tampabay.com

Older whooping cranes arrive a little earlier

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 15, 2007


CHASSAHOWITZKA

The 17 whooping cranes in this year's ultralight-led Class of 2007 may be only halfway to their winter homes, but their elders from previous years are already trickling into the area.

Four of the endangered whooping cranes have been seen in Hernando County, and two more have made it to Pasco .

Among the new arrivals to Hernando County is the bird designated W601, which is the first crane chick hatched in the wild from parents that were taught the migration route by following the ultralights.

He hatched last year, followed his parents to Florida, returned to Wisconsin in the spring and now is back in Hernando County.

TAMPA

Council must revote on Hyde Park's future

The future of Hyde Park Village rests on City Council member Charlie Miranda's shoulders.

Absent for health reasons, he missed Thursday night's seven-hour City Council meeting, which was supposed to determine whether to allow rezoning of the 10-acre outdoor shopping hub to allow 163 condominiums and expanded retail space.

He did not hear the five hours of public comments or the struggles among his five fellow council members, who split 3-2 in favor of allowing the $100-million project. A City Council decision takes at least four votes.

The council must vote again on Dec. 20, when Miranda is present.

At Thursday night's hearing, more than 70 people from each side argued their points.

Those who oppose the project said it is too grandiose and does not fit in with the rest of historic Hyde Park.

Those who support the development said Hyde Park Village is dying and needs a makeover. Some homeowners felt the project would help property values.

Shop owners pleaded to bring the center back to life.

On Friday, Miranda said he had not yet formed an opinion.

"Not until after I've read all the evidence and heard all of the arguments," he said. "Every decision is difficult, but especially ones where you affect a lot of people's lives."