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Friday, Aug 22, 2014
Steve Otto Columns

Drinking, dreaming and other jottings

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On steamy days like this it's always good to know there are places in Tampa where you can wet your whistle — or at least get something to take home.

In fact, according to a story in Mother Trib the other day, there are 1,353 businesses within the city limits that have permits to sell alcohol. I assume if you get lost and wander out into the county there are also places where you can stop in to grab something a little stronger than water to help cool down.

Several members of the Tampa City Council figured that might be enough to see the city through the summer. Last week, the council voted to stop discussion of late-night alcohol permits until next spring.

The council spends a lot of time on permits, and this discussion went on for more than two hours, which would have been OK but it was too early to have a drink, something that might have made the discussion a little more bearable.

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Construction again is on the rise around town, and so are the dreamers. You probably could put up an entire city of proposed towers and buildings that never became reality.

Over on the social networks, where reality frequently isn't part of the picture, there is a fascinating proposal for a new skyscraper in downtown Tampa.

It has been drawing a lot of attention, and if you call up “ICON Tampa” on YouTube you will see plans for a 72-story tower designed by Argentine architect Juan Carlos Ricardes that would be built smack in the middle of downtown Tampa. The design shows a shimmering tower that's one-third retail, one-third offices and one-third living quarters.

Unfortunately its backers, who suggest it would launch Tampa into the international big leagues, apparently do not have the land, the money or anything other than dreams and a heck of a Web designer. Still, it is a pretty spectacular proposal. The only thing missing is a giant guava on top that would glow at night and be visible for miles.

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A little closer to the ground — or, at least, the water — and just in time for summer is a new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA is passing around the good news that the great white shark, once in decline, is making a comeback off U.S. shores.

Scientists are quick to point out that the great white provides a service and there only have been 106 confirmed great white attacks in U.S. waters since 1916.

I think I will stick to the pool, where I don't recall any recorded great white attacks in recent years.

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In other news off the Tampa police blotter, someone stole $1,800 worth of panties from the Victoria's Secret store in WestShore Plaza.

I don't know what panties go for these days, and considering how much material likely is involved, it might not be that large a package. Still, carrying $1,800 in panties out of the mall is pretty bold.

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Finally, my favorite line of the week comes from reader Richard Broye, who says he heard the Washington Redskins have agreed to drop the word “Washington” from their name out of embarrassment.

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