'Art in Black and White' at center
The annual "Art in Black & White" exhibit opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Gallery at Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road. The exhibit features art, photography, sculpture and ceramics using only black, white and shades of gray. Ribbons and cash prizes will be awarded during the reception. The work of photographers Michelle Diaz and Peter Bates will be on display through May. Diaz specializes in special occasion photography. A graduate of Eckerd College, her fine art images have won several accolades.
Bates' exhibit, "Bodegas North and South, Photographs and Interviews by Peter Bates," will feature photographs of Florida and New England convenience stores taken at twilight. The photographs will be accompanied by portraits and interviews with the stores' owners.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon most Saturdays. Admission is free. Call ahead to (813) 269-1310 to ensure the gallery is available for viewing at the time you wish to visit. For more information, go to carrollwoodcenter.org.
Meal solutions at Whole Foods Markets
Visit Whole Foods Market, 3802 Northdale Blvd., every Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. for healthy and simple meal solutions. Using nutritious foods and whole grains, participants will learn how to prepare a nutritious dinner. Free. No registration required.
MOSI completes upgrades at tree grove
The Museum of Science and Industry has made improvements to its Richard T. Bowers Historic Tree Grove with a grant of nearly $25,000 from the Hillsborough County Historic Preservation Challenge Grant. The improvements, which feature trees associated with famous people or historic events — such as the sycamore descended from seeds that traveled to the moon — included adding benches, local artists' work, plants, plant markers and new signs.
Other trees include a longleaf pine whose ancestor lived through a Civil War battle, and a live oak that descended from an oak that grows at the school where Ray Charles was educated.
Olivia's Barnyard Buddies family day
Quantum Leap Farm, in partnership with Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring, welcomes special-needs children and their families Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. to 10401 Woodstock Road for an afternoon at the farm including pony rides, equestrian arts and crafts, games and more. For more information, call (813) 920-9250 or email jenna@ quantumleapfarm.org.
History Center offers BOGO for Mother's Day
In celebration of Mother's Day, moms get in free with one paid admission at the Tampa Bay History Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11. In addition to the buy-one-get-one admission, the center will offer free arts and crafts for kids in the Lykes Atrium.
Moms and families are encouraged to visit the museum and dine at the waterfront Columbia Cafe at the center, 801 Old Water St., in the Channel District. The cafe features indoor and outdoor seating along the Tampa Riverwalk.
Regular admission is $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for seniors, students, and youth ages 13-17, and $7.95 for children 4-13. Admission is free for children 3 and younger. Free parking is available with gallery admission in the Tampa Bay Times Forum Blue Lot only. Call (813) 228-0097 or go to visit tampabayhistorycenter.org for more information.
Lane closure on W Cypress Street
One lane will be closed in each direction on W Cypress Street from east of Lois Avenue to west of Dale Mabry Highway through July due to construction work on Interstate 275.
Drop in crime puts city among area's 'safest'
Temple Terrace has experienced a 33 percent drop in major crimes over the past five years, making it one of the safest cities in the region, according to a recently released report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. According to the FDLE's 2013 Uniform Crime Report, Temple Terrace continued its trend of falling rates of murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft.
Temple Terrace police Chief Ken Albano said Temple Terrace has found success with a "tried and true commonsense approach to serving our community.'' Officers park their cars, get out in the community on foot and listen to residents' concerns, he said.
The figures show that crime dropped 4.7 percent statewide as a whole in 2013, and Hillsborough County experienced a 6.4 percent decline.
Town 'N Country
Get your skateboard and head to new park
The long-awaited Northwest Skate Park has opened at 8620 Jackson Springs Road. Built by Team Pain Skate Parks, the facility boasts a full pipe, hubba ledge, granite rails, manual pad, pole jam and other "California-style" features that make up a snake run course.
It is Hillsborough County's third such recreational facility. Like Apollo Beach Skate Park and Brandon Skate Park, hours of operation at Northwest Skate Park are 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Helmets are required and other safety rules apply. All skate park users (or the parent of those under the age of 18) also will be required to sign a notarized waiver.
For more information about the new park, visit hillsborough county.org/parks or call the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department at (813) 635-3500.
Bring resumes and a pen for job fair
A job and information fair focused on veterans is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center.
Veterans can learn about benefits and services they may be eligible for and meet about 30 Tampa-area employers. Jobs open to the public include many positions on the VA's patient-centered health care teams in the Tampa and St. Petersburg areas. The fair will be in the Polytrauma Center/Spinal Cord Injury building at 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
6,431 grads at USF spring commencement
Spring commencement ceremonies begin today and run through Monday at the University of South Florida, with an expected 6,431 graduates, more than any single commencement in school history. Administrators credit the increase on efforts to improve a six-year graduation rate, which is up to 63 percent.
During a 1:30 p.m. ceremony today, Stuart Silverman, dean of the Honors College, will receive the President's Fellow Medallion. Silverman served as head of the honors program for the past 27 years, a record for anyone leading an academic program at USF. For the past 26 years, Silverman has served as graduation announcer, reading nearly 100,000 names of graduates. Today's ceremony will be his last before he retires.