Arts: Fourth Annual MUSE Awards Recognizes Five Local “Muses”

MUSE will celebrate artistic inspiration on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg at 7:30 p.m. The fourth annual benefit for the arts will recognize the breadth and beauty of art and culture in our City of the Arts, and pay tribute to those that continue to inspire and guide St. Petersburg to its standing as an international arts destination. Proceeds will benefit artists, arts education, and arts & cultural organizations through our Arts Alliance programs and services.
Click here for ticket information.

MUSE VISUAL ARTS AWARD recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the visual arts which include ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, glass-blowing, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking and media arts.

Kyu Yamamoto: Kyu began studying sculpture as a fine arts student at Asahigaoka, the visual arts magnet school in Nagoya, Japan. Kyu moved his studio to St. Petersburg in 1992. He is now known throughout the Tampa Bay area for his contributions to public art (USF St Petersburg, Johns Hopkins/All Children’s Hospital, St Petersburg Fire Station #4). Kyu is currently teaches drawing at Eckerd College. He has also been faculty/instructor for the Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota; the Penland School of American Craft, Penland, NC; the Morean Arts Center, St Petersburg; the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Dunedin; and the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts, Asheville, NC. He is a founding faculty member of the Clay Center of St Petersburg.

“I do not find it so important to capture the physical details of a figure, as I do to capture the spirit, that which brings life. Art provides an avenue for communication. If a work of art causes you to react, to think, or to change the way you think or feel about something, then I have been successful. If you feel the sadness in the nodded head of one of my pieces; if you caught one of my figures moving out of the corner of your eye: if you smile back at a smile reaching out to you: then, and only then, have we communicated, and I have succeeded in my task.”

MUSE PERFORMANCE ARTS AWARD recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the performance art field to include music, dance, theater and/or interdisciplinary which is presented to an audience.

Eric Davis: Eric is the co-founder and artistic director of freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, and while he’s quick to spread the praise, his remarkable spirit is providing the fuel to the company’s rapid ascent. “I am inspired by great writing and stories that are thrilling and speak to a universal poetic sense about the human experience,” Davis says. Eric has been nominated many times and won awards many times for best acting, direction, set design and costume design.

Founded in 2008 and resident in their current home since 2011, freeFall Theatre has rapidly been recognized for artistic and organizational excellence.

MUSE PATRON OF THE ARTS AWARD recognizes an individual or couple who, with their time and treasure, generously supports charities, organizations, and/or individuals that work in or concern the arts.

Kathryn Howd: Kathryn graciously worked with FCA staff in its day to day running during the 3-month transition process between Executive Directors and spearheaded the search and hiring process for the new ED. She pitches in and/or leads wherever needed during a peak time for Florida CraftArt – new fiscal year, SHINE Mural Festival, Holiday Show, Florida CraftArt Festival, New Mural Tours, etc.

Kathryn is on the City’s Public Art Commission and the sub-committee for public art at the new Police Station, Board Member of Florida CraftArt, studio member at the Morean Center for Clay, member of the SHINE Mural Festival Committee, and volunteer clay instructor at Sunflower School in Gulfport working with K-5th students.

MUSE LITERARY ARTS AWARD recognizes an artist or organization that has achieved excellence in the written word in fiction or non-fiction, journalism, poetry or prose, print or digital formats.

David Warner: David has been Editor in Chief of Creative Loafing since 2004, where he has overseen award-winning arts coverage, written about theater, dance and visual art, and spearheaded the multi-disciplinary arts events GASP! and Sensory Overload. A member of the Radio Theatre Project Live! acting company, he has appeared in Stageworks’ The Chosen, Studio@620’s Delicious Nut and A Simple Theatre, and will soon reprise his role as a supercilious art collector in Modigliani at Gulfport Community Players.

Before CL, he was the editor of Philadelphia City Paper, winning numerous awards for its arts coverage, and a theater critic and arts columnist at Seven Days in Burlington, VT. David has a B.A. from Harvard and an M.A. in Theater from Villanova, and was a 2001-2002 National Arts Journalism Fellow at Columbia University. e lives in the Historic Roser Park neighborhood of St. Petersburg with his husband, Larry Biddle, and their Cairn terrier, Walter.

 MUSE ARTS AMBASSADOR AWARD recognizes a beloved St. Petersburg artist (of any discipline) who is a stellar representative of the “City of the Arts” to the world.

Leon “Tes One” Bedore: “Tes One” is an artist, curator and founding member of the SHINE Mural Festival. Combining contrast nature with technology, grime with grace. His conceptual paintings are assembled from the foundation up; color and cast blanket organic substrates. Incorporating movement within his work brings his energy and message to the viewer, emotions envelope and hold focus.

“Murals are reflective of a city that takes pride in its community. Like all art, it is proof of life. I think the level of art and impact of murals in St. Pete are beginning to align – so there is a deeper appreciation for the work, and it can now co-exist with the community rather than fall into stereotypes of either graffiti or advertising.”

As an artist, Leon Bedore combines and contrasts nature with technology, grime with grace. His conceptual paintings are assembled from the foundation up; color and cast blanket organic substrates. Incorporating movement within his work brings his energy and message to the viewer, emotions envelope and hold focus.

Click here for more information about the MUSE Awards

The Date Concierge: A Night @ The Palladium

Date night doesn’t need to be Friday night. It can be brunch on Sunday, a humpday excursion, even a mystery magical tour to Tarpon Springs or Tierra Verde to explore what’s news. When you live in Paradise here in Pinellas County, there’s a date excursion for every passion. As your Date Concierge, we’ll deliver a date worth inviting your husband, SO or that cute boy/girl down the street.  Or just get your posse and head out with just the girls or guys!

The Date Concierge: A Night Out as The Palladium Theater

Henry and I love a night downtown, always arriving before sunset to walk the park and catch a bite to eat and drink before our concert or play. Tonight, we’ve off to downtown St. Pete’s award-winning, historic Palladium Theater, home to the mainstage Hough Hall and intimate Side Door and part of SPC. Consistently ranked as one of Tampa Bay’s best, most affordable venues for classical, jazz, blues, theatre, opera, Celtic, comedy, dance, educational, literary, community events, and more.

First Stop: Nurse a lemon drop martini at Cassis and a seat outside to catch the vibe of joggers, dog walkers and scurrying downtown denizens in everything from Tommy Bahama shirts to the occasional suit and tie, playing “what do they do for a living,” as we admire the Technicolor sunset.

Second Stop: I’m hungry, so it’s off to the hip Hollander Hotel for a pre-theater nosh. It’s Thursday so we’re in luck since they offer 50% off bottles of wine. I decide to splurge on a yummy burger and craft beer at The Tap Room. I want to save room for after the theater for one of their perfect martinis.

The Big Event: Nate Najar is a Tampa Bay treasure, a true jazz hero and his holiday show has us tapping our toes. This year’s Jazz Holiday show featured two national jazz artists along with Palladium favorites John Lamb on bass, James Suggs on trumpet and Mark Feinman on drums.

Nate Najar is one of the few guitarists playing jazz on the classical guitar. With his pianistic, lightly swinging guitar style, Najar has performed with many jazz greats including Bucky Pizzarelli, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen and Kenny Drew Jr,and has had an ongoing musical partnership with Ellington alum, bassist John Lamb.

