Sunday, July 31, 2005

Intolerance - The Movie

As a result of the latest news article about Ronda Storms and her difficulty with interpersonal relationships, Hollywood is going to produce a sequel to the movie Deliverance.

It is called "Intolerance" and chronicles the trip rational people make through the halls of the Hillsborough County Commission. These people run into a gang of 5 backwards and ignorant hillbillies lead by the angry and hateful Ronda Storms.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ghost Town

An area ripe for development is what Susan and I call Ghost Town. This is the collection of buildings at Osborne and Nebraska. These buildings could be a commercial center for SE Seminole Heights. There could be some interesting stores there, antique places, boutiques, a cafe and etc. However each of the buildings is owned by a different owner. And parking is a large problem. If I were King I would buy up all of the places, make the weed and junk filled back yards one large common parking area. People could then park in the back or on the side next to Ybor Pizza and shop at all of the stores, just like at Osborne and Florida Avenue. Hmmmm. Maybe this is a project we could get Central City CRA involved in.

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Lean on me

Seminole Heights is such a progressive neighborhood, even the buildings lean to the left. Posted by Picasa

Pump Station

South Seminole Heights may have need for help from the rest of Seminole Heights.

The City of Tampa has determined the need to build a new Pump Station in Rivercrest Park, to replace the aging existing structure. The proposed structure will be built south and west of the current building. It will have 2 generators, an electrical building and pumping station. It will require the removal and replacement of the new and recently dedicated jogging trail.

The Association is opposed to this expansion. We understand the need to improve the lift station, and the need for emergency generators, but we don't feel OUR park is the place for this to be built.

SSHCA Members will receive a letter detailing information, when a meeting date becomes available.

We are planning a Town Hall Meeting, but that date has yet to be determined.

The City Council Meeting to approve or turn down the Zoning Change request will be August 25th at 6:00PM at City Council Chambers.

More information will be forthcoming when it is available.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Mattress Set

Life in this neighborhood is always interesting. Today, I'm standing on top of my 6 foot ladder, painting on the side of my house. Susan comes by and tells me I have to look at what is coming down the street. I wait. I hear a loud shopping car racket with some sort of odd musical tones. It's get louder and louder. Finally I see this nice looking couple pushing a shopping cart, with a mattress and box spring on top.

Okaaay. I guess if you don't have a car, that's the only way to get the mattress set home. I wonder where they got it from? Did a neighbor down the street give it to them? Or did they buy it at a mattress store, put it on a bus, get off at the corner, find the usual shopping carts that sit around just waiting for someone with a mattress to come by, and then load up?

Still have no clue what the loud odd musical tones were coming from.

Lost and Found - Stolen car.

Susan tells me that there are always all sorts of interesting items in the Trib's Lost and Found section. Yesterday the following appeared:

Auto -Stolen, cash reward offered for information leading to the recovery of Ford Taurus 1999 4-Door maroon Tag# J26IDN. Call 863-529-4040 or 813-237-0063.
Interesting use of the lost and found.

The second phone number looked like a Seminole Heights number. I googled it and found that it is the number to Target Testing at 5020 Nebraska Ave. In case you find such a vehicle, per the FDLE website the VIN# is 1FAFP53U4XA283840. It was stolen July 21.

Avila's Market Thanks You

Today, when I went in to get lunch (a cuban of course) from Avila's Market today, I was told that they had 20 new customers who came in specifically as a result of reading the previous blog article on them. Andrea and Manuel wish to thank all of those new customers for patronizing their businesses. This is especially important to them as they have not been in the position to do much advertising.

Also, I was talking to someone the other day who indicated that Avila's makes a good cup of Cuban coffee. I will have to try that out sometime this weekend.

Saw this the other day. Odd thing to pawn, the tires off your car. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Appliance Detective

Anyone know anything about 'Custom Deluxe Florence Automatic' oven?. If so go tell AngelSil over at Party Like It's 1925. She's got one in her Seminole Heights home and can't find anything about it. Steve Gluckman, got any ideas?

Coffee Bean Cafe

Well, the Coffee Bean Cafe, at the former site of the Sugar Daddy's is getting very close to opening up. (Osborne corner Florida Avenue.) Since Starbucks will likely open in January 2006, this gives Milton time to build up a good customer base. He originally targeted opening July 15, but the remodeling work has taken longer than planned.

I really like the signage, the best of any of the restaurants that were located there before. The slogan is really good "Casually Comfortable Coffee" The interior is looking good.

One of the cool features is that he plans to have some internet access for his customers, the only place in Seminole Heights and likely Central Tampa to have that.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A House of Many Colors continued

We are continuing along with our house painting. We painted the body of the house, Richmond Grey. We selected our trim colors. Now the question is what trim colors go where? So we painted parts of the back of the house to test things out. Reddish trim and purple screens. Purple trim and reddish screens. Green trim and reddish screens? Hmm.... which to pick?

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By the way, the best place to buy paint is Tanner Paint at 4917 N Armenia Ave, Tampa. (813) 876-0467. They are a local independent paint company who has been around for years. They are a Benjamin Moore dealer but they also make their own paint. Better than Home Depot.

Sulphur Springs Tower as viewed from under the Troll Bridge Posted by Picasa

Tampa City Council District 2 Election results

I'm ending the poll for the race for this City Council race.

As you can see below, if this race were held today, None Of The Above would win handidly against the other candidates with 47% of the votes. Next would be Frank Sanchez with 31% and then Shawn Harrison with 18%. In this field of 3 candidates, Thomas Scott would come in 4th place with 1 vote.

It seems clear that almost the majority of voters are dissatisfied with all of the candidates. Why is that?

It's clear about Shawn Harrison and Thomas Scott. According to some blog commenters, Shawn has this reputation focusing most of his efforts for New Tampa area, to the exclusion of other parts of his district. And with his servile vote regarding Ronda Storms's hateful anti gay tirade, Thomas Scott is a pariah in Seminole Heights.

The reason I'm ending the poll is that I've received some reliable information that Frank Sanchez will be running for Tampa City Council District 6 seat, currently held by Mary Alvarez. That is going to be an interesting race.

So who then will be running against Shawn Harrison for District 2 Seat (discounting Thomas Scott of course)?

(prior post Politics) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Update on the illegal boarding house

The story about the illegal boarding house at 1303 E. New Orleans Ave has become more interesting.

Their Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) license as a Rooming House has been cancelled. They satisfied all of the fire marshal violations. Their kitchen was closed down.

