Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Hooper: Restaurant service is declining, but some get it right

I asked my Facebook friends: Is it just me or does restaurant service seem to be declining?

While careful not to paint with too broad a brush, many agreed that remarkable service has become the exception. Too often, it's pedestrian, as if servers are going through the motions. "Can't wait to get off work," seems to be the mantra.

I tip well regardless, but I wonder if I'm sending the wrong message. Are owners failing to promote engaging service? Or do I need to be more appreciative and courteous in the beginning?

Maybe the solution is to laud those who get it right. Thanks to my Facebook crew, Ybor City's Carne Chophouse, Treasure Island's VIP Lounge & Mexican Restaurant and Clearwater's Pico Rojo earn shoutouts.

Owners take note — good service and word of mouth count. …

Word on the grapevine is Gov. Rick Scott will pen a book profiling significant Floridians, including hip-hop megastar Flo Rida. Can't you see Scott joining Flo Rida on the stage for a spiffy little version of Club Can't Handle Me? You go gov.

Bumper sticker seen on a Mini Cooper: Caution Maximum Capacity: 15 Clowns.

Stop by any Sweetbay through Sunday and buy a bag, brick or container of coffee that Wesley Chapel-based Support Our Troops will deliver to troops in remote areas. …

Kudos to the Florida Aquarium for netting close to $1 million for its Rising Tides capital campaign through the New Market Tax Credit initiative, a federal program. With the help of attorney Jim Lang, the aquarium brought home federal funds for a deserving project. It's important given Florida lags most states in using the program.

That's all I'm saying.

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State baseball: 60 wins and counting for Calvary Christian

State baseball: 60 wins and counting for Calvary Christian

FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian will play for its second straight Class 4A state championship Thursday. The Warriors defeated Jacksonville Trinity Christian 2-1 on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium in a game delayed three hours due to weather. It is ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 1 hour ago
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 — The two cars raced each other along Bayshore Boulevard just before noon, witnesses told police. One was a black 2018 Mustang. The other a gold Nissan. They sped side-by-side, trading the lead, police said, despite the traffic and pedestrians ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live blog: It comes down to this for Bolts-Caps

Live blog: It comes down to this for Bolts-Caps

Follow our live coverage of the Eastern Conference final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals.We'll have updates, analysis, photos, video and more on and off the ice from Times reporters, editors, sports columnists and photo journa...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region baseball: Venice dispatches Mitchell

NEW PORT RICHEY — Walking by the football field and toward the parking lot after Wednesday's Class 7A region final at Ridgewood High, several Venice High players were caught by surprise as the irrigation system turned on.But while shaking off t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘C’mon Tampa, let’s go!’ Lightning fans gather for Game 7

‘C’mon Tampa, let’s go!’ Lightning fans gather for Game 7

TAMPA — Hours before Gate C opened Wednesday at Amalie Arena, six die-hard Tampa Bay Lightning fans gathered on the steps.Waiting.For Thomas Schooley, 40, of Seminole, it’s a pregame tradition with meaning."I’ve got to be the first one in," Schooley ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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: 2 hours ago
Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

UPDATE, 5:32: Faria is looking at at extended absence, potentially into August. Cash said an estimate of 6-8 weeks was on the optimistic side. "From what we found out he got it pretty good," Cash said.  "So it could be a little bit longer than t...
Updated: 3 hours 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: 3 hours ago

Sinkhole opens up near Bayfront Health’s Brooksville hospital

BROOKSVILLE — A large sinkhole opened up by Bayfront Health Brooksville hospital in a water retention pond between State Road 50 and the hospital’s parking lot, according to a hospital spokeswoman.The sinkhole poses no threat to hospital buildings, e...
Updated: 3 hours ago