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. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.