May 10, 2021

Axios Tampa Bay

Welcome to another Monday, Tampa Bay. We hope you're fine.

  • 🌤 Partly cloudy and a high of 87 today, with a 24% chance of rain.

Situational awareness: The largest U.S. fuel pipeline system, Colonial Pipeline, shut down on Friday after a cyberattack — but prices at the pump are not expected to rise unless the outage lasts more than three days, per Reuters.

Today's newsletter is 953 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: How Tampa is building the future of warfare

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Sci-fi meets reality, "Stranger Things"-style, inside University Mall. It's not the Upside Down, but just beyond the food court, the future of war technology is being designed.

Why it matters: The word "warfare" is often associated with death, but the University of South Florida's Institute of Applied Engineering is creating solutions to minimize casualties.

  • "Less-than-lethal action," is what the program's head, Robert Bishop, calls it.
  • U.S. Special Operations Command has given the institute $85 million and five years to build those solutions.

What's happening: Stopping death starts with disruption, Bishop says. Blocking an adversary's ability to operate financially, communicate or use their own technology can neutralize threats without risking the lives of American fighters and innocent people.

  • An example: Bishop is figuring out ways to shut down the technology of threatening enemy ships instead of sinking them.
  • Another of his proposals involves somehow using the cell phones of people in crowds to have them disperse in dangerous situations.

What's next: As University Mall turns into Rithm at Uptown, Bishop's programs will have more space to grow.

  • And Bishop says he'll get less-than-lethal solutions in the hands of policymakers within five years.

The bottom line: These are the people flying drones with their brains. Do not underestimate them.

"I really think that humans are more important than things. If we can achieve our goals and not kill people, I'm happier."
— Bishop

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2. Florida sees big migration gains during pandemic
Data: LinkedIn; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A LinkedIn analysis shows Florida's largest metro areas are experiencing some of the largest population inflows in the country, writes Axios' Kim Hart.

Why it matters: The pandemic has accelerated migration from the biggest urban areas as the flexibility of remote work allows people to explore other options,

  • Florida has been a huge beneficiary of that trend.
  • Jacksonville, the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro and our own Tampa Bay area are among the top 10 metros in the country seeing high in-migration. Orlando came in 15th.

What's happening: More people are choosing places with plenty of space and lower costs.

  • Outside Florida, Hartford, Conn., Salt Lake City, Cleveland and Colorado Springs, Colo., all had big gains.

The other side: San Francisco showed the largest decline of in-migration over the past year, compared with the previous year, followed by New York, Seattle and Portland.

Worth noting: The growth of smaller and mid-sized cities doesn't sound a death knell for the top metros.

  • Many people leaving San Francisco and New York didn't ditch those areas altogether — they moved to surrounding suburbs.

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3. Hot homes: 6 for sale in Tampa Bay, from $275K

Photo courtesy of Brandi Gabbard

From a mid-century modern ranch with a pool to a Bayshore home with stunning views, there's a little something for everyone on this week's list of hot homes from Axios' Brianna Crane.

  • This one caught our eye, an affordable little stunner of a cottage in St. Pete:
1224 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S — $275,000

Why we love it: This house, a registered historic landmark, was originally built in 1907 and has been completely restored.

  • Neighborhood: St. Pete
  • Realtor: Brandi Gabbard at Smith & Associates Real Estate
  • Specs: 3 beds, 2 baths, 1,582 square feet
  • Notable features: Queen Anne Cottage style, old-school architectural details, original hardwoods, charming brick fireplace.
Photo courtesy of Brandi Gabbard

Take a look at the rest.

4. The Pulp: We're slowly going out of our rinds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🚨 A Gulfport dance teacher was accused of a sexual relationship with one of his students, and investigators are concerned there may be other victims. (Gulfport Gabber)

💉 All Publix pharmacy locations will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to walk-in customers starting today. (WFLA)

🖼 New development is encroaching on Port Tampa, and some residents are trying to preserve the neighborhood's history. (Bay News 9)

🛳 In response to Gov.Ron DeSantis’ ban on vaccine passports, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ CEO is threatening to leave Florida if the company can’t do vaccination checks. (FOX13)

🪖 Pasco County planners are considering a proposal to create a subdivision for catastrophically injured veterans and Gold Star families. (The Laker/Lutz News)

🧜‍♀️ Mats of smelly, potentially toxic algae called "mermaid's hair" have forced Manatee County officials to take preventative measures to keep it outside Robinson Preserve. (Bradenton Herald)

📱 Tampa ed-tech startup PikMyKid, which helps streamline the school dismissal process, has received a seven-figure investment from Silicon Valley-based Growth Street Partners. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Quote du jour:
"If she can get a kidney and if anyone can give her a kidney, that would give her her independence back."
— Tampa resident Melissa Bias' son, John, on trying to help his mother get a kidney
5. The Villages rally for Trump behind Gaetz and Greene

The scene inside the "America First" rally at The Villages. Photo courtesy Dave Decker/Creative Loafing

US Reps. Matt Gaetz (R) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R–Ga.), among the most outspoken supporters of former President Trump, held an "America First" event at The Villages on Friday and vowed that Trump’s influence on the GOP is here to stay, the Washington Post reports.

  • The hour-long rally ended with a call for those who supported Trump to "not wave the flag of surrender."

📸 Creative Loafing's Dave Decker brought along his camera, and his photos are absolutely worth checking out (you can see one above): Everything we saw from the Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene event at The Villages.

6. What we're eating: Yia Yia's Mousaka

Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

👋 Ben here: I don't eat at Acropolis in Ybor City much because of the horror I feel when the wait staff does that dance and throws all the napkins in the air. It just seems so wasteful.

Alas, I found myself there Saturday night and tried the Mousaka, which was remarkably good, like a flavorful Mediterranean shepherd's pie.

  • Whipped potatoes, eggplant and zucchini sit atop ground beef and onions baked with creamy bechamel in a fresh tomato sauce. It's $12, and comes vegetarian if you don't eat meat.
7. 1 historic thing: Sunshine Skyway disaster

Florida's Sunshine Skyway, circa 1965. Photo: State Archives of Florida

A postcard featuring the original Sunshine Skyway, which collapsed 41 years ago yesterday — killing 35 people — after being struck by a freighter during a storm.

🌵 Ben is listening to The Eagles sing "Peaceful Easy Feeling" in 1973 and reading about Deana Lawson’s photographs. 📷

🏳️‍⚧️ Selene is listening to Trans*formations and eating Trader Joe’s yellow lentil spaghetti. 🍝

Take good care now.