Vote for the 2017 Good ‘Burgers!

Voting for the 2017 Good ‘Burgers begins July 24th; the winners will be announced in late August. (Read about it in our weekly e-news and the October issue.) A Good ‘Burger is a business, organization, or individual in the greater St. Petersburg area making a positive impact in our community.


Paradise News congratulates this year’s nominees:

Arts & Culture: American Stage Theatre Company, Dazzio Art Society Inc., D-Gallerie, Florida CraftArt, The Florida Holocaust Museum, Great Explorations Children’s Museum, Imagine Museum, Jannus Live, Morean Arts Center, The Palladium at St. Petersburg College

Eats & Treats: Annex 400 Beach, The Oyster Bar St. Pete, Parkshore Grill, Rococo Steak, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, RumFish Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Thirsty First Lounge, Tropical Smoothie Café,

Wandering Whisk Bakeshop

Hot Spots & Hangouts: Caddys On Central, Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, The Hollander Hotel,  The Hotel Zamora & Castile Restaurant, The Landing at Jannus, Noble Crust, The Pelican Pub, Park & Rec, Station House St. Pete, Tyrone Square – A Simon Property

Community Conscious: Boley Centers, Inc., Brain Tumor Alliance, CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), Children’s Dream Fund, Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco, Lutheran Services Florida Pinellas Head Start / Early Head Start Services, Modern Business Associates, My Hope Chest, Pet Pal Animal Shelter, Urban Yoga Foundation

Makers & Creators: 2 Hungry Dogs Productions, 3 Daughters Brewing, AndreaDawnDesign, ClearpH Design, Flourish. Magazine Style Photography, Green Bench Brewing Co., Imagine Home Organization, Mother Kombucha, St. Petersburg Distillery Company, Tangible Labs

Cool Companies – Small: Big Sea, Inc., Bobby Poth Real Estate Group, Cyberlicious, DoMA Home Furnishings, Handcrafted Healing, Hartney Realty Firm, Orangetheory Fitness Downtown St Pete,

Pronto Car Wash & Quik Lube, St. Petersburg Music Factory, The Symphony Agency

Cool Companies – Large: ASI – American Strategic Insurance, Catholic Charities, Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc., FIS, Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, Kobie Marketing, Paychex Inc, Sun Country Cleaners, USAmeriBank, UPC Insurance, Wallace Welch and Willingham

Most Valuable ‘Burger:

Bill Edwards – The Edwards Group
Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin – City of St. Petersburg
Dr. Savy Ford – Blossom Family Chiropractic
Gina Wilkins – The Kind Mouse
Greg Holden – Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc.
Jim Donatelli – Regions Bank
Juliet Kyes – ActionCOACH Tampa Bay
Michael Novilla – Founder of Entrepreneur Social Club
Ryan Griffin – Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP
Sean King – Solutions Behavioral Healthcare Consultants


Find out about the Good ‘Burger Awards Party here.

Article by Nanette Wiser

TBW Tidbits Update July 20, 2017

Tampa Bay Watch had a very successful derelict crab trap removal project on Saturday in which 228 traps were removed from Tampa Bay during Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 10-day regional closure of blue crab fishing. Over 100 volunteers on 35 boats participated at six locations around the bay. 68 traps were collected in Belleair Bluffs, 78 in Boca Ciega Bay, 30 at Cockroach Bay, 27 in St. Pete at Demens Landing, 12 in Upper Tampa Bay at Courtney Campbell Causeway and 13 in Alafia River at Williams Park!
This event would not be possible without the help from all of Tampa Bay Watch’s dedicated volunteers and project partners including Sea World Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, ReelCycle, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation, Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Pinellas County & the City of Largo.  Thank you to ALL from the Paradise News team!

Adopt a monotube! Keep fishing line out of our bay!
Help Tampa Bay Watch keep discarded monofilament (fishing line) out of Tampa Bay! Discarded fishing line can be very dangerous to birds, marine life, and even boats – it is estimated fishing line will last 400-600 years in the environment before it begins to break down. You can help by adopting a monofilament recycling tube, AKA monotube, at one of these popular fishing locations listed below. Adoption involves monitoring your tube twice a month depending on the location. Once collected, the fishing line is sent to Berkley Fishing, where it is recycled into tackle boxes or other fishing equipment, as well as fish habitats!
Sites that need monitoring:  Northshore Park in St. Pete, Coffee Pot Bayou boat ramp, Tom Stuart Causeway, Tierra Verde Bridge (West side), Picnic Island, MacDill Air Force Base, & Anclote River Boat Ramp.  Click here to check out our map to see if a location is convenient for you!
Contact Melinda Spall at with the site that you’d like to adopt.

