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Mitch Perry Report for 3.13.15 — Random thoughts

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Welcome to the hottest Friday the 13th in March in Tampa Bay history.

If it’s Friday in Tallahassee, it’s vacation day. Although the regular session began just 10 days ago, lawmakers are apparently burned out, and require a three-day weekend. No hearings are scheduled today in the Capitol.

Then again, the House of Representatives have been off all week. Such work ethic is what prompted David Jolly to propose a bill last year that would require Congress to meet from 8 am Monday to 6 pm Friday.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t pick up any co-sponsors.

Looking around the news today, I see that the officials in St. Petersburg have announced a task force to figure out the best way to handle noise issues. This comes after the city allowed a construction firm to use pile drivers from 7 am to 5:30 p.m. for months last year, a noise pollution assault that shockingly was allowed under city code. Yes, Rick Dunn, a certain amount of noise is part of the “urban experience,” but not for months and months and months at a time. Nobody signs up for that. No one.

We’ve been hearing for a few years about “The end of football.” That’s what some have suggested will come to America’s most popular sport due to the increasing knowledge that the public has about concussions and other factors that make watching a game now a form of American Gladiators.

I’m thinking about that today because of the fact that four pro football players announced this week they were leaving the NFL at the age of 30 or younger.

San Francisco 49er linebacker Patrick Willis told reporters at a news conference this week that, “Honestly, I pay attention to guys when they’re finished playing, walking around and they’ve got no hips or they can’t play with their kids or they can’t play a pickup basketball game or they can barely walk or their fingers are all like this and people see that and feel sorry then, but nobody knows it’s because you played those few extra years,” Willis said. “And for me, I just feel like my life, there’s more to football than this and football has been everything to me and it has provided an amazing platform for me to build upon now. So that’s been in my heart. It’s my health first and everything else kind of just makes sense around it.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? The NFL may remain as popular as it is currently in 10 years time, but will as many talented athletes enter the game, as opposed to playing in other sports?

In other news..

Martin O’Malley is starting to attract some attention. The former Maryland governor may soon announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president.

Financial reports published this week by the Florida Division of Elections reveal that the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is the main money engine floating Floridians for Solar Choice, the political action committee formed to get the solar initiative on the next year’s ballot.

Contrary to published reports, the Florida Cannabis Action Network isn’t about to undertake a petition drive to legalize marijuana for all in the Sunshine State.

And while much of the establishment in Tampa is hoping to land a Cuban consulate, one committee in the Florida Senate said yesterday — not on our watch.

And Jeb Bush and Scott Walker make rare appearances in New Hampshire this weekend, though undoubtedly they’ll return many more times in 2015.

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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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