However they are now licensed by the DBPR as a Transient Apartment #TAP391589 as of June 28, 2005

This is very curious given that they would not seem to satisfy the licensing requirements for a Transient Apartment just as they would not have seemed to satisfy the requirements as a Rooming House.

Namely, as I noted in my prior posting,

In 2002 Clifford Hill Boarding House (AHCA license number 7286) had fines from the AHCA from several years of deficiencies totaling $30,750. (Case numbers 2000-05568, 2001-05487, 2001-055540, 2001-05541, 2001-06530). On 7/12/2002 the Agency for Health Care Administration denied their ALF license renewal.

and that in the DBPR license application for any public lodging (Section 6)
"Has any person interested in the operation of this establishment, whether owner, operator, agent, lessee or manager, had a license for an Adult Living Facility at this establishment denied, suspended or revoked pursuant to section 400.414, FS, within the last five (5) years?."

Give the above, how is it they obtained a Rooming House license to begin with, and now a Transient Apartment? Especially since information was provided on mutliple occassions to DBPR that Clifford Hills was in apparent violation of Section 6 prior to the granting of their Transient Apartment license.

Second. Regardless of which license they have, since 9/23/04 they still are still facing fines of $60.00 a day after being found guilty by the Code Enforcement Board for failing to cease operation of illegal rooming house.

This facility now could be foreclosed by the City. Yet this has not happened. So Clifford Hill continues to operate illegally. Why has the City not shut this facility down?

A new twist. I have received information from neighbors, that the people who operated Clifford Hill may be operating some sort of facility at 811 E. Cayuga. Like 1303 E. New Orleans, this address is also zoned as RS-50, single family residence. Is this the case of another illegal boarding house?

If this information is correct, how is it these people can continue to run these facilities illegally?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Probable Burglar Arrested

As Helen Harmon noted there was an arrest made yesterday in the 5700 block of Cherokee. It is probable he might be home invader noted earlier.

Name: Williams, Christopher Phillip
DOB: 08/22/82
Home Address: 1902 E. Emma St.
Bond: 29,500.00
He has a history of burglary and auto theft.

Now, if you want to help send this guy a way for a while, show up at his court hearings or contact the State Attorney assigned to the case.
His court case# is 05-CF-014366
You can track his court progress at the Clerk of Circuit Court.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Troll of Seminole Heights.

I was driving around and saw this sidewalk entrance at Central and
Hanlon that led down to the River and decided to investigate.

Heading down the long pathway.

The sidewalk goes under the I-275 bridge.

The usual graffitti.

Headed up the other side.

The exit on to Hanlon on the east side of I-275.

Headed back the way I came from I saw what looks like a large seat attached to the side of the bridge. Curious.

Aaah the answer. Here is a tent on the Sulphur Springs side. A troll must live here and the seat must be where he relaxes.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Blockage at Sligh

Well I thought I had some plumbing problems. It's nothing compared to this sewer line breakage at Sligh just over the River.

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Story in the Trib.

Jul 23, 2005

Pipeline Break Keeps Sligh Avenue Closed

TAMPA - Sligh Avenue between North Boulevard and Florida Avenue will remain closed in both directions for about three weeks while the city repairs a broken wastewater pipeline, said Brad Baird, deputy director of Tampa's wastewater department.
The damaged pipe was found after a portion of the street collapsed Tuesday at the intersection of Rivershore Drive and Sligh Avenue. At first, repairs were expected to take hours. But city officials said Friday that about 140 feet of pipe, spanning the width of Sligh Avenue, must be replaced. The pipe is more than 50 years old.

No sewage overflows occurred. Wastewater is being bypassed during the repairs, city officials said.

Motorists going west on Sligh will be directed to Florida. Traffic heading east will be sent to North Boulevard. Hillsborough and Waters avenues are available as alternate routes. Visitors can reach Lowry Park Zoo by using North Boulevard from the south and Sligh from the west.

Kathy Steele

This story can be found at:

Friday, July 22, 2005

Home Invasion

This is likely the story Brandon Mount was referring to as part of his reasons for wanting to start a Neighborhood Watch Group.

TAMPA - Tampa police are hoping a bicycle will help them nab a man in a home invasion Thursday in Seminole Heights.
A woman awoke about 5 a.m. to find a man in the bedroom of her home in the 5000 block of Seminole Avenue, police said. Police believe he came through an open window.

When she confronted the man, he struck her in the head with a flashlight before fleeing with her wallet and cell phone, police said. She was treated on scene for injuries.

When police responded, an officer said he spotted the man fleeing on a blue bicycle near East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and North Taliaferro Avenue. The suspect abandoned the bicycle and got away on foot, police said.

The man was described as black, between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet tall, 20 to 30 years old with a muscular build.

Anyone with information should call Tampa Police Department Robbery Squad at 276-3567 or call CrimeStoppers at (800) 873-8477.

This story can be found at:

Blocked view of traffic

This was sent out by the Evelyn City Neighborhood Watch yahoo email group

Are you tired of trying to see around those vehicles parked so that your view of traffic traveling Nebraska and Florida Avenues?

If so, you will be happy to hear that the police department has agreed to help put that practice to an end. When you see a vehicle parked so that your view of traffic is blocked, call the Police Non-Emergency Number at 231-6130 and inform the person answering that call that a vehicle is parked such that the view of traffic is blocked. They will need the location, (example: corner of Florida and Broad at the car repair place) and a description of the vehicle.

Remember to get an event number to ensure that the call is logged for an officer to see. It is very important to remember that this type of call will be treated as a low priority call, so don't expect to see a quick response.

For those of you interested, a neighborhood task team has formed to go after those business owners putting up chain link fences that are blocking your view of traffic as well. If you see any barbed-wire fences, please let us know, these fences are illegal in the city limits of Tampa.

On a related note, in my prior posting I complained about vehicles parking on sidewalks at businesses. The business in the photo in that posting no longer does so after I called TPD on them.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A new Neighborhood Watch Group being organized in Seminole Heights

After a recent burglary, Brandon Mount is trying to start a neighborhood watch program for Grid 58. (To locate your grid see grid maps D-2 and D-3 or zoom in several times on the crime activity map)

He writes:

....Initially my intention is to invite all homeowners and tenants within the boundaries of: Hillsborough Ave north to Hanna, Florida Ave east to 275 to attend monthly meetings.....

.....We are the only grid in our district without one, and I think we Northies need to show our neighbors south of Hillsborough that we know how to organize! :)
Initially we will be canvassing the neighborhood with flyers notifying the neighborhood of our intentions to hold a meeting every month. At these meetings there will always be at least one Tampa PD officer to give advice on crime prevention, and let us know the latest developments.

