Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Rest of the Story ...

This is the full story from the entry below. Unfortunately, this is the only was I can post it without retyping it (as I do not have a subscription to the publication either).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

City tests new zoning in Seminole Heights

TAMPA -- Elizabeth Graham, incoming president of the Business Guild of Seminole Heights, recalled that when she decided to open Forever Beautiful, a day spa and salon at 5135 N. Florida Ave., "my vision was to have a cute, quaint business district where you are supported and loved by your community."

So far, it's been a mixed bag.

New businesses in the three neighborhoods that comprise Seminole Heights -- Old Seminole Heights, South Seminole Heights and Southeast Seminole Heights -- tend to be cherished by the residents. But onerous building regulations and speeding cars have made it difficult to develop the kind of business district Graham envisions.

That might be changing as the city of Tampa tests out a new type of zoning, called form-based code, that relies on neighborhood input for decision making. Starting next year, the city will hold a series of meetings in Seminole Heights, asking, "What do you want your community to look like," said Cynthia Miller, director of growth management and development services.

More on this article at:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lost Dog - Pit Puppy

From friends/S.H. neighbors:

Jay, as we told you yesterday, we found a black pit/lab mix in the lot next to Cappy's pizza. I fed it and gave it water and some flea medicine, but unfortunately had to call Hillsborough Animal Services. The dog got picked up today and I am broken hearted.

He is a pit, but a puppy and absolutely adorable. He was wearing a collar, with no tag. He is attentive, inquisitive and ready to give unconditional love. If anyone needs a really sweet dog, there is one at the Falkenberg Rd Animal Services.

If you have space, please give this little guy a chance. He has the makings of a great companion.
Amy and Charles Haynie

S.H.'s Santa Clark

Milam Clark dresses as Santa between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. outside his house at 6912 N Central Ave. Clark will play Santa through Dec. 24, but the lights and yard display will be up until New Year's Day.

PS - Yeah, I saw that too. Not sure why they posted us in the "North of Tampa" section of the publication.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Save your holiday meal

Cooks & Company is offering holiday cooking classes in the Heights.

Perfect Pie Cooking Class
Cooks & Co will be taking reservations for the Perfect Pie Cooking Class. Students will be taught how to make 3 perfect Holiday Pies, a Caramel Apple Streusel Pie, a Chocolate Mousse Pie, and a Turtle Pecan Pie.
Students will learn the techniques Pastry Chefs have known for years. By the end of the class, you will have the skills not only to re-create these original Pie recipes, but to also design your own original recipes.
Perfect Pie Cooking Class
Thursday 12/20
$45 per student, minimum 5 students required
Class held in Chef Greg’s kitchen.
Call to book your spot, spaces are limited.

The 2 Hour Christmas Dinner Cooking Class
Cooks & Co will be taking reservations for the 2 Hour Christmas Dinner Cooking Class. Executive Chef Greg will teach students how to make the perfect Christmas dinner in only 2 hours! The menu will include Bourbon and Honey Glazed Ham, White Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Cassoulet, and Green Chile Corn Bread Muffins. Students will learn gourmet recipes that will make their Holiday guests savory this special time of year.
The 2 Hour Christmas Dinner Cooking Class
Friday 12/21
$55 per student, minimum 5 students required
Class held in Chef Greg’s kitchen.
Call to book your spot, spaces are limited.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Building Makeover

I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but as I see more of this building's original structure (as it goes through renovations), I'm starting to get a bit excited.

Seems this building, which sits on the NW corner of MLK and Florida Ave., is actually a brick building with huge functional and/or decorative archs built into its exterior walls.

I have no idea what this place use to look like or be, but I can certainly imagine how it could look and add to the historic feel of the community.

It may be hard to see (due to poor quality of camera phone), but perhaps you can visualize it too in this pic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

T'ai Chi classes

Click flyer to enlarge

Pet Sitting for the Holidays

An email from a Neighborhood Business:

Christmas is almost here are you ready!!!

We are Insured, Bonded, Pet Cpr & Lic and we live in Seminole Heights!

813-932-5075 * 813-900-7085

Steve Gluckman - Rest In Peace

Steve Gluckman passed away last night - doing what he did best- being involved. While he was at the the Old Seminole Heights annual dessert event at one of the Old Seminole Heights beautiful bungalows, he apparently had a heart attack.

Steve was a longtime fixture in Old Seminole Heights and active in Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association for many years. I can't remember how I met Steve but as he was involved in many activities, there were many opportunities. He was involved in the Friends of the Seminole Heights Library books sale every year, had a database of Burgert Brothers photos of Seminole Heights he was categorizing, he organized the art event at the OSHA Home Tour. He was one of the earliest Old Seminole Heights members to start attending the porch parties in SE Seminole Heights. While googling him I discovered this summer he was directing a USF applied anthropology graduate student research project in Old Seminole Heights. Steve was actually Dr. Steve Gluckman, as he had a PhD. in archeology.

This below was sent out by OSHNA via email

Stephen Gluckman

Dr. Stephen J. Gluckman
December 6, 1937 -
December 11, 2007

Esteemed Board Member
1988 - 2007
~ Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association ~

In Memorium

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the unexpected
death of Dr. Stephen J. Gluckman on Tuesday, December 11, 2007.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2007,
at 10:00AM at the Seminole Garden Center, 5810 N. Central Avenue.
When a special friend becomes a memory,
the memory becomes a treasure.

The Board of Directors of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association

Other bloggers are sharing their memories; Tommy with (Steve Gluckman)
and carasu with (Neighborhood In Mourning) .

Something needs to be named for Steve. The building at the Garden Center perhaps?

Share your memories of Steve with the rest of us..

Taco Bus for Sale?! Aye Carumba!

List Price: $225,000

Property Description: This is the place to come for home cooked Real Mexican Food. From Tacos to Buritos to the best refried beans and rice you' ve ever had. During this rare opportunity to own one of the best Mexican Restaurants in Tampa, the Owners are willing to sell/share their original recipes (which, by the way, keep their customers coming back again and again!), the equipment, the good name of the business, a long term lease on the both buildings, and the opportunity to purchase the 17,250 sq ft of land and both buildings measuring 3,659 sq ft in the future!

This subject features 150 SF of Excellent road frontage. Situated directly on Hillsborough Avenue, close to Nebraska, It' s a one-of- a- kind Ownership is Continuously Busy and Offers Customers the best of Mexican Food in the Area. This is a Turn-Key Operation.

Owner is Willing to Teach New Owners the Secret Recipes and How to Run the Business. This sale is VERY Confidential, So Please Do Not Disturb the Employees During Work Hours. Owners have been Running this Very Successful Mexican Restaurant and Grocery Store for 5 years and are Looking to Retire. Please Call for Additional Details!!!

Location Description: Prime Location, just East of Nebraska Avenue directly on Hillsborough Avenue. Easy Ingress/ Egress to I-275, I-4 and the Cross Town. Located in the focal Area of Seminole Heights. Seminole Heights is a redevelopment area with Historic Preservation quaint restaurants, uniques shops and Centrally located in Tampa.


From Jeff Houck of The Tampa Tribune:

I keep hearing good things from readers and friends about Bungalow Bistro in Seminole Heights. The restaurant, at 5137 N. Florida Ave., serves lunch and dinner in a restored building with outdoor balcony seating. The original structure was a garage apartment that was saved from demolition and moved to Florida Avenue before Hillsborough Avenue was widened in 2000.

