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The latest happenings in your city government.


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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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.


REGGAE BAND AZWON TAKES THE STAGE FOR MUSIC ON THE PROMENADE IN SEPTEMBER
Multi-Cultural Festival Event

 

LAKELAND, FL (September 7, 2012) -- The City of Lakeland will play host to Music on the Promenade on Friday, September 21, 2012 when the reggae band Azwon takes the stage from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. during the FREE music series. The event is part of the Greater Lakeland Multi-Cultural Festival celebrating diversity, cultural differences and harmony.

Azwon is a very roots oriented reggae band.  Roots reggae is a sub-genre of reggae music which evolved in Jamaica and was made famous outside the Caribbean by the legendary singer/songwriter Bob Marley.  Azwon performs many popular songs from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaac and other major reggae artists past and present.  Although Azwon is reggae oriented, the band is equal to task when playing R&B or other Caribbean rhythms such as Soca and Calypso music.  The band is sure to entertain with a crowd pleasing mix of island styles from several Caribbean cultures.

 The music series takes place at the Lake Mirror amphitheater which is between Hollis Garden and the Lake Mirror Center. The event is FREE to the public and families are encouraged to attend. There will be food and drink vendors on site so bring a blanket and enjoy the lake setting with music under the stars.

Music on the Promenade is proudly sponsored by the City of Lakeland.  Parking is available at the Lake Mirror Center's parking lot and in the Iowa Avenue parking garage.  No glass bottles within the park please.  For more information regarding the series, contact Kevin Cook at 863/834-6264.