Friday, September 30, 2005


So Tom Gallager joins Charlie Crist in showing his opportunistics colors (yellow). He changes his stance on abortion to get the conservative votes in his run for governor.

How many millions of dollars have been spent on the fight over abortion? How many man and woman hours have been wasted on this uees

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Merchants/Business Association for Seminole Heights

I received the following:

"Well, a meeting is set at the Coffee Bean Cafe (Florida and Osborne) for next Thursday night, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. to discuss what we want to do to create a new merchants/business association for Seminole Heights. This is a start of a new coalition/organization for all those interested in the commerce in our neighborhood.

This meeting will evaluate what is needed and how to go about fulfilling those needs to create a more sucessful business district for Seminole Heights. These would be needs for an organization of bricks and mortar and home-based businesses in S.H. as well as artists working in/from the neighborhood. "

Contact Sherry King at Yesterdaze for more information.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What's Up with Starbucks?

Q.: As reader asked where things stood with Starbucks.

A: The way I understand it, originally the groundbreaking for the Starbucks would not occur until sometime in October and the restaurant would not open until February 2006. Perhaps Randy Barron can provide an update.

Covivant - Cross-Pollination

A message from Carrie Mackin of Covivant

Next Month will be Covivant's Sixth Anniversary!
Join us on October 15th for Cross-Pollination to celebrate our success!

The Artillery presents their latest incarnation: Cross~PollinationFeaturing new art by Chad Mize, Phillip Clark, Anna Sauer and Andrew Hawthorne. Cross~Pollination is an exhibition which explores each artists personal creative method of sharing knowledge through images of nature - reminding us of its complicated beauty and poignant significance to our surrounding space. In these works, as in nature, sharing expedites growth. The convergence of ideas accelerates evolution, manifesting itself in new ways of thought and perspective, either individually or collaboratively.

The Artillery is a creative collective based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They are a diverse group of artists united through a common goal, to inspire the community and establish a climate of positive change. By creating various public events, they express their vision of art and society.

I would like to thank everyone for supporting the gallery over the years through thick and thin. Weve seen so much starting with our first October opening The Devil Made Me Do It in 1999. The many improvements are so obvious since that first opening. No air conditioning and then air conditioning (ummm... kind of); from the bare dirty walled courtyard to the Luxemburg Jarden; extension cords everywhere, and FINALLY track lighting! Say goodbye to the clamp lights forever thanks to our last 100 Smacks or Less fundraiser. All of this made possible by those of you who attend receptions on a regular basis, and those of you who continue to collect works by some of Tampas best artists. Thank you.

Seminole Heights man makes a difference

3 bad guys are off the streets as a results of actions of one of my neighbors.

In today's Tribune there is a story about an attempted robbery.

Durkin said the three told detectives that they planned to rob a Domino's Pizza store at 5011 W. Hillsborough Ave. about midnight Monday.

But when deliveryman J.D. Pugh III returned to the store and spotted them pulling stockings over their faces, Durkin said, they panicked and fled."...... "The teens remained jailed without bail Tuesday night, held on conspiracy to commit robbery charges. They told detectives that when they encountered Pugh, they feared he could identify them and fled, Durkin said." ....."Pugh wrote down the license plate number and called 911. Hounded by reporters Tuesday, Pugh declined to comment about the incident, saying only, "I don't consider myself a hero."

Well J.D. I consider you a hero. You had the presence of mind to get the license plate. You called the police. Being a hero does not mean you have to do something dramatic. Simple actions can have great consequences. Crime gets reduced because people care and get involved.

Thank You JD!

Blogger #13

Well, I just learned that MiklB of blogs Milkb’s Mindless Ramblings and Cooking With Miklb is a Seminole Heights resident. So this means we have 13 bloggers from our neighborhood. Some bloggers like MiklB have more than one site and so off the top of my head we may have at least 17/18 blogs from our neighborhood.

I throw the gauntlet out. If the St. Pete/Tampa Bay area is the Blogging Capital of Florida, could Seminole Heights neighborhood be the Blogging Capitol of St. Pete/Tampa Bay are (at least in numbers) and thus the Blogging Capitol of Florida?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Martha's Restaurant

Well, the buzz on the SESH email list is that Martha's Restaurant (Nebraska and Frierson) finally opened up on Sunday. As I drove by I saw quite a crowd that she must have brought with her from her old location.

Wow, food blessings are being showered upon us, after such a long drought. Now we need to bring people from outside the hood to these eating places to help support them. Make this week "Kidnap A Coworker" and each day take them to eat at a different lunch or breakfast place here.

Number 12

Well again we have another blog from Seminole Heights. The newest to join is Fruits and Nuts the product of a 19 year old Art History Major named Carrie who works in Tampa Museum.

Her latest post was titled "Tampa, city of the arts?" and in her post she asks a question Susan and I have often wondered about.

"1. Why do you have people who in no way are connected to the arts building your “Arts district’? Most of the members of her Arts Planning board are, you guessed it, planners. Not artists, musicians, actors. Why hasn’t she asked the people she is building for what they would like to see in this city."

Welcome aboard, Carrie. Good posting!

This is blog #12 for Seminole Heights neighborhood.

Neighborhood Blogging

St. Pete Times is jumping full force into blogging and citizen journalism with It's Your Times. AngelSil of Party Like It's 1925 went into detail about this earlier this month.

Well, they have expanded It's Your Times to create neighborhood association blogs on their website.

"This is a space for Neighborhood News and information from neighborhood associations. If you are an official representative of a neighborhood association or organization, contact us and we will create a blog for your organization to post its activities, news and information. We know that not everything you want to talk about can fit in the newspaper, so this is you chance to share everything you need to. Eventually, this will be the page that will link to each of those neighborhood blogs."

The first Association to take advantage of this is North Kenwood Neighborhood Association in St. Pete. Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association (SESHCA) will be joining as I have been asked by Beverly Morrow to be the representative for SESHCA.

This a good opportunity for neighborhoods to find an easy way to get into blogging and spread their messages. Especially neighborhoods that don't have websites. Plus these messages will be in view of St. Pete Times, and so perhaps something will get picked up and put in the regular paper. So dear blogger readers, go yell at your neighborhood association leaders and get them to join.

Warner Plumbing

Warner Plumbing (5205 Nebraska Ave corner Frierson) is having a luncheon on Sept 29th 10 am-2pm. There will be factory representives, door prizes and lots of food. I imagine this is to help kick off move into granite countertops. I've noticed they have tidied up the place. They just painted their main building and have added mulch and landscaping. Neighbors who've shopped there have found the staff to be helpful and friendly. Much easier to get in and out of than Home Depot

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Wings and Waffles

Well, there is one more good place to eat for Seminole Heights residents.

A revamped Harbor Club (at Nebraska Ave. and the Hillsborough River) celebrated it's 75th anniversary this weekend.

The Club is now under the management of Joseph and Norma Robinson. Mr. Robinson is the President of the Sulphur Springs Action League.

One of the items served in their restaurant is a combination I would never have thought of, chicken wings and waffles.

However according to the 2 customers who ate this for the first time, it is a very good combination.

This is the front of the building. The windows on the top floor is the ballroom.

