Saturday, December 31, 2005

Starbucks Builds

Yipee! Starbucks in Seminole Heights has started construction and soon we will be sipping our latte's there watching our dogs drink from the water trough.

However not everyone is happy about it. There is a "Just Say No To Starbucks" crowd who midly expressed thier opinion on the subject.

I don't know if this is the corporate logo of the naysayers or someone who wandered by and slapped their commentary on top of the "nabobs of negatism" mission statement.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hispanics in Seminole Heights

There is a discussion going on Never Take It All that led me do some research about our population breakdowns.

I went to the census website to get some numbers.

2000 Census
City of Tampa
Population 303,447
2004 estimate 306,547
Race/ethnicity Numbers - % of total
White 194,871 - 64.2
Black or African American 79,118 - 26.1

Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 58,522 -19.3
2004 estimate 67,488

In Central Tampa and Seminole Heights the numbers differ

In the maps below the darker green the color the higher percentage of hispanics, the lighter yellow the lesser percentage.

As you can see, there is a very large percentage of hispanics to the west of Seminole Heights ranging from 30 to 50% of the population with a pocket of 58 to 74%. On the average, most of Seminole Heights has 11- 20% and southern Seminole Heights has 21-34%. Bear in mind these are 2000 percentages. Based on the 2004 estimates and my visual observations, these percentages could be higher.

Later I will report on the white black percentages.

Whole Dog Journal

As dog lovers, Susan and I want to know as much as possible about issues affecting our dog, more than we get told by a vet. The best source of infomration we have found is The Whole Dog Journal. It is described as "A monthly guide to natural dog care and training. "But our stated goal expressed in the mission statement that appears below is to offer useful, dog-friendly information that helps owners help their dogs. Our unstated mission (one that should be apparent due to our intentional lack of advertising) is to provide reliable information on topics you can't find in mainstream publications, where, in consideration of conventional, commercial interests (which contribute the vast majority of advertising dollars), hardly anything appears that runs counter to conventional practice."

They review wet and dry dog food every year, dog toys, treatments for various illnesses conventional and holistic, dog training and lots more. We have found it to be very helpful. Early this year both of our dogs develooped a hacking sneezing cough that lasted for days. We wondered if there was something we could give thme that would soothe thier throat. Our very good vet said no. As it turns out there is something does that, which we just read about in Whole Dog Journal.

Here are some recent articles:

January 2006

A Super (But Secret) Industry
We’re fans of wet pet food, but that hasn’t (yet) gotten us into a factory!

Language Barrier
Learn how to avoid “saying” the wrong thing to a dog.

Don’t Despair; Just Care
Holistic care and home support are effective for treating canine cancer.

Adoption Advice
Here’s how to make your new dog’s adoption work for life.

Aged to Perfection
Older dogs benefit from developments in veterinary geriatric medicine.

December 2005

Come to Me, Run to Me
To teach your dog perfect recalls, use praise, practice, and more practice!

Fending Off the Flu
It’s not neccessary to put your dog in solitary because of viral threats.

Conventional Cancer Care
Many well-known and new treatments are helping canine cancer patients.

Can We All Just Get Along?
A lot of normal dog “play” behavior looks scary to people.

To Crop and Dock? Or Not?
Some canine physical therapists say that dogs suffer from amputations.

Positively the Best
WDJ’s all-time favorite books on positive dog training.

2 Sample articles you can read online are
Sit Happens
After you learn how easy the positive approach to training really is, you’ll never push a pup’s butt to the floor again!

Toy Story
WDJ institutes a new grading system for reviewed products: 1-4 Paws.

In Future Issues
Here are some of the special reports and test comparison features we're working on for future issues of Whole Dog Journal.

Targeted Goal
“Targeting” is more than just a cute trick; you can use it to teach your dog many vital skills (and lots of other cute tricks!)

Brains of the Operation
The Tour of the Dog looks at the central nervous system.

Annual Dry Dog Food Review
What’s in the bag (and how you can tell whether it will be good for your dog).

Preventing Canine Cancer
The least-considered tool in the fight against canine cancer.

