Expressway to remain closed TODAY
Commuters don't get a break just because the RNC is taking today off.
City officials said the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway would remain closed even though the convention will hunker down while the storm passes.
Brandon-area commuters can come in to downtown on the reversible elevated lanes of the expressway, which will be open.
Eastbound drivers on the lower-level lanes will have to get off at 50th Street. Officers will direct them to Interstate 4.
Canvasses are coming off tents
The high winds are causing some of the area's event tents to be disassembled.
"Some of the canvasses have been taken off the small tents," Tampa police Chief Jane Castor said Sunday, adding that the structures have been secured. "The larger tents are able to sustain winds of higher than 40 miles per hour."
Political messages on the roadside
Tampa has billboards everywhere, for just about everything.
So it's no surprise that as the city shifts into political mode to greet RNC guests, so too have the signs leading to the convention.
One of the first signs to greet those arriving from Tampa International Airport along Kennedy Boulevard offers a message likely to resonate with a partisan crowd:
"DON'T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA!" it reads.
Another billboard along Interstate 275: "Welcome to Tampa! Where the mayor and all city council members are Democrats."
There's one along Kennedy with Uncle Sam pointing and saying, "God fixation won't fix this nation."
On another billboard, an attorney dressed in red, white and blue poses a question about Breathalyzers: "To blow or not to blow?" The answer, presumably, can be found by calling his law office.
Another features Glen Beck next to a picture of his book Cowards. "Hope didn't work," the sign reads. "It's time for the TRUTH."
Finally! A story not about strippers
Our thanks to Reuters for taking a pass on the obvious Tampa tropes — Joe Redner, Thee DollHouse — and instead zeroing in on another of the city's claims to fame: death metal.
Here's an edited version of Andy Sullivan's dispatch:
When they convene in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney for president, Republicans will not hear a note from the city's most notable musical exports: death-metal bands such as Deicide and Obituary.
Homegrown acts such as Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel are not booked for the concerts or high-dollar fundraisers. That is not surprising for a style of music in which "brutal" is a compliment.
Local boosters did not play up their city's musical history when they pitched Tampa as a convention destination.
"Maybe I'm just a really boring human being, but I was not aware of Tampa being a death-metal capital," said Tampa Bay Host Committee president Ken Jones.