Farm to Fable Part 1: The restaurant's chalkboard makes claims as you enter from the valet parking lot. At the hostess stand, a cheery board reads, “Welcome to local, farm-fresh Boca.” Brown butcher paper tops tables and lettuces grow along a wooden wall. In a small market case, I see canned goods from here and produce from somewhere. Check the small print: blackberries from Mexico and blueberries from California. With the tagline “Local, simple and honest,” Boca Kitchen Bar Market was among the first wave of farm-to-table restaurants in Tampa Bay to make the assertion “we use local products whenever possible.” I’ve reviewed the food. My own words are right there on their website: “local, thoughtful and, most importantly, delicious.” But I’ve been had, from the snapper down to the beef. [more inside]
Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force, revenue source [more inside]
In the wake of recent debates about the responsibility of journalists to their subjects, this essay from TampaBay.com, about a woman suffering from a rare disorder, and the writer's relationship with her before and after the story is being written, has been hearalded as a good counterexample of "a journalist analyzing her actions ferociously," and doing a more ethical job of dealing with "suffering, suicide and a journalist's responsibility".
On November 30, the Tampa Bay Times published a sympathetic profile of Spring Hill, FL resident Gretchen Molannen: "Persistent genital arousal disorder brings woman agony, not ecstasy." Her condition, also known as PGAD, is a rare sexual disorder (not recognized by the DSM,) 'characterized by spontaneous, persistent, unwanted sexual arousal unrelated to feelings of sexual desire.' The Times reported that Ms. Molannen's condition had virtually destroyed her personal and professional life and led to several suicide attempts. One day after the article was published, she successfully committed suicide. [more inside]
Lets Swim To Work! "Centuries of boat traffic, heavy industry, sewage runoff and toxic dumping have ingrained in us the idea that urban waterways are not places for people. Even as cities have rushed to the water’s edge over the past couple of decades, building elaborate waterfront parks and esplanades, few have taken the next logical step: encouraging residents to dive in." [more inside]
Small business owner and candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Sher Valenzuela is slated to speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday as part of a platform meant to suggest business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government. The problem is that Valenzuela received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds as business loans from the US government, along with other government assistance. One Reddit user noticed the url for the full name of Valenzuela's First State Manufacturing business was unregistered, and remedied that with full details. [more inside]
What’s a Monkey to Do in Tampa? [SLNYT]
After beating the Texas Rangers on Sept. 3, the Boston Red Sox were 84-54. Although half a game behind the Yankees in the American League East, the Red Sox had a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card and roughly a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs. Fast forward one excruciating month to a dead heat with Tampa coming into tonight's bitter imbroglio. Boston struggles ahead of laughingstock Baltimore by a single run until a rain delay clears the field, leaving them in the surreal position of rooting for the hated Yankees playing down in Florida. They can only watch from the sidelines as the rival Rays, tied with Boston in the pennant race but down 7-0 against New York, roar back to life with six runs in the eighth inning and a tie run on the final pitch at the bottom of the ninth. And then, after blowing two different strikes that would have salvaged the game, Boston loses to Baltimore, completing what is arguably the worst late-breaking collapse in the history of major league baseball.
"The call to the Sheriff's Office came on Nov. 18, 2010, just before noon. The townhouse, deputies learned, had belonged to a woman named Kathryn Norris, and the 1987 silver Chevy Nova was registered to her, too. She had used a normal amount of electricity in July 2009 and much less in August and none after that. She had paid her mortgage in August and then stopped. Her head was on the floor and her feet were on the seat. The corpse, deputies wrote in their report, was wearing a dress."
There is a rhesus macaque monkey on the loose in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It seems to get around. It has been shot with tranquilizer darts a number of times, but always gets away. It has been roaming the Tampa Bay area for at least a year. It has fans on facebook.
Hey kids, let's go way back, and spend a little quality time with Tampa Red, shall we? Cause, you know, you can't get that stuff no more, and if you missed him, you missed a good man.
The Ripples From Little Lake Nellie — "Four months after Cleveland Indian pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin died in a boating accident, their families and friends are coming to grips with the grief that still washes over them" [more inside]
Tampa Bay Rays beat Red Sox, head to World Series - The Tampa Bay
Devil Rays began the 2008 season having never made the playoffs and or finishing the season above .500. Motivated by skipper Joe Madden's mathematically questionable slogan "9 = 8" ("9 players going hard for 9 innings means 1 of 8 playoff spots") but not considered a competitor for the AL East top spot by most fans and analysts, the Rays used their new name, uniforms and confidence to slowly emerge as one of the best teams in baseball this year. [more inside]
A church in Tampa, FL has issued a 30-day sex challenge: If you're married, have sex every day (PDF of daily workbook). If you're not married, don't have sex at all (PDF of daily workbook). There's a blog, there's a billboard, there's a lot of press. [more inside]
Women Jailed and refused contraceptive after reporting rape. A woman visiting the Tampa area for Gasparilla was thrown in jail after being accused of failing to pay restitution for a 2003 theft arrest. The Tampa jail refused to provide the woman with a second dose of the morning after pill because of the religious beliefs of an employee.
The Hard Road A very engrossing and well written series by three reporters of the St Petersburg Times who spent a year reporting on a hit-and-run case that shocked Tampa. This long, tragic narrative broken into five installments, explores what happened after Jennifer Porter, a quiet, unassuming 28-year-old schoolteacher, ran down four of Lisa Wilkins' children one evening in March 2004. [via]
Dewey Defeats Tampa Bay Lightning! Actually, the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, but someone forgot to tell The Tampa Tribune's crack editorial staff.
Tampa drops face-recognition system The Tampa Police Department says the system, which scans faces in a crowd and compares them with a database of criminals, didn't help them catch even one criminal. Could it be that law enforcement is starting to understand that technology is no substitution for good old fashioned police work?