Training with a ZAP!
Shock collars are marketed as effective, simple, and humane training tools. We agree with only one of those words: marketed.

The Whole Dog Journal is available by subscription for $29 a year for 12 issues. It is well worth the money.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Next Seminole Heights Business Guild Meeting

The Business Guild of Seminole Heights (B'GoSH) will hold its next
General Meeting at 7pm on Jan. 19, 2006, at A.W. Windhorst Lodge.
Business Owners, Artists and all parties interested in Seminole Heights
are encouraged to attend.

The meeting will discuss a variety of topics and will include a
presentation from B'GoSH's By-Laws Committee, which will address the
committee's progress on the internal structuring of the organization.
At the meeting, attendees will have a chance to offer their input on
the new committees that will be influencing such projects as the
beautification of Seminole Heights and the development of marketing and
financial assistance for the area's business district(s).

A.W. Windhorst Lodge is located in Seminole Heights at 5011 N. Nebraska
Ave. (on the southeast corner of Caracas Ave. & Nebraska Ave.)

Don't Mess with Seminole Heights Resident Armando Corces

In the Tribune and other news outlets, is a story about a 90 year old Seminole Heights resident, Armando Corces, fought with an car jacker in the parking lot of our Publix on Monday, December 26.

(In the Trib)

"Armando Corces drove to the Publix, at 6001 N. Nebraska Ave., shortly before 3 p.m. Monday to buy brown paper to mail a package to his son. The man who accosted Corces as he walked toward the store was identified by police as Johnny Lee Jones, 25, of 1506 E. Comanche Ave. Another shopper intervened and Jones ran, police said. Officers arrested him nearby on a charge of carjacking."

"Armando Corces, 90-Years-Old:
"..started walking here and he come up on me, I want your key, said the hell you're going to have that key. Grabbed my arm and I said you're gonna have to fight me and I pushed him around."

The feisty 90-year-old took on a larger, stronger, 25-year-old.

Armando Corces:
"We fought for about five minutes, back and forth. He was trying to grab the key, so I put it in my pocket, finally was able to reach in my pocket and get the key. Tried to keep him from getting in the car so wrestled with him he pushed me and I fell down here."

But the carjacker bent Armando's key so he couldn't start the car.

Another guy in the parking lot saw the struggle and pulled the man out of Armando's car. The suspect took off and police caught up with him a few blocks away."

So far in the news stories I've seen, the shopper who intervened was not identified.

Johnny Lee Jones, DOB: 12/4/80 was arrested on 12/26/05 at 15th St. and Giddens. He is in jail with no bond. This joker of course has a long history of arrests, including battery on a police officer, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, petit theft, driving with a license suspended or revoked, loitering or prowling, and more. He has lived in Seminole Heights for years. Perhaps this time he will get some serious prison time. Perhaps we can get him banned from Seminole Heights, just like Willie Findley was sent to prison to follow with probation and banishment.

Moral of the Story: Don't mess with Seminole Heights. Even our 90 year old neighbors can kick your butt.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Snipe Sign King - 2 weeks ago I drove by Kmart and counted more than 80 of these signs posted in the City right of way all around the Kmart at Waters and Florida. This has been going on for months now. How could the City not see it themselves and fined the heck out of Kmart? I am not impressed.

Crime Things

Some recent crime things.

1. I received this email:

I know you talk about crime prevention on your blog so I thought I would tell you about an incident that happened today. This afternoon, shortly after 5pm, there was a green Mercury mini-van parked in front of our house. We live on North Street, between Florida and Central. I had not noticed it at that point but a neighbor stopped by with the make of the car and it's license plate (New York tag). There was a single mid to late 40's latino male, about 5'6, medium build. The car was parked across the street from our house yesterday for a while and neither my neighbor nor I have ever seen the car before yesterday. The suspicious part is that as soon as my neighbor came by, the guy started packing up. The other suspicious thing was, he had the jack out in front on the car. There were no flat tires and the car wasn't off the ground, just had the jack pushed under the front end. As soon as he saw me look out my window, he put the jack in the car and started up and drove away. I didn't see any oil stains or indication of any leaks and the car had no trouble starting. Just wanted people in the neighborhood to be on the lookout. It could be legit or it could be something else. We just got a strange feeling about it

I think strange, funny or odd feelings are important things to pay attention to. Things that are out of the ordinary always bear paying attention to. Sometimes it is nothing or something innocent but sometimes it is not. Some of these things I report to police and some I just note mentally or write down. Sometimes I just watch a little bit longer to see how things play out.

