Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defending a city's honor, parsing a loaded gun term

Datz employee Marcus Oliver watches over a pot of boiling water used to make coffee and tea at the Tampa deli on Feb. 23 during a 48-hour boil alert in the city.

EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Datz employee Marcus Oliver watches over a pot of boiling water used to make coffee and tea at the Tampa deli on Feb. 23 during a 48-hour boil alert in the city.

A parochial divide

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster never hesitates to say his city is not a suburb of Tampa. When he was on WFLA-AM 970 last week, the radio hosts asked about a recent Tampa Bay Times story detailing the uptick in homeless people in downtown St. Petersburg.

Foster became parochial, saying: "I'm sure the numbers are the same in Tampa if the Times wanted to actually write an article about Tampa."

That attitude has apparently saturated City Hall.

Robert Danielson, St. Petersburg's marketing manager and a Tampa resident, thinks the media is more critical of the Sunshine City than the place where he hangs his toothbrush.

After Tampa went under a boil alert last weekend for 48 hours, Danielson vented to pals on Facebook.

"Apparently, a buck-toothed rodent chewed through a power line causing a major power outage at the water plant and compromising the water quality for an entire weekend," he wrote. "Something tells me that if this occurred in St. Pete, our local beat reporters would be waving public records requests and screaming 'malfeasance'!"

In Tampa, however, there's general "ho-hum — no toothbrushing for two days, a couple of closed restaurants, and grocery stores barren of bottled water. Does this bother anyone besides me?"

Buzz hopes he didn't break a sweat — unless he had a bottle of water — while ranting on social media.

Parsing a loaded phrase

Guns, unlike roads or parks, are not something Pinellas County has much control over. So Sheriff Bob Gualtieri tried to apply a light touch to the subject last week, proposing to a room full of the county's elected officials that the phrase "background check" was a little deceptive. When someone buys a gun, the only check that's done looks at whether the person is a felon, has had a domestic injunction taken out against them, or meets a few other criteria.

"There is no background check," Gualtieri, a Republican, said, suggesting that maybe a new name was in order.

Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala, right, ignited.

"Maybe something has happened since I wrote all that literature for your campaign where we talked about the crime rates, but have we had an explosion of gun violence in Pinellas County?" he said.

Gualtieri responded: "No, the only reason I raise it is it's about what the citizens believe is being done … people are lulled into this sense that there's an actual vetting."

Dipping his toe into an already boiling discussion, Commissioner Ken Welch said he thought the commission should have the right to regulate guns in its own parks and facilities.

Latvala went off again.

"I think some of this is political, and we're not used to having that in these meetings, you know," he chided.

"I thought maybe the fluoride thing taught us something about that. We need to be concentrating on building roads and maintaining roads and parks instead of getting into collateral issues."

Contact Mark Puente at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter @markpuente. Contact Anna M. Phillips at aphillips@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8779.

Defending a city's honor, parsing a loaded gun term 03/02/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 12:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  2. Reporter says Republican candidate in Montana body-slammed him (w/video)

    Nation

    HELENA, Mont. — Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Authorities said late Wednesday that Greg Gianforte has been cited for misdemeanor assault over incident with …

    Greg Gianforte, right, receives congratulations from a supporter in Helena, Mont., in March. [Associated Press]
  3. Culpepper falls just short on 'Survivor' finale

    Human Interest

    In the end, Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper fell just short, and the ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer lost Survivor: Game Changers and the $1 million prize to Sarah Lacina, a police officer from Iowa.

  4. Families dispute claims that slain Tampa Palms roommates shared neo-Nazi beliefs

    Crime

    TAMPA — Andrew Oneschuk never liked making small talk on the phone, his father said, but the last time the two spoke, something seemed off.

    Andrew Oneschuk and Jeremy Himmelman lived in a Tampa Palms apartment with Devon Arthurs and Brandon Russell. Oneschuk and Himmelman reportedly planned to move out.
  5. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment