May flowers with parties, plays and artistic visions, but nothing makes us happier than knowing that our favorite Beatle is coming to town this summer to Amalie Arena. In his first Tampa show since 2005, Paul McCartney tickets for his July 10 show go on sale to the public on Monday, May 1 at 10 a.m.  – Ciao baby, see you around town at one of these faves!  – Nanette Wiser  

One of the coolest new DTSP coffeehouses with an artistic bent is Black Crow Coffee Roasting (2157 1st Ave. S), who has hosted an exhibit by the amazing Barry Lively as well as a  funky film and flea market night.

The Crafty Fest Market features indie art and vintage pop-up at ArtPool Gallery May 6-7 and June 3-4 ( On May 13 (5 pm), Mastry’s is hosting a limited release of their first bottle, the Island Lime Margarita Gose, in collaboration with Hunter Skipper (artist, apparel designer).

At Oxford Exchange in Tampa, May 7th 9 am – 4 pm, you can discover local literary talent in a Book Fair (420 W. Kennedy) while the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival features the Grammy nominated Barenaked Ladies.

If you believe art is food (which we do), check out the expanded Da Sesto Italiano Ristorante e Vino for hand-crafted pastas and more. (7199 66th St. Pinellas Park)

FYI: For venue address, phone. website, check our Events Listings in the back of the magazine.


Musical Theater: At the Mahaffey Theater, run, don’t wait to get your tickets to a La La Land Live-To-Film Celebration where you can enjoy the jazz soundtrack played by a 100-piece orchestra conducted by composer Justin Hurwitz, larger than life dance numbers and strong storytelling continue to endear it to audiences and critics alike. It tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. May: May 5 , you can rock to the music of Journey while May13 features The American Songbook. Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Mahaffey Theater 400 First St. South 727-893-7832; 

Studio @ 620 Music, art, spoken word, poetry, this performance/visual art gallery is a downtown treasure.  620 First Avenue S., DTSP 727-895-6620

May 5, 5 pm – 9 pm -USFSP Graphic Design Senior ExhibitionCome join the 2017 USFSP graduating seniors as they demonstrate their design acuity and transition into the professional world. There will be food, drinks and much more!

May 6-7, 7 pm – The Mountain Top by Katori Hall: This fictional depiction of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination in 1968. Playwright Katori Hall takes this historic date with destiny and weaves a powerful surrealistic fantasy about a conversation between King and a mysterious hotel maid who brings him a cup of coffee and prompts him to confront his life, his past, his legacy and the plight and future of African-Americans. Hail’s insight, light touch and lively mood depicts King as a real man with very human foibles who was nonetheless capable of inspirign millions to hope and move toward a momentous societal shift for equality and justice. 

May 14, 3 pm – Black Cow Jumps: This exploration of life through immersive theater flows from the absurd to the intimate. Three performers – vulnerable, open and present – present an array of original vignettes portraying a world honest to them. Music, performance art, storytelling, movement and the art of being drives Black Cow Jumps’ narrative.

May 18-20, 7 pm – Collected Stories by Donald Margulies: Who tells your story? Witness the tale of two women, one an established writer, the other a fan…who becomes student, and later rival. Over the course of the play, the women deal with the moral dilemma of whether a person’s life events are suitable for another to use in their own creative process.

May 25-26, 7 pm: Sunshine City Opera: Showcasing excerpts from Vivaldi’s Griselda alongside Handel’s La Lucrezia and Partì l’idolo mio, this program features rarely-performed Baroque opera and cantatas presented by early music specialists from around the country. This semi-staged production for soprano and mezzo will be performed alongside a late 17th century style harpsichord with cello continuo.

Palladium/Side Door/Hough Hall  253 Fifth Ave. N, downtown St. Pete 727- 822-3590 my Whether it’s jazz, classical or world music, this is one of our favorite downtown venues. We usually start at The Hollander Hotel for a nosh or Kahwah coffee, and stop back in at 400 Beach or Birch & Vine for a nightcap.

FYI May: Snatam Kaur (4), the Palladium Chamber Players (10) and more.

May 13, 8:30 pm Hough Hall -Kafkasso:  From the exotic Orient, East meets West in a whirlwind spectacle of sight and sound. From the streets of Istanbul, virtuoso guitarist Kafkasso leads you through ancient cities and European cafes through his experiences and imagination. Original and traditional compositions, with both folk and modern instruments, come to life through the Art of Danse Orientale for a spectacle that will engage your soul. The blending of old world and new captivates the heart and ignites the spirit! Sound and movement, two arts intertwined since the beginning of time, embrace the emotions of human experience across the world. Become intoxicated with the thrill of a new lover, or hung over in the despair and rejection of love lost. Rhythms, melodies, and dances play with never ending hope and desire for connection, understanding, and fulfillment. Experience the music with dance artists who bring the music to life in true Mediterranean style, improvising and interpreting rhythms and melodies foreign yet familiar. Classical belly dance fuses with modern folk to bring humanity to the passion and emotion the music evokes. Explore the Gypsy Trail with us, and remember that all who wander are not lost; they may be bravely following their dreams. 

John Legend @Coachman Park: Ruth Eckerd Hall sponsors this alfresco concert venue with the most amazing view of the bay. The tour announces on the heels of Legend’s fifth studio album Darkness and Light, which has received a plethora of critical praise since its December 2nd release on Columbia Records. USA Today hailed the album as John’s “most personal record” with tracks like Right By You which they described as “a heart –tugging rumination on his 7-month old daughter, Luna.” Time Magazine called the body of work “unflappably classy” while the New York Times said Legend “treats love as something far more complex than a panacea and a fount of perpetual reassurance, with music to match.” Continuing, the New York Times pointed to the album’s most recent anthemic hit single, Love Me Now, which they praised as “a seize the moment song”, that “revolves around an insistent, lo-fi piano figure, and its chorus first arrives with Mr. Legend nearly alone, singing over simple, fading chords.” 


Check Eckerd College International Cinema Series in Miller Auditorium (art films, opera in HD) where on May 5 hosts Paterson. Clearwater Beach’s Sunset Cinema @ Pier 60 on the jumbo-sized screen Fri.-Sat. beginning at 6 pm.

St. Petersburg Preservation’s (SPP) May Movies in the Park May Movies in the Park occurs each Thursday evening in May (4, 11, 18 & 25) starting with live music @ 7 pm and the movie at dusk. Bring your chairs, blanket and friends, grab a picnic from the The Annex or Pipo’s.  North Straub Park, between 4th Ave. & 5th Ave. NE on Beach Drive).  Movies are free. 


