Tidbits March 2016

Clearwater Tidbits

Clearwater Beach Named America’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor TripAdvisor this February  that the world- famous white sand  Clearwater Beach was  No. 1 in its annual list of the 25 Best Beaches in America and one of the 25 Best Beaches in the World at 20. Not far behind was St. Pete Beach at No. 4 in the U.S. making St. Pete/ Clearwater the only Florida destination with two beaches in the Top 10.

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General Tidbits

HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD by Bob Griffin

You complained about the heat all last year, including December. If you thought it was the hottest year ever, you were right.  NOAA and NASA now declare that 2015 was the hottest year on record (in the past 136 years, since record keeping began). The temperatures around the earth were .29 degrees warmer than 2014. It was 1.62 degrees above the 20th century average. December was the 10th month in 2015 that actually set a heat record.

“It is getting to the point where breaking heat records is the norm,” says Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist with Texas Tech. For the most part, scientists blamed man-made global warming with a touch of El Nino. The dominant force affecting rising temperatures, however is the increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

December Caps First-Ever $40 Million Year Of Bed Tax Collections

For the first time ever, Pinellas County’s calendar year tourist development tax collections crossed the $40 million mark. In total, 10 of the 12 months in CY2015 saw double-digit increases, leading to an increase of more than 12% year-over-year for a total of over $40 million. Just two years ago, Pinellas County crossed the $30 million threshold for the first time ever, becoming one of the state’s five high impact tourism counties. This growth has resulted in a record average daily rate (ADR) of $136 and a 76% occupancy rate. In the past five years, bed tax collections in Pinellas County have increased by 57.5%, ADR has grown by 31.9% and occupancy jumped by 12.9%—all of this without the additional 1% bed tax that started being collected on Jan. 1, 2016.

Neeraj Kumar Mahani has joined the Loews Don CeSar as Executive Chef. Mahani, most recently served as Area Chef at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fl. He will oversee all culinary operations at the 277-room hotel, to include banquets, weddings and the  property’s seven food and beverage outlets. While at The Breakers, Mahani was a part of the culinary team responsible for 10 hotel food and beverage outlets and was involved in producing catered affairs for Fortune 500 companies, conventions, associations and social events. Loews’ Don CeSar Resort & Spa is located at: 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706. www.loewshotels.com.

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Gulfport Tidbits

Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary Customer traffic has also steadily increased over the years, and the Market now routinely has several hundred visitors on a typical day, numbering up to 3,000 visitors on highseason days. A current roster of weekly and occasional vendors is  on the Fresh Market’s website gulfportma.com  or visit the Market’s Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/gulfportfreshmarket.

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St. Pete Beach Tidbits

Honor Walk at Upham Beach The 2016 Brick Campaign will continue until Friday, March 18, 2016. Installation of the bricks occurs this summer. Visit stpetebeach.org.

Friends of Library Book Baskets Bids close Friday, March 18, for the Spring Book Basket Silent Auction at the SPB Library, 353 73rd Ave. Tax deductible proceeds go toward the new SPB Library. Organized by Ron Waters, Friends board member and Bookstore Manager, the Auction features 10 baskets including a Basket of Nesbo, Art & Sculpture, Erotica, Large Print Mysteries, Rome, World War II Europe, Passover, Carl Hiassen’s Florida, Baseball and A Book Box of Americana.  The Holiday Book Auction raised nearly $1,000 in donations. 

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pass-a-grille-sunrise-servicePAG Community Church to hold 75th Easter Sunrise Service Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church holds its 75th Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday, March 27, 7 am.  The community embraces this inspirational service. Last year over 1,500 worshipers attended. The service is held at Pass-A- Grille Point, between 1st and 2nd Avenues, at 7am  All are invited to arrive early for music and meditation. Two additional services, with traditional Easter music and a brass choir, will be held at the church at 8:45 & 10 am. Following the Sunrise Service,  the youth group hosts a pancake breakfast in the Church Fellowship Hall. Charge ($7 pp or $25 family) supports the group’s next mission trip.  All are invited. Palm Sunday Services will be held at the church, located at 107 16th Ave., St. Pete Beach on March 20 at 8:45 & 10 am. A Maundy (Holy) Thursday service will be held on March 24  at 7 pm  For more information on these services and other church activities please call the church office at 727.360.5508 or access the website www.pagchurch.org.

