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Water-Wise landscaping
CLEARWATER - Is your landscaping the envy of the neighborhood - not just because of its beauty, but also because it is Florida-friendly and water-efficient?

Then you need to enter the 2015 Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water.

For the past 16 years, the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards program has recognized those homeowners and businesses committed to conserving water and protecting the environment by using the most water-efficient landscaping practices.
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This summer, explore paradise by experiencing the verdant and serene beauty of Pinellas parklands.

The county’s Parks & Conservation Resources maintains 20,000 acres of parks. These parks boast the county's most beautiful examples of pristine Florida landscapes. In addition to these, many municipalities have set aside recreational areas featuring picturesque expanses of native habitat, playgrounds, learning centers and tranquil lakes.

Pinellas County also is home to Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park. Visitors will find one of the few remaining virgin slash pine forests in South Florida on Honeymoon Island, along with osprey nests, a variety of shorebirds and beautiful scenery. With a 3-mile hiking trail, a kayak trail, beaches, picnic pavilions and a marina, Caladesi Island is accessible by boat or ferry. The island’s white sand beaches were rated America's Best Beach in 2008.
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Tarpon, snook, redfish and mangrove snapper are all on the radar (or should I say sonar) this week. New moon tides have spurred on a bite the last few days, and we should see these big tides continue through the weekend.

Tarpon have been on most anglers’ wish list since there departure last fall. Now that summer is here the big fish have returned to our area and will be the talk of the town for at least the next month. Early last week the first mega pods of fish made their way southbound along area beaches. Schools of a hundred or more giant tarpon have been migrating within a hundred yards from shore. Casting live baits out in front of the schools and letting them come through your baits has been working well at times. Best baits include threadfin herring, scaled sardines pinfish and pumpkinseeds and live crabs.

Snook are schooled up around the inlets in big numbers and scattered up and down the beach in smaller packs. Target the first half of the outgoing tide for the best fishing. Live-scaled sardines will work. However, a medium sized grass grunt will often out produce the sardines. Free-line baits using a 20- or 25-pound leader with a fairly small hook through the presumed fish holding area.
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MADEIRA BEACH - The 19th annual John’s Pass Young Angler’s Fishing Tournament is set Saturday, May 23, 7 a.m., at Hubbard’s Marina in John’s Pass Village.

The event serves as a fundraiser for Madeira Beach Fundamental School.

Weigh-in begin at noon and the awards ceremony will follow at 2:30 p.m. Participants in the tournament will be given complimentary food at the weigh-in. The young anglers will also receive shrimp in a bait bucket, gift bag, and a raffle ticket.
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TIERRA VERDE - A contractor hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will begin the process of removing the remaining Australian pine trees at Fort De Soto Park in the North Beach area on Monday, June 1.

North Beach will be temporarily closed to the public on weekdays until the removal of the invasive exotic vegetation is completed. The beach will remain open during weekends and holidays.

Pinellas County received funding from the FWC to complete this project. Removal of invasive exotic species is consistent with the county’s efforts to manage and protect the park’s natural resources. Detrimental to native plants and animals, Australian pine trees also can pose safety hazards in areas of high public use. Work is expected to be completed by Friday, July 10.
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Monday, May 19
Congressman David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, announced May 15 that he was able to secure House appropriations language providing $10 million for a new Gulf of Mexico fisheries research program to be managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The NMFS Southeast Regional Office is located in St. Petersburg.

The funding, upon enactment, would be used for a new third-party data collection effort for Gulf of Mexico fish populations, such as red snapper, dramatically increasing the contribution of data from the recreational, charter boat, and commercial sectors.
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Scientists with the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management, or SWIM program, released the results of their 2014 seagrass mapping study showing Tampa Bay now supports 40,295 acres of seagrass beds, the largest amount of seagrass measured since the 1950s.

This increase in seagrass has now surpassed the recovery goal of 38,000 acres bay wide, set 23 years ago by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

District scientists report a 16.3 percent increase in seagrass coverage in Tampa Bay, which totals 5,652 acres of seagrass between 2012 and 2014. This is the fourth consecutive survey to show increases for the Tampa Bay system.
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Tuesday, May 13
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Beach tarpon have arrived. Light winds the past few days have made for great conditions for sight casting small pods of fish as they make their way along Pinellas beaches.

Early morning starts are a must when it comes to beach tarpon. Staging up on the outside sandbar will allow you to make long casts to the fish. Best baits include live pilchards, pumpkinseeds, threadfin and pinfish. Cork your baits with about a 6-foot leader to help keep the baits near the surface where the fish are cruising. Remember to always be courteous to other anglers as a school goes by. There is a good chance another one won’t be too far behind. Being patient usually pays off.
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Safe Boating week will be launched May 16 across the county. Local Coast Guard auxiliaries are sponsoring events, including an open house.

The Dunedin Marina will be hosting a number of safe boating events Sunday, May 17, beginning at 2 p.m. that will include free vessel safety checks and educational materials and advice from local USCG auxiliarists from Flotilla 11-10 Dunedin.

