Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

Greenlight Pinellas awareness campaign proposed for transit referendum

The campaign to educate Pinellas residents about the bus and rail plans they will vote on in 2014 got a name on Monday, and a tote bag.

Introduced as "Greenlight Pinellas," the campaign is being run by Tucker Hall, a Tampa-based public relations firm. The group has a $300,000 contract with the county's transit agency to ensure that when people go to the polls in November 2014 to vote on a proposed sales tax for transit, they have some idea what is before them.

The group is also being paid to walk a fine line. It can inform voters about the referendum that would pay for expanded bus service and light rail. But because it is receiving public money, it legally cannot tell them how to vote.

Yet Tucker Hall is not taking a completely dry approach.

In plans it unveiled Monday to representatives from various transit agencies, the company proposed a campaign that would get Pinellas residents talking to each other about transit. Yard signs with a bright green design would call to passersby with the suggestion: Ask me about Greenlight Pinellas. T-shirts, tote bags, buttons and glow-sticks would be emblazoned with the logo.

Print T-shirts and distributing mailers will come at a cost, but Tucker Hall staff said it was too soon to name a figure.

The word greenlight "doesn't mean we agree on everything," said Anthony Collins, the company's senior vice president.

"Greenlight means moving in unison," he said, reminding those in attendance that a similar transit referendum died in Hillsborough in 2010, partly because officials quarreled over the plans mere months before the vote. Pinellas must show residents it has one plan and its elected officials back it, Collins said.

Tucker Hall's proposal calls for the mailers and signs that are staples of any campaign, but much of the conversation it hopes to stir up would take place on sites like Facebook or Twitter. The group has already purchased the domain for www.greenlightpinellas.com, where it plans to post answers to residents' questions.

Along with online platforms, the group has proposed creating three committees of 20 to 30 business, civic and government leaders. These groups would meet periodically, beginning in May, and discuss the transit plan, eventually combining to form the much smaller Greenlight committee. This group would meet in September and October.

The group's presentation received rave reviews from members of the Advisory Committee on Pinellas Transportation, which unanimously approved it. But ultimate authority rests with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, which holds the contract with Tucker Hall.

"I think you nailed it," said Jeff Danner, a St. Petersburg City council member.

But others wondered whether Pinellas is plugged-in enough (and young enough) to respond to online messaging.

"Two weeks ago you said, 'I think we're going to wow you,' and yes you did," said Harriet Crozier, a representative from the Metropolitan Planning Organization, adding, "I'm just going to have to learn some of these social media sites."

Anna M. Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779.

Comments
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 2 hours ago

nationResearchers work to avoid another 1918 super-flu The descriptions are haunting. Some victims felt fine in the morning and were dead by night. Faces turned blue as patients coughed up blood. Stacked bodies outnumbered coffins. A century after on...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hillsborough diver who died in Eagle’s Nest Cave was adventurous but experienced

Davin Brannon was a pilot, a spearfisherman, an avid cave and open-water diver and an experienced all-around adventurer, said those close to him ."I guess you could say he died doing what he loved," his cousin Pam Kirven said. "But I also know he’d n...
Updated: 3 hours ago
‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — The Western-inspired revenge tale Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri swept the female-focused and led Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday with wins for best ensemble, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Shutdown opens week

Shutdown opens week

Associated PressWASHINGTON — The government shutdown will extend into the workweek as the Senate appeared to inch closer to ending a partisan stalemate late Sunday but fell short of agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions. The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released late Friday by the Florida Department of Correctio...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Oxfam highlights sharp inequality as Davos elite gather

DAVOS, Switzerland — A CEO from one of the world’s top five global fashion brands has to work for just four days to earn what a garment worker in Bangladesh will earn in an entire lifetime, campaigning group Oxfam International said Monday. In advanc...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Amazon opens cashier-less store in Seattle

SEATTLE — Amazon employees have been testing it, but is the public ready for a cashier-less store? More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon is opening its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store today in downtown Seattle. The ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
At second St. Petersburg Women’s March, 5,000 focus on

At second St. Petersburg Women’s March, 5,000 focus on "what we can do"

ST. PETERSBURGNear Mirror Lake, as protesters posed for pictures, hung signs on their dogs and distributed chant scripts just after noon Sunday, Linda Pair and her friend Beth Gavin arrived to march.Asked why she came out, Pair, 72, of Largo put it b...
Updated: 5 hours ago
USF women blow late lead, lose at Wichita State

USF women blow late lead, lose at Wichita State

WICHITA — USF led by eight points in the fourth quarter but went cold, and Wichita State pulled off the upset 64-56 Sunday afternoon in a potentially costly loss for the Bulls.USF (15-5, 5-2 American Athletic Conference) missed 14 of its last 15 fiel...
Updated: 5 hours ago