Thursday, August 31, 2006

How I would fix Code

1. Change the leadership to people interested in doing things right. Look at TPD as a role model. Chief Hogue. Asst Chief Castor. Major McNamara. Majors Teague, Guidara and others.

2. Look at Code from top and bottom.

3. Are the Codes that are being enforced appropriate? Too restrictive or too loose? Ie Canopy laws.

4. Are Code time frames appropriate? Should there be a dual track for repeat egregious offenders that is stricter than for first time or for minor offenders?

5. Are the letters that Code sends out the best that can be written? Should they be less threatening and more informative?

6. Is the data system that Code uses the best data system? I have looked at the case recap reports and they are confusing. It was hard to tell in all the reports when the complaint was first made at times. Photographic documentation should be included in the system. There should be more detail in some of the notes. Given the amount of stuff I have to document in our case files, I was suprised how sparse these are. Detailed reasons should be given as to why a case is closed and should be approved by a supervisor.

7. Are people being provided enough info as to what occurs at Code Hearings? In watching Code Hearings on TV it's clear some people did not need to be there or did not understand what was going on.

8. The code cases should be on the internet just like they are in St. Pete. Furthermore, you (at least the homeowner) should be able to see the photos of the violations so they know what to fix. One neighbor cut down a tree they thought was blocking a view of a corner and it was the wrong tree because no one told them what the problem was.

9. Are the electronic ways homeowners can show that the problem is taken care off?

10. Do we have enough programs to help the elderly, disabled and others deal with the problem?

11. Get a one year grant and market and publicize code issues to people are aware of things. IE what need permits, what are code violations and etc.

12. Ensure code inspectors have access to all appropriate private and public databases that can help them do their job.

13. Transparenty, transparency, transparency.

14. Publish the municipal code board agendas online as soon as they are prepared so neighbors can be aware when something is coming up. Right now they are published after the fact. What help is that? Then publish results ASAP.

15. Create a bank of used plywood to help board up vacant buildings. Get contractors and home improvement centers to donate used plywood. There apparently is not enough money to buy sll the plywood needed.

16. Foreclose more. Seek more criminal cases.

15. Listen to the Neighborhood Improvement Committee. They have a lot of ideas.

16. Hire me for $60.000 plus a year. I am not an expert in Code Enforcement but I can look at systems issues and recommend alternatives. I can see what is broken and what works.

Readers, add your ideas.

City Government Wireless

I was at the Courthouse. It has wireless access. So I went to a couple of city offices, including by the City Council offices, thinking they would have access. However there was none. All government office, city nad cnouty and schools should have wireless. That way you can get work done while waiting or access documents needed for something.

Mayor's Town Hall Meeting

August 31, 2006 - Mayor Pam Iorio will host the final 2006 town hall meeting on Tuesday, September 12, 2006. The meeting will be held in the media center at Hillsborough High School, located at 5000 North Central Avenue from 6 to 8 p.m. The town hall meeting is open to the public. City administrators and department representatives will also be available to answer questions on a variety of topics. A total of four regional town hall meetings were scheduled in 2006 in an effort to make city government more accessible to Tampa's residents.

Found dog

On South Seminole Heights email list:

The attached photo is of a dog that showed up at our offices on Monday.

He has a collar but no tags. He is scared but sweet. Could you circulate this photo to your neighbors in case someone may know who he belongs to? He is hanging out at 700 block of W. Emma Street.

Karla P.,


I type fast in emails and occassionally mispell things. (Yes I know I do the same in the blog).

Susan gets kick out of some of my mispellings and has fun with them. Here is one:

I said something about a good lunch that came out as God lunch.

Her response: What is a God lunch? A basket of prayers with a side of proverbs?


Rumor has it that Ybor Pizza was sold and the closing is on Friday

Seminole Heights Library Programs

Bedtime Stories
Sep 12 Tue 7pm
Oct 10 Tue 7pm

Ophelia‘s Girls‘ Circle:
Friendship For grades 6 and 7; registration required. Co-sponsored by The Ophelia Project, a community initiative of the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. Signup now for this exciting book club just for girls. This six-week program will include topics on friendship and self-esteem. Enjoy poetry, books and special activities. Sep 7,14,21 Thur 4pm

Alley Cat Players The Alley Cat Players, a professional theatre group, presents a poetry reading. Theme will be —Ain‘t I A Woman.“ Sep 19 Tue 7pm

Alley Cat Players. The Alley Cat Players, a professional theatre group present s an evening of poetry readings. Themes will be Peach-Bottom, Nuclear Reactor and Full of Sleepers.
Oct 17 Tue 7pm

Book Group:
The Doctor‘s House
By Ann Beattie Sep 9 Sat 10:30 am
Message in a Bottle
By Nicholas Sparks Oct 14 Sat 11:30 am

Parks and Rec Things of Interest

Two New Recreation Centers to Open in East Tampa - Join Mayor Iorio and members of Tampa City Council on Saturday, September 23, for the opening of two new recreation centers. At 9 a.m. the new Activity Center at Highland Pines Park, located at 4505 E. 21st Avenue, will open followed by the opening of the new community center at Cyrus Greene Park at 10:30 a.m. Cyrus Green Park is located at 2101 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

This is good news. This will might relieve the pressure on some of the Seminole Heights Parks

Dog Park Temporarily Closes for Improvements - The dog park at Palma Ceia Park, located at 2200 S. Marti Street, will be temporarily closed for sod installation and establishment until Tuesday, September 12, 2006. The playground and other areas of the park will remain open. For additional information, please contact the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department at (813) 274-8615.

So does that mean the Giddens Dog Park has sod in its future? Of course that would also mean irrigation.

Accepting Nominations for the Class of 2007 Mayor's Youth Corps - The Mayor's Youth Corps is currently accepting nominations and applications for the class of 2007. The Mayor's Youth Corps provides young people with a voice, helps them be more involved in decisions that affect their lives, and strives to advance their participation in society and civic life. The Mayor's Youth Corps takes a service-oriented grassroots approach, with teens developing and participating in community service projects and meeting one-on-one with the mayor.

Nominations for the Mayor's Youth Corps will be accepted from each of the public and private high schools located within the city limits of Tampa. Applications are available in the Guidance Office at each school and are due by October 13, 2006. Members of the Youth Corps Advisory Committee, which includes current Youth Corps members, will review the applications and conduct interviews for acceptance into the program. Youth Corps activities include team building, leadership development, community service, open forums with the mayor, and the production of a monthly youth-focused television show, From the Corps, which airs on CTTV, Channel 15. For additional information, please contact Rebecca Heimstead, Youth Corps & Volunteer Coordinator at (813) 274-5909 or email .

Get you Seminole Heights civic activist started early!

Good Rainy Weather Reading Material

In an effort to lighten the mounting political tension, I present a diversion.

The Seminole Heights Bookgroup met this month to discuss "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. Referencing the subtitle of the book, it recalled "murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America." It was a fascinating description of life in Chicago surrounding the building of America's first World's Fair in the late 1800's. The author did a phenomenal job sifting through documents to piece together this spell binding tale. It's a work of nonfiction and he seemed to have pure intentions to create accurate portrayals of people and incidents.

Larson wove together the lives of Daniel Burnham, the chief architect who managed the fair project, and Harry Holmes, the serial killer who created a World's Fair Hotel simply to lure young women as prey. Mingled in the mix were the lives of other famous architects, landscape architect, Frederick Olmsted, Mayor Carter Harrison, and his eventual killer, Patrick Pendergast.

Many of the ideas that were developed for the fair changed the lives of Americans, like DC generated electricity, eight hour work days, and city planning. The Ferris Wheel, Disney World, The Wizard of Oz' Emerald City, Cracker Jacks, hamburgers, fair midways, and PT Barnum's circus also sprang from this event. So many interesting and influential people were alive at this time, Mark Twain, Susan B Anthony, Buffalo Bill, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller and Nikola Tesla, to name a few. Many of them visited the fair. In fact, a third of the population of the United States came to the fair, despite the burden of a growing depression. What Chicago created was a magical city that became a beacon of light to people who were living tragic lives.

The evil character in this book, Harry Holmes was described as an intelligent, charismatic man with keen powers of persuasion. It wasn't hard to compare him to modern day serial killers. Someone brought to mind the question "Are people born who are inherently evil?" This book leaves us pondering that, as well as marveling at man's ability to create impossible dreams.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pinocchio and Brad Swanson

One of these was made as a wooden puppet and whose dream was to become a real person. The other was born a real person who chose to become a puppet. Which is which?

Phone poll volunteers needed!

So ever been interested in seeing a political campaign from inside?

Here is an an opportunity from April Griffin. Be a phone volunteers

"THIS IS IT! We are less than a week out, and I know everyone is extremely busy. But if you could spare just a few hours of your time it would make a big difference to the success of our campaign.

