Monday, June 30, 2008

Outdoor cats in Seminole Heights

From an email:

My name is Megan, and I have lived in South Seminole Heights for about a year and a half. As I walk or drive around this area and other parts of Seminole Heights, I notice a large number of cats roaming yards and streets. Many of them seem to be friendly, healthy and content with being outside, and are not bothering anything. The concern I have is making sure these cats are spayed or neutered. If they are roaming the neighborhood and are not fixed, there is a very good chance they are reproducing and having babies that are often unwanted.

Spay/neuter has many benefits for animals, owners and the community:

Good for your pet:
- Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives (spayed or neutered pets live an average of 2 - 3 years longer than those who are not)
- Eliminates or reduces the risk of a number of health problems that are difficult or expensive to treat, including several different kinds of cancer

Good for you:
- Makes pets less aggressive, more affectionate companions
- Decreases or eliminates spraying or marking
- Eliminates the heat cycle in females, getting rid of crying and other neurotic behavior
- Makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away or get into fights

Good for the community:
- Last year, just under 30,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in local shelters because there were not enough homes for them. This is equal to over 70% of the animals brought into shelters.
- The county spends millions each year to control unwanted animals.

It's easy to get your pet fixed, and not as expensive as you might think. There is a low cost clinic called the ACT Clinic, located at 1719 W. Lemon Street in Tampa. Their prices start at $40 for cats. They do a really good job using high quality equipment and veterinarians, and care a lot about your pet. For more information, visit: or call 813-250-3900. They also have a blog:

If you are feeding stray, free-roaming cats that are not yours, you can get them fixed as well. These cats, commonly known as ferals, were abandoned by a previous owner or were born outside and have reverted to the wild state. Many of them may seem unfriendly because they will not allow you to pet them. Feral cat populations are controlled by a process called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) where they are fixed and then returned to their original surroundings. The ACT Clinic has a special called "Trapper Tuesday" starting in July that will allow you to trap ferals and get them fixed for $10. You can learn more about ferals and TNR at:

Feel free to email me with any questions you might have about spay/neuter of feral cats.


Neighborhood Warning: Be on the Lookout

From a concerned resident and reader:

I was at the gym on Sunday afternoon around 4pm when this happened.

My mother-in-law's Camry was parked on the street in front of our house and my wife was in the process of putting the baby in the car to run to Publix when a black Dodge Durango SUV pulled up. A guy got out, approached my wife and claimed that he owned an auto dent store in Clearwater, was opening a Florida Ave location and wanted to fix a rather large dent in the Camry for $20 and a promise to spread the word about his business. My wife explained that it wasn't her car, but he was welcome to give her some business cards.

Just then, my mother-in-law saw them talking and walked onto the porch. As soon as he saw her, he walked away from my wife and approached the house. He made the same offer to her, to which she said "No thanks, but you're welcome to leave some business cards."

Here was his response, verbatim: "Well, when are you going to fix it, when gas prices go up some more?" To which she replied, "I'm sorry, I don't follow you."

His response: "Well, why don't I come back in a year or in five years and fix it then. Will you want it then?" Again, she said that she didn't understand what he was talking about.

He turned on his heel and began walking toward his car, cussing under his breath.

When he passed my wife, she could see that he was absolutely livid and she asked, "Are you being a jerk?"

He said, "No, but you're a b*tch."

She said, "Excuse me?"

He said, "You heard me, c*cksucker."

At that point, he turned to my mother-in-law (who recently beat cancer and has just gotten her hair back) and said "And you're a b*lldyke."

Thankfully, he got in his car and sped off.

She got a couple digits from a temporary tag on the black Durango and, obviously, she immediately called the police, made a statement, etc.

The bottom line is this: I have no idea if the guy was telling the truth about opening a dent removal place on Florida Ave and can't think of how to find out besides watching for one to open. IF ANYONE HAS MET THIS GUY, GOT A BUSINESS CARD FROM HIM, ETC. PLEASE email me ASAP @ so I can pass that info to the police.

I travel 18-20 times a year for work and can't stand to think about people like this roaming around the 'hood. Just spreading the word about it should help, and feel free to edit it for language, etc., but I chose to write it verbatim so you could see how quickly he escalated his attitude/actions to a dangerous level.

Thanks for reading, Jay.


Darren Doughty
4-Year SH Resident

Friday, June 27, 2008

Crime and break-ins

First let me start by saying crime can happen anywhere...Carrollwood...Hyde Park...Brandon. It is not a Seminole Heights phenomenon.

