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Katherine Snow Smith, Times Staff Writer

Katherine Snow Smith

Katherine Snow Smith has been at the Times either fulltime or parttime since 1995. She started as a business reporter then spent a decade writing the Rookie Mom column with stories from her own family and advice from other average moms and the experts. She now covers business in south Pinellas County. Katherine has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and is married to Times political editor Adam Smith. They have three children, two dogs and still feel like rookie parents much of the time.

Phone: (727) 893-8785

Email: kssmith@tampabay.com

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  1. You don't have to be a maphead to consider geography fashionable

    Blog

    One of my most commented on pieces of jewelry is a pendant of my home state, North Carolina. The gold outline shows the craggy coastline, the razor straight northern border, the southern stateline jutting into South Carolina and the uneven Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.

    Actually, a lot of people think it's Tennessee or Virginia, after all we Americans have been dubbed as geographically illiterate by numerous "map heads" in recent years. But more than half recognize the shape of North Carolina and either tell me how much they like my necklace or my home state. Nobody, however, has yet to comment on my cleavage....

    Bracelet with Florida pendant from Bamboozle at Pass-a-Grille. $25.
  2. Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg hopes for June opening at former Tramor Cafeteria

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — If the new owners' vision of the historic Tramor Cafeteria comes true, 500 people will be up on their benches swigging beer made in Munich and singing Sweet Caroline by June. (The Neil Diamond hit is a staple in German beer gardens.)

    Joe Matuschka and his son, Mike, are spending around $3 million to turn the 1920s Mediterranean revival-style cafeteria into Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg. The German beer hall will have a bar almost the length of the building, communal tables and benches. All were custom-made in Austria. The bar will boast five serving stations, each with five beers on tap. And many of the hall's 75 employees will don traditional dirndls and lederhosen....

    Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg owners Joe Matuschka and son Mike, both of Chicago, stand in the former Tramor on Jan. 29. The German beer hall, now undergoing renovation, is expected to open in June.
  3. How to look like Uptown Funk muse Michelle Pfeiffer for free

    Blog

    In Uptown Funk Michelle Pfeiffer is a "straight masterpiece." In Riptide, she's the pinnacle other women are held up to to as the "closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen."

    A 56-year-old woman is the steamy siren in Bilboard's No. 1 and No. 33 pop songs.

    Google photos of Pfeiffer and it's actually not that surprising. Whether it's the shot of her at last year's Coachella music fest in a loose black tank top, army green capris and black ankle boots or in plunging necklines and perfectly quaffed bangs in 1983's Scarface, Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful....

    Michelle Pfeiffer and her trademark wavy tresses.
  4. Edwards adds the mansion next door to his portfolio

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — Add another square to the Bill Edwards Monopoly board. The mortgage man, entertainment executive, St. Petersburg developer and Tampa Bay Rowdies owner has bought the mansion next door.

    Edwards paid $2.9 million for the 6,117-square-foot house at the end of Brightwaters Boulevard on Snell Isle that sits beside the residence he bought in 2011. He paid $9 million for that 12,412-square-foot house....

    Bill Edwards bought the Snell Isle mansion next to the one 
he already owns for 
$2.9 million.
  5. Crowd gathers as Trader Joe's opens its doors in St. Petersburg

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Forty-five minutes into its first day, the newest Trader Joe's still wasn't quite like just another grocery store.

    About 150 shoppers milled around the aisles in a cheery daze and checkout lines reached five people deep an hour after Mayor Rick Kriseman cut a red flowered lei at 8 a.m.

    Sandra Prandy arrived at 5:30 a.m. By 6, she was joined by a couple more devotees of the store, known for its organic produce, unique foods and low prices. The new location, the 14th for Trader Joe's in Florida, is at 2742 Fourth St. N....

    Dianne Donahue cracks a celebratory smile and gets some high fives as she enters the new Trader Joe’s at 2742 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg. It’s the 14th location in Florida.
  6. How to strike a better pose in group photos

    Blog

    I'll never be a able to take a selfie in the style of Kim Kardashian and frankly don’t even want to. But I have to to get a handle on how to pose for a group photo.

    (See exhibits A and B):

    I’m no great gift to the lens of a camera but I promise you I do look better than this in person. I hesitate to choose this topic as my first post for the Deal Divas for fear of sounding vain. But when you willingly call yourself a “diva”, even with the word “deal” in front of it, I guess you have to be the slightest bit vain....

    Exhibit B. New and seasoned Deal Divas.
  7. Trader Joe's expected to bring heavy traffic along with two-buck Chuck, cookie butter Friday

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Finally. Devotees of Trader Joe's can delight in the grocery chain's long-anticipated Fourth Street store. And the rest of the population — those who don't speak in code words like "two-buck Chuck," "cookie butter" and "Joe's Os" — will find out what all the hoopla is about.

    The store at 2742 Fourth St. N opens at 8 a.m. today, 16 months after Trader Joe's officials first announced it was coming....

