Clear60° FULL FORECASTClear60° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

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

link
  1. 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....

    Tampa’s leaders past and present were part of the festivities, including former Mayors Pam Iorio, Bob Martinez, Sandy Freedman, behind Iorio and Martinez, current Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and former Mayor Dick Greco, right. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. In Tampa's nonpartisan council race, party politics mattered

    Elections

    TAMPA — When City Council member-elect Guido Maniscalco said on election night that he had secured his 151-vote victory thanks to voters who went to the poll that day, he was right. And it looks like party politics drove this nonpartisan race.

    Maniscalo's opponent, Jackie Toledo, had a clear advantage in the mail-in vote, 55 to 45 percent. And while Maniscalco won the early vote — 61 to 39 percent — early votes made up less than one-tenth of all ballots cast....

    Guido Maniscalco, left, embraces his mother, Marietta Maniscalco, while celebrating his lead Tuesday over his opponent, Jackie Toledo, at the Oliva Tobacco Co. 
  6. Election notebook: In Maniscalco’s win, party politics mattered — a lot

    Blog

    When Tampa City Council member-elect Guido Maniscalco said his campaign won its 151-vote victory on election day, he was right, and that's because party politics drove this (officially) non-partisan race.

    Here’s how voting broke down:

    • Absentees: Jackie Toledo won the mail-in vote 55 to 45 percent (2,555 votes to 2,088)....

    Guido Maniscalco embraces his mother, Marietta Maniscalco, as election returns turn in his favor Tuesday night.
  7. Guido Maniscalco narrowly defeats Jackie Toledo in Tampa City Council runoff

    Elections

    TAMPA — Outspent nearly 3-to-1, West Tampa jeweler Guido Maniscalco on Tuesday squeaked out a 151-vote victory over civil engineer Jackie Toledo in one of Tampa's most sharply contested City Council races in memory.

    With all votes counted, unofficial results showed Maniscalco with a lead of a little more than 2 percent, 3,731 to 3,580. Turnout was about 14 percent.

    After trailing Toledo by 17 points in the March 3 municipal election, Maniscalco won big in Seminole Heights, Wellswood, West Tampa, Riverside Heights and his home neighborhood of MacFarlane Park....

    Returns point to a slim victory for Guido Maniscalco.
  8. Turnout nears 12 percent in City Council runoff that shows how Tampa politics have changed

    Elections

    TAMPA — Polls are open in one of Tampa's most bitterly contested City Council races in memory.

    At stake is a $42,078-per-year job representing council District 6, a quarter of the city running from the posh neighborhoods around the West Shore business district north through working-class West Tampa to trendy Seminole Heights.

    Still, supporters for South Tampa civil engineer Jackie Toledo, 38, and West Tampa jeweler Guido Maniscalco, 30, have held little back in the three weeks since the March 3 election that eliminated Tommy Castellano, a West Tampa air conditioning company owner....

  9. Voters in West Tampa, South Tampa, Seminole Heights to decide council runoff

    Elections

    TAMPA — Voters in West Tampa, Seminole Heights and parts of South Tampa go to the polls Tuesday to settle the hard-fought City Council District 6 runoff between Jackie Toledo and Guido Maniscalco.

    Turnout typically drops for runoffs, but absentee ballots and early voting so far are "on pace with where we were" for the March 3 municipal election, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Gerri Kramer said Monday....

  10. 100 days in, Tampa's Coast bike program attracts more than 3,250 riders

    Florida

    TAMPA — At its 100-day mark, Tampa's Coast Bike Share program has attracted 3,258 members who have pedaled more than 23,750 miles — not quite a trip around the world.

    The membership breakdown so far: 203 founding and annual members, 36 monthly memberships and 2,969 one-day riders. The rest are corporate or business plans.

    Annual members average about 2 miles per trip, while one-time riders average 3.16 miles per ride....

    The new Coast Bike Share is doing as well as expected, officials say.
  11. 100 days in, Tampa's Coast bike program attracts more than 3,250 riders

    Blog

    At its 100-day mark, Tampa’s Coast Bike Share program has attracted 3,258 members who have pedaled more than 23,750 miles — not quite as far as a trip around the world.

    The membership breakdown so far: 203 founding and annual members, 36 monthly memberships and 2,969 one-day riders. (The rest are corporate or business plans.)

    Annual members average about 2 miles per trip, while one-time riders average 3.16 miles per ride....

    Coast Bike Share has more one-day users who take longer trips, probably for sight-seeing, organizers say, and fewer regular riders who use the blue rental bikes to commute or run errands.
  12. Going into election day, turnout in Tampa City Council District 6 tops 9 percent

    Blog

    With one day of voting left — election day on Tuesday — turnout in the runoff for Tampa City Council District 6 has the potential to match turnout during March 3 municipal election, which would be unusual.

    By the end of early voting on Sunday, more than 9 percent of District 6’s registered voters had cast ballots in the race between civil engineer Jackie Toledo and jeweler Guido Maniscalco. By comparison, about 15.6 percent of District 6’s voters cast ballots in the March 3 election that eliminated a third candidate, Tommy Castellano....

  13. Tampa City Council District 6 candidates would bring different experiences, styles to the job

    Blog

    Not since that guy threw a chair at Joe Redner has Tampa politics seen a local race as ugly or personal as the one between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo.

    Only this time, the attacks leading up to Tuesday’s runoff in Tampa City Council District 6 are not flying in from 10 feet away.

    Instead, they’re being lobbed via the U.S. mail, mostly from behind the cover of an all-but-anonymous political action committee....

  14. In Tampa, politics goes better with bacon

    General

    TAMPA — First, Tampa staked a claim to the Cuban sandwich.

    Now City Hall has planted the flag on pork itself, officially declaring the Tampa Bay area to be "the gateway for bacon in North America."

    And that's not just Tampa talking.

    No less an authority than the National Pork Board has traced the story of pork in America to 1539, when conquistador Hernando de Soto landed in the Tampa Bay area with 13 pigs. By the time of his death in 1542, the herd was 700 strong, not including runaways that turned feral....

    Credit conquistador Hernando de Soto with bringing 13 pigs to the Tampa Bay area when he landed in 1539.
  15. Candidates in Tampa council runoff have different styles

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Not since a guy threw a chair at Joe Redner has Tampa politics seen a local race as ugly or personal as the one between Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo.

    Only this time, the attacks leading up to Tuesday's runoff in Tampa City Council District 6 are not flying in from 10 feet away.

    Instead, they're being lobbed via the U.S. mail, mostly from behind the cover of an all-but-anonymous political action committee....