Thursday, February 28, 2008

S.H. Live Jazz Tonight

Come and join us at the Walton Academy Thursday, February 28, for a fantastic evening of jazz.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seminole Heights Hot Sauce Festival

Ha! I did it! I broke into my Hubby's Blogger account! (insert evil laughter)

So who thinks a good ole fashioned Hot Sauce Festival sounds like a good idea?
I Do! I Do!

I'm scouring Seminole Heights for some volunteers. I've got the game plan, but I'll need some assistance. No, you won't need to quit your job in order to volunteer, but I do need some committed (preferably not in a hospital) Seminole Heights folks to put this festival together.

Here's the 411:
People enter their winning hot sauces into 3 categories: Red, Green, & Speciality (think Peach). There is a panel of guest judges that will do a blind tasting. There is a big tent where festival goers can taste all of the yummy hot sauce. There's a Chili Pepper Eating Contest, there is a Hot Sauce Puppy Pageant, there is a Hot Sauce band. Family fun for all. I'm hoping to do it at the Garden Center.

Please email if you are interested in volunteering in any way shape or form!

The Urban Eater

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Curtis Hixon Park

Tampa Downtown Partnership invites you to coffee with

Mr. Tom Balsley

Mr. Balsley is the architect of the New Curtis Hixon Park and we are very pleased that he has been able to make some time available to show and further describe the plans for the $15 Million renovation of this significant public space.

Maestro’s Restaurant
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Monday, February 26th
8:30am to 9:30am

Parking as available on the arrival plaza

Friday, February 22, 2008

News Round Up

Tampa code enforcement toughens up
Several neighborhood association members from Seminole Heights applauded the changes. Among them was Gary Ellsworth, president of the South Seminole Heights Civic Association. The new provision also cites tenants who trash their ...
WMNF News and Public Affairs -

Tampa Aims To Crack Down On Code Violators
Tampa Tribune - Tampa,FL,USA
"The system we have now doesn't work," said Gary Ellsworth of the South Seminole Heights Civic Association. Under the existing system, even someone accused ...
See all stories on this topic

Windows Dance As Center Nears Debut
Tampa Tribune - Tampa,FL,USA
The photos, taken at the Wayne C. Papy Athletic Center in Seminole Heights, were installed last week by photographer Matt May. ...

Frank Roder: "I don't take 'no' for an answer"
Tampa native Frank Roder, 55, is vice president of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association. Sphere of influence: A longtime civic leader, Roder has worked with city officials on crime and zoning issues for over two decades. ...
Creative Loafing Tampa -

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

County Elections 2008

The Tribune has an article today about the candidates for County Commission. Up for election are the seats for District 2, Northwestern Hillsborough County, including Citrus Park, Odessa, Lutz and New Tampa, (currently held by Ken Hagan), District 4 East Hillsborough County (currently held by Al Higginbotham) and District 6 countywide, currently held by Brian Blair.

These races are important for Seminole Heights, especially District 2 and 6. These seats are held by Commissioners who tend to side with developers and special interests. If these two seats were turned over to more moderate people, then Rose Ferlita and Mark Sharpe would have a better chance of protecting the people's interests. Although Seminole Heights residents don't vote for the District 2 seat, they can certainly educate their friends who live in that district.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sooo Good Southern BBQ - New SH Restaurant

Last night, I realized the little (previous) ice cream place on Hillsborough is now open! It's just barely east of the Taco Bus on the same side of the road.

I think "deeeee-licious" is pretty accurate! And the family running the take-out (only) windows was friendly and accomodating.

I'd put Sooo Good BBQ on par with Big John's on 40th St. Going head-to-head, I'd deduct 1 point from Sooo for no seating, but give them back 1 point for having brewed sweet tea and a tastier flavor of BBQ sauce. So in other words, it's a dead heat!

Try it out for yourself during their official Grand Opening, today through Sunday. Their menu is posted here, but they have all the basic: Sausage, Pork, Beef Brisket, Chicken Collard Greens, Sweet 'Tater Souffle, Grits with Tomato Gravy, etc. Soup, salads and desserts are also available.

The owner is Nathan Wade and I met a very nice guy (and manager of the place) named Harold.

Monday, February 11, 2008

See yourself in Pictures

Have you hosted or attended a Seminole Heights event this year?

Do you have pictures of it that you'd like to share?

If so, please email them to Jay McGee, along with the event's name, location and date -- as well as the names of the main people in the photos -- and I'll post them on this blog for you.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Office Space Available???

Our business is growing, so to better serve our neighborhoods we are considering leasing office space in one of our core covered areas: Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, Riverside Heights, West Tampa, downtown or Ybor.

We are looking for a low, "friendly" monthly agreement, with enough workroom to house 2-3 desks. A highly-visible, high-traffic address is a plus, but not mandatory.