The menu features seasonal gourmet items such as the Bungalow Bistro Salad, panini sandwiches and desserts. For information, call (813) 237-2000 or go to

Strays Love Me

I have a quality about me that is magnetic to strays. I have a house full of them. In fact, I'm at critical mass in the taking in stray animals department. But the strays don't know that. 
The stray du jour is Akasha. She's taken up residence on my porch and has clearly been somebody's indoor cat, as I have to fight with her to keep her from running into my house, despite 3 other cats and 2 
large dogs waiting at the door for her. She's also quite vocal about her opinions and wants and is
a charmer.
I just don't have the where with all to take on a 6th animal at this point. If anyone can help this little girl out, please let me know.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Support the Heights, Earn Cash

New Heights Magazine is set to profile our neighborhoods in the positive manner they deserve. All stories are being written by residents to inform tourists, as well as residents of other areas (i.e., New Tampa, Westchase, Hyde Park, etc.) about the great people, places and events that make Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, downtown Tampa and Ybor City great places to visit and spend their time and money.

The magazine will also serve as a catalyst to bring the people of our local neighborhoods together and to remind them that there are great businesses and sites to visit nearby – which means there’s no reason to drive far for goods, services and things to see/do.

Supporting New Heights is supporting your neighborhood. Contact us today about our Ad Commission Program and we’ll set you up (as an authorized representative) to receive a commission from every ad you refer that sells.

Advertising from within and from outside our core neighborhoods (i.e., other areas investing in our communities) is highly encouraged!

Contact Jay McGee, editor of New Heights, at (813) 389-8116 or for more information. Learn more about the publication at the website or blog.

Call or email today! The ad deadline is Jan. 3, 2008 for the Jan/Feb 2008 issue.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Yummmmm. Bread.

My first Seminole Heights home was located behind this place on Crest. The smell of fresh baked bread filled the air on a daily basis ... it was one of those little moments that helped make the day a good one.

Seminole Heights, Florida - The smells and sounds of pounding, kneading, and working dough, filters out from this bakery on Florida Avenue.

"You stop the bread keeps going you can't tell the yeast to stop growing," says Luis Valdez who has been working at Mauricio's Faedo's Bakery for 17 years.

He and a crew work the late nights, kneading out a batch of Cuban rolls with the precision of a pit crew. In a six-hour shift, the team will bake 5,000 loaves of Cuban bread, garlic rolls and other bread. In a day, the shop will produce an average of 5,000.

"It's 24 hours, it starts in the morning and goes all the way into the night, everybody gets bread all through the daytime, different sandwich shops," says Mauricio Faedo who has owned and operated the bakery for twenty four years.

To taste the bread hot from the oven you will have to make the trip yourself.

Maricio's Faedo's is located at 5150 N Florida. Opened 24 hours every day, except Saturday 12 p.m. to Sunday 3 a.m.

2nd Anual BGoSH Beautification Nominations

The winners of the First Annual Business Guild of
Seminole Heights (BGoSH) Beautification Award were
Cappy’s Pizza (Judges Award) and The Heights Group
(People’s Choice Award).

Nominations for the Second Annual 2007-2008 BGoSH
Beautification Award are open to the public and will
end on Monday, December 31, 2007. Winners of the
award in 2006 may not be nominated in this year’s
program. The new Beautification Award winner will be
announced during a special ceremony at BGoSH’s next
General Meeting to be held on February 14, 2008.

You can nominate any business located in Seminole
Heights that you believe has made great efforts in
improving the overall appearance of their business by
going to the BGoSH website at or by
visiting Sherry's Yesterdaze Vintage Clothing and
Antiques, 5207 N. Florida Ave. (813) 231-2020 or Tampa
Antiquarian Books, 6116 N. Central Ave. (813) 234-0100
to fill out a nomination form.

Our panel of judges include Mona Roberson of Atelier
Group, Inc. a interior design firm in Seminole Heights
and Alan Dobbs of Florida Design Studio Corp. an
architectural firm also located in Seminole Heights.

BGoSH prides itself in taking a positive and active
role in beautifying our community along with
supporting and promoting our member businesses. We
strive to make Seminole Heights a great place to live
by enhancing the integral parts of a community, which
include a viable business district, a harmonious
residential and commercial district, and cultivating a
unique and enjoyable community for residents and

The Business Guild of Seminole Heights is an
association of business owners within the boundaries
of the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa who are
interested in improving the commercial environment in
the neighborhood. Ranging from antique dealers to Real
Estate Brokers, BGoSH consist of over one hundred
members serving the Seminole Heights community. Visit
our website at for more information.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yikes! Alert! Murder in the neighborhood.

This news broke at 6am today, and is about S.H. (I am unable to confirm if it's the news' definition of the neighborhood boundaries or the real definition). In any case, be careful ... who knows where this suspect is hiding?:

TAMPA – Police in Tampa are investigating what they're calling a possible homicide after a woman was found dead in front of a home.

They say it happened on Tuesday night around 7:00 p.m. at a home on West Flora Street in Seminole Heights. That's near Sligh and Florida Avenues.

According to investigators, the woman was shot several times in her home. They didn’t release many other details, but they did say that the woman was estranged from her husband, who hasn't been found yet.

Police believe the couple has children, but they don't think the kids were home at the time of the shooting.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Weekends at Merinos Deli is getting very busy!
We are preparing to open Sundays in January and were seeking weekend sandwich makers/deli help.
The hours are from 11:30 till 4:30 on Saturday and Sunday.
Experience is helpful, but not necessary.
All you need is a good attitude, treat customers and fellow workers the way you like to be treated.
Its a great part-time job and "WE FEED YOU FOR FREE"!
Call Mike Merino @ 813-431-5730 or e-mail merinos_deli@yahoo

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Area Business Directory: List your Business FREE

New Heights Magazine is listing businesses free of charge in its Local Business Directory section. This directory will be included in the hardcopy and online versions of the magazine, which will have a Tampa-wide circulation of 15,000+ per issue.

To qualify for your no-cost listing, your business must be in either the 33602, 33603, 33604 or 33605 zip code.

For more information, visit the magazine's blog at:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Call for Articles: New Heights Magazine - Jan/Feb’08 Issue

New Heights, the official magazine of Tampa’s Urban Corridor (UC), is requesting articles for key sections of its inaugural Jan-Feb 2008 issue. Articles must be prudent to residents and business owners within the UC (defined below), while written broad enough to appeal to all of Tampa. Extra editorial placement consideration will be given to articles with two or more direct quotes from residents/business owners within the areas that the magazine highlights.

Authors must submit their articles to Jay McGee at by 5pm on Dec. 7, 2007 for consideration. Articles chosen, as well as their accompanying images, will be published in the hardcopy and online versions of New Heights, along with appropriate author/artist credits. (There are no stipends available at this time.)

For more information, contact Jay McGee via phone, (813) 389-8116. or email, or visit the magazine's blog:

Monday, November 26, 2007

River Parade

All boaters with kayaks, canoes and traditional motor craft are invited to join the 7th Annual Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade, Saturday December 8, sponsored by Friends of the River. Boaters meet at the Lowry Park ramp at 5:30 p.m. and travel upriver from 6-8 p.m. past the illuminated Sulphur Springs Tower to the Harbor Club on the river at Nebraska Ave. Incoming tides will be favorable that evening for this trip. Free entry.

Spectators can gather to view the parade at the riverfront park by the Sulphur Springs City Pool and historic Gazebo, where they’ll find plenty of parking and room for viewing.

This is the boat parade for the rest of us here in Seminole Heights – yacht ownership NOT required. Decorate whatever you have that floats and join the fun!

This year’s parade’s theme is A New Day in Tampa Bay, celebrating the coming rebirth of the Lower Hillsborough River. New Year’s Day 2008 fresh water starts flowing down the river every day from now on, something our community hasn’t seen for 36 years. This daily minimal flow will provide good conditions for the River to once again function as Tampa Bay ’s estuary, the nursery where fish are born & raised. Friends of the River advocated the river’s restoration for the past 9 years, winning its case when Swiftmud set the River Recovery Plan in motion this fall. As a result, scientists expect fishing in the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay to improve dramatically next year, along with birds and manatees, and to get even better every year from now on as conditions necessary for fish to spawn continue to improve.

