Sunday, April 27, 2008

The City of Tampa Public Art Program

City of Tampa logo CITY OF TAMPA

Pam Iorio, Mayor
Art Programs Division Public Art Program

Request for Qualifications

Seminole Garden Center

Art Allocation: $10,000

Application deadline (postmarked or hand-delivered):
Friday, May 16, 2008 at 5 p.m.

The City of Tampa Public Art Program is seeking artwork for the grounds of the Seminole Garden Center. This artwork can be existing or it can be a commissioned work. The intent of this project is to recognize the richness of the Seminole Heights identity and culture and to fulfill Mayor Iorio's initiatives that include focusing on investing in neighborhoods and recognizing the City As Art.

Site Description and Background:
Seminole Garden Center is located at 5800 Central Avenue in the neighborhood of Old Seminole Heights in Tampa. Old Seminole Heights is Tampa's first suburb which was developed in 1911 three miles north of downtown and encompasses all of the property north of Hillsborough Avenue to the Hillsborough River; east of the river to 22nd Street and south of Hillsborough Avenue to Martin Luther King Boulevard between Florida Avenue and I-275. Old Seminole Heights is a tree-shaded community, with stately bungalows maintained and restored from their origin in the early 1900's. Some of the homes are included in the National Register and local Historic Districts to ensure their preservation for generations to come. The neighborhood attracts residents of all ages and diverse cultural backgrounds. For more information on the neighborhood, please visit

The Seminole Garden Center is operated by the City of Tampa Parks & Recreation Department. Originally built in 1939, the Garden Club and the grounds of the Seminole Garden Center are being renovated by the city beginning April 2008. The renovations are projected to be complete by spring of 2009.

Project Description:

The Art Selection Committee is seeking artwork for the grounds of the Seminole Garden Center. This artwork can be existing or it can be a commissioned work. Commissioned or existing, the committee has expressed interest that the work be site-sensitive to the Old Seminole Heights neighborhood. The Committee is seeking to select an artist to work with the neighborhood through at least one community workshop. Because of its historic nature, the artwork cannot be a permanent fixture in or on the facility itself.


Open to visual artists with experience executing their ideas from concept to completion and working in the public realm with public agencies. Regional artists encouraged to apply. The artist will be working closely with the City's Public Art Program and the Parks & Recreation Department to determine the best opportunity for the public art installation.


The amount of the commission is $10,000. This is to include all expenses such as materials, travel, accommodations, insurance, equipment, etc.

Insurance Requirements:

General Liability Insurance for the Artist and the Artist's subcontractors (if any) shall be provided with a limit of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence with a general aggregate of $2,000,000.The policy shall provide that the City is an additional insured as to the activities of the Artist under this Contract, and also shall provide the severability of interest provision.

To be considered, a complete application, consisting of the following, must be submitted. Incomplete submissions cannot be considered.

Ö Six (6) copies of written statement regarding how you envision approaching the project. Length should be no less than one paragraph, no more than one page.

Ö Six copies of a current professional resume, emphasizing Public Art experience.

Ö Visual examples of past work on CD-ROM.

o CD-Rom: 20 images of completed art works or projects. Images can be displayed as a Microsoft power point presentation, or just as JPG files. Must be compatible with Windows XP. CD must be labeled with artist's name. Images must be 1920 pixels on the longest side and "high quality" JPG file format. Do not submit TIFFs, PDFs, Word or any other non-JPG formats.

o Please save your image to be no more than 1.5 MB in file size. On average, your image will fall below the maximum requirement of 1.5MB.

Ö ID Sheet: An identification sheet that includes:

o The name of the project for which you are applying, the artist's name, address, email, website (if applicable) and phone number. Also, for each image include: the corresponding number, a thumbnail image (if digital submission), title of work, medium, dimensions, date of work, and budget of project or price of work. You may choose the option of adding a sentence or two of additional explanatory text about specific artworks.

Ö SASE: A self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of slides. Resumes will be kept on file. Please note on your application if you are requesting that all of your materials (slides, etc.) be retained in the City of Tampa's Artists Registry. This registry serves as a frequent resource for potential Public Art projects within the City of Tampa (this includes local separate authorities).

NOTE: Artists already on file in the City of Tampa Artists Registry are requested to update their file according to the above stated criteria. It is the artist's responsibility to make sure their file is updated.