As you enter the front door, you walk into the arcade of shops.

The Barber Shop is open Weds and Thurs till 9 PM

There is a Beauty Salon.

The Tea Room looks good.

Here is a sample of some of their snack items served the previous night.

(click to enlarge)

Breakfast is served Saturday from 9AM to 11 AM. There is a Sunday Brunch. Lunch and Dinner is also served.

Here are some of the seats on the left hand side of the restaurant. The right hand side (not pictured) has more formal seating.

Have a seat and look out the window. Perhaps you might see the manatee.

Need a drink. Here is the bar part of the club.

Another view. The red door leads out to the courtyard.

This is the courtyard. There were shuffleboard courts here. The river is on the left.

Another water view.

This place is a great venue for parties and events.

Blog Stuff

Journalist Mark Lane of Flablog has called Tampa Bay the blogging capital of Florida.

Addled Brain has created a TampaBlab a blog aggregator for the greater Tampa Bay area, so you can read all of your favorite Tampa Bay blogs in the same place. Cool idea!

The Banner of South Seminole Heights

Just picked up my copy of the Banner, the newsletter of South Seminole Heights. Copies are available at several locations in Seminole Heights.

On November 5 at 4:00 P.M. they will be having a concert at RiverCrest Park. The Sunshine Brass band will be performing a selection of music from the movies.

Their General Membership meeting will be held October 11 at 7:00 P.M. at the Central Christian Church at Chelsea and North Boulevard.. The pump statin plans wil lbe available for review.

Their porch parties are back post summer. The next one is November 4 at 7:00 P.M. at 308 E. Wilder Avenue the home of Rick and Zack. BYO munchies and your favorite beverage.

The winner of the Summer Beautification Award went to 308 E. Frierson, the home of Nick and Jerry.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church is having their Fall Crafts and Treasure Festival on Satruday October 22 from 8AM to 3PM.

They are interested in getting both Florida Avenue and Highland Avenue returned into 2 way streets and has a Transportation Committee looking into it. This will become a hotly discussed issue. I agree with their idea.

There is a little story about the Coffee Bean Cafe

There's lots more, but you got to pick up a hard copy.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Recent Seminole Heights News Stories

Nice story in St. Pete Times about Claude Maggi and Rich Guarlardo and their 1925 Bunglaow in SE Sem Hts. I have watched the changes in the exterior and landscaping since they moved in and it is fantastic. They will be one of the houses in this years SE Sem Hts Home Tour in December.

There is a good story in the St. Pete Times about the new pizzeria on Florida Ave that I posted about on Thursday. By the way, why is a pizzA place known as a pizzEria instead of a pizzAria? Odd how language works.

Blog It Forward - It's Recess-Time and Side Salad

Okay for last couple of weeks I have been remiss in my Wednesday Blog It Forward. so now that I am back to fully blogging and I am going to make up with two Blog It Forwards

First we have Cookie Christine's "It's Recess-Time Somewhere." This is generally a political commentary blog with a twist. She often uses photos of political figures and her comments pokes fun of them. I especially enjoyed the photos of George "What Me Worry" Bush's misbuttoned shirt and the several pictures of him holding hands with world leaders as the comments that went with them. However she does not limit herself to politics. Her latest post involves cheese. Another reason to read her is she is a dog lover. Her beagle blogs. Cookie had her brush with fame as a blogger. She was one of the blogs featured in a story in TBT* about blogs and getting fired.

The second blog I enjoy is Side Salad. This is a funky blog that touches on a variety of subjects. He is handy with a camera, something I enjoy in blogs. I enjoyed his story about encountering a neutered bus bench and the one about interesting vegetables. He has a great sense of humor. Take note of his funeral procession. And he too is a dog person. I would think with such a great blog somewhere in the WFLA/Tampa Tribune complex, that the Trib would jump on blog bandwagon with some good stories about local blogs the way St. Pete Times has in TBT*.

Wink wink (Seminole Heights has 11 blogs in its neghborhood -- there's a story)

Smoking and business suicide

It's funny how some businesses sabotage themselves.

Today I went into Judy's Treasure Chest on Florida Avenue to look at her antiques and stuff. Immediately upon entering the store I was assaulted by cigarette smoke. Very strange as there is a no smoking sign on the door. As I go deeper into the middle of the store I find the answer. The person running the store, presumably Judy, has a lit cigarette in her cash register area, resting in an ashtray along with the butts of several used up ones.

Had I been by myself I would have walked out immediately. However I was with others and so I browsed, retreating to the edges of the store where the smell was less obvious.

Not does this make is uncomfortable to shop, all of the items in the store would be impregnated with a cigarette smell, especially linens, so I would not bring them home to my non-smoking home.

Everyone I was with said they do not plan to return because of the smoking.

Afterwards I spoke to someone else who had visited the store around the last OSHNA Home Tour. He was a smoker and found it odd that smoking was going on in the store. His friends also did not want to stay. He commented that aside from alienating customers, it is against the law to smoke in public buildings.

Why do business owners do things like this to themselves, I do not know.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ban This

No commentary needed for this, except that this first image should be posted at all border crossings into Seminole Heights to keep out this civil rights criminal.

The Heights in Seminole Heights

With all the flooding in New Orleans and talk of 20+ foot flooding if a hurricane hit here, I wondered how high I was off the sea level. I went to and looked at their Florida Maps Online. This map below is what resulted. The map shows elevation contour lines and elevation feet. I live in the 50 foot elevation area. A lot of Seminole Heights is between 25 to 60 feet high, with most in 40-50 feet range. So for most of us, if a massive flood surge comes in we will not be flooded out. Except those of course on the river. The colors on the map represent various evacuation zones. As I drove in the neighborhood, I was struck by how quickly the land rose from the river, thus minimizing flood issues for many homes. Although still a significant amount of homes along the river are at risk of flooding.

(click on the map to enlarge it)

The other day as I drove home from work on easily flooded Davis Islands, I closely paid attention to the elevation. On Florida Ave from I-275 to Palm Avenue to road rises steeply (as far as steeply goes in Florida geography) bringing me in to Tampa Heights and then basically plateauing into Seminole Heights. Aaah, yes, there is a reason we are called Seminole Heights. I never fully thought about it, except perhaps when I was coming south on Florida Ave at Waters Ave and at that peak there I see the downtown towers as Florida Avenue slopes down away.

So what does my maps say about south Tampa? All of it is in flood zone. Aaaall of it. Meaning an elevation less than 20-25 feet. How many thousands of homes that must be. I've looked at the hurricane evacuation maps before and so I knew South Tampa was an evacuation area and I knew my home was not in a flood zone, but Katrina puts all of it in a new more real context.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Another New Restaurant - Pizzeria

Well, we now have another place to satisfy our hunger needs. At the site of the Old Rigo's (Florida and Knollwood) Stephanno's Pizzeria and Italian Market has just opened up. Owner Paul Stephenson originally bought the place to set up his catering business "Affairs to Remember". That is now set up in the back building (103 Knollwood).

