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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


Twitter: @Danielson_Times

  1. Tampa's Bob Buckhorn poised to win re-election unopposed


    TAMPA — Barring a last-minute surprise, watch for Mayor Bob Buckhorn to walk into a second four-year term unopposed.

    To get on the ballot, any challenger either would have to gather the signatures of 3,472 registered city voters by Jan. 2 — a monumental task, given the deadline — or pay a $9,000 qualifying fee by noon Jan. 16.

    If no one does, Buckhorn will be re-elected automatically. That appears more likely now that former Occupy Tampa activist Becky Rubright has given up trying to make the March 3 ballot....

  2. Hulk Hogan's beach bar concerts violate its zoning, Tampa official says

    Local Government

    TAMPA — In a promotional video shown to the City Council on Thursday, pro wrestler Hulk Hogan said of his namesake nightclub, "Outside, it's party time all the time at Hogan's Beach!"

    Not for us, said homeowners from Dana Shores and managers from a nearby hotel and several apartment complexes along the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

    "People cannot sleep in their own homes," said Pamela Adkins, one of about a dozen Dana Shores residents who took their complaints to the council....

    “It’s party time all the time” at his club, Hulk Hogan says.
  3. April Griffin endorses Guido Maniscalco for Tampa City Council District 6


    Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin has endorsed West Tampa businessman Guido Maniscalco in the race for Tampa City Council District 6.

    “Guido has the necessary skills and knowledge to help move Tampa forward,” Griffin said in a written statement released Tuesday by Maniscalco’s campaign. “He will serve the city well with his professionalism and knowledge of city issues."...

  4. Fight over proposed Harbour Island apartment tower goes on

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — A group of Harbour Island condominium residents has lost a round in their battle against a planned 21-story apartment tower next door, but the fight isn't over.

    After taking evidence from both sides, a hearing officer has concluded that city officials followed proper procedures when reviewing plans for the Manor of Harbour Island, a 340-apartment tower proposed at 402 Knights Run....

  5. Hulk Hogan's beach club draws city scrutiny

    Local Government

    TAMPA — For a third year, there's a big New Year's Eve party with DJs, bands and fireworks planned at Hogan's Beach, the waterfront nightclub owned by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.

    But this year, neighbors and Tampa City Council members are saying, not so fast.

    This week, the City Council asked for a report on whether the Hogan's Beach party scene complies with the property's zoning and city land-use rules....

    DJ duo the Chainsmokers take a selfie with fans after their performance at Hogan’s Beach in Tampa in September.
  6. Opponent-less Bob Buckhorn now up to nearly $292,000 in fundraising


    A week after his only declared opponent dropped out the race, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has reported raising nearly $109,000 in November, bringing his total so far for his re-election campaign to $291,725, according to monthly campaign finance reports due Wednesday....

  7. Julie Jenkins files to run for Tampa City Council District 2


    Julie Jenkins on Monday filed papers to run for the citywide Tampa City Council seat that will come open in April when Mary Mulhern leaves because of term limits.

    "The city's been good to me, and the people have been good to me," said Jenkins, a Bel Mar Shores resident and the director of development at St. Peter Claver Catholic School. "I've always given back in many ways ...  I’ve got a lot energy. I’ve got ideas. I’m a get-things-done type of person."...

    Julie Ann Jenkins.
  8. Bob Henriquez endorses Guido Maniscalco in Tampa City Council District 6


    Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez on Monday endorsed West Tampa businesman Guido Maniscalco in the race for Tampa City Council District 6, which represents parts of West and South Tampa.

    “Guido has lived, worked and played in this district his entire life," Henriquez said in a prepared statement released by Maniscalco's campaign. "He not only cares about the issues we face, he understands them.”...

  9. Options for a Rays stadium in Tampa

    Local Government

    TAMPA — After years of haggling with St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Rays might soon get their chance to explore stadium sites in Tampa.

    Major League Baseball prefers urban locations near office towers, restaurants, condos and parking garages — at least 10 acres in vibrant, walkable areas.

    Unfortunately for the Rays, sites fitting that description are becoming hard to find in Tampa....

    After years of stagnating attendance at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is negotiating an agreement with the Tampa Bay Rays that could allow the team to search for new stadium sites in Hillsborough County.
  10. Tampa to pay $41,500 to settle claim over cellphone video arrest (w/video)

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Taxpayers will pay $41,500 to settle a claim for damages from a Tampa woman arrested as she made a cellphone video of her husband's DUI arrest.

    The City Council this week approved the settlement to Leeanna Presson, 40.

    Presson was arrested on Feb. 2, 2013, in front of her Interbay-area home. In a claim sent to City Hall, her attorney, Michael Maddux of Tampa, outlined this sequence of events:...

  11. Tampa to make Cass and Tyler into two-way streets


    TAMPA — The City Council on Thursday approved an $8.7 million project to turn E Cass and E Tyler streets from one-way thoroughfares into more pedestrian-friendly two-way streets.

    Cass and Tyler are the latest — and among the last — one-way pairs in downtown Tampa to be converted to two-way traffic.

    The one-way pairs were originally created to move lots of traffic into and out of the central business district quickly. Over time, the city has been converting them to two-way streets....

  12. Saying 'We're done,' Becky Rubright ends campaign for mayor of Tampa


    Acknowledging that “campaigns don’t run on good intentions,” Becky Rubright says she has decided to drop out of Tampa’s race for mayor.

    “Unfortunately, we’re done,” Rubright said Monday. She announced the decision in a Facebook post over the weekend. (UPDATE: On Wednesday, Rubright made it official, formally withdrawing from the race, according to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections web site.)...

  13. Becky Rubright says, 'We're done,' ends campaign for mayor of Tampa


    TAMPA — Acknowledging that "campaigns don't run on good intentions," Becky Rubright says she has decided to drop out of Tampa's race for mayor.

    "Unfortunately, we're done," Rubright said Monday. She announced the decision in a Facebook post over the weekend.

    Rubright, 41, a Seminole Heights acupuncturist who was active in Occupy Tampa, had intended to gather signatures rather than pay a qualifying fee to get on the March 3 ballot....

  14. PolitiFact Florida's Buck-O-Meter: Buckhorn kept most campaign promises


    TAMPA — Leave it to Bob Buckhorn to campaign for mayor on a platform of laser-focused promises. And leave it to him to improvise on the follow-through after being elected.

    "I took a different path," Buckhorn said recently of a pledge he made, but he has delivered, by many measures, a lot more of something else.

    Overall, Buckhorn kept most of his campaign promises, according to the Buck-O-Meter, a project of PolitiFact Florida, the political accountability team at the Tampa Bay Times....

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks about the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. The park sits across the river from downtown Tampa and it is getting a makeover. It's design dates to the 1970s, but the 23 acres is under-used. People inside and outside City Hall say its hilly terrain hides the river. The plan is to spend $8 million on the makeover. [AIMEE  ALEXANDER  |  Times]
  15. With welders needed, grant to Tampa college aims to fill a skills gap

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — In hindsight, Todd Singleton says he left the Air Force at the worst time.

    It was late 2008. The economy had crashed. Jobs were scarce. Little from his 20 years in uniform — not his work in information technology, combat communications and intelligence support, not his deployments to Bosnia, Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq — helped him find a civilian career.

    After trying a couple of jobs, Singleton, 44, of Riverview ended up in a new training program for welders at Hillsborough Community College. His son Sean, 20, joined him. They started in April and are scheduled to finish next April....

    Sean, left, 20, and Todd Singleton, 44, are a father-and-son duo learning to weld in a program at Hillsborough Community College. They started in April and are scheduled to finish next April.