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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.


Bud Elias for Clearwater Council Seat 3


Again, we lament the fact that Clearwater has too many qualified candidates and not enough council seats to go around. Too many times in the recent past, the city was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find candidates. The Council 3 seat features two good candidates and one who is just plain scary with some of their radical proposals. The incumbent Bob Cundiff has brought some fiscal soundness to the board – often being the lone voice against some questionable spending. In most years, his bid for a second term would be a walkover. But Bud Elias brings a set of credentials seldom seen in first time candidates. With years and years of Clearwater residency and public service, he knows the city’s neighborhoods, its problems and its many assets. We only wish he had chosen to run for the open seat on the council as he and Cundiff would present a strong duo. But playing the hand the voters are dealt, Elias presents a stronger option for Seat 3. We feel he, former Mayor Frank Hibbard, Bruce Rector and holdovers Hoyt Hamilton and David Allbritton will give Clearwater a strong council moving forward.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Only the Democratic Party could run a calamity like the Iowa caucus. We fully expect a winner to be announced before the 2020 presidential election. No truth to the rumor the Democrats have brought in former Broward County elections chief Brenda Snipes to sort things out.

2. Publicly tearing up the President of the United States’ state of the union speech. Way to keep it classy, Nancy. What an embarrassment.

3. It’s beginning to look like the asset/debit balance sheet on Gasparilla is leaning more and more to the debit side. Fun is fun, but when drunks beat up kids and generally endanger the public, it’s probably time to rein in things more than a little.

4. A rainy day or two, but overall good weather for the Florida State Fair that runs through Monday the 17th.

5. Idle thought: Best reason not to retire early – day time TV.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. If you’re a football fan, you have to be happy for Andy Reid, one of the sport’s truly nice people who grabbed pro football’s ultimate prize in Super Bowl 54.

7. Different segments of the entertainment world suffered losses last week. Prolific (and our Saintly Wife’s favorite) author Mary Higgins Clark passed away at age 92. She authored over 50 best-selling novels. The Kingston Trio recorded five #1 selling albums as well as 17 charted singles in the late 50s and the 60s – the heyday of folk music. Their last surviving member, Bob Shane, died last week at age 85. And actor and producer Kirk Douglas who had a decades-long career died at age 103.

8. Since MLB chieftain Rob Manfred seems to think it should be no problem for players to maintain households in two cities 1500 miles part, we suggest that the MLB office split its year between New York and Oklahoma City – approximately the same distance apart as Tampa and Montreal.

9. Hello, is anybody home in the Rays’ front office? The hometown team loses another top executive with James Click taking over as GM of the troubled Houston franchise.

10. As pitchers and catchers get ready to roll into town, the answer is the Cleveland Indians. The question: what was the last team to train in Clearwater before the Phils arrived in 1947?


A fitting tribute to Freddie Dyles


Last week, Gibbs High School did something that should have been done about two decades ago -paying a fitting tribute to the greatest high school basketball coach in Pinellas County history – Freddie Dyles by naming their gym after the coaching icon. Awesome is an often overused word, but not when describing Dyles’ Gibbs High Gladiators of the 60s, 70s and 80s. He won three state championships with teams that played a fast tempo game – ShowTime before there was a ShowTime. We witnessed firsthand his team’s rivalry with the other top basketball program at that time – Clearwater High with those games often being moved out of the respective school’s home gyms to a neutral site that could hold the huge crowds the games drew – including a 7000 person crowd at the old Bayfront Center. We had the privilege of broadcasting some of those games and watching two coaching legends Dyles and Clearwater’s Jack Wilson match wits. It’s hard to understand why it took so long for this honor for Dyles who passed away in 1999. He was simply the best.

Next Up: A trip every "pro-choice" advocate should have to take;Sea-Orama



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