Stephanno's has pizzas, calzones, stombolis, chicken wings, sandwiches and salads. Some of the sandwiches are Meatball Parmesan, Sausage and Peppers, Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Parmesan, Veal Parmesan, Italian Sub, Ham and Provolone, Turkey and Provolone. He has Antipasto, Caesar, Chef, California Cobb and Chicken Pasta Salads. His specialities pizzas include Margherita Pizza, Chicken Pesto, Hawaiian, Mexican and Tennessee BBQ pizza

Soon they will have Pastas and Italian Entrees.

The address is 6607 N. Florida Avenue and phone 232-9486.

As I went in tonight to check it out I ran into E and J coming out the door with a pizza. E. reads the blog and hopefully she will tell us how the pizza was.

Covivant and Green Shift Best of the Bay

Congrats to Seminole Heights own Green Shift named Weekly Planet BEST PLACE TO BUY A GUITAR AND THE LATEST ISSUE OF AQUAMAN.

Covivant was named as BEST ART GALLERY and BEST ARTISTIC RESPONSE TO POLITICAL BIGOTRY for Just Say Know: Family Values Portrait Project

Also Seminole Heights neighborhood was the runner up in the Best Neighborhood after Hyde Park.

Ooh Happy Day

Well, today is a heady day for local bloggers. As Sticks of Fire notes TBT* Tampa Bay Times had a cover story on area bloggers featuring Sticks of Fire, Midnight Culmination, Tampa Film Fan, SarahinTampa, D-Rays Bay and St. Petersblog and our blog. I was going to add more but heck just read it all at Sticks of Fire. He also talks about the Weekly Planet's Best of the Bay blog winners Midnight Culmination (readers choice) and Tampa Rail (editors choice) and Blogwood was named best left winger.

I feel very honored that this blog was selected by TBT* and I thank them. I also thank everyone who reads and participates in this blog and who email me and tell me what's going on in the hood or who ask me to look into something. This selection by TBT* is also about the neighborhood, because without all the interesting people and things here, what would I have to write about?

Overlooked is that Out In Left Field'sCatherine Durkin Robinson was interviewed by TBT* for satirical commentary about Britney Spears and her new baby.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Burglaries in North Seminole Heights

I received this from a reader

"I also wanted to alert you and residents of North Seminole Heights of a serious rash of burglaries. I live off Nebraska just up the street from the "troll bridge." My house was burglarized Monday afternoon, and the police officer who answered the call said that there had been a rash of burglaries, and mine was the sixth burglary call he answered that day. Fortunately no one was hurt, but it's definitely a reminder that we have to be watchful. "
Here an in depth look into the problem from the Department of Justice - Burglary of Single Family Homes Read "Responses to the Problem" starting on page 37.

Top Shelf

For 2 years I have driven by Top Shelf Ice Cream Sweets and Eats across from Home Depot on Florida Avenue. And apparently for 2 years years I have missed on some good culinary and artistic opportunities. Fortunately Kathy Steele is out and about and has given me the opportunity to correct my ommision in today's Tribune. After reading her article I made a visit. What a neat place! I was able to see the Mona Lisa chocolate painting and taste some mango ice cream and another flavor ( that was very good but I can't remember what it is called.) Very tasty. The mango ice cream was made that day. The mangos were hand peeled today by the owner Barbara and her husband, Greg then made the ice cream. I picked up a copy of the menu. The items are well priced. They have a variety of sandwiches. Cuban, Pork, Turkey, Italian, Ham and Cheese, Chicken Caesar, Meatball, Philly Cheese Steak, Reuben, and a Coney Island Hot Dog. They also had Chicken Caesar, Chef , Philly and Garden Salads and Cheese, Garden Meat Lovers, Carribean Chicken and Philly Pizzas. The store hours are good, open to 8 PM on some days.
They are located at 9000 N. Florida Avenue corner Humphrey (phone 935-7778) in the Lowry Park North Association area

Thanks Kathy!

Sep 15, 2005

Chocolate Art: Too Pretty To Eat

Photo by: JAY CONNER/Tribune
White chocolate forms the canvas for this version of the Mona Lisa, crafted by Barbara Chronis of Top Shelf Ice Cream Sweets and Eats.

TAMPA The frame is milk chocolate. The canvas, white chocolate.

And the most famous smile in the world is Mona Lisa's -- in food coloring.

This masterpiece is sweet enough to eat, but chocolate artist Barbara Chronis doesn't encourage letting da Vinci's masterpiece melt in your mouth.

"There is nothing there that is not edible, but if you really want to eat chocolate, here's a truffle," she said.

Chronis and her husband, Greg, are owners of Top Shelf Ice Cream Sweets & Eats on Florida Avenue, north of the Sulphur Springs water tower.

Their shop dishes homemade ice cream flavors, sandwiches and an assortment of chocolate treats meant to eat. Hand-rolled cigar truffles are a specialty.

The chocolate art by Chronis is displayed in a case on the shop's counter. It's for sale at prices hovering between $75 and $100, depending on the size of the canvas.

Chronis has created a half-dozen art replicas in chocolate during the past two years. Among them -- a favorite of Chronis' -- is van Gogh's "Starry Night." It was on display until a couple came in on Valentine's Day and bought it, she said.

She is planning to make another "Starry Night," just because she wants to.

"I get attached to my chocolate," she said.

As far as she knows, ravenous chocolate lovers have yet to devour one of her works. She envisions more tasteful but utilitarian purposes, maybe hanging on a living room wall or resting like artwork on a trivet in the front foyer. In recent weeks, Mona Lisa and Marc Chagall's "Circus Rider" have captured the eye of hungry customers at her shop.

Mona Lisa was on display briefly awaiting pickup by Jeffrey and Anne Marie Huggins of Seminole Heights. They had commissioned the 8-by-9 1/2-inch artwork as a wedding gift for friends who had married recently.

The Hugginses and their 6-year-old son, Ethan, had stopped by for ice cream recently and admired the Chagall inside the display case.

That led to succulent thoughts of Mona Lisa.

"We love art and we love chocolate," Jeffrey Huggins said. "What an interesting gift that would be."

They flipped through a book of masterpieces at Chronis' shop. Maybe a Picasso, Chronis suggested

Pierre Auguste Renoir is one of their favorite painters. Maybe his "Luncheon of the Boating Party."

But then Leonardo da Vinci's woman of mystery appeared.

"Who else to do in chocolate but Mona Lisa?" Huggins said. "It's gorgeous."

Chronis agreed.

"I've always wanted to do her," Chronis said. "I've never done her in chocolate, at least."

Life Happens
Chronis, who grew up in Temple Terrace, is a self-taught artist who loved to dabble in watercolors and acrylics as a child. But a career as artiste?

"Real life, kids got in the way," she said.

Instead, she worked for 10 years as a computer programmer, with a flair for art and crafty things outside work.

Greg Chronis, who is from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was a chef for years at such Tampa restaurants as the Rusty Pelican. He also managed a Chili's restaurant in Pinellas County and owned Candy Kitchen in Madeira Beach but decided he and his wife should strike out on their own. Two years ago they opened Top Shelf.

A favorite ice cream flavor among customers is "creamy cake." The couple also make butter toffees for school fundraisers, "turn-down" truffles for hotels and after-dinner mints for restaurants. Barbara Chronis decided the shop needed a novelty item, something to brand Top Shelf.

