Friday, April 20, 2018
Editorials

Soaking up Tampa's dynamic new waterfront

Today's Gasparilla parade is a wonderful chance for visitors to check out downtown Tampa's dynamic new waterfront. The new parks and museums that have opened in recent years have brought vitality to downtown seven days a week. And there are bigger plans for attracting more people to the Riverwalk, which snakes along the Hillsborough River through the city center. Even in this down economy, the city has added to its character and enriched the quality of local life.

The opening of newly redesigned Curtis Hixon Park amounted to a coming out party for today's downtown, which boasts new parks, fine arts and children's museums and a history center. From the banks of the river, visitors can enjoy acres of new green space, a waterfront pedestrian trail and the sights of a city on the move, from the new condominiums downtown to the expansion of the University of Tampa.

In the last month alone, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has announced a new, permanent lighting exhibit showcasing the downtown bridges. He chose a firm to redevelop the 107-year-old federal courthouse, which has been shuttered for years, into a luxury hotel. He started work on a new section of the Riverwalk. And he selected a group headed by the Columbia Restaurant, a Tampa institution, to remake the historic Water Works Park into an open-air restaurant on the downtown riverfront.

Buckhorn needs to negotiate leases for the courthouse and Water Works Park that ensure full public access to these local landmarks. But he has a strong framework for both deals, and the projects could jump-start new private investment in the surrounding areas of northern downtown.

The lesson is that cities must continually improve themselves, even in tough economic climates. Buckhorn's predecessor, Pam Iorio, got the ball rolling with her sustained commitment to the Riverwalk and her insistence on making Curtis Hixon a central meeting place. Buckhorn is building on that vision by further connecting the central business district with neighborhoods and public space. That builds energy downtown and bolsters the local economy. Today's parade is a good time to soak in these changes and to envision what else might be possible.

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Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

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Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

A bipartisan Senate bill clarifying that only the attorney general or a high-ranking designee could remove a special prosecutor would send an important message amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on the investigation into Russia’s inter...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Editorial: Don’t fall for Constitution Revision Commission’s tricks

Editorial: Don’t fall for Constitution Revision Commission’s tricks

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has wasted months as a politically motivated scam masquerading as a high-minded effort to ask voters to improve the state’s fundamental document. The commission on Monday added amendments to the Nove...
Published: 04/16/18
Editorial: Redner’s court win on medical marijuana sends message

Editorial: Redner’s court win on medical marijuana sends message

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding t...
Published: 04/15/18
Updated: 04/16/18
Editorial: Hillsborough commission should quit expanding urban area

Editorial: Hillsborough commission should quit expanding urban area

Any movement on modernizing local transportation is welcome, even small steps like the million dollars the state recently approved to design a Tampa Bay regional transit plan.But the region won’t make any progress on transportation, its single most p...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Editorial: Fight harder on citrus greening

A new report by scientists advising the federal government finds no breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening, a chronic disease killing Florida’s citrus industry. This should be a wake-up call to bring greater resources to the fight.The re...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Editorial: Floridians should focus more on health

A new snapshot of the nation’s health shows a mixed picture for Florida and the challenges that residents and the health care community face in improving the quality of life.Americans are living longer, exercising more and doing better at managing th...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18
Editorial: 5 key issues where Scott, Nelson differ in Senate race

Editorial: 5 key issues where Scott, Nelson differ in Senate race

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign last week by reciting tired lines about career politicians and mischaracterizing himself as an outsider. That pitch may have worked during the tea party wave eight years ago, but now the Republican ...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/13/18