Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Monday's Quick Hits: The weekend gun rally and a home cleanup project

All kinds of wrong information about gun rights ...

As expected, the Guns Across America event at the Hernando County Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon distilled all of the most ignorant notions about gun control from around the state — and Florida may lead the nation in this regard — and dumped this toxic ideological goo in the middle of Hernando County.

My favorite comment came from Gloria Fisher, the Republican state committeewoman from Citrus County, who believes her home is more secure with a firearm outfitted with a large ammunition clip:

"Well, Mr. Effete Liberal, if criminals pick me as their next victim, I have a much better chance of surviving if I can defend myself with multiple rounds against multiple attackers."

Right, and imagine how safe the world would be if we were all armed with grenades and drone missiles.

No way to prove nonpartisanship ...

The one public office that ought to be nonpartisan, everybody seems to agree, is the supervisor of elections.

And the one concern about new supervisor Shirley Anderson — given her background as a staffer for Republican officeholders — is that she isn't.

But there she was signing up new voters at the fairgrounds on Saturday, as speakers and sign holders denounced President Obama, not only for his positions on gun control but on health care reform and national security. It's possible that she registered a few fringe members of the Democratic Party who believe — as one sign stated, in blood-red letters — that a gun-free zone equals a death camp. But I doubt it.

It's also possible, as she told me, that her appearance at the rally was just an example of the supervisor doing her job — getting out in the community and convincing folks to exercise their right to vote.

All right. Then I challenge her to show up at the next event that draws as many and as high a percentage of Democrats.

Sad to think of this as a partisan event, but a parade honoring Martin Luther King Jr. might be a good place to start.

Nevermind. In Hernando we don't have one.

More on gun violence ...

The best thing in Sunday's newspaper was staff writer Toluse Olorunnipa's front-page story contrasting the amount of state taxpayer money lavished on the purveyors of violence — gun makers, producers of blood-drenched video games and action movies — to the paltry sums invested in mental health and school security.

One line definitely worth repeating: "Nationally Florida ranks 49th in mental health funding and first in gun ownership."

This all happened with Republicans in charge, of course, yet they are the ones telling us that the problem isn't guns, but violent video games, which they've pushed to subsidize, and too little attention paid to mental health, which they've starved of funds.

So, there you are. Just a few more holes in the "guns don't kill people" argument, which by now could function nicely as a colander.

The highlight of my weekend ...

was cleaning up the garage.

Really. I mean a big, all-Sunday-afternoon, whole-family project — hauling a decade's worth of accumulated junk out to the driveway, sorting, scrubbing, filling garbage bags, hosing things down.

I don't know what's more satisfying: actually being able to find the tools I need, when I need them, or seeing teenage boys engaged in useful manual labor.

Comments
From the archives: Rubio’s aide spent lavishly on party credit cards like his boss

From the archives: Rubio’s aide spent lavishly on party credit cards like his boss

This article was originally published in March 2010.Days before he was sworn in as speaker of the Florida House, Marco Rubio and his top deputies hopped on a charter plane to Washington, checked into a $600-a-night hotel hosting a Republican Party co...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

Measuring Jameis Winston’s progress, and Dirk Koetter’s job security

TAMPA — It is one of the most honest moments of the season, captured in the first Hard Knocks episode. Jameis Winston is having a frank conversation with coach Dirk Koetter, seated behind his desk in his office at One Buc Place."I just want to have a...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
From the archives: Republican Party of Florida releases $7.3 million in American Express credit card spending records

From the archives: Republican Party of Florida releases $7.3 million in American Express credit card spending records

This article was originally published in May 2010.Gov. Charlie Crist took chartered helicopters and his wealthy wife let the Republican Party pay for her airfare. A top GOP official charged $368,000 in a single month. And another party staffer collec...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
American Social booming on Harbour Island

American Social booming on Harbour Island

HARBOUR ISLAND — Downtowners, conventioneers, hockey fans, concert-goers and anyone hungry for waterfront dining are discovering American Social Bar & Kitchen on Harbour Island. Panoramic views, accessible boat slips and walkability to Amalie Arena a...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
A healthy dining option opens in Downtown Tampa

A healthy dining option opens in Downtown Tampa

SOUTH TAMPA— Vale Food Co., a health food restaurant, hopes to make its mark on the bay area foodie scene with the opening of its first location in Tampa.In 2014, Sunny Ilyas was a Florida State student trying to find an affordable, healthy meal for ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Soccer store opens in Westchase on the brink of World Cup

Soccer store opens in Westchase on the brink of World Cup

Even though the United States Men’s soccer team didn’t qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, that hasn’t diminished local fans’ excitement about the upcoming international event.Ariel Martinez, owner of Best Buy Soccer and Lacrosse, has already receiv...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Tampa Bay is above average in minority homeownership

Tampa Bay ranks 22nd among the nation’s 45 largest metro areas in the percentage of minority homeowners. According to Abodo, an online apartment marketplace, 46.2 percent of minorities in the bay area own their homes, which have an average value of $...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Second Ruskin man sought in theft of cell tower equipment that interrupted service

TAMPA —The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has obtained a warrant for the arrest of a second suspect in the theft of batteries from cell phone towers that interrupted phone service and the 911 emergency call system.Investigators are looking for ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Seafood variety comes to Westchase

Seafood variety comes to Westchase

WESTCHASE — Tony Bartolo is well aware of what Westchase locals say about the location of his new restaurant, The Seafood Exchange. The spot in Westchase Town Center is notorious for a continual string of unsuccessful restaurants that have opened and...
Updated: 2 hours ago