The not completely fake year in review, continued: Highlights and lowlights from the second half of 2013:
Tampa to world: In your FACE: After being picked on at the Republican National Convention as a town that is hot, humid and home to giant roaches and also strippers, Tampa bounces back big by being chosen to host the International Indian Film Academy's Bollywood Oscars. That's right — an event previously held in London, Toronto and Bangkok.
So long as we're boasting, Tampa also nailed the NCAA 2016 men's hockey Frozen Four and the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game.
And yeah, we'll get right on that whole humidity thing.
Oh, Hoe, say it ain't so: Prominent Republican fundraiser, chairman of the Tampa Port Authority, Pillar of the Community and Official Big Shot William "Hoe" Brown adds another title to his resume — slumlord — with the news that he rented squalid and illegal properties to the poor. A pillar crumbles, with Brown quitting the port.
Hard to argue the title: A jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store when he was described by Zimmerman as "a real suspicious guy." On the Daily Show, we are promptly dubbed "worst state."
A year all clear: The 2013 hurricane season ends in November with, thankfully, not a single swirly storm to hit our shores. Gov. Rick Scott sends personally signed letters to Florida voters crediting his gubernatorial policies with the spike in mild weather, and vows if he is re-elected to add 700,000 more hurricane-free days.
New mayor to ride solo: St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, dogged by issues from the Rays to the Pier, loses his re-election bid to former City Council member and state lawmaker Rick Kriseman. Kriseman later says he won't have a police officer drive him around as does Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who for a while there rode in a black SUV from the police forfeiture lot believed to have belonged to a pimp. Presumably, Foster will take the orange scooter he sometimes zipped around St. Pete on when he leaves for his new job in Vero Beach. So many mayors, so many ways to roll.
Lest ye be: Pope Francis gets attention when he says, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"
We are! says a Tampa church, booting a Boy Scout troop that called the church home for generations because Scouts now allow gay members.
Sadly, not made up: A panel of lawmakers rejects the idea of repealing Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law. One lawmaker says he would not support changing "one damn comma," in case you wondered if everyone had an open mind and all.
Cowabunga, bro! Plans to revitalize a city park to honor Tampa's rich black history hit a bump when the Bro Bowl, a graffitied 1970s skateboard shell in its midst, wins national historic designation. Bogus, dude.
Bring popcorn: Ex-Gov. (and ex-Republican) Charlie Crist finally announces he's running against Gov. Scott, sure to be a fun one to watch. Do we elect the guy who has been called a fist-bumping flip-flopper or the one who thinks a $25 perk makes the last three years disappear?