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Josh Solomon - St. Petersburg City Hall Reporter

St. Petersburg City Hall Reporter

I cover the city of St. Petersburg — its residents, leaders and issues. The dramatics of Washington and Tallahassee often overshadow the work of local government, but City Hall is where the decisions are made that have the greatest impact on people’s daily lives. It’s my job to keep it interesting so more people stay engaged with their community. I’m also on the Tampa Bay Times’ hurricane team, and have been deployed to report on the aftermaths of three storms: Hermine in 2016, Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018. I find serenity in following recipes, the more complicated the better. I’m a bourbon fan, an amatuer pizza critic and a Pinellas Trail bike rider. Otherwise I like watching YouTube and talking on the phone. I’m proudly from New Jersey, don’t @ me for it — or do, it won’t matter. I came to the Times in 2014 after graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

  1. The acres of surface parking lot surrounding Tropicana Field will disappear in a new development. Stadium parking could be reduced.
  2. St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, got into it over being photographed maskless at the Tampa Bay Rays' April 9 home opener. Trop rules require patrons to weak masks at all times, save for eating or drinking in their seats.
  3. Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg, right, and president Matt Silverman, left, presented to St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday, pitching a new stadium on the Trop site as part of their sister-city concept.
  4. Kriseman hired HR&A Advisors to help city officials weigh the four remaining Trop project proposals and negotiate with the chosen developer.
  5. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, St. Pete Pride is back this summer, albeit without its signature parade. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE   |   Times (2018)]
  6. The site formerly known as Commerce Park along 22nd Street Smay now yield townhomes and commercial space.
  7. The four shortlisted development companies made their pitch to the public during a virtual listening session on Monday.
  8. The Rays declined to offer their opinion on the four shortlisted proposals to redevelop the 86-acre Tropicana Field site.
  9. Four developers are vying to revision the 86-acre Tropicana Field site, bound generally by Interstate 275 to the west (foreground), Interstate 175 to the south (right), First Avenue S to the north and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to the east.
  10. A man who opened fire on park rangers in Everglades National Park was taken into custody Sunday night.
  11. Plexiglass dividers shield St. Petersburg City Council members from each other on the dais. This Thursday's council meeting was canceled due to possible exposure at City Hall to COVID-19.
  12. Rebecca O’Sullivan, the senior archaeologist at Cardno, uses ground-penetrating radar to take an initial scan for unmarked graves under a section of land at a Tropicana Field parking lot on March 26. The work is expected to take some time, including the use of more sophisticated radar technology next week,
  13. St. Petersburg City Council members hold a meeting on March 25 to address the redevelopment effort at Tropicana Field and the negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays.
  14. This screengrab from a video by Sugar Hill Community Partners and JMA Ventures identifies Esther Eugene as the president of the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP, speaking in support of the developers' $3 billion proposal to redevelop the city'sTropicana Field site. Eugene said she was speaking on her own behalf as a local businesswoman, not as an NAACP leader. She said Sugar Hill misidentified her in their video, lending the false impression that the NAACP was endorsing their proposal, which she said is not the case.
  15. This screengrab from a video by Sugar Hill Community Partners and JMA Ventures shows a proposed new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, part of their $3 billion proposal to redevelop St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field site. The four development teams shortlisted for the site submitted video versions of their proposals that will be used as the city nears the public comment phase of the Trop redevelopment process.
  16. USF Health was named the southeastern headquarters for the Global Virus Network.
  17. City Council member and mayoral candidate Darden Rice, who championed the city's 2017 campaign finance ordinance, has still managed to raise a large sum of money for her political committee, Friends of Darden Rice.
  18. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
  19. St. Petersburg officials chose a partnership between Third Lake Partners and Echelon to purchase and redevelop the existing Municipal Services Center on Central Avenue and Fourth Street and build a new one several blocks away.
  20. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, seen here before Tropicana Field last month, gave his final State of the City address on Friday.
  21. St. Petersburg is looking to hire a consultant to help it negotiate with the Tampa Bay Rays.
  22. A screenshot of the promotional flier for the Feb. 5 Super Bowl party featuring 50 Cent, posted to the Instagram page of Tampa's DJ Fresh.
  23. Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted his displeasure over the lack of precautions taken at a crowded Friday night Super Bowl party hosted by rapper 50 Center in a hanger at Albert Whitted Airport. City officials say they're investigating the incident.