We are planning a phone bank to target primary super voters on Saturday, September 2nd from 1 - 4 PM at 4221 North Himes Avenue. Lunch, drinks, phone numbers and a script will be provided. Please join us in showing your support for April and letting the voters know that she is the right choice for school board district 6, county wide.

If you have a cell phone with free nights and weekends make sure it is charged and bring it to use so we can have more people calling on the phones made available to us by the Hillsborough Democratic Party.

What: Phone banking for April Griffin for School Board
When: 1-4 PM - Saturday, September 2nd
Where: 4221 N Himes Avenue (just across the street from Raymond James Stadium)

If you are interested in helping April contact Catherine Mitseas at 813-571-0658 or April Griffin at 814- 417-1102."

April Griffin For School Board - District 6 - Countywide304 W. Henry Avenue Tampa, FL 33604

Ralph Hughes and Brad Swanson

Weekly Planet's Wayne Garcia has two interesting columns in today's Blurbex.

The Attack of Ralph Hughes' $1 million and Swanson Defends Himself

In The Attack he metnioed how Ralph Hughes PAC had created its first political ad and is attacking Sandy Murman. He references a prior Weekly Planet Column he did called Million-Dollar Sledgehammer. In that article he says "Life's been good to Ralph Hughes. More accurately, Hughes has worked hard to make sure that life would be good to him." . . . "Hillsborough's highest profile conservative activist, anti-tax crusader and power broker owns a pre-cast concrete business that is the largest of its kind in the nation. "

Hughes created a PAC "Let's Make the World a Better Place Because We Have Been Here" and donated $1,000,000.

"The cool million is believed to be the biggest single political contribution in Florida politics. . . . What is he going to do with the newly endowed Let's Make the World? His incorporation papers, according to one report, say the committee's purpose is to "promote good government by attempting to influence the election of individuals to state and local office." . . . . He has contributed money to six of the seven members of the current county commission and has strong sway with the status quo."

Some would say the sway comes close to ownership.

In Swanson Defends Himself , Wayne says "I'm guessing that while bombing out of college, Swanson didn't get a chance to take an ethics course, or if he did, he didn't get it."

Wayne then references mentions a St. Pete Times article on Swanson that says

"Ferlita says there was a subtext to her meeting with Hughes: that he wanted to see if he could influence her vote if he helped her win the County Commission seat left vacant by Kathy Castor.

Ferlita told him she would not be influenced, she said.

Swanson said there was no such undertone to his meeting with Hughes; Hughes just wanted to get to know him "as a person," he said.

In any case, Swanson has Hughes' support, while Ferlita, the more experienced and better-known candidate, is running without the power broker's endorsement."


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hillsborough County Government TV online

The blog article about City of Tampa TV being online has caused me to look for other online TV channels.

I found Hillsborough County Government TV.

"Hillsborough County's HTV22 has introduced a new way to view your favorite programs via the web! Called HTV22 Webcasting it allows 24 hour access to HTV programs from any computer with internet access and the Real Media player.

In order to be able to view the webcast, you will need to have the Real Media player installed. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Real Media web site. (Please note: External links are not necessarily endorsed or controlled by Hillsborough County).

Once you have the player installed, you can access the HTV22 streaming webcast by clicking the logo below!

View Live Webcast!"

If you work for USF you can watch CNN and CSPAN on your work computer or at home via USF VPN

"Welcome to the CNN Live Feed. The FCC does not allow us to broadcast to the general public, so this feed is available only to computers connected to the USF network. Off-campus users will only be able to access this feed through the USF VPN.For more information about the VPN, Click Here."

Anyone else hs any online TV netcast/webcasts?

Tampa Police Arrest Fake Officer from Seminole Heights

From TPD Press Release:

August 29, 2006 -

Suspect: Cusumano, Anthony, W/M, DOB: 04/16/84, 1404 E. Chelsea St.

Charges: Falsely Personating a Police Officer

Tampa Police Officers arrested Anthony Cusumano, Monday, at the Ballast Point Pier on charges for attempting to impersonate a police officer.

Officers responded to a call that the suspect identified himself as a police officer by flashing his badge and ID. He said that he was investigating several sexual offenses and tried to lure the victims to get in his vehicle, which prompted them to call Tampa Police.

Police officers discovered that Cusumano was a paramedic in Pinellas County and graduated from the Police Academy at Hillsborough Community College, but was not employed by any police agency. Officers searched his vehicle and uncovered a siren, PA system, and red/white emergency lights in the front and rear of the car. Tampa Police also found an Hillsborough County Sheriff’s badge, two sets of handcuffs, a bullet proof vest, .40 caliber handgun, two 9mm glock magazines, and two gun belts.

Tampa Police Officers impounded Cusumano’s car, confiscated his police equipment as evidence, and transported him to the Hillsborough County Jail.

City of Tampa TV Online

Do you want to know what is going on in City Government? Do you want to want to know what would happen if you were to appear at any City Council meeting, Municipal Code Board, Variance Review Board, Architectual Review Committee or other boards or committees?

Do you not have cable? Like me?

Well according to the City of Tampa website:

"CTTV, Channel 15 is now being webcast around the clock on the Internet. The same programming broadcast over the city municipal channel, CTTV, is simultaneously streamed on line. This makes city government channel programming available, via the Internet, to anyone in the world with access to a computer!"

View the CTTV, Channel 15 Live Webcast

As I am typing this I am watching (and listening) to the Variance Review Board. The owners of 2811 San Nicholas are trying to a variance to build a 12 foot porch on their self proclaimed "ugly" house, crossing 2 feet over setbacks. They did a pretty good presentation but it was denied. I have seen other people be ill prepared or they did not understand the process or really why they were there.

9:57 PM As I contine to listen I see my neighbor Tom from 10th Street comment on a porch addition variance on 805 E. North Bay St. He asked that the porch be kept open as a requirement of granting the variance. The variance was granted with that condition.

Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure

From Susan Long:

"On Oct 7th at the Vinoy Park the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure will take place. It is a one day event. You can walk the 5K or run a competitive 5K. It's up to you. I have started the Seminole Heights Team. Our donation expectation is $0.00 - - yup, nothing. So far we only have 3 team members. We would like to win the prize for the largest team.

This is NOT the 3-day walk. This is a one-day event. Please tell everyone you know to register for the Seminole Heights Team. To find out the specific details or to register, go to:

Registration is only $20.00 and you get muchies and a free t-shirt.

Let's show them Seminole Heights can get a group together to support a good cause."


Via the OSHNA Bungalow Alerts


At the home of Laura Starkey
1207 E. Powhatan Ave.
(in Hampton Terrace in Seminole Heights )
Come Dressed as your Favorite Member of The Village People!
(Costumes are optional, but c'mon! It'll be more fun if you do!)
Enjoy Cool Drinks and Tasty Appetizers
Learn more about our local branch of the YMCA
Bring your friends! Make new friends!
Win a fabulous prize!

Donations will be requested at the door
Suggested range: $25 - $100 per person

Your Hosts:
Laura Starkey
Steve Johns
David Purnell
Devin Marks

Check out this link for the full, multi-media invitation:
(Be sure to wait for the music to download!)

Laura: 232-5612
Or by email:

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hurricane Info Sources

As we get ready for the Hurricane Ernesto, here is some information. More from a prior blog article.

Sign up for the Emergency E-News Service from the Hillsborough County Emergency Management.

One of the best weather sites is Skeetobite Weather. I like the spaghetti models.

Note that much of Seminole Heights is pretty high (must be pot) and except for the trees that come crashing down on us, is pretty safe.

Was this. . . . .?

A background to this conversation is Illegal Boarding Houses and Update on the Illegal Boarding House

Note that in April 2005 this place was first written about on the blog.

"City of Tampa Code Enforcement cited them in early 2004 for failure to cease operation of illegal rooming house and found guilty by the Code Enforcement Board on 8/18/04. Due to non-compliance, fines of $60.00 a day were levied from 9/23/04. Additionally they were cited in early 2003 for: Failure to Remove accumulations of junk, trash and debris from property and right of way; Failure to make repairs of walls, doors, doors frames, eaves, floor coverings, electrical fixtures in rear of building; Failure to repair or remove unsound shed. They were found guilty on 9/15/04 and have had fines of $30.00 a day from 11/04/04. As of 4/20/05 the current fines for both citations could be $16,550. The City may be exploring foreclosure."

There were multiple conversations with Bill Doherty and the neighborhood leadership throughout the process about the nuisance that this place presented. He agreed. He understood clearly why it was an illegal rooming house. He suggested that the neighborhood push the City Attorney's office on getting the foreclosure process moving along.

On July 25 2005 it was noted on the blog: "Regardless of which license they have, since 9/23/04 they still are still facing fines of $60.00 a day after being found guilty by the Code Enforcement Board for failing to cease operation of illegal rooming house.This facility now could be foreclosed by the City. Yet this has not happened. So Clifford Hill continues to operate illegally. Why has the City not shut this facility down?"