Boaters needed for Great Bay Scallop Search  on Saturday, August 26, 9am – 1pm
Don your snorkel and sign up quickly: The Great Bay Scallop Search date has been set for Saturday, August 26. We are recruiting 200 volunteer snorkelers to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa Bay. The goal of the event is to monitor and document the health and status of the bayscallop population. Sign up fast for this free event, and help us tally up the bay scallop population in TampaBay!
We are recruiting volunteers with shallow draft boats. We have already filled all of our spots for canoes/kayaks and volunteer snorkelers without boats.
Click here to read more about the Scallop SearchRegistration fills up very quickly, so don’t hesitate to sign up today!  Click here to register your boat.

Attention Boaters! FWC has established new manatee protection zones for the state!

Manatee protection rules are established by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to restrict the speed and operation of vessels to protect manatees from being injured. Although the manatee species’ status was changed from endangered to threatened in March of 2017, there was a record number of manatees killed in Florida by boaters in 2016, so it’s imperative to obey speed zones. Click on the following links to see the maps of the updated speed zones.
Pinellas CountyHillsborough County, & links to all maps for the State of Florida.
All information courtesy of Tampa Bay Watch.

Indian Shores Breaks Ground on Streetscape Project

Mayor Patrick Soranno hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Indian Shores’ Gulf Boulevard Beautification Streetscape project on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. The project is funded by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Penny for Pinellas beautification funds.

The project was streetscaped by Jonathan Toner from Terra Tectonics Design Group, Inc. The planting contract was awarded by Indian Shores to AmeriscapeUSA, Inc.

The project will take approximately three months to complete and covers the entire 2.6 miles of Indian Shores. The plantings are drought and salt tolerant and designed for the beach and sand environment.

This project is a continuation of focused improvement throughout Indian Shores, which included undergrounding of the utilities, new bus stop decals, streetlight banners, and municipal signs that feature an iconic Native American figure. The project involves more than 25 volunteers that secured over 60 easements from property owners.

Check out what the streetscaping will look like here.


City of St. Pete Beach 60th Anniversary ‘Best of SPB’ Awards

On Sunday, July 9, 2017, the City of St. Pete Beach celebrated 60 years at a celebration brunch at the Don Cesar with over 150 people in attendance. A presentation was given on the history of St. Pete Beach by Lance Peterson and Michael Heerschap of the Gulf Beaches Museum. Leading up to the brunch the City of St. Pete Beach conducted a survey to reveal the “Best Of” in St Pete Beach. The results were announced at the brunch. And the winners are:

Best Hotel – Plaza Beach Resort
Best Place for Breakfast –Seahorse Restaurant
Best Place for Lunch – Willy’s Burgers and Booze
Best Place for Dinner – Snapper’s Sea Grill
Best Small Business – Barracuda’s Deli Cafe
Best Large Business – TradeWinds Island Resorts
Best Retail Shop – Bamboozle Best Bar – Drunken Clam
Best Place for Live Music – Jimmy B’s
Best Place for Ice Cream – Larry’s Ice Cream and Gelatos

Congratulations to all the winners. The City of St Pete Beach is a great place to live and work because of businesses like these. To see pictures and slide show from the brunch go to or on facebook at

Asphalt Paving Schedule for St. Pete Beach

The City contractor for asphalt paving will begin paving on Monday, July 17th. Please help with the program by insuring your car and other obstacles are not on the street on the day scheduled for paving.  The process this year is called Micro-Surfacing.  It is an asphalt rejuvenation slurry mix that is applied by spraying it on the surface of the street.  This process is designed to rejuvenate the surface of the street to bring it back to an almost new condition extending the life of the pavement by approximately 7 years.  We use this process as an extremely cost effective maintenance measure to reduce the cost of having to actually remove the street and put down brand new asphalt.

