Friday, June 30, 2006

Fireworks recall

Time for many Floridians to commit the crime of illegally buying fireworks.

If you are one of the wicked criminals who is teaching your children to lie, beware:

According to the St. Pete Times there is a recall on
"- 61,000 packages of Thunderstick rocket fireworks by BJ Alan Co. These rockets are overloaded with flash powder, which violates the regulations for this product. During use, they could explode with a greater force than expected and cause burns and injury harm to nearby users. The products are a stick-type rocket with a 4-inch- long, ½-inch-in-diameter engine mounted on a wooden stick approximately 16 inches long. The engine is wrapped in blue or purple paper with a picture of a rocket, and the words "Phantom Fireworks Thunder Stick Rocket." They were sold at Phantom Fireworks showrooms nationwide from December 2005 through June 2006 for about $10 for a package of six rockets. For a replacement product, call toll-free 1-800-777-1691 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays;"

Colors and more colors

Where color accumulates
St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USA By ELIZABETH BETTENDORF.
OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - Who knew a person could paint a dining room screaming tangerine with orange accents? ...

Article about the home of Christoph Earnest, and his partner, Johnnie Hurst.

"That a mid-century pink bathroom actually looks good with tomato-red walls? That painting the family room eggplant works well in a quirky, offbeat palette."

"The rambling old house is perfect for a couple of collectors with a taste for everything from display-size gems and minerals, to artistic crosses, to antique pinball machine marbles, to funky frogs, to contemporary ceramics.

They display their treasures around the home, typically in groupings, though some, such as their collection of frogs, have grown and spilled into additional rooms.

Big glass jars contain their fortune-telling tokens, small gems and rocks, and miniature toys.

Outside, an assortment of orchids and other indigenous Florida plants, including walking iris, plumeria, hibiscus and bromeliads, grow amid garden ornaments reflecting their indoor collections."

Sounds like a home tour nominee to me.

Ellenore Gomez-Schmeisser dies

Our sympathies. Interesting life.

If there was a need, she would volunteer St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USA
OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - When Ellenore Gomez-Schmeisser was in her 70s, she and her husband often entertained at area retirement centers and nursing homes. ...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hotel Conversions

An email:

"Recently, I decided that I had outgrown my home office. However, I refused to look at any space outside of the Seminole Heights area. I did not need much space. The problem, is there is no commercial spaces. (Or very little to choose, or you had to take an entire old house.) I was about to give up when I found a building in Old Seminole Heights that was an old apartment building converted to professional offices. So I signed the lease immediately and moved in. It is great! This got me thinking about one of the problems we will face as a neighborhood. My friend is now looking and will be experiencing the same thing.

Here's my thought-- It has always been said that the neighborhood will always have a prostitute and drug problem as long as the "seedy" hotels are here. Why not approach the hotels and try to convince them to convert to commercial office space. While they may have to reapply for new zoning, the neighborhood would probably back this idea. As a small business, I was only looking for one room, or a room with lobby. I was fortunate, that I got a private bath as well. Most business would pay $500.00-$600.00/month for rent depending on amenities offered.

I think this idea would be great for art studios, antique/consignment shops, small one or two person offices (lawyer, accountant, etc) Could you imagine an entire hotel converting to art studios...the lobby turning to a coffee/pastry shop? I think it is something to discuss. I would think it would be a steady income for the owners and probably more money than they make now! I would love to see what others think.


Side Salad

One of the great Tampa blogs is Side Salad. Check out the Mentos experiment or the Fez project.

Sulphur Springs Tower Park

This series of emails was sent to me regarding opening up the Sulphur Springs Tower Park to the public.

>>> Alan Wright 06/29/06 10:07 AM >>>

Hello All~
Season greetings marking the liberty of our land! I am writing to recommend that the gates to River Tower Park at Sulphur Springs be opened so that the people that worked to acquire and pay for that land can use it.....use it in a passive manner for picinicking , hiking, exploring the river, the tower, etc. This is a 13+ acre park site that is well maintained but not opend to a very large community that desparately needs park/open space. I realize there are no improvements there now and that work is beginning along the shoreline....but that should not preclued the citizens of Tampa from using this great asset for recreational activities....NOW! The community has owned that land a number of years. The community paid for the land. The community has waited for a plan to be completed. The community has waited for improvements to be made. The community is tired of waiting. It will cost NOTHING to open these gates, to allow the neighborhood/community use of the land. River Tower Park at Sulphur Springs represents the city's commitment to improving the area. A vacant, unused parcel of land does no one any good.
The new boardwalk connection linking Sulphur Springs Pool Park with River Tower Park at Sulphur Springs is underway. Don't let this be a boardwalk to nowhere. Encourage park use now so that as future park improvments are made they can be seen, appreciated and use!
No more excuses. Open the park NOW. The people will come.
Thanks and have a good holiday!
Alan Wright

as a founding member of Friends of the River, the organization that helped preserve River Tower Park for the neighborhood, i second Alan Wright's plea to open the park. Sulphur Springs and Purity Springs areas really need park space, for picknicking, fishing, and walking.

Open gates from sunrise to sunset would greatly benefit our communities. While improvements would be nice, we do not need them at this point to enjoy the park.

With Alan, i urge you to open the park. Soon!

Law Office of B. John Ovink, P.A.
check my website at
and definitely check out this:

I appreciate your frustration about the park being closed. As I have mentioned to you in the past, we can open the gates, and as you say that costs nothing, but without vehicular control, the old problems from when the land was open will probably resurface. The main issue that we had was that people drove stolen cars into the river. Even if they don't drive into the river, it is not wise to have a situation whereby people can drive all over the park.

In my meetings with the neighborhood association, they voiced a preference to have parking closer to the water and not by the street. Using bollards to outline the drive and the parking area would cost over $10,000.00 We are investigating other methods for control, but bollards are about the most reasonable method. Parking by Bird Street would be less expensive, but people would have to walk the depth of the park to reach the shade. What seem to be "excuses" to you are, in fact, actual problems that as managers of the property we have prevent--even if it means not allowing vehicular access. One alternative we could explore in the interim is to install a pedestrian gate to allow the exploration and access you mention.
Tom Johnston

Thanks for your thoughtful reply but they are the same responses expressed for the past 5-yrs.....responses that continue to keep the public from enjoying one of the most beautiful pieces of land in the city. The fact that this public park space has been closed for 5+yrs is not just frustrating, it is unconscionable. It is underutilization of a precious natural resource and of the public dollars used to acquire the land, land the public expected would be useable park space.

If provisions can be made to have pedestrian access, that is a start. Of course folks will have to walk the entire depth of the park to get to shade as you point out. Isn't that the idea behind a park encourage walking, exercise?
A thought that occurs to me is that locating surface parking in proximity to the riverfront is not environmentally/aesthetically desirable....ever....for a number of reasons. Why not take an alternative pro-active approach to solving this problem? Consider moving the existing fencing along Bird Street back 15-feet or so and allow off-street parking on the site NOW, along the roadway, away from the waterway and then only allow pedestrian access to the rest of the park? That would only cost the labor to move the fence, would be environmentally sensitive, would control vehicular traffic and allow closer monitoring of the park's use. Everyone wins!

I understand the City's desire to provide the best park experience every park. Your plans for this future park space are great. But lets face fiscal reality.....competition for project dollars city-wide is tough and enhancing this park space is going to take time. Unfortunately the funding needed to fully improve this park space won't be available for some time. So, in the meantime, HAVING the opportunity to be able to go to the park NOW, in whatever condition, is better than none at all.

Sulphur Springs needs River Tower Park OPEN NOW and it CAN HAPPEN with a little ingenuity and your help!

Keep doing your best....and it is good work! We appreciate you! Have a good, safe 4th of July weekend.

Defleaing the Park


The KMC Dog Park will be closed for 48 hours next week
due to treatment for the abundance fleas.
Exact day not known, but probably starting
Wed or Thur

This treatment will be repeated two weeks later.
Another notice will be sent out at that time.

Dog Park will be posted when it is closed!

Wood Floor Refinishing

Anyone have any recommendations as to who does wood floor refinishing?

