Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Florida should close loophole for write-in candidates

Using shadowy write-in candidates to close otherwise open primaries to a single party's voters is unethical.

With independent and third-party voters surging, the state needs to eliminate a loophole and end this act of suppression.

For example, more than 60 percent of the registered votes won't have any real voice in choosing the next District 4 commissioner representing eastern Hillsborough County. Some want to debate the issue along partisan lines. It's not about registering in the "right" party or getting the other side to field candidates.

People who have no intent of mounting a real campaign are being used to deny voters. Period. At the very least, the state could raise the requirements for write-in candidates …

A sample U.S. citizenship test is making the rounds on Facebook. I encourage everyone to not only take it, but also research the answers they missed and determine why they didn't learn those facts in school …

Seen on a bumper sticker: Ninety Percent of Politics Is Deciding Who To Blame …

Clearwater's pursuit of downtown redevelopment remains topical, but it's worth pointing out that organic growth is just as important as government initiatives. The city can't idly stand by and hope for improvement, but it can't do it all. Ask St. Petersburg …

Is it just me, or has someone else heard the Rays may want a new stadium in the West Shore area instead of downtown Tampa? …

The Tampa Bay Times will hold a salute to Maya Angelou from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Brandon Barnes & Noble, 122 Brandon Town Center. I'll be there because, as Angelou said, "I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

That's all I'm saying.

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What you need to know for Thursday, Jan. 18

What you need to know for Thursday, Jan. 18

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• The worst is behind us, but we’re not quite yet finished with the chilly weather. Last night was one of the coldest nights in years, and tonight will only be several degrees ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

Romano: Are buses really our last gasp?

To the members of the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership group:Listen carefully when a new plan for a rapid bus system is unveiled to you on Friday. All the benefits the supporters will tout will undoubtedly be true.A rapid bus syste...
Updated: 9 hours ago
In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers breezed through the bullet points of a higher education bill. They skimmed past a hot-button proposal to consolidate the University of South Florida System into a single university without a peep of pushba...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

"On Nov. 3, 2017, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1012 Buena Vista Drive … in reference to a death investigation."So begins a charging document in the case of Andrew Coffey, the 20-year-old Florida State University student who was foun...
Updated: 10 hours ago
New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

New St. Pete City Council gets to work, starting with 2018 budget

ST. PETERSBURG — The new City Council will get its first chance to weigh in on the 2018 budget on Thursday morning — and they’re likely to bring a long list of priorities to the table.In recent years, rising property values have kept city coffers flu...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

After 16 years of combat and counting, the war in Afghanistan gets a happy movie ending in 12 Strong, a thick slice of patriot porn.Based on a true story, 12 Strong rightfully celebrates the first U.S. Special Forces unit battling Taliban forces shel...
Published: 01/18/18
Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and officers with Metro Development Group and Crystal Lag...
Published: 01/18/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

PORT RICHEY — The first call came into emergency dispatch at 4 p.m. on Sunday from shore, reporting a ‘giant’ boat on fire in the Pithlachascotee River."It’s urgent," the caller said.Others followed quickly, one woman crying as she described from her...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For FSU fraternity, a wild night turned tragic

For FSU fraternity, a wild night turned tragic

The night of initiation was the most that the brothers of Florida State University’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter said they had ever seen their pledge class drink.That was the plan, court records said: Pledges would arrive at the fraternity house Nov. 2 and ...
Updated: 8 hours ago