With the assistance of our neighbors, we can make a difference and help keep our homes safe. Crime is up in our neighborhood, and our burglary Sunday night and the horrible incident early this morning on Seminole near Henry (forced entry/robbery and assault) are an indication that we need to organize and defend our neighborhood so we all feel safe.

If you live within the boundaries above, watch your porches for fliers announcing our inaugural meeting!

Some of the other neighborhood watch groups in Seminole Heights are very strong successful active efforts. The most visible examples of these are the Neighborhood Watch Vehicle Patrols in Old Seminole Heights (spearheaded by Grid 59 - Hampton Terrace and Grid 45 - Evelyn City) and SE Seminole Heights. (Grids 71, 70, 82, 83) that literally have been in the front lines in the fight against prostitution.

By the way, Seminole Heights is split between two police districts. North of Hillsborough is District 2 commanded by Major Jane Castor (a Seminole Heights resident!) and South of Hillsborough is District 3 commanded by Major George McNamara. Both Majors are great boon to Seminole Heights.

Recently, Major McNamara drove through SE Seminole Heights on a crime prevention check and quite properly chastised us for not doing what we need to do to prevent burglaries. He saw purses, bags and other items in visible sight in automobiles, unsecured valuable items in yards or on porches, and unlocked garages and sheds. Tsk tsk. Shame on us.

See the "Watch Word" the TPD Neighborhood Watch newsletter. The most recent issue is June 2005. Also see these TPD pdf files on crime prevention: Operation Inventory , Home Security Checklist, the Move It or Lose It Hang Tag, and these crime prevention tips.

Business owners (and residents too!) see the Trespass Affidavit Program.

Alcohol in the Hood.

When should we allow businesses to sell alcohol in Seminole Heights area? Is there a consistent policy (for the lack of a better word) about this in the 3 neighborhoods? Is it the type of business? Is it okay for restaurants but not for gas stations? What about a free standing bar? Or a wine store? Or is location the primary issue? Or are there other factors?

Off the top of my head some of the places where this is has come up has been the Cibao grocery store on Florida and Knollwood, Valero Gas Station Hills/I-275 (Denied), Los Tucanes Mexican Restaurant at Hills and 12th-13th St. (Granted) among others.

Case in point.

The Valero gas station at 806 E. Hillsborough is seeking a reconsideration of its wet zoning request (to sell alcohol) that has been denied several times before. This issue will be in front of City Council on August 25, at 10:00 AM.

I just read an email on OSHLink with a neighbor's opinion about this request.

Once again our neighbor wants to add the sale of liquor to his business, when just last week as I was driving down the alley next to this business, I was startled by a group of homeless men setting up house in the bushes. And as many of you know the owner was running an illegal "big rig" mechanic shop which just ended last week -- just in time for the "wet zone" notice to come out. Now the station is neat and clear just like it was about a month before he went for the wet zoning last year...and the year before. In addition to not wanting another establishment to sell alcohol to go, within a 3 block area we have churches a school and a children's advocacy center.

and someone's initial response
The Valero station? I get gas there often, I've never seen anything scary there. They want to sell wine and beer? Most of the other convenience
stores do this, why is this a problem? This is an independently owned business, shouldn't he be free to compete with the corporate owned big guys?

This was before City Council on 1/20/05
Here area some of the comments:
.....>>PETE COWELL: Land Development Coordination.....The request is for 2(APS) in a CG zoning district. Petitioner is desirous of selling beer and wine as an incidental use to an existing service station.There is a mobile gas station with a 2(APS) located 220 feet away, RS-50 zoning is 100 feet away, and there are two institutional uses within 1,000 feet as well.Council would need to provide waivers for all three in order to grant the petition.....

......>>SCOTT GUFFEY: Tampa Police Department.....want to tell you also that I talked to the adjoining neighbors, hair performance salon, the owner thought the petitioner was a good neighbor and felt like they had done their part to clean up that area of the corner that they were located on. The department has no objections to the wet zoning....

.....>>JOHN DINGFELDER: Is there some history on this?
Was this before us last year?
>>PETE COWELL: Yes, sir.
It's come before you twice.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: The same exact petition?
>>> Uh-huh.
>> And we denied it?
>>> Yes, sir.

......>>GWEN MILLER: Petitioner.
>>> I have been sworn in.
My husband and myself own the gas station at 806 east Hillsborough Avenue.
And we are looking for one-year condition on the wet zoning.
We met with the Seminole Heights homeowners association, and they have agreed to one-year condition on the terms that we do not have a pay phone outside, that we only have an ATM inside only, and that we keep the same hours of operation, on Sunday through Thursday, 6 to 10, and Friday and Saturday 6 to 11.
And we are just looking for one-year condition for the wet zoning........

>>>.....Bill Duval, .......
And I have been sworn.
I'm here representing the Old Seminole Heights neighborhood association, as you may have heard.
This petition has come before us twice before and in both cases we recommended denial.
We have changed our position.
First of all, the reason we denied it in the past was that we have a policy voted on by the membership that said no new APS zoning in Seminole Heights, not associated with restaurants, of course.
The reason for that is because approximately three reasons.
One is, the zoning stays with the property.
And so in spite of the current operator, we think long-term, we never know what the next owner is going to do with the property.
Second, there's really no way to -- no easy way to revoke wet zoning.
Mr. Michelini tells me there is.
Perhaps we'll retain him when the time comes but for now it's not easy to revoke wet zoning.
And third, we have a concern about the sale of cold, single beverages.
Our thinking is, if you buy a cold, single beverage, you get in your car and drive, are you going to drink there?
Are you going to be driving on the highway?
Or if you are walking through the neighborhood and you buy a cold, single, what are you going to do with it?
Well, transients are an issue in Seminole Heights.
And we try to do everything we can to discourage them hanging around.

But in this case, a one-year conditional seems to give us an option to revoke, because we can come back here at the end of the year.
Now why would we do that?
Well, the petitioner has had an opportunity to operate without the sale of beer for 18 months.
We have gotten to know the operation.
He and she have done an excellent job at cleaning up the property.
Officer Guffey can help me, but previous to their taking over the property, we had a number -- 150 calls of service in some period of time.
We have had zero since they have taken over.
They circulated their own petition.
(Bell sounds)
Wow, three minutes is fast.
>>GWEN MILLER: Yes, three minutes.
Wrap it up.
>>> Well, we support the one-year conditional..........