More Insurance Horrors Stories

An email:

"Have you received any other emails regarding Citizens/Gulfstream cancelling policies in Seminole Heights or elsewhere. I just received my cancellation letter yesterday stating they were cancelling me because of the following:

1. Trees hang over my house
2. Roof is uneven (who's isn't?)
3. One window has a 1/2" crack
4. Roof flashing bent upwards

All bogus reasons. My insurance agent said they are doing this to a lot of people. The fact is I live in a 1926 house. I just had a roofing inspection last year where I was told my roof had 5-10 years of life left in it. There is no bent flashing anywhere. There isn't a house in Seminole Heights without trees hanging over it. It's ridiculous. I don't know what to do. I can submit proof to them that my roof is okay, fix the window and ask the city to cut the trees (they are on city right of way), but I was told there was no guarantee they'd reinstate me. If I get cancelled I have no where else to go.

Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same problem."

Also see this article on Citizens sent to me by Mike Ferlita

All my posts on insurance

Seminole Heights Running Group

6/29/06 Addendum to the post below originally posted on 6/28/06

Angie Arnst who works at the YMCA (and lives in Old Seminole Heights) and is specifically assigned to improving the health of Seminole Heights’ residents through exercise. The YMCA can facilitate getting the running/walking group up and running. You can email her.

I received two emails back to back on the same subject:

1. Glenn C. sent this out on the SE Sem Hts email group.
"A few people have talked about organizing a running group. Are any others interested in meeting? A projected schedule will be Saturday mornings at 9:00 and Wednesday evenings at 6:00. We could meet at the church parking lot on Hillsborough, jog NSH, SSH, and SESH and then hit Starbucks for something non-fat or Nicko's for something a bit less trendy but more substantial.

All levels of fitness could join and we will choose different turnaround points so that the fast and the slow will finish somewhat close together. Let's try a first workout Saturday July 8. I will spread the word a bit more at the Porch Party. People could get up and sweat away their porching."

2. Tara emailed on the same subject, after being directed here by Gary Ellsworth:

"My name is Tara and I have been loving and living in
S. Heights for 1.5 years now.

Long story short, I use to run a lot and haven't ran
that much in the past couple of years (had a kid)!
But, I would like to see if there are others in our
area that would like to get together and get something
started, whether it be walking, beginning - seasoned

There is safety in numbers and there is more
motivation when you have others depending on you to
get off your butt and go! LOL

3. Perhaps Running Through Tampa can provide some tips

Patrolling with TPD

Weekly Planet writer Alex Pickett rode along with TPD District 2 Officer Britt C. Martinez one Friday night. A couple incidents in the story occurred in Seminole Heights. One glaring error in the story.

"As Martinez nears the end of her shift, we head toward Raymond James Stadium so she can park and file her reports for the night. The stadium lies at the edge of the Sulphur Springs neighborhood. . . . ."

Since District Two does not go to Dale Mabry, I presume he meant the Dog Track. (Unless of course the Bucs have gone to the dogs.)

Alex, you need to spend more time in Seminole Heights and Sulphur Springs and get familiar with the landmarks. Here is my good hearted lesson to you. The River is the Hillsborough River, not the Alafia, the Tower is the Sulphur Springs Tower, not the Tampa International Airport Control Tower, the white steeple is the Seminole Heights Baptist Church, not Sacred Heart Catholic Church, The Carillion is Hillsbrough High School not Bok Tower.

Ooh and as you get familiar with the landmarks, go to the Taco Bus and bring home a care package for your colleagues.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another Closure

The antique store in between Karen's Place and Now And Again II, that just opened up, is going out of business.


From Grid 58 Neighborhood Watch

David called Hillsborough County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control (813)
554-5025 to come and spray for the crazy Mosquito's driving us all inside (like the heat isn't enough) . They were great, came to our house and looked around and saw one flower pot with rain water from our recent showers and there it was, a perfect breeding ground. He suggested we all look around the block for standing water and dump it right away. He also said they would drive w/ a truck in the neighborhood and spray. He sprayed our yard specifically today. . What a great service Hillsborough is providing. They will come and spray other's yard if requested.

Pool Hall

I am raising this comment to a post of its own:

"Question - Would anyone in the 'hood patronize a local and CLEAN billiards/pool hall? "

Supporting Independent Businesses

Sherry's Yesterdaze and Milton's Now and Again II are members of TIBA. You can register for the drawings there




Including a $1000 shopping spree at Nature’s Harvest





Check out our web site at CELEBRATE INDEPENDENTS WEEK



Including a $1000 shopping spree at Nature’s Harvest





Check out our web site at

June 12, 2006 (Tampa, Fla.) – The Tampa Independent Business Alliance (TIBA) invites the community to celebrate locally owned businesses by joining in the nationwide observance of the fifth annual Independents Week, July 1 - 7.

“Independents Week is Tampa’s chance to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and local self-reliance personified by the rich community of businesses that keep Tampa authentic, “ said Carla Jimenez, TIBA President and co-owner of Inkwood Books in Tampa. “TIBA invites residents and visitors alike to take note of the personal attention, community investment, and broader choices offered by local businesses, as we show our appreciation for their support with events and sales and thousands of dollars in prize giveaways.”

Independents Week originated in 2001, when Jimenez enlisted favorite independent retailers and restaurants for a weeklong cooperative promotion of their unique contributions to the community. Independents Week is now observed nationwide by dozens of independent business alliances and main street coalitions, national organizations (including the American Booksellers Association, the Council of Independent Restaurants of America, and the Association of Specialty Toy Retailers of America), and numerous individual businesses.

This year’s Independents Week promotions will launch with a TIBA Expo on June 24 from noon until 4 p.m. on the front patio at Nature’s Harvest Market, 1021 North MacDill Ave, with information and materials from TIBA and its members. The festivities will continue with a free “Rock It All Night Long” concert and fundraiser, featuring the sounds of The Bacardi Boys, on June 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Old Hyde Park Village. While these events promote buying locally during Independents Week, TIBA’s goal is to inspire buyers to habitually “put their money where their house is.”

TIBA is an affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), part of the national movement to reverse the trend of national chains displacing locally owned businesses - from the well-known struggles of bookstores, hardware stores, and restaurants, to newer chains affecting dentists and massage therapists. “We are unified as independent businesses to educate consumers on the power of their purchases,” said David Taylor, co-owner of Nature’s Harvest Market. “Your buying power can create either a unique community of individual businesses or a rubberstamped city of chains.”

Since each independent business has only a lone voice in the business sector, their importance is amplified when unified with other independents. That is why Taylor and other members of TIBA have generously donated thousands of dollars in gift certificates and prizes to reward local shoppers during Independents Week. The extensive prize list includes a $1,000 shopping spree at Nature’s Harvest Market. The community can enter to win these terrific prizes at any TIBA member business - like Vinyl Fever on Henderson Blvd., Mise en Place Restaurant on Kennedy Blvd., and Serendipity Accents and Gifts on Davis Island. A full list of members is online at

“Let’s keep Tampa a vibrant town,” said Ellen Brown, co-owner of downtown’s Old Tampa Book Company. “Independents Week is our chance to recognize that Tampa can continue to grow as an attractive city of locally owned, independent businesses.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cottage Living is missing Seminole Heights

Another email:
" Here's a link to an article from Cottage Living about the 10 best "cottage" communities. Kenwood made it, not Sem. Hts....rats!!

I love what was written about Kenwood's business district. Click on the Kenwood, St. Petersburg link",21135,1195459,00.html

Becky Clower

As I posted before Rebecca and Keith Clower are moving to Costa Rica on October 27.

She has accepted a job offer to open up a ReMax office in Playa Brasilito (near Tamarindo for those who are familiar with Costa Rica) on the Pacific Coast. Her new website will be: (which is under construction) and will be the remax site. Her mother is from Costa Rica, "which is my tie to the Spanish language and the country of Costa Rica. I hope that anyone who is looking for investment property, whether is be investment, or second homes, think of me if your plans bring you to central America! "

"With that being said, I wanted to let you know that I WILL BE working up until a couple weeks before my move. Tager Realty has hired Mike Kiely, a new agent, who I have been training to help you all! . . . . Mike will be working with me until I leave and then he'll be taking over where I left off

The Springs both of them

From Sherry King

"The Tower That Grease & Sodium Built

(My rant for the week)

Is anyone else bothered by the new Sulphur Springs MacDonalds putting a tower on their building?

I drove by yesterday and saw the new tower and it made me mad or maybe sad, not sure which. Why is a corporation (or anyone for that matter) permitted to cheapen a beautiful historic site? Did they have to get permission to do this?

I had read somewhere, when this renovation started, that MacDonald’s was planning to pay tribute to the tower by building one on their building. At the time it didn’t strike me as anything bad, however, I wasn’t moved by their attempt to woo us with their neighborhood spirit.

I feel the original Sulphur Springs Tower is cheapened by this. This smacks of ‘Disneyism’ where anything sacred can be recreated for our entertainment.

