Saturday, December 16, 2017

After Trayvon Martin killing, Sanford has to deal with fears

SANFORD — Customers are canceling reservations at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe. Women are postponing trims at Exclusive Cuts. The aisles at Maya Books & Music are empty.

Sanford, which for a decade has been working to be known for its artsy downtown, historic district and waterfront promenade, now is synonymous with the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman.

Today, the Rev. Al Sharpton plans to call for economic sanctions at a massive rally in Sanford designed to push law officers into arresting Zimmerman.

Sharpton wouldn't elaborate Friday, but Willow Tree owner Theo Hollerbach said he has seen online campaigns for a boycott. He already has had to cut his servers' hours as sales plunged $10,000 in a week, he said.

"This punishes good people who work hard," Hollerbach said.

"That's (economic sanctions) sad, because it's actually distracting from the real issue, which is justice," said Yvette Comeau, owner of Maya Books & Music. "No business owner had anything to do with what happened. We're all as stunned as everyone else."

All through downtown Sanford, business owners are bracing for more marches, negative publicity and a possible boycott. Many said business has slowed to a trickle since the Feb. 26 shooting.

Though popular restaurants such as Willow Tree Cafe and Christo's still have customers, many people say there's an undercurrent of fear permeating Sanford that is keeping people at arm's length. Even service businesses such as shipping and insurance have taken a hit.

Steven Lucas said his wife's Auto Insurance World store on French Avenue outside downtown has seen business plummet 75 percent to 80 percent in the past two weeks. Customers aren't coming in to make payments or asking for new policies.

"People in Sanford are afraid," said Lucas, who owns dozens of insurance franchises in Florida. "It feels like something is about to happen, and they're holding onto their money."

"People are hesitant to come to Sanford," said Lisa Reiner, a hairdresser at Exclusive Cuts downtown. "They don't feel quite secure yet."

Comments
McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

As if containing Julio Jones and the Falcons offense weren't challenging enough, the Bucs will try to so Monday night without perhaps their top two defensive players in DT Gerald McCoy and LB Lavonte David.Bucs coach Dirk Koetter on Saturday ruled bo...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Boys basketball: Lakewood 46, Gibbs 44

ST. PETERSBURG — Once the lights dimmed in the gymnasium and the capacity crowd dispersed, Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence spotted Gibbs coach Larry Murphy strolling past the the bleachers."Hey, Murph. Do we have to do this every time?" Lawrenc...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Turns out, USF junior Kitija Laksa wasn't merely unconscious from behind the 3-point line Friday night, she was unprecedented.Laksa's 11 consecutive 3-pointers in the Bulls' 108-48 home romp of Southern University broke the NCAA's single-game record ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
College Football Bowls: Tampa Bay Times staff picks for Week 1

College Football Bowls: Tampa Bay Times staff picks for Week 1

College football bowl season gets underway Saturday with six games. Here's the Tampa Bay Times college football coverage team's picks for those and five other games the first week of bowl season. GameMartin Fennelly @mjfennellyTraci Johnson @TBH...
Updated: 10 minutes ago

AP Top News at 12:59 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 12:59 p.m. EST
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Populist far-right leaders want no EU in future Europe

Populist far-right leaders want no EU in future Europe

Far-right populists in Europe are vowing to work together to create a new model of intracontinental cooperation that is far removed from the European Union
Updated: 12 minutes ago
For GOP, tax bill's most visible win may be averting failure

For GOP, tax bill's most visible win may be averting failure

The most potent political victory that Republicans would savor by pushing their tax bill through Congress next week may well be what it averts _ another big GOP legislative failure in the age of Trump
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Depleted Bengals put center T.J. Johnson on injury list

The Bengals put center T.J. Johnson on injured reserve with an injured chest muscle, the latest setback to a team already depleted by injuries
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Major media players start commission for sexual misconduct

Major media players start commission for sexual misconduct

Hollywood executives and other major players in entertainment have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality across the industry
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Bayern stretches Bundesliga lead, Cologne grabs 1st win

Bayern stretches Bundesliga lead, Cologne grabs 1st win

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich saved a penalty in injury time as the Bundesliga leader stretched its lead to 11 points with a 1-0 win at Stuttgart
Updated: 24 minutes ago