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Ed Montanari

St. Petersburg City Council committee advances plastic bag ban

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A St. Petersburg City Council committee took the first step toward crafting a citywide ban on plastic shopping bags Thursday, reports the Tampa Bay Times. St. Petersburg’s Energy Natural Resources and Sustainability Committee voted 3-1 to start drafting the ordinance, with City Council member Ed Montanari casting the lone vote against the measure. Plastic bags have drawn the ire of many environmental groups since they don’t break down, can harm or kill wildlife, clog flood control systems and even serve…

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Rick Kriseman enjoys big day as St. Pete Pier construction gets underway

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Wednesday was a big day for Rick Kriseman. Joined by Assistant Mayor Kanika Tomalin, City Councilmembers Darden Rice, Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Ed Montanari, and Karl Nurse, as well as other officials, the mayor took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. Petersburg Pier, a major symbolic event for a project that has become a huge political issue. “It was really important that we fulfill the desires of the community from the standpoint of functionality, but do it within budget,…

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St. Pete Council moves to keep big money out of city campaigns

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St. Petersburg’s City Council took a step toward enacting far-reaching campaign finance reform, which could go well beyond what any other U.S. city has done before. On a 4-3 vote, council members supported a proposal that would require corporations that spend more than $5,000 in city elections to certify they are not entirely or partly owned by foreign interests above certain thresholds. The measure also would put a $5,000 limit on individual contributions to Super PACs that spend money on city…

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Announcing another bid for St. Pete mayor, Rick Baker savages Rick Kriseman

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Speaking in impassioned tones Tuesday, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is ready to tangle head on against incumbent Rick Kriseman. “You’re going to hear a lot about Republicans and Democrats over the next few months,” Baker said as he formally announced his bid for mayor on the steps of St. Pete City Hall. “Because that’s that’s the only thing they have.” Baker was referring to earlier statements from Kriseman’s campaign manager about Baker’s support for Republicans like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin…

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St. Pete City Council delays vote on funds for Tall Ship Lynx

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St. Petersburg council members decided Thursday to send to committee a proposal to spend BP settlement money to build a docking area for the Tall Ship Lynx. If the proposal passes the council’s budget committee, it would come back for a final decision. Under the proposal, the council would spend up to $65,000 on infrastructure so the Lynx can winter at the Vinoy Basin/North Yacht Basin. The ship is currently berthed at the Harborage Marina. The Tall Ship Lynx is…

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Tall Ship Lynx to dock in St. Pete — permanently

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The Tall Ship Lynx, a modern interpretation of an 1812 American privateer, is scheduled to sail into St. Pete on Wednesday morning where it has found a permanent winter home. The 110-foot ship is expected to come under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge with full sails sometime around 10 a.m. It will then head into the Vinoy Basin/North Yacht Basin, do a four-gun salute and make her way to Harborage Marina where she will berth until the seasonal dock is finalized right next…

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Proposal to limit outside money in St. Pete elections remains up for discussion

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After hearing from legal experts, St. Petersburg council members agreed to a future discussion about a proposal that would limit donations from so-called super PACs in city elections. Most council members support the idea. But, they were all cautious about the possible financial liability that could hit the city if the proposed ordinance was overturned in court. “Intellectually, I’m there,” Amy Foster said. “Certainly, I’m concerned about risk.” Charles Gerdes was equally cautious, saying, “I need some time to talk…

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