Friday, August 18, 2017

St. Petersburg Mayor's Race 2013 - What Kriseman and Congemi were saying on the Issues

Kriseman: I support keeping the approach and pier head open to pedestrian traffic for residents and visitors


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

Reposted from June 23, 2013

2013 Mayoral Candidates: Anthony Cates, Paul Congemi, Kathleen Ford, Bill Foster, Rick Kriseman. Two, Paul Congemi and Rick Kriseman, are running in the 2017 Mayoral election.
In the 2013 Post It's Time To Go On the Record, I asked each 2013 registered St. Petersburg candidates to answer seven questions:
1.  Should the LENS come to a referendum, will you support voting to stop the project?
2. Do you support closing the Pier?
3. Will you move to end the red-light camera program?
4. Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?
5. Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
6. Do you support hiring a new Police Chief?
7. What specifically what will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?
Below are the responses of the two 2013 candidates in the 2017 Mayoral election.
Paul Congemi:
1.    Should the LENS come to a referendum, will you support voting to stop the project?
Of course. I believe in carrying out the will of the people.
2. Do you support closing the Pier?
 Not now. It should be kept open until we know what comes next. That means after the referendum vote.
3. Will you move to end the red-light camera program?
      See my website.
4. Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?
No, but I don't think I can stop them from talking.
5. Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
Yes, neighborhood associations are wonderful. The energy to make a good association must come from the residents, though. This isn't something you can bring about from city hall. I support neighborhood policing as one way to bring more cohesiveness to the neighborhood.
6. Do you support hiring a new Police Chief?
Yes. There were several actions taken by the police that were just really bone-headed, like bulldozing a house to get to a criminal holed up in the attic. We don't need bone-heads in city government.
7. What specifically what will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete? Not nice to insinuate that one part of town has the only crime problem. Steve Galvin had the best answer, so ditto what Steve said.

Rick Kriseman:
1. Should the LENS come to a referendum, will you support voting to stop the project?
Yes.
2. Do you support closing the Pier?
I support keeping the approach and pier head open to pedestrian traffic for residents and visitors to enjoy until we move forward with a new pier (not The Lens).
3. Will you move to end the red-light camera program?
No.  If utilized properly, the use of red light cameras should be for safety purposes only, not for the purposes of making money (the goal is for driver behavior to change, which would ultimately result in revenues dropping and eventually no revenues flowing into the city for the use of the lights).  Red light camera placement priority should be at the intersections with the highest incidents of accidents.  I also don't support right on red tickets being issued via cameras.
4. Do you support the Rays talking to anyone in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County about a stadium site?
My preference is for the team to remain in St. Pete and to thrive here. If that proves to be unrealistic - if the Rays simply do not want to be here any longer - then they should be given the opportunity to pay an exploratory fee in order to look at other locations, provided those locations are in the Tampa Bay area. Throughout the negotiating process, I will ensure that our taxpayers are protected. While a sense of regionalism is important, especially in tough economic times, my primary duty will be to the residents of St. Petersburg. 
5. Do you support the neighborhood association concept and what will you do to specifically help rebuild this City asset?
St. Petersburg is home to many unique, culturally rich, and historically significant neighborhoods. These neighborhoods deserve the full support of city hall.
As mayor, I will encourage effective and influential neighborhood associations by funding the Neighborhood Partnership Grants program and support staff and treating our Codes Compliance Assistance Department as a budget priority.  As we continue to emerge from the economic downturn and related budget cuts, we must look to restore funding to the areas that were hit the hardest, and that includes Codes.
My goal is for each neighborhood or area to have its own vibe, to be its own destination. Visually appealing signage at neighborhood entrances and wayfaring signage in populated areas is an easy first step and a resource for both residents and visitors.  But to truly strengthen the identity of a neighborhood we must better promote its distinct flavor and help tell its story.
6. Do you support hiring a new Police Chief?
I’m not going to discuss specific personnel changes while I’m campaigning, but with a much-needed new police station on the horizon, an opportunity exist to rebrand our department in order to boost morale and to rededicate our department to its three major tenets – Respect, Accountability, and Integrity.   I believe that this is an ideal time to begin a new chapter for the St. Petersburg Police.
7. What specifically will you do to begin to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in South St. Pete?
First, I am a supporter of the traditional community policing philosophy which emphasizes the relationship between the police officer and the neighborhood in an effort to promote trust and cooperation.
But one of the most important things we can do is focus on education. A strong public education system fuels our economic engine and has a positive impact on public safety. That’s why the mayor and all municipal leaders must work with our schools to help our young people succeed.
As a state representative, I passed legislation requiring the Department of Education to make service-learning curriculum available to our public schools. Integrating meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, service-learning enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility, and strengthens communities. As mayor, I will work to have service-learning implemented in all of St. Petersburg’s public schools.
I will continue and strengthen the Mayor’s Mentors & More program and seek out additional corporate partners to assist with volunteering, resources, and strategic planning. And because not all students and young adults take the same path, protecting the Job Corps program located in Midtown will be a priority of my administration.
Finally, as I believe crime is the outcome of many unfavorable conditions, including the lack of jobs paying a living wage, we must do what we can to understand and address these root causes in order to create a safer St. Pete for future generations.
How well do you think Rick Kriseman has done?
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Have you voted your mail in ballot for the St. Petersburg Primary?

