Friday, February 29, 2008

Hillsborough County Jails

A former special-education teacher says Hillsborough jail deputies violently threw him to the floor of a cell, put a hood over his head while he was in a restraint chair, and intentionally obstructed the view of a surveillance camera before beating

McCain Running Mate? Crist, If GOP Needs Florida?

Four days before the Republican primary election in Florida, when it became apparent to many that Sen. John McCain had a good chance of winning, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist climbed on board the senator's campaign for president.
This is the same Crist who could not find time to appear at a rally with President Bush in Florida's heavily Republican Panhandle near the eve of the 2006 midterm elections.......more

The Sons of Confederate Veterans

The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the Second American
Other festive "Confederate Heritage"......plates

Florida Forever Successor

When state legislators convene a 60-day legislative session March 4, they will discuss creating and funding a successor to the Florida Forever program, one of the most successful state-funded land acquisition programs in the

Cuba Signs Human Rights Treaties

Cuba Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Thursday the signing of two human rights treaties responds to a sovereign decision by the Cuban government, which has never acted under pressure.......more

Burmese Python From Everglades National Park

Burmese pythons, an invasive species now spreading across south Florida, could find comfortable climatic conditions in roughly a third of the United States, according to new "climate match" maps developed by the U.S. Geological

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Florida Governor And The Green Iguana

The story goes that the Florida governor frequented the Green Iguana, a bar in Tampa, back in the early 1990s when he was just starting his political career. He was less careful back then, people say, and during his partying at the Green Iguana, he was openly

The Floridian Offers $5,000 Reward In Gay Attack

The owner of the popular restaurant where a gay man was verbally and physically assaulted in a possible hate crime has put up a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the

Florida Considering Spaceflight Indemnification Bill

The Florida Legislature, following the lead of Virginia, is considering legislation to provide liability immunity for suborbital commercial vehicle operators. The legislation, HB 737, was introduced in the Florida House of Representatives in January by Rep. David Simmons, an Orlando-area Republican, and is currently working its way through various House committees. The legislation would make any “spaceflight entity” (any company or organization with an FAA launch, reentry, or spaceport license) “not liable for injury to or death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of spaceflight launch activities”.....more

Mayor Iorio’s Fitness Walk

Takes place on Saturday, March 8 at Al Lopez Park.
Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 7:30 a.m.
Participants receive a Walking with the Mayor T-shirt. Health and wellness organizations from throughout the city will be on hand with free health screenings and information on how to lead a more active and well lifestyle.

Litbrit Is Two

Exactly two years ago, I typed out the introductory post for my very first blog. Back then it was called The Last Duchess after a favorite Browning poem; later, I decided to use my online nickname, litbrit, which was simpler and far better known around Left Blogistan......more

Dean Says Democrat Party Of Diversity

The Democratic Party is committed to addressing the needs of the African American community and should take over in the upcoming presidential elections, said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean in a speech last night in the Intercultural Center Auditorium in honor of Black History

The Blair Watch Project


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jose Marti In Ybor City

Ybor Street Closure Feeds Culture Of Paranoia

The St. Pertersburg Times reported that Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee stood before City Council members holding a report from the Department of Homeland Security he said detailed all the dangers that could befall his operations center in Ybor City. Gee wouldn't tell them what it said,

Andrea Gonzmart

Fifth-generation member of the Hernandez-Gonzmart family, which founded the Columbia Restaurant in 1905. Through the Ybor City Chamber, Gonzmart has organized various arts and food events that she hopes will turn around Ybor City's negative image. Last year, the Tampa Bay Business Journal and Gulf Coast Business Review recognized Gonzmart as a rising star for her restaurateuring, charity organizing and support for the arts.......more
The Columbia Restaurant

Did Global Voices Bloggers Cause Power Outage In Florida?

My colleague Georgia thinks it wasn’t our fault, but I find it just a little conspicuous that the power went out in all of Southern Florida the moment 10 Global Voices bloggers all plugged their laptops into power sockets in the Miami house we rented for the

Dems Win Special Elections in Florida, New York

In the Florida House race, Democrat Tony Sasso defeated Republican Sean Campbell in a seat in parts of Brevard and Orange Counties that had been held by Rep. Bob Allen, who resigned last year after being convicted of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. It was the ninth special election picked up by Democrats in the House since the 2006 general election......more

Oceans are unhealthy, but don’t blame Florida.

