Tidbits & News March 2017

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Beach residents lost two friends late in February, word of whose passings you might have missed elsewhere. Louise Mutch, a Canadian lady, also known as “Jan” or  “Weasy” did alterations for many. She passed away in care of hospice. Her husband Robert Potts, “Pottsy” a veteran who loved to cook, and bbq fish, followed a few days later, of a broken heart. “She was the most loving woman in the world”, he’d said.


(Check out our sidebar on Opening Days @ Rays) Spring Training: Baseball fans get double the pleasure during Spring Training when they visit St. Pete/Clearwater, because not one but two teams have southern homes in the area. The Toronto Blue Jays prepare for the long season at Dunedin’s Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, and the Philadelphia Phillies practice at Spectrum Field in Clearwater thru    (when they play the Rays!) www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/article/spring-training-baseball

Rowdies To Play 32 Games: The brave lads will face each of their 14 Eastern Conference opponents once at home and once away for 28 games. The other games depend on the outcomes. Kicking off March 25 against Orlando City B, they will play Toronto FCII April 1 and Ottwa Fury FC April 8. Check the website for additional match ups. http://www.rowdiessoccer.com


Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber Advocates for VISIT FLORIDA:

Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce has issued a call to action to its members fighting proposed legislation that would completely eliminate VISIT FLORIDA; the state’s tourism marketing agency. Contact legislators and remind them of the benefits tourism generates and how VISIT FLORIDA helps small businesses and communities reach new markets that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to capitalize on. VISIT FLORIDA is essential in bringing visitors to our state who generate 23% of our sales tax revenue, create over 1.4 million jobs, support small business and boost our local economy with $108.8 billion in economic impact.

It is critical to renew the focus on the value of marketing the Sunshine State. Whether Visit Florida funding is eliminated or decreased from its $78 million budget remains in question at presstime.

FYI: http://www.tampabaybeaches.com/tourism-matters.html Doug Izzo, Government Affairs, Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of  Commerce 727-360-6957  Doug@TampaBayBeaches.com

Beach Clean-Up March 18: Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful & Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, is recruiting volunteers to participate in the Great American Cleanup from 9 am – noon. This event is family-friendly and open to all ages. The majority of the volunteers are needed on land, but you’re welcome to bring  a canoe/kayak.


Beach Renourishment Project Will Repair Damages from Hurricane Hermine: The Pinellas County Shore Protection Project will cover nearly 22-miles of shoreline divided into three segments that include Sand Key, Treasure Island and Long Key. Beach renourishment provides increased storm protection, recreational opportunities, and creates habitat for shorebirds and nesting sea turtles. www.pinellascounty.org/environment/coastalMngmt/default.htm


Fundraiser Benefits Children’s Burn Foundation March 24:  Piper Fire Protection will host the 3rd Annual Footgolf  Tournament at Largo Municipal Golf Course. Substituting soccer for golf balls, the event benefits the Children’s Burn Foundation of Florida through the Florida Fire Equipment Dealers Association (FFEDA). Sponsors include Brown & Brown Insurance, Brooks Equipment and

Ferguson Fire & Fabrication. Registration begins at 5:00 pm with a Shotgun Start at 6:00 pm at the Largo Course, 12500 Vonn Road. Cost including play and awards dinner is $30.00 for single golfer, $20.00 for kids, $25:00 each for Groups of 4 or more. Register by March 10 online at www.piperfire.com/footgolf

FYI: Tricia Kane or Melissa Faint: giveback@PiperFire.com  727-581-9339.


City-Wide Sale March 18: Sign up by March 10 to participate in the annual yard sale and be listed in the directory. Email gbiron@mygulfport.us with your Gulfport address or fill out the form at City Hall or the Public Library. Rain date March 19.

