Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Kelly Benjamin runs for City Council

Kelly Benjamin is running for the District 6 seat on the Tampa City Council on a pragmatic, common sense platform based on neighborhood revitalization, small business support, and improved transit (including making Seminole Heights a station if the light rail proposal passes in November).

He just filed on Monday so he does not have a website up and running yet, but he will in the next week or so. He will be qualifying via petition again and canvasing all over Seminole Heights and West Tampa in the coming weeks.

Although I'm not living in the area, I throw my support behind Kelly Benjamin. This is his second try for this office. He has a lot of interesting life and work experience since then and I think he will do a good job as a city council member.

For more details read the Creative Loafing article and Bay Buzz blog

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Electric fence,barbed wire and razor new rules

An email I received from reader Wendy who asked that I post this:

> The new rules for installation of electric fences, barbed wire, and razor
> wire are going before City Council on Thursday evening at 5:30 PM. The
> proposed rule states that any business that can show they had criminal
> activity on their property can be allowed to put in an electric fence,
> barbed wire or razor.
> A more comprehensive proposal was put forward but, apparently, City Council
> did not put it forward.
> This ordinance will be sent to the Planning Commission as it is written
> unless we can get City Council to either
> a) continue this to allow public input or
> b) modify this.
> The proposed verbiage that was set forth originally but was not approved
> was:
> A variance can be had allowing an electric fence, razor wire, or barbed wire
> if the applicant can:
> "1) provide documented police reports that clearly demonstrate criminal
> activity occurred at the property during the two years prior to the variance
> request, Reports of false alarms cannot be used to demonstrate a
> significant security need.
> 2) Provide evidence that, at the time the criminal activity occurred other
> means of security protection devices were installed and in proper operating
> condition. Other means of security protection devices include, but are not
> limited to, alarm systems, guard dogs, security personnel, and/or adequate
> chain link or sold wall fencing, when allowed.
> In applying the variance criteria, the VERB,, ARC, or BLC shall balance the
> applicant's need for the variance with the visual impact to the surrounding
> community. The purpose of the provision is to ensure that any use of
> electric fencing barbed wire or razor wire should be used only as the
> extreme last resort of property protection."
> Based on what is currently being proposed, any business that is broken into
> can get a variance for barbed wire, razor wire or an electric fence.
> If you cannot attend Thursday night, please send an email to
> asking them to change the ordinance as
> originally proposed. If ou want to send me your email, I will read it into
> the record.
> The more people that show up, the greater the impact.
> Thank you,
> Susan Long

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Highlights Win…Oh My!

Good news. Susan was one of the 3 winners of the 2010 Highlights for Children Fiction Contest with her story "The Fog Lifts" Read more about it on her blog Highlights Win…Oh My!.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pitbull Bans

This week in the Mutt Report I focused on PitBull Bans. The St. Petersburg Times had a recent article on the topic.

“For the past three years, Edna Elijah has carried a baseball bat when she walks because her neighbors have been attacked by dogs. Once, she had a run-in with a dog “that looked like a pit bull.” She wasn’t injured, but her words resonated with the right people. So recently, legislators in Tallahassee have been considering a bill to regulate dogs by breed . . .The bill proposed by Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, passed a senate committee last month. It would not outright ban any breed, but it would give communities the ability to require muzzling, neutering or additional insurance for certain dogs, measures that critics say would have the same effect as a ban.” (more)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dog Dies at Curtis Hixon Dog Park

On my Mutt Report blog I write about how a 1o pound Shih Tzu was killed at the new Curtis Hixon dog run It is so small there is no way to separate the big and small dogs. Seminole Heights has a dog run at Frierson and 12th St., just south of Hillsborough, in SE Seminole Heights. It also is too small for dogs to be separated. I wonder if there have been any negative encounters there?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

UC Tampa - Feb 2010 Edition Part 2

In This Issue

1. Food News: Get Greece-y. Moon Waxes. Bistro Wanes.

2. Davis Islands Dog Park Scheduled For Grooming
3. Walk into Ybor’s Secret Past
4. Seminole Heights Bicycle Club's Hub-Grub Bike Ride
5. Ride A Dragon - Tampa Dragon Boat Races

6. News & Rumors ... and much more!

Food News: Get Greece-y. Moon Waxes. Bistro Wanes.

