Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Krispy Kreme in the News - sort of

Interesting how fact and fiction collide. Today's Doonesbury.

My prior posting about Kripy Kreme

Tonight I went by the Sulphur Springs Krispy Kreme to see if they were yet selling hot glazed. Nope, only in the morning. I did unofficially have some hot mini cake donuts. I never had hot cake donuts before and they are very good. There is a slight crisp to the outer edge that must disappear when they sit for a while.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Coffee Bean Cafe Opens

Are you thirsty?

Do you need some coffee?

Looking for a hearty breakfast?

Hungry for lunch?

Wait no longer. Come on in. The Coffee Bean Cafe officially opens up tommorrow, Tuesday August 31. 7AM to 3PM. Florida corner Osborne (park in the back or along Osborne)

Have a seat. Enjoy the view.

Come to the counter and order up.

Express yourself.

Or chill out.

I had a sneak peek at the menu. Some of the items listed (but not all) are:

Breakfast - Ashley Hashley (2 farm fresh scrambled eggs with corned beef hash, grits, or potatoes on bisquit or toast), Huevos Rancheros, Working on the Railroad (Eggs on top of 2 gravy biscuits with your choice of grits or potatoes), Biscuits and Gravy (includes sausage, ham or turkey), Eye Opener (2 scrambled eggs, with your choice of ham, bacon or sausage, grits or potatoes) and others

Soups - Homemade Chili, and Homemade Chicken Noodle and Soup du jour

Salads - Cobb, Caesar, Tossed, Chef, Fruit, Pineapple, Pear, Greek, and Spinach

Sandwiches - Cuban, Rueben, Scrambled Dog (hot dog with chili and cheddar cheese), Grilled or Plain Peanut Butter and Jelly, Grilled Cheese and a bowl of Tomato Soup, Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Pita, Sloppy Joe, Sante To Fu Sandwich, Tuna, Egg, or Chicken Salad, Cream Cheese and Cucumber - The Susie Homemaker (No crust, cut into 4 slices like the garden club used to make, Quesadilla, Hummuswich (formerly on menu at Rigo's) and others.

Wraps - Uncle Milty (Ham Turkey and Roast Beef crumbles and dressing, Lettuce and Tomato, with Avocado Slices on your choice of a spinach, sun dried tomato or plain wrap), The Antiquer (any meat or egg salad on choice of wrap, served with choice of opocorn or chips and a dill pickle), The Sammy Hammy, South of the Border, and others

Desserts - Grasshopper Pie, Key Lime Pie, Coconut Bars, Cobbler, Muffins, Pies, Cakes, Ice Cream, Banana Split, Sundaes and others

Cool Mountain Sodas

and of course: Cafe Latte, Flavored Latte, Cafe Mocha, Cafe con Leche, Caramel Mocha, Americano and plain Coffee.

The store hours might increase as business grows.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

NEAT Clean Up DAy

Today was NEAT Clean Up.

This biggest pile in the hood was at 9th and Caracas. He took down 2/3 of his falling down garage and put it out on the sidewalk.

For jobs like this the City uses front end loaders and dump trucks

Piano Blues - No More Music

My Pile


These front end loaders are good but they do dig up your yard.

The only thing left behind - a snipe sign.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

A dog and his toy - life is good! Posted by Picasa

Guard Rabbit

While driving around looking at NEAT clean up piles, Susan and I came across this rabbit. The glowing lights in the background is the eyes of a cat. I knocked on a couple of doors to see if someone's pet got loose, but no one answered. Maybe it isn't a house rabbit but instead is a yard guard rabbit.

The night before NEAT clean up

It's the night before NEAT clean up and all throughout the neighborhood, everyone is putting out their trash, waiting for . . . . .well certainly not Santa Claus. After all it is the middle of the summer.

This is my pile. I have done a lot of yard work in last week and this is the result.

Then we have the pipe I dug up in my prior posting about my sink backing up.

Remmants of my kitchen remodeling

Two buckets of broken tile my coworker gave me 2 years ago when she remolded her kitchen. These were to be used in art projects. Not enough art projects, so out they go.

Here are some neighbors piles.

A conveyer belt used as someone's driveway

The most unusual item I saw.


More tommorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Blog It Forward - Midnight Culmination

Well this weeks Blog It Forward is Midnight Culmination. This is a fascinating blog. I'm amazed as to how much soon to be 25-year-old (Happy Birthday) Rachel* discloses about herself, in a such a non-anonymous venue. She has a lot of moxie.

She has some interesting experiences, living in Ybor City, going to law school in Gulfport and Tampa Heights, and partying on both sides of the bay and can write well about it.