I’ll leave the politics to another Post; you want your voice to be heard in this election.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


58,649 ballots were mailed to registered votes for the August 29 St. Petersburg Mayor’s Primary election. 20,367 were returned.

8,768 Ballots were mailed in the District 6 Primary election. 2,533 were returned. You can get a current update at St. Petersburg Primary Election Mail in Ballot Status.

All  voted by mail, Voter Information in Pinellas County you can check the status of your mail in Ballot.

If you requested a mail in Ballot and have not yet returned it, it is time to look around the house or apartment find the ballot, vote and mail it back.

This is an important election and will determine the direction of St. Petersburg for years to come.


In these off-cycle elections turn out is usually low, so every vote is important to the candidates.

Right now, the important point is not WHO you support for these offices it is all about you participating.

Need information of mail in Ballots, Precincts or other election questions check out the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections web site. Safe and secure everything you need to know is all there in one spot.

Be sure to vote.

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

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police are not protecting residents in their homes

If Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway were concerned about resident's quality of life and the City's noise issue, they would have enforced the Noise Pollution Ordinance


St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway's Police Department are not protecting residents in their homes.

Robert Neff
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has ignored City's Noise Pollution Ordinance. The Mayor has supported St. Petersburg Police Department decision to not use the ordinance to stop business’s repeat violations. This is a waste of resident's taxes. As a result, multiple residents have been sued for calling the police. To defend themselves, one resident spent $6000 and another over $20,000 and is not finished.

If Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway were concerned about resident's quality of life and the City's noise issue, they would have enforced the Noise Pollution Ordinance. Since 2009, residents have called to report noise to the police over 29,000 times. Yet, you can count on your finger and toes the number of noise citations that have been issued to individuals and residents. No business has been issued a noise citation. Public Records Request were used to request the data.

Residents must be prepared when they complain to the police about a business and even a residence. The police may try convince you that you are the problem and how they don't want to cause a business to close. Be aware, Chief Holloway's Police Department is not concerned about your quality of life. You must document every call, every officer you spoke with, what they said, and make a public record request for report and audio of the call to dispatch. 


First, you must be seen by the officer if you want there to be any chance for the officer to issue a citation. The police officer must witness the noise with you. At this time the officer will interpret the noise ordinance and decide to do nothing, warn the business or individual, or issue a citation. You must ask what his intention is. Ask if the officer is issuing a case number or incident report, ask for the Call ID,  and get the Case and Incident number.  Then make a Public Records Request for the Call For Service Report and Incident Report if the later as issued.

The Public Records request may be made online. You will be required to create an account.

The audio of the dispatch call is not kept past 90 days. You must immediately request this.


If the police officer files a Call For Service Report or an Incident Report, the facts may not be properly stated or distorted. You need to request any incident report and read it. If you believe the officer's comment are distorted, then you need to contact Chief Holloway and let him know. Regardless, the Police will not alter a report. There is no box for rebuttal! 

Our City leadership has created a hostile environment for residents and this has led to negative police sentiment. When it comes to the Noise Pollution Ordinance and past behavior, Mayor Kriseman and Chief Holloway's Police Department seem to have no problem walking all over your civil rights.

When businesses use lawsuits to stifle resident's voices, this can be a violation of Florida Statute 768.295 Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) prohibited. The SLAPP statute states:
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the right in Florida to exercise the rights of free speech in connection with public issues, and the rights to peacefully assemble, instruct representatives, and petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution.
When a business files a lawsuit against a resident for calling the police, you need to ask your attorney about filing an Anti-SLAPP Motion to stop the business from chilling your voice. This may be a resident's only defense, not Mayor Kriseman, who will support Chief Holloway and his police department.

While some on City Council support the revision to the Noise Pollution Ordinance that is underway, some do not. Know where you Council Member stands. Use email to ask them, council@stpete.org


This article is a series examining the Noise Pollution Ordinance and its upcoming revision.  

Author Bio

Mr. Neff’s recent book, Pelican Beakon, won silver medal in Florida Authors and Publishers (FAPA) national book award. He has run high-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. 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.

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 questioncontact 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, August 13, 2017

Why would you vote for Rick Kriseman?

Rick Kriseman did not respect your vote on the Pier - Why give it to him in this election.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


It seems most people think the biggest failure of the Kriseman Administration is the sewage spill into the bay and the way Mayor Kriseman and his staff handled it and the way they are still handling the wastewater problem.

Somewhat lost in all the clatter about the wastewater problem, south St. Pete and midtown is the way the Mayor Kriseman and his team handled the Pier and Pier Park.

Here from my Blog is a sampling of Posts that chronicle the way Kriseman managed to disregard the will of the people on the Pier.











Kriseman’s approach in the Pier Selection process was a deliberate effort to send the people a message that through their vote, they cannot tell his administration what to do.

It all boils down to this: If Kriseman didn’t respect your vote on the Pier enough to follow the will of the people, why would you give it to him, for another term as Mayor?

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

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Please comment below.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Police Chief Holloway is out of touch with St. Petersburg

I disagree with the Police Chief Holloway’s statement that violations have been issued


St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff

Recent comments by Police Chief Holloway in the St. Pete Chamber blog indicate that his leadership and staff are out of touch with the city’s noise issue. Mayor Kriseman has been rubber stamping the Police Department’s position, which is to not cite businesses, because they do not want to put them out of business. This rational is a broken policy and should prompt every resident, news station, and newspaper to call into question Mayor Kriseman and Chief Holloway’s leadership. Residents have a cause for concern that the police are not protecting our civil rights and not protecting us in our homes.

Robert Neff
Chief Holloway and his Police Department have been able to fly under the RADAR because no one has questioned his department’s sloppy police work and mishandling of the City’s noise pollution issue. I have been on the front lines battling the police department’s refusal to cite a business for repeat noise calls since 2014. I have organized with other residents and neighborhoods to pressure Mayor Kriseman and City Council into strengthening the Noise Pollution Ordinance. While  Palm Harbor and Bradenton Beach have strengthened their noise ordinances to help residents, the City of St. Petersburg has been inventing excuse not to enforce it.

In the June 30, 2017 article, CHAMBER MEMBERS MEET WITH ST. PETERSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT TO DISCUSS NOISE-ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT, Chief Holloway, Police Legal Advisor Sasha John and other police legal and staff attended a Noise Ordinance Meeting with St. Pete Chamber.


The article states,
“Chamber members met with the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) to discuss the enforcement of St. Petersburg’s noise ordinances. The meeting revealed that, contrary to recent claims, citations for noise violations have been issued. Some of the confusion about citations may stem from the citation issuance process; rather than being issued to the violating business, citations are issued to highest-level employee that is present at the business when the violation occurs.”
I question the police policy to fine the individual and not the business. Then the business does not have a record for future fines, which increase with every fine to act as a deterrent. Police need to hold the business accountable, not the individual.

I disagree with the Police Chief Holloway’s statement that violations have been issued. I have conducted Public Records Requests from 2009-2016 and from January 1 to June 30, 2017 and found no citations to businesses. The data obtained via a public records requests cannot corroborate his claim. From 2009 to 2016, the citations have been for unlawful motor noise and traffic safety. Chief Holloway must explain his statement. Mayor Kriseman and City Council should demand Chief Holloway produce his data to defend the Police Department’s statement.

From 2009 to June 30, 2017, the police received 29,001 noise-related calls. From 2009-2016 , there were 27,638 calls for noise with only 16 citations, but none issued from 2012 to 2015. From 2009-2011, the request were for UNLAWFUL MOTOR VEHICLE NOISE and TRAFFIC SAFETY-HORNS/WARNING DEVICES UNREASONABLY LOUD.

In 2016, there was only one (1) for UNLAWFUL OPERATION OF RADIO/SOUND-MAKING DEVICES OR INSTRUMENTS. On December 25, 2016 there were 17 noise nuisance calls and 3 ordinance violations for unknown causes. However, there was only one citation that day. I have requested the report for December 25 to verify business, residence or individual, but the intersection does not seem to have a business.

From Jan 1- Jun 30, 2017, there were 1364 noise calls in the City with 617 Calls After hours or 45%, and 747 Calls  Normal Hours or 54%. There were five (5) Ordinance Violations and ZERO citations to businesses: 3 for residences, one for a vehicle and one for and individual.
“SPPD is reluctant to utilize decibel meters. One consideration relevant to the adoption of these devices is that the credibility of decibel-meter readings in court relies in part on whether the equipment operator is a noise expert, as decibel readings can be affected by wind speed and direction, humidity and equipment calibration.”
The Police Department is making incorrect statements. They have no staff acoustic experts or legal expertise in this matter. The comment identifies only one type of noise, audible noise. The police fail to mention low frequency noise from 10-200 Hz, whose characteristics are much different than higher frequencies. Low frequency noise can turn corners, penetrate buildings, and cannot be dampened by new windows. The low frequency sound wave is powerful, can travel much longer distance than audible, and reflect off walls and building surfaces to redirect the low frequency noise.

The police make no mention of low frequency’s health impact.
“According to OSHA, Low frequency noise travels around objects and through openings. Low frequency noise radiates at approximately the same level in all directions. It travels around corners and through holes, and then continues to travel in all directions. A shield has little effect unless it is very large.”
Brown University. 
“Excess noise awakens, angers and frustrates people. It disrupts communication, individual thoughts, and affects work performance. It can also pose serious health risks such as: (1) hearing loss, (2) stress, and (3) threats to mental and social well being."
The Mayor’s Noise Ordinance Revision intends to use decibel meters. The St. Pete Chamber supports decibel meters. The Police Department needs to defer to City Legal for an official City position on the use of decibel meters. A sound meter’s accuracy could be challenged if dB reading being used to determine a level sound for a frequency is outside the meter’s range. If the police are properly trained, then this should not be an issue.

My attorney has been defending a me against a nightclub’s civil lawsuit for reporting noise since 2014, responded to this comment in the St. Pete Chamber article. The Chamber has not approved the comment. Why is the St. Pete Chamber blocking public response from a former City Legal Advisor who is extremely knowledgeable?

This spring, I met with members of the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce’s Noise Task Force. They were looking into the City’s revision of the City’s Noise Pollution Ordinance. I shared the data and issues I had experienced, especially the responding Police Officer’s open hostility toward me and the negative sentiment they have caused.

