03/02/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — At least three times in the past year, Mayor Rick Kriseman had to deal with flare-ups over the city's co-sponsored events process.
First, he found out about a hold-over pledge to give money to the Blue Ocean Film Festival, which made its debut last fall.
Then, St. Pete Pride organizers questioned why they received no financial support from the city while others like the Suncoasters get money each year without question. ...
These days when I'm going shopping I operate under a loose set of rules, partly for my wallet and partly for my poor closet. They include things like:
- Never paying more than $10 for sunglasses (y'all know I'm constantly breaking pairs)
- Walking away from things I "like" and only nabbing those I "love"
- Giving myself a cooling off period, especially if the cart gets to be too full (if I come back and it's still there, fate!)
Forcing myself to try new things and patterns, even if they don't end up going home with me. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — A group of retired and active firefighters have sued the maker and distributor of their city-issued helmets, saying design flaws have led to injury.
The five firefighters say the helmets they were given a few years ago, the 1044 Cairns model manufactured by Pennsylvania-based Mine Safety Appliance Co. and distributed by Bradenton-based Ten-8 Fire Equipment Inc., were designed poorly and caused neck and head injuries....
02/18/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — For the past four years, the city has put all its social action funding grant money — nearly $450,000 annually — toward reducing homelessness.
Late last year, some started to wonder whether it was time for a change.
Despite encouraging signs of an economic rebound and years of hard work, city officials and some council members say they'd prefer to stick with the current focus....
02/13/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — One thing is clear: Elected officials in this city are far more interested in accommodating the rising popularity of ride-sharing companies than regulators in neighboring Hillsborough County.
At a workshop that lasted for more than three hours Friday morning, City Council members pledged to revamp the city's existing vehicle-for-hire ordinance in hopes of making room for entities such as Uber and Lyft — which first came to town last summer. ...
For decades, new parents have worried about something beyond their control: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Shortened to "SIDS," the term pops up regularly in society's lexicon. It goes on pamphlets. Nurses warn mothers about it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a section about it on its website and calls it the top cause of death for infants less than 1 year old.
Yet over the past decade some medical examiners in Florida and across the nation have stopped using the term, contributing to a plummeting number of SIDS death reports. They're down 86 percent in Florida compared to two decades ago....
Look, we all know Deal Divas is the most fun blog you read all day, right? But sometimes, even we have to bring you bad news.
Like this: Piperlime, that aspirational online, expertly curated online off-shoot of the Gap company, is "closing" its doors.
Go grab your tissues. I'll wait.
According to news reports, Gap is axing Piperlime, the baby of its brands, to focus on the parts of its portfolio that brings in the big bucks (Old Navy, Banana Republic, etc)....
ST. PETERSBURG | Three people got the nod from a City Council committee charged with confirming the mayor's appointments to the St. Petersburg Housing Authority.
Members of the city's housing committee had nothing but praise for Jamie Bennett, Stewart O. Olson and Jacqueline Williams Hubbard. The full council will vote on the nominations at a later meeting.
Bennett, a former council member, was first appointed by the administration a year ago. Olson and Hubbard, both attorneys, will be new to the board, which recently became embroiled in controversy after it voted to sell the building that houses the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum in Midtown....
01/29/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — A City Council member's idea to create special "sip-and-stroll" districts around town appears to be dead — for now.
Council member Jim Kennedy proposed late last year the creation of special "wet zones" in popular neighborhoods where drinkers could buy an artist-designed cup and take it from establishment to establishment.
Kennedy envisioned money from the program being used to fund the arts. But at a council committee hearing Thursday, a city attorney warned that some envisioned locations, such as downtown or near Grand Central, likely wouldn't be allowed under state law because special entertainment districts like these must be directly adjacent to a body of water. And council colleagues said they worried taking such action would mess with the city's already vibrant vibe. ...
ST. PETERSBURG | A St. Petersburg Housing Authority commissioner has lost her chance to serve once again on the board following a controversial vote last week.
Mayor Rick Kriseman has officially rescinded his nomination to reappoint Ann Taylor to the board. A city council committee was supposed to take up her confirmation Thursday.
"I spoke with her (Monday), but ultimately it was my decision," Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday night....
01/27/15 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — Jason Mells says he thinks two things when he sees a car with tinted windows following him.
1. It could be robbers up to no good. 2. It could be police.
More often than not, Mells said, it's the latter. The 29-year-old said he's been pulled over by police 22 times in the past year in St. Petersburg — yet only issued traffic citations twice.
Encounters like these, Mells said, are one of the reasons young black males like him and many others in the community have such a fractured relationship with law enforcement. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Friends and family of Earnest Williams all knew this to be true: If you got him talking, you might have a hard time getting him to stop.
The longtime businessman and former City Council member was passionate about a few things: family, education and youth issues.
"Don't even get him into politics," said Pinellas County Urban League president Watson Haynes. "You knew if you were going to visit Earnest, you had to plan to spend the time."...
I knew when I put this outfit together, it had a lot of potential. Potential to be good. Potential to look ridiculous.
Carrying on my tradition of "Wearing slacks to the office that are neither brown nor black or gray or navy." I woke up this morning and decided what my Monday needed was PURPLE.
Of course, I just happened to have a pair of plum-colored pants in my closet. What to put on top though? Well, black sweater works well enough....
ST. PETERSBURG | Will there be any political fallout from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority's decision this week to sell the building that houses the city's only African American museum?
At least one board member may find out next week.
Ann Taylor has served on the housing board since 2011 and was one of four members who voted on Thursday to sell the property at 2240 Ninth Ave, S, which has housed the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum for the past several years....
01/23/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG | Mayor Rick Kriseman's views on gun control are well known.
But it's his wife who has taken the unusual action to try to drum up awareness about a proposal to allow guns on college campuses in the Sunshine State.
Kerry Kriseman is circulating a Moveon.org petition against the measure, approved this week by a state subcommittee.
"You know that I don't often send e-mails requesting recipients to sign, forward, register for anything. I also don't get involved in politics and prefer to keep my views private," she wrote in an email. "However, this is an issue that I would be extremely uncomfortable with should this bill to allow guns on college campuses pass both the House and the Senate. It already passed a House subcommittee today. This is not about what I think or believe about guns or rights of gun owners. This is about safety, first and foremost, especially considering I have a daughter headed to college next year. Please educate yourself and consider signing the petition."...