Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Scaries!!!


Before you take your children out for Trick or Treat, please visit the following link.


Keep your kids safe.

Also remember reflective clothing, and costumes that allow free movement.

SESH Neighborhood Vehicle Patrol will be handing out glow bracelets to trick or treaters. Look for our patrols to get your bracelet!

Cleaning the Garage (it's finally under 90 degrees)

As part of our cleaning the garage project, we're selling some things. First up is two stained glass lamps which were part of the house when we got it, but they are not antique. Both were in use until recently and are in very good condition. No breaks or chips and they have the necessary hanging hardware. Follow the name links for bigger pictures of each.

Price is $25 each - you come get 'em here in The Heights (I'm by Sligh and Central). Email me if you want them.

1. Wisteria lamp
Has lots of blues, pinks, and greens. The bottom is lacy. Holds 3 light bulbs.

2. Lily lamp
Has yellows, purples, greens, and blues. Holds 2 light bulbs.

We are also selling off some IKEA stuff if anybody is interested. We have a Journalist shelving set in our garage that is up for grabs as well as an Expedit bookcase in our office. Both are in good-used condition. I will try to get pictures up this week but contact me if interested as I expect them to sell quickly given the lack of Ikea around here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Gang Activity???

From an email in SESH......
............"While watching a Larry King show on gang activity at 2:00 A.M., there was a runner across the bottom of the screen that said Tampa is one of the worst places in the country for gangs. I was shocked! Is that true?"

I am curious about the true answer to this question, which I have posed to our Major. But I am just as interested in the "perception" . So what have you seen, or not seen and what do you think?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cappy's, Parking and the City

Just incase you missed it.

Trick or Treat

Halloween. An American tradition for almost as long as Christmas has gone from children in cute or silly costumes begging candy to self-righteous sourpusses calling it evil and standing on street corners in costumes blaring turn-or-burn instead of treat or treat.
I really wish they would realize that their christmas trees and evergreens; eggs, bunnies, and chicks have just as pagan an origin as the feared Hallow's Eve.
It seems it is all a matter of what you choose to make of it.

So Happy Halloween
Trick or Treat.

Saturday, October 28, 2006



GIDDENS PARK TODAY 10:00am ~ 2:00pm


Today, Saturday
Giddens Park
10:00 AM ~ 2:00 PM

Friday, October 27, 2006

Two Interesting Links

First Link is to the FDOT Update:

Second Link is to the City of Tampa Neighborhood Newsletter: http://www.seshca.com/NeighborhoodNewsNovember2006.pdf

Pumpkin Parade

10th Annual Pumpkin Parade and Party!

Sunday, October 29th from 4:00 pm until dark

1000 Block of East Clifton St.

Wear your Halloween costume and bring your parents and friends for a fun parade around Lake Roberta. Decorate your stroller, wagon or bicycle if you aren’t walking. Our friends at Fire Station Number 7 will lead the parade with their fire truck!

Tampa Police Department will offer fingerprinting for kids and Halloween safety information for parents. Hampton Terrace Neighborhood Watch will be giving out glow sticks to promote Halloween safety. The Tampa YMCA will have fun Halloween games for the kids.

Please bring canned goods for the Metropolitan Ministries food basket and a chance to win a family membership to the YMCA!

Please bring one of the following items to the party:
Juice Boxes
Canned soft drinks
Bottled Waters
Festive Halloween treats/snacks (please do not bring Halloween candy; we’ll save that for the 31st!)

Cotton candy and popcorn will be provided.

What's Up With Nebraska?

From an email: "Everyone is always asking about what's going on with Nebraska Ave. project. Here it is."


Thursday, October 26, 2006


I know our host has already posted a story on this but I am so angry I can't be quiet. I took my lunch time to peruse the blog as I like to do each day and when I went through the various comments, expecting to find the usual witty, sometimes caustic, always entertaining comments. Instead I find Yamel has not only put her whiney self pitying comments as a post to one item, but as an inappropriate comment to several unrelated postings.

I would like to suggest "Princess" that you have done your self far more harm than good. But you have helped me to know I would never vote for you! Thanks for the clarification!

Political Spam

The web has an significant effect on political campaigning. Howard Dean used to get get a lot of grassroots support. Almost every credible candidate has a website. There are email lists to get the message out. Cutting edge candidates like April Griffin are now using blogs to get the message out.

This blog has twice encounted a fallen over the edge candidate who is turning to blog political spam to get her message across. Today in different blog articles on this blog and on a article I posted on Sticks of Fire she sent the following spam or variation there off.

"I’ve been ignored, called a MILF and remembered as a Princess but the fact remains that I am the best qualified, most educated with varied experiences and commitment for Hillsborough County Commissioner. The current County Commission race is straight out of Jerry Springer. I'm between extremes. Here there is a local candidate that served as a Combat Medic, worked for the Health Department and even had foster children and all the media wants to write about is how Norman has hurt us and Redner is a loose cannon. Yes I’m a Geography Teacher meaning I understand world governments and world religions in a County that has international ports. And yes I went to Leto c/o 88 meaning I understand the uniqueness of each area and all 3 cities within. I’m a member of the Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Council, CTA, NAACP and just asked to join the Veteran Parade Committee.

Yamel Christina Arronte

Dear Yamel,

You are pissing me off. Stop being a spammer. I realize the spam worked to a certain extent because I am now writing a blog article about you and putting you message out. However it wll backfire because all you are doing is irritating people. Also your message is a bit funky. MILF? Princess? You are not coming across as a politician (someone who understands politics and what is needed to work with citizens and other politicians), but instead as a nutjob. Also you are not an effective spammer because to maximize your message you should have not signed up as anonymous but instead signed in with a name that link to your website.

On the subject of spam, I somehow got on the mailing list for Joe Negron. Reading the bottom of the message I think I know why: "You are receiving this email because you or someone on your behalf signed up to receive email updates from our campaign." Someone on my behalf? - That would not cut it with commercial emails. That's illegal spam. Joe Negron must be soft on crime.

And finally Charlie Crist must also be soft on crime, as he apparently believes in
violating code in a big way.

10/26/06 PM Update: I received an apology on my answering machine from Yamel Aronte . Apology accepted.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shocking News - City Council to Allow Electric Fences

In the evening session of Thursday, October 26, City Council votes on an amendment to the city code that would allow electric fences. This was pushed by a private electric fence company, Sentry Security Systems. See details in the City documents.
The proposed change would be:

Low-voltage electrical fencing with a maximum of twelve (12) volts, primary
voltage, may be used in the city of Tampa, provided that:
(1)The electrical fence shall be no higher than ten (10) feet tall;
(2) The electrical fence shall be completely surrounded by a non –electrical fence or wall with a height not to exceed six (6) feet;
(3) The surrounding non – electrical fence or wall shall be separated from the electrical fence by at lest six (6) inches at the closest point between the electrical fence and the non – electrical surrounding fence or wall; and,
(4) The electrical fence is identified as such at least every sixty (60)feet.

The Planning Commission is against the change, stating it is inconsistent with the Tampa Comprehensive Plan.

From Susan Long:
"We just got rid of most of the barbed wire fencing on Florida and Nebraska Avenues. Now they want to put up electrified fences. If you are opposed, please come to city council and voice your opinion."

Call City Council at 274-8131 and express yourself.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fat Cats

The Creative Loafing recently had an article about a woman who is trying to use the Internet to get a lap band surgery.

What struck me about the article was this "Many things in the Browns' house are larger than life: her huge kitchen, three terribly obese cats, four plump birds that chirp incessantly, her extensive teddy bear collection."

I have seen other fat pets. Why?

Cats and birds (and dogs) don't get fat because they sneak into the refrigerator, or make nightly runs up to Krispy Kreme donuts, (like I do), or sit in their dog house watching Animal Planet on TV while munching animal crackers. They get fat because we make them so. We feed them. We make them fat. We slowly kill them with fatness. All we have to do is feed them less.

