TAMPA BAY, Fla. - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Tuesday, September 13.
(1) Newt Gingrich film screening
Tampa Bay Young Republicans are hosting former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista at Lowry Park Zoo on Tuesday.
The Gingrichs will be screening their seventh film, A City Upon A Hill. The movie explores the concept of American Exceptionalism from its origin to the present day. It tries to answer what is American Exceptionalism and why it is important.
The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with a private VIP reception overlooking the park's elephant exhibit. The film screening begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Safari Lodge followed by a question and answer session with audience members and a book signing.
For more information, visit www.tbyr.com .
(2) Citizen sinkhole insurance rate hike hearing
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) is holding a public hearing about the proposed Citizens insurance sinkhole rate increase on Tuesday.
On Monday, Citizens convened an emergency meeting to cap the 2011 rate hikes at 50%. Despite the cap, some Tampa Bay homeowners could still see their sinkhole insurance costs go up by $700 this year, with the possibility of a 2000% increase in 2012.
"By seeking approval of the full sinkhole rate indication, yet phasing in the approved rates, we are both highlighting the severity of the sinkhole claims crisis while allowing time for the provisions of Senate Bill 408 to moderate future rate need," said Chairman Lacasa, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
During today's hearing the OIR will hear from more than 200 policyholders who organized together to protest the 400 to 2000% rate hikes.
The public hearing takes place from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. in Ballroom D at the Tampa Convention Center. You can also watch live streaming coverage of the hearing on thefloridachannel.org.
For more information, visit www.floir.com .
(3) Doctor gun law repeal legislation
State Representative Rick Kriseman, a Democrat from St. Petersburg, is holding a press conference on Tuesday to announce legislation to repeal a controversial new law that blocks physicians and other medical providers from asking patients about gun safety.
House Bill 4015, the "Privacy of Firearm Owners" would repeal the law that puts doctors under a "gag rule" stopping them from asking patients about gun safety and providing information that could reduce accidental gun shot injuries and deaths.
More than 200 physicians across the state have signed a petition urging the State Legislature to repeal the law.
The companion to HB 4015 will be sponsored by Senator Oscar Braynon (D - Miami Gardens).
Today's press conference takes place at 10:00 a.m. at the All Children's Hospital Conference Center at 701 Fourth Street South in St. Petersburg.
For more information on HB 4015, click here .
(4) Legoland media tour
Legoland is inviting members of the media, including ABC Action News, to tour recently completed areas of the theme park on Tuesday.
Joie Chitwood III, the President of Daytona International Speedway, will rev up the engines at Miniland USA's Daytona International Speedway. The replica speedway is built completely out of LEGO bricks. The cars will zoom around the track at on perfect 31-degree angled banks.
The park will also showcase their remaining Miniland clusters including New York, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and two clusters exclusive to the Winter Haven Legoland: Florida and Pirates.
Legoland Florida is being built on the site of the old Cypress Gardens. Two rides, the Triple Hurricane coaster and the Vekoma family inverted coaster and the historic gardens are being incorporated into the new park.
The park will be the fifth Legoland in the world when it opens on October 15.
For more information, visit florida.legoland.com .
(5) Sandtastic Clearwater 2011
The 75-ton sand sculpture, Sandtastic Clearwater 2011, will open for public viewing in Clearwater Beach on Tuesday.
The sculpture features images familiar to Clearwater: Winter the dolphin and Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Super Boat Races, Phillies spring training, the annual Jazz Holiday, and more.
Professional sand sculpting company Team Sandtastic, which is based in Sarasota, took four days to build the sculpture.
"We never create the exact sand sculpture twice," said owner Mark Mason. "We find each event thrilling to see take shape before our eyes."
One of the four professional sculptors on this project is Clearwater's Pat Harsh.
Weather permitting the sculpture can be viewed at Pier 60 Park through September 17. It will be lit during the evening hours for people who can not visit it during the day.
For more information, visit the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce Facebook page by clicking here .
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