......>>ROSE FERLITA: Mr. Duval, could I ask you a -- could I follow up with a question, please?
I know Officer Guffey said there were some changes, and obviously I see them.
But my question is, on neighborhood watch association, Seminole Heights association as well as the Seminole Heights Baptist church and school.
The school feels it is too close to the neighborhood as there are too many wet zonings in the area.
I just wanted for clarification, you are not here to speak as a representative of Seminole Heights Baptist church?
>>> That's correct.
>> Have you had conversation with them?
>>> Not this time.
I have in the past.
>> Oh, yeah.
>>> But not this time.
>> So we don't know if they changed their position?
>>> Well, frankly, my -- well, I don't want to speak for them.
>> Okay......

.....>>KEVIN WHITE: Madam Chair, I don't know what the Old Seminole Heights association -- I see Mr. Duval's point here, that this petition has come before us twice before.
And I think the main thing I'm looking at which is the closest and most directly affected, this is at the entrance ramp of Hillsborough Avenue and the interstate and Old Seminole Heights Baptist church is directly across the street.
You can throw a rock straight across the street.
On the petitioner's behalf, I use your gas station.
You have some of the cheapest gas in town.
And I use it quite frequently.
And I'm serious.
But by the same token, there's alcohol directly on the other side of the interstate already at the Amoco on one end and Hillsborough and Nebraska there's alcohol there as well.
On the first time you came before us, the neighborhood association said there were vagrants, there's loitering, there's beer cans all up and down the street directly behind the adjacent property.
I am one that I would love to be able to support this particular petition.
But with the school being so close, the church being directly impacted across the street, and not only that, I don't feel comfortable, because I know the Seminole Heights civic association, they came out in the past to petitions as well to oppose this wet zoning.
And I don't know if Beverly Morrows had the opportunity to weigh in on this.
I haven't received a letter from her either.
But they have come out in each of the past petitions and I know the trend is not for any more wet zonings in the Seminole Heights area.
And because of these conditions, or the waivers of the condition of the institutional issues, institutions around the particular petition, I'm going to request for denial.
>>ROSE FERLITA: I'll support that.
>>GWEN MILLER: We have a motion and second for denial.
All in favor say Aye.
Opposed, Nay.
Petition is denied.
>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Cowell, I was unclear.
How often can a particular petition keep coming before council?
>>> Six months.
>> So it can be repetitive?
>>> Six months.......

It was before City Council on 3/18/04

.......>>PETE COWELL: Land Development Coordination.
The petitioner is NYA corporation.
The location is 806 east Hillsborough Avenue.
Petitioner is requesting a 2(APS) in a CG zoning district.
Petitioner is requesting to sell beer and wine as an incidental use at an existing service station.
Petitioner was before you a little over six months ago, WZ 03-125, was denied at that time.
There are other wet zoned properties within a thousand feet.
The mobile gas station at 902 east Hillsborough, residential property is within a thousand feet.
It's 100 feet to RS 50.
And there are institutional uses within the thousand feet.
Seminole Heights Baptist church and the Tampa Hillsborough County drug abuse center both within a thousand feet.
Council would need to provide waivers for all of those in order to grant the petition.....

.....>>> Joseph.
For the petitioner.
Mr. Yolkrum, the owner of the property, has put over $130,000 into this property to remodel it, to restructure, new signs, et cetera.
Mr. Yolkrum previously owned a business on Harrison in Clearwater.
And I have two recommendations from the police department in Clearwater, and the domestic violence center in Clearwater, indicated that he was a good neighbor and a good person to work with, kept a nice, clean operation.
As you can tell from the map that you were given, this property lies between Nebraska and I-275.
A very heavily traveled core odor......

......So I would say that this property is between Hillsborough -- or Nebraska and I-275.
And I will pass along these, both north and south.
Along with the survey that will show that the church is approximately 330 feet from the edge of the property of Mr. Yolkrum to the edge of the church's property.
As was indicated, there are two places, one on the north side of Hillsborough, one on the south side of Hillsborough that one is like 140 feat that's on the north side of Hillsborough from Mr. Yolkrum's place of business that also sell, of course, beer and wine.
I don't think that you'll find another -- an increase in traffic by one car, because somebody wants to come to Mr. Yolkrum's place and buy beer or wine.
So I don't think that it's really a problem.
Now, I know that the civic association has an objection.
And their pox is that there is going to be vagrants there.
Mr. Yolkrum in an attempt to keep the vagrants out has constructed a fence at the rear of his property, and it's -- it's partially up, to complete that fence but the idea is it's going to keep the vagrants from going around the rear of the property and sleeping behind his building.
Also you are going to have vagrants whether they come from 140 feet down and use beer and wine from the other station or not, or other convenience store or not, it's going to happen no matter what.
If Wendy's build next to McDonald and somebody walks into Wendy's and takes a wrapper and throws it on your lawn it can happen as well as McDonald.
I don't see an increase in vagrancy because of this business being there.
Nor I do see an increase in vandalism.
I know that Mr. Yolkrum has worked with the church.
He has allowed them to use the premises for car washes and things like that.
So he is very active, wants to be active in the community.
And based on his prior reputation, et cetera, I would think that he should be granted this application.
Now, there's been a lot of talk, because I have been here for quite awhile, and I'm listening to various conditions that could be placed on a business such as this.
In the spirit of cooperation, I know Mr. Yolkrum who was here would consent if you want to constrict the hours, and like Mr. Harrison suggested on the prior matter, for one year, see how it goes, we're not opposed to that.
It will be a good trial and error for everybody to see what happens with this particular property.
Like I said he's put a lot of money into it.
He's remodeled it a great deal.
And like I said before, I don't think the traffic is going to increase.
I don't think you are going to have an increase in vandalism.
And that you are going to have a nice piece of property.
I don't know if the church -- I heard somebody say that the church had any opposition.
I have been attempting to be in touch with the church and I have had no response from them.
Thank you......

....>>> Duval, ...representing the Old Seminole Heights neighborhood association.
And in the next two or three hours I would like to use excerpts because they were very eloquent.
We were here before on this.
It seemed like yesterday.
But we continue to not support new locations for alcohol in general.
You all know the history of Seminole Heights, what we are trying to do with businesses, what we are trying to do with the prostitution, what we are trying to do with people who walk our streets.
I won't take you through that.
I will say since the business has been open, they have performed beautifully.
They have done everything that they said they were going to do.
The property looks good.
And the gas is flowing and everything else that's going on.
I will remind you that that corner is Miami.
And Miami is in the historic district of Old Seminole Heights.
And the residents of that area are particularly concerned about what happens when people with open containers walk back into the neighborhood.
So we do oppose the saturation of this type of business.