For information, contact Phil Compton, 813-841-3601,

Phil Compton, Chair

Friends of the River, Inc.

Restoring the health & beauty of the Heart of Tampa:

the Lower Hillsborough River & Tampa Bay ;


><((( (º> `·._ .·´¯`·. _ .·´¯`·. ><( (((º>

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Boat Parade

Holiday Boat Parade! Saturday, December 8 Starting at 6:00 p.m.
Holiday Lights on Decorated Boats, Canoes & Kayaks

PARTICIPATE: Bring your decorated boat, canoe or kayak & join the fun. Anything that floats! Boaters meet at 5.30 pm at Lowry Park Boat Ramp – Free Parking

BOAT ROUTE: From Lowry Park, upriver past illuminated SULPHUR SPRINGS TOWER at Florida Ave. Bridge, ending at historic Harbor Club at Nebraska Avenue.

SPECTATORS: Enjoy the parade of lights over the water between 6 pm - 8 pm from your dock or at the riverfront park by the Sulphur Springs City Pool and historic Gazebo – plenty of parking and room for viewing.

Spectators Welcome;
Boaters Needed!
Friends of the River: 813-237-8497 or email:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dinner is served

Hello Everyone!

We have some exciting news to spread. The Bungalow Bistro will soon be open for DINNER! Beginning next Friday, you will be able to enjoy our gourmet delights from day into night.
Beginning on 11/23/07: The new hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (with our lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and our dinner menu from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.). In addition, due to popular demand, we have made our 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday Brunch a permanent part of the weekly schedule! You can keep up-to-date by visiting our Bungalow Bistro Web Site, but you will want to check back often as we continue updating the menu and imagery.
Most importantly, please note that we are currently accepting reservations for your holiday parties, call (813) 237-2000 to make your arrangements. We truly look forward to enticing you with a daily special or one of our signature dishes.
Bon Appetite!

Bungalow Bistro of Seminole Heights
5137 N. Florida Ave.
Tampa , FL 33603
Email us: 11/23/07
Add to Calendar

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

High Time for Hi-Tide

Actually, I kind of like this place. Having lived in Pasco when I was growing up, I grew an appreciation for greasy dives. But anyhow, it looks like its time has come on gone.

On other note, this SEEMS VERY AFFORDABLE to me, but who knows the condition it's actually in.

Property Use Type: Vacant/Owner-User
Primary Type: RetailRestaurant
Building Size: 1,890 SF
Lot Size: 12,200 SF
Price: $379,000
Price/SF: $200.53
Date Last Verified: 11/19/2007

Property Description: 2000 sq ft building currently operating as Fast Food Seafood Restaurant. 73 seats and 33 parking spaces, on corner lot that has easy access from busy Hillsborough Ave or the side street. One block east of I-275. Previousoly had 2 COP License. Seller is leaving equipment. Buyer can use name or put in their own concept. Owner is selling building only, as is with right to inspect. Seller will leave equipment but will not show books, records for business.

Location Description:Corner lot on Hillsborough 1 block east of I-275

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Missing Moe

A few weeks back I was quite excited about the changes at 3 Coins. The new owner (at that time) was Moe and he was making great changes. The eatery had a whole new ambitious attitude. The menu was great. The service improved dramatically. I hoped it would succeed at a dressed up 24-7 diner. I went there so often I joked it had become my second kitchen.

The night of the Florida Orchestra concert at Tower Park we took my neighbor Terry there. That was the last night that I would see Moe working his ambitious project. As I spoke with him he introduced us to some restaurant owners who were in town. I thought nothing of it.

The following week, I discovered that he had sold the restaurant to the folks I had met the week before. That was after a disasterous start to our visit. It went downhill from there. If there was a corner to be cut it seemed to be the path taken. The waitress was new with an attitude that was more at home in the old 3 Coins, not the one I had gotten use to patronizing. I made another visit about 10 days later. The pre-Moe 3 Coins seemed to have returned.

Since then I have heard from others who have become disenchanted. Today, I heard from another customer the newest owner has lost. So sad.

I wonder how many others have seen the same changes

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


County Commissioner Facing Sex Discrimination Claim
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A former aide to Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White has filed a claim saying he made repeated sexual advances towards her. Watch the story. TAMPA (Bay News 9) -- A sexual discrimination claim has been filed against Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White.
A former aide to White, Alyssa Ogden, filed the claim Tuesday with the Equal Opportunity Office in Tampa. Ogden, 23, worked for White for seven months and said she was fired last week for refusing his sexual advances.
Ogden said the advances began immediately after she was hired. She added that White even promised her career success if she would relent to his requests.
White told Bay News 9's partner newspaper, The St. Petersburg Times, that the reason for Ogden's firing was well documented. He said he would not comment further until he consults with Hillsborough County attorney Renee Lee.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Introducing the first Magazine to Highlight the Best of Tampa’s Urban Corridor

For residents and business owners of Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, Riverside Heights, The Heights – and surrounding neighborhoods – your time has come.

New Heights, the first Tampa magazine dedicated to sharing information about the revitalization of your community, is set to launch early 2008. But it can’t be done right without your help!

As editor of New Heights – and longtime local resident – I am seeking contributors to assist in the following areas:

  • Board of Directors – residents from serviced areas to contribute ideas and resources to the launch and success of New Heights.
  • Donors – people willing to donate time and money, who share in the vision of how New Heights will aid in the continuing revitalization of their community.
  • Writing – talented people to conduct research and contribute relevant, high-profile content.
  • Photographers – artists to provide photographs of local people and places to complement articles.
  • Distributors – people who wish to help distribute the good news of New Heights to local storefront stands and assist in USPS mailings.
  • Distribution Points – storefronts and organizations that would like to include a New Heights magazine rack at their location.
For more information, please call Jay McGee, editor/publisher, at (813) 389-8116 or email You can also visit the website,, or blog,

Monday, November 12, 2007

More on Sangria's coming to S.H.

Eatery Nibbles At Heights Plan
By KATHY STEELE, The Tampa Tribune
Published: November 10, 2007

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - The owners of Sangria's Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant are exploring a new restaurant in the neighborhood.

The restaurant could replace LeRoy's 4X4 Automotive Service Center, 512 E. Hillsborough Ave., if the city council approves a license for beer, wine and liquor sales. The property is next to Starbucks at Hillsborough and Central Avenue.

The council will vote on the license Dec. 20, records show.

Approval will require waivers because the property is within 1,000 feet of four residences and a gas station that sells beer and wine. City records also show Seminole Heights Baptist Church, on the east side of Interstate 275, is about 920 feet from the site, which is on the west side of I-275. That also would require a waiver.

"By and large, people are very excited," said Susan Long, president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association. She and the group's past president, Randy Baron, recently met with the owners of Sangria's, 315 S. Howard Ave.

"It's in the very early stages," Long said. "They don't have plans drawn up."

Initial discussions included a Sangria's on half of the property and leased space on the other half, she said.

The association's executive board is expected to discuss the project Nov. 19.

Sangria's co-owner John Obediente declined to discuss the project, but the alcohol license application states the property would be used for a restaurant, with 100 seats indoors and 20 outdoors, and multipurpose retail offices.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Heaven's Gate?

I know this isn't nearly as important as the jet fuel line they are threatening to put through our neighborhoods (see Tommy's Blog); but what the hell is going on at the De La Saron church at 5127 N. Florida Ave.? Having most recently had a stop work order plastered on their front window for months -- for non-permited construction -- now they have put up a chain link fence, ala the thought process of their nearby neighbor S.H.I.P.

They are in the historic district -- and I'm not sure on set backs and so forth -- but I think this is irresponsible at best; but most likely just plain stupid.

