Holistic? More like full of holes. The DeSantis administration said the state’s chief inspector general would do a “holistic” review of allegations that the education department steered a multimillion-dollar contract to a politically connected consultant in 2021. As it turns out, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ chief inspector general, Melinda Miguel, never interviewed anyone involved in the case, and her office instead referred the case back to the Department of Education’s inspector general, who produced no reports and pulled no records, the Times Lawrence Mower reported this week. We didn’t know that “holistic” was synonymous with worthless. At least a federal grand jury out of Gainesville is now investigating.
Moving forward. Pinellas County is going ahead with renourishing its beaches, despite a long-running dispute involving the Army Corps of Engineers and its relatively new requirement that 100% of beachfront property owners grant permanent public access to land they own within the project area, rather than temporary access while work is ongoing. Last week, Treasure Island closed access to Sunset Beach for emergency dune restoration as part of a $21 million county-led project. Many of Pinellas’ beaches were due for repairing, even before Hurricane Idalia swept away more sand. The beach and the dunes help protect properties from storm surge. Beach renourishment can be controversial and environmentally fraught, and it would help to free up the federal money that normally pays for most beach renourishment in Pinellas, but it’s encouraging that one of our local counties has the skill and the financial acumen to cut through federal hurdles to get a job done.
Good move. Cities always have to strike a balance between preserving history and allowing room for new ideas, but the Tampa City Council’s preliminary move to grant a local historic landmark designation to the last two of 600 original homes in what was once The Scrub was a no brainer. The once thriving Black neighborhood was built by freed enslaved people after the Civil War. Eventually, the city declared the area a slum and the original buildings were replaced by a housing projects and the interstate highway. The only two remaining homes — at 1248 and 1250 E Scott St. — are worth preserving. They need some fixing up, but they are an important reminder of a part of the city’s history. This should not turn into a long struggle like the city’s ongoing attempts to preserve Jackson House, Tampa’s last standing segregation-era boarding house, where James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway stayed and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited. Let’s hope the city can push this over the finish line at the scheduled public meeting in October.
A familiar story. The Tampa Bay Rays are headed to the playoffs ... again. It’s almost cliché by now: The team with one of the lowest payrolls — 27th out of 30 teams, according to Spotrac — and lowest attendance beats out financial behemoths like the Yankees and Red Sox for a chance at the ultimate prize, the World Series. This will be the team’s fifth playoffs in a row and ninth since 2008. The Rays have never won the World Series and several players are injured, ailing or otherwise unavailable at the moment, but unlike all the teams that missed the playoffs, they still have a shot. The first playoff round starts Tuesday. Congrats to the Rays for another remarkable season so far.
Spend your days with Hayes
Subscribe to our free Stephinitely newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Conan Gallaty. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.