The Sunset Lounge Experience  debuts at the Trade Winds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach, May 21. Brought to you by the producers  of Chillounge Night, the ultimate outdoor lounge party, the Sunset Lounge Experience promises to be an innovative, tasteful and exclusive gathering for a select few. Casual chic comes to life here. Trendy lounge furnishings offer seating for 280 guests. Guests can reserve an  intimate private daybed for two or join the mix and mingle crowd in  our centrally located lounge seating area. All guests will have reserved seating. Special hotel package deals can be made available. For info, contact Rainer Scheer 941.448.0995 or rainerscheer@yahoo.com. www.chilloungenight.com.

upham-beach-stabilizaton-projectImprovements designed to slow erosion on Upham Beach on the north end of St. Pete Beach are expected to begin early next year. The project, which is estimated to cost about $11 million, will be paid for by Pinellas County and state of Florida funds.

The improvements will involve the installation of four permanent rock structures known as Tgroins designed to limit beach erosion. The permanent T-groins will replace five sand-filled temporary T-groins that have been in place since 2006 to stem erosion at the beach, which has been among the highest eroding beaches in the state.

The rock structures are expected to perform better in slowing erosion and holding sand on the beach than the temporary structures. Once the rock structures are installed, the beach is then planned to be nourished with approximately 150,000 cubic yards of sand. Keeping a strong beach helps protect homes and businesses when storms strike and attract visitors who use the beach for recreation.

The estimated cost for construction is $8.8 million, and the cost for nourishment is estimated at $2.2 million. Pinellas County was appropriated $3 million from the state during the 2015 legislative session to share in the cost of the project.

The total project costs will be shared between the state and the county’s bed tax allocation dedicated to beach stabilization and nourishment. The county will seek additional state matching funds next year.

The county is currently finalizing the bid documents and anticipates advertising the project later this calendar year.

Videos can be found at www.youtube.com/pcctv1.

St. Petersburg Tidbits

St. Petersburg 2nd Saturday Art Walk March 12

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 on March 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. Free ArtWalk trolleys encompass the arts districts. Free parking – 1st Ave N. & 1st Ave S. from 15th St. to 30th St., The Clay Center of St. Petersburg, MGA Studios and the Carter G. Woodson Museum.  Download the map and list of participants to plan your festive art evening at stpetersburgartsalliance.org.

New Preservation Resource

St. Petersburg’s website has asecond-saturday-art-walk new feature that makes it easy to view the city’s various designated historic resources, including local and national historic districts and individually listed or eligible to be listed properties. The February issue of Florida Trend spotlighted St. Petersburg. It is the largest insert ever produced for a community! Check out the digital edition of “The Changing Face of Paradise” and share with colleagues, employees, and others who are interested in all that is happening in St. Petersburg.

City Council approved the new Commercial Revitalization Program. The program will help address the issue of lack of capital which has been cited as a barrier to redevelopment in South St. Petersburg, the Skyway Marina District and other areas of the city.

The Commercial Revitalization Program will provide grant awards to commercial projects that enhance business districts by redeveloping properties, decreasing vacancy rates, adding to the tax base, creating jobs, leveraging private sector investment and improving quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods. Based on the scope and impact of the proposed project, an applicant may be awarded at one of three thresholds – $25,000, $50,000 and up to $100,000. 

LEADERSHIP ST. PETE® (LSP) Class of 2016 to raise funds for renovation project at Alpha House.

Pinellas County’s only  residential maternity  program, ALPHA House provides housing and  supportive services to homeless pregnant women and teens, new mothers with infants and families experiencing crisis  pregnancies. The LSP Class of 2016 agreed this cause strengthens the  St. Petersburg community by providing a safe  environment for the  mothers and children to thrive during these most fragile moments of their lives. Since 1979, ALPHA has served more than 3,000 women, teens and infants annually in their residential and outreach program. 

