Axios Tampa Bay

Picture of the Tampa Bay skyline with TPA written across it.

The first Friday of December. Howdy.

πŸŒ‡ Beautiful day. Sunny and clear. 80/62.

Situational awareness: Florida chief financial officer Jimmy Patronis said yesterday his department would pull $2 billion worth of its assets managed by BlackRock Inc., the biggest such divestment by a state opposed to the asset manager's environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies, Rueters reports.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Tampa Bay member Elizabeth Shalett!

Today's newsletter is 905 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Warren vs. DeSantis case concludes

Illustration of a hand in a spotlight holding a gavel out from behind a red curtain.

Illustration: AΓ―da Amer/Axios

Final arguments wrapped up yesterday in suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren's case against Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Why it matters: A ruling from U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, expected today, could determine if Warren gets his job back or if DeSantis was within his reach to remove an elected official.

If you haven't been following the trial, here are some of the top points of intrigue:

On Warren's vows: Warren's chief of staff, Gary Weisman, who's now serving his replacement, testified Thursday that he told Warren not to sign a pledge saying he wouldn't prosecute abortion crimes, which DeSantis cited in his suspension order.

  • "I thought it was bad for Mr. Warren … and bad for the agency," Weisman said, per the Tampa Bay Times, noting that he interpreted it as official office policy.

Yes, but: One of Warren's top prosecutors testified Tuesday that she didn't interpret the pledges as office policy, while another said she wasn't aware of them until DeSantis removed Warren, per the Times.

On DeSantis' probe: Judge Hinkle questioned the governor's vetting of Warren's performance as state attorney. When public-safety adviser Larry Keefe took the stand, he acknowledged that he primarily interviewed Republican law enforcement officials and citizens as part of Warren's review.

  • "You would never conduct an investigation talking to people on just one side of an issue?" Hinkle asked Keefe, per the Florida Phoenix.

On the defense

2. Startup wants to free therapists of paperwork

Mangi and Query sit on a fountain with their laptops

Nate Mangi (left) and Amy Query. Photo: Courtesy of Omni Public

Nate Mangi knew being a social worker would be hard. But he never imagined his biggest problem would have little to do with directly helping people.

  • "I was ready to get to work and save the world," Mangi, who entered the field shortly after emigrating to the U.S. from Kenya in 2003, told Axios. "But 80% of the job was paperwork, not working with people."

His solution: Mangi and his wife and business partner, Amy Query, who live in Seminole, created Therapy iQ, a Tampa-based software company that recently closed a $1.5 million pre-seed round.

  • The system, which launched last year, is designed to free up time for therapists by streamlining clinical and financial paperwork and making it easier for practices to communicate with clients, Mangi said.

Why it matters: Demand for mental health treatment is on the rise, and therapists are struggling to keep up.

  • A recent survey of hundreds of Tampa Bay residents found that nearly half reported needing help to address emotional or mental health issues over the past year.

What they're saying: Shaundra McGuire, a pre-licensed therapist at South Tampa Therapy and Mediation, told Axios it's common for therapists to have to navigate multiple dashboards and pay for several subscriptions to programs like Squarespace and Zoom to run their practices.

  • She said that any system that can help make paperwork and administrative work easier would help prevent burnout for therapists.

How it works

3. ⚽️ Where to watch the World Cup

United States fans celebrate after a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between IR Iran and USMNT at Al Thumama Stadium

United States fans celebrate after the match against Iran. Photo: Doug Zimmerman/ISI Photos/Getty Images

USMNT takes on the Netherlands in a last-16 World Cup clash at 10am tomorrow. 10am!

🍻 What's happening: We rounded up a few of the local watch parties so you don't have to go looking for like-minded fans.

St. Pete: "Tampa Bay's biggest World Cup watch party" is moving from Williams Park, where thousands gathered during last week's matches, to Jannus Live for the knockout rounds, starting with Saturday's game.

  • Doors open at 9am. Full bars, 18-foot HD screen. $10 at the door.

Treasure Island: Caddy's on the beach is offering 5-can buckets for $20 during the game if you want to start your Saturday like that.

Tampa: Yeoman's Cask and Lion downtown is opening early, around 9:30, and will have mimosa and bloody mary drink specials starting at 11am.

4. The Pulp: I got juice so delirious

Illustration of an orange with sunglasses on a teal background.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🌊 High levels of red tide have been detected at all Sarasota County beaches. (MySuncoast)

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ In response to complaints about behavior at the Venice Pride Festival last month, the city of Venice is adding a code of conduct to its special event permit process. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ Pasco County is planning a 37-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that would stretch from Trinity to Trilby along the Orange Belt Railway. (WFTS)

Quote du jour
"I'm the police chief from Tampa, I'm hoping that you'll just let us go tonight."
β€” Tampa's police chief, Mary O'Connor, in police body camera footage obtained by Creative Loafing, after she and her husband were stopped for driving their golf cart on an Oldsmar roadway without tags.

Do you see yourself with a new career?

βœ” Check out our Local Job Board.

  1. VP of Information Technology at Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  2. Director of Operational Finance at Bluepearl.
  3. Account Executive at Threshold 360.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. Our favorite things 2022, part 3

Ben in a bathrobe.

Get off my lawn. Photo: Courtesy of Morissey Montgomery

πŸ‘‹ Reader, it's Ben, with another gift idea for the 44-year-old weirdo in your life.

Believe it or not, most mornings I slide into your inbox at 6:30am looking like The Dude.

  • I found the best bathrobe earlier this year on a stroll around St. Armands Circle in Sarasota.

Flashback: I've never been a bathrobe guy. That's a wealthy man's pursuit, for golf-club locker rooms and fellows with names like Milo Wellington.

Yes, but: There's something powerful about a blue-collar robe. Or a novel robe. A dressed-down robe.

Details: The shop is called Coastal HoBo (478 John Ringling Blvd.) and we were originally lured in by the colorful Turkish towels in the window.

  • These "rainbow pom pom robes" were in the rear, but it appears that you can order online.
  • $130 to make a man's dreams come true.

🎁 Go deeper: The best things we bought in 2022

πŸ΄πŸŽ„ Selene is watching "Christmas At the Ranch."

🏍 Ben is finishing the remarkable "Lost Children Archive" by Valeria Luiselli, and ogling this 1974 Laverda 750 SF2.

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Today's newsletter was edited by Alexa Mencia and copy edited by Carlos Cunha.