Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tampa Bay’s news media missed another one

St. Petersburg FlOpinion
By author: Robert Neff

On May 16, 2016, St. Petersburg City Council passed the new noise ordinance. Last week, Mayor Kriseman signed the ordinance into effect. The new noise ordinance is expected to be posted to the City’s Municode in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the City has been silent. The City has provided no publicity or community outreach. There has been no word from the media.

Mayor Kriseman and City Council have just given bars and restaurants the right to blast music into your home and you probably can’t stop it, because:
  • Mayor Kriseman won’t tell us why he asked the Police Chief to enforce the noise ordinance for two weeks because there is a revised noise issue and this would make the public feel like the City was engaged. See email below.
  • City Council Member Kornell refuses to respond to a constituent about why City Council Member Kornell worked with Flamingo Owner and Skyway Marina Board President Jack Dougherty, and Community Service Officer Kelly to develop a strategy to deal with a resident who complained about the noise. I am that constituent and resident. See email below.
  • City refused to include a medical expert to examine the negative impact noise has on adult and children’s health.
  • For years, the City had conducted no data analysis to understand the noise issue. Even when presented the noise analysis, they conducted their own heat map to show where the noise issues were, but stopped there. The City does not understand the issue is City wide, and which apartments, condominiums, residences, and bars and restaurants have repeat calls.
  • City failed to address why the Police are not enforcing or selectively enforcing the noise ordinance. While the City can dedicate patrols to target and cite vehicles with loud stereos, the City has not provided dedicated patrols to address bar with high repeat noise calls. This is even when Mayor Kriseman in his April 11, 2017 email to Chief Holloway, tells Holloway the bars with greatest number of complaints are Tryst, Caddy's, the Landing at Janis, and the Flamingo (Resort) on 34th Street. Makes you wonder who is running the show?  

Mayor Kriseman lacks transparency

When sewage was being dumped into Tampa Bay and the City hides this from residents, the media jumped on this. But when Mayor Kriseman and City council are not transparent on the noise issue, the media is silent. 

What is the Impact of Noise Pollution?

For Adults and children, noise can lead to anxiety, heart issues, hypertension, and loss of sleep. It can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, a constant ringing noise in the ears, and hyperacusis, an intolerance of loud noises. 
Is it right that a bar is playing its music and I can hear it plainly in my residence? It 's right in St. Petersburg!

Why is the Media silent?

The media is not investigating the noise issue! They are only publishing sensational articles to support the downtown bars. The noise issue outside downtown has been ignored. The Tampa Bay Times and news media are notably absent. The media feeds the City's myth that the noise issue is a downtown issue, when it is a city wide issue.

Why are the City, Tampa Bay Times and the news media so silent when the data presents a different story?

Email: April 11, 2017 between Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway. 

Email: May 30, 2014. Flamingo Resort's Jack Dougherty to City Council Member Steve Kornell

The opinions here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bay Post Internet or the Blog Publishers where it appears.
Please Comment Below 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Trade War – It’s Time to Sign Up

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

If you are like most people, you have probably been following the developments in the Trump administration, and the Chinese trade war. What with the roller coaster the equity markets are on and the constant yammering from the news media about how bad things are going to get if the President keeps raising tariffs you may find yourself in quite a quandary.
So, the question is what can you do? Here are a few suggestions.
First, stop paying so much attention to all of media wonks who want to hang this all on Trump. Think about this, Trump is the first president to get the Chinese back on their heels even a little bit.
Second, don’t get too disturbed when companies like Niki and Addis start crying loudly about how much more you will be paying for shoes. These are the companies that have been building products with low cost child labor often in deplorable conditions for decades exploiting the marketplace. It's my guess that the tariffs don’t need to impact the retail cost of their products if they took just a little less profit, and the same can be said for other manufacturers and retailers.
Finally, you can adjust your shopping habits a bit and when you pick up something that says, “Made in China” just put it back on the shelf and look for a substitute. While the tariffs may rile the Chinese government, nothing will get their attention more than Chinese goods piling up on the docks unsold.
Also be very attuned to sudden increases in prices for all goods as retailers are more than willing to raise prices and profits and blame some else for the increase. If a price goes through the roof, I would suggest you look elsewhere.
It may sound a bit pollyannish but believe it or not your participation in what amounts to a boycott of Chinese products could be part of a real game changer.
E-mail Doc at mail to: 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.  

