Thursday, April 26, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Young energy pushes transit plans

Connect Tampa Bay, a burgeoning grass roots effort formed by a small but growing group of young professionals eager to promote a viable regional mass transit system, is an encouraging sign that a new generation is interested in shaping public policy. Tampa Bay remains the last major metropolitan area in the nation without a comprehensive mass transit system either in place or at least in the planning stages. Connect Tampa Bay wants to change that, and its members are challenging old attitudes about transit that have resulted in too many traffic jams.

An outgrowth of a failed 2010 Hillsborough County ballot initiative to create a light rail system, Connect Tampa Bay was formed by Brian Willis, 29; Brandie Miklus, 31; Kevin Thurman, 32; and Brian Seel, 28, the son of Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel. The ballot effort suffered from a lack of details over the rail portion of the package. Connect Tampa Bay plans to begin an aggressive education effort for Pinellas by organizing wide-ranging neighborhood meetings to build broad-based public support for more bus routes linked to a light-rail system.

The timing may be right for Connect Tampa Bay. Since the 2010 election, recent polling indicates a shift in attitudes, with 56 percent of Hillsborough County residents supporting light rail. And in Pinellas County, where citizens likely will have an opportunity in November 2014 to vote on transit plan, 60 percent of residents surveyed supported rail.

Thriving communities have robust civic engagement. Connect Tampa Bay fills an important void and should be an example for younger residents who want to help shape the future of the region instead of leaving the decisions to their elders.

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Editorial: It’s up to Florida’s voters to restore felons’ civil rights now

The disappointing ruling Wednesday by a federal appeals court should erase any doubt that the decision on restoring voting rights for felons rests solely on the conscience of Florida voters. A tortured ruling by the minimum majority of a three-judge ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

A St. Petersburg waste-to-energy plant now under construction has been billed for years as an environmentally friendly money saver. Now it looks more like a boondoggle, with the cost and mission changing on the fly. It’s yet another example of a city...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18

‘Happy hour’ tax cuts may result in hangovers

Evidence is mounting that the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package enacted in December by congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump was a bad idea, not only for the long-run health of the economy but for the short-term political prospects of the ...
Published: 04/25/18
Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Writing a new law that phases out separate accreditation for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and folds it back into the major research university was the easy part. The hard work starts today when a new consolidation task force holds i...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Correction

CorrectionCircuit Judge John Stargel of Lakeland is a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission who voted against a proposed amendment that would have stopped write-in candidates from closing primary elections. An editorial Saturday inco...
Published: 04/23/18
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Florida lawmakers may never take the death penalty off the books, but stronger forces are steadily eroding this inhumane, outdated tool of injustice. Court rulings, subsequent changes to law and waning public support have significantly suppressed the...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18