Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Editorials

Tampa tackles blight in Sulphur Springs

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn did right by indulging in some drama this week with his cleanup plan for Sulphur Springs. The central Tampa neighborhood has come to symbolize urban blight, and having the mayor crash a piece of heavy equipment through an abandoned home said as much about the need to transform the area as it did about the mayor's commitment to see it through.

The city announced it would demolish 51 abandoned houses in Sulphur Springs in the next six months. All have been the target of code enforcement actions, and all are uninhabitable. The demolitions will cost $5,500 apiece, and afterward, the city will maintain the lots with the goal of attracting developers to build new, single-family homes.

The abandoned homes are eyesores that drag down entire blocks and attract prostitution, drugs and other criminal activity. Getting rid of them is the first step in changing the image of the neighborhood and attracting new investment. The city will also staff three full-time code enforcement officers for Sulphur Springs.

The city will need to do more to address the chronically poor conditions that stigmatize the area. The installation of new streetlights, which the city and Tampa Electric Co. announced this week, will help. The city needs to continue looking for better housing opportunities, and continue the targeted crime and code enforcement sweeps that have helped to raise living standards in the area. It should also look for ways to enliven the appeal of two major parks that border Sulphur Springs, both of which occupy sweeping banks on the Hillsborough River. Buckhorn, though, is bringing resources and mayoral attention to an area that has suffered from years of neglect. Any turnaround will require sustained action on the mayor's part.

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Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

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Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

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Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestraís violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestraís violin program for at-risk kids

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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

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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 Bondiís lawsuit against the nationís largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the stateís 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 Childrenís should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Childrenís should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Childrenís Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institutionís 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. Petersburgís 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: HUDís flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUDís flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

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Published: 05/15/18
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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