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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MARCH 31, 2019


A weekly look at the Tampa Bay area and national politics from a conservative viewpoint – plus a helping of sports and lifestyle items. Warning: not everything printed here should be taken at face value.


Another Harborview?


For years, if not decades, residents of Clearwater have rallied to get the Harborview Center torn down – at last that is happening. But lurking in the background is, we suppose, a well-meaning proposal to build a 4000-seat amphitheater directly below where the former Maas Brother building now stands. Think about that – a structure holding approximately half the people Spectrum Field holds even closer to the waterfront than Harborview. Clearwater has an entertainment venue just a block away in the Capital Theater – a venue where oppressive heat and rain do not spoil a performance. The largest event on the bay front every year is Jazz Holiday and Coachman Park seems up to the task. There just doesn’t seem to be a need for a venue that would bring some 2,000 cars to an already parking challenged downtown. Not to mention what it would do to the vistas along the bay. If Harborview was a bad idea, this one ranks a close second.



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:



1. Three things you don’t want to be: associated in any way with the Laser Spine Institute, or with Port Richey politics or be the general manager of WMNF Radio whose decision to fire Rob Lorei was undermined by his bosses on the station’s board of directors.

2. As more and more disclosures come out of the hot mess that is the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, it becomes more and more apparent that chief executive Tony Love has to go – and all the current governing board with him.

3. Factoid: the U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments, the Florida constitution 140. More on that in weeks to come.

4. Word of the week: Circularity – used by a Walmart spokesperson to describe their effort to package more and more products in plastic that is truly recyclable. A noble effort by America’s biggest retailer but do we need the fifty cent words?

5. Nobody, but nobody who has lived in Clearwater a long time, will ever forget “Chick Smith Ford in sparkling downtown Clearwater!”


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Okay, we admit it. We picked Belmont to reach the Elite Eight and didn’t even know Texas Tech was in the tournament.

7. Our son-in-law who is wise beyond his years, has this simple suggestion for cable, phone and internet companies, just give us a price you can live with which does not necessitate us calling back each year threatening to cancel in order to get a reasonable rate.

8. The Rays opened their home season with the Astros. It still seems unnatural to some of us that the Astros are an American League team. Of course, to some of us, it seems unnatural that the A’s are not still in Philadelphia.

9. Below, we examine the number 3 in our baseball number rankings. But we tip our cap to Bryce Harper for choosing that number to wear with the Phils, avoiding an awkward situation involving his old number 34 which, although not retired by the Phils in honor of Doc Halladay, probably will be some day.

10. This week, we look at the great ones in major league baseball to wear #3 (back story in TBRR 3/10/19) - Let’s not waste a lot of space, several good ballplayers like Earl Averill, Harold Baines, Harmon Killebrew, Dale Murphy and Bill Terry wore the number, the man generally considered the greatest ballplayer of all time owned that number– Babe Ruth.


Confusion in North Port


There is a local painter who participated in the work that brought together the new Cool Today Park in North Port – the spring home of the Atlanta Braves. As a reward, he was given a few comp tickets to the Braves spring opener there on March 24 – no small prize since the game has been a sellout for months. He no sooner arrives there the day of the big game, and is called into action as the powers that be forgot to put the traditional distance markers (like 401 to center) on the outfield fences. For his service above and beyond, he left the game with several merchandise souvenirs – again no small prize since many shirts and caps were sold out. On a more serious note – the park and those who run it were not ready for prime time as there were many gaffes like the one above. The most serious was a post-game fatal accident on the sole road leading to and from the park. We attended the opening Braves spring game at Champions Field in ‘96 and it ran smooth as silk, but that was Disney who does things right. As for North Port, they have a year to get it right before the start of the ’20 spring training season.

Up Next: Pride of the Yankees, Chick Inn; Phil Bengtson     



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