Talk of the bay: $3 gas barrier falls nationally; yeah, we're next

By Times staff
Published May 5, 2007

That moment our nation has been anticipating for months has finally arrived. Nope, not Spider-Man 3 or even the royal arrival of Queen Elizabeth II on U.S. soil. We're talking dreaded $3 gas at the pump. The national average for regular unleaded hit $3.012 Friday, up 2.1 cents overnight. Blame the run-up in the futures market amid concerns that refineries can't make enough gas to meet summer demand. In the Tampa Bay area, the average for regular unleaded registered at $2.934 as of Friday, up a negligible one-fifth of a cent, according to AAA, with plenty of $2.99 signs for regular to be seen.

Must they meet, or just plan to?
Pershing Square Capital Management has a vested interest in Ceridian Corp.'s annual meeting. Now Pershing wants to know: When is it, anyway? The hedge fund company, Ceridian's largest stockholder, has made no secret of its desire to shake up Ceridian's board of directors. In a Wednesday letter, Pershing representatives wrote that Ceridian acknowledged this week that it has until June 11 - or 13 months since its 2006 meeting - to hold its annual shareholders meeting, according to Delaware law. "We do not believe that this is possible as a theoretical or practical matter, " Pershing representatives wrote. "At the risk of understatement, it would be unfortunate if Ceridian's failure to hold the 2007 annual meeting on a timely basis is the result of an attempt to frustrate a stockholder vote." The next day, Ceridian fired back, saying June 11 is the deadline for announcing the annual meeting, not holding it. Ceridian, an outsourcer of benefits and other human resources services, is based in Minneapolis but has a large St. Petersburg presence.

Channelside name just won't suffice
Don't call it Channelside anymore. After a monthslong rebranding effort, owners announced a new name Friday for the entertainment complex on Tampa's downtown waterfront: Channelside Bay Plaza. The district east of downtown is widely known as Channelside, which "diluted" the brand, said Jonathan Cordeau of Perfomix Marketing. The new identity "communicates the 'Florida Lifestyle, ' association to water, the open-air environment ... and the upscale tone of its unique offerings, " according to the complex's new Web site. Besides, what other name describes a place that's home to Hooters, McGraw's Country Party nightclub and Cigars by Antonio?