New Shows on WMNF

Got an idea for a cool radio show, that's not on WMNF? Here's you chance, as:

"WMNF will be instituting a new/renewed schedule in January. During the next six weeks we are inviting proposals for new shows (that are not currently on the WMNF schedule). If you interested in submitting a proposal, please answer the following questions in an email to Randy Wynne:

Name of show, type of show you are proposing:
Describe what the show will sound like, in some detail ( a pilot show can be helpful) :
What skills, background and experience qualify you to host/produce this program?
Why is this show important to the community and /or WMNF?
What times of the day and week are you available?
If there is no time available on WMNF's main channel, would you consider doing this show on WMNF2, our forthcoming new channel available only on HD radios and an internet stream?

WMNF's Programming Committee will review your proposal. The deadline to consider your proposal for the next programming period is Friday, October 27, 2006."

Hurry and get your idea into the best radio station in the world, based of course, in Seminole Heights.

Also Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys plus Blueground Undergrass will be performing at Skippers on Nov 7. (Who is Ralph Stanley? - Watch/Listen to "Brother Where Art Thou" )

(Bluegrass - the official music of the Seminole Heights Blog)


My neighbor Denise Sloan was interviewed in article in the Trib about Eid and the ending of Ramadan. Pictured and mentioned in the article (but misidentified) was her granddaughter Layla Vann.

Seminole Heights Cheery Gothians

In today's Trib is an article about Seminole Heights residents Ed and Theresa Frederick "Dressed in black lace with bits of pale flesh exposed, Theresa Frederick looks every bit the hot Goth babe for her weekly radio show, "Dark Horizons."

Aaah yes, Seminole Heights, the place where only interesting people live.

10/25/06 Update: Interesting is good.

A Story and a Thank You!

I was very privileged to attend the TPD District III Workshop. The purpose was to introduce the citizens of District III to their officers and to learn "how things worked" and how to help TPD to help the neighbors. Chief Hogue , Assistant Chief Castor and Major Guidara were in attendance along with SAC, and QUAD officers, and many street level officers. It was a good workshop and even I who have been in many meetings with TPD learned some new things.

I was very disappointed in the turn out. I have listened to many who say they think TPD isn’t as accessible as they would like, who don’t understand whom to call about what, but when the opportunity is given to meet the officers who serve us, to put a face with the name and open a relationship, many did not show up! What a shame.

However, like I said, I learned some new things and enjoyed hearing what the various officers had to say.

Then I drove home. As I turned onto Shadowlawn from Nebraska, I looked down my street and saw several red and blue lights blinking and a congestion of cars. A rare event on Shadowlawn
I drove close to the gathering and called my neighbor to make sure she was ok, as it was in front of her house. Then I parked and got out of my car and walked to her house. There were two patrol cars, and three undercover cars surrounding one citizen car. There was one man in handcuffs. I stood with my neighbor on her porch and watched and in a few minutes one of the officer’s came over to tell us what happened.

The officer in the unmarked car had made a drug buy from the man in handcuffs, at the Touchdown convenience store on the corner of 15th and Hillsborough. I loved hearing that. When we first started going on vehicle patrol four years ago, that store had been a Farm Store and they were ALWAYS selling drugs in that parking lot, as well as up and down the street. It has been a much more invisible problem the last year. The kind of problem you do not see as you pass by in your car but you suspect is still there. So as I looked at this collection of Tampa’s finest, having just come from the workshop, I felt that in spite of all the blinking lights and the intrusion on our street things are pretty good in the heights. Thanks in part to TPD.

Thank you Major Guidara and staff. Thank you very much!

Can't get rid of your explosives or radioative wastes, but.............

The City of Tampa Solid Waste department will hold a household chemical collection from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2006. Residents may drop off items listed below at the Solid Waste facility located at 4010 West Spruce Street behind the main building. Drivers should enter on Clark Street to access the facility. Residents may bring the following materials to the collection site: · paints and solvents· used motor oil· automotive products · pool chemicals· mercury containing devices, such as fluorescent light bulbs and thermometers · lawn, garden and household chemicals · electronics including computer monitors, printers, CPUs, keyboards and televisions. The city will not accept any explosive, radioactive or bio-medical wastes at the collection site. Residents must bring a driver’s license, current water bill or electric bill to use this free city service. For more information, please call the City of Tampa Solid Waste department at 813-348-1111.Residents in the City of Tampa can now recycle cardboard at the Manhattan Brush Site, located at 6727 S. Manhattan Avenue.

BGoSH Mixer Thursday Night!

Attend the Business Guild of Seminole Heights Fall Mixer

The Shops at Central & Hanna Avenues
Tampa Antiquarian Books,
Silver Linings and Glen's Hair Studio

Thursday, October 26 from 7-9 p.m.

The Business Guild of Seminole Heights’ fall mixer will be held
at the darling group of art deco shops at Central and Hanna.
Munch tasty catered hors d'oeuvres while browsing
Steph’s collectable books, admiring Barbara’s array of
home and garden items, or discussing a new “do” with Glen.

Please park at the church across the street.

For more information, click here:

Invite your employees and clients! We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Commercial Challenge

Everybody wants to see the commercial area improve. Some see Seminole Heights as having the same constraints as areas of Hyde Park and South Tampa with just less desireable businesses. It has been at least 5 years since I looked at land use maps of the commercial areas and I had never compared them to other parts of the city. We really do have a distinct problem. The only area that comes close to our commercial limitations are Howard and Armenia north of 275 and south of Columbus. But our problem is more than double the size.

It is why we need City Council members and city staff to think outside the box. It is also why I have advocated for a commercial overlay district that could serve our unique situation.

Those red (mostly) and pink strips are what we have to work with without losing any residential area. It ain't much folks! That is what is making it so difficult for places like Cappy's and other new businesses to take hold.

The maps below are taken from the Planning Commission maps. The map to the left is Hyde Park. The map to the right is Dale Mabry & Henderson. What you see with regard to red, pink, and brown are generally larger areas of similar zoning. Places to put the parking that the city would require. A luxury that doesn't exist for 95% of our commercial corridor.

While a band-aid may help Cappy's. How many potential businesses have the deep pockets and patience to make such a gamble? A lot of people don't like the car dealers and junk car lots. Others don't want a homogenized commercial district of chain stores. But the typical independent merchant can't afford to reinvent the wheel with the various permitting hurdles.

That is why there is the need to push more rapidly for a commercial overlay district. Such a district could accommodate the zoning realities, the stormwater retention issues, provide for parking solutions, and make the commerical areas pedestrian friendly and safe. It would provide a clear set of rules for redeveloping our commercial areas. (no I am not promising world peace as well).

Parking is by far the biggest challenge. There are solutions via city purchase, owned and maintained mini-parking lots. The creation of a Community Redevelopment Corp oriented to the commercial district with a nominal millage tax to aquire and maintain the quasi-public parking and other commerical enhancements.

It is great that the City Council has signed on the Seminole Heights Strategic Plan but we as a community need to move beyond a plan and advocate for some concrete remedies. Surely if the City can make a huge commitment to The Heights project to the south of us surely a few dollars can be found to try the mini-parking lots.

Otherwise, will another 20 years will go by without substantial change?

Link to Planning Commission land use map:

Links related to some of the posted comments:




Monday, October 23, 2006

Talk to the Cops!

Tuesday Night! For more information:


Richard Cloud Day

As I noted earlier, today is the 31st anniversary of the murder in Seminole Heights of TPD Sgt. Richard Cloud. At 9:45 AM on October 23, 1975 he was shot at his front door at 404 W. Alva St.

As the St. Pete Times proclaimed King of Seminole Heights, I hereby declare this a day of rememberance in Seminole Heights. We are a better City because of people like him fighting crime and corruption.

Residents Photos

There is an article in the Trib today about the Concernt in the Park and an accompanying photo shows SE Seminole Heights resident Maria Garcia-Gonzalez and in the background another resident.

In the classifieds front page there is a photo of a woman holding the keys of her car and it is titled "Seminole Heights."

