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May 28, 2021

Axios Tampa Bay

Happpppppy Friday, Tampa Bay. Ready for the long weekend?

  • 🌀 Highs in the upper 80s today, lows in the lower 70s. Looking like chances of rain improve early next week. We need it.

🌚 Situational awareness: We're taking a little break next week. But don't worry, we've got some great stories up our sleeve for our return β€”Β bright and early on June 7.

Today's newsletter is 1,052 words, a 4-minute read.

1 big thing: St. Leo University degree to shed light on veterans

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Starting in the fall, students at St. Leo University in Pasco County can major in a veterans' studies degree to learn how to unpack and analyze the veteran experience.

Why it matters: Our area has the first university in the country to offer a four-year degree on the topic β€” and it's targeted at veterans and civilians alike.

  • Civilians might not have any other way to learn deeply about military experiences, especially in higher education, according to professor Ernest McClees.
  • And veterans can process their experiences and understand others in a way that creates self-love.

Flashback: St. Leo, which started as a military academy in the late 1800s, welcomed veterans returning from Vietnam as many other universities shunned them, McClees said.

  • Now, almost 45% of its student population is "military-connected," meaning they are either in the military, have been in the military, are a family member of a military service member, or a veteran.

The program starts with a foundational course, looking at who veterans are, what it's like to serve and become part of the culture of the military, then transition back into society. Other courses include:

  • Legendary warriors, a global and historical look at how veterans have been represented in literature, art, political speeches and other forms of media.
  • Native American warriors and veterans, a look at how Native Americans serve in high numbers compared to their small representation in America, and what it's like to serve your country and your tribe.

What you might learn: The concept that all veterans are plagued with trauma and PTSD is a fiction perpetuated in pop culture, professor Karen Hannel said.

  • It turns out veterans tend to experience the same or even less trauma than civilians, Hannel and McClees say.
  • After being in the classroom 28 years, Hannel has found veteran students are the ones who take the lead in "putting anxiety in its place." "They can be great leaders in the classroom who might be studying with that," she said.

The bottom line: "I think this gives someone a chance to fully understand their experience in a broader scope and be able to accept their place in the transition and their place in a larger society," McClees said.

2. Asian-headed households grow amid inequality

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As the Asian American population grows, the community faces more challenges with homeownership and income equality, according to new Zillow research.

By the numbers: Asian-headed households grew 83% over the last 20 years, bypassing Latino, Black and white household growth.

  • Asian homeownership rates rose 6% in the same timeframe.
  • In almost half of Zillow's top 50 metro areas, the typical median Asian household income and Asian household poverty rates are higher than the metro median.

In Tampa Bay, Zillow found Asian homeownership has risen 7.2%.

  • The Asian homeownership rate for Tampa Bay is 65.3%, with a median household income of $75,560.
  • And the Asian household poverty rate is 10.7%, or 2.5% lower than the metro median poverty rate.

The bottom line: Despite some improvement, we've still got a long way to go in making homeownership opportunities truly equitable.

3. What we're eating: Thee Burger Spot

Thee Bacon Double Cheese. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Ben here: I don't pound hamburgers often, but when I do get a craving, Thee Burger Spot in Tampa Heights is front of mind.

  • On a recent visit, a man at the counter was telling staff at the family-owned joint that he's a truck driver, and he has eaten burgers across the country. "Nobody does it like y'all," he said.
  • Thee Burger Spot started in East Tampa but is now located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Tampa Street.
Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

πŸ” Got a favorite burger? Join our Nextdoor group, The Feed: Tampa Bay Local Eats, and let us know what you're putting down the hatch.

4. Lightning moving on

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy during Game 6. Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With forward Barclay Goodrow back in the lineup and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy just repelling the hell out of the puck, the Lightning trounced the Florida Panthers 4-0 in Game 6 on Wednesday and moved on to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Also, check out Coach Jon Cooper's dapper Game 6 suit. The best-dressed man in hockey, indeed.

  • As we discovered for Wednesday's newsletter, his tailor is David Kahn at Tampa's Bespoke & Co.
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper after Game 6. Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images
5. The Pulp: Liiiiiiiime is on my side, yes it is

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ€‘ Mayor Rick Kriseman is asking St. Petians how to spend the city's $45 million stimmy. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

🌊 The latest water samples from around Manatee County show levels of red-tide-causing algae are increasing in some areas. (Bradenton Herald)

🍽 David Benstock, owner and executive chef of the St. Pete Italian eatery Il Ritorno, beat veteran celebrity chef Bobby Flay on a Food Network cooking competition. (Bay News 9)

🎧 Tom Wilmer’s award-winning NPR podcast, "Journeys of Discovery," is airing a series focused on how cool Tampa is. (Listen.)

πŸ“Š A new poll shows U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist with a commanding lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried if the Democratic primary were held now between the two. (Florida Politics)

6. Six degrees of Tampa Bay: Shailene Woodley

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)

We're not exactly sure why everyone is talking about actress Shailene Woodley right now, but we can't wait to get our hands on the game.

Let's see how she's tied to Tampa Bay:

  1. Woodley and her new fiancΓ©, Aaron Rodgers, just vacationed in Hawaii with ...
  2. Miles Teller and his wife, Keleigh Sperry. Teller is going to be in "Top Gun: Maverick" with ...
  3. Manny Jacinto, who stars in "The Good Place" with ...
  4. William Jackson Harper, who shares a birthday (Feb. 8) with ...
  5. Cecily Strong, who played a character on "SNL" this season named ...
  6. β€œTampa Bay Jenae!" *
  • * OK, yes, this is one of those offensive, low-blow shots at Tampa Bay, but we didn't say all these connections would be nice!

πŸ“¬ Whose Tampa Bay connection do you want to see next? Try us. We're up for the challenge.

7. 1 pic to go

Massi Piffa wakeboards on abandoned boat at sunset in Sebastian. Photo: Bryan Soderlind/Red Bull Content Pool

Some of the world's best wakeboarders are embarking on a Red Bull-fueled trip up Florida's Gulf Coast, from Sanibel to Clearwater, to exploit the region's best wakeboarding spots.

  • This incredible shot is from their adventure last year in a South Florida loop.
  • They promise to share more pics from places like the mangroves at Anna Maria Island. We can't wait.

🌡 Ben is listening to Marty Robbins and reading a manuscript for a forthcoming book about murder on the Appalachian Trail. πŸ“‡

πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘© Selene is watching and eating fried green tomatoes. πŸ…

We're gonna miss y'all next week. Until then, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and take care of one another.