A friend, neighbor, and former customer called me to let me know his home in the Hampton Terrace area had been robbed. This wasn't kids. These were pros. He was only gone from his home about 90 minutes. Though a neighbor called the police it was too late. They took over $14,000 of his possessions. You don't think about how much the stuff you accumulate adds up to until you are faced with the very unpleasant job of itemizing it for a police report!

Given the brief amount of time involved, it seems clear that someone was watching his home and the immediate area. A nearby neighbor left her home about 15 minutes after he left his. The window for this crime is now down to under 75 minutes!

The only description was 3 African-American males and a white pick-up truck given by the neighbor who called the police. No they were not caught.

This should serve as a reminder to be observant about who might be hanging around your home...whether on foot or in a vehicle. If they act suspicious or look-out of place make a mental note of what they are driving, wearing, physical description, etc. It may be important later. Not only that, the last thing any wouldbe criminal wants is to be noticed or draw attention to themselves. Your attention may just give them a reason to move on.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Trolley on Nebraska

From the SESH email list:

"I just rode the Tampa Trolley from Ybor to Channelside this weekend. It was fun, but it seems to me that if service was expanded to run up Nebraska into the Seminole Heights area it would attract a lot more riders since people could get into Ybor w/out having to drive/park. Going from Ybor to Channelside is a little pointless if you have to drive to Ybor to begin with! I know they have had a hard time financially, but maybe expanding the service to be more useful would help.

It is kind of like trying to find a way to ride a bus to work. When it takes an hour and a half to get to work by bus, but only 15 mins. by car, there is not a practical way to make that work. Maybe expanding the bus service, rather than cutting it, would make it more useful to more people. "

Kevin Beckner candidate for District 6 County Commission

From Susan Long:

Meet and Greet Kevin Beckner candidate for District 6 County Commission.
Date: Sunday July 29th
Time: 1-3 PM
Place: Susan Long’s – 921 E. Broad Street
Everyone’s welcome! Come meet a rational replacement for Brian Blair
RSVP 813-857-4830 or

Self-defense Course

Learn how to protect yourself! Special classes in self-defense this summer at Seminole Heights Baptist Church, 801 E. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa.

Classes will be Mondays from 5:30-6:30pm and 6:30-7:30pm (attend one or both classes), July 7th - August 11th, in the church's fellowship hall.

Classes taught by Senior Instructor Mark McGee. Children, teens and adults are welcome!

Classes will address self-defense situations inside and outside your home, work, stores and other buildings and parking lots.

Cost is just $10 for the six-week self-defense course.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Driving Through the Neighborhood

Any chance I get, I try to drive through the neighborhood, if business takes me that way, unfortunately most of the time it does not. Wednesday, I had that opportunity. I drive down Nebraska and for the first time experienced the new resurfacing/ re-striping. What a pleasant drive that was, all the way downtown. I especially liked the pseudo brick crosswalks but what a joy it was to not ride on potholed, cracked-up streets once I go into Ybor Heights. And to have good sidewalks all the way. When I first moved to Seminole Heights there were sections without sidewalks and now they exist the entire route, plus they are all ADA compliant. My only concern was the lack of markings identifying the bicycle portion of the road. This restriping, thought up by members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, pushed by MPO staffer and SH resident Gena Torres and signed on and then pushed by Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association and OSHNA, was a big victory for the residents. The FL DOT initially said no, but after pushing and pushing it and getting the City on board, it is done.

Later coming back I noticed how more and more buildings on Nebraska in Seminole Heights are looking better. Multiple places are repainted. Fly By Night for example. The two buildings next to the door store and Nebraska and Ida are nice. It's good they are now productive businesses, which they had not been most of my time in SH. I see more and more office space on Nebraska, whether older buildings converted or new buildings, such as at the NE corner of New Orleans and Nebraska. The law offices south of Genesee, the mortgage company at Cayuga and Nebraska, all of the modular buildings just south of the River. It's nice to see the old appliance place on Louisiana and Nebraska torn down since it was an eyesore, although too bad no one put any money into it to fix it up.

However a big disappointment, as usual, was Osborne and Nebraska, specifically the ghost town buildings. These buildings have the potential for so much charm and could be a really good strip of stores drawing people into the neighborhood. So much wasted potential.

Skipping over to Florida Avenue, it is good to see the the Oaks at Riverview if getting all built out. This used to be an abscess sucking life out of the neighborhood and those who lived in it. Now it is mixed used, owned and rental housing and apartments. A good mixture of economic classes, rather than the ghettoization of before. It is attractive and a boost the the neighborhood.