Dance for Plants Benefits Gulfport Community Garden: Raise money and nurture nature at the second annual benefit at the Gulfport Casino starting at 6:30 pm. Enjoy a silent raffle, Mangia Gourmet’s delicious food, a Zydeco dance lesson and DJ Jim Hance.  Tickets can be purchased at Gulfport Casino, Beach Bazaar and Mangia Café. FYI: George Zarillo 845-242-7452

Marine Max Now Open: On Feb. 24, Marine Max St. Petersburg showed off their expanded storage capacity with more slips and lifts and their new inventory.  6810 Gulfport Boulevard, South https://www.marinemax.com/stores/Southeast/st-petersburg


March 16-19 Spring Break Waterfront Festival:  Gulf Beaches Rotary will host their Spring Break Waterfront Festival with the City of Madeira Beach at the Recreation complex & ROC Park, 300 Municipal Drive from Thurs-Sun, March 16-19 Carnival rides, with live entertainment food and craft vendors. Admission is FREE. The Gulf Beaches Rotary donated over $50,000 to local charities in 2016. The Spring Break Festival is the club’s signature event and largest fundraiser each year. Proceeds from this event will benefit local charities and other non-profit organizations.  Thurs. 3 – 11 pm; Fri/Sat noon -11 pm; Sunday noon – 9 pm

11th Annual Phil Phest April 1: From 11 am – 9 pm, this fun free admission event benefits the Philip A. Bryant Melanoma Foundation and offers free skin screenings as well as live music (Kevin Toon, That Pack, One Night Rodeo, Big Brother Band, & The Black Honkeys), a raffle, silent auction, kids’ activities, caricatures and more.

FYI: Volunteer/Sponsors/Donors, sbryant75@tampabay.rr.com; 727-536-5039. www.pab40foundation.org Remember Our Children Park (R.O.C.) Park, 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach

Book Lovers: The Friends of the Gulf Beaches Public Library will hold its  Spring Book Sale on Friday, March 23rd – 10 am – 5 pm & Saturday, March 24th  10 am – 3 pm.  200 Municipal Drive

Market Time: The Mid-Week Madeira Beach Open Air Market (Wed. 9 am – 2pm) & the Indian Shores Sunday Morning Market (9 am – 1 pm) run weekly through May 2017. www.TheBeachMarkets.com

Water Taxi: The Tampa Bay Ferry and taxi by Hubbard’s Marina travels Upper Boca Ciega Bay and takes guests to Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, and Western St. Petersburg. www.tampabayferry.com

Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge Helps Veteran: On February 11th, members of Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge No.291 worked with the donated services of Pinellas Tree Service, Sarnago Sons Recycling And Material, the town of Redington Shores and Officer Tim Kennedy of the Indian Shores Police department. Their mission? Help  91 year old John Fink, a WWII Navy veteran, clean up his residence which had years of overgrown trees, vegetation and accumulated debris. The day was spent trimming, raking, and filling two large dumpsters. John Fink has been an active and cherished member of the Redington Shores community for over fifty years. John served as commissioner of planning and zoning & commissioner of the board of adjustment for a total of 32 years. John served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and Korea on submarines and destroyers and saw action in conflicts throughout the world. He served in the Navy for a total of 23 years and retired as a Chief Electrician. John unfortunately lost his wife a few of years ago and it has been hard for him to keep up the property due to his age. Paradise News salutes all involved.


Commissioner Charlie Justice Elected Chairman of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program: “I am honored to serve as the Chair of this board. We have great members who are committed to continuing the improvements made in the quality of Tampa Bay,” said Charlie Justice. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program set a goal of a return of at least 38,000 acres of seagrass in the bay.  Strategies agreed to by the partner governments led to the current level of over 41,000 acres.  This is the highest level of seagrass since 1950.

Lifeguards Needed For 2017 Pinellas Beach Season: Want to be a full or part-time lifeguard March- Sept? Pinellas County is hiring lifeguards to monitor county beaches and help visitors have a safe and fun time hitting the surf this season. Lifeguards will be stationed on county beaches at Fort De Soto, Sand Key

and Fred Howard parks from March to September. Individuals who enjoy helping the public in a fast-paced, detail-oriented role are encouraged to apply. Positions are available for full-time or part-time seasonal employment, with pay starting at $12.55 per hour for new lifeguards and ranging to $14.98 per hour for senior-level lifeguards with an EMT certification. Lifeguards may work 8 or 10-hour shifts.

See website for requirements and to apply. FYI: https://employment.pinellascounty.org

Armchair Travel: Sail along the glistening blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Hear Winter the Dolphin splash around at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Feel the warm sand under your feet on a walk along Anclote Key. Don’t just imagine what it would be like to experience a sun-soaked Florida vacation—feel it now with St. Petersburg/Clearwater CVB’s exclusive 360° videos.  http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/360-videos

March 11 Family History Assistance Day: The Pinellas Genealogy Society will offer tours of the genealogy Center at Largo Library and help you one-on-one to trace your roots from noon – 4 pm.

