Sunday, October 6, 2019

The St. Petersburg Pier

From the old pier deck

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

As we draw near to the conclusion of the new St. Pete Pier Project here is a look back almost a decade to when it all started.

Re-posted from: 

Thursday, September 2, 2010
With updates

I like the Pier. I go their a lot. I go by on my boat, I ride by on my motorcycle, I drive out there at night and enjoy the lights. It dawned on me, I never stop.
I never go in and buy anything, I just sort of pass by. Take it all in and head out to Treasure Island for one of the Beach hangouts.
 I was upset when the Council brain trust voted to tear it down. How dare they put the old wrecking ball to my one place of mental solitude, the old inverted pyramid? I’ll miss it.
Maybe I am part of the problem. I go, I look, it makes me feel good but I never really support the place by spending any money there. Well, maybe the occasional ice cream cone, but I doubt that counts for much in the great scheme of things. A lot of people are yelling about the Pier but I wonder how many of them are like me. Taken by the structural appearance, comforted by the view but rarely truly supportive. It’s true that the place is primarily a tourist draw, but anyone in the tourist industry will tell you that you need the locals to be really successful.

Whatever they build it just won’t be the same.

I’ll miss the old upside down pyramid and the opportunity to make up some wild story when a tourist asks me, why did they build it that way? 

Flipped over when we were bringing it up the Bay and we just left it that way. They actually buy that!

Maybe I’ll stop by and buy a hat or something.
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.
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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Will 41 Work?

Will the Tampa Bay Rays plan for a split season work in Tampa Bay?

Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
It seems like the proclamation of former baseball Commissioner Bud Selig still haunts Tampa Bay.

]At the height of St. Petersburg’s struggle to acquire a major-league  baseball franchise in the late 1980s Selig notably said, “St. Petersburg is not a major-league  baseball market.”
Selig’s prediction was more accurate than he every could have imagined. Even now, decades later, the argument about whether Tampa or St. Petersburg can support the Rays continues.
The Bucs do ok; USF football is thriving, and the Lightning has an energized fan base, but the Rays have never been able to get a foot hold.
Quoting from Frago’s article: Gerdes (St. Petersburg City Council Chairman) said the attendance woes in St. Petersburg—"a track record that stinks"—aren’t likely to change if the team relocates across the bay.
Gerdes counterpart Tampa City Council Chair Luis Viera disagrees, but as we have seen politician’s politician's ability to predict sporting teams success is dismal at best.
Also, on the table is the Rays proposal to split the season with Montreal, but neither City seems taken by that idea.
In the meantime, the big dollar players in Tampa are starting to have some second thoughts about plunking down a gazillion dollars for a new stadium that may only end up with 41 games.
While I appreciate Stu Sternberg’s concept that local attendance per game will increase if there are only 41, I think it is flawed logic.  My prediction is there will just be 41 games in St. Pete with mediocre attendance rather than 82.
Would 41 games in Tampa do any better? Hard to say but would you put any money into a new stadium on that gamble?
How about this. St. Pete agrees to allow the Rays to play 41 games at George Steinbrenner field and let’s see if the Tampa baseball fans can outscore the St. Pete Fans in attendance.
Then we will finally know if Bud Selig was right.
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.
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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dems Open 2021 Door for GOP Mayor in St. Pete

Tampa, Fl
Tampa Bay Beat
By: Jim Bleyer
By Jim Bleyer
An ordinarily innocuous St. Petersburg City Council race has roiled local politics and become a key bellwether as to who will be the next mayor of Florida’s fifth largest city.
The race to succeed term-limited Rick Kriseman as St. Petersburg mayor is two years away but political machinations suddenly opened the door for a Republican to capture the mayoralty in this Democratic stronghold in 2021.
John Hornbeck

Robert Blackburn

It started July 1 with a monumental gaffe by a political pro who should know better.
City Council member Darden Rice, an historic progressive who has made no secret of her mayoral aspirations, endorsed Republican Robert Blackmon over Democrat John Hornbeck in this fall’s District 1 council race.
Rice’s action turned off many local Democrats.  Though the city races are technically “non-partisan,” party politics always comes into play here.
Shortly after the endorsement, a Rice confidante told Tampa Bay Beat her action was “a no-brainer.”  As it turns out, supporting Blackmon, who can be described as more than a nominal Republican, over Hornbeck has thrust Rice into a controversy of her own making.
Until Rice’s endorsement, the most controversial issue in the council race was the question of Blackmon’s residency.  Hornbeck and others claimed he did not reside within District 1. Blackmon declared the matter closed with a home sale and his subsequent address.  The point remains murky.
Rice was the early favorite to succeed Kriseman but no more. She alienated a significant portion of the Democratic base regardless of the District 1 result on November 5.  The more astute move: no endorsement whatsoever.  Inarguable.  
Darden Rice
 Blackmon told Sunshine State News unequivocally there was no quid pro for the endorsement. 
“There was absolutely no deals made. And, importantly, we do not know who will be running for mayor in 2021,” Blackmon asserted. 

Then why would Rice take the risk? 

Read the rest of the Post here: 

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.