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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Slamming the Brakes on the Tampa Bay Express

                  By Jim Bleyer The Florida Department of Transportation plan to widen Interstate-275 with an express toll lane, known as TBX, faces burgeoning opposition from social and environmental activists as well as those who believe it is poor transportation policy. The DOT’s …

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Media Abets Government ‘Pay-to-Play’

  By George Niemann Guest Columnist   Sadly, this story out of South Florida points to what citizens have to deal with on a daily basis. They have to hope that their elected officials don’t “sell” their vote to land developers for campaign contributions and campaign workers. In addition, they have to …

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The ‘Eye’ Calls out Mike Merrill

  By Sharon Calvert Not only did the county commissioners vote last month at the second sales tax hike public hearing against any sales tax hike referendum, they also voted to pursue Commissioner Sandy Murman’s proposal to fund our roads and transportation needs within our growing existing budget. We are …

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