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Local residents plan to dole out bear hugs during rally to stop Florida bear hunt

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The 2,500 people who got permits to hunt bears in Florida are set to start killing off Florida’s only bear species this Saturday. Why? Because the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they could. The Florida Black Bear was on the list of endangered species up until 2012. Now bear supporters across the state are rallying to save the species from what they describe as an unnecessary hunt. A local group will meet at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute…

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Environmentalists to converge on Marco Rubio’s Tampa office wearing life vests to emphasize sea level rise

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Things are going to look a little silly outside of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s Tampa office Wednesday evening as folks are winding up their work day. Environmental groups and supporters are gathering at 5 p.m. in life vests and pool floaties to demand that Rubio be a climate leader, not denier. The event is planned in coordination with 135 cities on a national day of action demanding action on climate change. Florida is ground zero for sea-level rise associated with…

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Suncoast Sierra Club demands answers on raw sewage dump in Clam Bayou

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The Suncoast Sierra Club is asking for answers concerning the recent dumping of more than 15 million gallons of untreated sewage into Clam Bayou and another 5 million of treated sewage into Tampa Bay. In a letter sent to city officials Tuesday, Sierra Club writes, “We understand that the unusually heavy rains caused a crisis situation that demanded an extraordinary response. However, dumping millions of gallons of untreated sewage … is something we absolutely must avoid ever doing again.” City…

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Sierra Club says it has NOT taken a position on proposed transportation tax

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Earlier this month this news organization reported in a headline that the Tampa Bay Sierra Club opposed the proposed half-cent transportation tax that may go before Hillsborough County voters next year. The next day we wrote a follow-up report with Sierra Club program director Pat Kemp, who said that the Club had not opposed the measure, but instead was calling for the county government to implement other measures first before it could come around to possibly consider its support, such as raising the gas tax.…

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Mitch Perry Report for 7.10.15 — A whole lotta political stuff

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It was just an average Thursday in the Florida political world. But first a note about Jeb Bush, who announced that through his own campaign and his Super PAC Right to Rise, has raised a total of $114 million this year, with all but $11 million coming from Right to Rise, which began fundraising for the “non-candidate” back in mid-December. You remember the $100 million figure was broadcast months ago as part of the “Shock and Awe” phase of the…

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Sierra Club says BOCC needs to change things now before it will support transportation tax

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Pat Kemp, the program chair of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club, says it’s not so much that the organization is completely against the proposed half-cent sales transportation tax that could come before Hillsborough County voters next year (as SPB first reported on Wednesday night). It’s just that the group wants to see the county commit to other issues dealing with development and transportation that don’t require taxpayer approval before coming out and fully backing the measure. That includes raising development fees, changing a…

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Mitch Perry Report for 7.9.15 — Pier politics returns yet again in St. Pete

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You’ve gotta love Tom Lambdon. Well, let me take that back. You don’t have to love anybody. In fact, there are many people in St. Petersburg who would hope to never hear this man’s name mentioned in polite company ever again. But civic activists like Lambdon wouldn’t get anywhere if they weren’t representing others who need someone to lead them. I mention the Safety Harbor resident because the St. Pete City Council is meeting today to consider contracts for Pier…

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