When the proposal came before the Tampa City Council earlier this year, a majority of board members balked, saying unless the revenues derived from the fines that will go into the city's coffers would be earmarked for intersection improvement, they weren't interested.
But the new council ultimately approved the cameras, and Mayor Bob Buckhorn was happy they did. Not only does he believe they will increase vehicular safety in the city, but he specifically placed over $2 million of those expected revenues to fill up part of the $34 million budget deficit he needed to fill by last week.
"These cameras are proven to help alter driver behavior and save lives," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "Ultimately, Stop on Red Tampa will enhance road safety for our residents and make drivers think before proceeding through a red light and endangering lives."
Included in some of the packaged clips of the Rays-Yankees game that I saw on ESPN early Thursday was a shot of hundreds of fans leaving Tropicana Field late in the game, as the Rays trailed by a score of 7-0 for seemingly hours, and the large house was more like a mausoleum for much of the evening.
Of course, in the wake of the great comeback started in the bottom of the eighth inning, naturally those early departing fans were raked over the coals by other fans on Twitter and talk radio, as if they had committed a crime of not being "true" and "dedicated" fans.
Dear EarthTalk: Freight companies like FedEx, UPS and all those 18 wheelers on the highways probably generate a lot of pollution and global warming. Is anything being done to address this? —Michael Brown, Washington, DC
Freight companies operating in the U.S. and beyond do generate significant amounts of pollution. While transportation technologies and fuels have gotten more efficient in recent years, freight demands have grown considerably over the past two decades. Today, in the U.S. alone, for example, freight is responsible for about a quarter of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Most freight trucks, locomotives and ships run on diesel engines, which are major sources of emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2). Repeated exposure to nitrogen oxide-based smog and particulate matter has been linked to a wide range of human health problems, and we all know what CO2 emissions are doing to the planet’s atmosphere and ecosystems in terms of global warming.
According to a 2005 analysis by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA), heavy duty trucks are the biggest villains, accounting for 77.8 percent of total U.S. freight greenhouse gas emissions. Boat, train and airplane freight contribute10.8, 8.7 and 2.8 percent respectively.
Former Sunday school teacher, Danny Parker, was serving a five-year prison term when the Second District Court of Appeals in Lakeland overturned his conviction for possessing child porn. Parker, 41, allegedly cut out photos of his adolescent students and pasted their faces onto images of naked adult women. While the court declared that Parker's actions were "loathsome," the images were not considered child porn or illegal.
Happy Friday to everyone.
Here's some news to digest as you go through your work day in anticipation of this afternoon's Game One of the Division Series between the Rays and Texas Rangers in Arlington.
Today is the day that a committee in Florida is poised to choose the last day of January to be the day for the Sunshine State to hold their presidential primary, creating all types of havoc throughout the country, rules be damned. Believe it or not, however, not every Republican in the state is down with it.
Fresh off his upset in last weekend's straw poll in Florida, and just days before his new book comes out, Herman Cain is living large, with new polls giving him traction both nationally, and here in Florida.
Today is a big day for the future of the U.S. Postal Service. Earlier this week, union members held events at post offices across the country to get out their message.
And speaking of Herman Cain, our story on being at CPAC Florida last week is in the current issue of CL, which you can read here.
The former Godather's Pizza mogul is feeling the love from an attention deficit GOP electorate, whose majorities continue to say in polls that they are looking for that somebody very special to enter the race. Hot off his straw poll victory last Saturday in Orlando, Cain is now in third place in a Fox News survey released Thursday.
That poll has Cain at 17 percent, placing behind only the presumed two front-runners in the race, Mitt Romney at 23 percent and Rick Perry at 19 percent.
Meanwhile, a Survey USA poll conducted for WFLA-News Channel 8 in Tampa has the businessman in second place in Florida, trailing only Mitt Romney by 2 percentage points, 27-25.
In 2006 congress passed a bill that required the USPS to pay a 75-year liability of $5.5 billion a year for ten years. The liability payment was supposed to “pre-fund” healthcare benefits for future retirees.
Anthony "Sam" Santilli, the labor management president of the National Association of Letter Carriers in the state of Florida gathered along with other members of the NALC Branch No. 599 and USPS letter carriers to rally on North Armenia Ave, to inform South Tampa about H.R. 1351 this past Tuesday. “We’re here to let Kathy Castor know we say thank you for supporting us in our fight to stop the pre-funding, and to free up our pension money so we can use it to build our organization not tear it down,” said Santilli.
The USPS says service cut-offs, the elimination of Saturday deliveries, closing up to 3,700 offices and processing locations are what’s at stake. Despite the no—layoffs clause in the union’s contract, many carriers are in danger of losing their positions if congress doesn’t act.
The art installment for November will be the second annual skate deck show at The Bricks. The show will debut Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. and will be up during the weekend of Tampa Am, Dec. 1. As with all Kick Start ragers, there will be a live DJ and cleverly named drink specials.
If you're interested in being a part of this good time, listen up. Sensibly dubbed "Faces of Deck," your submissions need to include some sort of "face." All submissions are due for review by Oct 22. There are 40 spots available, so please, send your submissions in sooner rather than later. If you haven't been involved in a Kick Start show before, e-mail two or three samples of your work (or a link). Also make aware if you plan on arting the deck itself, or adding to it to make it larger. Also note if it will need to be hung vertically or horizontally.
The Legislature did so anyway, and it worked out pretty well for the GOP, not so great for Democrats - especially Hillary Clinton and her supporters, as the DNC stripped all of the delegates she won in that January primary, wounding her chances of catching up to Barack Obama (she won the popular vote in Florida by a 50-33 percent margin, even though it did not count).
But for the GOP, it worked out great. They only were stripped of half of their delegates, and the January 29 primary was relevant, as John McCain beat out Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, and effectively captured the nomination that night.
So perhaps that's why House Speaker Dean Cannon, Governor Rick Scott, and other prominent Republicans don't appear to give a rat's patootie about a negative fallout by doing the same thing again, which is what party leaders indicated on Wednesday is exactly what they intend to to this Friday.
Perhaps it makes sense, though there is no doubt a whiff of arrogance, that because the state will be hosting the Republican National Convention next year here in the Sunshine State, the party will fail to stick to their tough talk when it comes to punishing the state party.