Artist Selection Process:
The Art Selection Committee, comprised of Public Art Committee representatives, and stakeholders relevant to the project (community representative, parks representative, visual arts representative, etc.) will conduct a blind review of the images submitted. The Committee will then review artist resumes, their statements regarding how they would approach this project, and what would be their preferred design. The Committee may opt to choose a finalist, or select multiple finalists to submit refined proposals. The artist/s will work with the Committee if any adjustments to the concept/proposal are needed.

Working Project Schedule:

Call to Artists deadline: Friday, May 16, 2008

(postmarked or hand-delivered)

Artist selected / design concepts finalized: Summer 2008

Fabrication: Fall 2008

Target Installation date: January 2009
Questions? Email:

Mail/Deliver Submissions to:

Public Art Program:

Seminole Garden Center project

City of Tampa, Art Programs Division

306 East Jackson Street, 7N

Tampa, Florida 33602

The City of Tampa's Public Art Program promotes the involvement of artists in projects throughout the city that enhance the physical environment and celebrate Tampa's unique character and identity.

Doreen Di Bona, Trustee

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Verizon requests to Pollute Seminole Heights

The following comes from a reader. I saw what he's talking about too, but (to date) have been unable to learn anything more about it. Please chime in if you know more:

I wanted to get something out there on the blog. Has anyone seen the big yellow sign on the side of the Verizon building at the corner of Hillsborough and Florida Ave? I have tried to read it driving by and it says something about an application to build an “air pollution source”. Sounds like something we should get some more details on.

Charles Haynie
Tampa Street Market

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is this?

I have searched the Internet for plums, cherries and fruits but I can not find this plant. Does anyone know what it is and are the berries poison?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seminole Heights Documentary Sold Out!

From the Times:

Seminole Heights: An Intimate Look at the Early Years sold out. More than 100 people lingered on the sidewalk, without tickets.

Suzanne Prieur, who spearheaded the project, came outside to tell the crowd there would be no second showing that night. No way she or resident filmmakers Gene and Krissy Howes could've anticipated the interest in Seminole Heights history.

"Stunned is how I'm feeling," she said. "Completely stunned."


"Among those who didn't get in was 84-year-old Anne Ramsey, who lived in the neighborhood in the 1930s."
That's my grandma! So how was it? Any reviews? Opinions? Thoughtful critiques?

Household Chemical and Electronics Collection Day

Take advantage of Tampa's Solid Waste Department’s upcoming Household Chemical and Electronics Collection Day on April 26, 2008 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 4010 W. Spruce Street, to safely dispose of your old televisions and computers (in addition to many other materials – visit the web site at for more information on materials accepted. (by the way...all those compact flourescent bulbs contain mercury and are toxic and should be recycled this way and not thrown in the trash)

Electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills. In addition to valuable metals like aluminum, electronics often contain hazardous materials like lead and mercury. In just 2005, almost two million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills.

While toxic materials comprise only a small amount of this volume, it doesn’t take much lead or mercury to contaminate an area’s soil or water supply.

Televisions Back before there were plasma screen and liquid crystal display (LCD) tubes, we were all watching our Super Bowls and sitcoms on cathode ray tubes (CRT). The CRT model provided room for all your switches and wires in a box behind the screen, but it also stored a lot of lead. Approximately 20 percent of CRTs are comprised of lead, equivalent to between four and eight pounds per unit.

Combine this with the fact that the FCC is going to require all televisions to run a digital signal by February 19, 2009, and we could be looking at a lot of lead headed for landfills. Even the smallest amounts of lead can be a serious issue, and we’re talking about eight pounds per unit.

Computers Many laptops have a small fluorescent lamp in the screen that contains mercury, a toxic material when inhaled or digested. Mercury is also contained in computer circuit boards, which also include lead and cadmium. Circuit boards can also feature batteries made of mercury, as well as mercury switches*.

So please consider this information and be sure to dispose of your e-waste at a local Household Chemical and Electronics site. Call Nina Stokes, Recycling Coordinator at (813) 348-6515 for more information.

*Material adapted from EARTH911.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Rival for Taco Bus?

From Jill, a reader ...