The economy may be in the tank, but people are still working hard to improve and I can see the results.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yup.. another lost dog

Wish that I had time to post something more relevant, and truly wish that there wasn't a need to post lost dog pictures.

My neighbor found this husky this morning. No tags, but a piece of masking tape has the last four digits of a phone number, and "Idlewild" written on it. Dog was found near Hanna and Highland.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Swimming Lessons

The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and the Florida Department of Health – Hillsborough County are teaming up to provide free swim lessons for children ages 5 – 17. The lessons will be offered at the following City pools. Please call the pool of your choice for the dates and times of the lessons and for registration information.

Any questions regarding the availability of vouchers should be directed to the pool locations listed. The Health Department will not register individuals or have knowledge about how many vouchers remain at any of the centers.

There are a limited number of vouchers and no additional free lesson sessions will be provided through the Health Department this summer

Bobby Hicks Pool 4120 W. Mango 832-1216 12 vouchers
Copeland Pool 11011 N. 15th St. 975-2734 12 “
Cuscaden Pool 2800 N. 15th St. 242-5377 15 “
Cyrus Green Pool 2007 E. M.L. King Blvd.
242-5350 15 “
Danny Del Rio Pool 10208 N. Boulevard 931-2107 6 “
Interbay Pool 4321 W. Estrella 282-2910 6 “
Jenkins Pool 154 Columbia Drive 259-1655 6 “
Loretta Ingraham Pool 1611 N. Hubert 348-2080 12 “
Martin Luther King Pool 2300 N. Oregon 259-1606 15 “
Memorial Pool 4601 Central Ave. 231-5299 15 “
Spicola Pool 2615 E.Corrine St. 242-5355 12 “
Sulphur Springs Pool 713 E. Bird St. 931-2156 12 “
Williams Pool 4362 E. Osborne Ave. 622-1909 12 “

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

South Seminole Heights photo contest!

From an email:

Neighborhood Photo Contest Deadline Extended!

It's not too late to enter the South Seminole Heights photo contest!

Send us photos that exemplify our neighborhood and the things that make it special – such as the river, our park, our charming bungalows, people walking their dogs, etc. Winners will be featured on the SSHCA website and maybe even in a South Seminole Heights 2009 Calendar!

Scenics, action shots (of neighbors working on home improvement, for example), gardens, close-ups, portraits of area businesses – all are fair game. Think of the things that make our neighborhood unique, and click away!

You must be a neighborhood resident to participate. All ages are welcome and each contributor may submit up to 3 digital photos.

All images must be color, digital files of 1 MB in size or less. However, if selected, you will need to have high-resolution versions of the images available for printing in our newsletter or in a calendar. If you’re not sure what this means, just ask!

Entries should be e-mailed to Nanette . Questions about image sizes and contest eligibility also can be directed to Nanette.

The deadline for entering is June 30, 2008. Winners will be announced in July. By entering the contest, you acknowledge that SSHCA may use your photo on our website, in a calendar or in other promotional materials for the civic association. Photo credits will be given anytime a contest photo is used.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Tampa Bay Hardware Burns

Tampa Bay Hard Hardware has burned down.

According to "The roof of Tampa Bay Hardware has collapsed and the one-story barnlike building at 5511 N. Nebraska Ave. is gutted, after having been 85 percent involved in flames,"

". . . .six ladder trucks responded to the scene when the fire started shortly after 6 p.m. The store was closed and no one was inside the building, officials said. No injuries have been reported,"

What a shame, what a loss to Seminole Heights and Tampa history.

Tampa Bay Hardware

Today Seminole heights lost a neighborhood institution as a 3 alarm fire claimed Tampa Bay Hardware at 55oo N. Nebraska. The fire closed Nebraska Avenue and 9th Street for several hours. The store property extends from Nebraska to 9th St. bordering the Hampton Terrace Historic District.

Tampa Bay Hardware was the oldest continuous hardware store in Tampa. A part of the neighborhood since 1941, the store had continued to operate in a very different environment of big box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. It outlasted some chain stores like Sears hardware that came and went. While not flashy or modern, it was convenient. Over the years, they have been reliable for that quick trip to get a part or two when I just didn't have time to wait in line at Home Depot.

The store is totally destroyed, with today's economics, the question will become will they rebuild? If not, what will take its place on the site.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Organic Produce

From the SE Sem Hgts Email group sent out by Rebecca Gross-Tieder:

Have I got some fabulous news for you! In my quest for abundant, organic, locally grown produce I have stumbled upon the greatest community treasure I did not know existed.

