Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays are in the MLB Playoffs this year with home field advantage. Tampa took the first game over the Chicago White Sox today with a win of Rays 6 and the Sox 4.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays looked perfectly at home in the playoffs.

The rookie homered in his first two at-bats and the surprising AL East champions were a big hit in their postseason debut, beating the Chicago White Sox 6-4 Thursday in their AL playoff opener.

Full Story

Friday, September 12, 2008

Super Bowl advertising nearly sold out - Tampa Bay Business

NBC has sold 85 percent of its advertising inventory for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, which leaves only about 10 of 67 in-game spots remaining. That leaves a relatively low number left to sell a full five months before the game.

“We see the end zone right now,” said NBC’s head of sports ad sales, Seth Winter.

Winter said that the network already has sold more than a dozen 30-second spots at a record high rate card of $3 million. He expects some of the last spots to sell for more than $3 million as the game gets closer.

“Why would we lower the price for people who have waited?” Winter said.

NBC’s $3 million rate card marks an unprecedented 11 percent increase from the $2.7 million rate card Fox used for this year’s game.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Evacuees Head to Florida

With just about a hour from now at approximately 9:00am EST Gustav will hit the Louisiana Coastline. Hundreds of thousand have evacuated the gulf coast, some headed north and others fled to the neighboring state of Florida. According to the department of transportation the traffic monitors are showing in double amount of traffic on the interstates. The Florida Baptist are offering warm beds and meals to evacuees at the Blue Springs Baptist Conference Center in Marianna, this center will hold up to 180 people. Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist Aug. 31 declared a State of Emergency in Florida, calling for a proactive response in providing assistance to neighboring Gulf Coast states. Florida is opening shelters in Escambia, Walton and Santa Rosa counties. The Executive Order and Emergency Declaration cover Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington, Franklin, Gadsden, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties; and for any host county sheltering evacuees.

While Florida is helping out with the evacuees of Gustav Florida officials are also keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Hanna while it continues to sit out in the Atlantic.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Inverness Great American Cooter Festival

It is just about that time of year again with all of the fall festivals getting into full gear. One of the big festivals that seems to get a lot of attention is the Inverness "The Great American Cooter Festival".

This years festival starts October 24th and runs through the 26th. The Cooter Fest is filled with an abundance of activities too many to mention here, click on the link above to get a listing of all of the activities.

One of the highlighters this year will be the entertainment by The Alabama Blues Brothers . Also the talented entertainer Tito Garcia, He enjoys great success as a solo performer. The self-proclaimed “jazz lover” plays Latin jazz standards as well as more contemporary music in the style of Carlos Santana. Plus much much more.

Inverness sits in the middle of Florida about 20 miles east of the Gulf Coast and about 75 miles north of Tampa. Inverness is very easy to get to off of I-75. At the Wildwood exit about 20 miles south of Ocala you get off onto Hwy 44 and head west 20 miles and you will come to Inverness. Along the way you will pass the scenic Withlacoochee river and the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes which Inverness is noted for. So if your in Florida in October mark it on your calendars to come to Inverness and enjoy a week of great entertainment of festivities.

Mountain Biking in the Ocala National Forest

The Ocala National Forest in the heart of Florida is an excellent recreational family destination for anybody that loves the outdoors. The Ocala National Forest lies between the Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers with Interstate 75 on the west side and Interstate 95 and I-4 on the east side of the forest. One of the mountain bike trails in the forest is called the "Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail ", the trail is 22 miles long and is laid out in a figure eight. The trail is not paved and is rough terrain so a mountain bike is the ideal bike to use.

The trail is marked with yellow diamonds and arrows and posts at road crossings. With Alexander Springs recreation park located at the north end of the trail and Clearwater Lake is located at the south end there is plenty of parking and restroom facilities. To ride the trail there is no fee but to use the facilities at Alexander Springs and Clearwater Lake there are fees.

Map of Paisly Trail

So if your the type looking for a physical challenge and love the great outdoors ive Paisly trail a try.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bicycles and Florida

Florida is ideal place to bicycle, we have some the best climate to ride your bike in. When your digging out of a snow bank up north just think you could be riding your bike on some of the best rails to trails in the country.

