Take Action

Advocate the cause in your community or become a member. There are so many ways that you can help.

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter, join us on our facebook page and participate in communicating with others.

Support Us

There are many ways to support the cause. One of those is to become a member or donate!

Fun Festivals and Events

Central Florida

Nov 20-Jan 1
Space Coast Light Fest, Melbourne
Nov 30-Dec 3
St Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show, St Petersburg
Dec 1
Christmas in the Square, Sanford
Dec 1
Downtown DeLand Merchant Holiday Open House, DeLand
Dec 1-3
Sarasota Craft Show, Sarasota
Dec 1-3
Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show, Sarasota
Dec 2
Central Florida Winter Festival, Eustis
Dec 2
Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Daytona Beach
Dec 2
New Smyrna Beach Christmas Parade, New Smyrna Beach
Dec 2
Sunset and Symphony Holiday Concert, Lake Wales
Dec 2
69th Annual Downtown DeLand Christmas Parade, DeLand
Dec 2
Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade, Winter Park
Dec 2
Sanford Historic Trust Tour of Homes, Sanford
Dec 2
Lighted Boat Parade, Mount Dora
Dec 2
Santa Fest and Christmas Parade, Tampa
Dec 2-3
Siesta Beach Seafood and Music Festival, Siesta Key
Dec 3
Port Orange Christmas Parade, Port Orange
Dec 7
Christmas in the Park, Winter Park
Dec 8-10
Wine and Chocolate Festival, Clermont
Dec 8-9
Candlelight Tours of Fort Foster, Thonotosassa
Dec 8-9, 15-16
Winter Waterland, Weeki Wachee State Park
Dec 9
Hillsborough River Half and Quarter Marathon, Hillsborough River State Park
Dec 9
Christmas in the Park with Snow, Mount Dora
DDec 9-10
Lido Beach Holiday of the Arts, Lido Beach
Dec 10
Holiday Tour of Homes, Ormond Beach
Dec 16
Snow Fest, Maitland
Dec 16-17
Holiday of the Arts, St Petersburg
Dec 21-23
Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker, Tampa
Dec 30
Florida Citrus Parade, Orlando
Dec 30-31
Flagler Beach Art and Craft Festival, Flagler Beach

South Florida

Nov 19-Jan 1
Festival of Lights at Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda
Dec 1
Florida Keys Holiday Festival, Islamorda
Dec 1-2
Luminary Festival, Sanibel and Captiva
Dec 2
Snowfest, Naples
Dec 2
Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Fort Myers Beach
Dec 2
Christmas Boat Parade, Venice
Dec 2
Food, Wine and Beer Festival, Naples
Dec 2-3
Winter Fine Arts Festival, Englewood
Dec 2-31
Annual Christmas Light Canal Tours, Punta Gorda
Dec 3
JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale
Dec 7-10
Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach
Dec 8
Boynton and Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade, Boynton Beach
Dec 9
The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, Fort Lauderdale
Dec 9
Holiday Boat Parade, Key Largo
Dec 9
Gingerbread and Sugar Plums Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
Dec 12
Carol of the King the Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular, Bonita Springs
Dec 12, 14-16
Holiday Pops Concerts, Fort Myers
Dec 13-17
Spectacular Christmas Revue, Cape Coral
Dec 19-23
Flagler Museum Holiday Evening Tours, Palm Beach
Dec 21
Morada Way ArtWalk, Islamorada
Dec 27–28
Key West Home Tours, Key West
Dec 30-31
Coconut Point New Year’s Weekend Art Festival, Estero

North Florida

Nov 18-Jan 31
Nights of Lights Festival and Celebration, St Augustine
Dec 2
HC Holiday Market, Jacksonville
Dec 2
Winter Festival, Tallahassee
Dec 2, 9 and 16
Santa’s Storybook Tea Party, Amelia Island
Dec 3
Annual Garden Club Christmas Tour of Homes, St Augustine
Dec 8
Holiday Pops! Concert, Niceville
Dec 9
Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns, Amelia Island
Dec 9
Santa Paws, Jacksonville
Dec 9
Artrageous Artwalk, Fernandina Beach
Dec 16
The Holiday Gala, Jacksonville
Dec 16
Winter Wonder Ride, Pensacola

 

 

For many more events and details please visit the Orlando Times Travel Calendar here

Photo:The Defuniak Herald

Legal Update: “New motions filed in Federal lawsuit involving Private Beach signs”

“”Beachfront property owners who had sued Walton County in federal court over its ordinance banning unpermitted obstructions on the beach such as ropes, chains, signs, and fences, have filed new motions in the case.

