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Josh Solomon - St. Petersburg City Hall Reporter

St. Petersburg City Hall Reporter

I cover the city of St. Petersburg. When I'm not roaming City Hall, I’m sleeping late or watching cooking videos on YouTube. I’m proudly from New Jersey, with a tattoo to prove it, and I graduated from Northwestern University before coming to the Times in 2014.

  1. There was plenty of room along the narrow strip of sand at Pass-a-Grille Beach on Memorial Day. The dark skies help explain why. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  2. Clearwater beach nearly at capacity during Memorial Day weekend as law enforcement limits crowds to provide for proper social distancing Saturday. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  3. St. Petersburg cigar shop Central Cigars was told by state officials on May 14 that it can, in fact, serve alcohol to patrons on site. The state clarification overruled Pinellas County and St. Petersburg, which had said Central Cigars could not serve alcohol to patrons for on-site consumption. [JOSH SOLOMON  |  Times]
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  5. St. Pete Pride announced Thursday it has canceled its 2020 celebration. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  6. St. Petersburg is considering leasing its downtown municipal marina to a private company, who will pay for renovations and operate the marina. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
  7. Bayshore Drive NE in St. Petersburg, left, will be closed starting Friday morning until further notice. Meanwhile, officials in Tampa on Thursday decided against closing Bayshore Boulevard. [Google Earth]
  8. The street closure will allow those who wish to cycle or jog along the waterfront to do so while social distancing. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  9. St. Petersburg City Hall. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  10. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman appeared on Facebook Live on Tuesday, 5/19/20, at Sunken Gardens with Beaker the scarlet macaw in the background to provide an update on the city's coronavirus response. He said the virus "has not overwhelmed our community.” [Facebook]
  11. State Vacuum co-owner David Epstein said his customers have been going out of their way to shop locally. “They understand that we need the money more so than the big box stores or the internet," he said. [BORCHUCK, JAMES  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  12. The City of St. Petersburg will esume issuing parking tickets starting Monday. Ticketing was largely on hiatus for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, except in cases of cars creating public safety issues. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  13. Federal judges ruled in favor of St. Petersburg police Officer Jonathan Vazquez and his canine partner, Ares, who were the subject of a lawsuit surrounding the 2014 apprehension of a 12-year-old. [St. Petersburg Police Department]
  14. Grand Prix staff works to remove the show car from the entrance of the Mahaffey Theater after the news that the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 13. Now IndyCar hopes that the race will be the season finale in October. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  15. St. Petersburg Rick Kriseman, center, appeared on Facebook Live on Tuesday for his weekly coronavirus update. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  16. Starting May 4, patrons were allowed to sit at restaurants again and enjoy cocktails on site, rather than only to-go. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  17. Bailee Johnson assembles meals at Poppo's Taqueria while wearing a face mask on Friday in St. Petersburg. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  18. Servers wear face masks as patrons enjoy outdoor dining while crowding Beach Dr. on Friday, May 8, 2020 in St. Petersburg. Restaurants and patrons begin to adapt to the new rules set forth by Governor Ron DeSantis during phase one of re-opening of the state of Florida. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  19. St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday approved a bus stop for FlixBus on Central Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets. [Google Maps]
  20. A crowd gathers outside the Galley in downtown St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening, which was Cinco de Mayo. St. Petersburg officials fielded a complaint about the lack of social distancing at the Galley that night, but officers found no violations. [JOSH SOLOMON  |  Times]
  21. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said during his Tuesday afternoon Facebook Live appearance that he would not implement "irresponsible" action from Gov. Ron DeSantis. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  22. St. Petersburg City Hall. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  23. Urban Landings on the corner of 4th Avenue S and 3rd Street in St. Petersburg is an affordable housing property managed by Concord Management. The management company notified low-income tenants on April 1 that their rent would go up April 15 because the area median income increased. Concord later walked that back in an April 7 letter. [JOSH SOLOMON  |  Times]
  24. The most recent rendering of the proposed Bezu/Blue Lotus condo tower planned for downtown St. Petersburg. [Architectonics]