Make us your home page
Instagram

Duke's battles in spotlight as utility's shareholders meeting looms

In quieter times, Duke Energy would strut into its first annual shareholders meeting since becoming the country's biggest electric power company. Instead, it's stumbling into the May 1 event preoccupied with damage control. It faces a half-billion-dollar lawsuit filed by nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse for allegedly unpaid services rendered at the now-defunct Levy County nuclear power plant site north of Tampa.

Worse, Duke must deal with rising legal and environmental woes from its massive coal ash spill in February into North Carolina's Dan River. A federal grand jury was set to convene last month as part of a criminal investigation triggered by a toxic sludge spill that coated 70 miles of river.

At the upcoming meeting, Duke shareholders should vote against the re-election of four directors responsible for risk and safety matters at Duke because of that spill. So argue two big investors in Duke: the California Public Employees' Retirement System and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

No doubt, Duke will do its best to minimize such difficulties in front of shareholders.

• • •

It was 20 years ago today … when the Tampa Bay Partnership was born. Hence Monday's photos posted to Twitter — of cupcakes celebrating two decades of the regional marketing organization, and of past TBP chairmen gathered for a group shot. Among them: Jack Critchfield, long-retired chairman of Florida Progress, bankers Roy McCraw and Dan Mahurin, USF chief Judy Genshaft and lawyer Rhea Law.

Here's one of the first things the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times) reported about TBP way back in November of 1989:

"The often-discussed cooperation of Tampa Bay area economic development organizations nears fruition today, when three local groups will meet in Tampa to polish plans for their first joint efforts as the Tampa Bay Partnership. The new organization, which binds the Pinellas Economic Development Council, Tampa Committee of 100 and the Committee of 100 of Pasco County, will hammer out plans for a variety of regional projects … "

So happy 20th, TBP. You've come a long way, if often on a rocky path. But now you're out of the teen years. Right?

• • •

Monday also happened to be a celebratory day in the newsroom of the Tampa Bay Times, where it was announced the paper had won this year's Pulitzer Prize for local reporting in Tampa. It is the paper's 10th Pulitzer.

Kudos to reporters Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia for, in the words of Pulitzer judges, "their relentless investigation into the squalid conditions that marked housing for the city's substantial homeless population, leading to swift reforms."

Locally, we know their work better for exposing the unknown business sideline of slumlord William "Hoe" Brown, the former Port of Tampa chairman and one of Tampa Bay's prominent political fundraisers. That's the kind of work papers are supposed to do.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at [email protected]

Duke's battles in spotlight as utility's shareholders meeting looms 04/14/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2014 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations rebound from stronger earnings report

    Corporate

    TAMPA — After a sharp drop in its stock price in August and September, Health Insurance Innovations on Monday announced strong revenue and net income gains in preliminary numbers for its third quarter of the year. The company also announced a $50 million stock buyback over the next two years meant to bolster its …

    After losing more than half its market value between August and September, shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations are rebounding."The new share repurchase program underscores our confidence in our business strategy, financial performance, and the long-term prospects of our company while also allowing us the financial flexibility to continue to invest in our business," company CEO Gavin Southwell announced Monday. [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  2. Trigaux: Campaign aims to leverage tourism ads to recruit millennials, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay's unleashing one of its best weapons — a cadre of successful entrepreneurs and young business leaders — in a marketing campaign already under way but officially …

    Erin Meagher, founder of Tampa coconut oil products company Beneficial Blends, is part of a group of business savvy millennial entrepreneurs and managers who are helping to pitch the work-live-play merits of the Tampa Bay market in a new marketing campaign called Make It Tampa Bay. The campaign is backed by Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and aimed at recruiting more millennial talent to relocate and stay in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy Tampa Hillsborough EDC, Visit Tampa Bay]
  3. Florida gas prices drop 25 cents on average over past month

    Autos

    Gas prices are on a downward tear post-hurricane. Tampa Bay fell to $2.34 per gallon on Sunday, down 10 cents over the week, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. Across the state, gas fell 7 cents over the same period to average $2.47 per gallon.

    Gas prices across the state fell 25 cents over 31 days. | [Times file photo]
  4. Entrepreneur expands interests with Twisted Crafts

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Playgrounds of Tampa owner Mike Addabbo is expanding into the do-it-yourself industry with his new endeavor: Twisted Crafts.

     Jennifer and Michael Addabbo pose in their latest entrepreneurial enterprise: Twisted Crafts. Photo courtesy of Twisted Craft.
  5. Amazing Lash franchise expands to South Tampa

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Jeff Tolrud opened the doors to his third Amazing Lash Studio franchise earlier this month, this time in South Tampa.

    When customers walk in, the studios have the same look and feel throughout the country, operator Jeff Tolrud said of Amazing Lash Studio. Tolrud opened his third in Hillsborough County earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Amazing Lash.