Some of the more common words in my Neighborhood Watch vocabulary are suspicious vehicle, suspicious behavior/activity, or suspicious person. I call the police when anything meets that criteria. How do you define suspicious? Well generally it is self evident.

Note when you call police to report suspicious behavior use the words suspicious in your call. If I called the police and just said there is some man parked across the street and I would like you to check it out they give me some resistance. However, if I said there is some suspicious activity occurring across the street, then they will respond. It also helps, I'm for mew to identify myself as a neighborhood watch member, as it gives me more credibility. (By the way, always ask the police operator for the event number. That way you can be assured your call will be logged and dispatched.)

2. Another email item I received, this from a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator:

Yesterday about 3 PM there was a 5’8”-5’9” black male wearing a white t-shirt and housing jean shorts. He was skinny with short hair. He spoke with a Jamaican accent. He was walking N on 13th toward Crawford. He asked one of the female neighbors who was walking her dog where he could catch the 9. She told him to go back to Sligh and turn right. He continued toward her and began exposing himself. She had a large and, at time, not nice dog. The man kept eyeing the dog and finally ran S on 13th. He did not follow the directions given to him about how to catch the 9.

We had this problem several years ago, but here we go again. If anyone has seen this man, please call the TPD at 231-9254 or District 2 at 931-6500.

It's too bad the dog did not play tug of war with the guy.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Silver Linings

Well, it looks like we have another new store in Seminole Heights. Silver Linings. It is 2 doors down from Tampa Antiquarian Books between the dog grooming place and the barber shop. It looks like they might have gift items/home decors things. I'm not completely sure if they are open or not

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Seminole Heights Bakery and Sandwich Shop

According to the man painting the windows, the Seminole Heights Bakery opens up December 26. Hours Mon - Friday 6 AM to 6PM Sat 7-5 Sun 7-3. Apparently there are new owners running the place. I will drop by this week and make a report.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Abuela's Supermarket

I have not been able to visit Abuela's Supermarket, the store that replaced Ansley's, to give a review. Fortunately, one of my neighbors had and sent the following out to the our email group Here is his report:

. . . . and I made our first visit to the new Abuela's Super Market located at the former Ansley's location at the corner or Sligh and Central. We were totally impressed!! The place is clean, brigh and comfortable. And the best part is that it is right here in Seminole Heights. We walked in and were immediately and graciously greeted by the owner Fernando (who is Cuban). He offered us a free espresso. Couldn't turn that down!! They have bilingual staff, so please don't fear not being able to communicate. The best things to buy at the latin-style markets are meats, and produce. It is also customary that if you spend $30 or more, then you receive a free gift. Usually, the gift is a huge bag of rice, gallon of milk, pack of coffee or oil. Not all of the products are on the cheap, though, so know your prices first.

I will try to follow up sometime next week my own review and photos.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Running Through Tampa and avoiding dogs

Running Through Tampa has a recent post about trying to avoid getting dog bit. He was on Ola south of Broad. He says:

"“Sir, can you please call your dogs,” and he gives a half-assed whistle to
which the animals simply cock their heads momentarily before returning their
growling, teeth-baring attentions to me. “Don’t worry, they won’t bite you,” he
says, obviously annoyed.This is possibly the stupidest thing that anyone could
say about his or her animals. “They won’t bite” is right up there with “Hey
y’all watch this” for famous redneck last words."

Well, other dogs did bite someone in the neighborhood recently, in area of the 1300 block of Park Circle.

My husband and I were walking on the sidewalk. A couple of dogs were barking in a chain link fence. We came to the end of the fence and saw these other two dogs trying to get into the back yard of a house. The dogs turned toward us, we knew instantly we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We stopped and everything I have ever learned about dogs went through my mind. The dogs walked toward us, started growling and one of them jumped up and bit me on the cheek, corner of my mouth and under my chin.