It just seems wrong."

Previous post on the subject

60 years

From a reader:

Thought some of your readers might want to know the end of this story.

Very ugly crash scene."

"According to court testimony, Outlaw was fresh from a night out in Ybor City with his girlfriend and a friend in June 2004. He was behind the wheel of his Honda Civic and possibly under the influence of drugs and alcohol, police said.

Bell, 29, was on his way home from a motorcycle event in Ybor City, riding with his cousin.
While stopped at a red light at 22nd Street and Hillsborough Avenue, Outlaw argued with Bell about his driving.

Outlaw drove around the corner, and Bell followed him. Outlaw got out of his car, and a second confrontation ensued.
. . . .
Enraged, Outlaw chased Bell down Powhatan Avenue. Bell slowed as he reached Nebraska Avenue, and Outlaw hit him from behind, police said.

The impact sent the motorcycle crashing through a wooden fence and into the pond of a two-story blue house at the southwest corner of Powhatan and Nebraska.

Bell landed on the sidewalk at the corner, his helmet still on, witnesses said. Outlaw's car crashed into a utility pole."
. . .
"On Monday, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Barbara Fleischer . . . sentenced him to 60 years in prison."


From Evelyn City via Grid 58NW
1. (Emsailed on Monday) "Last night, after 9:00, my roommate's car was impaled in the trunk with a broken real estate sign. I have not confirmed this yet, but I believe it to be the sign from the corner of 10th and Flora. The perpetrators left the post behind the car on the ground. We initially looked at 13th and Flora, and the sign their was broken. As we walked back down to 12th and Flora. . . , however, we found another broken real estate holder was impaled through my neighbors back window of their car.

If anyone has seen anything suspicious, please inform the police. A report has been filed. I am not sure someone could have physically done this alone. The post through my neighbors car was pushed in with such force that it broke in half with the front landing between the seats.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Grid 58NW
2. (Emailed today) We also had a SUV car window that was smashed last night on 600 block of West Henry

SE Sem Hts Email
3. (Emailed on Monday) L.... and I are having the wood floors redone, so we have moved our furniture into the garage and are forced to park outside. Last night, someone attempted to break in to his car. It appears all they were able to do was slice the top, I am assuming the alarm went off and they fled. Since the steering column was not broken, all TPD could do is file it as a criminal mischief. So now, I get to pay the deductible and higher insurance premiums due to filing a claim...gotta love it. (9th and New Orleans area)


Another blog out of Seminole heights - Michelle Ramer of the east Ola area has a blog called JustSalt.Net She loves snacks "Any kind of chip, pickle, chip, chip, chip." Her email address is friedpickel@... Give her visit.


Seminole heights handyman has an interesting rewiring story

Lake Roberta's Looks

With all of the rain Lake Roberta is looking at lot better. There are a lot of ducks and birds there, more than I have ever seen before.

Edison Elem becomes a C student

In the Tribune an article about some of the school and their FCAT grades.

"Among Central Tampa schools, Edison Elementary in Southeast Seminole Heights made the biggest leap, from an F to a C. "

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dog Grooming?

Try Superior Grooming 6114 N Central Ave (corner of Hanna) 238.PETS (7387)
Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 7:30AM to 6:00PM Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Mark Gaesser, Owner/Professional Groomer Caren Tully-Gaesser, Owner/Salon Manager

8th of July Giddens Park Hots Dogs Event

From a flyer I found at the Giddens Dog Park

"Bring your 4 legged friends for food, fun and fetching. The spaks start at 10:00 aM and go until the last pup is pooped. Meet and greet other dogs fro mthe neighborhood as you get to know the owners. Entrance is free, but one food item is suggested. So sit stay, and shake hands and you just may get a treat. Please R.S.V.P"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sad News

Tina Russo, the head librarian at the Seminole Library, and a Seminole Heights resident, is moving to another library. More details as I get them.

Dog Park

Southeast Seminole Heights has a dog park next to the Katheryn Malone Center, across from Giddens Park at 12th and Frierson.

It's a great little park that could be duplicated most areas.

Recently a bunch of the park dog devotees had a dog picnic, bringing hot dogs along with thier dogs.

My only concern about the dog park is fleas. Does the city treat for fleas? If not perhaps we ought to see about getting the park treated using natural methods. We have had a pest cotnrol company called Earth's Best come over and give us a quote on treating our yard. I am not sure what they use for outdoor treatment but indoors the use believe they use Diatomaceous Earth to treat for fleas.

"DE is composed of finely milled fossilized shells of minuscule organisms called diatoms. The microscopically fine, sharp edges desiccate the insects' exoskeleton upon contact and the pests dehydrate and die within hours. The insects also die when they eat the dust. "

There are different types. One version is used in swimming poo filters and should not be used for flea treatments due to other chemicals mixed in. There are FDA approved versions for fleas.

Perhaps the outdoor treatment are nematodes

I also wonder if we could use rain barrel technology to create an irrigation system. The park was starting to become dirt by the entrance area. It we watered it during dry season using large rain barrels perhaps it would stay grassy.

55 gallon drums would not be enough but perhaps 4 of the large square containers (275 gallon IBC totes) might work.

David E. West Park

City Dedicates New Park in Honor of Community Activist

Something I was remiss in not commenting about. The City of Tampa has created a new park honoring community activist David E. West. It will be dedicated by "Mayor Pam Iorio, Councilman Shawn Harrison and members of the community on Friday, June 30, at 10 a.m.Amenities such as a mulch-jogging path, play equipment, swings, picnic tables and benches were added to a six-acre stormwater facility, located at 2212 E. 97th Avenue, to create a new neighborhood park."

David was a good friend to Seminole Heights, in helping us deal with our prostitution and other crime issues.

The Picnic Is Cancelled

Per Helen Harmon and Randy Baron today's Old Seminole Heights picnic is cancelled. The rain date is to be announced.

As I write this the rain is just pouring down. Flooding everywhere. I have seen several arks floating by.

Too bad. I know many people were looking forward to it (including IFly)

So tell everyone you know. It's off for now but will be on at another time.

The Unperson

I'm sorry, but I could not help but think; Does the Unperson drink the Uncola?

Here is another one of my anti scientology rants. Skip it if you are tired of the subject.

Read the whole article and the side bars and and

The unperson
Scientologists who cross their religion can be declared suppressive persons, shunned by peers and ostracized by family.
By ROBERT FARLEY, Times Staff Writer
Published June 25, 2006

Religions have always penalized those who betray the cause.

Catholics excommunicate, barring the wayward from church rites. The Amish, Jehovah's Witnesses and some orthodox Jewish sects shun their nonconformists.

In the Tampa Bay area's burgeoning Scientology community, members abide by a policy considered by some religious experts extreme: Scientologists declare their outcasts "suppressive persons."

Another Scientology policy - called "disconnection" - forbids Scientologists from interacting with a suppressive person. No calls, no letters, no contact.

An SP is a pariah. Anyone who communicates with an SP risks being branded an SP himself.

This is the organization that Rev. Charles L. Kennedy has allied himself and his parishioners.

"The Seminole Heights mission is just 2 miles from the Glorious Church of God in Christ in East Tampa, where the Rev. Charles L. Kennedy has arranged for his congregants to be trained by Scientologists to teach Hubbard's scholastic and drug treatment techniques to residents in the predominantly black neighborhood. It's an unusual, if not unheard of, alliance between a Christian church in the Tampa Bay area and Scientology."

Is Rev. Kennedy has Judas or a Quisling? Is he leading his people down the road to Scientology? His congregation that trusts in him? Is he a closet Scientologist? Or is he just naive?

Well dear Unpeople. We will welcome you in Seminole Heights as a person and you don't have to pay thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. Just eat at Bo's Ice Cream or the Tacobus or Front Porch or Frida's or Nicko;s or 3 Coins or go to a porch party or a home tour and voila your personhood haxs been returned. We will welcome you into the family of Seminole Heights.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Blogging at the highest Seminole Heights

Yet again, another blog takes off from Seminole Heights.

Welcome to An Otter World created by IFly.

"I fly a research aircraft that supports projects including marine mammal research, fisheries management, coastal surveying and coral reef study. I moved to Seminole Heights in Fall of 2005 and recently created this blog to document some of the interesting places and sights I've seen. "

Aaah cool!

