Sunday, April 30, 2006

Day of the Locusts

We and our neighbors are experiencing a invation of grasshoppers. A week or so a go we had thousands of tiny little ones. Now there are growing up. Our neighbors said they were out there with a shovel banging away at them. I used chemicals and it seemd to help. Those remaining are big enough that I use hedge clippers.

My plumbing secret

Susan and I were visiting her cousin. Her cousin just had a plumber come and charge her $500.00 to get their toilet fixed. However they noticed afterwards that it leaked. She asked me to take a look it. The water was leaking from the where the intake line threads onto to toilet water tank. My solution? Teflon Paste. It seals the threads and makes lubricates them making it easier to hand tighten even more. I never use Teflon tape, as I always have problems using it, having it unwind on me and other issues. Cost? About $2.99. Available anywhere.

Kevin White's ground campaign cranks up

District 5 Tampa City Council member and Seminole Heights resident Kevin White is running for Hillsborough County Commission District 3. He is seeking to replace term limited Thomas Scott.

He is kicking off his ground campaign by conducting a door to door neighborhood walk through.

Kevin is my neighbor two streets north of me. He is a good guy who will represent Seminole Heights well. He is seeking volunteers for the door to door campaign. If you ever wanted to dable in politics here is your chance.

"On Saturday May 13th at 9:00 a.m. we will be meeting at Giddens Park located at E. Giddens and 12th Street. Giddens Park is located one block south of Hillsborough Ave and 3 blocks east of Nebraska Ave. If you need any further instructions or info please call my campaign line and leave a message 813-239-1230.

At 9:00 a.m. we will meet for breakfast in the park and then we will be hitting the local Seminole Heights neighborhood to get qualifying petitions signed to get my name on the upcoming election ballot.

I am only asking for approximately 3 to 4 hours of your time. If we get enough volunteers together we will be able to knock this effort out in one day.

Thank each and every one of you for your time and efforts in supporting my continued committment to make our community a better place for all us us to work, live and play.

P.S. Please invite a friend or two, to come out and join us in this effort and volunteer as well.

Thank you in advance Kevin White"

Shells Feed

I was bemoaning to Susan about having to drive to I-275 and Dale Mabry to get some pet supplies for our new dog Ella. She remembered that Shells Feed and Garden Supply (9513 N Nebraska Ave) has dog supplies. So off we go. Over the years we have occasionally gone to Shells Feed, sometimes for horse supplies and sometimes for other reasons.

It is a great place, full of character and good prices. We were looking for a collar, cotton leash and a dog toy and found exactly what we needed there. I love wandering around the place, because they have all sorts of neat stuff. Food for any kind of animal. Hay and straw. Strange looking gizmos. It has a good smell, making you think you are in a country barn.

One little oddity. Across the street are some cheap apartments. As long as I have been going to Shells Feed (18 years or so) the corner ground floor apartment has had its windows and sliding glass door lined with aluminum foil.

More on Arson In Sulphur Springs

The arson in Sulphur Springs is occuring on or around the 1600 block of Mulberry. Last Thursday our friend was home on her first day of vacation when the arsonists struck her home (while she was there!). She has two houses side by side, only 10 feet apart. She was talking with neighbors and they noticed smoke. They rhought it was a barbecue. She went home and saw smoke coming fomr her house that was undergoing remodeling. She saw blanket on fire and put it out. She the nrelaized the floor was on fire from below. She went under the house and saw 6 fires. She went ot get a fire extinguisher and try to put thme out but the smoke was tom uch. Meanwhile her neighbors had called 911. Estimate of damage was about $30,000, including the newly laid kitchen floor.

I had found nothing about it at TPD website, Fire Rescue site, TBO.com or google news.

Just down the street on Mulberry in an unoccupied house was another previous fire, and there was one more somewhere near that area.

Police had good descriptions of the suspects.

I wonder if because it is in Sulphur Springs there is no media coverage and outrage.

Restaurant for Sub Lease

According to a sign on the door, the Coffee Bean is closed.

Milton may just do coffee, tea and ice cream. He is interested in subletting the restaurant. Barring that he will sell everything.

So are you interested in running a restaurant? It's in a great location. Osborne and Florida next to 3 Antiques stores. Down the street from a High School, Middle School and a Public Library.

Milton has created a great menu and atmosphere and built up a good customer base. It's in a neighborhood that is hungry for good restaurants. Customers will come from word of mouth, neighborhood email lists and cheerleeding from this blog. Don't be afraid of competition from Starbucks. A good restaurant set up like the Coffee Bean with good food and service will always do well here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Arsonists Strike Sulphur Springs

A friend of ours who lives in Sulphur Springs was the victim of arson at her home on Thursday. Hers was the third arson in the area and this is believed to be the work of two white older teenagers. Anyone has any info call TPD 231-6130.

News article about the Central Tampa Artists organizing

Kathy Steele wrote another article today, this one about Central Tampa Artists organizing and the recent meeting. Later I will post the link when it is put up.

A couple of comments. The Artists of Central Tampa blog is up but I have to add some comments made by some people from the group.

We still do not have a meeting place for the May 8 meeting . We are looking at the Metro center as one last possibility. if not, maybe the Front Porch again.

I used the wrong word in the interview. I was quoted correctly, but I did not mean socialization, I meant socialize. Artists don't have the same opporunities to talk about their work and bounce ideas that office workers have due to a lack of a meeting space or hang out center.

Starbucks causing development at Nebraska and New Orleans/Louisiana?

In today's Trib (sorry no links - not up yet at TBO.com reporter) Kathy Steele wrote a story about the sale of Phil Alessi's property at Nebraska and New Orleanss/Louisiana. Apparently the property has two interested investors, one who wants to bring "Key West Style apartments, shops and a bistro." One plan incldes a "blend of tin roof apartments, with a convenience store, sandwich shop, restaurant or bistro. the other would have shops on the street level and apartments above."

They atribute the interest in the property to partly ot the fact that Starbucks is in the neighborhood. "Starbucks is known for settling into neighborhoods with high growth potential" and "they do not make many mistakes"

Of note is that Panera's was intrested in the lot next door with the topless buildings at the corner of Nebraska and Osborne, except it was too small.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Groups To Talk Over Fences

I missed this story from last week:

Groups To Talk Over Fences
Skip directly to the full story.
By KATHY STEELE ksteele@tampatrib.com
Published: Apr 22, 2006

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - Residents say chain-link fences are a neighborhood eyesore and in some cases a safety hazard to motorists.

But business owners say they need the fences to protect their property from vandalism and theft.

The city council plans to schedule a workshop to bring both sides together to talk fences.

Hamoton Terrace 1939

The bloggers of the Lake Roberta Blog have another blog Hampton Terrace 1939

"For the not faint of heart watch wife, dog and I take a perfectly fine house and mess it up, I mean fix it up over time!"

I will have to go back and cnount up all of the blogs in Seminole Heights and make sure they are listed on my sidebar.

Lemon people to move

The former produce stand and then appliance store at NE corner of Nebraska And Osborne is up for sale. Most recently this was the landing site for the lemon people vehicles. Phil Alessi who now owns the property used it as a storage depot for some of his concession equipment, including his mobile lemondade stands. The property include a two story house in back and the empty lot to the north.


Hmm.... how about making that place an artists complex?

David Jenkins in the Times

A commenter on this blog and blogger of his own and Tampa Heights resident David Jenkins was featured in a good St. Pete Times story about the jobsite theatre

Ugly Florida Avenue and a Makeup Artist

Jimmy Ciaccio and his beautiful former garage were mentioned in the paper.

Owner hopes building cleanup starts a trendSt. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USA Jimmy Ciaccio isn't going out on a limb when he says much of Florida Avenue through South Seminole Heights is "ugly." So he moved his business there and did ...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Seminole Heights Garden Club to get Community Investment Tax Projects

According to the Trib, some of the money from the CIT is going to be spent on the Seminole Heights Garden Center. What for and how much I do not know. I went to the City of Tampa Website to get more info, but details are not listed. Precise details are not available for how any of the money is going to be spent.


"Proposed CIT 5-year Plan Totals

Fire Rescue:
New and/or Replacement Fire Stations: $ 9 million
Station Roof Replacement Program: $ 625,000
Station Painting/Flooring Program: $ 525,000
Vehicle Acquisition Program: $ 2.05 million

Parks & Recreation:
Neighborhood Programs: $ 5 million
Improvements are typically under $200,000 and include
playground equipment, fencing and other amenities at parks
and recreational facilities throughout Tampa.

Bond Issue Debt Service: $ 5 million
This will provide a sum of approximately $12 million for large
scale projects such as Cyrus Green Pool, New Tampa Community
Center, Seminole Garden Center, Ballast Point Pier & Ramp,
Cotanchobee Heroes Park, Wellswood Lighting, Bayshore
Balustrade, and New Tampa park projects.

Transportation (Street Improvements):
Investing in Neighborhoods Projects: $ 12.5 million
Projects include street resurfacing, sidewalks, signs and
traffic calming.

We are recommending a reserve of $6.5 million to provide for
increases in the cost of construction and materials."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nabob of Nothing

I'm always curious as to who reads the blog. I occasionally find out via emails or bumping into people. Or by seeing what web pages people come when they get to the blog.

I'm flattered that one of those readers is the Nabob of Nothing aka Kombatrock or Kelly Benjamin. There has been a Nabob of Nothing who has posted on this blog. Kelly's blog links to this blog regarding Starbucks.

He is an interesting person.

