Friday, November 17, 2017

Kriseman VS Baker an Epilog

Ignored by both campaigns were the Hispanic voters and the growing Asian population.

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


Most of the post mortems on this race are in, and I think they all have it about right.

Here are two that capture the essence of the race.

Tampa Bay Times Adam C. Smith: 8 takeaways from the St. Pete mayor’s race


Florida Politics, Peter Schorsch, Would five words have save Rick Baker’s campaign?

I would only add a few of things.

I have known and worked for Rick Baker for a long time. You can go to my Blog Bay Post Internet put Rick Baker in the search box and see a number of posts.

What struck me most from the beginning was Rick Baker did not seem to be as excited about this race as two previous ones. He said all the right words, even worked up some emotion, but it seemed to me the real fire was just not there.

To capture it in a sentence it felt like it was more about getting Kriseman out of the Mayor’s office than Baker getting the job.

Second, I think the Baker campaign was strategically misfocused. Baker’s campaign put high emphasis in South St. Pete, I guess the assumption was the rest of the City’s Republicans would just come along. There were almost no rallies in West St. Pete and same for the Northeast.

When I spoke with the Baker campaign about this the response was “We don’t see a problem.” Perhaps they do now.

Also ignored by both campaigns were the Hispanic voters and the growing Asian population. Both of these groups have a strong entrepreneurial focus, and many are small-business owners in St. Petersburg. They have an interest in their communities, neighborhoods and schools.

Hispanics represent about 6.7% of the St. Petersburg population, and Asians represent about 3.3% of the population. A strong multi lingual message to both groups along with a voter-registration effort might just have turned the election.

Then, there is the issue of money. Every mailer, ad, phone call was an impassioned plea for donations even as the media reported massive amounts of money flowing into both campaigns from the outside.

I think the constant bleating for donations was major turn off too many voters and especially the millennials that may be registered voters but might not have the money to make a donation.

If they did not donate or vote, everyone lost.

Finally, there is the issue of Trump. A lot of people, especially Republicans, would like to hang this totally around Trump’s neck.

No doubt there is a cause and effect from the Trump Presidency, but I think there may be a bigger issue with the Republican Party and the elected Republicans in the US House and Senate that spend more time fighting with Trump in the media, and in Congress than they do working to solve the problems they so easily define.

We will know the answer to that issue in the 2018 midterms. I am not betting any money on Republican incumbents.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ferry Flounders Kriseman promises return

Water transportation in the Bay area will remain more of curiosity than a serious transportation option for the foreseeable future.


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


The Cross Bay Ferry will not be returning to the waters of Tampa Bay this season. See the details in a Tampa Bay Times article by Caitlin Johnston The Cross Bay Ferry won’t come back this fall. What about 2018?

The group promoting the ferry could not shore up the funding for the upcoming 2017 season. The notable holdout was the City of Tampa.

It seems Mayor Buckhorn did not share Mayor Kriseman’s fascination with the ferry and felt it should be funded by private dollars. That was enough to sink the project for this year.

The Johnston article points a number of other concerns, including the ongoing construction at the new St. Pete Pier, which may have forced a different docking location for the ferry.

While the Cross Bay Ferry had good weekend and evening, occupancy rates the daily ridership remained weak. It turns out the ferry was more of a pleasure ride service than a commuter service.

Buckhorn is right. If it turns out the Cross Bay Ferry is a tourist attraction, then it would be better funded by private dollars.

St. Petersburg has applied for a one-time grant from The Florida Department of Transportation for the 2018-2019 season and has been awarded just over $400,000 to help pay for the proposed season. That should help ease the burden on everyone involved.

Water transportation in the Bay area will remain more of curiosity than a serious transportation option for the foreseeable future.

Public funds like the FDOT $400,000 grant would be much better directed at transportation options that are more than pleasure boat rides. There is a lot of effort going on in the Tampa Bay area from driverless cars to self-driving buses.

This is a classic example of why public transportation is so disorganized in the Tampa Bay region. Every fiefdom has its own idea and charges off to get it funded.

All these pet transportation projects do is muddy the water and slow down serious progress.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.


See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Puppy Stores – there should be a law

Sometimes when he sits and looks at me, I still have to choke back tears.

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


Max is my now 10-year-old toy poodle. If you have followed this Blog for a while, you have read about Max’s struggles in life.

Max was a puppy store puppy purchased from All about Puppies in Largo. He was born May 25, 2007, and came home with me on October 6, 2007.

After a couple of visits to my Vet, he indicated Max had what appeared to be some physical genetic defects, nothing serious and even a serious canine observer would have had a hard time detecting them. Max seemed fine and adjusted with no issues.

About age five, very early for a poodle, Max’s eyes started to cloud, and you can read about our journey together in these Posts.


Following these posts in 2016, a routine visit to Blue Pearl revealed the retina in his worst eye had begun detaching, we decided to wait a bit and in a follow up the retina had seriously detached. It was too late to save the eye, and he lost his vision in the left eye.

A slight detachment of the retina in the right eye had begun. The folks at Blue Pearl referred me to Animal Eye Care Specialty Clinic in Deerfield Beach and Dr.Susan Carasto who specializes in canine retinal surgery.

Since we had a home in Delray Beach just up the road from Deerfield, the logistics were easy, and Max came through the surgery in flying colors.

These folks are nothing short of true miracle workers.

It is approaching two years, and Max is still a happy-go-lucky character enjoying life.

What prompted this Post is a story in the Tampa Bay Times by Sara :Largo woman: My dog almost died even though Petland said it was healthy

There were two poodles in the cage that day, brothers they told me. I almost bought both, but since I already had a dog at home I just picked the more active one.

I often wonder what happened to Max’s brother.

Theresa and I are thankful and fortunate enough to have the resources to deal with problems like these; they are costly. In many case's dogs like Max are put down or just discarded.

Sometimes when he sits and looks at me, I still have to choke back tears. He is my best friend.

Franchised puppy stores support the puppy mill business, and the product should always be suspect.

Never believe the claims or the certificates or the warrantees.

Don’t know a breeder? Check with a local veterinarian or adopt.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

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