Mitch Perry Report 3.2.12 - spring training games begin

The first real live pro baseball spring training games begin on Saturday, with Dunedin and Clearwater being the local sites hosting major league action. With no fewer than seven big league teams training within an hour or so of downtown Tampa (Sarasota might take you a little longer), it's not exactly March Madness, more like March Mildness. Let's face it: if you're going to see quality games, that doesn't really happen in March. But the ability to get out of the office and drink a few cold ones in the (hopefully not too oppressive) sunshine? Yeah, that works out pretty well if you can swing it.

Okay, back to the political world in Tampa Bay. Tea Party activist Sharon Calvert announced yesterday she is gunning her sights at fellow Republican Victor Crist for a Hillsborough County Commission seat later this year.

St. Pete House Republican Jeff Brandes has filed an amendment to a bill in Tallahassee that calls for the merger of the transit agencies of Hillsborough County (HART) with Pinellas County (PSTA). The chair of the HART board promptly issued a press release, reiterating that her agency doesn't want that to happen.

At the Tampa City Council yesterday, $2 million was approved for surveillance cameras that will be deployed for use at the Republican National Convention later this year. But the Council wants to make sure there's a thorough debate after the event about if those cameras will be employed after that.

The Council also heard a lot of debate about moving a high-class soup kitchen into the V.M. Ybor part of Tampa. Unlike a similar debate two weeks earlier, however, there were plenty in support of the Trinity Cafe moving into the neighborhood, vs. complaints from citizens about not wanting the establishment in their back (or front) yard.

The stunning news that conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart has died Thursday prompted CL to re-post our September of 2010 article about him.

And St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster sat down two weeks ago with CL's Arielle Stevenson for an in-depth interview. You can read the entire transcript here.

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