04/23/15 Local Government
Pot holes, big foot and the signature "All right, all right, all right" are all featured in commercials advertising Hillsborough County's new online customer service center, At Your Service.
Though the parodies of actor Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln commercials may be humorous, the system itself — found at hillsboroughcounty.org/atyourservice — is serious about helping citizens....
When customers visit any of the Tampa Bay Area's 22 Grow Financial stores on Wednesday, they'll walk away with more than a receipt and plastic-covered lollipop.
They'll leave with the ability to improve the Earth.
This year, just as they have been doing for the past three years in honor of Earth Day, the Credit Union will give away free tree saplings. Those trees can enhance customer and employee's own back yards, or one designated by contacting a local organization. Each household can take up to five saplings....
Though technology's influence continues to grow, the role of women in the field is not keeping pace.
The Hillsborough County Economic Development Innovation Initiative held its inaugural Women in Tech event Monday at the Seminole Heights Library to create networking opportunities and raise awareness of the impact women can have.
According to the American Association of University Women's report, "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics," "women make up 14 percent of the engineering workforce and just over 25 percent of the computing workforce."...
Starting Wednesday, music will no longer be confined to the stage of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. With the help of artist Luke Rothschild, the building itself will be part of a gigantic interactive musical instrument, known as the Fin Harp. The "sonic" sculpture will be on display through May 3 as a piece of public art stretching 14 brass wires more than 1,000 feet in a harp sculpture that will scale the roof of the Straz Center. It is one of a long line of his large-scale installments created by Rothschild, composer and instrument designer for the ensemble String Theory. Docents will be available to play and discuss the harp, as well as give the public an opportunity to make some music, during select events April 10-25. The sculpture opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Free....
With its ingredients imported from Mexico, handmade artifacts from Oaxaca and a wall adorned with 150 candles, Besito Mexican in WestShore Plaza is a monument to the love and respect for ancestry and heritage.
The original Besito, meaning little kisses, opened in 2006, and was founded by John Tunney. Since then, he has opened six locations, including New York, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Massachusetts. ...
Ferg's Live brings restaurant, sports bar, entertainment to Channelside; second Tampa Culver's opens03/17/15Retail
Just because the show's over at Amalie Arena doesn't mean the party has to stop.
Ferg's Live, a joint venture between Irish 31 owner Jay Mize and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, has opened across the street, providing live entertainment and a great spot to watch your favorite teams, with 60 flat-screen televisions and three large projectors.
The 5,000-square-foot parking lot will be transformed into a stage for local, regional and national acts....
Fourteen firework shows won't be the only entertainment lighting up the Clearwater Thresher's Bright House stadium during the 2015 season.
The lineup also features concerts, theme nights, a new high-definition video board in left field and bobblehead giveaways including Rufus the pelican from Dolphin Tales.
"Our schedule of promotions and giveaways may seem ambitious," promotions and community relations manager Amanda Koch said, "but we have a dedicated staff and wonderful community in Clearwater that make every night at the ballpark fun."...
03/12/15 Music & Concerts
As Miclain Keith sat in the University of South Florida classroom, surrounded by fellow musicians participating in the Grammy Music Revolution Project, a voice from across the room caught his attention.
Kyle Knudsen, known by his stage name Denim Blue, was performing his original song Hot Mess for a group off to the side.
Though the project for aspiring musicians focused on playing in groups, the pair hadn't performed together or spoke to each other until two weeks into the program....
TAMPA — As the smell of coffee wafted through the crowded cafe, men and women, some casual in jeans and T-shirts, others in jackets and ties, chatted about their passions, accomplishments and future plans for the Hillsborough community.
Small business owners, retired engineers, app launchers, mentors and inventors had all gathered at a local coffee shop to exchange ideas with fellow entrepreneurs....
For four months, the Martucci family sat in the intensive care unit, praying 6-year-old Lawrence would win his fight against leukemia.
Even though Dr. Cameron Tebbi stayed in the ICU for 17 weeks helping Lawrence battle, the child did not survive.
Now, 20 years later, his sister, Luana Martucci, honors him with the Lawrence A. Martucci Benefit Corp.
"I decided to join the Children's Cancer Research Group through the 1Voice Foundation to give them all the benefits from any fundraiser we do, because Dr. Tebbi, who is director of the lab for the Children's Research Group, also treated my brother for two years," Martucci said. "I don't think he saw his family that (17 weeks)."...
When revelers at the 100th Gasparilla Pirate Fest enjoy Captain Morgan Spiced Rum — and mock the pirate whose foot is propped on a barrel — they can thank Sarasota-based artist Don Maitz.
Maitz created the imagery and idea behind the popular logo. A painting based on the first illustration that launched the Captain Morgan campaign will be on display at the Tampa Bay History Center's exhibit, The Art of Piracy: Pirates in Modern Culture....
Now in its 15th year, the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival has featured everything from fashion shows and a gala, to a 5K health walk and leadership luncheons.
This year they have partnered with the Florida Holocaust Museum to bring something new to the 10-day cultural event.
While national artists Ledisi and Atlantic Starr and local groups such as the Black Honkeys perform during the two-day Black Heritage Music Festival at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Saturday and Sunday, the Holocaust Museum will document civil rights testimonies. ...
The Youth America Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet competition, began as a way for dancers of all skill levels to connect.
Sixteen years later, it has expanded to 14 American cities and five countries. Today, more than 7,000 young dancers — ages 9 to 19, of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds — audition annually.
It will return to Tampa at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Friday night for the competition followed by Saturday's Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow gala, which features professional dancers and the weekend's winners....
11/18/14 Human Interest
On Christmas morning, when Caroline Kole was 8 years old, she unwrapped a present from her parents. Her first guitar.
When Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis were enrolled in a guitar program at Belmont University, their professor paired them at random.
When Amber Carrington's mother died and she felt her confidence drifting away, her best friend signed her up for The Voice. When Daniel B. Marshall first wanted to play the drums, his mom bought him a snare drum. ...
NEW TAMPA — Residents will learn next week what county staff believes is the best fit for a proposed park on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
The staff will present its recommendations to county commissioners for the New Tampa Community Park at the Nov. 13 board meeting, choosing between two proposals that were vetted at town hall meetings.
Located on the west side of Bruce B. Downs across from the entrance to Hunter's Green, the county-owned property was purchased in 2004 for the Bruce B. Downs road widening project. In 2007, a 13.4 acre unused portion of the property was designated as the New Tampa Community Park at an allocated cost of $3.1 million....