Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sears ends era in South Pinellas County



The Sears retail store and Auto center at the Tyrone May is in the final stages of demolition.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin


As this store comes down Sears is left with only an Outlet/service center at 4600 Park Street North and a Clearance center in Pinellas Park at 5251 110th Ave.

The Tyrone Store was built in 1968 prior to the construction of the Tyrone Mall. Sears also had a large retail store on 9th Street in downtown St. Petersburg for decades.

I worked for Sears at the Tyrone location in sales and management. At the high point the Tyrone Store employed about 700 full and part-time people. I managed several retail divisions in the store and the Service Department at the Auto Center for a couple of years.

During those years, Sears was a great place to work. Outstanding benefits and a profit-sharing  program that pretty much paid for the house I live in today.

I studied for my MBA, and my daughter got her Bachelor's and MBA while I was working for the company.

Sears had great products: Kenmore Appliances, Craftsman Tools, Die hard Batteries, Road Handler Tires and Roebuck jeans you could not wear out. Warranties and service were the best in the retail business.

Sears had an outstanding employee-training program, and employees were encouraged to be entrepreneurs as they ran their divisions.

Hardly a day passed in my career after I left Sears that I did not use something I learned in those training sessions.

What Happened to Sears?

There are many theories. Some blame the sale of Sears to Sears Holdings, others say the company was stuck in an old retail model; some think top management just lost interest in the retail business and thought it would be easier to make money selling Allstate Insurance and investments than moving all of those goods around and trying to sell them.

All I know is the company was good to my family and me. I still get a smile when my retirement check from Sears shows up each month. It's more about the memories than the money.

Of my most fond memories is the guy who was head of custodial services at the Tyrone Store for a long time. He had been with Sears at the 9th street store and retired with somewhere over 40 years of service. Rumor was his profit-sharing  payout was close to a million dollars. I never found out for sure, but he always had a smile on his face when came in the store after he retired.

There are very few companies like that today. Companies where your memories are good, and you still remember customers, old friends and associates.

In the last few years, it seemed every time I walked through the Tyrone Store the memories came flooding back a little stronger.

I'll miss the old store. Those high concrete and marble walls, the soaring ceilings and most of all I miss the customers who used to rely on us for the products and services they could trust.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY
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Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rick Baker's first campaign fund raiser a big success.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

Rick Baker's first campaign fund Raiser a big success.

If you were watching carefully Tuesday night, you saw a look on Rick Baker's face you do not see very often.


Rick Baker's first fundraiser held at the Morean Arts Center was a big success.

See more detail in Mitch Perry's saintpetersblog post,  Rick Baker airing first TV ad,  and Charlie Frago, Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer, Baker fundraiser all about "Seamless City"

I was there along with several hundred supporters of the former Mayor, and the campaign donation table was busy.

The former Mayor spoke for a little over 20 minutes and put special emphasis on the need to work on the City's aging infrastructure.

Baker turned even more serious when he spoke about schools and public safety.

If you were watching carefully Tuesday night, you saw a look on Baker's face you do not see very often.

It only appears for flash, and reminds me of an eagle ready to strike. I have only seen it a few times, and it only happens in a conversation about something Rick Baker is passionate about.

Tuesday night it was there for just a brief second as the former Mayor leaned over the podium spoke about schools in St. Pete.

Baker poured is heart, soul, energy and great persuasive power into the City's effort to improve St. Pete Schools.

If anyone ever doubted the ability of a Mayor and a City to influence public schools, we now have the results of what happens when the City leader takes his hand off that throttle.

St. Pete ends up with five of the worst schools in Florida.

Here is one thing you can take to the bank. If Rick Baker is returned to the Mayor's office, every kid in public schools in St. Petersburg is going to benefit.

The reason is very simple. Nobody in their right mind wants to be on the wrong side of that look.

Baker handed out free copies of his book "Seamless City" and spent a good deal of time with the crowd autographing his book and answering questions.