If you know of a space -- or would like to sublet an office at one of the locations we're currently considering -- please contact Jay McGee, editor, New Heights Magazine, at (813) 389-8116 or

As always, thanks for helping us support Tampa's Urban Corridor nieghborhoods.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Just over the River

Another potential location for revitalization ... just on the north side of the neighborhood's border.

Pro Hardwood Building

8015 N. Nebraska Ave

Tampa, FL 33604

Property Use Type: Vacant/Owner-User
Primary Type: IndustrialOffice Showroom
Building Size: 1,388 SF
Lot Size: 18,854 SF
Clear Ceiling Height: 14 ft.
Price: $300,000
Price/SF: $216.14
Year Built: 1956

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Out A Politician

Reading Rick Fifer's article Know Your Neighbor, (about those who signed the petition to put the “Marriage Protection Amendment” on the ballot) I wondered,what politicians have signed this?

Brian Blair of 12702 N Boulevard Tampa (County Commissioner?)
James Norman of 4907 Londonderry Dr Tampa (Is this Jim Norman?) (County Commissioner?)
Ronda Storms of 2129 Crosby Rd of Valrico (State Senator)
Rick Lott 3200 Polo Dr. Plant City (Is this the Plant City Mayor?)
Bennie Holder (Addr Withheld Pursuant To Fs .) (former police chief?)

Do your own search. Tell us what you come up with.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Know Thy Neighbor

Well we now have the so called “Marriage Protection Amendment” heading to the November 2008 ballot. This will likely mobilize self proclaimed “social conservatives” to turn out in a year where they are not too thrilled with the options for the top of the Republican ticket. It also presents an interesting dilemma for those folks in the Log Cabin Republican camp, since their Republican party has provided more than 2/3rds of the $445,000 the proponents of this amendment have raised. It should make for one intense fall campaign.

Some months ago, I was sent an e-mail from a friend with a link to On this site you can search by street, county, or name to see who has signed to put this measure on the ballot. If you happen to be gay or lesbian, it let’s you know real fast who are your friends. If you happen to have family or friends who are gay or lesbian, it is an eye-opener. It was really surprising to see just how many people in the Seminole Heights area actually signed this petition. I guess I learned a bit more about my neighbors, and in a few cases was both surprised and disappointed.

Now I guess I find the notion of discriminating against a whole group of people fundamentally un-American. I find it ironic that, the institution of marriage is more threatened by those who currently have the legal right to do so than by those who may also want that right. An interesting point is that the only state that has legalized gay marriage, you know “liberal Massachusetts” has the lowest divorce rates in the country BUT the States so concerned with “Blocking the chapel doors” have among the highest rates of divorce. So who is threatening marriage? hummm

Friday, February 01, 2008

Band Aids for lake Roberta

Today the Tampa Tribune ran an article by Kathy Steele about the stormwater project for Lake Roberta. The City of Tampa with a the assistance of a grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) has begun another step in the long road to restoring Lake Roberta. This little gem of greenspace inside the Hampton Terrace Historic District is one of the few public areas on the east side of Old Seminole Heights.

The project to capture storm water run-off on the northeast side of the lake follows a project a few years ago to capture the run-off on the west side coming from Nebraska Ave. The effort to improve the lake has been a slow process. Almost 20 years ago a longtime neighbor and Lake Roberta advocate, Myron Griffin, began planting trees around the edge of the lake. Later the neighborhood obtained a grant to add aquatic plants. But the pollution and silt still flowed in with each heavy rain. I remember in the mid 1990's when our neighborhood Publix store was rebuilt the rivers of orange and white silt that flowed into the lake. The journey toward restoration will take time. It didn't decline over night but rather by decades of abuse and neglect.

Today, it is still so far removed from the images captured by the Burgert Brothers in the 1940's when the lake was still healthy enough to host fishing tournaments. Hopefully, some day in the not too distant future, funds will be secured to dredge the lake of the many years and feet of polluted silt.

New Blog - Florida Rescued Dogs

"A venue for caretakers of dogs rescued from a life of homelessness or worse. A place to share problems and solutions, stories and photos, references to books, services, events and links that may be helpful in the rehabilitation of dogs who have had a less than perfect life. It is also a place for the kind hearted folks who take in strays to vent, because life with rescued dogs can be challenging, as well as rewarding."

Amendment 1: Useful Info

Now that Amendment 1 has passed. There will be questions about portability and the additional homestead exemption. I have already sent this to my customers who bought/sold in 2007. I wanted to make sure it got out to the general Seminole Heights community. The portability is retroactive to January 1, 2007.
Check out the Florida Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Web site ( ). If you sold a homestead in 2007 and qualified for homestead exemption on a new home as of Jan. 1, 2008. As a homeowner you have only one month – until March 1, 2008 – to apply for property tax portability and the homestead exemption. The portability application and other pertinent forms can be found at the DOR Web site.

I will add other information as it becomes available on my website: