Saturday, June 23, 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.



Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston last August. It is estimated that 70 percent of the homes damaged by water did not have flood insurance. [Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times]

Romano: You better hope Iím wrong about flood insurance

Chances are, Iíll go down as the Boy Who Cried Flood.You might have noticed, Iíve been shouting about the imminent calamity of flood waters for quite a few years now. If I wasnít trying to frighten you into buying flood insurance, I was...
Published: 06/22/18
An aerial view of Venetian Isles in St. Petersburg. Photo by Venetian Isles resident Elizabeth Funk.

Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

Iíve always thought homeowners associations had a lot in common with cops.People love to complain about them and often accuse them of abusing their power. And yet as soon as a neighbor paints his house a hot shade of fuchsia, youíre screaming...
Published: 06/21/18
The longer Kirstjen Nielsen enforces and defends the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents, the more likely the Homeland Security secretary from Tampa Bay will be aligned with President Donald Trump in the history books. [Jabin Botsford, Washington Post]

Romano: A Tampa Bay Ďsuperstarí caught in the crosshairs of Trumpís border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bayís most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald...
Published: 06/19/18
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld an Ohio law that kicked people off the voter rolls if they missed elections and failed to respond to notices from elections officials. That means voters in Florida had better show up at the polls or pay attention to notices in their mailboxes because this state has a similar law that allows them to be removed from the rolls. [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on...
Published: 06/12/18
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld an Ohio law that kicked people off the voter rolls if they missed elections and failed to respond to notices from elections officials. That means voters in Florida had better show up at the polls or pay attention to notices in their mailboxes because this state has a similar law that allows them to be removed from the rolls. [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on...
Published: 06/12/18
A baseball stadium in Ybor City, near Adamo and Channelside drives, would potentially look south toward downtown and the Port of Tampa. The Rays have until Dec. 31 to negotiate with Hillsborough County about a stadium financing deal, but theoretically could get an extension from St. Petersburg to continue talks into 2019. [LUIS SANTANA]

Romano: Instead of fussing, St. Pete should help the Rays pack

You might recall, this stadium saga began with a debate over whether St. Petersburg should allow the Rays to have conversations about venturing outside the cityís limits.Then came the debate about who owns the redevelopment rights at Tropicana...
Published: 06/09/18
Ramiro Companioni collided with a City of Tampa water truck when it pulled onto the road in front of his motorcycle in 1996. He was in an induced coma for a month, endured 20 surgeries, cannot bend his right leg, has urinary problems, cannot stand or sit for long periods and cannot have sex. A jury awarded him $17.8 in 2004. His claims bill was finally settled this year for $5 million. [CHRIS URSO]

Romano: How you can win a lawsuit and still lose in Florida

Their stories are supposed to be heard by every lawmaker in Florida. They are the broken, the beaten, the abused and the dead.They are the victims and the families of people who have been damaged, one way or another, due to the mistakes or...
Updated one month ago
The Florida Legislature micromanages public schools in Florida to the degree that Moton Elementary School in Hernando County told 47 teachers they would have to leave their jobs at the end of the 2017-18 school year because student test scores were too low. Yet private schools do not even require teachers be certified and the Department of Education barely monitors them. In this photo, 
Joanne McCall, President of the Florida Education Association, addresses the Hernando County District School Board as residents listen in April. [Octavio Jones]

Romano: Florida’s schools engaged in double standard of epic proportions

Your religious views matter, and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.
Updated one month ago
State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, worked with Sen. Darryl Rosuon to craft a proposal to move the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board under the control of county government. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Romano: If a law makes sense, then itís not meant for Florida

A couple of lawmakers had an idea.A swell idea, most everyone agreed.Even, strange as it seems, some people who opposed the plan.This idea would keep people out of jail, stop clogging up the court system, help struggling residents...
Updated one month ago
St. Petersburg's First Night celebration has counted on volunteers and sponsorships, such as this light display from the Pier Aquarium in 2008, along with a city subsidy for 25 years. This year's celebration could be in jeopardy now that the city has decided to remove First Night's line item from the budget. [Times (2008)]

Romano: Is St. Pete frugal, or just a party pooper?

Well-played, sir.Mayor Rick Krisemanís decree to pull back the funding on St. Petersburgís popular New Yearís Eve event, known as First Night, has the look of big-time cunning in small-town politics.It was shrewd. Defensible. And, Iím...
Updated one month ago