Opinions to go Online

The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill

Thanksgiving Week Reflections: Our City, Our Mayor

As the years march on, Thanksgiving becomes increasingly special. It’s a holiday that’s not about obligation. No need for cards or gifts or even those nominal email greetings. It’s not religiously specific. It’s inclusive. It’s about reflecting on what’s right with your world, a concept too often lost in the ubiquitous media drumbeat of all [...]

CentCom Secrecy

Good to hear that “enormous progress” came out of that 10-day, 33-nation conference that recently gathered at MacDill Air Force Base to discuss strategies for defeating the barbarous Islamic State. That was the assessment of Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, CentCom commander. Indeed, it was reassuring–and a little surprising–that so many countries were willing to [...]

Sports Shorts

* It’s a familiar refrain: Kudos again to Rob Higgins, the executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. The Women’s basketball Final Four will be coming here in 2019, and the bid presentation was again largely the work of the Higgins-led TBSC. It will be this city’s third such Final Four, after 2008 and [...]


* “Pretending that Putin has a certain strategic interest that can be shared, it’s wrong. I don’t see any real strategic issue where his interest could be common with Europe.”–Garry Kasparov, Russian chess master and political activist. * “They live in a place where it is very dangerous to be honest.”–National Book Award winner for [...]

The Ultimate Foundation For Downtown Growth

Another day, another ground-breaking. Another day, another developer plan announced. Here a Skyhouse Channelside or Martin at Meridian, there a Residences at Riverwalk or The Plaza at Harbour Island. Certainly seems that way these days. What real estate bubble? As Mayor Bob Buckhorn has unsubtly noted: “This will be a radically different skyline over the [...]


After more than four years of planning, the city recently broke ground on a $5.4 million police fire arms training center for TPD’s 994 sworn officers. The $5.4 million practice range will be built next to the city’s McKay Bay garbage incinerator. By all accounts, it’s needed–given that TPD officers currently use the Hillsborough County [...]

Ultimate Student-Athlete

Fans of high school football,let alone major college scouts, are well aware of the exploits of Sickles High’s Ray Ray McCloud. He recently became the all-time career rushing leader for Hillsborough County. And in a football hotbed like this, that’s saying a lot. What says even more than those nearly 6,000 yards, however, is that [...]

Legal Rights–And Wrongs

According to a Pasco Sheriff’s Office report, there’s now doubt that Chad Oulson, the man who was shot dead in that Wesley Chapel movie theater in January, had been texting his daughter prior to being killed. (Reportedly, it was Oulson’s texting that had irritated defendant Curtis Reeves, who is facing charges of second-degree murder.) Surely, [...]

Media Matters

*Former President George W. Bush has been sitting for interviews as part of the publicity rollout for his book, 41: A Portrait of My Father. It’s an overdue paean to former President George H.W. Bush. George W., the 43rd president, has been mentioning lessons he has learned from his dad, a war hero from World [...]

Executive Disorder

The drumbeat continues, the rhetoric ratchets. Indeed, President Obama has now gone ahead with executive action on immigration. It is his prerogative, even if it undermines the last, although long-shot, opportunity for an adult relationship between this frustrated executive and this obstructionist legislative branch. But for the sake of context, let’s not forget this: Congressional [...]