Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Where Ethics Is a Word with No Meaning

Tampa, Fl
Posted From: Tampa Bay Beat
Author: Jim Bleyer

Today Bay Post Internet begins adding selected comment from Jim Bleyer at Tampa Bay Beat.

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Where Ethics Is a Word with No Meaning By Jim Bleyer
In keeping with The Tampa Bay Times effort to make itself relevant in the digital age, the paper and its parent the Poynter Institute continue to conceal important facts from readers while attempting to control the local political narrative behind the scenes.
A poll, published Friday, May 19 in the Times digital edition regarding the 2019 Tampa mayoral election is the latest transgression in a long series of unethical “news” stories in Tampa Bay’s lone surviving daily. The breaching of journalistic standards by Times-Poynter has become so commonplace that we at Tampa Bay Beat have lost count of them.
A cratering bottom line in operations and waning political influence seem to have been the triggers for a corrupted editorial policy that has smothered any semblance of propriety over the past decade.  Big advertisers are always lauded, never questioned, in Times “news” pages. See Baker vs. Kriseman if you have any doubts. Or Jeffrey Vinik’s blurred “vision,” heavily subsidized with government funding.
But back to the poll:  It was commissioned by Barry Edwards, a “political consultant,” according to the Times’ manufactured news story.  But most readers don’t know Edwards is listed as a faculty member of the Poynter Institute and on the Poynter Foundation board.  Nowhere accompanying the faux polling article in the digital Times edition is that stated.
A disingenuous Edwards was quoted in the article as saying that  he commissioned the poll “just for his own knowledge.” Laughable.
The polling choices all have been projected as candidates except former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio who has shown no interest publicly in re-entering the political arena.
With 41 percent of the vote, Iorio led an eight-candidate field, poll results showed.  Oddly, there were no percentages given for the other candidates: City Council members Yoli Capin, Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez, public relations executive Bill Carlson, former police Chief Jane Castor, former state Rep. Ed Narain and developer Ed Turanchik.
Edwards said, “If she gets in, it’ll be Pamelot,” no doubt echoing the wet dream of the Poynter Institute and its foundation.  It appears Edwards also gets advice for his trite quotes from Times headline writers who failed to move the needle at The Improv’s Open Mic Night.
A second poll question, not on the minds of any voter, was also posed:   would you support a change in the city charter to allow Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who faces a term limit, to run for re-election?
Buckhorn and the Times are a mutual ballwashing society but the mayor has burned more bridges than Attila the Hun.  It will take more than the Times, discredited by most Hillsborough County residents, for the voters to change the city charter and allow an ill-tempered miscreant to run for a third term.
The story said that although “60 percent said the city was headed in the right direction, the charter change lost 50-42 percent.”
Obviously the poll was steered in favor of two Tampa personages that the Times knows it can control because it has done so in the past.  The honchos at Poynter crave a slam dunk; it’s possible some of the others will represent their constituents rather than a morally bankrupt media entity in the next county.
Thankfully, there is a major disconnect between Tampa Bay voters and the craven politicians they elect.  See Moving Hillsborough Forward, Greenlight Pinellas, and Go Hillsborough if you don’t believe that.  Those initiatives, all heavily promoted by the Times ad nauseum, were beaten handily by an engaged citizenry adept at utilizing social media.
Poynter’s deviousness knows no restraint. In an online publication called “Alive TampaBay,” a September, 2016 article quotes Edwards raving about the election victory of State Rep. Darryl Rouson.  The story identifies Edwards as a strategist for the Rouson campaign but an accompanying bio makes no mention of his link to Poynter.
And there’s no way a reader would know that Alive TampaBay is connected to Poynter. Greg Truax, publisher on the masthead,  is also listed as a Poynter faculty member.  He too sits on the board of the Poynter Foundation.
Various online business resources list Alive TampaBay as being formed in 2005 and located at 3012 West Villa Rosa Park, a couple of blocks from Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.  Truax is listed as the frontman.
Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Beat
This post is contributed by Tampa Bay Beat. The views and opinions expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Bay Post Internet or the publisher.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Rick Baker Rally at South St. Pete's Lake Maggiore Park


Baker's next event is a Rick Baker for Mayor Fund Raising Reception at the Morean Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. South St. Petersburg, FL


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

A big crowd turned out for Rick Baker, St. Pete Mayoral candidate, first rally at Lake Maggiore Park in South St. Petersburg.