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Wheels Come Off Hillsborough Transit Planning

Tampa, Fl
Tampa Bay Beat
By: Jim Bleyer

Imagine a Champs Elysees-type corridor with light rail in the center as a hurricane evacuation route

 By Dr. Jim Davison
Hillsborough County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization has concocted an impractical transit scheme that involves tearing down 10 miles of Interstate-275 in favor of a boulevard concept, a plan ranked last by a survey of Tampa Bay citizens.
The unfathomable concept attempts to shoehorn a cumbersome light rail system onto an already congested area of Tampa and replace a roadway that is part of the U.S. interstate highway system.
The City of Tampa-centric proposal also defies the MPO’s own pronouncement that I-275, along with Interstate-4 and Interstate-75, is the most important transportation infrastructure to be protected from storm vulnerability. It is a major hurricane evacuation route for Tampa and Pinellas counties.
The concept envisions a grand corridor, a la the Champs-Elysees, with six to eight lanes of traffic, a two-way light trail system in the middle, and elaborate landscaping with sidewalks on the edges.
A light rail system would not only be useless in a hurricane but an impediment to evacuation as well.
At the MPO’s last board meeting it voted unanimously to finance a study of this grand corridor beginning immediately north of Tampa at the intersection of I-4.  The county MPO asserted the study was requested by the citizens, but it was its own advisory committee that made the request.  Most committee members oppose any improvement to I-275 and have actively campaigned against any plan from the Florida Department of Transportation.
The interstate teardown was included as one of three scenarios in the MPO’s long range transportation planning.  It was chosen last by public responses and was soundly rejected in a three-county survey and for good reason.
In addition to being a vital evacuation route, I-275  is the major regional economic engine in Tampa Bay.  The highway is expected to carry in excess of 250,000 cars per day in 2045 with more than half the vehicles entering from the northern most interchange in Hillsborough County and from Pasco County.  Those surveyed in Pasco and Pinellas ranked the boulevard as very low, as did Hillsborough residents outside of Tampa.
Despite this, the county commissioners and Tampa city officials said they did not believe the scenario ranking numbers. FDOT Secretary David Gwynn has attempted to explain the difficulties such a plan would entail and its costs, but it fell on deaf ears. This is an idea strictly engineered by the City of Tampa that adversely effects the entire region.
Driving this train are a small group of politicians, some of whom reside in the area but don’t believe the facts and a small group of citizens living in the area without any facts. They are attempting to slow or stop the improvements to this stretch of I-275.
Improvements to I-275 planned by FDOT will markedly decrease congestion, increase safety, decrease injuries and fatalities, and increase the area’s economic performance over the 25-year life of the road. The MPO has already planned a “road to nowhere” (East-West Road), but is now encouraging a small group of citizens, at the risk and expense of the entire region, to clamor for an idea that is foolhardy at best and lethal at worst.  
 Dr. Jim Davison is a conservative activist and noted expert on transit and tax matters.
 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.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Subpoenoacrats – will the Democratic establishment ever grow up?

Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD 

Author: In Search of RobinSo You Want to Blog.

I have watched with both humor and growing concern as the US House of Representatives now controlled by the Democrats wrenches in a headlong convulsive rush to get Trump at all costs.

The problem is there is a real price to be paid if this obsession of investigations and subpoenas continues.
In order for a democracy to go forward there are certain things that must be accomplished regularly.  For now, the Democrats and their committees have turned the People’s House into a carnival as their leader’s lurch and gasp for air in a constant tirade against the Trump administration.
Point is Trump really doesn’t care, and Republicans are enjoying to some degree watching the Democrats make absolute fools of themselves at every turn.
Their obsession with the thought that another four years of Trump could lead to an all-out collapse of democracy as, we know it is more than a little hypocritical as their growing number of presidential candidate's race to the left and socialism.
Nothing kills off a democracy faster than socialism. So maybe what the Democrats need to do is spend a little more time listening to their own rhetoric.
If the Democrats main focus was to take back the White house, you would think they would be working toward major pieces of legislation that would actually help the American people. Instead, House and Senate Leaders are more taken by the side show and the drama and the prospect of appearing on CNN than they are by the real prospect of governing.
I have heard two viable comparisons, the first from a couple of well-versed commentators on NPR, Brooks and Shields, where they indicated their view is the Democratic leadership is playing right into Trump’s hand for the general election. This is his kind of battle, and he loves it.
The other was on one of the Sunday morning news shows when a panelist made the comment that Trump is using the old “rope a dope” technique on the Democrats. The prospect is Schumer; Pelosi and Shift will keep flailing at the air going more overboard until they wear out themselves and their audience. In the meantime accomplishing nothing legislatively they can hang their hats on.
Perfect grist for the Trump mill when he decides to use it.  
At some point, the Democrats will have to turn away from fanatical desire to get Trump at all costs and start running a campaign that can win. And that means moving toward the center.
My current guess is the Democratic Nominee will be Michelle Obama with a last-minute dramatic entrance to save the Democratic Party from itself.
I know, I know she has said and continues to say she is not interested, but as her husband’s legacy continues to be dismantled by Trump and the Dems move ever more left a saving angel may just be what the Democrats need.
E-mail Doc at mail to: 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.  