This was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had fallen down or if I was a small child. I am a dog lover, and until the last few years I have owned dogs, usually large ones. I have never feared them, but know to respect them. These dogs attacked! We were lucky that the Parks and Recreation employee was driving by and witnessed the whole thing.

The Parks and Rec person was later able to keep them away from us, because they kept trying to come towards us as we waited for the police. One of the Police Officers said that the dogs had attempted to attack him when he was attempting to capture the dogs. I do not blame the dogs, but I do blame the owners.
Hillsborough County Animal Control has a Dogbite Prevention Program

These requirements apply only to animals that have bitten, chased or threatened
people, companion animals, or livestock without provocation. An unprovoked
incident shall be one where the victim, who has been conducting himself or
herself peacefully and lawfully, has been bitten, chased in a menacing fashion,
or attacked by a companion animal. Not every animal that has bitten, chased or
threatened once would be placed here - if an attack is of sufficient magnitude
some will be placed under investigation as a 'Dangerous Dog'.

Fines for an initial unprovoked vicious incident will increase to $450. The fine will be
reduced to $25 if the owner provides proof of each of the following prior to the
citation's hearing date:

Obedience training, with a graduation certificate
Current health examination from a veterinarian
Proof of spay/neuter, either prior to or after the incident
Microchip registered to the owner at their current address
Receive responsible ownership training at Animal Services
A misdemeanor criminal complaint can be filed if the owner
of the dog had prior knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities, yet
demonstrated a reckless disregard for such propensities under the circumstances.
They have a Dog Bite Prevention Guidebook for Kids.

They used to have list of Bad Dogs but I can't find it.


Susan and I have had reason to drive to downtown St. Pete several times in last few months, most recently last Saturday. As we drove down we saw all of the great landscaping along I-275 there, contrasting it with the lack we have in our section.

This subject was being discussed in our email group last month:

. . . . . Since 275 is controlled by FDOT, we will probably continue to see
little improvement. I made calls to FDOT and got a very great person on the
line. With the widening and the new wall, they did not allow anywhere
for the garbage to go, so he was concerned it will get worse. I am
working with him to try to put together a case to get the chainlink
removed. He asked that I visit a site they he is going to try to
get to replace ours. It is black and does not go under the overpass, instead it
goes up the hills near the side. While it is still ugly, it will at least
do away with the trash trap under the bridges.

This prompted this among many responses

I have a vision of seeing the fences along our interstates, particularly I-275,
set back about 20 feet - wrought iron would be beautiful, green or black chain
link would be fine, and an asphalt trail meandering along its length.
Understandably, the Suncoast Parkway Trail was designed and built as part of a
brand new road, BUT the Turnpike has received such accolades and can you imagine
how popular FDOT and a trail would be along a highway in such dense communities
as West Tampa, Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights, Sulpher Springs, and
beyond?! By the way, the project underway to widen 275 south from downtown
to the Courtney Campbell DOES include trail segments, now we need
to connect northward to our community. Granted some gaps would likely
exist but could be connected with on-road bike lanes to get you to the next
off-road part of the trail. Maybe it would need to switch back and
forth from the Taliaferro and Central sides - whatever works. The biggest
obstacle to trail building is the cost of right-of-way, in this case FDOT
already owns it and the costs would be for design & construction.
I'm sure Running Through Tampa might be able to provide some insight to such a trail.

Don't think that this could not be done. The idea to restripe Nebraska Avenue came out of Seminole Heights. With the activism we have, we could get it done.

Tampa Antiquarian bookstore in the news

There was an article about the Tampa Antiquarian Books in today's Central (ooops) South Tampa section of the Trib.

The shop is the new home for more than 40,000 rare and collectible books.

The owner is Stephanie Beckel. Drop by her store at 6116 N. Central Ave 9corner Hanna) and welcome her to the neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Drug Dealer Finally Gets Prison Time

In May I wrote about drug dealer Willie Findley. For 5 years we have been trying to put away this guy. We'd get him arrested and then he either would be put on probation or just serve a minor jail sentence. Invariably while on probation he would abscond or commit another crime. Not any more.

