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Tuesday, March 24
I’ve decided that buying a key locator won’t solve my problem of having unexplained attacks of absent-mindedness.

It would be a waste of money because I would only lose the device. Ditto for a phone locator.

Actually, I’ve only had lost a car key once. About 15 years ago, I was sitting on a chair with my toes in the Atlantic Ocean, enjoying the warm breeze and a good book when I forgot that I had my keys in my bathing suit pocket. I finally decided to head for higher ground when I noticed that half my body was submerged in the sea. Standing, I realized the keys had been swept away by the incoming tide.
 ... Read More 
Did you ever get the feeling that life, or a section of it, has passed you by? If so, you shouldn’t be overly concerned. Life is too big and complicated for anyone to keep total track of it.

However, when one favorite slab of life seems to be slipping away, it gets your attention. Mine was grabbed recently when my final issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived and I discovered I didn’t give two whoops about re-subscribing.

As I thumbed through the EW issue, one thought persisted: “Who are all these people?” Page after page was studded by so-called celebrities and shows I had never heard of. Examples: Titus, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Chappie, Cecily Strong, Sarah Steele, iZombie, Tobias Jesso Jr., Kyle Chandler.
 ... Read More 
Back when political polls were reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was likely to lose power in Tuesday’s election, I figured that Bibi must have overplayed his hand when he spoke before Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner and against the wishes of President Obama. I assumed he had miscalculated, and that the gambit would backfire with Israeli voters.

As it turns out, the polls were wrong. (What are the chances of that?) The conservative Likud Party won at least 29 seats, a healthy boost over the center-left Zionist Union’s 24.

The big loser then is not the blustery PM but our pouty president. Before the March 3 speech, the White House had every right to telegraph its displeasure at Netanyahu’s address - which the White House did not approve because it was too close to Israel’s March 17 election. Obamaland could have dismissed the speech as a stunt, a pesky molehill. Instead, it turned it into a mountain of controversy.
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, March 17
Tampa Bay gas prices in April 2014 peaked at about $3.70 a gallon.

That same gallon was $4 and more in other parts of the nation. California was showing close to $5, even more than $6 in some southern desert regions.

Then suddenly last June something remarkable happened. The skyrocketing prices fizzled, and then plummeted to an average in Tampa Bay of $1.93 a gallon. Local prices in the $1.80s, and even high $1.70s at some locations, had motorists jovial as they filled up for $20 to $25 a tank as opposed to $40, $50 and more just a few months before.
 ... Read More 
I recently received a personal letter from President Obama. I assume it was personal because it was addressed to me and began “Dear Robert.”

I’m not sure how he got my name, but I’m assuming the National Security Agency or FBI has the means to smoke me out from my natural robe of obscurity. (I worked as a fingerprint clerk for the FBI for awhile, but that was many years ago.) I’ve never given a dime to Mr. Obama or his party. I’ve been an on-the-record Independent for at least 38 years, so my voter registration logs could not have been the source of my name and address. No matter.

The president asked me to send some money to the Democratic National Committee so that it can defeat the Republican Party and its attempt to lead the nation down the road to ruin. Those were not his exact words, but the letter implied that the GOP (now that it controls both houses of Congress) will attempt to undo all the good things that Mr. Obama and his friends have achieved in the past six years.
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Tuesday, March 10
The pressroom at Largo City Hall gets five stars as a place to cover government meetings.

Reporters can see the proceedings in the room from behind the one-way window, and nobody will notice if we fall asleep, spill food on ourselves or roll our eyes if we don’t agree with what somebody is saying.

Rest assured, I don’t fall asleep too often during government meetings, but I have become nauseated at times - usually at the sight of what another reporter is eating in the pressroom.
 ... Read More 
Today, almost anywhere in the USA, if you’d like to (A) win some new friends, or (B) get into a fight with old friends, simply state the following words in a loud, clear voice: “Climate change is a load of horse puckey.”

From what I’ve been reading, the idea that climate change is threatening the welfare of humankind has become one of the most divisive and argument-inducing topics in modern America.

For several decades, science has been setting forth hard evidence that earth’s atmosphere and oceans are slowly warming. As recently as last fall, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its fifth report in the past 25 years, hammering home the conclusion that earth’s surface temperature has risen by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 130 years, and that human actions have been the major cause of this, at least since the middle of the last century.
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Former four-star general and CIA chief David Petraeus pleaded guilty to one count of retaining classified information for handing over information in personal notebooks to his biographer girlfriend in 2011.

He agreed to pay a $40,000 fine; prosecutors said they would recommend two years’ probation instead of prison, although a judge could decide otherwise. It’s a sad close to a government career for the man whose counterinsurgency strategy turned around the war in Iraq. He’s an American hero who seemed all that much more upright when he resigned in November 2012 after admitting to an affair that compromised his position - without drama and after quickly owning up to his mistakes.

Except he didn’t come completely clean; America now knows - because it’s in the official record - Petraeus lied to the FBI. That’s a serious offense. But should he go to prison?
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, March 3
“I am under ‘investigation,’” professor Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado Boulder posted on his blog Wednesday.

The top Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, sent a letter to university President Bruce Benson that asked the school to provide its financial disclosure policies and information on how they apply to Pielke, as well as any drafts and communications involving Pielke’s testimony before Congress between Jan. 1, 2007, and Jan. 31, 2015.

In 2013, Grijalva explained, Pielke told the Senate that it is “incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.” Grijalva is a fervent believer in climate change. Pielke is a believer, as well. He has defended the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and supports a carbon tax. But Pielke doesn’t buy all the hype - hence his testimony that challenged the catastrophic-weather argument. For that, Grijalva wants to give Pielke the full treatment - a full financial and documentary probe.
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Saturday, March 28, 2015
ABWA fashion show
CLEARWATER – The American Business Women’s Association will host its annual fashion show and luncheon, Day at the Races, on Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Banquet Masters, 13355 49th St. N.