He ran an underground radio station in the Seminole Heights/ Ybor City area until busted by Charlie (FCC). He ran for City Council against Rose Ferlita in the last election.

I first ran into him when he came to a board meeting of the SE Seminole Heights Civic Association. He had nearly been attacked/robbed by some drug delaing criminals while walking home in Ybor Heights area and if I remember correctly wanted to get some help in organizing his community. We advised him to join his neighborhoods defunct civic association and help revive it. The next I know he was running for office. Over the years he never apparently tried use his good talents to rebuild his neighborhood and I have always been disappointed about that. The best way to change the world is to begin with your neighborhood.

4/27/06 Added note: I got a chuckle this morning when I went to the Nabob's blog to reread something. Apparently I am Satan. I especially enjoyed that I was reading the demonic times. He also had some commentary about gentrification that could spark some good discussion. Except that he has his comments turned off. So I will post one part of his post.

"While nobody should have to live in a neighborhood riddled with street drugs and crime except Dick Cheney, making a neighborhood 'safe' usually involves making it unsafe for certain classes of people, who are forced out to other low-rent neighborhoods, to shelters, or to prison. The version of 'safety' used by city government often involves cultural fascism: overzealous code enforcement, criminalizing 'loud music', and certain types of street congregating because they are supposedly associated with street drug trade. The key is figuring out how to protect mixed neighborhoods that are safe, fun, and sustaining for all kinds of people including the original residents."

Go read his blog and come back here and discuss.

Lake Roberta Blog

There is again one more blog written in Seminole Heights, called Carpet The Lake ,written by BunglesLow and BungelsWife

"A small project helping Hampton Terrace's Lake Roberta regain it's days-gone-by luster or at least control the hydrilla."

The blog writer and his cowriter wife "moved back into the SH neighborhood a month or so ago and live on Lake Roberta." The writer "has been working with Jeff Harmon on the Save the Lake project stuff and he has started a blog to try to help create community awareness about our little lake ecosystem. "

http://carpetthelake.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Central Tampa Artists Meeting recap

From Susan:

"Last night we met for our second meeting at the Front Porch Restaurant. They kindly allowed us to rearrange their porch furniture and the waitress served us well with a great southern accent. Our numbers grew from 11 to 21 and we continued to be a healthy mix of artists with writers, videographers, performing artists, and visual artists represented. Topics covered were the need for a collective space, field trips to visit other such spaces, a Central Tampa arts event, and the formalization of this group.

Several people had ideas for collective spaces including Amos Miers who is working on a project on Florida Avenue to convert a 1700 square foot garage into studio space, Jon Welding and partner Jen Persons have been looking at the Seminole Heights Theater and a 10,000 square foot downtown office building. Jenny Carey of the Arts Council sent a message about the availibilty of a 900 square foot space at 1906 Armenia. Also, to be considered is space in existing artists collectives. Jenny Carey is trying to gather info on those spaces and will be happy to share that with us when she gets it. So, all you shy artist groups out there, send in that info, so we can come visit. There was pretty much unanimous agreement about the need for a space where this group could meet and share. We have similar concerns, no matter what type of artist we are and this group has not only the potential to be a support to the members, but a powerful force as lobbyists for arts advocacy. We need a place where we can come to gripe, plot, and grow. We also would like studio space, a collective gallery, a space that allowed artists to share skills and materials. Is it possible to find one space that would suit the needs of all disciplines of art? Do we want to support the local community (Seminole Heights) or do we go for a downtown location? These questions will be discussed by a subgroup who signed on for that task. Also to be discussed are the possibilities for assistance from many avenues, including the Arts Coucil Of Hillsborough, Arts Advisory Council, Central City Community Development Corporation, and the mayor.

Next on the agenda were field trips. We are tentatively scheduling the first one for the weekend of May 20, 21 to St.Petersburg's Clay Factory and Salt Creek Studios. I'll send out the concrete details when they're set. Please. send the group suggestions for future filed trips, with the focus on other artist collectives.

There is still interest in organizing a multidisciplinary arts event to showcase local artists. Some people are shooting for a fall date. Fall of this year. They are, by my estimation, very brave. Molly Persons volunteered to email the owner of The Harbor Club in Sulphur Springs to talk about using it as a possible venue for this event.

The last topic of the evening was the formalization of this group. Do we move forward, gather more members and steam, create a cohesive whole? Will we be loosely structured or tightly wrapped? Petra Sussman suggested the temporary name of Artists of Central Tampa or ACT. That was accepted and another little subgroup was born to deal with the details. Other groups formed were Festival or Events, and Marketing. The various groups will be meeting in the next two weeks and be reporting at the next general meeting which will be Monday May 8, place to be announced.

I will be sending out info and lists to all the the subcommittees and Scott will be setting up a blog as another online format for this group's discussions. I think that covers the gist of the meeting. If I left anything out, misspoke, or gave you credit for words and decisions you didn't make, feel free to make corrections. And anyone, I mean anyone, who wants this job, is welcome to it. We have recently taken on an adolescent rescue dog who makes it very hard to type for more than three minutes at a time! Also, looking for facilitators for future meetings.

Wishing Everyone a Peaceful Week"

Seminole Heights Marine wounded

One of our neighbor's son is a Marine Lance Corporal deployed to Iraq.

He was injured yesterday. His post was hit by a mortar and he received injuries to his hands and face. He was transported to Balad where he had surgery and they determined he needed to be sent to Germany for additional surgery. His left hand is the worst and they will try to repair as
much of the damage as possible.

He is in good spirits and for the most part sounds very good. He is expected to be in Germany very soon. The family's biggest concern is that he does not develop any type of infection in the wounds, and they are asking that this be kept in people's prayers.

April Griffin Runs For School Board

There is a Seminole Heights resident running for school board. As we talked about the state of schools in Seminole Heights in a previous blog article, perhaps by having someone from Seminole Heights on the board, we might be able ot get out voices heard.

Here is one possibility. Let's see what she has to offer us voters. She does have the support of some good people.

"April Griffin For School Board - District 6

Celebrate April

Please join countywide District 6 School Board Candidate April Griffin
as she launches her campaign on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 from 6:30 รข€“ 9:00 PM
At the Seminole Heights Garden Center
5800 N Central Avenue

Host Committee
Susan Valdez
Mary Figg
Angie Manteiga
Randy Baron
Rob & Jodi Ray
Col. Jason Mims
Mike & Laura Suarez
Marty & Nita Bearry
Pat Kemp & Randy Wynne
Charles (Chip) & Leigh Fletcher
Ralph & Adrienne Golub
Elvin Martinez Jr.
Dan & Stacey Jenkins
Dr. John Reffue
Cathy Bartolotti
Chris Woodard
Sara Romeo
Jim Martin
Mark Hart
Liz Taylor

In support of
April Griffin
for School Board, District 6 (Countywide)

Suggested contribution levels $250, $100, $25

April Griffin is a refreshing alternative.

She has spent many years fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves and will continue the fight for years to come.

Please RSVP April@VoteApril.com "

Monday, April 24, 2006

Artists of Central Tampa Blog

As a result of tonights exciting meeting I have created a blog for the Artists of Central Tampa (ACT). This is to supplement the google group Central Tampa Artists. More on this tommorrow.

Moving Current

Moving Current is a Seminole Heights based dance group


NewGrounds
A Collection of Emerging Artists

May 12 & 13, 2006 @ 8PM
May 13, 2006 @ 2PM

University of South Florida
College of Visual & Performing Arts
Theater 1 - Tampa Campus

Presented by Moving Current

Florida Choreographers
Leymis Balanos Wilmott, St. Petersburg
Tara Burns & Melissa Canto, Gainsville
Marissa Nick, Tampa
Keely Henry, Bradenton
Colette Krogol, Matt Reeves & Robin Neveu, Gainsville
Jerry Opdenaker & Ballet Florida, West Palm Beach
Augusto Soledade & Brazz Dance Theater, Miami

Admission:
$15 General
$10 Students & Seniors w/ ID.
Cash only at the door.
Group Rates Available.

More Information:
Moving Current (813) 237-0216
USF Box Office (813) 974-2323

Or please email: info@movingcurrent

Photographs and additional information on guest artists, aerial dance, ect. is available. Requests via email or phone.

Response on Mary Carol Hill

Today, this was left in the comments on my prior blog on Mary Carol Hill. I am reposting this because comments left on blog articles of a certain age do not show up on the comments section of the front page.

"I will occasionally enter "Mary Carol Hill" on a search engine and this afternoon discovered your recent article and comments. I especially appreciate the comments of the second "anonymous" reader, apparently a former Stetson Law School colleague. I can assure you that Mary Carol was not at all intimidated by law school and was, in fact, having a wonderful time there with you and your peers.

While I choose also to remain anonymous to avoid cruel harrassment, I am Ken Frederick, former husband of Mary Carol Hill, remarried, my son, wife, her children, and myself now living in a kinder environment, a place that I had hoped prior to her disappearance/death would have also become Mary Carol's home.

It has been 12 years and to the best of my knowledge Mary Carol's case continues to be labeled a homocide by TPD. My specific reason for writing is to clarify a question earlier in the article: "So is Louis Hlava a person of interest, or a victim?"

Louis Hlava (DOB 7/1/53) is the ONLY suspect in Mary Carol's disappearance and certain death. Mary Carol and Louis Hlava had been co-workers at the (then) HRS, we regarded him as a close friend, and we had helped him during his times of trouble. Louis Hlava gave one interview to TPD and then refused to cooperate further with the investigation and also, without explanation, discontinued any further contact with me and our son. To the best of my knowledge it is Louis Hlava whose police interview created those "...discrepancies in early investigation testimony (that) were exposed." And I, too, had early begun to discover inconsistencies and a selective withholding of information from Louis Hlava in my personal conversations with him although I had initially regarded him as yet another victim of this event.

