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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Walk in 'park' a tad short
Cars temporarily get the heave-ho as a project takes over parking spaces.
By CASEY CORA, Times Staff Writer
Published September 22, 2007
TAMPA - A West Coast art collective thought to make their urban surroundings more inhabitable for man, not machine.
In downtown Tampa Friday morning, that idea materialized on 176 square feet of sod outside a Thai restaurant.
Called National Parking Day, it called for local volunteers to take over city-run parking spaces in hopes of boosting public use of urban environs across the globe.
On the 300 block of Twiggs Street, a metered spot turned into a usable, if small, public park -complete with chairs, a checkerboard on a table and 10-foot Florida holly tree swaying in the breeze.
Despite the somewhat-radical roots of the concept, established in 2006 by the San Francisco-based arts group Rebar and backed by the national nonprofit Trust for Public Land, Friday's display was designed to promote outdoor spaces, not rattle any cages.
In fact, the Tampa Downtown Partnership, the Mayor's Beautification Program and the city paved the way for a special parking permit to allow the arrangement to happen.
Still, organizers say it's all about raising awareness.
"People notice it," Andy Lutton, executive director of the Mayor's Beautification Program, said of the parking space. "But people don't always notice the parks (right) here."
This spot, Lutton said, was picked for is high visibility to downtown foot traffic. And on this day, there was plenty, including a meter reader, who just raised an eyebrow, then smiled.