Helen Anne Travis
Sticky stuff takes on arty role
unknown why Monaghan
lost control, but it may be
related to a medical condi-


Mariarose Kussler mows the grounds of the Dade City Cemetery on Thursday afternoon. She had to learn ho...
leaves at 9 a.m.

                                     Continuing their pattern
• April 7: Visit the antique
shops at M...
be tough.”
to do and
                     She is Shel-     yearlong research and presentation      project “meaningful,” down from 71...
which has weath-
over the years at
ville Cemetery.
id it take so long?
ng history can be
ng process, but it’s
 sion. You c...
. SANTA continued from 1

Santa and the missus are jolly year-round
   Sitmer has all three.
   Sitmer lives in Land O’La...
More coverage
                                                                                               ON THE WEB: M...
than $1.3-million. Mitchell has        police officer before retiring. He    to end American dependence           North Pi...
Pets | Popular cat
     More listings

                                                         Meeeow! Hey, baby
Norman ‘Ehren’
slam Fasano’s
                                               SAN ANTONIO — Inside the sanc-           speci...
6 | Friday, June 20, 2008 | St. Petersburg Times         PAC

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  1. 1. Helen Anne Travis Profiles
  2. 2. Sticky stuff takes on arty role unknown why Monaghan lost control, but it may be related to a medical condi- tion. NEW PORT RICHEY Founders Day A Dade City woman uses 11 colors of duct tape to create her functional art. rocking today Founders Day is in full swing today at Sims Park with live music, carnival rides, the arts and crafts village, Miss Daisy boat tours and vari- ous children’s activities. The popular plant sale, hosted by the Nature Coast Florida Native Plant Society, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dog owners are invited to “Lunch on a leash at the lake,” a gourmet lunch for people and pooch- es from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. near Orange Lake. Live music offerings include the classic rock group Boneyard Dogs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., true oldies artist Jonathan Cortez at 6 p.m., 60s Groove from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and Eddie Toye/Live and Let Die, a tribute to the music of Paul McCartney, from 8:45 to 10:45 p.m. Folk music will be performed by various artists from 1 to 5 p.m. in Peace Hall. Correction The name of the family that owns Angelo’s Aggregate Materials was incorrect in a story Thursday about a proposed Pasco landfill. Angelo’s is owned by the Iafrate family. WEATHER WATCH For complete weather coverage, see 12C. KERI WIGINTON | Times Grace Grover cuts duct tape for a purse she is making Wednesday in her Dade City home, where the 18-year-old enjoys listening to Korn. Dade City 90/62 (0.0) Hudson 87/65 (0.0) BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS | Times Staff Writer New Port Richey Zephyrhills 90/64 (0.0) 85/66 (0.0) D uct tape. fake roses. She reupholsters chairs with it and As of 5 p.m. yesterday. tr = trace of rainfall It holds the batteries in when you lose painstakingly cuts tiny pieces into duct tape fin- the cover on the back of the remote. It gers, faces and guitars. seals leaky hoses. It patches torn tents. “I like different,” Grover, 18, said. It also helped a woman in Dade City find her She dropped out of high school in ninth grade ig shows calling. after she said a teacher accused her of being a It all started six years ago when a Google search witch. Grover thinks it was her dyed black hair, for crafts showed a bored Grace Grover how to dramatic eye shadow and facial piercings. lock to make wallets and fake flowers out of the silver “They put you in such a stereotypical box,” Gro- sticky stuff. ver said. She’s since gone through more than 500 rolls of She was never the mall type. She reads Shake- 11 various colors, and all friends and family mem- speare and listens to Korn. On her walls there’s a heater bers have received a duct tape creation of some sort printout of the 91st Psalm and a list of countries — portrait of a snook, red and black woven purse, she wants to visit. KERI WIGINTON | Times Jamaican flag wallet. She hopes the duct tape will get her there. Grover created a frog mural for her 11-month-old She spends hours in her bedroom, folding sticky Earlier this month, she took a risk and responded nephew, Elijah Hemmer, right, out of duct tape. e Piscopo returns side to sticky side to create billfolds, purses and Grover has worked with duct tape for six years. See DUCT TAPE, 7 .
