St. Petersburg Preservation’s Movies in the Park

St. Petersburg Preservation’s (SPP) May Movies in the Park is just around the corner and that means the wait to find out which movies have been chosen is almost over! SPP will announce the movie selections and unveil the May 2017 movie poster on Thursday evening, April 6th, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the courtyard at The Ale & the Witch, 111 2nd Avenue NE. Proceeds from beer sales will be donated to St. Petersburg Preservation.  The event is free.
Movie trivia questions will be asked, offering hints to the movie titles that have been selected.  Prizes will be given to those who guess the May Movie title! 
What has become a tradition with Movies in the Park is the creation of a unique and collectable promotional poster by local artist Carrie Jadus. The wonderful and eclectic poster will be on display and for sale at the announcement party.
May Movies in the Park occurs each Thursday evening in May (4, 11, 18 & 25). Each movie evening starts with live local music at 7 pm followed by the movie on the big outdoor screen at dusk.  The fun takes place in North Straub Park, between 4th Ave. & 5th Ave. NE on Beach Drive.  As a special bonus, Movies in the Park will also host a Movie at Midtown on Thursday, April 27th.  This movie will be held in the garden of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum (2240 9th Avenue South).  Movie goers can come early, enjoy live music before the movie and enjoy a picnic they can either bring or purchase food from Midtown vendors who will be set up on-site. Bicycling to movies is a fun way to arrive and free bicycle valet parking will be provided by Coast Bike Share during the movies.  Movies are free. 
SPP hosts Movies in the Park on Thursday evenings during the months of May and October. The event started in 2010 as part of the Downtown Waterfront Park Centennial and has become one of the best and most loved events offered in St. Pete’s waterfront parks.
Thanks to Oscar level sponsors Sylvia Rusche State Farm Insurance, AARP Tampa Bay and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for their support in making Movies in the Park a success!

Celebrate Earth Day with Mail Art Contest

Pinellas County residents are encouraged to combine their love of environmental conservation with their creative talents to celebrate Earth Day this year. The UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County is currently accepting entries for the 2017 Earth Day Mail Art competition. Participants may mail in their artistic entries for a chance to have them featured on social media.

Contest judges are looking for distinctive handmade entries based on the following themes:

• #ToEarthWithLove: creative art about giving back to Earth by recycling, composting and conserving water
• #LoveTampaBay: art pieces that express love for Tampa Bay’s waters and wildlife
• #PlasticAware: visualize how plastics impact the environment, people and/or communities

Entries in each category will be judged by age groups (12 and under, 13-18, and 18 and over). Prizes include a guided hike of Weedon Island Preserve, gardening-themed prize packs, energy saving kits, a tour of the Pinellas County Solid Waste Facility and more. To qualify, entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 5.

All artwork must be original and must not contain reproduction of existing artwork or images. Submit artwork to:

UF/IFAS Exension Pinellas County
Earth Day Mail Art Contest
Attention: Trevor Ackerman
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774

Artists must include their name, email address, phone number, age and category that the artwork should be judged in. Winners will be contacted by phone or email on Friday, April 21.

All entries will be posted on the Pinellas Extension Facebook page and automatically entered in the “Facebook Fan Favorite” contest. That winner will receive a special prize as well. Vote for those entries

For more information about the Mail Art Contest, prize information and further details about the rules, email Trevor Ackerman at or visit

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government

Pinellas Citizen University Begins New Session April 13

Pinellas County residents can experience an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the first-class services provided by their county government in this year’s Pinellas Citizen University.

Registration is now open for the 6-week course scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday evenings from April 13 through May 17, with a bonus Saturday class on May 20. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at various Pinellas County operations each week and talk to the experts as they explore a wide range of county functions. Classes usually meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During this year’s six week course, students will learn about the five goals of the county’s Strategic Plan with a focus on how our employees are Doing Things every day to serve the public, improving the quality of life of our citizens and making Pinellas an even better place to call home.

•    Learn about the budget and better understand how the county manages funds, including the Penny for Pinellas.
•    Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Pinellas County Jail and its facility operations.
•    See what it takes to plan a hurricane evacuation in the face of an approaching storm and how to stay safe.
•    Participate in a Touch-A-Truck demonstration of the Public Works equipment that is used to bring you safe, effective transportation and faster travel routes.
•    Tour the Waste-to-Energy Facility at Solid Waste and learn how it processes over 800,000 tons of waste per year, providing electricity to power 40,000 homes.
•    Hear about opportunities to excel after graduation and how to get involved in county government.

These are just a few of the exciting experiences planned for this year’s session of Pinellas Citizen University. Enrollment applications and a complete course schedule are available online at or by calling (727) 464-4600.

Upon completion, each graduate receives a diploma signed by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and a class picture to commemorate the event.

