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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



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.



Dunbar’s exit should mark a new era for city parks



First, Mr. Horne what took you so long? The shenanigans in Clearwater’s Parks and Recreation Department should have spelled the end for director Kevin Dunbar a year ago or more. All the financial sleight of hand is just part of the parks department’s shortcomings. An equally disturbing trend has been how the parks have become for sale to the highest bidder rather than a place where kids and adults can swat a softball, shoot some hoops or play a game of volleyball. Instead so many of the city’s parks, which we pay for, have fences around them. That is just a sad state of affairs. We hope, no, we should demand that parks again become the property of the people rather than rental spaces for only those who can pony up dollars to unlock the fences.  



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Don’t bet the farm on St. Pete’s decision to nix the split season between Tampa Bay and Montreal for the Rays as the last word. These things have a way of changing, but it’s still a lousy idea.

2. There is probably no excuse for the recent vandalism on Clearwater’s Island Estates aimed at some HOA functionaries. But if there were an excuse, it would be retaliation against condo Nazis, who when given the first taste of power in their pathetic lives, go nuts to the detriment to those who live under their regime.


3. During a large recent human trafficking bust in Hillsborough County, Sheriff Chad Chronister referred to the bay area being known as the strip club capital of the United States. Now, doesn’t that make you proud?


4. Statistic of the week – one out of every 11 single-family homes being sold in Pinellas County is being bought up by real estate trusts or funds. This pretty much parallels the national average – significantly reducing the amount of homes for sale.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater, or anywhere else, for a while if you ever owned a Chevy Camaro (our first new car was its cousin – the Pontiac Firebird). Now reports are indicating the GM pony car will go out of production in 2023 leaving only the Ford Mustang in that category.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Quote of the week (actually from the 11/17 TBRR): Charlie Strong will be on the sideline at USF (in 2020). Again, our predictions are shifting sand solid. The later thought was valid – the first not so.

7. Related note, with the same caveat as above – we’d guess that the name of the next USF coach will elicit the response from fans - “Who”? More on USF below.

8. One coaching move we did have right (TBRR 1/6/19) was Carolina dumping Ron Rivera. And our next prediction concerning Rivera is that he will pop up somewhere else. Guys who take their team to the Super Bowl usually get a second gig somewhere.

9. The Rays trade of the very effective Tommy Pham is not all that hard to understand as he was slated to make about $8 million this season. Just the same, it seems you could have gotten someone better than Hunter Renfroe who hit .216 last year. By the way, nice rant Blake.

10. Another restaurant in our 2017 weekly list of good dining spots has ended its run. Post Corner on Clearwater Beach is being sold off for yet another tower to scar the landscape. Thank goodness for Capogna’s!

USF football: what’s ahead?


Charlie Strong is gone and Nick or Dabo or Jim (as in Leavitt) aren’t coming. There’s no on-campus stadium in the future – nor should there be as there are more pressing issues. USF’s athletic director Michael Kelly, like his predecessors, just doesn’t seem to get it. There is little football heritage at USF. About half of the university’s graduates did not experience football during their education at USF- unlike Florida, FSU and Miami. Even UCF, a relatively new school to football, has a huge base due to their enormous size – they are the biggest Division I school in the country. In the foreseeable future, USF is going to be a middling football program and will draw middling head coaches. As for the reported possible reunion of Willie Taggart and USF, those reunions never seem to work out (we’ll see about Greg Schiano and Rutgers). Plus Willie already has four baggage tags on his luggage (three in the last four years) and once his kid stops playing, or sooner, the wanderlust will probably kick in again. Better to choose someone who elicits a “Who?” who might be around for a few years. It’s not an easy task facing Michael Kelly.

NEXT UP: Oranges; Crackdown on texting; Taking care of our military 



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