Got a rental?

From the SESH web page email...................

Hi I'm very interested in renting in area can you Please email your members and ask if there are any homes for rent or garage apartments available. I'm a profeesional College instructor hardly ever home mantain good liing quarters very interested in Seminole heights and area. I have been to a few porch parties and helped with the hit team just looking to rent for now and purchase in future. I have a home in Hudson ready to sell now looking to move here.


Dominic Cianciola


Perfect Pops In The Park!!

Sunday Evening.........

As the sun went down hundreds of people gathered at the Tower Park in Sulphur Springs. My friends and I who attended, sipped our wine, munched on our quiche and other tasty treats while we listened to some amazing energetic
music by the Florida Orchestra. The music finale provided the backgtound for a spectacular fireworks display!

All this wonderful music and fireworks was free!

Wow! What an awesome event!

Thanks to the City Of Tampa!

Daily Dose of Tampa History - Hillsborough High

As posted on Rob's myspace, old photos of Hillsborough High.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Car versus house

Apparently the other day a car comes zooming west down Knollwood (reportedly 70 mph) decides to turn left at Branch, clips a tree at SE corner and runs into the front porch at the SW corner. The pillars are knocked down, the porch roof is partially collasped. Reportedly the driver was not arrested just ticketed. Drive by and take a look

Mafia Stories

Yesterday at breakfast, I was talking with two people who had Mafia stories. One lived in a town up north that was the hotbed of Mafia activity and another worked at a lounge in Tampa. At that time apparently the mob was also into the parking valet business in Tampa, they way they are now., They did a crappy job parking cars but because they were the mob, they could not be fired. The restaurant had to rent its knives from the mob and had to get them sharpened by a mob knife sharpener. The cook ran a kickback scheme and the bread man and other food suppliers had to pay him to get their food in the place.

So what's your mafia stories?

The definitive book on Tampa Mafia is "Cigar City Mafia" by Scott Deitchre


Prizes and fun at Dog Day in Gidden's Park next Saturday!

This bed, from Skyebeds, a doggie business located in SH, will be raffled off at Dog Day...Tickets available at the Park from 10:00 - 2:00

To volunteer for DD, email info@SESHCA.com

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Property: What it is and what it ain't

I see many on this blog speaking property "Values" and Quality of life" as if they are as tangible as "Real Property' itself.
When I speak of "Real Property" I mean something you can guard, lock up, or defend on the personal level (your body). 3D stuff you can put a tag on or show others it's existence.

"Values", "Quality of Life", and my personal non-favorite "Intellectual Property" are just concepts.

The State used to hold real property as the highest level to be acknowledged and defended in law,
Use of Real Property w/o physically encroaching on that of others was open.

Concepts as "Values" "Quality of Life" "Intellectual Property" exist only to the extant that the State can enforce their acknowledgment.
Acknowledgment on a one to one basis as in a contract w/an insurer or lender allows it's existence on an instance to instance basis and the State only comes in to mediate the upholding of contract not what's being contracted over.

A backlash over the extension of "Conceptual Property" rights over "Real Property" by the State seems to be brewing.
Look at the movement to reverse the powers of "Eminent Domain".
Better yet look at how no matter what a person does in relation to code. If they own it and it's not a health hazard. They can't do anything in a real sense. It's either homage to the original definition of property or knowing that when push comes to shove a half-assed constitutional lawyer can shoot the whole thing down.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lassiez-Faire Code Enforcement?

Is this lassiez-faire code enforcement attitude? Live and let live?

From an article in the Tribune on October 19, 1990

The tour took council members, housing and code enforcement officials, civic association members, and the press to several blighted neighborhoods to view substandard housing and discuss various code enforcement issues.

"The purpose of this trip is not to showcase our renovation projects but to show you parts of Tampa some people don't see or see through blinders," said Bob Harrell, director of the city's Housing and Development Coordination Office.

The air-conditioned charter bus had barely pulled onto Nebraska Avenue before council member Perry Harvey Jr. stood up and took over the aisle from code enforcement supervisor Wanda Thompson, who had guided the passengers through the first sight, the Red Top Bar, which was closed and seized by the city for code violations.

But Harvey wanted them to see houses where people lived on First and Second avenues, part of City Council District 5, which he represents.

"Look at this. Can you believe people live like this just five minutes from City Council?" Harvey asked emphatically. The bus drove slowly through narrow streets. Old tin roofing was rusted and barely hanging onto some of the houses.

Like a scene out of the Deep South, black men and women sat on their lopsided wooden porches waving at the bus. Garbage, old tires and overgrown trees and weeds cluttered what was left of the yards.

One empty lot had overtaken the sidewalk, which was no longer visible. "And this is an improvement," Harvey said. "It was worse than this last week."

Another Trib article from November 20, 1990

TAMPA HEIGHTS -- Shortly after midnight last Tuesday, a dozen men wandered back and forth along four blocks of Central Avenue, amid the shadows and along the wood steps of old, empty houses in Tampa Heights.

Though it's not zoned for business, this stretch is known as a crack-cocaine flea market. Haggard men and women come here to mingle, sit out on dusty milk crates and swig quarts of malt liquor. Others come to sell, buy and smoke "rocks."

Before its indulgent decline, Tampa Heights was the pride of the city. "It was the ideal place; very homey, neat and clean," said 80-year-old Matilda Larkin, who has been living in the neighborhood for 47 years. "Then it just deteriorated."

Crime, garbage-littered lots, boarded-up and dilapidated houses visibly proclaim that the area just north of downtown -- bounded by Palm Avenue, North Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Interstate 275 -- has changed.

Too Good to Resist

According to the Trib:

"Transit officials in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are considering a merger of their bus systems, a move that could boost travel between the two counties and attract more federal funding."

I wonder if it will be called Pinellas-Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit System? P.H.A.R.T.S?

Who is Richard Cloud?

Richard Cloud's name can be found on the Tampa Police Department Memorial.

"Sergeant Cloud was fired from his job as head of the department's Vice squad in March of 1975. He continued his pursuit of drug dealers and organized crime without a badge, working with a federal task force.

Seven months later, Cloud, 33, was shot in a mob-financed assassination after answering the door of his Seminole Heights home. The Tampa City Council re-instated him to the police force posthumously. A wife and two sons survive him.

More details about his murder can be found in "Deathwork: Defending the Condemned" By Michael Mello starting on page 71. He was shot by Benjamin Guilford (who later commited suicide) on the orders of of a mobster named Victor Acosta. Acosta's lackey Anthony Antone hired the hit men.

A detective with HCSO wrote the following:
"Richard Cloud was the kind of policeman of which stories are written and movies are made. He was tenacious, unorthodox, implacable, and, unfortunately, very, very tough. (He was fired from the TPD for using “excessive force.”) When Det. Cloud was assigned a case, he did not let up until the perpetrator was arrested, convicted, and serving time. Needless to say, Det. Cloud was the kind of man who made enemies. In fact, it seems he was always receiving death threats, and on several occasions it had even been rumored that certain individuals had put a contract out on him. Unfortunately, when Cloud was fired from the police department, he was no longer “protected.” In other words, it is a well-known fact that gangsters do not usually kill police officers, because they do not want the entire law enforcement community breathing down their necks. But Anthony Antone, evidently thinking that Cloud was “safe,” put a contract out on Cloud and he was murdered as he answered a knock at the front door of his home. He was shot several times by a hit-man who posed as a door-to-door salesman. "

There is a lot more to the Richard Cloud story, however trying to find online references is difficult.

Updates. He lived and died at 404 W. Alva Street in South Seminole Heights. The 31st anniversarry of his death is coming up as he was shot at 9:45 a.m on October 23, 1975.

His photo was not placed on the wall with other fallen TPD offficers until 1993. Politics played a role.

In March 1975 he fired by then Police Chief Charles Otero. Two years later he was reinstarted by Mayor William Poe.