VoilÀ! Chocolate art.

She was not the first to think of it, though. Posters and paintings can even be found on eBay. Three years ago, the Toledo Museum of Art commissioned several chocolate van Gogh pieces to promote an exhibition.

"It's kind of neat to incorporate something I really love with the business," Chronis said.

An Unforgiving Medium
Her first venture into chocolate was for a July 4 celebration in 2004.

"I was just out for fun," she said. "I did a big flag."

And it's confession time: The family did eat that 17-by-11-inch creation.

Then a friend sent a postcard from Juneau, Alaska, and Chronis copied a pastoral scene inside a 3-by-3-inch chocolate frame.

"I didn't know if I could do it," she said. "The more pieces I've done, the better I've gotten."

And chocolate, she said, can be so unforgiving.

She makes her own food-grade molds and pours in melted chocolate. Then she adds a bit of flour to give it an antique look. Refrigeration jells the chocolate, but she has to watch carefully. Too long in cold and the frame can crack.

The white chocolate then is rolled out on a cookie sheet. The outer edges are thinner than the center.

"It can't be too thin, but then you don't want it too thick, either," she said, because that can make the chocolate too bulky.

Then, the drawing of Mona Lisa goes on stroke by stroke, with Chronis painting with bottles of food coloring.

"I've got my proportions, and I'm happy with Mona Lisa's hands," Chronis said. "I like to do details."

Confectioners' glaze is added to "make the colors really pop," she said. "Artists have their little tricks."

The whole process takes about 10 hours stretched over a week's time, in between selling ice cream and sandwiches and picking up their three teenagers at school. Chronis said she plays artist mostly on quiet afternoons at the shop.

Art sales come with a word of caution to the customers.

Temperatures above 75 degrees will melt the art. Otherwise, Chronis said, "It would last for years and years."

The Hugginses can't wait to see the reaction to their wedding gift.

"We're absolutely sure they are getting something unique," Jeffrey Huggins said. "More than likely, they're not going to eat it. That's a good thing."

"There is nothing there that is not edible, but if you really want to eat chocolate, here's a truffle."

Barbara Chronis

Chocolate artist

This story can be found at:

WMNF and Katrina

WMNF 88.5 FM is having a 17 hour fundraiser today to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina. It ends at 11:00 P.M. They are donating the money to 4 organizations with none or less than 1% administrative costs. This is one of the things I like about this station, their ability to mobilize the community for causes and issues.

Today WMNF is asking for you to give generously to a special fund to aid in the relief efforts for the people whose homes, lives and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed by the recent hurricane and flooding.

September 21st from 6am to 11pm, join WMNF programming and programmers as we bring the power of community radio to bear on this unprecedented challenge.

Help the victims of Hurricane Katrina with your pledge!


Under normal circumstances, non-commercial stations are not allowed to suspend programming to raise funds for other causes or organizations. However, on September 2, 2005, the NFCB applied for and received a blanket waiver from the FCC allowing all NFCB member stations to interrupt programming to fundraise in relief of the disaster which struck the gulf coast; the waiver is in effect for Sept and October.

The money we collect today will be equally divided (25% to each) to the following four organizations:

Habitat for Humanity Operation Home Delivery, which will assist those made homeless in the disaster with rebuilding housing--either in the community they came from, or in the community to which they've relocated--the family's choice. 100% of the funds collected in this Habitat initiative will go to the rebuilding effort; all administrative costs and overhead will come from their existing foundation structure.

More at:

ACORN: The ACORN Institute - ACORN Hurricane Recovery and Rebuilding Fund, which assists low- and moderate-income families with relief. Their home office is located in the storm-ravaged area of New Orleans, and they are mobilizing across the country to provide housing, food, clothing--all levels of need--to those with the least resources for recovery on their own. You may remember ACORN recently for their work on the Living Wage Act, and long-time 'MNF'ers will remember ACORN as the organization under whose auspices WMNF founding vols and staff started their work on WMNF 27+ years ago.

The funds collected by ACORN will be delivered directly to those in need.

More at:

Musicares, the foundation arm of the Recording Academy, has established a fund to provide direct assistance to musicians impacted by the disaster. Funding is provided directly, as a grant. Hurricane Relief Assistance may include funds for basic living expenses such as shelter, food, utilities, cell phones and transportation; medical expenses including doctor, dentist, hospital bills and medication; clothing and toiletries; musical instrument and recording equipment replacement; relocation costs; school supplies for students; cell phone service; insurance payments and more, for whatever needs the musician has--housing, food, transportation, etc.

All funds collected for this disaster relief will be distributed to the recipients; administrative funds will come from existing foundation overhead accounts.


Baton Rouge Area Foundation, in conjuction with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, recommended to community stations by WWOZ. The Foundations, working together, have established Foundation for Recovery, consisting of two relief funds, one for relief for displaced residents, and one for the rebuilding of infrastructure in Greater New Orleans. As in-place local funders, they are veryt familiar with the needs and ability to deliver services. Administrative fees for the foundation overall are less than 1% of the funds distributed.


Fundraiser For Rose Ferlita

Rose Ferlita is having a fundraiser this Friday for her candidacy for County Commission.

The Host Committee cordially invites you to:

Thank Goodness Its Ferlita


Hillsborough County Commission, District 1

Join us for a TGIF Fundraiser
Friday, September 23, 2005
5:30 7:30 p.m.


The Home of Jerry and Gina Grimes
1023 Frankland Road
Tampa, FL 33629

Food, Drinks, Socializing, De-stressing, Fun, and, most importantly, to support Rose in her efforts to be our next County Commissioner for District 1.

RSVP by Sept. 19, 2005:

Gina Grimes: 222-3110 Stephanie Agliano: 250-9573 Nancy Castellano: 251-0270


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

OSHNA Home Tour - Call For Houses

There is still room for a few more house candidates for the Old Seminole Heights Home Tour coming up in April 2006. If you are interested or know of a house you think would be a good candidate email Sherry King at or drop by her shop (Yesterdaze), or email Christie Hess and the Home Tour Committee at If you don't know which neighborhood you or someone else lives in here is a prior posting on the geography of Seminole Heights.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Tour of Seminole Heights

Part of marketing Seminole Heights could be to make it even more interesting by creating a tour of Seminole Heights. Something we can put online and then maybe put on paper to show off Seminole Heights and maybe even get some tourists. Heck, maybe to just get locals more familiar with their neighborhood. All sorts of things can be put on the tour from serious to fancilful. The first things things that come to my mind are: WMNF, Hillsborough High School and its carillon, Seminole Heights Baptist Church and its steeple, Rivercrest and Epps Parks, and Bo's Ice Cream. Perhaps the Troll Bridge.

What suggestions do you have and why? Once I get enough suggestions I will take photos of all of the places and put them online.

Seminole Heights Business Plan

So what is next for the business plan? What does it mean if City Council gives its endorsement? What are the action steps to begin implementing this plan?

By the way, the Seminole Heights Business Alliance finally got their own web page.