Los Tucanes Restaurant
1235 E Hillsborough Ave

Los Tucanes, which recently was a different Mexican eatery, switched to new ownership last January and the food is vastly improved. The new owner makes homemade tortillas, fries his tortilla chips daily, and has some of the best salsa in the area. Highlights include whole tilapia and traditional barbacoa tacos where the meat manages to be rich without being greasy. Business is slow due to the reputation of the past owner, but it's a great time to give the restaurant a new chance to make a good impression.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seminole Heights Publix Update

The following was posted at the request of Chuck, the Publix manager and a Seminole Heights neighbor, to share news about our neighborhood Publix.

Just wanted to drop a Publix note letting you know that this March we began our fourteenth year with the new store. We had forty years with the old store, so fifty five years of Publix in Seminole Heights!

I am very honored to be your neighborhood manager and continue to strive to make you proud of our little store.Some updates of things that have recently happened and are coming up:

1) The big yellow generator outside is large enough to run the entire store in the event of an emergency(hurricanes!). This will be very helpful to everyone if TECO has a major outage, plus good for Publix. We threw away $65 million in Groceries when the storms hit a few years back. This should be a win/win for everyone.
2) The locking wheel carts are helping make sure you always have a cart available when you come shopping, plus they don't end up in your yard. We are finding them very successful and hope you haven't noticed any difference in your shopping experience with them.
3) We will be getting a new hot case in the Bakery which will include empanadas, croquettes, pizzas, and pasties similar to what you find if you shop at the Hillsborough Publix. This should be in within the next four weeks.
4) We are getting a dedicated Publix Tea case in the Deli department. By taking the Tea to the Deli, we will have more room to expand on the Greenwise milk in the milk case. I get many requests for this and will have it happen soon. This includes carrying half gallons of the Greenwise milk, plus Publix buttermilk.
5) We have two new Limited Edition Ice Creams and one yogurt that have just come in. They include Key Lime Pie Ice Cream, Its Your Birthday ice cream, and Lemon Sugar Cookie yogurt, an award winner from the American Ice Cream panel. Look for these in the ice cream section.

So some updates of what is going on with your local store. If you have any questions or comments that I can assist with, please do not hesitate to call me at 813-238-7720.
It truly is a pleasure working and living in Seminole Heights!
Thank you!Chuck Kaelin
Your Neighborhood Publix Manager

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lost Dog

Thank you Sherry for letting me know about this, I have it on the Lost and Found site as well.

I had a guy that works at Enterpirse Car rental stop by around 1:30 today. He says that he found a lost boxer down there around the business and did not want to have to take it to the pound so he is looking for the owner. If you or a neighbor are missing a boxer please call Gregg Johannesen on his cell at 480-4774 so that you may be reunited.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Neighborhood Gossip

We're looking for some juicy neighborhood gossip! We don't mean what Jane Doe said about the souffle John Doe brought to the porch party; rather we're looking for good things (confirmed or otherwise) happening in our neighborhoods.

We'll run validated submissions in the hardcopy and online version of the next issue of New Heights.

In case you missed the last issue's rumors:

Acropolis Taverna to open in Seminole Heights
Plausible: Costa Waez, owner of Acropolis, reported to New Heights in February that he was actively looking at locations in Seminole Heights. If he finds the right place at the right price, he will open an Acropolis in the neighborhood.

Bank to open in Seminole Heights
Plausible: New Heights’ was contacted by a person scouting locations to open a large bank in the neighborhood. A separate report indicates a bank may move into 105 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in 2009.

Beef O’Brady’s to open in Seminole Heights
Plausible: Although New Heights’ sources have verified a franchisee has considered several locations in the neighborhood, whether one has been secured is unknown.

Bungalow Bistro to add Full Bar
Plausible: The popular new restaurant will soon go before Tampa City Council for approval to sell beer, wine and liquor. If all goes as expected, the beer and wine should be on the menu by the end of May.

Coonfare’s changes Ownership
True: Coonfare’s (502 N. Tampa St.) has switched ownership and now operates under the name Arena Sports Café.

Front Porch to host Live Music
Plausible: The Seminole Heights landmark is currently building an outside bar. Upon city approval of the addition, the owners plan to host live music three nights a week.