While the Chamber of Commerce supports the City’s need to revise the Noise Pollution Ordinance to use decibel meters, the St. Pete Chamber Noise Task Force is not asking the tough questions or conducting the research necessary to understand the issue. The Chamber has not challenged Chief Holloway's comments. The chamber has accepted Police Chief Holloway’s remarks despite being presented research that question Chief Holloway’s findings.

In the St. Pete Chamber post on August 1, 2016 ST. PETE CHAMBER’S JULY COFFEE CHAT: POLICE CHIEF HOLLOWAY,
“When asked about St. Petersburg’s noise ordinance, Chief Holloway shared that that the SPPD does enforce it. Generally, officers focus on responding to complaints rather than actively looking for noise violations.”
How can Chief Holloway state SPPD enforces the noise ordinance when they had no idea how many calls were made, what time, and where? And no idea how many businesses had repeat calls? 

From 2009 to June 30, 2017, there were over 29,000 calls. Yet, Police only issued 21 citations and none to businesses. The police have not conducted a serious data trend analysis on the data they readily have available at their fingertips. They have not identified businesses with repeat calls. The have not generated a heat map to see where the noise hot spots are and how many call were assigned to residences verses the business. I generated a 2016 heat map in an hour.  


While the data easily shows the number and location of addresses with repeat calls, the City has not been using the data they readily have access to use. On June 2, 2015, Acting Assistant Police Chief stated in an email,
Repeated calls for service and observing violations will allow for the foundation of a valid noise nuisance.


However, the police failed to identify the Flamingo Resort as a business with repeat noise calls. Why? The police were not effectively using the data they had and were not listening to the audio of the calls to dispatch. If they had, they would have heard multiple callers and how the noise impacted their health.

Chief Holloway also shared, 
“This approach enables SPPD to focus on its highest-priority issues.”
Seems Chief Holloway doesn’t realize that businesses with noise complaints have 2 to 7 times as many crime calls as noise calls in St. Petersburg. For example, from 2009-2016, the one night club on City's Southwest side in the Skyway Marina District, the Flamingo Resort had 948 non-noise calls for crime, such as, death, suicides, overdoses, and theft. 

If Chief Holloway’s Police Department were to focus on repeat callers and cite a residence or business for noise they could drastically reduce the the number of noise calls and focus on its highest-priority issues. This is why Chief Holloway’s refusal to enforce the Noise Pollution Ordinance is wasting resident’s taxes that could have been used for the city's sewage issue.

The article continues, 
“With some businesses repeatedly showing themselves willing to accept the current noise-violation fine of $200, SPPD has been working with City Council to change St. Petersburg’s noise ordinance. The new ordinance will likely include provisions that could bar multiple offenders from operating at night for up to one year by revoking their extended-permitting privileges. Additionally, it will likely enable officers to issue citations to the owner of the establishment instead of the manager currently on duty, as is currently required. SPPD is also considering shifting noise-ordinance enforcement to civilians. This step could reduce average response time from 30 minutes to as little as five minutes and free officers to focus on higher-priority issues.”
In the 2nd Public Noise Meeting on March 28, 2017, Codes Compliance Assistance Director Robert Gerdes mentioned that he does not want parking enforcement enforcing noise. He does not want to put them at risk.

Police Chief Holloway is way off base asking for civilians to approach businesses and residents to tell them there is noise issue. Think about that for a moment. In today’s world, homeowners have firearms. Well over half of the calls are after dark. Walk up to a home after midnight or 3 AM and your risk to get hurt just increased. Now ask a civilian to respond to a call at a home and there is alcohol present or a party. Your risk just went through the roof!

The downtown calls from January 1 to June 30, 2017 show 53% of the calls are in violation. That means civilians would be responding mostly after 11 PM from Monday through Thursday and Midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Why doesn’t Chief Holloway and his Police Department understand how noise impacts resident’s quality of life when the health risk is well-documented?

Why hasn’t the Police Department hired noise expertise to train officers on the different types of noise? How to respond and handle calls? The Chief doesn’t live near a bar or club that generates noise and thumping inside your condo. The only conclusion I can reach from the data and my 3+ years working on this issue, is the police don’t want to handle noise complaints to both residents and businesses. But is there also a political reason?