Movie Buffs May 20 Lecture:  Enjoy the wry humor of Tampa Bay Times Film Critic Steve Persall from 2 pm – 4 pm.  As Times staff film critic since 1993, Persall is Florida’s longest-tenured journalist on that beat. He is a founding member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, and his commentaries air on Tampa Bay’s Eagle 107.3 and WWBA 820.  St. Petersburg Main Library, 3745 9th Ave. N, St. Petersburg

May 18: RCS Fundraiser: Child actor and best-selling author, Melissa Francis, will join Religious Community Services (RCS) for a night of “Cocktails and Conversation.” She will share stories and lessons from behind the scenes in Hollywood and talk about her new book, Lessons from the Prairie. Guests will receive a signed copy of the book. All proceeds from the event will benefit the programs of RCS. She has appeared in numerous motion pictures, television series and commercials, but is best known for her role as Michael Landon’s daughter, Cassandra Cooper Ingalls, on Little House on the Prairie. Today Melissa is a Fox News anchor and frequently hosts The Five, Outnumbered, After the Bell, and Happening Now. FYI:  Belleair Country Club 1 Country Club Lane; Contact Melissa Reddington, 727-443-4031 x 513;

Studio@ 620  620 1st Avenue South, downtown St. Pete

Wordier Than Thou, an open mic for storytelling, share prose or just catch tales from area wordsmiths. A featured reader kicks off the night, followed by 10 minute open mic slots. In partnership with Keep St. Pete Lit , enjoy Poetry Open Mike with a featured poet and opportunity to read  7-9 pm May 17, June 21, July 26, Aug. 23, Sept. 27 and Oct. 25 

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.  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 335 2nd Avenue NE on the Pier Approach; 727-894-1052;

Comedy: Tickle your funny bone at Coconuts Comedy Club (5501 Gulf Blvd., SPB; 727-360-5653) and Hawk & Wayne’s Anywhere USA quirky improv at American Stage 6 pm Sunday.


May 13 – St. Petersburg Second Saturday Artwalk: The Waterfront Arts District, Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, and the Warehouse Arts District become one arts destination for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday ArtWalk from 5 to 9 p.m.  Don’t miss Artlofts’s Luster exhibit which runs through May 31.  Rebecca Skelton presents life drawings created in a palette based on copper, brass and their patinas.  This new work shows the humanity of the models through the warmth of these lusters. Enjoy the show then visit with the 18 artists in their working studios where they produce paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, copper and mixed media. 10 Fifth St. N. (2nd Floor) above Florida CraftArt, DTSP

Gulfport Adventures: Get your funky fun on at Gulfport’s Tuesday’s Fresh MarketSwing Dancing Wednesday at the Casino and Gulfport Artwalk 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday.  On May 5, Gulfport’s featured artist is water-colorist, Kathleen Wilke whose favorite subject is flowers, but loves to paint animals and birds as well as abstracts; she will be available for meet & greet. 3101 Beach Blvd.,


Eat, Drink & Raise Money: Sheraton Sand Key Resort will host Evening with the Chefs May 5 (7-10 pm) showcasing award-winning chefs and Pinellas County culinary students creating gourmet cuisine and raising money for the

May 5 Art & Cinco de Mayo: In addition to a Cinco de Mayo party at The Edge’s rooftop aerie, The Epicurean Hotel debuts CASS Contemporary’s newest exhibit, “Branded Series” by Chris Valle at an opening reception featuring a Q & A session with Valle plus beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres. A sampling of the artist’s work will be on display in the Epicurean Hotel’s permanent satellite gallery for three months following the reception. All pieces are available for purchase for the duration of the display at the hotel. A Florida native, Chris Valle uses a classical and experimental approach to combine representation and abstraction in his work. Valle’s artwork has been featured across the globe. His paintings have hung in over 130 exhibitions from New York to Germany – together with 17 solo-exhibitions in 16 years. Valle’s work is in several impressive collections including William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, the Sienna Art Institute Library and the HESS Corporation.  Epicurean Theatre – inside the Epicurean Hotel 1207 South Howard Ave. 

May 6: Hats Off, Thundering Hooves at The Coliseum: Lift Your Spirits at the Derby Benefit is a fantastic evening featuring the live Derby on two big screens, mint juleps, lady’s hat contest, best dressed men event, open bars, live music, a grande gourmet buffet, an exclusive silent auction and an exciting live auction, all benefiting the students of LiFT Academy and LiFT University.  FYI: Jodie Miller; 727-258-7659.; 727-892-5202 

May 13, 4 pm -8 pm – 2017 St. Pete Beach Beer Fest: Drink craft beers and enjoy a waterfront view. Enjoy more than 50 national and local craft breweries, food, brewing demonstrations and mingle with the Tampa Bay area homebrew clubs, Admission includes a commemorative festival tasting cup and water; good eats available for purchase in association with the St. Pete Beach Fire Department.  St Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive


The Straz Center’s line-up in May is utterly amazing with the King and I (2-7), Masters of Dance (13-14, Latin Nights (18) and on Oct. 7, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will engage in an unscripted and unforgettable conversation at The Straz Center. At Ruth Eckerd Hall, shake your booty at  Dirty Dancing May 5-7 and catch a contemporary spin on a classic Three Musketeers May 18-21 and 25-28.  111 McMullen Booth Rd. Clearwater  727-791-7400; On May 12-14 and 18-21, The Eight O’Clock Dinner Theater (Largo) features the hilarious Spamalot. It’s a dog’s life at the Early Bird Dinner Theater when Sylvia deubts May 6-July 9. (21905 US 19 North, Clearwater, FL 33765  727-437-2363) 

Thru May 28 FreeFall Theater: End of the Rainbow: A play with music about the final years in the life of Judy Garland, End of the Rainbow triumphed in London’s West End in 2010/2011 and on Broadway in 2012. It’s Christmas 1968, and Judy Garland is booked for six weeks of “comeback concerts” at London’s Talk of the Town. The failed marriages, the suicide attempts, and the addictions are all behind her. At forty-six and with new flame Mickey Deans at her side, she seems determined to carry it off and recapture her magic. But stormy skies are on the horizon as old patterns resurface, and the drama backstage chips away at the onstage brilliance of one of the greatest singers of all time. Shifting back and forth between moments of onstage triumph and backstage tribulation, this speculation on a pivotal chapter in the life of a legend is at once wildly entertaining, irreverently funny, and deeply moving. FYI: 727-498-5205

If You Go: Dine @ The Reading Room: This clever new bistro in the former Christian Science Reading Room mixes iconic dishes and drinks.

American Stage Theater Raymond James Theatre, 163 3rd Street North downtown St. Pete   727-823-PLAY (7529)

Thru May 14: Hairspray: The American Musical is performed in Demens Landing Park. Bring a picnic and dress vintage Sixties.

May 31-June 25 -The Invisible Hand: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar lays bare the raw, unfettered power of global finance in this intense, fast-moving, and contemporary political thriller. American banker Nick Bright finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when an Islamist militant group kidnaps him in Pakistan. When the United States won’t negotiate for his release, Nick offers to raise the $10 million ransom on his own by teaching his captor, Bashir, how to play the stock market. In a race against the clock to save his own life, Nick must ask: is the price of freedom something he’s willing to pay. What is the cost of American capitalism in the Middle East?