I know it's hard to see in this picture, my apologies (camera phone at night time).

For those naysayers, please keep in mind that this is the same church that parks a big, white semi-truck behind it. Jesus first came into town on a slow mule, but next time he's coming in hammer-down driving a Mack Truck!

Tax-free parking for semis in the name of the Lord!

This city needs its arm twisted to allow parking for a restaurant. Then strong-arms restaurants to change the shape of their windows. But then allows these type of actions from our fly-by-night churches. Priorities, priorities ...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Jet Fuel and Fireworks - Meeting 11/8




LifePath Hospice Collecting Donations

From the OSHNA mailing list:

Do you have useable items of which you wish to dispose, but not enough to participate in OSHNA's Great Neighborhood Yard Sale on Saturday?
Why not donate the items to LifePath Hospice?
LifePath Hospice will be in the neighborhood Saturday, November 10th, picking up items from the yard sale. You may contact Terry, a LifePath manager, at 363-8748,
from 12 noon the day of the yard sale and she will coordinate a pick up.
LifePath Hospice is a 503(c) and will provide tax receipts the day of the Yard Sale.
Please remember to place a "FOR HOSPICE" sign on the items,
if you leave them in your front yard, for Hospice to pick up.

This is a great organization, please donate if you can.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

BGoSH meeting

Don't forget

Florida Ave. Face Lift

Businesses on Florida Ave., particularly (for this posting) between MLK and Hillsborough, seem to be sprucing up slowly, but surely. In addition to Bungalow Bistro, Cappy's and Tampa Street Market, other business are joining in. The latest is the Engineering firm across from Bali Trading Co. (pictured here).

PS -- Bali, we love your place, but your building's exterior could certainly use a facelift too. It's starting to show its drabness as others nearby improve.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Second Annual Martinioff - 11/2, Friday, 7pm


It's that time again! So get out your shakers and get creative..................
Here is an email from the host of the Second Annual Martinioff, Glenn Cable.

The November Porch Party, Friday 11/2/2007 7:00, will be at my house, 901 E McBerry. Last year we had 10 people vying for the title of SESH "Tini-master" About 80 people attended and we went through around 600 1 oz plastic glasses. Each entrant will be given a numbered placemat, 50-75 sampling glasses, and a spot in my kitchen to compete for the 2007 title. The entry fee of $5 will be donated to SESHCA. I am searching for the right prize/trophy for the winner. Details to follow...

So grab your mixologist manuals, start fermenting your secret brews, and get ready for some serious competition! As many of you know, the Pumpkin martini last year was a landslide winner. The creator of that wonderful beverage is slightly smug but secret about her new recipe. This year's crowd already includes a couple visitors from South Tampa and Winter Haven with some bartending skills who want to take the prize home so be prepared to sample some unique concoctions. Chipotle?

Bring a dish to share. Walk,don't drive. There is parking behind and next to my house.The voting will be held at 11! This year's DVDs will be Keith Urban's newest and the movie, Dreamgirls.

*Entire entry reprinted from the S.H. Hot Topics website.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Do it yourself traffic calming

I tried a little social experiment last night. After watching too many kids dodging speeding traffic last Halloween on my street (no sidewalk on my side of the street), my wife and I decided to slow the traffic down ourselves, since the city won't. Who wants to see a 4 year old in a lion suit getting yanked out of the way of a car, just before being hit?

Parking on the Hanna Ave racetrack, slightly staggered, we managed to get traffic down to residential speeds. This gave birth to the anger of many. Oddly, quite a few were parents with cars full of kids on their way to got trick or treating. I guess that it's only important to keep their kids safe.

Also in my unscientific survey of irritation levels, I found that people with Jesus Fish on the back of their cars are the most susceptible to residential road rage. The irony has not gone to waste.

The worst of all of this is that the people who speed by in the evening are, for the most part, people who live here. Again, I guess it's a case of only worrying about your own street/child/pet. If you were one of the people irritated by my efforts last night, well, I'm not going to appologize. And please slow down, I shouldn't have to make you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One-way Street Conversion

I highly recommend checking out Tommy's blog, Tommy in Old Seminole Heights. He's in tune with the pulse of the community and has similar goals to most of us on this blog.

Anyway, here's a story great post he put up about our plight for two-way roads:

I encourage everyone, as I have already done, to send it and a personal note for your wishes to your local rep and the mayor.

Monday, October 29, 2007

For Sale: Family Service Association Building

5800 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL 33604

Property Use Type: Vacant/Owner-User
Primary Type: OfficeOffice Building
Building Size: 6,322 SF
Building Class: B
Lot Size: 22,770 SF
Price: $875,000
Price/SF: $138.41
Year Built: 1985
Date Last Verified: 10/25/2007

Property Description: EXCELLENT CORNER PROPERTY: Attractive masonry/stucco (1985) single story freestanding building with ultra-flexible CI zoning and 207 feet of frontage on major arterial (Nebraska). Ample number of offices, multiple meeting rooms, enormous central conference room with built-in bookshelves, generous kitchen, spacious administrative area and central filing room, large reception space and more. Newer dimensional roof, 24+2 lighted parking lot, security, intercom and fire alarm/notification systems.

Location Description: EXCELLENT BUSINESS/NON-PROFIT LOCATION: Just off I-275 and north of Hillsborough Avenue. 3.8 miles to downtown, 3.8 miles to St. Joseph's Hospital, 4.35 miles to Port of Tampa, 6.9 miles to USF, 7.2 miles to University Community Hospital, 9.9 miles to Tampa Intarnational Airport. Jump on I-275 north or south, and be anywhere in moments.

•Newer Roof
•Lighted Parking
•Security, Fire Alarm and Intercom Systems
•Seller Acquired Property by Merger - Approximate Floor Plan Available

Neighborhood Officers Face Tough Issues

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - With new officers elected to the neighborhood association, residents should look for a campaign to make Florida Avenue two-way, renewed efforts to bridge the divide between business owners and neighbors, and surveys to poll residents.

So much for Panera, but ...

better than an auto repair shop.

From the looks of it, it appears we have a trend of new restaurants coming into S.H.

Newly opened Bungalow Bistro was bustling with its brunch Sunday and of course we all have heard about the sports bar slated to be built on Nebraska.

Now, the St. Pete Times reports, that LeRoy's 4x4 is likely to become a bar and grille. The City Council will hear a wet-zoning application in December.

OSHNA gets new leader

Residents from Tampa's biggest neighborhood association packed into a meeting Tuesday night for an important vote: For the first time in three years, they would elect a new president.

Susan Long ran unopposed, but that didn't take away from the significance of the leadership change. The president is the face and voice for the outspoken 500-member Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association.

Randy Baron was just a computer programmer with little neighborhood involvement before he moved into the neighborhood in 1999. He says Seminole Heights made him a leader.
He became well-versed in everything from code enforcement to development. During his three-year presidency, he ran for the City Council.

Although not elected, Baron will move on to work more closely with the council, as vice president of THAN, a citywide umbrella organization of neighborhood associations. His group will encourage more neighborhoods to form and have a citywide impact on issues such as zoning and transportation.

As the new president, Long plans to work with the neighborhood's commercial corridors, incorporating more businesses into the association. She also wants to increase membership and encourage historic preservation.

Neighbors look forward to her leadership.

