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HART board contemplates releasing annual statement to public

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A suggestion by board member Kathleen Shanahan about sending local newspapers a letter-to-the-editor or op-ed listing the goals and agenda of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit agency prompted a larger debate Monday. “I continue to believe that this organization should be the platform of leadership for transportation, both policy as well as opportunity for implementation for this region,” Shanahan said, adding that there’s considerable interest in the business community about what HART is doing vis-á-vis transportation currently. Shanahan, the chairman and CEO…

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Tampa Chamber says it supports “the right” to have a transportation referendum

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The last time Hillsborough County voters weighed in on a transportation tax in 2010, the effort was led by the business community, specifically the Tampa Bay Partnership, going under the title of Moving Hillsborough Forward. Despite the discussions over the past couple of years with the Hillsborough Policy Leadership group about the intentions of bringing back a sales tax referendum on transportation in 2016, it’s still questionable whether Hillsborough voters will actually get that opportunity. That remains up to the Hillsborough Board…

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For Tom Scott, ‘driving while black’ is more than a slogan

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Negative relations between law enforcement and the black community have been a huge story over the past year, and incidents of police abuse captured on video have led to a call for reforms, such as the use of body cameras for police officers. That background — as well as a published report that blacks in Tampa had received nearly 80 percent of all bicycle citations over the past dozen years — has spurred the call for a civilian review board for…

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Keel & Curly winery has plenty of experience in civil court

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A vendor who provided products to Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City is suing its owner, Joe Keel, for failing to remit payment for those goods amounting to more than $30,000. Keel & Curley allegedly failed to pay for things like beer kegs, wine yeast and polyethersulfone, a solution used to remove bacteria. The lawsuit also seeks more than $23,000 from Two Henrys Brewing company for also failing to remit payments for goods. Keel should know his way around…

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Activists call for fighting legislation in Tally at Tampa Pride event

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Members of the GLBT community and their allies flocked to Ybor City under idyllic conditions on Saturday, as Tampa hosted its first gay pride event in over a decade. In his public remarks, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner referred to what he called one of the “darkest moments in this country’s history” – the June 15, 2005 vote by the Board of County Commissioners to ban “gay pride” events. “I think it was a day when most of us felt a loss…

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Mitch Perry Report for 3.24.15 — Election season ends in Tampa tonight

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The city of Tampa’s uneventful election season comes to a halt tonight. By 8 p.m. we should have a winner in the only City Council race that remains undecided — the District 6 battle between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo. I hate the overuse of the term “Seinfeld” to describe something as being about nothing. So I’ll refrain from calling this a “Seinfeld election season,” but really, what have been the big issues in the city that have been discussed…

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Marilyn Smith booted off Hillsborough County Charter Review Board

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Hillsborough County community activist Marilyn Smith was removed from the County’s Charter Review Commission on Friday. The move came after County Commissioners Ken Hagan and Les Miller heard heaps of criticism about Smith from members of the Latino community, following the first meeting of the newly constituted Review Commission last week. Smith was accused by fellow board member Yomari Rodriguez of being disruptive during the meeting and making racially provocative remarks. After the meeting concluded, Rodriguez says Smith told her, “You people won’t…

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