More about IFly

" Anyway, I was born in Tampa in the 70's, moved around the Southeast a bit, and graduated high school in the Panhandle. I spent some time as a wildland firefighter(Forest Ranger for FL DoF) in Central Florida before going back to college. I graduated USF and found the job I have now. It's been great It's allowed me to spend time aboard research ships(I might post some old pics of those times occasionally as well), live all over the country and now fulfill my dream of becoming a pilot. I recently bought a historic(relatively speaking) bungalow in Seminole Heights in Tampa. The home was in great shape but we still have plans for estoring/remodelling. I might mention some of that along the way as well as any commentary I might have on other topics of interest. Enough about me, I will post some more about my time in Oregon soon."

Maybe he can post some aerial photos of Seminole Heights if he is in a position to take them.

Help a displaced New Orleans Trumpet player and Vietnam Vet

An email I received from Toni Beddingfield:

April Griffith gave me your name to contact regarding a search for a garage apartment for a displaced New Orleans trumpet player…wonderful musician, New Orleans native…he has been playing the trumpet since was nine years old. After Katrina you can imagine the rest. He is a hard worker, Vietnam vet, and just wants to get his life on track again. He is willing to do handyman work in exchange for a place to stay if that would help. He is staying at one of my family member’s garage apartment but it will not be available after this week. He is playing a few times here and there (“Skippers” is helping him get started).

April thought there might be a garage apartment available somewhere in Seminole Heights. I also know Pat Kemp if you need an added reference for my reliability. I would appreciate any help you could give him.

To help, email Toni.

Wasteland of the Free

A lyrical commentary by Iris Dement.

There is an interesting side story to this.

In 1997 then Replublican state Senator John Grant was able to engineer the cut of a $104,000 state grant that WMNF had. He did this because he had gotten ticked off about the lyrics of this song. After WMNF told its listeners about the political knifing by Grant, in one day they raised $120,000 to make up for the cut in funding.

Other commentary about the incident.

(c) 1996 Songs of Iris ASCAP

Living in the wasteland of the free...

We got preachers dealing in politics and diamond mines
and their speech is growing increasingly unkind
They say they are Christ's disciples
but they don't look like Jesus to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don't tell me they don't turn around and kiss them peoples' ass
You may call me old-fashioned
but that don't fit my picture of a true democracy
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got CEO's making two hundred times the workers' pay
but they'll fight like hell against raising the minimum wage
and If you don't like it, mister, they'll ship your job
to some third-world country 'cross the sea
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Living in the wasteland of the free
where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

We got little kids with guns fighting inner city wars
So what do we do, we put these little kids behind prison doors
and we call ourselves the advanced civilization
that sounds like crap to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got high-school kids running 'round in Calvin Klein and Guess
who cannot pass a sixth-grade reading test
but if you ask them, they can tell you
the name of every crotch on mTV
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We kill for oil, then we throw a party when we win
Some guy refuses to fight, and we call that the sin
but he's standing up for what he%2

Friday, June 23, 2006

Southeast Seminoole Heights December Home Tour Recruitment

If you live in Old Seminole Heights read the info about their Home Tour recruitment.

If you live in Southeast Seminole Heights read below.

If you are a business anywhere consider advertising in both Home Tours as they reach thousands of people.

If you live in South Seminole Heights, see if you can push forward with the plans for a Garden Tour.

Note about both tours. Bungalows are not the only houses on the tours. It's great to see other style houses. A New Millennial Home was on the tour a couple of years ago. Very interesting.


Do you want to be part of an annual SE Seminole Heights tradition? Do you love the character and charm of your home and want to share this with others? Have you or are you planning to restore, renovate, or redo something in your house that you want to showcase?

Do you want to help SE Seminole Heights create continued awareness and great publicity for this great neighborhood of ours? Do you want to help raise money for the Giddens Park gazebo?

Can you spare just a few hours to help volunteer for a great cause? Do you want to meet more of your neighbors and have a great time doing it?

Be part of one of the most successful and talked about home tours in Tampa…The 3rd annual Southeast Seminole Heights Holiday Home & Garden Tour!

Date: Sunday, December 3, 2006
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM

This annual event has helped to put SE Seminole Heights on the map. Not only have hundreds of people come to view our beautiful homes and community, but several of the local newspapers have embraced the tour and published wonderful stories about the people, spaces, and places that make up this great neighborhood.

The neighborhood needs you! Let’s work together to make the 2006 Home Tour the best one yet! We are looking for:

-People who would like to host the tour by putting their home on display

-People who can volunteer during the home tour by helping to coordinate, staff, and provide overall support. Don’t worry, this is not a major commitment. Even a small amount of time is appreciated!

-People or businesses who would like to sponsor certain Home Tour elements or advertise in the tour brochure

If you are interested in showcasing your home (or can nominate someone who may be a good candidate), please click on this link to send us information:

If you are willing to volunteer, are interested in sponsorship/advertising opportunities (or know a business that may be), or simply have questions about this event, please ">email and include your name, address, and phone number. A member of the Home Tour committee will contact you with further information.

Crack Question

What is the best way to fill cracks/gaps between floorboards when there is no subfloor? Wood putty? Bondo?

Seminole Heights Airforce

Susan saw this tonight.

Old Seminole Heights Home Tour Nominations



That’s right - it’s time to crank up the home tour machine for the 2007 version.

The Nomination Period is Now Officially Open!

The OSHNA home tour committee would like to invite you, our friends and neighbors to look around your slice of heaven and nominate a home for the

9th Annual Old Seminole Heights Home Tour
Sunday, April 1, 2007

Take a walk and make a list of the homes you can’t wait to see on the tour. Remember, the committee is looking for 12 homes that represent all aspects of the neighborhood in all areas of the neighborhood – it doesn’t have to be historic to be on the tour (bonus points if it’s not a bungalow!!)

If you are the owner please forward:
Name: ____________________________________
Address: __________________________________________
Contact Info: (phone and e-mail) __________________________________

If the home you are nominating is your neighbors then please forward the home’s address – we’ll contact the owner for you.

E-mail your nomination or use old fashion snail mail to: OSHNA Home Tour Committee, PO Box 360022, Tampa, Fl 33673-0022

For additional information please contact Greg Barnhill at 239-2070.

To be a part of this great committee please e-mail or call the above contacts and let us know – we’ll save a seat for ya!

Weekend Activities

Two things going on in Seminole Heights this weekend.

1. Saturday, June 24 from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M. Tampa Antiquarian Books is hosting a book signing by J.B. Preston for his novel "Autumn Under The Papagalos"

Also "Jane Powell's new book BUNGALOW DETAILS: INTERIOR just arrived today (finally!!) --and Paul Duchscherer's Along Bungalow Lines"

2. OSHNA 2nd Annual Picnic
(Last Year's Picnic and photos)

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, your picnic basket and a dish to share at the 2nd Annual Summer Picnic on the banks of the beautiful Hillsborough River!

Sunday, June 25th from 6pm - 8pm

Epps Park @ 350 W. North St.

Entertainment provided by Southbound Bluegrass Band Street

parking available (no bathrooms at this location)

Ellicott Geyser photos

Here are the photos

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The deceit of Scientology

More commentary and fair use:

Well, in today's mail I get an autographed copy (by Isaac Hayes) of "The Way to Happiness - A Common Sense Guide to Better Living"

There is a label on the back that says" Mission of Old Tampa Bay Church of Scientology". Below it is the following:

"This is the first non-religious moral code based wholly on common sense. It was written by L. Ron Hubbard as an individual work and is not part of any religious doctrine. Any reprinting or individual distribution of it does not infer connection with or sponsorship of any religious organization. It is therefore admissible for government departments and employees to distribute it as a nonreligious activity."

Let's see: L. Ron Hubbard starts this organization called "The CHURCH of Scientology" that is recognized as a church by the IRS. L. Ron Hubbard wrote this book. The book is sent to me by the Church of Scientology, but it says it is not a religious activity.

This is deceit.

Interesting article
Religion or racket

"If you ask legal scholars to classify Scientology, the consensus judgment is quite clear, and numerous legal scholars as well as judges clearly feel that there is something illicit and sinister about it. They are not just skeptical about its claims, but make decisive judgment calls and remain decidedly unconvinced that it is entitled to the religion label. John J. Foster, a British jurist charged with investigating it (1971), gave us the definitive study of Scientology, based solely on the organization's own writings, and nothing else. His conclusions, which seem to have been ignored by NRM scholars, were that Scientology can only claim to offer a system of psychotherapy, and as such should be regulated. Its only aim, he found, was to produce profits. Any claims of Scientology to be a religion were ridiculed, and many of its fraudulent acts were exposed in this report. "

Emails to the blog

Many people email me with questions or with comments and often I use them in the blog.
However I do not feel comfortable mentioning the person's name unless I have express permission. When you email me and it is okay to mention your name on the blog please let me know in the email.

