Wednesday, February 28, 2007


My daughter, (poor college student) has ended up with a single ticket for WICKED this Saturday night performance 8:00 pm and would love to sell it....Cost $79......if interested, please respond to asap!!
This is an awesome performance!!
Make an offer! Help her out,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,buy this ticket!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Alessi's Block Re-Development - FOR SALE

I didn't see this posted previously, so please excuse me if this news is redundant. I just wanted to point out the the property that's been complained about in past postings -- owned by Alessi's and located on the east side of Nebraska Ave. between Louisiana Ave. and New Orleans Ave. -- is for sale for "block re-develiopment." It appears to include the front storage building, the shanty house behind it and the adjacent property to the south of it where unused Allessi lemonade stands are usually parked . That opens a huge chunk of land from just north of Osborne, south to New Orleans Ave. (with the exception of that drive-thru convenience store).

Just imagine all that could be done to improve that stretch of area.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Candles As Art?

Have Candles As Art been snuffed out? I drove by today and noticed all their signs are down.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rabies Bait

Raccoons carry rabies. So the State of Florida and local counties have a program of flying over the County and dropping Oral Rabies Baits called RABORAL V-RG. You may have heard planes flying very low in the middle of the night. They were dropping these.

Here is what the bait looks like.

RABORAL V-RG® is a recombinant vaccine that has been approved for the oral immunization of raccoons and coyotes against rabies. The recombinant vaccine is encased inside a plastic packet. The packets, also called sachets, are encased inside solid fishmeal baits or the sachets are simply covered in a fishmeal-based coating. These bait units, each containing a single dose of RABORAL V-RG, are distributed into wildlife habitat, where they are sought out and eaten by raccoons and coyotes.

RABORAL V-RG® immunizes the raccoon or coyote as the sachet is consumed during the eating process. The vector-vaccine virus infects the oral tissues and produces an immune response against rabies. The vaccine is produced using a Vaccinia virus that has been attenuated and contains only a small portion of the genetic material of the rabies pathogen, not the complete rabies virus. Therefore, it is impossible for this recombinant vaccine to produce the disease it was designed to prevent. RABORAL V-RG® vaccine will not cause rabies. After eating the vaccine, it only takes 10-14 days for a raccoon or coyote to become protected against rabies.

Each year in the United States approximately 12 million doses of RABORAL V-RG® are distributed into wildlife habitats. The vaccine is distributed by airplane, helicopter or by hand to reach the target species. The location and number of baits used depends on the goals of the rabies control efforts. Radio messages, TV announcements and posters are used in communities to alert citizens of upcoming baiting programs. Baits have a toll-free number printed on their surface. When that number is called, the call will be immediately routed to local rabies control program offices. "

What if I find a bait unit? If a bait is found in your yard, driveway, street or other area that is not suitable, you should contact your local public health officials at 1-877-RABORAL (1-877-722-6725). A person under 18 years of age or who is pregnant or immuno-suppressed should not touch the RABORAL V-RG® bait.

What if my dog or cat eats a bait unit? Since the bait units are manufactured to attract wild animals, they might also attract dogs and cats. The bait itself is made of fishmeal and other materials and does not contain vaccine, the vaccine is in the polymer sachet. Most domestic cats cannot penetrate the polymer bait, thus rarely eat the vaccine container. Remember you should never attempt to take a bait away from your pet, as you may be bitten. Should your pet eat the RABORAL V-RG® bait unit in its entirety, it has been demonstrated safe in more than 50 species of animals including dogs. Please note that if your pet has eaten a bait unit, this is not considered to be a vaccination. Please consult your veterinarian for your pet's vaccination needs.

A Mystery...Anyone know about this?

From an email....

This morning while walking Pebbles along River park, she was
excitedly picking up (and quickly eating) somethin). My daughter
said it was dog treats, and the first 3-4 times I ignored it, then we
started taking them away from her, and I have no idea what it is. It
appears to be very small (1 1/2" x 1/4") packets filled with bright
pink liquid. From the debris we could pull away from Pebbles, it
looks like 3 or 4 of these packets were folded in half and covered
with a wax box (about a 1/4 inch thick). Here is the weird part.
The wax was covered with a substance that I thought at first was
cardboard, and my daughter thought was dog treats. It is an organic
composite that smells like fish emulsion (ugh - but obviously the
reason Pebbles was so excited).

We found these along the sidewalk from Crest all the way to the south
end of the park, where Pebbles pulled me through the bush, towards
the houses that are on therfiver at the south end of the big walking

What are they? If they are poisonous (perhaps rat bait?) we are very
lucky that Pebbles is large, she so far seems to be fine.

If any one can help us solve this mystery, we would appreciate it.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

American Bungalow is coming to Seminole Heights

American Bungalow is coming to Seminole Heights to photographs 8 bungalows. I believe they will be here at least on March 3. Thanks to Suzanne Prieur and Greg Barnhill for getting them here. Some good positive publicity for the neighborhood.

What other magazines can we get to come here?

You Tube

I like watching things on You Tube. There are some very interesting and clever videos out there, once you weed out the junk.

Some of my favorites are:

"White and Nerdy" video by Weird Al Yankovitch

Note: Picard is the best

The "Malaquena Salerosa" Kill Bill Fan Clip

and a live version of the song filmed at the premiere of Kill Bill 2 with Robert Rodriguez playing the guitar. See how long the mariachi holds the note.

I also like a couple series with a theological bent.

God Inc.

Mr. Deity

Another one I stumbled across was an eerie version of the The Cremation of Sam McGee

So what are your favorites?

Gwen Hides

After posting the article about Gwen Miller getting sign punked, I wondered where she lived. I typed her name in property appraiser site but could not find her home. Same for her husband. Using other round about resources, I was able to find her address. Then by pickign an address next to hers and then clicking manually walking I entered the address in the and it came up listed as confidential. No name was attached to thier Belmont Heights - High School subdivision home. This made me wonder as who is is lsisted as confidential.

Kevin White came up as confidential. I know where he lives as he is a neighbor of mine and so I did not have to do round about research. No surprise his home was listed as confidential he is a former cop amd most cops get listed as confidential.

