Observer Today June 16, 2017

Published on: June 16, 2017

Good morning and happy Friday!

Rain. Summer in Florida and rain, often in sheets of blinding torrential form, go hand in hand. According to Wikipedia: “Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth.”

Yep. We need it. And we shall get it. If not today or tomorrow then soon enough. But probably today. And then soon enough.

Scientists believe that rain occurs on other planets, as well. As should be expected considering that there are a gazillion planets in our universe. Surely some of them are Florida-like where happy aliens are cruising around on freeways wearing sunglasses in the rain.

Today’s weather: speaking of liquid water droplets heavy enough to respond to gravity, here’s what the good people at the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin have to say:

“Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. South wind 5 to 8 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.”

So far Saturday looks good, albeit a tad balmy and Sunday looks like…rain.

Personal forecast: If you need a beach or a park fix, Saturday would be the day (bring sunglasses, bring umbrella); enjoy air conditioning and binge on Netflix on Sunday.

Eye on the tropics: Helllloooo hurricane season! According to the National Hurricane Center:

For the North Atlantic…Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

Cloudiness and showers associated with a tropical wave located several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands are showing some signs of organization. However, development, if any, of this system should be slow to occur during the next few days while the wave moves westward near 20 mph over the tropical Atlantic.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent.

A broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and the Yucatan peninsula this weekend. Conditions appear to be favorable for gradual development of this system while it moves slowly northwestward toward the southern Gulf of Mexico early next week.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…medium…50 percent.

What to do?

The Firehouse Cultural Center will be holding the last Firehouse Pub until fall on Saturday night. The show is listed as a sell-out but it may be worth a call. The locally popular, nationally successful Victoria Ginty and Ladyhawke will be on the stage at 7:30 p.m. A cash bar and refreshments are available inside the pub. Call 813-645-7651 or visit:

The SouthShore Regional Library will present “The Prince and the Pea” today at 2 p.m. The description is cool: “What is a fairy tale king to do when it’s time for his daughter to marry? He places a pea under 100 mattresses to find a prince sensitive enough to deserve such a beautiful princess!” For ages 5 and up, it will be presented by the Creative Arts Theatre Company, the City of Tampa’s professional theatre for young audiences.

Are you interested in from whence you came? Who isn’t? Also at the SouthShore Regional Library, from 4 to 5 p.m. will be “Ancestry Library Edition for Beginners.” The program is designed to help those beginning their search on their ancestors learn the many facets of the library’s genealogy database. The library has tremendous resources for genealogy research.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. at the library, check out “First Five Pages: A Writing Workshop.” Award-winning author Martina Boone will walk you through the first critical steps in getting started on in releasing the novel we all have within.

Also tomorrow at noon, the library will present the “Teen Author Festival.” According to the program description, “New York Times bestselling young adult authors will be answering questions about writing being an author. After a Q&A, attendees will have the chance to speak to the authors one on one. That sounds very cool.

The SSRL calendar is found here:

On Sunday, Dads get in free with a paid admission to the Morean Arts Center at 719 Central Ave., in St. Petersburg. Visit:

MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa is offering free admission to exhibit galleries to active duty military personnel and up to five immediate family members from today through Aug. 13. Proof of service is required.

C’mon! It’s Friday! The best night of the weekend. Get thyself to the Ruskin Family Drive-In. And please, have the delicacy known as a “chili cheese dog” for me. And feel free to let me know about it.

Happenings in Hillsborough:

It is all about Father’s Day at the county’s senior centers. The area senior centers will be holding Father’s Day celebrations today for center members. Wimauma begins at 10 a.m.; Ruskin at 12:30 p.m. and Brandon at 1 p.m.

Happenings in Manatee:

Household waste and scrap collection will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Palmetto Fairgrounds, Utilities Complex, 3333 Lena Road.

News to know:

Mental health issues are losing their unfair stigma — and remain critically important. Read up on how you can help in South Hillsborough via the Observer News’ Lois Kindle.

It’s a done deal on the trees for Riverview residents and for those who pass through the community. For every mature, flowering crape myrtle tree removed along U.S. 301 for road construction, a new one will go in, compliments of the Florida Department of Transportation. Read Yvette Hammett’s story here.

And, in the end:

From a card to a phone call; a visit to lunch or dinner out, don’t forget Dad on Sunday (even if, like me, you go out in remembrance only). The south Tampa Bay region is replete with great places to go, such as Hook’s Restaurant, above. The waterfront bar and grill is located within Little Harbor Resort but is a “mom and pop” operation.

On this day in 1858, a young Abraham Lincoln declared that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” while accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. A few years later, as President of the United States, he would learn more about that than he could possibly have imagined. It did not but, in the end, he saw the beginnings of a nation coming back together again. Much like a marriage, politics and such machinations are often, for better or for worse. President Lincoln lived to see both.

It was a different world, yet still a contentious one when, on this day in 1935, Congress accepted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” It was an expansive set of programs, born in response to the Great Depression, the keystone of which is Social Security, although that came a little later. Some historians believe that the New Deal dramatically altered American politics, elevating Democrats to power for decades to come. It didn’t actually all happen on this day, 82 years ago, but enormous legislation is often an incremental process. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first Republican President elected after the New Deal largely left it intact.

The largest programs that came from the New Deal still exist today, including Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC — created, in part, to avoid those nasty, terrifying runs on banks. Yeah…except by 2008, some banks proved to not actually be banks), the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The WPA, a program to get Americans working and from which sidewalks, buildings and even parks remain today, was ended in the early 1940s.

What the future holds is anyone’s guess. We move in fits and starts and it is by design that no major legislation is an easy “one and done” process. Our Founding Fathers knew we were all kind of crazy so don’t expect big things to happen in a day. They were more than a little afraid of the whole “big things happening in a day” thing. And for good reason.

And speaking of Fathers, don’t forget your founding father, Dear Old Dad, on Sunday. Happy Fathers Day to all of the Dads out there!

Have a great day and weekend! See you on Monday!

By Mitch Traphagen

Observer Today is a morning briefing out (usually) by 7 a.m. and updated until around 9 a.m. Do you have news tips or suggestions for this feature? Please email me or leave a comment.