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Council plans revote on juvenile curfew

AGONY OF DEFEAT REDUX: The proposal to impose a juvenile curfew in Seminole went down by a 5-2 vote last month. Most people thought it was a dead issue.

But council member Darrell DiGrazia, who was one of the two proponents, spent a bit of time researching Robert's Rules of Order and decided there was a technical violation in the way the vote was taken.

After a lengthy discussion on whether or not that was true, the council decided the easiest way to put the matter to rest was to revote. That is planned for Tuesday, although no one expects the outcome to change.

DiGrazia said he'll push ahead despite the possible foregone conclusion: "If we vote on things incorrectly and vote on things when no one up here knows what's going on, that's not credibility."

BUT WILL HE UNVEIL ANOTHER NATIONAL HEALTH PLAN?: There probably won't be any teleprompters or Congress members, but it will still be a formal to-do for St. Petersburg.

In mid-April, Mayor David Fischer, the city's first "strong mayor" in more than a half-century, will give the first-ever "State of the City" address.

Why start giving the speeches similar to those given annually by presidents, governors and mayors elsewhere? Fischer said,"Because I wanted to."

In his talk, Fischer says he'll let residents know what he's been doing since he was elected a year ago and what he's got in mind for the future. Fischer's not sure where he will give the speech (apparently, the joint session of Congress is booked that day). City Council chambers, a local neighborhood forum or a government cable station appearance are possibilities. The mayor wants a crowd to hear his speech, but he says he's not necessarily looking for the big-wigs U.S. presidents draw to their State of the Union addresses.

TRIAL? WHAT TRIAL?: When Belleair police officer Jeffery Tackett was killed while patrolling alone last June 13, it was big news. And when his killer, Lorenzo Jenkins, faced a jury for the first time in January, that was big news, too.

But when Circuit Judge Douglas Baird declared a mistrial, which required picking a new jury to try him again this past week, defense attorneys worried they would not be able to find anyone who hadn't already formed an opinion about the case, based on the extensive media coverage.

They needn't have worried.

Most potential jurors last week recalled hearing something about Tackett's shooting last year, and three or four said they'd heard of the mistrial. But quite a few _ including an employee of the Times' Tampa bureau _ said they hadn't heard or read anything about the case in the past six weeks. Several said they didn't really have time to keep up with what was in the Times each day.

After a while of this, even battle-hardened prosecutors began casting sympathetic glances toward the press, and defense attorney Michael Schwartzberg commented, "This must be very depressing for you."

T-BACKS, TAKE 67: The goofiness surrounding Clearwater's ban on T-back bathing suits continues to roll in.

Last week, the city received a letter from an Island Estates woman insisting that nudity ordinances not be gender-biased.

"I see large bare tummies and large bare breasts every day on the beach," the letter said. "I find them offensive on the beach and disgusting on the streets of our fair city."

The other notable item appeared on a message pad _ a man had called for Commissioner Fred Thomas to ask for help. It seems a Pierre Cardin advertisement on television showed a bare bottom, and the caller wanted Thomas to do something about it.

QUOTABLES:

"I'm voting for the woman."

_ Campaign buttons worn by the husband and daughter of Seminole Council member Dottie Reeder on Tuesday. Reeder is the only woman on the Council.

"We used to call it the SODDI defense _ Some Other Dude Did It."

_ State Attorney Bernie McCabe on the fact that Lorenzo Jenkins initially told detectives he had nothing to do with killing Belleair police officer Jeffery Tackett.

_ Reported by Times staff writers Wilma Norton, Monica Davey, Craig Pittman and Ned Seaton.

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