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The future of farming in Florida? Meet the robots

What's the most efficient, cost-effective way to pick strawberries and other Florida crops? Only time will tell.

But it's looking increasingly like the future of Florida farming may be in advanced robotics as robots take to the fields to replace human laborers. 

Read the complete story.


 

Key North Tampa stakeholders pledge major investment in University Area

Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, the University of South Florida, Florida Hospital, Busch Gardens and University Mall are among key community stakeholders pledging to invest big bucks in the local neighborhoods of North Tampa.

The idea is to market the area as an Innovation Place where research and development can help companies grow and create higher-paying jobs while improving neighborhood amenities.

Read the complete story.
 

Art Snax: Voices of Cuba Open Mic, and other art events on local menu

Storytelling can bring up embarrassing moments and times we wish we could forget. It can bring tears to our eyes, or make us laugh until we cry. Yet, one thing is for certain: spoken work has the power to evoke empathy and connect us to our human roots.
 
In coordination with their upcoming Under the Cuban Sun exhibition, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts will be hosting Voices of Cuba: Open Mic Night on Nov. 3 from 5-7 p.m. to experience Cuba through the authentic spoken word of those who have lived there, from poetry to music and everything in between.
 
Under the Cuban Sun is a group show of black-and-white photography exemplifying what makes Cuba Cuba from the 1930s to the present from both artists of Cuban heritage and those of an outsider perspective.
 
“There are several ways we came up with this event to become a productive support of the exhibition. We wanted the community to be heard and create a platform to exchange opinions. Also, we feel that Cuba is such a close neighbor to us and there are many similarities, so there is a natural connection. Photography is already a storytelling medium, so we wanted to create this concert of telling stories through images and community exchange,” says FMoPA Executive Director Zora Carrier.
 
Moderated by spoken-word artist Andresia “Real” Moseley, this event is free for members and $10 for non-members. “Under the Cuban Sun” will be open through Dec. 31.
 
“This event brings the focus back to the audience. Cuba is such a broad term and it can be so many things, so it’s about what Cuba means to people in our region,” Carrier says.
 
Check out other upcoming art-related events here
 
  • USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) raises “A Horror” by Jayson Musson this month as part of their year-long Pledges of Allegiance public art project in which they will hoist a different artist-made flag each month. In sync with Creative Time’s national public art initiative as a response to current political issues, this is the fifth flag raised in the series. Be on the look out for the next ones. 
  • With things lingering in the night around Halloween, Cass capitalizes on this holiday for their “Masked Intentions” exhibition on Oct. 27. A handful of the around two dozen artists include Anthony Lister, Missvan, Patricia Ariel and Tes One, with the show theme revolving around opaque interpretations and masked meanings.
  • Black light isn’t just for kids’ laser tag games anymore. “Illuminated” is Illsol’s Halloween-inspired party on Oct. 28, celebrating the holiday with black light art, musicians and competitions for best glowing costume.
  • Whittling down the artists in the recent “Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration” exhibition across three institutions, the Tampa Museum of Art (TMA) will be presenting “Skyway Selections: Curators’ Choice” opening on Nov. 2, featuring the thick, textural paintings of Claudia Ryan and Rob Tarbell’s smoke drawings.
  • See the abstracted quilts of Coulter Fussell in her solo exhibition “Four Quilts” at Cunsthaus, through Nov. 11. If you can’t schedule an appointment to visit, you can get in on Nov. 3 during First Friday in the Heights.
  • Looking for a good locally made gift for the holidays? Temple Terrace Arts & Crafts Festival might be a good place to start, featuring 100 makers throughout Nov. 11-12. 
  • Ben Folds brings his “Paper Airplane Request” Tour to the Straz Center in Tampa on Nov. 11. As a king of piano tappin’ and musical improv (if you’re familiar with his Chatroulette work), feel free to toss your song requests at him in the form of a paper projectile.
  • If you’re a fan of horror and Monty Python, “The Curse of Frankenstein’s Castle” is the perfect play for you. Enacted by the Carrollwood Players, they bring a sketch comedic sensibility to this classic horror movie. You can find dates on the weekends from Oct. 27-Nov. 4.

Tampa Bay leaders roll out video pitch for Amazon HQ2

Community, business and human rights leaders in the Tampa Bay region star in a series of videos that will be rolled out in coming weeks to make the case for landing Amazon HQ2. 

