Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Politics

Carlton: A peaceful Pride, the return of Redner and other news

On the eve of what is sure to be an especially poignant St. Pete Pride in the wake of the Orlando murders, St. Petersburg police Chief Tony Holloway made a commonsense request.

He suggested — suggested, mind you — that people leave their guns at home.

The event will have heightened security, and if something happened, police could have difficulty telling the good guys from the bad. This, by the way, is a concern you hear echoed from law enforcement across the state in the thankfully so-far-unsuccessful push for a law to let Floridians carry guns out in the open. Just what Florida needs.

So naturally, a representative of the group Florida Carry bristled at the police chief's very suggestion. Apparently even the shooting deaths of 49 people in what was just the latest gun carnage doesn't make a dent in a gun rights mantra that says no restrictions, no matter how reasonable, no matter what happened.

The effort to legalize ridesharing — the hip app-based transportation option that uses private drivers with their own cars — has been a painful one in Hillsborough County, with negotiations on insurance, driver background checks and other important points of contention.

Now: storm surging.

As anyone who has used Uber knows, the price of a ride can surge when there's big demand, like on New Year's Eve. But in negotiations with the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission, Uber wouldn't agree to ban surging in a state of emergency, according to the PTC.

A PTC member said the company thinks government can be too quick to declare an emergency to get funds. And Uber says they cap prices in an emergency.

Uber, we know you're new here — and a moneymaking business, to boot — but fleeing a storm in a place where we get plenty of them is not just a lift home from Gasparilla.

Hope Uber rethinks this one.

The lawsuit accusing radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem of pathetically trying to influence his own ratings, allegedly offering one Nielsen survey participant cash, heads to pretrial court mediation next month. And the mediator comes with credentials: former Hillsborough Chief Judge F. Dennis Alvarez.

You know you're in Tampa — West Tampa, in particular — when you're lunching with a City Council member who chitchats with the restaurant proprietor on the proper way to kill a chicken. With a twist, advises Tampa City Council member Yvonne Yolie Capin, who learned the skill from her Ybor City grandfather.

Good to see Tampa's undefeated champion challenger of authority, strip club king Joe Redner, again outraged enough at the state of the world to throw his name in for a Florida Senate seat.

Finally, I'm not one for public service ads, but one of the noblest volunteer organizations I know needs underwear.

Tampa's guardian ad litem program — the people who serve as voices in court for abused, neglected and abandoned kids — is collecting donations of new underwear, socks and backpacks so kids in the foster care system can start the next school year right.

Interested? Go to galtampa.org or call (813) 272-5110.

Contact Sue Carlton at [email protected]

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