Downtown residents have made the Police very aware of the issue. Don’t they understand that they are here to protect residents in their home? This boils down to sloppy police work and a failure of leadership by Mayor Rick Kriseman and Chief Holloway.

Where is the Tampa Bay Times on the noise issue? They seem only to be interested in Council's vote on the revision to the Noise Pollution Ordinance and not the issue. Why? This is a great opportunity to embrace the community. Instead, the Tampa Bay Times has proven how out of touch they are with residents.

Why does the St. Pete Chamber have a Noise Task Force if they’re going to play tiddlywinks? This is a real issue facing residents. We need the Chamber to use their resources to investigate the issue, do field work, and walk the streets and talk to residents who have issues with the noise.

As a matter of fact, Mayor Kriseman, Chief Holloway, St. Pete Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay Times need to meet with the residents who have called and be in their residence for the duration of the noise.

Mayor Kriseman, Chief Holloway, St. Pete Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay Times need to be reminded that the “The State has, within its police power, the right to protect the tranquility, quiet enjoyment, and well‐being of the community.” Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77, 69 S. Ct. 448, 451, 93 L. Ed.

Residents need the police to enforce the law and accurately report on the events, St. Pete Chamber to question the Police and City and work for both businesses and residents, and the Tampa Bay Times to report from the field and check the data they get from the City. They all should be protecting residents so they do not need to defend themselves against a lawsuit because police are not doing their job!

Author’s Bio

Mr. Neff’s recent book, Pelican Beakon, won silver medal in Florida Authors and Publishers (FAPA) national book award. He has run high-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. 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.

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.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Downtown to Ghost Town

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

The Hillsborough MPO and TB Next charade continued today, as MPO Chairman Les Miller invited yet another urbanist proponent, USF masters student in architecture Joshua Frank, to present his demolish I-275 plan. From downtown Tampa to Bearss Ave., the proposal would replace the interstate with a street level 6 lane boulevard with bike paths, sidewalks, a transit/train corridor and an urban canopy park like setting on each side.

Sounds nice doesn't it?

Well, Mr. Frank, who is not an engineer or a transportation expert, apparently has not yet calculated the costs to demolish I-275, nor the economic impacts of removing a major commerce and transportation corridor for the Tampa Bay region.

As we demonstrated here, this will not be a 6 lane boulevard, but is more likely to be 30 lanes

Unless of course, the intention is to create a congested road so intolerable that no one will drive on it. This will result in traffic finding a way down neighboring streets, just relocating traffic from one managed highway to multiple jammed up surface streets.


SaintPetersBlog also reported on Frank's presentation.
Although supporters of TBX said it was needed to bring commuters from Pasco County into downtown Tampa, Frank says that only 35 percent of those who drive on I-275 come from Pasco, with the other 65 percent traveling from the USF area at Fletcher Avenue to the Floribraska exit around Columbus Drive.
Mr. Frank seems to have a problem with math as well. 35 percent drive from Pasco, and the rest of the drivers on I-275 only use it from Fletcher to Floribraska?

Hogwash.

That section of I-275 supports upwards of 200,000 vehicles a day, and forecasted up to 300,000 per day by 2040.

It is an major thoroughfare supporting the business, sporting events, arts and museums, weekend activities and residences of downtown Tampa.

If I-275 is demolished and replaced with a 6 lane boulevard, downtown Tampa will take a severe nose-dive.

Employees will not put up with the congestion to get in and out of downtown. Businesses will be forced to relocate.

Similarly, patrons for the arts, museums, and sporting events won't put up with the hassle of getting in and out of downtown for big events. Parking around downtown, particularly near the Straz Performing Arts Center, is already a problem. A problem manufactured by urban planners increasing density and not developing enough parking.

All those urbanist dreams of skyscraper canyons will fade away if people cannot easily get in and out of downtown.

Oh, but what about transit? That'll solve our problems!

Not quite. Pop quiz. Name one city that has reduced congestion as a result of transit investment.