Approximately 90 percent of those who have gone through the ALPHA House program made a successful transition into permanent housing and independent living. Planned improvements of ALPHA House include a safe play area for the toddlers, better security cameras, locks on doors, repairs to the perimeter fencing, an automatic gate, landscaping and shade in a courtyard gathering area and interior space improvements that are long overdue.  Costs for the project are  estimated to be $125,000, which must be raised by April 2016 to make necessary improvements to ALPHA House. 

The project is expected to be completed by May 8, 2016.The LSP Class of 2016 is seeking donations from individuals and businesses or in-kind contributions of products or services to complete the project. 

Send tax deductible funds to the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce at 100 2nd Avenue North, Suite 200, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 ATTN: Brittany Walsh. Please make checks payable to LSP Project or donate online at stpete.com/alpha.

Treasure Island Tidbits

Treasure Island Police Officers’ Ball is to be held in the Grand Ballroom at The Club at Treasure Island on Saturday, April 16, 7 pm – 12 am.  This black tie, formal event will feature live entertainment, cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, a live professional ballroom dance presentation and  dancing to the big band sounds of the Helios Swingtet. At 10 pm, one of the 300 ticket holders will win a $10,000 grand prize. 

Tickets: $125/person (tax deductible) with tables of 8 or 10 available. Tickets can be purchased at the Treasure Island Police Department – 8am to 4pm. By cash or check only Co-sponsors of this event are The Club at Treasure Island, Fred Astaire Dance Studio (Central Ave) and the Helios Swingtet. Bruce Nye, the “Elvis Guy” is performing at Gators in Treasure Island on Monday & Tuesday nights at 7:30 in March. 

Winging It! Redington Beach Garden Club Installs Butterfly Garden March 17th

In celebration of the Redington Beach Garden’s Club 60th birthday, members installed a Butterfly Garden in Friendship Park on March 17th.  The Garden Club president, Zoe Roseman, presented wings to Redington’s Beach City Commissioner Fred Steierman. Wilcox Nursery’s Arnold Arutkis and Garden Club members were busy as bees planting the buzzworthy botanicals including passion flower, scarlet sage, beach mist, rosenflower, green eyes and scrub mint. Located across from Redington Beach Town Hall on 164th, Friendship park will host an Easter Egg hunt Saturday, March 26 from 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m..

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Treasure Island Women’s Club Raises More than $8K

treasure-islettes-2The Treasure Island’s Women’s Club, the Islettes, raised more than 8K to benefit the community.

On March 12 at the Treasure Island Community Center 250 people attended an Islettes fundraising event that brought in more than 8K. This is one of the largest total the Islettes has brought in during one day in its 60-year history. President Mary Cox was delighted and said it is so gratifying to know that 100 percent of the proceeds will help fund many needed projects. Millie Fant, the Chairman, for the Beautification Committee, together with numerous Islettes members worked tirelessly on the luncheon, raffles, silent auction that included generous donations by local businesses and fashion show provided by Macy’s Department store and modeled by Islettes members.

The Treasure Islettes meet on the fourth Monday at 7 pm of each month from September to May at the Treasure Island Community Center. The Islettes welcomeall women who have an interest in volunteerism for more information contact the Treasure Islettes by email at treasurei2@aol.com or Marian Alton at 727-360-0164.

Bingo runs every Thursday at 6:45 pm and 7:45 pm at the Treasure Island Community Center, One Park Place, Treasure Island (behind Walgreen’s).

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Picture 1: Julian (the former Mayor of Treasure Island) and Chairwoman Millie Fant, take a break from the Islettes fundraising event

Picture 2: Islettes – Marian Rada, Pauline Green and Marian Alton take a break from the festivities

Pier Approach Design Team Seeks Input on Project Design

The design team for the Pier Approach – W Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Wannemacher Jensen Architects – are seeking input from the community on aspects of this vital project.

The Pier Approach will connect the downtown core to the Pier with an active, connected and coordinated sequence of facilities and venues, using the completed Downtown Waterfront Master Plan as a guide.

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The public is invited to provide input to the design team on specific design components for the Pier Approach on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. During the meeting, the design team will provide a brief overview of the initial concepts, then facilitate discussion on design ideas.

The public meeting will be held from 7-9 p.m. on March 15 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s University Student Center Ballroom, 200 6th Ave South in downtown St. Petersburg.