The Lancaster farm is in Lithia, near Valrico. You can join the farm for $20.00. All fruit and vegetables are locally, hydroponically and organically grown. You can sign up for a large basket (veg, fruit/veg or all fruit) to be delivered weekly, bi-weekly or as requested. Delivered. Can you believe it? The basket is $28.00 and it is less if you agree to a service plan. I am looking into getting my delights delivered as soon as possible and do not know if Seminole Heights is on their rotation. South Tampa is but I will know for sure shortly. If we are not then only five homes have to sign up to get delivery service.

Here is the link- http://www.lancaste index.html

I hope you all are as excited about this as I am. I visited the country store yesterday and got some AMAZING produce for next to nothing. It was as affordable as the Hillsborough market but all organic. Plus they take credit cards- even AmEx! Please let them know I sent you so they can see Seminole Heights is an area to serve!

Found Pitbulls

Found near the corner of Caracas and 9th St, two pit bulls, one tan male with a red collar, one black & white female with a blue collar. Both dogs are friendly. If you, or someone you know, are missing their dogs please call Tom Maiolo at 781-2483

Attn: S.H. Dog Lovers

I know their are a lot of dog lovers in Seminole Heights, 'cause the blog is filled with dog-related posts and every day I see you walking your best friends in the neighborhood.

Why not brag about your pooch to 20,000+ of your closest neighbors and win a prize for you and him/her to boot?

Do U.C. Contest
Cutest Dog/Owner Contest

1st Prize: Cover Photo/Story – You and Your Dog will be on our July 2008 cover AND will receive a “Pooch Pampering Pack!”

2nd Prize: Owner Pampering Pack – $100 gift certificate from Forever Beautiful Salon & Day Spa

To enter, send your cutest (one only) picture of You & Your Dog together to:

Deadline: June 10, 2008

Qualifications: Live in or very near one of the 10 Tampa UC neighborhoods. Be able and willing to participate in a Cover Photo Shoot/Story and redeem the Pooch Pampering Pack by June 30, 2008. The winners’ story will revolve around the people, places and events that make the UC dog-friendly.

Survey Says?!
Which UC location or activity is You & Your Dog’s favorites? (Select one.)

1) Yappy Hour (where) ____________

2) Walking in Our Neighborhood - (name it) ____

3) Visiting the Dog Park - (location) ________

4) Dog-friendly Restaurant - (its name) ________

5) Other __________

Win a Doggie Gift Basket, compliments of Tailored Pet Sitting, LLC. Two entries from the first 100 will be drawn by June 20, 2008.

Submit your entry by emailing your answer, address and phone number to HERE.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Heights | mid-May/mid-July 2008 issue

Hardcopy & Online Versions
Volume 1, Edition 3

Heights Heighlight
Declaration of Independents -- The Big City's Small Businesses
What do you get when you mix new high-rise condos with historic urban housing; then line the streets with one-of-a-kind boutiques, shops, galleries and restaurants? For Tampa, it may be a formula for revitalizing its once dilapidated downtown district ...
Contest & Survey
* Contest: Custest Dog/Owner
* Survey: Your Dog-friendly UC Faves
Send us a snapshot and You & Your Pooch can be on the next coverpage of New Heights. More prizes also to be won, including $100 spa/salon certificate and a "Pooch Pampering Pack" ...
News & Rumors
* From the Headlines
* Through the Grapevine
There's lots of news and rumors floating around the UC neighborhoods. New Heights goes mythbusting to bring you the scoop ...
Home & Family
* Old School Renovations
* Connect with your Child
First, take a before-and-after look inside 80-year-old Hillsborough High's recently completed renovations; then learn how you might be able to better connect with your child(ren) ...
Food & Drink
* Big John's Alabama BBQ
* An Rx for Wine Headaches
NH's food critic, Michelle Baker, goes to Hog Heaven at Big John's Alabama BBQ. Meanwhile, NH's staff sommelier, Mark Lasky, suggests how to avoid the dreaded wine headache ...
Health & Beauty
* Nail Care for Sandal Season
* Herbal Remedies
Learn why it takes more than polish to ensure your feet will look great all summer. Then find out why thousand-year-old herbal remedies may be the best medicine for your overall health ...
Arts & Events
* Latin Artist: Guillermo Portieles
* Scene in the UC: NH's Picture Gallery
Introducing the works of Latin artist, Guillermo Portieles. Plus, see if New Heights caught you or your UC event on film ...
UC Business Directory
Do you want more local retail businesses? Then shop more at local retail businesses! Find out what kind of businesses are located near you by visiting this directory of UC businesses.
Subscribe to New Heights Online

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Tampa, FL 33603