Tuition is $35 and includes a class shirt, all course materials, the graduation ceremony and a diploma. Registration for the limited-enrollment class is on a first-come, first-served basis. First consideration will be given to citizens who have not previously participated in PCU. Upon acceptance, a packet will be emailed to all participants with instructions, meeting places, a list of classes and other session information.

Information and photos courtesy of Pinellas County Government

Healthy St. Pete Counts Steps Toward Wellness with April 1 Fit City Celebration

Everyone’s invited to embrace wellness during a community-wide Fit City Celebration in North Straub Park on April 1. The family-friendly wellness event from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. features a non-timed Fit City 5K and one-mile walk, health and wellness vendors, fitness demos, healthy food choices, a kids’ play zone and more. The Fit City Celebration is free and open to the public, although there is a small registration fee for the 5K. Participation in the Healthy St. Pete Fitness Challenge is not required to attend.

The city’s Healthy St. Pete Wellness Champions, including Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Time Restricted; Joe Zeoli, Age Defying Fitness; Leslie Furlong and Louise Fowler, Weight Loss Warriors; Jing Lou, Fitness Enthusiast; and Stephanie Dunseith, St. Pete Fit Mom – will lead category participants in activities during the event.

Individuals or teams may register for the Fit City 5K and 1 mile walk at or in North Straub Park on April 1 beginning at 7:30 a.m. While the walk is free, registration for the 5K will cost $12, ($10 plus a $2 convenience fee) through March 15; after March 15, prices increase to $17 ($15 plus a $2 convenience fee). Participants in both events will receive a t-shirt and commemorative finisher’s medal.

There’s still time to adopt a healthier lifestyle by signing up for the virtual Healthy St. Pete Fitness Challenge. Now through March 31, visit, choose your fitness category, and submit the online commitment card.  Registered participants receive weekly e-blasts containing fitness and nutrition tips from our partner SmithBuilt Fitness; wellness, recreation, and exercise suggestions from Healthy St. Pete and St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation; tips and motivation from each category’s Wellness Champion; and are eligible for random prize drawings. For maximum benefit, participants are encouraged to choose only one fitness category but may include exercises from the other four categories as they make progress. Participants are also invited to like and follow their Wellness Champion on Facebook under “Follow Your Champion” at

Share Your Opinion Online for Penny for Pinellas

Citizens may share input on future project priorities online through April 16

  • Referendum vote scheduled for Nov. 7, 2017, on 10-year renewal of Penny for Pinellas
  • Citizens invited to provide input via online survey:
  • Survey will be open through April 16

To offer citizens more ways to voice their priorities for the Penny for Pinellas 1-percent sales tax, Pinellas County government has launched an online survey to gather input about future project areas funded by the Penny.

The survey can be completed in five or less minutes by computer or mobile device via the county’s Open Pinellas citizen feedback tool at:

The survey will be open through end of the day, Sunday, April 16, 2017.

The results of the survey will be considered as the Commission sets priorities for investing future Penny funds, which will be based on broad input, guided by the county’s strategic plan, partner feedback and additional public input. Each city will sets its own priorities; this online survey is focused on Pinellas County government’s future Penny investments. The Penny is shared between the county and 24 cities.

Citizens also have the opportunity to share their input at three open house meetings this month, starting today, Wednesday, March 15, from 6-8 p.m., at the Centre, 1500 16th St., Palm Harbor.

More details about these meetings is available at

Penny for Pinellas Background

Since it was initially approved by voters, the Penny has helped build a better Pinellas by supporting projects aimed at areas that matter most to citizens, including: improved roads,bridges and trails, water quality and flood prevention, ensuring a safe, secure community, and preserving parks and our environment.

To learn more about the Penny, including an interactive map of past projects,

Penny Facts 

  • 1-percent sales tax paid by everyone who spends money in the county
  • One-third is paid for by tourists and seasonal visitors
  • The Penny is collected in Pinellas and builds a better Pinellas
  • Shared between the county and 24 cities
  • Funds long-term capital investments: roads, bridges, trails, water quality and flood prevention projects, parks, public safety facilities and environmental land
  • Not collected on groceries and medications; only collected on the first $5,000 of a single purchase
  • Not a new tax; the Penny has been in effect since 1990

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

Pinellas County Hosting Public Information Meeting about Upcoming Sand Key Beach Nourishment Project

Coastal property owners encouraged to attend to learn more about project and discuss easements
  • Public information meeting to be held on Thursday, March 30, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Indian Shores Town Hall
  • Meeting will provide an overview of four-month project and easements needed to ensure project completion
  • Coastal property owners encouraged to attend
Pinellas County will host a public information meeting on Thursday, March 30, from 6 – 8 p.m. about the upcoming Sand Key beach nourishment project. The meeting will be held on the 4th floor of the Indian Shores Town Hall, located at 19305 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Shores. The meeting will provide an overview of the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project, a cost share partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Representatives from Pinellas County and the Corps will answer questions about the project and the easements that will be required for portions of properties located along the coast where the nourishment activity will take place. Easements will allow the work to continue and keep beach areas open to the public. The county will have a notary onsite to facilitate executing easement paperwork.
Beach nourishment benefits the community by providing increased storm protection for property owners and recreational opportunities for beach visitors. It also creates important habitat for shorebirds and nesting sea turtles. The project aligns with Pinellas County’s strategic plan of practicing superior environmental stewardship to preserve and manage environmental lands, beach parks and historical assets.
Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

