Friday, May 17, 2013
As news about possible abuses of power on the federal level continues to break, we’d like to get your take about what’s been going on Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay residents who keep up with the headlines coming out of Washington, D.C., have likely found themselves scratching their heads more than a few times this past week. Allegations of wrongdoing seem to be coming at the speed of light as the Obama Administration fends off bad press about inappropriate targeting of Tea Party organizations by the Internal Revenue Service and possible wrongdoing in the handling of a national security leak. The IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups centers around hassles these groups report experiencing while trying to apply for tax-exempt status prior to the 2012 election. The controversy even hit home as Bay area groups are now reporting that they were targeted, according to The Tampa Tribune. The kerfuffle…
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The city of Sarasota just enacted a law aimed at getting motorists to turn down the volume. Now, other local governments are following suit. Should they?
Most of us have been in the car when a great tune comes on the radio. The urge to turn up that volume just a little bit is often too strong to resist. But, how loud is too loud? When is cranking it up going too far? When should authorities be able to step in and say enough is enough? Those are questions some local governments in the Tampa Bay area are now wrestling with. Since the Florida Legislature shot down a measure that would have regulated just how loud car stereos can be, some local authorities have decided to take matters into their own hands. The City of Sarasota just put its new ordinance into effect that makes it against the law for car stereos and portable electronic devices to emit sounds at a level that are considered “…
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Curious to see what passed and what didn’t during the Florida Legislature’s 2013 session?
Wine in a keg can now be sold in the East Lake area. It’s no longer legal to dye or artificially color an animal. Early voting is going to be extended to prevent those extra-long lines some experienced during the 2012 Presidential Election. Those are just a few of the bills that made it through the House and Senate before the Florida Legislature called it quits on the 2013 session, according to The Miami Herald. Here’s a look at a few of the bills that didn’t quite make the grade: Want to find out more about what passed, what failed and what got vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott? Check out The Miami Herald’s winners and losers list. How do you think state lawmakers did during the 2013 session? Did any laws pass you think are absurd? Did something …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
From events to blogs, the free options on East Lake Patch are a must for small business owners and local organizations.
Sure, social media has become a strong source of marketing, but what if you could target just your community? Well, with East Lake Patch, you can. Begin connecting with your neighbors and newbies by using any or all of these free tools. To post an event on Patch: To post an announcement on Patch: To start a blog on Patch:
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Florida House and Senate recently approved a measure that would make driving slow in the fast lane punishable by a fine. Do you think this is a good idea?
Can’t handle traveling at the Interstate’s 70 mph pace or a local four-lane road’s legal top speed? You might want to get in the practice of moving over. The Florida House and Senate recently approved a measure that makes it illegal to drive more than 10 mph under the speed limit if your vehicle is riding in the fast lane. The proposal will become the law of the land in Florida if Gov. Rick Scott signs on the dotted line. Dubbed the “road rage” bill, according to ABC News, the measure would give law enforcement the right to fine drivers $60 for moving at a snail’s pace in the far left lane of any road that has two or more lanes. That means slow drivers who refuse to move over – often causing other motorists to lose their cool – would be …
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 …
Saturday, May 4, 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, East Lake? 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 East Lake 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 …