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Observer Today June 29, 2017

Published on: June 29, 2017

Good morning!

Happy Thursday to you. Most everyone has heard of Rotary International. It is a global organization with a global impact. This you might not know: while the members are quite social, it is not a social organization, per se — it is a philanthropic organization. Their mission is to help, both here in our communities and around the world. Check out Yvette Hammett’s article on the Fishhawk-Riverview Rotary Club in this week’s Observer News.

As an aside, in a different century, far, far away when I was in my teens and somewhat lost on a trip in Germany, I met a very cute girl from New Zealand. Rotary International had sponsored her trip to Europe for a multitude of reasons. The underlying goal was for her to “pay it forward,” long before people were using the phrase, “pay it forward.” And…why am I typing this? She pronounced “Rotary” as “Ro-Tarry.” To this very day, I cannot see the word “Rotary” and not think “Ro-Tarry.” Some people, like cute girls when a teenager, just have that kind of impact.

And a note to our valued readers (that would be you, and thank you for that): Beginning this week, the web update for our newspapers will take place on Thursday afternoon rather than on Wednesday evening. This change will allow the readers of all four editions of The Observer to receive their printed newspapers before the website is updated. Read more about it here:

And please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or comments. I hope to hear from you.

Today’s weather: It’s Groundhog Day! Well, at least (so far) the weather is supposed to be a near carbon copy of yesterday. But keep an eye on the heat index. From the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin:

“Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 105. East southeast wind 5 to 8 mph becoming south 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.”

Overnight? Here we go! Scattered showers and thunderstorms and a low of 76. And yep, I left that line intact from yesterday.

Personal forecast: Some people in my home state of Minnesota, in defending the arctic chill, like to say, “You can always add more clothes when it’s cold. You can only take off so much when it’s hot.” Yep, that’s true — but at 30 degrees below zero you are adding thermonuclear powered winter wear that makes you look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man from the original Ghostbusters movie. On steroids. So, on that note, it’s going to be a beautiful day in Florida. Just avoid heavy polyester.

Eye on the tropics: To be fair, hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t reach a peak until September. But so far, at least, things are looking good. Enjoy this today. 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?

OK, so this should be cool. At the SouthShore Regional Library at 1 p.m. will be “Bats of the World.” According to the description you’ll learn about the most amazing and exotic bats on the planet. And…YOU CAN ACTUALLY MEET A BAT! And it’s perfect because it’s not one flying loose in your house at 3 a.m. The program is presented by…and I learned something here, too: Tampa Bay Bats. Who knew? Sorry but this is for kids grades K through 5. If you don’t have one of those around the house, perhaps your neighbor will let you borrow one.

Bats of the World will be repeated again at 2:30.

At 2 p.m. is Beading 101, limited to 15 participants.

At 6 p.m. is “How to Make Your Own Gifs and Memes.” Basically, how to create cool and unique stuff to post on social media. You could be the next viral sensation. But be cool about it, OK? Thanks.

Also at 6 p.m. is Teen Tech, where your teen will build a robot that will eventually take control of our planet and make us his servants. Just kidding about that last part. Teen Tech for ages 14 to 18 is a great opportunity for young people. It’s free — please take advantage of it.

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 bit of a hike from the south metro but Hillsborough County is offering a free class entitled “Bookkeeping Basics” — designed for small business owners. It will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Town ‘N Country Regional Library, 7606 Paula Drive #120. Visit:

At 1:30 p.m. at County Center downtown will be a meeting of the ELAPP Site Review Team. “This meeting is to review the ELAPP Site Assessment Team’s report on lands nominated to the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program during the 2016 cycle.” Visit:

At 6:30 p.m. at the Entrepreneur Collaborate Center in Tampa will be a free networking event from the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance. The mission is to assist in the success of veteran-owned businesses in the Tampa Bay region.

Free education: CareerSource Tampa Bay is pleased to announce that their Career Prep Center is now open and offering free Welding, Soldering Classes, Construction Trades, Industrial Machine Maintenance and more. Currently, the free training opportunities for all ages (18 and older) include: Soldering and Cabling, Construction, Industrial Machine Maintenance, Certified Production technician and Welding. For information email or call 813-930-7438.

The Hillsborough County calendar is here:

Happenings in Manatee:

This could be exciting! There will be a Capital Improvement Project Management Software and Implementation Committee meeting at 10 a.m. at the Manatee County Administration Center in Bradenton. Seriously, it’s impressive that they actually plan for software implementation. If they didn’t, you’d be getting your driver’s license from someone using a 286 computer running DOS 3.0 using WordPerfect on a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk. No one wants that.

The county calendar is located here:

Something to make plans for: 

Manatee County Parks has some cool stuff lined up for July with numerous programs for kids and adults. For an event listing (the actual calendar may or may not be updated so scroll down) visit:

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 Michigan or Ontario or some place like that), then email me and I’ll help.

And, in the end:

A surprise birthday?

Starting with a small note: On this day in 1880, France annexed Tahiti. Seriously — we were probably annexing Oklahoma or some such place (not that there’s anything wrong with Oklahoma). But honestly, it would be hard to annex a place more cool than Tahiti, right?

So…moving on. You can yell, “Hey Siri!” and wish your iPhone a happy birthday today. Ten years ago today the first iPhone was released. The reach and speed at which we adapt to technology is amazing. And yes, your toddler can probably hack into the NSA using yours if you turn your back for even a moment.

Perhaps not entirely coincidental, but it was on this day in 1975 that Steve Wozniak (of the Woz and Steve Jobs fame) fired up the first prototype of the Apple 1 computer. We’ve come a long way, baby.

And to further that point: Handel’s Israel in Egypt was recorded on a wax cylinder on this day in 1888. Although it’s possible other types of recording were made prior, it is considered the first known recording of music in human history.

Today, you could just ask Siri to record stuff. Or better yet, have her crank up some Handel. Gotta love Messiah.

Finally, who could forget? It’s National Camera Day (or so say camera stores and manufacturers). Take a photo of someone you love!

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.