Arts and culture

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We knew it was only a matter of time before the David Petraeus scandal got the Saturday Night Live treatment. Over the weekend, the controversy gave SNL enough fodder for two sketches -- one of which centered around Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite who brought the Petraeus affair to light.

Emails from the Tampa woman - who prompted the investigation of Marine Gen. John Allen because of their voluminous messages - are being released as part of the public record. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn released Friday all the emails Jill Kelley has sent him since in office.

Diana Lucas Leavengood

Ask Dennis Lehane about storytelling and he will tell you that he grew up in Boston surrounded by Irish aunts and uncles who constantly revised their stories to make them better.

He says he also grew up in a bar culture, where if "you didn't tell a good story in the bar, they didn't give you a polite clap and listen till you got to the end, they just shouted you down."

Many of his books are dark and some have been translated to the movie screen in the films Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone.  Lehane says he's learned "what seems to be without a doubt, the sweet spot in my wheelhouse is tragedy.  So, when I write books of epic tragedy, that seems to be the books that stick the most in the consciousness of the people that read them."

Amy Scherzer / Tampa Bay Times

Most of us have seen it – the photo of Tampa socialite Jill Kelley and former CIA Director David Petraeus on the Kelley’s South Tampa lawn.

She’s wearing a low-cut, high-hemmed black dress and party beads (it was taken during Gasparilla, Tampa’s version of Mardi Gras.)

It’s become the iconic photo of the scandal. But is it a fair portrayal of Kelley?

That’s the question on the mind of Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute’s Sense-making Project.

Just when you think it couldn't get any weirder...The Telegraph is reporting that former Gov. Charlie Crist once dated the twin sister of the Tampa woman at the heart of the Petraeus scandal.

Sunde Farquhar / Palm Harbor Patch

Should newspapers be in the business of endorsing candidates? And is there really an editorial firewall between the reporters and the editorial page of newspapers?

Yes, and yes, says Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute’s Sense-making Project. Case in point: the recent coverage and editorial campaign about fluoride in the Tampa Bay Times.

It started when a majority of Pinellas County commissioners – “the Fluoride Four” – voted to stop paying to put fluoride in water supplies.

10 Tips for Covering the Big Event

Nov 10, 2012

WUSF News Director Scott Finn and WFAE News Director Greg Collard reflect on their coverage of the national conventions. This is republished from

Saturday Morning Market Facebook page

When Gail Eggeman organized the first Saturday Morning Market on Nov. 7, 2002, she scoped out downtown St. Petersburg for a spot that was just big enough to accommodate the modest event.

"I think the first Saturday we had 20 vendors," said Eggeman, the market's co-founder and manager. They settled on Second Street. "It's small enough to not make us look silly," Eggeman thought.

Alex Cook / WUSF News

The "Memphis Belle," a replica World War II B-17 bomber flew over Tampa Bay today, carrying a bombardier who served aboard a similar craft for 28 missions over war-torn Germany.  

"I couldn't control myself.  I was on the plane and tears came to my eyes.  I was thinking of all the men we lost," said William Yepes, after a ride in his familiar station in the nose of the plane.

The non-profit group The Liberty Foundation ran the flight.  Pilot John Shuttleworth said that over 23,000 airmen were killed aboard the iconic "Flying Fortress" bombers.

In his new book, Race-Baiter, media critic Eric Deggans says modern media outlets trade in bigotry and bias to build audience and sell advertising.

Deggans dissects media coverage of events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Trayvon Martin case and the 2012 presidential election to build an argument that Americans lack the right vocabulary for having important conversations about race, and that the echo chambers of our fractured media landscape aren't helping. The fix, he says, is a more savvy audience that demands better conversations.

Karin Markert

As Hurricane Sandy began to hit Washington D.C., a photo went viral: three soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a driving rain. called it, “one of the more stunning pictures we've come across today.”

Top 5 Changes to Ybor City's Guavaween Event

Oct 26, 2012

Guavaween, Ybor City's annual Latin-themed Halloween celebration, returns Saturday with a few changes. The 27th edition of the event will still feature a costume contest and host "Mama Guava," but here's what's new:

Steve Newborn / WUSF

The bell tower at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales is revered enough as a place to perform that there have been only three carillonneurs in it's 83-year history. Today, the fourth will be shown off to the public for the first time.

A book for many is an escape. You travel to different times and places. You meet people who shaped history or just fell into a tragic romance.

Whether it be self-help, science fiction or biography, a good book is always a comfort. But physical comfort is also essential in the place where you choose to escape--maybe a local park or even a corner of the library.  

When you want to let your mind wander into the pages of a book where do you go? 

In this video, we are flying over the Earth, looking down and seeing what astronauts see when it's nighttime, when lightning storms flash like June bugs, when cities look like galaxies, when you can see where people are. It's quietly astonishing.

This montage of space footage was assembled and narrated by NASA scientist Justin Wilkinson. There's another one, which takes us around the Earth in daytime.

Owen Carey

The Rays' baseball season may be over, but Tampa Bay residents still have a reason to flock to Tropicana Field this fall.

Starting Nov. 8, the Trop parking lot will host Cirque du Soliel's KOOZA under the big top tent. Today 14 additional performances were announced for the show, which now closes Dec. 9.

Details Weigh Down The Drama In 'Live By Night'

Oct 7, 2012

A short list of mishaps that befall characters in Live by Night, Dennis Lehane's new novel: stabbed with a potato peeler ("It sounded like fish parts sucked into a drain"); stabbed in the Adam's apple; shot in the face ("the exit hole splattered pink all over the ferns"); tied to the hood of a car; devoured by alligators. A woman commits suicide by cutting off her genitals and slashing her own windpipe. How can a book packed with macabre acts of violence possibly be dull? Live by Night offers an excellent opportunity to contemplate this question.

A new museum could soon grace downtown's Curtis Hixon Park, where the Tampa Museum of Art and Glazer Children's Museum are located. The city of Tampa received a proposal today to build The American Craftsman Museum - and they're asking for taxpayer help. Lots of help.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Some works feature the trademark surrealistic flair that could only come from the brush of Salvador Dali. Others are from so early in his career that they don't look like his trademark work. And they all have never been on display in the U.S.  Beginning today, art lovers on this side of the Atlantic will get their first look at 12 works by Dali.

Tampa's Cafe Kili Voted No. 9 Coffee Shop in U.S.

Oct 1, 2012

The owners of Cafe Kili got an added jolt over the weekend -- and it wasn't just from the java.

The Temple Terrace watering hole was voted the ninth best independent coffee shop in America by Huffington Post readers. (The survey is ongoing. At the time of this writing, Cafe Kili sits at No. 5, as seen in this slide show.) The survey marked National Coffee Day, which was Saturday.