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Neighborhood notebook

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 30, 2002

Old license plates tagged for public art

Got an old license plate? Consider donating it to the kids at Children's Services.

More precisely, that rusty piece of metal could be part of a sculpture that will celebrate the center's new gymnasium.

Hillsborough County has commissioned artist Michael Kalish to create a piece of public art using discarded license plates (the genre of choice for the nationally known Kalish). He plans to visit the county center along Lake Magdalene to ask the children about their favorite sports.

"The art will be fun and accessible in terms of its content and media," said Jan Stein, Public Art Program Coordinator for the county. "What a great addition to the campus scene."

You can send your license plate to Stein at 505 E Jackson St., Suite 300, Tampa, FL 33602.

Official denies variance for Eckerd Corp. signs

Hillsborough Land Use Hearing Officer James Scarola recently denied Eckerd Corp.'s variance request to construct two larger-than-normal street signs at its new store at Gunn Highway and Sheldon Road.

"Good, good, good," said Citrus Park Civic Association president Jean Carson, who opposed the variance.

The county's land development code allows one pole sign per roadside with an allotment of 100 square feet -- 50 square feet on each side -- per pole. Eckerd wanted to double the size of its two signs, claiming the measure was needed to help customers maneuver around the medians at Gunn and Sheldon.

Entrances will be located near the median edges.

Eckerd can appeal the decision to the Sign Appeals Board. But Karen Matches, manager of the Hillsborough County Citizen Board Support, could not be reached Friday to find out whether an appeal has been filed. Eckerd representatives could not be reached for comment.

House candidate qualifies for District 47 ballot

District 47 state representative candidate Kevin Ambler, a Republican, has qualified to be on the Sept. 10 primary ballot after collecting the necessary number of signatures from registered voters, the state Division of Elections said.

Ambler, a Tampa attorney, obtained the necessary 445 signatures. In doing so, he was the first to qualify in a race that also has attracted Republicans Jill Collins and William Mitchell; Democrats Mike Steinberg and Lynn McGarvey, and Independent Robert Schwartzberg.

Runner coaches hopefuls for New York Marathon

Carrollwood marathon runner and educator Lynn Gray continues to keep her mileage up.

This summer she's coaching a group of "long distance wild women," as she calls them, who wish to train for the New York Marathon on Nov. 3.

Classes meet each Wednesday evening in Carrollwood. Members pay $35 a month, which covers insurance costs. Training also includes long runs on weekends and weekly schedules depending on the level of fitness.

Gray, who has run almost 70 marathons, has taught long-distance running to children as young as grade-school age and adult women as old as 63. She plans to start her next round of classes in mid July. If you think you have a marathon in you, you can contact Gray at Or call her at 961-9347.


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