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St. Pete mayor takes to Twitter on masks, reopenings and protests

Jaymi Butler



Rick Kriseman
St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman travelled to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Conference.

St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman often takes to Twitter to share information on what’s happening in St. Pete and to show a little – well, a lot of – love for Tampa Bay’s sports teams. On Tuesday, though, he had had more serious things on his mind.

Following a press conference at Pinellas Ale Works Tuesday morning, Kriseman posted a rapid-fire series of tweets aimed at underscoring his key messages – that masks are still required in Pinellas County, that the city will begin to issue event permits Oct. 5 and that violent and lawless demonstrations will not be tolerated from either side of the political spectrum.

Here are the main takeways on face coverings and business operations:

Kriseman praised the efforts of the community in limiting the spread of Covid through the use of masks and the practicing of social distancing.

Because the positivity rate has remained low and hospital capacities aren’t strained, Kriseman shared that city operations will “largely return to normal.”

Libraries, recreation centers and municipal service offices will also open again Oct. 5, and Kriseman said that he’s working with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, scheduled for Oct. 23-25, to allow a limited number of fans to attend. Other upcoming events include a food truck rally and the Come Out St. Pete festival.

However, Kriseman cautioned people against getting complacent and encouraged them to continue using the safety measures outlined by the CDC.

Regarding the protests, some of which have taken a more violent tone after a grand jury announced only one officer would be charged in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Kriseman said he was generally happy that the city has been spared the widespread chaos that has overtaken other areas.

That said, if things get out of hand, Kriseman didn’t mince words about what the consequences would be.

Last Wednesday, a video of a verbal altercation between a couple having dinner at Parkshore Grill and protestors went viral. Several protesters sat down at the table with the couple while others chanted at them.

Kriseman also touched on an incident Saturday night when protesters clashed with counterprotesters along Beach Drive. St. Petersburg police are seeking three people for questioning, two of whom drew knives and a third who pulled out a gun.

He urged people to avoid judging entire groups based on the actions of a few bad apples.

Finally, he made a plea for everyone to take a step back to diffuse the emotions that are running so high in the U.S.

And because he wouldn’t be Kriseman if he didn’t get in a plug for the home team…

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