March 13-17 – SPCA Spring Break Camp: Indulge your child’s inner vet with these youth programs from 10 am – 3 pm where kids can learn how to care responsibly for pets and enjoy crafts and games. SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N Largo. www.Spcatampabay.org/pet-camps-workshops

SPC Launches New Public Website: In late Feb., SPC launched a new website for prospective students and the community. The new site has an intuitive, mobile-friendly design so you can find what you need to know from any device including: How to hire an SPC intern or graduate; Giving to, and partnering with, the SPC Foundation; Sharing your expertise through our advisory committees; Volunteering at SPC; SPC’s leadership and history; High school and summer programs. www.spcollege.edu

Pinellas County News: Vacancy Announced on HFA Board: Applications are being accepted for one term to the Board of Directors of the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County. Applicants should have experience with affordable housing. Code Enforcement Has New Address: The Pinellas County Code Enforcement Dept. has a new address as of March 1:  631 Chestnut St., Clearwater.  FYI: More news you can use? http://www.pinellascounty.org/News.htm


Arts Fans: Art Walk is the 4th Saturday of every month at Pinellas Park Arts Village, 5600 Park Blvd.  http://bit.ly/2eaHNi6

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Committee Interest Party: Learn more about becoming a part of the Florida Division of the American Cancer Society’s planning committee for the upcoming non-competitive 5K walk to be held on October 14, 2017 at an informative meeting March 9, 6 pm at the  Bayou Dance Club (6541 102nd Ave., Pinellas Park).  FYI:  727-812-7025 or cindi.crisci@cancer.org


Underground Utility Lines Move Forward: A new Duke Energy design for undergrounding the lines on the east side of Gulf Blvd and crossing the road is in progress and will start as early as mid-fall 1017. Poles and wires on the west side will remain until funding can be secured for that phase of the project. A special county Gulf Blvd. Beautification Fund pays for the project.


Seminole City Center Continues To Grow: Petco, Chipotle & Mattress Firm are now open as of February and Miller’s Ale House is not far behind. Also approved are Tuesday Morning, LA Fitness, Studio Movie Grill, Applebee’s, Banfield Pet Hospital, Menchie’s Yogurt, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Chase Bank, Pieology, Burger Fi, Hair Cuttery, Lee Spa Nails and Hand & Stone Massage. Across the street on Park, Smoothie King offers healthy treats for families on the go.

Pow-Wow Festival and Parade March 10-12: The annual parade & fireworks (Sat.) and children’s extravaganza (Sun.) is just part of this annual tradition of carnival rides, games, food, live music and entertainment at the Seminole Rec Center across from City Hall on 113th St.

The Community Yard Sale is also coming up 8 am – 1 pm March 25, you can sell your stuff as long as you pre-register.

Save A Life: Free Community CPR Classes Offered: City of Seminole Fire Rescue is offering Free Community CPR classes April 6, May 4, June 8 starting at 7 pm.  The program utilizes the American Heart Association Heartsaver curriculum; classes are fun, simple and will give you the confidence to help save a life if needed. Included in the course is “Use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)”, as well as CPR for Children and Infants, you will also learn the techniques used to help someone that is choking. FYI: Reserve your spot  bdykens@myseminole.com or 727-393-8711×210. Seminole Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Avenue North


Love a Beach Bonfire? Celebrate Spring on Saturday, March 18th, 6 pm at Upham Beach, 69th Ave. in St. Pete Beach. Entertainment at Paradise Grill – Upham Beach. Free!

Honor Walk @ Upham Beach: Get your brick before March 17th! Installation of the bricks will occur late spring and early summer. FYI:  727-363-9232

Get Your 60th Anniversary T-Shirt: Buy the city’s commemorative shirt and enjoy a discount at some of your favorite places when you wear it on the 2nd Friday of each month from shirt sponsors. On sale at the St. Pete Beach Community Center – $20/short sleeves and $25/long sleeves. FYI:  727-363-9245

Crescent Real Estate LLC Acquires Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center: Sold by the Nicklaus family (who owned it since 1962), the family transformed the 46-unit motel into the 2017 resort which includes 382 guest rooms, three restaurants, 30,000 square feet of meeting space and three swimming pools. Crescent owns more than 2,200 multifamily units in Tampa Bay and plans to update the guest rooms and improve both the indoor and outdoor amenities. Atlanta-based Five Star Realty Partners LLC has partnered with Crescent on this acquisition and HEI Hotels will manage the resort.