There are many biking trails in Florida, both paved and off road, within it's 67 counties. Right here in our backyard we have the Withlacoochee state rail to trail. It is composed of a 46-mile stretch of railroad track that was converted to a paved recreational trail suitable for hiking, biking, and skating. The trail corridor runs through small towns, ranches, and natural areas as it makes its way south from Citrus Springs to Trilby.

For more good information about this trail here are a couple links to look at: Bike Trail,Withlacoochee Trail State.

Along the trail there are rest stops, gazebos and places to eat and drink. There some great little towns to ride your bike into and visit the shops and all up and down the trail there is great scenery to observe. Also along the trail for the nature lovers you can enjoy
the Withlacoochee State Forest, the Withlacoochee River (South) Canoe Trail, and the Fort Cooper State Park.
If biking is not your thing but you enjoy horse back riding there is
an unpaved equestrian trail follows along portions of the paved trail. Contact the Withlacoochee State Trail for more information. ((352) 726-2251)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here we go again

Well, here we go again. Another storm heading to Florida, this one is called Gustav (what a name) I would like to know where they come up with these names. This one is looking to take the same path (for now) and TS Fay.

5 day forecast

As you can see it is going to be a hurricane as it go's over Cuba. With Fay just leaving here and leaving a tremendous amount of rain in its path the ground here is pretty saturated. There is still some flooding taking place in surrounding counties along the west coast of Florida.

We'll just have to wait to the weekend to see what this storm does.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How Big Is Tropical Storm Fay

I saw this picture on weather underground and thought it would be good to share. I just came back in from outside, I left work to go and check on the house since I have 6 large tree's shading our home. The winds are really kicking up, our county is very close to the eye of the storm where the winds are at the worst. No trees down in our yard, but there is a lot of debris flying all over the roads. On the gulf side of the county there are several roads closed due to flooding. At the hospital where I work we are on emergency power, I am not sure but the electric may be out in town. With the high winds it does not take much to knock out the power. Check back later for more updates.

Tropical Storm Fay where is it now

Well tropical storm Fay is right over us as I write. We are experiencing gusty winds and heavy heavy rain fall. There is already flooding of rivers in the area and the schools are closed for today. I have seen several trees down and large broken limbs laying on houses. Of course the storm has slowed down which will bring in a lot more rain off the gulf.

On the heels of this storm we have two more brewing out in the Atlantic.

The predictions for this season is well above average according to the Colorado State University forecast team. To see the complete story "Click Here"

Of course the hurricane season will be be at full bloom in September. My wife and I are suppose to head to Jamaica for a vacation right in the middle of September, but to our advantage we have hurricane insurance on our trip. So we shall see. Hopefully we wont have to use the insurance.

In the post ahead I will try to share some pictures of the storm damage.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Well this storm must really like Florida because since it came on land it has hardly moved. Now the noaa prediction office is saying not only is it going to take it's sweet time getting out of here but after it exits Florida it is going to come back around and strike us again.

There is some good coming out of this storm, I hear Lake Okeechobee is going dry from the drought Florida is going through.

Lake Okeechobee

So with this wonderful storm parked at the banks of the lake it should hopefully bring back up the water levels. A lot of area's around Florida is suffering from lack of water, so there is always something good that comes from something bad.

Make sure you stay tuned, we are now looking at another one to two storms in the Atlantic heading our way from Africa. This is just the beginning.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Florida Government is going "GREEN"

Back in July 2007 Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed an agreement with Germany and the U.K. to work together on combating global warming.
The agreement is a very similar to the ones that the Governor of California signed with the Prime Minister of Britain. Gov. Schwarzenegger said he is not going to wait on the Federal Government to take action and Britain said it is not trying to go behind the backs of the White House but something needs to be done.
Crist signed executive orders that mandate sweeping changes in Florida's energy policy, including cutting greenhouse gas emissions from utilities, imposing strict mileage requirements on cars and revamping the building code to require greater energy efficiency.

Now in 2008 where do we stand on "GREEN"?

Melissa Meehan, a Florida-based organizer for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, stated that "He (Crist) has changed the whole dynamic of going green", "I believe that Gov. Crist truly is a leader on climate change."

