Signs that fall has taken root in Tampa Bay: We're getting cocky that we've survived another hurricane-free season. We're worried the Rays might not make it into the postseason. We're worried whether the Bucs will even make it through the regular season. And, yes, it's time for our annual Biz Quiz, a potpourri testing your knowledge of current events in business, politics and the economy with a smidgen of pop culture tossed in. Give yourself a point for each correct answer. Good luck.
1. What's the nickname of the well-known Tampa Bay Rays fan who owns a now dilapidated waterfront mansion on St. Pete's priciest boulevard?
a. The Recalcitrant Ray
b. The Happy Heckler
c. The Babbling Baboon
d. The Gnarly Gnome
2. Florida's unemployment rate has fallen to 7.1 percent, down from 8.7 percent a year ago. Which number-behind-the-number statement is false?
a. Tampa Bay has created almost twice as many jobs over the year as any other Florida metro area.
b. The percentage of working-age Floridians in a job or looking for one has dropped from a pre-recession level of 64 percent in 2007 to close to 60 percent, indicating there could be numerous discouraged job seekers who temporarily stopped looking for work and are no longer counted among the jobless.
c. We've added more jobs in leisure and hospitality than any other industry.
d. Florida's manufacturing industry is still losing jobs compared to a year ago.
e. All are true.
3. Match the beleaguered public figure with the position he or she gave up under pressure:
Tony Bennett; Cesar Padilla; William "Hoe" Brown; Akshay Desai; Jennifer Carroll
a. Tampa Port Authority chairman
b. Florida education commissioner
c. Florida lieutenant governor
d. Executive director, Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission
e. Florida Republican Party finance chairman
4. Duke Energy decided to …
a. Abandon its crippled nuclear reactor at Crystal River after charging ratepayers more than $1 billion on failed efforts to upgrade the plant.
b. Cancel plans to build a new nuclear power plant in Levy County after charging ratepayers more than $1 billion in planning and equipment costs for the project.
c. Defend the practice of charging customers in advance for projects that may not go forward.
d. None of the above
e. All the above
5. Filming begins in Tampa Bay next month on …
a. A sequel to Dolphin Tale
b. A sequel to Spring Breakers
c. A sequel to Cocoon
d. A sequel to The Punisher
e. A sequel to Magic Mike
6. St. Petersburg-based Mortgage Investors Corp. received the single-largest fine in history for Do Not Call violations. According to the Federal Trade Commission, how many people on the Do Not Call list did MIC telemarketers contact?
a. More than 1 million
b. More than 2 million
c. More than 5 million
d. Two — but they were really mad and had a lot of clout with regulators.
7. What do baseball star Gary Sheffield, Tampa businessman and conservative stalwart Jim MacDougald and former Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli have in common?
a. They all owned Tampa Bay mansions that were recently sold or listed for sale.
b. They're buying Channelside Bay Plaza from the bankrupt Irish bank that controls it.
c. They own a Wall Street firm that's buying up all the middle-class homes it can find here to rent out.
d. They're pooling resources to buy the Rays and move the team to Tampa.
8. What's slated to happen in October?
a. The Church of Scientology is dedicating its massive Flag Building in downtown Clearwater, 15 years after construction began.
b. The cost of hourly parking at Tampa International Airport is going up.
c. Twerkamaniac Miley Cyrus is coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
d. Both a and b
e. Both b and c
9. St. Petersburg residents recently voted to …
a. Replace the aging Pier with the "Lens" project.
b. Scrap plans to replace the aging Pier with the "Lens" project.
c. Demolish the aging Pier.
d. No one is quite sure.
10. Which of the following is NOT coming to Tampa Bay?
a. Copa Airlines
b. Bollywood's version of the Oscars
c. Saks Fifth Avenue
d. Bristol-Myers Squibb
e. Trader Joe's
11. Pick the false statement:
a. Flood insurance premiums may rise sharply for many, even though Florida property owners have paid much more into the National Flood Insurance Program than they've gotten out in claims.
b. Citizens Property Insurance premiums are rising — sharply for some — even though there hasn't been a major hurricane in Florida going on eight years.
c. Home prices in July were up 27 percent year over last year in Tampa Bay, but more than 40 percent of Tampa Bay area home mortgages remain "seriously underwater," with mortgage balances that exceed a home's value by at least 25 percent.
d. All are true.
e. All are false.
Bonus Question: (Worth Two Points)
According to its organizers, what was the total economic impact of hosting the Republican National Convention in Tampa? (Give or take $10 million)
2. c. Tourism is booming. But leisure and hospitality created half as many jobs as trade, transportation and utilities, a broad category that includes retail jobs.
3. Give yourself one point for each correct answer:
Tony Bennett, b.
Cesar Padilla, d.
William "Hoe" Brown, a.
Akshay Desai, e.
Jennifer Carroll, c.
6. c. Technically, more than 5.4 million.
10. c. The luxury retailer recently pulled out of the Tampa market.
Bonus Answer: $404 million (including direct spending of $214 million).
How to calculate your score
1 to 4: Cheer up. At least you can probably name every celebrity who's ever been a judge on American Idol.
5 to 9: Not bad. You're on firmer footing than the perpetually "in-recovery" economy.
10 to 13: With your smarts, can you tell the rest of us what's going to happen to the stock market? Those pundits can't agree on anything.
14 to 17: Congratulations! Cherish bragging rights as Biz King or Biz Queen for another year.