However I was able to find Pam Iorio, Ronda Storms, Rose Ferlita, Linda Saul -Sena, John Dingfelder, Mark Sharpe, Frank Reddick, and Mary Alvarez. I think I found Brian Blair and Jim Norman but I needed to do a little more research to verify it was them that I found and not some other James Norman and Brian Blair.

Ronda Storms and Pam Iorio I could see using this feature since Ronda is controversial and Pam is the Mayor. But they don't.

So since most elected public officials don't hide their address and since she is not former law enforcement and since she has not done anything while in office, what is Gwen worried about?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kelly Speaks

You have got to read Kelly Benjamin's comments about the City Council race. Thanks to Blurbex for pointing them out.

Here is a sample:

"In district 1 this much is certain: Gwen Miller is a completely worthless City Council member. If Obama is clean and articulate, Gwen's a disheveled mumbler. I was on the debate circuit with her in 2003 and had no idea what she was saying half the time. I don't think she did either. She just strings some positive-sounding words together in a loop and smiles and hopes people won't notice she has NO grasp on ANY issue. The Tampa Tribune was gentle when they wrote "She is vague on most questions and displays little passion or curiosity." The woman has no business in politics, nothing to contribute to government and should have probably stayed at home washing Les's socks. The late great Ali Akbar was right when he said "She's done nothing for District 5 and she's done nothing city-wide." Go Home Gwen. Or go back to being a teacher, maybe you were good at that, but as a public representative, you're freakin horrible."

Sew Much Comfort

My neighbor Cyd Death is a Marine Mom who is also involved in several troop support efforts. Operation Shoebox, Tampa Marine Moms and now Sew Much Comfort.

"Sew Much Comfort provides adaptive clothing free of charge to support the unique needs of our injured service members. We create and/or adapt clothing to meet the unique needs of the wounded service members. For many service members the only hospital clothing available is a hospital gown. These gowns are drafty, do not cover properly and are impractical for optimum recovery. By creating custom adaptive clothing, our hope is to make their recovery more comfortable both physically and emotionally."

They are looking for donations of clothing, money and seamtress/tailoring time.

Here is a Fox 13 news story video

Tampa contact:Cyd Deathe (813) 956 -1159

Rincon Catracho

Alan Snel (Bike Stories Blog) rode by the restaurant that is replacing Viva's and took some photos. He also referenced a St. Pete Times article about it.

"Ana and Carlos Vasquez will lease the 3,200-square-foot building, with an option to buy. Ana Vasquez said the restaurant will serve Spanish food, but will also include American items."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

ACLU Prayer

I like poking around City Council transcripts. You never know what you find. Here is an example:

From the 1/25/07 meeting:

17:04:38 >> Good evening everyone.
17:04:39 It's my pleasure this evening to introduce Becky
17:04:42 Steele, the Executive Director of Florida's ACLU, and
17:04:46 she is going to grace us tonight with an invocation.
17:04:49 Let us all stand for that.
17:04:50 And then remain standing for the pledge of allegiance.
17:04:54 Thank you for joining us tonight.

17:04:57 >> Last year I gave the invocation, and we begin by
17:05:04 sitting in silence for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.
17:05:12 When I mentioned this last year, the chair looked at
17:05:15 me kindly but nervously as if to say, you're not
17:05:19 really going to do that to us, are you?

17:05:21 And then when the founders of our nation formed the
17:05:25 first Constitutional Congress, Benjamin Franklin
17:05:28 proposed that a clergy be inviolated to open each
17:05:31 session with a prayer, but our founders decided not to
17:05:33 do that.

17:05:34 And therefore by consent of a government without
17:05:41 invoking religion, the wisdom of that judgment the
17:05:46 sectarian violence of so many people around the world.
17:05:50 So in light of that I thought it wasn't appropriate
17:05:53 for me to impose my religious beliefs on this
17:05:55 governmental meeting.

17:05:56 Instead this evening, I invoke the spirit of justice
17:05:59 and liberty that is the ultimate foundation of our
17:06:01 Constitution.
17:06:02 I ask as we meet and deliberate that you consider the
17:06:06 equal rights of all of our citizens, even those who
17:06:08 appear different from the majority.

17:06:11 May you be led today to decide justly, to rule
17:06:16 correctly and fairly, to seek what is right in the
17:06:21 business that comes before you, as well as the matters
17:06:23 of utmost importance.
17:06:25 Ski this in the freedoms and Constitution of our
17:06:28 founding freedoms that you are sworn to protect,
17:06:30 freedoms that are thoughtful and used by every
17:06:33 generation including this one.
17:06:34 May you continue and lead in that work today and every
17:06:37 day.
17:06:38 Thank you.

The dancing cane man

Several times Susan and I have seen the dancing cane man. He is an older guy with a long beard, wearing sweat pants and a cropped t-shirt carrying a cane. We usually see him crossing Nebraska at Hillsborough. As he crosses the street he dances. Literally dances the entire way along the crosswalk

Interesting visual experience. Just another reason why Seminole Heights is interesting.

Banghart's get Baroned

Speaking of signs (see previous article)

We do not put political signs on our front yard. Never. We said no to neighbors Andrew Baker and Kevin White. No to Chloe Coney. No to Rose Ferlita. It is a long standing policy of the Banghart household. No signs on the yard. Until this election. For Randy Baron we have changed our policy.

Here is one of the two signs we have placed in the right of way of our yard
Interestingly enough this Saturday, as I am pulling out of the driveway and head to New Orleans, I noticed another sign there. Frank Reddick. Hmmm. I did not authorize that. I looked down the street and see Frank Reddick signs all over. I look the other way and see the sign placers. I drive up. Pull the sign out of my truck and give it to one of them without saying a word. Curiously, the next day we notice most of the Reddick signs gone from in front of other homes. They also must have been the victims of Reddick sign hit and run.
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Signs worry Miller

In today's Tribune, a funny story:

"TAMPA - Former state Sen. Les Miller was heading out the door Monday morning when he saw a bunch of political campaign signs in his front yard.

