May 5, 2021

Axios Tampa Bay

Happy Wednesday, Tampa Bay!

🇲🇽 It's Cinco De Mayo. Read Russell Contreras' reminder of the holiday's anti-slavery history and subscribe to Axios Latino. 🌮

💦 Only 79% humidity today ... with a high of 83. 🥲

🤿 Stay cool and dive into the news with us.

Today's newsletter is 964 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Castor accuses DeSantis of "creep into home rule"

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

☎️ If you dial 813-274-8251, you'll get Mayor Jane Castor's office, and Tampa's chill enough that they might just put Her Honor on the phone.

That might be why she was surprised to hear Gov. Ron DeSantis say Monday that he's using executive power to unilaterally end local pandemic safety measures effective immediately.

  • The governor never called the mayor of Florida's third largest city.

"There was no consultation or warning prior to that announcement," Castor told Axios' Niala Boodhoo for Axios Today.

  • "It can be rather confusing for our residents when you have these surprise steps by the governor."

Flashback: Castor, a Democrat, said she was "very pleased" when DeSantis, a Republican, left it up to local leaders early on to decide how to best achieve safety in the pandemic.

  • "We're all unique and our needs are unique as well," she said.

🤔 But his Monday order is causing confusion, such as when the Department of Education had to clarify that it doesn't apply to school districts.

"This sort of creep into home rule is something that I would rather the governor stay out of. ... If I had my choices, we would've all come together, talked collectively and came to decisions on how we could best serve our residents to keep them safe during the pandemic."
— Mayor Castor on Axios Today
2. Inside an $18M bayfront beauty in Sarasota

Photo by PIX360, courtesy of Barbara Ackerman

From the heated stone floors to the antique chandeliers, every detail of this house oozes opulence. The exact address is 1309 Vista Drive. At 8,452 square feet, it has 3 beds and 5 baths.

  • The property is 1.5 acres with 230 feet of bayfront views.

Luxury features: La Corneu range, home gym, infinity-edge lap pool, two elevators, hurricane impact windows, security system.

You've got to see these photos.

3. Florida's transgender youth at risk
Expand chart
Data: UCLA/Williams Institute; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Florida has the second-highest number in the nation of transgender youth at risk of being denied health care, Axios' Marisa Fernandez and Orion Rummler report.

The big picture: 20 states this year have introduced bills to criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for transgender kids, in some cases making it a felony for doctors and parents to provide puberty blockers or surgery. 

The state of play: Studies have shown that doctors who give children the ability to socially transition, and access puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones encounter lower rates of suicide and mental illness.

Between the lines: A bill proposed this past legislative session to ban health care for trans youth was shot down. But the passage of the trans youth sports ban opens the door for bills that restrict trans rights in the future.

  • The bottom line: Even if the bills are not passed, patients will be exposed to stigma and harm to their physical and mental health long-term, doctors say.

👉 Worthy of your time: Read about families leaving states that ban healthcare for trans youth.

4. The Pulp: Pulp up the jams, pulp it up 🎶

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🥣 A Dunedin mansion once owned by W.K. Kellogg is going to be demolished. Check out the pictures. (Tampa Bay Times)

🤝 After their cardboard cutouts sat together at the Super Bowl, a KC fan and Bucs fan became BFFs and finally met IRL. (WFLA)

👑 A Pensacola teen is being charged as an adult in connection with the rigging of her school's homecoming queen election. (Associated Press)

🦈 Two men are facing Florida Wildlife Commission charges after hauling a tiger shark up the Chassahowitzka River. (Citrus County Chronicle)

🦟 The first genetically modified mosquitoes have been released in the Keys. (Nature)

💐 Don't forget to make Mother's Day reservations! Bay News 9 has a list of hot spots.

Quote Du Jour
"I wish everybody good luck, and they have no impact on my decision."
— Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried talking to Florida Politics about Rep. Charlie Crist, and possibly Rep. Val Demings, running for governor and whether she'll also run.
5. USF professor honored for cactus innovations

USF engineering professor Norma Alcantar. Photo courtesy of USF

University of South Florida professor Norma Alcantar is among seven new inductees to the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame announced last week.

🌵 She engineered a way to mimic the ancient practice of decontaminating water with cactus mucilage. Her technology is used in remote regions without access to clean drinking water, and in areas impacted by environmental and natural disasters.

  • She also developed biomedical solutions based on this technology to help fight Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer.
  • Plus, she applied the technology to sustainable agriculture and aquaculture.

She dedicated the honor to her grandmother, Balbina Zamora, "who whispered in my ear how we should learn from nature to solve practical problems."

Read about the other inductees.

6. If you're out there looking for tacos today ...

Carne asada tacos from Taco Bus, the OG. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

Tampa Magazine did the heavy lifting for us on Cinco de Mayo.

👀 Take a look at their list of Tampa's Top Tacos 2021.

🌮 A few of our favorites featured are:

7. A visitor's verdict on the Pub sub

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A very important message from our editor, Shane Savitsky:

I visited Tampa and St. Pete from Philadelphia for the first time last week, so I did what any self-respecting visitor to Florida would do: I made sure to get a chicken-tender-filled Publix sub.

My take: Stephanie's right on. They're pretty darn good, but they aren't the apotheosis of the sandwich. (I've got a hoagie spot in Philly that might win that title, actually.)

  • Their real strength? That cost-to-food ratio. They were on sale for $6.99. And they're normally under $10? They're two meals! Amazing stuff. Great work, Florida.
8. Pop quiz: The dirtiest corner store
Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

Where in Tampa Bay can you get pickled pig feet, synthetic urine and an impressive variety of whippets?

A) Tierra Verde

B) Seminole Heights

C) Port Richey

D) Parrish

E) Seffner

Answer: sʇɥƃᴉǝH ǝlouᴉɯǝS (q

9. New job opportunities in Tampa Bay

Get started on your next opportunity, today.

  1. Field marketing manager at Miller Coors
  2. Executive director, market impact, at March of Dimes Foundation
  3. Market manager at VaxCare
  4. Marketing operations specialist at IRONMAN
  5. Software engineer at Foot Locker

Looking for a specific industry? Let us know what you’d like to see.

Hiring? Post a job.

🚘 Ben is listening to Tracy Chapman and reading Josh Sharpe in The Atlantic on two car wrecks that have upended his life. 🚘

🪡🥊 Selene is getting back into punch needle embroidery and unpacking "The Virgin Suicides" with Emma Cline. 📖

Take good care, amigos.