He was finally arrested and in today's Tampa Tribune it was noted that yesterday he was sentenced to 5 years in prison to follow with 10 years of Probation. He also has been banned from Seminole Heights while on probation.

This conviction was only possible because residents kept making a fuss and kept reporting sightings of him, because police kept their eyes out and kept arresting him, because the news media kept doing stories on him, because the State Attorney's Office acted on residents concerns, and because residents showed up in court to testify against Willie.

Thanks to State Attorney Mark Ober, Tampa Police Department Major George McNamara's and his District 3 police officers and those named and un-named residents.

In the article the reporter noted "In a courthouse hallway, a supporter of Findley criticized the three women who testified against him, saying they should have minded their own business. "

They were minding their own business. They were keeping their homes and neighborhood safer from this creep.

By working together we are making this a better place to live. Government can't do it's job alone. It needs the citizens involved to do a better job. If you want your neighborhood to get better, you have to do something about it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Child Care

I received this email:

"I frequently visit the Seminole Heights blog and there is something that has been giving me quite a bit of trouble and it finally occurred to me that perhaps the blog would be a good way to find a solution to my problem.... quality child care! Is there a way to get some communication going about quality child care in the area? I can't seem to find a decent place to send my daughter while I am at work and I would love to know what other parents of preschoolers in the area are doing."

Note: You can do some checking of chld care providers via a Statewide website and specifically via their Provider Search. You can also view Child Care files at the local office

Child Care Licensing Program
8900 N. Armenia Ave., Suite 210
Tampa, FL 33604
Telephone: (813) 272-6487
Fax: (813) 903-3422

We have a bunch of child care providers in Seminole Heights, but I do not know anything about them.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Businesses and Christmas and Holiday Decorations

All 3 Seminole Heights have Christmas light decorating contests to see who have the best residential displays in each hood.

I say residential because generally the businesses have no displays.

There are some exceptions and I'd like to honor those exceptions and thus encourage more business to participate.

Please send in nominations for businesses with any Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza and other Holiday decorations. Give the name of the business and street address. (If you can remember the address then an approximate location.) Note the ones you thing are the best daytime and best nightime displays. If you can take a photo of the best ones, that would be helpful but is not needed. Once we get a good selection I will see If I can create a poll and people can vote on it.

I will post a list of all the businesses who decorated. I will make up some certificates (unless some loyal reader would like to help by making some) to give to the best in each category for them.

Tonight Susan I went up Nebraska Ave in SE Seminole Heights to see what we have
The Seminole Heights Bakery 5214 N NEBRASKA AVE - Windows Painted
Ybor Pizza 4703 N Nebraska Ave - Windows Painted
And suprisingly the wig place across from Mega Market (Garland and something else across the fron of the building. Will go back and get the name and address.

I'm not sure yet I would rank any of them until I go out and see more to compare to.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Scam Artists

A friend on the west side of Seminole Heights in the area behind Front Porch notified us of a scam going on. Two men claiming to be Solid Waste employees are dropping off envelopes so they can collect money as Christmas tips. A call by our friend to Solid Waste reveals that is not a practice Solid Waste engages in. If you encounter these people call the police immediately as they are pulling a scam.

Seminole Heights Cafe and Bakery Reopens

Driving down Nebraska Ave. tonight I saw that the windows of Seminole Heights Bakery nicely decorated for Christmas, some thing I had not noticed before. In fact more and more businesses In Seminole Heights are decorationg for the holidays than previously.

As I drove by I did a double take and had to drive around the block. Sure enough, there was an Opening Soon sign painted in the midst of the decorations. Great! However I wondered why as the current owner had a lunch time cafe there for about a year that closed. He just continued with the whoesale bakery in back. I wonder if ownership changed or if the sucess of Martha's restaurant has prompted the change.