Baker did not make a formal speech instead spent the afternoon talking with old friends, former supporters and a lot  of new people who are looking forward to supporting Baker's third run for Mayor of St. Petersburg.
 



It was a busy event with food and lots of candid conversations with the former Mayor.

You can get some more info from Charlie Frago's Tampa Bay Times article; Baker kicks off campaign with barbeque and conversation

Baker seemed happy and content with his new role challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman.

You can see my picture gallery from the Lake Maggiore Rally at: Rick Baker Rally Lake Maggiore May 13, 2017.

Baker's next major event is a Rick Baker for Mayor Fund Raising Reception at the Morean Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. South St. Petersburg, FL

Date is Tuesday May 23, 2017  start time is 5:30PM
  
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

The New St. Pete Pier – Will it really work?

Will the New Pier and the Uplands survive Climate Change?


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin
                               
Assuming all the appropriate regulatory agencies issue the necessary permits actual work should begin on the new St. Pete Pier soon.

In an effort ease the pain of the escalating cost the Kriseman administration hired a consulting firm, Lambert Advisory of Miami, to perform an "Economic" Impact Study.

Impact Studies are those efforts usually led by an outside consulting firm that are used to justify the cost of some questionable public project.

You can read the sordid details in an article by Waveney Ann More Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer,  Consultant: St. Pete Pier District could draw millions.

Quoting from the More article: Karl Nurse seemed to sum it all up very well, "Candidly, I don't put a lot of credence on these reports. The impact of building something is pretty straightforward," he said, referring to the $17.5 million in wages expected from the 365 full-time jobs that would be created during the district's construction."

Follow on deduction, the rest of the report is just so much hype for the Kriseman reelection campaign to quote.

Currently, the City is waiting on some permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. If the Corp really wanted to serve the Citizens of St. Petersburg well, It would require a seawall of sufficient height to prevent the climate change and the rising sea water level Kriseman so willing adopts from flooding the project before it is half way through its useful life.

Then there is the proposed breakwater that will quite possibly present the Vinoy basin as a dead pool while disrupting the normal tidal flow along the coastal area of the New Pier.

Let's hope the Corp takes a look at all of that.

The economic Impact Study makes a number of assumptions.

The most questionable one is that people who visit here will actually come down to the New Pier, and those who live here will want to fight the traffic while driving through the concrete canyons of downtown St. Pete in search of the Pier and a parking spot to bring their visiting friends to the "New Pier Experience."

Given the fact that many of the people you talk to think the whole thing is a complete failure, my prediction would be it will be a mediocre draw for the first six to nine months or one winter season, and then the Pier becomes a curiosity that people tend to avoid rather than visit.

When the final cost is calculated, if it ever is, and the annual subsidy, upkeep and maintenance become clear in a real budget number, only then will the citizens of St. Pete finally know just how bad Kriseman and his band of political cronies actually hosed the people over.

Until then look for more glowing Impact Studies and Reports paid for by the Citizens of St. Petersburg and used by the Kriseman for Mayor Campaign.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Public Transportation - The transportation choice of last resort

TBARTA, decades in existence, 10s of millions spent and no viable product or plan yet on the street is not the answer.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

It turns out that regardless of all the hype by the politicians, and the various public transportation authorities' public transportation is not all that popular with the public.

For some insight see:

Michiko S., Palmdale
It's just more convenient to use my car to get somewhere, especially as a single mother. I can't rely on public transportation that doesn't take me directly where I want to go. Carrying things on transit, like the groceries or other errands, is also challenging.
I work for a charter school as a substitute. When I get a phone call, I have to be there ASAP. I can't stand around waiting for a bus that only might come on time. After work, I have to go pick up my kids from school right away. Again, I can't take bus for that. It takes too long.

Want to see more? Click here: Disadvantages of using public transportation.

The real problem with public transportation initiatives such as the pending bill to redo TBARTA into a taxing authority is they don't get the fact that no matter how big, how much it sparkles public transportation in the Tampa Bay areas will always remain the transportation choice of last resort.

Recently, there has been much made of the drop in rider ship on both the HART and PSTA systems. You hear a lot of hyperbole but the real issue is the economy is better, people who could not afford a car and/or gasoline now can and they opt out of public transportation as soon as it is economically feasible.

In a densely populated low height development area like much of Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas where the defining lines between residential, retail, industrial and commercial are frequently blurred, last century transportation solutions will not be cost effective.

The great goal of Janet Long, Pinellas County Commissioner, and her sidekick Senator Jack Latvala of a light-rail system running through the Bay area is just simply not feasible. It is a 1990s idea that was not a very good idea in the 90s.

