Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Access to St. Petersburg's mayor draws a breakfast crowd to Shirley's Soul Food Diner

Walter Randolph, 60, of Childs Park asks St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster to take a hard look at local recreational offerings. 


Walter Randolph, 60, of Childs Park asks St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster to take a hard look at local recreational offerings. 

ST. PETERSBURG — The woman leaned from her stool toward the mayor, poised to tick off five questions scrawled in a spiral notebook.

"My name is Rosalyn Falana, and I come from a high-crime area," she began.

Falana, 56, prodded Mayor Bill Foster at his first public breakfast meeting Wednesday, which drew about three dozen people just like her. She told him sketchy activity around the neighborhood has kept her off the patio for three years.

She asked what he could do about landlords who don't do background checks on tenants or about increasing police patrols in dangerous areas.

And what about putting a turn arrow on 34th Street and Central Avenue to ease traffic?

"Never thought about that," Foster said later.

Foster plans to make "breakfast with the mayor" a monthly event. He chose Shirley's Soul Food Diner, 1789 34th St. S,, for the inaugural gathering after the owner said business had slowed.

He was "pretty stern" in asking those who showed up to help Shirley's and buy breakfast. He did the same, but it took awhile.

Shirley Tigg, the 70-year-old owner, said she had never seen it so packed. "If they're satisfied with the breakfast, maybe they'll come back," she said.

Foster chatted with people from behind the counter and in booths. He listened to their concerns, offered explanations when possible and handed out business cards until he ran out of them. An aide followed along, taking notes, jotting down names.

It would be about 90 minutes before he dug into his own platter of bacon, eggs and grits.

People largely asked about public safety, though some had concerns about their businesses, the budget and aggressive panhandling downtown.

Most, including Falana, left satisfied with their answers. She wants more police patrols and surveillance cameras to monitor her area around Emerson Avenue S and 29th Street S.

Foster said he would look into it and see if it is a "hot spot" of crime before adding cameras, a practice he proposed last week at a police-community meeting.

"It's always nice to have the cooperation of the neighborhood," Foster said.

Access to St. Petersburg's mayor draws a breakfast crowd to Shirley's Soul Food Diner 02/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelly talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  2. Clearwater suspect due in court after 9 die in sweltering San Antonio truck


    SAN ANTONIO — Nine people are dead and the death toll could rise after emergency crews pulled dozens of people from a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, victims of what officials said was an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

    San Antonio police officers investigate the scene where eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Walmart store in stifling summer heat in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case, Sunday, July 23, 2017, in San Antonio. [Associated Press]
  3. What you need to know for Monday, July 24


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    At 1.2 million gallons, the house of Harry Barkett in South Tampa used more water than anyone else in the Tampa Bay region between Jan. 1 and May 31 of this year, when Tampa was in a severe drought. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  4. Discovering the true meaning of Black Forest cake in the German region itself


    The first time I had a taste of the Black Forest, it wasn't by way of cake.

    Black Forest Cake in Germany was granted legally protected status in 2013. It must use the gateau’s original ingredients, including kirsch, a brandy made from fermented sour cherries from the region.
  5. Gov. Scott's tough talk on Venezuela may not turn into economic action

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — To show his solidarity with Venezuelans, Gov. Rick Scott held a rally in South Florida and repeatedly promised to punish companies that do business with the Nicolás Maduro regime.

    Gov. Rick Scott held a rally July 10 at El Arepazo restaurant to show solidarity with Venezuelans. Scott has said he wants to punish companies that work with the Nicol?s Maduro regime.