Friday, February 23, 2018

Politicians are a sorry-ass lot

I for one took the anti NRA pledge Wednesday night. If you took money from the NRA, you will not get my vote.

St. Petersburg, Fl Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
 In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog

Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Independents it does not matter, politicians are not fit to run this Country, this State or any City or School board.
How many kids have to die at the hands of some senseless fool before these bastions of all things political realize we as a people we have left it up to them to do something.
Mealy mouthed, self-serving, self-absorbed, the only thing that gives them meaning is the little bit of “special” that being elected to some office provides.
I am far from a CNN fan, but Wednesdays CNN Town-Hall meeting was riveting television news at its very best.
Even Jake Tapper who is usually completely full of himself tried to stay out of the fray and let those who came to speak have the platform.
Check out this article in the New Yorker by Evan Onos CNN’s Town Hall on Guns and the Unmaking of Marco Rubio.
I have never been a fan of Marco Rubio; I never voted for him, and I never will. Wednesday’s Town Hall showed Rubio for the two faced chameleon he really is.
My disdain for Rubio goes all the way back to April of 2010, and my post Republicans Should Be Cautious and in July 2016 Rubio – Why would Florida send Rubio back to the US Senate?
When Cameron Kaskey one of the #NerverAgainmovement leaders asked Rubio, “Would you refuse to accept donations from the National Rifle Association in the future?”
I held my breath as here was the moment for Rubio to completely define himself. After an uncomfortable pause, Rubio slithered up to the NRA and said, “people buy into my agenda, and I do support the Second Amendment.” He added, “I will always accept the help of anyone who agrees with my agenda”
I was setting on the edge of the couch pounding on the footstool. My two dogs scurried from the room. The day before Florida House Republicans voted down House Bill 219, which would ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity  magazines.  See the Tampa Bay Times article by Elizabeth Koh and Steve Bousquet: Florida House rejects considering ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
I have never been more ashamed to be a Republican.
Read Evan Onos coverage.
If the young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, cannot count on a “younger Senator” from their state who can they count on? Certainly not the Republicans in the state legislature who just a few hours earlier voted down an assault weapons ban.
I do not think any of this will change anything, at least not now.
The Marco Rubios of politics, and there are a lot of them, will swill the NRA booze and lap up their money and little or nothing will get done.
But make no mistake. We are raising a generation of children who will quickly become voting-age adults who have seen what the barrel end of the gun looks like and what it can do.
It will take years for them to get educated and experienced enough to run for office, and by the time they do the body count of innocent victims created by the hands of Rubio his elected partners, and his cohorts at the NRA will be large enough to ensure there will be a change.
Let’s hope the upcoming mid-term elections will see the beginning of a change from NRA domination to common sense legislation.
I for one took the anti NRA pledge Wednesday night. If you took money from the NRA, you will not get my vote.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Baseball take two – It’s Tampa’s turn

The money is important but is the long-term support there?

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

The quest for money and support to build Tampa’s new baseball stadium has begun.
Obviously, money is needed to build the $700 to $800 million stadium, but equally important is a significant out pouring of support for from the business community.
The battle to build a baseball stadium in Tampa has gone on for over a generation.
Check out this article from the May 1985  Los Angeles Times: Battle Rages On for Baseball in Tampa, St. Pete.
Here are some quotes:
Former New York Yankees president Cedric Tallis, the executive director of the Tampa Bay Baseball Group, calls downtown St. Petersburg "not the best area, you might say."
"We do have to get our act together," says Cecil Englebert, chairman of the Pinellas Sports Authority. "We have been told by baseball that a bridge, stream or a lake does not separate a marketplace."

But Englebert shares the prevailing view of those working for a team here: this is such a good market, baseball cannot afford to turn its back simply because the two sides cannot agree on which side of Tampa Bay a team belongs.

March 1986 Los Angeles Times article by Bill Shirley Staff Writer: Tampa and St. Petersburg Are Ready for Baseball When the Sport Expands

Here are some quotes:
Tampa is ready to build a $60- to $70-million domed stadium with private funds, Tallis said, but it would be a multi-purpose facility. Nevertheless, Tallis is confident this area will get a franchise. "It is a question of time," he said. "We think we're No. 1."

