News & Notes

Wildlife visions are clearer here

By Times Staff
Published December 13, 2005

A LOCAL WINNER: James Shadle of Valrico is one of 15 winners in National Wildlife Magazine's 35th annual photography competition. The photo, above, shows a roseate spoonbill touching down at a Tampa Bay rookery. A battery salesman by day, Shadle's photos have appeared in National Geographic and Popular Photography . He and his son, Blake, run educational photo tours through their Web site, wildflorida.net.

AND LOCAL WILDLIFE: Another winner in the same photo competition isn't from around here, but the photo was shot at Fort De Soto Park. Kevin Doxstater of Port Orange spotted a long-billed curlew, above, about to munch on a crab. He'll conduct a photography workshop Jan. 28 at Fort DeSoto. For details, see naturalvisionsphoto.com.

Cutting the ribbon on an early present

A road project finishing early and under budget? That calls for a celebration, or at least a ribbon cutting. Declaring it an important step in redeveloping Tampa's downtown, Mayor Pam Iorio and several city leaders cut a red ribbon Monday to reopen portions of N Franklin Street closed to traffic since the 1970s. It was supposed to be finished next month, but Tampa transportation manager Roy LaMotte called the opening an early holiday present. And it cost $350,000 less than the $1.2-million budget.

Dropping an anchor on sand bar parties

Looking for a place to drop anchor and hoist cocktails? A sandbar off Shell Key that formed last year during hurricane season has become a hot spot for boating enthusiasts and partiers, but a Memorial Day brawl-bash this year prompted Pinellas County to consider closing it down. Instead, signs tell boaters not to anchor in a channel. So, the bar's still open, but be careful where you park.

Negro League players may get their due

Don't save the date just yet, but May 20 would become a national day of recognition for players of the Negro Leagues under legislation proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida. The idea is to salute the major leaguers who for decades were kept out of Major League Baseball because they were black. Earlier this year, Nelson helped persuade MLB to offer retirement benefits to Negro League players.


"I'm not sure where our priorities are, but we won."

- SUSANNE D'ANTONIO, a costume designer from Big Pine Key who decided to protect a massive costume instead of her husband's work tools before Hurricane Wilma struck Oct. 24. The tools were lost, but D'Antonio was a parade standout and costume competition winner in the rescheduled Fantasy Fest parade over the weekend.