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Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer

Richard Danielson

Richard Danielson covers city government and politics in Tampa. He grew up in Clearwater and joined the Times in 1987. This is his second tour at City Hall (the first was from 1992 to '97). His other reporting assignments at the Times have included covering higher education and local government, politics and courts in Pinellas and Pasco counties. He also has worked as the Times' Palm Harbor bureau chief and Clearwater city editor. In his current assignment, he is the main contributor to PolitiFact Florida's Buck-O-Meter, which tracks Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's performance on 34 campaign promises.

Phone: (813) 226-3403

Email: danielson@tampabay.com

Twitter: @Danielson_Times

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  1. Dick Greco's move reflects a shift in attitudes

    Human Interest

    If nothing else, former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco's bombshell decision to move to St. Petersburg strikes a blow for a growing subset of bay area residents: Those who embrace a life lived on both sides of Tampa Bay.

    We're not just talking cross-bay commuters, 71,000 of whom crowd the bridges each day.

    Harder to count but increasingly easy to find are those with friends and calendars that take them to all points of the bay area's compass....

    Increasingly, commuters are being joined by those whose lives take them to many places for work, worship and play.
  2. Once unruly, the scene at Hulk Hogan's beach club calms down

    Local Government

    TAMPA — It has been a quiet spring at Hogan's Beach, the Courtney Campbell Causeway restaurant and bar owned by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

    And that's a welcome change for nearby businesses and Dana Shores homeowners who last year complained about thundering concerts and hordes of bar patrons who parked illegally, tailgated noisily, littered indiscriminately and urinated freely on neighboring properties....

    Luis Santana  |   Times  (2014)  Legendary wrestler and sports icon Terry Bollea aka Hulk Hogan poses for a patriotic portrait at his restaurant and bar Hogan's Beach in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Tampa City Council, chamber want future U.S.-Cuba diplomatic accord signed here

    Local Government

    TAMPA — The City Council on Thursday volunteered Tampa to be the place where history is made.

    The idea is that sooner or later, Cuba and the United States will sign a treaty or other document normalizing diplomatic relations after more than half a century of Cold War hostility.

    The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce thinks that document should be signed here. Supporters would love to see the yet-to-negotiated agreement called "the Tampa Accord" or "the Tampa Treaty" — or in any case, something with "Tampa" in the name....

    “Tampa has a history with Cuba like no other, and the world doesn’t know it. They think it’s Miami. … Miami doesn’t want it. Fine. We’ll take it.”
Yvonne Yolie Capin, 
Tampa City Council member
  4. Mac n' Cheese Throwdown, Bloody Mary fest: Tampa's RiverFest aims to build on success of Riverwalk

    Events

    TAMPA — The city aims to activate the entire 1.8-mile length of the Riverwalk with a new event — RiverFest, scheduled for the weekend of May 2 and 3, and anchored by the second annual Mayor's Mac n' Cheese Throwdown.

    Six city parks along the Riverwalk will offer music, food vendors, kids activities, things to do with pets and other entertainment during the free event, organized in conjunction with the nonprofit Friends of the Riverwalk....

    Michael Silver, 35, gets a hand with a spoonful of mac and cheese from Dianne Triplett during the Mac N Cheese Throwdown in Curtis Hixon Park in 2014. The contest, hosted by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Friends of the Riverwalk, highlighted more than 25 local eateries. 
  5. Reports of unequal treatment for women prompt changes at Tampa Fire Rescue

    Fire

    TAMPA — Prompted by reports of a lack of privacy, outdated facilities, and harassment and verbal abuse directed against female firefighters, Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Tuesday announced changes "to accommodate all" at Tampa Fire Rescue.

    The initiatives include both construction at the firehouses and additional diversity training for firefighters.

    "The nature of the fire service across the country is changing, the demographics of fire service is changing, and Tampa Fire Rescue needed to make some changes," Buckhorn said in an interview at City Hall....

    Privacy curtains will be installed in Tampa firehouses with open dorms, fire personnel will receive more diversity training and the command staff will get lessons on nondiscrimination policies.
  6. PAC linked to GOP campaign firms funded attack ads in Tampa council race

    Elections

    TAMPA — A Tallahassee-based political action committee with ties to Republican campaign firms is now listed as the major donor to Moving Tampa Forward, the mysterious group whose attack ads stirred up last month's City Council runoff between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo.

    The Committee for Responsible Representation gave $16,500 of Moving Tampa Forward's $23,500 in contributions, according to a report filed late Friday with the Florida Division of Elections. The other $7,000 came from a law firm run by former Fort Myers Mayor Wilbur C. Smith III....

    A flier sent before the runoff tried to link Guido Maniscalco to taxes owed by a jewelry store owned by his grandmother.
  7. PAC with ties to GOP campaign firms paid for anti-Maniscalco, pro-Toledo ads

    Blog

    A Tallahassee-based political action committee with ties to Republican campaign firms is now listed as the major donor to Moving Tampa Forward, the mysterious political committee whose third-party attack ads stirred up last month’s Tampa City Council runoff between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo.