  3. 3. 5 R PAC St. Petersburg Times | Saturday, September 27, 2008 | Pasco Times > tampabay.com for more Pasco County news “To realize I could step out and say, ‘This is my work, let’s show it off,’ was amazing, That’s when I realized this could be my calling.” Grace Grover, 18, duct tape artist . DUCT TAPE continued from 1 Sticky stuff takes arty role to a Craigslist ad calling for art- ists. Grover’s normally shy, but she’s opened up since chat- ting with customers at the few flea market stands where she tried to sell her wares. She grew more confident after she hosted an impromptu front porch duct tape class for the neighborhood kids a few summers ago. She’s grown, but she still freaked out when Jeff Henriquez wrote back and said he liked her stuff. “What she did with the duct tape is create a new function for it,” said Henriquez, 34, resident artist at the Ponce De Leon Hotel in St. Petersburg. “That … by KERI WIGINTON | Times itself is an accomplishment.” Grover’s duct tape art includes wallets, pens, flowers and purses. She didn’t want to drive to . FAST FACTS meet him by herself. Grover Portugal is first on the list wanted to do what she normally of places she wants to visit, If you go did — sit back and let Mom do followed by Spain, Italy and the talking. But Mom told her Amsterdam. She taped the list Grace Grover will show her daughter to go alone. to the wall by her pillow so she work at the Sound FX show, “I thought it would be good for would see it every morning when 8 p.m. to midnight today at her,” said Anna Grover, 45. “I told she woke up. ARTpool Gallery, 919 First her, ‘I think this is something you She never thought of traveling Ave. N, St. Petersburg. really want to do on your own before, but in the local art world Admission is $10 and but you’re afraid to admit it.’ ” she’s met people who have seen includes food and drinks. All Henriquez introduced her to a the world, and now, she’s hungry. proceeds go to the artists. friend who ran the ARTpool Gal- “I just want to get over there Grover’s prices start at $22 lery in St. Petersburg. Today, Gro- and touch it and see it,” she said. for bifold wallets. Purses ver will display, and hopefully She’ll get her GED by the end range from $45 to $120 and sell, her duct tape creations at of the year, and go to college portraits run $35 to $65. her first art show. eventually. Forensic photogra- To learn more about Grover, “To realize I could step out and phy sounds like a good career. visit www.myspace.com/ say, ‘This is my work, let’s show it In the meantime, it’s duct tape. ducktapecreations off,’ was amazing,” Grover said. The more she sells, the sooner the “That’s when I realized this could backpack trek through Europe. (Duck Tape is her favorite be my calling.” Two months, maybe more, she brand of duct tape.) Duct tape. said. She can sell wallets and cre- “It’s really maturing her,” her ate portraits along the way for mother said. “It opened her up extra money. Helen Anne Travis can be reached at and made her more aware of all And if her backpack breaks, htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435- KERI WIGINTON | Times the art that’s around her.” she can easily fix it. Grover wraps up one of her designs before her show at ARTpool Gallery in St. Petersburg today. 7312. Big shows
  4. 4. > MIKE PEASE | Times Caretaker Mariarose Kussler, 46, thinks the Dade City Cemetery is beautiful. Every day, she looks at the stone and marble markers and thinks about life and time and death. continued next slide...
  5. 5. MIKE PEASE | Times Mariarose Kussler mows the grounds of the Dade City Cemetery on Thursday afternoon. She had to learn how to maneuver a riding mower. In addition to mowing, weeding and trimming tree limbs, Kussler takes time to scrub the mildew off graves. MIKE PEASE | Times After some flowers at the cemetery were blown over by a brisk wind on Wednesday afternoon, Mariarose Kussler stops to straighten them up.
  6. 6. leaves at 9 a.m. Continuing their pattern • April 7: Visit the antique shops at Mount Dora, with stops at Russell Stover’s chocolate warehouse and McDonald’s for lunch at your expense. The cost is $22. The bus leaves at 7:30 a.m. • April 8, 14 and 29: Hard Rock Casino. The cost of $20 includes a $25 free gambling voucher and a $5 free lunch voucher. The bus leaves at 9 a.m. • April 10: Seaport Adven- ture, a narrated tour of Tampa Bay. Lunch at your own expense at the Spa- ghetti Warehouse in Ybor City. The cost is $20. The bus leaves at 8 a.m. • April 26: Oklahoma! at the Eleanor Dempsey Perform- ing Arts Center. The cost is $17. The bus leaves at 1:45 p.m. • May 10: Mother’s Day Show at Palace Grand fea- turing the New Dawn Sing- ers and a buffet lunch. The cost is $48. The bus leaves at 10:30 a.m. The pickup location for all trips is the Elfers Center at 4136 Barker Drive. For infor- mation or to register for any trip, call the travel office at (727) 848-3387. LAND O’LAKES Golf tournament benefits hospice Break out your driver and KERI WIGINTON | Times putter and golf for a good Marcia Swartz, left, talks with Luther Monkelien and Iris Burnell during a quilting meeting at Sundance Mobile Home Park in Zephyrhills. cause. On April 18, Gulfside Regional Hospice is holding When his wife died, he lost his quilting partner but its annual Golf Classic at the Groves Golf & Country not his desire to carry on their treasured tradition. Club. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The tourna- BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS | Times Staff Writer ment is a scramble format, ZEPHYRHILLS and prizes will be awarded T to the foursomes that place hey started quilting 15 years ago. ¶ Luther Monkelien would first, second, third and last measure, cut and press the tiny fabric squares and triangles. by gross scores. The cost is $75 for individuals and $300 His wife, Myrtle, pieced them back together on her sewing per foursome and includes machine. They made about 30 quilts together before she died. a morning snack, lunch and goodie bag. There will be skill contests, a silent Family members received the couple’s summer of 2001. Luther was left with a auction and a $10,000 hole- work as gifts. Stacked on Luther’s cof- bag of fabric. in-one prize. All proceeds fee table are photo albums devoted to the Their last quilt was two-thirds of the benefit Gulfside Regional quilts and their new owners. In each pic- way done. Luther had cut all of the Hospice to help patients and ture, the heads of Myrtle, Luther, nieces windmill blade-like pieces of sky blue families facing life-limiting ill- and grandchildren poke out from behind fabric, but Myrtle wasn’t there to sew nesses. Sponsorship oppor- the geometric swirled fabric draped across them back together. He decided it was KERI WIGINTON | Times tunities are still available. For their shoulders. Everyone is smiling. time to learn how to use the sewing “He has a smaller stitch than most women I know,” says Deb Hite, information or to register, Myrtle had the heart attack during the owner of Calico Cupboard in Emmetsburg, Iowa. See QUILT, 3 . call Jennifer Kirkland at
  7. 7. be tough.” Other board mem veyed similar sentim ing a recent worksh trict policy. Studen director Lizette Alex KERI WIGINTON | Times she’s working to fur Margo Cavness talks with Luther Monkelien during a recent quilting meeting at Sundance Mobile Home Park, where he is a winter the proposal. resident. He has made one quilt every year since his wife’s death. One idea is to e phone ban from the Quilter is continuing the pattern ing room to all roo testing is under way. Of equal importan is the need to tackl problem, Alexander s machine. For Myrtle’s sake. every year since his wife’s death. on Main Street in Emmets- Try to press Hite on who has “The issue of d “Every time I stick my finger, He cuts and presses the pieces burg, Iowa. During the summer, the better sense of color and has always been wi I think of her,” Luther, 79, said in Iowa. In the clubhouse of his Luther stops in her store for fab- composition and she can’t make said. “Technology fa last week in the living room of Zephyrhills community, he has ric and lessons. The staff still a decision. I think what we ha the couple’s Zephyrhills winter to push six tables together for a misses Myrtle. “I think they spent enough work on academic ho home. surface big enough to baste the Hite could only think of one time together when they quilted,” The code of condu Almost everything on the colorful top layer to the backing. other male customer and “his she said. “They have a similar also adds a few other mobile home’s walls was made It takes him more than 300 stitches weren’t anything like eye.” Hazing — define by his wife. Myrtle cross-stitched hours to hand quilt the patterns Luther’s.” the Santa Claus by the dining that swirl through each piece. Myrtle used to pick out the fab- Helen Anne Travis can be reached at room table and the schoolchil- Good luck trying to maneuver rics for their quilts. Now that’s htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435- dren playing in the snow framed his living room during that time. Luther’s job. 7312. outside the kitchen. The teddy Three years ago, Luther bears she and Luther stuffed started submitting his quilts to and stitched line the top of their county fairs and shows. cream couch. He wins every time. Luther doesn’t use air-condi- The quilts — which have been tioning or celebrate his birthday. appraised at more than $2,000 His fingers, worn from years of — nab first-place ribbons at the working in a grain elevator, are fairs. Last month, one of his too big for thimbles. It’s hard to pieces took a people’s choice get him to say how he felt in the award at Dade City’s Pioneer months after Myrtle died, but he Florida Museum & Village quilt freely admits that he still talks to show. her on the 1,600-mile drive from “It was just gorgeous,” said Zephyrhills to their other home Susan Bayes, the museum’s office in Pocahontas, Iowa. manager. “She never says a word,” he “He has a smaller stitch than said. most women I know,” said Deb Luther has made one quilt Hite, owner of Calico Cupboard Business digest Financial adviser announce the addition of online bill pay. This new service will earns Gold Elite status give patients the convenience Doreen Scott, vice president of paying their bills quickly and
  8. 8. to do and She is Shel- yearlong research and presentation project “meaningful,” down from 71.6 technology use and oral presentation ing and orally has value, whether the don Nicks’ project is a chance to discover some- percent the year before. — with the high school curriculum teens go to college or to work. that’s it.” niece. thing new while honing important “That’s a concern,” superintendent standards. “We emphasize that it is to help “I couldn’t skills. Heather Fiorentino said after review- The group then looked for ways them and let them know it’s not Steve Knobl, principal at talk when But he sees all around him class- ing the report. “It could be a blip or to make the project guidelines something we do just to make them Gulf High the lieuten- mates who don’t take the assignment, the start of a trend. We want to make and expectations more consistent do it,” said Margaret Deurosie, Mitch- Nicks School. ant told me,’’ which counts as part of their senior sure this is only a blip.” throughout the district, and for ways See PROJECT, 8 . she said. “I was crying.’’ Lt. Mike Schreck heads up the honor guard for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and since May has been consider- ing a compelling argument by Mrs. Mallett and Gulf High School math teacher/amateur historian Jeff Miller. They said Sheldon Nicks should be hon- ored along with the other six Pasco lawmen killed in the line of duty, the first in 1922. The Sheriff’s Office is now making plans to include Nicks at its annual memorial cere- mony on the steps of the his- toric courthouse in Dade City on May 1. Nicks was murdered on May 8, 1909. Mrs. Mallett, still precise in her research and recollections with the West Pasco Historical Society, will lay a rose on the new marker. In addition to the local rec- ognition, Schreck has begun the process of getting Nicks’ name on memorial walls in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. And the honor guard will clean and maintain Nicks’ headstone, which has weath- ered badly over the years at the Brooksville Cemetery. So why did it take so long? Unraveling history can be a painstaking process, but it’s Miller’s passion. You can tell when you visit the Web site he created some years ago, www. fivay.org, which is packed with fascinating stories and old photos, many from Mrs. Mal- lett’s personal collection. She knew that Sheldon had KERI WIGINTON | Times been killed while his father, Alexzander Newberry, 3, hugs Santa at Discovery Point in Wesley Chapel recently. Vic and Fran Sitmer of Land O’Lakes make jolly appearances year-round. The secret life of Santa H.R. Nicks, was attempting to arrest a man in the rough turn-of-the-century lum- ber mill town of Fivay, which lasted for eight years where these days Little Road meets State Road 52. What Mrs. Mal- lett didn’t know, until Miller found old newspaper articles in Tampa and Gainesville, was BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS | Times Staff Writer that Sheldon was described as S a deputy. More on the elf himself H.R. Nicks, Mrs. Mallett’s anta and Mrs. Claus had to grandfather, was the chief law move to the side for Frida the To see more of Santa in an enforcement officer in west- Airedale terrier’s portrait. online audio slideshow visit ern Pasco, having moved to It was picture day at Dog links.tampabay.com. continued next slide... the coast from Spring Lake Lovers, a pet supply store in Tampa. in Hernando County. He took A pair of yipping terriers had already when his Jewish grandmother was his 23-year-old son with him posed with Vic and Fran Sitmer, a around, but his family also celebrated
  9. 9. which has weath- over the years at ville Cemetery. id it take so long? ng history can be ng process, but it’s sion. You can tell isit the Web site he e years ago, www. hich is packed with stories and old ny from Mrs. Mal- al collection. that Sheldon had KERI WIGINTON | Times while his father, Alexzander Newberry, 3, hugs Santa at Discovery Point in Wesley Chapel recently. Vic and Fran Sitmer of Land O’Lakes make jolly appearances year-round. The secret life of Santa was attempting an in the rough -century lum- n of Fivay, which ight years where Little Road meets 52. What Mrs. Mal- now, until Miller ewspaper articles nd Gainesville, was BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS | Times Staff Writer n was described as S More on the elf himself ks, Mrs. Mallett’s anta and Mrs. Claus had to r, was the chief law move to the side for Frida the To see more of Santa in an t officer in west- Airedale terrier’s portrait. online audio slideshow visit aving moved to It was picture day at Dog links.tampabay.com. om Spring Lake Lovers, a pet supply store in Tampa. o County. He took A pair of yipping terriers had already when his Jewish grandmother was -old son with him posed with Vic and Fran Sitmer, a around, but his family also celebrated 909, to arrest an believable Santa and Mrs. Claus. Christmas with trees and presents. nvict named Henry But Frida’s owner was Jewish, and He wasn’t raised in any particular en confronted, this was a Hanukkah present for him religion, though one tenet has held out led a pistol and from his roommate. Having Santa in the past eight decades. on jumped in front the picture would not be appropriate, “I believed in Santa, and I still do,” r and was killed the roommate explained. Sitmer said. “Probably more so than Vic Sitmer, 81, just smiled. most.” , 1909, article in He didn’t say a word, even though That is a requirement to be a good ille Sun identi- this Santa impersonator is Jewish. Santa, Sitmer said. Along with a real n as a deputy and Well, sort of Jewish. Half, if you want beard, a real belly and a convincing KERI WIGINTON | Times at Pasco County, to get technical. Mrs. Claus. Fran, 76, helps Vic, 81, get ready before they head to a holiday portrait Gilchrist and H.R. As a boy, Sitmer spun the dreidel session at Dog Lovers, a pet supply store in Tampa, on Dec. 4. See SANTA, 3 . offering a $1,025 information lead- rest. The killer was ght to justice. iff’s Office began Treasures, given freely fficers killed Hunter King, er Sheriff’s Lt. 3 ¹⁄ , already ’’ Harrison was knows he th in 2003. The is getting a rohibition Agent Pekingese- Freecycle.org’s community believes it’s better to give than to trash. s and Constable Pomeranian ece’’ Crenshaw puppy for uty William Henry mean to her three young chil- sitting there and being upset,” Christmas. BY KAREN LACHENAUER Times Correspondent (1926), Deputy dren. said Athena Tanner of Hudson, His mom, ert’’ McCabe (1948) A young mom needed help. Within about a day, Heather who read King’s post and invited Heather Highway Patrol She had brought home a stray King of Port Richey had more mother and son to take their pick King of Port es “Brad’’ Crooks dog, then gave the pet to a friend. than she had bargained for: a of her dogs’ litter. Richey, got
  10. 10. . SANTA continued from 1 Santa and the missus are jolly year-round Sitmer has all three. Sitmer lives in Land O’Lakes, but appears as Santa all over the bay area. His sidekick is wife No. 3, Fran, 76. They met after his second wife died under hospice care. Fran Sit- mer, now retired, worked at the hospice center and was a widow. They married in 1999. “I certainly never dreamed about doing this type of thing,” Fran Sitmer said. She wore a homemade red suit with fuzzy white trim down the middle. “I decided I wanted to join him rather than fight him.” By the time Fran entered the Santa scene, Vic Sitmer had played the role for decades. He started out ho-ho-hoing with his kids and grandkids. In 1991, he stood in for an absent Santa at a now defunct department store in Tampa. “I just sat there in amazement that I did what I did, had fun doing it, and there I was getting paid for it,” Vic Sitmer said. The couple won’t share how much money they make, but they say it’s enough for the occasional KERI WIGINTON | Times Caribbean cruise. Claudia Beaulieu fixes the set behind Vic and Fran Sitmer, who hold Max and Zoe for a holiday They stay pretty busy. There portrait session at Dog Lovers, a pet supply store in Tampa. The beard and the joy are