Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Proposed ordinance targets items left at beach that interfere with sea turtle nesting

TREASURE ISLAND — Michael and Nancy Furlong enjoy their early morning walks on the beach.

But lately they've become the source of lots of consternation.

Portions of Sunset Beach on the south end of Treasure Island are littered with the metal skeletons of beach canopies, tents and cabanas left daily by beachgoers along with beach chairs, inflatable tubes and other beach paraphernalia.

"There's enough stuff to start a sporting goods store," Michael Furlong said. "It's getting worse and worse."

Aside from not being aesthetically pleasing, the Furlongs and other residents like Laurel Zimmer and Lexie Stolen say it's an unnecessary obstruction to nesting sea turtles, some who are making false crawls after failing to find a place to lay their eggs.

During one recent walk, Furlong said he and his wife found a loggerhead turtle nest in the middle of a row of eight or nine metal structures.

"How she found space to nest, I don't know," he said.

The Sunset Beach residents, fed up with the littering, are pushing the city to take action.

The grass roots effort, which began with a Facebook posting of the litter, has grown into a citizens movement.

"We made up fliers and gave (them) out to each house and then contacted our city commissioner," Zimmer said.

The group hopes the city will adopt an ordinance similar to one recently approved in Madeira Beach that prohibits leaving personal items overnight on the beach.

"This is a public beach," Nancy Furlong said. "It is not someone's own private back yard."

The "Leave No Trace" ordinance identifies personal property left overnight on the beach as a nuisance and violators can be fined up to $500.

Zimmer said much of the problem is caused by people who are just careless and others who aren't educated about the issue.

"It is arrogant righteousness on their part," she said. "It is pure laziness."

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium has signs posted at most of the beach crossovers telling beachgoers about sea turtles and hatching season and asking that they remove cabanas and other items that might interfere with nesting.

But people just walk past the signs and don't pay any attention, Zimmer said.

Mayor Robert Minning thinks it is a matter of common sense, and that the city should require beachgoers to take their personal items home with them when they leave.

"I don't think it is appropriate for the city to let that stuff remain especially during turtle nesting season," Minning said. "I'm not sympathetic to the people who say it is too much of a bother to put the structures up and then take them down again. You can do that in less than 10 minutes."

City Manager Reid Silverboard said the city attorney has been asked to draft an ordinance to present to commissioners at their July 19 workshop.

The city's current abandoned property ordinance doesn't cover the beach items being left behind, he said.

The Madeira Beach ordinance has an exemption in it that Zimmer and others are hoping is left out of Treasure Island's. It allows beachgoers to store their items overnight as close to a dune or permanent structure as possible.

"We don't want the exceptions because they are still open to interpretation, and it's still an obstruction for turtles and other sea life," Zimmer said.

 
Comments
Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

It's hard to miss new Bucs center Ryan Jensen at OTA workouts this week, with his long red hair visible from across the field even when he's wearing a helmet."Any recommendations for anti frizz shampoo and conditioner?" Jensen wrote on Twitter with a...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — While rain chances will decrease over the next two days, it is only a relative calm before a broad low pressure system moves into the Gulf of Mexico, producing strong storms across an already drenched Tampa Bay for Memorial Day weeke...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

BROOKSVILLE— An 87-year-old motorist died Tuesday night after she collided with a pickup truck while driving on the wrong side of the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash occurred about 8:50 p.m. as Patricia Green Marlette of Brook...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Lightning-Capitals: Stat to watch in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Stat to watch in Game 7

We asked the Times' Lightning coverage team what's the statistic to watch in tonight's Game 7 of the Lightning-Capitals series (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network). Here's their answers. Share yours in the comments section below:Martin Fennelly, columnist:&#...
Updated: 2 hours ago
At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

TAMPA — The name of the new Bay 3 co-working space at the Armature Works goes back to World War I, when the red-brick warehouse overlooking the Hillsborough River was the maintenance barn for Tampa Electric’s streetcar system.As the name suggests, it...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

A woman state authorities say was scammed out of $480,000 by two of her employees is an heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that the victim in the case is Helen Rich, 69, formerly Hel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: All on the line for Lightning; Wrigley gum heiress is scammed; booze at the Magic Kingdom; Kendrick Lamar review

The Daystarter: All on the line for Lightning; Wrigley gum heiress is scammed; booze at the Magic Kingdom; Kendrick Lamar review

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The forecast calls for partly sunny weather with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. The chance of rain is...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: The most compelling Game 7 personality

Lightning-Capitals: The most compelling Game 7 personality

Who is the most compelling personality in Lightning-Capitals Game 7?We asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for their answer. Who's yours? Please share in the comments section and feel free to take issue with our answers.JOIN the Lightning Strike...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shopping Tampa for Ukraine commandos: Bomb-sniffers, drones and laser-proof sniper scopes

Shopping Tampa for Ukraine commandos: Bomb-sniffers, drones and laser-proof sniper scopes

TAMPA — Like a homeowner combing Home Depot for his latest project, Roman Mashovets spent a good part of Tuesday wandering the floor at the Tampa Convention Center.But instead of nails and plywood, Mashovets — a former Ukraine special operations forc...
Published: 05/23/18
Britain’s iconic red phone boxes make comeback; Duterte tells Philippine drug suspects to ‘stay in jail’ to live longer; more in world news

Britain’s iconic red phone boxes make comeback; Duterte tells Philippine drug suspects to ‘stay in jail’ to live longer; more in world news

Philippine prez to drug suspects"You want to live longer? Stay in jail."President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines told drug suspects in a central province Tuesday in his latest televised threats in his bloody anti-drug crackdown. But jails aren’t ...
Published: 05/23/18