I appreciate the continued interest in Mary Carol's case and life. I am very grateful to have shared a part of that life with her, and continue to hope that we might one day respectfully bury her.

Ken Frederick"

I presume this is really from Mr. Frederick because it jives with what I have been told.

My sympathies.


There are 12 unsolved homicides and 4 missing persons on the TPD web page. I wonder if a newspaper series on those 16 cases might bring up more info that might help get them solved. This 16 includes Mary Carol Hill. Surely in these 16 cases someone saw something or someone was told something that might solve these crimes.

Carillon

I live near 10th Street and New Orleans, 2 blocks east of Nebraska. I can hear the carillon at Hillsborough High School sound its bells. It's a very pleasant experience. I wonder how far the sound can be heard?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Next Central Tampa Artists Group - Monday April 24

There will be a meeting of the Central Tampa Artists Group at The Front Porch restaurant, (5924 N. Florida Ave.) 7 p.m., Monday April 24.

Agenda for the Monday Meeting:
1. Introductions

2. Central Tampa artists collective space

3. Field trips to other collective spaces

4. Central Tampa arts festival.

5. Formalizing the group

6. Next Meeting


Chuck Johnson sent the following info for thought.

Hello all,

What follows is an attempt to gauge the group’s interest in one of the ideas that sprang from our first meeting: The desire for the creation of a shared studio space. Afterward, on our google group, there was further development of this idea.

Some significant points were raised, the exploration of which can help inform the direction that artists interested in this concept can take. They’re presented below as matters of choice, with the hope that you will take a moment and reply with your thoughts (especially if you can’t make the meeting on Monday).

Investigate existing collective studio spaces, (some of which Lori B. mentioned), look at other vacant space in the neighborhood, look at vacant space city-wide, some or all of the above.

In the case of creating a new shared space: should the space have a dedicated gallery function in addition to studio space or not?


And now some questions:

Most obviously, do you have a burning desire to help create a new space or join an existing shared studio of some description?

If so, how do you see your role? Rent-paying resident artist? Non rent-paying artist who would help prepare for periodic open houses in exchange for the opportunity to display work? Other roles you can think of?

Are you willing to spend valuable free time (as a member of a committee) to help process the information and choices that will result from looking into this concept?

Are you interested in traveling to St Pete as a group to tour two successful artist collectives? (Salt Creek and St Pete Clay Co.)

Are you interested in checking out Tampa’s collectives?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Landfills

Apparently there were a lot of landfills in Tampa. The city has research on those landfills. Rowlett Park is one of those sites of a former landfill.
"The City of Tampa Solid Waste Department disposed of municipal solid wastes in the area until 1956. Historical aerial photographs indicate that nuisance dumping continued until the early 1980’s. The total volume of landfill debris is estimated by the Solid Waste Department to be approximately 13,400 cubic yards and two to five feet thick. Site elevations range from +20 to +45 feet above mean sea level, with the surface contours sloping towards the Hillsborough River."

There was one at Martin Luther King and 22nd
Junior high school and playgrounds over landfill.

There was one at Yukon and Tampa

Landfill #38 is located on the south side of Yukon Street, one block west of North Florida Avenue. The impacted area reportedly consists of approximately one acre. This was a low lying area into which trash was disposed. This practice stopped in approximately 1963. The land is presently privately owned.
The property is bounded by Yukon Street on the north. Duplex residential units that front on North Tampa Street border the eastern side of the landfill area. It is not known if these units extend westward onto the landfilled area. The property lines of individual residential lots that front on North Ashley Street border the western edge of the subject property. The south end of the area is bounded by the northern boundaries of individual residences

Near Wellswood at Macdill and Giddens was another site:

Landfill #23 is located in northwest Tampa in Section 3, Township 29 South, Range 18 East (Figure 23-1 and 23-2). The landfill study area borders on North MacDill Avenue on the east. The remainder of the parcel is surrounded by residential lots (Figure 23-3). The parcel encompasses approximately 3.3 acres.

Records at the City of Tampa Sanitation Department contain a letter from the property owner authorizing the City to use the property for waste disposal. According to these records, however, the City may never have disposed of debris at the site.

The 1956 USGS topographic map, revised in 1981 (Figure 23-4), shows Pralls Lake designated as a "dry lake" with topographic lines showing a channel leading from Pralls Lake to the wet area to the southwest. This dry lake has been filled, but the source and type of fill is not known.

Chillin Out

Today we got a new refrigerator. Our old one, which came with the house had a recent peculiar problem. Things in the vegetable bin became frozen. Things in the freezer became soft. Ever try eating frozen celery? Or drinking ice cream?

Not the way I like to enjoy my food.

So we shopped around. We went to Home Depot. We went to Lowes. We ended up at our old standy Famous Tate.

About every appliance we bought since Susan and I were married has been at Famous Tate. Sometimes from their showroom and sometimes from their scratch and dent in the back. They always seem to have a good selection and their prices are good to. We always shop at the store in North Tampa at 8317 N. Armenia Ave.(just south of Waters) phone (813) 935-3151. We have never had any problems with anything we bought there.

Nathan Stahl was the sales rep I dealt with this last time. Good guy.

So why is Famous Tate called Famous Tate?

Famous Tate is apparently now owned by John Horst.

I am not finding much more, except there was a landfill next to their property.

Sports and Rehabilitation Building sold

Tuesday Keith and Rebecca Clower have sold their building. The new owner will be moving in on Wednesday. He is a mortage broker.

Condemed to be Demolished

The topless buildings at Osborne and Nebraska have a condemnation sticker on them from Code Enforcement

The Banner is Out

Available at various locations inclduing Yesterdaze, the South Seminole heights Spring edition of the Banner Newsletter is out

Some items in the newsletter:
*Info on Paint Your Heart Out and NEAT (now SWEEP) clean up on 4/22/06.
*Springtime Portch Parties 7:30 P.M.
4/28/06 at Randy's and Paulette's at 4909 River blvd.
5/19/06 at Bucky and Ed's at 200 W. South.
*SSHCA T-Shirts Available.
*South Seminole Heights Fun
*Peer To Peer updates

and more

Coffee Bean on Vacation

The Coffee Bean has been on vacation since the weekend before Easter. As time passes, people wonder if the Coffee Bean will return from vacation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Next B'GoSH meeting

The next general meeting of the Business Guild of Seminole Heights
(BGoSH) is Thursday May 11 @ 7 p.m. at the Kathryn Malone Center,
5202 N. 12th St. This is in S.E. Sem. Hts. Just a few blocks south
of Hillsborough. Parking is in front of center or across the street
in large Giddens Park lot.

Among other things, this meeting will highlight some exciting new
business district activities. Plus there will be viewing and voting
on the BGoSH logo submissions.

Regarding the logo contest, we are still accepting artwork ideas for
the logo through April 30. The design must contain "Business Guild
of Seminole Heights", it can also contain B'GoSH and other elements
the creator envisions. Submissions can be mailed or dropped off
to Sherry's YesterDaze, 5207 N. Florida Ave. 33603. Please be sure
your artwork is marked, on back, with your name and phone number.

Remember, full members can vote on this logo. If you haven't done
so already, your dues ($30 full voting membership) can be mailed or
dropped off to Tampa Antiquarian Books, 6116 N. Central Ave, 33604.

I'm delighted to report that Steph Beckel, owner of Tampa
Antiquarian Books is now acting Treasurer for BGoSH. For info or
store hours she can be contacted at 234-0100.

Pedestrian Walk Signal at Sligh/Central

From an email:
"FYI...I was running at lunch today and got stopped at the traffic light at Central and Sligh.There were 2 gentlemen working on the light and they said they were putting in a pedestrian walk signal as they had received complaints that there was no signal. I, for one, am happy about this as I occasionally walk/bike my kids to school at Seminole Elementary. As we travel Central Avenue and have to cross Sligh this will be a welcome addition to help ensure we come and go safely."

Variance Review Board

March 14, 2006 Agenda

This is the most recentl listing. This board is not very good about putting their agenda's out in advance online. They are worse about their minutes

OLD BUSINESS: Cases Continued by the Board/Staff/Remands
C. GENERAL VARIANCES
VRB05-154 PETITIONER: Tyrus Woods
AGENT: Miriam Sumter
LOCATION: 1206 East Curtis Street
REQUEST: To reduce the side yard setback from 7’ to 1’, with the allowed
encroachment of the eaves and gutters
PURPOSE: To create a buildable lot
NEIGHBORHOOD: Southeast Seminole Heights

VRB06-20 PETITIONER: New Millennial Homes
AGENT: Anthony Galarza
LOCATION: 916 East Ida Street
REQUEST: To reduce the rear yard setback from 20’ to 16.1, with the
allowed encroachment of the eaves and gutters
PURPOSE: To construct a single family residence
NEIGHBORHOOD: Southeast Seminole Heights


OLD BUSINESS: Continuances and Missed Notices

C. GENERAL VARIANCES
VRB06-26 PETITIONER: Michael Goetz and Jeffrey Zwirn
AGENT: None
LOCATION: 708 Broad Street
REQUEST: To reduce the side yard setback from 7’ to 3.6’, with the
allowed encroachment of the eaves and gutters
PURPOSE: To create a buildable lot
NEIGHBORHOOD: Old Seminole Heights


VRB06-34 PETITIONER: Sharon Hunnewell-Johnson
AGENT: None
LOCATION: 204 East Martin Luther King Bouelvard
REQUEST: To allow for the placement of barbed wire fencing
PURPOSE: To keep existing barbed wire fences
NEIGHBORHOOD: Old Seminole Heights

The Trib Delivers to the Times

As I was driving to work this morning, I look over to my right at the Times Building, home of the St. Pete Times in Tampa, and notice in the walkway leading up to the entranceway, what seems to be 7 or 8 Tampa Tribune newspapers wrapped in their white bags with the Trib logo. I guess the Times wants to keep tabs on their competition. I wonder if they get a professional courtesy discount on their subscription or if the Trib charges them more than usual for the delivery?