"She's very impassioned about what she does, and she's really big into code enforcement," said neighborhood trustee Eric Krause. "She has no problem going up to someone and saying, 'You're wrong.' That's what the neighborhood needs."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

20th Annual River clean-up....Nov. 17th

November 17th marks the 20th annual Mayor's River clean-up. The shear size of Seminole Heights means that we, in this community, benefit from this project more than any other neighborhood. The event removes nearly 10 tons of garbage from the lower Hillsborough River (the area south of the dam in Rowlett Park).
From Seminole Crest at 22nd st to MLK to the south, the river is the boundary for both Old Seminole Heights and South Seminole Heights. Several miles of river front. For a number of years South Seminole
Heights has had a group that participated. It would be great if there were several teams in Old Seminole Heights.
Volunteers need to register at Lowry Park at 8:00am on the 17th.
The pictures are from Epps Park (upper)in Old Seminole Heights and Rivercrest Park (lower) in South Seminole Heights.
The event usually draws 1,200 volunteers. Image if that could be doubled with additional Seminole Heights volunteers. We have 10,000 homes in all of Seminole Heights so it certainly is possible!

Monday, October 22, 2007

SC Tavern

Interestingly, I noticed S.H.'s old Spinnaker Lounge at 6416 N. Florida Ave. (I can't remember the name of the two places it's been since), has gotten a name change and an exterior face lift.

Dubbed "SC Tavern," it now looks very nice and almost inviting, despite the lack of windows. The place does still has a package store in front of it.

Has anyone heard and/or ventured into this place, which was once a Tampa landmark and that has (until recently) been rumored as a possible purchase for a Beef O'Brady's???

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"I didn't know"

In the brouhaha over the Hampton Terrace Local Historic Designation as noted in Tommy's blog, one comment struck me, essentially "I didn't know this was going on" and "this was being done in secret". When I lived in Seminole Heights (Southeast)I often heard comments like that involving neighborhood issues. (Usually from people who let their copy of the neighborhood newsletter rot in the rain.)

I did not live in Old Seminole Heights yet I knew about the Hampton Terrace plan.

So I decided to research what information that was made available.

First, I know from personal experience (from getting them myself) that info was sent out many times via the Bungalow Alerts emails. I also know mention of the plan and meetings about the plan were in the OSHA Newsletter many times. (All members receive this newsletter. Non members get it once a year or if you go to Publix you can pick it up there every time.)

At the OSHNA Website, extensive information is made available about the process, include minutes of meetings

HamptonTerrace.Org first had mention of it in the forums on 10/13/04.

Then it was in the papers and on the blogs.

September 28, 2006 - Tampa Tribune
Historical District Proposal Moves Ahead - STATUS WOULD BRING REHAB GUIDELINES
"Hampton Terrace is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, and the neighborhood could be on track to become a local historical district.A recent meeting at the Seminole Garden Center drew about 60 people . . ."

September 8, 2006 - St. Petersburg Times
Historic status up for debate
"It's Hampton Terrace residents' turn to weigh in on their neighborhood's designation."

September 3, 2006 - LifeInSeminoleHeights Blog
Hampton Terrace: local district?
See meeting info. at the bottom
"A lot changes over the years. The goal when launching the effort for what became the Hampton Terrace Historic District was always a local district"

June 6, 2005 - Seminole Heights Blog
Historic Districts and Overlay
"Hampton Terrace is exploring at local historic district status. All of these 3 areas with maps and boundaries are better shown at the Historic Preservation section of Old Seminole Heights website."

October 16, 2004 - Tampa Tribune
Hampton Terrace Wants Preservation Zone -
OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — "Few Tampa neighborhoods possess the architectural diversity and charm of Hampton Terrace, a section of Seminole Heights developed more than six decades ago.

So some homeowners intent on preserving the identity of the quaint community around Lake Roberta are taking steps to have it designated a local historical district."

Want to know more about what is going on? Just join your neighborhood association, or read the newsletters, newspapers, blogs and other media.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Brunch at the Bistro

Latest on the Bungalow Bistro:

The public has spoken; due to an overwhelming number of requests, the Bungalow Bistro will now be open for Sunday Brunch from 10-2. Offerings will include specialty breakfast items, as well as crowd favorites from the regular menu.
While no beverage license yet, they will have bloody mary mix and makings for mimosas if you care to bring your own alcohol.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Election Hijacking?

Tommy from "Tommy in Old Seminole Heights" has an interesting article in his blog.

"Old Seminole Heights is Being Hijacked

If you read one post from my blog, read this one. There is a movement in the neighborhood that is attempting to hijack the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association (OSHNA). They wish to elect a write in candidate on Tuesday October 23rd based on a single issue. There is a minority group in Hampton Terrace that has posted a series of untruths about the designation of Hampton Terrace as a local historic district. But the lies they have promoted via mail and door-to-door pitches isn't what concerns me the most."..... read more

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Garden Center Rehab Mtg - 10/17, 5:30-7:30pm

From an email ...

As many of you probably are aware, a decision has been made by the City Parks and Recreation Department to begin a badly-needed interior rehab of the Seminole Garden Center. This building is frequently rented by organizations throughout the City. However, since it is located within the boundaries of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, which uses it regularly, the designers are working closely with OSHNA for input.

A meeting has been scheduled by the Parks and Recreation Department to be held at the Garden Center Wednesday, October 17th, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow interested neighborhood residents to meet with Brad Suder, Project Manager, and James Jackson, City Architect. They will present their Site Plan Update for interior renovation and improvements. Just as importantly for them, is to hear our suggestions, as site users, for improvements that we feel to be important.

So, please come prepared to actively participate and to understand that these renovations will likely be in place for many years to come. This is a cooperative effort between OSHNA and the City Parks and Recreation Department, for which our Organization is very grateful.

S.H. Pumpkin Patch Event - 10/19-10/20/07

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Calling All Want-to-be Bakers. Open your Own!

Property Description: Free standing retail commercial building. Available for many uses. Formerly a wholesale bakery with all equipment still inside for a new owner.

Location Description: Nebraska Ave and Osborne. Close to MLK and I-275

Property Use Type: Vacant/Owner-User

Primary Type: RetailFree Standing Bldg

Building Size: 1,534 SF

Lot Size: 3,240 SF

Price: $125,000

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Corner Club offers free hot dogs on Sunday nights!

Just so you know, the Corner Club has free hot dogs on Sunday nights, Hot Boiled Peanuts every night, and Karaoke every weekend! Yes, it's all true! Watch out for a guy named "Animal"...

Two-Waying Roads Community Meeting TONIGHT 10/10

This is worth reposting, due to it's importance and that it's being held tonight.

Community Meeting!
Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern invites you to come share your thoughts on turning one-way Highland Avenue/Tampa Street and Florida Avenue into two-way roads. Additionally, Florida Department of Transportation representative, Daniel Lamb, will be available to talk with us about this critical topic.Residents of Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights are encouraged to join the discussion. We need your interest and energy on this important issue!!See details below, or for more information, please call 274-7071 .

Community Workshop .....
DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Stetson Tampa Law Center1700 N. Tampa Street, Tampa
DIRECTIONS:From Seminole Heights, just drive straight down one-way Tampa Street. The Law Center will be on your right just before you reach I-275.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Copa Cabana, bye-bye. Sweet Spot, hello.

Maybe the music and passion were always in fashion at the Copa Cabana Cafe, but perhaps the food and service weren't. That's likely the reason that the last remaining location (of two) at Osborne and Florida Aves has finally closed.

In it's place, and now open, is The Sweet Spot cafe. I only quickly drove by it, but it appeared that the multitude of national flags inside were gone and the table decor had changed slightly.

I think I also read on their logo'd sign something like "home cooking" or the sort. Like I said, it was a quick glance.

Has anyone heard news or tried the fare at the newest version of Rigos, Ms. Vivian's Whistlestop, Coffee Bean and Copa Cabana Cafe?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bungalow Bistro Update

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to do a quick follow-up to my original posting on Oct. 3, which was titled “Bungalow Bistro Open for Business.”

We will now be open for lunch! Please note that our temporary business hours will be Tue-Sat, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday. We are trying our best to establish business hours and menu items to best serve our community. We will be serving dinners soon. I will post another update with dates and times.