Anyone missing some dogs?

From Helen Harmon:

Helen, I hope that you can send this info around. Found three dogs meandering around Henry and Powhattan/13th -15th. Two mostly white shepherd mixes and one brown shepherd mix. No tags. One looks pregnant. I am afraid they have been dumped but hopefully somebody recognizes them or saw who left them here in our neighborhood. I have them in my backyard and have contacted Animal Services. I will also post this on the Hampton Terrace website as well. My contact info is this email address. Thanks - Marissa

I've got happeee feet!!

An email I received:

Today I tried out a new business in the neighborhood.

I had a pedicure at A'Diva Nails & More at 5705 N. Nebraska Ave. (in the shopping center between Stop & Go [I think that's the name] and China Garden).

I get pedicures on a regular basis, and I'll to save money on this little luxury in my life. I usually have to pay between $25 - $30 for them. Well, I was curious about A'Diva, since they are right around the corner from my home. They have a big banner out front with their prices posted.
" $15 pedicure!!! "

So I checked them out today, and am very happy to report that it was wonderful. I met Suan (pronounced soo-ann) the owner, and she was very cordial. They've been open just 3 weeks now. She owns another nail salon near Citus Park Mall. Right now it's just Suan and one other woman working, but she will bring in more techs as the need arises. The place was clean, fully equipped. Another nice feature they have, I've never encountered get your very own new plastic case to house the brush, files, etc used on you, put your name on it, leave it in the shop and it is there to be used on you the next time you go in.

It's very selfish reasons that I share this info.....I want them to do well so they can stay and continue their service and reasonable prices, close to home!

They do manicures, of course, facial massage, waxing, permanent makeup...and so on. Walk ins welcome, Mon. - Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Kevin White seeking to save Hillsborough Ave.Albertsons

I ran into Tampa City Council member Kevin White last night as I was walking Ella.

It was nice to see that he mows his own lawn.

We got to talking and apparently he is trying to see if Tampa can convince Albertsons not to close the store at Hillsborough and 22nd. He has or is going to send a letter to the President of Albertsons asking for a reconsideration. He is advising them about the potential of the many new customers when the Meridian Pointe Apartments are completed. He is looking into whether tax incentive money can be used. (Heck if the Glazers can benefit from CIT funds -an Albertsons that serve a needy community should have some incesntives). I might have gotten the details of the incentives wrong.

As I find out details (or read a Kathy Steele story) as to how we can support this, I will post it on the blog. Unless he reads the blog and posts a comment himself

Japan To Invade Tampa (in a good way)

I love tromping around military vessels. Make your 4th of July a different one. Host an officer

I received this email:

Tampa Bay Area is welcoming a JMSDF (Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force) training vessels the first time in the history on July 2nd thru July 6th, 2006. During this time, they will have several cultural exchange events and they will showcase their vessels to the general public.

JMSDF Visit Committee in cooperation with the US Navy League is trying to open homes for newly academy graduted officers for the nights of July 3rd and 4th. They will have 215 training officers (203 males and 12 females) along with 600 crews within 3 vessels.

The purpose for their request for Home Stay is to experience "American Homes and Lifestyles". This is their first official visit to the United States and your participation of being a host family will make a great impact on their naval career ahead of them.

This will be very similar to hosting foreign exchange students and everything has to be supplied on a volunteer basis including accommodations, transportation and food by the host family.

They are asking that families in the Tampa area give them a taste of how we live and share with them the 4th of July and our celebration of Independance.

If anyone would like more information and is interested in helping please contact Skip Witunski, President of the Tampa Navy League, 4256 Golf Club Lane, Tampa 33618.

Sno Biz Treats makes it into the Tribune

Cool, Tasty Treats Now On Hillsborough
SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - When Eric Postell was in college, he ate so much shaved ice that he joked he should open his own business.

The joke turned into reality: Postell is the South Florida distributor for Sno Biz. Two weeks ago, he and his wife, Cindi, opened Sno Biz Treats, 1045 E. Hillsborough Ave., offering 100 flavors of shaved ice, milkshakes, smoothies, ice-blended coffees, flavored teas and 20 flavors of cotton candy.

The store also offers soft serve ice cream, sundaes, cones, dipped cones and root beer floats.
"We just started it with shaved ice and kind of built it up from there," Eric Postell said.

The shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For information, call (813) 494-8500.

Are you missing your van?

A Beige Pontiac Van was found in SE Seminole Heights, in the alley behind a house in the 1100-1200 block of Chelsea. Police have been called on the presumption it was stolen.

Ellicott Street Geyser

This morning walking Ella, I came across the Ellicott Street Geyser. A 4 foot hole in the right away at 1101 E. Ellicott, with a thousands, well maybe hundreds, okay alot, of gallons of water flowing out of it runng into thre storm drain.

Apparently it started out a small hole yesterday. Yesterday, at 1:30 P.M. the homeowner called the Water Department. They reportedly did not seem overly concerned but said they would sent someone out. Well as of 7:15 AM this morning no one had arrived and of course by this time the leak became worse. The road is facing undermining. In this time of water shortage a lot of water is going ot waste. And for those unlucky to be living nearby, and across the street, they had no water to bathe with this morning.

Well TPD was called and as usual they responded quickly. They block off the road to prevent a big truck from collasping the road and raised the water department from their beds.

Photos to come tonight.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Favorite Furniture

Susan's chair

My chair

Siggy's chair

Ella's Love Seat

Yes, this is a home of dog people.

Ola/Henry Neighborhood Crime Watch

Ola/Henry Neighborhood Crime Watch met on June 13 at St. Mary’s Church.

Our area covers Florida Avenue West to Ola. Henry Ave. north to Idlewild.

Discussed were traffic issues; street lights/how to report outages to TECO; National Night Out on August 1. Also discussed was a house located on the northwest corner of Henry & Ola that appears to be abandoned. This house has a pool and a portion of the surrounding fence is down. Code Enforcement is aware of the situation and is following the appropriate protocol to notify the owner. Unfortunately that is taking longer as the property owner’s forwarding address is not valid. The neighborhood is concerned both for crime issues and the possibility of children wandering into the back yard to swim. Please take extra notice of this property and call the police if you see any activity.

Our next meeting will be held Sept 11 at 6:30 pm at St. Mary’s Church, located on Henry Ave. just west of Florida. For additional information please email Ginny Powell

Lorenzo's house up for sale

Home Where Man Brutalized Victims Is For Sale The Tampa Tribune Tue, 20 Jun 2006 10:02 PM PDT TAMPA - The small beige bungalow in Old Seminole Heights, the home where federal authorities say Steven Lorenzo drugged, raped and tortured as many as nine men, can be yours.

I wonder what other houses in Seminole Heights over the years had horrible histories, that have since been forgotten.

Yappy Hour

Seminole Heights Yappy Hour! proudly announces our newest venue for Yappy Hour, Viva La Frida of Seminole Heights! First YH will be held Sunday, June 25th, 4-7PM featuring the music of DJ OMM.

"Patti Paws is a Tampa native who grew up raising and showing horses and dogs. She now resides in Seminole Heights with her husband Paul, two Whippets, a Greyhound and a Pit Bull Terrier. After moving North to follow a career in music promotion in 1996, Patti volunteered with Greyhound rescues and the activists (GREY2K) trying to bring dog racing in Massachusetts to an end. She organized a music fundraiser for GREY2K called "Greasers for Greyhounds" that featured Rockabilly bands and a vintage car show to showcase the slogan "Race Cars, Not Dogs!" In 2001, she returned to her hometown and began to explore ways to combine her favorite things, music and dogs once again."

