As our neighbors in the Florida panhandle stepped out from hiding and assessed their homes and cities battered by Hurricane Michael, the former mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, called an audience of over 200 people to consider and prepare for a storm of a different kind.
Landrieu addressed the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club’s 40th Anniversary Dinner Thursday night at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg. Tiger Bay, a non-partisan political club, aspires to be a kind of civic commons, where all people can gather, engage, and build a stronger democracy. Landrieu took the opportunity to engage with the audience and warn of an ideological storm, brewing out of the divisive political climate of America today.
Citing the inevitable demographic changes sweeping our country, when the white majority will no longer be, Landrieu warned of the storm that could overtake it in the coming years if Americans fail to recognize that “the future of the world and the future of this county is in reaching out, not closing in.”
A family emergency was a wake-up call for Dr. C. Hooshmand Nightingale.
Nightingale, an emergency room physician, founded his company, Direct Pharms, after his oldest son got sick and there wasn’t any medication at home to treat the child.
Direct Pharms, which is based at the Tampa Bay Innovation Center in downtown St. Petersburg, offers a technology-enabled kit that is stocked with over-the-counter medications to treat 95 percent of common ailments. The prototype includes items such as Visine, Tylenol, Benadryl and Nyquil, among others.
The Suncoast Tiger Bay Club was never going to be just another civic organization programming speakers. Since its inception in 1978, the emphasis of Tiger Bay – a non-partisan political club – has been as much on member questions, and responses, as the presentations. According to charter member and former president Tom Dunn, the idea was to “ask penetrating questions, hold speakers accountable and reinforce public ethical standards.”
A remarkable array of guests have “walked through the tiger’s jaws” in 40 years. The names come tumbling out: George H. W. Bush, Bob Graham, Lawton Chiles, Jeb Bush, Pat Robertson, John Glenn, Bob Martinez, Connie Mack, Bill Nelson, Paula Hawkins, Marion Hammer, Charlie Crist, Jack Eckerd, C. W. Bill Young, Paul Tash, Bill Foster, Rick Kriseman, Gabe Cazares, George Plimpton, Alan Harvey, Buddy McKay, Martin Dyckman and many, many more. Two full generations of Floridian and American history – and many have walked away with marks from the tiger’s fangs and claws.
The Urban League is a community empowerment center that helps people in need move out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. The Urban League has been around for decades, but they’re bravely moving out of their comfort zone and cooking up a social enterprise with Social Venture Partners.
“Domestic violence is not reported on unless there is a gun involved, and these incidents are not even referred to as domestic violence. News sources call them murder-suicides, but domestic violence organizations can read between the lines. We need to shine a light on what domestic violence really is.”
St. Petersburg’s urban landscape got a bit more colorful this week, expanding on the exemplary mural work of previous years. Everywhere you turn between the Grand Central and Warehouse Arts districts, there’s an enormous painting looking back at you.