Among other requests, they have asked the court for a stay on discovery proceedings in connection with common law customary right issues until the court resolves the property owners’ claims against another ordinance, the customary use ordinance approved by Walton County on Oct. 25…The ordinance banning unpermitted obstructions on the beach stated that it applied to the beach as defined as ‘the soft sandy portion of land lying seaward of the seawall or the line of permanent dune vegetation.’

The plaintiffs, Ed and Delanie Goodwin, owners of beachfront property at Fort Panic in south Walton County, had filed their lawsuit in July 18, soon after Walton County approved the ordinance disallowing beach obstructions.

The litigation was in the form of a civil rights lawsuit. It alleged that the county ordinance prevented beachfront owners from using signs to convey messages, including those indicating property boundaries and private ownership—and that the ordinance therefore impeded signs as ‘a medium of speech.’ As such, the property owners maintained, the ordinance ‘violates the First Amendment on its face.’ They asked the court to bar enforcement of the ordinance, among other requests. In an August 15 response, Walton County argued that the property owners’ case was not ‘about’ free speech but was instead a disguised property rights position aimed at securing ‘a beachhead against the potential determination that the public has gained the right of use of the subject beach through the Customary Use doctrine.’

The county further stated that the ordinance did not interfere with the property owners’ ability to ‘display on their property any message they like in any manner they like, even using signs, so long as they comport with the restriction as to location.’ Signs, according to the county response, ‘are implicated only to the extent that they constitute an obstruction on the beach.’

In an Aug. 19 order, M. Casey Rodgers, chief United States District judge and presiding judge in the case, ordered an evidentiary hearing, observing, in part that, ‘If a public use custom is established, the property owner does not have the right to interfere with the public’s right of use and enjoyment…and thus the Plaintiffs’ alternative means of communication, i.e., placing signs on the remainder of their property, would be adequate.’ Adding that the ‘custom and use doctrine requires a fact-intensive inquiry that must be determined on a fully developed record,’ Judge Rodgers stated that this issue would ‘decide the merits of the suit.’ She ordered thus proceeding with the trial on its merits, with it to be consolidated with a hearing on the preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs.

The Goodwins were allowed to amend their original complaint to include both the obstruction and customary use ordinances. On Nov. 14 they filed a motion requesting an injunction against the recently-approved customary use ordinance, arguing that it represented a ‘taking’ of their property.

The customary use ordinance provides for public ‘at large’ to utilize the dry sand areas of the beach without interference for traditional recreational activities—with the exception of a buffer zone to be set aside at a distance seaward of the toe of the dune, or at the same distance from any privately-owned permanent habitable structure on or adjacent to the dry sand areas of the beach, whichever is more seaward.

The Nov. 14 motion was followed the next day by a motion by the Goodwins for a stay of discovery proceedings in connection with common law customary right uses of the beach until their taking claims in connection with the customary use ordinance had been resolved.

In the latest filing, on Nov. 21, Walton County responded to the plaintiffs amended complaint, asking the court to grant a motion requiring a ‘more definite statement’ from the plaintiffs, calling the complaint: ‘a vague, ambiguous, incoherent jumble.'”

— Dotty Nist, The Defuniak Herald

Read entire article

Boca: “First sharrow placed in city neighborhood”

“The city has installed its first sharrow, a shared lane marking and sign for motorists and bicyclists that could be a model for other neighborhoods with a heavy bike presence…

 
The city makes its own signs, so the sharrow cost $240
 
A cyclist rounded the corner on a recent visit, but stayed to the right where bike lanes are usually marked. Sharrows use the existing travel lanes, but the marking makes it clear it’s a shared roadway, said Joy Puerta, a city transportation analyst and the former pedestrian and bicycle coordinator who’s known as a bike and pedestrian expert.
 