A prestigious group of ocean experts today gave an A- to Florida
and other states because of their efforts to preserve coastal ecologies through legislation and regional compacts. The report by the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative praises Florida’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change for ``showing strong leadership by moving to address the impacts of climate change on the state…’’......more


As a young girl growing up in the South THE YEARLING was a must read in school. Its author, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, won the Pulitizer prize in 1938 for the true story of her neighbors in backwoods
Real Florida: Cross Creek revival

Florida’s Wildlife Viewing Growing

Florida’s rich and varied landscape and wildlife offer a wide array of opportunities for residents and tourists. While many Floridians enjoy wildlife viewing in their back yards or close to home, almost a quarter of a million tourists with wildlife watching plans travel to Florida each year, making Florida the No. 1 destination in the country for wildlife viewing......more

Florida Marriage Equality Fight Presses On

Last month, HRC partenered with Florida Red & Blue to hold a series of training sessions that mobilized volunteers to inform voters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, already illegal in Florida, and eliminate all domestic partnerships. On primary day, HRC staffers and volunteers worked polling locations across the state getting voters to commit to voting against the amendment - with tremendous

"Change Is Good" Tampa Attorney Ralph Fernandez

"We need to call a time out," says Fernandez, who stresses that an America stretched beyond its geopolitical, military and intelligence capacities needs to consider Cuba in a more realistic context. "The sign of an intelligent person is to change with changing times," he says. "We need to revisit everything. Put it all on the table. The embargo. Helms-Burton Act. Asylum claims. 'Wet foot-dry foot' affects our moral position. We want to build fences and kick out people. Then we have people Cubans coming over without any connections to political persecution. It makes us look awful to Mexicans."
And hypocritically ironic. Fernandez cites Saudi Arabia.
"What do we have in common with our ally, the Saudis?" he asks rhetorically. "In Cuba, even if they say so, they don't hate us. They follow the Yankees. They pray to the same God. They drink like us. Their women are opinionated. We have a lot in common. Change is good."

Democratic Big Guns Take Aim At Blair

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is co-hosting a fundraiser next week for Kevin Beckner, a Democrat who's challenging Republican Brian Blair for his Hillsborough County Commission seat. Castor served with Blair on the commission before winning her congressional

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ybor City (Lost Tampa Episode)

Florida Muslims File Suit Over Citizenship Delays

On February 27, the Orlando, Tampa and Miami offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center will hold news conferences in those cities to announce the filing of a lawsuit in federal court challenging lengthy delays in processing Muslim citizenship
WHERE: TAMPA - 11 a.m., Outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse, 801 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL; ORLANDO - 2 p.m., Facing the Federal Courthouse, 401 W. Central Blvd., Suite 2300, Orlando, FL; MIAMI - 11 a.m., Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, 3000 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 400, Miami, FL

Florida Voters Ask Important Questions About Equality

How does marriage between my lesbian sister and her partner of 11 years affect my circumstances? Or anyone else's?

Disney Yanks Florida Classic Sponsorship

Walt Disney World yesterday declared that it is ending support of the annual Florida Classic game between Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman

From Daytona To The Keys

Three of the eight were the nuke stations at Turkey Point. Not trying to get the tinfoil too tight here but power plants of whatever source tend not to take well to a sudden loss of load. I’d still like to know what could have cause this; midwinter, time of least air conditioning, should be the low point of annual

Gloomy Outlook For Florida's Economy

With Florida's legislative session set to begin next week, House Speaker Marco Rubio offered a decidedly pessimistic outlook, especially about the state's economy. With tax money coming into state coffers declining, Rubio said reductions in spending are coming for every area funded by government - including

Meatloaf The Florida Cat

Took a 3-week cross-country ride locked in a storage container, was reunited on Tuesday with his Florida owner. The 2-year-old Meatloaf apparently crawled into the large locker in Pompano Beach as a man loaded it for a move to

Biologists Use Fire On Florida Wetlands

A team of biologists, including Patrick Bohlen of MacArthur Agro Ecology Research Center, set control burns in February as part of a three-year research study looking at best land management strategies for wetlands within ranch

World On Fire - Cape Canaveral, Florida

The Photography Of Ron Dubin

Bob Allen Wins Golden Duke Award

Best Scandal -- Local Venue
TPM is pleased to announce the winners of the First Annual Golden Dukes! The Golden Dukes are given in recognition great accomplishments in muckiness including acts of venal corruption, outstanding self-inflicted losses of dignity, crimes against the republic, bribery, exposed hypocrisy and generally malevolent

Will Smith as Barack Obama?