Please comment below

Sunday, May 12, 2019

St. Pete Housing Authority in Turmoil Again

Mayor Kriseman has set out to make some serious changes to improve the lives of those living in the Housing Authority properties.

Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
It just seems like the St. Pete Housing Authority cannot get its act together. In the latest episode, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman is calling for the removal of three of the Housing Authority Board Members, including the board Chairman Harry Harvey, and board members Delphinia Davis and Ann Sheman White.
Mayor Kriseman recently decided not to reappoint Board Members Jo Ann Nesbitt and Basha P. Jordan Jr.
For good insight into the St. Pete Housing Authority and its issue's check out, this article and the links it contains from Tampa Bay Times by Christopher O’Donnell   Mayor Rick Kriseman, St. Pete Housing Authority on legal collision course. Note the Times no has a pay wall so unless you subscribe you may not be able to see the whole article.
You can also check out a Post in Florida Politics by Janelle Irwin: Embattled St. Petersburg Housing Authority sues Rick Kriseman over potential board member removal. No Pay Wall here.
The St. Pete Housing Authority has a long and often troubled history. To his credit, Mayor Kriseman has and continues to replace Board Members who’s self-serving interests frequently out weigh the mission of the housing authority.
These latest legal moves by the Authority Board are more of an effort to protect turf than to serve their constituents.
For example, see Christopher O’Donnell Tampa Bay Times article: St. Petersburg housing agency board approved pay raise for CEO without reviewing his evaluation.
The final word on the removal of board members Delphinia Davis and Ann Sherman White will come at the City Council meeting on May 16 barring some last-minute political maneuvering.
In the past City Council and previous administrations have spent too much time worrying about the ethnic make-up of the housing authority and not enough time focusing on the ability, willingness to participate and the capability of those being elected for Board and leadership positions.
This is a difficult set of problems but Mayor Kriseman has set out to make some serious changes to improve the lives of those living in the Housing Authority properties. He deserves the support of City Council.
E-mail Doc at mail to: 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.  

Please comment below.

Friday, May 10, 2019

$300 Million+ Class Action Suit Filed against Beleaguered Vinik

Tampa, Fl
Tampa Bay Beat
By: Jim Bleyer

Gush of text messages promoting Lightning could prove costly to Jeff Vinik.

By Jim Bleyer
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment that could conservatively could cost the Jeff Vinik-led company $300 million.
The legal action alleges TBSE, owner of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Litigation is being brought by the Miami law firm of Carey Rodriguez Milian Gonya on behalf of lead plaintiff Bryan Hanley and other “persons similarly situated.”  That number could easily exceed 10,000.
Basically, anyone targeted with text messages from the Tampa Bay Lightning marketing department may choose to join the class action.  The texts included promotions for upcoming Lightning games at downtown Tampa’s Amalie Arena as well as discount ticket packages.
Hanley is asking for $1,500 for each text message that he received promoting the Lightning.  The number of text messages is unspecified but exceeds 20 based on my experience with texts sent from the Lightning marketing arm.
Hanley alleges Vinik’s TBSE transmitted advertising and telemarketing text messages to cellular telephones throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Specific total damages are not mentioned in Hanley vs. TBSE 
but the math is simple: $1,500 for each text, 20 texts, 10,000 victims=$300 million.  Forbes Inc. at the end of 2018 valued the Lightning at $450 million.  Besides taking a financial hit, Vinik and the Lightning’s serial harassment becomes a public relations albatross as well. 
Class action lawsuits rarely culminate with such stratospheric settlements.   The attorneys invariably are well compensated but the sea of claimants have been known to receive pathetic amounts of compensation such as coupons or paltry two-digit sums.
That will not be the case in the litigation against TBSE, according to Ruben Conitzer, lead attorney for Carey Rodriguez.
In speaking with Tampa Bay Beat, Conitzer wouldn’t speculate on the amount of a settlement or court award but asserted this would not be one of those class actions that would translate to little or nothing for the aggrieved parties.
Conitzer revealed that Vinik’s legal team is trying to have the Telephone Consumer Protection Acyl declared unconstitutional.
”The tactic has been attempted in  other jurisdictions to no avail,” he said.

