Friday, January 18, 2019

Hamburger Mary's Needs Some Love.

There's a lot of love a soul can find in Ybor City and here's the chance to give some back. There was NO employee of Hamburger Mary's who tested positive for Hepatitis-A, the one targeted actually did get tested and the test came back negative. Hamburger Mary's NEVER presented any threat to the public. Though the Health Department will not admit their wrongdoing and will especially not admit that Hamburger Mary's was unjustly targeted, the wrongdoing literally closed the business.
Closed Sign

There is a possibility of a lawsuit now, I think it's justified and I sincerely hope Kurt King wins BUT that would be only the beginning of his battle. There seems to be a public misconception that will be a major hurdle for Hamburger Mary's and it was based on lies. We can do something about that.

I make a promise now that WHEN Hamburger Mary's reopens for business, I will be there to congratulate them, have a burger and let Kurt know what a valuable asset his business is to the community I love.

Join me

Candy Lowe and John Godwin Party In Ybor


What Stogie Had For Lunch

Sausage with Ziti
At New York, New York in Ybor City

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

To MPO or not to MPO

Always looking for the most exciting news in the Tampa Bay area, last night I went to a meeting of the Hillsborough MPO, Metropolitan Planning for Transportation.

The Hillsborough MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) is tasked with policy making for long-range transportation needs in the county. Last night's meeting was a presentation of the results of several workshops conducted by TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority) intended to assess the feasibility of merging the MPOs of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties into a single regional MPO. The presentation was given by Scott Lane of Stantec Consulting Services, Center for Transportation Research, a consulting firm commissioned by TBARTA.

So, buckle your seatbelts, folks, and get ready for the ride (pun intended). Below is the complete video of the meeting.
The meeting begins at 5:50 in the video and Scott Lane's presentation starts shortly after the meeting is called to order.

The really, really exciting moments in the meeting are at the following time marks in the video:
County Commissioner Pat Kemp presents a well elucidated counter-point argument in opposition to the merging of MPOs.
Tampa Councilman Harry Cohen presents a very passionate statement opposing an MPO merger.
The public speaks on the issue, every one of who vehemently opposes the idea of an MPO merger.
My good friend, Dayna, presents a convincing argument against the idea of merging MPOs
My pretty face (at least until the switch to the front view camera) unexpectedly appears and I elucidate on the practice of our local government bodies brazenly and openly making efforts to circumvent Florida's Sunshine Laws.  

Ok, maybe it could have been a little more exciting but the circus performers and the Riverdance crew had last minute engagements elsewhere.

In reality though, the ongoing meetings by several committees of our local government and HART concerning transportation improvements in the area will have a VERY important bearing on the future of the transportation needs of you, the citizens. I can not express strongly enough that each and every person in the county, who cares about our future, should make every effort to stay aware of what these committees are doing and, whenever possible, come to these meetings and use your voice. Our government officials are not likely to make great efforts to come to us so.....WE MUST GO TO THEM!

Ybor Paparazzi


Political sign outside St. Pete church stirs controversy

Tampa Hoods

Ybor City

Xenophobia and Racism from Florida's Annabelle Lima-Taub

A Hallandale Beach Commissioner she is facing calls to resign after saying Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim, might “blow up Capitol Hill.” HERE

Ybor City Musicians

7th Ave

Chris Bossio: Tampa is the best city in the world!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ybor City Demolition/Collateral Damage

Rays Demolition: Lets Start here

15th St. South to Adamo Dr.

4th Ave West to Channelside Dr.

Collateral Damage

Ybor City, Florida

For the uninformed! 

Reversing Citizens United & Beyond: A Call for Political Justice In Tampa

January 21 at 6:30 PM
Bounce Boy - Tampa INFO

Ybor Paparazzi

 John Turanchik and Glen Eich

Extinction Rebellion Tampa Bay

Extinction Rebellion is a Declaration of International Non-Violent Rebellion Against the World’s Governments (in our case the US) for Criminal Inaction on the Ecological Crisis. This group represents the Tampa Bay region
of Florida. INFO

Ybor Surveillance

Centro Ybor

Blue Ticket Consulting: Nice Work If You Can Get It

The ethical boundary has always been blurry for political operatives in the midst of a heated campaign, but that line may have been crossed by St. Petersburg-based Blue Ticket Consulting in the Tampa City Council races going on now.
The ethical lapse could have been triggered by a string of previous losses by the Democratic consulting firm.
Blue Ticket is representing Ed Turamchik in the Tampa mayor’s race. Turanchik so far has spent $14,640.90 with Blue Ticket,  His gravitas with Tampa’s progressive community has evaporated.
More by  Jim Bleyer
Is this the same consulting firm that advised Mr. Turamchik to kick off his campaign with 2 of Tampa's greatest Right Wingers who have made their careers on bashing Dems? Maybe that is where the 
evaporation started! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

What we don't know CAN hurt us!