When she becomes a lawyer, I would never want to be cross examined by her.

As it turns out we have a friend in common, Ms. Pat, whom speaks very highly of her.

One of my favorite postings was Crack Attack .

Prior Blog It Forwards
Blog it Forward - Party Like It's 1925

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Alcohol Bulimia

So, tonight I and a friend are at the Front Porch Bar and Grill, having coffee and desert. (Very tasty cheesecake.) Then down Idlewild headed to Florida comes this guy. He is smoking a cigarette, unsteadily walking. He takes the cigarette out of his mouth, leans over to the left and vomits. He puts the cigarette in his mouth and continues down the street. He takes the cigarette out and vomits. He continues this way until out of our sight. A few minutes later he comes back, no longer vomiting, carrying a six pack of beer.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Another Seminole Heights Blog - Investing in Craftmanship

Well, I discovered a another blog in Seminole Heights. Investing In Craftmanship. "1201 E. Comanche is an extensive project. Stripped bare, this house is being completely redone top to bottom."

As it turns out I did a little blurb on the house unknowingly in Lean on Me regarding his garage which now is no longer there, having been pushed over by hand.

This makes blog # 10 for Seminole Heights.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sedition Act

I've noticed in the Seminole Heights area multiple expressions of peoples opinion regarding the war and George Bush. Stenciled on the pillars under Hanna/I-275 overpass are some anti-bush sentiments. There is a road sign at Hann and Florida with a tiny anti-Bush comment and of course there is the Military ? signs I posted about before.

I've been reading Jeff Shaara's "To The Last Man - A Novel of the First World War." Today a particular set of passages struck me, in regards to expressions of the anti-Bush/war sentiment noted above. Pages 470-472 involves a discussion between General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing and Colonel Billy Mitchell regarding George Creel, the Committee for Public Information and the Sedition Act.

Billy Mitchell has issues with George Creel and the Sedition Act stating:

"General, he's lying to the American people. What you call rambunctious can also be called zealotry. He's inflammatory. Without his rabble-rousing, it's doubtful Congress could have passed the sedition act. . . But now with this Sedition Act, anyone who objects t othe war or president. . . . can be put in jail for it. People are getting beat up, killed because they said something that some of Creel's self appointed deputies thought was anti-american. . . It just seems to me that the government is resorting to extreme measures to convince the American people that there is a good reason for so many casualties."

As I'm writing, while watching the TV news tonight, there was a story about Cindy Shehan and it made think about Billy Mitchell's comments in the book and the person who ran over the crosses at the camp that Cindy Shehan was at outside the President's ranch in Texas.

Sedition Act of 1918
United States, Statutes at Large, Washington, D.C., 1918, Vol. XL, pp 553 ff.A portion of the amendment to Section 3 of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917. The act was subsequently repealed in 1921.

SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both....

Restaurants Update

A. Krispy Kreme Donuts is projected to be serving hot glaze donuts to the public on August 29. 2 nights ago I was able to get some hot crullers. Oooh they were goood!

B. The Coffee Bean Cafe (Florida/Osborne) is waiting on license approval from the state before they can open.

C. After a long hiatus there is activity at Martha's Restaurant (Nebraska/Frierson). It looks like they are doing some work on the equipment in the kitchen. The seating area looks very good, very nicely painted and decorated.

D. Last Sunday I was hungry for a cuban. Avila's is closed on Sundays so I tried New York Restaurant and Market. (Florida and Knollwood.) Not as good as Avila's. Bread is too thick and when they press the bread they do not add whatever Avila's puts on the outside of the bread. I guess I will have to keep looking to find a good Sunday cuban.

E. Viva La Frida's got some very good press from Steve Otto on August 19.

Local Artists Aren't Allowed To Starve Here

``Do you know about the arts revolution?''
I looked up from the menu, where I was trying to decide on the enchiladas or the stuffed chicken with chilis.

The woman was wearing fatigues and had a bandoleer wrapped across her chest. Her long, sort of blond hair, had purple tips. She did not look like our waitress. ``I am El Commandante,'' she said.

``Out of chaos comes creativity,'' she added, tossing a purple booklet down on the table. It was full of little sayings such as ``Art is a house that tries to be haunted.''

We were at Viva La Frida, which is not only the best Mexican restaurant in these parts, but one of the better restaurants, period.

Angelica Diaz runs this incarnation from the 1960s on Florida Avenue in Seminole Heights.

It is a wondrous confluence of her Sonoran cooking with a decidedly artsy tone of poetry readings, performance art and walls covered with paintings of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

This night apparently was the kickoff of an exhibition of art posters, which would include ``performance art.''