The Schedule:

July 17

  • 73rd Ave from Blind Pass to Gulf Blvd
  • 73rd Ave from Sunset to Coquina
  • 72nd Ave from Gulf Blvd to Coquina
  • 71st Ave from Gulf Blvd to Bay
  • 71st  Ave from Gulf Blvd to Beach

July 18

  • Bay St from Corey Ave to the south dead end
  • Aloha Dr. from 55th Ave to the cul-de-sac
  • Leilani Dr. from 55th Ave to the cul-de-sac
  • Pali Way from 55th Ave to the cul-de-sac

July 19

  • 55th Ave from Gulf Blvd to the cul-de-sac

July 20

  • 64th Ave from Gulf Blvd to Sunset
  • Sunset Way from 64th Ave to 67th Ave
  • Punta Vista Dr. from Gulf Blvd to the dead end

The schedule is subject to change due to weather and mechanical equipment issues. Information courtesy of the city of St. Pete Beach.

19 Top U.S. Aquariums Join Forces to Tackle Growing Plastic Pollution

Nineteen aquariums across the United States have joined forces and created a new Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) to address one of the gravest threats facing ocean and freshwater animals – plastic pollution. Today, the ACP announced the launch of a nationwide consumer campaign and a business commitment to drive a shift away from single-use plastic among their visitors, in their communities and beyond.

“The public trusts aquariums to do what’s right for the health of the ocean and for ocean wildlife,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “We’re just beginning to understand the full impacts of ocean plastic pollution on ecosystems, marine life and human health. But we already know enough to say that now is the time to act.”

Through the national “In Our Hands” campaign, the ACP hopes to empower their 20 million visitors and millions more in their communities to drive a national shift away from single-use plastic and toward innovative alternatives. The campaign includes a website that inspires visitors to make positive everyday behavior changes and raise awareness of the issue.

All 19 aquariums are also supporting this shift away from single-use plastic within their own businesses. As of today, all ACP members have eliminated plastic straws and single-use plastic take-away bags in their institutions. In hopes of additional plastic reduction, the aquariums have also committed to:

  • Significantly reduce or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by December 2020
  • Showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic in their facilities

“As leaders in aquatic conservation, aquariums are expected to walk their talk, and that’s exactly what this partnership is meant to do,” said National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli. “We are uniquely qualified to set an example for others—in reducing our plastic footprint, encouraging sustainable operating practices, and inspiring hope in a public that is hungry to be part of the solution. We’re right where we should be.”

About 8.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year worldwide – roughly a dump truck full of plastic every minute of every day. In the United States alone, plastic waste averages more than 200 pounds per person each year.  If nothing changes, by 2025 the flow of plastic into the ocean is expected to double.

But it’s not just the ocean that’s affected: plastic pollution in lakes and rivers has been found at levels as high, or higher, than in oceanic gyres that concentrate plastic trash. Today, there are an estimated one billion plastic particles floating on the surface of Lake Michigan alone.

The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth, making up approximately 21 percent of the world’s supply of surface freshwater. Additionally, more than 3,500 species of plants and animals live in the Great Lakes basin.

“Approximately 22 million pounds of plastic flows into the Great Lakes each year – in Lake Michigan alone, it is equivalent to 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with bottles,” said Shedd Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Bridget Coughlin. “Small actions can turn into big solutions, and we believe the 24 million people in the United States who rely on this beautiful, massive resource for their drinking water, jobs and livelihoods want to be part of that wave of change. We look forward to working together in these commitments.”

The Aquarium Conservation Partnership was first championed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, National Aquarium in Baltimore and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, in collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Coalition partners are located in 16 states and include:

This summer, the aquariums will focus on raising awareness and sparking consumer action, and sharing their own success stories to highlight the many ways they’ve cut back on single-use plastic in their operations.

They are working with business partners to showcase innovative alternatives to single-use plastic products, and will collaborate with vendors to accelerate design of new products and materials. They are also finding ways to use less plastic packaging in gift store items, and scaling back on single-use plastic in their cafes and restaurants.

The aquariums are also using their collective voice – at the local, state and national level – to support policies that reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the ocean, rivers and lakes. Beyond sponsoring clean-up events and education programs, many have backed successful efforts to stem the use of plastic shopping bags and plastic microbeads found in personal care products.

“By using our voice with visitors our and in our communities, our collective buying power and our relationships with our vendors, we can make a big difference on a pressing issue that threatens the health of wildlife in the ocean, lakes and rivers,” said Margo McKnight, senior vice president of conservation, research & husbandry from The Florida Aquarium. “The solution to plastic pollution is in our hands.”

Information courtesy of The Florida Aquarium.

TBW Mid-Summer Cleanup was a Success!

