Friday, February 29, 2008

Update on Rezoning

Last night, Steve Tighe, Pete Johnson, Kim Headland, and I spoke to the council about denying the rezoning.  Fortunately, Linda Saul-Sena (a council member) took our thoughts, along with many noncompliance issues against the property, and moved to deny.  The board of VM Ybor NACW and the local residents are pleased to say that we've won our first try at City Council.  

A note about City Council: if anyone ever learns of an issue to be read at City Council, please let the board know so that we and other residents can get involved. 

Thanks to all who wrote letters for last night!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Property up for Rezoning

908 E 25th Ave
The owner wants to rezone from single family to multifamily.  The large, burnt structure in rear will be turned into an "in-law" suite.  Local neighbors fear that it will become another rental unit, and therefore, do not support it. 
This rezoning will be heard tomorrow, the 28th at 6 PM at City Council.

Please come out and support your neighbors.  If you cannot attend, but would like to support us, you can sign a predrafted letter.  Please email Kate at for more information.   

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Curtis Hixon Park

Tampa Downtown Partnership invites you to coffee with

Mr. Tom Balsley

Mr. Balsley is the architect of the New Curtis Hixon Park and we are very pleased that he has been able to make some time available to show and further describe the plans for the $15 Million renovation of this significant public space.

Maestro’s Restaurant
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Monday, February 26th
8:30am to 9:30am

Parking as available on the arrival plaza

Friday, February 22, 2008

Councilman proposes once per week trash pickup

Councilman Dingfelder proposed reducing trash pickup in Tampa to once a week.  He's asking Mayor Pam Iorio to look into it, however she thinks that our current system keeps our city cleaner.  To read the whole article, click here

New Code Enforcement System Update

Last night City Council unanimously agreed to go along with the new system of immediate citations, with a second and final vote on March 6th.  To read the article, click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rumors: Grocery on Columbus

I believe that the building in question was recently moved to 1001 Columbus with an accessory, brick warehouse building now located on 12th Street. This building was once housed El Progresso de Ybor Grocery among other things. Both buildings currently are up for sale by the City of Tampa through an RFP type of process. Whoever purchases the buildings will decide the future use and will need to complete renovations / restorations to the interior and exterior.

More information on the buildings long history (1908 - present) can be found here.
Information on the City of Tampa RFP can be found here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I heard the VM Ybor Grocery Store rumor, but not many details about it.

Can someone help clarify it and/or are their other rumors running around VM?

I'd like to include them in New Heights Magazine's new News & Rumors section, which covers all of the city's Urban Corridor neighborhoods.

If you have any (news or rumors) to report, please contact Jay McGee at or call (813) 389-8116.



The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced the availability of $1.2 million for new Drug-Free Communities Support Mentoring Program (DFC Mentoring) grants. An estimated 15 new Mentoring grants will be awarded (averaging $75,000 per grant, per year) to drug and alcohol prevention community coalitions representing a cross-section of rural, urban, suburban, and tribal communities.

“The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is the largest Federal drug prevention effort in the United States,” said John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “By providing new drug and alcohol prevention coalitions with invaluable insight and direction, the DFC Mentoring Program enhances community-based drug prevention efforts, and works to advance consensus building toward a drug-free community. It helps communities in addressing their particular substance abuse risks and challenges, and empowers them to craft their own prevention strategies and responses.”

The purpose of the DFC Mentoring Program is to provide grant funds to effective current DFC grantees (mentors) to facilitate the development and/or expansion of new community drug prevention coalitions (mentees) that seek to prevent substance abuse among youth. By building the capacity of local anti-drug organizations to assess the unique challenges facing their communities, and assisting in the organization of a coalition-based response to those challenges, the mentoring process better prepares “mentee” groups to implement effective drug-prevention strategies.

“The Drug Free Communities Support Program is the foundation of our efforts to continue preventing and reducing substance abuse in our communities,” said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D. “The DFC Mentoring Program increases opportunities for active, sustained citizen participation, community-wide ownership of problems, and local solutions tailored to local needs.”

To be eligible for a DFC Mentoring grant, interested drug prevention community coalitions must have been in existence for five years; be a current DFC grantee or grantee applicant; have achieved measurable results in youth drug and alcohol prevention; have dedicated staff, volunteers, or members to assist the mentee coalitions; have displayed the willingness of mentee communities; and must demonstrate consensus and community support from local key sectors and stakeholders, including youth, parents, businesses, media, law enforcement, government, and religious and civic organizations, among others.

To review the grant application or its requirements, or to learn more about the Drug Free Communities Support Program, please visit, DFC Mentoring grants are awarded through a competitive peer review process.

The deadline to submit a DFC Mentoring grant application is Friday, April 18, 2008.