On Saturday, May 16, the U.S. Coast Guard is hosting its annual open house at Sector St. Petersburg station, 600 Eighth Ave. SE, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the event, people can experience a day in the life of a Coast Guard member.
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Community Calender
• Friday, May 22, 2015
Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings
Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave.

The cost is $3 and $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.

Call 734-0757  
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Chamber shred-a-thon
SEMINOLE – Seminole Chamber of Commerce, 7995 113th St. N., will hold a shred-a-thon Friday, May 22, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Individuals and businesses are invited to use a mobile shredding truck set up in the chamber parking lot to destroy documents. A minimum donation of $5 per box or bag is requested.

Sea Gull Realty sponsors this event. Call 392-3245 for more information.
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Freedom Fest
OLDSMAR – The Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce plans its seventh annual Freedom Fest celebration May 22-24 on State Street in downtown Oldsmar.

The three-day event will feature non-stop live music, plenty of food, arts and crafts vendors and fun activities for the kids. Hours are Friday, May 22, 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, May 23, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, May 24, noon to 10 p.m. Admission is $2 per person. Kids 12 and under are free.

Sponsors include Nielsen, TECO Energy, Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa Community Hospital and Sunbelt Rentals. For more information, contact Mark Howe at 813-855-4233.
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Friday Night Dinners
LARGO – Friday Night Dinners are served 5 to 8 p.m., with music by Karaoke DJ Bill Johnson, 7 to 11 p.m., at American Legion Post 119, at 130 First Ave. SW. in Largo. The cost is $7.25 and includes shrimp, four-piece chicken and all-you-can-eat fried fish served with rolls, french fries and coleslaw.
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Sunset Market
LARGO – Sunset Market is open every Friday through May, 3 to 7 p.m., in Largo Central Park’s parking lot No. 1, at southwest corner of East Bay and Central Park drives.

Vendors will offer vegetables, fruits, raw local honey, herbal teas and wild-caught seafood as well as organic body products, essential oils, arts and crafts. The focus will be on produce and organic products with about 40 percent of the market dedicated to art and craft vendors.

The market offers several ways for commercial business to advertise as well as two free spaces per market reserved for nonprofit entities.

For more information, contact Jennifer McCafferty at 813-846-1316 or jennifer@jens-market.com.
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U16 Lady Santos soccer registration
SEMINOLE – Seminole Youth Athletic Association’s newly formed U16 girls Lady Santos team will hold tryouts at the SYAA complex, 12100 90th Ave., Wednesdays, May 20 and 27, and Fridays, May 22 and 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Attendance is required at a minimum of two tryouts to make the team. Players are also required to check in 20 minutes prior to the start of each tryout.

Players must bring shin guards, cleats and plenty of water to drink.

For more information, visit syaa-soccer.com or contact Coach Alex Piovano at coachpiovano@gmail.com or 418-1016.
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West Coast Swing dance lessons
SEMINOLE – Free West Coast Swing dance lessons are offered on Fridays, 6 p.m., at Crystal Blue Ballroom, 10527 Park Blvd. N. Lessons are free for anyone under the age of 30. Call Renee at 698-0171 for more information.
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• Saturday, May 23, 2015
’20’s Synchro Style
LARGO – Southwest Pool will host a Swanky ’20’s Synchro Style performance and synchronized swimming clinic Saturday, May 23, 6:30 p.m.

The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. Raffles and concessions will be available.

A free synchro clinic will begin at 5:30 p.m. and includes free tickets to the show for participants. Participants attending the clinic are asked to bring a bathing suit, towel, and goggles.

For more information and tickets, contact Diane, aatanasio@live.com or 698-2625.  
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Celebrity Golf Tournament
LARGO – The third annual Celebrity Golf Tournament hosted by Donnie Abraham will be presented Saturday, May 23, at Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club, 8001 Cumberland Road.

Check-in will begin at 7 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

Cost is $90 per person for a foursome team or $100 per person for individuals. Call 403-4516. Organizers are still seeking additional sponsors.

Proceeds will help support the Clearwater High School football program and the kids that participate in it. Funds assist in purchasing safety equipment as well as updating, repairing and replacing gear, uniforms and other much-needed items. Funds also help provide hydration products for the kids during workouts and games.

This event is suited to all skill levels. Golfers will receive a goodie bag, free range balls, continental breakfast, 18 holes of golf with carts alongside several celebrities, free food samplings on various holes on the course and a hot buffet lunch.

For information, visit www.ClearwaterTornadoFootball.com.
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Freedom Fest
OLDSMAR – The Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce plans its seventh annual Freedom Fest celebration May 22-24 on State Street in downtown Oldsmar.

The three-day event will feature non-stop live music, plenty of food, arts and crafts vendors and fun activities for the kids. Hours are Friday, May 22, 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, May 23, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, May 24, noon to 10 p.m. Admission is $2 per person. Kids 12 and under are free.

Sponsors include Nielsen, TECO Energy, Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa Community Hospital and Sunbelt Rentals. For more information, contact Mark Howe at 813-855-4233.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News