Check out The Grand Prix downtown St. Petersburg on our website!


Supporting Business Start-Ups with New Tool: The City of St. Petersburg launched OpenCounter: St Pete, a web-based tool located on the city’s website ( www.stpete.org/opencounter ). OpenCounter is designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners understand the specific license, permits and requirements for St Petersburg. Informed by the City’s zoning and land use permits, building and business tax receipt rules, the goal of the site is to help applicants who are about to embark on complex projects with a customized roadmap to achieve their project goals. Customers of OpenCounter can expect a roadmap to the permits, fees and licenses, while collecting the data that the City needs to move the project forward.

By providing this tool, intentionally designed to give entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to invest in our community, the City will provide reliable, targeted feedback to its community of entrepreneurs by providing a clear breakdown of the processes and highlight any potential roadblocks they may face; and give the City a new level of insight into economic trends in their community.

Best Wings Downtown: Del Mar Gastro Lounge won for Best Wings, but you’re  the winner when you take advantage of their Monday Wings Madness (5,10, 15) 50¢ each. Friday you can dine on Mussels Diablo or Scampi for only $6.75. Live music & drink specials sweeten the deal. 243 Central Ave. 727-498-8610

EDGE District’s Grateful Fed Pub Serves Healthy Late Night & Delivers: Tryst’s former chef Sean Ford opened this convenience store restaurant on the ground floor of the Urban Style Flats building. Snacks, toiletries, coffee and grilled veggie burrito needed? No problem. 300 10th St. S, St. Petersburg.

More Eats/Drinks: Check out Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe (2927 Central Avenue) selling wine, beer and deli items and IceBerg’s rolled ice cream, frozen yogurt, smoothies and more (449 Central Avenue, Suite 102). Coming soon is MNM BBQ’s.  Interested in hydroponic farms? Visit Brick Street Farms at 2001 Second St. South. You can order online at www.brickstreetfarms.com and pick up your bounty Tues/Thurs 6-8 pm  & 11 am-1 pm Saturday. Another favorite, Cider Press now offers grab and go for breakfast and lunch.

Ale & The Witch Monday Fundraiser The Ale and The Witch’s Monday evening series raises money for a good cause by brining local celebrities as bartenders from 5:30-7:30 pm. For each item served, they donate $1 plus 100% of the tips to the cause of the week.  111 2nd Avenue NE

The Longest Table Benefits WUSF Public Media April 6: This glorious al fresco food feast located on Bayshore Drive NE from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Vinoy starts at 5:30. Ticket prices depend on the restaurant you choose with options ranging from Mattison’s to 400 Beach. http://www.wusf.usf.edu/wordpress/longest/restaurants

FYI Tickets: 800-661-0823  Sponsorships: alissa7@wusf.org

Pride Shirts On Sale: Our friends at I Love The ‘Burg have created some amazing new Pride designs available as tote bags, tees, tanks, mugs, tumblers, beach towels and more. Show your love for our fabulous city and shop today! http://www.ilovetheburg.com/st-pete-pride-shirts/


Forbes Lists St. Petersbug As One Of America’s Fastest Growing Cities 2017: The magazine’s accolade places St. Pete (and entire Tampa Bay area) in the top 10. The upper tier of the list is decorated with florida cities, including Orlando, Jacksonville, Bradenton and Fort Myers. The magazine looked at a number of indicators including growth of population, employment, wages, economic output & home price growth as a proxy for wealth.