Sep 17, 2005

Town Meeting Group Applauds Redevelopment Plan

About 25 residents at a town hall meeting gave unanimous support this week to a blueprint for commercial redevelopment of Seminole Heights.

The Seminole Heights Business District Strategic Plan goes next to Tampa City Council members at an undetermined date for their endorsement.

The next phase of what has been an 18-month process will be to form committees to put the plan into action. Among the suggestions are creating an overlay district and developing gateways to showcase business corridors, including Florida and Central avenues.

"This is not a legally binding document," said Tony Garcia, a senior planner with the Hillsborough County-City Planning Commission. "It does not mandate that any of these things move forward."

The planning commission hosted the meeting Tuesday at the Seminole Heights Baptist Church. An impromptu vote to support the plan was taken on a motion from Beverly Morrow, president of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association.

Area residents, business owners and three presidents of neighborhood associations attended, including Morrow; Gary Ellsworth, of South Seminole Heights Civic Association; and Randy Baron, of Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association.

The business plan evolved from a January 2004 meeting when planners, business owners and residents discussed strategies to boost economic development in Seminole Heights. Four committees were appointed to look at aesthetics, incentives, regulatory issues and marketing strategies.

Some recommendations are to develop a streetscape program, install utilities underground, offer tax increment financing, designate an impact fee-free zone, establish a business district Web site, and create a marketing alliance with the three neighborhood associations.

Ron Rampolla, owner of Affordable Homes on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, supported the plan but wanted more help for small-business owners navigating city regulations.

"I don't see that in your plan," Rampolla said.

The city provides courtesy reviews for business owners regarding permits and business plans.

Cynthia Miller, Tampa's director of business and housing development, said she would work with committee members to make the process smoother. An ombudsman is on staff to assist business owners, Miller said.

Hiring a staff person dedicated to Seminole Heights is unlikely, Garcia said.

"I guarantee you the budget is not going to allow that," he said.

This story can be found at:

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jimmy Steel

As I drive around I notice another nice bungalow in the hood with some nice landscaping at 5911 N. Suwanee.

Wait a second, that's not ordinary landscaping, these are plants with an extremely high iron level. All iron.

Hmm steel and iron is used all over this home

Nice sculpture.

Now I know. This is the home of Jimmy Steel, another local Seminole Heights artist. Absolutely cool. You certainly don't see stuff the this in the Stepford suburbs.

As I find websites of Seminole Heights artists I will be adding them to my sidebar

Friday, September 16, 2005

New Businesses

Susan spotted a pizzaria sign at the old Rigo's at Florida and Knollwood. Lets see what happens there.

Also, we now have a music recording studio on Nebraska, just north of Sligh, on east sdie of the street.

Neighborhoods Mobilization

Increasingly neighborhood organizations are having a stronger role in this city, in being able to lead and mobilize its residents. This St. Pete Times article below highlights an example of that.

Should this role be made more official? Should neighborhood leaders have more of a official consultative role within city government? In the Philippines the smallest local government unit is the barangay and is similar to a villages and urban neighborhoods. "The unit comprises approximately 2,000 people (usually a few city blocks), is self governed by a council consisting of 8 councillors headed by a captain and is responsible for local projects and controls" Could some elements of the barangay be brought over here? For example. Community Development Block Grants. These are doled out based on recommentations by neighborhood representatives. What if this group could actually make the finally decision on the spending and a certain percentage could actually go back straight into each neighborhood? What if a certain amount of tax money could go the same way? A resident of Toronto had the same such an idea and posted some commentary on it.

Getting involved was only way to go
Inspired by one community association leader's Katrina relief efforts, others are jumping in.

Published September 16, 2005


Watching countless images of destruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina finally got to Maureen Uhlig.

Rather than sit by and do nothing, Uhlig, president of the Swann Estates Neighborhood Association, decided to try to help.

She sent an e-mail to more than 100 neighborhood and civic organizations around the city, detailing her association's intent to donate $500 to the Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.

Uhlig challenged other groups to do the same.

"I felt so compelled to do whatever I could," she said. "It could happen here, and we'd want the same support to go to us if, God forbid, we should ever be in their shoes."

Within hours, neighborhood groups responded.

Palma Ceia West agreed to donate and joined Swann Estates in issuing the call for help. The Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association raised $500 and is continuing to seek funds, Uhlig said.

Other community groups around the city are responding in other ways.

The Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Watch Association is collecting clothing and personal care items for police officers in New Orleans.

In North Tampa, the New Tampa Community Council issued a challenge of its own. The civic group pledged to raise a minimum of $5,000 for the Red Cross. Its leaders asked all New Tampa and citywide groups to join them.

Uhlig mailed Swann Estates' contribution to the Red Cross last week. While she continues to press other organizations to donate, she's also putting together another hurricane fundraising event.

Swann Estates, along with homeowners in Palma Ceia West, created Dining for Disaster. On Sept. 24, Uhlig is asking restaurants and entertainment venues to donate a portion of their profits to hurricane relief efforts. So far, Moe's Southwest Grill and Mama Fu's Asian House on Neptune Street have signed on. The restaurants plan to donate 15 percent of their profits to the Red Cross.

Uhlig is confident that her efforts will aid Katrina victims.

"There's a lot of love out there," she said. "People are doing it."

- People or businesses interested in participating in Dining for Disaster may contact Maureen Uhlig at 758-6243. Sherri Day can be reached at 813 226-3405 or

OSHNA Porch Party

Join your friends and neighbors for a

Neighborhood Porch Party

at the home of Eric Krause and Chad Daughtrey

Friday, September 23rd at 7:00pm

5706 N. Central Ave.

Please bring a dish and beverage to share.

Honoring the Richness of Diversity

Diversity is a hallmark of Seminole Heights life. Here are some chances to express and explore that diversity.

1. An Interfaith Worship Service and Flower Communion
sponsored by Equality Florida


WHERE: Joe Chillura Park 400 N. Pierce St. Tampa, FL (Corner of Kennedy and Pierce)
Parking: $4.00 at city garage, 800 N. Twiggs St. Important!-No free parking on Kennedy. All other meters must be fed.
Honoring the Richness of Diversity
An Interfaith Worship Service and Flower Communion
Note: It will be a genuine interfaith service, having elements of many different faiths. Included are a drumming circle, sounding of Buddhist bells, a Jewish Shofar (ram's horn), symbols, messages, and prayers from various faiths, and a beautiful Flower Communion. Our theme is "Honoring the Richness of Diversity". It will be an opportunity for people to come together to create a sacred space for healing and to add our voices to the growing demand to repeal this discriminatory action against the Gay community.

2. Tampa Bay Muslims Open House:

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Save Lake Roberta - Trapping Sediment

The only lake in Seminole Heights is Lake Roberta in the Hampton Terrrace area (near Publix). This is a beautiful area. However the lake has problems and so OSHNA neighbors formed the Save Lake Roberta and took action.

The Muscovey ducks were dying on Lake Roberta. They were obviously sick, slowly dying, unable to lift their heads. An autopsy performed concluded they were dying of botulism. The botulism was caused by a few factors:

Lack of rain so the lake did not flush out.

Heat. The water heats up and algae blooms occur and there is a depletion of oxygen.

