Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 on track to be St. Petersburg's noisiest year since 2016

St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff

January 2019 noise calls have increased, and have returned to 2016 levels. Mayor Kriseman may want to have Planning and Zoning run the data to figure out where the noise increase is, and how many citations were issued. Then share this with residents and bars, because 2019 is on track to be the noisiest year since 2016 with estimated 3,900 calls.

January comparison for noise and loud calls from 2013-2018
NOTE: Three bars with high repeat calls for noise closed in 2017
  • 1/2019 — 360 calls
  • 1/2018 — 223 calls
  • 1/2017 — 297 calls
  • 1/2016 — 424 calls
  • 1/2015 — 398 calls
  • 1/2014 — 355 calls
  • 1/2013 — 393 calls

Don't forget, on April 11, 2017, Mayor Kriseman asked Police Chief Holloway,
Chief, just to follow up on our conversation this morning, while there is a revised noise ordinance in the works, I need your officers to begin enforcing the existing ordinance now. Specifically, if they were to engage in an intense operation over the period of a few weeks, and announce that this operation would be forthcoming, it could have a deterrent effect going forward and would go a long way to making the public feel like the City was engaged in this issue.
Some of the locations where we are receiving the greatest number of complaints 34th are Tryst, Caddy’s, the Landings at Janis, and the Flamingo on Street.
Mayor Kriseman added, 
If you can get your officers to buy into the fact that their actions in enforcing this ordinance (just like the vehicles parking in the street or on lawns) impacts quality of life and fits in with the broken window theory, they’ll do a better job with enforcement and not give you the same amount of pushback.
Did anyone tell the Mayor that his order the Police Chief didn't work? 

The January 2019 spike comes as City Council's Public Services & Infrastructure (PS&I) Committee is set to recommend the noise ordinance revision.

PS&I is responsible for the noise ordinance revision. The City is responsible for gathering information and data to present to PS&I.

From July to December 2017, there were seven stakeholder meetings with the Jannus Block,  Beach Drive, Ale and Witch, Flamingo, Caddy’s ownership group (Yard of Ale, McDintons), Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, Police department reps, and Resident Group.

Mayor Kriseman has been asked to hire a medical expert to educate Council, City, and Police AND to assess noise's medical impact on resident’s health, but he has refused. Both Noise Ordinance Project Directors Goodwin and Abernethy also declined. Abernethy stated, the noise ordinance is not changing, just the fines.
This is the lamest excuse for not having a medical expert review the acoustic noise studies, and to both present to and educate PS&I, Police and the City. 
From May 2017 to April 2018, the City paid for four acoustical studies. Total cost was $5,700, yet the City will not pay for a medical expert to study the noise's impact on resident's health for both adults and kids.

The City has ignored the acoustical expert and the studies, and chosen to not use the decibel standard. Yet, the Mayor Kriseman and City Council can quickly vote to ban plastic straws and protect the environment.
Wish Mayor Kriseman and City Council were just as concerned about our health as they were with the environment!   
The Noise Ordinance will continue to use the plainly audible standard, which helps bars and harms residents.

The revision does not change the minimum distance. As the downtown and areas outside downtown become more dense, this will create a bigger problem for residences.

If you live across the street from a bar, the police cannot enforce the noise ordinance. This has already occurred when a resident at the Detroit called the police for noise at the The Landing at Jannus.

The police have no training on noise ordinance or noise. Nor do the police have a system in place to manage the proposed warnings when they are issued.

To date, Mayor Kriseman and City Council, and Police Chief Holloway have not addressed how the warnings will be tracked and measured. This should be posted to the web site for all to see. This is called transparency.

Mayor Kriseman and City Council are making a grave mistake by refusing to have a nationally recognized medical expert on noise present to PS&I. The medical expert can educate the City Council, Mayor, Police, bar owners, and residents on how noise impacts adults and kids' health.

The noise ordinance was last revised with a cosmetic change to point speakers inward and close doors. Mayor Kriseman and City Council need to stop kicking the can down the road and  make an informed decision to protect resident’s health and hire a medical expert!

Here are Noise Ordinance's next steps.

Data Source for both the chart and heat map is StatMap.

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.

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Should Nurse Practitioners be allowed to practice independently in Florida?

Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
 In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
Once again, this Session the Florida Legislature will take a look at the issue of expanding nurse practitioners’ authority in Florida.
For some additional insight check out this article: Florida Politics, from the News Service of Florida, Nurse practitioner debate re-emerges in House
Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners, The Advanced Practice Nurse Solution indicates that over 1 million Floridians lack access to basic health care.
From the FLANP article, “Nurse Practitioners (NP) provide primary and acute health care services by diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medications and treating diseases. They also provide inpatient hospital care, emergency and urgent care, and provide psychiatric care. NPs must earn  Masters and Doctoral degrees and pass national certification examinations to qualify for a license to practice and care for patients in Florida.”
Properly trained and licensed nurse practitioners are required to practice under the supervision of a doctor but are not allowed to practice independently.
It seems that most of the arguments against changes to the laws to allow nurse practitioners to practice independently to the “extent of their training” revolve around the delivery of care and come from doctors.
On the surface, the argument is about patient care, but the real issue is money.
If you go, see a nurse practitioner about your cold and he/she recommends some over the counter remedy you may never go see your Primary care provider. Same is true for flu shots and other basic medical services.
Primary-care physician loses revenue.
The other major pitch from the FLANP is the issue of medical care in rural areas.
They say nurse practitioners in states where they can practice independently, are more likely to go to an under served area to practice. That statement is refuted by Manning Hanline, a Pensacola-based internist, said that allowing ARNPs to practice independently wouldn’t increase access to care. (Quote from News Service of Florida Article).
The Florida legislature has been wrestling with this issue for some time now and there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. However, a well-crafted Bill that would provide for control over third-party payers, protections for the public and maybe a requirement for service in under served areas should be workable solution.
For now, there seems to more concern about whose ox will be gored than concern over providing adequate health care in under served areas and lowering the cost of medical services.
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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Unmagnificent Seven Shooting Blanks in Tampa Mayoral Campaign

Tampa, Fl
Tampa Bay Beat
By: Jim Bleyer

Jane Castor speaks at Arts and Culture Forum

By Jim Bleyer
Tampa’s uninspiring mayoral race enters its final month with a clear leader, no spark from the seven suits seeking to succeed Bob Buckhorn, and a questionable process in reaching the average voter.

