Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Writers

John Romano, Times Columnist

John Romano, Times Columnist

Records have been destroyed and witnesses have gone missing, but Tampa Bay Times metro columnist John Romano would have you believe he was a product of the Pinellas County school system and the University of South Florida. He worked at the Evening Independent and the Palm Beach Post before being hired in the Times' sports department in 1985. Showing a remarkable lack of staying power, he has worked on beats covering USF, the University of Florida, Orlando Magic, Buccaneers and Rays before succeeding Hubert Mizell as a columnist in 2001. He became the metro columnist in 2012.



PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Police officers are seen in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as law enforcement officials continue their work investigating the 17 people who were killed at the school on February 17, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19 year old former student Nikolas Cruz in the killing of the high school students.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images,) 775125217

Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

His words and his pleas are similar to what we’ve heard from others in recent days.Kids deserve to feel safe when they walk into a classroom in Florida. More security is needed. More boots on the ground would be helpful. Mostly, more money must...
Published: 02/20/18
Students Kelsey Friend, left, and David Hogg recount their stories about Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

School shooting survivors beg for action: ‘When you’re killing children... you’re killing our future.’

PARKLAND — The air was ripe with gunpowder, and the floor was wet with blood. In the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on a Valentine’s afternoon, backpacks lay scattered where they fell while unanswered cell phones continued to ring...
Published: 02/15/18
After being fired from Outback Steakhouse for posting about a church not tipping her on a $735 take-out order on Facebook, Tamlynn Yoder was finally compensated. [Courtesy of Tamlynn Yoder]

Romano: Here’s a tip for fired Outback server

And so the story has a (mostly) happy ending. The church apologizes, the server gets her...
Published: 02/15/18
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk on the floor of the House during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in January. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

Romano: Does anyone have the guts to say no to the state bully?

You are not always going to agree with your state legislators.That’s just a given. There are too many issues, too many viewpoints. It’s neither fair to them, nor realistic of you, to think your perspectives will always align.So what...
Published: 02/13/18
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran SCOTT KEELER | Times

Does anyone have the guts to say no to the state bully?

You are not always going to agree with your state legislators.That's just a given. There are too many issues, too many viewpoints. It's neither fair to them, nor realistic of you, to think your perspectives will always align.So what...
Published: 02/13/18
Razor wire and ribbon outside of the Hillsborough Correctional Institution in Riverview. (Times files)

Romano: We’ve already been tough on crime, now we can be smarter, too

We already have sheriffs, and prison guards. We already have judges, and bondsmen.When it comes to crime in Florida, what we need more of is economists.And maybe some math nerds.We need to pay attention to what the data and...
Published: 02/09/18
Updated: 02/10/18
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg talks to the media Friday at the Tampa Baseball Museum. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Romano: Can I interest you in a bet on this Rays stadium situation?

And so, some 30 years later, Tampa gets its second turn at bat.Political and business leaders in Hillsborough County are taking another shot at becoming a Major League Baseball city after begrudgingly abandoning the effort when construction...
Published: 02/09/18
Protesters march against white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech in October at the Phillips Center on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. [Times files (2017)]

Romano: Conservative or liberal, speakers should be heard on college campuses

Let’s get this out of the way first:A Senate bill that’s supposed to promote free speech on university campuses is kind of dopey. At least the way it’s currently written.The bill (SB 1234) would make universities susceptible to lawsuits...
Published: 02/08/18
The Florida Supreme Court is headquartered in the Supreme Court Building at 500 S Duval St. in Tallahassee. [Handout]

Romano: An odd rationale for Supreme Court death penalty reviews

Decisions have been coming out of the Florida Supreme Court so quickly the past two weeks, they’re starting to read like form letters. Life-or-death form letters.Since Jan. 22, the court has rejected more than 70 requests from death row inmates...
Updated one month ago
Needa Spells is seen in this undated photo. Spells passed away in January and left an endowment for underprivileged children in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Sirlester Jones family]

Romano: She spent her life helping others. In death, she’s doing the same

This is a story about tomorrow. And the next day. And every day we have yet to consider.Needa Spells grew up in St. Petersburg at a time when her future seemed constrained. She was a black girl in a world that bent to white boys. Her father was...
Updated one month ago