Author

Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. In 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times, he won numerous state and national awards for his environmental reporting. He is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. His latest, published in 2021, is The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife. In 2020 the Florida Heritage Book Festival named him a Florida Literary Legend. Craig is co-host of the "Welcome to Florida" podcast. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and children.

COMMENTARY

FL’s Northern Turnpike Extension threatens to pave over historic Black community

By: - May 19, 2022

If you plan to visit the historic Central Florida community of Royal, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1) Don’t go there feeling hungry. There are no fast-food joints or other restaurants where you can order a Royal version of the Royale with Cheese. 2) You better hurry. Powerful people are plotting its […]

COMMENTARY

New algae blooms expose Florida Gov. DeSantis’ failure to fix pollution

By: - May 12, 2022

Have you noticed the Democratic candidates for governor — Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried, and Annette Taddeo — milling around like a bunch of lost children lately? While they vie for which one of them will get to take on the incumbent Republican governor, Ron “Let’s Give the Attorneys Millions” DeSantis, this fall, they look a […]

COMMENTARY
solar rooftop

With solar bill veto, Florida Gov. DeSantis slips into something more liberal

By: - May 5, 2022

The governor was trying to make a point about cartoons the other day when his memory got fogged by false nostalgia. That’s likely to happen when your sparring partner is a gigantic mouse. Gov. Ron DeSantis, while stumping for a fellow Republican in Nevada, claimed the evil animation cabal from Disney was slipping hidden messages […]

COMMENTARY

Petition drive seeks to give Florida residents a fundamental right to clean water

By: - April 28, 2022

Some people have accused me of being down on Florida because of all the bad stuff I write about — the shady politicians, greedy developers, and rapacious road-builders. You know, the usual suspects. Nothing could be further from the truth! I revel in opportunities to highlight the many ways Florida leads the nation. If I […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s water-board appointments show Critical Race Theory is no theory

By: - April 21, 2022

When I need a good laugh, I check the latest news about Ron DeSantis. Our governor is a comic genius! Just look at his record and you’ll see what I mean. Early in the pandemic, when he was naming “essential businesses” that could remain open, he included professional wrestling. How I laughed about that, and […]

COMMENTARY

Plan for new Central Florida toll road would split Split Oak Forest, a treasured park

By: - April 14, 2022

Have you ever seen the movie “High Noon”? That 1952 flick is one of the best Westerns — the movies, that is, not the hotel chain. The images are unforgettable: A desperate Gary Cooper trying to round up a posse to help him take on four bad guys. The townspeople reluctant to fight for their […]

COMMENTARY

New Interstate 95 interchange hurts creek but benefits Florida governor’s buddy

By: - April 7, 2022

One of my favorite things to do in Florida is paddling. Not the kind that they used to give us kids in school. (I got one in the second grade and then my folks gave me another when I got home. I tried to take the punishment like a good soldier but guess which one […]

COMMENTARY

Florida senator helps developers get revenge on conservation boards

By: - March 31, 2022

Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. Sort of like gazpacho. Or ice cream. (Mmm, ice cream!) Instead of a cold dish, there’s some white-hot revenging going on in Tallahassee right now. It’s contained in a weird little bill that somehow passed both houses of the Legislature and is awaiting action by Gov. […]

COMMENTARY

DEP’s language for protecting Florida springs copies what doesn’t work

By: - March 24, 2022

The other day I had reason to call a plumber. I figured he would make me wait all day for him to show up, take forever to fix the problem, and then overcharge me. Folks, I was wrong. He showed up right at 9 a.m., snaked out the clog in our sewer line in record […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s governor and Legislature did nothing to stop manatees from starving

By: - March 17, 2022

When I was a kid, I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories. I read and reread them all. One I still vividly remember was “The Adventure of the Silver Blaze,” which involves a missing racehorse and the death of its trainer. It contains one of the most famous bits of detective dialogue ever written. After Holmes […]

COMMENTARY

Drive to delist Florida’s diminutive Key deer was pushed by feds’ wacky ‘WIG’ plan

By: - March 10, 2022

Have you ever seen a Key deer? They’re like a regular white-tail deer but scaled down to the size of a big dog. It’s as if someone crossed Bambi with Marmaduke. I saw one for the first time in 2017 while driving through the Keys. This was a few months after Hurricane Irma plowed through […]

COMMENTARY

Building gas station where it could pollute this Florida spring would be fuel-ish

By: - March 3, 2022

Russian troops invaded Ukraine last week — you probably heard about that. An international panel of scientists said climate change is worse than we thought, and their prime example is Florida. Meanwhile, our fine Legislature has been too focused on the “culture wars” to fix what’s really wrong with our state (affordable housing, toxic algae […]