Fact Checking The Poynter Institute

  By Jim Bleyer The Poynter Institute, self-anointed watchdog of journalistic ethics and the public trust, has declared Apr. 2 as International Fact-Checking Day. Billed as a “global initiative,” the effort is aimed at heightening awareness about misinformation, “especially online.” But before holding itself up as the epitome of trustworthiness …

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Feeding a Regional Transit Authority on Tampa Bay

 By Sharon Calvert  Regional bureaucracies an arms length away from voters and taxpayers are not more efficient, especially over time. They become less accountable and more powerful, arrogant, crony and wasteful. We posted here about Latvala’s Senate bill 1672 and its companion House bill 1243 that grows the size and …

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Sharpe Promotes Transit for Innovation Place

  By Jim Bleyer Improved mass transit is the top priority of the 238 businesses that comprise Innovation Place, the economic district anchored by the University of South Florida, the organization’s Executive Director Mark Sharpe said Friday. Speaking at Cafe con Tampa’s weekly community forum, Sharpe conceded that Hillsborough County …

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Jack Latvala: The Elephant in the Room

A Latvala Power Trip To Seasons 52 in Tampa By Jim Bleyer The aura of power, if not power itself, was on full display Monday at a workshop for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) board of directors. Senate Bill 1672, which would create an umbrella transit authority over …

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Times Report Deceptive, Says Transportation Expert

Mark Aesch   By Jim Bleyer The Tampa Bay Times characterization of Tampa Bay as having “one of the worst transit systems in America” is not only “silly and misleading” but 180 degress from the truth, according to nationally-recognized transportation expert Mark Aesch. If the article, published Feb. 16, underwent …

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No to Regionalism in Tampa Bay

By Sharon Calvert (Reprinted from Eye on Tampa Bay) Watch these two companion bills filed in this legislative session affecting transportation in Tampa Bay. SB1672 was filed by Senator Appropriations Chair Senator Latvala and it’s identical House companion bill HB1243 was filed by Representative Dan Raulerson who is not a …

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Oh, What a Week!

By Jim Bleyer Until recently, conventional wisdom dictated that one should never pick a fight with people that buy ink by the barrelful. That precept no longer applies, especially in Tampa Bay. Two public figures, whose incompetence and backroom wheeling and dealing have been shielded from public view under the …

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Bipartisan Consensus Builds for Hillsborough Mass Transit

By Jim Bleyer In outlining her vision for Hillsborough County’s mass transit future Friday, Pat Kemp found herself in the trenches alongside activists on the opposite side of the political spectrum. The rookie county commissioner, a Democrat, shares many of the same views as self-styled conservatives  who during the past …

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Times Agenda Overrides Integrity

By Jim Bleyer The Tampa Bay Times this month forfeited its right to be perceived as a fair, serious journalistic entity. The newspaper sent its designated first-string political writer to a well-publicized forum last Friday on mass transit featuring three high-profile opponents of light rail.  The overflowing Cafe con Tampa …

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Is Anybody Listening?

By Jim Bleyer Timothy Leary would have riffed, “Drop in, turn off, tune out.” The three citizen activists most instrumental in defeating Greenlight Pinellas and Go Hillsborough, the most recent ill-fated local transit proposals calling for higher sales taxes, spoke Friday morning to an SRO, mostly pro-transit crowd at Cafe con …

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