June 19 & 26: Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project presents The Golden Gurlz LIVE starring Matthew McGee (Dorothy), Joey Panek (Rose), Scott Daniel (Blanche) and Emanuel Carrero (Sophia) as television’s favorite geriatric funny ladies. This all-new parody/tribute show will be a fundraiser of Metro Wellness. Tampa Bay’s Music Man Michael Raabe will be joining the fun as Musical Director and arranger of song/commercial parodies. SATP founder Garry Allan Breul will be directing. The cast will also feature Sarasota’s Joey Panek, singer/actor Emanuel Carrero and a cast of local LGBT and LGBT friendly performers that have appeared with SATP over the years.


May blooms with concerts for every musical taste and the upcoming concerts for summer will rock your world. The Mahaffey Theater will host the Isley Brothers Aug. 6 @ 7 pm. For more than 50 years, The Isley Brothers have received acclaim as “the rocking soulful legends that started it all.” The iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Grammy award-winning artists will bring inspiring sounds of soul and classic R&B featuring award-winning soul singer Ronald Isley (known as Mr. Biggs) and guitarist extraordinaire Ernie Isley. It makes you want to Shout!


The St. Petersburg Opera Company will perform Preview to the Tales of Hoffmann: Three Times A Lady May  18-9 in the Evenings and Mornings with the Maestro series. Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann will be performed June 2, 4 and 6 at the Palladium Theater. Hoffmann, the poet hero of The Tales of Hoffmann, has four love affairs that haunt him in Offenbach’s grand and final opera.  The opera fantastique begins with Hoffmann waiting in a tavern for his current passion, an opera diva appropriately named Stella.  To pass the time, Hoffmann tells the other students stories about three of his previous loves, each of which ends in disaster. June 30-July 9, Stephen Sondheim’s enchanting Into The Woods will be performed.

A Touch of Classics: The South Pasadena Community Band showcase classic favorites at 7:30 pm 5/18 Galatea Garden, South Pasadena


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

Creative Clay Fundraiser May 3: “Spring for the Arts” is a celebration of the non-profit’s 22nd anniversary of making the arts accessible to all. All funds raised during the 6-9 p.m. event go directly back toward funding Creative Clay’s programs.

May 13 5-9 pm: Opening and reception for the glass show “Sea Discernibly.”

Coming Soon: The Duncan McClellan Gallery and DMG School Project headquarters in the Warehouse District will soon launch the first-ever ArtZipline®. 

ArtPool Gallery – July 15 Trashin’ Fashion Looking for Designers/Artists/Models
Design your own collection, or team up with some friends, and work on a line of recycled & upcycled couture!  Trashion Fashion is our most creative fashion show of the year, we welcome designers of any age, no experience needed, and it is free to participate. 2030 Central Ave DTSP 727-324-3878 

The Enroy Foundation Inc., Gallery @ Marketplace at Boca Bay (Gulfport)
This new gallery features local artists such as David Vasquez, Rose Caballes, Nikita Rosalind, Naomi Glueck, Annamarie Sisson, Larry Busby and Scott Spillman.  Boca Bay Grille.  2838 Beach Blvd S. FYI: Jessica  727-608-0070 

The Veteran’s Arts Center: Opened in March, the VACTB is Florida’s first art center for Military, Veterans, First Responders and Families that provide therapy, healing, wellness and education programming. And is supportive of their need for creative outlets as well as the need for economic opportunities. 6798 Crosswinds Drive North  813-504-3092 

Creative Clay  1114 Central Avenue DTSP 727-825-0515
Creative Clay prepares to move its headquarters this June from St. Petersburg’s EDGE District, to 1846 First Ave. S in the Grand Central District.

Good Folk Gallery: features artist, Shasta G. Shasta, a painter and mixed media artist whose work is generated by information gleaned from books she reads, her imagination and life experiences. “My new work focuses on women,” said Shasta. “Some are historical figures, while others are from my imagination. They are all distinguished in their own way.”

Thru June 30 – Community Café: Flower Power showcases paintings of flowers by

Linda M., Emily M., Gina K., Conchita, Mike E., Dolores M.,Yalanda S. & Patsy Lieberman, Teff A. Hazard, Sheryl L.

Thru June 30 – Time After Time featuring the artwork of Ray M who paints clocks and watches.

Morean Arts Center 727.822.7872

Check out these classes and workshops.

Thru May 31: Ceramic artist Joe Pint

May 13-June 25 100 Years/100 Artists: For 100 years, the Morean and the Art Club have been a place for art lovers to gather and exhibit, create, and learn about contemporary art. This exhibition tells the Morean’s story through its mission, and specifically, through the individual artists who shaped our organization and made it what it is today.

Thru May 15 An Artistic Discovery: 36th Annual 13th Congressional District Art Competition: Exhibition of some of the most compelling artwork from area high school students. This is the first time the Morean has hosted this annual exhibition.

The Chihuly Collection: This  stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork is presented in a fabulous architectural space designed specifically for his art, showcasing how  art and architecture can work together. The Chihuly Collection recently received its first print release of 2017, Purple Polka, from Chihuly Workshop!

720 Central Avenue, downtown St. Pete 727-822-7872

Florida CraftArt: Contemporary Fiber in Florida (thru 6/17)

This juried exhibition showcases original artwork with contemporary approaches to fiber art, pushing the boundaries and/or traditions in media and execution. The exhibition features fresh interpretations of traditional types of fiber art including surface design, weaving, basketry, felting and wearable art and includes work created with nontraditional materials and innovative technologies and is curated byCindy Bartosek a well-known artist, photographer and curator from West Palm Beach. 501 Central Avenue downtown St. Pete 727-821-7391

Syd Entel Gallery and Susan Benjamin Glass: The 5000 square foot gallery located on Main Street in charming downtown Safety Harbor showcases acclaimed artists from around the World along with today’s premier American glass artists. 727-725-1808  fgalleries@tampabay.rr.com247 Main St.


Thru June 10 – St. Petersburg Museum of History: Two exhibits offering a unique look at Florida history run through June 10: Seminole People of Florida: Survival and Success and Florida Folk Art – Just Above the Water. SPMOH.ORG

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

May 14 Mother’s Day Brunch: Make reservations now  @ MFA Café from 11 am – 3pm.

May 14, 3 pm –  Gallery Talk  with Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell: Jason Chakravarty is a multimedia artist in Arizona, who primarily works in cast glass, often incorporating neon. His most recent objects are semi-autobiographical and reflect on relationships, communication, and social networking. Jennifer Caldwell has also shown her work widely. She was recently included in the group exhibition, Into the Deep, at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. She continues to be inspired by ocean and sea life and has focused on capturing motion in glass.

Thru July 23 Dorothy Height’s Hats : Civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Irene Height (1912-2010) was known for her courage, intelligence, leadership, standing straight—and hats made by African-American milliners. Dorothy Dorothy Height’s Hats are a window to history, commemorating meetings with Eleanor Roosevelt (white mink chapeau). 

