Monday, May 21, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Children's board, mayor should partner on Tampa's Sulphur Springs

The next year could mark a turning point for the struggling central Tampa neighborhood of Sulphur Springs. The head of the Children's Board of Hillsborough County is looking at a new anti-poverty campaign that targets single mothers. And Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn wants to redouble the city's efforts in remaking the area. These two leaders should work together and take advantage of this long-awaited window. There is plenty to do in Sulphur Springs, but the big challenge is taking the first step.

Sulphur Springs was once an oasis along the Hillsborough River. But the neighborhood, 5 miles north of downtown, has become an urban dumping ground, replete with decrepit homes and infrastructure, crime, vagrancy and an ugly and aging commercial corridor. The area is densely packed with old and unkept rental housing. Across entire blocks, half or more of the residents live below the poverty line, while most others struggle to make ends meet.

Kelley Parris, the director of the Children's Board, a tax-funded agency that finances a range of social services, said she will look at a new initiative to help at-risk families in the area. Though Parris has not decided on an approach, she is interested in strengthening the lives of single mothers in Sulphur Springs. The goal would be to enhance the chances for stability and upward mobility by addressing life skills, health and child care and other problems that many families face on a regular basis.

The Children's Board is suited to this task. It has a long history of working with needy families, and a project for single mothers would jell with other agency support services. The board also has an extensive list of private providers that could bring specialized assistance to the table. Its relationships with the Hillsborough County School Board, the state, the University of South Florida and other major players give it the contacts and profile to bring the necessary funds and expertise to bear on a new community campaign. And Parris has the personality and energy to give this effort staying power over what surely would be a long haul.

The city under Buckhorn has shown a new level of interest in Sulphur Springs — cleaning up trash and junk, installing extra streetlights, demolishing vacant homes and replacing them with affordable housing. Teaming with Parris would enable the city to make progress on the human front as it improves the face and economic climate of this central Tampa neighborhood. This is an opportunity for the mayor and a leading social services provider for the county to be creative and ambitious. Parris should bring a proposal forward and Buckhorn should craft a role for the city in taking the campaign to Sulphur Springs. Helping single parents become more self-sufficient is a step that begins addressing the larger societal challenges in this neighborhood.

Comments
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
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: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

It’s a safe bet Florida will get caught up in the frenzy to legalize wagering on sports following the U.S. Supreme Court opinion this week that lifted a federal ban. Struggling horse and dog tracks would love a new line of business, and state l...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/16/18