After the meeting, the City of St. Petersburg will provide opportunities for online input from the public. W Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Wannemacher Jensen Architects will consider the input gathered at the March 15 meeting and online in the concept design for the Pier Approach.

On-street parking for the March 15 meeting is available near the USFSP Student Center. Parking is also available in USFSP’s parking garage at 260 5th Ave South for a $5 fee.

The public meeting will be filmed and available to view on StPete.org and the City of St. Petersburg’s TV Channel (Bright House channel 641, Verizon FIOS channel 20 and WOW! Cable channel 15) within a few days of the meeting.

For more information on the meeting, please contact Kristin Brett at (727) 744-2020 or Kristin.Brett@StPete.org.

The new St. Petersburg Pier and Pier Approach create the Pier District along St. Petersburg’sdowntown waterfront. The schematic design of the $50 million Pier is nearing completion, while design for the concepts for the $20 million Pier Approach is now underway. In October 2015, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture in partnership with Wannemacher Jensen Architects were selected to design the Pier Approach, and the first phase of the design contract wasapproved in late January 2016. Concept completion for the Pier Approach is expected in May/June 2016. Additional information about the new St. Petersburg Pier and the Pier Approach is available at NewStPetePier.com.

Nesting Sea Turtles, Flashing Cell Phone Photos a Bad Mix

Sea turtles digging their nests to lay eggs on Florida’s beaches face a new 21st century hazard: someone snapping a flash photo with a cell phone.

March 1 is the official start of the sea turtle nesting season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds people not to take cell phone flash photos of sea turtles on the beach at night, because that can interfere with nesting.

“It’s great that people are enjoying Florida’s beaches and are enthusiastic about our sea turtles,” said Dr. Robbin Trindell, who leads the FWC’s sea turtle management program. “However, most visitors to the beach don’t realize that any light on the beach at night poses a threat to these threatened and endangered animals. A nesting female may become frightened or disoriented by lights or a flash photo and return to the ocean without laying eggs. Lights on the beach at night also could interfere with adult or hatchling sea turtles trying to find the ocean after nesting or hatching.”

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Sea turtles have been on Earth for about 110 million years, and eager photographers are hardly a new phenomenon. However, today’s widespread use of cell phones and flash photos on the beach creates a risk for Florida’s nesting and hatchling sea turtles.

sea-turtles-do-not-disturb-2From now through the end of October, three different species of sea turtle will land on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coast beaches to lay their eggs. In 2015, a record number of green turtle nests were documented in Florida: 27,975 on the 26 beaches that the FWC has monitored since 1989.

How can people help conserve Florida’s sea turtles? Just remember these turtle-friendly practices:

– Remain at a distance from nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.
– Remove chairs, canopies, boats and other items from the beach at night, because they block the movement of turtles and hatchlings.
– Turn off or shield lights along the beach, in order to prevent nesting females or hatchlings from getting confused and going toward lights on land instead of the salt water, where they belong.
– Avoid using lights on the beach at night. If you must have light, use a red LED flashlight, adjust cell phone screens to dark mode and don’t take flash photos.
– Fill in holes in the sand at the end of the day, so nesting sea turtles and hatchlings don’t fall in and get stuck there at night.
– Correctly dispose of fishing line, so it won’t entangle sea turtles and other animals.
– Remember it is illegal to harm, harass or take sea turtles, their eggs and hatchlings, including getting too close to a nesting female.
– Report sick, injured, entangled or dead sea turtles to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC).

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Support Florida’s sea turtles by purchasing the “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” license tag at BuyaPlate.com. Tag funds go toward sea turtle research, rescue and conservation efforts. People also can donate $5 and receive an FWC sea turtle decal. For decals or to learn more about sea turtles, go to MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle.

To see 2015 state sea turtle nesting totals, go to MyFWC.com/Research, then click on “Wildlife” and “Sea Turtles” and “Nesting.”

Learn about Florida’s five sea turtle species at MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle. Photos by Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Help Beach Nesting Shorebirds by Giving Them Space

Shorebird nesting season is underway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds beachgoers to watch out for and to avoid disturbing birds and their young. Shorebirds build shallow nests out of sand and shells on beaches in spring and summer, hatching chicks that are difficult to see. 

