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HUD secretary criticized for closing Florida offices

Published Jun. 24, 2013

Sylvia Alvarez, executive director of the Housing and Education Alliance, is calling out U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Alvarez wants Donovan to hold a local town hall meeting to explain why he's closing HUD offices in Tampa and Orlando though Florida remains one of the centers of the foreclosure crisis.

"Whatever recovery we're experiencing is minor and very fragile," Alvarez said.

Alvarez said the offices play an important role with walk-in traffic and directing clients to agencies like hers. She also noted that while Florida will be down to two offices (Jacksonville and Miami), other states like Tennessee continue to have four. …

If the Pier controversy ends with nothing but a pile of rubble serving as an artificial reef, many will be blamed for a leadership failure. Others will smile silently, having proved they really run St. Petersburg even though they've never held office. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: Chaos. Panic. Disorder. My Work Here Is Done. …

Academy Prep-Tampa picked up a special bonus from one of its volunteers. Pro wrestler and local resident Titus O'Neil helped the school set up a WWE fundraising fashion show. Superstars and divas will walk the runway at 7 p.m. Thursday at Revealing Truth Ministries, 5201 N Armenia Ave. For information, go to …

The rising popularity of craft beer has become a tourist draw. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater showcases Pinellas County breweries from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg as part of Craft Beer Week. Other areas may tout golf trails, but you have to like the idea of a beer trail.

That's all I'm saying.


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