both real. are regular visits to children under hospice care with the vol- summer, he trims the fluffy hair let them know that he is Santa a ticket, but would you please unteer group Santa America. down, an agreement he made and gives out a business card,” watch your speed,’ ” Fran Sitmer (Those are Mrs. Claus’ favorite.) with his wife. she said. recalled. The couple also maintains a “I like a break from it here and “You can be anywhere, out in “I told him I’d put him in my steady string of gigs at retirement there, but he does not want to the middle of the boonies camp- ‘nice’ book,” said Vic Sitmer. homes, churches and stores. let go of that beard,” Fran Sitmer ing, and he’ll be pushing that Back at Dog Lovers, Frida the “Over the years, we’ve devel- said. he’s a Santa professional,” Lind- Airedale terrier’s photo shoot oped good Santa–client relation- It’s the beard that gets him sey Sitmer said. was over and there was a pause ships,” Vic Sitmer said. recognized as Santa in Home Vic and Fran Sitmer’s bed- in the action. Mr. and Mrs. Claus Most of their gigs are in Depot, where people in the room has a year-round portrait rested on some North Pole photo November and December. They checkout line insist on taking of Santa on the wall and a shelf props while the next dog was also make occasional appear- pictures of him with their cell dedicated to Santa, nutcracker outfitted in a colorful scarf for ances at Christmas in July phones. and reindeer figurines. his glamour shoot. events. “We can be waiting in a restau- They sleep on a — wait for it — The couple talked about their But even during the down sea- rant 20 miles from the house and king size sleigh bed. Christmas Day plans. Santa and son, Sitmer has a hard time men- someone will recognize him as a Sometimes the Santa shtick Mrs. Claus would visit the grand- tally leaving the North Pole, his Santa Claus, even when he’s not comes in handy. children in costume. family said. in costume,” said his son, Lind- On the day before Thanksgiv- When it comes to entertaining “Santa doesn’t ever want to sey Sitmer, 57. ing this year, they were en route kids, Vic Sitmer considers him- stop being Santa,” said Fran Sit- There’s always candy in Santa’s to a gig, in full costume, when self the real thing, not an actor. mer. “There are times when I pockets. And every encounter is flashing blue lights showed up in “I don’t see me as ‘playing’ think, ‘Christmas is over, Santa, a marketing opportunity. the rear view mirror. Santa,” he told his wife. let’s just let it rest for a while.’ ” When Fran Sitmer needed an Mrs. Claus was driving 68 in “That’s just because of who you The long white beard is now operation earlier this year, her a 55 mph zone. A Florida state are, dear,” Fran Sitmer replied. a permanent facial fixture. He daughter Sally Williams, 49, trooper appeared at the car win- started growing it a few years accompanied her parents to a dow. Helen Anne Travis can be reached at after retiring from his previous medical consultation. “He said, ‘You know, I just htravis@sptimes.com or (813) life in the banking world. In the “The first thing (Vic) does is couldn’t feel right giving you 435-7312.
  11. 11. More coverage ON THE WEB: More scenes from Palin’s visit can be found at tampabay.com WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times IN TODAY’S PAPER: For more on Alaska Gov. Palin’s speech, gns and pompoms at the rally Saturday morning. Early risers had been see Tampa Bay. he gates opened at 6 a.m. Palin took the stage at 9. ers redrawing Energetic spin grabs attention ctions picture This “sign waver extraordinaire” puts on a show to promote his ads. ctrifies an electorate bloc. BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS Times Staff Writer voters are growing. Jonas Jones dragged a plas- Since the last presidential elec- tic sign along the grassy side of ley will tion, the number of black voters bustling State Road 54. e first in Pasco has increased 78 per- The 4-by-2 sign — embla- cent, from 5,422 to 9,650, while zoned with the words “Your Ad Land the total number of voters only Here” and Jones’ cell number — r Sen. went up 9 percent, from 269,642 weighed less than a pound, but nt. to 294,677. In that time the local he pretended it was more like a ican, I black population grew 66 per- thousand. Jones’ face strained t’s not cent. under the tie-dyed bandanna I’ve lis- Not only are more blacks reg- holding back his dreadlocks. it’s not istered to vote, but so far a much A semi honked. Teenagers says it. larger proportion of them are cheered out the windows of a ptivat- participating. Nearly 43 percent silver BMW. A man on his way have voted early this year, com- to the post office decided Jones BRENDAN FITTERER | Times I think the biggest thing going against me is rge of pared with only 8 percent who must be nuts. ipating voted early in 2004. “I think the biggest thing people don’t understand what I do. Black residents say their moti- going against me is people don’t , about vation this year is two-fold: They understand what I do,” said Jonas Jones, above, shown rocking out to Korn on his voters are inspired by a black candi- Jones, 24. headphones as he gets motorists’ attention h early date, and they believe Obama They’re called “human direc- will bring change to the nation’s tionals,” the folks who sit out- s, how- economy. side the pizza parlor with “buy technical term. He is a “sign tree. (Horticulture is another one nearly Sandy Wright, 56, of Hudson, one slice, get one free” signs. spinner extraordinaire,” which of his many passions, along with said she supports Obama’s plans Business owners believe they is better than your typical sign drumming, guitar and Native minor- to help seniors on fixed incomes can bring in more customers holder, he said. American cultures.) ust 3.8 and improve the country’s health with a living, waving sign rather “We get noticed more,” Jones “We interact more with peo- n. But care system. But she is also than a stagnant poster. explained as he took a break from ple. We can do tricks with the stered But Jones doesn’t like that spinning in the shade of a loquat See BLACKS, 6 See SIGN WAVER, 10 . .
