Posted on 08 September 2009 by admin
Posted on 26 August 2009 by admin
Tomorrow, Thursday August 27, 2009 there will be an Energy Rally in Ybor City. The Florida Energy Forum is hosting the event at the Ritz Theatre which starts @ 11 AM. So just who is the Florida Energy Forum?
“The FLA Energy Forum is a growing community of concerned citizens committed to two goals – achieving energy security for our country and holding our elected officials more accountable in shaping energy policies.
We understand Florida’s unique energy challenges and are working to unite a diverse group of Floridians to better educate ourselves about energy issues and to support a balanced approach to increasing American supplies of energy. We support expanded conservation efforts, development of renewable energy sources and increased domestic exploration of traditional energy sources.”
I have called several elected officials to see if they would be able to make it out tomorrow but I have not found a single one that confirmed. So one has to wonder if this will be a feel good rally that elected officials will not pay any attention to.
Interesting enough Rep. Kathy Castor’s office whose Congressional District this event is in will not be attending. Castor voted in favor of Cap & Trade. Her competition (Eddie Adams) has confirmed that he will be attending the event.
Posted on 19 August 2009 by admin
A group of Central and South Florida business, political and civic leaders are banding together to lobby the federal government for $2.5 billion to build a high-speed train linking Orlando with Tampa.
The message of the organization, which conducted news conferences Tuesday in Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa, is that a fast train would create jobs, encourage quality development around the stations and help the environment by moving people out of cars and onto a train.
“This is the future, and this is what we need to fight for,” U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, said during the event at Orlando International Airport.
Grayson spoke before a gathering of high-speed supporters who’ve created a group called ConnectUs. It is run by Ed Turanchik, a developer and former Hillsborough County commissioner who led Central Florida’s unsuccessful attempt to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Turanchik said ConnectUs is a nonprofit formed about two months ago with $50,000 donated by a variety of businesses and individuals.
The group is seeking additional contributions of up to $5,000 apiece to launch an advertising campaign, according to Turanchik, who is working for free but could be compensated in the future.
The main form of communication the group has now is a Web site called FastRail ConnectUs.com. It asks people to sign up and pledge their support for a train that could go as fast as 150 mph on the 90-mile route largely along Interstate 4, starting at Orlando International Airport and ending in downtown Tampa.
Eventually, a Miami leg could be added as well.
“Trains are very cool things,” Turanchik said. “What’s cool about them is they connect us.”
Turanchik said businesses and government agencies in Miami, Orlando and Tampa all support the state’s bid for the train.
That cooperation is significant, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
“We have to get away from competing with ourselves. … We’re Florida against the world,” Dyer said.
The federal Department of Transportation is planning to announce its first round of high-speed rail winners by mid-October.
Ten corridors are being considered, including Orlando to Tampa; Boston to Washington; Portland to Seattle; and San Diego to San Francisco.
If Florida is picked, construction could begin almost immediately, with service starting in 2014, the state’s pre-application says. Supporters say the train could create 25,000 jobs.
Only three of the 27 largest metropolitan areas in the country are without a fixed rail system. Orlando and Tampa are two of those, and Cincinnati-Louisville is the third.
Dyer is hoping support for a high-speed train will help SunRail, a planned, slower-running commuter train that would connect DeLand in Volusia County with downtown Orlando and Poinciana in Osceola. It could link with the fast train at a stop near OIA.
SunRail would cost $1.2billion, with $500 million or more possibly coming from the federal government. The first 31 miles, from south Volusia County to Sand Lake Road in Orange, could be up and running in 2012, with the remainder in 2014.
Posted on 17 August 2009 by admin
TAMPA — With the deadline looming to apply for federal stimulus money to build a high speed rail line, lawmakers, business leaders and community organizers will launch a campaign Tuesday to win funding for the project.
The group ConnectUs, a nonprofit founded by longtime rail supporter and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, is spearheading the effort.
“This is a grass-roots campaign that’s going to be working on this and elevating this in the public eye,” said Robert Armstead, a spokesperson for ConnectUs.
Florida is seeking $2.53 billion in federal stimulus money to start building a high speed rail line connecting Tampa to Orlando. Plans call for the tracks to eventually extend to Miami.
Three events in support of the effort are scheduled for Tuesday.
At 9:30 a.m., the Central Florida Partnership will host a rally at Orlando International Airport, with U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson-D, Orlando and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as the featured speakers.
At 11:45 a.m., Republican Florida Sen. Paula Dockery will host an event at Lakeland City Hall.
And at 2 p.m., Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and the Tampa Bay Partnership will host a rally at Stetson University College of Law.
The line is considered a top contender in the competition for $8 billion in stimulus money attached to President Barack Obama’s vision for “world-class passenger rail” in 10 major corridors, including Florida. Obama has pledged another $1 billion for high-speed rail for each of the next five years.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has singled out Florida and California — where the line would connect San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento — as being “way ahead of the curve” with their high speed rail plans, meaning they could quickly meet Obama’s goal of creating jobs.