The ducks themselves. At one time there were over 100 muscovey ducks on the lake, without rain the lake could not deal with the duck droppings and that is what caused the botulism. We have had at least four outbreaks and buried at least 102 ducks.

On July 30th, 1998 we had our first official meeting of Save Lake Roberta. Approximately 35 people came to here Cecil Brockinton, an environmental Specialist from Hillsborough County, discuss some of the problems with Lake Roberta. Brockinton's opinion was straight foreword, "your lake is dead". He suggested that the only way to help this lake would be planting along the banks and in the water. Plants will help clean the soil as well as the water.

We came up with a 3-part plan to clean Lake Roberta.

Alter the way water enters the lake by dredging sumps at the end of all drains and pipes bringing water to Lake Roberta. The sumps will allow sediment and chemicals to settle in a contained area where they can be periodically removed.

Landscaping the entire lake and the berms created by the dredging (we are applying for a grant from the SWFWMD to purchase plants). The nile perch in the lake and the muscovey ducks would also have to be controlled before planting begins.

Monitor the water quality over the next 5 years to gauge the results of our project.

Two years later in 1999 much had changed. The water levels were at an all-time low. We also had only about a dozen ducks living on the lake. With so few ducks and low water levels, it was a good time to continue planting. We applied for and received a Community Grant from The District (thank you once again) and planted a large quantity of plants. Working with Yvonne Wilder of the Parks Department we selected a few plants that could survive the water fluctuation and the ducks. On April 1st, 2000, we planted a small test group of plants. Four each of Sand Cordgrass, Soft Rush and Sawgrass.

Fast forward to 2005

Now that re-energized group has achieved some more goals.

Sep 15, 2005

Lake Roberta To Tap Into Sediment Trap

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS With a sediment trap and a little de-mucking, Lake Roberta could again look more like what it is -- a natural lake -- and less like what the city made it into -- a retention pond.

The city council approved more than $140,000 last week to install a sediment trap on a pipe that drains stormwater runoff into the lake from the other side of Nebraska Avenue.

Baker Construction Services was awarded the contract, and stormwater officials expect work can begin by November. It will take four to six weeks to complete, said Steve Seachrist, design development manager for the city's stormwater department.

"The sediment degrades the water quality," Seachrist said. "It causes turbidity, or cloudiness, and can carry pollutants."

The pipe drains into the west side of the lake. Seachrist said the trap will catch sediment and debris before they enter the lake. The city has used Lake Roberta as a retention pond since the 1950s.

About two years ago, the city began installing sediment traps in other ponds.

The traps generally need to be cleaned every six months, Seachrist said.

But more frequent checks will be done immediately after installation at Lake Roberta to monitor how quickly it fills, he said.

Resident Jeff Harmon said he expects the filter will need monthly cleaning at least of debris. It might be helpful for residents to have access to the trap to remove surface trash, he said.

Harmon heads a committee of residents who want to protect the lake.

Besides the muck and runoff, the lake has other environmental problems, including overgrowth of exotic water plants and Muscovy ducks.

"People want the lake to look natural," Harmon said.

In recent weeks, residents have noticed the return of mallard ducks. About seven teenagers have settled in, Harmon said. There are also a couple of Moore hens, he said.

Once the lake is restored, committee members want to consider suggestions to add amenities, such as benches. Harmon said some have objected to standard park benches, but other options can be considered, including individual seats or alternative seating with a "natural look."

This story can be found at:

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Once again, one more Seminole Heights blog

With Google new blog search, just came across Evolving at 26 by Nereia. "A place for me to view who I was and who I am becoming. It will include my views and information on Anthropology, medicine, family and friends, my home in Seminole Heights (Tampa), travel, politics, and my black and yellow labs."

Welcome to the Seminole Heights blog neighborhood! This is blog number 11 for Seminole Heights.

A Tour of Oaks At Riverview

Well, Oaks at Riverview finally opened up and I decided to take a tour. Nice place. A place that shows respect for those live there. Some of the information I present is from the brochure and an article in the home section of the Tribune.

"Rents for qualified residents are determined by income and other factors. “Households with 60 percent or less of the Tampa area’s median income is our target market,”. . . “That includes a lot of families in this area, and our rates are lower than comparable market rents.”" Everyone who rents there undergoes a background check.

First we have the building for Seniors. This is a four-story mid-rise features one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors age 62 and older. There is a controlled lobby entry. The apartments are 1 and 2 bedroom in size with laundry facilities on each floor. There is a good sized lobby, a community room and a barbecue area.

One of the things that I never paid attention to when the area was a public housing project was how many trees there are. The trees are now a strong feature of the area.

Here are some of the townhomes. Some of these are rentals and some will be for sale.

These townhomes all have front porches or stoops in front. I likes this feature, because hopefully it will being people out of their homes and maintain a sense of community.

All of these townhomes have small lots in the back with a parking pad and rear entrance.

My only beef is that there is no paved walkway from the back door to the parking pad. I would not enjoy walking in wet grass every morning to get to my car.

Hammond and Associates apparently is the realty company who is selling the homes. I wish I could tell you how much these are selling for but their website is absolutely no help. It looks like they got something from another realtor and failed to completely modify it. Their featured homes listing has no listings. Their local partners listing has no local partners. Their community links shows links from Highlands County and Jacksonville. I am not impressed.

I think these are 4 and 5 bedroom homes.

This is the other major apartment building complex.

Parking is in back.

There are several storefronts on Florida Avenue. Parking is also in the back. I suspect these likely will cater to the walk up trade in the area. Good place for a hair cutting/beauty salon/hair braiding place, specialty clothing store, music store, maybe a little mini food store, or a small carry out type sandwich place, or perhaps some small office. Maybe something that will also cater to the seniors in the building next door.

Their sign is not the most easily seen. Call 231-7700 if you wish to rent.

This is the community center. There is a pool behind it. Inside there is a full style service clubhouse with a party room and kitchen, there will be a fitness center and a computer learning center for adults and children. The leasing office is located there. 231-7700. They don't have a website.

There is a daycare center onsite that offers day and night daycare. This will be very helpful for those who work in evening jobs. It is run by Precious Bundles 928-7444.

The pool is in the foreground and the play area for the daycare is behind it.

At the northern edge of the complex is a park and recreation area with a roller hockey rink..

There is still much contruction going on. This is one of the bungalow style homes.

I'm very interested in the effects this complex will have on the immediately neighboring businesses. With all of this positive economic influx will we see some improvements?

Will we get the opportunty to lose another one of these car lots?

This place already looked good. It is likely going to greatly benefit from this complex.

I imagine they will have their own neighborhood association and so will become the 4th subneighborhood in Seminole Heights. Given the mix of owners, renters and seniors, and varying economic levels, it will be interesting to see what their perspectives and concerns will be and how that association will relate to the other Seminole Heights associations.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Rest In Peace - Dickens

Today we had to have Dickens to sleep. It turns out her major problems were that she had a progressive neurological disorder that had affected her esophagus. Her esophagus lost its ability to move the food down to the stomach and so things were just sitting there. I last saw her on Sunday and she looked so bad. After the vet called us last night at 11:00 P.M. with an update we talked it over and decided we could not put Dickens through any more. This was verified today when the vet told us the treatment we were trying was not working.

