Taste of the Heights Tickets on sale now

The Seminole Heights Taste of the Heights Tickets are officially on sale!

Organizers for the popular Taste of the Heights event announced Thursday that tickets would be available until August 15th for all Seminole Heights residents. The event is one of Seminole Heights most popular events. In its fifth consecutive year, The Taste of the Heights is sponsored by the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association. The Taste features chefs from nearly all of the Seminole Heights popular eateries. “With Seminole Heights becoming Tampa’s most popular Foodie destination, the event now gets guests from all over the city to come try many of them all at once” said Stan Lasater, President of Southeast Seminole Heights and one of the events organizers. “This is a great way to promote our neighborhood and get visitors that normally wouldn’t come into Seminole Heights to discover the neighborhood, the hospitality and the many great businesses we have here.” continued Lasater.

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy each restaurant, the Taste is limited to 500 tickets. Each year the event sells out quickly. Tickets are promoted throughout Seminole Heights for the first two weeks of sales each year. After August 15th, they are then promoted city-wide and sell out quickly. This year the organizers are anticipating selling out by September 1st.

With hopes of cooler weather, the event has been pushed back to November 2, 2014. Tickets are available online only and may be purchased at www.SESeminoleHeights.org. Guest can purchase tickets via Paypal or by credit card. Guest will then bring their receipt to the ticket location on the day of the event to exchange for armbands and a tour map.

Each stop includes food from local restaurants and chefs, beer, wine and live entertainment.

Prior tours featured fare from The Refinery, Reservations Gourmet to Go, Ella’s, The Front Porch, the original Taco Bus, Reservations Gourmet to Go, 3 Coins Diner and more!

If you would like to purchase tickets click here.

Fodder and Shine – Seminole Heights newest eatery has opening date time frame

TAMPA — Restaurateur Michelle Baker’s cellphone is blowing up with Facebook messages. A great-grandmother of a pioneering Florida Cracker cattle family has a hand-me-down recipe for squirrel stew to share, as well as stories about foodways that disappear with every generation.

Baker and her chef husband, Greg, became amateur culinary historians after they decided the menu for their upcoming restaurant in Seminole Heights, Fodder & Shine, would draw inspiration from the ingredients and cooking style of Florida’s pioneers, from pre-Civil War to the Depression. Much of that cooking heritage was maintained by Florida Cracker cattle families who had to make the most of limited ingredients in a rugged land.

“It’s a largely undocumented time,” Michelle Baker said. “We’ve been reaching out to people who have old lineage in Florida. Oral histories. Family cookbooks.”

Construction on Fodder began this week at the site of a former body shop and dry cleaner at 5910 N. Florida Ave., about a half-mile north of Hillsborough Avenue. The 8,400-square-foot, 116-seat restaurant and bar is expected to open in November.

Read full article from TBO.com.

Free Rain Barrel

Anyone want a rain barrel? I attended the rain barrel workshop (Florida Extension Office) a few weeks ago at our library and picked up my rain barrel last week. I just read in today’s paper that there will be a workshop at Florida Extension Office on August 9 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. It is free for Hillsborough County residents. Address is 5339 Country Road 579 in Seffner. You have to register online by July 27, 2014 at:http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml You will get one free rain barrel and must be an adult. The workshop is really worth going. When I got mine they had plenty and they were all white (no reds or greens). You can easily fit them in your car (unless it is tiny like a Smart car). They come equipped with an installed spigot. I recommend you take one of the really large black trash bags. I put it over my rain barrel and it fit perfectly. The barrels were in the Extension Office and were not dirty but the top of mine was a little greasy. It is about a 25 minute drive. I took MLK east past the fairgrounds, over the I 75 highway, and about five minutes down the road is a Race Track gas station on the right and a shopping center on the left – that is C. R. 579 (well marked). Go left on C. R. 579 about a three minute drive and it is on the right. There is a sign but it is pretty far back on their property and there is a lot of greenery just before it so I was on top of it before I saw the sign. Oh and both the class and rain barrel are free!

Walmart Update

Walmart update: At the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association meeting last night, there was more discussion about the lack of response from the Walmart representatives and many indicated that they would like to begin a writing campaign to try and get the attention of Walmart and Mayor Buckhorn. Our focus has been on opposing the plan for an exit at 15th street and Mohawk which would direct traffic into our neighborhood, requesting that the facade be more appropriate to a historic neighborhood, and saving the Palms that line the Hillsborough Ave side of the property.