"In Boston there were cafes and patios a plenty where your dogs could come along and chill out while you had coffee or lunch. There was nowhere in Tampa to just hang out with other people and their dogs that didn't involve the chaos of dog parks or fundraising sponsorship events. Where could you go with your dog that exercised them mentally and socially with other dogs without overstimulation?
The idea of Yappy Hour is simple, engage your dog in an activity with other dogs while still on leash and under control. This stable environment encourages mental exercise leading to better manners for your pooch. When dogs are loose in the dog park, there is constant chaos, from one dog picking fights, to owners content to talk to others while their dog runs wild, maniacally knocking others dogs down. A famous dog behavioralist once said, "You don't teach your child table manners at Chuck E Cheese's". This is true for dogs as well. Also, a new element was coming into the dog world, the ownership of ever smaller dogs who go everywhere with their owners, yet never learn proper manners. Even these little ones need a place to socialize with different dogs. Most owners don't have an ideal place with other calm dogs to practice what they learn in obedience class. These are the factors that brought Yappy Hour into being.
In 2004, Patti approached the owner of New World Brewery with the idea for Yappy Hour. The first YH was held in Oct 2004 and was a huge success! Since then Yappy Hour has continued every month at New World Brewery. Gourmet treats, homemade dog ice cream and even local musicians to provide low-key acoustic entertainment are the staples of YH. We even have drawings for door prizes for each dog that comes in. Anyone who feels like they could use a little help socializing their dog is welcome to ask Patti for advice or tips to make a YH experience the best it can be. Our canine regulars are proving that they can accompany their owners to social events and know how to behave. Come and check out the furry fun and see why Yappy Hour has become Tampa's #1 Bark of the Bay!"

Redner's daughter and ex-wife arrested in Seminole heights

According to the Trib, Joe Redner's daughter Reyline Charelle Redner (36) and exwife Bonnie Worbington, (49) were arrested for prostitution at New Orleans and Nebraska at 1:30 aM.

"Reyline Redner, who is HIV-positive, was also charged with criminal transmission of HIV, a third-degree felony. " She "was released from state prison in February for convictions for criminal transmission of HIV, aggravated assault and cocaine possession. "

Redner's response was honest:

"Redner said this morning he was struggling with the arrest. “I’m not doing too good,” he said. “My daughter is in trouble.” "

"Redner said his daughter has a long history of drug and alcohol problems, and has been in treatment programs at leave five times. The problems started when she was in her 20s, Redner said.

“It just won’t work,” Redner said. “She’s been in jail four or five times. Of course, there’s no treatment there. I believe she has some kind of mental problem. I don’t understand it.”

Redner said his daughter takes medication but said she isn’t diligent about taking it.

Redner said he has been protecting his daughter’s three children from her for years.

He said he has bonded her out of jail in the past but he has stopped doing so the last few times, and he refuses to do so today.

“She refuses to do the right thing,” Redner said. “I don’t think I can subject the public to her. I don’t approve of anything she does.”

Redner confirmed his daughter is HIV positive and has been for years. She has not developed AIDS, Redner said.

“I don’t want it to sound like I’m protecting her or against her,” Redner said. “It’s just a sad, sad state of affairs.” "

Both apparently have been Seminole Heights residents: According to the HCSO website, Worbington was also arrested for possession in 2005 while living at 6110 N. Nebraska. When Reyline was arrested in 2002 she was living at 104 W. Hillsborough.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Seminole Heights History

From Tampa Bay History Center via Sticks of Fire "seminole heights to get four bungalows"

Seminole Heights resident to be charged in death

According to the Times, A Dover resident,Margaret L. Caouette, dies when Seminole Heights resident Nicole Harris Hall ran a stop sign on Wheeler Road, slamming her 2002 Ford Taurus into the side of Caouette's car.

"Hall faced charges of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence manslaughter and DUI with property damage, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said."

"Hall, 32, of 1217 E Idlewild Ave., was taken to the hospital. Information about her condition was not available Monday."

"Hall also faced a charge of obstructing an officer because she gave deputies a false name, they said.

"At the time of the accident, Hall was wanted on forgery charges in Alachua County, Carter said.
Hall was arrested in 2003 by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, accused of a scheme to defraud, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. She pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to five years of probation, records show."


The Kash and Karry at MLK and Nebraska will be a Sweetbay. We will see if the one at Waters and Florida will close.

Here is an interesting article on some of the challenges Sweetbay faces with its staff and attitude.
Poor customer service and a dirty store have been some of the biggest complaints about the MLK store.

"Such histrionics, part of a recent Sweetbay employee training night, were less about stirring up competitive juices and more about convincing the grocery chain's workers that they need to get more passionate - fast - about customer service."

""If we don't deliver with attentive employees that shoppers trust and want to interact with, none of it's going to matter," "

"We expect our people to engage the customer, acknowledge their presence, strike up a conversation with them and take responsibility to help them.""

"It's all a dramatic change for a company that for years enforced rigid rules, encouraged workers to wait for raises by staying in the same jobs and offered customers a store experience that has been at best uneven."

"The program is designed to weed out those unwilling to go along for the ride. The hints are easy to spot."

Lets see what happens.

Missing Beagle

Please be on the look out for this lost dog.

"I lost my dog Baxter, Monday between 9am-2pm. He has no collar, 35 lbs, tri-color (brown,white,black) black tail with a white tip, white feet, He disappeared from 1202 East Comanche Ave.

Marc Carbotte.

email me or put put info in a comment or go by their house.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Would Phil Alessi Rent to the Church of the Avenger

More commentary on Scientology:

In the recent St. Pete Times article, Phil Alessi says that "his decision to rent the building to James does not reflect on his views of Scientology.

"I'm not for or against it,'' Alessi said. "It's just a business decision.''

I'm curious. Does that means he would rent to anyone? No matter what they believed? Would he have rented to Charles Eidson and the anti-semitic Church of the Avenger?

I wonder how he would feel about renting to rent to this oganization if Seminole Heights residents protested that decision in front of Alessi's Bakery? With news media coverage?

The unfunny truth

Ella, after a long day at work!

Double Rainbow Over Seminole Heights

Burglar on Hillsborough Avenue

From an email in the SESH email group:


Tampa, FL June 16, 2006 -

Tampa, FL June 14, 2006

Victim: Pacific Car Stereo, 1115 E. Hillsborough Ave. Tampa, FL

Suspect: Daniel Sanchez, DOB: 01/30/1986, 3221 Utah Dr. Deltona, FL 32738

Charges: Burglary/VOP Burglary and Possession of Cocaine

Tampa Police Officers captured a suspect in response to a tip on recent robberies along the Hillsborough Ave. Corridor.

Tampa Police Detectives provided important information that led officers to plan ahead and deploy an operation to capture these burglars on Wednesday, June 14.

Officers observed a suspect casing the businesses as he walked eastbound on Hillsborough Ave. Later the suspect used a pocket knife to break into a storage shed behind the Treat Center. The suspect walked further down Hillsborough Ave. and attempted to pry open a window outside Pacific Car Stereo. The suspect could not break open the window and attempted to flee the scene when he was arrested.

Tampa Police charged the suspect with burglary and possession of cocaine.

Josh Adkins
Tampa Police Department

Kash and Karry to close?

According to an email on the Lowry Park CCA email group, reportedly "the Kash n Karry at Waters & Florida will close forever. What are the folks in the JL Young apartments going to do?"

That was not a very nice store the last time I went into it.

Vampire Neighbors

A myspace blogger who lives in Seminole Heights, Adelaide, writes about having neighbors who only wake up at midnight.

"Turns out the whole family has reversed their schedule. The house is completely quiet until about midnight, Mom rolls up, everybody bails out and the place explodes with activity. Mom shrieking at the kids, music blasting, friends coming in and out, altercations in the driveway.
The driveway about 10 feet from my bedroom window."

My neighbor worked the night shift for years but things were always quiet at night. The only way you could tell she was up was the cooking smell at 4am (she makes great sweet potato pies.)

Insurance Horror Story

More on the Insurer of Last Resort

From a reader:

I have a very long winded account of the state of our state run insurance company that your readers might be interested in. Since it is the insurer of last resort - most of the homeowners in the area are forced to deal with them simply due to the age and construction of their homes and they could very easily end up in my position.


G. B.

My wife and I purchased our home in Seminole Heights back in March. As everyone knows, Citizens is the only homeowner's insurance that will cover houses of this age and construction. Why? Got me, these houses are built far more reliably than anything KB or Lennar is throwing up in the suburbs.

On May 31, we received a letter from Citizen's stating that our insurance would be cancelled effective June 17. The reason? The condition of our roof – described in the inspection report with the highly descriptive term "aging". The insurer of last resort in this state was canceling my policy over a vaguery.

As luck would have it, we'd already made arrangements to have the roof replaced – well, luck may not be the proper word for this situation. We took before and after pictures of the roof, provided them to Citizen's along with the work order and invoice for the roof by June 2 nd. Should be plenty of time and enough to show that the "aging" roof was no longer and issue, right? Oh no, the fun just begins at that point.

