Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Beach trail construction in Treasure Island begins in October

TREASURE ISLAND — In about a month, construction of the city's new $1.6 million Central Beach Trail will begin.

On Tuesday, property and business owners along the nearly 1-mile route of the pedestrian walkway will learn how their businesses and beach access will be affected both during construction and after the project is completed. It will also be their last chance to ask for tweaks to the construction schedule.

The meeting for those the city describes as "stakeholders" will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall. It is open to residents, as well, and will be simulcast on cable television.

Information about the project and what will happen during construction will be presented by the contractor, Biltmore Construction; the designer, Graham-Booth Landscape Architecture; and the city staff.

The beach trail project calls for complete replacement of a major portion of the city's 46-year-old concrete walkway at the edge of the beach along the Gulf of Mexico from 119th Avenue to just past 104th Avenue.

The walkway will be 12 feet wide and include benches and trash receptacles. A low wall will separate the trail from the beach itself. Dim, turtle-safe specialty lighting will be installed at 20-foot intervals.

The original trail was built in 1966, widened in 1998, and is now badly deteriorating.

Construction is expected to begin in October and take about three months to complete.

Active construction areas will be fenced off and beach access may be redirected, according to the contractor's bid, but each property will have access to the beach, according to the construction plan.

Actual work will occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

One section of the trail will not be reconstructed, however — the 500-foot portion that is owned by the city of St. Petersburg and used as that city's municipal beach.

St. Petersburg's proposal to participate in reconstruction of its part of the trail was rejected by the Treasure Island Commission in August. That portion has not been included in a Florida Department of Environment Protection permit.

City officials hope the project will encourage adjacent property owners to improve landscaping and amenities on their property along the new beach trail.

Comments
Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

A St. Petersburg waste-to-energy plant now under construction has been billed for years as an environmentally friendly money saver. Now it looks more like a boondoggle, with the cost and mission changing on the fly. It’s yet another example of a city...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Hillsborough says its teachers are well-paid; the teachers say it’s not true. Who’s right?

Hillsborough says its teachers are well-paid; the teachers say it’s not true. Who’s right?

TAMPA — Seeking to show that Hillsborough County school officials waste money that could go to teacher raises, union director Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins talked about highly paid administrators. She talked about legal fees paid to outside firms when in-...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Senator wants to put a tighter leash on airline rules for service animals

Senator wants to put a tighter leash on airline rules for service animals

WASHINGTON — Congress will consider tightening the rules on service animals allowed to accompany passengers on airliners under legislation introduced this week.Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has introduced an airline bill that would align the definition ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

USF's quarterback derby could have a prominent 11th-hour entrant.Former Alabama QB Blake Barnett, the Crimson Tide's opening day starter in 2016 who transferred to Arizona State shortly thereafter, is leaving Tempe as a grad transfer, several media o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday.Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distr...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

At a news conference on Wednesday, Nocco identified the officer as Richard Stackon, who joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1994. Stackon has spent "several years" as an SRO, Nocco said, and he had nothing in his file "that stands out." Around 1 p.m., Noc...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Updated: 2 hours ago