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Spending, Zoning Among Auburn Town Meeting Topics
Telegram.com Worchester, Massachusetts
By Michael Bailey
February 28, 2017
 
AUBURN, MA - Springtime, when town officials' fancies turn toward thoughts of the May annual town meeting.

On Monday the Board of Selectmen officially opened the warrant for the town meeting, scheduled for May 2, and a few potential articles have already popped up, including a proposed zoning bylaw amendment that would amend the town's regional mall overlay district.

The Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board have each given unanimous approval to the proposed amendment, which would clear the way for the installation of two double-sided digital billboards at the Auburn Mall, overlooking the Massachusetts Turnpike. The billboards would financially benefit the mall, and additionally the town stands to reap a $1 million windfall from Total Outdoor Advertising, which will operate the billboards. The company has promised to make a "voluntary donation" to the town, paying the $1 million over a 20-year period, and that money has been marked as a possible funding source for the Drury Square revitalization project.

Protest Planned Against 'Real Women' Billboard in North Carolina
NBC News
By Kalhan Rosenblatt
February 24, 2017
 
A billboard in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will be at the heart of a protest on Sunday after some in the community took offense to the seven-word sentence.

"Real men provide, real women appreciate it," it reads.

The billboard is owned by Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising, but President Bill Whiteheart told NBC News it is not the company's message.

"We're just the messenger," he said.
 
"I have been told by that party that there will be a future announcement, but I have not received anything that could confirm or deny that that's the case. We might have a second billboard going up in future, but cant confirm when," Whiteheart said. "All I can say is stay tuned."

Whiteheart said the billboard had been up for one week as of Friday and would be up for three more weeks.
Meanwhile, the Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising Facebook page has become inundated with people commenting calling the sign "misogynistic" and "disgusting."

Molly Grace, owner of a local boutique called Kleur, decided to plan a rally around the billboard on Sunday to protest its message. Grace said the protest isn't politically motivated, but instead is intended to start a discussion.
 
"I take it also as a very deliberate jab at women who demand equality and demand to be seen as equals and those who are vocal," Grace told NBC News affiliate WXII News 12. "So to me it's also a very blatant statement about wanting to silence women and tell them to just accept the way things are."

Sunday's protest is expecting 128 people and 444 have said they're interested in attending, according to the Facebook page.

Grace did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.
 
 
Billboard Insider
By Staff Writer
March 3, 2017
 
Insider recently bought some billboards in Indianapolis.  They used lightweight eco-vinyl.  Yesterday there was a big windstorm and look what happened.  One vinyl ripped and fell off.  The other vinyls are wrinkled.
 
Insider is going to stick with 7 oz regular vinyl in the future.   Insider asked some operators what they think of eco-vinyl.

Chris Cowlbeck, Look Outdoor:  "I don't care for it.  When it blows, it rips and blows off.  In Oklahoma we get winds up to 20 miles an hour."

Gary Barbosa, Champion Outdoor:
  "I get high winds in Florida so only use 7 oz vinyl.  I also have a clause in my contract which says that clients have to pay to replace vinyl which has been wind damaged."  
Brad Sourbeer, Parker Outdoor:
 "I hate it.  It's like paper.  The ad agencies want to use it.  The money you save up front you spend twice over on buying and installing replacements and credits for down time."  
Patti Reeves, Boardworks/Reeves Media:  "It's cheaper and thinner.  They rip more frequently and pockets don't always hold up.  But they are cheaper for today's short term contract life.  And are lighter in weight also."

Pittsburg Sues Lamar Advertising to Remove Mt. Washington Sign
Daily News
By Staff Writer
March 3, 2017
 
Pittsburg filed suit against Lamar Advertising on Tuesday seeking immediate removal of a large sign from atop Mt. Washington.
 
The city and Lamar, the nation's largest outdoor advertiser, have battled over the sign since last year when the company converted it from an electronic billboard for Bayer Co. to a black and gold vinyl advertisement for Sprint.
 
Lamar failed to comply with a deadline the city set to remove the sign by 5p.m. Monday.
 
Pittsburgh contends Lamar installed the 32-by-225-foot sign without the city approval or a required permit. The city last year issued Lamar a notice of violation, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment subsequently denied the company's appeal.
 
In its court filing, Pittsburgh asked Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to find Lamar in violation of city zoning rules and order immediate removal of the sign.
 
Tim McNutty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, declined to comment.
 
Downtown attorney Jonathan Kamin, who represents Lamar, could not be reached for comment.
 
Kamin said earlier in the day that Lamar intends to appeal the zoning board decision.
 
Peduto, who has described the sign as an eyesore, has said he is willing to discuss the possibility of Lamar converting the sign back to an electric billboard. He said he would support its traditional use as advertisement for local companies but not for such things as daily super market specials.
 
In addition to Bayer, the sign has promoted companies including Alcoa and Iron City Beer.
 
"We haven't had any discussions (with Pittsburgh) yet, but we remain willing to talk with them,"Kamin said.