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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MARCH 29, 2020


A weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.



The virus: Our Roses and Onions:



We will couch our comments on the virus to this point in the form of Roses and Onions. Roses to Governor Ron DeSantis and his team for the handling of the pandemic to this point. We are in uncharted territory – there’s no playbook and the governor has done well. Roses to the members of the Pinellas County Commission, particularly the few who have actually had to make a payroll in their lives, for guiding their fellow members away from a ruinous “shut down everything” ordinance. Onions to St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman for trying to impose his city’s (or his) will upon our entire county. Onions to Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor for the same, plus her unwarranted criticism of the federal government’s handling of the crises – specifically her snarky “This is the highest level of unpreparedness from the federal government that I have ever seen in any type of an emergency.” This from an ex-cop who has been in office what six months? More Onions to dopes who keep hoarding things like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. But Roses to merchants who are telling those hoarders “Enjoy your one gross of toilet paper, but don’t expect to return it for credit after the crisis is over.” More Roses to our nation’s Department of Justice cracking down on hoarders and gougers. Further Roses to folks who have suggested that policy makers who are hell-bent on suggesting safety practicing businesses shut down and rob folks of a paycheck forfeit their own paychecks first.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Watching our Pinellas County Commission attempt to deal with a Safer at Home resolution revealed some very strong commissioners, particularly David Eggers and Karen Seel and a few who, frankly, are an embarrassment. You owe to yourself to watch/attend when possible your particular jurisdiction’s public meetings rather than just blindly voting for a name every November.

2. Some news that has somehow remained buried. Life in China, after about two months of quarantines, is returning to normal with schools scheduled to reopen the first of April, no more face masks and even gyms reopening.

3. Another sign of the times is going to be longer hair as shop after shop closes. We were able to watch our publicity seeking sheriff on TV personally attaching one of his flyers to the shop we frequent.

4. Should Clearwater’s city elections become partisan? You could argue they already have with clumsy attempts by both political parties to influence the last two elections plus undue influence guised as news coverage by our left-leaning area newspaper.

5. You’ve lived in the Bay Area a long time if you remember that conservative talk show host Glenn Beck launched the political opinion phase of his career twenty years ago this year at WFLA Radio. Prior to that, he had been a successful morning DJ in several major markets.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. From the brilliant and sometimes quirky mind of our friend and wellness guru, Dr. Don Ardell, a motto for the pandemic – “Cave and Roam Alone.” Indeed, a few miles of solitude on a trail or bike path can do wonders for pandemic-induced stress.

7. The more you got to know former Clearwater Police Chief Sid Klein, the more you appreciated him. Sid passed away last week at age 78. And the entertainment industry also lost an icon – Kenny Rogers who began singing counter-culture songs and transitioned into one of America’s most successful country-pop singers. The “Gambler” was 81.

8. Thanks to the AAA Living Magazine for their short feature in their March/April issue on one of our favorite places on earth - Alachua’s Retirement Home for Horses. You’ll find it on Page 14.

9. A shout out to MLB.com for making available all 2018 and 2019 games for starving fans. We are personally through game number seven of our favorite team’s 2019 season.

10. And on a less happy note, last Thursday would have been Opening Day.



Remembering: The Clearwater Bombers


(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.)


It was just about this time of year that the Phillies headed north for the summer and Jack Russell Stadium was converted for softball play. If you wanted to find anybody on a Friday or Saturday night, they were probably at the Clearwater Bomber game. The Bombers, for a quarter century, were the best in the game winning their first national championship in 1950 and their tenth and last in 1973. Pitching was always their strong suit with left hander John Hunter and righty Weldon Haney both winning three MVPs at the national event. There were also names like Herb Dudley and Eddie King, the winningest Bomber pitcher, who formed the nucleus of the staff over the years. These four men along with 17 other Bombers are in the Men’s Fast Pitch Hall of Fame – the most of any team in history. The Bombers’ ten world championships is another mark untouched in the history of men’s softball. The Bombers and their success put Clearwater on the map in the mid-1900s.

Next Up: Bill and Bob; Mail it in; Beginning of the end for "FBN"? 





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