Commissioners propose new idea for the homeless
They didn't like the idea of housing up to 250 homeless people in tents in eastern Hillsborough County.
Now two county commissioners who voted against that idea are pitching the prospect of putting them up at a former Florida Avenue mall in North Tampa.
Commissioners Kevin White and Al Higginbotham have both scheduled discussions for today about converting part of the Floriland Mall into dorm space for the homeless. Each said they arrived at the idea separately while brainstorming ways for dealing with the county's growing homeless population, following the contentious tent city debate last week.
The proposal is sure to stir a new round of intense community dialogue, as well as objections from the property owner.
Higginbotham said he is responding in part to newspaper editorials that faulted him for voting down a solution without having an alternative.
"I took that to heart," he said.
Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank has vacated about 20,000 square feet she is leasing at Floriland in a cost-cutting move. Tax Collector Doug Belden is looking to leave 10,000 square feet he rents there.
Neighborhood associations have mayoral forum today
The Council of Neighborhood Associations will host a mayoral candidates forum at 7 tonight at the Sunshine Center at 330 Fifth St. N.
Audience members can submit potential questions before the forum. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Robin Hood, the feral cat found four months ago with an arrow shot through one of his front legs, will live out the rest of his life in a Sarasota sanctuary.
The cat, found June 16 near a power substation at U.S. 19 and Whitney Road in the High Point neighborhood of Pinellas County, has spent the past few months recovering from his injuries.
Officials had hoped Robin Hood could be adopted. They later learned he has always been feral.
"We didn't want to send him back into the wild," said shelter manager Abigail Appleton, of the Humane Society of Pinellas County, which has had custody of the cat.
On Thursday, officials will take the animal to Sarasota in Defense of Animals, which manages a colony for feral cats. Robin Hood had to have surgery on his front right leg, which was punctured by a 2-foot-long aluminum arrow. Donations covered the cost of his care. Officials still don't know who shot Robin Hood, Appleton said.