Dickens will be cremated. We have moved 4 times since we got married. So we did not want to bury her in the backyard and then leave her here. We have no connection to the dog cemetery in Land O' Lakes. So instead we will place her on the mantle and take her with us where ever we go. When we die she will be buried with us. As will Siggy.

Our dogs are part of the fabric of our lives and marriage. When I met Susan, she had a rough coat Jack Russell Terrier named Tally Ho. At the time my wife was a Quarter Horse riding coach and trainer and that dog went with her everywhere. She was very special to Susan. However on our wedding day, Tally Ho was run over chasing an animal across Lutz-Lake Fern Rd. (A typical Jack Russell death). My wife was heartbroken but we still got married. Or honeymoon took us to several cities in Florida and everywhere we went we looked for Jack Russells. Finally on the last day, we went to the Ocala Horse Show grounds with some friends. As we walked in, we met some guy selling two Jack Russells from the back of his truck. One was Siggy (Short for Sigmund in honor of Sigmund Freud because I am a psychology major) and his sister Delilah or Lilah for short. We bought them both

A year and a half later we ran into the breeder (Bill Slaughter) from whom Susan had gotten Tally Ho. He had another litter coming up between Tally Ho's father and Tally Ho's maternal aunt. He knew Susan's story about Tally Ho and he gave us the pick of the litter. And in this litter we found Dickens. Being related to her first dog, Dickens became very special to Susan. More so than Lilah could stand and she tried to kill Dickens several times, even with a muzzle on. So Lilah went to live with a nice older couple who could give lap dog Lilah all of the attention she needed.

So our entire married life we have had Dickens and Siggy with us. When as in all relationships we have had moments when we were not feeling so close together, our dogs would bring together because of one of them being ill or because of some of the silly and cute things they would do. For a while they would always run full steam into something so we had a run of eye scratches. Dickens had cancer twice and the first time 6 years ago, she had to have significant surgery. In addition they have been part of Susan's work. Our dogs have been models in Susan's artwork. In fact our vet has a mural Susan painted for them, and Dickens is in it. She is the Jack Russell in 3rd panel on the right. (Erhlich Animal Hospital on Gunn Hwy, just north of Ehrlich in Citrus Park/Odessa). It is hard to imagine life without either one of them.

We will miss Dickens. Fortunately we have lots and lots of good photos of Dickens. One of my side jobs has been to act as a photographer for Susan's portrait painting business. I used to practice on our dogs. The digital camera we got last year made it even easier.

One of the things I learned from her business and that people don't have good photos of their animals. Several times we would be given photos to paint from and they just would not give us a good sense of the pet. Sometimes they were fuzzy. Mostly the image of the dog was too small. So do yourself a favor. Go out and take some good photos of your pets. Get close ups, so you can really see their personality. Take some outside so you don't have to worry about flash red eye. Skip the posed formal photos. That is not your pet. Take photos of them doing what they do. That's what you remember. Some of my secrets to good candid photos. 1 Take your time. Let them get bored with you and so they forget the camera. 2. Bend, kneel squat or lay down to get the images straight on rather than these funny angles. 3. Take plenty of shots, if you have a digital camera what are you wasting? Then do something with the photos. We had our friend at the Beck Gallery do framed collections of our favorite photos of each dog.

We like to think of Dickens as now being in heaven with little angel wings chasing angel winged squirrels, waiting for us and Siggy. We know that we have given Dickens a good life and we appreciate the gift she gave us or herself.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I've talked about some of these issues in prior posts.


On Tuesday September 13th, 2005, at 6:30 p.m. at the Seminole Heights United Methodist Church on the southeast corner of Central and Hanna, there will be an open meeting to discuss the provisions of the proposed Seminole Heights Strategic Business Plan. The proposed plan is the result of meetings over the past year of the Seminole Heights Business Advisory Committee, made up of various area business owners and residents. If adopted, the plan will help guide future commercial development in Seminole Heights. A copy of the proposed plan can be found at Come to the meeting and learn about the efforts being made to improve Seminole Height's commercial corridors.

This meeting is being sponsored by OSHNA, SESHCA, SSHCA, the Seminole Heights Business Alliance and the Tampa/Hillsborough County Planning Commission.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


My commentary may continue to be irregular. Our 14 year old female Jack Russell, Dickens, has been very very sick since Monday. She has been sneezing, coughing, hacking and retching, which then leads to vomiting. We took her to our Vet (Erhlich Animal Hospital) on Wednesday where she was given subcutaneous fluids and medications. She continued to not keep any food nor any medications down. Finally she stopped keeping water down and so Thursday night we took her back to the vet who admitted her overnight. Friday we got bad news that she might have auto immune hemolytic anemia. She was placed on a course of treatment with prednisone and given IV fluids and she returned home Friday night. She did not keep down any water and this morning we brought her back for a follow up appointment. We left her at the vet where she was given subcutaneous fluids and injection medications. Her blood count had improved overnight. However she still has the vomiting issues. She was supposed to return tonight, but when we went to pick her up, the vet wanted to keep her overnight. We will see what happens. We may be dealing with two things going on at the same time or maybe one thing with two separate types of symptoms . We don't know yet. If she could keep food and water down, then it would simply be a matter of responding to the prednisone.

This dog have already survived to bouts of cancer, with the first, 6 years ago, requiring significant surgery.

This is hard, and emotionally wrenching. We've not gotten a lot of sleep. We may may have hard decisions to make if things don't go well. Given her and Siggy's ages (He is 16) we know their time is limited and over past year we have had multiple discussions on the issues regarding the death of our dogs. Quality of our dogs life is important to us. We do not want to do heroic measures, just to extend her life, for our sake, if it means she will have a miserable life. We are striking a balance between those who put down dogs at a drop of a hat because the dog inconveniences them and those who are so terrified of losing their dog they make the dog's life longer but miserable.

Siggy (left) and Dickens (right)

What is autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA)?

Normally red blood cells live about 4 months in dogs. As the cells age, they are removed and destroyed by other cells that are part of the immune system. New red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow at a rate that matches the destruction of older cells.

In autoimmune hemolytic anemia, the immune system destroys red blood cells prematurely, faster than the rate at which new ones can be produced. The name says it all - anemia (reduced red blood cells) caused by hemolysis (destruction) by the body's own immune system (autoimmune).

What does autoimmune hemolytic anemia mean to your dog & you?

AIHA can occur at any age, but is most common in middle-aged dogs. It may be mild and hardly noticeable, or it may be sudden in onset and severe. Usually the kinds of signs you see are vague - such as poor appetite, weakness, listlessness, lack of energy. You may notice that your dog's gums are pale, or they may be yellowish due to jaundice as a result of the breakdown of red blood cells. Your pet may have a rapid heart beat and rapid breathing. One form of AIHA (cold agglutinin disease) causes circulation problems in cooler peripheral parts of the body, so the ear or tail tips, or feet may become infected and dark in colour.

Reduced levels of circulating red blood cells mean reduced oxygen going to the tissues. Most dogs that die with this condition do so in the first few days due to kidney, liver, or heart failure, or because of a bleeding problem.