And respectfully request that you deny the petition.
Finally, I want to invite everybody to our Seminole Heights Home Tour Palm Sunday.
Thank you......
.....>>> Thank you for continuing the process.
I'm Beverly Morrow, president of Southeast Seminole Heights civic association.
And I reside at 1106 East Ellicott street.
The church was not able to be here today, but they did adopt a resolution by all of their members.
It was supposed to have been faxed to you.
I don't know it has been.
But they do request that it be read into the record.
So this is the original.
>>GWEN MILLER: You may read it.
>>> City Council chambers regarding petition WZ 304-50 for wet zoning at 806 east Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, Florida.
Honorable council members: At the regularly scheduled business meeting of Seminole Heights Baptist church, 801 east Hillsborough Avenue, on March 7th, 2004, the following resolution was unanimously passed representing our congregation of 385 voting members.
We also would like to call your attention that the location petition for wet zoning is less than 200 feet from the church.
The church has activities throughout the week involving between 100 and 150 children of all ages.
Resolved that the members of Seminole Heights Baptist church are unalterably opposed to the requested wet zoning of the business located at 806 east Hillsborough, Tampa, Florida, because we believe the law which currently prohibits wet zoning within 1,000 feet of a church or school should be upheld.
We believe this law was created in the best interest of our churches and schools and submit to the council that there is no reason it should be overridden in this matter.
That is signed: Sincerely, Greg Floyd, senior pastor.
>>GWEN MILLER: Give it to the clerk, please.
>>> I would just like to add that southeast Seminole Heights civic association opposes the granting of this petition for the sale of alcoholic beverages at 806 east Hillsborough Avenue.
This petitioner was heard approximately seven months ago regarding the same issue.
And the petition at that time was denied.
This location remains as stated in the resolution from the church less than 200 feet from the Seminole Heights Baptist church property.
We do have activities held several times each week as well as activities going on at Giddens park and at the Kathryn Malone center which are only five blocks away from this proposed property petitioning for this wet zoning.
The neighboring area is really saturated already with businesses that sell alcoholic beverages, both for consumption, on the premises as well as package goods.
So once again, the two sister organizations of greater Seminole Heights, Old Seminole Heights neighborhood association, and southeast Seminole Heights civic association, are joined by Seminole Heights Baptist church in opposition to the granting of this petition to sell any alcoholic beverages at this location.
(Bell sounds)
I don't know if you want to look at this map.
It shows you the proximity.
Here's your site.
Here's your church.
Here's your playground.
Do you want it?.......

..........>>> Good afternoon.
My name is Neil Yolkrum.
I bought this place about six months ago.
Myself, I have two children.
I am a married man.
I want to have a good corner gas station.
The homeowners association, a lot of drugs and prostitution going on in the neighborhood.
I do 100%.
I don't want to corrupt this neighborhood.
Because I need to get clear the neighborhood there.
So this problem there, I have been there open three month.
It's going to be nice, good, neighborhood location.
Just beer, nothing else.
If you want to put a condition, it's fine.
But people come and ask me.
I have petition.
They ask me, where is the beer?
I tell them, I'm working on it.
I don't need any comments, gas station, don't sell beer.
I want to do my best.
And just sell beer, nothing else.
Bay my bills.
Thank you.
>>CHAIRMAN SAUL-SENA: Anyone else care to speak on this?
Petitioner, rebuttal?
>>> One comment.
In rebuttal to what was said.
I understand that there are children and there's a playground in the back.
But if you look at the pictures that you have there, the traffic pattern, to get across Hillsborough Avenue, you would need a hummer to protect the children.
I don't see that as a problem, because of the traffic situation.
Again I don't think traffic will increase because of the situation.
And I don't think the children will be in any worse position if the license is granted.
Thank you........

.....>>KEVIN WHITE: Thank you.
Like the last petition that we did have, I do -- or unlike the last petition, I do live in this neighborhood.
I drive by the store every morning.
I see some of the improvements he's made.
He has painted the facility.
It not complete yet but he's done a lot of improvements to the neighborhood.
And he's also to be commended as of this morning, anyway.
He's ten cents cheaper per gallon than everyone else.
In the area.
But unfortunately that doesn't weigh well enough for me to allow any more alcohol in the neighborhood.
I think we do have enough.
We have the Citco store on Nebraska and Hillsborough.
We have the Amoco at Nebraska and central, which are directly related to each other.
And both of the neighborhoods southeast and the other Seminole Heights organization, made great strides and attempts to clean up the neighborhood, the surrounding neighborhoods against prostitution, the drug dealers, and they have made great strides in that area.
And I hate to see -- or add anything of detriment to the organization or the neighborhood that would set any of that back.
And I think we have enough in the neighborhood.
We said that seven months ago.
I don't think we brought any overwhelming evidence.

Yes, you are an entrance corridor going right onto the interstate.
No, I don't think it's going to bring any more traffic to the neighborhood.
But I don't think traffic is more after main concern as far as the institutional uses that are in the neighborhood.
And therefore I would respectfully request for denial.
>>ROSE FERLITA: Second with some comments.
Mr. White, obviously I wholeheartedly agree with you.
And this is a neighborhood that is doing better, doing great.
It's obviously not a neighborhood that's very closed minded.
As part of that neighborhood in terms of the business, we want new development, want new businesses, want them to thrive, want them to be compatible with the neighborhood.
And given again the same situation as we have had over and over again today, nothing to do with you, sir, nothing to do with your character, ethics, anything else.
I don't hardly know you except from the last time you came up to request pretty much the same petition.
But we have to look at the component and how it's going to complement the neighborhood.
We in southeast Seminole Heights and old Seminole Heights and south Seminole Heights have a proliferation of sites that already sell beer and wine under a 2(APS). That causes a very vivid potential as many of us see when we travel Nebraska and into the neighborhood corridors that much of that is conducive to buying and throwing their bottles et cetera on the wayside.
Certainly I feel that particular neighborhood is more than amply saturated with establishments that sell alcohol.
And so based on that, and the terms that Mr. White gave, I'm very sorry that we can't approve it.
But I certainly can't support it.
No, sir, I'm denying it along with him, sir.
>>JOHN DINGFELDER: I'm going to support the motion.
Just further say that waiving distance -- waiving the separation requirements would be contrary to public safety and welfare.
>>CHAIRMAN SAUL-SENA: There's been a motion and second for denial.
Any more discussion by council?
All those in favor say Aye.
Opposed, Nay.
The motion is denied.........