The Book Club @ the MFA, presented by Keep St. Pete Lit, will discuss her memoir Open Wide the Freedom Gates on  May 11, at 6:30 p.m. The program is free with Museum admission, which is only $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

Thru May 7 Greg Smith Multimedia Artist: Smith’s work often centers on a character attempting to “create something, trying to structure his environment, but who’s also kind of hapless, and, in the end, probably doomed.” Catch his video Breakdown Lane (2013).

Thru June 4: The Open Road- Photography and the American Road Trip: The exhibitbegins with Robert Frank’s iconic series The Americans from the mid-1950s and continues with images by artists of our own time. These gifted photographers did not just take snapshots along our highways and

byways. They are describing and defining America, which is always in motion.

June 9, 7 pm -10 pm: Art & Beer Lounge Fundraiser: Preserve a masterpiece by tapping into a one-of-a-kind evening! Sip and savor the liquid interpretations of works in the Museum’s collection while lounging in artistically designed spaces. Brewing companies create limited batch brews for a one night exhibition at the Museum. Featured works include: William Shayer, The Elder,Harbor Scene on the South Coast; Anonymous, Effigy Beaker (Kero); Thomas Hovenden, Breton Soldier

…and others! The evening will also include a special “Florida” themed beer in celebration of the upcoming Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration crafted by 2016’s Best of Show winner and the St. Pete Homebrew Club.

Thru July 2  Dominique Labauvie – Dig: The formal explorations of interdisciplinary artist Dominique Labauvie are rooted in both material and a highly developed relationship to philosophies of the drawn line. Dig brings together recent works by Mr. Labauvie in his signature media of steel and pastels. The theme of the ruin runs throughout, as he seems to take on the role of archaeologist, digging into the earth’s histories to try to understand their effect on current events.

June 24 thru Oct. 1: Skyway A Contemporary Collaboration: Skyway spotlights the compelling work of 57 artists in the Tampa Bay area, spanning sculpture, photography, video, painting, and prints. The work is being shared by the MFA, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. This is the first time all three museums have joined forces to present the work of gifted contemporary artists in Pinellas,Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.

The Dali Museum

Why not consider a Mother’s Day gift from the museum shop, such as a Surrealist-inspired fragrance or scarf? And don’t forget Lucky Cat yoga on Sunday’s at the museum.

Thru 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. 

May 13-Sept. 24 -Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo: An exhibit of world-renowned Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida’s works in paper, alabaster, steel and stone and is the Dali’s first show dedicated to sculpture since the opening of its new building in 2011. The exhibit presents more than 60 Chillida works including 16 sculptures, a large-scale wall mural, numerous drawings and ‘gravitations,’ the artist’s unique approach to paper collage. About The Artist: Born in San Sebastian, Spain in the Basque region, Eduardo Chillida is well known for his monumental works in public spaces for instance De Musica, Dallas XV (On Music, Dallas XV) at I.M. Pei’s The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center and outdoor environs as well as prestigious museums in his native Spain as well as France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom and the U.S. – where he made his debut with exhibitions at The Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art in NY. During his life, Chillida received several distinguished awards; among them the Graham Foundation Award for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the International Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale, both in 1958; the Kandinsky Prize in 1960; and the Carnegie Prize in 1964 and again in 1979, shared with painter Willem de Kooning.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum, 1925 4th St North, St. Petersburg; 727-821-8992

May 13, 10 am – 2pm – Marvelous Mothers: Hand-made crafts will make excellent gifts for Marvelous Mothers & Others. Make a crown, a necklace and a bouquet to celebrate your queen for the day! We’ll also be making our own sun catchers and cards for the special women in our lives!

May 21, 10 am – noon -Big and Small Fundraiser Royal Ball: Families can dress as a Prince or Princess or in their Sunday best, to enjoy an enchanting evening as our royal guests! Children and their parents will delight in royal meet-and-greets, brunch bites, DJ/Dancing, both adult & kids Princess Punch, crafts, chance drawings, and more!

May 26, 10:30 am – 3: 30 pm – Don’t Fry Day! Learn all about how to have fun in the sun while protecting the body’s largest organ – your skin! Make a UV-reactive bracelet, a sun safe visor, and dress a paper doll in sun-safe style! Kids will also be able to participate in a sun-safety relay.

Memorial Day, May 29 10 am- 4:30 pm, Patriotic Fun: Celebrate summer fun with activities, crafts and games throughout the museum. Use household ingredients to create underwater fireworks, participate in a red, white and blue bucket toss or make your very own firework craft! Veterans, retired and active duty Military men and women will receive one free admission today with proper identification.

TAMPA & BEYOND: Sarasota

The arts thrive in Sarasota, where the Sarasota Opera House features world-class performances. The Sarasota Ballet performs a Spring Conservatory concert May 5 and End of Year Performance May 6.  From the St. Armand Circle galleries to the Marie Selby Gardens, a culture and cocktails daytrip is in order. At the Van Wezel, Derek and Julianne Hough perform May 14. Also check out: 

John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Ringling College of Art & Design Worth the drive for both the permanent collection and special exhibits.

Museum of Art: On Mother’s Day May 13, there is a Family Day Summer Kick-Off. Through May 14, Photography Space and Power mesmerizes while A Most Magnificent Sight ends May 15.   Admission is free on Monday. 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota  

By Nanette Wiser

‘Penny for Pinellas’  Extension Vital to Every County Resident

The  “Penny for Pinellas,”  initiated in 1989 and subsequently  reapproved in 1997 and 2007, is up for renewal November 7th, 2017,  when residents will vote on whether to sustain it from 2020 to 2030.

A 1-percent sales tax paid by everyone who spends money in the county, the Penny has supported investments in the areas that matter most to citizens without relying on property taxes. In fact, one-third of revenue has been contributed by the county’s six million annual tourists and seasonal  visitors, which provides citizens tangible cost savings.

As a sales tax, the Penny is not collected on groceries or medications, and is only collected on the first $5,000 on a purchase.

Since 1990, the Penny has generated more than $3 billion for investments by the county and its 24 cities, which – aside from court and jail facilities – is allocated according to a population-based formula aligning with state statutes.

In the current decade from 2010 to 2020, the Penny is expected to generate $1.4  billion countywide, according to Josh Boatwright, Public Information Specialist with the Pinellas County Marketing and Communications Dept. Since the seventh cent was added in 1990, countywide project funding support includes the County Public Safety Complex in Largo with the Sheriff’s Office, 9-1-1 Center and Emergency Management Operation; the Bayside Bridge; Gulf Blvd. Utility Undergrounding & Beautification Projects; Fort De Soto Water Recirculation Project; additional Hurricane Shelters; Bryan Dairy Road 4 to 6-lane Widening; Belleair Causeway Bridge; the Pinellas Trail; Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge; and the forthcoming118th Avenue North Gateway Tolled Expressway Project from I-275 to U.S. 19 or the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport  and the Bayside Bridge.

In the Paradise News readership area from Clearwater down the Gulf Beaches to Gulfport and Tierra Verde, the Penny has funded the new St. Pete Beach Community Center and Recreation Center rehab; Madeira Beach Archibald Park Improvements including the concession stand, parking lot, landscaping and public beach amenities; Gulfport Library Renovations and Shore Blvd.

