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Mitch Perry Report for 4.21.16 – Will Hillsborough adopt Palm Beach law regarding Uber and Lyft?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Some quick hits before I hop on a plane…

I know much of our news media would rather spend another day focusing on our national elections, what about what’s going on the world?

A U.N. agency said yesterday that up to 500 may have died last week, when a large boat packed with migrants from Africa and the Middle East capsized in an unknown location between Libya and Italy.

The BBC reports that over 179,000 migrants have arrived in Europe in 2016 alone.

Much of this evolves around the ongoing Syrian civil war, now into its fifth year, with no end in sight.

There are legitimate reasons why the U.S. and the West haven’t intervened in Syria – yet over the past few decades, we have intervened for a lot less. Think back to the Bosnian conflict in the mid 90’s, where the U.S. sat on the sidelines for a couple of years before getting involved in 1995.

Then there was Kosovo in 1999, when again, the U.S. and NATO reluctantly intervened on a humanitarian basis.

That was essentially the notion why we got involved in Libya back, even if it was just “leading from behind” back in 2011.

Libya, in particular, is a leading factor why we don’t get involved in Syria. Russia’s involvement makes it more complicated. It’s an absolute tragedy.

Back at home, in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Commission gave final approval to new rules for Uber and Lyft. Those new rules include allowing both ridesharing companies and taxis to conduct their own background checks. And as an incentive the commission agreed to lower fees by 50 percent for vehicle-for-hire companies that do the more rigorous check, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

An Über official says he hopes this same model can be adopted throughout the state. Will see about that here in Hillsborough County.

And finally, Curt Schilling is out of his gig at ESPN. I’m sure there are people outraged about his First Amendment rights being abridged, but if you feel that way, the Internet’s a big place go find it. Personally, I’ve never liked the guy since he was with the Phillies in the 1990’s and talked a lot of trash about Barry Bonds.

We’ll be off on Friday, but hopefully will return back here on Monday after our lightning quick trip out to the West Coast…

In other news…

David Jolly & Gwen Graham team up on a letter calling for President Obama to increase financial defense aid for Israel.

Sarasota based GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan says the truth needs to come out regarding 9/11 and the Saudi government.

Aided slightly by the fact that he was the only candidate in the room, GOP senate candidate Todd Wilcox took home a straw poll conducted by the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee Tuesday night in Tampa.

Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober isn’t fond of Tampa’s new ordinance decriminalizing pot.

Jennifer Webb is the Democrat who is now challenging Kathleen Peters in HD 69 in Pinellas County.

Alan Grayson unveils a bill that makes it a little easier for workers to form a union.

And Hillsborough County Commissioners have approved the project list that is part of the Go Hillsborough proposal.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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