Finally the first request on 8/21/03

.........>>PETE COWELL: Land Development Coordination.
Petition WZ-03-125.
806 east Hillsborough Avenue for a 2(APS) for a CG district.
Petitioner is proposing to sell beer and wine as an existing use at a service station.
There are other wet zonings within a thousand feet.
A Mobile gas station, 220 feet away.
Various residential zoning to an RS 50 zoning district.
And there are institutional uses within 1,000 feet.
Baptist church, the county drug abuse center.
Council would need to make waivers to these distance requirements in order to grant the petition......

>> Good afternoon.
I'm here for the business.
We purchased this property a week ago, before purchasing the property, by attorney asked for a liquor license you have to buy the property.
The reason is, nice neighborhood, nice car wash, nice gas station.
Right now, this is years, this dump, nobody cared about.
That's why I want to do as much as I can.
I want to be -- I want to be good neighbors.
Also, I have a license -- my license, and don't want to be a problem to the city or neighbors.
Just give me a chance.
And I do my best.
Do any council members have questions of petitioner?
>>MARY ALVAREZ: What are your hours of operation?
>>> 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Except Sundays.
Sundays are to 8 p.m.
>>MARY ALVAREZ: I understand there were several calls for liquor law violations.
That was before you owned the property?
>>> I have a license here.
>> How long have you owned this property?
>>> One week.
Just bought it.
>> Would you consider a one-year conditional?
>>> No problem.
I know them.
We can work together.
I have no problem with the condition......

......(Bill Duval)......I'm here on behalf of the old Seminole Heights neighborhood association.
I'm their president.
We have discussed this matter quite a bit.
And we are opposed.
This location is at the entrance ramp northbound of I-275.
It is on Hillsborough Avenue.
It is for homeless people, and people that generally walk through the neighborhood.
But a lot of people don't know that Miami is in the historic district here.
People think it's only here.
It extends to this district.
I have spoken to a number of neighbors, residents that lived here.
Definitely opposed to it.
This location is also a gas station.
Almost across the street.
And it has had 347 calls of service.
We don't think what Seminole Heights is trying to do with their commercial areas, and we have been working for two years on what the work in progress could be called commercial overlay district, not once have we come up with the desire for a service station that serves package goods.
It just doesn't fit.
I understand this petitioner has no regard on this site.
This is not to say this petitioner is not going to be a good landlord or tenant.
I didn't quite catch all of what you had to say.
But we have 34 outlets for beer and wine within the old Seminole Heights neighborhood association.
There's plenty of opportunity.
And we feel that this is simply one more.
And we can only deal with one business at a time.
And so we understand that a lot of gas stations need to sell alcohol for a profit.
I'm not sure I understand that but we have heard that many, many times.
So it's not just this petitioner.
It's just this location at the base of the historic district.
And on the corridor that caters to homeless people who tend to buy one drink, put it in a brown bag, sit on our lawns, drink it, and then discard.
It's just not going to help improve Seminole Heights.

And we respectfully ask for your vote to oppose.
Thank you...............

...............Beverly Morrow, 1106 East Ellicott Street, and I live in Southeast Seminole Heights, basically here to support just what has been stated to you by old Seminole Heights resident Bill Duval.
One of their residents, Sandra Carr, she's in the process of doing a lot of data gathering on this issue about the saturation level that we see for packaged goods, as well as consumption on premises.
If I can briefly read a statement for her -- from her, rather.
This map that you are looking at now, I don't know that you can see the color, that the pink highlight is the applicant's location here.
And the yellow highlighted areas are the current APS locations that are within one half mile of the applicant.
The names she stated may not match the location, although I believe they are accurate.
The business may have changed.
I was not -- on June 03 list provided by the Tampa Police Department.
She says that she has displayed the APS or alcohol package sails locations and not the COP sales on premises.
She provided the COP and APS on north Florida and Hillsborough Avenue for later discussion.
On the map you can see that there are eight locations you can see.
Your additional four -- all within the area under a half mile but beyond the scope of this map.
Some that I would like for you to consider in your determination of whether or not to grant this petition.
Of the 12 that appear on the map, you can see that the circle K that I have dotted to the left has had 327 calls for service.
Most of that from '99 to 2003.
Nebraska mobile which is just a block away, 347 calls.
And touchdown number 4 across the street had 596 calls for service from the Tampa Police Department.
I am concerned that it is across the street from Seminole Heights Baptist church.
I am also concerned that it is in very close proximity to Giddens Park and the Kathryn Malone center, both of which have programs for children.
So we do have concern on several levels.
And just to share this with you.
(Bell sounds)
I know you can't see it all.
But that's 34 businesses with liquor licenses.
Some of it is for consumption on premises.
Some for package..........

.......I'm Brian McCartney, the education pastor at Seminole heights Baptist church, 801 east Hillsborough Avenue.
I stand before you to speak on behalf of our church congregation.
Seminole Heights has been part of this community since 1921.
And we want to be good neighbors.
We are welcoming and want to welcome Mr. Yildirim and open this gas station which has been closed for several years but we are in opposition to this request and we oppose this petition for three reasons: One, we have witnessed the defense stating effects of alcohol abuse on families and communities.
Two, our Seminole Heights community seems to have a gas station or convenience store at every major intersection that already sells beer and wine as preferenced to the previous person who spoke.
We just do not need another seller of beer and wine in this community.
Thirdly, our church facilities are located directly across the street from the gas station site.
Our understanding is that there has to be a 1,000-foot distance requirement for churches and schools and other public institutions.
And because we are less than 150 feet from there, we would really hope that you all would consider denying this request.
>>CHAIRMAN SAUL-SENA: Anyone else care to speak on this?
>> NEIL YILDIRIM: I would like to be more clear about the process.
Nobody cared about the property.
If someone isn't responsible there, then they will not be there, I 100% guarantee.
There is a church across the street.
You have to go to Nebraska, make a left, come to us.
If they make a left at Nebraska.
What I am looking for only one chance.
If you want to put conditions on, under the circumstances fine.
I will do my best to put together for the neighbors.

>>KEVIN WHITE: Mr. Yildiri,
I applaud your effort to revitalize an old gas station that's been closed for years and I honestly think the neighborhood needs that.
But we don't need another alcohol establishment in the Seminole Heights area.
Especially in the close proximity of the church, especially since we do have a homeless, drug addiction and prostitute problem in that area.
We don't need any other places to make it more accessible and convenient for people that are involved in these type activities.
And I don't think you can give 100% assurance to anyone that homeless people will not be in the area, because I don't think you are going to be there 24 hours a day taking care of them.