That helped explain the woman dressed as sort of a Greek warrior who walked in carrying a shield and a 6-foot spear that was supposed to be a pen. And when the woman with the sousaphone came marching in playing ``The Impossible Dream,'' I barely looked up from my enchiladas.

The event was a gathering of artists trying to promote, of all things, art.

Being artists, it wasn't always easy to tell who was in costume or who was just there to eat. It was actually a lot of fun. Mexican food, especially Mexican food with good Mexican beer, goes great with people stopping by to read poetry at your table.

Who's Your Dada?

I even liked the Greek warrior, who said that when she isn't in warrior garb, she's an English instructor at St. Petersburg College. She had us cutting words randomly out of the newspaper and taping them into Dadaist poems.

The irony of the evening was that here was a collection of Bay area artists looking for some recognition and support for art.

They were doing it in a town that has already dumped $13 million into a new art museum and so far can't even decide where to put it.

I can promise you that wherever and whatever is ultimately built for 20 million or 30 million bucks will not begin to approach the down- to-earth gathering at the rambling restaurant with the yellow walls on Florida Avenue.

If it were me, I would just give Angelica Diaz a few million dollars and have her open a half-dozen versions of Viva La Frida around town, and whenever you were in the mood for some art and, of course, some enchiladas, you could stop by.

The art posters, by the way, will stay up at Frida's through September.
This story can be found at: http://tampatrib.com/FloridaMetro/columns/MGBAMS6KKCE.html

Friday, August 19, 2005

Home Builder Gets Off Scot Free

I briefly touched on this in a prior post.

Here is the almost final resolution:

Aug 18, 2005

Owner Won't Have To Alter 5 Houses

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - The city of Tampa will allow a property owner to keep five houses as they are, even though they don't meet building guidelines for the neighborhood.

Thom Snelling, the city's manager for land development and zoning, said the city looked at the developer's plans to make the homes comply, but determined they wouldn't work.

The homes in east Seminole Heights, owned by Norman Murray, are supposed to be 18 inches above the finished grade. But the five homes -- at 811-817 E. Paris St. and at 6007 N. King St. -- have little elevation from the ground to meet flood requirements.

"This is going to have to be the one lesson learned," Snelling said.

The builder, All State Homes, proposed removing dirt from the front of the homes to achieve the 18-inch grade. It planned to add a brick veneer to the lower part of the facade and steps leading to the front door. The company also suggested adding a railing and shutters.

But scraping the front lawn could damage the roots of trees on the properties. Developers also proposed a complex drainage system that could make the properties prone to flooding in the future.

Ultimately, the changes wouldn't add enough character to the homes to resemble the others in the neighborhood, Snelling said.

"What they are proposing is not a positive step forward," Snelling said. "It might look more out of place."

The homes are in the Seminole Heights Overlay District. The district, established in 2001, sets standards such as home elevation, roof pitch and the type of fencing. The boundaries are 15th Street on the east, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the south, and the Hillsborough River on the west and north.

Snelling said the city would take measures to prevent a similar mistake from happening again.

Some of the steps include:

• Stamping the words "overlay district" on the site plans to make sure inspectors are aware;

• Demanding elevation plans when designs are presented to city;

• Making overlay districts more uniform. For instance, in the Seminole Heights Overlay, the floor of the homes have to be 18 inches above the finished grade, while in the West Tampa Overlay the floors have to be 24 inches above the finished grade.

• Holding training sessions for city building inspectors and residential planners.

Snelling said residents can appeal his decision on Murray's homes to the Variance Review Board.

Seminole Heights resident Bill Duvall said it's unlikely anyone would appeal, although he was disappointed about the ruling.

Duvall, president of the Tampa Homeowners and Association of Neighborhoods and former president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, said he is meeting with city officials in charge of residential building to discuss what happened and to try to avoid future errors.

Murray was pleased with the city's decision. The city had allowed him to rent three of the homes, but didn't extend him a certificate of occupancy for the other two. Those homes have been vacant since April, although people were supposed to move in April 1.

"It was pretty obvious from the start that there was no way to make radical changes," Murray said. "Really there is no good solution. It's like beating a dead horse. You're not going to get anything out of it."

The five homes each have four bedrooms, two bathrooms and about 1,400 square feet. Rents are $975 and $1,010 a month.

The homes are painted in vibrant colors, and the city may ask Murray to paint them a more subtle tone that reflects the neighborhood, Snelling said.

Murray said he would consider the city's request.

This story can be found at: http://centraltampa.tbo.com/centraltampa/MGBP1TTXHCE.html

Some comments:
Murray was told by at least 2 people he was in the Overlay District. "He absolutely knew about the overlay district."