We look forward to enticing you with a daily special or one of our signature dishes. Our menu includes gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade hot soups as well as homemade desserts. The official Web site will be up soon, and you can now email us at for more information. Also, feel free to call us at (813) 237-2000 to place an order or schedule an event.

We hope to see you soon!


Bungalow Bistro of Seminole Heights
5137 N. Florida Ave.
Tampa, FL 33603

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Community Meeting!

Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern invites you to come share your thoughts on turning one-way Highland Avenue/Tampa Street and Florida Avenue into two-way roads. Additionally, Florida Department of Transportation representative, Daniel Lamb, will be available to talk with us about this critical topic.
Residents of Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights are encouraged to join the discussion. We need your interest and energy on this important issue!!

See details below, or for more information, please call 274-7071 .

Community Workshop .....
DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Stetson Tampa Law Center
1700 N. Tampa Street, Tampa

DIRECTIONS:From Seminole Heights, just drive straight down one-way Tampa Street. The Law Center will be on your right just before you reach I-275.


Maybe a large turn-out will convince the "wise sages" on the Tampa Tribune editorial board that this matters to more than "a few neighborhood activist" in Seminole Heights. Councilwoman Mary Mulhern has gone out on a political limb to support something that could help improve our neighborhood and the viability of our commercial areas on Florida Ave. Please lend your support and thoughts to the discussion.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Paws In the Park

From an email:


Sat. 10/6

10 AM – 2 PM

Ybor City’s Centennial Park

(8th Ave. & 19th St.)



Pet adoptions by local rescue groups

Pet photographs

Paw painting

Contests & prizes

Proceeds will benefit local non-profit pet organizations

For more info, call: 813-932-5795

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bungalow Bistro Open for Business

Hi Neighbors,

After years of work, we are thrilled to invite you to the opening of Bungalow Bistro. Bungalow Bistro, located at 5137 N. Florida Ave. two blocks south of Hillsborough Avenue, will serve breakfast and lunch between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this week, Tuesday through Saturday. We will begin serving dinners soon. I will post an update on the dates and times.

Our menu includes warm pastries, daily quiches, gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads and soups as well as homemade desserts. There is seating for up to 75 people. The bistro also has upstairs dining, perfect for hosting a private party. While we have hired a head chef, this is very much a family affair. My mother is a pastry chef and came up with our signature desserts.

As many of you know, my husband Michael and I have been lovingly restoring the building ourselves for several years. The original structure was a garage apartment that was saved from demolition when Hillsborough Avenue was widened in 2000. We moved the garage building and the main house to Florida Ave and first opened Forever Beautiful Salon and Day Spa in the main home next to Bungalow Bistro. Forever Beautiful has served as a neighborhood salon since 2002. We have focused our attention on preserving every historical detail.

To place an order call 813-237-2000 or log on soon to our coming website Thank you for supporting our neighborhood business. We look forward to being a favorite gathering place for our friends and neighbors.

Elizabeth Graham

Skye Craft Mfg.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Merino's Deli - Moving? And more restaurant news.

If anyone knows about any of the below restaurants (or rumored new ones), please reply with your news.

There's a rumor that Merino's Deli will be moving in the near future, due to some issues created by the goals of the new owners of the building it's hosted in (i.e., auto repair shop).

Knowing Mike loves and is committed to S.H., you can rest assured my sources say he's not leaving the area. I'm told he will be moving a little further south on Florida Ave. -- possibly into a CI-zoned house.

If this is true, I'm sure that the place would benefit from even more ambiance, a better location, and hopefully more parking. We shall see.

The No Name Cafe (i.e., Copa):
On another note - the infamous Copa Cabana Cafe's last open location seems to have gone through a transformation for the worse. It's now a no name cafe as the "Copa" signs have been painted over so that they are just big, yellow billboards with no text or logo. Additional signs touting "$4.50 lunch" have been handwritten and are pinned up around the property.

Sports Bar:
Latest report on this, pending final wetzoning approval next week by City Council, is that ground breaking will begin within 4 months.

With groundbreaking rumored to supposed to happen last May, I've heard no new news on it.

Bungalow Bistro:
It looks ready to open. In fact, it even looks like it is open when you drive by; but it isn't yet. Although I've heard nothing about it -- I'm betting Elizabeth is going through the motions and still fighting with the city to cross her T's and dot her I's to make sure she encounters no future problems with the city.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Missing Person - NO JOKE

I know this unuasal but I wanted to post it anyway. I found this flyer on my truck at Big Lots today and call his sister, she gave me permission to spread it around the Internet. She said the police are doing what they can but she would apreciate any help we could give. She also gave me permission to post it the blog spot. Please take a moment to look at the flyer she made and pass it on to your friend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Update on found pitbull

Well, the owner called and has missed two appointments to pick her up. At this point the mission has turned from finding her owner to finding her a home. Doga is a really sweet little girl, has had her shots, and is spayed (according to the owner).
If you, or anyone you know can provide a good home to her, please call 813-500-3205.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Found Dog

She appears to be about 1-2 years old, a boxer mix. She was in my yard at N.Boulevard and Sligh on Tuesday night, I now have her in my backyard in hopes I can find her family rather than take her to Animal Services. I took her to the vet and she is not micro-chipped.

My number is 813.758.0558/Anthony

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fun ! Fun !! Fun !!!

Don't forget to set your clocks, your watches, stomachs and anything else you have to remind you to be at Merino's Seminole Heights Deli this Friday

Super Exemption update

Two days ago a judge struck the Amendment from the January 29th ballot. Since the legislature has a special session beginning on Oct. 2nd. That gives them plenty of time to modify the proposed ballot initiative to meet the requirements of submitting it 90 days before the election. The initiative would grant homestead exemption on 75% of the first $200,000 in assessed value. That could be a huge benefit to most of our newer Seminole Heights neighbors. (it also exempts 15% of assessed values between 200k and 500k)

It would allow people who prefer their Save Our Homes status to retain that on their current property. It is a win-win for both our long time neighbors and new neighbors. It would also help those who want to down-size but feel trapped by the tax implications.

Hopefully, folks will call and write their state legislature members so this can be infront of voters when they vote in the January primary.

Eating of

One of our new neighbors found Creative Loafing's best of choices for places to eat lacking some catagories and set up his own. His post can be found at: Eating Tampa . It is a shame and source frustration that Seminole Heights can't dominate the list but we are getting more choices. We have Merino's, Cappy's, Three Coins, Nicko's, Martha's, Front Porch, Rincon Catracho, and others. We are getting there but our choices are still limited.

Are you ready?

Merino's Seminole Heights Deli is getting ready for the mixer of a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sports Bar & Grill - Last Phase of Approval

Below is the city council's minutes, but basically Greg Smith is one city council meeting away (i.e., two weeks) from being approved his wet zoning permit, which means Seminole Heights is one meeting away from being granted a brand new construction Sports Bar & Grill!

Here are the basics I pulled out of the meeting for you:
1 )Wet zone is 3,000 square feet, which 2,400 of them will be located inside of the building.
2) There will be about 400 seating seats and 18 of them will be located outside of the building.
3) The sale of alcohol would be incidental to the primary function of the building.

The propert owners says, "Plan to put up a 2,800 square foot sports bar. And sporting events, games."