The problem: They weren't his wife's signs for re-election to the city council. Instead, they were the signs of each of his wife's opponents, lined neatly in a row."

and . . . .

"Meanwhile, the couple is concerned that something else might happen. Les Miller said he won't let his wife out of his sight.

"We're two weeks away from the election," Les Miller said. "Who knows what the next step in their mind is?""

and . ..

""Are they coming back? I don't feel safe because I don't know who it is," Gwen Miller said."

TPD actually dusted the signs for prints. I think we need to call in the FDLE, FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security and Interpol. It must be the work of Al-Qaeda trying to destabilize American elections one City Council at a time.

Sheesh. What a big deal. If I were running for City Council and it occurred to me, I'd just laugh at it. I am frankly surprised it has not happened before to anyone running for office.

Crime Lists

The Tribune had this article in todays paper:

"BRANDON - Residents of a local subdivision are using the Internet to keep a step ahead of criminals and help law enforcement catch them.

The Bloomingdale Cove Crime Watch group is sending e-mail to alert residents about recent break-ins, robberies and vandalism. The idea was sparked by a March 2006 attempted robbery in the neighborhood, Crime Watch member Heather O'Connell said. "

So Brandon is catching up with where Seminole Heights was years ago. Every NW Group in Seminole Heights has a list. I am on the mailing lists of at least 3 different Neighborhood Watch Groups in Seminole Heights. These lists crosspost infomation which gets all across Seminole Heights. I am not on Susan Long list from Nothern Seminole Heights, but I get info from that list via Helen Harmon's and Brandon Mount's lists. I also get the info when Sherry Simons posts the info on the SESH email list.

Tampa Bay Blogger Meetup

Tampa Bay Blogger Meetup

Who: Bloggers and Podcasters, fans of them or even those who want to become one...
When: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 — 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Hawks Neighborhood Grill3114 Bay to Bay Boulevard, South Tampa
Why: Putting names and faces to the local blogging community, to share a beverage, and say hello.

Everyone is invited to come out and participate. This is an Un-Meeting, with no agenda or specific purpose other than meeting and getting to know one-another "offline." If you have any questions, or if you plan to attend, send Jim an email: jim [at] stateofsunshine [dot] com, and let him know -- so we can get an estimated headcount for the restaurant.

We hope you can make it!!

This one is co-hosted by State of Sunshine, Sticks of Fire, Seminole Heights, Out in Left Field, and In Theory...

(Although I am one of the hosts, I will be an absent host as we will be getting ready to move)


No, this is not a sign of a weekend drinking problem.

We needed boxes as part of our move. It turns out the liquor stores are a great place to get boxes. Go there right after they open. Usually they stick the boxes by the front door so you don't even have to go in. I have found the best place is the Party Liquor store on Florida across from the Sulphur Springs Tower.

This is Ella deciding what liquor she wants to go with her meal.

She settled on the Stone Canyon wine.

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A Good-bye Valentine

How do I say good-bye to Seminole Heights? We were drawn to the city's old houses. We had respect for the history that they evoked and wanted to be a part of the restoration process. What we hadn't anticipated was the unique population that lives here. People may come to Seminole Heights to live in charming bungalows, but the houses are not the heart of the neighborhood. The heart of this community is the bond formed between neighbors.

Seminole Heights is home to Tampa's fiercest activists, and also it's kindest souls. People here march and shout, knock on doors, and stand before city council to get their voices heard. And they open their doors, deliver food, and work long hours to help those in need. There are those who have been here sixty years. They will gladly tell you about the history that happened on these streets. There are those who are called urban pioneers. They came twelve or more years ago and took their stand against the crime that was poisoning this area. Folks, like Scott and I benefited from their work when we moved here seven years ago. We were immediately embraced by the neighbors on our street. Within the first year we felt as if all of Southeast Seminole Heights was our neighbor. After another two years, we added South and Old Seminole Heights to that category.

We've found a nice, milquetoast ranch house in Lutz which meets our physical needs. March first we'll be gone. I'll continue coming to the Seminole Heights Bookgroup because those gracious people have decided to allow a Lutzian member. We'll return for your home tours, special events and ocassional porch parties. But, oh, will we miss you Seminole Heights. No more neighbors dropping in with mid aftern0on treats when they feel we need a pick-me-up. No more early weekend breakfast chats with special friends at Nicko's. Gone are the days of walking to neighbors' houses for porch parties, and walking home on a chilly Christmas eve warmed by friendship shared over lasagna. We tried to be a good steward to our little bungalow, and we hope our involvement in the community has been useful. But we'll take away much more than we gave. As the song goes, "We Leave Our Hearts In Seminole Heights". (Not to worry, I won't write the lyrics out!)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Baron Flyer

The election arrives on March 6. If you are interested in seeing Randy Baron get elected to City Council, I have an idea. I made up a flyer (PDF format) you can give to your neighbors and co-workers. It basically reprints the endorsements by both newspapers with a little blurb at the top indicating you are a neighbor supporting him.

"Hello, I am your neighbor ________________. In the November election, the City Council members who were from Seminole Heights moved to the County Commission, leaving our neighborhood without representation on Tampa City Council. This coming City Council election, I’d like you to consider voting for Seminole Heights resident Randy Baron for the District 1 race. Here is what the newspapers say about the District 1 race. Both endorse Randy Baron"

Print these out and hand them to your neighbors who have the Miller and Barcena signs. Hand them out to your neighbors who don't have any signs. Hand them out at work. Tack them up on bulletin boards. Make paper airplanes out of them and fly the flyers to your cubicle mates. Email them.

It works. I made one Baron convert today at work by showing the flyer.

Get grassrooted and get Baron elected.

Note: This was not a paid political ad approved by Randy Baron. He did not know anything about it and had no say in it.

Time to Meet Randy!

Now that you see Randy Baron has the endorcement of BOTH newspapers, it is time for you to meet him and find out why!

There are two Meet and Greets, right in the hood. Pick one!