"The city's police-fire pension board then ruled he had died in the line of duty. Otero, whose run-ins with Cloud were well-known around the department, refused to put Cloud's photo on the wall. Three subsequent police chiefs never did, either. One of them, Robert Smith, now the city's public safety administrator, says he never was asked." (Tampa Trib May 24, 1993) It took "Chief Eduardo Gonzalez to give Cloud the recognition he deserved."

"Cloud's mother and his two sons, Paul and Paris, were there to hear. Cloud's widow, Wanda, later remarried, divorced and moved to Texas"

"A tall, muscular man, Cloud went from four years in the Air Force to being a beat cop. Friends said he fought crime like he fought other men: with a vengeance.Nabbing mobsters who peddled dope and catching wily safecrackers were his favorite.Prosecutors said the mob paid for Cloud's murder. He'd been digging too deep into narcotics dealers and the underworld."

"Cloud's career generated nearly as much controversy as his murder. Scores of news stories detailed his life and his work. Some said he was dirty. Others said he had dirt on the corrupt and the powerful.Seven months before he died, the 34-year-old Cloud was fired for refusing to take a lie detector test over an accusation he beat a prisoner.Even without his badge, Cloud continued his quest against corruption. He testified about the mob before federal grand juries and became an informant for the FBI."

"Eventually, four were arrested, including Acosta, for Cloud's contract murder. Anthony Antone, the arranger, died in the electric chair. Acosta and Benjamin Gilford, the gunman, committed suicide in jail. Ellis Haskew, the getaway driver and the one who agreed to testify against the others, is serving a 35-year federal prison sentence."

"Every year, on the anniversary of Cloud's death, Halligan (his former partner) puts a can of Budweiser on his grave."That was his favorite beer," Halligan said. "Dick was an uncanny cop. He could find crime around the corner. He deserves to be on that memorial wall. I think he can rest in peace now.""

Someone named Ellis Haskew died in Mount Dora, Florida on July 5, 2004.

Chain Gang

IFly posted a link to this in a comment. I think it is worth a post by itself

"Chain gang

Andersonville, a charming part of Chicago’s far north side, has taken a step to preserve its preciousness. Its chamber of commerce has proposed an ordinance banning “formula businesses”, or chain stores, from historic neighbourhoods. The draft ordinance, which would give residents of certain areas the power to ban any chain with more than four outposts, would be the first of its kind in Chicago. Similar measures are already in place in San Francisco and other cities.

Proponents claim the measure will protect the area’s character, which thrives on unique, locally owned shops. They also cite a 2004 study showing that for every $100 spent at a local store, $68 remains in Chicago, compared with only $43 per $100 spent at a chain store. Opponents include landlords, who argue that the ordinance would force them to rent at below-market rates. Others say that Andersonville’s narrow streets and sparse parking naturally deter large chains, making the measure unnecessary. Especially observant critics might point out that Andersonville has survived despite a Starbucks, an Einstein Bagels and a UPS Store. The measure, which has yet to go before the City Council, comes a month after the mayor, Richard Daley, vetoed an ordinance that would have forced “big box” stores to raise their wages and provide more fringe benefits. Mr Daley said that the measure would have impeded business and development in the city."

This is similar to my idea that there ought to be an ordinance that restricts any new car lots in Seminole Heights.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Your invited!

From a friend in OSH...............South Seminole Heights has a porch party on October 20th at 112 W. Osborne at 7:30 PM. Let's all go. We invade SESH and they invade ours, so it's time to invade SSH. Bring a snack to share and your beverage of choice.
See you there.
So, Greater Seminole Heights, grab your snacks and beverage and head to the party! Time for some mingling!

Urban Legends

The Weekly Planet this week -- oops Creative Loafing --did a story about a ghostbuster who is exploring the urban legends of Tampa Bay area.

"Stark, with the help of her team of paranormal investigators, plans to research and scrutinize local urban legends -- not necessarily to debunk them but to discover their origins. If her previous research is any indication, she will have a plethora to choose from"

I wonder if there are any urban legends in Seminole Heights. We have plenty of places they could be. The carillon tower at Hillsborough High, old houses, the Sulphur Springs Tower, all along Hillsborough Rivers, underneath any of the bridges, Richard Cloud's house (former TPD Detective shot at his Seminole Heights house). Stories involving streetwalkers on Nebraska.

If there aren't any, we ought to make some up. Feel free to use Snopes.com as a source of inspiration.


There isa former convenience store/market that sits angled off the road on west side of Nebraska, somewhere up in Evelyn City part of Seminole Heights that is getting remodeled. My guess is a Pawn Shop.

Car Places Bye Bye

Recently I've noticed the death of 5 car associated places.

The car lot at SE corner of Sligh and Nebraska (across from BP station)

Two auto repair places on Nebraska just south of Loma Linda Motel
Some auto body repair on east side of Nebraska someplace, is empty. It's the place where you can see the paint shed.

Somewhere across from Stephanos' a car lot is empty.

Tampa Heights Blog

There is a new neighborhood blog in town - Tampa Heights by David Jenkins. Give it a looksee. I learned of this from Tommy at SticksOfFire

Free Concert at TOWER PARK

Pops in the Park Fall Finale in Sulphur Springs

Tampa, FL October 18, 2006 - The Florida Orchestra will perform the finale for the Pops in the Park concert series on Sunday, October 22, at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the River Tower Park in Tampa at 701 East Bird Street.

This will be the first major event at the new park at the base of the famous tower. Conducted by Associate Conductor Susan Haig, the concert will feature familiar classics as well as Viennese favorites and pop tunes. The evening concert will conclude with a fireworks display sponsored by TECO Energy and the City of Tampa’s Neighborhood & Community Relations Office. Attendees are welcome and encouraged to bring picnic baskets, blankets, low-back folding chairs and coolers. The program for the concert will include John Williams’ “The Cowboy Overture”; “Anitra’s Dance” and “The Hall of the Mountain King” from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1”; the overture to Mozart’s “La Clamenzo di Tito”; the fourth movement of Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8”; Lecuona’s “La Malaguena”; Von Suppe’s “Light Cavalry Overture”; selections from Lehar’s “Merry Widow”; selections from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man”; and the overture to Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”

As part of the orchestra’s outreach and education activities, the Orchestra’s Pops in the Park concert series is supported by Homes by Helen, City of Tampa, The Tampa Tribune, and TECO Energy.

For additional information about this concert, call The Florida Orchestra at (813) 286-2403 or toll free at 1-800-662-7286, or visit their website at http://www.floridaorchestra.org/, or contact City of Tampa Creative Industries Manager Paul Wilborn at (813) 274-8016, paul.wilborn@tampagov.net

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dog Day In The Park

10:00 AM ~ 2:00 PM



Taco Bus Travels to Baylife Front Page

Seminole Heights' own Taco Bus got a great write up in the Trib today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ira Hayes

Clint Eastwood has a new movie out called Flags of Our Fathers about Iwo Jima. I had not paid much attention to anything about the movie, until I glanced at an article in Parade and saw the name Ira Hayes mentioned as one of the heroes focused on in the movie.

Johnny Cash sung a song about Ira Hayes (You can hear it by going to his audio section song #16).

The Ballad Of Ira Hayes

Ira Hayes,
Ira Hayes

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Gather round me people there's a story I would tell
About a brave young Indian you should remember well
From the land of the Pima Indian
A proud and noble band
Who farmed the Phoenix valley in Arizona land

Down the ditches for a thousand years
The water grew Ira's peoples' crops
'Till the white man stole the water rights
And the sparklin' water stopped

Now Ira's folks were hungry
And their land grew crops of weeds
When war came, Ira volunteered
And forgot the white man's greed

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

There they battled up Iwo Jima's hill,
Two hundred and fifty men
But only twenty-seven lived to walk back down again

And when the fight was over
And when Old Glory raised
Among the men who held it high
Was the Indian, Ira Hayes

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Ira returned a hero
Celebrated through the land
He was wined and speeched and honored; Everybody shook his hand

But he was just a Pima Indian
No water, no crops, no chance
At home nobody cared what Ira'd done
And when did the Indians dance

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Then Ira started drinkin' hard;
Jail was often his home
They'd let him raise the flag and lower it
like you'd throw a dog a bone!