Improvement Project including the Gulfport Beach parking lot; new Bellair Beach Community Center; new Clearwater Harbor Marina with floating docks across from Coachman Park, and Capitol Theater Renovations.

For St. Petersburg, the Penny is helping fund the new 167,519-square-foot Police Department and Emergency Operations Facility; Storm Drainage Improvements from 83d to 89th Avenues North on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St.; and Clam Bayou Preserve Improvements including nature trails, boardwalks, parking facilities,  restrooms, observation decks and tower, canoe and kayak facilities.

Boatwright also noted that to offer citizens more ways to voice their priorities for the Penny for Pinellas renewal, Pinellas County government launched an online survey to gather input about future project areas funded by the Penny.  The survey ended April 16, with more than 1,500 total responses. Water Quality & Flood/Sewer Spill Prevention, and Improvements to Roads & Bridges were the top two categories for long-term Penny-funded investments in the future. County government also hosted three well-attended open house meetings across the county in March.

Local Officials’ Support

“What’s one penny to you?” asks Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “If you’re a Pinellas County resident, it is thousands of capital projects ranging from enhanced flood control and natural resource protection to rebuilt bridges and new emergency facilities – including our Sheriff’s Administration Building in Largo.

“Before each vote on the Penny’s renewal, officials in the county and our 24 cities set priorities based on identified needs in the community, get feedback from citizens including results from the annual Citizen Values Survey, and long-term goals outlined in the Pinellas County Strategic Plan. These priorities are evaluated at least once a year as part of the budget development process to ensure they remain aligned with community needs and available funds.

“It’s not too late to educate yourself. Learn about previous Penny-funded projects with an interactive  ‘Accomplishments Map,’ see what approving the Penny really means for you, and find out how you can get involved by visiting”

County Commissioner John Morroni, who has seen many of the benefits during his tenure, told Paradise News  “I think the public sees that the Penny for Pinellas monies are well spent, well thought out on where the needs are, and many of the projects have come to us from the public.

“Where would we be without the Bayside Bridge, the Sheriff’s Public Safety Complex, or the Pinellas Trail? People have to realize that without this penny, a third of which is paid by tourists and visitors, these and many other projects would have to come from their city and county property taxes.”

Ward Friszolowski, now St Pete Beach Vice Mayor, formerly served as a Commissioner for five years, and Mayor for eight years. He told Paradise news,  “The Penny for Pinellas has been a great way to fund infrastructure projects throughout Pinellas County. Past Penny projects in St. Pete Beach included the land purchase for the County Park on the Gulf of Mexico across from Dolphin Village Shopping Center, street resurfacing, Don Vista Community Center renovation, a new City Hall and new Community Center, & Horan Park.

If the renewal passes, it would mean that St. Pete Beach would receive about one million dollars per year to help pay for needed projects from 2020 to 2030. The City Commission has tentatively identified the following projects to fund if voters approve another ten year cycle of the Penny for Pinellas:

1/ Sanitary Sewer projects,
2/ Storm Sewer projects,
3/ Street resurfacing, and
4/ Undergrounding of utilities on Gulf Boulevard.

The past Penny funds have had a tremendously positive impact on quality of life issues for St. Pete Beach and Pinellas County as a whole. I am encouraging citizens to vote for Penny for Pinellas because the past funds have been used wisely and there is a need to fund future projects. If it doesn’t pass, we would need to either ask citizens to pay more in taxes or choose to postpone these needed projects. As a tax-paying citizen, I think it is a good idea to pass the Penny for Pinellas vote and have our visitors and tourists pay 33% of our infrastructure projects.”

For St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman told Paradise News,  “This tax has served St. Pete well for nearly three decades and is integral to the quality of life our residents enjoy. It also helps to address public safety, such as the new Police Station we recently broke ground on in St. Petersburg. Going forward, we expect to utilize the Penny to continue our upgrades to vital infrastructure, such as our sewer system. I urge all residents to learn more about the Penny for Pinellas and the positive impact it has had on our County.” For more information and updates,  readers can access .

There is also a Speakers Bureau available.

If a local group wants someone from Pinellas County staff to talk about the Penny, they can call (727) 464-4600 or visit the webpage and fill out a speaker request form. There are also downloadable resources available, including a flyer and  infographic, on the web page under  “Get Involved.”  Boatwright emphasized, “One other distinction we are trying to make clear with our local media partners is that Pinellas County government staff members are not advocating for renewal of the Penny. Our job is solely to provide educational materials to ensure our citizens are well-informed about the Penny ahead of the Nov. 7, 2017, referendum.”

STORY by STEVE TRAIMAN |  Photos by Pinellas County Marketing & Communications Dept.

[Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni, St. Pete Beach Vice Mayor Ward Friszolowski, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman for their excellent comment, and to Pinellas County Communications Director Barbra Hernandez and Public Information Specialist Josh Boatwright for the excellent information and photos including the cover photo of the access to Boca Ciega Millenium Park;]

[Steve Traiman is President of Creative Copy by Steve Traiman in St. Pete Beach, offering freelance business writing services. He can be reached via email at]

Photos: Ft. DeSoto; Bayside Bridge;  St Pete Beach Community Center; St Pete Beach Aquatic Complex; Archibald Park – Madeira Beach; Public Safety Complex; Ft DeSoto trail; Belleair Causeway; Tierra Verde Fire Station; Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge; Gulf Blvd. Utility Undergrounding .


Is your wardrobe Florida-fashion friendly? With humidity and temperatures on the rise, you’ll want to stock up on rayon and natural fibers or cotton in loose, flowing designs that look good for day or night.

A new look isn’t complete without a refreshed color and cut. After the beach, stop in at London Hair & Spa or Salon Mimi for a new summer hairstyle that’s easy to maintain.

Cha Cha Fashion

For women, it’s all about easy breezy beach dresses, stripes, tropical florals and cold shoulder tops (off the shoulder or peek-a-boo) with a touch of boho and the perfect shade hat. For the guys, you can’t go wrong with a Tommy Bahama or Guy Harvey shirt, shorts and Teva sandals (day) or loafers (night).

We caught up on what’s in style with Beverly Williamson, owner of Corey Avenue’s Annabel’s, a St. Pete Beach fixture for forty years.  “Florida has a style all of its own, full of color from coral to cobalt blue,” says the fashionista whose shop features dresses, tops, capris, shoes, accessories and more.

“Look for an island vibe and tropical floral this summer from designers such as Jams, Color Me Cotton in tailored flowing designs. Long necklaces complement the long sundresses, while Lindsay- Phillips sexy flip-flops with interchangeable snap on adornments (Switch-Flops) are all the rage,” adds Williamson.

Annabelle’s also carries Clara SunWoo (seen on The Today Show on Kathie Lee and Hoda) in lilac, purple and coral, perfect for cocktail nights on the Gulf with their breathable fabrics that pack easily into a carry-on for summer vacays.

