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 [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter @markpuente. Contact Anna M. Phillips at [email protected] 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. Rick and Tom podcast: Big sigh of relief for the Bucs

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on Jameis Winston's throwing shoulder as x-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a chance to play this weekend in Buffalo. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws incomplete under pressure during Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Drug czar nominee Marino withdraws name amid report he weakened DEA

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the Pennsylvania congressman he chose to be the nation's drug czar is withdrawing from consideration for the job.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., left, sponsored the law that weakened the DEA's enforcement abilities. Seen with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015, Marino is nominated to be the nation's drug czar. [Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg]
  3. Photo of the Day for October 17, 2017 - Urban possums

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Roger Kimble of Tampa, FL.

  4. Exposé 'Champions Way' uses FSU to illustrate bad behavior in college programs

    College

    While the entire college football universe was focused on a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston during Florida State's 2013 national title run, another off-field scandal was playing out quietly.

     Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the game between Florida State Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
  5. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA

    Agriculture

    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]