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SIGN UP FOR THE 2013 CITIZENS ACADEMY

CITIZENS ACADEMY

CITY OF LAKELAND OFFERS HANDS ON CLASS IN GOVERNMENTOLOGY

 

LAKELAND, FL (January 10, 2013) -- The City of Lakeland is offering its 12th  Citizens Academy to area residents starting February 28, 2013.  The Citizens Academy is a free, hands-on, interactive public information program that familiarizes citizens with City services and the functions of City Departments.

 

The Lakeland Citizens Academy allows residents to get a behind the scenes look of how City government operates and it provides an outlet for citizen input. The program consists of six (6), two (2) hour evening sessions. 

 

2013 Session Dates

 

February 28     History & Finance

March 7          Police Department

March 14        Fire Department

March 21        Public Works & Planning

April 4             Utility Services

April 11           Parks & Recreation                

 

 

The program is limited to 30 citizens aged 16 or older.  Enrollment in the class is based on a first-come-first-served basis.  All participants interested in the Citizens Academy are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program.

 

All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are from 6-8 p.m. and will be held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue (a light dinner is served at 5:45 p.m. during all sessions).  Three sessions will meet away from City Hall and directions will be given for each City building or facility that houses a Citizen Academy session.

 

The class will graduate with a certificate in “Governmentology”  at the end of the last session.  Those interested in participating should contact Kevin Cook at 863/834-6264 or kevin.cook@lakelandgov.net to secure a spot on the roster.

 

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CHANUKAH FESTIVAL & MENORAH LIGHTING

CHANUKAH FESTIVAL & MENORAH LIGHTING
Mayor & Sheriff to attend 3rd annual Chanukah Celebration

LAKELAND, FL (December 9, 2012) – It’s that special time of year again: Chanukah, the eight-day festival of light, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.  Chabad Jewish Center invites members of the Polk County community to participate in the third annual public Menorah lighting in downtown Lakeland. The fun starts Sunday, December 9 at 4:00 pm at LAKE MIRROR AMPHITHEATER, which is located at 121 S. LAKE AVE LAKELAND, FL 33801.

More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.

When they sought to light the Temple's menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah (candelabrum) lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.

Chabad Jewish Center invites members of the Polk County community to participate in the third annual public Menorah lighting in downtown Lakeland. The fun starts Sunday, December 9 at 4:00 pm at LAKE MIRROR AMPHITHEATER, which is located at 121 S. LAKE AVE LAKELAND, FL 33801.

Attendees will enjoy lively Chanukah music, chocolate Chanukah Gelt (coins), an exciting new Chanukah shop, an amazing fire show, and activities such as face painting, balloon twisting, guess the Dreidels game, arts & crafts and a raffle. Hot dogs, potato latkes, sufganiyot (Israeli-style jelly donuts), and beverages will be available for sale.

At 5:30 pm the giant 9-foot Menorah will be kindled, overlooking beautiful Lake Mirror, followed by a few words from our honored guests, Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

This is a community-wide public event and admission is free.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, or to volunteer to help at the event, please contact Chabad Jewish Center at (863) 510-5968.

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LINK2LAKELAND - City of Lakeland Goes Mobile

LAKELAND, FL (October 19, 2012) -- The City of Lakeland has just released a mobile app called Link2Lakeland that is on the Apple, Android and Windows platforms.  Link2Lakeland was developed by an in-house team comprised of members from the Department of Information Technology and the Communications Department.  

The app features a mobile version of the City’s Citizens Action Center that serves as a central communications point for citizens to report a concern, make a suggestion or ask questions.  If a user happens to see a broken sidewalk or pothole that needs to be repaired they can take a photo or use the set location feature to drop a pin that highlights exactly where the issue is located. 

The Link2Lakeland mobile app also features a community calendar that allows users to view upcoming events.  A user can click on an event for a brief description and the user can have the mapping feature display directions to the event.  There is also a list of frequently called numbers broken down by City Department. 

Mobile users can stay connected to the City of Lakeland’s social media networks through the Link2Lakeland app.  The City’s official FaceBook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel can be accessed very easily with the touch of the screen.  Citizen engagement makes Lakeland a better place and the community is encouraged to join the conversation through social media to learn what the City does each day and how they can play a part. The Link2Lakend app also allows smart phone users to follow the latest in City of Lakeland news with the LakelandGov Mobile news blog.  The most recent news posts are highlighted so citizens can stay informed on City initiatives and programs.

The iPhone app is available through the iTunes App Store and can be found by searching Link2Lakeland.  Android phone users can find the City of Lakeland’s app on the Google Play app store and Windows phone users can visit their game and app store to download Link2Lakeland.  Those with a smart phone are encouraged to stay informed and get connected through the Link2Lakeland mobile app.

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Lakeland Recognized As Bike Friendly Community

Today, the City of Lakeland was designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.  The Bicycle Friendly America program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling. 

Rick Perez, Senior Planner for the City of Lakeland said, “We received a request from the locaorganization, Bike Lakeland to apply for bike friendly status and the City Commission approved a resolution to pursue the designation soon after that.”  He added, “The Community Development Department worked with staff from Public Works, LPD and Parks and Recreation as well as the bicycling community and other agencies such as the School Board to complete the application.  It is exciting to know that Lakeland was designated as a Bronze level Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.”

Over the past 10 years, the League has worked with hundreds of engineers, government officials and bicycle advocates to identify the DNA of bicycle friendliness. Using that expert knowledge, the League evaluates communities on the following criteria: 

1.      Engineering: Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling

2.      Education: Programs that ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of cyclists

3.      Encouragement: Incentives, promotions and opportunities that inspire cycling

4.      Enforcement: Programs that ensure motorists and cyclists are held accountable

5.      Evaluation: Process that demonstrates a commitment to planning for the future

Celeste Deardorff, Long Range Planning Manager for the City of Lakeland said, “This award means that the City is being recognized for its continued commitment to cycling as a means of recreation and as a mode of transportation.  Lakeland is now among the few localities in Florida who have achieved such a level of recognition.”  She added,  “This award will help the City to attract avid bicycle enthusiasts of all ages and highlights one aspect of Lakeland’s quality of life that can be used in economic development and recruiting efforts by our local businesses, educators and others in our community.” 

In four years the community will be re-evaluated and based on that assessment, the City of Lakeland can either improve or lose the bike friendly designation. Deardorff said, “In order to maintain our award recognition and aspire to a new level, it will be important for Lakeland to enhance cycling initiatives by working with local enthusiasts, bicycle clubs and other partner organizations within the community.”

There is already a framework in place to improve Lakeland’s bike friendly status such as:

1.      Engaging the public and employers in cycling through leadership with bike to work days, ride with the Mayor/Commissioner events, promoting bike commuter programs, and creating a citizen advisory board to provide input on cycling projects and programs.

2.      Improving upon existing infrastructure with a trail network throughout the City and work closely with schools to create safe bike routes to school.

3.      Promote cycling as an economic development tool: Market Lakeland as a bicycling destination for tourism, conduct an economic impact study on bicycling in Lakeland, initiate a bike share program and attract more bicycle related events.

The Bike Friendly designation demonstrates that the City of Lakeland is committed to improving the safety, convenience, and enjoyment for all cyclists in the community whether they are recreational, commuter or sport riders.  The end result is a higher quality of life that furthers the City’s vision as a world class community and it helps attract those that enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.  Please visit www.bikeleague.org for more information on Bike Friendly Communities.