March 19 Farm To Table Experience: 1 – 6 pm, enjoy dinner in the garden with Dr. Dustin Rudolph, Vanessa Sardi and Chef Emmanuel Roux. An enchanting afternoon picking fresh fruits and veggies to take home, touring the garden, sipping kombucha, hearing healthy nutrition informative talks and enjoying a cooking demo by renowned Chef Emmanuel Roux (727.251.1879) and a Garden Fresh Dinner. (please feel free to bring your favorite bottle of wine!) St. Pete Eco-Village 302 15th St North

Chromatech Digital Changes Hands: Florida Print Solutions (FPS), a leading Tampa Bay Area woman-owned small business, announced the purchase of Chromatech Digital and related entities that produce a wide range of commercial printing products & services. The FPS campus is at 432 31st St. N and offers Print Plus Solutions & Services, Corporate Identity & Branding; Customer Retention & Reactivation and Marketing Performance & Lead Generation FYI: 727-327-5500 sales@flprintsolutions.com  www.floridaprintsolutions.com


Artspring March 31 – April 2: Enjoy artist’s creations in clay, fiber, wood, metals, glass, photography, paper or paint as well as sculptures. FYI:  City Hall at 347-4171.

March 14 General Election: Residents of the City of South Pasadena will be electing two Commissioners from a list of three: Dan Calabria, Gigi Esposito and David Magenheimer. The polling place for Precincts 212 & 214 is located at City Hall, 7047 Sunset Drive South.  The polls will be open between  7:00 am and 7:00 pm.


Revitalization Update: Philips Development and Realty LLC announced in Feb. that the Home Depot site at U.S. Highway 19 & 30th Ave. South deal has closed and a mixed-use project with more than 300 apartments and 13,000 square feet of retail space will be built. The revitalization of the Skyway Marina is a major focus for the city of St. Pete. The city will spend $1 million in improvements that include signage, landscaping, pedestrian lighting – banners and bus shelters. Publix recently opened a store at the south end of the district. The mixed-use building is slated to break ground in six to nine months and PDR will also develop a 100,000-square-foot, climate-controlled storage facility on the site.


James Beard Award Semi-Finalists Include Three Tampa Bay Foodies:  

Final nominees will be announced on March 15; winners will be revealed at an event in New York City on April 25.  Nominated in the Best Chef: South category were two local favorites:  Ferrell Alvarez, co-owner and chef of Rooster & the Till in Seminole Heights, who is working on another Seminole Heights concept (Nebraska Mini Mart). Chef Chris Ponte, owner of Cafe Ponte in Clearwater, who also is a partner in On Swann in Hyde Park Village. The third nominee, Richard Gonzmart, president of Columbia Restaurant Group, was nominated for outstanding restauranteur. In addition to the Columbia, Gonzmart owns Goody Goody, Ulele and Cha Cha Coconuts.

Cardboard Space 

Adventures @ MOSI: Guests will help create a huge outpost in outer space, full of hands-on creativity, engineering, and art—all constructed entirely from cardboard. The exploration and fun will run daily from May 27–Sept. 5, 2017. MOSI’s science demonstrators, the STEAMpunks, will highlight science, technology, engineering, arts, and math ideas as families explore, plus the STEAMpunks will spotlight those concepts during a live, interactive theatre show.  “We’ve been designing, cutting, folding, and gluing models for months now, and we can’t wait to start actually building this awesome summer experience,” said MOSI President & CEO Molly Demeulenaere.  “Cardboard Space Adventures has that special mix of fun, creativity, and learning that our guests love! For example, you can crack the code of the alien language—but you’ll need math to do it. Plus, we’re making a downloadable Structure & Function lesson plan that has more learning content for parents, homeschool educators, and school teachers to use.” FYI: www.Mosi.org

Sprouts Opens in Tampa: Can Pinellas be far behind? Lucky Markets will open in Tyrone, Earthfare is in Seminole and Trader Joe’s on 4th Street Downtown. The Phoenix-based grocer is known for organic fruits and veggies.


The City of Treasure Island’s Beach Sign Art Contest: The contest promotes keeping beaches beautiful and entries are due by March 31. The City is looking for original and inspiring artwork to help create our new beach information signs. The City will be holding a Beach Sign Art Contest open to everyone ages 10 years old and up. Artwork will be judged by a panel of judges to select finalists in five categories. Finalists will have their original art work featured on one of the City’s new beach information signs. The goal of the program is to have original art work beach signs to promote keeping our beaches and water clean and beautiful  FYI: Download information/application at www.mytreasureisland.com for information, adavis@mytreasureilsand.org.

Treasure Island Friday Morning Market: It’s back through the end of April from 9 am – 2 pm, full of gourmet foods, flowers, plants, crafts and more at the TI Community Center Park, 104th Ave. and Park Place. Free parking! PN

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