Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Buzz: Political news of St. Petersburg, Pinellas

Charlie Justice might sink (fluoridated) teeth into challenge

Former state Sen. Charlie Justice, a St. Petersburg Democrat, is hinting at running for local office.

County Commission maybe?

"We're looking seriously at it,'' Justice said in an interview. "I'd kind of rounded up the people I would need, workers and financial supporters. And they have been very encouraging."

Justice said he expects to discuss a decision over the holidays. He has said he was considering a commission run after the 4-3 vote to stop adding fluoride to county drinking water. Justice could challenge incumbent Republican Nancy Bostock, who voted to stop fluoridation.

Council stops short on Progress Energy stance

Despite the pleas of half a dozen Occupy St. Petersburg members, the St. Petersburg City Council backed off a resolution urging the state to reject Progress Energy's request for customers to help pay for a $2.5 billion repair of its Crystal River nuclear plant.

Instead, a committee will study the resolution and hear from both sides.

Despite knowing that an upgrade posed significant risks, Progress Energy went ahead with the repairs that led to cracks in a containment building at the Crystal River plant. Utility officials are asking the Florida Public Service Commission for permission to get customers to pay at least $670 million.

Karl Nurse said he wanted the St. Petersburg City Council to deliver a message to Progress Energy that it was looking out for the community.

"This is crony capitalism," Nurse said. "It's offensive they can rig the system like this."

Curran to return to council helm next year

Leslie Curran missed the last third of her 2010 term as City Council chairwoman after she got into a bicycle accident that left her in an induced coma. On Thursday, a razor-thin majority of her colleagues returned her to the post for 2012.

"This lets her finish what she started," said Jeff Danner, who nominated Curran.

Karl Nurse was next in line because he was the council's vice chairman. But a late switch by Charlie Gerdes left Nurse, current chairman Jim Kennedy and Steve Kornell in the minority, allowing Curran to leapfrog back into the position.

The post could help Curran if she runs for mayor. She ran in 1997 and is the council's most persistent critic of Mayor Bill Foster. She said Thursday that she hasn't made a decision.

"A day doesn't go by without someone asking me if I will run," Curran said.

Will County Commission revisit pale male past?

Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni wants to celebrate the county's centennial with a Jan. 10 re-enactment of the commission's first meeting in 1912.

One problem: The commission had five members in 1912, not the seven of today. And there were no women (sorry, Nancy Bostock, Susan Latvala and Karen Seel) or blacks (goodbye, Ken Welch).

"I'm not feeling this," Welch said.

"My idea is, I'll be in my office until you're ready to have a business meeting," Bostock said.

So now the three white males — Morroni, Neil Brickfield and Norm Roche — could begin the re-enactment, and the rest would step forward later and speak to the county's progress. Morroni said he would still dress in period garb.

Staff writers David DeCamp and Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report.

The Buzz: Political news of St. Petersburg, Pinellas 12/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 17, 2011 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  2. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  3. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  4. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin


    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    In their third year with pitching coach Neil Allen, the Twins have been one of the surprises of the American League.