10/20/17 Personal Finance
Public safety officials can readily identify a city's most dangerous intersections.
In retirement, the most dangerous intersection can be where the winding road of wealth crosses the unpredictable boulevard of health. NBC Today show financial editor Jean Chatzky says retirees have to be prepared to navigate both.
"There's no question it can be challenging," Chatzky said. "The must frustrating part is that you need both good health and stable finances. It's inadequate if you have one without the other. It just doesn't work any more....
Atlanta, a place known for rising from the ashes of the Civil War to become an international city, proved to be a perfect backdrop for Artricia James-Heard's own rise from what she calls "a very vulnerable time in her life."
It was there that James-Heard escaped a failing and abusive marriage and found a safe haven with a girlfriend. Over time, however, the friendship dissolved as a relationship grew with her girlfriend's brother, Michael....
10/15/17 Human Interest
Arts Conservatory for Teens continues to create an impact in St. Petersburg through its efforts to infuse education and enrichment through music and art.
On Saturday, it completed a public art installation at the Enoch Davis Center aimed at promoting unity. Kids from the nonprofit program joined residents to paint 8-foot letters that spelled out "Color St. Pete."
Some may greet this message in these divisive times with cynicism, but we owe it to the next generation to kindle hope. The future's little lights need to shine brightly, now more than ever. . . ....
10/09/17 Human Interest
In nearly 30 years of frequenting area watering holes, I thought I had seen it all — until Friday night.
I met a friend on the patio at Miguelito's on Kennedy Boulevard. Shortly afterward, about a dozen Hispanic women in a celebratory mood sat at a table behind us.
Moments later, a mariachi band (Mariachi Tampa) strolled in. "Cool. Entertainment," I thought.
But at the back of the line was a young man, not in the band but dressed in a black Mariachi charro, and as he approached the table, everyone stepped back — except for one woman....
10/08/17 Human Interest
Even after 25 years at the helm, the drive and vision remains that first spurred Judy Lisi to take on the challenge of serving as the CEO of the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts Center (then the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center). At a youthful-looking 70, Lisi forges ahead with new ideas to handle the center's parking challenges and a master plan to re-imagine the center's lobbies and make it a place for community....
Some tears were shed in Brandon on Thursday night.
Tears of joy.
Tears of faith.
Tears of recognition.
Tears for a bigger future that will be brighter than its successful present.
ECHO of Brandon, the community's flagship nonprofit and an organization every Hillsborough County resident needs to know more about, celebrated its 30th anniversary in front of its strip-mall headquarters on Parsons Avenue. ...
On Wednesday morning, the safest McDonald's in all of Hillsborough County sat on the corner of W Kennedy Boulevard and Dakota Avenue.
Guests entering the restaurant were greeted by no less than a dozen deputies and other officials from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. McDonald's of Tampa Bay arranged the "Coffee with a Cop" sessions at seven different area locations.
They handed out coffee, worked the drive-through and a few even went in the kitchen and attempted to make an Egg McMuffin sandwich....
10/02/17 Human Interest
Kudos to Brandon's Ariana Mosley, whose commitment to this nation as an Air Force Academy cadet remains fervent despite the racial hostility gripping the academy.
Last week, the phrase "Go Home" followed by the n-word was scrawled on message boards outside the room of five African-American students at the academy's prep school. Clearly, it struck an ugly chord with Mosley, an African-American who graduated from Tampa Prep....
The dual challenges feed off each other.
Veterans enduring a medical ordeal may lose sleep because they lack the legal means to acquire needed benefits to cover the costs. But losing sleep can worsen their condition.
It's not difficult to envision vets tossing and turning in the wee hours of the morning, wondering who will fight for them after they've fought for our country.
Recognizing the stress-induced issues that can arise at the intersection of healthcare and law, Bay Area Legal Services has enteredinto a medical-legal partnership at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg. It's one of only 13 such partnerships in the nation, and while a number of agencies service veterans, sometimes it helps to have a good lawyer helping navigate the system....
09/24/17 Human Interest
President Donald Trump's comments regarding the protests by NFL players sparked more players, including Bucs, to kneel during Sunday's pregame ceremonies.
Let's look beyond where you might stand on the controversy and ask: How could anyone who wants players to stand in reverent silence during the national anthem believe that goal could be achieved by publicly referring to their mothers as dogs? How can you earn respect from the league by showing none?...
Everyone ends up with a favorite.
Or two or three or 10.
Rest assured, no one who adores Tampa Bay, appreciates art or cherishes history can explore the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection without storing at least one snapshot in the mental scrapbook.
The Friends of the Hillsborough County Library maintain an archive of nearly 15,000 Burgert Brothers photos that capture all manner of images, from bustling downtown street corners to festive Gasparilla celebrations to thriving businesses — some dating back to the late 19th century....
09/17/17 Human Interest
It's difficult to look beyond the scope and size of the Hillsborough County School District, the county's largest employer with a budget in excess of $1.8 billion.
The sense of community created by individual schools, however, is far more akin to a small town. Parents and students bond through assemblies and fundraisers and even car lines.
At Lee Elementary, this unity seems more profound, and it needs to be maintained....
Even in the final seconds of his 18-episode run on MasterChef, Jeff Philbin represented Tampa — albeit with the help of one of his fiercest competitors.
"It looks like he's finally headed back to Tampa, where he belongs," Cate Meade boasted about Philbin.
Meade, from Chicago was right. Philbin struggled to turn his salmon into a delectable dish for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, in part because Meade placed him in the difficult position of having only 20 minutes to prepare his entree (other contestants had incrementally more time)....
Now that the storm has passed, people may be inclined to return their food supplies back to the store.
However, it's important to keep in mind that Publix and other grocers will throw away perishable items. Perhaps a better alternative would be donating water and supplies to nonprofits.
"Any perishable product returns to our stores must be discarded," said Publix media and community relations manager Brian West. "But customers may donate directly to their local food banks."...
09/10/17 Human Interest
One of my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Arrested Development's Tennessee, goes "(Lord) I know you're supposed to be my steering wheel. Not just my spare tire."
But as Hurricane Irma loomed larger, I attended the 7 a.m. mass on Sunday at Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, knowing that I might need four spare tires and a steering wheel in the coming days.