Tuesday, September 18, 2018
News Roundup

Treasure Island moves to ban plastic straws from beach

TREASURE ISLAND — After listening to appeals from local environmental groups and residents, city commissioners are moving ahead with an ordinance that would ban plastic drinking straws and stirrers on beaches.

Despite arguments that current litter laws already address the issue, most commissioners agreed that a ban directed at beachfront businesses giving out plastic straws and residents bringing them to the beach would be a "good first step" at protecting wildlife harmed by plastics.

"People across the globe are cheering us on right now," Julie Featherston, a Treasure Island resident, told commissioners. Featherston and her 5-year-old son, Harper, attracted social media attention recently when she got fed up with picking up straws on the beach near Caddy's on the Beach and turned to Facebook to publicize the issue.

Featherston presented a petition with 1,200 names to commissioners asking for a local ordinance to prohibit plastic straws.

Representatives of Environment Florida and Suncoast Surfrider Foundation said a straw ban would be "a great step in the right direction" of eliminating plastics that are harmful to wildlife, such as sea turtles.

While several large beachfront hotels on the island have agreed to voluntarily switch to paper straws, some hoteliers said they didn't think a ban was needed.

"We are fully on board now," said Clyde Smith, general manager of the Bilmar Beach Resort, who held up a handful of paper straws he had ordered to replace the plastic ones. "I don't think an individual law is the answer. There is a litter law that covers this. We need to focus on education and not punish everyone for the sins of a few."

Resident Richard Harris urged commissioners to try a six-month voluntary ban to see if that would reduce straws on the beach and if not, then pass an ordinance.

But Commissioner Tim Ramsberger said a ban would "cut off the problem at the source," although he preferred more enforcement of the litter laws.

His statement that "I wish we could ban cigarettes" drew loud applause from the audience.

Mayor Robert Minning questioned the ban since businesses were cooperating, but Commissioner Alan Bildz said "right now, there is a lot of peer pressure" for businesses to comply and an ordinance would make sure voluntary compliance would last.

City Manager Reid Silverboard said he would look at a North Miami Beach ordinance that was adopted in 2012 and draft one for commissioners to consider.

Comments

Hernando Events for Sept. 21

Events21 FridayAcademia Hernando Fall 2018 Lecture Series event: The Legendary Women of Broadway Musicals, by Joy Katzen-Guthrie. Academia Hernando is a nonprofit organization that offers a lecture series for adult life-long learning. The series incl...
Updated: 5 minutes ago

Hernando briefs for Sept. 21

BriefsCOUNTYWIDEPHSC to host Peace Week celebrationsPasco-Hernando State College will host its 11th annual Peace Week celebration Sept. 24-28 at its North Campus, 11415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Brooksville, and its Spring Hill Campus, 450 Beverly Court, ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago

Hernando Business Digest for Sept. 21

Briefly EMPLOYERS NEEDED FOR JOB FAIR: Pasco-Hernando State College, CareerSource Pasco Hernando, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and Hernando County Office of Economic Development are seeking employers to participate in the Open for...
Updated: 7 minutes ago

Hernando Pet of the Week for Sept. 21

PET OF THE WEEK Sheba is a 3-year-old black and tan female German shepherd. She is sweet, but exceptionally timid, and will need a calm, quiet home with no children. Sheba has been spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and has a one-year county animal lic...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers threatening to boycott induction ceremonies

Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers threatening to boycott induction ceremonies

Former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks is among several Pro Football Hall of Famers who signed a letter today saying they would not attend the Hall's annual induction ceremony until they receive health insurance and an annual salary that includes...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 21

Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 21

Business digest BrieflyOPEN HOUSE, RIBBON-CUTTING: On Aug. 29, the West Pasco Women’s Wellness & Pregnancy Center, 8125 U.S. 19, Port Richey, celebrated its new facility with an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The center provides c...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Deputies: Pasco woman escapes attacker after death threats, sexual assault

Deputies: Pasco woman escapes attacker after death threats, sexual assault

PORT RICHEY — She was home doing laundry when he asked to come over. A few hours later she was running from his house, scared for her life after being raped, robbed and kidnapped, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.Tyler Edward Pot...
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Updated: 21 minutes ago

Updated: 23 minutes ago
Top 5 at noon: As red tide perseveres, Tampa Bay's tourism industry feels the sting; bronze bust of Princess Ulele hauled away from Tampa Riverwalk; and more

Top 5 at noon: As red tide perseveres, Tampa Bay's tourism industry feels the sting; bronze bust of Princess Ulele hauled away from Tampa Riverwalk; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on Tampabaycom:AS RED TIDE PERSEVERES, TAMPA BAY'S TOURISM INDUSTRY FEELS THE STINGRed Tide, an algae bloom toxic to fish and other marine life, has been spreading through Tampa Bay waters since last week. It...
Updated: 26 minutes ago