Saturday, June 23, 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: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

It’s hard to pick the biggest outrage in the financial and ethical swamp that has swallowed Tampa Bay’s two primary job placement agencies, CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Is it the boiler room atmosphere where CareerSource recruite...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Family separation crisis is not over

The family-separation crisis that President Donald Trump created is not over. The executive order Trump signed Wednesday purporting to end the routine tearing of children from their undocumented parents stands on uncertain legal ground. U.S. border a...
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

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
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

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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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