In 2008, Nate was selected by Dr. Billy Taylor to represent Charlie Byrd in a 10 day festival at the Kennedy Center celebrating the history of jazz in Washington, DC. Rick Andersen of the All Music Guide called Nate “one of the most consistently interesting and stylish young guitarists on the jazz scene….” 2010 saw Najar release Groove Me on Woodward Avenue Records. A collaboration with Tony Award winning vocalist Melba Moore, Groove Me reached into the top 10 of the Billboard Jazz chart. Najar’s 2012 Blues For Night People – The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd introduced him to the international stage including performances at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the 2013 London Jazz Festival. Aquarela Do Brasil released in 2014, is the Nate Najar Trio’s most recent project. It features a collection of much loved Brazilian melodies, Jobim masterpieces and jazz tunes given the samba treatment.

The trio features Nate’s longtime rhythm section of Tommy Cecil on bass and Chuck Redd on drums. Duduka Da Fonseca guests on drums and percussion when Redd switches to the vibraphone. Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen contributes two lyrical performances. Becky Byrd, wife of the late guitarist Charlie Byrd says it best: “There is no doubt that there is a piece of Charlie’s soul in Nate’s mind, heart and fingers.”

Coming Up: On Jan. 14, Los Lobos rocks the house. Feb. 6 brings Arlo Guthrie’s folkst sound while March features twist legend Chubby Checker. Visit for more January and 2017 shows. We’re looking forward to Chubby Checker in March!

Parking: In the lot across from the theater or the lot adjacent to theater as well as Souzou Asian Fusion, 425 Fifth Avenue N., one and a half blocks due west of the Palladium Ample parking anytime and free valet during restaurant hours for Palladium patrons. Just show your ticket to the Palladium, and enjoy parking at no charge.

The Palladium 253 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; 727-822-3590.

The Hollander Hotel 421 4th Avenue North St Petersburg, Fl 33701; 727.873.7900

Fun & Nightlife

Whether you have guests or just want to hang out and be in the know, this is the place to check out all that’s happening from downtown St. Pete to the beaches. Here are some of the features to help you hone your fun zone plans for going out on the town day or night, where to see the best shows and catch the best live music and happy hours. Ciao baby….Nanette Wiser

The Date Concierge: We plan an excursion for you, from the VIP experience at the Mahaffey to concert night at the Palladium, with all the places to eat and drink before and after the show.

Fun @Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg & The Beaches: There’s something for every passion and age, from provocative theater to glorious parks and preserves.

Health, Fitness & Wellness: Water sports, marathons, yoga and fitness opportunities, plus the ultimate guide to surf shacks around town.

Dining: Click here for our Dining section and check out these latest best bests.
Today’s Favorite: Do you love oysters and fine wine? Sea Salt is just for you. Come enjoy chef Fabrizio Aielli’s newest fine-dining restaurant, featuring an 80-foot long raw bar, 20-foot-tall wine tower, Florida’s freshest seafood and 130 different salts from around the world.
Live Music: Interviews with the best artists coming into town and local bands from mariachi merriment to soul music, rock, blues, folk, karaoke and more. Best Bets:
  • So much of its free, like Blast Friday in downtown Clearwater featuring Spyro Gyra (Jan. 27), John Waite (Feb. 24), Billy Joel Legends (March 31) The Fabulous Thunderbirds (April 28), Greg Billings and The Black Honkeys (May 26).
  • Monday:  Big Band at Blue Parrot
 Bars & Nightlife: Want to dance, hear jazz or sing karaoke? Check out these happy hours and bars up and down the beach. Coming up? What’s hot downtown!

Neighborhoods: Downtown St. Pete

Downtown St. Pete rocks. From Grand Central to Beach Drive, there are 1,001 ways to enjoy yourself 24/7.We will be posting our favorite restaurants, attractions, bars, shops and news from the Burg here weekly...Ciao, baby-Nanette Wiser

Check This Out: Harmony Eco Spa in the Hollander Hotel will rejuvenate and refresh you and pairs perfectly with your new fitness resolutions. From massage to facials, Reiki to chakra alignment, it’s downtown’s sweet spot. Hollander Hotel also offers yoga Saturday morning poolside and indie music on Sundays, and their menu and Tap Room cocktails and beers offer something for everyone.

March 10-12 2017: Indy fans, heads up! The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is among the most respected and exciting motorsports events in North America and features a festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities. Dubbed the “World’s Fastest Spring Break Party,” the race takes place every spring on a challenging temporary street circuit overlooking the scenic waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. Racing at speeds in excess of 170 mph on the 14-turn, 1.8 mile long street course, drivers circle the Mahaffey Theater and The Dali Museum, then proceed to the runways of Albert Whitted Airport.

Downtown St. Pete Best Bets

  • Feed your inner barista at Déjà Vu for expresso and tea, another newcomer to the 400 block of Central Ave.
  • Could a NYC-type rooftop garden be in the work with developer changes at St. Pete’s Station House and renovations to the Green-Richman Arcade?
  • Cold fusion coffee is all the rage with St. Pete’s Made Coffee Brewery
  • Thursday is Yappy Hour at Pinellas Ale Works Brewery & Taproom while Wednesday is trivia night. I love their vanilla bean porter.
  • Check out Red Mesa’s sunset menu Mon.-Fri. 4-6 pm at the 4th St. location;
  • Don’t miss the Hideaway Blues Jam Wednesdays; doors open at 6 for dinner and drinks and the music ramps up 7:30-10:30pm. Free admission. (1756 Central Avenue)
  • Love Maryland jumbo crab cakes? Check out Blake’s Crab Cakes (7224 Central Avenue).
  • St. Petersburg Saturday Market is the place to nosh, walk your dog and enjoy live music.
  • Hollander Hotel/Tap Room offers yoga Saturday morning poolside and indie music on Sundays. Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy $5 Bloody Mary and mimosas and on Sun. $10 all you can eat breakfast special.
  • Room 901 is the new venture from the former owners of Peg’s Cantina (Gulfport).
    Got a sweet tooth? Check out The Sugar Shack on MLK Street North, especially the key lime pies.
  • Iberian Rooster serves up colonial Portuguese dishes and a new Sunday brunch on Central Ave.
  • Kahwa Coffee celebrated their 10th anniversary this year with their 10th store in Tampa Bay (four in Tampa, four in St. Pete and one in Sarasota). Owners Raphael and Sarah Perrier are baristas with a purpose, growing from their first store on the corner of 5th Ave and 2nd St. downtown. You can see them on HSN, find them at local restaurant and even get their heavenly brews online;
  • The Independent reopened in downtown St. Pete with some of the best beers, wines, music and conversation in town. After the Dec. 3 grand opening party, Ballast Pt. Brewing beer celebration kicks off noon-close with a tasting of the rare coffee vanilla imperial porter and other brews.
  • Ciccio Restaurant Group’s Better Byrd is a new chicken noshery, with classic and trendy chicken dishes to cluck about.
  • ThirstyFirst replaced Alvin’s Lounge on First Ave. with the motto Come Thirsty, Leave Tipsy and the Prohibition-style lounge, cocktails and food are a big hit.
  • Old Chicago Pizza features deep dish pies, subs and salads for a taste of the windy city.
  • The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club gets a facelift and is renovating the spa, fitness center, dining facilities and tennis courty. In January, they will break ground on a new marina and pool view restaurant on the Esplanade deck at the main resort.
  • Kozuba & Sons Craft Distillery in the Warehouse Arts District introduces Starkus Vodka, a barrel-aged vodka with hints of honey, oak spice and vanilla.
  • Largo-based artisan Pinellas Chocolates dark chocolate bars are all the rage and can be found at St. Pete Indie Market, Locate Market and Rollin Oats in St. Petersburg.
  • Downtown’s Savory Spice Shop introduced a Spice Up Your Holidays Gift Guide and new St. Petersburg Snapper seasoning.
  • World Class ZO Skin Center by Zein Obagi MD is now open in downtown St. Pete (240 1st Ave. South) in the bottom floor of Dr. Christian Drehsen’s Clinique of Plastic Surgery building. It is the first franchise and East Coast location of the Beverly-Hills based legendary products and services developed by skincare guru Dr. Obagi.
  • St. Petersburg Saturday Market is the place to nosh, from Brooklyn Knish to empanadas, French crepes to handmade pickles and fresh veggies, it’s a fun way to start the weekend and listen to the live band du jour.
  • Hollander Hotel/Tap Room offers yoga Saturday morning poolside and indie music on Sundays. Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy $5 Bloody Mary and mimosas and on Sun. $10 all you can eat breakfast special.