The foreclosure process was not going anywhere because the one person handling foreclosures was overwhelmed. Other staff were expected to be hired but had not been. Also the amount of the fines at that time were not enough to make it a high priority item.

Then in January 2006 area supervisor Harold Scott and his manager Bill Doherty mistakenly concluded the zoning violation was not correct and close the case. At this time the fines would have been up to $29,000 just for the illegal rooming house violation. What happened? What made them decide the zoning violation was incorrect . . . after 15 months? After being found guilty by the code board? Nothing had changed. This place was still operating illegally with multiple people living there.

Was this incompetence? Or was this something else?

However since this place can not stop itself from being a code violation factory they got cited again for accumulation issues in March 2006 and again for being an illegal boarding house. The process had to start all over again.

The day Code was to reinspect the place, Harold Scott was looking for a letter of support from Zoning to back up the violation. To ensure the inspection was going to occur properly the neighborhood facilitated that process. Yes. The neighborhood facilitated that process. The neighborhood had to get two parts of the city government to speak to each other.

Was this incompetence or something else?

Later on TV Harold Scott is quoted as saying that Code has no way of knowing how many people live there. He apparently went into Code court saying the same thing

Interesting since the FLDE website listed 13 to 16 sex offenders living there.

Interesting since Tampa Police Department runs the Sexual Predator Identification Program (SPIN) "officers conduct at home verifications of the sexual offender or predator's residence." Verfification of how many people lived there could have come from one phone call to the SPIN Officer.

Interesting since many of the offenders were on felony probation. These probationers are on a more intensive probation and often get at home visits by their Florida Department of Corrections Probation Officers. Call the Probation could have verified whether those offenders indeed lived there.

I might expect a rookie code inspector not to know these things. I would expect a long serving supervisor to know these things.

Was this incompetence or something else?

I used to work for the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services years and years ago. I know how to conduct an investigation and how to use collateral sources of information to build a case. I know how to use various private and public databases to obtain information.

Why doesn't Code know how to do this?

Especially since Code is now led by former TPD deputy police chief Curtis Lane. You would think he would have imparted his knowledge in investigations to his staff. Of course this former narcotics officer did not know what pot looked like so perhaps that would explain why.

Was this incompetence or something else?

Ferlita Strike Back With a Kneecapper

Wayne Garcia wrote a piece in about the Ferlita vs Swanson Hillsborough County Commissioner race and the inaccurate negative campaigning by puppet Brad Swanson.

He noted that "Ferlita's campaign finally struck back in a mail piece titled, "Why is Brad Swanson running a negative campaign against Rose Ferlita?" In it, Ferlita uses Swanson's own quotes and admissions from the St. Petersburg Times about his lackluster college record and unspectacular employment record. "So here's his record: Asked to leave the University of Florida; In 7 years has held 4 different jobs; Never owned or operated a business. Now he wants to run a $3 billion budget.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tammy Harman's Yard Tip of the Month

From Tammy Harman's website
"-Its peak season -Its peak season for fleas! Attach a spray bottle to your outside hose and spray your yard with an all natural, Neem Oil based product. I spray once a month with this environmentally safe solution and it works like a charm for me. Google 'Neem Oil' to purchase on-line or better yet, buy it locally at Worm's Way in Tampa, FL."

The Seminole Heights Blog recommends Tammy Harman for Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Previously I asked "What the heck is the Hillsborough County Soil & Water Conservation Board?

Well thanks to Tammy Harman I now know. She posted this as a comment on the blog.

"My name is Tammy Harman and I am running for Soil and Water Conservation Board AND I live in the neighborhood. Not too many people know exactly what this Board does and the current Board does not make it easy to find out, which is one of the many reasons I am running. Its a Board made up of five elected officials. They mainly focus on the conservation of water and soil of agricultural lands but they also have a general environmental education outreach facet as well. This Board is very important to all of us because we all have a stake in healthy soil and water. I am running for this Board because I want to fight environmental pollution, promote sustainable farming practices and make the Board more accessible to the public it is supposed to serve. Thank you for mentioning the race. Please check out my website for more information"

So I went to her site and read all about her. I then located the site for the conservation board. Finally I checked the Trib and the Times to see what they have said.

Here is her platform

"1-Fight Environmental Pollution

I will bring my environmental compassion to the Board and support Best Management Practices for farmers that best protect and nuture our natural resources. In addition, I will promote steps that citizens can take to help conserve our soil and water in general such as reducing personal pollution and waste.

2-Promote Sustainable Farming Practices

I am a strong proponent of Organic Farming practices that work with nature to ward off pests as opposed to those using chemical pesticides that seep into the soil and water and contaminate the very produce that we eat. I will promote Organic Farming practices as Best Managment Practices and educate the public on the benefits of growing and eating organic produce.

3-Champion Government Openness

As I was researching the office of Soil and Water Conservation Board, I ran into a great deal of difficulty trying to learn about the Boards projects, where they met and so on. I will make this public information accessible via a detailed website that will include the Board meeting minutes, descriptions of current projects, contact information for the elected Board members and information on how citizens can get involved to help protect our soil and water."

Tammy was mentioned in the Times in 2002 or her fight to get recycling for apartment dwellers.

More details about the Board from the Board's website
"The Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District is an elected board of five supervisors that oversees a local grassroots program dealing with soil conservation, water conservation, and other natural resources issues.

The district has been actively promoting soil and water conservation since 1946. District supervisors are nonpartisan, elected locally, and serve under the provisions of Chapter 582 of the Florida Statutes.

The Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District receives financial support from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commisioners. The District also has a close working relationship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service).

The goal of the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District is to solve local natural resource problems with quality technical services. "

From the Trib:

"C. Dennis Carlton and Tammy Harman are running the most obscure campaigns in Hillsborough - a race for Soil and Water Conservation District 1."

The Trib recommended Carlton.

"Harman, an environmentalist, argues that the board needs an outsider's perspective. Her intentions are good, but the 34-year-old assistant planner for a local engineering firm has little familiarity with the work at hand.

Carlton is easily the more knowledgeable candidate"

However they noted:

"It's concerning that Carlton was sued in 2002 by migrant workers paid less than minimum wage to pick citrus in his groves. In court filings, Carlton said a subcontractor was to blame. The case was settled in 2004 when Carlton paid the workers back wages, according to an attorney for the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project. Carlton says he no longer works with that subcontractor."

The Times has not recommended anyone.

So who do I recommend?

Tammy Harman

1. She is from Seminole Heights and one of my goals is to increase the power of Seminole Heights by getting more people elected from Seminole Heights

2. She is an environmentalist (Green Party co-chair)- it'd shake up that board. Perhaps we would get more urban conservation including apartment recycling. I think increasing organic farming is good business.

3. I think that government should be more transparent and open and that is one of her platforms

The Seminole Heights Blog recommends Tammy Harman for Soil and Water Conservation Board.

1303 New Orleans continued

At this time there are only 5 people listed on FDLE website as living at 1303 E. New Orleans Ave

Willhite, Clifford View Flyer

Arey, April D.View Flyer
(She was just arrested for failure to register and is in jail.)

Savage, Harry V.(Predator) View Flyer

Morgan, Mark G.View Flyer


(He was just arrested at the Brandon Mall for VOP. He was taken to Hills Cty jail and sent to Orange County Jail.)

Also living in the home but not a sex offender is John Collier. That makes 4 unrelated people living there.

Where did all of the others go?

To: 2746 N Florida Ave. This is the location of the Solid Rock Church of Jesus. Many of the people who are part of the corporation that runs the illegal boarding home (Clifford Hill Community Outreach Center) at 1303 New Orleans also are on the Solid Rock Church of Jesus.

Board Members:

Clifford Hill
Ovedia Davis, Jason Wilburn, Helen Pridgen

Solid Rock
Ovedia Davis, J.L. Wilburn, Helen Pridgen, Arleen Clarke-Wilson, and Charles Johnson.

This is a church. Is it licensed as a residential facilty ie boarding house? I think not. So here is some more illegal activity by the Clifford Hill group. Therefore all 5 people on the board of the church are also complicit with illegal activity.

At the Solid Rock Church location per FDLE:

MEANS, LEE R.View Flyer

Cox, WoodrowView Flyer



Federal Supervision


Cook, Ernest D.View Flyer

Hope, Walter E.(Predator) View Flyer

Cacanindin, Richardo E.View Flyer

Baker, CliffordView Flyer

Morceau, Raymond B.View Flyer

As many of these offenders are on supervision by Florida Department of Corrections, FDOC is also therefore complicit in illegal activity.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bunny for adoption

The found bunny is for adoption. He is obviously domesticated. Here is a picture. Anyone looking for the bunny can just leave an email address here or a message and the babysitters for the foster family will check up daily. Or if you send me an email, I will forward your email to them.

Praise Cathedral?

