Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

Sue Carlton: Long council meetings filled with big plans for Tampa

Can a long, boring government meeting signal a city's future?

Is a packed agenda indicative of Tampa's economic zeitgeist?

Like a lot of us, Harry Cohen, now a Tampa city councilman, saw those bobbing cranes that built sleek residential towers such as SkyPoint and Element during the city's downtown renaissance slow down and then disappear in the stranglehold of a bad economy.

So the monthly land use meetings to decide zoning issues became briefer affairs, since, well, nobody was doing a whole lot of building.

But last month's meeting, notes councilman Cohen, went to half-past midnight. There are plans for restaurants and bars, for expanding everything from church and synagogue schools to car dealerships.

"There's nothing that is more of an indicator of what's happening," he says.

Just this week, his to-do list included both the ground-breaking for the conversion of the beautiful 108-year-old federal courthouse downtown into a fancy hotel, and for apartments on Bayshore Boulevard.

There's also talk of holding not one but two land use meetings a month, like in the good old days.

Says Mayor Bob Buckhorn: "If it were up to me, the state bird would be the tower crane."

•••

As long as we're being boosterish: Could local-color restaurant offerings that help make Tampa International one of the best airports around — the Mise en Place wine bar, Green Iguana, Cigar City Brewing, Shula's, the Columbia — someday have tourists sipping creamy Guinness pints via another beloved Tampa institution — Four Green Fields Irish pub, a favorite of lawyers and other downtown types?

•••

About lawyers and bars.

Local attorneys disgusted by allegations that some among them would sink so low as to send a good-looking employee to a bar to seduce opposing counsel (think shock jock trial) are circulating a tongue-in-cheek list of "30 ethical tips" for attorneys: Tip #5: If you do let her buy your drinks, keep count. … Tip #18: Don't call your son's godfather at the police department and ask him to set up a police DUI sting just to catch your opponent.

Lawyer C. Philip Campbell is charged with drunken driving. Three attorneys from the other side's firm, Adams & Diaco, are under investigation by the Florida Bar. At a recent meeting of a professional organization of lawyers and judges, this talk-of-the-town prompted Circuit Judge Gregory Holder to give a toast on civility.

Holder read some of the oath taken by Florida lawyers, the part about treating the other side with "fairness, integrity and civility." I'm told around here this is sometimes referred to as the Miami Clause, since some down south are considered harder-edged than our own.

So would the judge call the local case Miami-esque? No, he said. "I wouldn't want to malign the good people of Miami."

•••

Speaking of which: Tampa's mayor recently took Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to the University Club for lunch. Gimenez promptly ordered a Cuban, the sandwich that nourished many a Tampa cigar worker and for which the two cities recently battled for historic bragging rights. (But we won.)

"He was complimentary," reports Buckhorn, but "still said Miami's was better." We'll let that go, in the interest of civility.

Comments
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Motorcyclist, 24, dead after Lutz crash

LUTZ — A 24-year-old motorcyclist died Sunday after she crashed near Lutz Lake Fern Road and Apian Way, Hillsborough deputies reported.The unnamed woman was trying to pass vehicles in a no-passing zone about 9:15 a.m., according to a Hillsborough Cou...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of a small Florida town arrested for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits to park at city hall has resigned.The Bradenton Herald reports that Teresa Bradley resigned and was given six-months of probation as pa...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Woman, 24, hit by Land Rover, in critical condition

LARGO — A 24-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle Saturday night, police said.Khadijah Wood was walking through the parking lot of the Sandy Lane Apartment Homes on Belcher Road about 7:30 p.m.At the same time, Ju...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Warm, sunny Sunday in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s another bright, sunny day in Tampa Bay. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay areaHigh temperatures should reach about 80 d...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

A first-degree murder suspect remains at large almost a week after the fatal shooting of a Winter Haven father.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Johnny Ray Owsley’s murder of 35-year-old Adam Thrower, called "Cook" by friends, involved Owsley’s e...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Published: 12/16/17
Updated: 12/17/17

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Published: 12/16/17
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Published: 12/16/17
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Published: 12/16/17