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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.



Two good men; can only pick one – Hibbard’s our choice


The vote by mail ballots for the Clearwater city election will be in your mailbox soon. Chances are good the election will be decided before Election Day. And yes, we know there are four candidates running for mayor, but there are only two with a legitimate chance of winning – long time city council member Bill Jonson and two-term mayor Frank Hibbard. Frankly, Clearwater would be blessed with either candidate. The two men present differing profiles – Jonson is extremely analytical and that has served the city well during his time in office – better translated, he has saved you and me a lot of tax dollars during his tenure. Hibbard is not what we would call a free spender with tax dollars; he just has more of a big picture approach to governing. That is an approach we feel Clearwater will need as it moves ahead during the next four challenging years – not to mention the fact that he governed ably from the center seat during his two previous terms. Hoping that he will revisit his stance on 4000 seats on the bayfront, Frank Hibbard will get our vote on March 17. (In the next two weeks, we’ll review the two city council seats up for election).



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. In the upcoming session, Florida legislators will address a bill that would provide for a state-wide referendum to limit terms for school board members to two four year terms – a proposal that seems to make a lot of sense. We’ll have more on this in the weeks ahead.

2. In a related note, the Hillsborough County School Board made what appears to be an excellent hire in Addison Davis as their new superintendent. Now, if they will just stay out of the way and let him do his job.


3.The Tampa Bay market has not been kind to specialty grocery stores - the latest evidence being Lucky Stores pull out leaving the former Albertson’s site at Gulf to Bay and Belcher in Clearwater looking for a new tenant.

4. Hooray for the airline regulators who are putting a stop to the ridiculousness on airliners regarding bogus “support animals”. Now how about the supermarkets and other retail establishments?

5. Idle thought: it’s been almost a year since the 5:05 Newsletter ceased publication. We really miss it, Joe.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. We have absolutely no argument with the inclusion of Derek Jeter and Larry Walker in the Hall of Fame. Our very unofficial ballot also included another Rockie, Todd Helton along with baseball’s best left handed reliever Billy Wagner. Our other two selectees were post season stud Curt Shilling and the man who arguably is the second best fielding shortstop to Ozzie Smith, but was also a better hitter - Omar Vizquel.

7. No surprise that the Mets were the first of the three “managerless” teams to strike a deal since they had internal candidates not tainted by the sign stealing scandal. But they could have done a lot better.

8. Our predictor par excellence Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED) says put your money on the 49ers on the 2nd.

9. There are a few naysayers, but we absolutely believe that retired Giants QB Eli Manning will join his brother in Canton.

10. Topping the charts this week in 1962 was The Peppermint Twist by Joey Dee and the Starliters. Joey Dee, a native of New Jersey, has for the past several years, called Clearwater home. More music stuff directly below:



Remembering: The Star Spectaculars


(Editor’s note: During 2020 on the last issue of each month, we will be looking back on people, events or things that shaped our memories of the bay area. We welcome your input.)


In the 1960s, the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with WLCY radio would bring big name acts to the Clearwater Auditorium on Clearwater’s bayfront. To the young teens who flocked to the relatively inexpensive dances, it seemed incredible that acts like Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, Mitch Ryder, Del Shannon and others would come to the relatively small (population at that time of about 35,000) city of Clearwater. Little did they know that the next night the same act would be in Orlando followed by perhaps Jacksonville the following evening as part of a cavalcade throughout the Southeast. It was a win-win for the city and the area’s biggest rock and roll station with WLCY heavily promoting the event and then having their disk jockeys host the dance gaining good karma for “Fun Radio” as it was known.

UP NEXT: Committees and taxis; Yeah, yeah, yeah; CHS



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