Leroy's Develops?

The same Michael Canning column that talked about Viva La Frida's also talked about Leroy's 4x4.

"STARBUCKING FOR PROGRESS: The April 7 opening of the Seminole Heights Starbucks could rank with the advent of the trolley and the interstate as the most pivotal events in the neighborhood's history.

Now residents are waiting to see if the collateral development that often accompanies Starbucks stores will spark on Seminole Heights' blighted thoroughfares. If it does, ground zero likely will be Leroy's 4X4 Automotive Center, next door to Starbucks at Hillsborough and Central avenues."

Frida's To Sell By May

According to the Times, Frida's may sell soon:

Frida's looks at May for finaleSt. Petersburg Times Thu, 20 Apr 2006 10:13 PM PDTAngelica Diaz has her own way of putting it: "I'm hoping that by the end of May the baby will be born.'' Or rather, her restaurant Viva la Frida Cafe y Galeria will be sold.

"Now "we are accepting proposals,'' on the restaurant, Diaz said. Two interested parties lead the pack of suitors, she said. One is a group that recently ran a restaurant on S Howard Avenue. Another owns a downtown St. Petersburg restaurant and is seeking a second location. Diaz declined to name names."

I wonder what S. Howard Avenue restaurant it could be?

Code Board

February Code Board Actions

6. CASE #: 05-10212 TRIBBLE SHARI LYNNE
1203 E FLORA ST 1203 E FLORA ST
169633.0000, FL 33604 TAMPA, FL 33604
ISSUED: 04/19/2005 INSPECTOR: Ryan Shepherd 274-5545
CODE SECTION : 19-47, 19-49, 19-50 and 19-233
DISPOSITION: Respondent not present. Neighbors spoke in
opposition. Motion: (Gray/Fuller) Board found case Guilty
of overgrowth, accumulations, public nuisance and failure to
maintain vacant structure. D/L 03/29/06 Fine $50 per day
if deadline not met. Vote: 6/0



14. CASE #: 05-07726 WILLIAMS DAVID B
301 W HAYA ST 301 W HAYA ST
165175.0000, FL 33603 TAMPA, FL 33603
REDUCTION REQUEST
Case heard 09/07/05, D/L 12/07/05, Fine $100 per day.
Violations: 19-231, repair of fence, garage and
scrape/paint structure. Complied 12/13/05.
DISPOSITION: David Williams present. Motion:
(Brent/Hendrix) Board moved to reduce fine to zero. Vote:
5/1, Gray voting no.


21. CASE #: 05-23280 HOWELL EDDIE D
1200 E IDA ST 3410 W PALMETTO ST
172446.0000, FL 33603 TAMPA, FL 33607
REDUCTION REQUEST
Case heard 12/14/05, D/L 01/18/06 Fine $25 per day.
Violations: 19-27 (Interior inspection). Case complied
01/30/06. Requesting reduction of fine.
DISPOSITION: Magdaly Mercedes Leon present. Motion:
(Kane/Fuller) Board voted to reduce fine to zero. Vote:
6/0



31. CASE #: 05-26443 EWING SAVITRI
905 E CRAWFORD ST 249 NE 46TH ST
170090.0000, FL 33604 POMPANO BEACH, FL 33064
CHALLENGE MOTION
CODE SECTION : 19-56
Case heard 01/04/06 D/L 01/25/06. Fine $25 per day.
DISPOSITION: Respondent not present. Motion:
(Donnelly/Fuller) Board moved to deny the Challenge. Vote:
6/0

March Code Board Actions


12. CASE #: 05-01427 AMES JOHN F
214 W POWHATAN AV 214 W POWHATAN AVE
164371.0000, FL 33604 TAMPA, FL 33604

FINE REDUCTION REQUEST
Case was heard 09/21/05, D/L 11/23/05. Fine $50 per day.
Violations: 19-231 and 19-232 (pressure wash structure and
repair roof) Complied 01/10/06, fine $2,350.

DISPOSITION: Angelica Diaz was present. Board voted to
reduce fine to zero. Vote: 4/0


CASE #: 05-13570 DANA CLIFF
1420 E COMANCHE AV PO BOX 11295
170898.0000, FL 33604 TAMPA, FL 33680

FINE REDUCTION REQUEST
Case heard 10/05/05 D/L 01/04/06, Fine $75 per day (repairs
to structure). Complied 02/24/06. Fine of
$3,750 is hardship.

DISPOSITION: Cliff Dana was present. Board voted to reduce
fine to zero. Vote: 4/0


--------- Appeal Cases ---------
CASE #: 05-09498 KHATIB HICHAM
1618 E KIRBY ST 1618 E KIRBY ST
149994.0000, FL 33604 TAMPA, FL 33604

ISSUED: 04/13/2005 INSPECTOR: RANDEL SMITH 274-5545
CHALLENGE MOTION
Case heard 10/26/05, D/L 01/25/06, Fine $25 per day.
Violations: 19-49, 19-50, 19-56, 19-231 (15)(b), 19-232 and
27-126. Affidavit of Non compliance sent to respondent
with D/L to challenge 02/09/06. Letter to clerk's office
found too late for 02/22/06 hearing, so it is being placed
on March hearing.

DISPOSITION: Hicham Katib was present. Board voted to
continue case to 04/26/06 hearing. Vote: 4/0

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Elvis Sat Here Festival

This press release sent out by the Parks Department. Note: it should say Nicko's diner.


The Elvis Festival - Now in it's fourth year, the Elvis Festival offers a week's worth of Elvis sitings and entertainment, culminating on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Tampa with a day-long festival.

Monday, May 15 - Join us a Nick's Dinner, located at 4603 N. Florida Avenue, beginning at 12 p.m. as we dedicate the booth that Elvis sat in after his 1956 concert.

Tuesday, May 16 - Elvis tribute artist perform a lunchtime concert from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Lykes Gaslight Park, located at 410 Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.

Wednesday, May 17 - It's a happy hour concert beginning at 5 p.m. at Centro Ybor in Ybor City featuring a tribute artis and Elvis karaoke.

Thursday, May 18 - We're rocking with the King at Channelside from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday, May 19 - What would the Platinum Anniversary Friday Extra Concert Series be without tribute artist Garyelevis and the TCB Band performing some legendry favorites. The evening's opening act is the Buddy Verdi Big Band. Performances begin at 7 p.m. at the Lowry Park Band Shell.

Saturday, May 20 - Elvis, the Festival. Downtown Tampa is alive with Elvis of all shapes and sizes from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. along the Franklin Street Mall. The festival features tribute artists, a car show, memoriabilia and Elivs Karaoke. And if you just haven't had enough, join us at 7 p.m. at the Barksdale Senior Citizen Center for a Sock Hop. The $10 admission includes dinner, dancing and a concert featuring a tribute artist.

For more information, please call the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department Festival Director at 274-7735.

Trib Article on Chelsea Stops

Crossing Crashes Warrant New Signs
Skip directly to the full story.
By KATHY STEELE ksteele@tampatrib.com
Published: Apr 20, 2006

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - Based on a traffic study, the intersection of 12th and Chelsea streets barely qualifies for a four-way stop. But residents were pleased to see city workers installing signs and striping the road recently.

Blog Commenting

How to

Word Verification. You will see some letters above the Word Verification that you will have to type in the word verification space. If you get it wrong, a new set of letters will come up.
"What this does is to prevent automated systems from adding comments to your blog, since it takes a human being to read the word and pass this step. If you've ever received a comment that looked like an advertisement or a random link to an unrelated site, then you've encountered comment spam. A lot of this is done automatically by software which can't pass the word verification, so enabling this option is a good way to prevent many such unwanted comments."
6. Click login and publish.
7. your comments will then appear above.
For more info read and

South Seminole Heights Porch Party

Please plan to attend the upcoming porch neighborhood porch party. Friday, Apr-28, 7:30 p.m. Randy and Paulette's house 4909 River Blvd Our host will provide ice, cups and utensils. Everyone is asked to bring a snack to share and their own beverage of choice.It is a great way to get to know your neighbors in a pleasant, informal setting.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Crow of Roosters

Another email:

"I live on Curtis Street btwn 12th & 13th. I've read that their are laws to protect your neighborhood from the disturbance of roosters crowing. Where are these laws? Who do I call? I live near a house that has dogs that bark out of control, at least two roosters that start crowing more than an hour before sunrise & can be heard throughout the day & now puppies yapping 24/7. Its enough to drive me crazy. I can't be the only one affected by this. If they could just take care of the roosters, the puppies will grow up & I can get some sleep. Any suggestions? I'm not trying to cause a problem for my neighbors & would even like to somehow remain nameless in my complaint... HELP!!"

