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It's been nearly a year since local newspapers went head-to-head against the City of Clearwater's attempt to impose an ordinance regulating newspaper racks. Today, the city is finally revising its ordinance, and this time, it's working with the newspapers, not against them.
Clearwater approved its ordinance in 1993. Shortly thereafter, in January 1994, workers from various city departments began a sweeping crackdown. They rounded up 31 news racks deemed unsafe and otherwise illegal, including some from the St. Petersburg Times, the Tampa Tribune, USA Today and smaller papers. The city held the racks, demanding $100 plus $10 per day storage fee for each.
War was quickly declared, with racks held as POWs. Several big issues screamed for attention: Freedom of speech. Due process. Free commerce. Safety. Aesthetics. The …