Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SWFBUD Organizes Bike Ride To Budget Hearing July 16

As you know, Hillsborough County's proposed budget calls for closing Flatwoods county park Monday and Tuesday.

This is unacceptable and SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers) is asking bicyclists and park users to join a 5-mile bike ride to the county building on July 16 to tell the commissioners to Keep Flatwoods Open 7 Days a Week at a budget hearing at 6 PM in downtown Tampa.

SWFBUD is announcing a "Keep Flatwoods Park Open 7 Days a Week" Bike Ride from the Seminole Heights Garden Center at 5800 Central Avenue to the County Government Center for the first Budget Hearing on July 16. Email your contacts and tell others.

5PM: Meet in front of garden center on Central Avenue, a half-mile north of Hillsborough Avenue. Lots of space to park if necessary.

5:30PM: Reach county government building in downtown Tampa and sign up to speak.

6PM: Hearing begins.

Also, make your voice heard:

Call the budget hotline at 813-307-8337 at tell the county to keep Flatwoods open 7 Days a week.

Send an email to hcbudget@hillsboroughcounty.org

And show up July 16 at 6PM at County Government Center to speak at the hearing.

I have contacted the offices of all 7 County Commissioners and the aides for each commissioner provided the following information:

Rose Ferlita: Not available. Will get back to SWFBUD possibly tomorrow.

Ken Hagan: Opposes closing the park two days a week. He's asking budget officials to look for ways to restore the two days.

Kevin White: Aide will pass message to White to keep Flatwoods open 7 days a week..

Al Higginbothom. Supports not raising taxes. Looking for money to restoring those two days by knocking out "dead weight" in the budget and streamlining and cutting other areas. "We're trying to put money back to parks and see if cuts whether in other places.

Jim Norman: Jim is going to look to do everything he can to keep it open.

Kevin Beckner: Aide doesn't know and aide said Kevin Beckner will call.

Mark Sharpe: Eric the aide is getting a lot of requests and it's an issue to be determined. "We're getting hit on it on a daily basis. We hit a nerve on this one."

Budget Public Hearings (all starting at 6 p.m.) and Public Comment is taken:
Thursday, June 9, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 (First State-Required Public Hearing to adopt tentative millage rates and a tentative budget)
Thursday, September 17, 2009 (Second State-Required Public Hearing to adopt final millage rates and the FY 10 operating and capital budgets)

Budget Workshops (all starting at 1:30 p.m.) and NO Public Comment is taken:
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 (if needed)
Thursday, July 30, 2009 - Budget Reconciliation

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tell County Commissioners To Keep Flatwoods Open 7 Days A Week

We bicyclists come from all backgrounds but one thing we can agree on is that Flatwoods county park is a gem of a bicycle resource and we need to come together to convince the county commissioners to not slash hours and personnel there.

SWFBUD is asking for a call of arms (and legs) for people to tell the county commissioners to not close Flatwoods two days week.

Flatwoods County Park faces deep budget cuts under the proposed Hillsborough County budget, including the park closing on Mondays and Tuesdays.

This is unacceptable.

Please attend county commission budget hearings this summer to tell the commissioners one thing: Keep Flatwoods open 7 days a week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay Moves To Straub Park From Vinoy Park

SWFBUD is happy to say that we are shifting the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, presented by Cure on Wheels to Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg from Vinoy Park. It's not a big move because Straub Park is literally around the corner from Vinoy Park, but SWFBUD is moving the venue to allow a major national senior men's cross-country run to use Vinoy Park on Oct. 11. I'm told that 1,200 out-of-town runners will be partipating on the senior cross-country run and that many local high school and college runners will be running before the senior men's event.

We expect many people from the senior men's 5K run to visit the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay at Straub Park, and much more foot traffic from downtown St. Petersburg than in previous year because Straub Park is closer to The Pier and the downtown business district.

Many of you are familiar with Straub Park from visiting the popular St. Anthony's Triathlon Vendor Expo on the Saturday before the Sunday triathlon in late March.

If you want to be a vendor or sponsor of the Bicycle Bash by the Bay, contact me at alansnel@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SWFBUD Visits Flatwoods To Find About The Impact Of The County Budget Cuts

It's devastating to hear that Hillsborough County's proposed budgets cuts would mean the closing of Flatwoods county park for TWO days a week. SWFBUD went to Flatwoods and met the nicest ranger in Flatwoods -- Ranger Rick. He's a great guy and SWFBUD talked with Ranger Rick about the fact that he would lose his job and that the park would be closed two days a week.

SWFBUD Supports Bike Lanes On Bayshore and Bayshore Blvd. Improvements

SWFBUD will be attending a Bayshore Blvd. improvement plan info meeting Wednesday to urge Tampa city officials to follow through and fix Bayshore by addibg bike lanes the whole length of the road. The meeting is Wednesday from 4-8 PM at the Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd.

Come along for a bike ride on Bayshore. You'll see the part where a bike lane disappears and get a feel for the bumpy ride.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bicycle Outfitters Are Pinellas Trail Crimestoppers

Kudos to SWFBUD member store Bicycle Outfitters, which reported concerns from customers that people on the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg were beinmg attacked and also getting their bikes stolen.

SWFBUD inquired with the city of St. Petersburg about the trail dangers and learned that the city is starting a citizens patrol on bicycles and golf carts on the Pinellas Trail to watch out for crime and dangers.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Become A Friend of SWFBUD And Help Put On The Bicycle Bash

SWFBUD is proud to put on the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay -- and we welcome your help to help stage Tampa Bay's bicycle festival in St. Petersburg on Oct. 11.

Become a Friend of SWFBUD for only $25 and get a free Polar Bottle, which retails for $12. It's a great deal and you help a great cause.

The Bicycle Bash by the Bay helps promote, grow and advocates bicycling in the Tampa Bay area.

Polar Bottle is a sponsor of the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay.

SWFBUD Invites St. Petersburg City Council To The 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay

This morning I represented SWFBUD in front of the St. Petersburg City Council to invite the council members to the 2009 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, which is put on by SWFBUD.

Later, I visited SWFBUD store Just Ride Bicycles, which had a Grand Opening that included American bike racing icon Bob Roll. David Luppino, the owner of Just Ride Bicycles in Fish Hawk, brought Bob Roll to the store as part of his grand opening.

Bob was great with fans.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SWFBUD Invites Pinellas County and Clearwater Officials To The BBbtB

SWFBUD appeared before the Pinellas County Commission Tuesday morning to invite the commissioners to the Bicycle Bash by the Bay -- Tampa Bay's bicycle festival that is set for Oct. 11 in St. Petersburg.

While in Clearwater, I also visited Clearwater City Hall to invite the City Council members, Mayor Frank Hibbard and other city officials to the BBbtB.