Downtown News

  • ONE St. Petersburg, the 41-story mixed-use development in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, has sold its ground-floor retail condominiums to two separate buyers.
    With 2,000 renttal units in the market, comes another player, The Relaxed Group with an eight-story, 384 unit Hermitage Apartments and a future site at 930 Central Flats (218 unit, five story building).

Fitness: Get Fit in Pinellas County

Wake up and walk! Or garden, do a downward dog, dance, yoga, hula hoop or bike. Whether you wear a FitBit or just want to get fit, we’ve got 101 unique ideas for exercising in Paradise. While everyone else is shoveling snow, these fitness ideas go beyond the gym for those of us lucky enough to live (and love) the Gulf Coast.

Run Rabbit Run: Jog the Pinellas Trail or Boca Ciega Millenium park or go large and sign up to walk or run these local winter races. You can also find fellow running and cycling enthusiasts and find out when the next Tampa Bay Beer Run happens at

Feb. 25-26: Gasparilla Distance Classic

Get Fit With Friends: Check out the new Bike Share downtown and take a two-wheel tour of St. Pete. Want to meet some people who like playing your favorite sports? Check out the South Pasadena pick-up soccer games on South Shore Dr. South, South Pasadena Pick Up Soccer Games, and check out Athletic Singles and other fitness meet-ups on the web and Facebook. Rugby Rats can work out and play with Pelican Rugby,

Mother Nature Is Calling: Lucky for us, we have some of the best bike paths, parcours and outdoor fitness equipment and county and city parks and beaches such as Ft. deSoto. You can take guided nature walks at Weedon Island and Brooker Creek and walking tours with St. Petersburg Preservation and Florida Craft Art.

Water Wonderful: There are so many paddle and kayak meet-ups as well as individual and group lessons, many of them led by local surf and watersport shops along gulf beaches. Pinellas County has miles of beautiful shoreline, providing paddlers with a variety of opportunities and experiences as they explore the coastline and the rich array of marine and estuarine ecosystems that make up Pinellas County’s waters.

Cycle Mania: Check out the many rides for all levels! There’s a casual ride on Pinellas Trail, 14-15 mph, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Helmet needed. No ride on third Wednesday of the month. Leaves from Pinellas Trail/Dunedin, one block north of Main Street at parking lot adjacent to Trail. Call 727-441-2444 for more information.

Dance Classes: If you want to gain confidence and make new friends, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio can help you sort out your two left feet.  They offer ballroom and social dancing privately and in group classes (; 727-347-7700). At Hip Expressions (, you can take belly dancing and reggae aerobics.

More of a classic dancer? Check out the Tea Dances at the Coliseum and Swingtime at the Gulfport Casino. On Wednesdays 6:30-9 pm, meet up with the Suncoast Dixieland Jazz Band at Treasure Island’s Bilmar Beach Resort. Call 727-360-5531​

 Unexpected Local Gyms: Drop in for an hour or a day at the Suntan Art Center’s wellness classes, Madeira Beach or St. Pete Beach’s fitness centers and Southwest Rec Center. Explore what the YMCA has to offer as well as take advantage of local pools (St. Pete Beach, North Shore Aquatic Center) and if you’re a vintage fitness buff, the Silver Sneakers programs around town. You can also take a drop-in yoga class at Kripalu Yoga with Jeannie Salvo (

Personal Trainers: Smith Built Fitness (727-345-5000) and Adam Hoffman Fitness (727-???-????) can help you assess your fitness profile and plan a personalized program.


  • Beach Yoga Pinellas: Tuesdays 7 – 8:15 pm. Treasure Island Community Center Garden Rm. Thursdays 7 – 8:15 pm City Hall Auditorium. Year round resident discount packages. 727.222.6476
  • Don Vista Arts CenterCelebrating 50+ Years. Yoga, Chi Gong. 3300 Pass-A-Grille Way, St. Pete Beach  727.367.3818
  • Drum Circle: Empowering and healing. 4th Friday on Gulfport Beach westside near the Rec. Center.Winter 7 pm / Summer 7:30 pm. Dena Lebowitz. 727.289.3380
  • Hoop Dancing: Story telling dance with 1 to 30 hoops. Yoga Village – Sunken Gardens, 1825 4th St. N, St. Petersburg Contact: Abby 813.777.7720
  • Inspire Yoga at the Dali: Practice vinyasa/ashtanga poses. Sundays at The Dali, One Dali Blvd., 727.823.3767
  • Madeira Beach Recreation Center: Yoga Essentials, Vinyasa, Flow, Tai Chi, Hoola Dance, 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach 727.392.0665
  • Sunken Gardens/Meditation in the Gardens: Every Wednesday, 12:30 pm.  Daily yoga Daily Yoga with Yoga Village classes. Sunken Gardens, 1825 4th St. N, St. Petersburg, 727.551.3102
  • Nava Yoga Studio, 5901 Sun Blvd. W, Suite 120, St. Petersburg 727.592.1999
  • Perfect Circle Yoga & FitnessBikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Boot Camp, Pilates, Personal Training. 595 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach 727.504.2327
  • Sacred Lands: Sunday tours, meditations, special events. Wednesdays Movement for Wellness. 1700 Park St. N, St. Petersburg. 727.347.0354
  • Sound Meditations: Thursdays at 11 am. Scout Hall, 5315 28th Ave. S, Gulfport. 727.893.5657.
  • St. Petersburg Yoga 2842 MLK St. N, St. Petersburg 727.894.9642 Tues, 6:15 pm, Sunset Beach, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island; Wed., Sunrise 7 am at Straub Park, 255 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg
  • St. Pete Beach Yoga: Daily 10 am and one hour before sunset. St. Peter Beach near Beach Plaza and 67th Ave. 727.686.0123 Yoga Alliance Certified
  • Tampa Museum of Art: Monday meditation120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa813.259.1720
  • The Longhouse
: All levels of skill and techniques2309 49th Street S, Gulfport 727.322.5766
  • Tree of Life YogaFour studios. Addiction Recovery, Prenatal, Cancer Survivor Yoga. 6800 Gulf Blvd., South Pasadena Shopping Ctr., 727.514.3057
  • Yoga – Jeanne Salvo, RYT 500 Yoga Style: Kripalu, Pass-A-Grille Beach Comm Church, 107 16th Ave., St. Pete Beach. Phone/Text  727.224.7631
  • YOGA FOR A CAUSE! Get healthy and support Florida West Ballet, a Not-for-profit Pre-Professional Performing Arts Company! Yoga Around Town is offering yoga classes at Florida West Ballet’s studio: 616 4th Street N., St. Petersburg Bring your mat, towel & $10 donation per   or

Wellness Services: Get healthy naturally at Ancient Healing Acupuncture and Herbs Clinic 727-384-4826), lose weight safely with WeightSmartMD (727-343-9100), get a mobile massage with Libby (727-204-8602), and relax the mind and renew your body at Lemon Tree Spa (727-363-0772).