Will Smith has played his share of famous men in film, but is he ready to play a (possible) president of the United States? Senator Barack Obama has singled the man in black out as his choice to portray him in a biopic on his

Take A Swamp Walk To See Florida Orchids

The ghost orchid is among the world's rarest flowers, the star of the popular book "The Orchid Thief" and the movie "Adaptation" and is the biggest lure to the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in southwest

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Old Bartow Cigar Factory

A group of 35 to 40 Bartowans attended the forum at the Crawford Agriculture Center to explore the feasibility of renovating the deteriorating building, located at 255 North Third Ave. Bartow's Community Redevelopment Agency has established for itself a March 24 deadline to decide if it is feasible for the CRA to take over the county-owned building and see it converted for public or private

Cuba-Policy Issue Enlivens Florida Congressional Race

Raul Martinez

U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Republican admired by many Cuban exiles, has been reelected handily to the 21st Congressional District since it was created 15 years ago. Raul Martinez, a Democrat, was the popular Hialeah mayor of the majority Cuban-American city for almost a quarter century -- reelected even after a criminal conviction later reversed on

Foreign Policy: Barack Obama

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, is dressed as a Somali elder by Sheikh Mahmed Hassan, left, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya. Obama, whose late father was Kenyan, visited the country in

Florida Confederate Flag Specialty Plate

A Florida panhandle lawmaker wants a "Confederate Heritage" license plate to join the 109 specialty tags already available in

Gov. Crist The Democrats Don't Need Your Opinion

If you believe in Democracy… it’s almost ironic to me that in coming from a state like Florida on the Democratic side -- where every vote most count and was such a big deal in our state-- that you have this notion where just because you go a little bit earlier that your delegates may not be seated at the convention whether it’s Denver or Minneapolis. And so, at any rate, I think it’s important to continue to push forward to do

Random Tampa Photography


Tampa Weekend Film School In Ybor City

Filmmaking is perhaps the most expensive art form in which to partake. No matter how talented a filmmaker may be, unless he/she has the proper lights, equipment and crew, the filmmaker may never be able to create that perfect film that properly showcases his/her talent and launches his/her career. The Weekend Film School is going to help Tampa Bay filmmakers solve this problem during a one-day workshop to be held on Saturday March 15, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Cuban Club in Ybor City.

Dean On McCain

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean accused Republican presidential front-runner John McCain of trying to skirt campaign finance laws Sunday by trying to opt out of public financing for his primary campaign. Dean told reporters McCain has already used the prospect of nearly $6 million in federal matching funds -- which he now says he won't claim -- as collateral for a January campaign loan and to obtain automatic ballot access in every
"He has made a career out of posing as a reformer, And the truth is, the reforms he's proposed apply to everybody but him. We've seen this again and again and again."

Taxi To The Dark Side

Javier Bardem: This is for Spain!

Javier Bardem became the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar on Sunday by taking the best supporting actor award for his chilling portrait of a psychopathic killer in "No Country For Old Men."
"Mama, this is for you. This is for your grandparents and your parents, Rafael and Matilde, This is for the comedians of Spain who like you have brought dignity and pride to our profession.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


It was recently decided that the base water rate in Broward County, Florida will be increased by $15.00. Part of the reason for this increase is money loss due to water conservation. This is a joke! The water district needs to implement better fiscal policies rather than tax responsible homeowners for observing conservation practices. If water is so expensive to purchase in Broward County, wouldn´t the better idea be to encourage less water use so the county does not have to buy water at high rates?

Florida State Officials Take Advantage Of Loophole

Thousands of state workers -- including lawmakers, judges and top managers -- are receiving retirement benefits in addition to full-time paychecks because of a loophole in state

Florida Is Closed

Via.....The Sight Unseen

Florida: Congressional Races Round 2

Florida has 25 representatives: 16 Republicans and 9 Democrats. Filing deadline is May 2, primary is Aug 26. Of the 22 districts with more than 17% veterans, 12 are in Florida; I think this makes Florida an excellent pickup ground - the veterans, traditionally a very solidly Republican group - are tired of the war and tired of being abused by the powers that be. Remember - Democrats support the troops, Republicans support the

Creationism Lecture At University Of Florida

Mr. Hovind, also known as Dr. Dino, is a young-earth creationist and runs Creation Science Evangelism, in Pensacola, Florida. He claims to have a doctoral degree from Patriot University in Colorado. If PU is accredited, they hide the fact very

Florida Theme Parks Building Ties With Political Parties

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are building ties with lawmakers through hundreds of thousands of dollars in free tickets, food, drinks and hotel rooms. Campaign records show the two theme parks gave Democrats and Republicans in-kind contributions worth more than $571,000 from 2001 through

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Florida Zoo Takes in Expunged Exotics

With alternately tearful goodbyes and barely contained impatience, more than 100 South Floridians surrendered their exotic animals Saturday at a zoo event designed to give owners an alternative to simply turning them

Pot Plant Operations In Southwest Florida

With a canal running by one side of his house, a large plot of brush and foliage on the other, and a front yard as big as a tree-filled football field, Joe Cook’s Golden Gate Estates home on 22nd Street Northeast offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of modern