Sensational Swimsuits

For swimsuits, look for single pieces and double, with skirts or skimpy, depending on your preference for a racy paddleboarding practical swimsuit  or a country club pool bathing suit.  You’ll see off-the-shoulder, crop and halter tops in white, stripes, with tassels, ruffles, laced sidings,  with sheer or netting rule the runways for peek-a-boo skin.

One shoulder wraps and plunging neckline one-piece suits as well as string bikinis will be seen on all the pretty young ladies this summer.  Popular colors and designs include yellow, animal prints, tropical floral, tie-dye, chevron stripes, global ethnics, scarf prints, ombre or geometrics.

For cover-ups and swimsuits, check out the local surfshops, Swim & Play, Reno Beach Surfshop, Swim N Sport, Cerulean Blue, Wings, Two Coconuts Swimwear and Fashion Swimwear.

Customized Swimwear

Want a custom suit that’s figure flattering? Seamstress Priscilla Kidder sells her  maillots, swim tops and bottoms on ETSY and through her website (727-510-4934).

Her Be-Bops Custom Swimwear comes in multiple solid colors and hip prints, from 70s disco to 80s retro and everything in between including polka-dots, houndstooth, florals and a divine navy blue bikini with anchor buttons on the front of the waistband. Her diva Kini is her best-selling design and she also offers a Playsuit version with swim shorts bottoms and the three way waistband for a slimming design that can be worn folded down for a skirted bottom look, scrunched up for a high-waisted retro look or as a one-piece bathing suit.

Article by Nanette Wiser

Learning Vacations @ Tampa Bay


Last week, Cornell Alumni University invited me to spend the summer in Ithaca NY, an enchanting mix of lectures, wine tasting and recreation high above Cayuga’s waters.

Turns out, learning vacations are ALL the rage, for both kids and adults.  ou can learn to walk an aerial wire at circus school, travel the antebellum past with Road Scholar, study film at OLLI @ Eckerd College or take an improve class at American Stage. Local libraries offer everything from ukulele workshops, chess, crafts, adult coloring, DIY green crafts, digital photo organizing, sewing and meditation. ( )

So this summer, why not staycation in Paradise and improve your mind, body and spirit. Here are some of our favorites:

CHILDREN & TEENS  Spaces fill up fast so enroll now.  

Seminole Rec Center, St. Pete Beach Rec Center, 

the Y, the Girl Scouts ( ) and many area churches offer everything including culinary arts, Girls Rock Camp, Marine Science Yoga and Art Camp at MFA and Largo Theater Camp.  At The Club on Treasure Island, kids can work on their tennis, sailing and swimming skills while at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, kids can tour the history of St. Pete and build their version of Sunshine City at City Builders Summer Camp. Great Explorations Children’s Museum is where education and fun come together with interactive exhibits.

Sports Camps: 

USF and Bulls Soccer camps, First Tee Summer Golf Camp, Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Camp, Stryker Kid Fit Martial Arts Summer Camps thrill young athletes, and if you want total sports immersion, the IMG Academy Camps in Bradenton offer intensive camps for baseball, football, soccer, tennis and lacrosse. Check out local tumbling and gymnastic schools, Tai Chi programs and other specialty schools.

Marine Camps: 

Clearwater Community Sailing and Gulfport Sailing programs give kids their sea legs as does Eckerd College’s Summer Watersports Camp where they can perfect their skills in windsurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing and saltwater fishing. You can connect with the sea at Tampa Bay Watch Estuary Summer Camps (Sea Monkeys, Tampa Bay Discovery Camp), Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Summer Camps or The Florida Aquarium’s Aqua Camps, and many local scuba diving schools offer excellent programs.

Science Camps: 

Boyd Hill & McGough Nature Park offer nature adventure camps (snakes! Owls!) while MOSI offers hands-on science camps for your little Einstein. Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens also offer nature discovery programs, close up and personal with the animals.

Artist  Camps

Creative Clay in St. Pete offers classes in art around the world while little actors can study at The Patel Conservatory or Ruth Eckerd. The Glazer Children’s Museum Camp Imagination is a multimedia playground for solving puzzles, creating stories and creating digital paintings. The Morean Arts Center offers ten weeks of summer camps in art, clay, glass, photography and more. The Sunscreen Summer Film Camps runs July 10-28 at Studio@620 and learn to write and produce movies hands-on (727-420-0566). At StarStruck Dance Studio (Seminole Rec), kids can learn ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, acro and more.

American Stage Theater Programs: You want to act, sing, dance, do improv  comedy and more? The summer theater program runs June 5-August 4 for kids K-12 and there are adult classes as well. FYI:  727-823-1600 x 204;

Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall: Offers a variety of classes, workshops and private lessons to children of all ages, providing them with the opportunity to explore their talents, discover new friends and learn from professional instructors. Classes kick-off June 5; register now. FYI:  727-712-2706

  • One-week performing arts camps are available for many ages and experience levels in musical theatre, drama, music, dance and on-camera. A variety of classes are offered, including Belle’s Timeless Tales for ages 5-7, Tip Tap Toes: Dancers and Singers for ages 6-9, Star Wars™ Jedi Knights for ages 8-10, School of Rock for ages 11-14 and Dance for Musical Theatre for ages 13-18.
  • Students ages 13-18 can enroll in a special three-week performance camp, Bye, Bye Birdie. The camp is July 10-29 and no experience is necessary. Students enrolled in Bye, Bye Birdie camp will have the opportunity to audition for special performances at the Capitol Theatre on Thursday, July 27 at 7 pm, Friday, July 28 at 7 pm and Saturday, July 29 at 2 pm and 7 pm. The performances will be directed by Jack Holloway, Drama Department Chair with musical direction by Yohance Wicks, Music Department Chair and director of the in-house Clearwater Chorus and choreographed by Christopher Liddell, dance instructor.
  • Individual instruction is available for any student wishing to strengthen his or her performance skills in the areas of voice, piano, drama, dance, guitar, percussion and violin.  Other areas of study can be arranged on request.


During the year, PTEC and SPC offer training certificates and computer training (at the ICOT Center, you can take a half-day class in web design or Photoshop, for example. Here are some of summer’s best learning vacations.

St. Pete College Lifelong Learning:

Learn to play a musical instrument, join a chorus, brush up on your math or driving skills or learn a new language. For kids, there’s a summer robotics camp and a Titan Drone Summer Camp where you can  engage in 3D printing process using additive manufacturing techniques and understand the electronics and precision needed for building drones. FYI:

OLLI at Eckerd College:

Learn about science (Target Earth: The Science Behind Celestial Collisions, Space Observatories), films (The Carousel Story, Gone With The Wind), legendary artists (Carole King and The Tapestry of Her Song, Leonard Bernstein), explore Florida (Farmworkers: Florida’s Invisible Workforce or Wild Florida’s Parks, Rivers and Forests) and even tour the Pinellas Chocolate Company. On May 1, 2, 8 TED TALKS provocative speakers will be on-screen in the Dan & Mary Miller Auditorium and feature post-lecture discussions. Want to enjoy the Royal Theater in London on film? Twelfth Night airs May 26, Peter Pan June 23 and Angels in America August 11 & 18. For lifelong learners, this summer is a dream come true. FYI: 727-864-7600;

Art Centers & Classes: 

Indulge your inner Picasso at Indian Rocks Beach’ Beach Art Center, Kapfer Glass Studio (Corey Ave.), the Morean Arts Center, Morean Arts Center for Clay, Pinot’s Palette (St Pete), Grand Central Stained Glass (St Pete), SunTan Art Center at Don Vista Arts Center, Treasure Island Art Guild and Zen Glass Studio (St Pete).  (See the Arts & Leisure section of the magazine for more details.)

