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Sierra Club opposes proposed half-cent transit tax in Hillsborough County

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although the Hillsborough County Policy Leadership Group won’t meet until next week to officially give its imprimatur to a proposed half-cent transit tax plan that County Administrator Mike Merrill unveiled last month, the plan has been met with less than enthusiastic reaction in some quarters of the county. Critics contend that it leans too heavily toward toward road and bridge maintenance, with just a third of the funds devoted to transit. With that backdrop, it shouldn’t be a complete surprise that the Tampa Bay…

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Darden Rice seriously contemplating challenging David Jolly in CD 13

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Another Democrat is looking at the possibility of challenging Republican David Jolly in 2016, and this one actually lives in the district. St. Petersburg City Councilwoman Darden Rice says she’s been asked “for some time” to consider running for the Democratic nomination for the CD 13 seat, and she says she is giving it the serious consideration that it deserves. She says she will make her decision shortly after returning from an upcoming vacation. Among those interested in a possible…

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Transit activists unhappy with reported Hillsborough transit tax proposal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill was briefing some members of the Hillsborough County Commission Wednesday afternoon, a day before he’ll unveil before the public his recommendations on how the county should address its huge transportation needs. As first reported by the Tampa Tribune’s Mike Salinero, Merrill will propose that commissioners put a half-cent sales transit tax on the 2016 ballot, but with only 30 percent of those funds being allocated to mass transit. Sixty percent would be for building and rebuilding…

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‘Sunshine State’ or not, Florida badly behind on solar power

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17Residents of the Sunshine State are finding that harnessing Florida’s abundant solar power is no simple task. With its bounty of sunny days, Florida ranks third in the nation in rooftop solar energy potential but 13th in the amount of solar energy generated, according to industry estimates. The industry views Florida as a sleeping giant that could rival California in solar potential, but renewable energy experts say the state lags behind because old laws favor utilities over private enterprise. “The…

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Pier Selection Committee: How they voted the last time

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With just hours to go until the Pier Selection Committee issues its final ranking of three design concepts, here’s a rundown of how they voted last time. During the marathon 12-hour meeting last month, the Pier Selection Committee seemed poised to rank Alma as its top pick out of three designs also including Pier Park and Destination St. Pete Pier. Since that meeting, members of the public have sounded a booming objection to that choice, noting that Alma was not…

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Pat Kemp says she’s the best Democrat in the Hillsborough County Commission District 6 seat

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

On Monday, Pat Kemp made official what she has told anyone who asked since last November’s election– she is running again for a Hillsborough County Commission seat in 2016, this time in the District 6 countywide seat being vacated by Kevin Beckner, whose term ends next year. Florida Politics originally reported she would run back in late February, but Kemp didn’t officially file until Monday. The difference since then is that it’s no longer theoretical that she’ll have a challenger…

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The Suncoast Sierra Club doesn’t exactly endorse Blue Pier, but they kind of do

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Suncoast Sierra Club isn’t specifically endorsing a Pier design, but they are fingering one as the best example of sustainability. In a letter to the Pier Selection Committee Wednesday, the Sierra Club’s executive committee calls for a design that “maximizes the potential for Florida-friendly green space and ecological restoration. They argue such a design could help mitigate environmental woes from sea-level rise to water quality and loss of habitat while also creating “a lasting destination for residents and visitors.”…

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