Round-up of Sunday editorials from Florida's leading newspapers

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Tampa Bay Times: A signature moment for St. Petersburg

“Seattle has the Space Needle, Atlanta has Centennial Olympic Park with its Fountain of Rings, and New York has High Line park. Now St. Petersburg has a unique opportunity to create an iconic destination on its downtown waterfront. The Lens would be a natural extension of the city’s front lawn. Yet the project may be derailed this week by a skittish St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and a wobbly City Council.”

Tampa Bay Times: ‘Stand your ground’ protects criminals

“Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law should be titled the Criminals Relief Act. When the controversial law was enacted in 2005, law enforcement officials warned it would be invoked by people prone to violence and mayhem. Seven years later, it’s clear those fears have been realized. Gang members, drug dealers, domestic abusers and other criminals have walked away from killings thanks to “stand your ground,” and it’s clearer than ever that the law should be repealed. Lawmakers who suggest a tweak can fix the problems are putting politics over sound public policy and the safety of Floridians.”

Bradenton Herald: The Herald recommends: Brad Steube, GOP, Manatee County sheriff

“With 36 years in law enforcement, a degree from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and a broad range of community service, Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube has a commendable record of crime fighting and civic leadership in the pursuit of public safety. Appointed sheriff in 2007 and elected to office in 2008, Steube has demonstrated success in lowering crime rates and initiated a variety of administrative improvements during his stewardship of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: State should try again on prison privatization

Further privatization of Florida’s prisons stalled after a decision Tuesday by the 1st District Court of Appeal. The decision means Gov. Rick Scott and legislative allies must push harder in Tallahassee for new stand-alone laws that define savings for the taxpayers through targeted privatization of 29 state prisons.

The Florida Times-Union, There are answers to the pension crisis

“Jacksonville’s pension quagmire — enabled by elected officials’ negligence and lack of fortitude — is sapping city resources, forcing layoffs and threatening to further imperil essential services.”

The Lakeland Ledger: Rick Scott’s Strange Health Math

“In his endless and too-often-fruitless effort to categorize every aspect of state government and assign it a numerical ranking, Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Florida Department of Health to create a system to score and rank the county health department in each of the state’s 67 counties. The Tallahassee bureau of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald pushed the state Health Department, through a public-record request, for nearly five weeks before it divulged the spreadsheet containing the scores and ranks. The Health Department said the report was completed in December but remains a work in progress, the Times and Herald reported Friday. Scrambled eggs are more like it.”

The Miami Herald: Fix this stinky mess 

“A broken water line in Little Haiti floods homes and some streets waist-high. The aging wastewater treatment plant on Virginia Key spills 19 million gallons of untreated waste into the ocean. A water main break in Hialeah creates a sinkhole. A burst pipe pours untreated sewage straight into Biscayne Bay. Over the past two years broken sewer pipes have spewed 47 million gallons of stinky waste onto roads and homes and into Miami-Dade waterways all the way from farmlands in the southern tip of the county to the northern border with Broward, which also is facing major sewer system breakdowns.”

The Orlando Sentinel: Mica’s earned GOP nod

“Republican voters in Florida’s new 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties, have an unusual choice between two incumbent U.S. House members: 10-termer John Mica of Winter Park and freshman Sandy Adams of Orlando. Experience differentiates the two. But — more important — so do accomplishments. Mica gets things done. Adams has little to show from her first term, and her hyper-partisan approach makes it unlikely she’ll ever get much of anything done in a divided Washington.”

Tampa Tribune, Mack, Nelson in Senate primaries

“Mack introduced bills to repeal President Obama’s health care law and to eliminate the capital gains tax. His conservative credentials are genuine. His signature plan is a budget-cutting proposal that would have Congress commit to cutting the federal budget one percent a year. It’s a plan easier said than done, and it doesn’t explain how to cover the increasing costs of baby boomers’ retirement. But it does lay out the challenge in understandable terms and sets a clear goal. Mack’s idea is better than pretending the national debt can continue to grow rapidly without adverse consequences for jobs, interest rates, inflation and the very programs that heavy borrowing now supports.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.