If you would like to email the Mayor, you can do that from the tampa.gov website at http://www.tampagov.net/appl_customer_service_center/form.asp?strServiceID=708

To contact Walmart directly:
James J. Porter, attorney – jim.porter@arlaw.com
Glen Wilkins, Walmart Public Affairs & Govt relations – glen.wilkins@wal-mart.com
Matthew Blair, Corcoran & Johnston Govt Relations – matt.corcoranfirm.com

The fence is up on the site and construction will be starting soon. If you want to have a voice, now is the time to act.

Dog Park Loses Neighborhood Support.

Good Morning everyone,

Thank you for your patience allowing SSHCA time to collect final votes, count them and develop a final position. At this time, the overwhelming majority were against a dog park in Rivercrest and consequently SSHCA’s official position is that we do not support the measure. However, we have asked that funds be allocated towards drinking fountains with a bowl for dogs at the bottom and a few additional benches to encourage the social aspect of our beautiful park. Additionally, several of you brought concerns about the condition of the seawall and docks and we have brought those forward as well. We will be e-mailing a copy of the letter to our members in the near future. If you have any questions or concerns, please private message us or e-mail southseminoleheightsca@gmail.com.

Also, please know that John Allen and the Tampa Parks and Recreation Team appreciated your turnout on Tuesday, July 8th and the feedback that was provided. They were especially happy to hear how loved our park is! John has confirmed to SSHCA that there will be no additional movement for developing a dog park in Rivercrest.

Donna – South Seminole Heights President

Dog Park Debate continues in South Seminole Heights


Tampa, Florida — “It would be a great place for a dog park,” said one resident.

“At the moment, I wouldn’t support a dog park,” said another.

Passion and poison for a dog park, and it didn’t take long before the fur started to fly.

“Hey! One second! He is not just a dog! I love him!,” shouted Mauricio Rosas, taking offense at a woman comments that pets aren’t people.

It was a packed house for a public meeting Tuesday night in historic South Seminole Heights. Resident after resident stepped up to say they want no bark in the park, and their opinions were firm.

Informer, not neighbor complaints, led up to fatal Tampa pot raid

TAMPA — Before the sirens and stretcher arrived on a hot night in May, there had been only one call to police about 906 W Knollwood St. It came from the house’s renter, Jason Westcott, and he was looking for help.

A man who had partied at Westcott’s home was plotting to rob him. An itinerant motorcycle mechanic, Westcott didn’t have much — two televisions and a handgun that once belonged to his brother were perhaps the most valuable possessions in his 600-square-foot house in Seminole Heights — but he was terrified by his would-be intruder’s threats to kill him.

Police tracked down the suspect and warned him to stay away. Westcott, those close to him said, was left with a word of advice from the investigating officers: If anyone breaks into this house, grab your gun and shoot to kill.

On the night of May 27, as armed men streamed through his front door, Westcott grabbed his gun. But the 29-year-old didn’t have a chance to shoot before he died in a volley of gunfire. And those who killed him weren’t robbers.

They were police officers from the same agency he had enlisted to protect his home.

In the span of a few months, Westcott had become the target of an intensive drug investigation. On that Tuesday in May — a night when he typically baby­sat his sister’s children at his house, according to his mother — he was fatally shot by a Tampa Police Department SWAT team executing a search warrant for marijuana.

Read full article on Tampbay.com by clicking here

Don’t get stuck in holiday traffic.

Check FDOT’s 511 For July Fourth Holiday Travel Updates

Call 511, Visit FL511.com, Download the 511 Mobile App or Follow 511 on Twitter

TALLAHASSEE – Motorists can expect more than 1.8 million Florida residents to drive 50 miles or more during the Independence Day holiday weekend, with the majority of travelers planning to leave Wednesday, July 2, and return Sunday, July 6, according to AAA. During the busy holiday weekend, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) encourages travelers to check its 511 Traveler Information System to stay up to date on crashes, congestion, construction and more on all of Florida’s interstates, toll roads and other major metropolitan roadways.

There are four convenient ways for motorists to receive traffic updates:

· Call 511 toll free for updates in English and Spanish.

