08/22/14 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — The St. Petersburg Free Clinic, highly regarded for its decades of work with the poor, is being accused of racism at its shelter for homeless women.
Several African-American women have accused the director of the clinic's 20-bed Women's Residence of giving preferential treatment to white women. They say black residents are forced to leave before they can support themselves, and white residents aren't held to the same standards. Black residents are forced to get jobs, they said, while white residents can simply pursue more education....
08/20/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Under threatening skies, more than two dozen Roser Park residents walked and talked and talked some more about the controversial trail planned for their historic neighborhood.
There were opinions aplenty. But as residents trekked along the proposed path with views of homes perched atop surprising bluffs and wending its way amid oaks, a sense of accord seemed to be building....
08/10/14 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — It is not yet a complete metamorphosis, but the signs are there.
A new fence. Sod. Clusters of gold, red and crimson coleus. New magnolia trees. Fresh paint.
The 368-unit apartment complex even has a new name, St. Charles Row, its sixth name since it was built in 1972.
Until recently, it was known as Mariners Pointe, and like previous incarnations, burdened with a reputation for crime....
08/08/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman has appointed an eclectic group to help pare the bunch of hopefuls the city expects to vie to design a new pier or renovate the closed inverted pyramid.
Kriseman's selection committee, which includes preservationists, an expert on sea level rise, a couple of architects and a vice president of the Tampa Bay Rays, is set to play a powerful role in the mayor's plan for a Pier by 2017. ...
08/07/14 Human Interest
A 2-mile African-American Heritage Trail to honor and recount the history and memories of the city's black residents will officially open Saturday.
The 5 p.m. ceremony will take place at 22nd Street and Ninth Avenue S, a key intersection of the 2-mile route. There, one of 20 historic markers will be presented during the event that is expected to include former Mayor Bill Foster, who is credited with initiating the project two years ago....
ST. PETERSBURG — Catholic Bishop Robert Lynch appealed to his flock to help shelter the child migrants pouring across the Mexican border from Central America on his blog Wednesday.
A day later, almost four dozen families had responded.
Lynch also directed his Catholic Charities office to work with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' migration and refugee services to determine how many children the diocese might be able to temporarily resettle....
08/01/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — The inverted pyramid Pier is structurally sound and could be renovated to last another 75 years, according to a city-commissioned engineering study released Friday
The report was good news for those who have fought to save the controversial building, especially Frank Carter "Bud" Karins, a licensed structural engineer who pushed for the study and wrote the protocol for conducting it. Karins said an evaluation of the building's condition was imperative before the city asks design teams to submit concepts for a new or renovated pier. ...
07/29/14 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG – A call has gone out for extras to gawk and cheer as the newly designed quarters of St. Petersburg's oldest transplant – an authentic mummy -- is unveiled today at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
Those making their way to the museum at 335 Second Ave. NE by 4:30 p.m. could find themselves playing a peripheral role in the new television show Museum Men, planned for the cable network H2. It's about people who build museum displays and tells the stories connected to the artifacts....
07/24/14 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — This week marks a somber anniversary for Leah Martin and her family.
Two years ago, her 17-year-old daughter, Morgan Keyanna Martin, vanished in front of their home.
It was after midnight that July 25, but Morgan wanted to share exciting news with the father of the baby growing inside her. Cellphone in hand and wearing pajamas and bedroom slippers, she stepped outside her family's home at 2808 17th Ave. S, eager to tell her baby's father that it was a girl....
07/22/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — The group appointed to determine what residents want as the city reboots its effort to redevelop the Pier completed its assignment Tuesday.
A final report will suggest a list of amenities hundreds of people who participated in five recent public-input sessions and an online survey consider essential. It also will include elements that have been part of the long-running process to build anew or refurbish the shuttered inverted pyramid....
07/16/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — In a poll last fall, close to 40 percent of residents said they would be willing to support a tax increase if additional money was needed to get everything they want in a new Pier.
Now, as Mayor Rick Kriseman's Pier working group is set to prepare a report telling would-be design teams what people's hopes are for a new or renovated attraction, it appears that the $46 million budget might be inadequate to grant all of their wishes....
The title hints at unabashed admiration.
Joseph Telushkin's new biography, Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History, fascinates nonetheless.
Perhaps it's because amid accounts of a man of great kindness, wisdom and piety, who worked behind the scenes on behalf of persecuted Soviet Jews and who is said to have inspired the expansion of the food stamp program to feed the hungry in this country, there are details about seeming contradictions, sorrow, a family's human frailties and messianic claims....
07/09/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Invited to specify amenities they'd like at a new or renovated Pier, more than 2,000 residents have offered ideas running the gamut from a comedy club to a microbrewery to a basketball court.
But while some clamored for shade and air conditioning, top favorites were open-air casual dining, observation areas, accommodations for cycling, jogging, walking and fishing, and trams or trolleys....
07/03/14 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County Property Appraiser Pam Dubov says her office will correct its records to show that the city, not a mysterious land trust, owns a large swath of Smacks Bayou.
Dubov announced her intention in a letter to Traveler's Affiliated Land Trust, which acquired the submerged land by quit-claim deed three years ago, and the city, which said it has owned the property since the 1960s....
Early this year, Episcopal Bishop Dabney Smith stood before a crowd of about 175 people who wanted him to authorize same-sex union blessings.
The meeting, in the parish hall of St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown St. Petersburg, was of particular significance.
It took place at the "mother church" of Smith's diocese, which stretches from Brooksville to Marco Island and includes Tampa, St. Petersburg and Plant City. St. Peter's also is home to an energized group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members with strong support from congregational leaders and parishioners....