SIGN really for airplanes and pedestrian safety? Controversial “art mural” in DeFuniak Springs

SIGN really for airplanes and pedestrian safety? Controversial “art mural” in DeFuniak Springs

Photo: Flickr JR P as seen in Only in Your State Florida

“DeFuniak Springs officials say they want the city to be a destination spot for tourists. One way of doing this is by promoting the arts.

‘It’s been a bit of a collaborative effort between Main Street and the city, and also with the Tree and Beautification Board,’ said City Beautification & Tree Board Chair Kim Wennerberg. ‘We’re all trying to work together to make downtown more interesting and more of a destination…’

However, one street painting in particular continues to be controversial.

The project was intended to be more than art, though. City officials said this street mural was part of a safety project, intended to slow drivers down.

It has caused controversy because many say they don’t like it.

Wennerberg said the city had the board conduct a survey on the street painting. More than 750 people participated in the survey. Wennerberg said the majority of the reactions have been negative.

‘Even the mural here, I know there’s been a lot of opposition about it in whether they like it or not, but, you know, if you go overhead and with a lot of people flying over, they know where DeFuniak is,’ said local Greg Brack.

The future of the street painting remains unclear.”

— Marissa Roman, Only in Your State Florida

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Scenic Manatee: “Palma Sola Causeway sign rules to be enforced”

Scenic Manatee: “Palma Sola Causeway sign rules to be enforced”

Photo: Kristin Swain, Anna Maria Island Sun

“As long as money doesn’t exchange hands, watercraft rentals and other businesses are allowed to operate on the Palma Sola Scenic Highway corridor.

Anyone who’s traveled the Palma Sola Scenic Highway has seen the roadside businesses popping up along Manatee Avenue – kayak, paddleboard, horseback riding and now, Jet Ski rentals.

While the Palma Sola Scenic Highway Corridor Management Entity (CME) can’t stop the businesses from being there, they are working to reduce the visual impact on the scenic highway. Members met Aug. 10 to discuss improvements planned for the roadside and how they can help reduce the impact of the various businesses that have sprung up along the causeway’s beach areas…

Co-chairs of the committee Ingrid McClellan and Craig Keys said they’d be willing to speak with vendors along the causeway and city of Bradenton code enforcement officials about the proliferation of signage in the area. No advertising signage is allowed on the scenic highway and, while McClellan said they’d been allowing businesses to slide with sandwich board signs, she’s noticed much larger business signs being used, including banners and flag signs that are pushed into the ground.

Members of the group agreed to not allow any business signage on the causeway going forward unless it’s small and a part of a vehicle…”

— Kristin Swain, Anna Maria Island Sun

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LEGAL: “Federal appeals court backs Florida man in religious sign dispute”

LEGAL: “Federal appeals court backs Florida man in religious sign dispute”

“A federal appeals court Tuesday sided with a man who challenged a Fort Myers Beach ordinance that prevented him from carrying a sign with a Christian message on the town’s streets.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a district judge should have granted a request by Adam LaCroix for a preliminary injunction against the ordinance, which barred portable signs.

The panel did not agree with an argument by LaCroix that the ordinance was a ‘content-based’ constitutional violation. But the judges said the town’s prohibition on portable signs likely violated the First Amendment.

‘The rich tradition of political lawn signs perhaps is surpassed only by America’s history of marches and rallies dotted with handheld signs and placards of every imaginable description and covering every conceivable political message,’ Judge Stanley Marcus wrote in a 26-page opinion joined by Judges Jill Pryor and Britt Grant. ‘Images of demonstrators holding portable signs immediately spring to mind: the March on Washington, the Women’s March, the 2000 presidential election protests in Dade County and Tallahassee, the Black Lives Matter protests in nearly every city in the country, the Tea Party protests, the Women’s Suffrage March and many more. All of them involved people carrying portable signs. And all were easy to create and customize. If the town’s prohibition on carrying all portable signs were to stand, all kinds of expressive speech protected by the First Amendment would be barred.’

The opinion said Fort Myers Beach passed a sign ordinance to try to prevent visual blight and barred portable signs. It said LaCroix in October 2020 was ‘peaceably attempting to share his religious message on a public sidewalk’ when he received a warning from a code-compliance officer about violating the sign ordinance. In December 2020, he received a citation.

‘Although the record (in the case) does not tell us precisely the dimensions of the sign LaCroix held nor its exact message, we know that LaCroix said he shared his ‘religious, political and social message’ which ‘is one of hope and salvation that Christianity offers,” Marcus wrote.

