Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Focus should shift from imperiling Lens to improving

I wish the leaders behind the Stop the Lens movement would rebrand the effort Fix the Lens.

Enhancing the initial design could help move the project forward and replace the aging, crumbling Pier structure. And kudos to Richard Gonzmart for committing to a new Columbia restaurant at the Lens.

Demanding the city go back to the drawing board wastes money and could drive costs higher.

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has put renderings of the new proposal on display in the lobby of the University Student Center. Give it a look, with a focus on improving instead of imperiling. …

A lot of people don't believe that Gov. Rick Scott's "change of heart" on education and Obamacare can reverse his low-approval rating. Others say he's turning off the conservative base. But can he lose if Democrats fail to field a viable challenger? …

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivers the keynote speech Friday at United Way Suncoast's first Bridges Leadership Power Luncheon at the Tampa Club. Call (813) 274-0944 to register. …

I wonder if Buckhorn and other local leaders will start talking about what the federal government's sequester cuts could mean to Tampa Bay. Here's a hint: It's not good and it goes beyond the military. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: If Only Closed Minds Came With Closed Mouths. …

Artist Carolyn Heller was one of the first people to befriend me when I became a columnist 12 years ago. I still have fond memories of her Alabama accent and homemade gumbo. Known for her works featuring vivid colors, Heller died in 2011, but an exhibit of her work opens Friday at the Tampa Museum of Art. I'll have to wear my Carolyn Heller-designed white tie when I check it out.

That's all I'm saying.

Comments
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — An Ohio mother was struck by a speeding car and killed Wednesday while pushing a stroller across Bayshore Boulevard and her 21-month-old daughter was seriously injured, Tampa police said.The two were hit by a northbound car around 11:43 a.m. ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

VERO BEACH — Land O'Lakes had just finished a hard-fought 5-0 victory over Clay in the Class 6A state semifinal. Callie Turner threw a no-hitter. Jolene Bodner had a two-run single.The win was big, clinching the Gators' second straight champion...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student fell from a ladder on campus in the hours before her graduation ceremony and remained hospitalized Wednesday with head injuries.Chicago native Rebecca Ryan Lavin-Burgher, known as Becca on campus and RyRy to...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA -- Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict ...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

FORT MYERS — One swing.That's all it took for Carrollwood Day's historic season to come to an end.With two outs and two runners on in the third inning of the Class 3A state semifinal against Tallahassee North Florida Christian, Patriots starter...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa charter review board recommendations go to City Council

Tampa charter review board recommendations go to City Council

TAMPA —After nine months of meetings, Tampa’s first City Charter review commission has delivered its recommendations.It’s a modest wish list but an important start, commissioners said in advance of today’s City Council workshop.Mostly, the commission...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region baseball: Plant’s state bid falters in ninth inning

TAMPA — Sarasota outlasted Plant 2-0 in a nine-inning Class 8A region final on Wednesday to advance to next week's state tournament in Fort Myers.The Sailors will play Strawberry Crest on June 1 at 10 a.m.Scoreless through eight innings Wednesd...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater deputy fire chief resigns as report on sick leave abuse is released

Clearwater deputy fire chief resigns as report on sick leave abuse is released

CLEARWATER — A months-long probe into abuse of sick leave within the fire department concluded this week with the resignation of a deputy chief and the release of an internal review.The city paid $93,816 in unearned or unauthorized sick time, benefit...
Updated: 1 hour ago