He died drunk one mornin'
Alone in the land he fought to save
Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
Was a grave for Ira Hayes

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Yeah, call him drunken Ira Hayes
But his land is just as dry
And his ghost is lyin' thirsty
In the ditch where Ira died

Since we are on the subject of war, here is another Johhny Cash song that fits.

Drive On

I got a friend named Whiskey Sam
He was my boonierat buddy for a year in Nam
He said is my country just a little off track
Took 'em twenty-five years to welcome me back
But, it's better than not coming back at all
Many a good man
I saw fall And even now,
every time I dream I hear the men
and the monkeys in the jungle scream

Drive on, don't mean nothin'
My children love me, but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
Drive on, don't mean nothin', drive on

I remember one night,
Tex and me Rappelled in on a hot L.Z.
We had our 16's on rock and roll
But, with all that fire,
was scared and cold
We were crazy, we were wild
And I have seen the tiger smile
I spit in a bamboo viper's face
And I'd be dead, but by God's grace

Drive on, don't mean nothin'
My children love me, but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
Drive on, don't mean nothin', drive on

It was a real slow walk in a real sad rain
And nobody tried to be John Wayne
I came home, but Tex did not
And I can't talk about the hit he got
I got a little limp now when
I walk Got a little tremolo when
I talk But my letter read from Whiskey Sam
You're a walkin' talkin' miracle from Vietnam

Drive on, don't mean nothin'
My children love me, but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
Drive on, don't mean nothin', drive on

Seminole Heights Bakery Cafe again

Well, it looks like someone is trying again to open up a bakery/cafe at the Seminole Heights Bakery (Nebraska south of Giddens). Good window signs. Hours 6a to 6p Mon to Fri, 6A to 1P Sat. They say they have the best Cuban sandwiches. They advertise a breakfast special of Cuban coffee and Cuban toast. This will be the 4th attempt since I moved in to the neighborhood in 2000. They ae making a good start with their hours. Get that early morning crowd.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Home For Sale Or Rent............................

About 11 years ago I made a conscience decision to move to Seminole Heights. I had looked in parts of South Tampa----ouch! It made my pocketbook scream. And I looked in Tampa Heights----whew! That was a little more pioneering than even I was willing to do. But like Goldilocks, the third time was the charm. Seminole Heights was JUST right! Problem is, I was fresh out of a marriage, child in tow and not ready to buy. Just ready to reside. So I was looking for a rental. It was tough. I looked for well over a year before I found just what I was looking for. I paid a high price but it was a beautiful home and a good place to start over. I stayed there until it was sold. (I still couldn’t afford to buy) and then rented another not quite as nice but suitable house, where we stayed for over two years. All this time I was searching Greater SH for just the right house to buy. Finally one day I lucked out and found a super home on a double lot in SESH. My dogs were ecstatic and my daughter was thrilled. That was August 2001 and we are still very happy with our choice.

But recently, when a friend of mine wanted to rent in SH. We drove and drove trying to find a house. Not a run down, ill cared for rental, but a nice house that just happens to be a rental! It was difficult to find any to even look at, although she finally found a great house.

My point is, as the picture shows. Because our neighborhood was flooded with investor houses, and the market is mush, there are lots of rental houses now. Nice houses. So if you know of anyone who wants to "try out" SH, tell them to come now before the housing market gets solid again, which it will. It’s a great way to get situated in a neighborhood so you can make sure if it is where you want to live!

It's too good looking.......

Can't be Millenium!!!!
I went for a drive in the hood on Sunday, as I generally do, just to see what is going on. I left SESH and did some driving in OSH and came upon three lovely homes. Stylized to fit the area with nice front porches. I enjoyed seeing them, particularly the fact that at least two of them had sold signs on them. It reminded me that you CAN build a new home that not only fits in but isn't designed at the lowest end of the scale and you can still sell it! Years from now when the landscaping has integrated these homes in with the prized older framed homes in the area, I will enjoy passing by them and remembering when they were built. And how thankful I was that at least one builder caught on!

Bob Lassiter died.

Thanks to Chris Miller, I just learned Bob Lassiter died on Friday

Read his last words.

Bob was Tampa's best talk radio host. When he got out of the business, it all went downhill. I used to listen to him for hours from when he started in Tampa at WPLP.

Rest In Peace Bob. We miss you.


Parking for businesses is a problem in Seminole Heights. In order for us to attract more businesses,we need to come up with parking solutions.

I have been told that part of the problem is that the Code involved is based on suburban needs, not urban needs.

Some of the solutions I have heard thrown around was to create parking lots throughout the area. Some of these could be done I guess, by the city. Some by the business owners. Some of it could be done if businesses cooperated and shared their parking. For example, before Metropolitan Center moved in, the previous business in that location fenced in the parking and shut out anyone else from using it. That is their right as they own it. I also don't know if this arose from some dispute by someone abusing parking there. However that is a short sided view to the long term benefit of the overall business district. Across the street, the bar has plenty of parking but they too have shut it off.

An example of an area that could really benefit from a cooperative arrangement if the strip on Florida from Osborne to Nickos'. If the fence could be taken down at Francis House, the empty lot fixed up and th fence business bought out, there would be plenty of parking for everyone. If the alley would cleaned up , better lit and made more attactive, people would feel more comfortable to come to all of the places.

We also need to make the streets more attractive to walk down if you park a bit of a distance from the businessses.

SESH General Membership Meeting

Election of Officers
Guest Speaker Shannon Edge
Tuesday (Tomorrow) October 17th
7:00 PM ~ Seminole Heights Church ~ Fellowship Hall
SW Corner of Hillsborough and Nebraska
Come a little early for refreshments and conversation with your neighbors.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

County Commission Candidates

The Trib profiled the candidates and asked them questions on various issues.

Rose Ferlita
Mary Mulhern

"Spending" Jim Norman
Joe Redner

Ken Anthony
Kevin White

Mark Sharpe
Tom Scott

Rumor Mill

An uncomfirmed, unsubstantiated, unverified rumor heard this morning at breakfast at Nicko's.
Due to parking issues, Cappy's will close November 1.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Charley's Scooters

New business opening up on Florida Ave. I think it is called Charley's Scooters. Somewhere on west side of Florida, north of Osborne, south of Hanna, in an old car lot or car repair place.

Seminole Heights Antiques

As you remember we had an antique store at Osborne and Florida (4713 N. Florida Ave) that was called Now and Again II. The owner moved out but the store remained. I never posted an update on the new name and info.

Seminole Heights Antiques and Consignment is the new name. Phone is 237-5850.

Michael runs the store.

Open 7 days a week. I forget the hours.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Salon at Seminole Heights

According to this myspace site I found:
"The Salon at Seminole Heights is coming soon!! This salon is an upscale atmosphere in the heart of Seminole Heights. We are in a great location on Florida ave. We plan on creating a place to relax and enjoy manicures, pedicures, hair styling by the most professional of staff, tanning beds, and massages either in the seclusion of the "Garden Massage" or in the private massage room"


"We are now hiring creative individuals to work in an upscale salon. We need hair stylist, nail techs, a masseuse, and a receptionist. This salon is being renovated currently from a historic bungalow home in a great location. We are in the heart of historic Seminole Heights yet we are on the greatly visible street of Florida Ave. next to Hillsborough Ave."

My solution to the insurance crisis

Require every elected official's salary be cut by 10% and that money is used to pay the increase insurance costs for residents. Every year another 5% is cut until they come up with a solution. We'd see some real action then.

Police Daddy

Dear World,

There are some very funny and creative people in this neighborhood. Some of it I attribute to the years of illicit or legal drug usage. Most of it is due to inborn talent and an slightly irreverent attitude. For a few it is due to too much Starbucks coffee.

