After hours and hours of public comment, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioners approved a measure that modifies its role in a federal management plan for the state animal, the Florida panther.
The cats have been on the endangered species list for decades, and are still believed to not exceed 200 in number. The FWC coordinates with the federal government on efforts to help the species prosper, but Wednesday approved new guidelines softening its role and shifting emphasis to the recovering population's role on humans instead of the other way around.
A policy paper the agency released in conjunction with Thursday's discussion listed sustaining a southwest Florida panther population, the only breeding population in the state, rather than growing it "while addressing the challenges associated with human-panther coexistence."
If you're not a Neil Gaiman megafan or an enthusiastic mythology geek, you might not know that Wednesday is named for two deities — the Germanic/Northern European god Odin and the Roman god Mercury. The former was a creator, and the latter was a messenger and facilitator, which explains why, when Wednesday rolls around, you can't decide whether to hit your stride and storm out the week killing it with authority, or just kind of get things done until Friday.
A couple worth more than a billion dollarsdonated $1 million toward the construction of an athletic complex for Carrollwood Day School. Which is very, very cool — and the couple is involved in other philanthropic activities as well — so we'll forgo the usual facetious, snarky, factually inaccurate comment, which probably would have had something to do with still having to use a rope tether and canary to safely enter the school's library, or something. (But seriously, let's not forget academics and arts, OK?)
TO A T: T-groins, or plastic geotubes, are being used to ward off erosion on Upham Beach.
If you’ve heard of Upham Beach, you have either lived in the area long enough to hear about it via word of mouth, or you took multiple wrong turns trying to navigate St. Pete Beach’s somewhat confusing northern half.
For those who do discover Upham, it becomes a default beach. While other beach accesses are scant on parking and typically involve tolerating gnarly beach traffic, Upham has tons of parking spaces and, if you’re coming from the north, you’ll get there after just a few right-hand turns through a residential neighborhood.
You've probably heard by now that former State Senator and Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman has jumped back into politics this week by filing to run for the commission's District 6 seat.
Norman, a Republican who previously served on the commission for 18 years until terming out in 2010, faces a crowded field, including two other Republicans and three Democrats.
If you'll recall, in 2010, Norman was steeped in controversy over a large Arkansas lake house a developer/political ally purchased for Norman's wife, which he didn't disclose as an asset on his campaign documentation. (The whole thing gave us a creepy, Twin-Peaks-but-Southernvibe.) He won his State Senate seat despite the scandal, but withdrew his bid for re-election two years later after escaping prosecution.
Earlier today, backers of a state constitutional amendment that aims to make solar power more affordable for consumers argued their case before the state supreme court.
The court has to approve the language of the amendment — making sure that it does what it says it will do and only that — in order for it to get on the 2016 ballot.
The initiative is called Floridians for Solar Choice. The Solar Choice amendment would embed in the state constitution the ability for solar power companies to install panels on homes and businesses and sell some of the power that's generated back to that home or business. In theory, this makes solar power more affordable for many who can't afford to buy and install their own solar panels.
Magnus watched through the slit, eyes to binoculars, for a very long time. Finally, he slumped back, shaking his head.
"It's back," he said.
"What? What's back?"
Magnus sighed. "Monday."
Embattled former wrestling icon Hulk Hoganwent on Good Morning America and basically implied that he thinks you, the public, are too stupid to be able to tell the difference between the casual racism of long familiarity and ...well, there is no other thing, really, just some bullshit about how it's OK for him to call someone a "fucking nigger" because he grew up poor and knew some black kids, or something. At this point, do we even really need to cover the "Racist" space on our Bad Person Bingo cards in order to call this round and let Hulk fade ignominiously into pop-cultural memory?
Ahead of what could be a contentious Tampa City Council meeting to weigh the mayor's newly proposed citizen panel to review questionable incidents and issues involving the city's police, a group of activists is taking to a city park (weather permitting) to express their disapproval of it.
Tuesday, activists plan on gathering at Lykes Gaslight Park — directly across from Tampa Police Headquarters — to call on the city to adopt the kind of citizen review panel they want.
Their concern is that the mayor's proposal — a nine-member panel composed seven of his appointees and two appointed by City Council — wouldn't be independent.
It was a wet one, but not nearly as wet (or as damaging) as it coulda been. Here's what you missed while you were obsessively checking weather sites for the first 20 minutes of the weekend, then drinking all the hooch you hoarded, just in case.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28:
Former Star Trek star/current human internet meme George Takeiand astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson are two eminently cool people is coming to speak at USF. I was unaware our area's most prestigious institution of higher learning had a program for earning a degree in Tumblr.
We could wake up tomorrow to news that Tropical Storm Erika ate shit trying to blast past the mountains of Hispaniola, diminishing to a tropical depression, dismissing little bursts of rain as it dissipated into nothingness.
Or, the storm could survive that rugged terrain and strengthen as it heads up Tampa Bay's gullet.
It's anybody's guess at this point, though our money is on whatever The Weather Underground is telling us.
In response to loud public outcry for an independent body to hold police accountable, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn today announced he'll assemble a citizen review board to investigate instances of police force and other issues.
Tensions between police and African-Americans in low-income parts of the city have seen a spike in recent months, punctuated by a Tampa Bay Times exposé of a practice targeting African-Americans on bicycles.