20 x 54 inch Mobile Billboards for Uber/Lyft  “A proposed framework would prevent local governments from establishing their own rules.”

20 x 54 inch Mobile Billboards for Uber/Lyft “A proposed framework would prevent local governments from establishing their own rules.”

Photo: From FLAPOL

“…Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, is sponsoring a bill (SB 1352) that would provide a pathway for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft to incorporate digital advertising into their business model.

The framework would allow both drivers and their companies to earn additional revenue.

The signs would be illuminated and digitally operated. The bill limits the signs to no taller than 20 inches and no wider than 54 inches. Regardless of the size, the sign could not extend beyond the rear or front windshield or otherwise impair the driver’s vision.

The signs could only operate while the vehicle is running.

Brandes’ bill also requires the advertisements to abide by all state guidelines regarding lighting requirements.

The signs would be prohibited from advertising any illegal goods or services or any ads that include nudity, depictions of violence or disparaging or false advertisements.

While the bill, along with a version in the house (HB 1039), would directly relate to Uber and Lyft, they’re not the companies pushing the legislation. It’s actually a request from Firefly, an out of state company that makes and sells the advertising billboards companies would use.

Despite its initial approval, there are some concerns about the bill.

New Port Richey Republican Sen. Ed Hooper worried first about whether or not vehicles driving around with what he described as the equivalent of two big screen televisions on top of their cars would pose a safety hazard.

‘If that were the only thing this bill said I could probably say let’s give it a chance,’ Hooper said.

But that wasn’t his only concern. Hooper also lamented the preemption component of the law by creating a universal set of regulations for all municipalities and county governments to follow.

Hooper, along with several others, said some of the rule-making around digital advertising on cars might be better left to elected officials in the areas affected by their inclusion.

Even with the pushback, Hooper was the lone no-vote in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee.

Brandes closed on his bill with a promise to continue working with legislators on language to ensure a good final product.

The bill heads next to the Innovation, Industry and Technology committee.

The House version has not yet been heard in committee.”

— Janelle Irwin Taylor, Florida Politics

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Historic Preservation: “County Commission signs leases for Chinsegut Hill and the Little Rock Cannery”

Historic Preservation: “County Commission signs leases for Chinsegut Hill and the Little Rock Cannery”

Photo: Michele Miller, Times

“Two of Hernando County’s historical treasures will get a new lease on life thanks to agreements signed Tuesday by the County Commission.

Chinsegut Hill, which has struggled for years to develop a sustainable business plan, and the Little Rock Cannery, which over lean budget years has been the poster child for county services to cut, each will have new outside management.

Two organizations stepped forward to help Chinsegut, one to run the historical manor house and the other to manage the cabins and conference center. Hernando County is the tenant of Chinsegut Hill, which as a historical site is subject to the rules of the National Historical Preservation Act and the National Register of Historic Places program.

County officials negotiated terms with the Tampa Bay History Center to run the manor house and with Mid Florida Community Services to run the cabins and conference center. Each is a nonprofit, and each will have a license agreement to operate its assigned portion of the property for $150 annually, paid to the general fund…

In the second of the day’s announcements, the Hernando Growers Association will take over operation of the Little Rock Cannery, which closed more than a year ago. Several organizations over the years have pitched plans to run the historic facility but without any long-term success.

The Grower’s Association also is a nonprofit and hopes to expand the cannery’s programs, provide educational classes and resume the traditional canning classes and operations with a more rigorous schedule, according to Growers Association president Michael DeFelice.

The Little Rock Cannery is a self-serve facility for Hernando County residents to prepare and preserve fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats.

County commissioners expressed support for the community partners stepping up to help Chinsegut and the Cannery, noting they are established organizations with the ability to make the facilities sustainable.

As for making the hard-to-find cannery more visible at the busy intersection of Citrus Way and U.S. 98, Allocco suggested that state officials planning to build a roundabout at that site place a huge canning jar in the middle. ”

— Barbara Behrendt,Times

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“Judge rebuffs challenge to underground power lines plan”

“Judge rebuffs challenge to underground power lines plan”

Photo: SSMG

“A judge has rejected challenges to rules pertaining to underground power line projects, which critics say could ultimately result in increased bills for Florida Power & Light Co. and other electric company customers.