Crist issued a series of executive orders designed to achieve a massive 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, as well as "green" building codes and boosting investment in alternative energy technology. Crist called for utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. He also called for adoption of California's tough vehicle-emissions standard, which mandates a 30 percent reduction by 2016.

As the State is rolling forward with the green initiatives the local levels of government are taking action also, take for example Pinellas County.

Pinellas County holds a unique position in that the county was the first government in the state to receive the designation of Green Local Government, and St. Petersburg was the first city designated in the state. Dunedin has since received the honor and other cities are applying. Other municipalities support sustainable practices through their efforts in recycling, public education and other conservation practices.

The Green Government designation is administered through the Green Building Coalition, the organization promoting the signing of the Mayor’s Green City Action Accord throughout the state. The accord supports green initiatives in the community, and is strongly supported by the Florida League of Cities.

This year, my priority is to assist Florida's cities in becoming "Green Local Governments" by adopting and implementing environmental stewardship practices that conserve energy and protect natural resources for future generations. It would be my desire that all 412 cities in Florida embrace this as a priority for their city. 2008 President Frank Ortis of the Flroida League Of Cities.

As you can see Florida is still working hard on becoming a role model in preserving this country and keeping our drinking water safe and keeping our air clean to breath.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bubba Bechtol Comedian

T Bubba Bechtol
T Bubba was the highlight of the whole Florida League of Cities conference for 2008 in Tampa Florida. T Bubba had us rolling on the floor with his laughter and clean jokes. This man entertained for over an hour with good old clean comedy. Who says you have to have dirty language in a comedy strip to have fun. We need more good clean comedians like Bubba.

Here is a quote from Bubba's Bio:

“I can be funny without having to use words or actions others resort to,” he says. “You can repeat my little stories and opinions at work on Monday in front of anyone, even at church. Besides, I’ve had to keep my comedy clean, because my momma’s still alive. If I didn’t, she’d give me an ass whipping this very day!”

Hurricane Fay

Well there is the latest prediction of Tropical Storm Fay. My house sits right in the middle of this path. My wife and I are putting a list together of things we need to get at the store in preparation of losing electricity I.E. drinking water, gas for the generator, propane fuel and etc. I will keep everybody up to date and what it happening in the days to come

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Super Bowl XLIII is awarded to Tampa Florida

SuperBowl XLIII

The 39 annual NFL Superbowl was awarded to Tampa Bay for 2009 and will be held at the Raymond James Stadium. Ticket prices have not yet been released but they are expected to be quit expensive. The stadium can seat 72,500 fans. This will be the 4th time that the Superbowl has been played in Tampa.

Never been to Tampa Bay here is a great web site to visit to find out what Tampa has to offer: CLICK

Tomorrow starts the Florida League of Cities Conference

More than 1,000 city officials from across Florida attend this meeting to share ideas, attend educational workshops and sessions, discuss strategies for Florida’s future, determine League policies, and visit the Municipal Marketplace. This years conference starts tomorrow August 14 - 16, 2008 - Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel/Tampa Convention Center.

Here is a list of the conferences that will be open to participate in:

Planning and Paying for Your City's Infrastructure
Managing Local Growth Through Referenda: Hometown Democracy Movement Comes to Town
Change Is Constant... Better Be Ready
Going Green Without Going Broke
Downtown Clearwater Redevelopment Mobile Tour
Government in the Sunshine: A Toolkit
Florida Legislative Outlook: What's the Forecast for Cities in 2009?
Disaster Partnerships: Planning Ahead for Success
The Language of Leadership
Crafting Support for Your Government: Citizen Engagement and Mobilization
City Life in a Post-Amendment 1 World
Investing in the SBA Local Government Investment Pool: What Went Wrong and Where Do We Go from Here?
Leadership: Frames, Roles and Results
Economic Development: Practical Tools You Can Use
The Healthy Lifestyle in 2008, So I Can Look Good, Feel Great in 2028
2008 Ballot: Making Sense of the Constitutional Amendments
Facing the Press: How Great City Leaders Can Be Great Communicators

Frank C. Ortis, FLC President
Mayor of Pembroke Pines wrote a very nice letter for the conference Click Here to view this letter.

