It's a seriously foggy morning in Tampa today.
I know it's a tired subject, so I won't mention how surprised I am that the Tampa Bay Bucs couldn't sell out (or get 85 percent of their tickets sold) Raymond James Stadium as they host the Washington Redskins and one of the most dynamic rookies of the young NFL season, Robert Griffin III this Sunday afternoon. Nope, no reason to pile on.
How about the other major franchise in the region? As we go into the last weekend of the regular season (the season itself ends next Wednesday), the Tampa Bay Rays are staying alive in their hunt to be one of the two wildcard teams to make the American League Playoffs.
The Rays won their 8th straight last night, keeping pace with the Oakland A's, California Angels and Baltimore Orioles, who are still in the hunt to win the AL East. Then again, Oakland is tied with the Texas Ranger for the AL West division, so it's all sort of complicated. But win or lose, can we say congrats to the Rays in advance for another winning season, and again doing more with less than anyone, well, since Oakland this year? But the Rays have been doing it season after season with one of the lowest payrolls in the game, and virtually the worst support when it comes to home attendance.
Meanwhile a discussion about a possible new park for the Rays will be unveiled this afternoon by developer Darryl LeClair, who wants to build a baseball stadium in the Carillon business park.
On to the news...All 11 constitutional amendments that Floridians will begin voting on when early voting begins next month were placed on the ballot by the conservative Florida Legislature. Yesterday the League of Women Voters held a conference call calling on the electorate to reject all of them.
Are you familiar with the EB-5 program? It's been around for over two decades, but has become more popular as the after effects of the recession continues in the U.S. It essentially allows wealthy foreigner to buy their way into the U.S., but it's perfectly legal, and the Tampa City Council yesterday approved a task force that will study whether the city should create a "Regional Center" that would work on developing such partnerships to help expand development.
The blowback from Tampa's Parks & Recreation Department sawing down over 100 trees in Ybor City is still reverberating. Councilwoman Mary Mulhern let the city's department head off the hook yesterday, saving her indignation about the incident for Mayor Bob Buckhorn.