More travails for Vinik
There are other options for recipients of the illegal texts. Victims could opt out of the class action and file suit separately.  An award or settlement could be $30,000 or more but attorney’s fees would eat up much of that.  I asked Conitzer an aggrieved party could also be a lead plaintiff along with Hanley in the class action and he replied affirmatively.
2019 has been a rough year for Vinik:
—His $3 billion Water Street Tampa development chugs on but way behind schedule.  The project is collateralized to creditor Cascades Investments.
—The Vinik-instigated one percent sales tax for transit is tied up in the courts on several counts of unconstitutionality.  The tax is integral for building a Tampa light rail system that would run through Water Street.
—A retired hedge fund manager, Vinik tried and so far has failed to raise $3 billion (coincidence?) for a newly-formed hedge fund with himself at the helm.
—The Lightning, prohibitive favorites to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup, were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the lowest-seeded team in the Eastern Conference. The team’s post-season collapse was stunning and historic.
—-Vinik has failed to register TBSE, a Delaware corporation, as a “foreign agent” though doing business in Florida for nine years.  Fines are due the State of Florida and registration is imperative.
—-Vinik’s fiduciary relationship with the Tampa Bay Times, the area’s only daily, has become more sinister. Bloomberg’s company profile of Vinik’s Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment LLC lists  its address as the Times building at 490 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg. TBSE’s  line of business “includes publishing newspapers” but nothing else, according to Bloomberg.
Now, there is this class action suit that, if taken to the limit, could wreck or, at best, pare Vinik’s interest in the Lightning.
 (Tom Rask, publisher of the Tampa Bay Guardian, contributed to this article)
 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.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

All for Transportation's Pervasive Dishonesty

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay 
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

All for Transportation (AFT) has been dishonest from the start. They tried to create a false narrative last June that their tax hike ballot initiative was a "grassroots" initiative launched by everyday citizens.

That was quickly debunked.

Five special interests donors, including Jeff Vinik, Frank Morsani, Vinik's Water Street construction company Coastal Construction, Tampa Bay Partnership and Sykes Enterprises donated $150K each to get AFT's tax hike on the ballot.

The AFT tax hike initiative was a totally paid professional campaign job assisted by some political insiders (more to come on that subject).

AFT paid $625K to outside professionals at 
Revolution Field Strategies, a Washington DC K Street company to professionally run their petition effort.

AFT paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to PR firms, communications firms, advertising firms, media placement firms, for direct mail services, phone banking, text messaging, media consulting, etc.

AFT did not use grassroots volunteers. AFT paid GRSG Company, a professional canvassing company out of Minneapolis, MN over $87K for paid canvassers.

AFT spent $4 million on a marketing campaign funded almost entirely by special interests. AFT's campaign filings reflect about $2.5 million was donated from 10 donors in a county with a population of 1.4 million. Jeff Vinik and his associated entities alone contributed almost a million dollars to AFT's coffers.

From AFT's 
misleading ballot language to AFT making exaggerated claims for which they provide no evidence to back up their claims, to AFT refusing to call their referendum a tax hike and not properly informing voters their ballot initiative is a 30 year $16 Billion tax hike to AFT's deceptive mailers claiming their tax hike was going to improve roads when AFT provided no funding for new road capacity, AFT has been dishonest and deceptive.

AFT's website appears to have disappeared. What are they hiding?

All for Transportation's Facebook
 page is still up. They continue to post on Facebook including this misleading post in March that is very dishonest and so far from the truth.

All for Transportation dishonest Facebook post
insinuates lawsuit dismissed, case closed
Commissioner White's lawsuit was not filed against All For Transportation (AFT). AFT is a political committee who got their 30 year $16 Billion sales tax charter amendment on the ballot and then ran a $4 million political campaign to get it passed.

AFT decided to insert themselves into White's lawsuit by hiring 
high priced lawyers to intervene in the lawsuit.

More egregious, AFT insinuates the judge totally dismissed the case - on its merits. That insinuation is misleading, totally false and so dishonest. Judge Rex Barbas ruled in March that Commissioner White could not file the lawsuit as a county commissioner and gave him 10 days to refile.

And White did. He filed an Amended Complaint as we posted 

Read the comments of the AFT supporters who believed AFT's dishonest claim White's lawsuit was over and done.

Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, posted this comment about AFT's dishonest claim.

It appears Rohrlack drank AFT's kool-aid without checking out the actual ruling. That does not reflect well on the Chamber.

All for Transportation's Twitter account @AllforTransport is also still up and they tweeted the same dishonest information about the lawsuit dismissal that they posted on their Facebook page.

AFT dishonest Tweet
If AFT will be so dishonest about a judge's ruling, they will be dishonest about anything.

And AFT's dishonesty is pervasive because they continue to be dishonest.

Those who decided to closely associate with AFT's deceptiveness and dishonesty because the end justifies the means have no one to blame but themselves for the big mess AFT has created.

They chose to ignore potential serious legal issues that were raised before the election and now must be formally resolved in a court of law.

And what is shameful is AFT's pervasive dishonesty must have the blessing of their biggest donors.

Posted by Sharon Calvert at 1:35 PM 

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from:
 Eye On Tampa Bay