I saw something at Hanna and Central I had not seen before. Christams deocatins in the windows two empty storefronts between the barber shop and the book store. Does this mean someone new has rented those places or is this Christmas cheer spreading to the landlord?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Publicity for the Hood

In a previous post comments were made about concerns regarding an article in the Tribune about the Seminole Heights Mobile Crime Patrol and publicity.

Since I have moved in the neighborhood 5 1/2 years ago I have heard some of the same concerns raised about negative news about the neigborhood. 5 1/2 years ago some residents did not want to read about prostitution and the neighborhood preferring just to have positive news.

That philosophy brought us nohere. At that time Nebraska Avenue had more prostitutes than Ronda Storms has insults.

Instead of hiding the problem, residents plastered the problem across front pages and TV screens and shoved it in the faces of our government leaders. An early embarrament for the Police Department was that residents were walking up and down Nebraska Ave. confronting prostitutes, without police support. Some bad apple police officers were seemingly (or actually) taking the side of the prostitutes.

As a consequence of this in your face activity, the work of the SE Seminole Heights Exercise Club and then the Old Seminole Heights residents who joined the group, the Prostitution Town Hall Meeting with residents and government officials, the Hillsborough County Prostitution Task Force and finally the Old Seminole Heights and Southeast Seminole Heights Neighborhood Watch Vehicle Patrols, things changed. Goverment got on board with the residents. City Hall Departments, State Attorney, City Council, State Legislators and others. A treatment program was started with a Seminole Heights ex-offender treatment program. Status quo deadwood retired from the police department. The Police Department became very energized and proactive themselves on the issue. Law were changed to increase penalities and offer treatment. Prostitution has decreased dramatically.

One of the things I always tried to stress and create a positive spin during all of this was that Seminole Heights does not simply complain about problems, but offers solutions and tries to help implement them, and that Seminole Heights is a very organized and activist neighborhood and it is that activism that should cause people to move here.

I think the press about the transgender prostitutes getting arrested is a good thing because it lets the transgender prostitutes know we are serious about removing all prostitution from our neighborhood and will get them arrested any way we can, if they choose to practice here.

Having said all of that, I do agree we need more positive press. I just don't think we need to supress the negative aspects. To me any press is good press, just depends on how you spin it. For example the Steve Lorenzo thing has had people across the nation come to my blog as I mentioned something about it once (actually about A Living Hominid's story on it). I know some of these same people read other positive posts on my blog, thus getting a better idea of what Seminole Heights is. I'll bet that almost everyone in Tampa Bay area has heard of Seminole Heights. How many have heard of V.M.Ybor, Ybor Heights, Riverside Heights, Wellswood, Forest Hills and others?

One of the things people need to know about positive press is that the press needs to know about the positive activity in order to write about it. And it has to be interesting or have some sort of hook.

We do not do a good enough job about getting the positive stories out. All of us need to find these stories and get them out. These stories do not just have to be about big events like home tours. Any positive story will do. A story on a 102 year old resident having a birthday, some new store opening up, some new drive by a non profit organization, someone with an interesting hobby, yard, past life experience. Anything people will want to read. There are thousands of stories out there. We just have to get other people to hear them.

In SE Sem Hts we get a lot of stories written about us. One reason is that we have representives from the media on our email list. Warren Ely from Channel 13. Kathy Steele from Tribune. Sherri Day and Elizabeth Bettendorf from the St. Pete Times. Also before the blog I used to call Kathy Steele or her predecesor Sean Lengell up to give them stories all the time. Some they would use and some they would not.

When we come up with these stories we need to think broadly about where these stories go. Obviously the local TV, radio and newspapers. However should the story go the the news reporters, to the columnists and or to the events sections? What about getting pictures of the event in the society section? I will often see a story about an event get written up in the paper but not find it in the coming events section. Don't forget the smaller newsoutlets like Florida Sentinel Bulletin, the Penny Saver, Channel 38 and others. What about WUSF Radio and WMNF radio? WMNF also has a community bulletin board on their website that they will also read on the air. What about local magazines, such as Florida Trend? What about specialty magazines and periodicals such as The Watermark or a trade publication? How about putting some of these stories on the neighborhood websites or sending them to selected bloggers?