 Perhaps one of our favorite finds is downtown St. Pete’s Harmony EcoSpa (400 4th Street North @The Hollander Hotel, downtown St. Pete; 727-822-8701), where you can get the ultimate holistic pampering including aromatherapy, massage, reiki, ear candling, bamboo fusion, BEMER treatments and more

  • Ear Candling:  There are many benefits of ear candling. It has helped people with sinus congestion, colds, ear aches and infections, candida, headaches, lymphatic congestion, sore throats, mucus, sinus infections, balance and equilibrium. It is safe, simple and natural. It is a soothing experience that reduces stress and tension and also sharpens mental functions.
  • BEMER: BEMER technology is a biophysical application to optimize the body’s own natural vitality and wellbeing utilizing “Information Medicine.” By means of sending a unique signal to the body (our animals as well), BEMER stimulates the rhythmic pumping action of our bodies’ tiniest blood vessels – the microvessels. Distribution of the very essences of life is improved with its use. The benefits of BEMER technology is the support of the body’s own healing and maintaining abilities; they reach the entire body and can be experienced by everyone with no known negative side-effects, with exception to anyone on immune suppressant drugs/treatment.
  • Reiki: Reiki is a safe, gentle, non-invasive form of hands-on healing. Recipients report their experience of Reiki includes increased energy, reduction of pain, deep relaxation and a general feeling of well being. Reiki initiation attunes a practitioner to become a channel for the Reiki energy and is a powerful, life-changing experience for physical, mental and spiritual growth.
  • Core Health/Heart Forgiveness Sessions with Jennifer Andrews: Can help dissolve anger and resentment and help your life energy flow with ease, brining more peace and joy into your life and releasing healthy hormones.

–Article by Nanette Wiser

Arts & Culture Best Bets

Look here for what’s new and fun around town as I pick our faves in the literary, film, theater, music, dance, multimedia, arts and crafts scenes, and cover parties and local artists.  We’ve expanded our listings in the Events- Arts & Leisure section in the back of the magazine. Ciao baby, see you around town!  – Nanette Wiser

STAY IN TOUCH: We’d like to know your discoveries, so please share them with me  Be sure to connect with Paradise News online to get the most up-to-date local tidbits and event reminders.

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  1. ARTpool Gallery 2030 Central Ave. downtown St. Petersburg
    • January 21, 8 pm: – midnight ARTpool Gala 11th annual celebration of  St. Pete’s creative culture through art/music/fashion
    • Call for Artists, Performers, Body Artists, Designers & Models! The 2017 show season is right around the corner, and ARTPool needs you. Apply on the website for these shows: I Love St. Pete, MUSE Body Art, Mad Hatter and the Underwater Anniversary Show!

  1. Heritage Village 11909 125th St. N, Largo 727-582-2123
    • Jan. 7, 10 am – 4 pm: Roc Day Tampa Bay Join the spinners of Pinellas Weavers Guild to celebrate Roc Day as part of your New Year’s celebrations.  The annual Roc Day event will be held at Heritage Village’s McMullen House (also known as the Fiber Arts House) where Guild members plan to demonstrate fiber crafts including weaving, spinning and other portable fiber projects, answer questions about fiber crafts, share holiday stories, recruit potential new weavers and spinners, and generally have an old fashioned good time.
  1. Morean’s Glass Studio & Hot Shop – Discover how beautiful works of glass are created in real time with professional glass blowers educating you on the process. 719 Central Ave., downtown St. Pete,  727 822-7872 x 2220
    • Events include Ladies Night, Friday Hot Date Night, & Live Glass Blowing Demonstrations daily at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm. Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., downtown St. Pete 727-822-7872
    • Keep St. Pete Lit $10 writing classes for beginners and pros. The Morean Center for Clay  420  22nd Street South, downtown St. Pete
  1. Florida Humanities Speaker Series continues through 2017 with these talks at St. Petersburg Museum of History 335 2nd Ave. NE, downtown St. Pete 727-894-1052
    • Feb. 9: – The Magnificent Drama – Martin Luther King, Jr. in St. Augustine
    • April 13, 2017: – Getting to Know Florida’s Engaging Water World from the Inside Out
  1. OLLI at Eckerd College  Classes on Music, Film, Television,  Florida Studies, Literature, Writing, Performing Arts and Visual Arts. www.Eckerd.Edu/Olli/Register  727-864-7600.
  1. Studio@ 620 620 First Ave. S, downtown St. Pete 727-895-6620
    • Wordier Than Thou: Open mic for storytelling, share prose or just catch tales from area wordsmiths.
    • Jan. 19, 8 pm: Anyan Dévery (pronounced “any and every”), is short for anything, everything, anyone and everyone. Their style ranges from alternative rock to funk to jazz fusion with influences including Snarky Puppy, Radio-head, & Jacob Collier. The band is comprised of Dave Hamar on drums, Daniel Navarro on bass, Stephen Dornfeld on keys, Joe Coyle on keys and Will Thomas Scecina on guitar and vocals (all former members of  the band “Us Four”).  Anyan Dévery would like to invite you to an exclusive live recording of their original music.
    • Feb. 16-20: Dangerous Gully is the latest concoction by local playwright, Joseph Alan Johnson ( Lovefool, Misconception).  A saucy tale of love and romance that pays homage to the fairy tales of our childhood with a modern twist!  Local stage  favorite Daniel J. Harris stars as Prospero – a professional story teller with a sexy web to spin! Mr. Johnson has been nominated the past three years in a row by the readers of Creative Loafing as Best Local Playwright. You won’t want to miss his latest magical journey into the human condition, glitter and all!
  1. St. Petersburg Opera 727-823-2040
    • Jan. 27, 7:30 pm, Jan. 29: 2 pm, Jan. 31: 7:30 pm: The Elixir of Love
  1. St. Petersburg Arts Alliance 100 Second Ave. N, Ste. 150 St. Downtown St. Pete, FYI: John Collins 727-518-5142
    • Jan. 27:  Muse Award Benefit: The Muse Awards will celebrate artistic inspiration at the Museum of Fine Arts, 7 pm.  St. Petersburg’s fourth annual fundraising benefit for the arts will recognize the breadth and beauty of art and culture in our City of the Arts, and pay tribute to those that continue to inspire and guide St. Petersburg to its standing as an international arts destination.  Sculptor & painter Kyu Yamamoto will be honored as the Muse Award’svisual artist for the fourth annual Muse Awards benefit.  Kyu joins 2016 winner, Steven Kenney and 2015 winner, Carrie Jadus as the visual artist honoree. His artwork will be featured on the 2017 commemorative poster.
  1. Jan 25-29 Circus Xtreme at Amalie Arena  It’s time for your family to be amazed by all the X-TRAORDINARY things you know and love about America’s favorite live family entertainment experience. Be astonished by UN-XPECTED circus spectacles you’ve never seen before and that can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show On Earth®. Get ready for an X-HILARATING adventure with X-TRAORDINARY circus artists and magnificent X-OTIC animals, like our big cats!  It’s time to awaken the spirit of Children Of All Ages and stir the imagination of your family! Buy tickets by phone or online 800-745-3000
  1. Jan. 27-28 Shen Yun at The Mahaffey Go beyond the boundaries of performing arts. Shen Yun combines ancient legends with technological innovations, and historically authentic costumes with breathtaking animated backdrops, letting classical Chinese dance do the storytelling, Filled with an enchanting orchestral sound, this is a mesmerizing experience you won’t find anywhere else. The Mahaffey Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, 400 First Street South  Buy tickets / phone 888-974-3698. Info:

ARTWALKS: Whether you have visitors or it’s a girls night out, these events are moving feasts, both visual and culinary.  There’s always live music and never a dull moment.

Gulfport Artwalks 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday, 3101 Beach Blvd. S.,

– St. Petersburg Second Saturday Artwalk  5 – 9 pm – Discover arts, crafts, bodacious brews and delicious bites.

CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS: Pinellas County’s nature preserves offer unique cultural and historical programs, including Weedon Island, Heritage Village and Florida Botanical Gardens. From guided nature walks and book readings  to photo excursions, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a sample below; for more events, visit

Our Wildest Place: The Environmental Education Center at Brooker Creek Preserve: This permanent, hands-on educational exhibit that helps visitors understand how natural Florida has changed over time and the ecological footprints left by those changes. The Windows to Our Wildest Place exhibit allows visitors to experience the life of a gopher tortoise and includes educational videos and a touch-and-feel display of animal, insect and reptile skins and skeletons that have been preserved. Visitors will also find interpretive trail signs located throughout the boardwalks of the preserve that feature educational information about its ecosystems.

  • Jan. 8, 2: 30: 4 pm, Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve Music Jamboree Dust off that guitar, fiddle, banjo or other acoustic instrument and bring it to the Brooker Creek Preserve for a jam session in our outdoor music pavilion with a gorgeous view of the woods! Meet other musicians and learn some new songs. Music lovers of all ages are encouraged to come, listen and enjoy. The jam session will be led by a local musician.

People and Place: The Cultural and Natural History Center at Weedon Island Preserve: 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.  (727) 453-6500;  This art-inspired, permanent hands-on educational exhibit that reveals the area’s history, ecology and people. Exhibits include Connecting People and Place,  Uncovering Past Cultures, Understanding Culture through its Pottery, A Gallery of Memories, Mischief and Movies, Discovery of Hidden Worlds, What a Watershed Is and a virtual tour of the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Weedon Island artifacts.

  • Jan. 19, 7-8 pm: Archaeology Lecture Series: Complex Hunter-Gatherers of Interior British Columbia –  Archaeology of the Middle Fraser Canyon: The Middle Fraser Canyon of interior British Columbia is the traditional home of the St’át’imc people, famous for their intensive salmon fishing, large pithouse villages, and complex social organization. Archaeological research has identified the establishment of permanent St’át’imc villages in the Mid-Fraser Canyon shortly after 2000 years ago.This presentation provides an introduction to the ethnology and archaeology of the Middle Fraser Canyon with a particular focus on the Bridge River site, one of the largest and most intensively studied St’át’imc villages.
  • Jan. 12, 8:30 am Weedon Photography Hike: Hike the Preserve in search of that perfect shot. This program provides great opportunities for photographers of all levels to hone their skills. After a brief classroom session, Center volunteers highlight seasonal features of the Preserve, as well as specific wildlife behaviors that help participants capture the natural beauty of Weedon Island Preserve. Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center.

Objects from the Turner Family Permanent Collection: Geraldine “Jere” Turner bequeathed her family home to Pinellas County along with $100,000 in moving costs and the contents of her 1915 bungalow. When it was moved to Heritage Village in January 2014, thousands of objects and archival materials spanning 100 years of family history were discovered in the house. These included toys and games, glassware and china, personal accessories, pottery, clothing, furniture, artwork and items from the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. These objects are on display in the Ralph Reed Gallery in the Visitor Center. Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N., Largo. 727-582-2123;

DANCE: Jan. 13: Beacon at The Palladium – See the profile of dancer/choreographer Helen Hansen French in this issue and mark your calendars for Gulf Coast Dance on March 11.

FILM: March 2 – Tampa’s Gasparilla International Film Festival – Currently accepting submissions (no deadline listed  for short films, U.S. narrative feature and College Student Feature Film, International Features, Made in Florida and U.S. Documentary features plus other categories. Details and the online application:

GALLERIES: Duncan McClellan Gallery 2342 Emerson Ave South; 855-436-4527.

  • Jan. 12, 5:30 – 8 pm: Fuel The Fire Fundraiser for 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares Enjoy an entertaining evening of fantastic food and drink, hot glass demonstrations with Shelley Muzylowski Allen and Rik Allen – two of the world’s finest glass sculptors – and overall great fun! Complimentary valet parking.
  • Jan.14, 5 – 10 pm: Dream / Space with Shelley Muzylowski Allen and Rik Allen Welcome Seattle Glass Artists  Shelley Muzylowski Allen and Rik Allen, two of the art forms most imaginative and innovative creators! Watch them blow glass 6 – 8 pm. The Henry Ashwood Jazz Project will perform from 8-10pm. Cash Bar & food truck on premises.

MUSEUMS: The Dali Museum
Thru Apr. 17: Frida Kahlo at the Dali  An exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s paintings and drawings, together with her personal photograph collection showcase her dreamlike work suggesting that love and suffering create a new sense of beauty. Kahlo’s art and storied life stir immense public interest. Frida Kahlo at The Dali will be Florida’s first solo exhibition showcasing the extraordinary career and life of the acclaimed 20th century artist. The exhibit will feature a collection of more than 60 Kahlo pieces including 15 paintings, seven drawings and numerous personal photographs from the celebrated female artist and influential icon. The exhibition will extend outdoors where a special collection of flowers and plants representative of those in Kahlo’s own garden at Casa Azul, her home in Mexico, will grace the grounds of the Museum’s Avant Garden.

“With her dreamlike images, Kahlo has stirred huge public interest beyond the traditional art audience. In a way, Kahlo created a persona that serves as a contemporary feminine ideal – both tender and fierce,” said Dali Museum Executive Director, Dr. Hank Hine. “Much like Dali, she constructed an eccentric identity through the iconography in her paintings and then dressed and carried herself as the personality she created in her art. Painting by painting, she becomes a heroic figure of struggle and perseverance.”  The Frida Kahlo exhibit continues to attract national and international attention. What’s amazing is that our downtown museums feature two amazing collections; you can explore the primitive icons of the Inuit culture and the raw emotion and symbolic paintings of Kahlo.

