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St Petersburg

Tampa Skyline
npr.org

The Tampa and St. Petersburg area ranks among the top cities in the nation for  housing and housing sales. But there are still problems with infrastructure, such as roads.

That’s the word from a study by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which last week named the best U.S. markets for real estate investors.

Aerial view of construction of the St. Pete Pier.
City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg officials have an update on the construction of the new Pier. The work is expected to be done by this December, with the grand opening hopefully scheduled for spring-2020.

A gun with bullets on the side.
Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to Florida’s gun laws, there is a struggle happening between state and local governments.

The "preemption statute" that was originally passed in 1987 forbid local governments from passing gun control legislation. However, there were not harsh penalties for breaking the law.

But in 2011, the statute was changed to include punishments for local leaders who introduce gun legislation in their communities.

Those leaders face a $5,000 fine and potential removal from office.

IndyCar
Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg Facebook page

Start your engines, the Firestone Grand Prix will be returning to St Petersburg every year for the next five years.

The city has served as the kick-off to the NTT IndyCar series for the last nine years. 

The event lasts for three days in March, and it brings with it thousands of fans, said Kim Green, CEO of Green Savoree, the company that promotes for the race.

He said race fans provide an economic boost for the city. 

Electric scooters stand in a row.
Wikimedia Commons

By Carrie Pinkard

Electric scooters have been getting a lot of attention in Florida lately at both the state and local levels.

St. Petersburg is the latest city to take a closer look at both the pros and cons of the transportation trend. 

A PSTA bus at a stop in Williams Park in downtown St. Petesrburg
Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority Facebook page / Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority

The lack of widespread public transit in the Tampa Bay area is no secret. Talks of  how, when, where, and what kind of transportation options to fund have been lengthy, and largely unproductive at the state and county levels, leaving individual cities to fend for themselves.

In Washington D.C. though, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is hopeful they can secure federal funding for improving transit infrastructure. The association met with representatives of Congress this week to discuss the federal government’s role.

Lawmakers Take Aim At Plastic Straw Bans

Feb 1, 2019

Local governments wouldn’t be able to regulate single-use plastic straws under a measure filed Thursday in the House. 

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

The Florida Department of Transportation held an industry forum Monday morning to discuss the new bridge that will replace the Howard Frankland.

They invited designers and contractors to learn about construction plans and opportunities, as well as community and environmental impacts.

Courtesy of the City of St. Petersburg

A new home has been proposed for the Echelman sculpture in the St. Petersburg Pier District. Last Friday, city officials and opposition to the original Spa Beach location met to discuss potential new sites.

City of St. Petersburg

In 2011, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law backed by the National Rifle Association that essentially stripped cities of their right to enact gun control regulations.

Seven years and a wave of political activism later, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman joins ten Florida cities suing the state in hopes to overturn the legislation.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Local governments in Florida can't regulate guns and city leaders who don’t abide by state law can face up to a $5,000 fine or removal from office.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

Almost three decades ago, officials with the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg buried a pair of ancient mosaics for storage purposes. 

Now, a temporary excavation site has been set up just off Bayshore Drive, as they begin a months-long process of unearthing and restoring the 2,000-year-old relics. 

Morgan Blauth/WUSF

As you walk into the Goodwill retail store on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg, signs advertise 50 percent-off items with specific-colored tags. The tag sale started Sunday to try and raise falling profits at 18 local Goodwill stores.

Goodwill Industries Suncoast is nearly $1 million under budget this fiscal year, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The company has frozen employee wages and hiring for a year to lower expenses, and they're working to raise revenue in retail stores using tactics such as the tag sale.

Wikimedia Commons

More than 100 million gallons of wastewater flowed onto St. Petersburg's streets and into Tampa Bay when Tropical Storms Colin and Hermine hit last year. The city is proposing drilling six new injection wells to make sure that doesn't happen again. 

Victoria Nicole

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve sits in the middle of St. Petersburg as an oasis of sorts.

Many nights, night air fills the park with sounds of chirping crickets and rustling leaves, as trees sway in the wayward wind. But one night last month, five local experimental musicians positioned at various points along the hiking trail joined in, creating soundscapes inspired by the landscape.

tampabay.com

If you live in St. Petersburg, you can now weigh in on the designs for the new pier, through March 6th. 

The powers that be aren't bound by the survey, but it will inform their next meeting on March 20th. The survey results will be announced on March 9th.  

You can see the concepts and designs for the new pier here.  

Courtesy of the Collection of Andrew Rayburn and Heather Guess and Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing

A few years ago, the directors of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and the Tampa Museum of Art decided they wanted to collaborate on something.  

After Todd Smith of the Tampa Museum of Art traveled to China with art critic and foremost Chinese art expert Barbara Pollack, he and Kent Lydecker of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts realized they'd found their project.