Observer Today July 14, 2017

Published on: July 14, 2017

Good morning and happy Friday!

Whoever you are…thank you. And I will too.

On a local community Facebook page on Wednesday, a woman left a message to thank someone in the car ahead of her at a drive-thru restaurant. The person ahead of her paid for her order, and that person could not possibly have known that in paying the $4.81 total for her and her child, she was able to keep the last $5 that she had.

It’s human nature to judge through the lens of our own experiences and perspective. It’s human nature to criticize that which does not live up to our own expectations of what others should be.

But if you are healthy, it’s difficult to appreciate what it’s like to not be healthy.

If you have a good job, it’s difficult to appreciate what it’s like to hold 19 cents in your hand, knowing it’s all that you have left.

The person in the white car was “paying it forward.” Hundreds of people saw the Facebook post of gratitude from the young mother. Hundreds of people were moved by it.

Someone out there did something for me several months ago. He took a rough time and literally turned it around. He could not possibly have known the positive impact he had. I’ve tried here and there to pay it forward, as he did for me. But something else is coming; someone who could use the help an unknown stranger freely gave to me.

Pay it forward. Thank you to the person in the white car at that drive-thru. I feel better knowing you are out there. I’m sure a lot of us do.

Today’s weather: Another beautiful summer day on the Gulf Coast of Florida! Well, mostly… 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 wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.”

Overnight? Scattered showers and thunderstorms mainly before 8 p.m. Guess what the low will be??? Yep! 76.

Personal forecast: Keep an eye on your hair day. Morning? You’ll be good to head off to work. By noon, hair down a little as the humidity really kicks in. By rush hour (also meaning rushing to your car to avoid a possible deluge), hair flat. Be standing too near a lightning strike? Hair straight up. Avoid that last one. That’s the kind of perm no one needs.

Eye on the tropics: Wishing them away is working for now, apparently. From the National Hurricane Center:

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

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days.

What to do?

Sssshhhh! It’s quiet time today at the SouthShore Regional Library. There is Non-Impact Aerobics at 10:30 a.m. and an all-day “Call to Artists” for exhibits in the library’s gallery space. The theme for September and October is painting and mixed media. The theme for November and December is photography. The exhibits are juried and entry forms are due by July 31.

On Saturday, at 10:30 a.m. is Let’s Create! for the wee artists, ages 3 to 6. That is followed by “Creative Artists” ages 7 to 11 at 11:30 p.m. Art instructor Tim Gibbons will help to allow the artists to bring home some original art. Registration is required.

Oh, yeah — it’s a library. They have books there, too!

The SouthShore Regional Library schedule is found here:

It’s the weekend… a Broadway Show: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” will be playing at the Straz Center until July 16. Tickets start at $38. For more information visit:

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

It’s Friday night, kids! Check out what’s playing at the Ruskin Family Drive-In.

Happenings in Hillsborough:

At the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center this morning there is a free class at 10 a.m. on “Developing Your Social Media Strategy Using Video Marketing” along with “Ask an Expert,” also at 10 a.m. So…basically…you could Ask an Expert about your Social Media Strategy Using Video but it might be best to just hit that class in the first place.

Check out the Hillsborough County calendar here:

Happenings in Manatee:

On Saturday, there is household waste and scrap collection at 3333 Lena Rd, Palmetto Fairgrounds, Utilities Complex.

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 house and into the beauty of Manatee County.

News to know:

Print is so cool. 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 New Hampshire or some place like that), then email me and I’ll help.

And, in the end:

Today is Bastille Day, marking the 1789 beginning of the French Revolution with the fall of the Bastille Prison. President Trump will apparently be reporting from France today.

On this day in 1992, while the relatively few people with home computers were still using 2400 baud modems (remember those?), the world’s first open source operating system, 386BSD, was released. Not long after, Linus Torvalds released Linux. While not many computer geeks are aware of the former, the latter is still extremely well known today.

On this day in 1969, the United States Treasury withdrew the $500, $1000, $5000, and $10000 bills. I honestly have no idea if you could still cash a $10,000 bill you might find laying around in your parents’ attic. But, if it were real, it would be interesting to try. If not real? Prison probably isn’t so interesting. Regardless, the largest denomination in circulation today is the $100 bill.

On this day in 1911, Harry Atwood, a pilot with the Wright Brothers, landed a biplane on the South Lawn of the White House. President Taft would later award him with a gold medal, the highest non-military honor. A century later a mailman from Ruskin piloted a gyrocopter down the National Mall and landed on the lawn at the U.S. Capitol. He didn’t get shot, but let’s just say that those with the ability to do so were not amused, and there was no gold medal for him.

Don’t think it could happen here? It did. On this day 1798 the Sedition Act became law making it a crime to write, publish or even utter false or malicious statements about the United States government. Ironically, part of the law, signed by Founding Father and U.S. President John Adams, also made it harder for immigrants to become citizens. That signature likely cost the second president a second term. Three of the acts were almost immediately repealed once Thomas Jefferson assumed the Presidency after being elected to his first term in 1800, in no small part because the act ended up being used, apparently, to attempt to silence Jefferson-supporting newspapers. Honestly? There weren’t much in the way of journalistic standards in those days (Yes, we really do have them today. Most of us, anyway). One act, the Alien Enemies Act, remained in effect and was ultimately used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to imprison Japanese, German and Italian aliens during World War II. Technically, that act, with some minor clarification from the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948, remains in effect today.

And, in the end…on this day in 1881, Billy the Kid (aka Henry McCarty, aka William H. Bonney) was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett near Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. Garrett had actually captured him earlier but he escaped, killing two deputies in the process. There are questions, rumors, myths and suggestions about his death that live on to this very day. For all we know, Billy the Kid, now 158-years-old, is the oldest resident of Sun City Center. And he probably still plays pickle-ball.

Have a great day and a great weekend! We’ll see you on Monday!

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.