Yet he gets away with it.

The City should make him change the colors and have him make a donation of $5,000 to the Old Seminole Heights Civic Association.

Second. What is up with the City Construction Services Department? This is not the first time they have been made aware that their staff needs to pay attention to the Overlay District. It's ridiculous that it is only now they are taking steps to do so.

In addition to the steps they plan to do, they should add a feature to their computer system that automatically flags the homes as being in a the Overlay Disitrict.

They should also put the guidelines on the City website. It is further ridiculous that the only place to find it is on the Old Seminole Heights website.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Running Through Tampa

There is another new Seminole Heights blog - Running Through Tampa. It's title explains it all or for those who want more: "I have set out to rediscover my hometown through the eyes of an inquisitive and relatively slow-moving pedestrian." Check out one of his more recent posts Quick and Dead.

So this means now there are at least 9 blogs in Seminole Heights. In addition to Running Through Tampa, we have Party Like It's 1925, A Living Hominid, Gonzonia, Blog O' Mattox, A Life of M, Bennett Photo Blog, Canada Girl Speaks, and several Live Journals.

Man, do we like to talk in Seminole Heights !

Blog it Forward - Party Like It's 1925

Recently Sticks of Fire mentioned that Dave Dorm started promoting Blog It Forward, to "pick someone from your blogroll and post (on your site) just what makes them blogworthy. "

My first selection is Party Like It's 1925. If you ever wanted to get an idea of what life is like remodeling 1920's bungalow in Seminole Heights, this is the blog for you. Almost all of us who live here can relate to her stories, and if you are planning on moving here, you now know what is facing you. One of her many interesting stories is the fact she obtained the original title deed for the house going back to 1882. (I'm so jealous!) She occasionally forays into the neighborhood, witness her "House of Meats" story.

Sex Offenders In Our Libraries

The Intolerant 6 is an interesting group.

In June 2005 Ronda Storms sucessfully lead an effort, supported by 5 other Hillsborough County Commisioners, of a ban on Gay Pride displays in the Hillsborough county libraries because

" As the mother of a 6-year-old daughter, she said she does not want to be forced to explain homosexuality and transexuality if her child passes such a display and starts asking questions.

"I do not want to have to explain to my daughter what it means to question one's sexuality," Storms said during a budget workshop Wednesday." (St. Pete Times 6/7/05)

Today it is announced that the County Commission wants to post pictures of sex offenders in the libraries and parks and recreation centers.

Sexual predators will have their photographs posted at Hillsborough County parks and recreation centers, county commissioners unanimously decided Wednesday.

It is a sign of the times, commissioners said, adding they want to consider posting photographs and other identifying information about sexual predators at libraries and other buildings that draw children and teens.

``This isn't Mayberry we are living in anymore,'' said Commissioner Brian Blair, who proposed the policy in June. (Tampa Trib 8/18/05)

So this means when Ronda Storms takes her 6 year old daughter to the library or to a parks and recreation center she is will "have to explain" to her daughter about the frightening ugly situation about people who prey on children, who hurt them, sexually assault them or kill them.

But as a friend noted to me "How much easier is it for Ronda to explain to her kids about child molesters than it is to discuss gay people?" People whose only crime is to want to engage in a loving positive relationship with someone of the same gender? Huh? What a twisted world she lives in.

Krispy Kreme

I stopped at the Shell station at Waters and Florida to get some gas. As I got out of my truck, I smelled Krispy Kreme. 2 blocks away Krispy Kreme was making donuts. Hot damn!

Except not really.

The machinery is working but they are not making hot glaze donuts yet. Apparentlyas aprt of bringing hot ones to Florida Avenue they closed their factory on Lake Avenue and are behind on cake donut orders that they ship to stores. The hot glazed will begin being made anywhere from Friday to 2 weeks from today.

I guess the closure of the Lake Ave facility must be related to all of the money troubles Krispy Kreme is having. The employees from that location are now working at the Florida Avenue store and the management staff are on Kennedy Blvd. ( I wonder if it is that building behind the Kennedy Blvd. store). So everything is not sweet at Krispy Kreme
Well, Krispy Kreme's overall bad luck or bad managment is good for us cause it brought back hot ones to Florida Avenue.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Florida Sentinel Bulletin - Where are You?

In todays Florida Sentinel Bulletin, columnist Sherna Blair Rich writes about the "power of the press" and "yellow journalism" and how instead of news media "giving us the facts" they "shape our views with distortions and lies" and sensationalism. She notes that "Black America finds herself misled, misinformed and misrepresented" and "represented in no way, shape form or fashion in this country".

