Seen and Heard
Yvette C. HammettTribune staff
About 150 people decked in bright-yellow rain ponchos marched through portions of Ybor City on Saturday morning decrying the state’s plan to build express interstate toll lanes.
Pushing children in strollers and walking dogs on leashes, the protesters chanted as they hiked along the community’s rain-soaked streets carrying signs with slogans such as: “Highway to Hell,” “Express Lanes Wrong for Tampa” and “Tampa’s Smarter Than TBX.”
CBS is thinking about milking the Tampa military scene for TV-style drama.
Last week, Variety reported that the network has ordered a pilot called “Four Stars,” which the entertainment newspaper describes as a “family military drama” that “follows two powerful rival families in the military community of Tampa, Florida, who make decisions at the highest levels of national security.”
The potential series comes from writer Becky Mode, who will executive produce the series with Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and R.J. Cutler, who is attached to direct the pilot, according to Variety.
Christopher SpataTBO.com staff
“So what was your favorite commercial last night?”
That was the question in our office this morning, and probably in lots of offices around the globe the morning after the Super Bowl.
“That PuppyMonkeyBaby thing” was my immediate answer (although I didn’t think it was a great year for commercials, overall).
JANINE DORSEYTBO.com staff
AAA wants to keeps travelers safer on the highways during Super Bowl weekend by keeping impaired drivers off the roads.
The auto club says just call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO for a confidential tow within a 10-mile radius to a safe location when you’ve had too much to drink during the big game.
The program is provided as a service by AAA and is free for drivers in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, and not just current AAA auto club members.
Rules, routes and options are football terms, but they also apply to life lessons.
Tyrone Keys, a lineman for the University of Florida and the Chicago Bears, and Thaddeus Bullard, a University of Florida player who goes by the WWE ring name of Titus O’Neil, encouraged guests to help students through prayer and financial support at the Unsigned Preps Dinner Fundraiser on Jan. 23 at the Centre Club in Tampa.
Each stressed the importance of giving back to the community and praised four students who received academic and community service awards: Jamie Reid (Leto High School), Mason Washington (Brandon High School), Tre’ McKitty (IMG Academy), and Tyree St. Louis (now at the University of Miami).
“Happy Gasparilla” was the greeting of the evening as hundreds of members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and their guests gathered for the annual Captain’s Ball on Jan. 28 at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club.
Krewe Captain J. Rex Farrior III and his wife, Laurin, greeted guests in the club’s foyer before they made their way toward well-stocked bars and lively dance music inside and out.
Farrior said the ball is “a way to see all your friends and have a great time” while celebrating the impending Gasparilla invasion.
The annual President’s Dinner, sponsored by the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation on Jan. 31, drew more than 700 guests to the Hilton Tampa Downtown.
Event co-chair Rochelle Gross said the federation provides money, food and medicine to Jewish and non-Jewish people in need, here and around the world.
Cindy Spahn was her co-chair, and award-winning journalist Jeffrey Goldberg was the speaker. Paula and Carl Zielonka received the Tikkun Olam Award for their service.
If you didn’t dedicate your entire Saturday to going downtown to see the Gasparilla invasion, you can catch up on what you missed in just under four minutes with this time-lapse video that YouTube user Garrett Speed posted this morning.
The video, which appears to have been filmed from high up in one of the buildings on the east side of Ashley Drive, offers a view of the parade as it crosses Twiggs Street headed north.
There’s also a nice view of the heavy boating activity on the Hillsborough River near the Platt Street bridge. Look closely at 1:24 and you’ll see the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship as it arrives at the Tampa Convention Center with cannons firing.
Yvette C. HammettTribune staff
What does winter weather in Chicago have in common with winter weather in St. Pete?
Absolutely nothing, and Visit St. Pete Clearwater is using that to its advantage.
The organization is kicking off its newest winter ad campaign by offering shivering Chicago residents free Uber rides on Wednesdays in February, as well as hand warmers, bags of swag from one of Florida’s most popular coastal counties, and in some cases, virtual tours of this area through special goggles.
Supporters of Family Resources joined local celebrities to lend their voices to Celebrity Karaoke, a fundraiser to benefit children, teens and families in crisis.
The Jan. 22 event drew about 350 guests to Pepin Hospitality Center to raise money to provide counseling services, shelter, transitional living programs and an array of community-based programs.
Howard Balzer, NFL analyst, served as the master of ceremonies for the event, which was chaired by former NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end John Gilmore. Bill Edwards was the lead sponsor with dinner provided by Brocato’s, Brio Tuscan Grille, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Anise Global, Gaspars Patio Bar & Grille, Lee Roy Selmon’s and DoubleTree Hotel Tampa.