During the last BOCC meeting (1/9/19), several statements were made that indicate that our county commission not only intended to conduct negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays out of the view of the public, who they expected to bare half of the billion dollars of constructing a new stadium in Ybor City, but that they intend to CONTINUE negotiations without public scrutiny. All text in white are directly from the official closed caption scripts of the commission meeting.

Mariella Smith: Over four years ago in October of 2014, a working group was formed to explore the potential of having a stadium in Hillsborough County. Commissioner Hagan was designated as the county's representative, the mayor represented the city of Tampa and we had a representative from the sports authority and some private interest were on that working group. Things are very different now than they were when this working group was formed over four years ago. Things are different now than they were when we last discussed this. Some of the main reasons for having a working group that could operate out of the sunshine no longer apply. For example, they selected their preferred site location and that is public knowledge now. The county has presented a proposed funding framework and that is public knowledge and with all that public information, the public has been wanting to be more involved in the discussions and have more input.

This working group was obviously never meant to "explore the potential of having a baseball stadium in Hillsborough County"; it's purpose was to secretely negotiate a financial deal with the RAYS franchise. Commissioner Smith describes the working group as one whose intent was to work outside the state sunshine laws, i.e. without public knowledge, and how information discovered by a local news media outlet made the negotiations known to the public. Because of the public becoming aware of those negotiations and the resulting backlash against a Rays stadium, Commissioner Smith rightfully felt that this secret working group no longer applied and should be disbanded.

Ken Hagan: I completely agree with those comments. Working within the confines of the sunshine law can be challenging.

Commissioner Hagan affirmed the difficulty of conducting business in the light of public scrutiny. OF COURSE IT IS when you know that the public would disapprove of what is being negotiated. On more than one occasion Ken Hagan stated clearly that he intended for the process used by the Atlanta Braves franchise to relocate their stadium to be the blueprint for how he planned to conduct the process for the Rays franchise move to Tampa. The Atlanta Braves process was conducted completely in secret and even approved by the Cobb County Commission secretly. The president of the Atlanta Braves, John Schuerholz, later admitted that the deal had to be in private to avoid a public backlash (HERE). Ken Hagan intended to keep the Rays negotiations secret from the public for the same reason. How is that even close to being ethical for a commission whose sole purpose is to represent the needs of the people of Hillsborough County?

Less Miller:  And the other thing, our attorney is still having conversations both with the baseball commissioner and with Stu Sternberg. I didn't want you to leave here thinking all conversations have stopped because until the Rays sign a contract with Saint Pete or some other city, from our point of view, keeping the lines open are important and, in particular, our attorney wanted both the baseball commissioner and Stu to know that we, in fact, when we said we had private investment money, [w]e did. He offered to provide that to the baseball commissioner as evidence because the commissioner wrote a rather unpleasant letter to us saying he didn't think we had the money. We did have private investors who provide a proposal. He wanted Stu to know that as well. We had our 50% and I didn't want anybody to think....(at this point, Less Miller was cut off by another commissioner)

Here, Les Miller, placating those with financial interests, makes it clear that negotiations WILL continue, and continue outside the state sunshine laws. He also stresses that 50% of the cost for building the stadium has been committed by private interests but neglects to mention that the other 50% would come from public funds. The baseball commissioner was right in saying that we didn't have the money. That other 50%, that $500 million, would be OUR money and the commission, by voting to continue the working group and continue negotiations outside our sunshine laws, are effectively saying that our voice doesn't matter in decisions concerning how OUR money is to be spent. If they are allowed to continue this debacle unopposed, it will benefit only a select few individuals at our expense. Public funds are intended to be used to benefit the PUBLIC and not enrich a few. Independent studies overwhelmingly show that major sports venues DO NOT economically benefit the communities in which they operate.


Ybor Paparazzi

Johanna and Merri with friend at Chillum

Florida GOP Officially The Party Of Donald Trump

New Florida GOP chair 
Joe Gruters declared the state GOP “the party of 
Donald Trump” after he was overwhelming elected chairman by party officials on Saturday. HERE

YBOR ROB ARRESTED /Police Academy (First Amendment Audit) Went Wrong

Alex Sink Gaslighting

The perennial loser and Florida DINO said Democrats would have won the governorship had they nominated former Representative Gwen Graham, who narrowly lost to Mr. Gillum in the primary. “What would they have pinned on her?” asked Ms. Sink, alluding to Mr. Gillum’s left-wing politics and to an F.B.I. investigation into potential corruption in public real estate development in Tallahassee under Mr. Gillum. HERE
My post on October 6, 2018

Rick Scott Is Pissing Off All The Florida Republicans

Florida's former asshole governor Rick Scott and Florida's new asshole governor Ron DeSantis have been butting heads for the last week or so, making a bit of a hash of DeSantis's transition into office. HERE