    The new Trader Joe’s, at 2742 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg, opens at 8 a.m. today. Police will help direct the masses.
  8. Westminster Presbyterian's preschool may close

    Prek

    ST. PETERSBURG —The future of Westminster Presbyterian Church and its long-revered preschool are tenuous.

    The director of the 54-year-old Westminster Day School has sent a letter to parents saying the school is expected to close at the end of the current session. Though the school is "thriving," the viability of the church itself is uncertain because of declining membership, Cindy Weber wrote. The church's minister sent a similar letter to parishioners....

    Westminster Presbyterian’s preschool, on the west side of the property on 11th Avenue, may close at the end of the school year.
  9. Sundial goes up for sale, but only briefly

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — A Toronto-based real estate services firm briefly offered the Sundial shopping center for sale this week before Sundial owner Bill Edwards said it was a mistake and had the listing removed.

    The newly reopened center is not for sale, Edwards said in a statement after the Tampa Bay Times asked him about a mass email that went out to brokers Monday stating the opposite. ...

    Bill Edwards owns the Sundial shopping and entertainment complex in downtown St. Petersburg. A Toronto-based real estate services firm, Avison Young, briefly offered the Sundial shopping center for sale this week — Edwards said it was a mistake and had the listing removed.
  10. Investors, artists, businesses merge as St. Petersburg's Warehouse Arts District gains momentum

    Economic Development

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not just artists who see the potential of the Warehouse Arts District. A Polish vodka distillery, a high-tech company, a custom furnituremaker and a real estate investor who spent $1.7 million buying up property last year see it too.

    Phil Farley, the investor, says Kozuba Vodka will make its first move into the United States later this year when it opens its distillery in a leased 20,000-square-foot building at 1960 Fifth Ave. S. Farley bought the property and five others over the past 12 months....

    “It’s an art project and also a community development project and an economic driver for the community at large,” Warehouse District Association president Mark Aeling said of the area.
  11. Trouble in beach bar paradise: Pinellas and the Getaway feud with I.C. Sharks

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG

    From a distance, the waterfront bars and restaurant scene at I.C. Sharks and the Getaway off Gandy Boulevard look like a Shangri-la of boats, beer, seafood and sand. But the owner of the Getaway and Pinellas County are both in litigation against popular beach bar, seafood market and bait shop I.C. Sharks because it has long ignored code violations and is encroaching on its neighbor's property....

    EASEMENT BLOCKED: The Getaway’s owners also say I.C. Sharks is blocking an easement that gives right-of-way to the Getaway with these picnic tables.
  12. Tampa Bay Times' downtown building is for sale

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Times Publishing Co., parent of the Tampa Bay Times, is placing its flagship office at 490 First Ave. S on the market for sale.

    The eight-story, 250,000-square-foot facility consists of three buildings built in 1924, 1968 and 1988 that are joined together.

    Potential buyers have already approached the company with interest in the building, according to Paul Tash, Times Publishing chairman and CEO....

    The eight-story, 250,000-square-foot facility on First Avenue S consists of three buildings that have been joined together.
  13. Many say two-hour parking puts a limit on downtown St. Petersburg fun

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown is hopping and shoppers and diners want more than two hours of parking to take it all in. Even with a smartphone app that allows patrons to add time on metered spaces, many say the fear of a ticket in short-term parking is cramping their ability to explore St. Petersburg's steadily growing downtown.

    As downtown has become more active, the citywide number of parking tickets for expired meters or overtime limits on other street parking went up 31 percent from 2010 to 2014. The city issued 57,993 parking tickets last year, most of them in downtown. ...

    St. Petersburg parking meter technician Jerry Myers checks a two-hour-limit meter along Beach Drive NE on Tuesday. Some business owners say limits are needed to allow for more customers.
  14. Fore Seasons Indoor Golf offers chance to work on game with simulator

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Hidden among the office buildings and warehouses between Gandy and Roosevelt boulevards is a golfer playland with wide-open vistas and world-class layouts.

    It's just that most of it is simulated, but the golfers don't seem to mind.

    Fore Seasons Indoor Golf, opened last spring, allows golfers to stay cool and dry when it's 98 degrees or raining outside. They can get digital readings of every component of their game and can pick one of 70 courses from around the world to "play" using a simulation system — from Pebble Beach to Pinehurst to St. Andrews....

    Golfer Art Wright of St. Petersburg drives balls at Fore Seasons Indoor Golf after getting a membership ($99 a month) to Fore Seasons for Christmas. “I like the idea of being able to just come here and hit a few balls and relax, watch a little TV,” he said.
  15. Some Moscow Mule drinkers have sticky fingers

    Public Safety

    The Moscow Mule, a mix of ginger beer, lime juice and vodka, hit the Tampa Bay scene about two years ago in a shiny copper mug not long after it was named one of Oprah's favorite things. But as the cocktail has become more popular so have the mugs, worth about $20 each. Now a growing number of proprietors are forced to serve the concoction, which ranges from about $8 to $12, in glasses or ask customers for collateral in exchange for the drink....

    The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug, but restaurants like Z-Grille have seen the mugs disappear.