February – May 2017 – Dali /Duchamp The father of surrealism and the papa of conceptual art, this is the first exhibit dedicated to Dali and Duchamp’s friendship and influence on each’s art, showcasing 60 works and supplemented by correspondence and collaborative projects.

Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Dr. NE 727-896-2667

  • Thru March 19: The Far North – Inuit Prints and Sculpture – These 30 works by accomplished Inuit artists spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Inuit people of the Arctic, formerly known as the Eskimo, have combined traditional and contemporary worlds in their work and have developed a distinctive visual language using modern materials and techniques. Through their art, the Inuit have continued a vital storytelling tradition among themselves, while reaching out to the broader public. They are especially known for their prints and sculpture.
  • Thru Jan. 22: Our America – The Latino Presence in Latin American Art Explore how Latino artists shaped the artistic community of their day with 92 original works that delve into the history and imagination of the artists and the world that inspired them.

MUSIC: Feb. 23 – Feb. 28: Sunshine City Songwriters Festival If you are a musician and would like to perform, reach out now and be part of this amazing festival. On Feb. 23, The Special Concensus Performs at the Craftsman House. This Grammy-nominated & International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awardwinners “Special C”. Originating from the Midwest, they have been performing for over 40 years.  Craftsman House, 2955 Central AveSt. Petersburg, 727-323-2787

PARTIES: Museum of Fine Arts Culture & Cocktails Events – There’s always something fun going on with MFA, meshing cuisine, art, wine and movies in some unique way. Mark your calendars for these events. Buy tickets online –  (727) 896-2667, ext 221.

  • Friday, February 10, 7:30 pm Coastal Chic Party – Enjoy Florida Favorites, Craft Beer, Wine & Chocolate. Featuring The Mad Beach Band. Individual Ticket: $99. Location: MFA. Dressy Casual.
  • Saturday, February 11,  7 pm – Paint the Town Red, White & Chocolate– Dinner & wine pairing by Chef Tyson of Parkshore Grill. Live and silent auctions. Featuring The TomKats Jazz Orchestra. Individual Ticket: $300*. Location: MFA. Cocktail Attire.
  • Saturday, February 18, 7 pm – 1000 Points of Wine Gourmet Dinner –Featuring Ten Robert Parker/Wine Advocate 100 Point Wines. Individual Ticket: $1,800*.  Seating is limited. Location: The Rolls-Royce Tampa Bay Showroom. Dress to impress

Jan. 29, 5 pm: American Stage Century Cycle Celebration:  Join American Stage artists and friends at  Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and Legacy Garden as we celebrate the exciting conclusion of our 10-year commitment to producing playwright August Wilson’s epic Century Cycle. Enjoy a night to remember that will include live visual & performing arts entertainment along with cocktails, dinner and festivities in support of American Stage as we pay tribute to this momentous accomplishment together. Century Cycle Celebration is a special fundraiser benefitting American Stage Theatre. For more information contact 727-823-1600 ext. 207 or
Venue: Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S, St. Petersburg 33712

PERFORMING ARTS: Jan. 11, 7:30 pm: Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy: An exotic encounter inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations that are brought to life by an international cast of soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers & musicians!  The astounding feats performed in this action packed Cirque Dream are enhanced with spectacular costumes nominated for an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design Award. The journey comes to life in a fantastical jungle setting filled with flowers, magical trees and a variety of special effects. From the Butterfly Ballet and Flipping Monkeys to Hopping Frogs & Stretching Lizards, this world-class explosion of imagination, athleticism & Broadway theatrics will exhilarate and entertain audiences of all ages. Tix: 727-893-7832 The Mahaffey Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, 400 First Street S., St Petersburg

SPOKEN WORD: Jan. 8, The Women of Temple B’nai Israel Present – Warriors Rising:   Temple B’nai Israel brings New York Times best-selling author, inspirational speaker, courageous truth-teller and hope-spreader Glennon Doyle Melton to her long -awaited first speaking engagement in the Tampa Bay area. Glennon uses her trademark wit and candor to easily express what so many of us think, but would not dare say aloud. Through a conversational keynote presentation, Glennon will encourage us to celebrate sisterhood and find our inner love warriors. We invite you to be a part of this inspirational evening.

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of New York Times bestselling memoir Love Warrior, which was chosen as the latest novel in Oprah’s Book Club and New York Times bestselling memoir Carry On, Warrior. Glennon is also the founder of Momastery, an online community reaching millions each week. She is the creator & president of  Together Rising, a non-profit organization that has raised over $5M for families around the world through its Love Flash Mobs, which have revolutionized online giving.

Jan. 15, 7 pm: Captain “Sully”  Sullenberger commemorates the Eighth Anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson”  Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger will make a special appearance in St. Petersburg (the birthplace of scheduled commercial aviation) to share his emergency water landing experience that captivated the world at Mahaffey Theater, Sunday, Jan. 15 at 7 pm. Ticket holders will hear the true story of an American hero who will share words of courage, inspiration, hope and joy. His story is captured in the film Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters and also Making a Difference: Stories of Vision & Courage from America’s Leaders. Ticket holders can re-live what the world witnessed eight years ago. Tickets, $45.50, $57.50, $75.50 from, by phone at 727.893.7832, in person at The Mahaffey Theater Box Office or at least 90 minutes prior to event.

Happy Hour with the Historian: Sharing the stories of the Sunshine City for 95 years, the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s popular lecture series features an evening of wine, words and wisdom. The 2017 series kicks off its fifth year Jan. 12 with a journey through a religious cult that believed the world is hollow, its leader would live forever and sex was forbidden. Run out of Chicago, the Koreshans discovered wealth, power and paradise in what is now Estero, Florida. 335 2nd Ave. NE on the Pier Approach; 727-894-1052

  • Jan. 12: Lyn Millner: The Allure of Immortality – An American Cult, a Florida Swamp & a Renegade Prophet.
  • Mar. 9: Craig Pittman: Oh, Florida  America’s Weirdest State
  • May 11: Lisa Bradberry: Weedon Island’s Sunhaven Movie Studios
  • July 13: Peter Meinke: An Evening with Florida’s Poet Laureate
  • Sept. 14: Bill Leavengood: Doc Webb and his World Famous Webb’s City
  • Nov. 9:  Lynn Waddell: Fringe Florida

THEATER: Jan. 12 – 22: “Parfumerie” –The Gulfport Community Players present Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo, at the Catherine Hickman Theater, 26th Ave and Beach Blvd. Parfumerie is the romantic comedy that inspired several film classics: In the Good Old Summertime, Meet Me in St. Louis, You’ve Got Mail and the musical She Loves Me. The action takes place in the pleasing old shop Hammerschmidt’s Parfumerie. The play follows the tangled tale of Parfumerie employee George Horvath and his secret love interest. This old-fashioned, romantic tale is set in 1937 Budapest. Patrick Brafford directs. Performances Thur-Fri-Sat 8 pm; Sat & Sun 2 pm. Advance tickets $18. Available online and at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar. Tickets at the door $20.

