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June expo to focus on lean, green

(ran East, West, Beach, Seminole editions)

Planning continues for the first Pinellas Living Green Expo, which organizers say will particularly target consumers who want to find ways to conserve energy and save money.

Vendors still are being sought for the event, June 17-18 at the St. Petersburg Coliseum.

"The goal is that people will leave with a whole series of concrete actions they can take," said Karl Nurse, one of the organizers.

Efficient lighting and appliances, tax breaks for conservation efforts, hybrid cars and native plants are examples of topics the expo will cover, Nurse said.

The Council of Neighborhood Associations is hosting the event. Plans call for it to be held in Clearwater next year.

"We're going to move it around the county and move it to where the people are," Steve Plice said.

Plice, Nurse, who is the CONA president, and Darden Rice are the guiding members of the expo coordinating committee and are forming a nonprofit organization to oversee the event. Rice was a candidate last year for the City Council's District 6 seat.

Progress Energy, the Sembler Corp. and developer Grady Pridgen are among the sponsors.

Organizers hope to attract a wide coalition of government, academia, businesses and citizens, Plice said.

"We're going to be in there leading the way and we hope the governments will be there participating with us," Plice said.

The event will require a budget of about $60,000, he said.

It costs $250 for a government agency or for-profit group to set up a booth. A nonprofit booth costs $150. The event is free to attend.

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