More Graffitti Vandalism

From an email:

"I spoke with a police officer in front of my house this a.m. He told me five houses were vandalized on my street last night. It was graffiti on garages, walls and cars. If it was my street last night it could be somebody else tomorrow."

The emailer lives in the 3oo Block of W. Fern St. by Epps Park. Just FYI."

I have seen more graffitti in last few months than anytime in my 6 years here. I wonder if the art graffitti encouraged the vandalism graffiti?

Unsolved Homicides




From TPD website:

Theresa Diez Moore

Date of Birth: 02/23/1929

Report #: 01-38108

Location: 4409 N. Branch Av.

Date Found: 05/24/2001

Crime Synopsis: The victim, Ms. Moore, lived alone at 4409 N. Branch St. in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa. On May 24th, 2001, neighbors became concerned after not seeing her for some time. She was found dead in her bedroom, the apparent victim of a homicide.
Anyone having information about the death of Ms. Moore is askedto contact the Tampa Police Department Homicide Bureau at: 813-276-3571 or E-Mail Homicide

Family Dollar Crime Scene

From an email:

"At 4ish today I was shopping the Publix and I saw police officers, cars & crime Investigation unit over at the Family Dollar store. Also yellow crime tape around the doorways. I asked a Publix employee in the parking lot what happened, he said a robbery and that the police had talked to his manager. I saw the manager and asked him and he said there was a robbery and the police had checked Publix's parking lot camera's film to see if it revealed anything. This is all I know, maybe you can find out more. See, all the crimes in S.H. aren't against Starbucks!"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Murder

I was first made aware of this from an email alert that Channel 10 noted this occurred in Seminole Heights, but there was not much detail and no address given. According to a Bay News 9 link posted by Devon in the comments section about the Starbucks defacing this did not occur in Seminole Heights, as it was at 30th and Powhattan.

A car slammed into a house and the driver was found dead of upper body trauma to related to the crash. The Times noted that "Witnesses told police that after the crash, a man climbed out of the passenger's side of the vehicle and, limping, left the scene. He was described as a black male, 19 to 20 years old, who was last seen wearing a white tank top and light-colored shorts. He may have suffered an injury to his left leg." Police are looking for that person as a witness to the homicide. The Tribune noted that "People in the Live Oaks area said they heard gunshots shortly before the crash. Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy would not say how Dobbins died. She said he suffered "blunt trauma" and was "the victim of an obvious homicide.""

So what is this? A carjacking? A drug or prostitution deal gone bad? A case of mistaken identify murder? Someone in the wrong place at the wrong time? Something else?

This is similar to the murder a couple weeks ago where someone ended up dead on Hillsborough Avenue, maybe around Hilsborough and 30th Street only in that the person was shot and was driving. I hink as I am only relying on memory and not a news story link

Tampa Police are also looking for a murder suspect in a carjacking around April 12.

"Tampa, FL April 12, 2006 - VICTIM: Mathew Robert Mills III B/M DOB: 4/13/85 2511 Seaford Circle Apt 4, Tampa SUSPECT DESCRIPTION: B/M, 18-19 years old, 5’7-5’8, 155 pounds, baby face, 1 inch dreadlocks. BICYCLE DESCRIPTION: blue, grey, white mountain bike The victim and a friend were talking about “meeting some girls” when the suspect walked up to them at 27th Street and 19th Avenue and said he knew where they could find some women. The suspect put his bicycle into the bed of their pick-up truck and got into the back seat of the 2003 Chevrolet truck. At the corner of 38th Street and 10th Avenue, the suspect announced, “This is a jack” and then shot the passenger, Mathew Mills in the back of the head. The driver wrestled with the suspect over the gun until he managed to jump out of the truck and flee. The suspect left the victim’s body at the intersection then drove the pick-up truck to an alley off the 3600 block of Martin Luther King Avenue and set the truck on fire. This morning Tampa Police detectives are looking for help from the public . Anyone with information about the murder or the suspect is asked to call (813) 231-6130."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rose Ferlita Valencia Garden Fundraiser


Rose Ferlita
For County Commission, District 1

Fundraiser!

Meet, Greet, Eat, and Drink!
on
Thursday, April 20, 2006
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
at
Valencia Garden Restaurant
811 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606

All Contributions Welcome! (Maximum $500 per individual, business, or PAC)

RSVP by April 18th or Call (727) 638-3867

Death of a Family Cat

On our SE Sem Hts email list from Sherry Simons:

"Tonight I watched as someone sped down my street, hit my cat with a thud, flipping her up in the air and did not even slow down. Fortunately, she passed in about six minutes, although it seemed like an hour. It is not possible the driver did not know. I heard the thud from a yard away.

This is a very sad house tonight. Sundae was a member of our family for seven years, we raised her from an tiny abandoned kitten.

For all of you who speed down our streets. Please slow down!"

Sherry and Kristina, that is so sad, my condolences.

Another blog from Seminole Heights

Seminole Heights resident Rick Bennett (also of Bennett Family photos blog) has another blog called cheaper than therapy . He says" it usually does not focus on Tampa. It focuses on religion, politics, pop culture, etc, but lately a few things have been more appropriate for Tampa."

He also featured in an recent article about home churches in the Tampa Tribune.

Rick has an interesting post Jesus of Suburbia that references another interesting post in another blog.

"After decades of this suburban lifestyle America is left with families split by divorce, kids leaving in rebellion, and millions on various drugs to relieve the emptiness as the idolized family turns out to be a myth. Apart from the personal destruction the suburbs can bring, suburban isolation also poses a real problem for the spreading of the gospel." And "If hospitality is to be a central way of life for the spreading of the gospel, the alienation of the suburbs is a condition of our exile we must overcome" and "Inviting someone over for dinner in the hostile suburbs is regularly considered pathological. Suburban people are either too busy, too self-protected, or too worried what your agenda might be to ever come over. "

Half jokingly I've come to the conclusion that the modern suburbs is the work of the devil. The modern suburbs, with porchless houses and life focused on the privacy fenced backyard, curvy culdesac roads (that breed isolationism) that are miles and miles from the place of employment and shopping areas (thus wasting gasoline) could be called essentially evil. You might say these are godless areas.

Compare this to Seminole Heights. This is the land of God. Everywhere you look there are churches and temples. Big ones, small ones, elaborate ones, home based ones, storefront ones, stand alone complexes. Then throw in a few cemetaries and funeral homes with their religious imagery. Try driving anywhere in the city without running into a place of God. In the suburbs the churches are isolated as are the people.

For these same reasons I have a big beef about these Megachurches in the suburbs. Again half jokingly I think they too might be the work of the devil. How far does someonhave to drive to get to them? How much resources are being sucked out of smaller urban churches by these large surburban churches? How many of these urban churches died because of the megachurches?

Retaining Wall and ARC and Zoning

From TC

I need help from someone who has experience dealing with the City Zoning
and the ARC Historical District. I need to build a retaining wall for my front
yard. Normally this would not be a problem as both the city and the ARC allow
retaining walls. In my case, the house is on a corner lot and the yard runs up
to both streets with no sidewalk or other buffer. The yard has badly eroded into
the street.

I have no experience dealing with the city and do not want to go about this the wrong way and get a no from the get go. If necessary, I’ll hire an architect or whoever. I hope that is not necessary.

If anyone has experience with the city zoning or the ARC please email me at tctc100
AT gmail DOT com


Change the AT to @ and the DOT to .

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Brew Pub

I was asked whether Seminole Heights would support a brew pub. My answer is yes!

However what do the readers say? Would you support it? Would you support it if were near a church?

BOLO - Easter Bunny

Be On the Lookout for a rabbit walking the streets handing out gift baskets and eggs. This morning as we let our dogs out in the backyard, one walks to the front and starts barking. We go up front to see what's going on and out of the corner of our eye a bunny rabbit hopping down the street with a large basket with eggs and gift bags. We then notice on our gate, a bag full of goodies on our gate. I guess we were hit by the Easter Bunny.

Sunrise Service At Lowry Park

Every year we look forward to the 6:30 aM Easter Sunrise Service at the Lowry Park bandshell.
This service is a collaboration between area United Methodist Churches and the Salvation Army.
People come in various types of dress from casual to dressy. As we walk in the dark park toward the lights of the bandshell, the sounds of the Salvation Army band wafts across. There is always a good crowd at this event. Every year I always see Bill Duval and his family there. Usually we sit in the bandshell benches but this year we sat in one of the picnic benches a little farther back. Some people brought their own chairs and coffee. A few people sat in the bleachers. A few people brought their dogs.

The numbers of churches represented varies. Previously there was 3 Seminole Hts UMC's present but with the demise of the UMC on North Blvd last year and re-creation into a Korean UMC, we were down to 2. (Northwest and Seminole Hts UMC) . Each minister takes a different part of the service. The churches represented were:

Northwest UMC - 6400 N. 15th St. - Rev. Florence Howell (She gave a great prayer for peace - she always has good prayers)

Oak Grove UMC - 2707 W. Waters - Rev. Cameron Lashbrook

St. John's UMC - 5102 Mendenhall Ave - Rev. Edna Kate Jacobs

Seminole Heights UMC - 6111 Central Avenue - Red. David Liddell

The Salvation Army Community Worship Center -1100 W Sligh Avenue - Major Rick Mickles

Every years the songs are led by Judy Colvin. The Ministere of worship and Music of Oak Grove UMC, Don Burlock, gave the Easter message.

After the service there is a breakfast at the Salvation Army across the street form the park.

A few tips: It can be a little cool so dress a little warm (layering is best!) Bring something to sit on, a blanket or towel as the seats might be a little damp or hard. If you wear dress shoes or heels use the sidewalks.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Starbucks Defaced?