15:58:55 The case number was Z-06-27, PD.15:59:05 Petitioner is requesting 2(COP-R), the sale of beer15:59:08 and wine, at the 6401 north Nebraska Avenue.15:59:15 In association with the restaurant.15:59:16 Wet zone is 3,000 square feet, which 2400 of them will15:59:23 be located inside of the building.15:59:27 There will be about 400 seating seats and 18 of them15:59:33 will be located outside of the building.15:59:36 The sale of alcohol will be primarily -- would be15:59:40 incidental to the primary function of the building.15:59:43 At this time, there are no other wet zoned locations15:59:45 in the area.15:59:48 There are residential locations, residential uses, as15:59:51 well as the institutional, at this time petitioner is15:59:55 requesting the waiver to the distance separation.16:00:01 At this time, when I went to the location, it's a16:00:06 vacant lot.16:00:08 (off microphone)16:00:21 As you can see the wet zoning.16:00:29 Land development has no objection.16:00:42 Land development has no objection.16:00:53 The petition has been forwarded to the Tampa Police16:00:54 Department.16:01:00 >>> Officer Don Miller, City of Tampa police16:01:02 department.16:01:02 We have no objections to the wet zoning.16:01:05 >>GWEN MILLER: Petitioner?16:01:11 >> 1400 Gandy Boulevard.16:01:19 I have not been sworn.16:01:21 (Oath administered by Clerk).16:01:27 >>> Yes.16:01:30 >>GWEN MILLER: What do you plan to do?16:01:32 >>> Plan to put up a 2800 square foot sports bar.16:01:38 And sporting events, games.16:01:54 >>GWEN MILLER: Is there already a building you are16:01:56 renovating or what?16:01:57 >>> No.16:01:58 It's flat.16:01:59 >> You are going to build a new building?16:02:01 >>> Yes, ma'am.16:02:02 From the ground up, construction.16:02:04 >>GWEN MILLER: Mr. Dingfelder?16:02:05 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Are you aware, sir, under this16:02:07 zone, that you are requesting, that the sales have to16:02:11 be 51% as a total sale?16:02:15 >>> Yes.16:02:18 69 is there anyone in the public that wants to speak16:02:20 on item 121?16:02:23 When they are done speaking you may come back.16:02:27 >>> Susan Lauren, treasurer of the Old Seminole16:02:30 Heights association.16:02:31 I have been sworn.16:02:34 We have been working with this owner for on and off16:02:38 for probably two or three years.16:02:43 To meet our requests, we strongly urge to you approve16:02:47 this request.16:02:48 Thank you.16:02:49 >>GWEN MILLER: Any questions by council members?16:02:51 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Move to close the hearing.16:02:53 >> Second.16:02:53 (Motion carried).16:02:54 >>CHAIRMAN: Do you have an ordinance?16:02:56 >> I move an ordinance upon second reading, making16:03:11 lawful the sale of beverages containing alcohol of16:03:13 more than 1% by weight and not more than 14% by weight16:03:16 and wines regardless of alcoholic content beer and16:03:19 wine 2(COP-R) for consumption on the premises only in16:03:23 connection with a restaurant business establishment on16:03:25 that certain lot, plot or tract of land located at16:03:28 6401 north Nebraska Avenue, Tampa, Florida, as more16:03:32 particularly described in section 2 hereof, waiving16:03:34 certain restrictions as to distance based upon certain16:03:37 findings, providing for repeal of all ordinances in16:03:39 conflict, providing an effective date.16:03:41 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Just for clarification that's first16:03:43 reading?16:03:45 >>THOMAS SCOTT: First reading, thank you.16:03:46 >>GWEN MILLER: Motion and second.16:03:47 (Motion carried)16:03:52 >>GWEN MILLER: Item number 122, anything on that?16:04:00 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Good luck.16:04:01 >>GWEN MILLER: When you open list know.16:04:04 >>MARTIN SHELBY: It's going to be coming back in two16:04:06 weeks so it will be final when the council votes again16:04:08 in two weeks.16:04:09 Thank you.16:04:12 >>GWEN MILLER: You don't have to come back.16:04:21 >> You should.16:04:22 >> You should come back.

Tampa's Codes Throttle Progress

I have no idea who wrote this, as the St. Pete Times gives no credit, but I think it voices what most people say on the blog. Actually, to the point, it's kind of the same ole ... but at least it's getting print.

STORY: The softening of the housing market forces cities to be aggressive in building their tax bases through commercial investment. Yet city codes in Tampa undermine that effort by overly restricting development. Some of Tampa's oldest neighborhoods, such as Seminole Heights, underwent a face lift during the recent housing boom, as owners renovated block after block of traditional homes. Yet these same neighborhoods lack many of the basics that once made them self-sustaining, such as restaurants and retail shops, because city codes don't accommodate the unique challenges of rebuilding older, urban settings.

Urban areas, unlike the suburbs, are not a blank canvas. Developers looking to turn homes or factories into other uses or to locate a business in a neighborhood are limited by man-made and natural features, such as existing homes, roads, utilities and other public works. Land typically is more expensive and difficult to assemble. That is why development standards appropriate for the suburbs may not fit the urban core. A dry cleaner on a residential block cannot be expected to provide the same parking as one in a strip mall. Urban neighborhoods in Tampa and elsewhere were designed before the car, and the geography forces the city to balance development standards with practicality and convenience.

The fact that it took months in Seminole Heights to open a coffee shop and allow parking for a pizzeria shows how lacking the city's development posture is in the very areas gentrification has primed for commercial development. Residents flocked to the city and rebuilt homes because they wanted an urban experience. A new approach the city is examining, called form-based zoning, is a step in the right direction, for it would look beyond the elements of a project to the impact it would have on the neighborhood.

Flexibility is about more than reacting to a slowing residential property market. These residents are already there - in Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights and other neighborhoods near downtown. Serving them is an opportunity to grow and diversify Tampa's economy. The city can maintain strong development standards by making smarter use of its regulatory power. That begins by remembering that people and commerce together make cities work.

[Last modified September 23, 2007, 22:12:46]

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bike Riders Tour Seminole Heights

Sounds like the event was a success. Congrats to you Alan and to all that participated.

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - About 30 residents ages 7 through 60-plus pedaled off Sept. 15 on a 5.2-mile jaunt through the neighborhood.

Organized by resident Alan Snel, the bike ride was the first of what he hopes are many more to come. Snel, a former Tampa Tribune reporter, is coordinator for South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers, a group of retail bicycle stores.

The slow-paced ride started on East Powhatan Avenue, with a route that included North 12th Street, Park Circle, Central Avenue and a victory lap around Lake Roberta. Participants showed up with required helmets and an array of bikes, from a tandem to mountain and road bikes.
The rides are designed to highlight areas of Seminole Heights and promote bike riding in the Tampa Bay area. The next ride is set for 8:15 a.m. Oct. 13. Snel said he's considering an 8- to 10-mile ride, possibly heading west of Interstate 275.

For information, go to or e-mail Snel at

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Biz Location Op


Property Description: This freestanding historical gem is almost 5,000 sf of Office/ Retail/ Apts and is most recently known as the RealMarc Properties headquarters. Boasting over 200' MLK frontage x 100' depth on the front commercial parcels (both zoned CI Commercial Intensive) w/ half of that being a vacant (leased) storage lot (additional parking, redevelopment &/or just as-is for leased parking and storage), the front of the structures 1,000 or so sf is professional offices occupied by the owners w/ the additional 2-story 4,000 sf of apartments (fully leased), which were actually used as (and can be again) small incubation offices (to grow new businesses years back), a front curb cut b/w the 2 front parcels, an alley for rear exit/ entry to Highland Ave, another additional paved rear parking lot (zoned RS-50) that fronts IDA St.
PS - I have no vested interest in this property, other than wanting someone (who cares about helping to revitalize the S.H. and T.H. communities) to take it over and do what's right for the residents.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Little Good PR for the Neighborhood

Yes -- this entry's title (above) is sarcastic.

STORY: Most of the eight dogs are still considered puppies. The youngest is just five months old.

Vets say every one is infested with fleas and in dire need of medical care. But their biggest concern is wounds from abuse a neighbor said some of the animals had to endure.

"There was a grave concern from this witness who saw this person hitting his dog with a chain in the backyard," Hillsborough County Animal Control investigator Pam Perry said.