(Click image for full size version)


Join Us For A

“Meet and Greet”

Our Neighborhood Candidate
City Council District 1 (City-wide)
Randy Baron
Here is your chance to meet and talk with Randy.
Get the whole story not just media bits & bites

Friday, February 23rd
6:30 – 8:30pm

Your Hosts

Greg Barnhill & Chuck Kaelin
1202 East Clifton Street

Appetizers and Drinks will be Available

Check out his position on the issues at

Sunday, February 18, 2007

15 bags of cement

Anyone need 15 or 21 or ?? bags of cement? I bought them for fence posts and never used them. I have had them in my garage, off the ground on some two by fours covered them with plastic. They seemed to still be good. I forget how many I had and think it is 15 or 21.

As I am moving, I will give them away to whoever wants them. Just email me or if you know me, call me. Also, as I clean out my garage, who knows what good stuff I have put out by the curb (if there were a curb there)on 10th street. Right now there is 2 sets of wodden shelves someone could attach to their garage wall, an old metal green cabinet, and a old metal tool box.

Tampa Tribune Endorses Randy Baron

Well, well, well. With today's Trib endorsement, Randy Baron now has endorsements from both papers.

District 1
In this citywide race, incumbent Gwen Miller faces five challengers.

Miller, who represented east Tampa's District 5 for two terms before being elected to this citywide seat four years ago, doesn't contribute much at council meetings and is often criticized for being ineffective. Miller says she likes to work behind the scenes. "I talk quiet, but work hard," she says.

The former school teacher generally votes on the right side of issues, but rarely takes the lead. She is vague on most questions and displays little passion or curiosity. For example, Miller can't explain what she wants to achieve in another term beyond "helping people."

Her opponents display more passion and focus.

Julie Jenkins, a consultant in the business travel industry and a neighborhood activist, sees the importance of a transit system and understands the needs of neighborhoods.

Rick Barcena, the owner of Rigatoni Tuscan Oven on Kennedy Boulevard, promises to bring a small business owner's attention to financial detail.

Even Joe Redner, the adult business owner who has famously battled the city through the years, exhibits an informed zeal for protecting natural resources and developing a transit system. He's mellowed considerably and seems genuine in his concern for the city. But it is impossible to ignore his history of inflammatory stands or his business, which many of us find offensive.

In our view the two most impressive candidates are Denise Chavez and Randy Baron.

Chavez is the owner of Chavez at Home restaurant and the daughter of Helen Chavez, who served on council in the 1980s.

The younger Chavez is smart, independent and gutsy. She is the only candidate courageous enough to question the overly generous contract awarded Tampa's police union, which awards most officers an annual 9.2 percent raise for three years.

Chavez is a no-nonsense business woman who knows how to live on a budget and who would ensure the city spent wisely. She also promises to safeguard Tampa's neighborhoods and keep development from outpacing services.

Baron, who oversees information technology for the Shriners, has an impressive record of getting results as president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, one of the city's most effective neighborhood groups.

He has demonstrated a talent for leadership and collaboration in working to rid his neighborhood of prostitutes, attract new business and resolve conflicts between commercial enterprises and residents. In his role as association president, he's worked with virtually every city department and knows how to cut through the red tape. He's candid and outspoken, but also seems a good listener and open to compromise.

He knows the value of mass transit, but understands small steps, such as improving bus service, are needed to achieve that goal.

Chavez would be a crackerjack council member, but Baron's exhaustive neighborhood work gives him the edge.

In District 1, the Tribune endorses Randy Baron.

Mass Transit

Regarding a comment about mass transit made in a prior post.

Has anyone ever ridden HART? I did so for several weeks while my vehicle had issues. Interesting experience.

I am only 1-1/2 blocks to the #2 line (Nebraska Avenue). this is fortunate because #2 has a lot of buses running frequently on it. This cuts the wait time. This bus took me downtown where I had to switch buses to get to Davis Islands. The next bus dropped me off at TGH and I walked over to my office. Short walk.

Depending on my timing, coming to work I switch bus at one of two locations. The overpass by the Health Department. Although not well lit, I shielded me from the weather. However my timing had to be right to use that. If things worked right, I had a very short wait. 2 to 3 minutes. Else I had to wait 15 minutes father down Kennedy. I got off at Marion Street and crossed the Street to wait on Northside of Kennedy. The big problem there was being exposed to weather. The Marion Street stops all had shelters, but there were none on Kennedy. Why the downtown area does not have shelters down Kennedy is a mystery.

Frankly all of the bus routes need more shelters, especially at cross bus lines. We need shelters at Nebraska and Hillsborough and Nebraska and MLK. Or more buildings need awnings for people to stand under. The Florida School for Arts was nice as a stop because they had an awning. Not anymore.

One of the things I like is the bike racks. I was tempted to use my bike and cut the wait for the second bus by riding the rest of the way. But I am too out of shape. If I worked downtown where i did not have to switch buses, I could see taking the bus everyday.

We need better bus services and mass transit. We need more bike friendly routes.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Postcards From Seminole Heights

Alan Snel of Bike Stories shares with us another Sunset Over Lake Roberta.

How about this for an idea. Take photos around Seminole Heights. Make postcards out of them. Sell them at local stores/restaurants as Postcards From Seminole Heights. It be sort of a touristy thing that would again get the Seminole Heights name out there.

I'd photograph Hillsbough High, Epps Park, Rivercrest Park, and other places.

Randy Baron Gets St. Peterburg Times Endorsement

In Todays' Times
District 1 (citywide) Randy Baron

"Randy Baron has qualities rarely seen in a first-time candidate: a grasp of city issues, an understanding of how government works and an energy level to put that knowledge to work. In a crowded field that includes better-known candidates, Baron is clearly the best choice.

Baron, 45, is a computer programmer and longtime president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association. His civic work and background as an attorney give him depth in the ever-technical job of guiding a vibrant city. He understands residents want the basics - safe streets, clean neighborhoods and a sense that City Hall is planning ahead. He would spend more on mass transit and focus on rebuilding commercial corridors in Seminole Heights and West Tampa.

Baron's major attraction is his ability to see how government regulation affects people's lives. He understands the city needs to be more creative in rebuilding old neighborhoods and attracting employers. Baron defends historic preservation, but he also recognizes the city can do a better job by giving property owners incentives and making the permitting process more efficient. He is a realist with an up-front style whose broad perspective suits a citywide council member. Baron does his homework. He leaves people with a sense they have had a fair shake.

The incumbent, Gwen Miller, 72, has little to show for her 12 years on the council. Restaurant owners Rick Barcena, 43, and Denise Chavez, 59, are tax cutters who have not thought through how their campaign pledges would affect city services. Club owner and businessman Joe Redner, 66, says the right things, but his personality seems unsuited for the give and take of governing. Julie Jenkins, 45, a travel consultant and neighborhood activist, would bring energy and an awareness of growth-related problems, but she seems unsteady on the major issues.

Baron has a feel for the neighborhoods, a good balance between his concern for services and the tax rate, and a proven record of getting things done for the people he represents. In the citywide race for District 1, the Times recommends Randy Baron. "

Friday, February 16, 2007

What's Up with the Comments?

I don't know why we are seeing December. Trying to fix it but don't know what the problem is. I am looking further for an answer.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Meet and Greet Randy Baron

Join Your Host for a “Meet and Greet”

Our Neighborhood Candidate
City Council District 1
Randy Baron
Here is Your Chance to meet and talk with Randy
Get the whole story not just media bits & bites

Check out his position on the issues at

Your Hosts

Friday, February 9th – Mike & Diana Massimini - 5608 Seminole Ave

Friday, February 16th – Susan Long – 921 East Broad Street

Wednesday, February 21st – Tampa Financial Group - 301 E. Sligh Ave

Thursday, February 22nd –
Sherry Simons, Mike Ferlita & Joel Mesa – 1012 E. Chelsea Street

Friday, February 23rd – Greg Barnhill & Chuck Kaelin – 1202 E Clifton St.

Tuesday, February 27th – Steve Johns & David Purnell - 206 E. Ross Ave

All “Meet and Greets” held from 6:30 - 8:30
Appetizers and Drinks will be Available

Suggested Contribution Levels: $25, $50, $100, $250, $500
(Maximum donation is $500 per individual or corporation)

If you are unable to attend, contributions may be mailed to:
Randy Baron Campaign 217 W Comanche Avenue, Tampa, Fl 33604

Martha's Restaurant is for Sale

Looking for a space to put a restaurant? Check out 5202 N Nebraska Ave as Martha's Restaurant is for sale for $550,000.

Curiously enough "the seller is motivated" and "employees and customers are not to be informed of sale".

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sligh Cleans Up

As I drove along Sligh today, orange was all over the place. Orange vests worn on neighbors who were cleaning Sligh up. I believe this was the event sponsored by Tampa Financial Group.

It be nice if more businesses could sponsor such events and help clean up the Heights.

Martha Moves

Big neighborhood news. A major shift in the local restaurant world.

Martha of 3 Coins is now working at Nickos.

Barber of Seminole Heights

An email:

Does anyone on the blog know of a descent barber in the neighborhood
since Buck's seems to have closed?


This bring to mind the following:

La, la, etc.
I am the barber of Seminole Heights, make way! La, la, etc.
Quickly, it’s dawn and I must be in my shop! Quickly! La, la, etc.

Refrain: Ah, this is livin’
So much I’ve been given (2X)
For a barber who’s driven
To be the best! (2X)

Ah, bravo Figaro!
Bravo, bravissimo, bravo!
La, la, etc.
Luckiest man in the world, it is true, bravo! La, la, etc.
Luckiest man in the world, it is true (2X) La, la, etc.

Daytime or nighttime, I’m working full-time, I’m always moving, I never quit.

No better life could a barber wish for, nothing more noble could ever exist. La, la, etc.

Razors and brushes, scissors and scalpels are at my fingertips
Everything’s here.
Then there’s the ‘extras.’
Part of the business.
Some for the ladies, some for the gentlemen.
Some for the ladies, la, la, etc.
Some for the gentlemen, la, la, etc.

Repeat Refrain.

Everyone calls me, everyone wants me,
Ladies and young men, old men and maidens
Where is my wig, sir? Give me a shave, please…
Leeches for bleeding…
Letters for reading…
Everyone calls me, everyone wants me, (2X)
Where is my wig, sir?
Give me a shave, please!
Letters for reading!
Hey! Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Etc.
Oh my, they’re loud!
Oh my, those crowds…
Surround me!
One at a time,
For pity’s sake! (3X)
One at a time please (3X)
For pity’s sake!
Figaro! I’m here.
Hey, Figaro! I’m here.
Figaro here, Figaro there (2X)
Figaro up, Figaro down (2X)
Faster and faster I fly like a lightning bolt,
I am the barber of Seminole Heights.
Of Seville (4X)
Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo (2X)
All of my luck (2X)
All of my luck it will not fade away. La, la, etc.
All of my luck (2X)
All of my luck it will not fade away.
I am the barber of Seminole Heights. (2X)
Yes of Seminole Heights! (3X)

Friday, February 09, 2007

House Blogs

Found by Ginny Powell

Two very interesting blogs: ("We call it home improvement because it can't get any worse") and (" is a community-powered home improvement publication. Everything here is contributed by real people (like you) with a passion for homes and home improvement."

Welcoming to Seminole Heights

I get this email freom Rene Stewart that she has sent to all of the neighborhood leaders

"With your permission I am starting a new committee in Seminole Heights. The Seminole Heights Welcoming Committee. We will welcome new business' and residents to the area with information on the Heights. I am taking helpful suggestions from everyone. Naturally there are some legalities that this committee must follow because of the privicy act, but I'm certain that there won't be to much of a problem. I look forward in helping to make this community a better place and increasing our membership to BGoSH and the neighborhood associations. "

Great Idea. SESH has or had a welcoming committee but I am not sure how well it worked out. I think the idea of a Seminole Heights wide committee is great.

Here are some ideas. Tell newcomer which neighborhood association they belong to, give them coupons from local businesses, get them added to area, email groups, and get pointed to various websites. Tell them they can join the Tampa Bay Federal Credit union if you are member of one of the asssocations? I think Suncoast Fereal Credit union is granting geographic membership. Association newsletters might find it easier to get ads form some of these new businesses.

One of the best Home Builders in Seminole Heights - Builds an Office

Not your typical strip mall office building. No, it is something with gables, a building that could look like someone lives there. Not surprising because the man who builds some of the best modern bungalows, is the man who built this building. For months as I watch this building at New Orleans and Nebraska (5001 N. Nebraska) go up, I wondered who was moving in. Now I know thanks to the St. Pet Times. It is Jerry Martinez, who wons JBC Builders. Want to look at one of his house. Just look behind his building at 900 E. New Orleans or look behind Curtis Drugs.

"Resembling a two-story house, the 2,650-square-foot office will be split between JBC and another office tenant that Martinez has yet to find. "

""I think the growth is back in the inner city," said Martinez, who has been building homes throughout Hillsborough County for 35 years"
. . .

"Land has been cleared at a long-vacant lot nearby at Cherokee and Comanche avenues.

Martinez has received preliminary approval from the city's Architectural Review Commission to build a 2,300-square-foot two-story house there in the craftsman bungalow style.

A wraparound porch, wood floors, granite counter tops, four bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms are among the planned details. Martinez said he'll offer it for about $480,000, and that construction should start in about three months."

Thank you, Mr. Martinez for keeping Seminole Heights looking good in its old style.

Ralph Lazarra dies

Southeast Seminole Heights lost one of its long time residents, Ralph Lazzara on February 1.

"By just a couple of years later, he opened his own grocery store, Lazzara's Courtesy Market, on Nebraska Avenue, a few blocks south of Hillsborough Avenue. The store became a neighborhood institution and remained open until Mr. Lazzara retired in 1981.e of its long standing residents, Ralph Lazarra on February 1.

"Mr. Lazzara passed away Feb. 1 at age 90. His health had been declining recently, but he was still active until just days before his death. He spent his entire life in Tampa. In fact, in his 90 years, he never lived farther south than 11th Avenue or farther north than Hillsborough."
. . .
"Fruits and vegetables weren't just his livelihood, they became his calling card. When he'd visit his children and grandchildren, he'd always bring boxes of apples, grapes or guava pastries. At the retirement home, he became known as "Nano" or "The Banana Man," because he delighted in giving out bananas to everyone he knew there.
. . .
"He had an enormous back yard at his house, full of fruit trees and flowers," Griffin said. "I have memories of him coming in from the yard, and it was obvious he loved being outdoors, working with his hands. The fruits and flowers he gave showed his generosity, that he wanted to keep providing for us."
. . .
"Besides his grandson, Mr. Lazzara is survived by sons Ralph Lazzara III and Philip R. Lazzara, daughters Marie A. Sanchez and Marlene L. Sacarello, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren."

We were fortunate to have him speak at one of our SE Seminole Heights Home tours.

Our condolences.

"Seminole Heights did it."

Great article in the St. Petersburg Times, about the "Mount Rushmore of neighborhood presidents", all from Seminole Heights. Randy Baron, SherryGenovar-Simons and Gary Elsworth

A local 'Mount Rushmore'St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg,FL,USASEMINOLE HEIGHTS -Before they moved to Seminole Heights, Randy Baron was just a computer programmer, Sherry Genovar-Simons didn't know her neighbors and ...See all stories on this topic

"SEMINOLE HEIGHTS -Before they moved to Seminole Heights, Randy Baron was just a computer programmer, Sherry Genovar-Simons didn't know her neighbors and Gary Ellsworth had never thought of joining a civic association - he didn't even know whether his neighborhood had one.

But something transformed the three into what Shannon Edge, the city director of neighborhood and community relations, calls "the Mount Rushmore of neighborhood presidents."

"What turned them into leaders?

"Seminole Heights did it," Baron said."

. . .
"In Seminole Heights, neighbors joined to tackle problems. Then they realized they liked each other."
. . .
"Everybody gets excited about presidential elections, and we're already focusing on the 2008 elections," Ellsworth said. "But if you want to improve your quality of life in the day to day, it happens on the local level.""

So where do we carve their likenesses?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Hankering for some pizza and gave them a call. Got a message that they were 'temporarily closed'

Anyone know what's up with that?

Bummer, though, because I really liked their pizza and they are very close to us.

Ah to Cappy's it seems.

Citizens Advisory Committee

With some of the issues regarding some of the city Departments, currently Code Enforcement for example, or Housing under Steve LaBrake under Greco, I sometimes wonder if there should be a Citizens Advisory Committee that could look into issues in various departments and issue recommendations to the Mayor and City Council (and to the media) for changes.

Lake Roberta at the end of a ride

Bike Stories sent us some photos.

It's become a ritual: Ending a 100-mile bike ride on a gorgeous day with a quick peak at the sun setting over Lake Roberta.

Thought I'd pass along 3 photos for your blog that took tonight.

The photos also ran on my bike trip post at: "

Question. Lake Roberta seems awful dry. Is it being drained or it it just the weather?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Profiles on District 1 Candidates

Yesterday in the Tribune there was a profile on the District 1 (Citywide candidates).

Gwen Miller must be showing some weakness because the Tribune used the following "Gwen Miller is the retired school teacher. She also is the incumbent in the race, trying to hang on to a second term in the seat." Trying to hang on . . . . hmmmm.

Then it goes on to say "None of the other candidates - Rick Barcena, Randy Baron, Denise Chavez, Julie Jenkins and Joe Redner - has had any experience holding elected office, but they all believe that they would do a better job than the incumbent. "I don't think so," Miller said. "I've been on council 12 years. I've been chair three years. That shows leadership."

Really. To rephrase Forrest Gump "Leadership is as leadership does." Others on City Council did much leadership. I never saw any on hers. I wonder if she was booted upstairs to Chair to keep her out of the way of the rest of City Council. Sort of a Peter Principle. She was on the Expressway board for years when all the problems were occurring and did not do anything until Thomas Scott finally stood up.

"Miller says she wants another term to continue working for the residents of Tampa. She doesn't list specifics. Instead, she promises to listen to the concerns of Tampa residents and find solutions."

Here is what Randy said

Baron, president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, lists several issues among his priorities, including traffic calming, spending more money on code enforcement, redeveloping commercial corridors such as Florida and Nebraska avenues, and finding money within the budget to fix the city's infrastructure.

"I agree with the mayor that the city is crumbling from underneath," Baron said.


"Baron says he's not sure a tax cut is necessary and would prefer that the council and administration work together on the budget earlier in the process."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tampa's Political Realities

A very interesting article about the role of Tampa in area politics and the role certain neighborhoods in Tampa politics. Note that Seminole Heights is mentioned ,which is good. However I would like for it referenced in the future that "In city elections, getting the support of Seminole Heights is critical."

How do we do that? We need to get a good turn out at every election. The 4 associations need ot plan election forums for every election months or even years in advance. We need to really market those forums and get people there. We need to go to each other's porch parties and events so we get to see ourselves as a connected Seminole Heights family the way South Tampa and West Tampa folks do. And we need to have people on various boards. We need to have candidates for office. And some of those need to win. We also need fun stuff. Events people will come to whether big or small that so that Seminole Heights is on everyone's mind when they think Tampa. All of these we are doing, much better than in the past. Lets keep the momentum going, however and get a good turn out.

"South Tampa, with its mansions on Bayshore Boulevard, its bungalows in Palma Ceia and its new condos on Howard Avenue, has long been the base of political power in the city. Families there are well-established, with roots stretching back generations.

Residents there make their voices heard politically. Turnout in south Tampa precincts hovered in the 30 percent and 40 percent range during the last municipal election.

"One of the things that struck me is if you can't win south Tampa, you can't win," said Frank Sanchez, who lost to Iorio in the 2003 mayoral election. "They go out to vote at higher rates than the rest of the city. They seem to be more engaged in civic activities. You need to win south Tampa and do strongly in other parts of the city."

Precincts in Seminole Heights and Forest Hills also tend to show up on Election Day. West Tampa - where politics are always the topic of the day at Cuban breakfast joints - is important, too.

"West Tampa votes," said Jan Platt, a former county commissioner and city councilwoman. "In city elections, getting the support of West Tampa is critical."

New Tampa, though, hasn't shown much of an appetite for city elections. About 21 percent of New Tampa's residents voted in the 2003 election. Citywide, turnout was about 33 percent.

"Because of the transient nature in New Tampa, you can't build a power base, which is completely opposite of south Tampa, where people have roots," Platt said.

Only as New Tampa residents further settle into town will they feel more connected politically and turn out on Election Day. Considering the rapid growth there, when that happens, New Tampa voters will be more of a factor in city elections."

Also in the Tribune, where our mayoral candidates stand on some issues.

"The three candidates see the city's needs differently and have vastly different priorities.

Green wants to focus on attracting small businesses to the city. He wants to create jobs where people have a future. He also wants to attract international trade and business to the city.

His other priorities include emergency disaster planning and working with the school district to find ways to keep students from dropping out.

"I'm looking to affect people's lives in a very real manner, not just pave streets," Green said.

Lewis wants to focus on infrastructure improvements by requiring developers to include new infrastructure in their developments.

"Our streets are in Third-World condition," Lewis said. "That comes from being neglected by the past and current administrations."

Like Green, Lewis wants to find ways to bring higher-paying jobs to Tampa.

"You have to be able to reach out and bring everyone together and then you come up with a master plan of how you want to accomplish it," Lewis said.

He criticizes Iorio for not working well with people and points to friction this past year between the city administration and museum board and to tension between the city and county as examples.

If re-elected, Iorio would focus on developing a mass transit plan for the city and further investing in neighborhood improvements, such as building new fire stations and fixing the aging stormwater system.

She intends to bring to fruition the development of the city's cultural corridor, including a new art museum building and the Riverwalk"

Viva La Frida es Muerta...


(It's been a long and slow death but the unique cafe and galeria located at 5901 N. Florida Avenue that helped to usher in a new era in Seminole Heights has finally left this earth. Rumor has it it was bought by a clan of Hondurans.)

"We had some good times but it's time to move on."
-Lucas Diaz

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What's Happened to the Blog has modified its software and I have had to move to the new version. There were a bunch of things that did not transfer and I had to add or modify. I am not finished fixing things. You will notice some new elements, such as categories. Part of this requires the blog contributors to sign in using a Google sign in. Things will be explained the next time you sign in to post something. People commenting have no changes,

Mary Carol Hill (Frederick) - 2007 annual article

Last Year, I posted two blog articles about Mary Carol Hill (Frederick). Where is Mary Carol Hill (Frederick)? and Response on Mary Carol Hill.

She was a Seminole Heights resident who disappeared sometime after 9:30 P.M. on June 3, 1994.

From the St. Pete Times ""Authorities are investigating the disappearance of Mary Carol Hill, a 37-year-old mother and a student at Stetson University College of Law. Hill was last seen by a neighbor about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, standing in front of her home at 1601 E Powhattan Ave. in the Seminole Heights section of Tampa. Her sister reported her missing Monday. Tampa police Detective Gary Saunders said Hill's house was locked and her car was parked in front. "There's nothing at this point to indicate she was abducted," Saunders said. Hill is 5 feet 3 and weighs 125 pounds. She has curly red hair and blue eyes. "She was tremendously excited by beginning law school, where she hoped to continue her work as a child advocate," said her husband, Ken Frederick, who was camping in Colorado with their 5-year-old son when his wife was reported missing.""

From the Tribune "The career and most everything else possibly could have been left behind, "but not her son," says her husband of a decade, Ken Frederick, 46.

"She didn't walk away," declares one of her four sisters, Diana McCumber of Temple Terrace. "She had too much going for her."

Hill has not been seen with certainty since the afternoon of Friday, June 3, at Stetson's Pinellas County campus in Gulfport, although others may have seen her later that evening, according to Detective Jerry Keith of the Tampa Police Department."

The TPD missing persons website article on her notes: "The night before she had dinner with a friend and watched videos with him at her home."

