Monday, May 21, 2018
News Roundup

The only slightly made up Year in Review, Part I

The vaguely accurate Tampa Bay and Florida year in review, Part I.

Help wanted: It has been nine months since Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned and her position still has not been filled. Apparently universities are not producing graduates with the requisite skill set to cut ribbons at store openings.

Go figure: Crude insults. Accusations. A drunken driving arrest and a femme fatale. The defamation trial between two radio shock jocks had it all. Who would have guessed the DJs and their potty jokes would come away looking more principled than a prominent law firm and the Tampa Police Department DUI unit?

Eliminate at your risk: Fluoride returned to the Pinellas County water supply with this warning label: Four out of five dentists recommend fluoride for political careers.

Perfect! Hearing that enforcement of red light camera infractions has been shady, the appeals process can be expensive and yellow light times had been altered to produce more tickets, the St. Petersburg City Council declared the program an unqualified success and voted to move forward.

Democracy in action: The governor, Senate, Chamber of Commerce, hospital associations and Florida voters were in favor of Medicaid expansion, but that was no reason to actually ensure quality health care throughout the state. Thank goodness the brainiacs in the House of Representatives are so much smarter than everyone else.

Better late than never: The Hillsborough County Commission repealed a 2005 ban on gay pride events. Residents are asked to move their clocks forward eight years.

A Pier-less city: When it closed in late May, remnants of the Pier were put up for bid. Bar stools went for $30, concrete benches for $70 and the St. Petersburg mayor's office was later auctioned off for 15,652 petition signatures.

Did I say immigrants? I meant impotence: Sen. Marco Rubio made immigration reform his top priority until his tea party masters explained to him that he actually didn't care about immigration at all.

The humane solution: Hillsborough announced a pilot program to trap, neuter and release feral cats. Barring constitutional challenges, Republicans say they will look into a pilot program to trap, neuter and release feral Democrats.

Power play: Duke Energy announced it would permanently shut down its Crystal River nuclear plant. Repair and maintenance costs since 2009 for nonexistent energy? About $1.3 billion, which customers generously helped to fund. Duke CEO's salary and bonus pay? About $8 million annually, which customers also generously fund.

Preferred customer discounts: The Tampa Port Authority killed an investor's bid to purchase the troubled Channelside Bay Plaza complex. Apparently the investors were not moving quickly enough, did not want to post high escrow payments and could not produce a single birth certificate with the name "Vinik'' on it.

Only in Florida: Rick Scott once invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege 75 times in a deposition. He was later elected governor. On the other hand, the communications director for the Republican Party of Florida refused to answer reporters' questions concerning the whereabouts of Scott's dog. Days later, that man was out of a job.

Part II of the year in review continues Friday in Sue Carlton's column.

Comments
Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Saints, Eagles, Steelers.Three games against three playoff teams to open the NFL season.Who in the league scheduling office did the Buccaneers tick off?What an injustice!Or not.Maybe the league did the Bucs a favor.Would you rather face the Saints, E...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

ST. PETERSBURG — When Kevin Cash called team president Matt Silverman Sunday morning to wish him happy birthday, he expected to get back some form of an "attaboy" for implementing the Rays' latest unorthodox pitching strategy in using reliever ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

TAMPA — It’s not even hurricane season yet but flood-weary residents along the Alafia River in Lithia are already driving through submerged streets and anxiously watching rainfall forecasts.The river, which reached historic flood levels during Hurric...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A man punched a pregnant, deaf mother and her service dog on a plane ride to Florida, police say

A man punched a pregnant, deaf mother and her service dog on a plane ride to Florida, police say

A man is accused of attacking a deaf couple and their service dog while they were travelling on a plane headed toward Orlando.The incident happened as Matthew Silvay, 30, and Hazel Ramirez, 21, were on Frontier Flight 1752 as it left Colorado Springs...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain persists across Tampa Bay

Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain persists across Tampa Bay

More tropical showers and thunderstorms could be headed to Tampa Bay as a low pressure system that is developing in Western Caribbean waters is expected to track up through the Gulf of Mexico, promising more rain for an already soggy region. Much lik...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Stunkel, Bulls enter AAC tourney on offensive surge

Stunkel, Bulls enter AAC tourney on offensive surge

While pitching depth remains the ultimate prerequisite for winning a baseball tournament at any level, steady bats also are handy.And few are on a hitting tear like USF veteran Duke Stunkel Jr.A senior outfielder, Stunkel (.347, 16 doubles, 23 RBIs) ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New Port Richey man charged with sexual battery of 10-year-old

New Port Richey man charged with sexual battery of 10-year-old

PORT RICHEY — A New Port Richey man accused of sexually battering a 10-year-old girl last year was arrested Friday, according the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Elias Barreiro, 23, was charged with sexual battery on a child under 12, deputies said. D...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Longtime Pinellas commissioner dies; Stroud and Jones on Game 6; and more

Top 5 at noon: Longtime Pinellas commissioner dies; Stroud and Jones on Game 6; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:LONGTIME PINELLAS COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOHN MORRONI LOSES CANCER FIGHT AT 63Eighteen-year Pinellas County commissioner John Morroni died Sunday night while fighting his third battle against ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Restaurant review: Baytenders Raw Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

Restaurant review: Baytenders Raw Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

ST. PETERSBURGBrian Storman has had a long and colorful career in the Tampa Bay area. In the 1980s he had the insanely popular Storman’s Palace in Feather Sound, which in 2008 became the grownup playground "ultralounge" called the Venue (25,000 squar...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school leaders call it courtesy busing, but to Lauren Hawkins it’s more a matter of life and death.More students living close to their schools in the Westchase community used the Hillsborough school district’s courtesy bus...
Updated: 2 hours ago