Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Romano: A possible look at how things will play out in St. Petersburg

First a statistic, and then a question:

The previous two mayoral primaries in St. Petersburg drew an average of about 37,000 voters. This week's primary topped 50,000 ballots.

So does that mean folks were really, really enthusiastic about choosing between the likes of Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman, or were they unhinged over the Lens?

Yeah, I know, silly question.

Still, the heavy turnout and overwhelming Lens defeat on Tuesday could lead to some entertaining developments this fall.

For instance, what becomes of St. Pete's waterfront? Who will scoop up Kathleen Ford's 9,600 supporters? And will those people who voted for Ford bother to show up in November now that the Lens is history?

While voter turnout typically sees a significant increase between primaries and general elections, it's not likely to happen this time around. After all, the 50,029 voters who cast ballots this week outnumbered the general election totals in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

With that in mind, let's take a stab at predicting what the coming months will look like.

Sept. 12: Concerned about the number of F-rated schools in the city, Foster says improving education will be the No. 1 priority of his next administration.

Sept. 13: Concerned about the number of people who voted for Dr. David McKalip in a City Council primary, Kriseman says improving education will be the No. 1 priority of his administration.

Sept. 24: Saying he has listened to the suggestions of residents, architect Michael Maltzan is ready to submit a new Pier proposal. The updated design will make exciting use of T-shirt shops, empty storefronts and a hellishly long driveway. The project is called the Corrective Lens.

Sept. 24: Fresh off their victory in the Lens battle, the Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg turn their attention to ridding the city of red-light cameras.

Oct. 12: After studying primary results and realizing not a single voter cast a ballot in Precinct 165 near Feather Sound, the Kriseman campaign begins a door-to-door push. Residents are stunned. "We live in St. Pete?" they ask repeatedly.

Oct. 16: Fresh off their victory in the red-light camera battle, the Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg turn their attention to ridding the city of actual red lights.

Oct. 20: Email documents reveal Foster wants a seven-figure settlement from the Rays in exchange for allowing the team to talk to Hillsborough County officials about a stadium. The Rays have instead offered the city Fernando Rodney.

Oct. 21: Former Mayor Rick Baker calls a news conference and brings an entourage to announce he is endorsing Kriseman.

Oct. 22: In a candid television interview, Ford acknowledges it was a mistake during a debate to single out her contribution of potato salad as a Midtown accomplishment. It was, in fact, macaroni salad.

Oct. 25: Paul Congemi announces his candidacy for the 2017 mayoral election.

Oct. 30: With the waterfront debate going nowhere, officials at Albert Whitted Airport have suggested turning the Pier into a new runway. With 110 acres of prime waterfront land already devoted to an airport that 98 percent of the city's residents have never used, the theory goes, what's another acre or two?

Nov. 5: In a stunning development, the winner of the St. Petersburg mayoral election is a middle-aged white guy who used to serve on the City Council when he wasn't working as an attorney.

Comments
In the Caribbean, a storm is brewing that could wash out Memorial Day

In the Caribbean, a storm is brewing that could wash out Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a holiday that draws people outside. It was created to honor those who have died while serving in the nation’s armed forces and also marks the unofficial start of summer.This year, though, the family cookouts, beach excursions and roa...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday night, Washington Capitals captain A...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student who was critically injured last weekend during an accidental fall on campus shortly before she was to graduate died today, the school announced.Rebecca Ryan "Becca" Lavin-Burgher would have graduated with a ...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

Front-end loaders will serve as coda to Tampa Bay Lightning’s wild ride

TAMPA — Hours before the puck dropped at Amalie Arena for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, the ice crew boss talked about putting off any sign of the end for as long as possible."We don’t want to see the front-end loaders," says Tom Miracle, ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Pasco sheriff: Man stabbed driver, kicked officer

Pasco sheriff: Man stabbed driver, kicked officer

DADE CITY — A 42-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night after the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said he jumped on top of a car, stabbed the driver multiple times and then kicked an officer.Roscoe James faces charges of attempted murder, two counts o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NOAA: Scientists predict 10 to 16 named storms this hurricane season

NOAA: Scientists predict 10 to 16 named storms this hurricane season

Scientists are in consensus: The 2018 hurricane season could be an active one.On Thursday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its 2018 Atlantic hurricane seasonal outlook. It’s calling for between 10 and 16 named storms, five...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA — Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didn’t start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pushing the stroller, mashing the gas pedal: A fatal encounter on Bayshore

Pushing the stroller, mashing the gas pedal: A fatal encounter on Bayshore

TAMPA — Jessica Raubenolt seized on the sunshine and blue skies at mid-day Wednesday to take her daughter out in the stroller for a walk along scenic Bayshore Boulevard. Visiting from Ohio, the family had been cursed by rain all week.At the same time...
Updated: 1 hour ago
One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd

One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd

TAMPA — City officials announced Thursday they are reducing the speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, one day after a mother was struck and killed by a speeding car while pushing her 21-month-old daughter across the street in a stroller.Starting today, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Updated: 3 hours ago