 people pleaded their case for one of three St. Pete Pier design proposals before the Pier Selection Committee, the group that has spent months poring over design proposals for the site of what was once a key tourism draw in St. Pete.

Just before midnight, the committee ranked the three top design proposals as follows:

1) Pier Park (keeps some of the structure in place, creates extensive outdoor park/recreational space).

2) Destination St. Pete Pier (renovates current inverted pyramid, adds new elements).

3) Alma (demolishes entire pier head, replaces it with a tower).


Screen_Shot_2015-04-23_at_11.56.40_PM.png



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Thursday, April 23, 2015

After Earth Day: hard act to follow

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day, a decades-old celebration of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle marked by festivals devoted to composting and solar panels. It’s a perennial reminder of the small sacrifices we can make to reduce our personal impact on the environment.
But on the day after and for years to come, we continue to be faced with threats of environmental catastrophes, some of which are as much a consequence of decisions made by the people we elect as they are of our own actions.


At the federal level, many small waterways aren’t protected, leaving them vulnerable to pollution and even destruction. It’s been that way since the Bush Administration, when the Clean Water Act was weakened to where it no longer applies to streams and some wetlands.
Hmmm...not watery enough. - FLORIDA DEP
  • Florida DEP
  • Hmmm...not watery enough.


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After Earth Day: the deal

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 3:15 PM

Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day, a decades-old celebration of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle marked by festivals devoted to composting and solar panels. It’s a perennial reminder of the small sacrifices we can make to reduce our personal impact on the environment.
But on the day after and for years to come, we continue to be faced with threats of environmental catastrophes, some of which are as much a consequence of decisions made by the people we elect as they are of our own actions.


Weeks ago, we wrote about a potential swath of land the state may purchase from U.S. Sugar. The land, just south of Lake Okeechobee, would be used to treat fertilizer-laden floodwaters from the lake, and clean water would flow into the Everglades, which it would help restore. Right now some 615 million gallons flow each day, untreated and via canal, to the St. Lucie River and eventually to the Indian River Lagoon, where that fertilizer feeds algae that hurts the ecosystem there.
...Or you could put a bunch of houses there. Whatever. - WIKIPEDIA.ORG
  • wikipedia.org
  • ...Or you could put a bunch of houses there. Whatever.


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After Earth Day: rising seas, shifting sands

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day, a decades-old celebration of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle marked by festivals devoted to composting and solar panels. It’s a perennial reminder of the small sacrifices we can make to reduce our personal impact on the environment.
But on the day after and for years to come, we continue to be faced with threats of environmental catastrophes, some of which are as much a consequence of decisions made by the people we elect as they are of our own actions.


Whether it’s the intense flooding in areas like South Tampa or the saltwater invading the aquifers that store Florida’s drinking water, Florida is often referred to as the poster child for sea level rise.
Pinellas Island, anyone? - BEACHPEDIA.ORG
  • beachpedia.org
  • Pinellas Island, anyone?


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After Earth Day: Plastic people

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day, a decades-old celebration of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle marked by festivals devoted to composting and solar panels. It’s a perennial reminder of the small sacrifices we can make to reduce our personal impact on the environment.
But on the day after and for years to come, we continue to be faced with threats of environmental catastrophes, some of which are as much a consequence of decisions made by the people we elect as they are of our own actions.
 

If you stroll along St. Pete Beach on a weekend day, just seaward of a string of popular beach bars, you’ll probably see an infuriating amount of plastic cups, straws and other debris left behind by careless beachgoers.
Okay, just stop it, please. - WIKIPEDIA.ORG
  • wikipedia.org
  • Okay, just stop it, please.


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After Earth Day: seismic mistake

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 12:24 PM

Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day, a decades-old celebration of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle marked by festivals devoted to composting and solar panels. It’s a perennial reminder of the small sacrifices we can make to reduce our personal impact on the environment.
But on the day after and for years to come, we continue to be faced with threats of environmental catastrophes, some of which are as much a consequence of decisions made by the people we elect as they are of our own actions.
 

Last year, the federal government approved seismic testing to explore for oil along much of the Atlantic coast, including Florida. The process uses an air gun to send out a loud blast toward the ocean floor every ten seconds. The affected stretch of coast goes from southern New Jersey to Palm Bay, Florida. The practice could be detrimental to marine life, especially dolphins and whales, which rely heavily on echolocation.

“It disrupts breeding, it disrupts communication between mothers and infants, and it’s shown that they can even kill these whales,” said Frank Jackalone, staff director for Sierra Club Florida.
You know who doesn't like unnaturally loud noises? This guy. - FLICKR USER ISAAC KOHANE
  • flickr user isaac kohane
  • You know who doesn't like unnaturally loud noises? This guy.


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