That backyard at the Seminole Heights home is familiar to animal control. Officials say they've been there many times since February, warning both Everell Forbes and Chavonne Jennings to take better care of their animals.

This time, authorities say the conditions were even worse than before. And this time, their discoveries didn't end with the dogs. They say Jennings, a convicted felon, was also hiding a handgun, drugs and kits used to make crack cocaine.

Long-time neighbor Andy Betancourt watched as the animals and their owner were taken away Tuesday afternoon, both alarmed and relieved to see it come to this.

"There's been a lot of drugs coming out from that house," Betancourt said.

The question now becomes what will happen to the dogs. So far, animal control officials say they seem healthy enough to survive.

"There's no excuse for this," Perry said. "These people knew exactly they had to do and they failed. They failed the dogs."

They're Watching Us

I can't belive it took me this long to notice, but from the 2nd floor of my 2 story house I can see one of those I275 traffic cameras mounted on an 80 ft pole. My immediate reaction was and is "if I can see it from my window, it can certainly see me." And of course, it's true and scary for all of us living near the Interstate or many local intersections.

Here are some clips from a story I found that speaks of it:

At major intersections and interstates, you may have noticed another type of camera perched atop light signals or 80-foot poles. These traffic cameras, white-and-black dome-shaped devices resembling R2D2, are closed-circuit TV cameras operated by local, county or state departments of transportation.

"We'd like to have a camera every mile," says Bill Wilshire, who heads FDOT's Intelligent Transportation Program that calls for cameras to line I-275 ... and all major roadways and intersections ...

Officials say the cameras help identify accidents, alert emergency authorities and help the public avoid long delays.

Then why do local governments need high-tech cameras that can pan, tilt or zoom, wonders Brown, the surveillance critic.

"If you need to passively observe traffic flows at an intersection, you don't need a camera with pan, tilt or zoom -- you can use a fixed camera," he says by phone from his New York City home. "It exceeds what they're trying to do with it. If the Department of Transportation wants to see if there's a traffic jam at a certain intersection, that is OK, but it seems that they should be limited to what kinds of cameras they're using, especially if they can peer into automobiles." *Blog entry author note: If this is possible, looking into homes flanking those roads has to also be possible.

Jacobs says the zoom allows them to see a half-mile down a roadway, helping them to gauge how far traffic is backed up in any one place. But he doesn't discount that as the cameras become more integrated with communication systems used by emergency personnel, the video could one day be used for enforcement.

"That seems to be almost a reverse of 'Peeping Tom' statutes," he says. "A Peeping Tom cannot stand outside your window and photograph into your window, and the same thing seems to apply that someone shouldn't shoot out of a window indiscriminately for the purpose of entertaining people."

Of course, as you can tell, I'm pretty weirded out by the situation, but to see both sides of the story I pulled from, visit:

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Hours - Ybor Pizza

Just an FYI. Ybor Pizza is now open on Sundays, per the owner.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tampa Area Marine Parents Association new website

The Tampa Area Marine Parents Association was started by Cyd Death in SE Seminole Heights.

"The mission of the Tampa Area Marine Parents Association is to give support in whatever areas are needed and whenever possible while continuing to be an active and visible presence to all branches of the military in our communities, the state of Florida and wherever we are led."

They have a new website

Rincon Catracho

An email I received from "Lisa" (whom I know):

Rincon Catracho

As a resident of Seminole Heights and a relatively recently returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer (RPCV, 95-98), I have been embarrassed and down right ashamed of the lack of open mindedness and support shown for the Rincon Catracho on Florida Avenue by an overwhelming majority of my fellow Seminole Heights residents. Come on neighbors, where's your spirit of adventure? Try something new and be proud that these spirited entreprenuers with international experience picked OUR neighborhood in which to "give it a go".

It's true, this restaurant is not the "avante garde, tres chic, wine drinking, upper crust of the town", but you know what? It's as AUTHENTIC as it gets. The only thing that distinguishes this restaurant from one that you might find in the Central American country of Honduras is their, now-by local demand, English language menu. By the way, the translated descriptions of their economically priced and absolutely soul satisfying authentic Honduran cuisine just doesn't do the food justice. If you were to get on a plane for Honduras right now, you'd be sitting in the lap of luxury to find a restaurant that even served seafood, let alone one that supplied the music AND video AND occasionally live music or the hottest soccer match.

In Central America you might discover that the music is loud;service is offered at a leisurely pace; and usually, the menu depends on what's locally available and in season. So what, isn't that part of why we seek out international cuisine? To pretend that, even if momentarily, we can be transported to another world, another way of life, full of new flavors, new sounds, and new traditions?

In closing, I beg you to try Rincon Catracho with a traveler's mind. And, please consider showing your utmost respect to your fellow diners. As you enter Rincon Catracho, pass along a "BUEN PROVECHO" to your fellow diners. It means ENJOY YOUR MEAL and it's customary to say as you enter a room where anyone is seen to be dining in Honduras and most of Latin America.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Heights Loses One of Our Own

Local musician and 20 year SH resident Jeff Wood has lost his fight with brain cancer. His prolific music career spanned local and international bands (though not an exhaustive list) The Moon Calves, Fugitive Kind, Forgotten Apostles, Monday Mornings, Smashmouth, Joe Popp, Barely Pink, Spiller, Nutrajet and many, many more.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The culinary underbelly of Tampa

Yesterday I took two of Tampa's food journalists on a tour of my favorite hole in the wall restaurants. The mission; to show that exceptionally good food can be found in the most unlikely looking places, that every day people with a passion for their trade can produce results every bit as good, or better, as the culinary elite.

Our first stop, and the one with neighborhood significance, was Martha's. While it may be old hat to some readers, to the uninitiated I must climb on my soapbox and sing it's praises.

Sitting at a rickety table and sharing the only menu between the four of us, we decided to share the biscuits and gravy and catfish and eggs. (We had 6 more stops to make, so moderation was the watchword of the day). The biscuits and gravy arrived post haste.

The term "food porn" has been thrown around quite a bit in culinary writing of late. While a perfectly seared piece of glistening foie gras may do it for some, this plate of biscuits smothered in white, pork filled goodness was my food porn. The biscuits, a cross between a quick bread and a yeast roll, were light, fluffy, slightly burned, and delicious. The sausage gravy, a whole that is greater than the sum of it's simple ingredients of sausage, flour, milk, and black pepper has the potential to be a gluey, gummy, glutenous mess of blandness to the nth degree, or a light, velvety, heart attack inducing, life changing experience. Yes, it was the latter, with just a trace of a soda waterish tang to get you in that spot where your jaws hinge. Moderation went out the window as I dove in to the plate again and again.

The catfish arrived with just a telltale trace of the frying oil streaking the plate that showed the pefect amount of use to the fryer, none of that squeaky clean, transparent, brand new grease for me, thank you. The simple anglaise breading of flour, salt, and pepper was all that was needed to seal in the moisture and preserve the texture of a perfectly fresh filet. The curious pairing with eggs sent all semblance of kosher running for the hills, but I was raised Irish catholic and don't need to worry about such things. The eggs were scrambled and cooked (possibly unkown to the cook) omlette souffle style, which resulted in an airy pillow of eggy goodness.

The passion and ethos demonstrated by the family run operation at Martha's is little heard of these days. One of the journalists was impressed to the point that he wants to run a feature on Ella and her food in the near future. I highly suggest that you sample their wares before anything happens that could send them the way of the dinosaur.

Mission accomplished, I exposed a culinary gem in a most unlikely box.

Other places outside of the neighborhood on the tour that you may want to look in to:
La Cabana Antiquena(Columbian)
Mi Mexico
Gold Ring
Big John's BBQ
Cephas Hot Shop (do NOT let him talk you into drinking the aloe before eating - that's a story for another day)