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Notebook

Officials warn of bacteria at Cypress Point Beach

By RON MATUS and SUSAN THURSTON
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 31, 2003

WESTSHORE -- Scary signs went up at Cypress Point Beach last week.

Again.

On Jan. 23, county health officials posted signs warning bathers about potentially harmful bacteria. It was the fourth time since August and the second time this month they've flagged the beach.

If ingested, the bacteria, normally found in human and animal waste, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Stormwater is often blamed for bringing the bad bugs into swimming areas.

Cypress Point is popular with dogs and their owners. Health officials say dog waste could be a factor, but won't know for sure until studies are launched to pinpoint sources.

There is no timeline for when that will happen.

Meeting today to unveil road-improvement plans

DOWNTOWN -- A progress meeting to discuss bettering one of Tampa's gateway thoroughfares is set for today.

Tindale-Oliver & Associates, hired last year by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, will unveil preliminary recommendations on everything from streetscaping on Kennedy Boulevard to public transportation to intersection improvements.

The consultant's final report is scheduled for completion in April. A couple of open houses will be held next month.

The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Planning Commission Board Room, 18th Floor, 601 E Kennedy Blvd. For more information, call Ronnie Blackshear, MPO project manager, at 272-5940.

Hotel developers, residents to meet

SOHO -- Developers of a proposed Hilton Homewood Suites on S Howard Avenue are having a third meeting with neighbors to discuss the plan and present changes aimed at addressing residents' concerns.

The meeting is set for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Bayshore Presbyterian Church, 2515 Bayshore Blvd.

Long & Cox Properties of Atlanta has proposed converting the 1301 SoHo apartments into an 80-room hotel designed for long-term guests.

Several residents have opposed the idea, saying it doesn't fit with the neighborhood.

The issue is scheduled to go before the City Council for a land-use change on Feb. 13.

27 UT students to study overseas this semester

DOWNTOWN -- Twenty-seven students from the University of Tampa are traveling overseas this semester to study at 18 schools in nine countries.

The entourage marks UT's largest study abroad group yet. Last spring, 10 students participated. This fall, 16 students did.

Three honors students, including Sharon Crumb from Ruskin and Helen Java from Land 'O Lakes, are heading to Oxford University in England. Dylan Moore from Tampa is off to James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.

For more information on the program, call Kathy Ward, UT's study abroad coordinator, at 258-7431.

Port Tampa Community Center won't be salvaged

PORT TAMPA -- Supporters of a proposed cultural arts center have given up on a plan to renovate the old Port Tampa Community Center.

The South Tampa Community Development Corp., formed last fall, hoped to turn the aging building at 4719 Prescott St. into a space for community theater and budding artists.

But further inspection showed the center "just isn't salvageable," said Jill Buford, president of the Port Tampa Civic Association and a CDC member.

The building is back on track for demolition, but city officials say there is no timeline yet for when it will be torn down.

The CDC is considering leasing the land from the city and building a new structure on the site, Buford said.

Bay Center Drive closing to be discussed Tuesday

BEACH PARK -- Developers proposing to close a section of Bay Center Drive have scheduled a meeting with residents to go over the plan and discuss concerns at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Park Plaza hotel.

Highwoods Properties wants the city to vacate part of the street to allow for two seven-story office buildings. Neighbors oppose the idea, saying it would eliminate a popular spot for walking and watching sunsets.

The issue was scheduled to go to the City Council on Jan. but developers planned to seek a continuance until Feb. 13. The meeting will be held in the Jupiter Room of the hotel at 5303 W Kennedy Blvd.

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