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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 local government in Pinellas and Pasco counties, state and federal courts and higher education. 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: rdanielson@tampabay.com

Twitter: @Danielson_Times

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  1. In bid for $40 million federal grant, St. Pete looks to gondolas, Tampa to smart technology

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg is going for the unconventional and fanciful: gondolas.

    Tampa chose a more earthbound approach: infusing projects with gadgetry.

    Both cities are among 70 applicants vying for the $40 million "Smart City Challenge" federal grant that emphasizes alternative and innovative transportation.

    Close on the heels of Clearwater's flirtation with a mode of transportation commonly associated with amusement parks or the Alps, St. Petersburg's application dubs its sky-crawling proposal Aerial Cable Propelled Transit....

  2. Tampa to offer free tire disposal in response to Zika virus concerns

    Blog

    With concern on the rise over the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the city of Tampa is offering residents chances to get rid of old tires where mosquitoes can breed in stagnant water, officials said Thursday.

    From Saturday through Feb. 20, residents will be able to drop off up to eight tires, without rims, at the city's McKay Bay garbage plant at 114 S 34th St., for free as long as they show a city utility bill and matching ID. Businesses will still have to pay normal disposal fees....

    Old tires can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. So, you know, get rid of them.
  3. Work starts on 23-story tower on Tampa's N Franklin Street

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The $90 million apartment tower going up a couple of blocks north of the Tampa Theatre should go a considerable way toward fulfilling a promise Mayor Bob Buckhorn has made many times before and made again Thursday.

    "Five years from now, you will not recognize this place," Buckhorn said at an event marking the start of construction on Nine15, a 23-story project being built by Carter, a national development company based in Atlanta....

    The Nine15 apartment tower on N Franklin Street in Tampa is set to open in fall 2017.
  4. Yacht StarShip to launch pirate-themed water taxis along Tampa riverfront

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Imagine dinner at Ulele, then a water taxi ride to a concert or hockey game at Amalie Arena.

    Troy Manthey already has, so he's launching three such water taxis later this month.

    Manthey, 49, owns Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises and announced this week he's expanding his fleet with three pirate-themed (think Gasparilla) water taxis that will go into service on Feb. 27.

    "We always knew Tampa would support something like this as the waterfront evolved," said Manthey, who moved Yacht Starship to Tampa from Biloxi, Miss., in 2001....

    Troy Manthey, who owns Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises and the soon-to-launch Pirate Water Taxi, is a fifth-generation Mississippi River pilot who grew up in the family business.
  5. Rays meet with Tampa, Hillsborough officials on stadium site search

    Politics

    TAMPA — The meeting Friday in downtown Tampa was the political version of baseball's pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training — the first activity in what promises to be an effort spanning many months.

    "I'm just as excited on the way out of it as I was on the way in,'' Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld said after outlining the team's plans for its stadium search to a dozen officials and business executives from Tampa and Hillsborough County....

    Hillsborough County commissioner Ken Hagan speaks to the media prior to a meeting between Hillsborough County elected officials, government staff members, local business executives and Tampa Bay Rays management in a conference room at the Rays' company store in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The meeting was scheduled to discuss the possibility of the baseball team relocating from St. Petersburg to Tampa.
  6. WANTED: New home for American League baseball team

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball's version of House Hunters premiered Thursday when the Tampa Bay Rays released a one-page wish list for what the club wants in a new stadium.

    Forget Camden Yards and all those retro, old-timey ballparks.

    That's soooo 1990s. Yuck.

    The Rays instead want a "next-generation" stadium for the "evolving fan." The new digs have to be "authentic" and "fan forward" and "smart" and "sustainable" and "flexible." ...

  7. Tampa City Council okays long-demanded fix to historic Cuscaden Park pool

    Local Government

    TAMPA — After years of requests from neighbors, the City Council on Thursday agreed to spend $3.1 million to fix the historic pool at Cuscaden Park.

    But the approval came with a warning from council Chairman Frank Reddick, a leading voice for the project.

    Don't repeat the mistakes made when the city spent $2.5 million trying to fix the pool in 2005, he said.

    By 2009, the pool was leaking again, and it's been closed ever since....

    Council Chairman Frank Reddick warned the city must not repeat 2005’s mistakes on the repair.
  8. Cost to fix Tampa's historic Cuscaden Park pool at $3.1 million

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Reopening Tampa's historic Cuscaden Park pool, closed for most of the last two decades, will cost $3.1 million.

    That's $1.3 million more than what City Hall had in this year's budget for the project.

