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Legal: Illegal billboards are simply removed in Pakistan

Photo: Pakastan Today "National Highways Authority (NHA) and district administration on Tuesday jointly started a drive against illegal billboards around motorway near Charsadda interchange and pulled them down. In the presence law enforcement personnel, the staff of...

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“Milton mulls ‘wind sign’ amendment”

Photo: Wiki Commons "City staffers have examined a law related to business signage, and are considering amending the ordinance to allow businesses to display certain types of signs for an extended period. The signs in question are wind signs — sometimes known as...

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Legal: “Pasco considering easing sign restrictions”

Photo:Orlando Sentinel "Pasco County, which prohibits digital signs for commercial uses, is poised to ease that restriction. Kind of. Sort of. If you own 200 acres or have a 35,000-square-foot building with 2,000 seats or 450 parking spots, you can have a digital...

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“Bike Dreams”

Photo: Roberto Gonzalez "Can we ever find a path that leads to bicycles and cars sharing the road in harmony? Many believe so. Here’s a bit of history and a look to the future. ...Cyclists and many of Central Florida’s civic and government leaders have been promoting...

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Invasive Species: “Space Invaders”

Photo: David Moynahan in Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission bulletin "Recently, I was at a local bar shooting aliens. They just kept coming, rows and rows of them, dropping bombs while I tried to pick them off with one puny laser after another. I had a...

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Fun Festivals and Events

Central Florida

To March 3
Real Music Concert Series, Tampa Bay
March 1 and March 31
Climb to the Moon, Ponce Inlet
March 1-11
Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City
March 2-4
Swamp Fest, Weeki Wachee
March 3
First Saturday Workshops and Jam, Barberville
March 3
Brevard County 4-H Family 5K, Melbourne
March 3-4
Palm Harbor Craft Festival, Palm Harbor
Through March 4
Music on the Bay, Tampa
March 3-4
Floral City Strawberry Festival, Floral City
March 3-4
The Grant Seafood Festival, Grant
March 3-4
Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Tampa
March 4
Chocolate Festival, Melbourne
March 9-18
Orlando Bike Week, Orlando
March 9-18
Bike Week, Daytona Beach
March 9-18
Firefighters’ Indian River County Fair, Vero Beach
March 10
Taste of Oviedo, Oviedo
March 16-18
Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park
March 17
Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand
March 22
ARTLife, Daytona Beach
March 23-26
Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Bluegrass Festival, Brooksville
March 23-25
Annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run
March 24
Color Me Crazy 5K Walk/Run, New Smyrna Beach
March 24-25
Melbourne Air and Space Show, Melbourne
March 24-25
Indialantic Art Festival, Indialantic
March 24-25
St Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival, St Pete Beach
March 24-25
Annual Spring Fine Arts Festival, Englewood
March 26-April 1
Citrus County Fair, Inverness
March 31-April 1
Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival, Ybor City
March 31-April 1
Brownwood Paddock Square Art and Craft Festival, The Villages
March 31-April 1
Downtown Melbourne Festival of the Arts

South Florida

To March 4
Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair, North Fort Myers
To March 4
Festival of the Arts BOCA, Boca Raton
To March 20
National Art Exhibition, Punta Gorda
March 1 – 3
Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, Sanibel Island
March 1-4
Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, Okeechobee
March 2
Naples City Live Music Festival, Naples
March 3
Sharks Tooth 10K run, Venice
March 3
Southwest Florida Reading Festival, Fort Myers
March 3
Carnaval Miami Cork and Fork, Coral Gables
March 3
Conch Shell Blowing Contest, Key West
March 3-4
Las Olas Art Fair Part II, Fort Lauderdale
March 3-4
Downtown Venice Art Classic, Venice
March 3-27
Sanibel Music Festival, Sanibel Island
March 4
JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale
March 4
131 Marathon Miami, Miami Beach
March 5-6
Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Bonita Springs
March 8-11
All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Arcadia
March 9-18
Miami International Film Festival, Miami
March 9-11
Fairchild’s International Orchid Festival, Coral Gables
March 10-11
Art Festival Miami Springs, Miami
March 10-11
Original Marathon Seafood Festival, Marathon
March 10-11
Art Fest by the Sea, Juno Beach
March 9-11
Art Under The Oaks, Vero Beach
March 10-11
Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival, Fort Myers Beach
March 10-11
Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Punta Gorda
March 14-18
Art Boca Raton, Boca Raton
March 16-17
Delray Beach St Patrick’s Day Festival, Delray Beach
March 16-17
Historic House Tours, Key West
March 17-18
Coral Springs Festival of the Arts, Coral Springs
March 22-25
Palm Beach International Boat Show, West Palm Beach
March 23-25
Ultra Music Festival, Miami
March 23-25
Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival, Marco Island
March 24
TurtleFest, Juno Beach
March 31
Cars as Art, Marco Island

North Florida

March 2
First Friday at Railroad Square Art Park, Tallahassee
March 2-31
Miniature Marks Art Exhibit, St Augustine
March 3
Menorcan Cultural Celebration, St Augustine
March 3
Race the Tortoise 5K, High Springs
March 3-4
Azalea Festival, Palatka
March 3-4
The Gulf Coast Renaissance Faire, Pensacola
March 3-4
Battle of Natural Bridge Reenactment, Woodville
March 4
Tallahassee Jewish Food amd Cultural Festival, Tallahassee
March 8-11
Red Hills International Horse Trials, Tallahassee
March 9-11
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island
March 9-11
The St Augustine Celtic Music amd Heritage Festival, St Augustine
March 10
Gate River Run, Jacksonville
March 10- 16
Choctawhatchee Challenge, Gainesville
March 16-18
Lions Seafood Festival, St Augustine
March 16-18
Smokin’ in the Square, Pensacola
March 16-29
Suwannee Spring Reunion, Live Oak
March 17
City of Destin Run with the Dogs 5K, Destin
March 23-25
Tallahassee Film Festival, Tallahassee
March 24
The Fuzzy Pineapple Art and Craft Festival, Tallahassee
March 23-25
Duval Spring Fest, Jacksonville
March 24
Phoenix Rising Festival, Jacksonville
March 24-25
Spring Garden Festival, Gainesville
March 31
Brick City Beer and Wine Festival, Ocala
March 31
Springtime Tallahassee Festival and Grand Parade, Tallahassee



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.
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

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Updates on Scenic Issues

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