Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Ellen Kirkland

Ellen Kirkland has 4 articles published.

Florida’s baffling education numbers

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Are you baffled by Florida education stats? If you are, then you are not alone. Teachers of the year in three area counties had low scores for improving total FCAT outcomes for their students, even though their subjects were not subjects directly tested for on the FCAT. Did you get that? Several educators in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, who did not teach FCAT tested subjects, were chosen for Teacher of The Year in their respective county despite the fact that…

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Warning: Danger is lurking on St. Pete’s Citytrails

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By all accounts, St. Pete’s investment in bike trails and lanes, known as Citytrails, has been wildly successful in living down the city’s reputation as one of the most dangerous places in American to be a pedestrian or cyclist. The trails’ increased popularity, however, has come at a cost – a recent spike in crime: three recent rapes, an explosion of robberies and brutal assaults. Despite citizen complaints, until recently, there has been little supervision, no emergency communication devices or…

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The Devil is still in the details as St. Pete embraces universal curbside recycling

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Supporters packed the St. Pete City Council Chamber, Mayor Rick Kriseman was there to oversee the auspicious event – last week, St. Pete’s City Council voted to have the city staff begin the RPO process with the goal of bringing mandatory, universal curbside recycling to Florida’s fourth largest city by next September. Please, don’t jump for joy just yet — by ordering an RPO, the council merely instructed city staff to solicit bids from outside vendors. Stepping to the microphone,…

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C.O.N.A power grab takes members by surprise

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What the heck is going on at the Council of Neighborhoods Associations of South Pinellas (CONA)?  After the herculean efforts of outgoing President, Kurt Donley, to draw attention and resources to some of St. Pete’s most under-represented neighborhoods, and then handpicking his successor, Lisa Wheeler-Brown – Donley’s application to have his latest organizing effort, The Gulfport Marina District Neighborhood Association, approved as a new CONA member was rejected with Wheeler-Brown cast the deciding vote in a split decision at the…

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