  12. 12. than $1.3-million. Mitchell has police officer before retiring. He to end American dependence North Pinellas, west Pasco and raised $141,000. But he has cam- now is a shop owner. Richard O. on foreign oil, supports tax cred- suburban northern and eastern paigned at breakneck speed, a Emmons, 57, is a member of the its for companies that don’t out- Hillsborough. strategy that helped him win the Term Limits for Congress Party source jobs. He also opposes uni- Democratic primary in August, and the owner of a magazine versal health care. Rita Farlow can be reached at far- beating former Plant City Mayor subscription agency in New Port Emmons supports term lim- low@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4162. . SIGN WAVER continued from 1 Energetic roadside routine grabs attention . FAST FACTS signs. We don’t just stand — Jones moved to New Port said. we’re always moving.” Richey from Dallas three years Marc Brown saw Jones one To learn more Well, not always moving. A ago. He worked in the new con- day on a lunch break trip to the good sign spinner knows to hold struction division of a land sur- bank. For more information on the sign still long enough for veying company for two years “The first thing I thought is, Jonas Jones, visit myspace. passersby to read. before being let go in March. ‘Wow, he’s taking this thing seri- com/spinality. “You always have a pause in Blame the housing market. ously,’ ” Brown said. “Someone’s there,” Jones said. “No homes, no surveys,” he getting a good $8 to $10 an hour Michelle Ketterman, an assis- said. employee.” tant community manager at the Restaurants and retail stores or any kind of ‘in the Zen’ type Back on the side of the road, Columns at Bear Creek Apart- weren’t hiring. A gig at a tele- thing.” Jones pretended to hammer the ments, bought Jones’ pitch and marketing agency failed to stir Between sign spinning, teach- sign embossed with his phone hired him for a Saturday after- his soul. ing guitar lessons and selling number into ground. noon. Nine people came into He eventually got work wav- homemade Hula Hoops and jug- The light turned green. The the New Port Richey office that ing signs for a few talent agen- gling sticks, Jones makes enough driver of a jacked-up white Lin- day, as opposed to the one or cies. Now, he’s trying to start his money to eke out a humble liv- coln honked. Jones’ cell phone two who trickled in on previous own spinning business. ing of rent, a few beers, music rang. Jones-free weekends. “I’m just tired of working for festivals and kayak rides through A woman who saw his act told “He was able to generate traf- the man,” he said. “Every job I do Anclote Key. Jones’ voicemail she’d like him to fic for us,” she said. “Even if they I am one of the best employees. I He struggles to convince busi- promote her small business. weren’t people who leased apart- am easy to get used up.” nesses that he deserves more “One phone call makes it ments, he brought them in.” He likes the freedom of set- than what they pay a normal worthwhile,” Jones said. “It’s bet- “The guy has a ton of energy,” ting his own hours as a spinner. sign waver — usually $8 to $10 ter than staying at home. I’d be said Steve Amos, a real estate There’s the sun, the exercise, the per hour. He believes a “sign doing something goofy and stu- agent at Madison Oaks in Palm challenge of catching a 5-foot spinner extraordinaire” deserves pid anyway. I might as well try to Harbor, which employed Jones sign after flipping it behind his twice that. make something of it.” earlier in the year. “He’s enter- back and over his head. “They don’t understand what taining. He definitely gets peo- “It’s therapeutic,” Jones said. kind of attention I can attract Helen Anne Travis can be reached at ple to look in our direction.” “It’s like yoga, karate, crocheting or how hard of work it is,” Jones htravis@sptimes.com.
  13. 13. Pets | Popular cat More listings Meeeow! Hey, baby autos.tampabay.com Honda Civic LX 2008 $15,988 ,988 2690 Miles, Gold, Automatic. f 7671 US 19 N, Pinellas Park, FL, 337871 1 Crown Honda Call Today: 1-866-200-5025 -5025 ,990 Honda Civic EX 2006 $14,988 ath- 28k miles, Automatic, Great On Gas! BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS | Times Staff Writer 7671 US 19 N, Pinellas Park, FL, 337871 Crown Honda Call Today: 1-866-200-5025 Maybe it was the way the sun bounced o the thick white hair on her belly, or her furry come hither smile. • ,990 Honda Civics 2006 From $9,988 Re- 12 To Choose From. Loaded, LX, 4dr, All er Whatever it was, Molly the cat’s photo in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 7 caught someone — or something’s — Power, Automatic. Call: 1-888-989-0468 Courtesy Palm Harbor Honda eye. • Two days after the photo ran, her owner received a mysterious letter in the mail. ,888 Oldsmobile Achieva 1995 $2,390 ee! 4 Door, Best Buy, Cold A/C, New Tires, Must See, Good Condition. Call Jack Means at 727-468-1121, bkr “Dear Molly. You are one ,988 Saturn LS 1999 $4,490 sweet looking pussy cat. Maybe 4 dr, 31 k actual miles, real gas saver, full 1 we can meet one day for a power, always garaged. Like new. -5025 Call Jack Means at 727-468-1121, bkr snack ... a mouse or frog, per- ,999 Toyota Yaris S 2007 $12,988 haps.” Red, Automatic, Factory Warranty 1 “Love, your secret admirer.” 7671 US 19 N, Pinellas Park, FL, 337871 -5025 Crown Honda Call Today: 1-866-200-5025 “P.S.,” it read. “I’m black. I ,988 , All hope this is not a problem.” More Auto listings, 12 68 Plenty of boy kitties have vied for the attention of the golden-eyed Molly. Black, More listings white or orange, they’ve all homes.tampabay.com received the same response. Hiss. Pinellas Only one male so far has NEW HOMES! Only 5 Homes Left!!! g at Move-in Ready Call now! American earned the fickle feline’s seal of Housing 727-546-6611 amhousing.com tate approval. 4 Pinellas Eight years ago, George rom Will Build On Your Lot Or Ours! Flynn lost a cat to cancer. Customized Floor Plans. 10 Year Builder 63 Warranty. 