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. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  2. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA —When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Beth Caldwell, 35, and her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7. Caldwell had surgery to remove an aggressive brain tumor three years ago. [Photo Courtesy of Beth Caldwell]
  3. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.
  4. Dade City's Wild Things blocks PETA officials at gates for court-ordered site inspection

    Wildlife

    Times Staff Writer

    DADE CITY — Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show.

    Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show. This comes four days after 19 Wild Things tigers arrived at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. A judge had granted an emergency injunction July 14, ordering Stearns not remove any tigers pending the upcoming PETA inspection. Photo from Facebook page of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.
  5. St. Petersburg City Council approves $326 million sewage fix

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last week the City Council learned no criminal charges would result from the up to 200 million gallons of sewage St. Petersburg's sewer system released from …

    [LARA CERRI  |  Times]