The Bungalow Bistro of Seminole Heights will soon be home to The Refinery.

Seminole Heights ‘Bistro’ gets Refined
The Bungalow Bistro of Seminole Heights (5137 N. Florida Ave.) has been sold to Greg and Michelle Baker of Cooks-n-Company (a personal chef service). While currently still being operated under the “Bistro” moniker and menu, Greg stated the couple is planning to launch an entirely new restaurant, The Refinery, and menu by March 2009.

Click here to read full story.

China Moon shines on Heights & West Tampa
China Moon New York Style Chinese Food is now open at 1900 W. Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. Blvd. for take out and delivery to residents of West Tampa, Wellswood, Seminole Heights, Riverside Heights and other nearby areas.

Click here to read full story.

Shout Out for Channelside’s new Taverna Opa

Following UC Tampa’s exclusive story of Taverna Opa coming to downtown’s Channelside Entertainment Complex, the Greek restaurant is now open in the former Grille 21 location (underneath the old Margarita Mama’s).

Click here to read full story.

Seminole Heights Bicycle Club's Hub-Grub Bike Ride

Event Flyer

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - The Seminole Heights Bicycle Club invites all to tour the neighborhood's restaurants via bicycle. At each stop, riding participants will have the get the chance to check out some of the area's favorite haunts and munch on a quick snack before heading off their next destination.

February 27, 3-5:30pm

Read full article here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gimme Seven! New Restaurants Rolling into the Urban Corridor.

Old location of Big John's Alabama BBQ.

URBAN CORRIDOR – The new year appears to have brought with it a flurry of restaurants for downtown Tampa and its nearby, Urban Corridor neighborhoods. Seven dining establishments, some with names familiar to the area, some not, have either opened or are expected to open by the end of March.

West Tampa: Green Iguana Bar & Grill, a local’s hangout on Ybor City’s Seventh Avenue, is taking over the old Stadium Bennigan’s Bar & Grille location (2520 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.). This will be the company’s seventh Bay Area location with a full bar and open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. According to its website, the new location will “open soon;” however sources indicate “by the end of March.” Updates are available on the Green Iguana Twitter site:

Downtown: The Urban Cantina is set to open in downtown Tampa (200 E. Madison Ave.) by the end of February. The owner is reported to be Christopher Rivas, who is a resident of nearby SkyPoint Condominiums, where he was once reported to be opening a Mexican restaurant called Azteca. Those plans fell through, but from visual inspection of the new location, it clearly appears to be built out, fitted with tables and dining ware, and days away from opening.

Sono Café will open February 6 inside the new Tampa Museum of Art. It will overlook the banks of the Hillsborough River and be accessible by everyone through an admission-free entrance. The café will seat 75, including waterfront tables, and offer menu items in accordance with the “Slow Food Movement.” The owners of downtown’s Mise en Place Restaurant will operate the café.

Already open is International Café, a lunchtime eatery open five days a week at 601 E. Twiggs St.

East Tampa: Big John’s Alabama BBQ is set to open at nearly the same spot (5707 N. 40th St.) as its old, demolished location (which happened because of a city road expansion project). For the many fans of the 40-year-old establishment, their wait will be over early February.

Ybor City: Gallery Rasika has opened on Seventh Avenue in the former location of L’Olivier Cabaret. It features modern Indian fusion dishes inspired from an “age old approach to dining,” according to its website. Much like tapas bars, guests are encouraged to choose a variety of appetizers and entrees and share them with their dining companions.

Heights Areas: Greg and Michelle Baker, the owners of Cooks-n-Company (the personal chef service), are planning to open a brick and mortar restaurant in Seminole Heights. Although a verbal agreement has been made for the couple to take over an existing “turn key” location, a contract has yet to be signed.

Once official, the Bakers hope to open The Refinery by the end of February, which will feature a large selection of small, “bigger than most tapas” plates made from locally grown ingredients when possible.

See original posting at

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

UC Tampa - Feb 2010 Edition Part 1

In This Issue






-NEWS & RUMORS ... and much more!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a FRESH look

FRESH look: The recently released film "FRESH" - a documentary about people working to provide healthy, nutrient-dense foods via sustainable practices - will be playing at Ella's Folk Art Café on Jan. 24, 2010. More info here.