Let’s talk Lkld

Trinity Laurino

Executive Director

When we launched the first of our LkldNow community forums, we had a lot of hopes but not a lot of expectations. We hoped to create a space for civil civic engagement, a place where the community could come together to listen, learn and, most important, be listened to. We hoped we’d be able to foster meaningful dialogue on important issues, offer a platform for local experts on each topic, increase transparency in our city’s governance and nurture the kind of civility that comes from having face-to-face connections.

We succeeded. Each time people come out for these events, I’m more and more convinced that we are filling an important need in the community and our hopes are being realized.

We’re currently preparing for our fourth community forum – this one focusing on k-12 education. Please save the date: Sept. 7, 2023. We’re excited to continue our partnership with Lakeland Vision and for this event to partner with the Florida Children’s Museum as the venue.

We’re also thinking about our slate for 2024. Our forums are always grounded in exploring efforts to make Lakeland more livable; we want to know what local topics are top of mind for you? Do you want to explore transportation? Safety? Arts? Health care? Retaining talented young people? Something else?

Let us know in this quick poll. It should take only 3 minutes to complete.

Developer Plans to Convert Former Sears at Lakeland Square Mall Into 320 Apartments

The plan is part of a national ‘retail-to-residential’ trend that’s breathing new life into declining shopping centers.

Raises On Tap For Polk County Teachers, District Employees

Teachers should see extra funds after the School Board approves the budget.

Four Months and $21 Million Later, Lakeland Electric’s Flagship Unit 5 is Back Online

Plant manager describes celebratory scene in control room as the combustion turbine rolled up to […]

Portion of East Orange Street closed as crews replace 100-year-old sewer line

Two-day project will replace cracked clay line with PVC pipe.

Expanded Voucher System Could Cost Polk Schools Up To $70 Million

Every student in the state is now eligible to receive a scholarship to attend a […]


Recent Harrison Arts graduate JD Davis savors his role as student reporter at New York awards show | The Ledger

Appeals court overturns former PCSO detective’s conviction for falsifying records because it wasn’t for ‘benefit’ | The Ledger

New drones help Lakeland-based NOAA team explore the ‘most dangerous parts’ of hurricanes | ABC Action News

Lakeland woman who posted about breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6 pleads guilty to felony civil disorder | News Channel 8

Mid-priced charter service partners with Spirit Airlines to train pilots while flying Lakelanders to Bahamas and Southeast U.S. | The Ledger

42-year-old bicyclist killed in hit-and-run crash on Bartow Road near Wawa; vehicle found but suspect at large | Lakeland Police

LGBTQ assistant principal leaves PCPS after 10 years, says new laws are driving educators away | Bay News 9

Polk Tax Collector warns homeowners about ‘too good to be true’ PACE loans that hike property tax bills | ABC Action News

Remodeled South Lakeland Chick-fil-A to reopen Monday with new drive-thru and bypass lanes | The Ledger

Lakeland coworking space thrives in part because of Adriana Eraso, a.k.a. “COhatch Mom” | The Lakelander

Polk County: ‘Drain and cover’ pet bowls, kiddie pools, bird baths to prevent serious mosquito-borne illness | News Channel 8

Starting July 1, LRHMC and other Florida hospitals must ask about immigration status before treating patients | The Ledger

Family Nature Walk | Saturday | 10 a.m. | Bonnet Springs Park
A one-hour guided tour explores the plants and animals along the boardwalks around the Blanton Family Lagoon. Free. 

Juneteenth Arts and Film Festival | Saturday | 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Polk State College Lakeland
Five films, including a 20-minute documentary by Lakeland’s Stephanie Claytor, will be screened at the festival at Polk State College in LTB 1100. The local festival is supported by the National Juneteenth Films Initiative. Schedule. Admission: $10 (a $15 ticket includes the reception.)

Red White & Kaboom! | Monday | 6 to 9:15 p.m. | Lake Mirror
Lakeland’s annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks are hosted by the city of Lakeland and sponsored by T. Mims Corp. Visitors are asked to bring canned or non-perishable food items to benefit VISTE, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly. Live music from Andrew Luv & the Franchise Players. Ten food trucks will be available. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Free.

Birds of different feathers from a recent walk around Lake Hollingsworth. The roseate spoonbill was on the south side of the lake and the green heron was on the north. | Barry Friedman, LkldNow

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.