Saturday, May 26, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Remaining patient after Irma

There is no getting around it. Returning to normal after Hurricane Irma, even in very fortunate Tampa Bay, is going to take a while. Hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay households on Tuesday remained without power, traffic signals were still out at hundreds of intersections and public schools throughout the region will be closed until Monday. We need to continue to be resourceful, helpful to our neighbors — and patient.

Nearly 6 million households statewide were without electricity Tuesday as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy and Tampa Electric brought in thousands of workers to help restore power. That sense of urgency will have to stay elevated for days, and the utilities should keep their customers as well-informed as possible about the progress without raising false hopes. Being without lights and air conditioning is an inconvenience for anyone, but it also can be a public health and safety issue for many. The utilities are properly prioritizing repairs that can get power to the most people, but state and local officials should keep watch on their performance.

Sanitation crews on both sides of the bay are working diligently. In Tampa, crews began before dawn Tuesday collecting trash, and beginning Thursday will collect storm debris for the next month. Garbage trucks are rolling in St. Petersburg and brush sites are open. Hillsborough County extended its state of emergency an additional week over concerns about river flooding that was expected Tuesday.

With so many traffic signals still out, accidents at intersections remain a key concern. Motorists blowing through these intersections are endangering themselves and others, and everyone should treat these intersections as four-way stops. The driver on the widest, busiest street does not have the automatic right-of-way.

In other ways, the bay area is getting back on its feet. Groceries reopened Tuesday. So did the area airports and ports. At least three vessels carrying petroleum were expected at Port Tampa Bay late Tuesday, which will help get gas across the bay area and all of Central Florida.

The coming days will also expose the breadth of Irma's destruction. Some 400 shelters are still open in Florida, housing 94,000 people, including 17,000 with special needs. Search and rescue teams began operating in the Keys on Tuesday, and crews across Florida are assessing the strength of roads, bridges, water and sewer systems and other vital public infrastructure. The state has created helpful new online assistance for residents to access disaster aid and apply for insurance claims. With other parts of the state experiencing more serious damage and more difficult challenges, the bay area needs to be patient. It could easily have been worse here.

This is a time for everyone to do what they can. If you don't need those two cases of water, give them to someone who does. Help a neighbor clean up. Make a donation of time or money to charity. It has been incredible to see the outpouring of people in this community helping others. That sense of community spirit, coming second nature, has kept people fed and housed, helped to clear the roads, provided care for pets and brought some order to the chaos. If the pattern continues, every day will get better.

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Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Itís human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

One of the worst ideas in a long time in the field of urban planning received a blessing this month when the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission approved a land-use change for a project that calls for filling three acres of water insi...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Send out an Amber Alert for Adam Putnam. The red-haired, affable fellow who has served capably as a state legislator, member of Congress and agriculture commissioner is missing. In his place is a far-right caricature who has branded himself as a prou...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Floridians are paying a steep price for a system that makes it as difficult as possible for people who leave prison to reintegrate into civic life. Gov. Rick Scottís clemency process isnít just archaic and cruel ó it also wastes enormous public resou...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
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 Pyonyangís nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Koreaís Kim Jong ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

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 ...
Published: 05/24/18

Editorial: A positive first step in ensuring student access at USFSP

As a task force sorts out countless details involved in folding the University of South Florida St. Petersburg back into the major research university based in Tampa, ensuring access for good Pinellas students remains a concern. An enhanced cooperati...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18
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
Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

The rising tensions with Iran, the resurgence of violence in the Mideast and the uncertainty over a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea combine to create an unsettling time this Memorial Day. These grave threats to peace are another reminder of...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/25/18

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