"My husband and I were just wondering about what appears to be an old theatre on Florida Ave. south of Hillsborough. It looks like a church utilized the building at one time....? Does anyone know if it's still a church -- ultimately, we're thinking it would be cool as a movie theatre, something we definitely need in Seminole Heights! We lived in Pacific Grove, CA a few years back and they had a very small local movie theatre downtown, in a revived old theatre building. It was pretty low-budget, sometimes the movies were less-than-current, but it was such a great place for the community. Any investors, developers out there listening?"

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chloe Speaks To Seminole Heights

Chloe Speaks To Seminole Heights

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to address some of the concerns of the Seminole Heights neighborhood. I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange of ideas that were presented at the party hosted by and at the home of Liz Taylor and Phil Compton. This particular event, attended by many Seminole Heights residents, helped to generate the responses for this writing.

Let me assure you, I will be your fulltime County Commissioner. I quit my job as Founder, CEO & President of the Community to Develop Corporations (CDC) of Tampa to pursue this office paying $11,000 less than my salary at the CDC. So you can see, it is not about money with me. It is about improving the quality of life, not only for East Tampa, but for all of District 3.

I encourage you to not judge me by what other elected officials have not done for you. I have a proven track record of achieving measurable results that have positively impacted the community. My travels throughout the country have enabled me to see first hand how best practices can be replicated by leveraging private/public partnerships that resulted in bringing over $30 million to our community. These projects included affordable housing, commercial development, youth programs, job creation and businesses owned by our neighbors. None of these initiatives were race, gender, class, religious, or sexual preference exclusive. I want to do for all of District 3 what I did for East Tampa.

More specifically, Seminole Heights has needs that are of concern to me:
* Florida Avenue & Nebraska Avenue These are main thoroughfares that are in need of immediate attention. They are in disrepair and are not pedestrian friendly. They need sidewalks, angle parking, and non-rush hour parking on the street. Businesses flourish when pedestrians walk. Leadership is needed to advance this agenda on a local and state level. I will make this a priority.

* Safe Neighborhoods You will have to be my eyes and ears because you see what happens on a daily basis. My job will be to make sure your concerns are addressed and receive the attention they deserve. I plan to have my aides attend your meetings on a quarterly basis and I want to maintain a continuous dialogue to develop a plan of action. I am no stranger to drug marches, community cleanups and taking back our neighborhoods brick by brick, block by block, and person by person. I realize this will require city/county collaboration because of the overlapping responsibilities of the elected officials representing you. However, I firmly believe we cannot continue to operate in a vacuum when safety and quality of life issues are at stake. Leadership is lacking in this regard.

*Transportation I want to serve as your Hillsborough County Commission representative on the Hartline Board to address funding issues to ensure efficient and effective service. Without a good transit system, people can obtain employment but still lack the means to get there. When I travel to areas of the country that have light rail and/or mass transit systems, the economies are more vibrant and thriving. Consequently, corporations are relocating to those communities at a faster rate than in Hillsborough County and the economies of the other communities and its residents are benefiting economically. Consider this formula:
Sound transportation systems = An infusion of jobs $$$ into the local economy

* High Taxes As communities revitalize and taxes increase, it is imperative to develop innovative measures to help with the infrastructure needs for the communities from which the taxes were generated. The Main Street Programs in St. Pete and Sarasota are excellent examples of reinvesting tax dollars back into the neighborhood. There are countless measures throughout the country that bear witness to the value of thinking outside the box but leadership is needed to ask the question, What box? Again, best practices dont require reinventing the wheel but a car in motion without a driver is destined for a wreck. I will lead the charge to work with other elected officials to ensure a portion of the tax revenue is returned to the community for the most pressing needs.

* Economic Development I bring 14 years of experience in community development specializing in commercial development. Under my leadership, I was able to convince Suncoast Credit Union to locate in Seminole Heights (1920 E Hillsborough Ave). It will open within the month. Also, the Urban Enterprise Center located at 1920 E Hillsborough Avenue will bring over 100 jobs within one year to Seminole Heights. This project leveraged local, state, and federal dollars totaling $3 million. As you can see, I have been working to bring commercial development to Seminole Heights long before my candidacy. I dont just show up for ribbon cuttings, I have a proven track record of creating ribbon cuttings. As your Hillsborough County Commissioner, I will continue to champion economic development for all of District 3.

* Gay Rights I deliberately left this topic for last because I want to make sure these thoughts are indelibly written in your permanent memory bank. I WILL NEVER DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ANYONE AND WILL FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE ALWAYS TO BE FREE TO LIVE THEIR OWN LIFESTYLE AS THEY SO DESIRE. Because I have been discriminated against as a female, as a Black person, and as a woman in a non-traditional work environment (parole/probation officer) I am especially sensitive to why gay rights are so important. The most painful memories of my life are a result of the discrimination I endured as a young girl while integrating the public school system in Hillsborough County. Even while pursuing this office, preconceived notions have led to discriminatory remarks towards me because I am the wife of a pastor. Some may consider this topic inappropriate, but the truth of the matter is gays and lesbians are family members, neighbors, church members, pastors, elected officials and are not going away. Gay bashing is not anything you will ever have as a legitimate concern with me. I will disassociate myself with anything that contributes to the erosion of your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The late Coretta Scott King was a clarion for social justice and very verbal when it came to the rights of the LGBT Community stating that: I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice, she said. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr. said, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I appeal to anyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.s dream to make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people. Like Coretta Scott King, I too believe that the LGBT communitys quest for civil rights and expectance is equally noteworthy as is the struggle of any people.

It is my sincere desire that this writing will serve as the catalyst to generate more discussion regarding the concerns yours and mine for making Seminole Heights one of the best places to live, work, own a business, and raise a family. I will do my part but I need your help. Please vote for me, Chloe Coney, Hillsborough County Commission District 3 on September 5, 2006.

Chloe Coney


From Lisa:
They installed the "cut-through inhibitor" stop signs in Hampton Terrace this morning. This is a photo of the one at my corner of 13th and Comanche."

From Alan of Bike Stories
"I took this photo for Bike Stories the other day. It's one of the new stop signs at the 3-way stop sign at Henry and 12th"

These are the new Human Stop Signs the City is installing. They yell at you if you don't stop.


Okay, We have been dealing with a lot of serious things. Code Enforcement, Politics and other issues.

Lets introduce some more levitiy ala The Prarie Home Companion Joke show.

What is your favorite joke?

Criteria: No racially or sexually offensive jokes or obscene jokes. That means you cannot post The Aristocrats. Political jokes are okay. The joke can be simple. It can be obscure. Whatever. By the way Blond Jokes are not sexually offensive. They are a fact of life.

My favorite is
"Q. How do you get down from an elephant?
A. You don't. You get down from a duck."

This is one of my favorites because I did not get it for 5 years. I heard the joke and the answer and for some bizarre reason my synapses were not connecting and I did not get it. At some point in college, it came to me out of the blue and I understood it. Silly joke that any 10 year old should get. What makes this funnier is that I often make my own jokes for myself that have the most tenous connections and I could not get this obvious one.

My second favorite is a joke involving my college. I went to Ateneo De Manila University. Our Arch rivals went to De La Salle University:

An Atenean and De La Sallian are in the bathroom at a basketball game between the two school. After they finish using the urinals the Atenean goes to walk out of the bathroom without washing his hands.

The De La Sallian says: "In La Salle they teach us to wash our hands."

The Atenean replies "In Ateneo they teach us not to pee on our hands".

Ok its silly and sophmoric, but hey why not.

Influence of blogs becomes more pervasive

Today's St. Pete Times has a blurb that mentions that West Tampa now has its own community blog (as I first noted earlier in this blog). It shows the impact blogs now have when a newpaper writes a story about a blog just getting started.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ybor Pizza for sale

According to blog comments and a note inside the restaurant bullentin board, Ybor Pizza and the building housing it and the two businesses next door is up for sale.

Seminole Heights Artists at Gallery M

According to the Trib, Seminole Heights artists Joanne Osborn and Jimmy Steel will be showcased in a one-night gala and exhibit from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at Gallery M, 2701 S. MacDill Ave.

The "Una Noche Caliente en Barcelona" exhibit is being arranged by Avant Garde, the young professionals group of the Tampa Museum of Art.

The Artists Resource Center

According to the Trib the Artists Resource Center, soon to be formerly located at the Gold Dragon Gallery, might come to Seminole Heights if the owner can find a place.

Illegal Rooming House Found Guilty

**Article in the Times on the issue

Today the illegal rooming house at 1303 E. New Orleans has been found guilty by the Code Board. 1303 New Orleans is run by a non-profit corporation, Clifford Hill Community Outreach and the property has been owned and or operated by various members of the corporation over the years.

Here is a partial time line of official actions:

9/28/88 Granted Variance V87-29 ACLF Max 8 residents

8/7/92 No sprinklers, screens nailed to windows frames (Fire Marshal)

8/7/95 Smoke Detectors not working – batteries missing or not connected. Front emergency lights were not working.

10/5/05. Reinspected. No defiencies

Around 4/19/97 Complaint of hole in roof. Nothing found at inspection however a resident indicated the roof was recently repaired.