TBARTA, decades in existence, 10s of millions spent and no viable product or plan yet on the street is not the answer.

Changing the name and giving them taxing authority without public oversight will just create a political nightmare of cronyism and corruption that will produce no results.

For some idea of what lies ahead check out: Caitlin Johnston, Tampa Bay Times Staff writer, Creating one transportation planning agency for all of Tampa Bay won't be easy.

For now, Governor Scott needs to let this one die or simply VETO it with a message to all those who pursue mass transit and the political contributions that go with it to come up with a plan that works and keeps the public in charge.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

No Tax For Tracks leader runs for seat on Pinellas County Commission

The first action I will take as county commissioner is to make a motion to place a referendum on the ballot for an 8 year term limit on Pinellas County Commissioners


Tampa, Fl
From: Tampa Bay Guardian
Posted by: Editor Tom Rask

Posted by TBG2016 on MAY 9, 2017

Barbara Haselden, the leader of the 2014 No Tax For Tracks effort to defeat a 1% sales tax increase for light rail in Pinellas County, has filed to run for the Pinellas county commission in District 6. The seat is currently occupied by John Morroni, who has said he will not run for re-election in 2018.
Morroni has held the seat since being elected to it in 2000. he has suffered several bouts with cancer in the last few years.
“I’ve been very involved in county policy making at the grassroots level for many years,” Haselden told the Guardian. “I’m very excited to represent the taxpayers in District 6 on the Pinellas County Commission.”
Barbara “Barb” Haselden
“For nearly 30 years, I’ve been a successful insurance executive and business owner in St. Petersburg, employing salaried staff and agents since 1989,” Haselden continued.
“After our No Tax For Tracks grassroots effort defeated Greenlight Pinellas, I was named the #1 ‘Good Guy of the year 2014’ by FloridaWatchdog.Org. They determined that our victory saved the taxpayers of Pinellas County $2 billion.”
“The first action I will take as county commissioner is to make a motion to place a referendum on the ballot for an 8 year term limit on Pinellas County Commissioners, with time served counting, so the citizens of Pinellas County can once again get to vote on how long commissioners may be on the board,” Haselden said.
72% of voters approved 8-year term limits in 1996, but the county commission never put those term limits in to the county charter after court challenges to the ballot language. The county commission itself had approved the ballot language. A subsequent legal challenge alleging foul play failed to make the 8-year term limits stick.
Rep. Larry Ahern
Haselden is running as a Republican. The only other announced candidate to date in this race is State Rep. Larry Ahern, also a Republican. Ahern is term limited after the term he is currently serving in the Florida Legislature.
Candidates may qualify for the ballot by gathering approximately 1,400 petitions or by paying a qualifying fee. The qualifying fee for partisan candidates is 6% of the annual salary of the office sought, which in this case will be just under $6,000.
Should both candidates qualify, the primary will be in August of 2018. Since the primary is more that a year away, there will surely be many more developments in this and others races.
As always, the Guardian reports and the readers decide. Please like our Facebook page to find out when we publish our articles.


Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Guardian
This post is contributed by the Tampa Bay Guardian. The views expressed in this post are the author's.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How many noise related calls are made each day in the City?

There were no noise citations issued for businesses and residences.


St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff

In 2016, there were 2908 noise related calls in St. Petersburg, Florida. Each day, on average 46% of the calls were made from 11 PM — 8AM Monday through Thursday and after Midnight on Weekends. That is, 46% of the calls could have potentially been in violation. The numbers of calls were 1558 from 8 AM to 11 PM and 1350 from 11 PM to 8AM and after Midnight on Weekends. However, there were no noise citations issued for businesses and residences.

If the calls reported from over 1000’ away were considered in this count, project the difference between the calls would significantly increase and more calls would be in violation of the noise ordinance.

On average, 41% of the calls were from Friday through Sunday were in potentially in violation of the noise ordinance, whereas 55% of the calls were from Monday through Thursday were in violation.

Figure 1. Percentage 2016 Total Noise Related Calls Made by Day of Week, St. Petersburg, Florida



Figure 2. 2016 Total Noise Related Calls by Day of Week, St. Petersburg, Florida


Figure 3. 2016 Total Noise Related of Calls by Month, St. Petersburg, Florida


Figure 4. 2016 Total Noise Related Calls for Each Day of Week by Hour


Notes:
1. Total calls includes both noise nuisance and loud party calls, and one ordinance violation for noise at the Flamingo Resort.
2. Calls dispatch rolled up into other calls were not considered.
3. Two calls made on July 16 and 17, where Police cannot produce the Call ID nor audio were included in the count.
4. Calls made on a holiday 11 PM - Midnight were treated as “In Violation”. The data set used did not allow the calls to be separated. The number of calls not in violation of the noise ordinance is expected to be low and not adversely impact the results.

