Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Linda Hersey - page 3

Linda Hersey has 54 articles published.

During key debate, Foster strikes tone of optimism, while Kriseman remains critical

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It’s morning in St. Petersburg again. As if taking a cue from the Reagan era, Mayor Bill Foster declared Tuesday that “the sun is shining in St. Petersburg” during a candidates’ forum at the Palladium Theater. Countering attacks by challenger Rick Kriseman, the incumbent mayor worked to strike a tone of optimism, as he told an audience that “72 percent of residents feel that the city is on the right path,” and “the wind is in our sails.” Foster and…

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Rick Kriseman credits Rick Baker, not Bill Foster, for downtown’s recovery

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If voters are to believe challenger Rick Kriseman, it is Mayor Bill Foster’s predecessor who should take credit for revitalizing downtown and bringing Walmart to midtown St. Petersburg. In a City Hall debate Monday, Kriseman said that the building boom under way is the result of projects fostered under the Rick Baker administration, not by Foster. Foster objected to Kriseman’s assertion, at one point his denials interrupting the challenger’s turn to speak. “I helped navigate this city through the worst…

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Florida’s unemployment claims system shutting down for a week; claims, checks to be delayed

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If you’re planning to file an unemployment claim in Florida, you’re out of luck for the next week. The state Department of Economic Opportunity has announced that it is shutting down its web-based unemployment filing system from noon Wednesday, Oct. 9, to 8 a.m., Oct. 15. The shutdown is expected to affected tens of thousands of unemployed Floridians receiving benefits. The online system is being idled to allow for the state to transfer claims and accounts to a new online…

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State officials urged to include light rail in Howard Frankland Bridge replacement

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A public hearing on bridge replacement turned into a plea for mass transit Tuesday night, when the state Transportation Department convened a meeting on plans to rebuild the Howard Frankland Bridge at a cost of $390 million. From the St. Pete Area Chamber of Commerce to the Sierra Club to Duke Energy, speaker after speaker pleaded with state engineers to consider future transportation needs and to include light rail as an option. About 75 people attended the Tuesday night forum, which…

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At Kriseman campaign event, Charlie Crist can’t avoid questions about his own political future

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Former Gov. Charlie Crist brought his star power to the St. Pete mayor’s race Monday morning, endorsing candidate Rick Kriseman as the “strong, decisive leader needed in this executive position.”  The endorsement – which Crist gave at a press conference in Midtown – linked the popular ex-governor to Kriseman, a former Democratic legislator locked in a tight race against incumbent Mayor Bill Foster. It also effectively stole the moment from Foster, whose appearance at the opening of a Walmart hiring center…

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Bill Foster to attend opening of Midtown Walmart hiring center

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St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is touting the 95 jobs that the opening of a Walmart Neighborhood Market will create in Midtown. On Monday at 10 a.m., Walmart’s hiring center will open at 1201 22nd St. South. New employees will report to work in December, which is a month before the new store will open. A Walmart Neighborhood Market is planned for Tangerine Plaza, which is located at 22nd Street South and 18th Avenue South.  In addition to folks looking for…

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Urban Land Institute: Protect downtown waterfront, promote ‘Innovation District’

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An Urban Land Institute panel finished a week-long visit Friday to St. Petersurg by issuing recommendations for improving, protecting and growing downtown. The panel of eight urban-land use experts offered a comprehensive list of “responsible land use” ideas. But the members also seemed smitten by the amenities and quality of life downtown has to offer. “I must say I was shocked by how nice it is here,” said Richard Reinhard of the Urban Land Institute. The members said they biked,…

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