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Brazil cuts, sin taxes, beach boys, and the real brains behind the Thonotosassa sex dungeon.

What do people want to read about in the middle of a four-day holiday? Crime? Corruption? Congress? County commissioners? I don't think so.

How about the story of Lisa O'Reilly, a self-described housewife and mother, who wanted to wear a T-back in the Miss Offshore pageant thrown by Sarasota's Columbia Restaurant? She was told no T-backs were allowed.

Lisa showed up in a "Brazil cut" suit ("which covers 6 inches of the rear end," she says) only to find three contestants in T-backs. She was told that none other than Columbia proprietor Casey Gonzmart himself had waived the no T-back rule.

Lisa, who didn't win, has launched a fax campaign against the Offshore Contest and the Columbia, declaring that "the fairytale contestant turns into the witch from swimsuit hell, just for asking for fairness and justice."

And in other news: Two briefs in the sports section caught my eye last week.

In Cincinnati, the City Council debated three hours before deciding to go along with Hamilton County on a $540-million plan to build stadiums for baseball's Reds and football's Bengals to keep them from leaving the city.

In Cleveland, which recently raised sin taxes to build a new downtown baseball stadium, the City Council approved a $154-million tax package to help finance the renovation of Depression-era Cleveland Stadium, home of football's Browns.

Tides is not going out yet: Don't say goodbye to the Tides Hotel and Bath Club just yet. Last week's column prompted a lots of calls from people who spent their summers at the venerable old beach resort as kids. But it also brought a call from North Redington Beach resident Joanne Templeton. She is part of a group organizing a petition drive against the planned high rises that would replace the Tides.

North Redington has height restrictions for beachfront development, something that other beach communities should have considered. Developers want a zoning waiver to build higher than the restrictions at the Tides site. Templeton said she doesn't think the residents will sit still for that.

"Ninety-nine percent of the residents are for exactly what I'm saying. They are not for high rises," Templeton said.

Like the rest of us, Templeton realizes that the Tides property will eventually be used for a modern development. "We know that the Tides property is inevitably going to be used for townhouses, but we want to keep the current code. We want to keep the density down and keep them from hiding the sky."

The column also brought a call from Dave Switzer, the long-lost beach boy of the Tides. Switzer quit the job after I wrote a column in 1987 called "A Beach Boy Looks At 40."

Switzer is a mortgage broker now but he still gets out to the Tides at least once a week.

"It's the only way I know how to go to the beach," he confessed.

Something for Sandy: Mayor Dick Greco wants to do something to honor his predecessor, Sandy Freedman. But what to do? Most likely, Greco will rename the city tennis complex on Davis Islands after the former mayor, who was a teenage tennis star.

The dog ain't talkin': While the "Save Blackie" campaign builds, there's one thing we need to keep in mind about this Thonotosassa sex dungeon. Sure, this Labrador seems innocent enough. But if you, like me, listened to the interviews with Master Troy, Mistress Shannon, and, my personal favorite, Floor Slave Joan, you can come to only one conclusion _ Blackie had to be the brains behind this operation.

And one final question. Below a mirrored altar, lit with skull-shaped candles, deputies found whips, chains, clips, cuffs, and a plunger. A plunger?

Call Paul Wilborn with an idea for the column at 226-3346.

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