This Sunday marks the end of summer. Translated for Floridians, that means 3-5 more weeks of hellish humidity and 90 degree plus temperature! But I always cheer the onset of autumn, and especially October. It's when baseball really becomes interesting with the post-season, when college and pro football are in full flower, when some of the year's most heralded books and movies are released, and its crunch time in political campaigns.
And speaking of political campaigns, the St. Pete mayoral race promises to grow more intense in the six and a half weeks before the November 5 election. The Times' Adam Smith has a tough piece today challenging the assumption that Rick Kriseman is poised to upset Bill Foster this fall.
Smith quotes some former Democratic city council members who served with both Foster and Kriseman a decade ago on City Council who are supporting Foster; there are other quotes by Foster supporters, all premised on a new Times poll that shows the men in a virtual dead tie. Foster says that jibes with his own internal poll, but it's far off a St. Pete Polls survey taken earlier this week that showed Kriseman up an astonishing 10 points.
If anything else, the story and the poll should sober up Team Kriseman, who feel like they've been on a roll going on a month now. But let's focus on the real story here, which is how is a scandal free mayor, who is overseeing a city that is enjoying a dynamic renaissance, is either tied or trailing a man who hasn't ran city-wide in a decade. With all of that happening, the city seems poised for a change. Can Kriseman close the deal?
And by the way, when it comes to polls, I wouldn't exactly bet the house on what the Times' firm is telling us. Deride St. Pete Polls robocalling all you want (Foster calls it "junk-science"), but their results have been pretty impressive in their year and a half since they've been in operations. And I certainly hope you didn't last November when it came to figuring out who would win the Sunshine State in the presidential election.
I regret that I won't be around to cover the election in the coming weeks. I'm taking some time off to return home to the San Francisco Bay Area to be with a family member who is in the struggle of her life. So I won't be updating the Report for awhile.
In other news, with scandal engulfing a homeless recovery program in Hillsborough County, Councilman Lisa Montelione suggested that the city of Tampa start picking up the slack.
Even though Florida doesn't offer rebates, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in the Sunshine State. Next weekend "National Plug-In" day will be celebrated in Temple Terrace.
And even though WMNF took Free Speech Radio News off their main air signal in January, the alternative radio newscast is still airing on 80 plus radio stations across the country. But that will end next week when the show will go off the air, thanks in part to financial problems with the Pacifica Radio Foundation.
Our Best of the Bay came out this week, and there's lots of fun stuff in there.
Goodbye for now...