In Florida, environmental and ridership studies have been completed. The right-of-way for the tracks is largely in place, with plans to run trains in the median of Interstate 4.
Land for bullet train stations already has been committed in downtown Tampa on the site of the former Morgan Street jail and in Lakeland, Disney World and the Orlando International Airport.
“The only thing Florida has been lacking so far is a visible show of support from the citizens, the elected officials, communities, environmental groups and the business community,” Dockery said. “That’s really the purpose of ConnectUs, to gather all that support. Because it’s there. We just need to showcase it. If we can do that, Florida’s application is going to be heads above others.”
On July 31, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sent a letter to state Senate President Jeff Atwater, House Speaker Larry Cretul and state Democratic leaders, saying they need to get behind the effort if Florida wants to win the stimulus money. He suggested they write a letter to LaHood expressing support.
Last week, Republican state Sen. Mike Fasano did just that, making more than a dozen points about why the state should get the award. Among the arguments Fasano made: Work on the Tampa-Orlando line could begin in less than two years; the train would provide a safe transportation alternative for seniors; and it would help with hurricane evacuation.
Ten members of Florida’s federal legislative delegation also sent a letter in June to LaHood showing support for the project.
Signers included Democrats Castor, Grayson, Corrine Brown, Kendrick Meek, Robert Wexler, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Alcee Hastings, and Republicans Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Adam Putnam.
LaHood will be in Florida around the first of September to meet with state and local officials about the project, said Brown, who chairs the U.S. House transportation committee’s subcommittee on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials.
“He’s very interested in Florida,” said Corrine Brown, but noted that state lawmakers need to make financial commitments to the line. “I know the federal government wants to be partners. I know the locals want to be partners. But we’ve got to have the state at the table.”
Posted on 08 July 2009 by admin
TAMPA – The prospect of billions of dollars in federal stimulus money is reviving the long-dormant high-speed rail project connecting Tampa, Orlando and Miami.
Florida is considered by some to be a leading candidate for some of the $8 billion that President Barack Obama wants to spend on 10 inter-city, high-speed corridors. The state has already reserved right of way for a rail corridor along Interstate 4 and spent $30 million on environmental studies connected with the project.
“We’re shovel-ready; we were ahead of everybody else,” said C.C. “Doc” Dockery, who initiated a successful state referendum in 2000 approving a high-speed rail system. Voters reversed that decision four years later at the urging of Gov. Jeb Bush, a rail opponent.
Dockery said support from Gov. Charlie Crist is crucial to Florida getting a share of the stimulus money. He said Crist has “not been out there cheerleading” for the project.
“It’s all in his hands,” Dockery said. “If he gets out in front with this application … it’s a slam dunk.” The governor’s office did not respond to Dockery’s comments.
Florida’s Department of Transportation has to notify the Federal Railroad Administration by Friday that the state is applying for the money, said Kevin Thibault, DOT assistant secretary for engineering and operations. Vice President Joe Biden’s office is overseeing stimulus money projects.
“What we have heard from the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) and Vice President Biden is that Florida, because of the groundwork that has been laid, is in a good position to apply,” Thibault said. “But it will still depend on the merits.”
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, supports the project, saying it will create thousands of construction jobs and develop a high-tech corridor connecting Florida’s major metro areas.
“I know people wonder about the cost, but look at the many millions it takes to add a lane onto an interstate,” Castor said. “Here’s something that would be sustainable over time and not reliant on the wild swings in the price of gas and oil.”
The proposed route would start at the Marion Street Transit Center in downtown Tampa, where the train could connect with 26 bus routes, the in-town trolley and a bus line to Pinellas County.
Possible train station sites being discussed in Orlando include the airport and Disney World, along with a stop in Lakeland.
Posted on 26 June 2009 by admin
The US government will set a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups will be issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits), which will represent the right to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances will be referred to as a trade. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed. Thus, in theory, those who can easily reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the pollution reduction at the lowest possible cost to society.
The only group that is currently doing a cap and trade program is the European Union.
In Central Florida the break down of Representative’s votes is:
Alan Grayson – Yea
Adam Putnam – Nay
Bill Posey – Nay
Kathy Castor – Yea
Posted on 26 June 2009 by admin
Alan Grayson (D-Orlando) is still undecided on the bill. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) is voting in favor of the bill.
Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) plans a House Floor Vote TODAY to raise taxes with the NEW “Carbon Tax”. She suddenly forced House committees to finish their work on the massive bill in less than 24 hours. Congressmen did not even get time to read the bill with hand written notes in the margin. Why you ask, because it is time for her Summer Vacation.
In an article published yesterday I explained why this bill is bad for businesses. This bill is a hidden tax on everyone in America. It will hit small businesses and the agriculture community even harder with the economy in the shape that it is currently in.
