Opinions to go Online

The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill

Riverfront Assets, Riverfront Anomalies

The other day my wife and I ambled around the new 5-acre Water Works Park and were touched by pride and excitement. It was pride that our city’s priorities increasingly include the Hillsborough River that runs through downtown. We all know the history of neglect. For too long the river was treated as the gritty, [...]

Vietnam, Cuba: That’s The Way It (Embar)goes

The photo in the Sunday paper caught my eye. It was of Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He was reviewing a military honor guard. In Ho Chi Minh City. It was a reminder that we do, indeed, have normalized relations with Vietnam, a country we’ve been to war with. A war [...]

Many Moods Of Maddon

Joe Maddon, as we know, is about so much more than baseball. He can talk fine wines, vintage rock ‘n roll and immigration issues, for openers. Now add JFK assassination conspiracy. He’s a total Warren Commission disbeliever. So it was no surprise that during the Rays’ recent trip to Arlington, Texas, Maddon found time to [...]

Sports Shorts

* Looks like the long-shot Carillon Business Park in the Feather Sound area of Pinellas County is now all but officially off the table as a potential site for a new Rays stadium. In the two years since Darryl LeClair unveiled his plans to shoehorn a facility amid a mixed-use development (“Echelon City Center”), the [...]

Media Matters

* Just never know where USF economist Phil Porter will show up next when it comes to weighing in on the economic impact of big events. But there he was in last Sunday’s issue of the New York Times Magazine commenting on the Olympic Games and what they do–or don’t do–for host countries. Porter’s unsurprising, [...]


* “When you have a unique circumstance in which genocide is threatened, and a country is willing to have us in there, you have a strong international consensus that these people need to be protected and we have a capacity to do so, then we have an obligation to do so.”–President Barack Obama’s rationale for [...]

College Sports Reform: Start With Academics

The year was 1989. My wife and I were living in Evansville, Ind. It’s a long story. But hearing Patsy Cline on the jukebox at Joey’s Bar and watching Hoosier high school basketball was a treat. And something else was a pleasant diversion from life entirely too close to corn fields: the Evansville Downtown Quarterback [...]

JoLo Still A Bargain

This just in: Joe Lopano,the Tampa International Airport CEO, gets another raise. As of Oct. 1, he will make approximately $350,000 a year. It’s an extension of a pattern–salary hikes and merit raises–we’ve seen since he came on board in 2011. Occasionally there’s been some push back from a Hillsborough County Aviation Authority member, but [...]

Voting For Democracy

By now we’re all too well versed in the rhetoric and rationales. * Negative campaigns drive down the vote. Thanks, again, Citizens United and a further coarsening of our political culture. * Non-presidential years don’t motivate enough voters. Governors, amendments, legislators, mayors, judges, school board members aren’t big enough draws. * Gerrymandering skews everything.  You [...]

The Art Of Further Reflection

Next week City Council will take another look at the rowing graffiti that the city wants to pressure wash off of the seawall near Kiley Gardens in downtown just north of the Kennedy Boulevard bridge. The city wants the collegiate graffiti gone in preparation for a “Lights on Tampa” art installation. Others have objected–citing the [...]