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Shorebird nests, eggs and chicks are well camouflaged and can easily be missed and even stepped on unless people know to look out for them. The snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover are several of Florida’s beach-nesting shorebird species that face conservation challenges. Despite these challenges, shorebirds can benefit from increased awareness by the public. 

 “People visiting Florida’s beaches and coastline can really have an impact on whether shorebirds have a successful nesting season,” said Nancy Douglass, who works on shorebird conservation at the FWC. “Following a few simple steps while enjoying the beach can help nesting shorebirds succeed, giving future generations of beach-goers the opportunity to see these iconic birds along our coasts.” 

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Ways to protect beach-nesting shorebirds:

– Keep your distance, whether on the beach or paddling watercraft along the shore. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. A general rule is to stay at least 300 feet from a nest. Birds calling out loudly and dive-bombing are signals for you to back off. 

– Respect posted areas. Avoid posted nesting sites and use designated walkways when possible. Wildlife photographers should ensure that no camera equipment extends beyond posted area strings or signs and limit photography to no more than 10 minutes to avoid stressing nesting birds. 

– Never intentionally force birds to fly or run. This causes them to use up energy needed for nesting, and eggs and chicks may be left vulnerable to the sun’s heat or predators. Teach children not to chase shorebirds and kindly ask fellow beach-goers to do the same. Shorebirds outside of posted areas may be feeding or resting and need to do so wihout disturbance.

– It is best not to take pets to the beach, but if you do, keep them leashed and avoid shorebird nesting areas. 

– Keep the beach clean and do not feed wildlife. Food scraps attract predators such as raccoons and crows, which can prey on shorebird chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife. 

– Spread the word. If you see people disturbing nesting birds, gently let them know how their actions may hurt the birds’ survival. If they continue to disturb nesting birds, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com. You may also report nests that are not posted to Wildlife Alert. 

For more information, go to MyFWC.com/Shorebirds and download the “Share the Beach with Beach-Nesting Birds” brochure. Read the FWC’s plan for four imperiled beach-nesting bird species, part of the broader Imperiled Species Management Plan:  http://myfwc.com/media/2720106/Imperiled-Beach-Nesting-Birds-Species-Action-Plan-Final-Draft.pdf. Or go to the Florida Shorebird Alliance at www.flshorebirdalliance.org

In addition to other migratory birds, all shorebird and seabird species found in Florida are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This year marks the centennial of the first Migratory Bird Treaty, which the United States signed with Great Britain on behalf of Canada. This treaty, along with three treaties that followed with Mexico, Japan and Russia, set the stage for the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act and solidified international commitment to migratory bird conservation. Learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial at www.fws.gov/birds/mbtreaty100

Guy Harvey Outpost 2016 Rays Watch Parties

Rays Watch Parties will be at Guy Harvey Outpost, where you can watch the Rays on a big screen TV right on the beach. Come for the game, stay for the sunset and great room rates!

10% OFF BEST AVAILABLE RATES ON SUITES AND RESORT ROOMS – DATES COMING SOON!

Take advantage of an additional 10% off already discounted rates at Guy Harvey Outpost and TradeWinds Island Grand, located just steps away from each other on St. Pete Beach. Here you can experience your own tropical oasis just 15 minutes from Tropicana Field. Please check back; available dates for this special offer will be posted soon!

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Rays Watch Parties at Guy Harvey Outpost

Sun., April 10 – 1:35 p.m. vs Baltimore
Sun., June 5 – 2:10 p.m. vs Minnesota
Sun., July 10 – (time TBD) vs Boston
Sun., August 14 – (time TBD) vs New York
Fri., September 9 – 7:05 p.m. vs New York
Sun., October 2 – (time TBD) vs Texas

Rays Radio will broadcast live and the Rays Street Team will be donned with great giveaways. Beverages and all your cookout favorites will be available for purchase, including bucket of beer specials. Cool off with unlimited trips down our 3-story waterslide for a discounted price of $15. Don’t forget your beach towels, beach chairs and of course sunscreen! Coolers not allowed on the beach. Parking is available at Island Grand or Guy Harvey Outpost for $10.

freeFall announces 2016/2017 Season: “Inspired By A True Story”

free-fall-2016-2017-seasonFrom the first black actor to play Othello on the London stage to an icon of fantasy inspired by a family friend of the author who wouldn’t grow up, our 2016/2017 season is peopled by history makers. Some you already know, some you think you know, and a few you’ve probably never met. A few happened upon notoriety by chance, others fought unbelievable odds to leave their mark on the world, and some committed unspeakable acts to be remembered. Take a seat, and experience everything on offer at Tampa Bay’s most award-winning professional theatre.