Like I said, I applaud your efforts.
And I just don't think that this neighborhood wants and/or needs beer or alcohol any more.
And we do have them in close proximity already, and another one is not conducive for the neighborhood.
And I would move for denial......
.........>>ROSE FERLITA:
I agree with what Mr. White is referring to.
Obviously this is not a neighborhood that is totally opposed to businesses coming in.
Even with alcohol consumption.
Just two weeks ago, the neighborhood welcomed the participation of a Mexican restaurant.
But the issue is that they have conversed long and hard about what they want to do with the Seminole Heights revitalization.
And as Mr. White referred to, this is not what they are looking for in terms of a business component partner.
The fact that we would have to issue a waiver, because he is so close to Seminole Heights Baptist church, is also of concern.
So although we are not limited the amount of businesses coming in, certainly this would not be conducive to enhancing what Seminole Heights want.
I certainly support the motion and appreciate the comments that were made.
>>CHAIRMAN SAUL-SENA: There's been a motion and second.

Any more comments on the motion?
[Motion Carried Unanimously]
The motion is denied.......

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Oral History

At last night's SE Seminole Heights general membership meeting, Jo Thorpe was talking about the role of the historian and her long held dream that an oral history project could be completed in our SE Sem. Hts. neighborhood with our long time residents. David Foster of Central City Community Development Coorporation was present and he was inspired to award SESHCA $1000.00 for a digital camera to record the interviews. So we have a camera and a dream. Has anyone out there ever done an oral history project or know of any good local resources?

A new blog in Seminole Heights

AngelSil has branched out of her Live Journal to a second Blog Party like it's 1925 about documenting " the fun and games of restoring our 1925 bungalow in Seminole Heights, Tampa. Most of the entries here will revolve around our trials and tribulations therein and the interesting life in our neighborhood."

She begins the blog by talking about her stripping.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Code Advisory Committee

At the SE Sem. Hts. Civic Association meeting, it was announced that a Code Advisory Committee was formed under the direction of Curtis Lane, director of City of Tampa Code Enforcement. The purpose is to provide input from the public as to how to improve Code Enforcement Department and to make recommendations to City of Tampa as to how to better keep Tampa clean. This is composed of 9 citizens, 3 from each code enforcement zone. Mike Ferlita, chair of SE Sem. Hts. Civic Assoc. Neighborhood Improvement Code Enforcement committe is a representative. I've not found any info about this on City of Tampa website.

Monday, July 18, 2005

River Rat Jim's

At 1112 East Patterson Street, is a house that sits on the river. I have passed by it for years. The sign on the place calls it River Rat Jim's. I wonder if there is a connection to the River Rats I wrote about before? The the original River Rat Clubhouse was located at "a little house in the rear of the home of Mr. And Mrs. J. F. Griffin, 1109 Patterson St." and that house is caty-corner across from this house.

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The buzz in the hood.

My neighbor down the street (New Orleans/11th Street) had some guests move in. Thousands of bees.

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Trib and Starbucks

Tampa Trib's Kathy Steele did a front page top of the fold article about Starbucks opening up. I love the quote "The residents proved an unstoppable force." I agree with Patrick Purpura. We won't become a Fowler Avenue.

Jul 18, 2005

Seminole Heights Is Abuzz

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - There were places once in Seminole Heights that held the neighborhood together.

The Dog 'N Suds. Red Wood Inn. A Veterans of Foreign Wars post. River Shore Drive- In. Bars where blue-collar workers got a quick beer before heading home.

``They don't have those places now,'' said Louis Klar, a Seminole Heights resident for nearly 60 years. ``But they will.''

If a Starbucks coffee shop approved by a city review board Wednesday is a success, Klar thinks it could be that kind of a place.

It also could attract other developers, and then new people who will want to move in.

``It's the adhesive that will give people a community place to identify with,'' Klar said.

That is the faith some neighborhood residents place in a single coffee shop Starbucks plans to build on a lot at Hillsborough and Central avenues, a gateway into the Old Seminole Heights Historic District.

``I just want every day for something nicer to be there,'' resident Chad Daughtrey said.

The prospect that Starbucks was coming has set pulses on a caffeine high since February.

``I can't go to Publix anymore without three people coming up and asking when is Starbucks coming,'' said Randy Baron, president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association.

``I get phone calls, and it's not even in my neighborhood,'' said Gary Ellsworth, president of South Seminole Heights Civic Association.

Residents have showed support for the chain coffee shop for months as the city's Architectural Review Commission found fault with the developer's site plan and design. The residents proved an unstoppable force.

With almost no discussion, the review board on Wednesday said Starbucks had met the historic district guidelines and gave its approval.

The shop is expected to open by January, and another vacant lot in Seminole Heights will vanish.

`Excellent Memories'

In the 1920s, Seminole Heights was the place to live, with bungalows, front porches and shady oak trees. Residents were pioneers in suburban living.

Now there are new pioneers, restoring dilapidated bungalows and pushing out the drug dealers and prostitutes.

Too much of the old Seminole Heights has vanished, former resident Harold Wolfe said.

``What's the saying? You can't go back in time,'' Wolfe said. ``But there are memories; excellent memories.''

A sign at Three Coins Restaurant on Nebraska Avenue, where Wolfe was eating lunch Friday, reads: The Best Coffee In Town.

No one there is worried much about coffee competition. Restaurant manager Martha Hughes even feels sorry for Starbucks.

``I think that basically Starbucks is not for the neighborhood,'' she said. ``I wish them well.''

What she would like to see is a few pawnshops disappear.

Wolfe lives in Dade City, which he called paradise. Sort of what Seminole Heights used to be. He is fixing up his old house in Seminole Heights to cash in on the rising property values.

There was a bar - The Swan - he remembered fondly. ``I'd drive my '57 Chevy there,'' Wolfe said. ``It used to be if you went shopping here, you could leave the keys in your car.''

No more. ``It looks like a shantytown,'' Wolfe said. Drugs and crime took over in the 1970s, he said.

Wolfe thinks Starbucks will be good for the neighborhood. ``It will be a hangout for kids if they keep it open late,'' he said.

Some wonder how Starbucks can fail near an Interstate 275 interchange and on busy Hillsborough Avenue.

But it's not all about getting a cup of mocha cappuccino. Some Starbucks supporters boasted of not being coffee drinkers.

For some reason, the commercial rebirth in Seminole Heights hasn't taken off like the residential renaissance, Baron said. Now he and others think it will.