In Seminole Heights we have an advantage over other parts of Tampa in that we have some great reporters who live here and experience some of these stories themselves. And also because we are a more interesting part of town than New Tampa or Brandon.

Here are some Tampa media listings off of Mondo Times
Bay News 9 TV
St. Petersburg Times newspaper
Tampa Tribune newspaper
USF Oracle (university) newspaper
Tampa Bay Business Journal newspaper
Accent On Tampa Bay magazine
CitiLife magazine
Event (city guides) magazine
Tampa Bay Metro (city guides) magazine
Weekly Planet Tampa Bay (city guides) newspaper
WMNF FM 88.5 radio
WUSF FM 89.7 (NPR) radio

Events in the Heights

There are plenty of events coming up in Seminole Heights. Here are few:

Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m.
Holiday Boat Parade To Light Up Hillsborough River

You'll see more kayaks and canoes than McYachts in the 5th Annual Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Boaters with kayaks, canoes and motor-craft will gather at Lowry Park boat ramp at 5:30 p.m. and travel upriver past the illuminated Sulphur Springs Tower to Hanna's Whirl. Boat entry is free; decorations and lights are encouraged but not required. Battery-powered lights are available at local stores, including Walgreen's. If boaters prefer, they can join in the parade at any point along the route. If you have a boat, please join in!

The free event is sponsored by Friends of the River. Lowry Park boat ramp is located off North Boulevard, north of Sligh Avenue, across from Lowry Park Zoo. Spectators will find a cozy place to watch at the recently re-opened Harbor Club restaurant, which is hosting a community caroling party during and after the parade. The riverfront Harbor Club restaurant is located in Sulphur Springs, 915 E. Grant St., just east of Nebraska Ave. -- turn right at the light at Sitka, across the street from the city's Sulphur Springs pool. Food and beverages (including full bar) available for purchase. For information, contact Liz Taylor, 813-237-8497,

This Saturday night Covivant is hosting a cornucopia of exhibitions and musical talent not to be overlooked!

Saturday, December 10th 7-11pm | $5 Donation 313 vs. 813 DETROIT VS. TAMPA "L'Agent des trois" A selection of works by Trong G. Nguyen and Art Hijack including the "Humanitarians Not Heroes" project, the "Art Collection of Rick Haatj," and "Messages from Guantanamo." Opening of the "Boutique" Blank Cartel, Iron-on resistance, Dirty but Sophisticated and more. Musical Guest: Red Tide @ 9pm Also One Cold Night in Tampa by Marnee Good, a studio exhibition of new plaster sculptures housed in an arctic installation.

Old Seminole Heights
December 1st through 12th, 2005
It's time to dust off the wreaths and untangle the lights! Nominate any home in Old Seminole Heights by calling 231-9102 or sending an email to Please include the address of the house and contact information for the owners. Nominations will be taken until December 12th. The winner will be announced at the Holiday Porch Party on the 16th (Details below).

Old Seminole Heights
Sunday, December 11, 2005 at 6:00pm
Doors open at 5:00pm, dinner begins promptly at 6:00pm - Seminole Heights United Methodist Church, Social Hall, (corner of Central and Hanna Avenues). Socialize, share a recipe and eat your fill of covered dish delights! If your last name begins with A-M, please bring a side dish or dessert. If your last name begins with N-Z, please bring a vegetable or salad. The Association will provide plates, utensils, beverages, and the main course.

Old Seminole Heights
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 7:00pm
The Dickens Carolers perform to help us get into the Holiday spirit. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to 1009 East Clifton Street at 7:00pm. This is a fun event for the young and young at heart, and is always a crowd-pleaser. Our new location will provide a beautiful view of Lake Roberta!

Alley Cat Players
Please join the Alley Cat Players for Be Not Afraid poems of courage, humor, and good cheer
by various authors

(The Alley Cat Players' series of Poetry Readings features professional actors performing dramatic readings of the work of famous poets. Be Not Afraid will be a multi-media performance.)

4pm and 7pm on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Seminole Heights library, 4711 Central Ave, Tampa
Art for Everyone -- All our library shows are FREE! See or call (813) 231-8478 for directions or more information.

