Hello Divarettes and Divarinos (you guys don't mind if I call you that, do you? The holidays do strange things to me. I make up twice as many words.)
Has this feature been great or what? Seriously, I hope you guys have enjoyed this week's blog posts as much as me. I've had a blast seeing what tops my fellow divas' lists.
My turn! Here are my favorite things, in no particular order....
11/30/13 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — Police Chief Chuck Harmon has never had a need for a passport. He has only gotten as far as Canada. He always keeps his cell phone on, in case the office calls.
Early next year, that will change. The city's top cop — the longest-serving police chief in modern city history — will officially retire and turn in his badge Jan. 6. His last day in the office is Dec. 18. He's ready for a new routine....
11/26/13 Local Government
Winston Fiore and his girlfriend, Rachel Auer, haven't mowed their lawn in months.
That's a job for Shelby and Gabby.
Shelby, a miniature Shetland sheep, and Gabby, a Nigerian dwarf goat, love munching on grass. Their owners love not having to use a machine to manicure their lot. The neighbors — especially the neighborhood kids — are equally enamored of the miniature breeds....
11/25/13 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — The city is probably years away from building a new police station.
There is no official plan yet for the project, and sometime next year, city staff will present the council with three options.
Yet Monday, after two hours of public discussion, city leaders decided to throw an additional $3.1 million toward the project.
It was a compromise of sorts.
The city administration originally went before the council with a recommendation to transfer $4.77 million in Penny for Pinellas funds to the public safety fund for the police station. ...
So picture this. Me, pre-coffee and blurry-eyed, scrolling through emails one morning, when I see the words vintage (!) purses (!) sale (!) in a message from Groupon.
All red flags for this diva. So of course, I clicked. And then promptly frowned.
Groupon has got F_A-N-C-Y, guys. I'm talking Hermes, Prada, fancy leather men's shoes- fancy. And I really don't know how I feel about all of it....
Yea yea, I know there's a cold front. But Florida, I've got you beat. For the next few days, I'm hanging out in Michigan, where it's ACTUALLY, um, freezing.
(A woman on the plane yesterday tried to placate me by saying, “Oh don't worry honey. I hear it's supposed to warm up to the 40s by the weekend.” Yeahhhhhh.)
So if you, like me, are searching for cold-weather duds, check out, (where else?) Target, which I found out is having a sale on things like that....
11/09/13 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Five days ago, Rick Kriseman won what was one of the most partisan mayoral races in city history.
But when he takes the reins in 53 days, he plans to check labels at the door.
The morning after his decisive victory, Kriseman sat in front of a gaggle of reporters and introduced the people who will co-chair his transition team: One is a Democrat, the other a Republican. He talked of consensus and unity and called Mayor Bill Foster his friend....
11/08/13 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — Some community leaders say an internal investigation completed this week confirms their suspicions that some police officers operate with a cowboy mentality in the city's southern neighborhoods and don't respect residents.
The internal affairs inquiry, sparked several months ago by a resident who said she witnessed police chasing a car through Childs Park without lights or sirens, resulted in suspensions for three officers. A fourth resigned....
I remember the first time I realized, as a little girl, that my mom had a whole set of what I thought of as "special clothes."
These were things that she wore to church on Sunday, that sometimes hung in plastic, and that for some reason, she never took with us when we trekked to the laundromat.
"Dry-clean only," she would say.
What was mystifying then to a 9-year-old is still a little mystifying now (washing clothes without water? the mind reels). But there is one thing that hasn't changed. Often, the clothes you have to dry clean are really, really nice....
ST. PETERSBURG — Fifteen hours after stopping Mayor Bill Foster's re-election bid, Rick Kriseman walked into City Hall for the first time with his new title: mayor-elect.
The former City Council member and state lawmaker unveiled his transition plan amid a room full of nervous, high-ranking staffers at City Hall.
He announced the beginnings of a transition team that will frame the groundwork for his first 100 days in office. Big issues await, such as the search for a new police chief, the future of the Pier and the stalled negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays....
11/02/13 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks ago, the city put out a call for a new police chief.
The response has been swift.
So far, city records show, 40 people have applied for the post, which has been advertised in national and international trade magazines and websites that cater to law enforcement. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15.
"So far I consider it normal," said Gary Cornwell, the city's director of human resources. "Usually there's a flurry at the beginning and a flurry at the end."...
11/01/13 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — For 15 years, organizers of the Bungalow Fest in Historic Kenwood have stuck to a simple strategy when picking featured properties.
Usually, homes on the annual tour are existing ones that have been renovated. This year's event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, strays from that.
Two months ago, organizers asked Mitch Harrison if he would be willing to let hundreds of people trek through his home this weekend. The tan, Craftsman-style bungalow at 2635 Fourth Ave. N was completed just weeks ago....
11/01/13 Public Safety
ST. PETE BEACH — Two local companies face more than $80,000 in fines because of an unusual and rare fatal elevator accident at the Tradewinds Island Resort this year.
Federal investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration say both the hotel and SWS Environmental should be penalized for serious safety violations in the April 24 incident that involved Mark Allen Johnson, who was crushed to death when an elevator fell on him....
10/31/13 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — No one has ever disputed that Lelann Cooley goaded officers into fatally shooting him on an early Saturday morning in September.
Cooley, authorities said, had sunk into depression and was suicidal. In the days before his death, he told his family he intended to make police do it by forcing them into a standoff.
On Sept. 7, after neighbors complained about noise, officers found the 46-year-old on his porch, a handgun at his side. He refused to follow their commands, and went inside his home at 3311 40th St. N and grabbed a rifle, which he then pointed at the officers. They shot and killed him. ...
Seen on a city sidewalk this morning: a pint-sized scuba diver, a pirate princess and a pumpkin.
Happy Halloween, y'all.
As we say goodbye to October 2013, our friends in retail remind us once again that sometimes the best way to celebrate a holiday is to .... go shopping?? Whatever, lets go with it. Because, whatever.
Check out just-for-today deals below. No tricks here. These sales are a treat. (Like my jokes.)...