I just received this email. Once I verify this I will rant.

"noticed this today a snapped a pic on my way to the gym... "

Found Dog

One of our neighbors found " a small, brown and white male dog with red collar. Looks like a Chihuahua. He’s at our home," in the 1200 block area of E. Chelsea.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Chelsea gets stop signs

According to neighbors who are watching the work being performed, the intersection of Chelsea and 12th, the site of many accidents, is getting made into a 4 way stop.

A comment from the SESH emai list:

"After YEARS and YEARS of requesting that the Traffic Dept do something to calm traffic in the area, they have finally decided to intall a 4-way stop at the intersection of Chelsea and 12th Streets. This will do much to slow traffic down on 12th Street and almost eliminate the possiblity of accidents at that particular intersection. It appears that Mr. LaMotte really pays attention to an issue when he is personally accompanied by a city council member to view the problem. I'd like to thank Rose Ferlita for taking this problem seriously and deciding to put it on her list of important things to get accomplished.

HOWEVER, we are still left with serious traffic issues in the neighborhood. Although the 4-way stop will slow traffic down on the southern stretch of 12th between Osborne and MLK, it will do NOTHING to slow things down along the Chelsea Street RACEWAY, nor along the northern stretch of 12th street. The original cause of the accidents at the corner of 12th and Chelsea has been caused by drivers speeding down Chelsea from Nebraska to 12th street and not being able to stop in time, ending up in the middle of 12th street instead of at the stop sign.

Also it is still almost impossible to walk down 12th to the park without having to move off of the pavement due to drivers honking at you to get out of the way. The same along Chelsea S. "

Taco Bus

The Taco Bus was written up in the TBT in a story about the great burrito taste test. The story cannot yet be found online. The possible link does not work.

Today's Times Coverage

The humble bungalow - restoredSt. Petersburg Times Thu, 13 Apr 2006 10:14 PM PDT Looking for fabulous ideas on how to rehabilitate bungalows? Come hear an expert share her wisdom at a free event in Seminole Heights on Thursday.

Area rises above its reputationSt. Petersburg Times Thu, 13 Apr 2006 10:15 PM PDT It wasn't too long ago when prostitution, crime and code enforcement dominated talk about Southeast Seminole Heights, a neighborhood saddled by a not-so-nice stretch of Nebraska Avenue.

Neighborhood briefsSt. Petersburg Times Thu, 13 Apr 2006 10:12 PM PDT Briefs and news of note. OLD HYDE PARK - The 11th Annual Rembrandt in Hightops Art Show runs from 3 to 5 p.m. April 29 at Old Hyde Park Art Center, 705 W Swann Ave.

Median is part of DOT planSt. Petersburg Times Thu, 13 Apr 2006 10:13 PM PDT Neighbors are bothered by the prospect of turn restrictions along a road. Between 2000 and 2004, there were 1,590 car crashes along Hillsborough Avenue, between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street.

Gay lives, interests head westSt. Petersburg Times Thu, 13 Apr 2006 10:12 PM PDT The Ronda factor? Few gay-themed businesses? Whatever the case, St. Petersburg has replaced South Tampa as a gay hub, many say.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

School Grades

Thanks to a reader from the prior post about schools

These are schools in the area that are in or around Seminole Heights

School Name School Grade
05
04
03
02
01
00
99
CLEVELAND ELEMENTARY
B
C
B
C
D
C
C
BROWARD ELEMENTARY
C
A
B
B
C
C
C
EDISON ELEMENTARY
F
C
N

HILLSBOROUGH SENIOR HIGH
D
D
C
C
C
C
C
MEMORIAL MIDDLE
C
C
B
C
C

SEMINOLE ELEMENTARY
C
A
C
C
B
C
D
SLIGH MIDDLE
C
C
C
B
C
C
D
FOSTER ELEMENTARY
D
C
C
B
C
C
D
MIDDLETON HIGH
D
D
N

ORANGE GROVE MIDDLE MAGNET
A
A
A
A
C
A
C

So what are we going to do about our schools to mkae them better?

Jean Street Shipyard volleys back

Previously I posted about a great article in the Trib about the Jean Street Shipyard. In that posting I commented on some info some neighbors gave me about purported prior plans for development. Here is an email response I received tonight about my comments from someone who apparently knows the owners. Do I know the reality in this case? No. Was I fed info by disgruntled or misinformed neighbors? Could be. Perhaps readers around the shipyard might have a better sense.

"Mr. Banghart:

I am assuming that it is your commentary that appears regarding the Tampa Tribune Article written on Jean Street Shipyard. The way that I read the comment, it sounds as if you are questioning the motives of why John Brotherton has kept the shipyard as it is. I guess in a blog you have no obligation to check your sources of information. However, I feel compelled to inform you, and I know this information first hand, that in lieu of development of the property, and at great personal sacrifice and expense to himself, Mr. Brotherton has attempted to preserve the shipyard and its historical aspects for the benefit of his son and his daughter, and for community. He loves history. He loves the ability to restore antique boats and in the process "touch" and "re-live" a little history. The shop building in which he performs his works of art, and what are really works of "lost art" is also a piece of history. Jean Street Shipyard is truly a unique place, nestled down among the homes of Seminole Heights, and Mr. Brotherton is truly a unique and special person to try so hard in the face of so many uphill battles to preserve what the neighborhood should support, endorse and embrace. Perhaps, even though you may not have the obligation to check your sources, as a good neighbor, who wants to promote good things about Seminole Heights, you should be more cautious about things you print on your site. People tend to blindly believe what they read. Perhaps if you feel compelled make comments that could color how people view Mr. Brotherton and the shipyard in general, at least make inquiry to him, and do not rely on some uninformed hearsay statement."

Schools

From an email:

What do you know about the area schools?

I think there is generally an attitude that the schools in the central Tampa area (Seminole, Tampa and Riverside Heights specifically) are "sub-par" and when I talk to many about possibly moving to the area they always bring that up, as well as the crime in these neighborhoods as being the reason they don't feel good about moving their family from either South Tampa or any of those outlying North Tampa areas.

I imagine the crime rate in central Tampa is probably higher than the other areas (though as a transplant from Sulphur Springs I practically feel like I live in a gated community), and there is certainly a lot of "good block/bad block," but are the schools really that bad?

D.J.



I don't have kids, so I do not focus on that. I think Broward Elementary has a good rep. Edison a lousy one. I heard mixed things about Hills High. I don't know what our FCAT school ratings are. Parent's what can you say?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Grown Man Films

The last post about Seminole Heights - Life Printed Daily satisfied two curiosities. The first was about the house in the commercial. The second is about this building at 6412 Central Avenue.

Acording to the 2003 Ybor Film Festival this is the home to Grown Man Films:

"At Grown Man Films, we're not just a phone and a fax, we're grown up people in a big studio with expensive equipment," is how Grown Man Films website introduces itself.
The Tampa television and film production company is the collaboration of five artists, filmmakers, animators, and writers: Gordon Myhre, James Braun, Jim Beckwith, Victor Tsikouris, and Denise Myhre."

Seminole Heights - Life Printed Daily

Ever see the Trib Life Printed Daily commercial featuring Seminole Heights? Ever wondered where the house is? Here is an email from the owner.

My wife and I moved to Seminole Heights in 2004 and have loved every second of it. For any of your blog viewers who are curious, I thought I'd forward the Tampa Trib's Classifieds commercial that takes place in Seminole Heights to you. The commercial was filmed at our house on E Jean St back in early November and both the house and our dog are featured prominently. It was pretty fun as TPD closed the street for about 6 hours and 2 big trucks of cameras, lighting, etc. came in.

It's been airing since December in 15- & 30-second spots throughout the day, from the morning news to American Idol and was filmed/edited by Seminole Heights' own Gordon and Denise of Grown Man Films.

Anyway, a lot of people seem curious about where "that house with the red door" is, so I thought I'd let you know.

Darren and Rebekah



I think the Trib's Life Printed Daily is a great set of commercials and ads.

North Tampa visits Seminole Heights

According to the Trib:

North Tampa Club Plans Field Trip
SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - North Tampa Garden Club members and guests will visit Jeanne
Wolfe's home for a program about steppingstones.

They will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Seminole Garden Center, 5800 N. Central Ave.
For information, call Mary Baldasan at (813) 932-9907.

OSHA Porch Party

OSHNA Spring Porch Party
Friday, April 21st 7:00pm
at the home of Joshua and Petra Sussman
1411 E. North Street
Please bring a snack or beverage to share!

Contact Helen Harmon if you'd like to host a porch party.

Covivant Happenings

The season is coming to an end, so if you haven’t been out to Covivant in three full moons, then you should come out this Friday and next.

This month Covivant is hosting two exhibitions sponsored by the University of South Florida’s School of Art and Art History.

