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Columns, Perspective

For A Better Florida

The Old  Capitol in Tallahassee. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)

Florida political insiders are pessimistic about state's leadership

IN FLORIDA, EVEN MANY OF THE MOST PLUGGED-IN PLAYERS are deeply pessimistic about the current state of Sunshine State leadership. The Tampa Bay Times last week surveyed more than 120 prominent lobbyists, former elected officials, political consultants, fundraisers and activists. Some sad highlights of this Florida  …


Voters wait in line at the Suncoast and Dance Party Center on County Line Road in Spring Hill on Election Day 2012. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Romano: It's up to voters to make Florida better

Reps. Richard Corcoran, R- Land O Lakes, and Jose Oliva, R- Miami Lakes, huddle on the floor of the Florida House before the House left for the regular session in 2015. The body declared Sine Die for the session without agreeing on a state budget. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)

Painful lessons for a troubled Florida Legislature


I broke a would-be rapist's nose, but what if I'd had a gun?

Gov. Rick Scott announces his state budget proposal which would cut taxes by $1 billion and add $250 million for economic development incentives on Dec. 7, at Harbinger Signs in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP]

Trigaux: It's not jobs, but the quality of jobs, that matters now in Florida

  1. Column: 'Are you antiabortion?'


    ‘Are you antiabortion?"

    That question, from a colleague, caught me by surprise. After all, she knows I've written a number of prochoice columns.

  2. Nickens: Legislature plays poker with your money


    The poker game using your tax money is about to get serious in Tallahassee, and you could be the big loser.

    Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, left, is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, right, calls a $1 billion tax cut financially irresponsible.
  3. Ruth: Jeb Bush stays alive in South Carolina


    A few years ago I embarrassed the Marigold of Macy's during a dreadful production of Miss Saigon when I contracted a case of the unconstrained giggles at the most inopportune moment. Miss Saigon was dying. Then she would stop dying for a while and sing some more. Then she would resume dying, only to take a break …

  4. Headline here plus here



    Four-star Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, has been nominated to become commander of U.S. Central Command. A Daniel Ruth column Thursday listed an incorrect rank.


  5. Column: How far left has America moved?


    From the earliest days of Barack Obama's presidency, a comforting assumption developed among much of the center-right political world. The thinking went like this: President Obama was far more liberal than the majority of the country. But given his extraordinary political talents, the fatigue of the George W. Bush …

  6. PolitiFact: Why Donald Trump is wrong about the unemployment rate


    During his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump repeated a claim he'd made several times before.

    Addressing his supporters after winning the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump made an absurd claim on unemployment rates — “I even heard recently 42 percent.” Is there a plausible calculation that can get us to 42 percent? In a word, no.
  7. What the Great Florida Cattle Drive can tell us about the future of Florida and the need to preserve it


    When it's raining in the pine flatwoods of Central Florida, the shadowless light illuminates the scene so evenly that all details can be seen at once, from the fine textures of the pine bark and wiregrass to the expressions of the cowboys looking out from beneath their felt hats.

    Shielded from a daylong rainstorm by their yellow slickers, cowboys steer the herd through a labyrinth of longleaf pines and palmettos in Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, an important public preserve in the Everglades Headwaters National Conservation Area. The rider in the black hat is Robert Yarborough, whose family helped organize the first Great Florida Cattle Drive in 1995.
  8. Telling truth from tall tales on global health and growth


    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

    Tuesday, Jan. 11 wasn't a banner day for patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. Yes, the medical complex is a venerated institution, and the services it provides to people across the region are a point of pride, not just within the city but around the country. Its towers …

    The Alexandra township in Johannesburg is home to about 180,000 people, some living in well-built houses, others in an estimated 20,000 shanties. On streets like this one, the government has installed portable toilets because there is no sewage system. Can fact-checking inform a health debate?
  9. Perspective: How Facebook spreads falsehoods and paranoia


    Why does misinformation spread so quickly on the social media? Why doesn't it get corrected? When the truth is so easy to find, why do people accept falsehoods?

  10. Column: Hillary, Bernie and history


    It's a sad time for Hillary Clinton's fans. Well, I guess that's obvious, since she got clobbered in New Hampshire. But it's the way she went down that was particularly painful. Bernie Sanders got more than half the women's vote, mainly because younger women raced off to his corner in droves.

    A young supporter celebrates at a victory party Tuesday for Bernie Sanders in Concord, N.H.
  11. Dockery: Mixed legislative scorecard at halftime


    We're halfway through Florida's legislative session, and it's time for a halftime recap.

  12. Guest column: Rancor over city manager embarrassed Dunedin


    The recent sequence of events involving the evaluation and resignation of the Dunedin city manager has raised questions regarding the process of presenting issues to come before the city commission as well as the conduct of all participants at such meetings.

  13. Guest column: Ferry service between St. Petersburg, Tampa has been done before — in the air


    Tampa Bay is abuzz with the idea of a high speed ferry service between St. Petersburg and Tampa. The idea of a ferry has been percolating at least since the first Pier Task Force in 2010. Recently the St. Petersburg City Council approved $350,000 of BP oil spill money for the estimated $1.34 million pilot project. …

  14. Residents should beware of business offering to provide public records for service fee


    The ability of some unscrupulous people to come up with ways to fraudulently separate good, hardworking people from their money never ceases to amaze me. The latest effort that has come to my attention is a mailed solicitation from a company purporting to be called the Local Records Office, which boasts an address in …

  15. Ruth: MacDill, Tampa headed back to the TV screen


    In a world of guava pastries, Cuban sandwiches, brass poles and fake pirates, this could be the television event of the year. Coming soon to a living room near you (maybe), get ready for Four Stars.

  16. Column: Feminism, hell and Hillary Clinton


    I'm 51. My health is decent. And while my mother died young, there's longevity elsewhere in the family tree.

    Madeleine Albright more or less told women that they’re damned if they don’t back Hillary Clinton.
  17. Column: If you're consciously uncoupled or bitter, some Valentine's Day ideas


    Have you recently met someone you really like, who actually likes you back? Are you in a healthy, vital relationship? Are you married and trying to keep the spark alive? Are you planning a hot date for Valentine's Day weekend?

    Embrace drinking wine at a spot like A Taste For Wine on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg.
  18. Hooper: Selfless attitude reveals beauty of Brandon High senior


    BRANDON — Friends and family members gathered last week to surprise Brandon High senior Makayla Vulpis with big news.

    Makayla Vulpis is featured in the January edition of Beauty Revived: 50 Most Beautiful Seniors. Makayla’s Brandon High classmates nominated her after Gianna Grace Photography partnered with the school to seek nominations for the national magazine’s contest. .
  19. Ruth: The collision of road projects and neighborhoods


    A few days ago, a study produced by the nonprofit U.S. Public Research Group's Education Fund and the Frontier Group concluded what those of us who live here already know. The proposed Tampa Bay Express expansion of I-275 and I-4 is not the best road project on the planet.

  20. Daniel Ruth: Noise at Rays games spoils Tropicana Field fan experience


    In an effort to put more keisters in the seats at Tropicana Field this coming baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays have announced a variety of perks and promotions.