Make us your home page

Dear Santa, can you help us out?

Dear Santa: I know you're busy. I realize the job market feels like it's stuck in a mucky reindeer stall. I like your work ethic (and your fuel efficiency) every Dec. 24. Just in case you have a moment, here's my wish list this year. All I want for Christmas is a better Tampa Bay economy. So here goes — my 12 days of Christmas list:

12. If the newly combined Anheuser-Busch-InBev beer giant does decide to sell Tampa's Busch Gardens, please make sure the new owner cares as much — and is willing to invest the bucks — to keep our theme park a special place to visit.

11. When Wells Fargo officially purchases Wachovia Corp. in a few weeks, help the new No. 1 bank in the Florida market to be a true leader and give Florida consumers genuine value — not to mention a break on loans.

10. Don't tell me the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays' worst-to-first American League Championship season was a magical fluke but is instead the start of an amazing streak of quality teams and competitive baseball cheered on in a packed stadium.

9. Let the cascading Tampa Bay housing market hit a solid bottom in 2009 so prices can stabilize and allow folks to feel more confident that they are buying homes that won't drag them underwater overnight.

8. May the 7.4 percent of Tampa Bay workers currently out of a job find decent employment soon. While you're at it, try to guide the 12.5 percent of people underemployed here to full-time and better positions soon. At least help them develop new skills if it helps them get higher-wage jobs.

7. Let me truly believe retailers' "Take an additional 50 percent off the last 40 percent off" sales pitches when, alas, I usually feel the final price still feels 10 percent higher than last year's bargain price.

6. While it's great that area gas prices are near $1.60 a gallon from $4.09 just five months ago, please convince area drivers to still think twice before reverting to their old ways with gas-guzzling vehicles.

5. Find those naughty restaurants only pretending to serve real grouper and give them a lump of coal. Toss candy canes to those serving the real thing.

4. Rethink raising electricity rates so high so fast next month (just as folks start to rely more on their heaters). Look for other ways to help pay for that big, expensive Levy County nuclear power plant that won't even turn on for eight years or so.

3. May the top 10 public corporations headquartered in the Tampa Bay area survive and quickly rebound from this nasty recession — especially the four (Jabil Circuit, MarineMax, Gerdau AmeriSteel and Kforce) whose stock currently trades well under $10 a share.

2. Give thanks for yet another hurricane season with nary a local impact. But feel free to let Dancer, Prancer, Comet and especially Vixen do a hoof number on any property insurance company about to demand giant, double-digit rate increases.

1. Give a break to those retired now returning to work after their 401(k)s were so damaged, but encourage the young just starting to hunt for a job to have patience and a realistic budget to live on.

Happy holidays, Tampa Bay.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at

Dear Santa, can you help us out? 12/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 3:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Proino Breakfast Club owner charged with not paying state taxes


    LARGO — Just before noon on a recent Sunday at Proino Breakfast Club, the dining room was bustling as owner George Soulellis chatted with a customer.

    Proino Breakfast Club at 201 West Bay Drive in Largo. The owner was arrested last month on a theft of state funds charge, according to court records. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home


    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  5. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]