On June 5th I was told that I needed to provide a letter, from myself to Citizen's stating that the entire roof had been replaced. ?? Wouldn't the invoice and before and after pictures be adequate proof of that? So, I wrote a one-sentence letter stating exactly what they asked for and emailed it. June 6th, "we need a letter from the contractor stating that he replaced the entire roof". OK, now with a work order, pictures, invoice, and letter from myself they now need a letter from the contractor? What's next, a note from my mom? They received the letter via email on June 7 th.

On June 14th, I contacted my insurance agent – fully expecting everything to be cleared up. One would think that a full workweek since the last communication and every piece of proof that they requested provided to them post haste would be plenty of time to get this through the system. No No No No No, on the 14 th it was still in underwriting. On the 15th it was still in underwriting and the probable outcome was going to be that the case would not be settled by close of business on the 16th, leaving my policy to expire at midnight on the 17th.

Not to worry though, IF all of the evidence shows that I've replaced my roof, they'll reinstate the policy as if it had never been canceled. There was no possibility of extending the cancellation date, but I could rest assured that if everything came out OK, I'd be reinstated. Why do I not have a warm fuzzy feeling about that? What happens if my house burns down while they're still reviewing my policy and they feel that they need more evidence to support the fact that I have a new roof? "Sorry, I can't give you that, my house burned down, the roof is gone".

June 16th, neither of the letters that I emailed to Citizen's was signed, so they are therefore invalid and I will need to provide new copies with signatures. Providing new copies will not postpone the cancellation, but I still need to provide them.

So, it's June 17th, and I'm sitting in my uninsured home, considering what kind of damage control I need to do with my mortgage company to keep them from pushing their own, high cost/low coverage policy on me – or worse, foreclosure.

The worst part of all of this is that the only reason for this happening is Citizen's failure to act in a timely manner. Any item that they asked for, they received within 12 hours of the request. They have had all of the requested information in hand since June 7 th, yet could not manage to act on the situation. Why am I reminded of the employee of a State agency that I used to provide telecommunications service for, who's phone did not work for 3 months, but never reported it because it would mean more work for her once it was fixed? This is what happens when you let the state run a private company. The inefficiency is maddening.

Dave Roosa dies

Long Time WMNF Volunteer Dave Roosa dies. Dave lived on Caracas in SE Sem. Hts.

"Here's a collection of comments about our dear friend and colleague, and a S.E. Seminole Heights resident, Dave Roosa, who passed away this week. He was such a special person to many of us. There is a picture of Dave on the WMNF website:

As you can read, he was such a hard working behind-the-scenes person at the radio station. The attached is some rememberances from others at WMNF who also worked with and loved Dave."

"Dave was our Heatwave site coordinator, and for many years a mainstay of volunteerism here at WMNF. He served as a volunteer rep on the Board of Directors for several years.

What a loss to all of us! I am only happy that Dave lived the life that he wanted to live, a life that he always said made him happy. I had the pleasure of serving with Dave on the Board and the Volunteer Committee. His contributions were always on target, reflecting the WMNF mission. I remember talking to him on his birthday last fall, after an all station meeting. He told me that he was so happy. He was going to New York to celebrate, had had a wonderful party, and was living close to the station - one of his dreams. He said that he looked upon every day that he had (and had had) since his last heart attack and surgery as a gift, and that he was so lucky to be able to do a job he loved and give time and energy to the station he loved. He will be so missed by all of us - we can only hope he can hear WMNF in a happy place in the sky.

This Feb., WMNF held their Rockabilly Ruckus. Dave Roosa, drove his "car show" to the ruckus. He was so proud of his car and so excited to show it off.I remember that moment. He was so happy.

The first time I met Dave was at a tropical heatwave. He and Pat were there . That was the year Mark Barroso was still taking charge of the Labor crew . After Mark moved to the Carolinas, Dave came to a tropical heatwave meeting. It was there, with his notebook and smile, (can't remember if he was wearing his trademark vest, with all his pins.)At that meeting, he volunteered to take over Mark's job. In charge of the Labor crew at Tropical heatwave.He organized that area, plus took on additional areas of Heatwave. He communicated with many people at heatwave (before and after.).Tropical Heatwave was successful because of Dave Roosa and his friendly organization of working with volunteers. He was loved by many.

Last night, I went to see him at the Hospital. I told him that many people sent their wishes and love. I know he heard me.

He will be greatly missed. His smiles, his stories and his love. He loved WMNF.

On Tropical Heatwave Eve(May 19) he stopped by to give me a pair of shoes.. They were Silver shoes.

I saw him at tropical heatwave this year. He was holding hands with Pat and smiling. Telling me he was having such a wonderful time. You know if you ever worked with him, he would always answer his phone with "Dave's not here." and laugh.

Well, Dave you will always be here and always be in our WMNF hearts. We thank Dave Roosa for the many years and dedication and love he gave WMNF. Peace and Love go out to his Family. Esp. Pat.

He was a friend of mine.

I have many fond memories od Dave. Working with him at Tropical Heatwave and talking about music. But my most vivid memory is of seeing him at many past Tropical Heatwaves, late in the afternoon, clean & fresh, his setup work done, a smile on his face and looking forward to a great evening of music.

I'll never be able to listen to Jon Cleary, that wonderful Cape Verdean music, the gospel of Rance Allen or Joe 'King' Carrasco again without thinking of him.

You'll be missed my friend

Oh Dave,

How sad I am that you have left us. I know in my heart that you are in a better place - one filled with light, love and music, but the loss is still hard to reconcile. My love to Pat. How do you say goodbye to a life partner?

I bought a silly card, one I thought would make you chuckle, and left it for you at the hospital. I didn't want to intrude on your privacy. Who would've thought you wouldn't pull through? I mean, you're Dave!

You were always there whenever we needed you. Always. And always with a great big smile, and a hug to match. Our years together on the Board, and countless committees, were where I got to know you best. You were a man of character. I can't imagine working Marathon or Heatwave without you there. It just won't be the same. To say we will miss you would be a gross understatement. We're counting on your spirit to fill the building and fill our hearts with your presence. Overwhelm us with your love. You always were bigger than life.
Until we meet again,

I can feel a big bear hug from Dave right now! What a wonderful way he had of making all right and bringing it back to what really mattered. How his beautiful smile lit up the room and made my heart feel calm, happy and joyful. It is good to hear his last moments were with the people he loved and with the music he cherished. My best wishes to his family and my thanks for having known him.

What a terrible loss for all that have grown to know and love Dave. It > truly was Dave that made volunteering at Heatwave a great pleasure. He > was > immensely supportive and encouraging. When things seemed chaotic, he was > steady! > Dave will be greatly missed.

To all who receive this note, I want to let you all know that I was with Dave and his family this morning, his sisters, his dear wife Patti, and a few friends.

We were all in attendance with him so that he was never alone, there was music played so that he might hear the thing he so loved all his life to the last moment of his life, he was held, petted, kissed and loved to the very last moment of his precious life. A fitting thought for someone who was so loved and appreciated by others, that he was escorted as close to the border as he could possibly be by a small host of friends and loves.

I myself left just before 11:00 am, I felt that these final moments were so private that I had taken all the liberty I was legitimately entitled to, and gave him a last kiss and said my last goodbye, so I wasn't present at the very end, and that was only right and fitting, I think.

I tell this to all of you to assure you that Dave was sent off in friendship, in dignity, in tremendous love and deep sorrow for us poor bastards that have to live with only his beautiful memory now. But he won't be forgotten in this house, that is certain.

His sister says he will go back to Missouri to be cremated eventually, but no dates or anything like that was mentioned.

Just thought these words would somehow ease you, or at least I hope they do.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Jewels of Seminole Heights

Great story in the Times about John Wilshusen's booth in the Now And Again II Antique Store (Florida and Osborne)

"Thousands of antique, vintage and collectible treasures - from frothy baubles to sparkly rhinestones and hard-to-find gems "

"Customers also can browse his collection of cool vintage handbags, including an intricately beaded burlap Bohemian purse from the 1960s, and a floral fabric and straw handbag embellished with faux jewels, also from the Kennedy era."

"His constantly changing collection has attracted the attention of dealers and boutique owners from Miami, Atlanta and New York. Items range from $20 to the thousands."

Puff piece on Scientology Mission Director

The Times did a puff piece on the man who is responsible for bringing Scientology to Seminole Heights, Milton James. This is a change by this paper, which won a Pulizer Prize for their coverage on the Scientologists in the past.

Mr. James "described the mission as a self-teaching center, where students purchase books and work through the exercises with the help of a supervisor. Courses run from $25 to $125."

