Pinellas County Human Services is taking part in a national initiative designed to break the cycle of incarceration.
Putting people in jail who suffer from mental illness, substance abuse disorders and chronic health problems is costly and it is ineffective. The Obama Administration wants to do something to reduce the alarming statistics associated with jailing people who commit non-violent misdemeanors, and Pinellas County is onboard to work with national leaders to try to find workable solutions.
Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians will have unique choices on the ballot for the Tuesday, Aug. 30, primary election.
Florida is a “closed primary state,” which means that a qualified voter is only entitled to vote the ballot of the political party with which the voter is registered, according to the Supervisor of Elections. In other words, voters throughout Pinellas will have a different ballot depending on how they are registered to vote.
For example, only registered Republicans will choose between Jim Frishe and Mike Twitty to take on write-in candidate Joseph John Catalano in the Nov. 8 election to fill the position of property appraiser, currently held by Pam Dubov, who chose not to run for re-election. All three candidates hail from St. Petersburg.
TREASURE ISLAND - Treasure Island Police are asking for assistance from the public to help identify and locate the suspects responsible for uprooting thousands of newly planted sea oats on Treasure Island Beach.
According to investigators, a donation was made to the city of Treasure Island to purchase sea oats; to be planted in memory of Arthur “Dennis” Velasco who was recently lost at sea. Seventy-five volunteers planted 10,000 sea oat seedlings on July 9 in the 11700 block of the Treasure Island Beach.
BELLEAIR BEACH - A plan to do $1 million in improvements and enhancements to Bayside Park next to Belleair Beach City Hall will go forward.
The City Council July 11 gave the go-ahead for the project after a presentation by the landscape designer. The concept already has the approval of the city’s Park and Recreation Board.
Drew Copley of Copley Design Associates said the park’s redesign would include improvements to existing areas such as the basketball court and playground, plus the addition of bocce ball, a horseshoe court, fitness equipment trail, and an amphitheater where events could be held. A hard surfaced boardwalk loops around the park and will connect all the elements.
CLEARWATER - Vincent van Gogh once said of his art, “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
Clearwater artist Laurie Anspach works to embody that sentiment each day.
A visual artist whose medium is oil painting, Anspach, who studied social work in New York before earning her art degree, has long considered it important to volunteer in her community and continued to so after moving to Clearwater.
Two years ago, Anspach began her volunteer work with a national nonprofit organization, Hearts Apart, by painting portraits of service men and women prior to deployment. She also offered her talents to the Heart Gallery, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about foster children.
LARGO - In the years following the Great Recession, Largo’s Recreation, Parks and Arts Department was hit hard. The economic decline cost the division nearly a third of its employees, and city officials even suggested closing the nature parks in order to stop the bleeding.
A group of concerned citizens, however, stepped forward and said they would do whatever it took to keep the parks open. Six years later, thanks to the Friends of the Largo Nature Parks and the efforts of its volunteers, the parks are not only open, but also thriving. And now it wants to know how to take the next step.