Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Carlton: Politics, parks and a Tampa film goes to Washington

TP_380969_garn_2_Mayor (Mar. 25, 2014; Tampa, Fl.) Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks with a few citizens after as he gaves his third State of the City presentation inside the Armature Works Building in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood.

Joseph Garnett, Jr. | Times

TP_380969_garn_2_Mayor (Mar. 25, 2014; Tampa, Fl.) Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks with a few citizens after as he gaves his third State of the City presentation inside the Armature Works Building in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood.

Before Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn gave this year's State of the City address — generally more rally than speech, with a rocking theme song and everything but fireworks going off behind him — he shot an email to Washington-based Democratic media consultant Dane Strother.

Buckhorn wanted Strother, who had worked on his mayoral campaign, to have a look at the video put together to kick off the address.

Love it, came the reply from Strother. That's a record you can run on - - - - governor

So, is Buckhorn considering a post-mayoral run for Tallahassee?

Between his all-but-certain second round as mayor before he term-limits out and the next gubernatorial election after the one we're in, a million improbable things can happen, this being politics. And who runs and doesn't hinges heavily on who is the incumbent by then — Republican Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist.

Still, an email like this from a big-name consultant like that does catch your eye.

Buckhorn, who gets the question at least once a week, has his ready reply: He's just busy running a city on the move.

"The day I leave here I will be a very sad guy," he says. "Whatever I do after this, I can promise it won't be as fun as what I'm doing right now."

Speaking of a city on the move, here's a happy secret to Tampa, historically a port town with its fair share of ugly:

We have really nice parks. And a lot of them.

When I moved to one of the urban Heights neighborhoods north of downtown, this was a pleasant surprise: four neighborhood parks in easy walking distance. Mostly these are smallish "pocket parks," true neighborhood hubs of dog walking, ball batting, baby strolling and a yearly Easter egg hunt. I can reach a half-dozen more in close-by neighborhoods, my favorite being Rivercrest Park on a curving nook sloping down to the Hills­borough River.

Though we don't tout this rather attractive city amenity with the fervor over, say, our weather, our airport or our Cuban sandwich, it has been noticed. As the Times reported this week, a new ranking of 60 big-city park systems based on acreage, services and investment and access — cities including New York, Boston and San Francisco — puts Tampa at a respectable 28th.

This is a city of 3,543 acres of parks, 178 of them, parks as big as the sprawling Riverfront Park downtown by the art museum and small as the tiny, quiet patch of a park I recently discovered tucked off busy Columbus Drive.

Historically, someone in Tampa has been minding the green.

And as long as we're cheerleading here, JFK in Tampa: The 50th Anniversary, the documentary that poignantly details President John F. Kennedy's visit here before he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, was presented to the Library of Congress this week by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Producer Lynn Marvin Dingfelder was in Washington for the ceremony, held on Kennedy's birthday.

The film is an hour of our history told through photos, home movies and, most important, people from here who were there. Now it's officially archived as a permanent part of American history, as it should be.

For more on the film, visit jfkintampa.org or email lynn@jfkintampa.org.

Carlton: Politics, parks and a Tampa film goes to Washington 05/30/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 30, 2014 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.