Round-up of Sunday newspaper editorials

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St. Petersburg Times – The minor league mayor
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster’s minor league approach to securing Tampa Bay’s future in Major League Baseball diminishes the community and the elected office he holds. What’s missing is the ambition, sophistication and creativity necessary to negotiate with the Tampa Bay Rays and build public support for a modern baseball stadium. In the absence of leadership from the mayor, business leaders, other elected officials and the Rays should engage and embrace a regional solution.
St. Petersburg Times – Scott derailed an express train of jobs
When candidate Rick Scott parked his campaign bus plastered with “Let’s Get to Work” slogans at Tampa Steel & Supply in Ybor City last year, he brought the promise of job creation. But rather than a helping hand for Tampa Steel, Scott’s policies as governor have been more like the back of the hand.
There have been no new jobs at Tampa Steel since Scott made that appearance in July 2010 with legions of TV cameras and reporters in tow, as WUSF‘s Bobbie O’Brien reported last week. In fact, the small, recession-battered metal supply business has lost an additional employee to layoffs — it’s now down to 10 workers from a high of 14.
The company’s co-owner, Bruce Goldman, says that he was happy to host the Scott campaign event and hear what the candidate had to say. But Goldman soured on Scott after the governor rejected high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando and the $2.4 billion in federal money it would have brought to Florida.
Manatee County commissioners must be confused after hearing polar opposite views of the proposed changes to the wetlands policy during a workshop several weeks ago.
County staff rewriting the land development code contend the draft recommendations will strengthen wetland protection, creating more and better ones.
Environmentalists and others submit the proposed regulations will weaken safeguards substantially, resulting in long-term ecological damage.
That one set of rules would yield contradictory interpretations does not compute. Puzzling, to say the least.
Florida Times-Union – How tough are economic conditions?
This Labor Day weekend marks one of the most difficult periods for many Americans since the Great Recession.
Here is a list of startling statistics that brings this in focus:
The Great Recession is aptly named since this is the worst downturn since the Great Depression.
The Miami Herald – America’s can-do attitude
Another Labor Day in an anemic economy with slipping consumer confidence and fears of a double-dip recession does not make for a celebration. Still, there are points of light in South Florida that bring the solutions into focus to get people working again.
Count among the casualties of 9-11 the erosion of Americans’ proud heritage of religious tolerance. Examples here in the Sunshine State include:-Gainesville pastor Terry Jones’ announcement last month of his plans for a rally in New York to “point out the dangers of the Quran” — just months after his burning of a Muslim holy book led to deadly protests in Afghanistan.

-A firebombing of an Islamic center in Jacksonville in 2010.

-The crude stereotyping of Muslims in 2009 during the Rifqa Bary affair, where a teen claimed she fled to Florida to avoid retribution from her family for converting to Christianity.

Tampa Tribune – A better place to live
One bright spot for the Tampa area in CNN Money Magazine’s new rating of the best small towns in America is that Wesley Chapel in Pasco County has some of the nation’s lowest-priced housing — the median price of a home there is $134,000.
Beyond that, local towns washed out in the overall competition. Any attempt at measuring quality of life is a subjective and imperfect exercise, but there are lessons for local leaders in the perpetual competition of rating places.
There are many ways to make our towns better places to live.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.