Postcolonialism and After
April 14-April 30, 2006
Opening Reception: Friday, April 14th 7-11pm

BFA Show 2006:
featuring works by Spring graduates
April 21-April 30, 2006
Opening Reception: Friday, April 21st 7-11pm

The "Postcolonialism and After" exhibition and art history symposium will delve into the current trends that have emerged from postcolonialism in both academic scholarship and contemporary artistic practice. At its conception, postcolonialism encompassed both the analysis of colonial discourse and the writings of the ex-colonized. More recently, it has evolved to define writings that resist colonialism in all its manifestations and examines the body of culture impacted by imperialism up to the present day. Globalization and the increasing closeness of peripheral territories have had a large affect on postcolonial studies, with some even arguing that globalization renders postcolonialism obsolete. Art historical papers and artworks incorporating issues of globalization, transnationalism, and multiculturalism are the emphasis of this joint graduate symposium and exhibition. Participating artists: Julie Weitz, Bettina Allamoda, Cyane Rollins Tornazky, Jessica Wimbley, Josue Pellot, Dhanraj Emanuel, and Glynnis Reed

Keynote speakers at USF:

Both speakers will be presenting at the graduate symposium to be held Friday, April 14 2006 from 9-4pm at Traditions Hall in the Alumni Center of the University of South Florida

Okwui Enwezor is the Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at San Francisco Art Institute. Enwezor was Artistic Director of Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (1998–2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996–1997). He is curator of numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London. As a writer, critic, and editor, his publications include Reading the Contemporary: African Art, from Theory to the Marketplace (MIT Press, Cambridge and INIVA, London) and Mega Exhibitions: Antinomies of a Transnational Global Form (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich).

Alfredo Jaar is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in New York. He has participated in the Venice, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Sydney, Istanbul Biennales, Documenta in Kassel, Germany, and Magiciens de la Terre, Paris (1989). Major solo exhibitions include the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

BFA Show 2006:

This is the second exhibition of the season sponsored by the USF School of Art to broaden student exposure outside of the university setting. Participating artists include: Juan Pablo Parra, Maeve Garvin, John Russell, Craig Kaths, Angela Galloway, Bryan Bernardo, Emily Winton, Matt Selego, John Steelman, Murielle White, Anthony Record, Kristina Hulkrantz, Sylwia Waluszko, Stacey Simmons. Carly Champagne, and Danielle Shockley.

For more information call Covivant Gallery @ 813-234-0222 www.covivant.com

Lessened Blogging

You may have noticed my output a lessened. Our new dog is taking a lot of our energy. Last night, after walking her in Rivercrest Parking and playing with her, all I wanted to do is lay on the couch and read. (I'm getting as much exercise as she is) I will pick up the blogging as things improve. One of the posts will be our experiences with Ella.

Signs of Development

More signs of Development in the Seminole Heights Area and surroundings. Just south of the McDonalds and Indigo Coffee, next to I-275, a new office building is being built.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Community Investment Tax

So there are going to be some Community Investment Tax meetings. This money was formerly known as the Glazer Family Corporate Welfare. So where is this money going now? And how much?

Community Investment Tax Meetings
Mayor Pam Iorio and the Tampa City Council invite you to attend community meetings regarding the third phase of the Community Investment Tax. The City of Tampa will present a five-year plan on how future tax revenue will be spent to improve neighborhoods and provide an opportunity for public comment at each of the four meetings.

District 4
Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 6 p.m.
Kate Jackson Recreation Center
821 South Rome Avenue

District 5
Thursday, April 20, 2006, 6 p.m.
Ragan Center
1200 E. Lake Avenue

District 6
Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 6 p.m.
Loretta Ingraham Center
1709 N. Hubert Avenue

District 7
Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 6 p.m.
Pizzo Elementary School, USF Campus
Multi-Purpose Room
11701 Bull Run Drive
Fiscal Years 2007 - 2011

For more information contact:
Liana Lopez (813)274-8251

Central Tampa Artists meeting at Starbucks

Susan and I went to a mmeting of local artist at Starbucks last night. Here is Susan's recap as posted on the Central Tampa Artists Group

Last night about a dozen creative types gathered at the new Starbuck's coffee joint. The discussion centered on whether an artist group was needed and if so, for what purpose. It was generally agreed that we had a general interest in finding a space, a large building, to be exact where we could hang out, do our art, sell our art, and hopefully, grow our art. Cindy Hennessy with Moving Current dance company longs for danceable floor space. Chuck Johnson would like space to build his beautiful chairs, and I envision a place where creativity is the theme.

Finding a building is a topic for future meetings. Cindy Hennessy, also on the Art Advisory Council is looking into what help they can give.

The second idea that sprang from the evening was an event that would showcase the artists in Central Tampa. It would be an arts festival featuring all artists, performing, visual, writers, etc. Venues were suggested. They included, Rivercrest Park, Sulphur Springs Tower location.(sorry, don't know the park name), and the Harbor Club at Sulphur Springs. Scott and I agreed to speak to the owners of the Harbor Club about this idea and about holding future meetings there.


I envision us being the next Cuban Sandwich Show. That show is so Tampa without all the glitz and gloss.

Other ideas that were tossed out were fundraising. A calendar was suggested, which would feature individual artist's work on each page. Grants were mentioned and possibly seeking advice from the city's art czar, Paul Wilborn. He should have an interest, right? He lives in Seminole Ht's, right? Has there been a Paul Wilborn sighting in the area?

So, we have interest, we have common goals, where do we go from here?

The next meeting will be Monday, April 24 at 7p.m., place to be announced. Happy Anniversary to Joshua and Petra Sussman. They will be celebrating with a drum circle at their house later this month. If you are lucky enough to know them, perhaps you'll be there. Helen Harmon is showing her work for the first time at the Scarfone Gallery. It will be up for a couple weeks, so stop in and honor her efforts.


More info will be posted or emailed as it comes.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tampa sees green

St. Pete Times did an article about the City of Tampa embracing Green buildings and WMNF had a prominent role in the story.

Something I always found odd was that the Hillsbrough County Extension Service really pushes rain barrels as a way to save water, yet I do not see any county or city or other government buildings with water barrels or cisterns. The exception is the artistic cistern (Hydria) at the County Courthouse.

Email Lists

From an reader in Old Seminole Heights

You frequently reference "from the email list" on your seminole heights blog, but those of us still relatively new to the area have no idea what email list you're talking about, which makes it darn challenging to join and contribute. Can you share the love? :-)

Generally I am talking about the SE Seminole Heights discussion email list, which I moderate.
However I am also on other email lists, including the Bungalow Alert (an alert email list of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association), South Seminole Heights alert email list, Hampton Terrace Dot Com message board (for residents of Hampton Terrace area), the Seminole Heights AntiCrime email list, the OSHLink created by SH resident Larry Drane, the Central Tampa Artists Group, the email list for members of Grid 59 Neighborhood Watch (Contact Helen Harmon), the email list for Lowry Park Community Civic Association, the Seminole Heights Playgroups. There is also an Evelyn City (contact Susan Long) email group I am not a member of. I have also created the Seminole Heights Google Group that has a lots of members but no chatter.

You don't have to live in SE Seminole Heights to belong to that email group. Just be interested in SE Seminole Heights. Several reporters belong to the group, several police officers including 2 Majors, and a Seminole Heights resident T.C.

If there are other lists out there post them in the comments section.

Bread Man goes international

As a result of the newspaper coverage here, August, our beloved Bread Man of Seminole Heights was featured in a story by a Belgian Newspaper De Morgen. He was also interviewed on the radio.

Belgische 'bread man' leert Amerika echt brood eten 04-04-2006Amerikaanse media bestempelen hem als de bread man. Een beetje een vreemde titel voor de Belg August Vanderdonckt, die in het dagelijks leven financieel expert is, maar wel een accurate. Vanderdonckt bouwde een broodoven in zijn tuin en leert Amerika nu hoe echt brood smaakt.

Here is a bad online translation (the translation is almost funny) of the article:

Belgische ‘bread man' America real bread learns eat label American media him as the bread man. A little bit a strange title forthe Belgian August Vanderdonckt, that in the daily financial expert live is, but well an accurate. Vanderdonckt built in abread oven its garden and learns America now how real bread tastes. I g e n b e r i c h t g e v i n g Horizon Herbots Nineyears ago moved August Vanderdonckt to the U.S. The life over there gives birth him excellently. On a small detail after. “The bread”, he tells in a conversation with De Tomorrow. “It tastes to cotton wadding. Breads in the States is precisesponge. A knapperige crust look at there not. Everybody buys its bread here in the supermarket. There its well bakers thatbetter bread sell, but that are then real special affairs which you already quickly four dollars eddy count for an usual bread.”In Belgium had Vanderdonckt yet never of its life a bread baked, but in America dared he the at. “I such broodbakmachine boughtnever says”, he. “That is usual a gadget that immensely much place takes in in your kitchen. Moreover there is that waynothing on. Self bread knead has gave birth somewhat philosophically.” Only really the bread from an usual oven him also nottotally. “We regular pizza parties hold tells”, he. “In August 2004 we wanted to organize it a for my birthday. The prospectof all within to sit around a snikhete oven meanwhile it outside really already swelteringly hot was, stood went seek decided usnot really on.” Vanderdonckt on in bookstores and on the internet and to build self an oven. In two months time arose in thebackyard of its house in Southeast Seminole Heights in Tampa, Florida, a real bacoven. “In October I am begun to it and was endof December he functionally. In February was also the betegeling off.” Since the first pizza party in 2004 beacon Vanderdonckteach weekend bread. “As I a new recipe try, make I only an or two breads. It is not easily the oven on the right temperatureto get and the baktijd just in to estimate, but as I usual bread bake, can that there sixteen all at once are”, tells he. “Asthat the case is, go we walk, ring somewhere haphazard at and divide bread out. The rests eat up we self. Only mostly am I soenthousiastic that against Tuesday everything on is and I the rest of the week really supermarket bread must eat.” (laughs) Andalso the Americas are glad with the bread of Vanderdonckt. “It falls me on that men much more kindly are as soon as they mybread tasted. Really everybody finds the delicious. Also my son of two: he like it gladly of all dads bread. If you him letdo will hi even the dough eat up. Already I say it self: the bread is also really delicious. Better even then the bread that Ipreviously in Belgium ate.” Vanderdonckt divides its love for zelfgebakken bread not only with its district, he made a websiteover its oven and that has properly what success. “In first authority was the ankle meant the families in Belgium to let seewhere I with busy was, but meanwhile get I reactions of everywhere in the world. Different men have to come build me alreadyyou vraagd an oven. As I have help build here in Florida all a second oven. The bread bake remains for me a hobby, but perhapsgets the building of oven well a professional tail.” www. frappr. com/brickoventampa ‘It falls me on that men much more kindlyare as soon as they my bread tasted. Really everybody finds the delicious' ¦ August Vanderdonckt by the bread oven in thegarden of its house in Florida. (Photograph RV)

Seminole Heights Reident runs for School Board

In the St. Pete Times
School races feature insiders St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USA

"Another District 6 candidate is April Griffin, 37, a former temporary employee
of the district. She previously worked for U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and state Rep.
Bob Henriquez.

