“A pop of color on utility boxes in North Miami’s Griffing Park”

“A pop of color on utility boxes in North Miami’s Griffing Park”

Photo: City Of North Miami

“The colorful brushstrokes of local artist and once-North Miami resident Cavan Koebel now adorn utility boxes, benches and more at Griffing Park, part of the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Art in Public Places Program.

Helmed by newly named Public Arts Program Manager Michelle McKoy, this project is one of many coming to the city. Murals and public art have been popping up around North Miami for quite some time.

‘I’m looking forward to working with innovative artists and implementing public art that reflects the diversity of North Miami. Infusing energy on multiple levels is what art does, I’m fortunate for the opportunity to navigate this terrain using expressive art modalities,’ said McKoy…

In total, Koebel’s work is featured on four concrete benches, six utility boxes, one single-story concrete pavilion and two smaller single-story utility buildings… Koebel worked closely with the city in vinyl-wrapping the work at the park to ensure that the designs hold up to Miami’s weather elements…

A formal Call to Artists (released in February) for the public art in Griffing Park garnered 23 applications. The North Miami CRA Board and Art Selection Committee chose Koebel with a commission of $3,500 for his chosen design… Later down the road, they will work with private property owners along 125th Street to create sustainability murals. Another upcoming project will involve painting fire hydrants in the community and will involve the Police Athletic League of North Miami.

A majority of the pieces are required to include a specially designed NoMi Heart to distinguish them as Art in Public Places Projects…”

— Josie Gulliksen, Arftburstmiami.Com in Miami Herald

Read entire article

“Pollen, not pollution: Utrecht’s new bus stops are buzzing”

“Pollen, not pollution: Utrecht’s new bus stops are buzzing”

Photo: Mobilane, One of Utrecht’s green roof bus stops.
“Utrecht’s bee friendly bus shelters are capturing the world’s imagination with media from across the globe reporting on a solution to urban pollution that is both simple and effective.

From Mexico City to Melbourne, local officials have been in touch about how to make bus shelters a part of efforts to combat pollution and protect bees, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

When Utrecht city council started looking for ways of making the city more sustainable Reclamebureau Limburg (RBL), which specialises in advertising in public spaces, was quick to take up the gauntlet.

Apart from bamboo seats, RBL’s new bus shelter, of which there are now over 300 in Utrecht, has a green roof . The hardy sedum plants provided by family firm Mobilane reduce the amount of lung-damaging fine dust, store rain water and combat heat. They also promote biodiversity, and the ‘bee stops’, as the foreign press dubbed them, could well play a part in saving this endangered insect.

With July entering the history books as the hottest ever recorded the shelters were put to the test almost immediately. RBL, which built and maintains the shelters from the proceeds of advertising, told the Volkskrant that the plants survived the heat wave ‘surprisingly well’. Sedum plants need little water and are able to withstand extreme temperatures…

While the sustainable shelters are not going to save the world, the 2,000 m2 of additional green roofs will contribute to cleaner air in the city and 96 of them have also been equipped with solar panels…”

— DutchNews.nl
Read entire article

Miami: “Stay dry or stay online? At bus stops, it’s free Wi-Fi versus shelters.”

Miami: “Stay dry or stay online? At bus stops, it’s free Wi-Fi versus shelters.”

Photo: C.M. Guerrero

“A cutting-edge network of interactive digital kiosks for Miami-Dade’s transit system may cost passengers an old-fashioned perk: shelter from the rain and the sun.

Outfront Media, the company that builds county bus shelters in exchange for selling ad space on the structures, recently warned it may have to abandon the venture if a rival company installs as many as 300 Wi-Fi-enabled kiosks at bus stops across the county. The kiosk company, Civiq, won a deal in January to spend about $20 million bringing the technology to Miami-Dade at no charge, partly in exchange for selling ads on the nearly 10-foot-tall pylons.

‘We understand that the objectives of the digital kiosk program are fantastic — to provide free Wi-Fi to transit riders,’ Outfront lobbyist Michael Llorente told county commissioners at a recent hearing. ‘But I can assure you that if that program is funded by essentially cannibalizing some of our top-producing bus shelters, a lot of those riders are going to be surfing the Internet under the sun and the rain. Because the money is simply not going to be there for the bus shelters.’

