Harborview Center - A Knockdown? In a few years the Stein Mart lease will expire at Harborview Center in downtown Clearwater. To many folks, the lease that was granted to Stein Mart was such a "giveaway" lease that upon renewal it was expected that neither the City of Clearwater nor Stein Mart would agree on higher annual lease payments. Thus, some Clearwater officials are already wondering what might happen to the Harborview Center (that never became a profitable business venture.)
Yes, it is likely that the city might be forced to entertain private development ideas regarding the Harborview Center property. More public/private partnerships in downtown Clearwater?
Possible, and most likely.
Now imagine a few redevelopment projects at Harborview Center overlooking a new city marina (boat slips?) It should help make some developers take interest in this waterfront/waterview large piece of property.
What about the loss of medium-sized meeting space if Harborview Center is gone?
Big problem. Harborview Center has helped to solve the lack of medium-sized meeting space in Clearwater - especially, when trying to attract smaller conventions to use Clearwater.
New ideas for downtown Clearwater?
Time will tell.
Do You Drive On US 19? - If you must drive on US 19 every day, we'll pray for you.
I recently drove on US 19 north past Countryside and could not believe the vehicle traffic. Yes, this is the alleged slow time of the year, the time of year when US 19 traffic is said to be "not too bad."
Not bad, compared to what?
It is no wonder that I observed so many cars weaving in-and-out of traffic just to gain a small distance over patient drivers.
And, yes, I observed several people using sign language while they talked on cell phones.
It's hard to believe that in a county with about a million people there is no interstate road to travel north and south. US 19 is still our best route from St. Petersburg to Hudson.
Amazing, isn't it?
A Bit Of Nostalgia - The year was 1969, Continental Towers was being advertised as Clearwater's First Luxury Condominium. One-bedroom apartments were starting at $23,900.
Also nearly ready for occupancy were the just being built Clearwater Point Condominium Apartments.
What The Heck Is Going-On At Indian Rocks Beach? - Reporter Leo Coughlin has been covering news at Indian Rocks Beach that other newspapers are just reporting. Following Leo's lead, so to speak.
The ex-city manager and use of taxpayer funds.
What surprises most folks is how the ex-city manager had gotten-away with using city taxpayer funds to pay for personal things such as alleged moving expenses (no real move?), etc., without the city treasurer, city mayor, city commission, city attorney, or other city employees not knowing what was being spent. After all, who reads monthly city financial reports that show where money is being spent? Everyone, no one?
No, the mess at Indian Rocks Beach reflects how some things must change in order to assure IRB taxpayers that there is fiscal oversight. Clearly, most elected officials at IRB are not pleased with what has been revealed by recent reports.
Running for cover?
Funny thing has happened at IRB, not many people are supporting how some city funds were spent for use by the ex-city manager. Change will occur at IRB. What about the folks that knew some of the things that happened at IRB city hall?
Time will tell, but if the ex-city manager is right, his employment contract allegedly allowed for the manner in which he spent city funds for personal use. Will he sue the city? Who approved the employment contract?
The next city election may result in some new questions for voters to consider.
And How About Belleair Bluffs? - Kudos to Chris Arbutine and the officials at Belleair Bluffs, they have helped to redevelop Belleair Bluffs. Years ago there was only a couple of restaurants in Belleair Bluffs, today there are several fine restaurants in Belleair Bluffs in places where open rental space was the norm, not the exception.
Well done, Belleair Bluffs.
Not A Bad Idea - President Bush is trying to add a tax deduction for personal health insurance for individuals that buy health insurance policies on their own. Further, he is willing to add mass buying power of associations to the health insurance rising cost issue to lower costs (mass buying power of large groups.)
On the other hand, if employers pay for part of an employee's health insurance, that portion would be deemed income to the employee, call it a part of compensation. Of course, if the employee pays for his health insurance, he would obtain a tax deduction of said premium. Equal playing field for all people.
As expected, Democrats are opposing this idea. Democrats like Hillary Clinton would rather see a national health insurance policy paid for by the government (our taxes) and run by the government. In other words, more government intervention and the creation of another large federal bureaucracy with thousands of government employees paid for by, you guessed it, our tax increases.
All of this will play-out in the 2008 election.
Super Bowl, Colts Vs. Bears - What happens when a great offense meets a great defense?
That is what people are asking about the upcoming Super Bowl game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. Great offense led by perhaps the NFL's best-ever quarterback in Peyton Manning versus a great defense led by one of the NFL's best middle linebackers Brian Berlacher.
The folks in Las Vegas who tend to make money by betting on these games have picked the Indianapolis Colts as the winner. Guess they like the best offense over the best defense!
Colts over the Bears?
We shall know the final result Sunday evening; interestingly, the Bears were underdogs in the last playoff game . . . they won.
Peyton Manning securing his place in football history as the best-ever quarterback?
Super Bowl Sunday.
Tony Dungy, One Class Act - Can you remember when owners of our illustrious Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to rid themselves of popular coach Tony Dungy in favor of outspoken Jon Gruden?
Gruden took a team put together by Tony Dungy and staff and won the Super Bowl. Of course, there are many people that believe Tony Dungy would have done the same that year. We'll never know.
However, there is a God and Tony Dungy is coaching a team in the Super Bowl. Imagine the talk if the Colts beat Chicago and Tony Dungy is named coach of the year. Jon Gruden? Hmmm, last or next to last? The way I see it, Gruden's mouth on the football field is an indication of his style in working with football players who must put-up with his mouth just to cash a big paycheck.
Too bad for us Tampa Bay folks, We have another year with Gruden at the helm. Of course, it could be his last year … since the Bucs do not appear like playoff contenders for the next few years.
Here's to Tony Dungy, one class coach and man.
Today Is A Gift - that is why it is called the present. Author Unknown
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