Unfortunately, the Sentinel Bulletin itself fails to provide opportunities to better get its opinions and perspectives out to the community. They lack an effective web presence. They have a website but it only provides coverage of the paper's 6 cover stories, death notices and a church directory. There is no archive of past stories. More importantly the commentary by Rudolph Harris, Iris Holton, the Sole-Man, Randolph Kinsey, Leon Crews, Sherna Blair Rich and the paper's editorials is nowhere on the web. This commentary evaporates once the paper is read and thrown away.

I understand that a web presence costs money. And that a paper would be afraid of losing paid readers if the content were available free on the internet. However my web presence with Blogger does not cost me anything and in fact via the Google Adsense program (a token amount) and Amazon.com (nothing so far) I actually earn cash from the ads on the site. The Tampa Tribune and the St. Pete Times both are able to successfully have online editions, and I'm sure paid for by the advertising on their sites.

I think an better online presence might actually get them more hard copy readers, perhaps more readers outside of their demographic. Certainly the Sole-Man's commentary a few weeks ago that Adolf Hitler would be right at home with Ronda Storms would have gotten a lot of more people's attention if it were on the web. Some readers would have come back to see what other things are being said by Sentinel Bulletin and maybe some would buy a copy of the paper when they see it in the store or mini mart.

So, at least they should have a blog of their editorials and commentary incorporated in their website. Of note is that my prior article about the Sentinel Bulletin is number 5 on a Yahoo search. It ought to be number 500 because their own articles would be in front of it.

This also applies to La Gaceta.

For an old interesting article about local black media see Tampa Bay's Black-Owned Media

Monday, August 15, 2005

Impacts on Seminole Heights

There are many things going on that are going to have some big effects on Seminole Heights.

East There are many changes coming to East Tampa and what goes on in East Tampa affects Seminole heights. The redevelopment of the old Winn Dixie warehouse property into the Meridian Pointe Apartments. There will be 360 units in that complex, adding a lot of new residents, to a formerly non-residential location. They are going to want to spend money someplace. Consequently I predict that eventually businesses along Hillsborough Avenue are going to improve. Empty places will get filled and existing space will get upgraded. Rents will increase, forcing out marginal businesses.

Another contribution of the 168 unit Grand Oaks Apartments at 2604 E. East Hanna.

People will be earning money at the new location for Fast Lane Clothing Company on 22nd St. just south of Hillsborough and will likely spend it at local businesses. They are building on a formerly empty and trashy lot, being one more building block in changing the look of 22nd Avenue, contributing to the effects Middleton High School has brought..

South South of Martin Luther King Blvd around 22nd Avenue, the continued redevelopment of the former College Hill/Ponce De Leon public housing projects into the Belmont Heights Estate with its newest part, Phase III, will continue to add more people who again will need to spend money. This should positively affect the Martin Luther King and Nebraska Avenues.

The construction of the Tampa Police Department District III headquarters in that same area will reinforce those good effects. Aside from the stronger police presence just south of Seminole Heights, these officers and visitors to the headquarters will again spend money locally.

Of course the biggest future project is the redevelopment of the Central Park Village public housing projects. Another part of Nebraska Avenue cleaned up. More money pumped in. People leaving downtown will be less afraid to drive north on Nebraska Avenue. This will tie in with the restriping of Nebraska from 4 lanes to 2/3 lanes.

One area that is missing on the redevelopment is the Robles Park Village housing project. This puts a bit of a drag that part of the central south boundary.

North The redevelopment of Riverview Terrace Housing Project into the Oaks at Riverview, which just opened up this weekend. According to a Tampa Tribune article by Kathy Steele, this complex just opened up.

The complex, which is privately managed, will feature 174 family rental units and apartments for seniors. There also will be a small commercial district and a community center. Another 96 owner-occupied, single-family houses and town houses are under construction on the site and on lots scattered throughout the neighborhood.

About two-thirds of the houses and town houses will be available at normal market prices to the general public. The remainder will go to buyers qualifying for low-interest loans."

This area was a blight, sucking the life out of the area around it. (And the life of those who lived in it.) I noticed improvements to the area around immediately after it was torn down. Now this new complex should be a life producing area, almost an economic engine to north Seminole Heights. Just watch the rapid improvements as it fills up.

Krispy Kreme Hot Ones Return

Woohah! The Krispy Kreme on Florida, just north of Waters is getting hot donuts back!! No more trips to Kennedy Blvd, to satisy that melt in your mouth sugar rush. Sometime this week, the hot donuts sign should be lighting up.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Another Interesting House

This is across the street from my prior post. The owner of the house in the prior post lived in this house.

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