Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Excessive yard waste an issue in St. Pete Beach

ST. PETE BEACH — The spring growing season often results in piles of tree and shrub trimmings and bags of yard waste lining and sometimes spilling into city streets, sometimes for days.

The litter problem triggered questions from the city commission to the garbage service vendor earlier this month.

Ian Boyle, government affairs manager for Progressive Waste Solutions, appeared before commissioners to answer complaints from residents that lawn waste is often ignored by the company's collection trucks.

"There is a problem with debris on street. It looks bad," said Commissioner Melinda Pletcher.

What she and other commissioners learned is that according to the firm's contract with the city, overly large piles of yard waste will not be picked up unless residents call or authorize a special pickup.

That service comes at an extra cost and could take several days before actual pickup.

Under the city contract, residents must pay $15 per cubic yard of waste over the first two cubic yards, which is the maximum amount that can be put into a garbage truck hopper.

Asked whether the company could just pick up the waste and automatically bill the residents, Olsen said that would not be "fair."

When garbage truck drivers encounter more than 2 cubic yards of waste they are instructed to notify their dispatchers and the resident will be called the next day and given the option of paying for the special pickup.

The alternative, according to Boyle, is for residents to insist their own lawn and tree-trimming services cart off the yard waste.

"St. Pete Beach generates tremendous amount of yard waste, especially after storm event," said Fred Olsen, division manager for Progressive.

Yard waste pickup wasn't the only matter that came up during the discussion. Commissioner Terri Finnerty complained about the noise from garbage trucks early in the morning at her condominium complex.

"The echo from the noise is unbelievable," Finnerty said. "My neighbor has two small children and they wake up every morning when trucks arrive."

Olsen assured Finnerty that he would "fix" the problem.

Information about how to contact the garbage service and rules regarding disposal of different types of waste are now posted on the city's website.

Comments

High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 0BaseballCalvary Christian 9, Countryside 2Northeast 15, Tarpon Springs 1
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

TALLAHASSEE — A bombshell that South Florida police ignored tips that a teenager was planning an assault on a school and then failed to stop him when he attacked seems destined to complicate the election-year discussion around mass shootings.Even in ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner, three people fami...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Arthur D. Showley, 75, went fishing early Friday morning, something he did two or three times a week, friends said. When they saw his car and trailer still parked near a community boat ramp at 2 p.m., they thought that was strange."He never ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature have rolled out their ideas for change in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But would these measures have made a difference in the worst mass...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

TAMPA — A bipartisan pair of former congressmen spoke Friday about gun safety measures that are more drastic than those being considered following the Parkland school shootings, and about hopes for a national youth movement comparable to the 1960s an...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

This is the sad new math in the age of school slaughter.If one student comes to school with a firearm and 10 ammunition magazines filled with 30 bullets each, and another comes with a firearm and 30 magazines filled with 10 bullets each, who can crea...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said, which is something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 8...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Updated: 9 hours ago
She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?

She’s taught at the Parkland high school for 14 years. Can she go back?

PARKLAND — She was afraid of what it would feel like, but she needed to know, so Melissa Falkowski pulled into the faculty parking lot. She took a deep breath in through her nose and climbed out of her car. She was back, in front of Marjory Stoneman ...
Updated: 9 hours ago