Morean Arts Center:  Work on drawing, painting, fiber arts, jewelry, glass, clay, photography, digital and writing skills at one DTSP’s most important creative collectives. They also offer photography meet-ups.

FYI: Call the Education Dept.  727-822-7872.

USF Continuing Education /Reading Skills and Speed Reading Programs: Learn to read twice as fast, from novels to non-fiction and learn better comprehension, concentration and retention skills at both the SPC St. Petersburg 5th Ave. N and Clearwater Campus. 1-800-903-0162

Culinary Classes:

Whether you are a novice cook, or a gourmet, this summer vow to learn to make a new dish or ten at The Epicurean Theater in Tampa, Café Largo, Odessa’s BergHOFF Culinary Center, Michael’s Extraordinary Desserts & Baking Academy at the St. Pete Bakery, Brandon’s Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium or Aprons Cooking School in Tampa.

Dance Classes:

Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Learn to salsa, tango, rumba, waltz, bachata, foxtrot, meringue and more at a private or group lesson. 7019 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; 727-347-7700;

Article by Nanette Wiser

Garden Gab: Wacky, Wonderful Container Gardening

As summer approaches, container gardens are a clever, flexible way to protect your precious plants from too much heat or sun. See it droop? No need to dig it up, you just move the container to another location.

There are dozens of wacky ways to host an outdoor or patio container garden, from using a shoe holder on a door as a planter, creating a container garden wall or even a hydroponic garden like DTSP’s marvelous Brick Street Farms. Most veggies, flowers, succulents and herbs all do just as well in pots as the ground.

Let your imagination run wild. You can paint a salvaged chair, take off the seat and insert a planter. You can convert an old dresser into a succulent garden by planting in staggered, open drawers. One of my favorites is the toilet bowl planter in Sweet Sage restaurant’s alfresco dining, filled with hanging plants and odd, repurposed containers.

Whether you have a small or large space, here are some container garden tips from horticulture experts, including the University of Florida IFAS Extension ( ).

Pam Crawford’s “Container Gardens for Florida” is a great source of ideas and is available on Amazon and in local bookstores.

  • If you are planting more than one plant in the same pot make sure they all share the same need for light, amount of water, and fertilizer scheduling.
  • Make sure your pot has adequate drainage and good, fresh soil for potting.
  • Mix up plants of different height, color, and texture.
  • Water your container gardens in the morning to let soil dry out, preventing diseases and viruses. Always check to see if they need water BEFORE watering.
  • Fertilize only as needed; too much fertilizer results in a buildup of salts and will burn the roots of your plants.
  • Vegetables can be grown too, but pick a container that suits the height of the mature plants, too: you don’t want your tall plants to shade out your smaller plants. Certain plants tend to be tall, like corn, trellised tomatoes, trellised squash, trellised beans, and okra.  Other plants are of medium height, e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, collards, swish chard, basil, peppers, rosemary, eggplant, garlic, and celery. Then there are some shorter plants, such as radishes, onions, lettuce, thyme, oregano, carrots, strawberries, & untrellised vining crops.
  • There are also bush or dwarf forms of many vegetables that will defy these generalizations, and you can seek out the varieties that suit your landscape. Keep in mind that any vining plant can be trellised to support it or just to save room in your garden.

For more on hydroponic gardening, go to


Tierra Verde Bridge Design Begins

FDOT recently unveiled plans to build a 2-lane high-level, fixed bridge (narrower, but otherwise similar to the new Bayway Bridge to St. Pete Beach) in place of the existing bascule bridge between Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde. Repaving the existing roadway, including a 12-foot-wide shared-use path on the east side and a 5-foot-wide concrete sidewalk on the west side of S.R. 679 are included.

The project extends from Isla Del Y&CC intersection (SR682) south beyond Madonna Blvd. to Yacht Club Lane. Instead of a traffic signal, a roundabout will be built at Madonna Blvd. & 1st St. FDOT plans on selecting a design-build contractor by the end of 2017. The design includes many features won by a volunteer design committee for the “Bayway Bridge.”

Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2018 and last roughly three years. A single contractor will be hired to design and construct a replacement bridge, repave S.R. 679 and replace the seawall on Tierra Verde. Design-build projects allow  the contractor to participate in the design in an effort to reduce costs and expedite construction. This frequently results in time and cost savings through innovative designs, material, and construction techniques.

In case you missed the well-attended presentation April 27 at SPC, all displays presented are available at

More information about the project, contact FDOT Design Project Manager Kevin Lee, at 813-975-6155 or by e-mail at

Article by Peter Roos

Publisher’s Message May 2017

Things don’t just improve on their own. Whether growth is within ourselves, in our loved ones, in our homes, our cities, our region, our state, our country, or our planet, it takes some effort to end up with something better than it was before. We remember 1990 when voters had the courage to impose an additional penny on our sales tax. In this May 2017 issue of Paradise NEWS we have the perspective to look back almost 30 years to see what that penny has meant in our own communities. The perspective helps.

Sometimes things look entirely different if you look at them from a different angle. Solar power is big news today. As experienced solar powerproducers ourselves, we must agree with St. Petersburg Commission Chair Darden Rice that a solar array on the roof of the city’s new police department should proceed, even if takes 32 years for payback. St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman claims St. Petersburg will be a “green city”. To forgo a major green amenity that essentially costs nothing makes no sense. In fact, at this stage, if even the police department’s solar array will pay for itself, with all the protections and back-ups I’m sure they require, solar power has surely gotten to a self-supporting level for the rest of us without additional subsidy.

Our 4-year old system covers 650 square feet of roof, and produces more power than we need to run our home and our office. The excess is used charging up the 2015 Chevy Volt we use to deliver magazines. In the past four years the cost of our 10 killowatt system has gone down about a third, from $36,000 to below $24,000, due to efficiency improvements. In the meantime, we’ve prevented 100,000 lbs. of CO2 from being emitted into the environment. Driving on solar power is an incredible thrill. Even if you plan to sell and move, a solar investment is generally recovered in the selling price.

Our power bill is usually $10.53, and averages under $25 per month. Solar installations can now be financed at payments below the amount of power bill they replace. Even if your credit is not great, new legislation allows cities and counties to offer financing for rooftop solar to be paid back through your tax bill. This essentially makes the taxing authority your electric utility, lowers your overall payments now and forever and makes you part of the solution.  If not available yet in your area, it should be soon.

