tampabay.com

Dateline Florida

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 3, 2007


60 YEARS OF RAISED GLASSES COME TO END

It's last call for a Madeira Beach institution. The Bamboo Beer Garden has closed its doors after 60 years. Owner Rosie DeYoung said business had fallen with the demise of small, inexpensive motels that supplied her older, middle-class tourist customers. She said she tried to sell the business but prospective buyers couldn't work out a deal with the landlord. DeYoung said she's already begun to hear condolences from international visitors who were regulars for decades. She is in the process of removing years of memorabilia, particularly hundreds of license plates clients affixed to the walls and ceiling. The last day of business was Monday.

Bill for fire a real scorcher: $44, 000

A swamp buggy fire will cost a Fort Lauderdale man enough to buy a Lexus. That's because the April 16 fire, sparked by an electrical malfunction, started an Everglades brush fire that lasted eight days, covered 39, 000 acres and closed Alligator Alley. So the state Division of Forestry charged Raymond Comanic with careless burning of lands and will follow up with a bill for more than $44, 000. "If you've got a piece of equipment, you're responsible, and you have an obligation not to harm nature or people, " said Bill Berry of the Division of Forestry.