Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay, Florida's year in review, from this corner

The vaguely accurate Tampa Bay and Florida year in review, Part II.

Power shortage: In a span of a few days, Duke Energy officials hand Bill Johnson a three-year contract as CEO, complete their merger with Progress Energy, force Johnson out in a palace coup and offer him $10 million as a farewell gift. Consumers are pleased the merger does not appear to impact the trademark greed and deceit they have come to expect from their local utility company.

Anarchy rules: Stung by criticism that their movement lacks focus and ambition, Occupy Tampa protestors promised to bring chaos to the Republican National Convention. Their plan should be finalized any day now.

Lower ed: Less than a year into his reign, Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson resigns. He says his abrupt departure has nothing to do with criticisms regarding the manipulation of FCAT standards or bungled school grades. Scorers for FCAT essays say his explanation shows little attention to detail, no supporting facts and zero creativity.

An attendance problem: A proposed baseball stadium in the Carillon business park does not draw much interest from Tampa Bay Rays officials. They said the drive was too far and, besides, it was more comfortable to watch the presentation on TV.

Lap of luxury: Investigators say a man's $50,000 bill from a night at a Pinellas strip club appears to be legitimate. It goes under the category of economic stimulus.

Save the whatchamacallit: Attendance continues to dwindle at St. Petersburg's famed Pier. Polls suggest residents are far too busy distributing petitions and filing lawsuits to waste time supporting the Pier's retailers.

Hooray for incompetence: Upon reviewing seven-hour poll lines and last-in-the-nation results, Gov. Rick Scott and his Cabinet declare Florida's election procedures a success. (Sorry, but that sentence is funny enough all by itself.)

The subtle approach, law enforcement version: Pinellas Park police use a Taser on a man who refused to stop fighting a neighbor's house fire with his garden hose. When asked why the two officers did not simply turn off the hose, a police spokesman explained, "HANDS ON YOUR HEAD, DIRTBAG!"

The subtle approach, political version: Longtime Republican Charlie Crist waits until he is a guest at a White House reception before announcing he is becoming a Democrat. Days later, Crist invites reporters to the Pinellas County elections office to see him turn in the paperwork. Also poised to participate were a marching band, acrobats and a VW filled with clowns, but Crist demurred because he did not want to look like a political opportunist.

Army maneuvers: Tales of socialites having access to U.S. Central Command in Tampa send reverberations up the military chain. Visitors at CentCom must now show at least three forms of picture ID to gain entry. Either that, or one platinum Neiman Marcus card.

Refusing to hit the brakes: St. Petersburg officials insist the city's red-light camera program is not driven by economic factors. Yet Mayor Bill Foster made plans to substantially expand the program without bothering to inform City Council members, and the city's comprehensive staff reports failed to include data on increased traffic accidents. Kind of gives new meaning to rear-end collisions.

Tampa Bay, Florida's year in review, from this corner 12/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 9:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  2. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux

    Transportation

    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later

    Education

    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    Class of 1987 alumni Devin Brown, from left, and D.J. Wagner, world history teacher Samuel Davis and 1987 graduate Milford Chavous chat at their table.
  4. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  5. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals

    Business

    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.