    The Committee for Responsible Representation contributed $16,500 of the $23,500 that Moving Tampa Forward has said it received, according to a report filed late Friday with the Florida Division of Elections. The other $7,000 came from a law firm run by former Fort Myers Mayor Wilbur C. Smith III....

    Gainesville political consultant Stafford Jones chairs the Committee for Responsible Representation, which gave Moving Tampa Forward $16,500.
  8. PAC tied to GOP campaign firms paid for anti-Maniscalco, pro-Toledo campaign ads

    Blog

    A Tallahassee-based political action committee with ties to Republican campaign firms is now listed as the major donor to Moving Tampa Forward, the mysterious political committee whose third-party attack ads stirred up last month’s Tampa City Council runoff between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo.

    The Committee for Responsible Representation contributed $16,500 of the $23,500 that Moving Tampa Forward has said it received, according to a report filed late Friday with the Florida Division of Elections. The other $7,000 came from a law firm run by former Fort Myers Mayor Wilbur C. Smith III....

  9. Tampa City Council seeks chief's response to female firefighters' complaints

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Acting at the behest of City Council member Lisa Montelione, the council voted unanimously to demand answers from Fire Rescue Chief Tom Forward on the department's response to complaints of unequal treatment of female firefighters.

    "I kick myself for not doing something earlier," Montelione said Friday, after the council voted Thursday night. "These problems have been around for a very long time, and some of them don't take much to correct," but not correcting them "shows a total lack of caring for the basic needs of your employees."...

    Lisa Montelione wants to hear about several issues.
  10. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn helps defend Obama immigration actions in court

    National

    TAMPA — Tampa and 73 other local governments nationwide are going to court to support President Barack Obama's executive action to delay deportations of some immigrants.

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Monday that City Hall would sign on to a new friend-of-the-court brief in the case of Texas vs. United States, now pending before the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans....

  11. Major utility project closes North Boulevard near downtown Tampa

    Local Government

    TAMPA — North Boulevard from W Cypress Street to W Cass Street is expected to be closed to traffic until December while work crews install a new 36-inch water pipeline and new drainage improvements.

    Both projects are part of Tampa's downtown utility capital improvements program, which recently launched three projects that will affect the northern end of downtown and several areas west of the Hillsborough River and north of the University of Tampa....

  12. With Riverwalk open, Tampa welcomes a day decades in the making

    Growth

    TAMPA

    From the day in 1976 that then-Mayor Bill Poe sold the first wooden plank, the challenge of building Tampa's Riverwalk has been marked by big ambition and a high degree of difficulty.

    Poe, who died last year at age 82, didn't live to see the vision become reality, but five other mayors did.

    "This is a day that we have waited for, for decades," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Friday at the opening of the Riverwalk's newest and most high-profile section. Joining him were former Mayors Pam Iorio, Dick Greco, Sandy Freedman and Bob Martinez....

    Lisa Montelione, from left, Sandy Freedman, Pam Iorio, Bob Martinez, Peter Rogoff, Kathy Castor, Bob Buckhorn and Dick Greco cut the ribbon Friday to open the new Riverwalk section.
  13. 40 years in the making, new section of Tampa’s Riverwalk set to open

    Blog

    UPDATE: Because of expected rain, city officials have cancelled the free showing of Dolphin Tale at 8 p.m. The ribbon-cutting will take place at 5 p.m., and if it's raining then, the ceremony will be under the overhang at the Tampa Museum of Art. Other scheduled activities will go on as planned starting at 6 p.m.

     

     

    Tampa’s newest section of the Riverwalk doesn’t officially open until 5 p.m. today, but who could blame René Girven for going by early for a sneak peek?...

    The newest section of Tampa’s Riverwalk, going north under the Kennedy Boulevard bridge and ending at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, officially opens today at 5 p.m. Its whale-ribbed frames hold up large fabric awnings to shade passing walkers.
  14. Tampa City Council says goodbye to Mary Mulhern

    Local

    TAMPA — The Tampa City Council said goodbye Thursday to two-term member Mary Mulhern, known for her liberal politics, independent streak and readiness to speak her mind.

    Since winning a seat against a veteran council member who raised more than four times as much money, Mulhern, 56, has championed the arts and environment, opposed the purchase of downtown surveillance cameras and questioned what she described as the militarization of police ahead of the Republican National Convention. She also opposed bans on panhandling that did not address the underlying problems of poverty and homelessness....

    “It’s not an easy job, but it’s been an incredible learning experience for me.” 
Mary Mulhern, 
on her two terms on Tampa City Council
  15. After eight years of speaking out, Mary Mulhern doesn't stop at her last Tampa City Council meeting

    Blog

    The Tampa City Council said good-bye Thursday to two-term member Mary Mulhern, known for her liberal politics, independent streak and readiness to speak her mind.

    Since winning a seat against a veteran council member who raised more than four times as much money, Mulhern, 56, has championed the arts and environment, opposed the purchase of downtown surveillance cameras and questioned what she described as the militarization of police ahead of the Republican National Convention. She also opposed bans on panhandling that did not address the underlying problems of poverty and homelessness....

    Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor (left) applauds as City Council member Mary Mulhern prepares to speak to her colleagues during her last regular council meeting on Thursday.