ASSASSINS

October 8 – November 6, 2016
Music and Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.

Perhaps the most controversial piece of musical theatre ever written, Assassins is a fantasia on the darker recesses of “The American Dream.” In moments both true and imagined, this riveting musical looks at the four successful and five would-be assassins of Presidents Of The United States. Together, John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim have crafted and evening of provocative, intelligent, and surprising theatre that turns on a dime between shocking pathos and biting humor. This groundbreaking work sheds a blinding light on exactly the lengths to which some are willing to go in pursuit of their slice of happiness.

December 10, 2016 – January 29, 2017

In what can only be described as an epic theatrical event, freeFall’s record-breaking production of Peter and The Starcatcher returns, playing in rep with J.M. Barrie’s classic original, Peter Pan. See them in either order during their extended engagement, or on Saturdays see both plays – one at 2pm the other at 8pm.

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

By Rick Elice
Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Music by Wayne Barker

After a sold-out run during the 2015 holiday season this audience favorite returns. A secret society must protect the powerful Starstuff lest it fall into the hands of the evil king Zarboff. When two identical trunks are switched, the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of Molly, an apprentice Starcatcher. Filled with magic and mayhem, this origin story of Peter Pan comes to life through old-fashioned stagecraft and the imagination of the child in us all.

PETER PAN

By J.M. Barrie

The classic that spawned countless adaptations and derivative works comes to our stage in a production that will enchant anyone who has ever dreamt of taking flight and never growing up. When a mysterious boy appears at the nursery window of the Darling household, Wendy and her brothers are swept away to a magical land…but treachery awaits in the person of the infamous Captain Hook and his band of devilishly hilarious pirates.

RED VELVET

February 25 – March 26, 2017
By Lolita Chakrabarti

Among the pantheon of legendary Victorian actors, you may have heard of Irving, Kean, or Tree, but chances are you’ve never heard of Ira Aldridge, the American actor of African descent who became the first black actor to play the title role in Othello on the London stage. Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1833. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation has collapsed onstage whilst playing Othello. A young black American actor has been asked to take over the role. But as the public riot in the streets over the abolition of slavery, how will the cast, critics and audience react to the revolution taking place in the theatre? This award-winning new play, which premiered at London’s Tricycle Theatre in 2012, is an important work, which paints a vivid picture of an early chapter in the ongoing struggle to bring diversity to the stage.

END OF THE RAINBOW

By Peter Quilter
April 29 – May 28, 2017

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 Deens 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 chip 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.

MARIE ANTOINETTE

By David Adjmi
July 15 – August 13, 2017

The pulsating contemporary look at one of history’s most enigmatic pariahs puts Marie Antoinette under the microscope of our own society’s obsession with celebrity. While Marie distracts herself with fanciful and decadent diversions in Versailles, the “have-nots” grow increasingly intolerant of the excesses of the “haves.” David Adjmi’s driving script lets loose a barrage of energy, wit, pageantry and humor as the players are catapulted toward the title character’s inevitable end. Perhaps we too raise our celebrities to great heights in order to watch them fall.

For more information and to purchase subscriptions visit www.freefalltheatre.com or call (727) 498-5205.

Catch a Record Lionfish

record-lion-fishIt’s big, it’s bold and it’s invasive. But could your lionfish catch be a record?

If it is over 477 millimeters (18.78 inches) it very well could be.

 The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) newest way of encouraging divers to target these spiny invaders is the lionfish state records program.

Lionfish are an invasive species that could have a negative impact on native fish and wildlife.

Think you can’t possibly get one larger than 18.78 inches? Don’t worry. You can qualify by both length (must be in millimeters) and weight (grams) for largest and smallest lionfish. We also have divisions for junior and hook and line.

