05/22/15 Human Interest
The Tampa Riverwalk is beautiful. It's scenic. It's easy to forget you're in bustling downtown Tampa.
"Locals and visitors alike love having that ability to get out on the river and see our city in a whole new way," said Ali Glisson, public affairs director for the city of Tampa.
Connecting the Tampa Bay History Center and Channelside to Ulele and Water Works Park, the Riverwalk serves as a local and national tourist destination. Restaurants, bars, businesses, museums and artwork dot the 2.4-mile stretch and the main walk serves as a backdrop for events like the recent Riverfest....
05/14/15 Human Interest
The Junior League of Tampa will partner with WEDU to host the inaugural Luminaries Award luncheon Friday, but the recognition of the three award winners will extend far past the event.
The accomplishments and community impact of Columbia Restaurant Group president Richard Gonzmart, Sister Claire LeBoeuf and former Gov. Bob Martinez will be preserved in the electronic world with WEDU producing digital biographies of each winner....
When the eighth annual National Train Day chugs into town Saturday, the historic Tampa Union Station will transform into more than a traveler's waiting room.
The event will not only focus on the magic of trains, it will highlight the 103-year-old historic landmark, the importance of rail in Tampa and mark the 17th anniversary of the station's renovation.
"It's (Tampa Union Station) been there for over 100 years and harkens back to the days when train travel was the main mode of transportation," said Jackson McQuigg, one of the original founders of Friends of Tampa Union Station. "It was a derelict building in the '80s. Amtrak actually moved out and into an aluminium trailer behind the building for 14 years. The station came so close to getting demolished, but through a grass roots effort, it was restored." ...
Thomas Mothershed grew up in Tampa watching his minister father sing for the congregation. The city is full of fond family memories for him.
But he didn't know that years later, he'd be on his own stage in Tampa with the cast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast playing the role of a another famous father — Belle's bumbling but loving patriarch, Maurice.
"Maurice is a single father, trying to make the world a better place for Belle while teaching her not to conform and to love, and be herself," said Mothershed 45. "I am on stage with the girl who's playing Belle, and we have what we call 'heart moments.' It feels like I have an extended daughter."...
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....