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Arielle Waldman, Times Staff Writer

Arielle Waldman

Arielle Waldman traded in the chilly New England winters for the Tampa sunshine in 2007, when she moved to attend the University of Tampa. Now, she is an editorial assistant covering the Things To Do section and a staff writer reporting on human interest stories.

Phone: (813) 226-3321



  1. New Besito Mexican restaurant comes to WestShore Plaza


    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. ...

    WestShore Plaza’s newest restaurant addition, Besito Mexican, intends to offers an authentic Mexican dining experience.
  2. Ferg's Live brings restaurant, sports bar, entertainment to Channelside; second Tampa Culver's opens


    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....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is part of a joint venture across from Amalie Arena called Ferg’s Live, a restaurant and sports bar that will also have live entertainment.
  3. Clearwater Threshers promotions include Rufus the pelican bobblehead, Star Wars night


    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."...

    Phinley bobbleheads will be handed out April 17 to commemorate his 2014 MiLB Mascot Mania Championship.
  4. Tampa's young Denim Blue & Miclain Keith blossom into promising duo

    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....

    Denim Blue and Miclain Keith met in a University of South Florida classroom during the Grammy Music Revolution Project.
  5. Homebrew Hillsborough cooks up networking for techies


    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....

    People who work in the technology community meet during the most recent Homebrew Hillsborough in Tampa.
  6. Cancer cure fundraiser inspires with magic


    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)."...

    Lawrence Martucci passed away at age 6. His sister honors him through the Lawrence A. Martucci Benefit Corp.
  7. History Center exhibit 'Art of Piracy' mixes facts and fiction


    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....

    Tampa Bay History Center collections manager Malerie Dorman and curator Rodney Kite-Powell look at the back of the original 1982 painting of Captain Morgan by Don Maitz.
  8. Holocaust Museum seeks civil rights testimonies at Black Heritage Festival


    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. ...

    Nick Colionne performs with saxophonist Orlando Sanchez during the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Music Festival at Curtis Hixon Park last year. Artists at this year’s event include Atlantic Starr and the Black Honkeys.
  9. Youth America Grand Prix of ballet returns to Tampa


    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....

    Jordan Martinez, 14, practices under the eye of Next Generation Ballet artistic director Peter Stark at the Patel on Monday.
  10. Play It Forward event supports aspiring musicians

    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. ...

    Singer Caroline Kole signs autographs for Clair Mel Elementary students. Kole will perform at Instruments of Change’s concert.
  11. County to choose proposal for New Tampa community park


    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....

  12. Box Theater's improv group readies for Tampa festival

    Human Interest

    A lawyer, a psychiatrist and a professional wrestler walk into the Box Theater.

    No, this isn't the beginning of a corny joke, but the students and members of the theater's improv community.

    Once located at the Underground Theatre, the troupe played to standing-room only crowds in the 50-seat theater.

    Now with a move to the Box Theater on Second Avenue in Ybor City, the theater's resident improv team, Dear Aunt Gertrude, celebrates its seventh anniversary....

    Box Theater houses the short-form team known as Alpaca Suitcase, which is celebrating its first anniversary.
  13. Years after tragic boating accident, ex-USF football player Nick Schuyler achieves dream of opening gym

    Human Interest

    LUTZ — Nick Schuyler stands on a fenced patio, admiring the work he has put into opening his first gym.

    It's a rest day from his usual CrossFit workout, and Schuyler pauses with his hands in a prayer pose while Yoga With Lori unfolds around him.

    The momentary serenity around Schuyler was hard-earned.

    In March 2009, he set off on a fishing trip with three friends: Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free agent NFL defensive end Corey Smith and Will Bleakley, a football teammate of Schuyler's at the University of South Florida. Their boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico after Cooper tried to free a stuck anchor. The men were set adrift, and only Schuyler survived....

    In between training his clients and operating his new workout facility, Nick Schuyler, 29, squeezes in time for some conditioning.
  14. Broadway star Kissy Simmons returns to Straz after getting start at center

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Kissy Simmons excelled as Nala for nine years in stage productions of The Lion King, but the role came to her while the nation endured one of its greatest tragedies.

    Simmons, who returns to the David A. Straz Performing Arts Center in her own cabaret show Saturday, got her start there as she made the transition from University of South Florida high jumper to singing star....

Kissy Simmons, performs Nov. 1 in a cabaret show at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
  15. 'America's Got Talent' to hold auditions in Tampa


    America's Got Talent, but do you? The NBC reality series will hold auditions Nov. 2 at the Tampa Convention Center for Season 10. Competition is open to all ages and talents from opera singers to banjo players, tap dancers, fire breathers, knife jugglers and magicians. In the season finale last month, magician Mat Franco beat singer Emily West for the championship. Franco won a $1 million prize and will headline the America's Got Talent show in Las Vegas. Hopefuls in Tampa should a have a 90-second set prepared to perform in front of the series' producers in hopes of making it to the main stage. Register at for online and open call auditions. Open calls will be held at the convention center, 333 S Franklin St. (813) 748-1291. — Arielle Waldman, Times staff writer...

    TP_346419_JONE_TALENT_04 (OCTAVIO JONES | Times 11/12/2011, Tampa) America's Got Talent judge Nick Cannon(cq),center, belts out "Tampa Bay got talent" while surrounded by contestants during the taping of NBC's "America's Got Talent" promotional trailers. America's Got Talent contestants audition at the Tampa Bay Convention Center in hopes to win $1,000,000 during the competition on Saturday, November 12, 2011. [OCTAVIO JONES, Times]