727-546-6611 amhousing.com Flynn, who lives alone, was Snell Isle/Old NE quite depressed over the death the For sale & rent. Finest in the area. Great st- of his pet. On a doctor’s recom- Prices! Visit: AlonaDishy.com -3417 Alona 727-458-8037 Realty Executives mendation, he headed to the St. Pete $89,000 SPCA for a new critter. .side Neg. 2 houses corner lot, 5600 43rd St N ,400 Molly caught his eye. Or fncd yards. 2b/1b lg LR, & 1br hse. -1194 727-542-7712 or 317-512-5053 maybe he caught hers. 2 “She just rubbed up against St Petersburg Beaches st www.DeniseHobbs.com Waterfront 44 me and said, ‘Take me home, Gated condos 1bd-3bd. $175K to $549K tate South Beaches Real Estate 727-492-4175 I love you,’ ” said Flynn, 72, a retired engineer. Waterfront Apartment rentals, 2 miles from Caladesi The secret admirer has some Florida’s #1 beach! Call 727-734-8479 om Ask for Karly big shoes to fill. Since Flynn adopted her, Molly has grown ern- More Homes listings, 9 ndy- used to two daily canned food 042 entrees, a warm spot at the foot of the bed and her pick of table scraps. Flynn suspects one of his friends is behind the note. He enlisted the help of a woman who works at his Clearwater country club. ICU, PCU, OR & ER . Pool openings in ICU She says she’s good at analyzing handwriting, but so far, no leads. brooksvilleregional.net. Spring Hill Re- gional. ICU, Telemetry Labor & Delivery: Even if the secret admirer comes forward, Flynn doubts there Email: shresumes@hma.com will be wedding bells or an exchange of collars. Inside Sales Reps. Interested in Medical “Any cat that might come in here would be seen as a threat to Sales? Entry level. All work will be on the DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times telephone. HR@MERCURYMED.COM her food supply,” he said. George Flynn, 72, wants to know who sent his cat, Molly, Fax 727-573-4964 EOE M/F/V/D,DFW,NSO a love letter, top left, after her photograph ran in the St. Insurance Highest Industry comm Petersburg Times, bottom left. He suspects it was one of his Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435- Exp’d lic agents. Senior market. 20+ free leads/wk. LTC, GA captive, etc. Michael two-legged friends and is trying to identify the handwriting. 7312. Downs 727-545-9891 or 1-800-237-6710 t Quality Mgmt & Education RN or ip. in Clinical Coord. Both require RNs w/ hemodialysis exp. 75% travel req’d. nso Email: Catherine.Christian@davita.com
  14. 14. Norman ‘Ehren’ slam Fasano’s SAN ANTONIO — Inside the sanc- special operations training near Fort He studied psychology, film and tuary it feels bare and clean, the walls Bragg, N.C. anthropology at the University of Flor- He was 20 years old and high, arched ceiling white and Murburg — a 6-foot, 4-inch chiseled ida and joined a fraternity. by his mother, Karen view on gulf seamless, washing turmoil from your Adonis with blond hair and green eyes But Murburg wasn’t happy and, at Clearwater, and his f mind and soul. It is a quiet blankness. — grew up in Dade City and graduated the beginning of his sophomore year Murburg and sister, E On Thursday morning, hundreds of from Pasco High School in 2005. He last fall, he dropped out and enlisted in both of Dade City. He oil drilling mourners sat in the wood pews of St. wanted to join the military but instead the Army without consulting his family Thursday at Florida N Anthony of Padua Catholic Church went to college, as was expected in his first. They were upset, but also proud etery in Bushnell. in San Antonio. They were there educated family — his father, Michael of him. This was his purpose and his for the funeral of Norman “Ehren” Murburg, is an attorney and his sister, See MURBURG, 6 . “Boneheaded” is the blunt assessment of the senator’s support Owner of bur Teach a man for offshore drilling. to grow fish … home found b BY DAVID DECAMP Times Staff Writer NEW PORT RICHEY — Already targeted by the state Democratic Party this campaign Hans Geissler sells catamarans to The woman, found behind th season, state Sen. Mike Fasano drew a blunt the rich so he can help the poor. teenager, was murdered, say rebuke Thurs- day for his sup- port in allow- old The BY HELEN ANNE TRAVIS BY NOMAAN MERCHANT Times Staff Writer Times staff writer ing oil drill- in the h ing off the Gulf DADE CITY — Hans Geissler, 67, fancies himself HOLIDAY — Firefight- old son. DANIEL WALLACE | Times Coast. as a Robin Hood of sorts. ers arrived at 4635 Darling- murdere Hans Geissler has built more than 100 “This is a But instead of stealing from the rich and giving ton Road at about 3 a.m. Tues- The b aquaponic tanks that have fed thousands. boneheaded to the poor, Geissler wants to sell high-rollers eco- day to put out a blaze engulfing Jones’ b move on the friendly catamarans and use some of the profits to In a typical setup, a large reservoir is filled with the house. They found no one home to Sen. Mike part of Fasano,” teach the less fortunate to feed themselves. tilapia and the water is filtered by vegetables that inside. he was b Fasano says said Democrat- Fifteen years ago, Geissler left his profession as thrive on the fish waste. More than 36 hours later, accordin his critic ic Party spokes- a boat builder to start Morning Star Fishermen, a When the fish grow into delicious 2-pound fil- a 13-year-old boy who lived Maureen is “out of man Mark Bu- nonprofit on a mission to fight world hunger with lets, they’re eaten — with a side of aquaponic- nearby came to the house. He Inste touch.” briski, noting aquaponics. grown vegetables. found a body lying under a aside so estimates that it could take 10 years His organization has built more than 100 aqua- The tanks are easily refilled with tilapia from fresh patch of dirt in the back back ya for gulf-drawn fuel to reach con- ponic tanks throughout the Caribbean and Latin local rivers and streams. yard, with flies circling above. toes, he sumers’ gas tanks. America. In Haiti alone, Geissler said that one tank Geissler runs an aquaponic training center On Thursday, authorities said. feeds thousands of children each month. identified the body as 46-year- See FASANO, 3 See GEISSLER, 6 See BO . . .
