Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

ACLU to hold 'Know Your Rights' forum focused on Republican convention

TAMPA — With thousands of demonstrators expected to converge on the Republican National Convention in August, the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a "Know Your Rights" forum focused on the protesters and the journalists who will cover them.

The forum, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 3 at Stetson University College of Law in Tampa. It will feature a panel discussion with:

• Tampa City Attorney Jim Shimberg Jr.

• Hillsborough County Public Defender Julianne Holt.

• Stetson associate professor of law Louis Virelli.

• Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association.

• Ellyn Angelotti, a faculty member at the Poynter Institute, the nonprofit journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times.

Scheduled for Aug. 27-30, the convention is expected to draw up to 15,000 journalists from around the world and perhaps an equal number of demonstrators.

With the world watching what happens inside and outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the ACLU said it organized the event to address what First Amendment rights protesters, photographers and reporters will have, as well as what the city and police will do to protect those rights.

"We've been having a lot of private dialogue, but I think it's important to start having a more public dialogue about what people's rights are," said forum moderator John Dingfelder, the senior staff attorney for the mid-Florida office of the ACLU.

For example, one question where technology is forcing the issue at these kinds of big, often confrontational events is, who is a journalist?

"Previously, you kind of had a clear definition of who's in the press and who's not," Dingfelder said Tuesday. "Now I think it's becoming more and more blurred on the street when you have bloggers and self-professed members of the press, and plus everybody with a cell phone is now a videographer."

The forum will take place around the time Tampa officials are looking to make recommendations on what city ordinances to revise for the convention.

City officials have said, for example, they will need to update Tampa's special event permit process to accommodate protesters, many likely to show up with little notice.

Currently, groups must apply for a special event permit whenever they plan to bring 200 or more people to a park or public right-of-way. They also must apply 60 to 90 days in advance, buy at least $1 million in liability insurance and pay for city services such as traffic control and trash cleanup.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he wants to bring the proposed changes to the City Council soon.

"I don't want to be doing this in July," he said last week. "I want to get it done now so everyone knows exactly what the rules are."

As of Monday, two groups had applied for parade permits for the convention. Both are organized labor groups looking to hold parades of 500 and 5,000 people, respectively.

Shimberg has said the city is considering ordinances that could be in place during the convention, and maybe a little before and after the event.

Like other cities that have hosted conventions, Tampa is looking at prohibiting demonstrators from carrying materials that could be used as weapons. It also is considering creating a parade route and a "First Amendment zone" for demonstrators.

Comments
Teen, 16, walks into path of motorcycle while crossing Ulmerton Road

Teen, 16, walks into path of motorcycle while crossing Ulmerton Road

PINELLAS PARK — A 16-year-old was injured Thursday morning after being struck by a motorcycle on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 6 a.m. Austin Montgomery, 23, was riding his 2011 Suzuki motorcycle ...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

TAMPA — Developers on Thursday detailed plans for what they touted as the tallest building on Florida’s west coast, with condominiums priced in six and seven figures and a shimmering glass design they say would stand out in the skylines of New York, ...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Wells Fargo said to be target of $1 billion fine

Wells Fargo said to be target of $1 billion fine

Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion penalty on Wells Fargo for a number of alleged misdeeds, including forcing customers to buy auto insurance policies that they didn’t need, according to people briefed on the regulatory action. The ...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Hernando County commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution-related charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of opera...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Police: Knife-wielding burglar breaks into house, says ‘I’m the cops’

Police: Knife-wielding burglar breaks into house, says ‘I’m the cops’

LARGO — Detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying a man who broke into a home and confronted the owners with a knife.According to Largo police, the man entered about 3:40 a.m. a townhouse at 7360 Ulmerton Road holding a large black knife...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Retiring Tampa cop’s son pleads guilty to hazing in death of FSU student

Retiring Tampa cop’s son pleads guilty to hazing in death of FSU student

TAMPA — A Leon County judge sentenced the son of former Tampa Assistant Police Chief Marc Hamlin on Monday to 60 days in jail for a role in the November hazing death of a 20-year-old Florida State University student. Christopher Hamlin, 20, was one o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

TAMPA — At the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, hotelier Ian Schrager transformed a Jazz Age building with its own rich history into a destination offering even more heady experiences — extravagant, edgy and bohemian.In Tampa, Schrager will have...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

The Bucs' 2018 schedule won't be officially released until 8 p.m. with the rest of the league, but the Times has obtained a copy of the schedule, which shows a challenging start for Tampa Bay.The Bucs open with three division champions back-to-back &...
Updated: 2 hours ago