ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.
The candidates for Districts 2, 4 and 6 gathered at City Hall for a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. They fielded a wide range of questions from the audience that had been vetted by the organization.
09/25/17 Local Government
Times Staff Writer
The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.
The commission's vote raises the budget for the 26-acre Pier District to $76 million.
St. Petersburg officials had asked the county commission to approve reallocating $14 million in tax increment financing, or TIF funds — once meant to build a mixed-use transportation facility for the city — to the pier project and to improve transportation and parking options in downtown....
Candidates for three City Council seats took questions from a polite crowd Wednesday night during a forum organized by the Council of Neighborhood Associations.
Residents asked about prominent issues like the Tampa Bay Rays’ quest for a stadium and the cost of the pier, but they also wanted to know the candidates’ positions on banning plastic bags, solar panels, sea-level rise, historic preservation and improvements away from downtown....
09/20/17 Nursing Homes
ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.
Back in 1985, they evacuated from their Madeira Beach condo to Davis Islands and then to a sturdy, family-owned warehouse to take shelter from Hurricane Elena. When Irma threatened this year, they were unfazed.
As the holiest days of the Jewish calendar approached, so did Hurricane Irma.
While residents prepared for the storm and weighed whether to stay or evacuate, Tampa Bay's temples and synagogues secured sacred Torah scrolls and assessed how the storm could affect services and programs for the important High Holidays.
At Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Petersburg, that meant rescheduling a visit by a renowned rabbi from the Czech Republic....
ST. PETERSBURG — The morning after Hurricane Irma brushed the city, Elihu Brayboy got a call saying that a portion of the south wall of the historic but condemned Merriwether Building he and his wife have owned since 2011 had collapsed.
He arrived in time Monday to see fire officials cordoning off the area. A few hours later, he watched as the building that once served as a segregation-era hotel for visiting black baseball players, Pullman porters and entertainers was demolished....
ST. PETERSBURG — Organizers of St. Pete Pride struck a collective nerve when they decided to move a major draw of the annual June celebration to the city's downtown waterfront.
To the neighborhoods west of downtown that initiated the celebration and boosted it for 14 years, the move away from their LGBT businesses and community was seen as a rebuff.
But going forward, they're launching a new, eight-day event — Come Out St. Pete — a mix of celebration and political action, to coincide with the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights....
ST. PETERSBURG — Four years after bargain hunters cleared the shelves of the Sweetbay supermarket in Pinellas Point, the cavernous space once occupied by the grocery store remains empty.
The vacant, 46,803-square-foot space and its bare parking lot add to the desolate feel of the Skyway Plaza shopping center, which also has been abandoned by others, including a Walgreens, dry cleaner and a St. Petersburg Police Department resource center....
09/01/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Gina Driscoll squeaked through to the November runoff for the City Council District 6 seat with just two votes.
In Tuesday's primary, Driscoll, 46, finished just four votes ahead of Robert Blackmon, 28, for second place.
In machine and manual recounts Friday, Blackmon gained three votes and Driscoll one, leaving her a two-vote margin. Driscoll will now go up against Justin Bean, 30, who received the most votes of the eight District 6 candidates in the primary....
08/30/17 Local Government
By WAVENEY ANN MOORE
ST. PETERSBURG — The morning after Tuesday's election primary, Justin Bean was considering his strategy for his final step in the City Council District 6 race.
But Gina Driscoll and Robert Blackmon, his possible rivals, were enduring a nail-biting waiting game. Separated by four votes — with Driscoll ahead — the two candidates will not know until Friday which one has qualified to run against Bean in the Nov. 7 runoff....
08/29/17 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — Justin Bean will advance to the Nov. 7 runoff for the City Council's District 6 seat. But who will join him in that race?
Gina Driscoll led Robert Blackmon by just four votes in Tuesday night's primary. But a handful of votes still need to be reviewed. The narrow margin could trigger a recount of the race, said Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections spokesman Jason Latimer....
ST. PETERSBURG — The fledgling Skyway Marina District's premier project may be on wobbly ground.
Phillips Development and Realty, which announced plans late last year to build a $70 million mixed-use project, has put about five acres of its 9-acre site up for sale.
08/26/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman started the new year by imploring the committee charged with selecting artwork for the new Pier District to go big: They should pursue renowned artist Janet Echelman to create one of her lighted aerial sculptures for the new pier.
"The designs that she does have energy to them and the location being over the waterfront, over water, creates that energy and it is always going to have a life," Kriseman said during the Pier Public Art Project Committee's Jan. 18 meeting. "It's always going to be different ... really cool."...
ST. PETERSBURG — City Council District 6 candidate Robert Blackmon has been endorsed by former City Council member Larry Williams and Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority chairman James Holton.
Blackmon, 28, is among eight candidates running for District 6, which includes downtown and parts of Midtown and Old Northeast. He is a real estate investor.
Here's the news release announcing the endorsements:...
Robert Blackmon, one of eight candidates vying for the District 6 seat, has been endorsed by City Council member Jim Kennedy.
Kennedy, who is term limited, has also endorsed former Mayor Rick Baker, who is running against incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman.
Blackmon, 28, a real estate investor, is considered one of three front runners for District 6, which includes downtown and parts of Midtown and Old Northeast. ...