8/2000 Fire in laundry room. Tobacco materials ignited soiled laundry. Two rooms suffered water and smoke damage. (Fire Marshal)

2./23/00 Failure to repair and/or replace walls, ceilings, doors, door frames, window glass, window screen wire and frames, vent screen wire, porch ceiling, steps, eaves, rafters, electrical fixtures, bathroom tile in buildings. Failure to repair unsound framing in shed. Failure to install heating facilities in bedroom, remove gas heaters, scrape and paint burglar bars and scrape and paint exterior of structure. Failed multiple hearings and inspections. On 2/2/01 found guilty by code board.500.00 a day fine 9/30/02 Case closed as fines exceeded just value. (Fines =$21,600)

Around 10/23/01 Overcrowded conditions No violation observed

Around 1/28/02 Inoperative Vehicles – Church Bus blocking street No violation observed

7/12/02 In 2002 Clifford Hill Boarding House (AHCA license number 7286) had fines from the AHCA from several years of deficiencies totaling $30,750. (Case numbers 2000-05568, 2001-05487, 2001-055540, 2001-05541, 2001-06530). On 7/12/2002 the Agency for Health Care Administration denied their ALF license renewal. At this point, Clifford Hill should have shut the facility down and reverted back to a single family dwelling. However instead they began operation as a rooming house.

12/19/02 Commercial Vehicle – White Bus, overgrowth and accumulations 2/5/03 Failed inspection 3/10/03 No violation observed.

11/24/03 Accumulations of Junk and Debris 11/24/03 Failed 12/10/03 New Owner

6/21/04 Failure to Remove accumulations of junk, trash and debris from the property and abutting right of way, which is causing a public nuisance. Failure to make repairs to structure, including repairs of walls, door frames, eaves, floor coverings, electrical fixtures in rear of building. Also failure to repair or remove unsound shed Failed multiple inspections and hearings. On 11/18/04 Found Guilty by Code board with fines of $30.00 per day starting from 9/15/04. Sent to foreclosure. 6/26/05 Complied.

2/26/04 Rooming house prohibited in RS-50 8/18/04 Found guilty by Code Board with fines of $60.00 per day starting from 9/23/04. 1/21/05 sent to legal for foreclosure Case closed after Harold Scott and Bill Doherty mistakenly concluded the zoning violation was not correct.

Before 4/25/05 Inspected by DBPR and Tampa Fire Rescue and were found to have multiple violations. They were given 30 days to correct the violations.

3/13/06 "Overcrowded conditions, pressure wash and paint entire exterior of house and retaining wall and shed. Shed must be vacated and repairs finished. Remove all accumulations of trash and debris on property. All vehicles must be currently tagged and operable or removed. Pressure wash and paint fence in rear. Property is not zoned to be an assisted living facility and is only designated for single family use." Current case. On 8/23/06 found guilty and facing fines of $100.00 per day. Has 30 days to comply. Needs to change to single family usage.

They told code court only two people live there. Today FDLE lists 16 offenders living there. This does not include residents who are not offenders of which there is at least 1. Check FDLE to see how many are listed yourself.

Note: Had facilities at 1307, 1309, 1304 New Orleans and on Cayuga St. 1304 and Cayuga were shut down by code. No licensure of any type on those.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Retaining Walls

"There was a hearing today before the full Code Board concerning an ‘illegal retaining wall’. The Code Board found the resident guilty and gave her (the neighborhood associations really) until mid-November to ‘resolve’ the issue. Present at this hearing was Southeast Seminoles for another issue. Sherry indicated that they would want to have something in place to cover their retaining walls as well.

I went directly over to Zoning and spoke with Catherine Coyle about this. She is very willing to do whatever she can to protect the ‘retaining walls’, that are protecting trees, homes, yards, water pipes, etc from being exposed or undermined in those areas where the streets are below the level of the adjacent property. To that end, she ask me to bring this issue up at the next City Council meeting to make them aware of the problem and possibility provide her with some direction. I will try to make the meeting tomorrow morning.

If anyone else gets a violation from code for their retaining wall, please tell them not to remove it at this time. If the property owner appearing today does so, the grand oak that the retaining wall is protecting will fall into the street within approx 6 months and she would then probability be hit with a grand tree violation.

More to come…"

Christie Hess

Wascally Lost Wabbit in Seminole Heights

Lost Rabbit?

"In my yard today is a beautiful domesticated rabbit chewing on the plumbago. I can get within 2 feet of it but cannot catch it. No clue if it is lost/missing or was dropped off. "

Email me if it is yours

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Chloe Meet

So tonight I went to Chloe Coney meeting at Liz Taylor's house. (Nice house, Liz. Great view. Good food too. And thanks for the wine.) Oh, so where was I?

It was a good meeting. I missed the speeches and showed up in time for the Q&A. Some interesting discussions occurred. Randy asked her about the County's discrimination against gays. She said she is not for discrimination of any kind. Essentially she said what you do is your business.

She said she understood that prior leaders from East Tampa have forgotten us after the election. She said it is a new day with her as far as that is concerned. Since the only job she would have would be as a county commissioner she would have the time to get out to our neighborhoods. She promised that either she or her aides would try to come to our neighborhood meetings. She basically inidicated she would want to work with us, use our activism to help get some changes on issues on the County Commission. She sees us as a long time resource.

We shared with her some of our concerns. Fireworks Ban. Changing Florida Ave back to a neighborhood street, overzealous tax assessor, need for more elderly and low income home repair programs, need for commercial development in Seminole Heights and others.

I was hugged twice by Chloe. A good hug. Not a prissy kissy kissy politician hug but a good solid one.

Others at the meeting please share.

I invited Chloe to write something for the blog called Chloe Speaks to Seminole Heights

Tax Revolt

From Life In Seminole Heights Blog
Tax revolt
Time for a tax revolt! Revenue is way up from rising assessments from each home sale and still they want to raise the millage rates and fees!Here is the 2006 Tentative Budget Hearing Workshop schedule.Please call to confirm the dates and times prior to attending!!!"



Dwayne White and Quardrivium with guest appearances Denise Moore and Rose Bilal
Cover $10.00 per person


Political Yard Signs

Let's have some fun.

Who has the best campaign signs and who has the worst? This has nothing to do with whether you support them or not. Lets just look at thier signs. Which one is most eye catching, or has best colors, or gets the candidates name out their clearly. Extra points for avoiding the tired red white and blue color scheme.

The better ones thst I can think of from the top of my head are:

Rose Ferlita. Good strong colors and name stands out.
Chloe Coney. The hat is a good device to make it stand out. Names stands out.
Kevin White. Good colors. Name stands out well.
Betsy Hapner. Nice colors and name stands out well. The symbol is good.
April Griffin. Name stands out well.

Les Miller. Dull. Does not stand out well enough. If I remember right, May be a retread color and design from Gwen Miller's campaign.
The "I have a dream guy". Too much clutter. Simplify.

One thing I like about political campaigns is that after the election I get plenty of signs I can use to make yard sales signs with. What creative things can you do with old political yard signs?

St. Petersburg Times Endorsements

The St. Petersburg Times endorsed April Griffin for Hillsborough County School Board, Rose Ferita for Hillsborough County Commission District 1, and Chloe Coney for Hillsborough county Commission district 3.

April Griffin:
"Two candidates stand out among the four seeking to replace Carolyn Bricklemyer, who is retiring after 12 years. April Griffin, a 37-year-old political activist and former substitute teacher, and Ken Allen, 57, who directs the district's adult and community education programs, seem the most knowledgeable and capable. But Griffin comes out ahead for her energy, her concern for vocational and other overlooked programs and the contribution she believes schools should make to civic life.

Griffin lacks the experience Allen brings after 35 years with the school district. Allen is informed, candid about how the district could improve and sensitive to the needs of students in inner-city and crowded schools. Griffin, though, seems to better appreciate how board decisions affect the average family. She also appears more results-driven. She has emphasized important issues the other candidates have not, from meeting the special needs of poorer families and protecting students' rights to strategies for retaining younger teachers. David Schmidt, 57, a school district administrator, and Stephanie Desmarais Georgiades, a 40-year-old former teacher, lack similar depth.

In the countywide District 6 seat, the Times recommends April Griffin."

Rose Ferlita:
"Rose Ferlita is the choice for Republicans in south Tampa and west Hillsborough who want a mature, sensible commissioner. In eight years on the Tampa City Council, Ferlita has championed the right priorities, from making neighborhoods safer and cleaner to boosting the city's economy. She is hard-working, independent and knows how to bring people together - traits especially needed on this fractious board and valuable in a commissioner whose district runs the gamut from the toniest to the toughest neighborhoods.

The 60-year-old Tampa native and longtime pharmacist knows this community better than her opponents. She has a firmer grasp on the issues, and her council experience would serve her well in helping the county work better with city government. Her main opponent, 35-year-old Brad Swanson, has run a smear campaign devoid of ideas. More pettiness is the last thing this board needs. Don Kruse, a 46-year-old auto dealer, and engineer Gary Santti, 52, lack an agenda.