The Public Counsel and the Florida Industrial Power Users, which represents big power users, had challenged a utility commission’s decision to provide less upfront detail for projects and costs than the law specifies.

In a 52-page document, Administrative Law Judge James Peterson III dismissed the Public Counsel’s arguments that the proposed rules issued by the Florida Public Service Commission don’t adequately protect consumers…

Peterson said in his final ruling that the proposed rules state that a utility can’t seek costs it already has recovered through base rates.

‘There is nothing confusing about the language used in the proposed rule — it forbids double recovery,’ Peterson wrote.”

— Marcia Heroux Pounds, South Florida Sun Sentinel

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Placemaking: “Clearwater Residents Encouraged To Beautify Public Spaces In 2020”

Placemaking: “Clearwater Residents Encouraged To Beautify Public Spaces In 2020”

Photo: City of Clearwater

“The city will officially launch its Placemaking Playbook featuring five public art projects in January.

They’re an inevitable fixture in any cityscape but, face it, Dumpsters and storm drains are hardly attractive.

The City of Clearwater, however, is recruiting residents and business people to lend their talents to turn these eyesores into works of art.

During the New Year, residents are encouraged to help beautify the city and turn Dumpsters and drains into meaningful public art by covering them in colorful murals.

The city kicked off its Storm Drain Mural Program Oct. 7 with a ribbon-cutting for the inaugural mural at the corner of Fort Harrison Avenue and Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater. The city commissioned Clearwater artist Beth Warmath to paint the first storm drain mural…

The city followed up in November by introducing its Dumpster Art Program in which residents are invited to paint murals on Dumpsters around the city.

‘This program presents a unique opportunity to transform something that isn’t traditionally beautiful into a work of art,’ said Juliahna Green, neighborhoods coordinator for the City of Clearwater.

The city will provide the blank canvas — the Dumpsters — and all the necessary supplies. Participants need only to supply their time, creativity and ideas to beautify the Dumpsters located at schools, apartment buildings and businesses.

Photo: City of Clearwater

Applications can be submitted by individuals or teams and must specify the design and intended location. The city must approve the application before painting may begin.

‘Projects like this have the power to brighten up street corners and bring communities together around a common project: a bright and beautiful Clearwater,’ Green said.

Photo: City of Clearwater

This is the fifth placemaking project the city launched in 2019. Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to planning, designing and managing public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and well-being.

Earlier this summer, the city introduced the placemaking projects Sidewalk Rain Art and Signal Box Art.

And, in October, the city initiated the Little Free Library program to promote literacy as well as community placemaking.

Under the Little Free Library, residents are encouraged to design and erect a public library box in to use as a free book exchange. The city encourages the use of recycled materials to create colorful book drops or residents can order a pre-made library that can be painted, decorated and installed in front of a coffee shop, public building, bus stop or school…”

— D’Ann Lawrence White, Patch

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“Destin considers hiding power lines underground”

“Destin considers hiding power lines underground”

Photo: Gulf Power

“The city has many potential ways to pay for placing overhead electrical lines and other utility lines within Destin underground, staff told the City Council on Monday.

While the council discussed the funding options, it made no concrete decisions.

The undergrounding of utility lines along U.S. Highway 98 and throughout the city is a project that Destin officials say would beautify the city and lead to fewer storm-caused power outages.

Currently, the city is in the final phase of negotiating a new franchise agreement with Gulf Power for electricity services, according to Destin Finance Director Bragg Farmer. Items being negotiated include a price to underground the company’s power lines, as well as other utility lines attached to power poles, in Destin.

While placing all the lines underground will take at least two decades, city officials for now are focused on exploring possible funding sources to pay for the placements during the next 10 years or so. Funding must be identified and secured before issuing a revenue note/bond that would pay for the project upfront, according to Farmer…”

— Tony Judnich, The Destin Log

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