Old Seminole Heights
Friday, December 16, 2005 at 7:30pm
You're in the holiday home stretch! Enjoy yourself and gather with friends and neighbors on Randy and Debbie Baron's front porch at 217 West Comanche Avenue. Party begins at 7:30pm. Please bring a holiday beverage and/or snack to enjoy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Tenants on Florida Avenue

I understand the former lithograph or (something graph) building at Florida and North Street (the northern end of the block from Blosfield's Clock shop) is going to have new tenants. I've noticed a new paint job. I've heard a rumor as what might go in there, but wonder if anyone has a confirmation.

Friday, December 02, 2005

SE Sem Hts. Home Tour

There are two article in the papers about the upcoming SE Sem Hts Home Tour. For those who don't want to go on the tour, there are vendors you can come at shop at at Giddens Parks.

In the St. Pete Times " A tour of homes touches heart" A year later, Erin Parsons and her husband will open their new home to others......

And in the Tribune "A home for the holidays"


Published: Dec 1, 2005

SEMINOLE - HEIGHTS -- For Claude Maggi and Rich Guagliardo, the rehabilitation of their 1925 craftsman-style bungalow has been like peeling layers off an onion.

"It gets more and more involved," said Maggi, a commercial real estate investment consultant. He and Guagliardo, a residential real estate consultant, moved into their home on McBerry Street in December 2004.

Last week, construction on a remodeled master bathroom and kitchen was heading toward completion. The living and dining rooms, with polished oak floors, were decked out in holiday glitter.

Stockings hung from the fireplace mantel. A battery-operated Santa waved a candle. Tiny white lights twinkled on a Christmas tree.

By Sunday, everything must be finished and in its place.

The bungalow is the designer showcase for Homes for the Holidays, the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association's second annual Historic Home and Garden Tour.

"It's forcing us to get the place ready in a timely fashion," Guagliardo said.

Nine other holiday-themed historical houses, Seminole Heights Baptist Church and the new facility of community radio station WMNF, 88.5 FM, also will be featured on the tour.

Holiday gifts and arts and crafts will be sold at Vendor Village at Giddens Park and Kathryn Malone Community Center.

A portion of tour proceeds will benefit Joshua House, a home for abused and abandoned children.

The inaugural tour drew more than 700 people.

"We're anticipating hitting the 1,000 mark this year," tour organizer Stan Lasater said. An active civic association and a hot real estate market have boosted the neighborhood's appeal, he said.

A couple who came to the first tour bought a home soon after and their Victorian bungalow is on this year's tour.

"They had never even been to our neighborhood," Lasater said.

Guagliardo and Maggi, who used to live in Beach Park, said they liked the passion and activism of Southeast Seminole Heights.

"We want people to know Southeast Seminole Heights has wonderful homes," Maggi said. "It's a great place."

Their 2,700-square-foot bungalow was owned for most of its 80 years by the Pimm family, well-known Tampa land surveyors.

"The original architect put a lot of thought into how it would be designed," Maggi said.

Constructed of terra cotta block, "It was built to last," Guagliardo said.

Rooms have 10-foot ceilings; floors are oak and heart pine.

But there were problems. Plaster was peeled. Flooring needed repairs. An upstairs room had been closed off, unused for 50 years.

Maggi and Guagliardo have modernized while preserving the period look. About 1,500 square feet of terrace was added to the back yard. Maggi laid the intricate mosaic floor in the kitchen.

For the remodeling and holiday decorations, they worked with Jennifer Winchell of Winchell Interiors in Lutz. She combined their personal tastes and possessions with touches of her own, Maggi said.

"It's an eclectic mix that works," he said.

WHAT: Southeast Seminole Heights Historic Home and Garden Tour

WHEN: 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Buses will depart every few minutes from Seminole Heights Baptist Church, 801 E. Hillsborough Ave.; parking available at the church.

COST: $10; free for ages 12 and younger. Tickets available Sunday at the church.

INFORMATION: (813) 239-0025 or www.holidayhomeand

"We want people to know Southeast Seminole Heights

has wonderful homes. It's a great place."