Example: I about fell out of my chair when I read this comment.

"Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood..
Won't you be my neighbor?
Everyone is working together!
Major Guidara is like the daddy I never had.
Would it be ok if I called him dad?
He could call me son..I wouldnt mind. "

Strictly due to the readers comments, this has got to be one of the funniest blogs around. I have never read anything like these comments anywhere else. It's like the blog has opened the faucet from some alternate world. A world where creativity is rewarded instead of squashed.

Major Guidara , the Seminole Heights police daddy.

Another Soap Box Entry!

It's a New Day in SH!

You all know I am a kind of a split personality. I am a very strong activist when I feel the quality of life in SH is in jeopardy. It is no secret that I have had serious issues with the Tampa Code department. The group of us who have been working, EVERYDAY, on the 1303 New Orleans issue has been and still are frustrated. However, I also am a person who believes not only making ourselves heard but also in trying to be part of the solution. I am constantly saying things are more complicated than they seem and change will be slow. So some think me pretty darn pushy and unrelenting and some think I am too soft! I am both! But there is a place for both positions.

This brings me to my point (bet your glad). Something very positive has taken place in our little corner of the world and I wanted to share it with you.
One of the problems in the past that has thwarted code is that many times their inspectors need cooperation from other city departments that is difficult to obtain. And sometimes code officers are placed in a situation which can be very intimidating. For instance if they are attempting to cite a house that is being used for drug activity.

You may have seen the TV coverage of the house on Osborne which was one of these situations. Many of you hooted about all the PR and how everyone was doing it for the coverage. I want you to know this situation is just one of several that have had outstanding coverage by code and that the rest of them, no one even knows about! The exciting thing is that our code officer Kristin and our District III TPD Major, Guidara are actively working together as a result of these few cases. It has started a new union between TPD and Code on the street level. We now have an officer which has been directed to work with Kristin in situations which concern both departments and the COP officers have been directed to help her as needed. I know this does not sound like anything but what should be business as usual, but I assure you this is huge!

Again, the support from TPD is wonderful. I can not tell you how satisfying it is to sit in a meeting with four other community activists and many of TPD’s finest, including Assistant Chief Castor. Major Guidara, and Major Teague, and experience an honest work together spirit of mutual respect. Having experienced the polar opposite some years back I can tell you this is very rewarding. I am sincerely hoping that this little start of super cooperation between Code and TPD will spread across the city and become a norm instead of an exception.

Gita Food Store Robbed

From TPD

Tampa Detectives Searching for Armed Robber

October 12, 2006 - Suspect: B/M, 22-29 years old, 5’6 – 5’7, think build, dark complexion, last seen wearing dark clothing, ski mask, gloves. Victim: Ybor Grocery, 3401 N. 15th Victim: Gita Food Store, 4804 N. Florida Ave (video from this robbery) On October 10th, two convenience stores were robbed less than a half-hour of each other. The armed gunman walked into both businesses demanding money from the victims at gunpoint and firing shots. No one was injured. Tampa Detectives believe the two cases are related due to the proximity and time between the robberies.

Here is the St. Pete Times story that incorrectly places both stores in Seminole Heights.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blogs in Seminole Heights

On the left I have a list of blogs in Seminole Heights. I just added Grumpy's blog - "Don't You Hate It When" to the list. I think I featured this blog before and forgot to add it to the list.

I tried to go back and see if there are others and think I have them all. I would make sure my list is complete. Please post a comment or email me if you have a blog in Seminole Heights and it is not on my side bar list.

Please read Grumpy's blog. It is funny.

Ghost Stories

Most of us have grown up on scary stories. First, the spooky tales at slumber parties, then the grit and gore of Freddy and Jason flicks. So, it was only natural when we moved into a historic neighborhood with its very own Elm Street, to imagine that we might have supernatural occurances. Our 1922 bungalow hasn't offered up too much excitement in that vein. There's one corner of the bedroom where every piece of furniture that sits there, creaks at night. The noises that come from the armoire are especially curious. But, this can be explained by the fact that this room connects to the bathroom, which is an area that tends to have unlevel floors in houses this age. At the end of the day, I guess the wood contracts and the furniture on top of it reacts.
One night I was reading in bed and heard a small noise which caused me to look at a ball that one of the dogs had left on the rug. I stared at the ball and it moved about four inches by itself. I watched it for another five minutes and it never moved again. Now, I'm sure there's a logical explanation for that, but for awhile afterwards I kept a close eye on that spot. A neighbor of mine has a threshold that her dogs find alarming. One dog jumps over it and the other bulks at crossing it at all.
Tampa Theater has its resident ghost. What about Seminole Heights? Any eerie tales out there for Halloween.

Kelly Gets a Job in New York

Thanks to Wayne Garcia on the Blurbex, I learned last week that Kelly Benjamin left Joe Redner's campaign and immediately was offered a job in New York. Unfortunately Kelly's entertaining post on the matter was yanked by Kelly after a phone call.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I need a home.

An Email:
"I currently live in Sulphur Springs and need to find a small apartment and would like to stay in the general neighborhood (Springs/Sem. Hts). I would prefer a studio or other small space, esp. a garage apartment or guest house. Does anyone know of such a place? I am a grad student at USF and work at their library. In other works, I’m not a bum."

Halloween Decorating Contest

OSHNA is sponsoring its 3rd Annual Halloween Decorating Contest. Nominate your favorite house by clicking the following link:
Halloween Decorating Nomination
Nominations will be taken until October 24th. A prize will be presented to the winner at the Halloween Porch Party at 7pm on October 28th.

Note: This means houses in Old Seminole Heightd

Happy Things

These are happy things about the hood:

Home Tour, Porch Parties, Dog Day In Gidden's Park, The Ice Cream Social, Volunteers, my neighbors across the street, and down the street, and the next street over, and on every street to the end of the hood. Heck my neighbors in the next hood!

More Happy things:

The Hit Team, our newsletter, the Dog Park, our code officer, our TPD Major, Kash and Karry is gone, Sweetbay is here, Chili Cook off, Jazz at Sulpher Springs, Bluegrass in the park, a beautiful rehab.......................... Friends!

More anyone?

Where is the Code Violation?

I am likely overstepping the boundaries on this one.

After reading the comments on a recent blog article, I could not help but wonder. Is Harold Scott related to Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes? Family motto: " I see nothing. I know nothing"


My most recent blog comment about 1303 New Orleans being an institutional group was sent by someone else to Code along with some questions. Zoning/Land Development was placed in the loop and this is their response.

"You are correct, if the owner is advertising it as a boarding house and charging rent for the rooms, then it's being used as a boarding house. That use does not comply with city code regarding a single family residence. I'm not sure why the case was complied to single family standards. I know that an interior inspection by Code Enforcement was needed in order to comply the case and I believe one was conducted. I will notify Code Enforcement to investigate this address being used as a boarding house.

LaChone Dock
Planning Research Analyst I
City of Tampa Land Development Coordination"

When I read the above my response was AAAARGH!!!!! (Cue in sound of Howard Dean). I was cursing the F word all over the place. (As you read this paragraph feel free to insert the F word in multiple places in each sentence. )

THE FACT THAT THIS WAS A BOARDING HOUSE was the reason this was referred to Code twice already. The first time that this was dropped was because ( if I remember right) Lachone told Code (Harold Scott) that 1303 had a variance that allowed them to be there. That was incorrect as they had a variance that allowed them to be an assisted living facility but not one that allowed them to be a rooming/boarding house. Never mind that I had been telling code (Bill Doherty) the correct info about the variance on numerous occassions in that first go around. The case got closed as complied when it had not.

Now, again they get cited for operating a boarding house. Again the City gets told on numerous occassions, this time by numerous people, that they are a boarding house. Everyone in the City (except Kristin) gets hung up on the 5 person rule, without looking at that rule closely, causing them to (maybe) close the case as complied.

Here is a new rule. The duck rule. If it quacks like a ducks, smells like a duck, taste like a duck, maybe it is a duck.