Public input is being sought on the Noise Ordinance. You may express your concerns and thoughts by emailing the Mayor at mayor@stpete.org, and your council member, council@stpete.org.

Author Bio

Mr. Neff has run hi-end eCommerce operations for major national and international brands. He was Chief Web Operations Division at United States Mint and an executive in luxury retail eCommerce. He has several startups under his belt and has worked in Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., and Dallas. in the past, he was Director Online Sales for a consumer product company, directed eCommerce marketing operations and online analytical operations. Now retired, he is enjoying life as an award winning photographer, writer, and contemporary artist who has shown his work at one of Art Miami's International Art Shows, Spectrum Miami. He occasionally tests online products for companies in Silicon Valley. The value he brings is institutional knowledge from years of experience.

When the City of St. Petersburg noise issue became an issue for others and him, Mr. Neff dusted off his skills to conduct an investigation, data collection and data analysis.

Should you have a noise-related story to share or have a question, contact me directly via email.

The opinions here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bay Post Internet or the Blog Publishers where it appears.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Baker is all in – it's Game On in the St. Petersburg Mayoral Race


From the size and makeup of the crowd at the City Hall rally, a lot of people agree with him.



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin 

Former Mayor Rick Baker announced his candidacy for the office of ST. Petersburg Mayor at a rally on the steps of City St. Pete City Hall.

The announcement while not a big surprise was a difficult one for the former Mayor.

Difficult on a number of fronts.

Baker  mayor for nine years from 2001 to 2010 knows the job. He knows the level of effort it takes. He knows the impact on family and friends, and he knows there is only one way to be successful: 100% effort 100% of the time. 

I have spoken with the former Mayor on a number of occasions over the last 3 plus years of the Kriseman administration, and he grew more agitated and upset as time went by.

Over my 28 years, working for the City of St. Petersburg, I cannot remember a St. Pete Mayor that did not deeply care for their City, but none had the deep passion, love and respect for the City that could compare with Bakers.

If Rick Kriseman had of followed his campaign promises, respected the office of the Mayor and not loaded it with his political cronies, allowed the people to pick their own Pier and been honest when a crisis occurred Rick Baker would not be in this race.

In Baker's mind that is not how this works, that is not how you treat the office or the people.

From the size and makeup of the crowd at the City Hall rally, a lot of people agree with him.

Reaction to both Baker's decision to run and his speech were quick to come and here is a sample.




If you want to hear former Mayor Baker's speech click here, part 2 is the most interesting. From 88.5 WMNF, Seán Kinane, Rick Baker slams Kriseman while entering St. Pete race.

Kriseman is going to try to create the "Future versus the Past" argument on the stump and in the Campaign ads. Before you even buy one word of that take a look at what Baker has been doing at USF and with Edwards group, including Sundial and the recent Rowdies referendum.

Successes!

If that's Kriseman's idea of living in the past, then it is no wonder the current Mayor cannot get anything accomplished.

There will be a lot of political fireworks in this election. Those of us, who write about this stuff will have a field day.

This election is about a lot more than two big egos, or Republicans and Democrats.

St. Petersburg is at a tipping point.

Failing schools, an administration more focused on special interests than the will of the people, a downtown turning into a concrete canyon with no infrastructure to support the growth, protectionism versus economic stability, programs with no conclusion or results and hollow words with little meaning.

If you live or work in St . Petersburg who do you want to be your Mayor?

Rick Kriseman and his band of high-paid political cronies pandering to the special interests of the moment?

Or Rick Baker who will work for you regardless of who you are where you live or who you love.

Because Rick Baker gets it.

St. Petersburg is everyone from the West side to the South side, from those who are retired to the millennials that we love, from the nursing home to the Flamingo – Rick Baker gets it.  

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

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Disclosures:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Politics and the St. Petersburg Mayoral Race

The Race for the Mayor's office in St. Petersburg is shaping up to be the most contentious in years - maybe even ever.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin


By the City Charter, the offices of the Mayor as well as City Council Members are supposed to be non-partisan (No Political Party represented). That provision of the Charter has been ever so gradually ignored as the City moved forward from the 1992 decision to establish a strong Mayor form of government.

