Ingram: Tampa’s top 20

The following is my list of 20 of the biggest assets the Tampa Bay area has to offer its residents, visitors and future generations. They are listed in no particular order.

By Chris Ingram

Anyone who has ever ventured onto roads in the Tampa Bay area knows traffic congestion is one of our major problems.

According to the 2012 American Community Survey among metropolitan areas, Tampa Bay-area commuters have the fourth-highest commuting time, at 52 minutes per day (26 minutes each way). That works out to 4.3 hours per week, 17.3 hours a month, or 208 hours a year — stuck in traffic.

Recently, I was invited to attend some meetings among business, industry and other community stakeholders to help develop a “Vision 2020” for the Tampa Bay area.

Unscientifically, the group has concluded its primary focus should be on addressing the area’s transportation needs. It seems like a no-brainer, but this conclusion was achieved only after assessing the landscape and considering a variety of other issues, such as: a new home for the Rays, education, the future of MacDill AFB, attracting new jobs, protecting our environmental assets, and tourism and marketing to attract new visitors.

At our last meeting, it occurred to me that while, yes, we need to address transportation and other problem areas, the Tampa Bay area also needs to collectively embrace all that makes the area so great, and stop viewing Tampa Bay the body of water as a divider.

The following is my list of 20 of the biggest assets the Tampa Bay area has to offer its residents, visitors and future generations. They are listed in no particular order. (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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Bathrooms and baseball

If Gries’ cries of altruism are true, I would suggest he start his philanthropy at Skyway Park — or most any other park in the county that is managed and maintained by volunteers. The park’s fields don’t drain well, and dandelions choke the grass on most of the fields. The buildings and facilities around the baseball fields are decades old and in desperate need of repair.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 27, 2013

Unless you have kids who play league athletics in Hillsborough County, you probably are not aware of the fact that 55 of the county’s 59 athletic parks are managed and maintained by volunteer groups.

Such is the case at Skyway Park.

Skyway is adjacent to the residential neighborhood of Dana Shores and is just west of the airport. It serves the youths of the Town ‘N Country area.

A nonprofit league, managed by a board of directors who are all volunteers, manages everything from field maintenance to cleaning the bathrooms and running the concessions. For its part, the county cuts the grass once a week, pays the water bill to keep the fields moist, and will take care of things such as a major plumbing problem if one arises.  Continue reading “Bathrooms and baseball”