A town official subsequently dismissed the citation, but LaCroix filed a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and a state law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell last year rejected the request for a preliminary injunction, spurring LaCroix and his attorneys from the American Liberties Institute to take the case to the Atlanta-based appeals court.

The opinion Tuesday sent the case back to district court…”

— CBS Miami Team

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Advertising in the rain? Arriving across the country in 2022: “Rentbrella Keeps The Drops Off Your Head – For Free If You Return It In Time”

Advertising in the rain? Arriving across the country in 2022: “Rentbrella Keeps The Drops Off Your Head – For Free If You Return It In Time”

Photo: Rentbrella in Forbes

“If you’ve ever left the house, you can relate: It starts to rain and you don’t have an umbrella.

You can find something to shield yourself (the ol’ coat over the head). Or grab the umbrella you brought with you. Whoops, you forgot it? Maybe you can find one at a local store, before you’re soaked to the bone.

Or if you’re in Manhattan, New York City, you can grab one from a Rentbrella share station. Use the umbrella to free for 24 hours or keep it for an extra $2 per day. After three days, you’ll be charged $16 and can keep it forever.

Besides Manhattan, where there are more than 35 Rentbrella sharing stations in high-traffic areas, Rentbrella also has 400-plus sharing stations with 40,000 umbrellas across São Paulo, Brazil, where it got its start in 2018. And the mobility and technology company has plans for many more locations.

‘We have an ambitious expansion plan with the goal of expanding to dozens of cities across the U.S. and Europe over the next few years,’ says Freddy Marcos, who cofounded Rentbrella with Nathan Janovich.

‘In the United States, we see cities like Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Houston, Boston, among others,’ Marcos says. ‘In Europe, we’re starting in London in the first half of 2022 and then moving to other rainy and highly populated cities….’

So how does Rentbrella make money if its umbrellas are potentially free?

‘Our revenue model is based on brand advertising and sponsorship on our umbrellas,’ Marcos says. “In Brazil, our umbrellas are sponsored by the country’s biggest insurance company, Unimed…’

The idea for Rentbrella was born as cofounder Janovich was getting off the subway, Marcos says.

‘There were hundreds of people huddled at the door because it was raining, and as he saw a shared bike passing by, he thought: ‘If no one needs a bike of their own to get around, why need an umbrella?’

‘At that moment, he called me, and I suggested using the umbrellas as a new advertising vehicle that brings mobility and protection for users and a high impact media experience for brands.'”

— Jeff Kart, Forbes

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Beach Sign Trend: “Beach, interrupted: Owner of unique Longboat property ends public access”

Beach Sign Trend: “Beach, interrupted: Owner of unique Longboat property ends public access”


“Longboat Key beach enthusiasts have for years had the run of the town’s nearly 11 miles of Gulf of Mexico shoreline, which up until this summer included a 209-foot stretch of privately owned seawall on one of the town’s most iconic properties.

But a few weeks ago, following repairs to the seawall following Hurricane Eta in 2020, the owners of the property known as Ohana at 6633 Gulf of Mexico Drive, posted signs that their property, which extends to the water’s edge, was now off limits…

The only way to avoid trespassing on Ohana Hale Estate Land Trust property is now to wade into the surf, which often breaks right on the seawall, or make a 1-mile detour along Gulf of Mexico Drive using the two nearest public beach-access spots.

The seawall that extends all the way to the state’s erosion control line is unusual and dates back more than 50 years, town attorney Maggie Mooney said. ‘All of a sudden, we see signs saying that they had an invisible fence and a dog in training, and that’s where we all went, “Oh, OK. Things are changing,”‘

Longboat Key Turtle Watch Vice President Cyndi Seamon said of volunteers who scour the beach regularly during nesting season. Mooney explained the public’s right to access the beach area seawards of the state-drawn erosion control line (ECL).”

— Mark Bergin,

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Beach Sign Trend: “More no trespassing signs popping up on private properties on Siesta Key beaches”

Beach Sign Trend: “More no trespassing signs popping up on private properties on Siesta Key beaches”

Photo: WWSP

“Some resort and condo owners on Siesta Key have placed signs on the beach telling people to stay off their beach property…

Sarasota County says they are aware of the situation and they are looking into the ordinance that governs the signage. Although some beachgoers are upset with what they’re seeing, many are very understanding.

— Rick Adams, WWSP

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Citizens for a Scenic Florida