    There are several reasons for that, city contract administration director Michael Chucran said Monday.

    First, the budget used what city officials describe as a "placeholder" of $1.8 million — a $1.5 million estimate from a couple of years ago, plus a $350,000 state historic preservation grant....

    Tampa’s City Council is scheduled Thursday to consider a $3.1 million price tag to repair and reopen the Cuscaden Park pool.
  9. Bob Buckhorn to campaign for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

    Blog

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is heading to New Hampshire this weekend to campaign for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Buckhorn has a record of supporting Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, going back to 1991.

    That’s when Buckhorn’s boss, then-Mayor Sandy Freedman, became one of Clinton’s early supporters in Florida, giving his campaign an important boost at a key moment. Like Clinton, Buckhorn is aligned with the party’s centrist Democratic Leadership Council. In 1996, Buckhorn chaired President Clinton’s re-election campaign in Hillsborough County....

  10. Bob Buckhorn to help campaign for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire ahead of primary

    Elections

    TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is heading to New Hampshire this weekend to volunteer on the campaign for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    "I will do whatever they ask me to do," he said Monday, including making calls and knocking on doors. "She is the right candidate at the right time for our country."

    Buckhorn, who is paying for the trip out of his own pocket, has supported Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, going back to 1991....

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is scheduled to campaign for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire ahead of next week's primary.
  11. For Buckhorn, supporting Obama trade deal could offer personal risk, city reward

    Politics

    TAMPA — When it comes to picking battles, Mayor Bob Buckhorn appears more focused on achieving his goals as mayor than on running for governor in 2018.

    As evidence, consider how much time, effort and political capital Buckhorn is spending to help President Barack Obama win congressional approval for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

    Labor unions hate the agreement, also known as TPP. It's also opposed by many Democrats in Congress, as well as by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders....

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn speaks at a U.S. Conference of Mayors news conference regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in Atlanta in October. Behind him are, left to right, Columbia, S.C. Mayor Steve Benjamin, Little Rock, Ark., Mayor Mark Stodola and, at far right, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. The men in the short-sleeved shirts are with the mattress manufacturer that hosted the event. Photo courtesy of Bob Buckhorn
  12. Citigroup looking at major Hillsborough expansion, including maybe at Vinik-Cascade site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — It looks like Citigroup, which already has 5,500 employees in Hillsborough County, is looking for a possible corporate campus of up to 1 million square feet, and the 40 downtown acres of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates' Cascade Investment fund may be in the running.

    The New York banking giant is well into discussions with more than one local developer. The possibilities include creating a larger campus at a new location or keeping Citigroup's existing operation at Sabal Park near Interstate 75 and finding additional space elsewhere....

  13. Citigroup looking at major Hillsborough expansion, including maybe at Vinik-Cascade site

    Blog

    It looks like Citigroup, which already has 5,500 employees in Hillsborough County, is looking for a possible corporate campus of up to 1 million square feet, and that the 40 downtown acres by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates' Cascade Investment fund is in the running.

    The New York-based banking giant is well into discussions with more than one local developer. The possibilities include creating a larger campus at a new location or keeping Citigroup's existing operation at Sabal Park near Interstate 75 and finding additional space elsewhere. A decision is expected in the next couple of weeks. All the finalists are in Hillsborough County....

  14. St. Petersburg and Tampa sketch out different approaches to keep Tampa Bay Rays

    Local Government

    Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have permission to broaden their search for stadium sites, Tampa and St. Petersburg are looking at two different approaches to keeping the team in the bay area.

    In St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman met with the president of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday to sketch out the broad strokes of a campaign to entice the Rays to stay in their city....

    Rick Kriseman is teaming up with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce to create "Baseball Forever," a still-nebulous plan to keep the Rays in the city.
  15. Open-carry law would endanger police, tourism and business, Hillsborough officials say

    Legislature

    TAMPA — Allowing gun owners with concealed-weapons permits to carry their sidearms openly would endanger police and bystanders, scare tourists and undermine Florida's business climate, local officials said Monday.

    "A bad idea," Tampa police Chief Eric Ward said of House Bill 163 and Senate Bill 300, now pending in the Legislature.

    Ward said open carry would create confusion for officers who would go into chaotic scenes and would have to make split-second, life-and-death decisions about which openly armed person is a good guy and which isn't....

    State Attorney Mark Ober speaks to reporters during a press conference with the League of Women Voters' committee on gun safety at Tampa Police Headquarters on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, opposing the open-carry bill pending in the Florida Legislature.