Jan. 18 – Feb. 19: – Joe Turner’s Come & Gone at American Stage –Don’t miss the epic conclusion of American Stage’s journey through August Wilson’s Century Cycle.  In a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911, owners Seth & Bertha Holly play host to a makeshift family of people who come to stay – some for days, some longer. Each denizen of the boardinghouse has a different relationship to a past of slavery as well as to the urban present. They include proprietors, an eccentric clairvoyant with a penchant for old country voodoo, a young homeboy up from the South, and a mysterious stranger searching for his wife. One of the most spellbinding and emotionally rich plays in the Cycle, JOE TURNER shines a light on America’s newly freed men and women determined to take their rightful place in a new world.  American Stage 163 3rd St. North. Box Office: 727-823-PLAY (7529);


Ringling College of Art & Design 2700 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota –Thru Jan. 27, 2017: Jenny Medved’s – exhibition INDIGENOUS PEOPLE will be on display in this glorious Sarasota cultural mecca.  Jenny Medved (Class of 2004) is a figurative artist & illustrator based in Sarasota, Florida. Medved’s meticulously crafted watercolors of Hawaiian and Polynesian dancers and Native Americans are part of an ongoing visual exploration of indigenous cultures prompted by the discovery of her own Native American roots. In December of 2015, Medved was featured as one of ten artists to watch in Watercolor Artist Magazine.


Mahaffey Theater: Big3 Entertainment, which manages the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater, has expanded its programming team with the addition of veteran New York talent booker and promoter Harlan Halper. Halper has been working with Big3 since 2011, bringing standup comedy to The Mahaffey and The Palladium Theater. As Vice President of Programming, his role now expands to include all genres of the performing arts. His years of experience include operations management, booking, promoting and talent buying for theaters and performing arts venues around the country. “The Mahaffey is an absolutely gorgeous building, and needs to be experienced by locals, as well as visitors to this dynamic community,” Halper said. “And we want more and more artists, regardless of the genre of entertainment, to experience how amazing The Mahaffey is, how they’re taken care of, and how we put on and present shows.”

Call to Artists: Superheroes on Parade is a whimsical, dog-centered art affair inspiring the community with its menagerie of life-size dog sculptures created by local artist and sculptor, Scott Moore.  Call for hand painting by local artists for the Superheroes on parade sculptures to benefit Southeastern Guide Dogs.  $400 stipend. Planned events include placing 50 painted dog-in-cape sculptures around town and an online contest where the community votes for their favorites and an awards celebration.  The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance plans to host the painted sculptures during SPFestival ’17 in September on South Straub Park. Please send your contact information with you website URL or three photos of your work to

Jan. 19, 10 am: Ikebana International, St. Petersburg

Japanese Floral Demonstration Presents Fusako Hoyrup of the Wafu School of Ikebana: Fusako Hoyrup will demonstrate Japanese floral arranging to guests at a luncheon sponsored by Ikebana International, St. Petersburg Chapter.  Ms. Hoyrup holds the highest ranking teacher’s degree in the modern Wafu School of Ikebana. Her theme will be “Shinnen Omedeto Gozaimasu” which translates “Happy New Year.”  A raffle for gift baskets donated by members will be held following lunch. Registration required. 727-729-9445, The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. PN

Art News Compiled by Nanette Wiser

Fitness Inspiration: Runner Jackie Yost

Still running at 88, Jackie Yost is a local legend.

Sports, fitness and athletic competition have defined Yost’s life since childhood. With a degree in physical education from University of North Carolina, Yost has worked as a recreation director, athletic director, and coach for swimming, baseball, tennis, softball, basketball and other sports. In addition, she taught health, science and physical education.

In 1952 Jackie married Larry, a college swimmer at NC State. Sixty five years later, Jackie – age 88 and Larry – age 86 are still athletes and avid competitors. Their love of and dedication to fitness has been passed on to their three children – all of whom are also dedicated athletes. Sunset Beach, Treasure Island residents for over 20 years, the Yost clan is truly an athletic family – participating in triathlons, marathons, running events, cycling, swimming, golf, and tennis.

Jackie’s awards and accomplishments are nothing short of incredible. She has been consistently ranked first or second in her age group by USA Triathlon. She has represented Team USA at the World Championships. She has won her age group at the DisneyWorld Half Marathon, the Gasparilla 15K, St. Anthony’s Olympic Distance Triathlon, and the DisneyWorld Minnie Marathon 15K to name but a few.

 At the age of 78, Jackie was second at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. She was a USA TRIATHLON Age Group ALL AMERICAN ten times.

At the age of 88, Jackie’s training regimen is extraordinary. Each day she trains in one or more disciplines (swimming, cycling, running). She does track workouts and speed work, open water and pool swims.

Multiple times a week she throws in a round of golf just to rest and relax.  She has the distinction of having scored two holes in one!

Athletics continues to be a family endeavor for Jackie. She and husband Larry and daughter Joy competed as a relay team in the Half Ironman in New Orleans, while daughter Cindy did the full race.

Each year Jackie, daughter Joy and son-in-law Steve (Joy’s husband) compete as a relay team for the Olympic Distance St. Anthony’s Triathlon, while husband Larry does the full event and son Steve and his wife Debbie form a relay team. With a combined age of 174 years, Jackie and Larry Yost are the oldest married couple actively competing in triathlons.

Jackie is a true inspiration. Her positive impacts on the lives she has touched and the sport of triathlon that she loves are immeasurable.

News: Municipal Elections March 14th

Ever an interesting political environment, the 2017 St. Pete Beach mayors race is proving to be no exception. When Mayor Maria Lowe resigned last summer to join her husband and son on their move to Normandy, the commission selected frequent commission critic Deborah Schechner, out of a field of ten applicants. One of the conditions of her selection was her promise that she would not run for the Mayor’s position in March, as it would give her an unfair advantage to run as an incumbant. Melinda Pletcher, whose vote for Schechner gave her the appointment, said she never would have voted for her had she remembered she had sued the city, especially since the suit was still active. Mayor Schechner has not commented on her broken promise to the commission.

Alan Johnson is the thinking voter’s choice for mayor. A retired engineer who spent  35 years at General Electric. Al has been active as Chairman of the city’s Finance and Budget Review Committee and previously served on the city’s Recreation Advisory Committee. Although this is Al’s first attempt at an elected position in the city, he has been a longtime volunteer and supporter of many city functions. He was founder along with his late wife Wendy Johnson of Motion Sports Management and the St. Pete Beach Classic Race which brings out 2,000+ runners and more than 200 community volunteers each January. Works hand in hand with Sheriffs, city hoteliers, particularly the Sirata resort. If anyone can understand the city’s economic challenges, continue to help mend the rift that exists between some residents and  redevelopment interests to help propel the community forward, it’s Al Johnson.

A third candidate, John-Michael Fleig, is another frequent vocal attendee at city commission meetings. Founder and partner of the Baywaters Inn and the Rita-Terese property Management Agency, Fleig says he has the “pulse of the overall public” in the city, and that his property management experience has taught him the importance of planning. He has not run for office in St. Pete Beach before, but  was a republican candidate in the 2nd Congressional District of Maryland in 1990, 1994 & 1998. He withdrew after pleading guilty in a plea bargain to being an accessory after the fact to murder, according to 1997-98 articles from the Baltimore Sun that are available online. Fleig also was announced as a 2014 Republican candidate seeking to represent the 13th Congressional District of Florida but did not qualify to run in the special election by the November 19, 2013 filing deadline.

