Thursday, May 24, 2018
Editorials

A reminder: Even lesser storms carry punch

It isn't a hurricane, but Debby should give the Gulf Coast a newfound respect for the kick of even a tropical storm. Debby has lashed the Tampa Bay area since Sunday, ripping off roofs, flooding streets and homes and downing power lines and trees. And it's going nowhere fast. This is a good reminder at the start of hurricane season that even lesser storms can pack a punch.

Some Floridians take foolish pride in deluding themselves about the risks that lower-level tropical systems pose to property and human life. Those risks should be clear by now, after heavy rains and a stalled storm caused widespread damage across the region. Pass-a-Grille in south Pinellas County sustained severe damage Sunday night after a line of tornadoes was reported across the state. High winds closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, while floodwaters closed major roads throughout the region. The letup Monday afternoon gave many residents a chance to get outside and assess the damage. Forecasters say Debby's rains and flooding could continue to impact the state for days.

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday, a prudent step given the heavy rains that are expected, the saturation of the ground and the uncertainty over where the storm is headed. Authorities generally have done a good job responding to flood complaints and in clearing and closing roads overrun with water and debris. This is a balancing act, especially during the work week, but safety must come first. Residents need to keep their impatience in check if Debby remains and even more roads are closed or impassible the next couple days.

The local television stations performed a public service over the weekend by pre-empting sports and other regular programming to give residents the most up-to-date information on the storm. Floridians have an obligation to prepare, to stay informed and to act responsibly for the sake of emergency personnel and those in dire situations. Debby is no Andrew or Katrina, but its stall reminds longtime residents of Hurricane Elena hanging around the gulf over Labor Day weekend in 1985. Residents should use common sense, keep off the roads when possible and stay in touch with the forecast. It's a good reminder about the need to keep supplies and be prepared for when a hurricane pops up on the radar.

Comments

NFL kneels before the altar of profits

The owners of the 32 National Football League teams sent a wrongheaded and, frankly, un-American message to their players Wednesday: Expressing your opinion during the national anthem is no longer permitted."A club will be fined by the League if its ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Regardless of the reason, the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit to address Pyonyang’s nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Korea’s Kim Jong ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun the important work of rebuilding trust with its patients and the community following revelations of medical errors and other problems at its Heart Institute. CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen candidly acknowledges...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18