Official Statement regarding Putnam’s position on Cap & Trade.———
Putnam opposes “cap and trade” energy bill
WASHINGTON – Congressman Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) today announced he would vote against the “cap and trade” energy bill (HR 2454).
“We need a comprehensive energy and environmental policy to protect and sustain our nation’s natural resources while providing for a strong American economy,” said Putnam. “But the harder I look at this bill, the harder it is to support it. It fails in so many fundamental ways. It punishes the first to innovate and it rewards the last.
“It misses so many opportunities to reward good stewards of the earth and to encourage innovation. It fails to foster development of nuclear power, which emits zero carbon. It fails to encourage the development of clean coal technology – something which is being pioneered in Central Florida. No serious energy policy can ignore the development of these fuel sources, which are necessary to make us more energy secure and less dependent on hostile nations.
“In addition, this legislation will impose a cost burden on consumers,” Putnam said. “And it will raise costs at a time when we can least afford them. This will increase utility rates by as much a 57 percent, according to local estimates. Higher energy costs as we painfully witnessed last summer mean less discretionary spending and more jobs moved overseas.”
Since 2001, Putnam has represented Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes most of Polk County and portions of Hillsborough and Osceola counties.
Posted on 24 June 2009 by admin
Hav-A-Tampa is a division of Altaic USA Inc., which filed a required notice with the state of Florida that it will shut down its factory at 3901 Riga Blvd. in Tampa and begin the layoffs on Aug. 24.
Some non-manufacturing functions will move to another facility in Brandon, but none of the affected employees will be relocated to that facility, the company said in its notice.
Rick McKenzie, the company’s vice president of human resources, says business has been hurt by rising taxes. A new federal tobacco tax went into effect in April and will help pay for a health insurance program for low-income children.
Congressional Candidate Eddie Adams Jr. gave this statement regarding the closing “There are no good taxes. This is the primary result of taxation on tobacco. Tobacco has been determined to be a legal product, but Federal government and the state government see this as an easy opportunity to generate money for the Federal and State government. The more you tax a product or industry the less that product is going to sale. So now we have Hav A Tampa laying off 500 people that will be looking to the government for handouts. All because the Federal and State government thought this would be a great way to generate money.”
Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s office did not return our phone call about the plant closing. Castor has supported federal legislation (HR-1256) that increased taxes on Tobacco products.
The company’s Web site says Hav-A-Tampa cigars were originally trademarked in 1902.
The company operates other production facilities in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
In addition to Hav-A-Tampa, Altadis hand-made cigar brands include H. Upmann, Playboy, Dutch Masters, Muriel, Phillies and Romeo y Julieta.
On the Web: HAV A TAMPA
Posted on 16 June 2009 by admin
Eddie Adams Jr. is a congressional candidate in Tampa. He is running against the incumbent Kathy Castor (D). This marks the third attempt by Eddie to run for this congressional seat.
I have had the esteemed pleasure of speaking with Eddie on several occasions. I invite any readers to try and meet him at any of his events. He is a very friendly person. When Eddie gives rousing speeches on Federal topics, one feels reenergized. He touches on many of the hot issues including Federal Reserve, Energy, Taxes, Obamacare, and many others.
Eddie is a native of Florida. So he isn’t a transplant that is running for office. He was born in Lake Wales, Florida. So why should you support Eddie Adams for Congress?
Eddie has a big heart! Even while running for Congress he still has time to help others. Eddie will be putting on a benefit concert on the 4th of July at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. The benefit will be held for Every Day Blessings Orphanage in Tampa that is on the verge of shutting it’s doors. Eddie has basically organized the entire benefit concert.
If that wasn’t enough, Eddie has been very active in his local community. From being a member of the board of directors for the YMCA to the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce. He is an active part of the community. This is exactly the type of person the community needs to send to Washington to represent it.
To find out more about the Eddie Adams campaign you can visit http://www.adamsforcongress.org
Posted on 15 June 2009 by admin
A report on $85 billion in stimulus funding slated for direct spending on and tax incentives for energy and transportation programs prompted Congresswoman Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, to review the importance of clean energy jobs to Florida’s economy.
In a Monday morning teleconference Castor, a member of House Energy and Commerce Committee, said clean energy creates “good paying jobs for people of all skill levels and diverse educational backgrounds.”
The Pew Charitable Trusts report issued June 10 analyzed the role of clean energy in economic recovery.
The report arrived at a critical time for legislation, Castor said. It shows that between 1998 and 2007, Florida gained 2,277 jobs from companies involved in clean energy.
The numbers provide a glimpse of what jobs in the future can be, Castor said.
The clean energy sector is “poised for explosive growth,” said Lori Grange, interim deputy director of the Pew Center on the States, in the teleconference.
The Pew report tallied jobs, businesses and investments in 50 states that would contribute to clean, renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the conversion of water and other natural resources.
An independent nonprofit founded in 1948, Pew has primary offices in Philadelphia and Washington.