Monday, May 21, 2018
News Roundup

Some disappointed with punishments for Clearwater Beach dune destruction

CLEARWATER — A homeowner and a contractor who illegally bulldozed sand dunes earlier this year on Clearwater Beach have completed the punishments meted out by various environmental regulators.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will follow up in December on the survival rate of sea oats homeowner Rosemary DeJoy replanted behind her home at 780 El Dorado Ave. as part of an agency-ordered restoration plan. She also paid a $1,000 fine.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had charged contractor John Woodhull, owner of Nice Services Inc. in Safety Harbor, with failing to obtain a permit to modify a dune, a misdemeanor. Court records show he pleaded no contest and paid $450 in fines and court costs.

A Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board investigator said that agency also fined Woodhull $300 for violating his contracting license. In addition, Woodhull received a warning letter from the DEP.

However, the sanctions don't satisfy at least one member of the Clearwater Beach Association, which has pleaded for years with developers and Clearwater Beach residents to protect the dunes that buffer coastal properties from high tide and storm surge damage.

Dunes also provide sheltered habitat for shorebirds and other creatures. State law protects them from destruction.

Association members who captured DeJoy's Jan. 12 violation with pictures and video turned the evidence over to police, just as city officials have advised.

President Wendy Hutkin fears the "lenient" punishments will do little to deter other potential offenders. "Why wouldn't anybody just go do it?" she said.

According to state investigative documents, DeJoy said she was in the process of getting a permit when her ex-husband hired Woodhull to flatten dunes that blow sand onto her patio and attract snakes and rodents.

Woodhull told investigators he was led to believe permits had already been obtained, but he accepted responsibility for failing to check.

The citations for both could have resulted in fines of up to $10,000 or, for Woodhull, a license suspension.

Clearwater environmental manager Ed Chesney said DeJoy's case is the only one the city has encountered since officials in spring 2011 sent certified letters to beach residents reminding them of the rules. Violations had centered mainly in the 700 and 800 blocks of El Dorado Avenue, and occasionally north of that, he said.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or [email protected] To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

WEST PALM BEACH — The new U.S. National Hurricane Center director says learning about specific storm hazards is key to preparing for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Ken Graham leads the U.S. government’s hurricane forecasting hub in Miami. At...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Unveiling for

Unveiling for "Fortune Taylor Bridge" marker rained out, but celebration continues indoors

TAMPA — There’s a saying that everyone dies twice, Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco said Sunday: Once when they take their last breath. And again the last time someone mentions their name.So in this case, he said, the name "Fortune Taylor" ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

TALLAHASSEEFlorida districts fight charter school lawEleven school districts in Florida are refusing to give up their legal battle over an education law that steered more money to charter schools. A Leon County circuit judge in April threw out the la...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Venezuela elections draw protests

Venezuela elections draw protests

Photos by Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesMarcos Carbono, center, joins with others in front of the Consulate General of Venezuela in Miami to protest the Venezuelan elections taking place on Sunday. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to be set to win ...
Updated: 8 hours ago