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Have you ever heard of a snowy plover? Sounds like something my dad used to make sure he could get his car out of the garage during those harsh winters when we lived in Superior, Wisconsin.

Or it could be a libation, which is something you need often if you have to endure those harsh winters of Superior, Wisconsin.
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This column is aimed at anyone who is not consumed by a burning life purpose. Or by several consuming passions. Or who is feeling unworthy because of this lack. It’s high time somebody spoke out on behalf of you. And me.

I’m not sure who first came up with the idea that everyone on earth should have a life purpose, along with a nose, a belly button and other standard trappings. It probably occurred at that point in history when the human race finally achieved an adequate supply of food, water and safety. Until then, we all knew our life purpose: merely to stay alive for the next day or two.
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I recently traveled to D.C. to fight for Florida as the U.S. Senate debated repealing and replacing Obamacare.

For far too long, D.C. politicians have focused only on the grand bargain of repealing and replacing Obamacare, ignoring the opportunity to make incremental changes to get rid of the taxes and mandates and roll back the federal welfare state.
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Tuesday, July 11
A good man died June 27, 2017. His family and neighbors are still struggling to understand.

For me, his death is disheartening. He was my hero. I’m having trouble accepting that he will no longer be walking the streets of my neighborhood keeping watch over us all.
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The telephone intruder is often a woman with a cutesy, high-pitched voice oozing false friendship. Her opening remarks: “Hi, this is Mimsy from Ginghley Resorts, Inc. Our files show that awhile ago you visited one of our hotels, and so we’re offering you a chance to win lots of money and spend two free sun-drenched weeks on our Melanoma Island Hideaway.”

At that point I usually hang up, thus saving Mimsy and me several minutes of lying to each other. But sometimes I feel playful enough to make Mimsy earn her pay (probably $10 an hour in a stuffy steam room in Dickstein, Iowa.)
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At a time when America faces serious challenges, it is imperative that Washington put aside partisan hostility in favor of common-sense solutions that move our state and nation forward.

Some people argue that it’s not possible to reshape the dialogue to a more public-spirited approach, but I believe that Florida can lead by example - working together to do what is right. That’s my goal as chairman of a diverse, 29-member Florida congressional delegation that includes Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, 16 Republican House members and 11 Democrats.
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Monday, July 3
WASHINGTON - “I don’t know there was a game,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday in response to a question about President Donald Trump’s latest tweets, in which he denied taping former FBI chief James Comey.

Actually, it is a game - a 41-day back-and-forth marathon called “snooker,” played not with cue sticks and red balls, but with cryptic social media posts prodding reporters raised hands and shouted questions. Once again, Trump has managed to make journalists look easily dispatched on a fool’s errand to investigate what turned out to be a nonissue.
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How well do you keep secrets? Especially highly classified ones, such as the name of Mike Pence’s barber. Have you ever been cleared by the FBI, CIA or the Judge Judy show? Has a man wearing a trench coat ever sat down beside you on a park bench and whispered, “The manatee has married the eagle” and then strolled off?

If your answer to all of this is “no,” I say “Me, neither.” I’ve sometimes dreamed of becoming a spy, but I lacked the two necessary assets: brains and guts.
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Tuesday, June 20
I love college sports. I’ve got the Knights, Yellow Jackets, Tar Heels, Hoyas, Maroon Tigers - you name it. If I can catch a game, I will.

My brother-in-law, who’s from New England, recently schooled me about lacrosse, so now on top of college football, basketball, baseball and volleyball, I’m hooked on that, too. And if it’s any indication of my level of fanaticism, I got married on a Sunday in the fall so I could still watch college football on the Saturday before.
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The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans freedom of religion, speech and the press. The Amendment’s 45 words are probably the most important and cherished part of the entire document. Without their protection we might as well be living in Siberia. Or hell.

However, the Amendment is also a gateway for the utterance and/or publication of falsehoods, slander, fairy tales, misquotes, rubbish, exaggerations and a hundred other forms of hateful or destructive expression. Granted, there are laws and limitations that may punish the worst of these offenses. But most of them will go unchallenged.
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Tuesday, June 20
On May 31, the VA Secretary, David J. Shulkin, delivered his first “State of the VA” address highlighting the activity and direction of the agency since his appointment in February.

The address covered a wide range of topics, including health care access, community care and the Veterans Choice Program, accountability, and the quality of care provided to veterans. In addition, he identified multiple agency-wide priorities, such as reducing backlogs and getting more veterans access to mental health care and suicide prevention programs.
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If you were asked to name six of the congresspersons from your home state, could you do it? (I couldn’t.) But if you were asked to name six of your all-time favorite love songs, I bet you could rise to the challenge.

Songs are important to most of us, no matter what our age. Even if we can’t recall all the lyrics, a song can dredge up the memory of when and where we first heard it and who we were with.
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I woke this morning to a strange and troubling email. It was unsigned, and from an address I don’t recognize, but the message came through clearly.

Under the heading of “James T. Hodgkinson” - the shooter Wednesday in Washington - it read, in all caps: “I THINK JAMES IS A HERO. THE REPUBLICANS HATE POOR PEOPLE.”
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, June 13
A tweet Wednesday from U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida’s 15th Congressional District repeated the dutiful Republican yada-yada about the Affordable Care Act.