You can see my Photo Gallery of the May 23 event at Rick Baker May 2017 Fund Raiser
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, be sure to Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY 
See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos
Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Where Ethics Is a Word with No Meaning

Tampa, Fl
Posted From: Tampa Bay Beat
Author: Jim Bleyer

Today Bay Post Internet begins adding selected comment from Jim Bleyer at Tampa Bay Beat.

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Where Ethics Is a Word with No Meaning By Jim Bleyer
In keeping with The Tampa Bay Times effort to make itself relevant in the digital age, the paper and its parent the Poynter Institute continue to conceal important facts from readers while attempting to control the local political narrative behind the scenes.
A poll, published Friday, May 19 in the Times digital edition regarding the 2019 Tampa mayoral election is the latest transgression in a long series of unethical “news” stories in Tampa Bay’s lone surviving daily. The breaching of journalistic standards by Times-Poynter has become so commonplace that we at Tampa Bay Beat have lost count of them.
A cratering bottom line in operations and waning political influence seem to have been the triggers for a corrupted editorial policy that has smothered any semblance of propriety over the past decade.  Big advertisers are always lauded, never questioned, in Times “news” pages. See Baker vs. Kriseman if you have any doubts. Or Jeffrey Vinik’s blurred “vision,” heavily subsidized with government funding.
But back to the poll:  It was commissioned by Barry Edwards, a “political consultant,” according to the Times’ manufactured news story.  But most readers don’t know Edwards is listed as a faculty member of the Poynter Institute and on the Poynter Foundation board.  Nowhere accompanying the faux polling article in the digital Times edition is that stated.
A disingenuous Edwards was quoted in the article as saying that  he commissioned the poll “just for his own knowledge.” Laughable.
The polling choices all have been projected as candidates except former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio who has shown no interest publicly in re-entering the political arena.
With 41 percent of the vote, Iorio led an eight-candidate field, poll results showed.  Oddly, there were no percentages given for the other candidates: City Council members Yoli Capin, Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez, public relations executive Bill Carlson, former police Chief Jane Castor, former state Rep. Ed Narain and developer Ed Turanchik.
Edwards said, “If she gets in, it’ll be Pamelot,” no doubt echoing the wet dream of the Poynter Institute and its foundation.  It appears Edwards also gets advice for his trite quotes from Times headline writers who failed to move the needle at The Improv’s Open Mic Night.
A second poll question, not on the minds of any voter, was also posed:   would you support a change in the city charter to allow Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who faces a term limit, to run for re-election?
Buckhorn and the Times are a mutual ballwashing society but the mayor has burned more bridges than Attila the Hun.  It will take more than the Times, discredited by most Hillsborough County residents, for the voters to change the city charter and allow an ill-tempered miscreant to run for a third term.
The story said that although “60 percent said the city was headed in the right direction, the charter change lost 50-42 percent.”
Obviously the poll was steered in favor of two Tampa personages that the Times knows it can control because it has done so in the past.  The honchos at Poynter crave a slam dunk; it’s possible some of the others will represent their constituents rather than a morally bankrupt media entity in the next county.
Thankfully, there is a major disconnect between Tampa Bay voters and the craven politicians they elect.  See Moving Hillsborough Forward, Greenlight Pinellas, and Go Hillsborough if you don’t believe that.  Those initiatives, all heavily promoted by the Times ad nauseum, were beaten handily by an engaged citizenry adept at utilizing social media.
Poynter’s deviousness knows no restraint. In an online publication called “Alive TampaBay,” a September, 2016 article quotes Edwards raving about the election victory of State Rep. Darryl Rouson.  The story identifies Edwards as a strategist for the Rouson campaign but an accompanying bio makes no mention of his link to Poynter.
And there’s no way a reader would know that Alive TampaBay is connected to Poynter. Greg Truax, publisher on the masthead,  is also listed as a Poynter faculty member.  He too sits on the board of the Poynter Foundation.
Various online business resources list Alive TampaBay as being formed in 2005 and located at 3012 West Villa Rosa Park, a couple of blocks from Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.  Truax is listed as the frontman.
Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Beat
This post is contributed by Tampa Bay Beat. The views and opinions expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Bay Post Internet or the publisher.

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