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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves




TBR&R is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.


Ya gotta have friends (Thanks to Bette Midler)


This week’s day of issue for TBR&R (8/2/2020) is National Friends Day - a day to celebrate the guy who knocked on the door of your new home to ask if he could borrow your ladder; the kid you met on the Little League field over sixty years ago; the couple who taught Sunday School in the room next to yours; the great guy who shared a part-time retirement job; the neat couple who wouldn’t see you socially until their daughter graduated from your wife’s school to avoid any conflict of interest; a couple of friends you didn’t know all that well in high school but became good friends later in life; the nice couple who, by luck of the draw, became your baseball season seatmates; the wonderful couple who came to be your daughter’s in-laws and finally, the gal who said “hi” in the hallway of St. Pete Junior College who became your very best friend. Different circumstances have brought us into each other’s circle of friendship. This week, contact them (particularly those you haven’t chatted with in a while) and tell them how much their friendship means.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Grade of the week – “A” to Attorney General William Barr who maintained a calm demeanor while deflecting politicized charges of a Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee last week.

2. Imagine what fun that noted trustbuster Teddy Roosevelt would have had with today’s tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google who are now in the gunsights of Congress.

3. Further reinforcing the truism that a liberal is someone who has not yet been mugged, this report from Oakland’s Channel 7 – an ABC affiliate - Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf voted against further police budget cuts Tuesday after vandals defaced her home earlier the same day.

4. Hey Barack, it was supposed to be a eulogy, not some attack speech. Way to keep it classy.

5. Good for the Hillsborough Charter Review Committee. They rejected a proposal for a nine member County Commission. Hillsborough’s seven member board is dysfunctional enough. In fact, five would be even better. That seems to work for the majority of bay area communities.



Sports, media and other stuff:


6. The Rays, Oakland As and Atlanta Braves were the beneficiaries of the first three T–Ball League rule games that place a runner on second in extra innings. Curiously, all the teams scored more than one run in the 10th inning using this “novel” approach.

7. Speaking of the Rays, one observer of the team noted that during the Corona Virus protocols, the stands at the Trop look pretty much the same – empty. But there’s good news – despite being in a grouping with 3 or 4 of the best teams in baseball, the Rays have a decent chance of being one of the 16 playoff teams if the season does play out – something that is very problematic right now.

8. From the nearly world famous Gassman Law Firm marquee on Court Street, Corona Virus 19 - Florida 0.

9. The entertainment industry lost two giants last week – 104-year-old Olivia de Havilland, who along with her sister Joan Fontaine, were the only siblings ever to win an Academy Award. Miss de Havilland actually won the Academy Award twice, but neither time for her most famous role as Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind. Ubiquitous was an apt description for Regis Philbin. No one graced the television screen for more hours than Regis. Those of us, a bit long in the tooth, remember him as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on late night TV. Then there was Who Wants to be a Millionaire; Regis and Kathie and later Kelly. The man was everywhere! Philbin was 88.  

10. Five years ago in TBR&R (8/2/15) : In a touching final tribute, about 50 family and long-time marina friends said goodbye to David Rulison, the “Can Man”, (see TBR&R 7/12/15) as his ashes were scattered over the Gulf of Mexico from the Double Eagle III last Wednesday evening. The marina and the environment have lost a good friend.


The conundrum that is the Tax Collector’s office


This could be one of our “you’ve lived in Pinellas County a long time” features. That is if you remember when O. Sanford Jasper was our Tax Collector – a position he held for 32 years. Mr. Jasper was the personification of a public servant – honest to a fault, hardworking and the captain of a tight ship. Since then, the office has been occupied by a string of politicians to the detriment of Pinellas County. The latest palace intrigue has the last two office holders/politicians coming out for the incumbent Charles Thomas’ opponent – Joyell Bobala even though the two conspirators encouraged Thomas to run for the office four years ago. Oh, there is a Democratic candidate for the office – Joe Saportas – who has governmental experience, but not in the area of tax collection, but perhaps he could become the next O. Sanford Jasper which Pinellas County badly needs.

UP NEXT: The War Ends; Saint Damien & Ms. Cortez




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