The Big Yawn began in earnest Nov. 7, the day following the 2018 midterms.  After three months, the needle hasn’t moved in any of the private polls: former police chief Jane Castor leads the Titans of Tedium by a healthy margin.

The low caliber slate and lack of campaign intensity is shocking for a city with 385,000 residents, beset by mounting urban challenges, and a negative national image fomented by Buckhorn.

The never-ending neighborhood and special interest forums tell the story: all but one held in South Tampa were not well attended.  I witnessed the “Arts and Culture Forum” which claimed to sell out with 500 confirmed reservations.  If one includes the custodial help, security, and actors onstage, there may have been 300 in the Blake High School auditorium.
They could have squeezed into the band room.

Castor, the only female candidate, garners a solid 32-35 percent in most internal polls.  Her closest pursuer with 15 percent is billionaire David Straz.  The remaining five candidates hover at ten percent and lower.

The irony: Castor and Straz are clearly the poorest speakers/debaters. The rest—businessman Topher Morrison, former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, attorney Dick Greco Jr., and City Councilmen Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez—are far more articulate.

Topher Morrison rallies supporters in South Tampa

With the poorest communicators seemingly headed for the April 23 runoff, the role of the so-called media and the entire campaign process should be brought into sharper focus.

A second irony: Castor and Straz were both registered Republicans until they decided to vie for the “non-partisan” mayor’s seat.  There’s more: both connect to Donald Trump.

Castor’s partner, Ana Cruz, was named managing partner for the Tampa office of Ballard Partners, a prominent lobbying firm with close ties to the President.

After announcing he would run for mayor, Straz did a mea culpa by admitting he voted for Trump. “I made a mistake,” he said to a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5 to 3 ratio.  This epiphany occured  three months after Trump was elected but quickly following Straz’ announcement that he was running.

One must wonder what information Straz procured about Trump in those three months to cause a 180 in his thinking.   No one at the plethora of bland candidate forums has asked him that and you can bet none will.  Those moderators, fellow candidates, and the moribund local media have been throwing more softballs than the local beer league.

It also has been rumored but not confirmed that Straz attended Trump’s private, $25,000-a-plate fundraiser at Tampa’s exclusive Centre Club in July, 2016.  That tariff equates to a tip to his pedicurist for someone of  Straz’ means.

In fact, the most notable aspect of Straz’ campaign is his willingness to spread his wealth among influential individuals and groups for their comity if not outright endorsements. This includes the Hillsborough County Democratic Party and, most sadly, the Muslims for Democracy and Fairness.
Payoffs to party hacks are one thing; a Trumpite bribing a group claiming to represent an oppressed minority is beyond belief.  It’s worthy of national news coverage.

Through January, Straz had raised $1,932,610, mostly self-funded.  That’s more than double the combined opposition’s total.   Castor follows with $293,846.  Turanchik has rasied $212,000 and the rest trail by even more.

With no public record to run on, no articulation or apparent understanding of the issues, and an empty chair at a few of the forums, Straz and his circle are hoping an avalanche of paid media spots and an expected negative attack against Castor will override his abundant flaws.

From what I am hearing, the Straz camp’s “March surprise” ain’t all that much not already in the public domain.  Castor’s “biking while black” initiative received negative national publicity and a rebuke from the U.S. Department of Justice.  She was slow to admit the program was faulty or to apologize.

In addition, Castor allegedly has not met the requirements of a consulting contract she has with Miami-Dade.  Tampanians could care less about Miami’s problem, if there even is one.
Castor would feast on Straz, the easiest opponent for her to beat in the runoff.
Then there’s the rest of the pack with termed-out councilmen Mike Suarez and Harry Cohen sharing the chutzpah award.  Their rhetoric, depending on the neighborhood group they are addressing, doesn’t match their eight-year record.

Ask the folks with road issues in New Tampa.

Greco’s father was a popular mayor decades ago but he couldn’t make the runoff in a 2010 comeback stab.  Junior’s name means nothing to new residents and many of the older ones passed on.  No chance.

Morrison and Turanchik have issued white papers on important issues such as transit and housing,  Both wear the mantle of “visionary” with Morrison appealing to younger voters and Turanchik relying on the establishment.

Turanchik made the rookie mistake of attacking Castor instead of Straz who holds the second runoff spot.  If he is in it to win it and not help Straz, Turanchik embraced a terrible strategy.
The optics of six men ganging up on Castor will only boost her in the polls.  Straz hasn’t done much but spend his millions and sits in second place.  The other five need to set their sights on him in the primary if they hope to move into the runoff mix.

Biggest disappointment of the campaign was the withdrawal of LaVaughn King who couldn’t gain enough signatures to qualify.  King, who participated in forums until the final qualifying day, provided fresh, original ideas.  His answers, and those of Morrison, stood in stark contrast to the canned answers from the career politicians on the panel.

The biggest question for Tampanians that witnessed any of the candidate get togethers: which one is Dopey and which one is Doc?

Now these Seven were Magnificent

 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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