Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bay Buzz: St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster faces small field in primary

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg returns to the city’s streets March 22-24.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg returns to the city’s streets March 22-24.

Is two a lonely number?

One month into the year and not a single major challenger has filed to take on St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster in the August primary. Only Foster and perennial candidate Paul Congemi are in the race.

Cut the check

St. Petersburg council member Wengay Newton has a solution for the Tampa Bay Rays, who want to explore new stadium sites in Hillsborough County.

"I would propose paying off the lease until 2027," Newton said last week on a radio show. "If (team owner Stuart) Sternberg is serious about looking elsewhere, then do that . . . Let them step up and pay off the lease."

With Mayor Bill Foster refusing to let the Rays look outside of mid Pinellas, other council members could soon echo Newton's sentiments as the stalemate lingers.

On the same radio show a few days earlier, Foster showed a rare sign of emotion when talking about how much criticism he's faced over the stadium issue: "I've been beaten down so much, I'm almost to a point of just go already."

About 18 hours earlier, Foster told the Buzz he's tired of going on radio shows.

Showdown at the commission

Still getting accustomed to her new role as a Pinellas County commissioner, Janet Long decided last week was the right time to throw a political grenade onto the board's legislative agenda. She decided to bring up gun control — and it didn't go over so well.

By the time the afternoon meeting started, commissioners already had received 25 emails blasting them for even discussing the subject. And by the time the sun had set, roughly a dozen die-hard gun fans were still waiting their turn to speak.

It didn't matter that what Long was proposing was not a new county law, but a vote of support for state action to ban military-type assault weapons.

"If you want a ban on sporting rifles move to a communist state like NY," wrote one of many angry and confused residents.

Behaving as nervously as if there was actually a loaded gun in the room, the commissioners voted to move on, and quickly.

Commissioner Susan Latvala: "You know what goes on in Tallahassee regarding any discussion of guns. It goes nowhere."

An error in the St. Petersburg Downtown Newsletter caused a stir among race fans last week.

It listed the wrong dates for next month's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which is March 22-24. Besides the wrong dates, the newsletter printed pictures of drivers who no longer race in the Indy Car series. The newsletter publishes every three months.

Construction of the track will start this month.

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente. Anna M. Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779.

Bay Buzz: St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster faces small field in primary 02/02/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 1, 2013 4:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102