Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ask the Times

Q&A: Bertha a storm with record staying power

Hurricane Bertha threatened Bermuda in July.

Associated Press

Hurricane Bertha threatened Bermuda in July.

Storm with staying power

I read that Hurricane Bertha set some sort of record. What was it?

Bertha is on record as the longest-lasting tropical storm ever formed in the Atlantic in July. It started off the African coast July 3 and became a hurricane July 7. It became a Category 3 storm with 120-mph winds, and it threatened Bermuda before turning northeast and dissipating in the North Atlantic on July 20.

This year's storm names

Can you tell us again what the storm names are for the 2008 Atlantic season?

Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paloma, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

Candidates' stances on Cuba

Where do the presidential hopefuls stand on U.S. policies toward Cuba, after a half-century of enforcing a trade embargo and otherwise trying to isolate the country?

On Cuba, what you see with President Bush is what you get with John McCain.

The Republican candidate says Cuba must be in transition to a free and open democracy before he would negotiate an easing of the trade embargo. He's not interested in meeting Raul Castro absent marked progress beforehand. So there's not much question where he stands on Cuba.

The same can't be said about his Democratic rival. Barack Obama is ready to relax restrictions on family travel and on money that Cuban-Americans can send to their families back on the island. Otherwise, he has been harder to pin down.

Earlier in the campaign, he said he'd be open to meeting hostile leaders, including Cuba's, without setting preconditions. He took a lot of heat for that, and you don't hear the same from him these days.

Now he says he would engage Cuba in diplomacy "at a time and place of my choosing, but only when we have an opportunity to advance the interests of the United States, and to advance the cause of freedom for the Cuban people."

Parse those words carefully and you can still see a willingness to get to the negotiating table somewhat faster than McCain.

Lead additives for off-road use

With all the ink that is being given to the subject of gasoline, why is the adjective "unleaded" still being used to describe it? I can't remember when I last bought "leaded" gasoline. Is it still available in the United States?

No, it's not available anymore for automobiles — it was phased out in the '80s for environmental reasons. Lead additives can be mixed with unleaded gas to fuel cars designed for leaded gas, but the additives are only intended for off-road use, at least in the United States.

Q&A: Bertha a storm with record staying power 08/14/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Authorities release name of Tampa woman killed in Temple Terrace apartment fire


    TEMPLE TERRACE — Authorities have released the name of a woman who died in a fire that destroyed a dozen units in an apartment complex here Sunday.

    Firefighters battle an early-morning fire Sunday that claimed the life of 28-year-old Tenecia Renee Brannon and left about 30 others homeless. [Temple Terrace Fire Department]
  2. New Port Richey restaurant worker shoots attacker


    NEW PORT RICHEY — A restaurant kitchen worker shot and injured a man who entered the business and began beating him Saturday, according to New Port Richey Police.

    Vince Angelety, 29, of New Port Richey faces a charge of burglary with simple battery. He remained in the Land O'Lakes Detention Center on Monday, held without bail. [Photo courtesy of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Romano: Florida loves its troopers, right up until payday


    Holy smoke, did you see the starting salary figures for Florida Highway Patrol officers outlined in a recent Tampa Bay Times story?

    Florida Highway Patrol troopers secure the scene after a fatal accident in Orange County earlier this year. [Red Huber | Orlando Sentinel via AP]
  4. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls


    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
  5. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business


    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]