Among those featured: 
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
  • St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman
  • Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielders Justin Chavez and Marcel Schäfer
  • Tom James, Chairman Emeritus of Raymond James
  • Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida
  • Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport
  • Dr. Judy Genshaft, President of USF
  • Dr. Ken Atwater, President of HCC
  • Janet Long, Chair, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners
  • Stacy White, Chair, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.
  • Bob Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data
  • Lee Evans, Site Executive & GM, Head of North America Capability Center, Head of Global Strategic Operations
  • Ken Jones, Chairman and CEO, Third Lake Capital

First geek bar, no sports allowed, opens in Largo

Steering away from the local sports bar trend, a new bar in Largo targets geeks, nerds, brainiacs who want to enjoy a tasty brew without competitive athletes going at it in the background.

Conversation too may win as people take their eyes off the ball to talk to each other. What a concept!

Read the complete story.
 

Tampa, St. Pete work together to lure Amazon

Business and community leaders from both sides of Tampa Bay are teaming up to try to convince Amazon decision-makers that Florida would be a great place for their new headquarters outside of Seattle.

People in leadership positions from Tampa and St. Pete recognize that landing Amazon anywhere in the region would be a coupe for the entire region.

Read the complete story.
 

Water Street Tampa project starts coming out of the ground

Construction work has begun on a new University of South Florida medical school as part of the Water Street Tampa urban design project on downtown Tampa's waterfront.

The USF Health building project is the first in a series that will include shops, office space, a hotel and apartments.

Read the complete story.
 

Tampa-based drone company key to hurricane weather reports, damage assessments

FlyMotion, a Tampa-based drone company, is actively engaged in assessing damage post-Irma and is helping with weather forecasts as well. 

CEO Ryan English says his company deployed 18 teams across Florida to assist, according to an article in AOPA, an industry publication.

Read more in Air and Space magazine.

Hurricane Irma spares Tampa Bay Area compared to other coastal communities in Florida

More than 95 percent of households and businesses had power restored in the Tampa Bay Area within a week of Hurricane Irma's blast across Florida September 9-12.

While serious damage caused by wind and flooding affected many individuals, particularly in low-lying areas along local rivers, the overall impact was much less in the Tampa Bay Area than in other parts of Florida.

Read the complete story.
 

Creative thinkers tackle transportation solutions in cities

What emerges when a brain trust of creative thinkers working in government, transportation, cultural institutions and the arts get together to talk and trade ideas?

Time will tell following this summer's gathering in Indianapolis to come up with innovative solutions for urban issues.

Read the complete story.
 

Private donors step up to pay for removal of Confederate statue in Tampa

The Tampa business community led by Attorney Tom Scarritt, former Tampa Bay Storm owner Bob Gries, former Bucs Coach Tony Dungy, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Alex Sink and members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce showed leadership by pooling resources to pay for the removal of a Confederate statue in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse. 

The private citizens stepped up after county commissioners declined to pay all of the costs necessary for moving the historic artwork to another location.

Read the Tampa Times editorial praising the coalition.
 

What do you want for local transportation of the future? Workshops invite your participation

What do local residents want when it comes to transportation and transit? Are they happy with spending tax money to build more roads or do they want options for crossing land and sea?

Getting answers to those questions and helping shape a plan for traversing the Tampa Bay region in the future are at the heart of public meetings and workshops being planned with agencies such as the Florida Department of Transportation and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART).

Read the complete story.
 

Next for Tampa? Big projects, big problems awaiting solutions

With new apartments, shops and restaurants going up all around Tampa and people moving to Florida at a record pace, what are some of the problems still in search of solutions?

Consider road congestion, sea level rise, aging infrastructure, and so much more.

Read the complete story.
 

Downtown Tampa adds more free electric shuttles

Two new Chevrolet Bolts are now transporting riders around downtown as part of the Tampa Downtowner fleet.

The additions bring the popular fleet to a dozen vehicles helping people get around downtown with ease.

Read the complete story.
 

Can a city stay cool while growing up fast? St. Pete looks to future

From green benches for retirees of the past to Green Bench breweries for millennials of today, St. Petersburg thought leaders are working to maintain an upward trajectory shaping the future without giving up any of the city's charm or cool.

Clearly, the struggle to grow up is as real for cities as it is for teens.

Read the complete story.
 
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