I think there needs to be some job switching. People in Land Development need to do some code enforcement for a while and vice versa. Maybe both groups would learn to think beyond their narrow little area of focus.

I have lost my patience. I just cannot believe it. Give me a f'ing break.

Just add lots of muttering and cursing. Lot's of it.

Just to reiterate to any City people who have not gotten it. This place is a boarding house and is not allowed there.

Dis and Dat Done gone

The Dis and Dat building (2 story brick building at Nebraska and Ida) is changing ownership and so Kenny is moving his shop. There is a pile of stuff is building behind his shop that is free for the taking.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Standing on a soapbox

Forgive me but out comes the soap box.

I have been a fan of this blog for quite some time. Posting originally as anonymous like lots of you, then finally with a name and now as a guest host. I have read for months while many of you whined and blamed everything on everyone, City Council, the Mayor, the Governor, Senators, Policemen, Code Officials, taxes, Homeowners Insurance, on and on. Your various associations heard your comments and took note, and decided you wanted to hear those running for office in your area address the concerns about which you had been complaining and were concerned.

So the Candidate Forum 2006 was born. Your association leaders asked for your questions and had various meetings reviewing your concerns and forming them into concise questions to be asked of the candidates. Your voices were heard, your questions were asked and guess what?


They were excellent questions and the answers were very instructive. I learned a lot from listening to the various candidates answer. Some were intelligent, some were not. Some understood the jobs they were seeking and some obviously did not. I, because I went, am a much better informed voter.

So I thank you for your input on the questions, but the truth is, when the election is done and we have whom we have, I will give no credence to your negative opinions about how things are going.
If you can’t leave the TV, computer, bar or whatever, to educate yourselves on who is running and what you can expect when they win an office, then you have little say in anything. In the future, when things do not go as you would wish, turn on the TV to drown out the sound of your own discontent.

Thank You Kristin!!

Bay News 9 goes out with code! Read Story: http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2006/10/10/189643.html?title=Apartments%20condemned

New Fashions

Today, on the way to work, I drove by the Mcdonald's at MLK and Central. I saw a mother and her daughter. The mother was wearing a pair of child's pink panties on her head. Leg holes on each side of her head. Yes. Panties. Is this some new fashion statement?

Arrest Day

Whike curious about details of the assault of McDonald's, I came across a slew of arrests of interest to Seminole Heights.

Arrested at : 501 DR KING BL E


------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GRAYSON,GERALO LEE B M N 02/28/68 DERIVING SUPPORT FROM PROSTITUTION



Arrested at: 22ND ST N /SLIGH AV E


New York Times covers H.I.T.

From Maria Garcia:

"Kristin Shevory, a freelance writer for the New York Times interviewed me today. She is writing a story for the New York Times' Home & Garden section on home repair co-ops across the country and thought our Home Improvement Team (HIT) would be a good one to include.So far, she's spoken to groups in Minneapolis and Seattle who have been working on each others' homes for the past 10 years and somehow found our website and stumbled onto the Home Improvement Team. She was amazed! She read all about SESH and was very impressed at how active and strong a civic group we are.The story should be running in this Thursday's issue of the New York Times' Home & Garden section. If not in this Thursday's issue, will be in next Thursday's."


Fists with your fillet-o-fish?

This is an email from a good friend of mine...

Just as a warning to Seminole Heights residents…I was the victim of a group battery at the McDonald’s on MLK and Central on Sunday, October 8. After an verbal altercation with a customer, I was shoved, pulled to the ground, my hands were held, my hair was held and I was punched and kicked by a group of women in the parking lot of said McDonald’s. I ended up bruised and scratched all over my body, including my face. The police were called and arrests were made. I am in the process of pursuing charges. I would avoid this McDonald’s at all costs. The employees did NOTHING but stand around and watch it happen, even went as far as telling the police to please move because we were blocking their drive-thru!!
Its not the first time I have had problems at this store, but it will be the last. The store is NOT safe, and the employees do not care if their parking lot and store is filled with hooligans, because they all know each other. Please, if you must go there, BE VERY CAREFUL. Please do not take your children with you. Just wanted to let everyone know about this.


For detailed information: http://www.seshca.com/Opening.htm

Monday, October 09, 2006



“Joe Speaks To Seminole Heights”

The only one to respond to my request.

“Joe Speaks To Seminole Heights” and explains “Why Seminole Heights
residents should vote Joe Redner, Hillsborough County Commission
District 5 – County Wide”

I am running for the BOCC because I’m worried. Worried about the future
of Hillsborough County, worried about overcrowded schools, shortages of
books, and the 1.2 billion dollar debt we built up because the BOCC
refused to impose even modest impact fees for schools over the last 10
years to keep up with development. I’m worried about the busing of
kid’s large distances from their homes, thereby eliminating the benefit
of neighborhood schools. I’m worried Hillsborough County will be left
behind because we don’t have a transportation system to move people
around in our County instead of around our County. We are looking into
building a 3.5 billion dollar beltway ostensibly to serve the 50%
increase in traffic we will have in the next 10-15 years, but we all
know it is to expand the urban service area. We have ozone alerts in
Hillsborough County now to protect people with lung problems, what will
happen with a 50% increase in traffic?

I’m worried that homes will be put out of the financial reach of the
hardest working and most productive part of our society – teachers,
police officers, city & county workers, and people in that income
bracket. I’m worried that our society henceforth will be negatively
affected by the lack of preservation of our wetlands, wildlife habitats,
sources of water, and other natural resources.

I’m worried about insensitivity, lack of compassion and understanding
that the BOCC shows when they refuse to fund agencies that not only help
needy people, but will save the County money in the long run: like not
having money for the Family Justice Center, a program for battered women
and their families; but finding money for a million dollar wall; a 40
million dollar sport complex; 70 million dollars for rich sports teams.
All money that with a little finagling, can be used to do the things
that are really needed in Hillsborough County. The developers and
related industries are so deeply entrenched in getting their lackeys
elected that the cost has just become a business expense and is added to
the homes to be paid for by the buyer.

The solutions to these problems are relatively simple. We make the
developers donate land and build neighborhood schools in the new
developments while working with the school board, the state and the
feds. We make the developers build affordable housing intermixed with
other homes in their new developments. We already have and are
developing more programs to help poor people buy homes; this
inclusionary zoning eliminates the need for busing in two ways. 1)
Schools will be close to home and 2) minorities will be mixed in with
the new developments. We don’t allow developers to develop in
environmentally sensitive areas of the county.

We change the presumptions. The presumption now is that, it is all
right to development anywhere in the County. The affected citizens
have to prove to the County the development could be detrimental to the
environment, we should switch that. The presumption should be, in every
case, that the development is harmful and the burden to prove otherwise
would be on the developer. Also, spending a little money to preempt a
problem, like indigent health care spending instead of spending a lot of
money for emergency care and hospitals. Ditto for the Family Justice
Center to take care of the problems of battered women and their families.

I am running for County Commissioner to make these changes happen. What
distinguishes me from my opponent is he has had 14 years and has done
nothing; my record speaks for itself, I know how to get things done.
Honest, rational, common sense government is what I adamantly believe in
and this is one of the many reasons that makes me the best candidate for
the citizens of Hillsborough County.

I have already made Hillsborough County a better place to live in; when
I’m elected these changes will be among my first priorities. Thank you,
Joe Redner

Favorite Tools

Here are some of my favorite tools and creations.

1. My $99.00 Delta 10 inch benchsaw. I love to cut with it. I can make far more precise cuts with it than with my circular saw. There is some sort of weird zen thing in making cuts with it. Focused intently on getting the wood cut exactly the size I want it. I can notch things without a dado by making parallel cuts. (Note: I am violating safety principles but removing the blade guards - kids, don't do this at home.)

IceHouse Beer - Official Beer of Seminole Heights Blog.

