Sh*t Happened 11/20/2014 — RIP Midtown Sundries, VA whistleblower, Rick Scott's victory lap

click to enlarge Former St. Pete mayor Bill Foster at Midtown Sundries in August 2013. - Kevin Tighe
Kevin Tighe
Former St. Pete mayor Bill Foster at Midtown Sundries in August 2013.

How did you spend your Wednesday? (Preferably in a stylish jacket, naturally.)

Longtime downtown St. Pete bar/restaurant/place to play pool and eat wings while you're pretending to work Midtown Sundries closed Tuesday after more than 15 years of operation; lunch regulars found out Wednesday via locked doors and signs in the windows. "Oh wow, that sucks, I wonder what happened?" said dozens of people who hadn't been there in years, while reading the news on their phones as they waited for lunch at The Avenue.

A former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs St. Petersburg Regional Office, who was fired after filing a negative report on the department's claims process, has lodged a whistleblower complaint, which holds the potential for special protections. One of the former employee's demands is his job back. Note to all whistleblowers everywhere: YOU DON'T WANT YOUR JOBS BACK.

Seven Florida-based companies received a perfect score in LGBT rights organization Human Rights Campaign's annual Corporate Equality Index (PDF): BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, Darden Restaurants, Holland & Knight LLP, Office Depot, Tech Data and Carlton Fields Jorden Burt. Which surprised quite a few Florida residents who thought they understood gay culture, because none of those companies sounds like a roller-disco glitter delivery service.

Speaking of LGBT triumphs, the first marriage licenses for same-sex couples were issued in South Carolina yesterday. SOUTH CAROLINA. That's roughly the equivalent of Mississippi granting impoverished women ownership of their fallopian tubes, or something.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Rick Scott's re-election victory celebration will forgo black-tie galas with deep-pocketed donors in favor of free down-home barbecue fests to be held in six cities across the state in December. At each stop, an honors student will be selected to show the governor how to ingest the baby of a single teenage mother without the use of a food processor and IV tube.

And finally, Hillsborough County educator David Lee Giberson resigned from his position as a "teacher evaluator" after being arrested for seven counts of possession of child pornography. Peers described Giberson as "professional" and "dressed impeccably," and pined for the good old days when all perverts were easily recognizable as raincoat-clad syphilitics humping mattresses in grimy urban alleyways.

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