Our state continues to grow. If enough of us who own south facing roofs take care of our own power production, others will get the same idea. If each new building has its own power production, we may never need Duke Energy to build another nuclear plant.

If you are interested in  “going solar” we’d love to help. Email and let us know you are interested in solar power for your home or business.  We’ll do our best to hook you up with the most reliable installers and the best deal around. Together we can make things improve and make a difference on this planet.

Renee & Peter Roos & All the talented people that help create your Paradise NEWS.

Health & Wellness: Protect Your Skin

Hit the beach, play tennis or soak in some rays. While Vitamin D is healthy, overexposing your skin without protection is not. Forget Miami Vice. Tan skin might look pretty, but if your skin’s health in the sunny season is crucial. Here’s some tips for safe sun exposure to prevent sunburn and premature aging.

The Problem: Without sunscreen, harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun begin their silent work prematurely aging your skin, creating wrinkles and spots or, at worst, contributing to skin cancer. UVB rays are the light that burns skin while UVA rays cause skin to age and wrinkle. The SPF number indicates a sunscreen’s UVB effectiveness, not its UVA protection.

Sunscreen IQ: For many people, protection from moderate sun exposure is achieved with an SPF of 15.  If you’ll be outdoors four hours or more, you should choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 that contains sun-blocking agents such as zinc oxide and titanium that are the most effective protection against the  harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

More Is Not Better: While there are products that list SPF levels of 75 or 100, you will be paying maybe twice as much as you will for an SPF 50 product, and gaining perhaps only .1% more protection.  It just doesn’t make that much of a difference at that point.

How To Apply Sunscreen: Choose the right sunscreen. Remember to apply sunscreen generously every 40-80 minutes as indicated on the label. Adults should use one ounce per application or enough to fill a shot glass.

Enhance Skin Protection: Add a shady hat, sunglasses to protect your eyes (excess sun exposure can result in premature cataracts), protective clothing and an umbrella for extended time in the sun. Apply enough to achieve good coverage, and reapply if you swim or sweat.

Skin cancer is the one of the most common form of cancer in the U.S…but luckily it’s also one of the most preventable if you follow the Skin Cancer Foundation’s prevention guidelines.

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 am & 4 pm when the sun is strongest.
  • Do not burn. A person’s risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, doubles if he or she had had five or more sunburns at any point in life.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun, since their skin is extremely vulnerable. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. While self-exams shouldn’t replace the important annual skin exam performed by a physician, they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.

To find out more about how to perform self-examination and spot a skin cancer, visit

See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Article by Nanette Wiser

Selene… Like Dining & Drinking on a Greek Island

In the past, St. Pete Beach cuisine has been infamous for mostly casual fare… grouper sandwiches, conch fritters, rum runners and a plethora of deep fried staples. Over the past few years dining at the beach has changed dramatically, breaking out of the greasy box of “tourist trap” food.
Selene Restaurant and Bar is on the leading edge of this change. The owners of Selene have been working for more than a year to infuse their Mediterranean roots into St. Pete Beach’s emerging cuisine by creating fresh and unique entrees sourced from the highest quality ingredients.
At Selene, Fresh Fare means FRESH! Locals have come to enjoy “Happy Hour” offerings at Selene with reasonable drink specials and an appetizer menu with a half dozen upscale options from Quail and Octopus to Hummus, Spinach Pie and Stuffed Mushrooms, all priced at $5 – $7. Branzino is flown in daily and simply grilled to allow the character and purity of the fish to shine through. Selene’s Grilled Octopus is one of the most popular dishes, poached in a hot marinade for hours before it hits the grill, to deliver a truly tender and mouth watering experience. My wife Renee won’t eat it anywhere else, saying Selene’s tender Octopus with fresh and sautéed onions is “simply the best,” and I have to agree with her.
A Mediterranean restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a flawless delivery on Grilled Lamb Chops and Slow Roasted Lamb Shank.  Every detail throughout the restaurant is meticulously placed to transport you away from the ordinary beach experience and lavish you in Mediterranean comfort and style. From the extra virgin olive oil, imported from the family’s own olive orchard in Greece, to the Aegean color scheme, the Greek Island feeling is pervasive.
Not many years ago people would ask me where you can get a good steak on the beach and I would have few options to recommend. These days there are several 1200 degree grills on the beach, and the folks in the kitchen at Selene know just how to use theirs. Prices are quite reasonable, considering the quality and freshness of food offered at Selene. I predict you will see more and more of your friends this summer combining a dinner at Selene and their favorite premium brand from the top shelf, full liquor bar along with one of the sunsets St. Pete Beach is known for as the “Sunset Capital of Florida.”
A private dining room can accommodate up to 28 at a single “Board Table” for a private, intimate meal. Selene is open nightly 4 pm – 11 pm with live music Wednesday – Saturday and drink specials Sunday – Thursday, including half off select bottles of Wine on Wednesdays, two for one drafts on Thursdays in the bar 7 – 11pm and half price Greek Drinks on Sundays. Live music is presented Wednesday –Saturday, which is perfect this time of year for dining al fresco. Visit online for a menu or call 727.317.2064 or 2065 for a reservation. Or stop in at 4945 Gulf Blvd., just north of Dolphin Village Shopping Plaza in St Pete Beach. Tell them you read about them in Paradise NEWS and couldn’t wait to try them out.

Maykel Wood Carving Art Gallery

Hidden next to Gigi’s on 107th Avenue in Treasure Island is a remarkable little gallery full of one-of-a-kind, hand-carved and hand-painted furnishings, home décor and gift items with a terrific beachy theme at incredibly affordable prices.
Hand-Carved Furnishings with coastal themes, Artistic locally-made Gifts and unique décor items ‘To Enjoy Forever.’
It’s a family owned and operated Art Gallery where Local Artists have exclusive exhibitions – their purpose is to promote local art, bringing the paradise style into local homes and helping visitors to leave with a piece of our area. Maykel Medina is the main artist and owner, a self-taught local artist originally from Cuba. His art pieces are reflect his passion for art, wood and animals. His creations are part of local, national and international art lovers’ collections. He includes his acrylic paintings and carvings in wall art, indoor and outdoor self-standing sculptures, furniture and murals. In the artist words “God has blessed my hands, that’s why I give the Glory of my creations to him.”
In the showroom you will find wood carvings – paintings – glass – photography and functional art (hand-made furniture with acrylic paintings) The look is coastal and abstract, contemporary or chabby chic. Showroom hours are Mon – Fri 11am – 2:45pm and 3:30 – 7pm.
In addition to offering unique art at reproduction prices, Maykel also invites custom art, furniture, picture frames, and even refinishing services. Maykel and Yaimara, (pronounced “Jaimara”) invite you to visit the showroom, meet the artists, enjoy the art, get ideas or even to plan a project.  Check out their website and friend them on Facebook to get details on their next artist reception.
Maykel Wood Carving Art Gallery
107 107th Ave., Treasure Island 33706