Key West: City recognized by Tree City USA ten times!

Key West: City recognized by Tree City USA ten times!

Photo: Chamber of Commerce showing Key West’s official tree: the royal poinciana.

“…’Your community should be proud to live in a place that makes the planting and care of trees a priority, and you should be proud of a job well done!’ wrote the Tree City team in a letter announcing the recognition.

Karen DeMaria, the City’s Urban Forester, says she’s grateful for the recognition, one that the City has received ten times.

‘Our island’s canopy is vital to the quality of life of our residents and visitors,’ said DeMaria.

Each year on Arbor Day, the City urges property owners to plant a tree.

‘Trees on publicly and privately owned property within the city are economic and aesthetic asset to the citizens,’ says DeMaria, ‘because of their important and meaningful contribution to a healthy and beautiful community.’

Key West achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters…”

— Key West Chamber of Commerce

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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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Florida’s preemption of local governments adoption of zoning and development regulations is opposed by Florida League of Cities

Florida’s preemption of local governments adoption of zoning and development regulations is opposed by Florida League of Cities

Photo: State of Florida

“…SB 954 (Perry) and CS/CS/HB 459 (Overdorf) preempt local governments from adopting zoning and development regulations that require specific building design elements for single- and two-family dwellings, unless certain conditions are met. The bills define the term “building design elements” to mean exterior color, type or style of exterior cladding; style or material of roof structures or porches; exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation; location or architectural styling of windows or doors; and number, type, and layout of rooms.

The bills provide a limited exemption from the preemption by allowing allow local governments to adopt and enforce regulations that require “building design elements” for single- and two-family dwellings only if they are listed on the Historical Preservation Registry, housed within a Community Redevelopment Agency or if regulations are adopted in order to implement the National Flood Insurance Program.

The bills also allow a substantially affected person to petition the Florida Building Commission to review a local government regulation to determine if the regulation is actually an unauthorized amendment to the Building Code. ”

— Florida League of Cities
Read entire alert here
Read St Petersburg city staff presentation on this subject here
Florida Senate Bill 459

Scenic Florida’s John R. Crescimbeni awarded 2018 Charles E. Bennett Champion Of the Environment Award

Scenic Florida’s John R. Crescimbeni awarded 2018 Charles E. Bennett Champion Of the Environment Award

Photo: Sandy Arpen – John Crescimbini with Amy Fu, Vice Chair of Jacksonville’s Environmental Protection Board

“John Crescimbini was awarded the 2018 Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award from the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board. The award, which is the EPB’s highest award, was be presented to John on September 14. Last year Bill Brinton received this award posthumously.


Photo: Sandy Arpen – John Crescimbini with Jason Ellis of City Beautiful Jax, Janet Stanko of the Sierra Club, Alicia Grant of Scenic Jacksonville, Inc., Tracey Arpen of City Beautiful Jax and Anna Dooley of Greenscape

The award is named for the late Congressman Charlie Bennett, who was instrumental in establishing the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Jacksonville, which now covers. 46,000 acres. He served in Congress for 44 years. Like John, he was a dedicated and hard-working public servant, at one point going 26 years without missing a single roll call vote!”

— Scenic Florida
Environmental Protection Board

Advertising on Cars: “Digital license plates coming soon to Florida, company claims”

Advertising on Cars: “Digital license plates coming soon to Florida, company claims”

Video: ABC Action News
“Digital license plates are about to go mainstream in Florida, and it could help save taxpayers millions.

According to NBC News, a company called Reviver Auto has developed electronic license plates, dubbed Rplates.

Rplates are now on sale in California, and will be available in Arizona, Texas and Florida in the near future…

With a click of a button, you could have your favorite sports team, show off your alma mater or support your favorite cause.

Each plate’s unique characters are constantly displayed…

If given permission advertisers could display ads on someone’s tag. The feature is available while a car is parked.

According to the state, Section 320.06(5), Florida Statutes [leg.state.fl.us], allows the department to evaluate technologies for alternative license plates; however, no pilot program is currently in place.

The company hopes to have the pilot program in place in Florida later this year.

Privacy/safety concerns

NBC News interviewed Dr. Ashraf Gaffar, an assistant professor of engineering at Arizona State University, who studies automotive technologies. He agreed that digital license plates could offer some benefits but cautioned that they might introduce other problems.

‘Driver distraction is one of the biggest killers of teenagers in the United States,’ said Gaffar, who is not affiliated with Reviver. ‘Having one more thing to look at while we’re driving will take our eyes off the road for a second or two more, which will have some side effects.’

Gaffer also warned that electronic plates could be ‘fertile ground for hackers,’ and could raise privacy concerns. He said more research is needed before the digital plates go mainstream.

— Andrew Ruiz, ABC Action News
Read entire article and view video

Citizens for a Scenic Florida