With his decision to establish an Office of the Mayor based almost exclusively on political cronies, Rick Kriseman essentially tore up that page of the City Charter and threw it out the window.

Look for this race to be highly partisan pitting a Republican (Baker) against a Democrat (Kriseman).

It's not like the City doesn't have enough issues for Mayoral Candidates to beat each other up about. This time watch for every political twist and turn from the White House and Congress to the State House and the Legislature to somehow find their way into the St. Pete Mayoral Race.

Look for long lists of political endorsements from well-known to insignificant politicians, mostly just to get their name and hopefully a picture in a blog or the local newspaper.

How do you deal with that?

Keep in mind most they don't give a rats ass about St. Pete, they are just playing the political game.

There are, however, some that matter.

For example, a Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri endorsement of Baker could be pivotal given Kriseman's attempts to position St. Pete as a Sanctuary City.

Pinellas County Republican Party Chair and upcoming candidate for the State Legislature District 66, Nick DiCeglie, might want to consider a Baker endorsement as well.

It will also be interesting to see if some of the early endorsers of Kriseman jump ship.

I am not sure how many real friends Kriseman has in the political stratosphere but if the Republican big guns, starting playing in the St. Pete Mayoral race some key Democrats may have to hold their noses and endorse the current Mayor.

Then there are the state and county political party committees.

With all the instability of politics from the national to the local level, a win in a City like St. Pete is a big deal. Traditionally, they stay out of these local races, but my guess is you will see a lot of outside side support and money flow from both sides of this issue.

Before you get too carried away with the political sideshow remember that St. Petersburg is a fast-growing big city in the midst of serious change.

 This election is important.

Support your candidate with help and donations. Listen to the issues and promises and remember who actually kept their word to the citizens of St. Petersburg and who did not.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures:  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

See where the noise is in St. Petersburg and how close you are to it

Check out the Interactive Noise violation Map 


St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff

In 2016, Mayor Kriseman and City Council revised the St. Petersburg noise ordinance. While their efforts focused on downtown, they were unaware the issue was citywide. A Public Records Request produced the police call logs. Then noise related calls were plotted on a map, which easily proved downtown was not the issue. Rather, there is a citywide issue where 1747 addresses had repeat calls. The noise issue is not limited to bars and businesses, but preliminary analysis residences indicates may outnumber bars and businesses for noise related calls.

The map shows the noise issue is citywide and related to businesses, residences, intersections, individuals and parks. Use the map to see how close your neighbors and you are to an address with noise. 

How to use the map


Use the toggle button to toggle between the business and residences layers. You can check one or more boxes to see where noise calls display on the map. You can also check and uncheck multiple boxes to view layers. 




View the Map


Should you wish to report a noise issue, call the Police non-emergency phone number, 727  893-7780. You have the option to remain anonymous or leave your name. If you want the officer to consider writing a noise citation, the officer will need to witness the noise with you. So please leave your name and number so you may be seen. 

Public input is being sought on the Noise Ordinance. You may express your concerns and thoughts by emailing the Mayor at mayor@stpete.org, and your council member, council@stpete.org.


Data Analysis Approach 

1. Data requests for the Police Call Log were made via a Public Records Request through the City Clerk’s office or the online Public Records Center. Data was provided in an Excel spreadsheet.
2. The City’s Excel Spreadsheet did not produce the correct Geo Code. A Geo Code translator was used to translate the address with zip code into GeoX and GeoY coordinates.
3. The City’s Excel Spreadsheet did not produce time into the correct 24 Hr format. Incorrect formats were converted to the correct format.
4. The City’s Excel Spreadsheet translated some address numbers into dates. Those were identified and the city provided the correct street numbers.
5. There were 570 Intersections with noise related calls that were not included. While these may be attributable to nearby business or residences, the Police Call for Service Reports and or Dispatch audio files are required to determine were location was assigned. This requires reviewing the dispatch and Officer notes, and or listening to the audio to determine if this should be assigned to the nearby business or residence. The intersections next to Hollywood Nights South were added to Hollywood Nights South’s totals.
6. Six addresses on “TRELAINE DR S St.Petersburg, Florida 33712” were not included. The address and zip code were input into the Geo Code translator and failed.
7. On some calls for a business or residence, the police assign the call to the caller’s address and not the business or residence. Clusters around a business or residence are an indication that this has occurred and to check the Call For Service Report.
8. Dispatch is allowed to roll up calls made within a certain timeframe into one Call ID, verses assigning each call a separate ID. This under reports calls as they may be made by different people or calling again to complain about the noise.
9. Two missing calls were added on July 16 and 17th. A request was made for Call ID and audio of the call. None were produced, yet call records indicate there was a call. Here, Police Dispatch told the caller that the Officer was told the Flamingo had a concert permit. However, Public Records Request found no concert permit had been approved.

