From the Publisher - Betsy Judge, Island Reporter Newspaper


The Tampa Bay Times reports on 1B of the June 22 edition that Greenlight Pinellas Plan (GPP) is “too big for candidates to ignore.” It is sure to be a contentious issue for voters come November. The article we ran last month drew some attention because it was primarily based on interviews and information from people associated with the plan. This month, we are offering a different perspective, primarily from the vantage point of No Tax For Tracks. I think we will all see Mark Twain’s words of wisdom, “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable,” come true over and over as reporters and pundits review, digest and interpret the data available for consideration. As a monthly publication, we do not usually delve into hard news because of the speed of developments. While GPP falls into that category, the length of time we have to watch the debate makes the subject appropriate for papers like ours, and we will continue to watch and report between now and November.

What is not up for debate is what people feel about local restauranteur and businessman John Stross. I met him once when he was strolling around Leverocks greeting patrons and asking about their dining experience. The second time was when he and his fiancé Jo Brower, co-founders of Remember, Honor, Support, presented a total of $450,000 to three very deserving nonprofits. I got just a glimpse of the man that friends and family honored at his memorial service, and I wrote about for this issue. I wished I had known him.

I do not vote in the Photo of the Month competition, but I like this month’s selection of the blue heron with the American flag flying in the background. It is so very appropriate for the month when we commemorate our nation’s independence.

Happy July and happy Independence Day.