Griffin, who has two children at Orange Grove Middle School, said she wants to make sure all children in the district get a quality education. Her other key issues are school safety, adequate school funding and school readiness.

"Education is a passion of mine," the Seminole Heights resident said. "

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Parking

On the email list:

Yesterday morning (Saturday) I went to our new Starbucks for my morning coffee at about 10:30am. Suprisingly, it was pretty dead, maybe 4 other customers. However, there was not one parking spot. I circled the building and eventually parked behind the building which I think may have been the actual drive. When you pull in off Hillsborough, it appears they make you drive behind the building and around to get to the parking lot. By the time the employees park, there is very little room left for patrons. Imagine what it will be like when the morning rush hour hits. Traffic will spill out onto Hillsborough and create a traffic nightmare. Was the city and ARC so short sighted worrying about what the building would look like that they payed no attention to the parking details?

Similarly, Martha's Place on Nebraska has a similar problem. On Saturday's and Sunday's, parking floods the entire corner forcing patrons to park across Nebraska and cross the 4 lanes by foot. I had warned code before they opened that the parking situation was not sufficient. It may be a matter of time before someone is hurt trying to cross Nebraska. The main parking lot is the dirt lot behind the building.

According to the city code, new businesses must have X number of spots and must be a hard surface to accomodate handicapped accessiblity. Martha's does not comply with either and Starbuck can't possibly comply with the number portion. How are these businesses allowed to get their licenses without passing proper zoning/code?

My concern is that if we are not careful, we will end up like South Tampa with parking and traffic flooding into the residential areas, people parking in the streets, etc.

Is no one in the city responsible for proper planning? Is it left to us to patrol this?



I don't know the answers to the questions about Martha's and Starbucks. Martha's could probably organize their parking better. They have that big lot. Parking is a big issue and one of the things we have to get resolved for our business district to really take off. Parking is an issue at the Osborne/Florida shops also and many others place. The music production studios and clothing store on Nebraska north of Sligh has the same issue. Last night they had cars parked on the sidewalks of the businesses next door. Some places have large parking lots, that are very empty that they do not share.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

South Seminole Heights General Membership Meeting

It will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 7 p.m. at a a NEW location,

The Florida Avenue Baptist Church. The address is 4208 N. Florida Avenue, at the corner of North Bay street.

For a map to the new meeting place and for other Civic Association information please click on the link http://www.geocities.com/oursshca

Parking available behind the church, with additional parking is available on the other side of Florida Avenue, in front of the Berrell Electric Co. building.

The meeting will include a presentation, "Water Wise" by Master Gardeners Dawn Dickens and Virginia Overstreet from the Hillsborough County Extension office. If you are planning to attend, please pre-register by calling 813-404-5222. The speakers will provide handouts and "freebees", so they would like a fairly accurate count. (Even if you are unable to pre-register, please plan to attend.)

Gerber Baby Returns To Seminole Heights

Head Librarian Tina Russo at the Seminole Heights Branch Library brought the Gerber baby there today.


Well actually it was the woman who was the model for the Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook. Ms. Cook came to talk about her book Trace Their Shadows.


Ms. Cook's other claims to fame is that she was an English teacher at Hillsborough High School and a local mystery writer. She sets her books in small towns in Central Florida.
Some of her titles are , Shadow over Cedar Key, and Homosassa Shadows : A Brandy O'Bannon Mystery. Ms. Cook was Tina's English teacher.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Opening of Starbucks

Due to dog issues (behavior) we missed the opening of Starbucks. However I drove by at 8:30 PM and observed the place to be packed. Later I came by at 9:10 and it was closed and still full of people.

Merino's Deli in the Times

St. Pete Times article on Merino's Deli. go to the second article inthe stories.

A Grass Root's approach St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USA... KEEPING THE FAITH: Mike Merino knows Seminole Heights. ... And he knows what Seminole Heights needs. ...


"And he knows what Seminole Heights needs. So he's planning to open Merino's Seminole Heights Deli, tentatively by July. He intends to occupy part of Larry's Automotive service building at 6430 N Florida Ave. and perhaps eventually expand his restaurant and buy the entire building.

It's not a done deal yet but, "I'm 90 percent sure this thing is going to happen,'' he said. He plans to offer sandwiches, soups, salads and hot entrees for dine in, take out and free neighborhood delivery."

Tonigts events: Starbucks Opening and SE Sem Hts. Porch Party

Ribbon cutting today at 2:00 P.M.

Starbucks to open today with free drinks, pastries St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USATo thank the Seminole Heights community for its support, Starbucks will serve free tall beverages and pastries until 9 pm Tips and donations will be given to ...

On the email list:
We're happy to announce that Susan Thurston, St. Pete Times "City Times" Editor, will be coming to our porch party! Please be sure to introduce yourselves to her, and welcome her to the neighborhood!Don't forget that Starbucks is having an Open House from 6-9pm and we will be meeting up there between 6:30 and 6:40 (prior to the porch party) to enjoy some coffee, tea and pastries before heading over to 910 E. North Bay Street for the "You Kill It ... We Grill It" porch party! Stop by Starbucks and give them a warm SE Seminole Heights welcome ... then make your way on over to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gutierrez (formerly just plain ol' Maria Garcia's). The grill will be red-hot and waiting for YOU!!!

Hey, Wayne Garcia, you are welcome to come to the porch party too! As are any Trib Editors who would deign to come to our neighborhood.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Art, Decor & More opens up in Seminole Heights

In the Trib:
Decor Store Has Something Old, New, Different

The Tampa Tribune Thu, 06 Apr 2006 6:27 AM PDT

OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - Along the stretch of Florida Avenue unofficially known as "antique alley," a new shop is offering "something old, something new and definitely something different."



The owner is Joe Soutter. The store is located at 4709 N. Florida Ave and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For information, call (813) 236-8942.

Transgenders

In a prior post the issues of transgenders came up. This is an emotional subject with many people for a variety of reasons.

Personally my perception of male to female transgenders is colored by my experience, of running into prostitutes who are transgenders, as this has been my only significant apparent contact with male to female transgenders. (I say apparent because who knows what contact I have had and have not been aware the person was male to female transgender.) I am only seeing this group in their street working outfit and street working behavior. This means my initial reaction upon seeing a black male to female transgender in Publix is to automatically think prostitute, whether that is true or not. I am not saying this initial reaction is right, but this is what can happen when your contact with a part of a group is only in one situation.

So we can talk more intelligently, here is some more info from the Human Rights Campaign:

Transgender Basics
Transgender is a broad term that applies to people who live all or substantial portions of their lives expressing an innate sense of gender other than their birth sex. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers and people who simply feel like their biological sex fails to reflect their true gender

Transsexual: a person whose innate sense of gender conflicts with their anatomical sex. Some, but not all, transsexual people undergo medical treatments, such as hormone therapy or surgeries, to change their physical sex so that it is in harmony with their gender identity.

Transvestite: an outdated term that refers to people who sometimes cross-dress, or dress in clothing typically associated with the opposite sex. Many cross-dressers are heterosexual and typically present themselves in a manner consistent with their birth sex.

... (more)

Trangender 101

Whether or not they identify as transgender, many gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight people transgress traditional gender roles. A straight female with short hair who is often called "sir" in public, a boyish-looking lesbian who is questioned in the women's bathroom, a gay teen-ager who is reprimanded for "not acting like a man" — all face bias based on preconceived notions of gender. The more people see how gender varies, the more people will embrace laws that treat people equally regardless of their gender exhibition. . . . (more)

Following the above definition, we in Seminole Heights and in Tampa are Berkeley in that we have many people who transcend traditional gender roles in variety of different ways.

Before you respond to this post, stop and think and try to move beyond gut reactions (this applies to everyone who responds).

Rebuilding a Shed and Variances

From the email list: (*Note this is property is not in the Historic Distric so ARC is is no concern, only the Overlay applies.)

We have an existing concrete slab on our property where the original shed was built (according to the neighbors the shed was condemned by the city a number of years ago and had to be torn down). We would like to rebuild the shed using the existing slab and match the style of house. Problem is the slab is on the property line but current building codes says it must be several feet in. Thus was need to apply for a variance – two of our neighbors have their original sheds on the property line and we are hoping that variance will be granted because we are restoring the house and property back to its original state. If not, it would render the slab useless and cost lots of money to rip up and repour!


My husband . . . understands building codes and how to draw the plans etc. But we were wondering has anyone ever done this? Any words of advice or know of someone we should talk to?