``I've had people tell me they won't move to Seminole Heights because there is nothing there,'' he said.

People live and work in Seminole Heights, but they have to go elsewhere to shop and meet with friends, he said.

Verdict's Still Out

Not everyone was enthusiastic about Starbucks.

The positive is that property values might go up, said Anjelica Diaz, owner of Viva La Frida Cafe y Galeria on Florida Avenue. That's as far as she goes.

Diaz wonders where the neighborhood support was during the seven months she struggled to get approvals from the Architectural Review Commission.

``I had to beg people in Seminole Heights to represent me,'' she said. One person responded.

``I'm a local business, and I do things that no one does. I give to nonprofit organizations,'' she said. ``Starbucks' money is not going to stay in the neighborhood.''

It's places like Viva La Frida and Covivant Art Gallery that attracted Holly Arboleda to Seminole Heights.

She moved to the neighborhood six months ago and opened Daddy Zero on Florida Avenue, where she sells incense, posters, jewelry, candles and clothing.

``The little art places, the mom and pop restaurants. There seem to be a lot of cool people in the neighborhood,'' she said.

Arboleda hopes Starbucks won't be a negative.

``Maybe people will come here from Starbucks,'' Arboleda said. ``It's a Catch-22. It could be good and bad at the same time.''

Elizabeth Graham is apprehensive. She moved to Seminole Heights in the early 1990s for the historic charm.

``There are people here who know your name,'' Graham said. ``You ask for a cup of sugar, and your neighbor brings it to you. I love that.''

She restored a 1908 bungalow on Florida Avenue and two years ago opened Forever Beautiful Salon & Day Spa. She wants to open a cafe next door.

Graham worries about franchises setting up shop in Seminole Heights in strip malls.

``That's not charming to me,'' she said. ``I wouldn't mind eclectic. I like South Howard [Avenue]. But I don't think Seminole Heights could be a Hyde Park.''

Local teahouses, bookstores, antiques, clothing shops: ``There's lots of room for those here,'' Graham said.

Starbucks isn't an open invitation to chain stores, said Patrick Purpura, owner of Front Porch Grille on Florida Avenue, formerly Tiffany's Tea Room.

Neighbors held off Walgreens drugstore three years ago, he said.

``I don't want our neighborhood to become a Fowler Avenue, but I think Starbucks fits in,'' Purpura said.

Philip Myers, who owns Myers Printing Co. on Florida Avenue and helped found the Seminole Heights Business Alliance, thinks Starbucks will be good for business. But he said the lengthy review Starbucks underwent would put local businesses at a disadvantage.

``The problem right now is where a small business can't come into the neighborhood,'' he said. ``It's tough. Most people would have a hard time doing that unless they were extremely wealthy.''

Reporter Kathy Steele can be reached at (813) 259-7146.

This story can be found at:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Contest for Tickets to The March of the Kitefliers

Gonzonia is another blog located in Seminole Heights. He is having a contest where he is giving away 2 tickets to the opening weekend of Jobsite Theater's world premier production of The March of the Kitefliers.

This play is written by two Seminole Heights residents, Neil Gobioff and Shawn Paonessa.

The March of the Kitefliers
by Neil Gobioff & Shawn Paonessa
August 5 - 21, 2005

Jobsite concludes their most successful season to date with the premiere of a quirky 30-something romantic comedy written by two Tampa playwrights, Neil Gobioff and Shawn Paonessa. The March of the Kitefliers plays Aug. 5 - 21 in the Shimberg Playhouse at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, where Jobsite is resident theater company.

When Sam (Shawn Paonessa) graduated from college with a double major in art and marketing, he had big dreams of a career in advertising. The corporate world caused him to submit to a mediocre job, while pursuing his dreams by chronically escaping into his vivid fantasies. When Julia (Meg Heimstead) walks into his life, suddenly Sam is forced to decide whether to finally grow up and pursue the woman he loves or follow the footsteps of his best friend, Jack (David M. Jenkins), who lives in a perpetual state of childhood. What ensues is an endearing romantic comedy and a hilarious post-modern satire that asks: who are we really, and what ever happened to the dreamers within us when we were children?

The play takes place in a coffee shop. The play also has an open mic night filled with hilariously bad poetry. To enter the contest all you have to do is send an email to
BADPOETRY at GONZONIA.COM with the worst open mic poetry you can come up with. ORIGINAL POETRY ONLY. Please don’t send me Emily Dickinson just because your 9th grade English teacher derided you about your choice in undergarments.
See his website for additional details about the contest.

More on these Seminole Heights residents:

Neil Gobioff (Co-playwright) - Playwright, Poet, Book Store Owner, Tech Geek, and now a new Dad. Neil last wrote for Jobsite's Murder Ballads with his and Paonessa's one-act, The Curse of Millhaven. Since his playwriting debut in 1999, he has written for numerous Jobsite productions, including Breathing Oblivion, The Acropolis Project: Balance, and Learning Swerve, which earned him and Paonessa Best Local Playwright - Reader's Choice, Weekly Planet. He has also worked behind the scenes in other Jobsite Productions including Bloody Poetry (Stage Manager) and Delusion of Darkness (Asst. Director/Stage Manager). He'd like to thank his wife for her love, patience, and helping to bring their amazing son Izzy into the world.

Shawn Paonessa (Sam & Co-playwright) was discovered as a baby in a wicker basket, floating down the Everglades' river of grass. A family of blue tongue mango voles raised him and turned him over to Wink Martindale, who educated him in the arts of humor, politics, and beer. He has been acting, writing, directing, and troublemaking with Jobsite since he played Donkey in their second production, Brownbread. Notable performances include The History of the Devil, The Ruins…, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and Cloud 9. Paonessa has also written with Neil Gobioff for many Jobsite productions, including Breathing Oblivion, The Curse of Millhaven and Learning Swerve, which earned Best Local Playwright - Reader's Choice, Weekly Planet 1999. In 2004, Paonessa made his directorial debut with Delusion of Darkness. This season, Paonessa also performed in Playing With Fire: After Frankenstein, The Complete History of America (abridged), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and A Girl's Guide to Chaos.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Avila's Market

Thanks to Kathy Steele's article in the Trib, I finally got around to trying out Avila's Market. I had a cuban sandwich there today. Very good. Quick too. Good price. Cuban chips and a 12 oz can of Coke was 2 dollars something ($2.99?). They are located at corner of Hannah and Florida. Good selection of softdrinks. They also have beer and wine. Posted by Picasa

I'm curious, where in Seminole Heights do you think makes the best cuban sandwiches?