Ferlita instills confidence. She is reasonable, accessible and does her homework. The Times recommends Rose Ferlita in the District 1 Republican primary for Hillsborough County Commission."

Chloe Coney

Chloe Coney's ethics, attitude and record of accomplishment far exceed what her main opponent, Kevin White, brings to the table. Coney, 56, retired recently as president of the Corporation to Develop Communities, where she helped attract millions in public and private investment to impoverished east Tampa. Her work to expand affordable housing, child care and family services in this predominantly black community has left a positive legacy for generations. She could build on that in public office.

White, 41, a Tampa City Council member, is an arrogant, ethically tone-deaf candidate who offers no agenda. East Tampa deserves and can do better. Another challenger, Dorothy Admire, a 39-year-old social worker and health services administrator, seems genuine. But Coney's record is unmatched. The respect she commands would draw more attention to Tampa's poorest neighborhoods. The Times recommends Chloe Coney in the District 3 Democratic primary for Hillsborough County Commission.

Meet Chloe Coney

From Bernadine King:

"Chloe wants to meet with the three Seminole Heights associations you mentioned in the endorsement asap. Unfortunately, no debates for Seminole Heights have been scheduled before the Sept 5th’s election. However, Chloe would like to invite you and the bloggers and all on your email distribution list who would like to meet Chloe to a house party given by Liz Taylor & Phil Compton, Tuesday, August 22nd from 6pm – 8pm at 1430 E Park Circle . Please feel free to disseminate this information as you choose. For more detailed directions contact Liz Taylor at (813) 237-8497."

More details on the house party from a seperate email from Liz Taylor:

I hope you can join us Tuesday, Aug. 22 to meet and support Chloe Coney, Candidate for Hillsborough County Commission District 3, the seat currently held by Tom Scott. We REALLY need someone with Chloe’s integrity, independence and track record of tireless community work on the commission -- and she really needs OUR support in the Sept. 5 primary!

See the event details below and invitation attached. You're welcome to bring friends!

Please Join Your Host Committee:
Liz Taylor & Phil Compton with Tami & Mike Todd
for beverages and hors d’oeuvres in support of

Chloe Coney
Candidate for Hillsborough County Commission District 3

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
6:00 - 8:00 P.M.

At the Home of Liz Taylor & Phil Compton
Overlooking the Hillsborough River

1430 E. Park Circle
Tampa, FL 33604

(Take E. Sligh Ave. east of I-275, left (north) on 15th St., right on Hilton, left on Park Cr.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Seminole Heights Athletics

From Greg Carballa:

"I’m trying to get a group of people together to start playing some Saturday morning basketball at the Henry and Ola Park. Trying to gauge interest right now, so I am sure your blog can help.

Eventually, I’d like to get a neighborhood softball team going for the city recreation league.


What: Neighborhood FRIENDLY basketball game
When: Saturday mornings (9am).
Where: Park at Henry and Ola
Why: Fun and exercise
How: Email or call if interested: or 813-205-5194"

I endorse Chloe Coney for Hillsborough County Commission District 3.

This has been a difficult decision.

I can no longer support Kevin White for several reasons.

1. The deception involved in the suit incident. I would not have a problem with him trying to get the suits as a campaign expense, howwer it was pretty clear than an attempt was made to hide it. After it was disclosed, he was not contrite.

2. His support for the beltway as noted in the Trib. We need more mass transit and less development.

3. And mostly the financial support he has received from two groups, the fireworks people and Ralph Hughes. I cannot support anyone who receives money from Ralph Hughes. Early on Kevin had told me, basically he was just taking the money but was not going to let it affect his decisions. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but #1 and #2 have shaken that. Again, I cannot support anyone who takes money from Boss Tweed Highes.

So now that I can no longer support Kevin, whom do I support?

Chloe Coney is a very good candidate. I have followed her career over the years, starting from when she became the manager of the Lee Davis Service Center in College Hill. She has a done a lot of good in East Tampa and has tremendous experience. My only concern has been will we in Seminole Heights get abandoned after the election? I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt. To assuage this, the 3 civic associations and BGOSH should aggrresively invite her to meetings and activities.

I support Chloe Coney.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rosa - Lost Dog

I have a small older female terrier mix that ran away from home on Saturday the 19th. She does have a red reflective collar on but unfortunately, no tags. She was last seen on Fern close to the river. She lives at 103 W. North St and is missed dearly! Her name is Rosa, she is approx. 14 yrs old and has been in the family for 9 years. She is on medication! If you see or find her, please call 727.692.4700. Thank you so much! Anthony Burchardt Posted by Picasa

8/21/06 UPDATE:

Hi there - just letting you know that Rosa showed up at North Blvd and Sligh and was turned over to Animal Services and is now back home - SAFE!

Thanks for posting her picture and to all of the community that was looking for her!


I Scream, U Scream, We all scream for Ice Cream

Just a reminder to all that our Ice Cream Social event is planned for today, Sunday, August 20, 2006 starting at 2:00 p.m. at the Giddens Park shelter on Frierson.

We have lots of good ice cream, toppings and games and fun for the kids!!

There will be some sugar-free ice cream on hand for those of you who are interested. Also the event will go on rain or shine.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Thanks....The Ice Cream Social Committee

Loose Dogs

From Molly Miller

"Pebbles and I just returned from our morning walk at river crest park. There are two large dogs wandering around, the larger, unidentifiable mutt has a chest halter on, the smaller, younger, rottweiler mix is wearing a collar. Neither one has tags. They are both very friendly (Pebbles thought the larger one was TOO friendly). The rotty-mix is limping. I hope they have not been dumped, and they seem to be desperately searching for their owners.
If anyone is looking for them, or can spare the room to help them out: They were heading south on Rver park at about 7:15 this morning, and seemed to be dogs on a mission."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Princess Ella and her new bed.

Yesterday Ella's new bed from LL Bean arrived. We got her a new dog bed because her old bed was bit too small.

This new bed is huge and it is only a medium size at 28" x 36". I can't imagine were we would fit their extra large bed at 42" x 52". That bed is kept in our bedroom next to my side of the bed. Same side that Siggy sleeps in in his basket. (Seen covered by a towel).

So this dog has the choice of 4 places to sleep. Her crate in the dining room which is left open all the time. The couch in the living room. The old bed in the spare bedroom and her new bed in our bedroom. You can certainly tell we are dog people, giving our dogs plenty of places to hang out.

Ella really likes the bedroom bed. She feels safest there. It is usually a darker room. She is sandwiched in between the bed, the wall, the dresser and gets to sleep next to Siggy. Posted by Picasa

Stephannos vs Cappy's vs Ybor Pizza

This is not a taste test but a review of menus and space. When I find my Ybor Pizza menu I will add info from that.


Cappy's has the largest space and best decor. It is a very good eat in restaurant. Stephanno's is essentially a take out place with a couple of outside tables out front or in the courtyard. He also has delivery. Ybor is small eat-in place. All 3 offer take out.

Food Items:

Cappy's is essentially a pizza place. Two choices of styles. Chicago and New York pizza. Toppings: pepperoni, meatball, anchovie, spinach, green pepper, artichoke heart, brocoli, onion, tomato, black olive, feta cheese, basil, bacon, mushrooms, pineapple, and sausage. They offer two specialty pizzas. Vegetarian: Mushroom, onion, tomato, black olive and green pepper. Cappy's: Pepperoni, ham, onion, green pepper, sausage, and mushrooms.

Ancillary Items:
They have a Calzone and 3 salads (Greek, Caesar and Tossed), breadsticks, and cheese bread

They sell beer and wine.

Stephannos has New York and Chicago style pizzas.
Toppings: italian sausage, bacon, shrimp, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, anchovies, pepperoni, meatballs, ham, pineapple, onions, jalapenos, spinach, and brocoli. He also has pizza's by the slice. He has several gourmet and speciality pizzas. Margherita Pizza (garlic, sliced tomato and pesto. Chicken Pesto ( shredded chicken, tomato, parmesan cheese and pesto. Stephannos Special (pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, garlic and a touch of spinach). Vegetarian (mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives, and brocoli), Hawaiian (ham, pineapples, shrip, drizzeled with teriyaki sauce). Mexican (ground beef, jalapeno peppers, cheddar cheese, shreeded lettuce, tomato, drizzled with sour cream), Mediterrean white pizza (garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, romano, ricotta cheeses, topped with spinach, black olives and mushrooms.

He has Pasta Items: Baked Spaghetti (Marinara sauce) with meatballs or italian sausage or bolognaise sauce, or mushrooms. Baked rigatoni bolognaise. Cheese lasagna with with meatballs or italian sausage or bolognaise sauce, or mushrooms. Jumbo stuffed shells. Eggplant, Chicken or Veal Parmesan with spaghetti.

