08/21/17 Human Interest
Kathleen Phelan helped her husband, Tony, start Pinchers restaurant while working as a teacher in Collier County.
She spent days at school and nights at the restaurant as a hostess, all while Tony battled cancer, and worked at their first location, a six-table restaurant in a strip mall.
Now the Phelans have multiple restaurant brands and 12 Pinchers locations in eight counties, including Hillsborough and Pasco. But Kathleen Phelan hasn't forgotten her roots — so teachers in all eight counties will receive $25 gift certificates that can be used at any of the restaurants. That's nearly 50,000 teachers, a value of more than $1 million and a gesture worthy of kudos....
08/20/17 Human Interest
Roberto Torres stands as one of the city's most impressive rising entrepreneurs. The owner of Blind Tiger Cafes, Black & Denim clothing company and CoWork Ybor has expanded his reach with locations at Tampa International Airport and The Morrison, a new mixed use development in the SoHo District. Torres, however, remains grounded to his immigrant roots. In fact, he grew emotional Tuesday when U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, recognized him and four other citizens with "American Dream Awards."...
Without aid of glasses, contact lenses or Lasik surgery, Hiroko Kato has clearer vision — when it comes to her career.
Kato is working in the local manufacturing industry, a prospect she struggled to reach until she took a special course offered in a partnership between the Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women and Hillsborough Community College.
Now she knows manufacturing isn't solely rooted in grimy jobs. Now she knows she can make something....
For more than a week, social media has buzzed about the possibility of the Hillsborough County Commission revisiting the Confederate monument issue and calling for a ballot initiative on the statue in front of the old county courthouse.
The commission voted last month to relocate the statue to a private cemetery in Brandon, provided private dollars can be raised for the relocation....
During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., I got a chance to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
Fourteen King quotes frame the 30-foot statue of the civil rights leader, but one struck a particular chord given our national and local discord.
We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience....
08/07/17 Human Interest
As head of the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, Caitlyn Peacock has moved from hunger outreach to collaborating with other food providers.
Yet Peacock still occasionally participates in food distribution efforts. And she grows emotional thinking of the hungry faces of children she sees.
It's those images that drive Peacock and the Network to End Hunger. In partnership with the Alliance to End Hunger, the network will convene the National Sunshine Summit to End Hunger Nov. 6-7 at the Amalie Arena....
08/04/17 Human Interest
The bus carried the former NFL player back in time.
It transported Tyrone Keys back to his days as a member of the Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl Shuffle team. It took him back to shifting from the Bears to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and eventually starting a nonprofit effort in Tampa that has touched the lives of thousands of kids since 1992.
The bus propelled a group of kids into the future....
07/31/17 Human Interest
I'm not sure the people of Dunedin will appreciate this, but their downtown is cool.
What's wrong with complimenting the city for its laid-back collection of restaurants and bars, and its cool vibe that flies under the radar of raves about St. Petersburg and Tampa? Well, I think I'm going to get the same reaction I got when I saluted Safety Harbor's Main Street magic a few years ago. Shhh!...
07/24/17 Public Safety
Last week's arrest by St. Petersburg police of Joshua Thompson in the death of his girlfriend, Melinda Soria, came just days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that found more than half of female homicide victims are killed in connection to intimate partner violence.
The report's author characterized the issue as a public health problem crossing all racial and ethnic groups. And some of the findings indicate this situation is growing worse....
ATLANTA —The excitement rose as we made our way toward SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use community with apartments, retail and restaurants, creates a canyon walkway for fans heading to the stadium. We peeked into the restaurant on the right on the off chance Mark or Donnie Wahlberg might be inside the Wahlburgers.
We look at the apartments and wonder about the rent. According to the Atlanta Constitution Journal, prices range from $1,225 a month to $4,305, depending on your view of the ballpark....
07/17/17 Human Interest
Every person who has anything to do with transportation in Tampa Bay should hang his or her head in shame.
County commissioners, mayors, HART and PSTA officials, TBARTA, city council members, everybody. Did I forget someone? Oh yeah, all our legislators, the governor and the folks at FDOT.
Each of you has failed this region.
Sorry, but when I look at the progress being made in Charlotte and every other major city in America — except for Detroit, of course — it's the only conclusion. I'm calling you out not to start a fight but to spur you to action....
Ted Dorsey, owner and executive chef of The Mill in St. Petersburg, said every restaurant strives to maximize food preparation and avoid waste, even when it means taking the spatula and scraping every drop of that special sauce out of the bowl.
It's certainly a matter of efficiency, but another factor drives the chefs and restaurateurs. Food waste haunts them because they know someone out there is going hungry. In greater Tampa Bay, one out of seven adults lives with food insecurity....
07/10/17 Human Interest
Compromise can be construed as a bad word in heated disputes, but I can't view the battle over the Confederate monument that sits in front of Hillsborough's old county courthouse through that lens.
To be clear, the monument, dedicated with racist words in 1911, does not belong in front of a place where all seek justice.
But with the County Commission already voting once to leave it in place, a relocation to Oaklawn Cemetery or Veterans Memorial Park is a better decision, and it's one the board may enact when it takes up the issue on July 19....
You never have to search far to find talk of investments and nest eggs and financial payoffs.
Everyone seems to have a sure-fire stock guaranteed to pay incredible dividends, or a bond yield certain to increase wealth. It's all about the return on investment, and the message is clear: Don't invest one of your most valuable resources unless you're getting something back.
On Thursday (July 6), I watched men invest something more valuable than cash, with no guarantee of getting a return. Led by Ricky Sailor of Unsigned Preps and WWE wrestler Titus O'Neil, a number of successful businessmen, accomplished sports professionals and former athletes gave of their time to a group of high school players....
When Anddrikk Frazier was 8-years-old, he watched as three white men drew his father into a road rage incident, forced his car off the street and engaged him in a fight.
"The last thing I can remember, other than my 4-year-old sister crying hysterically, is looking at the back of that pickup truck, on the tailgate, and seeing a huge Confederate flag," Frazier said. "When people talk about heritage and their images, my vision and view is a little different." But Frazier also looks at the current conflict over a Confederate monument in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse through the eyes of a successful businessman....