Over 450 volunteers registered to clean up our local shorelines.
Thank you very much to all who contributed to our Mid-Summer Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, July 8! We had an all time record of over 450 volunteers register to participate at seven sites throughout Tampa Bay. Volunteers made a huge impact to the cleanliness of our community in just one morning!
Photo: A large group met at Fort De Soto Park’s North Beach to clean up the park. Photo credit: Janet Hopson, Tampa Bay Newspapers
A huge thanks to Cigar City Brewing and Coppertail Brewing Companies for providing their delicious beer and Hubert’s Lemonade for contributing their product to our post-cleanup volunteer appreciation party. In efforts to implement better methods for trash disposal, re-purposed grain bags donated by both breweries along with recycled trash bags (65% post-consumer waste and 80% less petroleum) provided by Skyway Supply were utilized. Both methods were instrumental in reducing our environmental impact! Another thanks to Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and Manatee ​County Parks and Natural Resources Department for their support of the event.

24th Annual Great Bay Scallop Search

Register for the 24th Annual Great Bay Scallop Search set for Saturday, August 26, 9am – 1pm. 
Don your snorkel and sign up quickly: The Great Bay Scallop Search date has been set for Saturday, August 26. We are recruiting 200 volunteer snorkelers to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa Bay. The goal of the event is to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population. Sign up fast for this free event, and help us tally up the bay scallop population in Tampa Bay!
We mainly recruit volunteers with shallow draft boats, but we have limited spots for canoes and kayaks. We also accommodate volunteer snorkelers without boats by matching them with boaters who have room aboard their vessel.
Registration fills up very quickly, so don’t hesitate to sign up today! 

7th Annual Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest

Do You Have The Best Cupcake in St. Petersburg?
Put your baking to the test at St. Pete’s BIGGEST cupcake competition 

Happy 100th Birthday to the Morean Arts Center!  

The Morean Arts Center invites you to compete in a city-wide search for St. Petersburg’s BEST CUPCAKE as part of our Centennial Celebration!

Morean Center for Clay
420 22nd Street South
Saturday, August 19 from 12PM-3PM

A $15 entry fee allows each participant to enter one submission. A minimum of 4 delicious cupcakes are required for entry so the judges can taste each submission.

For more information, click HERE

Sarasota Lionfish Derby

Join us for the fourth annual Sarasota Lionfish Derby, which invites scuba divers to compete for more than $3,500 in cash prizes by netting or spearing lionfish in an effort to control the spread of this invasive species.

The derby will take place from July 7-9 with its home base at Mote, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota, FL. This derby is the first of four in the 2017 Summer Lionfish Derby Series coordinated by Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). On July 9, several culinary partners will compete to prepare the best lionfish dishes during the derby’s public event at Mote.


  • Registration is required and costs $120 per team (two to four people). Register for the Sarasota Derby or others in the summer series: LEARN MORE >>
  • Mandatory captains’ meeting is 6:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, July 7, in the WAVE Center auditorium on the first floor of Mote’s main campus (abutting Mote Aquarium).


The derby culminates July 9 with a public event at noon, including an awards ceremony running through about 3 p.m.

Starting at noon on Sunday, July 9, culinary partners from Indigenous, Mattison’s, Mote’s Deep Sea Diner, The Beach House and Seafood Shack Marina, Bar & Grill will prepare special lionfish dishes and participate in a cooking competition.

  • The public is invited to sample and vote for the best dish.
  • Cost is $10 per person to attend the entire tasting.
  • Chefs will compete for Whole Foods Market gift cards.
  • Tasting tickets must be purchased in advance: PURCHASE >> (Tickets are limited.)

The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) has invaded coastal habitats of the western Atlantic Ocean over the past two decades and has the potential to cause major ecological changes in reef fish communities. Lionfish derbies are an important way to educate and encourage divers and snorkelers to harvest — and eat — this invasive species, which has spread along the eastern Atlantic coast, through the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Mote thanks the Sarasota Outboard Club for the donation of their facilities, and thanks the following sponsors of the 2017 Sarasota Lionfish Derby: Whole Foods Market, Sarasota; Mr. Wilber D. Geiger with Morgan Stanley and Zombiestickz; and Mike Marco with

Sponsors of the REEF 2017 Summer Lionfish Derby Series include: Florida Parks Service; National Marine Sanctuaries – Florida Keys; Ocean Reef Conservation Association; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Whole Foods Market; Zookeeper; Mote Marine Laboratory; Loggerhead Marinelife Center and 15th Street Fisheries.