Observer Today July 18, 2017

Published on: July 18, 2017

Good morning!

Today is the 199th day of the year, leaving only 166 days remaining in 2017. This year has flown by, right? Seriously, run out to get Halloween Candy because it’s going to be Christmas in roughly 20 minutes.

The first photo ever uploaded to the World Wide Web featured Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Neilsen, Lynn Veronneau. By Source, Fair use,

To put into perspective just how quickly things change, it was on this day in 1992 that (what is thought to be) the very first photograph was posted to the World Wide Web. Government and universities had been using the Internet for years but the web was something brand new. In keeping with what would become the early frontier days, it was a photograph of four attractive women, Les Horribles Cernettes.

Today’s weather: “In the Good Old Summertime” is a Tin Pan Alley song first published in 1902 with music by George Evans and lyrics by Ren Shields. This is published by the good folks at the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin:

“Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. Heat index values as high as 101. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest around 6 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible..”

During the evening and overnight hours, expect isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low around…..sheesh…. 76.

Personal forecast: Live, love, be happy (that the heat index could potentially be less than three digits).


Eye on the tropics: And along comes Don…far to our south. From the National Hurricane Center:

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

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Don, located about 300 miles east-southeast of Barbados.

A tropical wave, accompanied by a well-defined low pressure system, is located over the central tropical Atlantic several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Some gradual development of this system is possible through mid-week while it moves toward the west-northwest or northwest at 10 to 15 mph. After that time, environmental conditions are forecast to become less conducive for development.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…medium…40 percent.

What to do?

At the SouthShore Regional Library we have Baby Time, Toddler Time and Story Time starting at 10 a.m.

At 2 p.m., check out “Virtual Reality With Your Smartphone” because we all know that actual reality can be a little stressful at times.

At 5 p.m there is SteamPunked! Make miniature steampunk top hats and magnets — for grades 6 to 12. Cool!

Also at 5 p.m. is the Teen GameZone. Be there when the good folks at the library plug in the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii and Playstation into large projector screens for two hours of gaming.

At 7:15 p.m. is a Teen Advisory Board Meeting, at which, remarkably enough, teens are actually asked to attend.

Also, take a few steps in and check out a book. No, they aren’t all electronic. People really still print books. On paper.

The SouthShore Regional Library schedule is found here:

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

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

Happenings in Hillsborough:

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center is “Veteran’s Boots 2 Business Reboot,” a one day entrepreneurship training program open to veterans of all eras and their spouses. It is a free event. Visit:

In the “Seriously, does this actually happen???” department: The Building Board of Adjustment, Appeals and Examiners meets at 9 a.m. at County Center downtown. Their purpose is to confirm “the competency and integrity of applicants applying for building certification in the County.” Wow. How long has this been going on? Honestly, do these people have to sleep with their lights on at night?

But then who am I to talk? I’m the guy advocating for someone to build a full-size rocket launchpad in their backyard. Because, you know, rockets and outer space and stuff. They probably wouldn’t let me in the door of that meeting.

Check out the Hillsborough County calendar here:

Happenings in Manatee:

Tonight check out the “Sunset Dip Net” at Emerson Point Preserve from 6 to 8 p.m. The description: “Get ready to explore what lies beneath the waves as we dip net at beautiful Emerson Point Preserve. Come discover the wide variety of unique creatures that live on our shorelines and learn how to identify them. You’ll meet marvelous mollusks, sensational sea grasses, and maybe some cool crustaceans! For this program, be sure to bring closed toed shoes that can get wet and a towel. Program suitable for adults 18 and older.”

Reservations are required. Email or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036

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 way 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. We’re everywhere. Mostly.

And, in the end:

On this day in AD 64 the Great Fire of Rome began, lasting for six days, destroying half the city and causing widespread devastation. Yeah, a long time ago but, if you get a chance, thank your local firefighter. Those people wear 100 pounds of gear and fight fires, which tend to be hot, even in the summer, which also tends to be hot.

From there, a lot more less than pleasant things happened on this day in history. And to codify just that, on the Hebrew calendar, this was a day to commemorate many Jewish calamities. Weird how there are just some of those days, huh? Fortunately, they are more rare than not.

And, in the end… South Hillsborough is saying goodbye to, and mourning the loss of, Ron Simpson. He was highly active in both the greater community and in the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce. Ron was a mentor, a supporter, a cheerleader, a coach and so much more. He was also one heck of a good guy and a wonderful friend to many.

There will be a celebration of Ron’s life on Wed., July 19 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin. Food and beverages will be provided. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ron’s name to C.A.R.E. (Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort). Checks may be dropped off at the service on Wednesday, at the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce or at C.A.R.E.

His wife Phyllis, family and many friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Godspeed Ron. May we be fortunate enough to see you again someday.

Have a great Tuesday. See you tomorrow.

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.