Opinions to go Online

The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire

The Pasco County School District can’t stay out of the news. And it has nothing to do with standardized tests or school letter grades. It has everything to do with common sense. First, it was for giving serious consideration to doing away with the graduation ritual of honoring class valedictorians and salutatorians. They’ve been hammered [...]

Photo Op Ethics

Maybe it really was a breakdown in communications. And maybe Rick Scott means well. Gov. Scott’s three-city, “Let’s Keep Florida Safe” campaign swing included, of course, Tampa. The local stop featured a requisite photo op with uniformed police as a symbolically supportive backdrop. Standard operating procedure for politicians–and backdroppers.  Only some participants say they didn’t [...]

Noteworthy Papal Interview

It worked for Tom Wolfe in the late 1960s, and Radical Chic resulted. He didn’t take notes typically associated with direct quotation. And he was sans tape recorder. He tapped his memory. But no one denied that Wolfe, a “new journalism” avatar, had captured the au courant societal scene at Leonard Bernstein’s fund-raising soiree for [...]

Two Papers, Two Takes

As per usual, all local media got the same City Hall email: “Fitch Upgrades Rating for Tampa Water, Sewer Bonds.” Also included: an appropriately upbeat sound bite by Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Then it’s a journalistic decision whether to use it and, if so, how to use it–as is or with added context. Here’s how the [...]

Foreign Fodder

* As leader of the country that will host the 2018 World Cup, Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Rio de Janeiro last Sunday for the official hand-off from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. And while in the hemispheric neighborhood, Putin tended to some other business. He signed deals with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner [...]


* “We are in different development stages, we have different historical responsibilities and we have different capacities.”–Xie Zhenhua, China’s chief climate official, on why the U.S. and China, the world’s top two carbon emitters, remain far apart on a global plan to cut emissions. * “…The lesson to our American friends who seemingly want to [...]

Texting While Driving: Not A Secondary Matter

Some matters, such as reining in a Wall Street casino culture, taking issue with certain Supreme Court decisions or assessing climate-change ramifications, can almost seem like abstractions. Their impact may be substantial and society-altering, but in our routine lives they don’t necessarily resonate on a daily basis. Then there’s an issue, also societally impactful, that [...]

No Room For Provincialism

Look who’s back in the city council hunt: Joe Caetano. The New Tampa resident who  represented District 7 from 2007-11, wants his old North Tampa seat back. The one that was won by Lisa Montelione. Last time, Caetano finished third and didn’t make the run-off. Caetano’s comments upon filing, however, don’t sound like the stuff [...]

Tipping Point Apparent

In any movement there’s always a tipping point–or points. That was apparent in the recent St. Pete Pride parade. The signs were manifest. The crowd was bigger, the event was at night, police and firefighters were no longer discouraged from marching in uniform and the city’s mayor was a high-profile participant. All were indicators of [...]

Almost Accurate

As we know, at the last minute those Charlie Crist stickers were removed from that race car at the Daytona International Speedway. The Florida GOP had complained that the market value far exceeded the $3,000 limit for in-kind contributions to a statewide candidate. “We thought a campaign gift of a NASCAR sponsorship was worth $25,000 [...]