tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Friday, Jun 22, 2018
  • Home
Steve Otto Columns

Otto: District 13 race becoming its own game show

Don’t you wonder what the good folks in Pinellas County who will be voting in the District 13 congressional race next month must be thinking?

Wasn’t the race supposed to be about them and the person they want to send to Washington to represent them?

If you happened to catch the debate earlier this week, you might have thought the only issue is whether or not Democratic candidate Alex Sink will stay in Pinellas if she loses the election. Her only defense was that smirky grin she uses, this time to say she isn’t going to lose.

Meanwhile, demonstrating the campaign has little to do with the people of Pinellas, it was announced that Vice President Joe Biden is coming to Florida next week for a big-ticket fundraiser for Sink.

Of course, the fundraiser is almost 300 miles away in Coral Gables, but maybe they really care about Pinellas County down there.

On the other hand, Republican candidate David Jolly, going for the game show vote, got 90-year-old Bob Barker to do a pitch for his man.

To tell you the truth, I thought Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby to be not only the most thoughtful of the three debaters but someone who might work to get things done.

❖ ❖ ❖

Got this letter from Ted Freiwald, who runs the Ruskin Drive-In theater on U.S. 41. He noted the stories this week over the proposed ferry service from MacDill to the South Shore area.

“Having attained the ripe old age of 80, I find that my mind wanders back a lot. Many years ago, as you probably know, we had a ferry service of sorts. I had a projectionist who rode the ferry every night from St. Petersburg; every night that is if the weather permitted.

“Someone from the theater would pick him up; the only problem was getting him home. Sometimes the last ferry left before the movie ended and we had to find him lodgings for the night.’’

❖ ❖ ❖

About 20 students gathered in Tampa Tuesday for the first class in what some are calling “Cannabis College.’’ Medical Marijuana Tampa, as it is officially called, will be meeting in an old cigar factory. The school’s founder says the school will be centered on learning the botanical, legal and other aspects of medical marijuana in a four-week course.

He didn’t say whether the school would be fielding any athletic teams, although you would think the high jump might be a natural.

❖ ❖ ❖

County officials, thinking they were doing a good thing, showed up at Bloomingdale High School earlier in the week to meet with local residents on what to do with the $564,000 a developer is paying to put up a “big box’’ store and apartment units next to the Bloomingdale Regional Library.

Instead they ran into several hundred ticked-off residents, unhappy that the project is happening to begin with and also suspicious that the money will go elsewhere instead of improving the expected mess around the library.

The problem, of course, is that the county long ago allowed one terrible traffic problem after another to fester in the area and now only wants to make it worse.

On the other hand, down in the Everglades this week someone killed a Burmese python that was over 18 feet in length and weighed 150 pounds. I think I’d rather have the big box store than one of those in my neighborhood.

Weather Center