Fear, Loathing, And (Thankfully) Retreat At The Ledger

Our new local media overlords are not nice — or very competent — people. First, Halifax Media and the New York Times Co. sent all employees at the regional newspapers Halifax bought (The Ledger, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Gainesville Sun, etc.) an email over the Christmas holidays saying the employees would receive a second email informing them […]

In Which Billy Eats Some Crow About The Ledger

In a rather harsh article that came out almost exactly one year ago, I declared: “Within two years, maybe sooner, expect The Ledger to compete with Lakeland Local full-time as an online-only magazine.” I was responding to The Ledger’s decision to dump salary, errr, lay off a number of long-term, experienced employees–including a couple of […]

It’s Not About You, Elected Officials

Seth McKeel responded yesterday to a critical Ledger editorial with this preamble: In response to The Ledger’s editorial “Florida Legislature: Blame Legislators For Cuts,” I take personal offense to the accusations and unfair remarks levied at me by the editorial board. First of all, he should actually take professional offense. I don’t think anyone addressed […]

Revolution in Egypt? Pshaw. The Devores Had Fun In Lake Wales

• Approximate number of words devoted to the unraveling of a vitally important–but complicated–U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf region, with major implications for U.S. gas prices, our soldiers deployed in the region, and who-knows-what-else: 1,250 • Number of photos or graphic elements: 1 • Approximate number of words devoted to first person accounts of […]

Ledger Endtimes, Part One: Time For Skip To Go, Too

This will burn every bridge I have remaining with Ledger management. But it doesn’t matter much. The nature of the newest layoffs clearly suggest that The Ledger’s days as a daily print product are numbered. Within two years, maybe sooner, expect The Ledger to compete with Lakeland Local full-time as an online-only magazine. But trust […]

A Final Pair of Postcards from the Mayoral Candidates

commentary On Friday, I sent Gow Fields and Jim Verplanck a pair of softball questions. The campaign is near the end and I didn’t see a need to ask questions they’ve answered a hundred times before. I wanted to see the spirit of the men in their answers to those two particular questions. If I […]

Listing Home for Sale Raises Additional Concerns About Candidate Goetz

According to World For Sale By Owner, the home at 3038 Cleveland Heights Blvd is for sale. In this economy many are looking to sell their homes. However, it is unusual for a person running for city commission to have his or her home on the market. It appears to be the case for this […]

Mayoral Forum – Live Tweets Redux

During the Downtown Lakeland partnership sponsored Mayoral Forum, I “live tweeted” the questions and answers to and from the candidates. I sent about 56 tweets in about 60 minutes.

The nature of Twitter is 140 characters, with the AP Stylebook thrown out the window. So, as Rod Stewart once sang, “please pardon my grammar.” Read the tweets inside…

Red Light Camera Money Matters

The red light cameras we’ve written about since March 2007 are now live in Lakeland. This morning the first 9 cameras started shooting citation photos and video. As previously noted, there will be no grace period. Check the end of the column for a list of our previous articles on Lakeland’s red light cameras. This article has been updated. Please see Red Light Cameras Money Matters More

Lakeland Tweetup/Meetup for March 31

Lakeland area bloggers and other social media users are all invited to the next “tweetup/meetup” on March 31st at 7pm. We’re taking a more laid-back approach this time. No presentations teaching the wonders of Twitter. Just a group of social media fans with the opportunity to meet in person. It’s a chance to mingle with Lakeland’s social media cutting edge.

We’re trying a new meeting place this month. Barry Friedman, the Ledger’s Managing Editor/Digital, offered the use of the Ledger’s lobby. He’s going to supply refreshments, and offer tours of the Polk County newspaper of record. To help me let Barry know how many to expect, please comment below if you plan to come. Or email me at tweetup [at] lakelandlocal.com, or send me a tweet at @chuckwelch. (Map & directions inside)

This is No Joke

“The sites will be heavily focused on citizen journalism. They will invite the public to submit short films, artwork from their children, calendars of neighborhood events and wedding announcements, among other features.” — Who was the Wall Street Journal writing about? Read the rest of the story…

Red Light Camera Update

The city announced the first five intersections to get red light cameras installed. As predicted, they’re not the intersections with the greatest problems. Due to state laws, the city can install only where there is no state right-of-way. When the cameras were approved by commissioners in early November, the RLC vendor, American Traffic Solutions, was ready to start installations after Christmas. Though ATS will start installing the first cameras next week, a city official said the decision was made to hold enabling the cameras until June 1st. They hope that will the legislature time to pass a law to allow cameras on state right-of-ways. Look for our updated map inside…

Union Letter of Complaint Against Commissioner Yates

The Utility Workers Union of America recently filed a complaint against Commissioner Edie Yates. The Ledger covered the story in today’s edition. However, there are additional links and text I think you’ll find pertinent. This post includes the letter against Commissioner Yates. An earlier post covered the complaint letter concerning Mayor Fletcher.

Union Letter of Complaint Against Mayor Fletcher

In December 2008, a lawyer/researcher for Utility Workers Union of America filed two separate complaints to the The Florida Commission on Ethics. A December 4th, 2008 made the complaint against Mayor Buddy Fletcher, and December 19th letter addressed a complaint against Commissioner Edie Yates. The Ledger includes the pertinent story, and I urge you to read it. However, there are additional links and text I think you’ll find pertinent. This post includes the letter against Mayor Fletcher. A follow-up post will feature the letter against Commissioner Edie Yates.