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Lisa Gartner, Times Staff Writer

Lisa Gartner

Lisa Gartner is a writer on the enterprise team at the Tampa Bay Times.

In 2016, she and Times reporters Cara Fitzpatrick and Michael LaForgia won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for "Failure Factories," a series chronicling how a local school system turned five one-decent neighborhood schools into the worst in the state for black children. The series also won the Polk Award for Education Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal, among other honors.

Gartner joined the Times in 2013. She grew up in Wellington, Fla., and attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. After graduating in 2010, she joined The Washington Examiner to report on education in the D.C. metro area. At the Times, Gartner covered Pinellas County Schools and higher education before joining the enterprise team in 2016.

She lives in St. Petersburg, and is always looking for a good story to tell.

Phone: (727) 893-8707


Twitter: @LisaGartner

  1. Fearing Zika, local businesses join the call for genetically-modified mosquitoes


    The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce is telling residents to lobby the federal government for the release of genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Zika in Pinellas County.

    "We cannot afford to have visitors cancel their vacation plans due to the Zika Virus and urge you to provide Pinellas County authorization to combat the Zika Virus immediately," reads a script the chamber is asking locals to read aloud on the phone or paste into an email to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell....

  2. My Outfit Monday: Glasses, life, et al.


    Gather round, young folk, and huddle near the fire, for it's time that I spin a tale for you about ancient times: the mid to late 1990s.

    It smells like Teen Spirit, and it sounds like the dial-up tones of connecting to America Online. All your friends are there, but younger, and wearing rhinestone denim and pilling plaid. Rilo Kiley has yet to drop "The Frug." Bill Clinton is having sexual relations with that woman....

    When I was growing up, characters with glasses were villainous, nerdy or both. Thanks, Saved By The Bell!
  3. Local leaders request permission to use genetically modified mosquitoes in Pinellas County


    Elected leaders from the Tampa Bay area are calling on the federal government to allow them to use genetically modified mosquitoes to fight the spread of Zika in Pinellas County.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved the technology for a trial in Key West, saying it has no significant impact on the environment.

    But while the trial has been held up by Key West residents who mistrust genetic modification more than they fear the Zika virus, local leaders say that would not have an impact on their pursuit of this technology....

    This photo made available by Oxitec shows a genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquito in their U.K. lab. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the mosquitoes for a trial in Key West, saying it would have no significant impact on the environment. Modified male mosquitoes mate with the natural population of female mosquitoes and pass on a "death gene" that kills their offspring. Oxitec has used its technology to reduce the Aedes aegypti mosquito population by 90 to 99 percent in parts of Latin America. Key West residents, skeptical of the science, have held up the trial. Without an emergency use order, the technology cannot be used in any other city until that trial is completed. [Oxitec via AP]
  4. Federal government approves trial to fight Zika in Key West, but residents can still hold it up


    The federal government on Friday approved a field trial that would release millions of genetically-modified mosquitoes in Key West to eradicate the mosquito that carries Zika.

    But British company Oxitec, which has already used its technology to reduce the Aedes aegypti population by 90 to 99 percent in parts of Latin America, is still held up by residents of a Key West suburb who are skeptical of the science....

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in the lab of Matthew DeGennaro, a researcher at Florida International University in Miami. The lab specializes in studying the genetic basis of how mosquitoes detect humans with olfactory receptors. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Mutant mosquitoes could fight Zika in Florida, but misinformation spreads

    Human Interest

    KEY WEST — There are many scary stories that start with a dark and stormy night, but this isn't one of them. It is the third day of summer in this island city, with its feral chickens and lemon-hued houses and women woohoo-ing by on rented motorcycles. Every bicycle has a basket, every mailbox is a manatee.

    "You can't be in a hurry if you're in Key West," the emcee of an outdoor restaurant tells passing tourists. "You're not doing it right if you're in a hurry."...

    Key Haven, a suburb of Key West, has been identified as the best site for the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes to help control the Zika virus' spread. But many residents oppose the release. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  6. Linen: It might save us all yet


    You know how, when it's blizzarding around the rest of the country, and people are hoarding groceries and hashtagging the "snowpocalypse," you and I are posting pictures of palm trees and beaches and captioning it "Florida winter"?

    I can't help but feel that summer is the North's revenge.

    But I was reminded yesterday of one way to get through this already interminable Florida heat when, after interviewing a source for an hour in a poorly air-conditioned coffee shop, all of my clothes were sweat-pasted to me except for one article: my linen t-shirt....

    The shirt I braved yesterday's heat in. I think I got it on the sale rack of a Boston Gap for less than $6, but you can claim it online for a deal almost as good.
  7. Memorial Day Weekend sale alert: Cerulean Blu


    Officially, summer starts on June 21.