· Visit FL511.com for interactive roadway maps showing traffic congestion and crashes, travel times and traffic camera views.

· Download the free Florida 511 mobile app available on Google Play and iTunes.

· Follow one of the 12 statewide, regional or roadway-specific feeds on Twitter.

In addition to traffic information on Florida roadways, travelers also can receive public transit, airport and seaport information by calling 511, and users can be transferred to 511 systems in Georgia and Louisiana if they are traveling out of Florida for the holiday.

FDOT reminds all travelers to check 511 before traveling, have a passenger check 511 or pull over to avoid distracted driving.

Traffic Updates on Twitter

For updates via Twitter, FDOT encourages travelers to follow the Florida 511 Twitter feeds:

· @FL511_State
· @FL511_Northeast
· @FL511_Panhandl
· @FL511_Central
· @FL511_TampaBay
· @FL511_Southeast
· @FL511_Southwest
· @FL_511_I4
· @FL511_I10
· @FL511_I75
· @FL511_I95
· @FL511_Turnpike

Safety Tips

· Call 511 before driving or have a passenger call to avoid using a phone while driving.
· Customize your trip at FL511.com before leaving to minimize time spent on the phone.
· Leave yourself ample time to reach your destination to avoid feeling rushed.
· Take regular breaks and rotate drivers during long trips to avoid driving while fatigued.
· Always wear a safety belt.
· Don’t drink and drive.

Florida 511 Features

· Traffic information on all interstate highways, toll roads and many other metropolitan roadways.
· Commuter travel times and reports on crashes, congestion and construction.
· Public transit, airport and seaport information.
· AMBER, Silver and LEO Alerts (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alerts notify the public of the most serious child-abduction cases. Silver Alerts notify the public when law enforcement agencies are searching for missing adults or citizens with cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Alerts notify the public when law enforcement officers are searching for an offender(s) who has seriously injured or killed a law enforcement officer.)
· FL511.com provides travel information, traffic camera views and free personalized services, including customized travel routes and email, text and phone call alerts.
· Voice-activated and touch-tone navigation available when calling 511.
· The 511 phone call and FL511.com website are available in English and Spanish.

Neighbors weigh in on potential dog park

The proposed dog park discussion goes public! Recently, with the revised dog park plan, the Henry Olay park plan shifted to Rivercrest park. However, many South Seminole Heights neighbors are not “rolling over” just yet. With many neighbors, the thoughts of fencing in the gem of their neighborhood does not sit well. Friday night, neighbors weighed in on WTSP 10 News. CLICK HERE TO SEE STORY


What are your thoughts? Do you support or oppose? Until Monday!

Bicycle advice from neighbor

Emailed from a neighbor to post:

FYI for all in Semi Heigh Area especially SE..TPD is now doing a night watch via bicycles. If you or anyone you know rides a bike after dark make sure you have a front headlight and a red tail light, not just reflectors. Also it is now required to register your bicycle with the PD. It is a good idea to carry some kind of identification because if you are stopped they will ask for your ID and run your bike vin number through the data base and if there is no problem they will cite you for whatever violation and advise you have 10 days to register your bike. The reason for the registration is because of all the heavy theft with bicycles. Also if you ride a scooter or motorcycle it is a federal law you must wear some kind of eye wear. It can be sunglasses, regular eye glasses, goggles, etc. They will stop you even at night..believe me they can spot you even in the dark. I know this personally as I was pulled over after I left the gas station and forgot to put them back on. The yellow, red or blue ones are great for cloudy days as they brighten your sight view. If you are stopped for this they will cite you and not let you leave with the scooter/motorcycle until you have eye wear on. The main reason is because of dust particles, bugs, etc. that can cause you to lose control and drop your scooter/motorcycle. You think it is bad when you have a bug decide to fly into your mouth, just try one with a bug flying into your eye at 40 mph.

As many know I live near the church on osborne and that is the local hang out for most of them and this is where they are parking when they start on their bike ride.

Also code enforcement doesn’t just work M-F during the day they will stop and take pictures and cite the house the next morning with tickets. They cited the house down the street on a Saturday night at 11 pm for that weird aluminum foil on roof situation with a neighbor.

I wish they would cite the shade tree mechanic on Osborne that has a painted piece of plywood in the front yard advising they he is a certified mechanic. Or the boarding house on Osborne that is full of nasty old men.