Observer Today July 10, 2017

Published on: July 10, 2017

Good morning!

Admittedly, not the greatest question for a Monday, perhaps, but…are you a “glass is half full” person? Or do you typically see the glass as half empty? In other words, are we (meaning you, us, whoever) bound for better days or bound for hell in a hand basket (whatever that means — could be the next question I have to ask).

That old semi-philosophical outlook about the glass is, of course, dependent upon circumstances, I think. On any given day it can change. But what is your default mode? I’d be curious to hear from you. You can email me here.

Today’s weather: From now until September O’Clock. From the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin:

“Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 102. East southeast wind 5 to 7 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%.”

Overnight? Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 11 p.m. then mostly cloudy and a low around 76.

Personal forecast: Partially molten except for the bumps left behind by mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

Eye on the tropics: We’ve had a few build up only to disappear into the ocean’s ether. We’ll hope for the same on this one. From the National Hurricane Center:

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

Disorganized showers and thunderstorms located several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands are associated with a tropical wave. Some gradual development is possible through the week while this system moves westward at about 20 mph across the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent.

What to do?

Check out a Broadway Show: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” will be playing at the Straz Center July 11 to July 16. Tickets start at $38. For more information visit:

Here is something different at the Tampa Museum of Art: Join the Museum and Kadampa Meditation Center Tampa Bay for a short after-work meditation class. No registration required. Cost per class is $10 per person. Visit:

At the SouthShore Regional Library: History of Tampa’s Jewish Community at 11 a.m.; Floss and Friends and 12:30 p.m.; the Adult Writing Group at 1 p.m. and at 3:30 p.m. will be the library’s teen movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I call cool.

The SouthShore Regional Library schedule is found here:

Busch Gardens in Tampa celebrates “Summer Nights” with extended hours.

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.

Check out what’s playing at the Ruskin Family Drive-In.

Happenings in Hillsborough:

It’s a quiet Summer Monday with Hillsborough County and this is a bit of a hike from the south metro but for business owners, check out this free workshop: Tax Awareness and Your Business from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Temple Terrace Library. The description: “This workshop provides an overview of business taxes, including employment taxes, business deductions, record keeping and electronic filing.” Visit:

Check out the Hillsborough County calendar here:

Happenings in Manatee:

I’m starting to dig the Manatee County chill. Zippo on the schedule for today but things are coming up. The county calendar is located here:

The print edition of The North Manatee Observer News also contains numerous things to get you out of the air conditioning and into the beauty of Manatee County.

News to know:

The Observer News website contains only a small portion of what is in the print editions (yes, there are four editions!). Pick one up. If you can’t find one (well, you won’t find one in Ohio or West Virginia or some place like that (actually,  you might)), then email me and I’ll help.

My jetBlue flight from Newark to Tampa yesterday. Not one person got sucked out of a window, especially not the captain. For which the entire plane, no doubt, is unknowingly grateful.

And, in the end:

Some Americans love to give France a hard time — once even to the point of re-naming the french-fries in the House and Senate cafeterias “Freedom Fries.” Oh geez.

But just a little piece of history here: On this day in 1778, Louis XVI of France declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain which in no small part helped to ensure our independence. France sided with us.

But like all big countries, they don’t do everything right. On this day in 1985, French foreign intelligence agents blew up the “Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior” while it was at harbor in Auckland, New Zealand. Green Peace, at the time, wasn’t overly excited about the nuclear tests that France was attempting in the South Pacific. And suddenly New Zealand was pretty unhappy with them blowing up a ship in their harbor. One person, a Dutch photographer, was killed.

Speaking of which, on this day just two years ago singer and The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was fatally shot after a concert in Orlando. She was 22-years old.

Something to aspire to? On this day in 1944, 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall signed with the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the youngest player in Major League Baseball.

Here’s a “glass is half full” ending: On this day in 1990, British Airways Flight 5390, departing Britain, bound for Spain, had a cockpit windscreen blow out at 17,400 feet, which sucked the captain, Tim Lancaster, literally half-way out of the airplane. Lancaster held on for more than 20 minutes as his first officer successfully made an emergency landing at Southhampton Airport. There was no loss of life.

Lancaster took a beating against 345 mile-per-hour winds and a temperature around one degree (for the native Floridians: just one is not very many degrees).

The first officer didn’t have it very easy, either — due to the aforementioned 345 mph winds, he couldn’t hear responses from air traffic control so he just shouted out his intentions and went into a steep dive to land. Nothing fun about that. No passengers were injured but a flight attendant suffered a dislocated shoulder and frostbite on his face and an eye. A ground crew had to free Lancaster who suffered a good bit more but was, miraculously, alive. Less than five months later, he was back in the cockpit.

It’s Monday — hang on like Tim Lancaster and have a great day!

By Mitch Traphagen

Observer Today is a morning briefing out (usually) by 7 a.m. (or so) and updated until around 10 a.m. Do you have news tips or suggestions for this feature? Please email or leave a comment.