Overheard in Tampa Bay: Tampa is tops

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Glenn Beck thinks St. Pete is just sinful
Glenn Beck, the conservative “Chicken Little” doomsdayer, has released a list of the 15 cities he finds to be the least religious in America, and our very own St. Petersburg made the list, coming in at number six. Beck ran down the list on his radio show and posted it up on his website Aug. 11, saying, “These are the cities to avoid like the plague. And if you look at that list, these are the cities that are already having trouble. We haven’t even hit the road bump.” Beck does not offer up the criteria of how he came up with the list. One can only assume it was some divine presence (Cheney can you hear me?). Still, not everyone saw being Beck-listed as a negative. After the list was released, St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted, “Woke up, sun shining, & @glennbeck lumping #StPete in w/ Portland-San Fran-Seattle-Denver-Phoenix as cities to avoid. An honor! #ThanksGlenn.”

A picture worth a thousand spaces
One of the things that can make living in the concrete jungle of a big city a bit dreary is the colorless sides of skyscrapers, high rises and parking garages, but the city of Tampa is looking to spruce things up by having the outside of the William F. Poe Parking Garage in downtown painted. The city has recruited the artistic skills of muralists Leon “Tes One” Bedore and Ales “Bask” Hostomsky to paint images along the outside of the garage. The images will be large enough so that travelers along Interstate 275 will be able to see them. The art project will begin this October and should take about eight weeks to complete. Hostomsky told the Tampa Bay Times that he and Bedore have known each other since they were teenagers and are still refining the details of the mural. The theme for the work is “Stay Curious” and will incorporate many of the cultural landmarks in the area. The mural will cost the city $100,000 and will come from the budget for public art.

Tampa is the bee’s knees according to Money
Tampa has been named the best city in the southeast, this according to Money magazine. In a ranking that took job market, housing, healthcare and culture into account, Tampa topped the list for the entire southeast region. While outside the state much attention gets paid to the theme parks of Orlando, the decadence of Miami and the sometimes head scratching politics of Tallahassee, Tampa has been THE booming city for the Sunshine State over the last few years. They not only boost low crime and strong public schools compared to other big cities, but they are the highest scoring Florida city by the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index with a score of near 90 percent.

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