Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Gulfport library offers new reading garden

GULFPORT — With apologies to Virginia Woolf: Local book lovers now have a garden of their own.

Designed by Gulfport landscape architect Christopher "Toffer" Ross, the Gulfport Public Library's Reading Garden encompasses 1,500 square feet just outside the library's large bay window. It includes brightly colored tables and chairs and a large live oak that provides optimum shade in the summer. Once the landscaping is complete, the library's outdoor extension will feature 12 types of plants and flowers native to Florida. Ross, who is also chairwoman of the city's historic preservation committee, thinks outdoor spaces are the next hot topic for libraries.

"Libraries are having to redefine themselves in this age of electronic literacy, and part of that redefinition involves adding multiuse outdoor space,'' she said. "Gulfport's Reading Garden is on the cutting edge of that shift. Gardens such as ours offer a contemplative space where anyone can take their laptop, a book or any electronic device and enjoy the shade of an old oak tree. City libraries have always been places where people gather. Now, Gulfport has a natural place for the community to gather."

Ross has overseen the project since its inception less than a year ago, and has never known a public works project to move so quickly through the process.

"Everyone who we've had to deal with has been incredibly supportive," said Ross, who has donated her design and project management services to the library.

The $25,000 necessary to pay for the garden's construction came from the library's reserve fund, comprised of memorials and donations made to the city and designated for the library, according to city Administrator David Mather.

The Reading Garden is the realization of a long-held dream for the Gulfport Library's Circle of Friends. The organization, whose mission is to enhance the library's services and encourage support for literacy, is chaired by Phyllis Plotnick, who predicts the community will fall in love with the library's new outdoor space.

"There is no more beautiful spot in Gulfport to sit and read a book than in this garden," she said during the recent soft opening. "Everyone in Gulfport can enjoy this beautiful space. It's a perfect extension to our library."

Comments
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital early Saturday afternoon.Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on Gunn Highway...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Two airmen and an object that ‘accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen’

Two airmen and an object that ‘accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen’

The following recounts an incident in 2004 that advocates of research into UFOs have said is the kind of event worthy of more investigation and that was studied by a Pentagon program that investigated UFOs. Experts caution that Earthly explanations o...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Are UFOs real? A Pentagon program tried to find out

Are UFOs real? A Pentagon program tried to find out

WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it. For years, the program inve...
Updated: 5 hours ago
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

It is and always will be the greatest debate in Tampa Bay sports history.Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy?You don’t even need to say anything more than that. Bucs fans already know what you’re talking about.Gruden or Dungy?Who was most responsible for the on...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Why the debate rages on

Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Why the debate rages on

TAMPA — Bucs coach Jon Gruden did not win the Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s team. Don’t believe me? Ask Dungy. "It wasn’t. They did a great job. They took it and tweaked it," Dungy said. "The same way I got a great (Colts) tea...
Updated: 8 hours ago
She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

Two days before her 94th birthday, Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested and hauled off to jail.The Eustis woman’s crime?She was being evicted and had fallen behind on her rent, WFTV 9 News reported. Instead of vacating her home at the National Church Resi...
Updated: 8 hours ago