He has sandwiches: Meatball, Sausage and peppers, Eggplant, Chicken or Veal Parmesan, Italian sub, Ham and Provolone, Turkny and Provolone, and a Pizza Burger. All served on focaccia bread.

Ancillary items:
Calzone, Stromboli, Chicken Wings, Garlic Knots, Salads (Antipasto, ceasar, chef, cobb, chicken pasta)

Ybor: Can't find the menu. Will add this when I do.


Cappys seemingly has cheaper pizza prices. Their base prices are .95 cheaper. Another comparison: Vegetarian - Small 12.95 (Stepphanos) vs 12.00 (Cappy's). However when comparing the Cappy's (13.00) vs the Stephannos (12.95) speciality pizza it is reversed by .05.

Overall Review. Eat at all of them. Stephannos has the larger selection and delivery. Cappy's has the best eat-in location and beer.

I think Seminole Heights can support these three pizza places. however one thing I would do if I were each place is to also bring customers from outside Seminole Heights. Cappy's can easily draw from Tampa Heights, Riverside Heights and north downtown. Stephannos, Sulpur Springs and Lowry Park area, and Ybor Pizza, East Tampa and Ybor Heights. Ybor pizza has a good draw from WMNF. Although I suspect Cappy's will get some of that crowd.

What we need to occur is a blind taste test of each places pizza. How about doing so at the next porch party?

Urban Fitness/Serendipity Puddle Studio Open House Cancelled

Due to unforseen events, the Urban Fitness/Serendipity Puddle Studio
Fall Fitness Open House has been canceled.

Private Pilates mat and Yoga classes are still available. Please reply to
this e-mail or call 813-679-2631 to schedule an appointment.

Breathe in peace, walk in balance.

Serendipity Puddle Studio

Backend tax raises

From the Times
Revenue: growing, growing, gone
As property values boom, tax money pours into local governments, which always seem to find ways to spend it and avoid cutting taxes.

"It has become a shrewd political maneuver in this era of robust property growth. Politicians can tout new parks or libraries and cut your tax rate. But the bottom line is, you're paying more. Much more."

Tampa property tax receipts
2001-2002: $97.7-million
2006-2007: $167.7-million
St. Petersburg property tax receipts
2001-2002: $64.4-million
2006-2007: $103.4-million
Clearwater property tax receipts
2001-2002: $30-million
2006-2007: $55.5-million

Friday, August 18, 2006

More BGOSH news

In the Times

Cottage crowd gets some advice
A resident of St. Petersburg's Historic Kenwood offers tips.
By MICHAEL CANNING Published August 18, 2006

Seminole Heights residents turned green with envy recently when a national homes magazine honored St. Petersburg's Historic Kenwood neighborhood. But they weren't above asking for advice.

The Business Guild of Seminole Heights (B'GoSH) invited Jeff Schorr, a member of the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association, to speak at its Aug. 10 meeting."
. . .
"Our biggest hindrance is the DOT issue," said Jessica Landerfield, a yoga and Pilates instructor and owner of Serendipity Puddle Studio. "But I think we can learn from Kenwood, especially in developing a stronger relationship with the city."

But Seminole Heights' pride wasn't completely swallowed. "Before we get too envious of Kenwood," Old Seminole Heights resident Greg Barnhill said, "we should remember that Seminole Heights was featured in the second issue of Cottage Living" in March/April 2001.?

Their baaack!

I've noticed more activity that seems to be suspicious for prostitution on Nebraska. Some women walking or hanging around on bus stops whose very casual style of dress and manner of how they walked made me suspicious that we were facing a return.

A couple of weeks ago I called a report to TPD on a known prostitute who I saw at her old haunts at Giddens anf 15th street, acting like she was up to old tricks.

Then I get these emails:

.....right before 5pm as I'm turning off Nebraska onto Caracas what should i see but a transgender prostitute! Walking towards Nebraska from Caracas. . . . after i left the house and looped back onto to nebraska i saw TWO MORE at the corner of Giddens and Nebraska walking southbound. They were dressed to work, too!!!! They came prepared b/c they had umbrellas. "


"Two transgender prostitutes were also out Sat night. I called them in and someone responded asap; It did not appear they ran them on the computer as they had a five minute conversation on the street, with the officer pointing south several times. At the conclusion of the phone conversation they the proceeded down the street to the south of MLK. While we had to go in about 2:45 am I had it reported to me the exact same two were out about 4:00 am." . . .

. . . when TPD was consistently paying attention and shadowing them, and annoying them and we were out there, we got results. We stopped going out and aparently the lessening of the pros meant TPD turned their attention to other areas. . . . you know things are bad when transgender prostitutes feel comfortable enough to be on the streets in the afternoon. . . . This type of behavior is what got me started patrolling in the first place. It all started when one night, during daylight savings time, I was driving past the Mega Market at about 7 pm and there was a man and his two very young kids at the bus stop waiting for a bus and there were two transtenders standing there, talking to the kids and waving at cars! I do not want to see that happen again, and I believe it is headed that way."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bicycle Bash by the Bay

The latest on the Bicycle Bash by the Bay that Bike Stories is working on:

"-- the first-ever regionwide bicycle festival that the Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium and Oliver's Cycle Sports are staging on Oct. 29 at the St. Pete Times Forum plaza."


Another email:

"i find this all very interesting that the judge in this case is "outraged" by the conditions of the cemetery and how the owner better comply or face jail time. i realize it's a bit of an apples and oranges comparison but really, in the picture, isn't it funny that the only time things move forward is when people are "watching"....ridiculous"

I wish Judge Dominguez would be as outraged as this Judge. Perhaps if he saw some of the house of the cases he dismissed, he wouldn't.

stolen laptop

An email:

"Last Saturday night, 8/12, around 9:30pm the lady who lives on the corner of E. Hollywood and Taliaferro was sitting on her porch doing work on her laptop computer. She stepped inside for a minute, maybe two, and when she came back out someone had come up onto her porch, gone through her purse and stolen her laptop computer. The police were called but nothing they can do except check with the Pawn Detective to see if the serial number comes up as being pawned.

Beware - even our front porches may not be safe."

BGOSH in the news

Business Guild's 1st-Year Membership Tops 50
Skip directly to the full story.
By KATHY STEELE The Tampa Tribune
Published: Aug 17, 2006

"In less than a year, the Business Guild of Seminole Heights can boast of more than 50 members - 56 to be exact, as of Aug. 10."

"hours mixers have been held at Judy's Treasure Chest and Urban Fitness. Another is planned for December at King's shop. Home-based businesses will be encouraged to display art or gifts they have for sale, King said.

Committees are working on membership, beautification of the business district and marketing. The guild plans to form a regulatory committee that King said would look at "antiquated zoning laws."

"Also, a beautification award will be given to business owners who spruce up their storefront. Home-based businesses are not eligible. The deadline for the first award is Oct. 15. Nominations can be made on the group's Web site, For information call, Sherry's YesterDaze at (813) 231-2020 or Judy's Treasure Chest at (813) 234-1230."

House of Higher Power

Based on the postings on property taxes, due to the overzealousness of the Tax Appraisers office, I invite all to join a new religious organization called "House Of Higher Power". If L. Ron Hubbard can create an religion to make himself get rich, I can create one to help us stop getting poorer.

Membership in this group entitles you to exemption from property taxes and one of the primary reasons for the existence of the HoHP.

This religious organization is a dual enrollment group. Your current religious affiliation makes you eligible to join HoHP. Part of the core tenets of HoHP is that no belief in HoHP shall contradict a belief in your mother religious organization. You are encouraged to participate in your mother religious organization's religious practices.

HoHP is a home and community based organization.

Each homesteaded home is a house of religious activity. Civic salvation includes good works such as gardening, home improvement, activism, helping your neighbor and commenting on the blog. These are all religious activities. Each HoHP sets its own local structure and hierachy. The head or heads of household are the religious facilitators. The minimum number of members to start a HoHP is one. Dogs and Cats can be members of a HoHP. Their outdoor residences are Retreat Houses.

These HoHP's all gather together in community religious activity such as monthly porch parties, town hall meetings, openings of food and drink prepation sites and yearly festivals called home tours.

Affiliated religious groups are the House of No Power for atheists, the House of Uncertain Power for agnostics and House of Self Power for humanists.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another bad guy

District Two
N.H.W. Bulletin
“Person of Interest

Name: WORKMAN, Bobby Gene
Race: White
Sex: MALE Hair Color: Clean Shaven
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 6' 01''
Weight: 180lbs.
Birth Date: 06/28/66
Address: 9316 North 28th Street
Tampa, FL 33612


Subject Workman was arrested on June 11, 2006 for multiple counts of Burglary and Theft charges. He was released on July 6, 2006. He is suspected in other Burglaries this past weekend, specifically “kick in” type burglaries in grids 11 and 13. There are NO charges being held for this subject at this time, although fingerprint comparisons have been requested.