  15. 15. 6 | Friday, June 20, 2008 | St. Petersburg Times PAC From the front page > tampabay.com for more Pasco County news . GEISSLER continued from 1 . MURBURG continued from 1 Man sells boats so he can help the poor ‘Live your life,’ says at his home in Dade City. Stu- dents from around the world father come and learn to build the tanks in their communities. But for the past year-and-a- half, Geissler has split his time between home and a 5,000- dream and he had the guts to square-foot warehouse in the change course, to go against the Dade City Business Center predictable current and take the across town. leap he felt called to him. There, he has designed and And there, in the military, Mur- built the prototype for a 36-foot burg found peace and strength. catamaran that he hopes will be He changed in the way people the start of a “green” boat busi- do when they know they are ful- ness, proceeds of which will help filling their purpose. Erica said Morning Star Fishermen build the Army made her brother into more aquaponic tanks around the man he always wanted to be, the world. but didn’t know how. After years “Everything I am doing of being withdrawn because of over here is for Morning Star,” his parents’ divorce, Murburg Geissler said Monday as he opened again — he wanted to be toured the unfinished cabin of part of the family and called and his catamaran. cared. Geissler is short, strong and Last week, he and other Green tan with salt and pepper hair. Beret candidates set off for a He grew up poor in a small town 10-hour training exam. They outside Frankfurt, Germany. would be left in the woods, with After World War II, food was only a map and compass and had scarce for Geissler and his nine to reach certain targets. When siblings. Murburg didn’t check in at a His parents had a garden and post midday on June 9, a massive slaughtered their own rabbits search by 500 soldiers began. and chickens. Their self-sustain- They looked for him that day ing ways during his childhood and night and found his body the are the reason he wants to edu- next morning. He had not used cate the poor and hungry about his emergency equipment and aquaponics. he had water in his canteens. The “You can give a man a fish Army is investigating his death and he eats for one day,” Geissler and won’t have results for at least DANIEL WALLACE | Times said. “Teach him how to raise a month, if not more. Murburg’s John Terry, 46, left, and Vaughn Moore, 58, secure a catamaran built by Hans Geissler to a trailer for transport from the Dade fish, and teach him to use the father spoke at the funeral and City Business Center to a marina in Tarpon Springs. Geissler wants to sell catamarans to finance his help for the poor. waste from the fish to raise veg- said, from what he heard, his son etables, you become a part of a His new boat, the Green Cat, lons per mile,” said Geissler. “I’m going to hang out with tral America, rather than flying died quickly and without pain. solution.” as he has named it, has the same Eventually, he wants to get the rich and famous so I can tell them to the United States. “We hope that is the case,” said He and his wife, Sigrid, came thin hulls and needs only two even greener with solar panels them about the poor and needy,” Next week, he’ll test the Green Maj. Sonny Leggett, of U.S. Army to America when he was 23. 60-horsepower motors. and hybrid boat engines. Geissler said. Cat’s gas mileage and sea-wor- Special Operations Command. After hopping around the county Geissler hopes it will get The Green Cat will run about Once hurricane season is over, thiness in open water. If all goes “His family is in our thoughts.” a bit, the Geisslers landed in St. about three times the gas mile- $400,000. Geissler plans to take the Green well, he hopes to build one boat The Army sent several soldiers Petersburg, where he opened a age of traditional catamarans, His target audience: “People Cat to Nicaragua, where he is per month. to the service. Some were Green catamaran shop and developed which have larger motors and with money,” Geissler said. building another Morning Star Berets, what Murburg wanted to the G-Cat, a catamaran with use more gas. A German customer, he said, training center. be more than anything. Speak- Helen Anne Travis can be reached thinner hulls than traditional “We’re asking how many miles is already interested in purchas- The new center will make it ing at the end of the service, Mur- at htravis@sptimes.com models. per gallon, not how many gal- ing three. easier to train people from Cen- burg’s father tried to make sense or (352) 521-6518. of his son dying so soon after doing what he always wanted. But maybe that’s the point we’re supposed to take, he said. His son died doing what he loved and what he believed God wanted him to do. He died, his
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