Turanchik said his law firm — Ackerman Senterfitt — decided to get involved after the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) conducted two studies that proved Tampa Bay area citizens had substantial interest in the idea. Turanchik added that a ferry could transform the community and offer a "Wow! factor" (a comment that was repeated by public figures like Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn).
"We have a high level of confidence," said Greg Dronkert, the president of the Seattle-based company, on the chances of success. Dronkert said even though the population density is as strong as his group prefers, there is also a "captured market" of riders — a large group of people who would exploit the opportunity to stop driving and take the ferry to work.
In recent years, Mayors Iorio and Buckhorn have had to find creative ways to solve multi-million dollar budget gaps. But under the city's strong-mayor form of government, it will be Buckhorn's vision that the City Council will ultimately decide to support or not.
Back in March, City Councilwoman Yolie Capin recommended that the City Council hire its own budget analyst to master the details of Buckhorn's fiscal year 2014 budget. Her colleagues agreed they should further discuss the idea; the workshop is scheduled for this Thursday.
For those of us who thrive on following elections, 2013 is a pretty dry year. Locally we've got the St. Pete mayoral and City Council elections coming up, with a big primary in August (with the Lens on the ballot) and the general election in November.
Nationally, there's only really one gubernatorial race of interest, and that's in Virginia. There's also the race to replace three-term incumbent Michael Bloomberg in New York City, which, being New York City, means that the rest of us have to (sort of) follow it since any news in the nation's media capital is supposed to be important to the rest of the masses.
However, following New York City politics is a lot of fun, and it just got a whole lot more interesting with the overnight announcement that formerly disgraced Brooklyn Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner is entering the race for mayor, where a new poll shows him already in second place behind front-runner Christine Quinn.
There are some in the progressive community (where Weiner was venerated for his aggressive, no-holds barred style of going up against Republicans a la Alan Grayson) who think this is too soon. But Weiner has always wanted to be mayor of NYC, and well, at 48 he's apparently got nothing better to do. Like Mark Sanford, he's a lifelong politico (or "public servant," if you will). It should be damn interesting.
Well the Tea Party is certainly feeling righteous these days, and why not? Their deepest, darkest concerns that the government under Barack Obama was out to get them appear to have been vindicated in the IRS scandal that broke less than two weeks ago. Yesterday, local Tea Party groups held protests around the country, including here in Tampa.
CL was in the house in Tampa yesterday when Jamie Dimon began pressing the flesh at JPMorgan Chase's annual shareholder meeting, minutes before a vote on whether he would retain his two titles at the financial institute were in doubt. But it all turned out to be somewhat anti-climatic, as the 57-year-old Wall Street star easily beat back those efforts in an event that had far too much security, and absolutely zero protesters (though there was an area set aside for activists to demonstrate).
And one of the leading environmental activists of the moment, Bill McKibben, spoke at Eckerd College on Sunday. CL contributor Sam Johnson was there to cover the very interesting report.
On Wednesday, May 22, 4 — 7 p.m., join local elected officials and announced candidates at the Harvey Milk Day Meet and Mingle at The Birchwood Inn, 340 Beach Dr. N.E., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $50. Proceeds from the event support two local non-profits, Pinellas Youth Pride and You Are Valued.
Lovers of literature should head to the L Train, 900 Central Ave., St. Petersburg for Wordier Than Thou’s storytelling open mic series on Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m. With a focus on fiction and creative non-fiction, this month’s event features authors Jeff Strand and Beth Adele Long in addition to its open mic slots.
And it’s not this weekend’s only LGBT literary event. There’s also a book release party for lesbian author Fiona Zedde on Saturday, May 25, 5 — 8 p.m. at R Bar, 1820 N. 15th St., Ybor City. The party celebrates the release of her latest novel, “Broken in Soft Places.”
Someday Souvenir’s Chrissy DeRado hosts live acoustic karaoke at the L Train on Friday, May 24, 8 — 11:30 p.m. Cover is $7 and an additional $5 for singers. Iris Calling will open at 8 p.m. and karaoke begins at 9 p.m.
The corrupt attacks and denials follow “a pattern like Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, and even Watergate. The Obama administration is as corrupt as it can be and we won’t stand for this.” Douglas Coggeshall, engineer and history buff, believes that history is repeating itself once again and he plans to stand up against the cycle.
On Tuesday, Tea Party Nation demanded attention from the American people as they stood up and rallied against what they said were attacks on conservative Americans, following reports that the Internal Revenue Service excessively scrutinized their groups seeking tax-exempt status going back to 2010. Local participants gathered on the sidewalk out front of the Columbus Ave IRS building in Tampa to join the movement.
These individuals and conservative organization members came out to support the Tea Party movement with American Flags, yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” Flags, several “Fire Obama” signs, and numerous anti-IRS signs demanding for liberty and freedom from the unconstitutional taxes and scrutiny.
Approximately 120 protesters came out in full force against the IRS and even the President. The majority of the individuals wanted to show their support of the cause and their disapproval of the IRS’s behavior.
The Tea Party Patriots’ website made note of the various stages of the IRS scandal. They claimed that, as early as February 2010, the IRS agents began targeting organizations with the words “tea party” and “patriot” in the name. The site continues to reference occasions where the IRS denies the allegations of the scandal.
On a national level, same-sex marriage could soon be recognized by the United States government. This means that federal benefits for married gay couples will be the same as heterosexual married couples. What sort of federal benefits? Social security benefits, VA benefits, military benefits, IRS tax situations.
Despite the sweltering heat, more than 100 people showed up to the dedication of the Adamo Drive Mural, American Journey, joining Mayor Bob Buckhorn and mural artist Michael Parker in a dedication ceremony to celebrate its official unobstructed view, allowing all a glimpse of Ybor City’s rich history.
But this afternoon, with more scrutiny on the banking superstar than ever (and rumors that he might bolt if the shareholder vote were successful this time around), only 32.2 percent of the shareholders voted to split his duties, thus insuring that the 57-year-old Dimon won't be leaving Chase anytime soon.
The vote was announced at the end of a two-hour meeting held at the bank's Highland Oaks Banking Center Branch, located just a long block east of MLK and Falkenburg Road in East Tampa.
In his opening remarks to the crowd of several hundred, Dimon cited the bank's record profits for the last three years, then segued to the problems that preceded today's highly anticipated event.
"There are things that we're not proud of," he confessed.
Sunday, May 19, marked the Golden Anniversary of the annual Eckerd College graduation commencement in Saint Petersburg. More than 500 graduates, their families and well-wishers, the faculty and the board of trustees all gathered under a circus-styled big top for the ceremony. This year’s commencement address was delivered by Bill McKibben, a world-renowned environmental activist and educator.
McKibben has written several books on global warming and alternative energy, and is the founder of the grassroots climate movement 350.org. The 350 number refers to the amount of CO2 in parts per million which is the safe upper limit on a human tolerance scale.
Scientists, including McKibben, assert that an accelerated greenhouse effect will be the outcome if 350 ppm is exceeded, and that translates directly into bizarre and erratic climate change. 350.org is behind what's considered to be the largest globally coordinated protest, with 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries.
“America's Next Drag Superstar”, Jinkx Monsoon has an incredible ring to it, doesn't it? Congratulations on winning Season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race! Has it set in yet, really?