For a map of the location of Tampa Marriott Waterside Click Here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reclaimed Water, Big Step for a Small Town

Reclaimed Water,

Domestic waste water that has been treated to very high level of purity is nothing new in Florida. using reuse water to irrigate crops and landscape in parks and golf courses and yards in subdivisions are getting to be a regular thing in large city's around the state.

As the state grows there is an ever-increasing demand on our groundwater to support our bad habits. Wells are running dry every day and our aquifers are under heavy demand.
In an article written by Katherine Cottrell she tells the story about a small town, a town I am proud of since I am the President of the City Council the name of the town is Inverness Florida. We the City Council members took the initiative and stepped up to the plate and voted 5 to 0 to go forward with the design and construction of a 1.5 million gallon a day reclaimed water plant and distribution system.
Our community is a small community made up of around 7200 residents, but we are a pro-active form of government thinking ahead and working to make our city a model city for the future.

The first place we are going to use this reclaimed water is on our city golf course. The golf course uses millions of gallons of fresh drinking water from the aquifer every month. This water could be going to peoples homes instead of on the lush grass of a golf course. The city saw how we could start working our green project and saving water a precious resource and use re-claimed water instead of drinking water to keep our golf course green.

Recycling Initiative

Scott Dudley
Sr Legislative Advocate, FLC

DEP Recycling Initiative

DATE: August 1, 2008

The 2008 Energy Bill (HB 7135) signed into law by Governor Crist includes language that establishes a new statewide recycling goal of 75% to be achieved by the year 2020. The Department is directed to develop a plan by 2010 designed to achieve this goal and submit it to the Legislature for approval by January 1, 2010.

The Department of Environmental Protection is soliciting input on this endeavor and would like to invite you to a public meeting for the purpose of sharing ideas and exchanging information. A meeting agenda will be made available within the next two weeks.

When: September 22, 2008, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Orlando City Hall, 400 South Orange Avenue

Purpose: DEP will be soliciting suggestions from all interested parties regarding implementation of the new 75 % statewide recycling goal.

This meeting will be one venue for input from interested parties. The DEP will also be initializing a web page devoted to this issue where DEP staff will post all relevant news and documents. The web page should go live sometime later in August and will be located at the following address: The meeting agenda will be posted on this web page when it is finalized.

Pleas make plans to attend this meeting in Orlando on September 22.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saving Three Sister Springs in Crystal River

The Three Sisters Springs represent the last clear and pristine water in Crystal River.

Three Sisters Springs is a complex of three spring areas, with many vents and sand boils that help feed Kings Bay, the headwaters of Crystal River, in Citrus County, Florida. These springs also constitute one of the most important natural warm-water refuges for the endangered Florida manatee.

Please check out this web site for more information on this beautiful pristine spot in central florida. Click Here
Also Click Here for a live web cam during the Manatee season.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Florida League of Cities 2008 Conference

The Florida League of Cities annual conference will be held this year on August 14 -16 at the Tampa convention center / Tampa Marriott Waterside.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Sunshine State

So you are thinking about coming to Florida either to live or visit. Florida is a very interesting state to do either in. Florida is situated on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean. Because there is so much water surrounding Florida it is a very tropical state. But cold fronts can occasionally bring high winds and cool to cold temperatures to the entire state during late fall and winter.

The seasons in Florida are actually determined more by precipitation than by temperature with mild to cool, relatively dry winters and autumns (the dry season) and hot, wet springs and summers (the wet season). The Gulf Stream has a moderating effect on the climate, and although much of Florida commonly sees a high summer temperature over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 °C), the mercury seldom exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 °C). Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State".

Florida ranks 23rd among the states in size, covering 65,755 sq mi, including 4,672 sq mi of inland water and 1,311 sq mi of coastal water. The major part of the state is a peninsula that extends southward for some 380 miles.

Population in Florida is the 4th largest in the country with the center of population is in Polk County. Present population is Florida is 18,251,243 (according to the U.S. census Bureau).

The State Capitol of Florida is “Tallahassee”. Tallahassee metropolitan area is estimated at 336,501 (2006). Tallahassee is the home of Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee Community College. Tallahassee sits in the panhandle of Florida. Tallahassee became the capitol of Florida in 1824.

Florida is a great place to visit and or to live. We will be discussing more about life in Florida in days and months to come. So check back for more upcoming post about Florida.