L’Eden to add Downtown Location
Plausible: Chef Gerard Jamgotchian has confirmed his restaurant (500 N. Tampa St.) is looking for an additional and larger location downtown, but a storefront has yet to be secured.

Merino’s Deli Moving
Plausible: The fairly new restaurant, located at 6428 N. Florida Ave., is considering moving to another Seminole Heights location – closer to Hillsborough Ave.

Mr. Empanada to add more Stores
True: The West Tampa-based company now has five restaurants in Tampa Bay and will soon open storefronts in Brandon and near USF.

New Grocery Store for VM Ybor
False: A circa 1908 brick building was moved from 2506 N. 12th St. to 1001 E. Columbus Dr. The wide spread rumor that it would become a grocery store is probably rooted in (and confused with) the fact that it used to be the El Progresso de Ybor Grocery. The building is for sale by the city and its use will be up to the purchaser.

New Heights now in Storefront Location
True: New Heights Magazine has moved into a storefront where three UC neighborhoods (Seminole, Riverside and Tampa Heights) converge: 3901 N. Boulevard. It neighbors with Grunt Marketing and Spencer Financial.

Sangria’s Seminole Heights [You Fill in the Blank]
Unverified: Although Sangria’s Seminole Heights location has been approved by the city, none of the information New Heights has heard about the 512 E. Hillsborough Ave. location has been verified. Rumors include: April 2008 opening, adding a story, razing and re-building the property, opening an adjacent tanning salon and more. Victor, please call us: (813) 389-8116.

Seminole Hard Rock offering free UC Shuttle
True: The hotel and casino runs a free shuttle to and from select downtown hotels.

Stephanno’s Pizzeria to open New Location
Plausible: The Seminole Heights (mostly) to-go restaurant is considering an additional location near the Tampa Heights/Seminole Heights border.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company to add Locations
True: The favorite Ybor City haunt has plans to open 3-4 more locations around Tampa.

UPS Store to open in Seminole Heights
True: If all goes as planned, the location at 5100 N. Florida Ave. will soon house a UPS Store and possibly a few other retail shops, such as a grocery store or bank.

UT Track/Soccer Field being Renovated
True: The University of Tampa’s track and soccer field was closed for renovations in January. The track is scheduled to open April 11; the field August 1.

Vietnamese Restaurant to open Downtown
True: Bamboozle Cafe will open soon at 516 N. Tampa St.

Stolen Bikes

Posted as requested by a reader:


My wife and I and some friends were on the home tour this afternoon and our friends' bikes were stolen right out of our driveway. They were parked inconspicuously (or so we thought) in front of our cars in the driveway.

Nevertheless, they are gone - pretty damn gutsy to take something in broad daylight with cars in the driveway and a barking dog in the house. They are both DIAMONDBACK MOUNTAIN BIKES - one RED, one HOT PINK.

Since our street (Jean) isn't typically a cut-through, we're thinking that someone planned to do some trolling while the home tour was going on, even with a lot of cops driving around.

If you think you've seen the bikes, please email me ASAP @


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

second meeting about Seminole Crest parkland


The Tampa TribunePublished: April 2, 2008

TEMPLE CREST - City parks and recreation officials will hold a second public meeting to discuss an offer to build three football practice fields at 22nd Street Park.The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at Temple Crest Community Center, 8116 N. 37th St.A March 18 meeting drew one resident from Seminole Crest, the neighborhood nearest the park.The North East Tampa Pirates, a Pop Warner football team, wants to build the practice fields on green space at the dead end of 22nd, behind Patterson Street. Volunteers also will repair a burned-out concession stand at Eddie Lopez Field, where adults play softball.For information about the meeting, call parks and recreation spokeswoman Linda Carlo at (813) 274-7723.

Open Committee Chairs in OSHNA

OSHNA needs volunteers for the following committee chairs. These committees play a significant role in influencing the quality of life in Seminole Heights. It was the Highways and Byways Committee that led the battle when FDOT wanted to widen Hillsborough Avenue. The work of this committee led to both the brick wall, the linear park and the period street lights. The Historic Preservation Committee has had a key role in the formation of both Historic Districts, the district design standards, and the residential overlay district. Code Enforcement Committee has been consistantly brought issues to the city that needed to be addressed to help control nusiance properties that hurt the quality of life in the neighborhood. These volunteer positions help enhance the desirability of our neighborhood. If you have been looking for a way to be involved in promoting your neighborhood (and protecting the investment you have made in living in Old Seminole Heights) here are three opportunities.

