Saturday, June 23, 2018
Editorials

Chance to save Friendship Trail Bridge is disappearing

The Friendship Trail Bridge was a pioneering experience for those who wanted to walk, run or cycle between Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. But the window for preserving the trail is closing fast, and the attention should shift to ensuring that the new pedestrian span along the Courtney Campbell Causeway is a vibrant alternative.

Built with nearly $15 million in federal money, the four-mile, 16-foot wide pedestrian pathway along the causeway will provide a safe, scenic backdrop for walkers, runners and cyclists to enjoy the expanse across Upper Tampa Bay. It is destined to become a popular spot; after a span of the old Gandy Bridge was remade into the Friendship Trail, it drew hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

But the Friendship Trail was closed in 2008 because of unsafe conditions. Hillsborough and Pinellas have made clear they are not interested in spending more on repairs. And despite the work of a dedicated group of activists, no private donor has been found to take on the costly job of rehabilitating the bridge. Friendship Trail advocates have until next month to put a viable plan together, or Hillsborough will move to demolish the old bridge.

The Courtney Campbell span could fill the void as the only motor-less path over Tampa Bay. The state Department of Transportation should enforce a fishing ban to maintain a safe environment for foot traffic on the bridge. While the Friendship Trail's future is bleak, there is no denying the value in linking the two counties with the area's greatest natural asset. It might simply be time to do that to the north.

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Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

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Updated: 06/22/18

Family separation crisis is not over

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Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Veterans can help veterans deal with trauma resulting from military service in a way no one else can. That’s the theory behind a special hotline set up in the Tampa Bay area that proponents are hoping to take statewide.The expansion would cost some $...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

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Published: 06/21/18
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney general’s misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect — prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
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