10 things you ought to know about Tampa Bay, Florida business scene today

17

April

Wake up and good morning. It's a big news buffet today, so here are 10 things to know about Tampa Bay and Florida business this morning.

10. More than 4,000 people have applied so far for 400 positions opening at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Read more in the Tampa Tribune here and the Tampa Bay Times video report here.

9. Gambling interests that wanted Las Vegas-style destination gambling in South Florida but could not get it through the Florida Legislature are now trying to take their pitch directly to Florida voters with a "New Jobs and Revenue for Florida" campaign, says the South Florida Sun Sentinel here.

8. Adding insult to injury, Spain wants treasure hunters Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa to pay about $4 million in legal costs in the court fight that resulted in Spain recovering the rich treasures Odyssey unearthed from the Black Swan shipwreck. Not amused, Odyssey argues here that's going over the legal line.

7. The National Law Journal just ranked the nation's 350 largest law firms and two based in Tampa made the list. The largest Tampa Bay-based firm is Carlton Fields at No. 149 with 280 attorneys. The other local firm to make it is Fowler White Boggs at No. 312 with 126 attorneys.

6. Ben-Zion Bradley Weitz is a Florida attorney who, according to this New York Times story,  is terroroizing small New Yok businesses by suing so many of them for violating the Americsna With Disabilities Act. Tampa businesses, including a strip mall, a convenience store, a bar and print shop, were sued by Weitz two weeks ago.

5. Electric car charging stations are starting to multiply in central Florida metro areas, says the Orlando Sentinel. Here's Walgreens announcing plans to add 13 new stations at Walgreens locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando.

4. The Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday but nobody won for editorial writing. Among the finalists, though, were Tampa Bay Times editorial writers Tim Nickens, Joni James, John Hill and Robyn Blumner for their series on the inexperienced Florida Gov. Rick Scott that "caused the governor to mend some of his ways." Read more in the Washington Post.

3. Get a recap on the just concluded Startup Weekend Tampa 2012 at this Florida Technology Journal video.

2. USA Today reports that, much to the delight of phone companies like Verizon, landline phone services in some states are starting to go the way of the dodo bird. When will that happen in Florida?

1. There's far more turmoil than meets the eye inside Tampa's Savtira Corp. The cloud-based e-commerce start-up is in trouble with the Department of Labor over failing to pay its workers. And CEO Tim Roberts, blamed by many former employees for much of the firm's woes, claims "greedy investors" and some former employees are trying to bankrupt the company in order to buy the company's patents and tech remains on the chap on the courthouse steps. Read more in my column today in the Tampa Bay Times. One web site that's clearly targeting Roberts' alleged problems in the past is also getting lots of buzz among ex-Savtira workers. It's called "Savtira exposed."

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 9:25am]

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