‘This is an informal pilot program, another tool to identify those corridors that have been designated as bicycle corridors throughout the city,’ Woika said. ‘The city’s bicycle map has them identified.’
 
‘It alerts the motorists of the location where bicyclists are likely to occupy the travel lane and where you should be, and those two elements combined help improve the safety,’ said Jim Sumislaski, chairman of the city’s Citizens’ Pedestrian and Bikeway Advisory Board and with Kimley-Horn, the design consulting firm.
 
‘I’m pretty confident it will be a successful pilot project and the city will look for other corridors to implement the same type of marking,; said Sumislaski, who specializes in roadway design…
 
He had ‘a few clients in Miami doing this and were successful with it,’ Sumislaski said. ‘So at one of the meetings we wondered if Boca Raton municipal staff had implemented it, and at the time it was no, but they said if they could find a good representative location they would do a pilot project and see how it goes. We had suggested an appropriate location and they came back and found a location.’
 
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards, also known as the Florida Greenbook, has sharrows in the plans, Puerta said.”
— Marci Shatzman, Sun Sentinel
Diagram: Figure 9-3 Florida Greenbook

Developer who supports scenic beauty, buys property and bulldozes billboard!

“This billboard was purchased by a local development company, Dream Designs, Inc. in Rapid City, SD, so that they could take it down, and use the land for housing.  They supported Scenic Rapid City in 2011 during the Billboard Initiative.

They knew we would love seeing this video!
‘Improving the quality of life is a responsibility of each one of us. Thank you both for doing more than your fair share.’
 
— Hani Shafai, President
Dream Designs, Inc.
 

This billboard was completely non confirming and Grandfathered in. It had two boards on each side.  They were two different sizes and OVERSIZED in a prime location; on a hill so that traffic had to view it.

It took away from the scenic beauty of our beautiful Black Hills since it was on the road to Mount Rushmore National Monument but still inside the Rapid City limits.'”

— Scenic Rapid City

Drawing: From Tampa Bay Times

“City planner Jeff Speck’s vision for Tampa’s downtown involves cooler temperatures and more walking. Speck is the lead planner overseeing the team working with Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and an engineering firm Stantec to redevelop land in the Channelside area…

 
Speck’s vision for the area includes making the city more walkable based on the premise that it has to be ‘simultaneously useful, safe, comfortable and interesting,’ he said. ‘If it’s not all four of those things, people won’t walk.’
 
Speck’s prescription for achieving that includes adding parallel parking along the road to make walkers feel more protected than they do now. ‘When a car passes you on the sidewalk, you lack that barrier of steel that makes you feel safe and actually protects you from vehicles coming at you,’ he said.
 
Speck also said plans call for creating ‘continuous deep shade’ in the Florida heat. ‘Every building will likely have either an awning or arcade or something that shadows the sidewalk,’ he said. Plans for the area involve adding retail and other destinations to the mix, but Speck said the biggest difference in the future may be ‘the number of people on the sidewalks.’
 
— Laura Mayk, WFLA.comRead entire article and view video

“The deceptive nature of architectural renderings”

“Architects use many mediums to express their designs, ideas, and concepts. They use orthographic drawings, physical models, as well as digital models…How can we differentiate between what is reality and what is a false and biased representation of a building? How about photographs of architecture?

 
When proposing a new design to clients, professors, or peers, an architect needs to find a way to express their ideas and sell them. One of the most successful ways to do this is to present a rendering, or photorealistic image of their project. This, however, has become a problem more recently with the advancement of digital technology in the 21st century with the introduction of 3D modeling, Photoshop, and CAD. Where in the past drawings by hand were clearly seen as ‘artistic’ interpretations of a project, now we have images that are practically indistinguishable as either reality or make believe. This brings into question the validity of every rendering and photograph and whether it is pushed too far from reality or not.
 
