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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 19, 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.


Sweet Sage and beach consolidation


For some reason, incomprehensible to the average onlooker, the mighty city of North Redington Beach (population slightly less than 1500) has decided to make life miserable for the tiny, but mighty good Sweet Sage Restaurant. It pretty much smacks of harassment. Maybe some city official’s Twice Stuffed Eggs Benedict wasn’t to their liking, who knows? But the incident is just another among a thousand others that cries out for consolidation of some, if not all, beach communities south of Sand Key. The tax savings from getting rid of duplicated services is reason enough. The dismantling of 1500 person fiefdoms is another. It makes way too much sense but egos of the leaders of these fiefdoms will never allow it. Ridiculous.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. What a wonderful gesture by St. Cecelia School holding a special Mass and “homecoming” for their retired educators and administrators last week. If you went to school there or sent children to the school, you’ll enjoy the brief video on the school’s website.

2. Unsurprisingly, St. Pete’s city council dumped three more members of the city’s housing authority last week, but this drama is far from over.

3. Word on the street is that Tampa’s International Mall is going to add a bowling alley and a movie theater – two industries that have been in a decline for over a decade. Why not add a TV repair shop, bookstore and a five and dime while you’re at it?

4. Number of the week: 13 billion dollars. The combined losses of ride share companies Lyft and Uber since their founding. One wonders how long that can be sustained. More on that in the weeks to come.

5. Happy to report that, as promised, the 5:05 Newsletter has published its first “occasional edition”. Among the gems: New York News: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrated Amazon abandoning its plans for a New York headquarters that would have generated 25,000 jobs. Ocasio-Cortez said she is working to lure Barnes and Noble to New York to fill the void.



Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. One of the greatest basketball players in Clearwater High School history passed away last week. Dick Danford went on to star at FSU and have a successful career as a high school and college coach. Dick was 73.

7. While CHS alumni suffered a big loss, the entertainment world lost two greats – the perpetual girl next door, Doris Day and one of television’s greatest comics Tim Conway. Miss Day was 97, Tim Conway 85.

8. This week, the Cleveland Indians come to town to play the Rays. If you go to the game, be prepared to spend a little extra time. Indians centerfielder Leonys Martin is a human rain delay in mold of former Indian Mike Hargrove. We thought MLB had instituted rules to avoid time-wasting rituals like Martin’s.

9. We were too quick on the trigger reporting on the return of the Yanks’ Miguel Andujar (TBRR 5/12/19). The third baseman, who was arguably the best rookie of 2018, is now out for the season, yet the Yanks continue to play over .600 ball.

10. Our countdown of the greatest players to wear each number (back story TBRR 3/10/19) reaches 10. Old timers Lloyd Waner, Lefty Grove and Phil Rizzuto wore that number. Grove was great, but one of the three greatest switch hitters in the history of the game (along with Eddie Murray and Mickey Mantle) wore that number. Larry “Chipper” Jones was the face of the Braves franchise during their incredible 14-year streak of division championships and gets the nod as the greatest #10 in MLB history.


NASCAR’s venerable Charlotte Motor Speedway     


It’s not the oldest speedway on the NASCAR circuit, that distinction belongs to Darlington; nor the largest, that would be Talladega, but Charlotte Motor Speedway is arguably the most storied speedway in stock car racing. This coming weekend, it will host the 60th World 600 – the longest race on the circuit. The track was the dream of promoter Bruton Smith and Hall of Fame stock car driver Curtis Turner. The beginnings of the track are like a soap opera featuring the preceding two and the imperious Bill France. The book Full Throttle by Robert Edelstein gives the best look at the track’s early history. Charlotte has seen drivers like Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart participate in the Indy 500 earlier in the day and then fly to Charlotte for the 600. Only Stewart has completed both races in one day – finishing 6th at Indy and 3rd at Charlotte in 2001.

NEXT UP: Say goodbye to 40 shows, The 5th Dimension; Rutlands



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