10. The Flamingo Resort calls from nearby residences created a call cluster. The Call For Service Reports’ dispatch and officer notes were reviewed. When the call was found to be for the Flamingo, the residence calls and addresses were rolled up into the Flamingo Resort’s total calls. The Flamingo also had calls rolled up by dispatch. These were added to the Flamingo Resort’s total.
        11.   Reviewing 1747 addresses to determine if the address was a business, residence, park, intersection, or individual was outside the scope of the analysis. There is discussion to crowdsource this effort to identify the category and sub category. This would provide a breakout on the number of calls and repeat calls for each category.

Author Bio

Mr. Neff has run hi-end eCommerce operations for major national and international brands. He was Chief Web Operations Division at United States Mint and an executive in luxury retail eCommerce. He has several startups under his belt and has worked in Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., and Dallas. in the past, he was Director Online Sales for a consumer product company, directed eCommerce marketing operations and online analytical operations. Now retired, he is enjoying life as an award winning photographer, writer, and contemporary artist who has shown his work at one of Art Miami's International Art Shows, Spectrum Miami. He occasionally tests online products for companies in Silicon Valley. The value he brings is institutional knowledge from years of experience.

When the City of St. Petersburg noise issue became an issue for others and him, Mr. Neff dusted off his skills to conduct an investigation, data collection and data analysis.

Should you have a noise-related story to share or have a question, contact me directly via email.

The opinions here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bay Post Internet or the Blog Publishers where it appears.

Congestion-creating Pinellas bus project not funded in federal budget

If built, the once every 20 minute BRT would run from downtown St. Pete to certain beach communities that have not been determined yet.

Tampa, Fl
From: Tampa Bay Guardian

Posted by: Editor Tom Rask 
 on 
President Trump’s  “budget blueprint” for fiscal year 2018 calls for halting funding to transit capital projects (so-called “New Starts”), with the exception of projects that already have grant agreements in place. It also appears that no new grant agreement will be signed in 2017.

Randal O’Toole

Cato Institute transportation policy analyst Randal O’Toole reported on these budget implications in his “Antiplanner” blog today. This sudden “unfunded and unguarded moment” (to coin a phrase) means that the proposed Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in St. Pete. would not receive federal funds.
The BRT project, championed by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA ), would have to rely entirely on local and state funds. It isn’t clear that elected officials would or could proceed with the project under such a funding scenario.
If built, the once every 20 minute BRT would run from downtown St. Pete to certain beach communities that have not been determined yet. It would also create dedicated bus lanes on both 1st Avenues North and South.
The project summary published by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)  shows that PSTA itself says there is current traffic congestion on the route. Specifically, PSTA claimed that current “bus travel times are slowed by automobile congestion and the absence of transit signal priority or any other preferential treatments” for transit.
PSTA also told the FTA that the BRT “project is also expected to enhance the corridor’s economic development,” a claim they also made about the defeated Greenlight Pinellas light rail project in 2014. Such claims are routinely made by transit advocates around the country.
By creating dedicated bus lanes for the BRT service, travel lanes would be taken away from other vehicular traffic, thereby increasing traffic congestion for all other vehicles. That will most likely not sit well with voters. The extremely light use of the dedicated lane (one bus every 20 minutes) may not sit well with voters.
PSTA is currently very focused on finding funding for this BRT line. However, eight other BRT lines are listed as higher priorities in the Pinellas County Comprehensive Plan. None of these other eight lines have been implemented, nor are there any plans to do so.
The Central Avenue route that PSTA is arguing for is only mentioned in passing on page 4 of the relevant chapter in the Comp Plan, after the other 8 lines. So why was the 9th ranked route selected?
The Guardian no longer asks PSTA questions because they have said in writing that they won’t answer any questions from us. However, the likely reason “#9” has floated to top because the St. Pete elected officials want it. If the line is built, they will then be able to give subsidies and tax abatements to businesses along the lines, who in turn donate to their political campaigns. Everyone is a winner! Except the taxpayers.
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Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Guardian
This post is contributed by the Tampa Bay Guardian. The views expressed in this post are the author's.