Photo: WZVN, ABC 7
“…Cape Coral’s skyline on two major roads is changing forever. For the first time, billboards are showing up in the city.
Last summer, the city voted to build two digital boards, and this week, construction crews went up in the air to put them together.
One billboard is at Veterans Parkway at Del Prado Boulevard while the other is at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge in the southern part of the city.
Residents living near the structures said it felt like they went up overnight.
The digital billboard towering over Veterans Parkway is 75 feet tall and sits right next to a residential street…
Cape Coral city councilors voted in June of 2016 to approve the two projects…
Currently, the city’s sign ordinance doesn’t allow billboards anywhere within city limits. The new structures are an exception to that rule because they will display public information, emergency messages and traffic messages..”
— WZVN, ABC 7
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Photo: The Associated Press
“An 1878 billboard promoting a ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody stage show has been restored, five years after it was discovered beneath the crumbling brick facade of a former hotel.
The 24-by-10-foot paper billboard had been pasted to an unfinished exterior wall of the hotel during construction 129 years ago and was sandwiched in by brick when the building was completed.
The billboard, a montage of the Wild West folk hero and scenes from his show, was revealed when part of the wall fell away from the building in June 2002.
‘It’s a miracle that it even exists,’ said Dr. Juti Winchester, curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo.
Printed from engraved wood blocks, the billboard resembles a watercolor painting in hues of orange, brown and blue. A multicolor, life-size depiction of the bearded Cody—clad in fringed buckskin and holding a rifle—is of particular importance, said Winchester, who traveled to western New York for Saturday’s unveiling of the finished work…
Crews would put up the billboards to advertise the shows. Most were pasted over when the next show hit town.
‘The only reason this survived was a completely unique set of circumstances,’ said Michael Flaxman, who was involved in the restoration, which was funded by a $52,000 federal grant and matching private donations.
Experts used tissue paper and steam to remove the fragile billboard in strips and shreds from the wood sheathing. Though protected from the elements, the paper had become brittle and torn and some pieces disintegrated before they could be removed.
Paper conservator Laura Schell was hired to piece back together the work, and images of Cody—in one scene atop a horse and swinging his hat overhead—painstakingly emerged.
‘She cleaned and stabilized all these hundreds of pieces of what was a giant, very fragile jigsaw puzzle,’ said Pat Anzideo, the restoration’s project manager. ‘She put it back together again, without the benefit of a picture.’
The billboard will be displayed under glass in six wood-framed panels, each 7 feet high and at least 4 feet wide, at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, a restored 1920s vaudeville and movie house in downtown Jamestown.
–The Associated Press
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Photo: City of Cocoa Beach
“The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization recently celebrated the completion of City of Cocoa Beach ‘s Minutemen Corridor Stormwater and Streetscape Improvement project…
The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization board set-aside three years of funding for complete street projects throughout Brevard County.
Complete streets ensure that the entire right-of-way is routinely designed, constructed and operated to enable safe access for all users and they make economic sense.”
— Space Coast Daily
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Photo: Tampa Bay Times
“Your parents were wrong: money does grow on trees.
Cities routinely rake up tens of millions of dollars from their urban forests annually in ways that are not always obvious.
Leafy canopies lower summer air conditioning bills, but more shade also means less blade to maintain thousands of acres of grass.
Health-wise, trees contribute to lower asthma rates and birth defects by removing air pollutants.
Across the nation, city foresters should celebrate trees as economic drivers and get past the false dichotomy of economy versus environment.
Portland, New York City, Milwaukee and Atlanta are among the cities that have quantified the payoff from pines and palms, olives and oaks…
What’s a tree worth?
Tampa, Florida demonstrated that kind of thinking in moving its leading tree official, Kathy Beck, from the Parks and Recreation Department onto its chief planning team. Tampa approaches trees as part of a green public works system, the living equivalent of roads and bridges. It’s a case of what Beck calls ‘green meets gray.’
Part of how Tampa gets it right on trees is that planners can shield themselves from partisanship, protest and profit motives by relying on science to decide on what, where and how many trees to plant.
To get the biggest bang for tree planting and maintenance bucks, Tampa turns to…University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences urban forester Rob Northrop, for information on which trees provide the greatest shade, which can be planted closest to sidewalks and parking lots without root growth buckling pavement and which species best withstand floods in a city already impacted by sea level rise. University of Florida scientists Michael Andreu, Andrew Koeser and Paul Monaghan and the USDA Forest Service’s Geoff Donovan have also provided valuable expertise.
Northrop and other natural resource scientists see intrinsic value in trees. But he recognizes the tremendous economic pressures communities are under, so he and economists collaborate to get at the straight-dollar costs and benefits.
The most recent study of Tampa’s trees estimated that they save the city nearly US$35 million a year in reduced costs for public health, stormwater management, energy savings, prevention of soil erosion and other services.
Drilling down even further, the University of South Florida has begun mapping individual trees. So planners know, for example, that the live oak on the 4200 block of Willow Drive has a 38-inch diameter and a $453 annual payoff…”
–Jack Payne, Business Insider
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Photos: Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel
“Little things add up, said Ramil Celestin as he plucked a beer carton, a plastic grocery bag and a french fry box off the center lane of Pine Hills Road.
He chucked the trash into the back of a county van stacked with illegal road-side signs that shouted: ‘JUNK CARS’ and ‘DELETE YOUR BAD CREDIT.’ He had snatched up those signs, too.
‘Little things can add up to good, they can add up to bad,’ said Celestin, 57, who has worked for about a year as a ‘beautification technician,’ a title created for the job by Michelle Owens, executive director of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District.
She will address the Orange County commission…on progress in Pine Hills, one of the county’s largest communities and a place fighting to wipe away the stains of crime and blight.
‘We have a lot of exciting things that are beginning to gel in Pine Hills and, going forward, this is all going to have a huge impact on what people think of when they think of Pine Hills,’ Owens said.
Celestin believes he is making a difference in Pine Hills, where he earns $18 an hour to pick up litter and remove ‘snipe’ advertising signs. He usually works three or four mornings a week.
Celestin, also the CEO of a janitorial business, said he picks up enough trash and litter from the roads and sidewalks of Pine Hills in two mornings to fill up a dumpster.
Ramil Celestin dispose of trash he picked up in Pine Hills as part of the community’s effort to improve its image. He works mornings three or four days under the title ‘beautification technician’ and collects enough garbage in two mornings to fill a Dumpster.
‘It was really filthy, really nasty,’ Celestin said, recalling his first week picking up soda cans, cigarette packages, lottery tickets and fast food litter.
His work is a never-ending chore as a street which he cleans Friday is often trashy again by Monday.
‘But I do my best,’ Celestin said.
The tax-supported improvement district also gave ‘trash grabbers’ to some neighborhood businesses to help them tidy their store fronts.
One shop then chose to hire a homeless man to pick up litter in their parking area every week, Owens said…”
–Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel
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