If, after reading the following job descriptions, you feel that you would like to be considered for one of these chairmanships, please email OSHNA's President, Susan Long, to express your interest. Also, if you know of someone who you feel would be interested in any of the described positions, please approach them and ask that they contact Susan Long.

Code Enforcement Committee: The basic purpose of this committee is to encourage the proper care and maintenance of commercial and residential properties in the Seminole Heights area through the enforcement of applicable building, zoning and minimum housing codes.Pridefully promoting Seminole Heights because of its beauty, would be an important qualification for serving as chairperson of this committee. A willingness to speak in person with code violators, encouraging them through your positive suggestions to achieve compliance. Taking time to assess the true reason for their failure to maintain their property to an acceptable standard. This could be due to illness, finances or feeling overwhelmed by too much responsibility. Become familiar with neighborhood organizations or City government resources that you could suggest as possible help for them. When necessary, offer to contact these resources on the resident's behalf. Always encourage rather than threaten. However, if "friendly persuasion" is not successful, your committee will have no choice but to report the resident/owner as being unwilling to comply with City Codes, and report them as violators.A positive approach can make chairing this committee both challenging and deeply rewarding. You will need several dedicated OSHNA members to serve on your committee.

Historic Preservation Committee: The primary purpose of this committee is to protect Seminole Heights as an area of historic significance. It will be helpful to have knowledge, or to gain knowledge, of the history of Seminole Heights. Your primary focus will be to appreciate the architecture and greenspaces preserved for us by our early residents. You will need to have the dedicated commitment to publicly protest the willingness of our State and local governments to allow the destruction of our historic areas in order to replace or modernize them for financial gain. This is an extremely important committee which requires its members to fearlessly fight to preserve the history of our long-revered neighborhood.

Highways and Byways Committee: This committee purpose is to identify the transportation needs and problems of the Seminole Heights area. This committee needs to work hand-in-glove cooperatively with the City, County and State road departments. We need to insist on being notified of any plans that will impact, positively or negatively, our neighborhood roads. As the City continues to grow and many new plans are being presented pertaining to transportation and roadway changes, the Highways and Byways Committee is of critical importance for the future of our neighborhood.

S.H. Library to go Double Decker?

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - Officials are exploring replacing Seminole Heights Branch Library with a two-story library and parking deck.

The proposal, which includes school district property, would save the county from having to find and buy land for a new library.

Full Story.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bob N Lou's is pretty darn good!

Has anyone mentioned Bob N Lou's Cafe n Deli on here yet? Why not?! They make some pretty darn good cuban sandwiches, great cheesecake, and their espresso really hits the spot. They also happen to be a couple of sweethearts, really nice guys, the kind of guys who, in a just and sane world, would be puttin Starbucks out of business with their old school approach. In fact, it's my humble opinion that you should stop giving your money to Starbucks and spend it at Bob N Lou's on a regular basis. They're a genuine Mom and Pop, just Bob and Lou and some other dude in the kitchen whose name I didn't catch.

Not sure what's up with their hours. Officially they're open 7am to 9pm weekdays and 8 to 8 on Saturday but I've caught them open all the way up to midnight once or twice. I like that-hours shouldn't be written in stone!

Occasionally, they have these heavenly little chocolate covered cream puffs in there that will knock your socks off! I couldn't help eating about ten of them in one sitting the other day. They're that good.

Bob N Lou's is conveniently located right next door to Green Shift so you can go buy your favorite comic and then sit down and read it at the cafe while dipping cream puffs in your espresso and listening to the radio. That's what I did and let me tell you, it was a damn good time!

I particularly like the fact that they let me pour my own steamed milk in my espresso. Not too little, not too much...That's good business sense. Let the customer pour it so they can't bitch if it isn't right. You won't see those kids at Starbucks letting you pour your own steamed milk in your espresso. No way! They're probably afraid you'll sue em after you burn yourself. Cowards!

If Bob and Lou had wifi, I'd be hangin out there all day, drinking coffee, reading comic books, and watching the crazies walk up and down Nebraska Avenue. That'd be the life!
Good Luck Bob N Lou!