Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Illuminating His First Amendment Rights With A Programmable LED Sign

In Land O’ Lakes, Florida, a man named Jeff Griffin is in hot water after he parked a portable message board with three-second LED bursts. Much like a professionally done programmable LED sign, his LED sign showed his personal preferences for the upcoming election campaign. The sign is parked in front of Fairhaven Farm and is visible to travelers on State Road 52. Griffin, a business owner, ranch manager, family man and a Republican activist, explained that he had hoped the medium would be the message. The improvised programmable LED sign is a sample of what he and an engineer with LED manufacturing experience (the same one who made the now controversial LED sign) plan to create and eventually sell. Of course, his political preferences are just icing on top a contentious cake.

Now, Griffin is looking for a lawyer who is willing to advance his arguments—he claims the county is trampling on his First Amendment Rights. As it is, Pasco County has adopted a sign ordinance in 2002. The ordinance states that “activated signs” and “vehicle signs” are prohibited. The county responded by sending Griffin a cease-and-desist order citing his violation of the said ordinance. The man, however, is not one to easily back down. He moved the improvised programmable LED sign into the second fence line and added a disclaimer—“Jack Griffin endorses”—before the loop of candidate names he endorsed. Now it has become a battle between local ordinance and First Amendment rights.

One of the politicians endorsed by Griffin is arguing for a “reconsideration of the ordinance” citing the fact that the county itself uses programmable LED signs. Meanwhile, the man on the hot seat himself was quoted saying, “They put a bull’s eye on my back; I’m proud to wear it.”

Now that’s one man who is clearly attached to his LED sign.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Programmable LED Sign Eyed To Bring Advertising Dollars To Local High School

In our previous blogs, we shared with you stories on how a programmable LED sign can affect the dynamics of a community and even how it can affect the way we communicate while on the road.

A local high school in Nebraska is looking at bringing in local advertising dollars courtesy of a proposed programmable LED sign. York High School is entertaining a proposal from businessman George Darlington who represents a company, which provides LED signs for use in athletic venues such as school gyms. The proposed LED sign will be used as an avenue to sell ads to local sponsors for $700 to $800 with a part of the proceeds to be funneled in to support school activities.

According to the school’s Activities Director and Assistant Principal Jerry Dunn, the proposal seems “safe” for the school and it presents a “good opportunity.” He noted that while it will essentially become an advertising space situated within the school’s gym, the role of the programmable LED sign “would be minimal at best.”

Darlington’s company specializes in putting up digital boards to support local athletic programs. The businessman explained that communities who have his LED signs find that they “take pride” in what they are able to do for their local academic institution through the business generated from the signs.

The proposed programmable LED sign will have ads that change on 15-second intervals. It can also have a backlit display, which will display 30-second ads. For now, the school board is on the early voting process regarding the future of the proposed programmable LED sign.