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Articles written by Craig Pittman

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  • Feds dragging their feet on a plan to feed starving Florida manatees

    Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix|Updated Dec 13, 2021

    The first time I met Martine de Wit, she was dressed in scrubs, ready to step into a laboratory containing eight dead manatees. Her job, and that of the dozen people assisting her in this St. Petersburg lab behind Eckerd College, was to find out what killed them - sort of a "CSI: Sea Cow," but without any rock stars screaming over the opening credits. These eight deaths weren't much of a mystery. Seven were victims of a lingering red tide algae bloom, while the eighth...

  • Waiving Rules for Moving Florida Gopher Tortoises Helps Only Developers

    Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix|Updated Dec 10, 2021

    Do you like the neighborhood where you live? I sure like mine. My wife and I bought a 1926 Craftsman fixer-upper in St. Petersburg back in the mid-1990s, and we've been here ever since. We love the brick streets, the shady oaks, and the down-the-block proximity of a waterfront park. Our neighbors are pretty cool, too. They include a scientist, a professor, a couple of actors, a newspaper editor, a liquor store manager, and a lawyer (in court she may be a bulldog but in person...

  • Rodman Opponents Ready to Gamble Again that Florida Will Finally Free the Ocklawaha

    Craig Pittman, Contributing Writer|Updated Oct 13, 2021

    Do you play the lottery? I've been known to purchase a ticket or two when the payoff gets enough zeroes. The fact that I am still writing for a living should tell you how good I am at picking numbers. Once, I ducked into Publix to purchase a Powerball ticket and discovered a knot of people around a well-tanned, white-haired customer. It was former Gov. Charlie Crist in a blue blazer, silk tie, and tassel loafers, waiting his turn to wager a couple of bucks. "You can't win if...

  • Pulte Homes Crushed Gopher Tortoises for New Houses

    Craig Pittman|Updated Sep 18, 2021

    Say what you will about Florida (and many of you have), but we’ve sure got some unusual crimes here. A surprising number of them involve reptiles. You have probably heard about the guy who, in 2016, tossed an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window in Royal Palm Beach. Last year, Sanford police recovered a five-foot pet iguana named “Smog” that had been kidnapped (lizard-napped?) from a smoke shop. Earlier this year, someone stole 13 Argentine tegus from a reptile...