How is autoimmune hemolytic anemia treated?

Unfortunately, dogs severely affected with this condition may die even with the best treatment. This mostly occurs in the first few days due to kidney, liver, or heart failure, or because of a bleeding problem. The goals of treatment are (1) to slow the destruction of red blood cells (rbcs), and (2) to support the dog while the red blood cell level has a chance to recover.

1) Corticosteroids are given to slow rbc destruction, initially at high doses which are gradually tapered over several weeks as rbc levels stabilize and begin to rise again. If rbc levels continue to fall despite steroid therapy, other immunosuppressive drugs are given.

2) Blood transufusions are needed when the rbc level is critically low. Although the new cells will also be destroyed at the same rate, the transfusion will buy some time for the dog while his/her own blood cell levels are recovering.

Dogs that recover from an episode of AIHA may experience future relapses.

Code Enforcement

I received this on our neighborhood email list. Stan was the head of the of our area's code enforcement committee.

It seems that more and more neighbors are being affected by increasing code enforcement problems. This past weekend, I received numerous phone calls and emails regarding code issues affecting the quality of life in our neighborhood and others in South Tampa. For example, drive by 1220 East Emma. Neighbors are concerned about safety and welfare of the children playing in this area. I also received a call about a home on Emma that has a pool that has been sitting stagnant for many years. We they, and I, speak to code we are told that they do not have the manpower to inspect in a more timely manner. These inspectors are in the field all day, every day, inspecting, issuing citations, etc. They then are required to input all information, etc. They are working very hard, are over worked, and falling more behind each month.

Tampa was listed on a list this year naming us one of the "dirtiest cities in America".

Recently, Mayor Iorio submitted her budget for city council approval. In this plan, 1.74 million dollars were allocated for the new Riverwalk Park downtown. The code enforcement operating budget was decreased. While this park will be a great addition, there are some concerns.

1) Being a downtown park, how many people will truly use this facility on a daily basis.
2) With so many neglected parks throughout the city, where will this one fall in order of maintenance. (Which park will have to be neglected in order to keep this one up!)
3) How much money will have to be added annually to maintain this park?
4) What will happen to the homeless residents that currently "reside" at this location.

I received a call from a newspaper that is doing a feature story on this exact topic...The Mayor's Budget. They stated that they were told that each year the city adds staff to police, fire and parks. However, National studies show that with a cleaner city, we all benefit. Decreased crime, increased property values, increased revenue for the city, better housing standards and the list goes on... In most cities, Code Enforcement is a self funded department. In ours, we as taxpayers fund the cities code efforts. For example, each time a citizens is sent to code court, they do not collect fines or court cost in most, if not all, cases. So you and I are paying to operate this "social club."

Over the next few weeks, City Council will be holding public hearings on this topic. PLEASE BE SURE TO ATTEND ONE, OR WRITE CITY COUNCIL asking that this budget be changed to include funding for more code enforcement officers. You can write all council members at once by emailing, or you can find a link on the city website (and be able to track updates) by visiting and clicking on the city council photo. Do not be fooled by the new Clean City division. This is not an addition to the code department, but a division that is a renaming of an existing division that is already overworked.

While we have been told that code is a "Seminole Heights" problem, we have worked closely with the entire city of Tampa due to city-wide problems.



Thursday, September 08, 2005

Gas Station denied wet zoning.

A bit ago I wrote about this gas station and the alcohol zoning in Seminole Heights. This article is interesting because as reported the owner of the gas station contradicts himself, saying the station is not for sale but then saying the people who are leasing it plan to buy it. All those who testify at City Council are sworn in, so did the owner perjure himself? Good detective work by Beverly Morrow. My wife had read in the Tribune an add for a gas station for sale and she had wondered if that was this station. it seems like maybe it was.

Station's Wet Zone Request Has Snags

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS For more than two years, Neil Yildirim has pursued wet zoning for his gas station on East Hillsborough Avenue.

He came close last week to a one-year provisional beer and wine license, but the city council balked when two neighborhood associations and a church congregation objected. It wasn't the first time they have come together to block the license.

His response to his latest loss?

"Go home. Cry," he said. "It's not fair."

Yildirim said he will try again in six months.

The 6-1 vote came amid some language confusion and mystery over how Yildirim's gas station appeared on a real estate company's Web site for sale at $825,000.

Yildirim, a naturalized citizen from Turkey, seemed to tell the city council that he "listed" his property.

But council member John Dingfelder said, no, Yildirim said he "leased" the station.

Beverly Morrow, president of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association, showed the council a printed copy of the Web page with the property listing.

Yildirim insisted he didn't know how the property wound up online.

"I own the property. I know nothing about this," he said. "I don't give permission about that."

Yildirim said he was leasing it to "good family people" who might buy the station from him.

"I think he's been straightforward," said Dingfelder, the lone council member to champion his cause.

Council member Rose Ferlita differed.

"I think there is a great deal of deception," she said. "I'm not happy."

In denying the petition, council members said there was no hardship to justify waiving the rule that bans alcohol sales within 1,000 feet of a church.

Afterward, Dingfelder said, "This is the American dream. He bought this business. I think we're treating him differently from people on other corners."

Yildirim's station, named Valero, is at Hillsborough Avenue and Interstate 275. Immediately across the six-lane road is Seminole Heights Baptist Church.

A Citgo station at Hillsborough and Nebraska avenues, and a BP station at Hillsborough and Central Avenue, are in the area. The stations sell beer and wine.

Neighbors said they had no problem with Yildirim's business and shop at his gas station.

More than six months ago there was neighborhood support to give Yildirim a year to show that package alcohol sales would not result in more vagrancy and public drunkenness.

"We tried to open our hearts, if you will," said Bill Duvall, a member of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association.

Last week, neighbors heard the gas station was up for sale and Yildirim was no longer its on-site manager.

"As you know, wet zoning goes with the property," Duvall said. "We feel like we're not dealing with the current owners. There went the good faith."

Morrow said church members worry that alcohol sales will be a temptation to people attending a recovery program.

She also gave city council data on the number of police calls in that area. She was aware of no service calls to Yildirim's station.

"But do I assume that will remain the same?" she said.

Church members have reported problems with vagrants. Beer bottles, debris and human excrement have been found on church land, Morrow said.

"To put more liquor there, it serves nobody's purpose except those we don't want to help," said Susan Long, a member of a Seminole Heights mobile crime patrol.

Yildirim said he felt like the victim.

"I'm small business. What difference it make one more beer sale?" he said.

This story can be found at:

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More back yard archeology

Previously I wrote about finding huge rusty metal nails in the backyard while digging up a plumbing problem.

Well a week ago we were digging a hole in the backyard for a plant and I discovered this treasure trove. Various bottles, a frying pan, and remmants of a shoe. Obviously someone liked Frenches Mustard. The most interesting bottle is the Phenolax Wafers by Upjohn. Phenolax is a laxative. I'm not sure how old the bottle is. The wine bottle must have had some sort of medallion on it.
What is odd is why all of these items were buried and why they were buried near the chain link fence. Strange.