A press release dated Dec. 24th, from, attributed to Fleig mostly assailed Mayor Schechner for her broken promise to the commission. While he complains she shouldn’t be allowed to run because ‘rules are rules’, it is not clear whether Fleig has even read the rules in the candidate’s handbook that he had to swear he read and understood when he registered to run for office. Neither his recent  “Press Release”  nor a flyer left at our door about his campaign included the necessary political small print, absence of which is grounds for fines or worse if a complaint were filed.

District 2 Commissioner Rick Falkenstein & District 4 Commissioner Melinda Pletcher retained their seats unopposed.


Christine Anne Brown and Linda Bailey are running for Gulfport Council Seat for Ward 2. Ward 4 is more competitive with 4 contenders: Bobby L. Reynolds, Michael Fridovich Richard Fried and Ernest Stone. Treasure Island candidate registration was open until January 4th, so details in that race were not available at press time. More on the local races in the February issue.  PN

Dining: Micki’s Ice Cream

Get Great Local Flavor and a 20% Discount for new customers at Micki’s Ice Cream Shoppe.

“It was a unique set of circumstances”, according to Alayna, that led she and her husband Mauricio Gonzalez to take over “Scoops on the Beach” ice cream parlor and rename it after its longtime proprietress, Micki Goodman.

Micki and her husband Martin had re-opened a prior Baskin-Robbins location in the Captain’s Mart strip center across from Joann’s Interiors at 6870 Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete Beach a year or two after retiring from Canada.


Over the years, three generations of Goodmans had worked there. The parlor has long had a reputation for serving top-quality, locally-made “Working Cow” ice cream. ”They are an environmentally conscious supplier of top quality product and we are excited about serving their awesome ice cream,” says Alayna.

“We love it that Working Cow reuses the tubs their product ships in. We are going a step further to protect the beach environment ourselves, eliminating styrofoam and switching to biodegradable products that are friendlier to the earth. We are adding baked goods and locally roasted coffee, made by other local businesses. Currently we are offering locally made ginger beer and chai kombucha. We’ll also be adding waffle cones, freshly made in-house and serving ice cream & fresh Belgian waffles (a delicious combo).”  A fun menu item they offer is a ‘flight of ice cream’ (a sample of 5 smaller scoops of ice cream for those who wish to sample multiple flavors!

Alayna says she is looking forward to meeting all of the ice cream lovers in town, young and old, residents and visitors alike.Mention that you read this story about Micki’s Ice Cream in Paradise NEWS to get 20% off your first visit to…

Micki’s Ice Cream Shoppe; 6870 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach 33706  • 727-367-2933

Health & Wellness: Mind/Body Awareness

Remember to breathe. Sometimes, we’re so distracted by technology we forget that we have a body. Is it hungry? Is it tired? Is it sad? If you go off autopilot and become more aware of your senses and feelings, you’ll be able to make better choices and reduce your stress.

Here’s ten tips for getting back in touch with ALL of you, plus a guide to our favorite venues for tuning up your mind/body connection.

Learn More: Discover the wisdom of Deepak Chopra, Dr. Michael Mantell and Dr. Gerald Epstein who offer exercises for mindful meditation and stress reducing tips for daily living.

Explore Nature: Hug a tree, take a walk and look up in the sky. Notice your surroundings and feel your stress melt away. Check out author Richard Louv’s Vitamin N for more on this topic.

Scan Your Body IQ:  Lay down, close your eyes and zero in on the sensations you feel and how they shift from your feet to your head. Warm, cold, tense? Explore where you store these emotions in your body. Get up from the computer, take a deep breath and notice where the tension pools (brow, jaw, shoulder, tummy) and allow the tense places to soften as you breathe and stretch.

How Does Happy Feel? The next time you feel good, pay attention to where this emotion is physically. Is it a smile on your face or a warmth in your chest? Savor the happy and learn what images or experiences trigger it (hug a puppy,  listen to jazz) and replicate often.

Work On Your EQ:  You have an IQ, and then you have an Emotional Quotient (EQ) that gives you clues to how you are feeling. Learning to manage your EQ helps in life and work.

Enjoy The Little Things: Pay attention when you do mundane tasks and add joy to these routine activities. If you are taking a shower, enjoy the smell of eucalyptus shampoo. If you are washing dishes, does the warm water soothe?

Embrace Your Heart & Center: Hug yourself and put your hand on your heart, taken a moment for gratitude. Feel your center core for strength and grounding by putting a hand on your belly and take a few deep breaths.

Laugh & Smile: Reduce stress and increase short-term memory, improve heart health by laughing out loud and smiling. There’s even laughing yoga classes to help you relax and rejuvenate.

Make Gratitude Contagious: Doing good makes you feel good. Altruism helps the community and helps your self-esteem. Mindful meditation can do the same. Expand your positive intentions to all people everywhere.  You might say, “May all people feel safe, be strong, be happy.”

Move Your Body: Change your posture, open your chest, do a downward dog or sun salutation until you become more present.

WHERE TO GO: From yoga to meditation, here are some of our favorite venues to help you get in touch with your body (and inner self) and improve your overall fitness and well-being.

With Your Pet: Check with local pet shops, SPCA and the Humane Society for Yoga with your Dog-A classes that pop up periodically. For me, I like to meditate to the sound of my cat Simon’s purring.


  • Are you yoga curious? Check out Madeira Beach Yoga where you can experience yoga in the studio, on the patio or on the white sandy beach of Archibald Park.  Their experienced instructors began to explore yoga for their own personal and varied reasons, which helped prepare them to make you feel even more welcome and successful in your practice. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi, they can help you find your place on the mat. 727-401-7380
  • Beach Yoga Pinellas offers yoga classes on local beaches, including the serene Paddle Yoga on the water. The gentle rolling waves build core strength while working the muscles that stabilize you on the paddle board. Class will begin with a brief introduction to stand up paddleboards, including paddling & balancing techniques.
  • Madeira Beach Recreation Center:  Yoga Essentials, Finyasa Flow, Tai Chi and Hoola Dance
  • Tierra Verde’s Nava Yoga Studio offers a variety of Gentle Yoga,Vinyasa Flow, Hot Yoga, Power, Hatha, Ashtanga Yoga



  • Perhaps one of the most unique, Acro Yoga combines acrobatics, yoga, and healing arts. A flyer and base work together to build and combine poses or to use the assistance of gravity for stretching and massage. It elevates communication and trust between people through connection, movement and play. It requires total engagement  awareness thus strengthening the body while increasing flexibility and focus. Newcomers and beginners are welcome to come watch and learn. Structured classes and workshops are often held in the area including Thursdays at Green Bench Brewing 5 – 7 pm and Sundays at Northshore Park (behind the tennis courts near restrooms) 3 – 5 pm


  • The Body Electric Yoga: Offers unique classes including Candlelight Yin Yoga, a profound practice of presence which quiets the outer world, calms our nerves, and re-connects with the deep wisdom and patience within. Physically, this practice targets deeper connective tissues, especially around the hips, pelvis and lower spine.  You’ll identify areas of blocked energy, release suppressed emotions, and watch internal conflicts melt away. Located at3015 Seventh Street North.  PN

By Nanette Wiser