Credit Union Coming to Seminole Heights

According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union will be opening an office in Seminole Heights at 1920 Hillsborough Ave, across from the Bank Of America. You can become a member of the credit union if you live, work or worship or attend school in the Central Tampa area, which include East Tampa, West Tampa and North Hyde Park and of course Seminole Heights.

Also, if you are a member of the one of the 3 Seminole Heights neighborhood associations you can become a member of The Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union at Nebraska Ave, just south of ML King Blvd.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Phyllis Andrews Married

Tampa, Fl July 10. In the Seminole Heights Methodist Church . . . .Miss Phyllis Jane Andrews, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Andrews, was married to Dr. Walker Prioleau Rivers Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Rivers of Augusta, Georgia.

The Rev. Dr. Edward J. Pendergrass performed the ceremony which was followed by a reception in the home of the bride's parents.

(From the July 11 1,951 edition of the New York Times)

Both apparently had medical degrees (from Yale and Harvard). I wonder where they are now?

Storm Sewer Improvements for Seminole Heights

As noted in the Wall Street Journal:

"TAMPA--City engineering department's tentative budget calls for public improvements involving $560,812. This is the largest amount since the boom period, and includes Bayshore boulevard extension, completion of a system of storm sewers in Seminole Heights and repaying Tampa's main traffic arteries. The entire department budget aggregates $827,857."

However this was in the edition printed on May 27, 1930. pg. 11, 1 pgs.

I found this in the Historical Wall street Journal, accessible for free via the Tampa Hillsborough County Library in their Information Gateway via the section called Magazines and Newspapers after clicking on Historical New Yotk Times and once signed in selecting multiple databases.

My search terms were "Seminole Heights".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Overly Simplisitic Theology of Politics

My problem with left wingers is they don't believe in original sin. "Let create a utopia, sit around the campfire, hold hands and sing kum-ba-yah"

My problem with right wingers is they don't believe in redemption. "Fry the bastards"

Central Tampa Artists Get Togethers

Artists, writers, performers and creative folk working in all media are
invited to join us at the New World Brewery in Ybor City, Tampa, for
conversation, inspiration and collaboration opportunities.
Days alternate between Tuesdays and Wednesdays, time is roughly 7pm to

These informal get-togethers supplement our membership meetings which
occur less frequently.

Schedule for June-July:
Tuesday, June 13
Wednesday June 21
Tuesday, June 27
Wednesday, July 5
Tuesday, July 11
Wednesday, July 19
Tuesday, July 25

Directions to NWB:

May Code Board Report

9. CASE #: 05-31603 BENSON DOROTHY F
164915.0000, FL 33603 TAMPA, FL 33603
DISPOSITION: Eric Flasterstein and Atty Scott Boardman were
present. Board found case guilty of failure to remove
illegal commercial equipment (storage pods) from residential
property. D/L 07/26/06 Fine $50 per day if D/L not met.
Vote: 5/1 with Donnelly voting no and Gray absent.

5. CASE #: 05-31585 HOLLAND MARK L
3109 N OLA AV 3109 N OLA AVE
182246.0000, FL 33603 TAMPA, FL 33603
CODE SECTIONS: 19-46, 19-47, 19-49, 20.5-13, 21.8, 22-60,
27-77 Table 4-1, 27-133 and 27-126.
DISPOSITION: Mark Holland was present. Board found case
Guilty of operating illegal business use (youth hostel in
residential zoning); public nuisance; drainage violation;
accumulations; r/o/w encroachment; fence violation (too
high). D/L 08/23/2006 Fine $100 per day if D/L not met.
Vote: 7/0

18. CASE #: 05-09660 BROWN JEROME C
4212 N 13TH ST 4212 N 13TH ST
172370.0100, FL 33603 TAMPA, FL 33603-4414
Case heard 02/01/06 D/L 03/08/06 Fine $45 per day.
Violations: 19-46, 19-47, 19-49 and 19-232. Complied
03/28/06 Fine $855.
DISPOSITION: Letter from Jerome Brown read into record.
Board voted to reduce fine to $500 which must be paid by
June 28, 2006, or entire amount will be due. Vote: 5/0,
with Faulk and Gray absent.

More Image by Bike Stories

See photos of life or places inthe hood.

Front Porch Revisited

Susan and I went to the Front Porch for dinner tonight. We saw Diane there. It has been a while since we have eaten there. We arrived around 6:00 P.M. and sat in a table in the dining bar area. The service was good. Looking at the menu I was surprised to see that my favorite item - Southern Pot Roast and Susan's favorite - Shepherd's Pie were both on the menu and still the same price as when it opened up. Shepherd's Pie sort of disappeared from the menu at one point.

Tonight I had the combo meat meal - beef from the Pot Roast and shredded roast pork from the Cuban pork meal. Mashed potatoes and vegetables. Great meal. Love those mashed potatoes. I could not eat it all and so have a good doggy bag for lunch tommorrow.

Susan had the meatloaf, with vegetables and mashed potatoes. Unfortunately the meatloaf was prepared with a sauce neither of us cared for, but Susan had filled up on the potatoes and vegetables. The server asked if anything was wrong and we told her it just was not our style. Someone who was seemed to be in charged came over and asked if there was anything she could do, in getting a replacement food item or a dessert. We were full so we declined. It was good they were attentive. We were out by 6:40P. The place was not crowded tonight.

Bufo Toad

An email from Ryan:

"I am not sure if other people in Seminole Heightshave come across them, but last night we found a Bufomarinus (marine toad) in our back yard. He got away before we could catch and freeze him. Why worry and why kill? They secrete a toxin that can and will kill dogs and cats. Also, they are non-native and increasing their population. They are found fromTampa south. I spend a lot of time in the swamps and woods of Florida and was yet to see one. Please do your part and remove these toads if you see them. The toads were spotted in the 1000 block of Emma andChelsea. The toad in my yard was a female and youcould hear the male calling from a yard behind, which is fenced. The male call is a very loud, slow trillthat sounds like a tractor in the distance. The following link has additional information:"

From that website:

The Marine toad is also commonly called Giant toad, Bufo toad, and Cane toad.

Marine toad vs. Southern toad: How to tell the differenceIf you see a toad that you suspect might be a Marine toad, keep in mind that it could also be a Southern toad, which is native to Florida and is harmless to pets (they just taste bad, but are not poisonous). Take a look at photos and information about these two species at our Web site called "Frogs and Toads of Florida" at . In addition, here are some specific tips for telling the difference between these two toad species.

Comparing the Marine toad to the Southern toad

The most obvious difference is in ADULT size (in length of body, not counting legs).

Adult Giant toads can be bigger than your fist (6-9 inches), much larger than any toad or frog that is native to Florida.

Adult Southern toads grow to a maximum of about 3.6 inches. So, once a toad is larger than 4 inches, it is safe to assume it is a Giant toad.

Other differences:

The Marine toad has large bumps on each side of neck (parotid glands) that angle downward onto the shoulders. The Marine toad lacks ridges or knobs on the head.

By comparison, the Southern toad has smaller parotid glands that are positioned parallel to, and close to, the spine. Also, the Southern toad has two short ridges ("cranial crests") that start between the eyes and often end in bulbous knobs. These ridges are also parallel to the spine.

Other Bufo species in Florida:
There are two other species of toads in Florida that are in the Bufo genus: Fowler's toad (Bufo fowleri) and Oak toad (Bufo quercicus ). Both are native to Florida and are harmless to pets and wild animals. For pictures and information about frogs and toads in Florida, visit our Web site at .

How to Help Your Pet if Exposed to Marine Toad Toxin
FIRST, remember that all native toads have glands on their skin that contain MILD toxins that just taste nasty to a predator or make a predator a little sick after they try to eat a toad. The strategy for the mild toxin is to "educate" (not kill) the predator, so it will be discouraged from trying to eat a toad again. This mild toxin usually causes excessive salivation (foaming at mouth or drooling), but that is the extent of it. It is not poisonous. However, you can still follow the directions below for rinsing your pet's mouth -- just to be on the safe side.
So, why is the non-native Marine toad's toxin so dangerous? The Marine toad is NOT NATIVE to Florida and the wild animals here are not adapted to its toxin, that's why the toxin can be lethal to small animals and pets.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Oooh Cool

The Business Guild of Seminole Heights has updated the website. Niiice.
Here is the logo

They have some photos from the Mixer held at Judy's Treasure Chest.
The member list is veeery nice, organized by category.

The next General meeting of B'GoSH is August 10.

If you are a busness in Seminole Heights, join BG'oSH and help bring to business community up to speed with the residential community. B'GoSH is the chsamber of commerce for Seminole Heights.