Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defending a city's honor, parsing a loaded gun term

Datz employee Marcus Oliver watches over a pot of boiling water used to make coffee and tea at the Tampa deli on Feb. 23 during a 48-hour boil alert in the city.

EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Datz employee Marcus Oliver watches over a pot of boiling water used to make coffee and tea at the Tampa deli on Feb. 23 during a 48-hour boil alert in the city.

A parochial divide

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster never hesitates to say his city is not a suburb of Tampa. When he was on WFLA-AM 970 last week, the radio hosts asked about a recent Tampa Bay Times story detailing the uptick in homeless people in downtown St. Petersburg.

Foster became parochial, saying: "I'm sure the numbers are the same in Tampa if the Times wanted to actually write an article about Tampa."

That attitude has apparently saturated City Hall.

Robert Danielson, St. Petersburg's marketing manager and a Tampa resident, thinks the media is more critical of the Sunshine City than the place where he hangs his toothbrush.

After Tampa went under a boil alert last weekend for 48 hours, Danielson vented to pals on Facebook.

"Apparently, a buck-toothed rodent chewed through a power line causing a major power outage at the water plant and compromising the water quality for an entire weekend," he wrote. "Something tells me that if this occurred in St. Pete, our local beat reporters would be waving public records requests and screaming 'malfeasance'!"

In Tampa, however, there's general "ho-hum — no toothbrushing for two days, a couple of closed restaurants, and grocery stores barren of bottled water. Does this bother anyone besides me?"

Buzz hopes he didn't break a sweat — unless he had a bottle of water — while ranting on social media.

Parsing a loaded phrase

Guns, unlike roads or parks, are not something Pinellas County has much control over. So Sheriff Bob Gualtieri tried to apply a light touch to the subject last week, proposing to a room full of the county's elected officials that the phrase "background check" was a little deceptive. When someone buys a gun, the only check that's done looks at whether the person is a felon, has had a domestic injunction taken out against them, or meets a few other criteria.

"There is no background check," Gualtieri, a Republican, said, suggesting that maybe a new name was in order.

Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala, right, ignited.

"Maybe something has happened since I wrote all that literature for your campaign where we talked about the crime rates, but have we had an explosion of gun violence in Pinellas County?" he said.

Gualtieri responded: "No, the only reason I raise it is it's about what the citizens believe is being done … people are lulled into this sense that there's an actual vetting."

Dipping his toe into an already boiling discussion, Commissioner Ken Welch said he thought the commission should have the right to regulate guns in its own parks and facilities.

Latvala went off again.

"I think some of this is political, and we're not used to having that in these meetings, you know," he chided.

"I thought maybe the fluoride thing taught us something about that. We need to be concentrating on building roads and maintaining roads and parks instead of getting into collateral issues."

Contact Mark Puente at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter @markpuente. Contact Anna M. Phillips at aphillips@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8779.

Defending a city's honor, parsing a loaded gun term 03/02/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 12:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five ideas for cooking with fresh cranberries

    Cooking

    Cranberry sauce has long been a fixture on the holiday table. According to the Chicago Tribune, Ocean Spray, the popular producer of cranberry sauce, cans about 70 million tins of the stuff a year, 85 percent of which gets sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year, canned cranberry sauce sales declined, …

    Cranberry Hot Toddy.
  2. Jury to decide whether Adam Matos be put to death in Hudson quadruple-murder

    Criminal

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A jury today could decide that the man convicted in the brutal slaying of four — including his former girlfriend — should be put to death.

    Convicted murderer Adam Matos arrives at the first day of his sentencing hearing on Monday at the West Pasco Judicial Center in New Port Richey. On Thursday, a jury convicted him of four counts of first-degree murder.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. Crash involving bicyclist closes EB lanes on W Kennedy Boulevard in downtown Tampa

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Eastbound lanes on W Kennedy Boulevard were reopened by 6:30 a.m. at S Parker Street in downtown Tampa after a bicyclist was struck early Tuesday morning.

  4. 'CBS This Morning' to air for 1st time after Rose suspension

    Nation

    NEW YORK — It is unclear how "CBS This Morning" will address the suspension of Charlie Rose after he was the latest public figure to be felled by sexual misconduct allegations.

    Charlie Rose attends The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People in Media party in New York in April 2017. The Washington Post says eight women have accused television host Charlie Rose of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior. CBS News suspended Charlie Rose and PBS is to halt production and distribution of a show following the sexual harassment report. [Andy Kropa | Invision/AP]
  5. Forecast: Clouds build, setting stage for a soggy Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Clouds and temperatures are increasing — and so are rain chances – as Thanksgiving could be a soggy one across the Tampa Bay region.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]