Speculation centered around Louis Hlava, a close friend of the family who was the last person to be with her.

On my blog article this comment appeared reportedly from her husband, Ken Frederick. I have no way to determine the validity of this comment.

"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 homicide 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."

Respecfully bury her. Simple request.

Is there someone reading this blog who knew something that has not yet been reported to the police? That maybe they did not attach any significance to at the time? Do you know anyone who was around that part of the neighborhood at the time of disappearance, who might have information? Or someone who knew or knows someone involved in the case?

The last time a news article of any significance done on this was in 1995. Perhaps now it the time again. Interview Mr. Frederick. Interview the detective who was handling the case Det. Jerry Keith. Interview Louis Hlava. Interview old neighbors. Maybe TV news story could be done. Perhaps TPD can put this at the top of list of their cold cases.

It is a shame that nothing more has been found out in this case. For that reason every year from now on, I will post on article on her, so that Seminole Heights will not forget her, and hopes that we will know what happened and if she was murdered, that her murderer is caught, and that her husband and son will get to respectfully bury her.

Anyone having information about Mary Carol Hill is asked to contact the Tampa Police Department Missing Persons Unit at: (813) 276-3516 or E-Mail Missing Persons

Look Up In The Sky? Is it a Bird, Is It Superman?

No it's a plane, at the Gasparilla Parade, towing a banner asking you to Vote for Randy Baron for City Council, District 1. More on this the Tribune

"The banner included his Web site, At least 400,000 people could have seen the banner—many of whom undoubtedly are registered voters"

I guess this is Randy is taking the high route in this race. Does this make him a banner candidate for City Council? Does this place him head and shoulders above all the other candidates?

Using that plane and banner is innovative, the kind of thinking we need in City Council.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Blogs

There are two new blogs in Seminole Heights that fellow residents created.

The first is Seminole Heights Lost and Found, created by Renee Stewart. Lose or find something in Seminole Heights? Here is another place to send that info.

The second is Hot Topics!! The description reads:"EVERYTHING SEMINOLE HEIGHTS!! All the boring stuff no one likes to see on Scott's Seminole Heights Blog! Good ole fashioned neighborhood gossip! Local news, some photos......Whatever! The comments (if there are any!) will guide the direction"

This makes it blogs number 27 and 28 coming out of Seminole Heights. We must be the blogging capital of Tampa Bay, as what other neighborhood can boast of that many blogs?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Restaurant moves closer to reality

According the City Council records, Greg Smith's plans for a restaurant and bar at 6401 Nebraska Avenue is moving along. After more than a year of work, he finally was able to get approval from City Council to rezone the land for his restaurant. Where is 6401 N. Nebraska? Drive north from Hillsborough until you see Rick Fifer's photo. His billboard sign is at the location. What kind of restaurant? Maybe Randy knows.

Gram's Place To Stay?

According to the Tribune, Mark Holland's hostel Gram's Place may be allowed to continue operating.

"Holland's European-style hostel, the recipient of numerous code citations, could win a reprieve from the city council. Taking down a dead palm tree, cutting back vegetation and eliminating onsite parking at Gram's Place, 3109 N. Ola Ave., may be all it takes."


From OSHNA Bungalow Alert
Trash, trash, trash, trash, trash,
Trash, trash, trash, trash,
Trash, trash, trash,
Trash, trash, trash,

Sligh Avenue Trash Clean-Up

Who?: Hosted by the Tampa Financial Group, Inc.

What?: Please join us as we pick up trash on Sligh Avenue .

Where?: We will begin with coffee and doughnuts at the Tampa Financial Group, Inc. at 301 E. Sligh Avenue . We will clean up Sligh Avenue between Florida and Nebraska Avenues, specifically concentrating on cleaning up the I275 exit ramps.

When?: Saturday, February 10th from 8am to 12pm.

Why?: You will receive free coffee and doughnuts, get to know your neighbors better, and help to improve the look of our neighborhood. You’ll also get some exercise, and depending on the weather, you might even be able to work on your tan. Just think of it as a porch party with trash bags!

BGoSH Commercial Properties Data Base is Launched!

Seminole Heights
Business Guild of Seminole Heights (BGoSH)

We now have a central data base of available commercial properties for sale or lease...

Business Recruitment Committee
Our goal is simple: to have thriving commercial corridors populated with businesses who share the vision and who will promote the atmosphere of Seminole Heights. To realize this goal, BGoSH will be will be encouraging businesses that meet our revitalization vision to open and do business in Seminole Heights. In order to promote this positive commercial growth, the Business Recruitment Committee, chaired by Raquel Coryer, has been formed.

Raquel, a Tampa native, has been a homeowner in Seminole Heights for more than 11 years. She is committed to encouraging the growth of the business sector and to the improvement of the Seminole Heights commercial corridors. As a service to BGoSH members and parties interested in establishing their business in our neighborhood, the Business Recruitment Committee will keep a database which lists all available commercial properties and the important information about each location. With this information, Raquel will be able to help new businesses find the perfect location.

She is requesting that anyone who has information regarding business properties on the market, whether for sale or for lease, be submitted to her so that it could be added to the BGoSH database. Also, those interested in commercial properties are encouraged to make use of this new committee.

If you are interested in assisting with future Business Recruitment Committee projects, or have ideas or information to share, please feel free to contact Raquel Coryer of Levin Investment Realty Corporation. Her office number is 813-832-5500 She can also be reached on her mobile: 813-857-6814 or via e-mail

New World Order Helicopter Activity

Nope, not really just TECO.

From IFly:

"Given some of the previous posts regarding unusual helicopter activity, this may be of interest.

The Tampa Electric Company (TECO) will be conducting transmission lines
inspections utilizing a helicopter throughout Hillsborough County from
February 1 - March 1, 2007. Inspections will also be conducted in the
area of Pasco County serviced by TECO. The helicopter is an MD500, tail
number N5027P. The helicopter is manned by a pilot and an observer, who
is located outside of the helicopter, photographing power lines. In the
past, these inspections have generated numerous calls. POC is Det.
Randall Hierlmeier at 813-267-0627."