Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Penny for Pasco campaign wins regional award for public education

A team effort between the Pasco County School District and Pasco County government to promote the extension of the Penny for Pasco sales tax has received a regional award.

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council recently recognized the effort at an awards banquet that hailed the campaign for its innovative approach that included presentations before citizens groups, educational video segments, utility bill inserts and signs placed at future transportation projects to be completed with Penny proceeds.

A political action committee also promoted the effort with signs, direct mail, a website, a Facebook page and e-newsletters.

On Election Day, 70 percent of those casting ballots voted "yes" for extending the tax.

"The success of this public outreach campaign initiative is now being shared with other local governments (Charlotte County) trying to renew their local government infrastructure surtax," the council said in its commemorative program describing all the winners of its 21st annual Future of the Region Awards. The Penny for Pasco campaign took first place in the public education category. Other awards were given for community service, cultural/sports/recreation, development and infrastructure, natural resources and the environment, and "going green."

The city of Zephyrhills took home an honorable mention in the "going green" category for a program called "Sustainable Zephyrhills." New Port Richey won an honorable mention in the public education category for its redesigned website, citynpr.org.

"The Penny Renewal Campaign was an outstanding team effort that included two public agencies and a dedicated group of private business interests working together. That team deserves this recognition for their outstanding efforts educating our citizens," said Michele Baker, chief assistant county administrator.

"Additionally," she said, "we would like to say thank you to the Pasco County citizens who welcomed us into their clubhouses and classrooms to speak and who ultimately voted 'yes' to support this critical investment in our community."

Voters first approved the 1-cent sales tax in 2004. It paid for road projects, sheriff's patrol cars, new school construction and renovations, and environmental lands.

The 10-year tax was set to expire in 2014 if voters had not approved an extension.

This isn't the first time Pasco has captured an award in the competition.

In 2011, the planning council gave its first ever One Bay award for Pasco's "New Smart Pasco Market Area Plan and Transit Oriented Development Amendments," a multipronged transformational planning program.

The program began in 2008 when the Pasco Economic Development Council initiated an agreement with the county to bring in an advisory panel from the Urban Land Institute. The institute study resulted in sweeping changes in the way the county handles development, including an updated land development code and mobility fee that replaced transportation impact fees and lowered costs for businesses.

Comments
2018 NFL draft countdown: Bucs GM Jason Licht speaks

2018 NFL draft countdown: Bucs GM Jason Licht speaks

We're a week away from the NFL draft in Dallas …Bucs general manager Jason Licht will speak to the media at 11:30 a.m. today at One Buc Place in Tampa. He'll take questions for about 20 minutes and use a lot of words to say nothing.That's the g...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from someone doing job-related background checks on a friend of mine. He wanted to meet face-to-face, so we did what many other people do in that situation. We picked a Starbucks that was near to both of us. I’...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Clear skies for Tampa Bay lead to a hot, humid and rainy weekend

Forecast: Clear skies for Tampa Bay lead to a hot, humid and rainy weekend

Expect warm weather, clear skies and a slight increase in humidity across Tampa Bay in the next few days, before an incoming cold front raises the chance for rain.Temperatures this morning are in the low 60s with a little bit of damp air. The dry air...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Downtown’s success creates noisy problem for St. Petersburg

Downtown’s success creates noisy problem for St. Petersburg

Times Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown’s rapid growth has not been without tension between its residents and the businesses and events that draw exuberant crowds. The city, which has been attempting to amend its noise ordinance o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NASA team finds massive Everglades mangrove damage from Irma. Can it recover?

NASA team finds massive Everglades mangrove damage from Irma. Can it recover?

Last spring, a team of NASA scientists looking at South Florida’s dwindling wetlands flew over the Everglades hoping to use aerial 3D imaging and data from the planet’s longest orbiting satellites to plot changes. Then Irma hit.In a matter of hours, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• It’s more of the same with sunny skies and warm temperatures today. It’ll be a bit cooler at the beaches around the mid-70s, but east of Interstate 75 it will be in the mid to upper 8...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Trademark makes it official: Call it the St. Pete Pier

Trademark makes it official: Call it the St. Pete Pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Today the City Council is set to approve a $15 million construction contract and additional money for the next phase of the new Pier District expected to open in the fall of 2019.But even as council members get ready to commit hundre...
Published: 04/19/18
Tampa Bay disciples of ‘Wild Wild Country’ guru remember Oregon commune

Tampa Bay disciples of ‘Wild Wild Country’ guru remember Oregon commune

SPRING HILLJoe Lemieux sat on the cream sofa near several relics from another era in his life, out of place in this retiree’s pastel-tinged living room and brought into the morning light specifically for this occasion.There was a beaded necklace hold...
Published: 04/19/18