Final Call for Artists & Volunteers! Artspring March 31 – April 2, 2017

The City of South Pasadena is looking for volunteers to help with the 31st Annual Artspring Exhibition. Shifts are available on the following dates March 27 – April 3, 2017. Please consider donating a few hours of your time. 
Artists are also needed to exhibit their artwork in the following mediums: clay, fiber, wood, metals, glass, photography, paper or paint.  Sculptures may be submitted in clay, wood, metals or glass. First, Second and Third Place ribbons will be awarded in three categories (artwork, photography, and sculpture), along with the Mayor’s Award and Honorable Mention ribbons. No entry fee required.
To register or for more information, please contact City Hall at 347-4171 or

Veteran’s Art Center Tampa Bay Grand Opening

The Veteran’s Art Center Tampa Bay will open its doors to the public on Saturday March 25, 2017 from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm.  The VACTB is Florida’s first art center for Military, Veterans, First Responders and Families that provide therapy, healing, wellness and education programming.

The Grand Opening’s Formal Ceremony will being at 3:00PM.  The event features art exhibits, tours of the gallery, street performers, musical guests and special guest speakers throughout the day. The purpose of the event is not only to showcase art created by our local veterans and first responders but to also raise awareness for the Center, what we do and how we help.

Veteran’s Art Center located in Gas Light Square, 6798 Crosswinds Drive N., St. Petersburg, Florida..

For more information contact Scott Macksam at 813.504.3092 or

MLB Launches the 2017 Honorary Bat Girl Contest

Major League Baseball today announced that the 2017 Honorary Bat Girl Contest is now available online at for fans to share stories of how they, or their loved ones, are supporting the cause to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. The contest, which launched in 2009, will identify one fan per MLB Club who has a personal connection to breast cancer and has demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease. 

Breast cancer survivors, friends and family, advocates and supporters of the cause, regardless of gender, can now submit stories about themselves or loved ones who are “Going to Bat Against Cancer” by visiting Entries can be submitted through Wednesday, April 12 at 4:59 p.m. ET. To participate in the contest, entrants must be at least 18 years old.

Supporters of contest participants have the opportunity to vote online for these inspirational stories.  Winners will receive pink MLB merchandise and be recognized on the field prior to the Rays 1:10 p.m. game against the New York Yankees on Sunday, May 21.

The panel of judges will help select the winning submissions based on the following criteria: quality of submission in describing the nominee’s personal connection to breast cancer, the nominee’s commitment to the battle against breast cancer through education/awareness/fundraising/additional efforts, and public appeal (as determined by the public online vote). Each judge will review a portion of the submissions, and their rankings will be considered in the selection process.

On Mother’s Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Players also will wear specially-designed uniforms that incorporate pink into the Clubs’ regular logos. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats and other pink items from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In eight years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 3 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

For more information, please visit

County seeks input on Penny for Pinellas

On Nov. 7, 2017, Pinellas County voters will decide on a 10-year renewal of the Penny for Pinellas 1-percent sales tax, from 2020-2030. Before the referendum vote, the Board of County Commissioners is seeking citizen input on the most important areas to invest future funds throughout the community.

The public is invited to provide input about the Penny at three open house meetings, which will run from 6-8 p.m. as follows:

Wednesday, March 15: The Centre, 1500 16th St., Palm Harbor
Monday, March 20: Historic Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport
Wednesday, March 29: Pinellas County Extension, 12320 Ulmerton Road, Largo

Since it was initially approved by voters, the Penny has helped build a better Pinellas by supporting projects aimed at areas that matter most to citizens, including: improved roads and bridges, water quality and flood protection, public safety and environmental preservation.

The Penny is shared between Pinellas County and its 24 cities to fund long-term, capital projects, such as roads, bridges, stormwater projects, public safety equipment, fire stations, parks, land acquisition, public facilities and investments in courts and jails.

To learn more about the Penny, including an interactive map of projects, visit

Penny for Pinellas background  
• 1-percent sales tax paid by everyone who spends money in the county
• One-third is paid for by tourists and seasonal visitors
• All collected Penny funds stay in Pinellas
• Shared between the county and 24 cities
• Funds long-term capital investments: roads, bridges, stormwater projects, parks, public facilities and environmental land
• Not collected on groceries and medications; only collected on the first $5,000 of a single purchase
• Not a new tax; the Penny has been in effect since 1990

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.