County vendors often warn of financial ruin if the government allows competition, and Outfront has millions invested in its near-monopoly on advertising throughout South Florida’s public-transportation system. It already wraps national brands around Miami-Dade Metromover cars, county buses and on placards at all Metrorail stations under an exclusive contract approved in 2015…”

–Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald

Read entire article

William D. Brinton Celebration and Endowment in Jacksonville

William D. Brinton Celebration and Endowment in Jacksonville

Photo: Leah Powell
Bill Brinton has spent a lifetime as a protector of unspoiled views. He has successfully battled local, state and national forces bent on visual assault caused by installation of outdoor advertising and other unsightly intrusions.

He believes in the power of citizens to take a stand for the irreplaceable resources that matter most. Because of his foresight, you can be part of a mobilized citizenry that ensures our scenic surroundings for generations to come.

Bill chose to mark the 30th anniversary of the successful Jacksonville City Charter Amendment banning new billboards and removing more than 1,400 existing billboards with the creation of the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville.

When fully funded, this endowment will enable Scenic Jacksonville — also celebrating its 30th anniversary — to continue its vital work to preserve the breathtaking views we cherish and provide support for new projects that enhance our much-loved home.

It is Bill’s vision to raise $300,000 for the endowment, which is held at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. His dream is to see it provide perpetual funding for the things he holds most dear: civic engagement, advocacy, and education.

He’s eager to involve the next generation by sponsoring photo and essay contests to instil a love of our natural surroundings in young citizens.

There is so much more we can do together if we rally around Bill’s visionary leadership and ultimate victory over unsightly signage.

For more information about the fund, please contact Nina Waters, President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida at(904) 356-4483 or nwaters@jaxcf.org.

To contribute to the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville, go to jaxcf.org/donate and enter Scenic Jacksonville into the Search box.”
Save the Date: May 17 for a Celebration in Jacksonville
Visit the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

–Scenic Jacksonville

“Keep Manatee Beautiful wants advertising benches removed”

“Keep Manatee Beautiful wants advertising benches removed”

Video: Mark Young, Bradenton Herald

“Keep Manatee Beautiful Executive Director Ingrid McClellan has been involved in a lengthy battle to rid Manatee County of unsightly and ‘illegal’ advertising benches scattered along state roadways, most being near Manatee County Transit Authority bus stops.

‘We think it’s taking too long,’ said McClellan.

Keep Manatee Beautiful Executive Director Ingrid McClellan says Bradenton is not doing enough to eliminate ‘illegal’ advertising benches and calls for corrective action.”

Scenic Manatee.bus benches.opt
Photo: Mark Young, Bradenton Herald

“Tampa-based Metropolitan Bench is making about $144,000 a year from the advertisement benches. Their contract with Manatee County expired in 2012 and the final benches in unincorporated Manatee County were removed just days ago. Those benches are now piling up within city limits.

Bradenton also has a contract with the company that dates back to 1971. According to Public Works Director Jim McLellan, ‘whoever negotiated that contract did it differently than the county’s and it didn’t have an expiration date or give us an out clause.’

McLellan said the city’s position is they want them gone, but staff must review the contract to determine how. McClellan said if the city reads the initial proposal requirements and enforces its land use regulations, the issue would be resolved. Requirements include that the benches not be angled toward the roadway by more than 30 degrees, that they not interfere with the right of way and they not be placed on grass.

Most of the estimated 144 benches are in violation of the requirements. MCAT is not allowing the benches to be placed on their concrete pads at the bus stops, so many of the benches were pushed off onto the grass.

‘It’s misleading to bus riders, too,’ said McClellan. ‘Technically, a bus doesn’t have to stop if riders are sitting on those unauthorized benches…’

The contract requires the company carries liability insurance; in 1971, that was $350,000. A typical event organizer will pay for a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance today. McClellan said the company was also required to submit applications to the city for each bench placed, ‘and there isn’t a single application on file.’

She said if the city would enforce its own rules, the benches would be required to be placed on their own concrete pads, which would require a permit through FDOT, which isn’t likely to happen. The only option for the company would be removal, she said.”

— Mark Young, Bradenton Herald

Read entire article
Visit Keep Manatee Beautiful website