Saturday, November 18, 2017


John Romano, Times Columnist

John Romano, Times Columnist

Records have been destroyed and witnesses have gone missing, but Tampa Bay Times metro columnist John Romano would have you believe he was a product of the Pinellas County school system and the University of South Florida. He worked at the Evening Independent and the Palm Beach Post before being hired in the Times' sports department in 1985. Showing a remarkable lack of staying power, he has worked on beats covering USF, the University of Florida, Orlando Magic, Buccaneers and Rays before succeeding Hubert Mizell as a columnist in 2001. He became the metro columnist in 2012.

Heavy rain from Hurricane Hermine caused flooding in west Pasco County in 2016. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

Romano: Flood insurance rates still going up? Um, thanks?

Bless their scheming little hearts, they tried.The folks in the U.S. House of Representatives got together and crunched numbers, weighed data, negotiated differences and came up with a flood insurance plan that hardly anyone likes.And...
Published: 11/16/17
Hillsborough High School students staged a walk out in support of teacher pay raises in Tampa on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

Romano: Sorry teachers, you simply canít win this one

When it comes to your principles, there is no shame in putting up a fight.You can fight City Hall, and you can fight the power. According to the song, you can fight the law. You can even fight the good fight, whatever that means.But you...
Published: 11/14/17
Florida State Prison in Raiford.

Romano: Wasting money and lives in Florida with foolish sentencing laws

Take a bow, Florida.When it comes to drug sentencing laws, the experts say you are tougher than most. You lock up more people, and you keep them behind bars longer than just about any other state.You also waste more taxpayer money,...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/11/17
President Donald Trump listens to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, during a meeting with U.S. Mayors and Governors for an Infrastructure Summit in the State Dinning Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Romano: How ya feeling about Donald Trump today, Gov. Scott?

Once upon a time, a political newcomer took advantage of a presidentís upside-down approval ratings and rode that tea party outrage all the way to the Governorís Mansion in Tallahassee.Now, all these years later, weíre about to find out if...
Published: 11/09/17
Crowd erupts while watching TV as mayoral candidate Rick Baker took the stage for his concession speech and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was named the winner at his watch party at Nova 535 in St. Petersburg on Nov. 7, 2017.

Romano: Great job, Mayor Kriseman, now don't blow it

The crowd was chanting, a Tom Petty song was playing and the re-elected mayor of St. Petersburg was expressing heartfelt thanks from the center of the stage.This is what victory looks like.
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/08/17
Packages on a conveyor belt await loading into trucks at the Ruskin Amazon facility.

Romano: Can someone please give us a good review on Amazon?

Here’s what the critics have to say about Tampa Bay:Nothing.Not a snark, not a critique, not a peep.
Published: 11/07/17
Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker, pictured during a July debate, will compete for votes in the St. Petersburg mayor's race Tuesday. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

Romano: Tell the critics to shut up, Election Day has arrived in St. Pete

For months, everyone else has been telling you whatís important in the St. Petersburg mayoral race.The candidates and their intermediaries. The editors and the columnists. The faceless PACs and the political parties.Naturally, all those...
Published: 11/04/17

Romano: Those in charge of public schools seem to hate public schools

Imagine this:A constitutional amendment that would allow communities in Florida to create alternative police departments that bypass a lot of the pesky regulations the state usually insists on.As you may know, some neighborhoods have...
Updated one month ago
A look at the area just north of the Selmon Expressway by the Ybor Channel Tuesday afternoon in Tampa (10/24/17). Hillsborough is close to naming its site for a proposed ballpark and we're hearing that it will be in the area near the Ybor Channel on the north side of the Selmon. [Dirk Shadd  |  Times]

Key to Rays stadium? Location, location, location. (Also money, money money.)(w/video)

Well, that was a stinker of a bombshell.The formal announcement of Hillsborough Countyís proposed site for a Rays baseball stadium in Ybor City seemed a few octaves shy of harmonious on Tuesday.Where were the Rays?Where was...
Updated one month ago
Justin Lyons' room in his Valrico house that was flooded following Hurricane Irma on September 20, 2017. Lyons lives near the Alafia River and had to evacuate his home about a week before, in the middle of the night, as the waters rose. Lyons has been staying at the house because he doesn't want his family's remaining belongings to be stolen.

Romano: Why flood insurance might not be enough to save your home

Irma is gone, and Maria never came.And yet this is as good a time as any to worry.Because if recent storms have taught us anything, it is that Tampa Bay homeowners are at risk not just from flooding but from the regulatory hurdles that...
Updated one month ago