Expansion talk has virtually stopped in St. Petersburg, too, said Hubert Mizell, sports editor of the St. Petersburg Times. "It has gone into limbo because of the lack of encouragement from baseball. People got tired of waiting

It is this support that gets major league baseball comfortable that the franchise can be a success.
Fast forward a decade to January 22, 1995 and an article from the Washington Post by Mark Maske: PHOENIX, TAMPA-ST. PETE LOOK LIKE LOCKS.
And then in 1998 The Rays played their first game at Tropicana Field. For a lot of Rays history check out this site: Today in 1998, the Rays played their first game in franchise history
Taking a look at a recent Tampa Bay Times article from February 2018 by Charlie Frago: On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community it does not look like a lot has changed other than the names and faces of the innocent and the guilty.
Back in the beginning, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig did not think this was a baseball market, and a big part of the reason was the very lack of support that the Tampa group is trying to muster up. Baseball is a sport and a business of records, facts and statistics and the statistics have proven Bud Selig right.
Will things be any different in Tampa? Hard to say, but a key to the answer to that question will be whether the current baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred looks over the Tampa effort and gives it his blessing or another curse as Selig did.
For now, Tampa and the local baseball elite are charging down a familiar road of trying to buttonhole the big-business players and not so big-business players in the Tampa and Hillsborough community into commitments that will make the move to Tampa look viable from a ticket sales perspective and underwrite the new stadium.
Careful as you commit fellows and gals. We have heard all these songs before.
I was on the team that built the dome. I was on standby to go to Los Angeles when the Giants deal fell through, and I have sat in our 43,000 seat stadium with 3000 other people to watch a game.
After all that money, and all that work, all those sleepless nights, all the worry; all the hope and all the prayers the words of Bud Selig still ring in my ears – “this is just not a major-league baseball market.”
Have things changed? I certainly hope so.
It’s Tampa’s turn to bet the farm; to jump through all the MLB hoops; to promise and commit; to get caught up in the moment.
If you build it will they come and keep coming?
There is only one way to find out.
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

St. Pete – noise or dollars which will it be?

Is Downtown St. Pete really fueled by draft beer and loud noise?

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
The City of St. Petersburg has been wrestling for years with the problem of noise. The arguments, mostly centered around the downtown area, have grown more strident as downtown St. Pete morphed from a simple “downtown” to a craft beer powered juke box.
The assault on any attempt to control or limit noise and the proposed St. Pete Noise ordinance is no exception see Fox News Dan Matics: Proposed noise rule frustrates St. Pete bar owners.

The argument from the bar and brewery owners is the loud music is what attracts the ever precious millennials through the door. Is that really true?

Do the millennials that these bar owners tout really like loud music?

Well, according to Bernadette Hasson writing for NightClub&BAR which bills itself as “The Bar Industry Authority” says, “In an anonymous survey, millennial's listed the following reasons for not going to nightclubs: cover charges, expensive drinks, long lines to get in, long waits for drinks, too-loud music, pretension, rude staff, crowds, getting jostled, meat-market atmosphere, inability to have a conversation."

With massive speakers pointed at the street, and the volume cranked up it is more like a circus midway than a city street. The objective is to get your attention, and nothing about setting a mood. 

Try having a conversation in one of these places.

Then there is the impact on the surrounding businesses and residents and that is what this noise ordinance is all about.

An area like downtown St. Pete is all about quality of live and brew pubs, and bars are just one small part of the quality of life. These businesses would have you think the entire downtown will fold without a mass impact of a loud bass.

Just not so.

There some indication that a little softer on the music just might be better for business.

For now, we need to watch the Kriseman administration and City Council as they balance the sanity of those who live down town, and in other areas of the City plagued by noisy night spots with the claims of those who deliberately make the noise.

The next public meeting on the noise ordinance is scheduled for:

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