    Unofficially, it started when all the skin started peeling off my arms, c. two weeks ago. Sunscreen is important, and you need more of it than you think! Who knew? Everyone. Everyone knew.

    So, anyway. It's hot out. Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and I'm sure I don't have to tell you about all the sales going on around town.

    Here's one you don't want to miss, though: Cerulean Blu (400 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg) is having a 50 percent off select swimwear sale Friday through Monday....

    I wonder what kind of sunscreen she uses.
  8. My Outfit Monday: You may have noticed it is Tuesday


    Webster's Dictionary defines "the worst" as beginning any blog post, wedding toast or varietal speech with a reference to a Webster's Dictionary definition. But lately, I also fit this "worst" category.

    When did I post last? Kind of a long time ago. Why am I posting a My Outfit Monday on a Tuesday? Did you know you could see Mars with the naked eye the other night?

    Long story short, it's been a crazy few months, but I'm going to be posting regularly again. So without further ado: What I wore yesterday, the Monday in question....

    Well, here we are.


    You know the old adage that, before you leave the house, you should remove one accessory? Well, throw out grandma's ring AND toss those bracelets in the gutter, because you're about to arm yourself with America's favorite accessory: free Kahwa coffee.

    Once again, this is not a drill.

    In honor of Kahwa's 10th anniversary, the beloved local coffee purveyor is holding a "10 Days of Kahwa" celebration with new deals and surprises announced every day....

    All these treasures can be yours.
  10. Parents attended forum on struggling St. Pete schools


    Pinellas school officials held a community forum at Lakewood High School last night, where they shared details of a proposed plan to transform the five struggling schools in south St. Petersburg.

    Notably, Antonio Burt, director of school leadership, said teachers could make up to $25,000 more next year under a plan to extend the school day, increase merit pay and add professional development days....

  11. Guess what? I don't have to stab myself in the eye with a mascara wand anymore


    I have bad vision like the pope has religion.

    When I don't have contacts or glasses in, I can't tell that the people around me are human. I have mistaken a laptop bag for my dog. If my glasses fall off my nightstand, it can take several minutes before I find them on the floor. Sometimes my laptop bag/dog finds them first.

    So on days when I want to wear my glasses but also put on makeup, everything is a nightmare, because I can't see my face as I am applying makeup....

    I still might, but it will be on me.
  12. In which Lauren B's Bachelor finale dress looked all too familiar


    I have given up apologizing for watching The Bachelor, you hear me? Too many of my smartest, classiest female friends watch it and enjoy it for me to feel the need to defend it as good television. Also, have you ever even seen it, Becky? WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE. #thehillshaveeyes

    Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I want to tell you about a bout of déjà vu I had when watching the finale on Monday. Ben Higgins, the bachelor in question, popped the question to his season-long frontrunner, flight attendant Lauren Bushnell....

    Just some classy grownups in the photo booth at Eve's wedding. Who wore it best: A beautiful woman getting engaged, or this shipwreck? Spy Divas Katie and Stephanie here with me.
  13. BOG moves to send foster kids to graduate school for free


    Under Florida law, foster children who are admitted to a public state college or university are entitled to free tuition. But a Board of Governors has limited those students to a 120 credit-hour undergraduate degree, frustrating those foster students who take longer to graduate, or who want to pursue graduate-level courses.

    The Tampa Bay Times reported in January that the Board of Governors had quietly told state universities to ignore its rule after lawyers on behalf of two students filed a petition against the Board. Legislation seeking to nullify the regulation was dropped after the Board committed to examine it....

  14. My Outfit Monday: Keeping cozy on a dreary day


    When you're sick, the weather's bad, or you're just still bummed about Amy Poehler's marriage not working out, there's nothing like comfort food: mac and cheese, soup, chocolate cake, etc.

    Getting dressed this morning, I realized I have "comfort clothes." That even when it's pretty warm out, if it's raining and gross and Monday, all I want to do is burrow into soft pants and a big sweater....

    Misred necklace is worn on the reg.
  15. Outlet mall shopping? Get the best deals


    Have you noticed how familiar the emails from our favorite shops are getting?

    Last week, Anthropologie popped up in my inbox with the subject line "Current mood: this dress."

    The week before, Modcloth emailed me, "We've thought about this a lot, and the thing is..." I opened the email. The "thing" was that it was Valentine's Day, and Modcloth wanted to tell me they loved me.

    Current mood: OK, I get it, you've recognized that I'm a millennial. Sure, I'll have another freshly-baked browser cookie!...

    Shoppers flocked to Tampa Premium Outlets when it opened last year in Wesley Chapel.