Record holders will be recognized on MyFWC.com and may receive prizes as well.

Enter your record fish today by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish and clicking on “State Records Program.”

Make sure to review the application form thoroughly before submitting your catch. Potential record lionfish must have been harvested using legal methods.

Also, check out lionfish videos at our new YouTube channel, FWC Saltwater Fishing.

Astrology March 2016

sarah-lyonsMarch is packed with celestial activity and promises to be an exciting month!  Communication planet Mercury enters intuitive Pisces on the 5th and fiery Mars enters optimistic Sagittarius just a few hours later. This could make for some unrealistic thinking and impulsive action for the next few days.  Make sure you are ok with the lasting affects of any decisions made.  Defensive driving is a good idea, too. The New Moon in Pisces on the 8th is a Solar Eclipse!  This new lunar cycle is packed with creative energy anddiscipline, offering opportunities that can transform our lives. Assistance from others both personally and professionally is possible as well.  Love planet Venus visits idealistic Pisces on the 12th bringing compassion and sacrifice in relationships. Rose colored glasses can affect our judgment in any area of emotional attachment such as love, money, dreams and desires.     

The Vernal Equinox occurs on the 20th when the Sun enters Aries starting the first day of Spring!  The first month of every season brings dynamic energy for change and spring is filled with new beginnings in nature and in our own lives!  The very next day, versatile Mercury follows the Sun into this vibrant sign scattering our thoughts but adding to the energy of doing new things and taking initiative.  Much can be accomplished now as energy and order come easily. 

The Full Crow Moon on the 23rd is a Lunar Eclipse in relationship sign Libra.  Whatever comes to light in your life with this eclipse will want to be talked over, with deliberate action taken to transform and ultimately release the circumstance.  Taskmaster Saturn will retrograde on the 25th bringing awareness of self-limitations; and with the combination of other planetary influences supports educating ourselves, releasing them.

PISCES: Your own personal new year begins now; heal and grow.  Others may assist with career moves and you are favored after the 12th.  The full moon is lighting your financial area with much activity; many possibilities.

ARIES:  New awareness of your forgotten dreams has you taking time away from it all to reflect; gain insight.  Full moon spotlight falls on partnerships with opportunities to work together for lasting results.  You take the lead.         

TAURUS:  Social invitations with friends and professional groups offer new creative outlets.  Work place has the full moon focus.  Take control of health issues; break patterns that hold you back. Resources are reviewed.    

GEMINI:  New starts in career are likely as you are favored by superiors.  Partners take on more duties; home life finds balance.  Full moon shines on love, creativity and hobbies.  Spend time with children or just having fun!  

CANCER:  New start in education or learning program is likely; possibly related to work.  It is a great time to travel near or far.  The full moon takes you home for projects and family time; balance with constant career activity.  

LEO:  Financial matters begin new cycle; be creative and a favorable result is likely.  Dissolve old patterns with ease.  Every day life is on center stage, creative learning, communication and short trips. Legal matters move along.   

VIRGO:  A new cycle begins in partnerships; both business and personal.  Others are cooperative but sensible. Home and family duties get attention.  The full moon brings awareness to values, income and spending patterns.    

LIBRA:  Health issues are assessed and new direction taken that transforms with favorable results.  Work is satisfying.  The full moon spotlight falls on you; express yourself, take charge of your direction and connect with others.   

SCORPIO:  A new cycle of creativity and fun begin this month!  Romance is favored; children enjoyed. An introspective full moon illuminates your private world. Worry affects health, work; good habits prevent problems.          

SAGITTARIUS:  Home and family life enter a new cycle with you taking charge.  Enjoy the pleasant times with relatives.  Full moon shines on social life, professional groups and future plans. Fun and love life need time too!     

CAPRICORN:  New energy focuses on travel near and far; communication.  Income is enhanced.  Connections with others are pleasurable.Career takes the full moon spotlight as you balance obligations, personal needs and time.     

AQUARIUS:  A new plan for income includes structure; income increase is likely.  Values change; you let goof things no longer needed. The full moon peaks with travel and education interests.  Explore your beliefs; open mind.