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Lowry Park

The new North Tampa Library opens today, ahead of schedule.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. marks the opening of the new library that will serve as a model throughout the country. The library's original opening date was in November.

"It will have all self check-out stations," said Susan Oliver, chief librarian for north Tampa libraries. "It's got a huge children's room, a teen's room and a cafe."

Oliver said she's so proud of the new building that she moved her office there earlier this week.

The library at 8916 N Boulevard will be host for samples of programs and refreshments from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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Event to benefit ALS, scholarship

The Krewe of the Brass Monkey will host a "Monkey Bash" concert today to benefit the ALS Association and Serena Spain Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship goes toward a Hillsborough County student living in a single-parent household with limited income. Spain had ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

The event features the band Punch Drunk, as well as a raffle and a 50/50 drawing.

Krewe President Linda Hanlon said she has worked with the ALS Association before and that a member of the band was related to Spain.

"I just decided that we needed to have a charity event," she said. "It was kind of like, this was supposed to be."

The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave.

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Parking spaces to turn into mini parks

A dozen downtown parking spaces will transform into miniature parks today as part of an annual event that promotes the environment.

Each installation will have a theme, such as a community Scrabble game or the possibility of a Tampa bike share program.

"It's about raising awareness about green space in an urban environment," said Sarah Howard, a board member of SuperTest, which helped organize the event. "We're also trying to just get people out and engaged in unscripted interactions."

Howard said the event takes a critical look at the emphasis on vehicle infrastructure over more environmentally friendly alternatives.

People can visit the parking places between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., on N Franklin Street between Estelle and Madison streets.

The event began in 2005 in San Francisco. Last year, it featured 600 installations in 100 cities worldwide. Tampa has participated since 2007.

If you know of news in your community, contact Lee Logan at or (813) 226-3436.