It’s not that architects want to be deceptive, but rather that they want to illustrate to clients what they see. Sometimes this can be taken too literally by clients, and in return they may feel deceived when the finished project is done. As the profession moves forward architects need to find a better way to bridge the gap between artistic representations and built reality.
 
SOURCES:
 
Abdelhameed, Wael. “Digital- Media Impact on the Representation Capability of Architects.” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
 
Asanowicz, Alexander. “Computer Renderings- “Reality Is Overrated”” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
 
Freeman, Belmont. “Digital Deception: Architectural Photography After Photoshop.”Places Journal. 1 May 2013. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. .
 
“Harvard Design Magazine: Who Pays for the Picture?” Harvard Design Magazine: Who Pays for the Picture? Web. 6 Feb. 2015. http://www.harvarddesignmagazine.org/issues/38/who-pays-for-the-picture
 
Hopper, Tristan. “Architectural Illustrators Use Toolbox of Tricks to ‘manipulate’ the Way We Look at Buildings.” National Post Architectural Illustrators Use Toolbox of Tricks to Manipulate the Way We Look Atbuildings Comments. 9 Nov. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .
 
McGuigan, Cathleen. “Picture Perfect.”Picture Perfect. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. http://archrecord.construction.com/community/editorial/2012/1201.asp
 
“Noticing New York: The Surrounding Light Smears Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Arena.” Noticing New York: The Surrounding Light Smears Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Arena. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
 
Quirk, Vanessa. “Are Renderings Bad for Architecture?” ArchDaily. 6 June 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2015. .
 
Quirk, Vanessa. “Rendering / CLOG.”ArchDaily. 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .
 
Shkineva, Natalija. “Computer Graphics as a Method of Self-Deception.” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.”
 
— Tyler Garret Rafferty, Arch Daily, 311W, Penn State
 

Miami: Commission CHANGES SIGN CODE to eliminate advertising towers

Delete. Throw out. Discard. Trash.

“…The measure, championed by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, deletes the term ‘media towers’ from the city’s zoning code known as Miami 21.However, an attorney for Michael Simkins, the Miami Beach-based developer of the innovation tower [Giant LED Billboard Towers], told commissioners that his client plans to move forward with pending permit applications to build the project.’We will continue to implement this development irrespective of what is done today,’ said Tony Recio, a partner with Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman. ‘We look forward to having the permits fairly reviewed and evaluated.’In a statement to The Real Deal, Simkins said he does not believe the new ordinance can be applied to his project. ‘We are disappointed by the commission’s action,’ Simkins said. ‘But we expect the city to comply with the law and respect our rights by honoring the sign permit applications and media tower approval by the CRA, and processing the sign applications in good faith.’City commissioners Frank Carrollo, Willy Gort and Marc Sarnoff again voted in favor of the ordinance despite an impassioned plea from Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who was the innovation tower’s main supporter because he believes the project will generate jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for Overtown. ‘That one time things are moving forward in a community that has been stagnant for such a long time, we make sure we put the roadblock right in the middle of it,’ Hardemon said. ‘This is a slap in the face of the Overtown community.’

Simkins has touted the tower as the anchor to a 10-acre technology district that will help revitalize one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Hardemon, who represents the district and who is chairman of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Development Agency, backs the project because Simkins has agreed to pay the semi-autonomous city agency $5 million prior to construction, and $1 million, or 3 percent of gross sales generated by the project every year after completion.

Recio also said Simkins has committed to giving local preference to Overtown residents on construction jobs and for the operation of the innovation tower. In June, prior to the city commission’s first vote, Simkins’ company Innovate applied for permits to embed the LED signs within the skin of the proposed tower’s twisting façade and along its pedestal.

— Francisco Alvarado, The Real Deal, South Florida Real Estate News

Read entire article

Visit Miami’s Local10 news site

Updates on Scenic Issues

Updates on Scenic Issues

We cover relevant news items on the issues of greatest importance around Florida and condense it into a monthly update that you can receive. 

Staying informed on the issues and news can make a real difference in your own community.

You have Successfully Subscribed!