Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Drivers who want to appeal a ticket might have to pay up to $250 in additional fees if Gov. Rick Scott signs a new bill into law. Do you think that’s right?
Hate red light cameras? If so, you might hate them even more if Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill recently passed by the Florida Legislature into law. The bill sets a new process for appeals that enables local government bodies – cities and counties – to tack on an additional $250 in court fees for those who try to appeal tickets generated by red light cameras and fail. It also puts the new appeals process into the hands of those very same local governments that would benefit from the additional fees. That means motorists who appeal and lose will no longer be subject to just a $158 penalty – they might have to fork over $408. The new law, according to The Tampa Tribune, was designed to streamline the appeals process and put more control in the …
Monday, May 6, 2013
A law that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida didn’t get Gov. Rick Scott’s stamp of approval. Do you think he was right to nix the legislation?
Divorced men and women across Florida got good news – or bad, depending on perspective – late last week when Gov. Rick Scott shot down a law that would have put an end to permanent alimony in Florida. Scott vetoed the measure with only four hours left on the clock for it to automatically go into law, according to Fox News. Citing concerns about the financial impacts the bill would have on Florida families and a dislike for the fact the measure had a clause that would make it retroactive, Scott told lawmakers he could not support passage. "The retroactive adjustment of alimony could result in unfair, unanticipated results,” Fox quoted Scott as saying. Had the law gone into effect it would have limited the amount of alimony a person could …
Friday, May 3, 2013
The Florida Senate recently approved a measure that would make it against the law to text while driving. Do you think it will improve the safety of local roads?
They say the third time’s the charm, but for Florida’s texting ban five seems to be the magic number. A bill that makes it illegal to text while driving finally made it through the Senate and into Gov. Rick Scott’s hands earlier this week. Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, has tried for five legislative sessions to get the measure approved, according to TBO.com. If Scott signs the bill, it will become illegal to text behind the wheel. The bill, however, doesn’t apply to texting while stopped at red lights or for those who are parked on roadsides. The fine for texting behind the wheel will be considered a secondary one and only carries a price tag $30, according to TBO. So, what do you think, Palm Harbor? Do you like the new law? Does it go far …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Florida Legislature has passed a merit-based pay raise that will go into effect next year.
It looks like Gov. Rick Scott’s promise to give Palm Harbor area teachers a raise is coming to fruition, but it’ll be a little later than hoped. Both the House and Senate gave a green light to a measure that would give Florida teachers a raise, but instead of being across-the-board, the proposal calls for merit-based raises. And, while Scott wanted to see those raises go into effect in 2013, they won’t be happening until June 2014, according to The Tampa Tribune. Under the Legislature’s plan, teachers who are ranked “effective” will be eligible for raises of $2,500. Teachers who are deemed “highly effective” will get $3,500, the Tribune says. Scott proposed the statewide raise in January. Pinellas County teachers are among the only in the …
Monday, April 29, 2013
One Florida County has given elementary school principals the green light to paddle misbehaving students. What do you think about this, Tampa Bay?
A trip to the principal’s office in Marion County elementary schools might mean more for misbehaving students than a call to parents and possible detention detail. Principals there have been given the green light to paddle unruly pupils. The county’s school board decided April 23 that it was high time this once banned practice was brought back into the educational system. Citing repeat disciplinary problems with students where nothing else worked to get kids on track, board member Carol Ely, a retired principal, put the idea on the table. While the measure passed, principals don’t have carte blanche to paddle kids. Principals must first obtain standing written permission from parents, and they must get verbal permission before each …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The total economic impact of February overnight visitation to Pinellas county added $689,232,813 to the economy, according to a report by the TDC.
Tourism numbers just released for February continue to positive gains throughout Pinellas County. According to a report by the TDC, the total economic impact of February overnight visitation to Pinellas County added $689,232,813 to the economy Tourism by the Numbers Attractions/Theme Parks Visited by Pinellas Tourists in February (Chart from TDC)
Monday, April 22, 2013
The federal government says not in this case, but detractors are saying the FBI’s failure to Mirandize bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, poses a concern for individual rights. What’s your take, Tampa Bay?
The massive manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers is finished, but the story is far from over. With one suspect dead and the other in custody attentions now turn to gleaning intelligence that might prevent future attacks and making sure the victims and their families see justice delivered. It’s the quest to glean intelligence, however, that has some worrying about how effective a case against Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, will be and if the individual rights of Americans are taking a hit as law enforcement carries out its duties by employing some unusual measures. When Tsarnaev was taken into custody on April 19, he was not read his Miranda rights. The federal government invoked the public safety exception, which gives it a right to interrogate …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
The commission's proposal would create a separate taxing district for East Lake in which residents would pay a quarter mill in taxes and this money would fund the East Lake Library, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.
Pinellas County Commissioners voted 5-2, Thursday to have county staff draft an ordinance allowing East Lake residents to fund their own library, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times. Many East Lake residents have been unhappy for years because a large percentage of money they pay for property taxes is distributed for use in other parts of the county, instead of being used in the community. The median value of owner-occupied homes in East Lake is $312,700, according to 2010 U.S. Census records. With a population of 30,962 and 80-percent home ownership, East Lake homeowners contribute a hefty amount of money to Pinellas County tax coffers. The commission's proposal would allow the creation of a separate taxing district for East …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Pinellas and Pasco residents who want to learn more about the proposed connector trail are invited to a workshop April 18.
While a proposed connector that would link the Pinellas Trail with the Starkey Wilderness Trail is still a dream for the future, planners want to hear from Palm Harbor residents now. A workshop meeting with residents has been called by the Metropolitan Planning Organizations of both Pasco and Pinellas counties. That meeting takes place Thursday, April 18 at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, 3940 Keystone Road, in Tarpon Springs. It runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. During the workshop, MPO representatives and planners from URS Corporation, Design and Engineering Consultants will discuss the proposed 7-mile link that will eventually connect the Pinellas Trail and the Brooker Creek Preserve with Pasco County’s Starkey …
Monday, April 15, 2013
As Tax Freedom Day 2013 nears, we’re wondering how you feel about your bottom line? Do you think the government takes too much of a cut?
As the sun sets on another tax season, Americans have reason to celebrate. Tax Freedom Day 2013 is almost here. That’s the day when the country collectively has earned enough cash to pay off its taxes – federal and state – for the current year, according to TaxFoundation.org. “Tax Freedom Day provides Americans with an easy way to gauge the overall tax take – a task that can otherwise be daunting due to the multiplicity of taxes at various levels of government and ‘hidden’ taxes and fees that are often buried in the cost of living,” the organization’s website states. This year Tax Freedom Day falls on April 18. From that point on, Americans stop working for the government and start working for themselves, according to the foundation. So …