“Another insurer pulls out of Obamacare. Now 18 counties in Ohio have zero insurance options. Missouri facing same situation,” Ross wrote.
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7:30 a.m. I’m en route to the Tampa airport. My chauffeur is my friend Rocky, son-in-law of my girlfriend Carolina Moon, with whom I have spent a most enjoyable fortnight.

In a month or two she will fly north to visit me in the tundra, as we stretch our home-and-away romance toward its 15th anniversary.
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WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump was right about this much: As he told NBC’s Lester Holt last month, former FBI chief James Comey, whom Trump had just fired, is a “showboat.”

As he sat before the Senate Intelligence Committee about to testify Thursday, Comey demonstrated that he knows how to set the stage in the theater of politics. Comey sat upright and expressionless as photographers snapped shots of his upstanding demeanor prior to his much-awaited testimony - one lawman challenging a sitting president before a Senate panel. Think: high noon.
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Community Calender
• Thursday, July 20, 2017
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets every Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N. All are welcome to attend. For more information, email kiwanisclubofseminole@gmail.com.
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Tai Chi and Qigong classes
ST. PETE BEACH – Tai Chi and Qigong classes are presented Mondays, 11 a.m.; and Thursdays, 12:30 p.m., at the St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach.

This class is designed to reduce stress, inflammation and disease associated with stress, as well as improve postural alignment and flexibility. The class combines specific movements, coordinated breathing and a calm focused mind used in traditional Chinese medicine, Tai Chi and Qigong practices that will improve health, vitality and longevity.

No prior experience is necessary. The cost is $5 for adults or free for SilverSneakers. Visit www.spbrec.com or call 727-363-9245 for more information.
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• Saturday, July 22, 2017
Return the Preserve Work Day
TARPON SPRINGS – The Return the Preserve Work Day will take place Saturday, July 22, 8 to 11 a.m., at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.

The focus will be on areas within Brooker Creek Preserve where participants can apply some hands-on help removing exotic invaders or overgrown native vines. It is hard work but it is rewarding work.

Attendees should meet in the parking lot at 7:45 a.m. and should bring clippers, loppers, and handsaws as well as gloves, hat and sunscreen. Long sleeved shirts, jeans and closed toed shoes are recommended. Breakfast snacks and water will be provided.

For information or to sign up, email Evan Earle at eearlejr@gmail.com.
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Our Wildest Place hike
TARPON SPRINGS – A wildlife hike will be offered Saturday, July 22, 9 to 11 a.m., at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.

Attendees will join an experienced naturalist for a free hike along boardwalks and natural trails at Brooker Creek Preserve. Binoculars and cameras are recommended.

Advance registration is required. To register, visit www.brookercreekpreserve.eventbrite.com. For information, call 727-453-6800.
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• Monday, July 24, 2017
Tai Chi and Qigong classes
ST. PETE BEACH – Tai Chi and Qigong classes are presented Mondays, 11 a.m.; and Thursdays, 12:30 p.m., at the St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach.

This class is designed to reduce stress, inflammation and disease associated with stress, as well as improve postural alignment and flexibility. The class combines specific movements, coordinated breathing and a calm focused mind used in traditional Chinese medicine, Tai Chi and Qigong practices that will improve health, vitality and longevity.

No prior experience is necessary. The cost is $5 for adults or free for SilverSneakers. Visit www.spbrec.com or call 727-363-9245 for more information.
 ... Read More 
• Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meets on the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 7:15 a.m., in the third floor card room at Lake Seminole Square, 8333 Seminole Blvd. The group features speakers from different organizations. Visit kiwanisseminolebreakfast.com or call 727-319-8343 for more information.
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Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meeting
SEMINOLE – Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meets Tuesdays, 6:15 to 7:30 p.m., at the Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St. N. Guests ages 18 and older are welcome. This event is free and open to the public.

This personal development program is ideal for supervisors and leaders – or those aspiring – to learn vital leadership and communication skills. Contact Dennis Hamel at 727-374-2612 or visit www.seminolespc.toastmastersclubs.org.
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• Wednesday, July 26, 2017
CERT course
SEMINOLE – Basic training classes for those who want to become a member of a Community Emergency Response Team and assist during catastrophic situations will be offered in July by the city of Seminole.

The CERT training is designed to help you help yourself and others in the event of a disaster when emergency services are not available.

Training sessions will be conducted Wednesday, July 26, and Thursday, July 27, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 29, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The course is free, but attendance at all three sessions is required for graduation. Participants must be at least 17 years old.

Classes will be held at Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N. Each graduate will receive a student manual and CERT Basic Kit. Lunch on Saturday and snacks will be provided.

For information, call 727-393-8711, ext. 210, or email bdykens@myseminole.com.

To register for the course, visit www.eventbrite.com /e /seminole-cert-basic-class-6-tickets-34008446178.
 ... Read More 
Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 meeting
LARGO – Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 invites new members to its weekly meeting on Wednesdays, 12:05 to 1:05 p.m., at the Young Rainey Star Center, 7887 Bryan Dairy Road No. 120.

The club is open to all residents and workers in the Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole areas.

A Toastmasters club provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their oral communication and leadership skills. Come watch as members present speeches, develop leadership skills by serving in various club positions and participate in Table Topics sessions in a relaxed yet structured one-hour setting.

For more information, call John Rouisse at 727-488-8010 or email johnrouisse@yahoo.com.
 ... Read More 
Rotary Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Rotary Club of Seminole meets weekly on Wednesdays at noon at the Seminole Lake Country Club, 6100 Augusta Blvd. Email pstockfisch@hotmail.com for more information.
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News