Answer: None.

Transit ridership is decreasing nationwide. After a brief uptick in ridership after the financial crisis and recession, once the economy picked up after the recession, more people choose to leave transit and buy a car or use ride share services, as vehicle miles traveled nationwide is up near record levels and transit ridership is down. Even in metro areas with heavy investment in fixed guideways to attract the unicorn "choice" riders, transit ridership is down. Like our local politicians, people have made their choice, and it is not transit.

Tear down the interstate. Create a corridor of congestion so vast FDOT might as well build a wall around downtown Tampa.

Yeah, that's the ticket… to turn downtown Tampa into a ghost town.

Downtown Ghost Town
Then watch Vinikville...move to Wesley Chapel.

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.
Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

From July 15, 2017 The Kriseman Legacy - Politifact rates Kriseman Claim about poverty reduction in South St. Pete as MOSTLY FALSE

Reposted from July 17, 2017
St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

From July 15, 2017 The Kriseman Legacy - Politifact rates Kriseman Claim about poverty reduction in South St. Pete as MOSTLY FALSE

Rick Kriseman has built the biggest spin machine in St. Petersburg political history.

Once again, the Kriseman spin machine takes the facts a bit out of context to overstate a point. You can get the details in an article By Allison Graves, Times Staff Writer,  PolitiFact Florida: Kriseman overstates poverty reduction in south St. Petersburg.

From the Times Article:

The statement

"We are seeing poverty being reduced in south St. Pete at a number larger than the national average, the state average, county or Tampa and Jacksonville."

Mayor Rick Kriseman, June 15 at a campaign event

The ruling

PolitiFact ruling: Mostly FalseTo support his claim about south St. Petersburg — which is not entirely comprised of black residents — Kriseman referred to data about the city's overall black population, not even narrowed down to the south side. And that data ignores critical facts, including the wide margin of error for Census city data that indicates there is no discernible difference between the years Kriseman highlighted. For a statement that contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give the reader a different impression, we rate this claim Mostly False.

There is much more detail in the Allison Graves Article, and I would encourage you to click on the link above.

This is just another example of how current Mayor Rick Kriseman and his spin machine shade the facts just enough to suit their perception of reality.

The misleading statements about the Pier, the sewage dump and now poverty, only make you wonder about Kriseman’s other claims related to crime, the south side, the Rays and the capacity of downtown wastewater infrastructure.

Rick Kriseman has built the biggest spin machine in St. Petersburg political history.

His Deputy mayor, Chief of Staff, Communications Director, Action Center, Water Resources spokesperson, Marketing Department and the list goes on. All dedicated to putting the best “spin” on anything that happens.

When City employees feel the necessity to request Whistle Blower protection, the spin machine is out of control.

When you cannot trust the mayor to be forthcoming who can you trust? 

Time is running out vote and return your mail in Ballot today.

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

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Please comment below.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Where is Your Mail In-Ballot?

If you live in District 6 in St. Petersburg, you have two (2) offices to vote for, your City Council Person and Mayor.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog




Ok where is it?

      On the 
Kitchen Table?


On the Dresser?
 



On the Floor Behind the Couch?
                                Dog ate it?


You should have your mail in Ballot for the ST. Petersburg Municipal Election by now. So, check around all the normal places you throw mail and dig it out.  It’s time to vote.

This one is really simple, no referendums, no questions, no long list of candidates you don’t know.

If you live in District 6 in St. Petersburg, you have two (2) offices to vote for, your City Council Person and Mayor. To see your sample ballot click here.

 If you live anywhere else in St. Petersburg, you will only vote in the Mayoral race. To see your sample ballot, click here.

Total time to vote should be less than a minute.

Once you’re done voting the Ballot be sure to follow all the instructions regarding returning the vote by mail package.

Want to track your Ballot once you have mailed it click here. Look under the section COMPLETE FORM BELOW and select “The Status of your mail ballot.”


If the dog really ate your Ballot check with the Supervisor of Elections and there is lots more information at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections web site.

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

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.