Cost is $25 for the show and lunch. Proceeds from the event will be used for the organization’s scholarship program. For information, call 403-6441 or 392-4308.
 ... Read More 
American Legion cookout
SEMINOLE – American Legion Post 252, 11433 Park Blvd., holds a cookout every Saturday and Sunday at the Tiki Bar from 1 to 5 p.m.

Breakfast is held the first Sunday of every month from 8 to 11 a.m. and the monthly spaghetti dinner is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m.  

The dining room is open to the public. Legion membership is required to purchase alcohol.  

For more information, call 391-6324.
 ... Read More 
Author talk
PINELLAS PARK – Liane N. Rowe, author of “Love Never Fails,” will speak on Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m., at First United Methodist Church of Pinellas Park, 9025 49th St. N.

Lunch will be served. Cost is $6. Reservations are required. For reservations, call June at 544-4558.

In her book, Rowe takes the reader through “an amazing journey of cancer, loss, and life ever after,” according to a press release promoting the event. The book also explores “an enjoyable discovery of unconditional love through the heartwarming eyes and ears of one beloved pet named Ginger.”
 ... Read More 
Bayway Bridge rededication
ST. PETE BEACH – The city of St. Pete Beach will rededicate the new Bayway Bridge in honor of St. Pete Beach Medal of Honor recipient Gary Littrell Saturday, March 28.

The event, which begins at 10 a.m. on the southeast end of the bridge, will include military demonstrations and a walking parade over the bridge by those attending. All members of the military and first responders are invited to participate.

Everyone taking part in the walking parade will receive a commemorative medal in Lazarillo Park at the completion of the parade.

The city is allowing free parking in metered spaces in Pass-A-Grille until 1 p.m. A shuttle to the event will be available at 15th Avenue and a return shuttle will take participants from Lazarillo Park to 16th Avenue in Pass-A-Grille.

The Veterans of South Pinellas event will follow on Ninth Avenue until 10 p.m.
 ... Read More 
Block party
SOUTH PASADENA – The city of South Pasadena plans a block party Saturday, March 28, noon to 4 p.m., at Bay View Park, 7054 Sunset Drive. Admission is free.

The event will feature music, a car show, food and drinks, health screenings, a public safety demonstration, bounce house, face painting, kids activities and an Arbor Day celebration.

For more information, visit www.mysouthpasadena.com or call city hall at 347-4171.
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Casino Night and Texas Hold ‘Em fundraiser
PALM HARBOR – The Council of North County Neighborhoods plans its annual Casino Night and Texas Hold ‘Em fundraiser Saturday, March 28, 7 to 10 p.m., at Crescent Oaks Country Club, 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd.

Day of the event tickets are $40 for Casino Night and $30 for the Texas Hold ‘Em tournament. Events include blackjack, roulette, craps, a wheel of fortune, and slot-style machines.

Proceeds will benefit the family of slain Tarpon Springs police officer Charles Kondek. There also will be a silent auction and raffles, plus a cash bar with light hors d’oeuvres.
 ... Read More 
Community yard sale
SEMINOLE – The Seminole Recreation Division will hold its annual community yard sale Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Complex parking lot, 9100 113th St. N.

This event is sponsored by the Seminole Recreation Teen Board, which will be selling coffee, pastries, hot dogs, cold drinks and more. Cub Scout Pack 431 also will be selling items and taking donations for upcoming retreats and merit badges.

Call 391-8345 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Family history conference
SEMINOLE – A conference on family history is slated Saturday, March 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 9001 106th Ave. N.

Those attending will have an opportunity to learn the basics of starting a family tree and using familysearch.org.

Topics to be covered at the free presentation include how to do basic Internet research, as well as researching African American, Spanish, Russian, Prussian, Austrian, Hungarian and Eastern European connections.

Participants can come for one class or stay all day. Attendees should bring a lunch or visit one of the many area restaurants.  For information, call Mark Jones at 644-6325 or email marklaymonjones@gmail.com.
 ... Read More 
Gluten-Free for Life Expo
ST. PETERSBURG – The Gluten-Free for Life Expo will be Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at The St. Petersburg Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N. The event will offer a “gluten-free day filled with food, education and fun.

Hosted by the Gluten-Free in Florida Support Group, the event’s main stage speakers will make presentations on topics such as traveling gluten-free, going and staying gluten-free, and going beyond gluten-free. Attendees will be able to sample or purchase gluten-free products and services from more than 60 local and national vendors.

The requested ticket donation at the door will benefit Camp Weekaneatit, a weeklong kids’ summer camp for gluten intolerant and Celiac kids. Additionally, gluten-free nonperishable food donations will be accepted to restock the gluten free emergency food pantry at Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa.

For information, email GlutenFreeforLifeExpo@Gmail.com or call 280-5207.
 ... Read More 
Highland’s egg hunt
LARGO – Come meet the Easter Bunny and hunt for eggs at Highland’s Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at 400 Highland Ave.

Cost is $8 per child. Children under 12 years old will be placed into age groups and let loose to gather eggs and win great prizes. Kids also will enjoy inflatables, a train ride, music, food vendors, DJ games and a picture with the Easter Bunny. Don’t forget your basket.

This year’s Egg Hunt will be held indoors in PlayWorld at Highland Recreation Complex. Wristbands will be on sale at Highland Recreation. Space is limited so sign up today. For more information, visit LargoEvents.com or call 587-6740, ext. 5014.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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