If contact is made, complete a detailed Field Interview Report and contact Sergeant Figueiredo or Detective Leon, D2 D.L.I.S.

Carrie's Garage and House Sale

From Carrie:

"Dear Vivants,

Thank you for coming out on Saturday night and Sunday for the closing party and gallery sale. Though I was apprehensive to let some of my personal collection go, I trust that many of you are ecstatic to have snatched up many great works of art. No matter the price, art is like a group of friends, you want to be around those you love and those who make you question life, so it pleased me to be cook of that stew.

Again, I thank all of you for being a part of the success of a private gallery venture. I trust that many of you will continue to support the galleries that work hard to provide you with projects that encourage you to think about art on a critical, non-traditional level, without being “safe”. Covivant has strived to be a non-compromising space that filled the gap between what sells and what stimulates. I will cherish every experience that supported artists and their careers, that pushed the boundaries of social injustice, and that influenced many to realize the magnitude of a creative body. With confidence, I believe that all of my artists have been treated with respect, loyalty and generosity, and I am proud to say they will never be the waiters or waitresses in my banquet of life.

I am still waiting patiently to hear from the landlord on the purchase of the building to provide the neighborhood with a fine arts venue, so as soon as I get final word, I will let everyone know the future of the space.

In conclusion, please join me at my home for a garage sale in Seminole Heights this Saturday morning from 8-2pm if you would like to get your hands on more great deals. Rest assured, I will have the credit card machine there if you decide to go overboard.

Garage Sale!!!!!!!!!
Saturday from 8am-2pm 6614 N. Elizabeth St. (just three blocks South of Sligh on Central and one block East of Central on the corner of
Knollwood & Elizabeth).

Items to sell include: 2 yr. Old Toshiba 27” TV w/ remote, 13” TV w/ remote, 1960’s metal bar and wine rack, antique table with porcelain top, chairs of various styles and colors, bean bag with pillows, corner shelf, filing cabinets, Early 1900’s armoire from New Orleans, books, Music CD’s, office supplies, paper shredder, DVD players, VCR, Macintosh wireless Airport, clothes, shoes, lawn blower/vacuum, weed eater, various gardening tools, various door knobs and locks, and weird household items that can be all yours!

Oh yes!! and the house is also for sale!!!

Laundry Room Sky High Taxes

An email:

"I just got off the phone with the appriasers office. You will not believe this.

The reason my taxes have almost doubled is that they have added the hot tub and wooden deck to the house. (And saying we added it in 2005.) However, they were added by the previous owner about 15 years ago. The hot tub is inoperable and the deck is so rotted, it is unsafe to walk. They also said that last year, they think they forgot to add the /laundry room as sqaure footage. So if you add 264 square feet of space, plus a rotted deck with a broken hot tub, you property can jump up $100,000 in value. They appraised the deck and hot tub at $11,000. So I guess they are figuring the laundry room is $321.97 per square foot.

Last year, they came out when the addition was added and my taxes doubled. I can agree with that as we did add on. This year, they have almost doubled because they didn't add the laundry room last year. If that small square footage would have been added last year, there may have been a slight difference and only 3% this year. "

The Nomadic Chef

From Ginny:

"A treat to be sure.

Dinners were getting drab and old. I was slipping into old habits of cereal for dinner. I hated going to the grocery store only to realize when I got home I really didn’t have anything to eat. So I called a friend of a friend who has a business called The Nomadic Chef. Andrea Dudley creates an amazing experience and literally becomes your personal chef. First I completed an in depth food questionnaire. Andrea then comprised a menu for my review. I tweaked a couple of things.. like no black olives. Once a menu was set we agreed upon a time she would come over and cook in my kitchen for several hours. She did all the grocery shopping too! My house smells incredible and I now have 20 healthy meals with side dishes in my freezer. After she was done my kitchen looked cleaner than when she got there. She did it all: planned the menu; grocery shopped; cooked at my home; and a thorough clean up. What a treat!

If you are short on time or just bored with food email Andrea Dudley or call her at 813-380-7377 it is well worth it."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vote Seminole Heights

Updated! 8/16/06 12:30 P.M.

This will stay at the top of the blog until the election. It will be continually updated.

If you are not sure what elected official represents you the Hillsborough County Supervisor Of Elections has a website called Precint Finder that will help. It locates the precinct you vote in, the polling place, the elected officials who represent you and candidates. On my computer it came up a little funky but the fields are obvious.

The Trib has been featuring candidates for the races. I will add links to their info as it appears. I am behind on some already. Same for Tribune and Weekly Planet/Creative Loafing as they feature candidates or provide recommendations.

Here are the elected officials for Seminole Heights with races this year. I will skip minor candidates:
US Congress
US Senate. Currently held by Bill Nelson (D)
U.S. Senator LeRoy Collins Jr. (REP)
U.S. Senator Katherine Harris (REP)
U.S. Senator William "Will" McBride (REP)
U.S. Senator Peter Monroe (REP)
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (DEM)

US House District 11. Currently Held by Jim Davis (D)
Eddie Adams Jr. (REP)
Kathy Castor (DEM)
Scott Farrell (DEM)
Al Fox (DEM)
Lesley "Les" Miller, Jr. (DEM)
Michael A. Steinberg (DEM)

Florida Executive Branch
Governor - Jeb Bush (R)
Charlie Crist (REP)
Tom Gallagher (REP)
Jim Davis (DEM)
Rod Smith (DEM)

Lt. Governor - who knows - oh yeah Toni Jennings (R)

Attorney General - Charlie Crist (R)
Bill McCollum (REP)
Walter "Skip" Campbell, Jr. (DEM)
Merrilee Ehrlich (DEM

Chief Financial Officer - Tom Gallagher (R)
Milt Bauguess (REP)
Randy Johnson (REP)
Tom Lee (REP)
Alex Sink (DEM)

Commissioner of Agriculture - Charles Bronson (R)
Charles H. Bronson (REP)
Eric Copeland (DEM)

Florida Senate
Almost all of Seminole Heights, except for little piece above Sligh near the River is in Senate District 18. That piece is in District 12. District 18 is currently held by Les Miller. District 12 is held by Victor Crist.

Candidates District 12
Victor Crist (REP)
C. Burt Linthicum (CPF)

Candidates District 18
Arthenia L. Joyner (DEM)
Gerald White (DEM)

Florida House
District 58 - Bob "Coach" Henriquez (D)
Alfred Ruiz (REP)
Michael Scionti (DEM)

District 59 (I think - the maps are lousy) - Arthenia Joyner (D)
K.C. Bowick (REP)
Hakim Aquil (DEM)
Warren Hope Dawson (DEM)
Betty Reed (DEM)
Media Recommendations:
Tampa Tribune - Betty Reed

District 47 (I think - ditto above) - Kevin Ambler
Kevin Ambler (REP)
Daniel Suarez (DEM)

Hillsborough County Commission
District 1 Kathy Castor (D)
Rose V. Ferlita (REP)
Don Kruse (REP)
Gary Santti (REP)
Brad Swanson (REP)
Mary Mulhern (DEM)
Media Recommendations:
My Endorsement: Rose Ferlita
Tampa Tribune: Rose Ferlita

District 3 Thomas Scott (D)
Ken Anthony (REP)
Dorothy "Nicolle" Admire (DEM)
Chloe Coney (DEM)
Kevin White (DEM)
John Michael Craig (NPA)
Media Recommendations:
Tamp Tribune: Chloe Coney

District 5 Jim Norman (R)
Jim Norman (REP)
Joe Redner (DEM)
Yamel Christina Arronte (NPA)

District 7 Mark Sharpe (D)
Mark Sharpe (REP)
Thomas Scott (DEM)

Circuit Court
Circuit Court Judge District 25 - Robert Foster
Robert Foster
Catherine W. Real

Circuit Court Judge District 32 - Perry Little
Elizabeth (Betsey) L. Hapner
Cris A. DeBock
Bernard Silver
Caroline J. Tesche

Circuit Court Judge District 43 - empty
Kimberly Fernandez
Mitchell L. Fraley
Paul T. Jeske

Circuit Court Judge District 44 - empty
Jesse V. Dominguez
Emily Peacock
John (Jay) F. Rudy
Samantha L. Ward

Circuit Court Judge District 45 - empty
Pat Courtney
Gary S. Dolgin
Ashley Brooke Moody

School Board
School Board Member District 6 - Carolyn Bricklemyer
Ken Allen
Stephanie Desmarais Georgiades
April Griffin
David L. "Dave" Schmidt
Media Recommendations
My Endorsement - April Griffin
Tampa Tribune - Ken Allen

Soil and Water Conservation District (Beats me what this is. Will read up and post about it)
Soil and Water Conservation District 1 - John Conrad
C. Dennis Carlton
Tammy Harman

Other Blogs Politcal Reference Sites:
State of Sunshine - Newspaper Endorsements
State of Sunshine - List of County Commission Candidates Websites
O'Blog - Florida Federal and States Campaigns Candidates Websites Site