2. Ballpeen Hammer Head Nail Set - I forget how I started using this. It used to have have a handle. Works better without it. Place the larger flat end on the nail and hit the smaller rounded end with a hammer. I can get most nails flush that way. For more precision or for dimples, I use the rounded end. (Note: Another safety violation by using this tool for something it was not intended for. )

3. Tailgate Tie down - I transport things (lunber, pipe, plywood) that often overhangs the top of the tailgate. I used to tie it down a rope to one part of the bumper, wrap it around the load and tie the other end of the rope to the bumper onthe other side. Always took a while to tie and untie. Not any more with this concoction. I put bungree cords at the ends of the rope. Each cord is tied to the rope with a loose knot. I hook the end of the bungee cord to the bumper, wrap it around the load, and hook the end of the other bungee cord to the bumper on the other side. Quick and easy. I can adjust the length by either wrapping more or less or by changing the knot location.

What's your favorite tools or creation?Posted by Picasa

Another Update on 1303 New Orleans

Based on research done by others, I have an update on the shifting boarding house. According to FDLE records and water bill payments, Helen Pridgen has bought or rented a possible duplex at 10013 N. 14th St., both A and B, which I think may be the outer Sulphur Springs area. At least 5 residents live there.

As best as I can figure, there at least 18 people who are boarded with the non-profit Clifford Hills Community Outreach Center. I have heard that they charge $500.00 a month board. That's $9,000 a month or $108,000 a year. They have one live-in manager, whose professional experience is that he victimized others. Non-profit. Hmmm.

Let me think back to when I ran a halfway house in 1987 on Azeele near North Blvd in Hyde Park.

50.00 a week rent. 18 residents. $3600 a month $43,200 yr
Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided. Starter personal supplies and towel.
Salaries of program director (16,000 yr), professional counselor (12,000 yr) and evening/overnight/weekend staff (minimum wage).

Counselor provided individual counseling, groups counseling, job placement assistance, and speakers on various topics. We also sent people to drug and alcohol support groups.

Our facility was always kept in good shape. No junk sitting around. We tried to be good neighbors. Our neighbors were mostly professional offices and old house divided up into apartments.

Yes we had sex offenders. 1 or 2. We were selective with child sex offenders, choosing those who had abused children they were related to, rather than those who abused strangers. Why? Because there was a school nearby. They were sent to outpatient sex offender treatment groups run by Dr. Leo Cotter. For those ex-offenders who were in probation, we worked closely with their probation officers.

What is left.

These images are for city. It is almost there, but not quite! We are down to one trailer, and alot of garbage!

A Very Good Thing!

At the first Seminole Heights Task Force meeting, the representatives of Seminole Heights brought up the question of the Semi Truck Rest Stop which had been growing and growing at the Tabernacle on Bush, right across from the Dog Track. The statement from the representatives was: This is ugly, and is a common ground for prostitution at night. The question was: Is it legal? The response was: We will go there immediately, look at it and fix it.
I noticed over the weekend that there were only one or two trucks where there had been 15 or more and that they did not stay long.

This morning I took these pictures. It is almost just a parking lot again. The only thing left is one trailer and some garbage. I am hoping this will be gone very soon.

This quick turn around is a good thing, and hopefully a sign of a change.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Last week we took out our claw foot tub to finish some work we are doing on the bathroom. Mike Handley and I manhandley'd the tub onto a dolly and rolled it in the spare bedroom. For 5 days our tub slept in the spare bedroom.

Problem: We only have one bathroom in our house.

When we first thought about doing this, we looked at various ways to get a shower.
1. Rent a motel room. - Not in this neighborhood.
2. Rent an RV or some sort of mobile camping device. Holy cow, they are pricey.
3. See if I could find a mobile portable shower, sort of like a port-o-let ie a port-o-shower. They don't make individual showers. They had units that would have allowed me to invite the whole neighborhood over.
4. Camping showers. All outdoor unit, and I prefer privacy when I shower.
5. Find some sort of tub. Too low.

We settled on our laundry tub. As the tub had a raised lip I had to put some two by fours underneath it. We put the tub in our kitchen, put a shower curtain over the edge of the sink, put a sheet over that kitchen door window and kitchen window and showered using the hand sprayer from our kitchen sink. Then I would take the tub out the back and dump the water. That got old after the first shower. We started getting very grumpy. We felt like real urban pioneers. Finally on Thursday we had the tub reinstalled (Thanks to Mike Handley.) That shower felt so good. No work to do. Just step in the shower and turn on the faucet and let the hot water stream down my back.

Aaah, the priviliges of modern life.

When I lived in the Phillipines, the house of one of my friends in Baguio did not have a shower. Just a outdoor room with a cold water faucet. They would boil water and trek it out to the shower room. You'd mix the water with some cold water, and using a smaller container, just pour the water over yourself.

Egg Crime

An email on SESH email list

Just an FYI ...Last night, Manny's motorcycle and my car were the victims of an egging. must have happened sometime between 2:00am and 9 this morning. (North Bay and 9th Street area) Remember, it's close to halloween and the pranksters are out in force.Also ...one of my neighbors, Tara Churchill, had her tricycle stolen right from her driveway a couple days ago. She had just returned home, locked it up in her driveway, and a short while later came back outside to find the perpetrators had cut her cable lock and made off with her tricycle. So if anyone happens to see someone from around their area with a "newly acquired" tricycle, please call tpd non-emergency and report it, or e-mail me with info and I'll see that Tara knows about it.

Once while Sherry and I were on Vehicle Patrol, we were egged by the drug dealers at 15th and Giddens. Tara is a real nice lady. Helps us find her tricycle.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Institutional Group

I have heard that the City Attorneyis directing code to comply the case against the illegal boarding house at 1303 E. New Orleans Avenue because Code is only finding 5 people there. I find the 5 people rule interesting.

From City of Tampa Ordinances:"Family: Any number of people related by blood, marriage or adoption or not more than five (5) unrelated persons living together as a single housekeeping unit, using a single facility in a dwelling unit for culinary purposes. The term "family" shall not be construed to include a fraternity or sorority, club, roominghouse, institutional group or the like. "

I would think that since the 1303 could be categorized as an institutional group. 1. The non-profit group Clifford Hill Community Outreach Center Inc. is based at that address. 2. They were licensed by the state first as an ALF at that site (Agency for Health Care Administration), then as as Rooming House (Department of Business Regulation -DBPR) and now as Transient Apartments (Also by DPBR) 3. An online search reveals that they offer shelter services among other services.

For these reasons they should not be in compliance.

Other Tampa Ordinances:

"Dwelling unit: A room or group of rooms forming a single independent habitable unit used for or intended to be used for living, sleeping, sanitation, cooking and eating purposes by one (1) family only; for owner occupancy or for rental, lease or other occupancy on a weekly or longer basis; and containing independent kitchen, sanitary and sleeping facilities.

Roominghouse: A building or group of buildings containing in combination three (3) to nine (9) lodging units intended primarily for rental or lease for periods of longer than one (1) week, with or without board.

Lodging unit: A room or group of rooms forming a separate habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping purposes by one (1) family only, without independent kitchen facilities; or a separate habitable unit, with or without independent kitchen facilities, occupied or intended to be occupied by transients on a rental or lease basis for periods of less than one (1) week

Household means a person or group of persons living together in a room or group of rooms as a housing unit, but the term does not include persons boarding in or renting a portion of the dwelling."

F.S. 509.242 Public lodging establishments; classifications.--
(e) Transient apartment.--A transient apartment is any apartment building in which units are advertised or held out to the public as available for transient occupancy.

(f) Roominghouse.--A roominghouse is any public lodging establishment that may not be classified as a hotel, motel, resort condominium, nontransient apartment, bed and breakfast inn, or transient apartment under this section. A roominghouse includes, but is not limited to, a boardinghouse.

(11) "2006->Ch0509->Section%20013#0509.013">Transient establishment" means any public lodging establishment that is rented or leased to guests by an operator whose intention is that such guests' occupancy will be temporary.

Side note. I heard they bought a house somewhere and the residents in the church are going to be moved there.