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Funny what goes through your mind as you are stuck in traffic in the middle of nowhere on Interstate 4, moving at the speed of about 1 mile per three hours.

It was Dec. 19, 2015, and I was en route to Kissimmee to visit my girlfriend. A three-car pileup prompted authorities to close a portion of the interstate near U.S. 27 for several hours and reroute traffic.
 ... Read More 
Will Florida send a nudist delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July? Will Republicans from any state respond to the invitation by photographer Spencer Tunick to take part in a display of naked persons at the July 17-20 convention?

As you may already know, Tunick has circled the globe since the 1990s, shooting about 70 gatherings of nude men and women standing, sitting, lying down and taking part in other perfectly legal activities.
 ... Read More 
On Wednesday, Bernie Sanders had lunch at the Chieftain, a cozy pub near the San Francisco Chronicle. In days gone by, it served as a lunch spot for parched journalists.

Earlier, Sanders had addressed a rally in San Jose; he had another scheduled in Vallejo, California, that night. When he exited the Chieftain by a back door onto Howard Street, passers-by shouted out his name.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, May 17
You live from headline to headline and from deadline to deadline. Those are the rules.

You try to make this story sharper than yesterday’s. You try to squeeze out the money quote. You try to get one source, one more fact, one more comment.
 ... Read More 
By the time you read this all the presidential candidates, presumptive or otherwise, may have chosen their vice presidential running mates. You will have read or heard the term “vetting” or “to vet” many times. It refers to the detailed investigation of a candidate’s background to ensure that he or she will not blow up the ticket in October when it’s discovered that the V.P. candidate was at one time married to a horse.

Speaking of horses, that’s where “vetting” started, many years ago. Before a horse was allowed to race, it was examined by a veterinarian for its health and stamina. That’s still the case. It’s a shame vetting isn’t required to make sure that prospective engaged couples and would-be parents have at least enough intelligence and maturity to baby-sit a large rock.
 ... Read More 
By the time you read this all the presidential candidates, presumptive or otherwise, may have chosen their vice presidential running mates. You will have read or heard the term “vetting” or “to vet” many times. It refers to the detailed investigation of a candidate’s background to ensure that he or she will not blow up the ticket in October when it’s discovered that the V.P. candidate was at one time married to a horse.

Speaking of horses, that’s where “vetting” started, many years ago. Before a horse was allowed to race, it was examined by a veterinarian for its health and stamina. That’s still the case. It’s a shame vetting isn’t required to make sure that prospective engaged couples and would-be parents have at least enough intelligence and maturity to baby-sit a large rock.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, May 10
The drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution did not trust unfettered democracy. The founders wanted self-government, but they wanted a government where minorities would be heard and protected from the excesses of the majority.

Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, described simple democracy as “one of the greatest evils.”
 ... Read More 
Some people are born to greatness; others achieve it on their own; still others have it thrust upon them by fate. The rest of us just sit on the curb and cheer as the Big Boys and Girls march by to Valhalla, Cooperstown or wherever great folks go.

That’s my customary reaction each year when TIME magazine publishes its latest list of “The 100 Most Influential People’“ in the world. I always hope my name and picture will be included, but it never happens. I’m left to wallow in my own insignificance. Which, of course, is preferable over other fates such as being a failed presidential contender.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, May 3
On Wednesday, one week after losing all five primaries in the Northeast and one week prior to the “must win” Indiana primary, Ted Cruz took the unusual step of selecting Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

Donald Trump has won 954 delegates and is only 283 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to win the Republican presidential nomination. Cruz has won 562 delegates and has no path to winning the nomination outright even if he sweeps all the remaining contests.
 ... Read More 
Six months remain until Election Day on Nov. 8. During this half-year, our beloved land and our frayed sensibilities will be assaulted by a continuing wave of political news, oratory, propaganda, lobbying, slogans, promises, distortions and outright lies - all of it aimed at placing a solitary, vulnerable mortal into the most powerful and perhaps the loneliest job on earth.

Political junkies will relish this pre-election tsunami. But many of us less-addictive mortals are victims of the strange belief that life is more important than politics. Here are some suggestions of how we can withstand the avalanche of political hogwash that’s coming our way:
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Anchoring
ST. PETERSBURG – The St. Petersburg Sail and Power Squadron will present a two-hour safe boating program titled “Anchoring” Wednesday, May 25, 7 to 9 p.m., at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center, 250 Second Ave. SE, Demens Landing.

The program is available to anyone age 12 or older. This seminar explains how to select the appropriate anchor, rod and components and their use depending on sea and bottom conditions. Tables are used to determine the sizing of the anchor and its components based on the size of the boat. Materials include USPS’s Anchoring Quick Guide and student’s notes with copies of the presentation slides.

The cost is $35 per family. Preregistration is required. Register online at www.boating-stpete.org.
 ... Read More 
Electronics class
TARPON SPRINGS – The Tarpon Springs Recreation Division is offering a new electronics class to assist participants in learning how to operate their electronic devices properly on Wednesdays, 6 p.m., at the Tarpon Springs Community Center, 400 S. Walton Ave.  

The class costs $7 per class or $24 per month. This class will demonstrate basic tasks through both one-on-one training and group demonstrations. Bring your own electronic devices.

The class began Wednesday, April 13. For more information on these and other events, call 727-942-5628 or email TarponRec@ctsfl.us or visit www.TSRDonline.com.
 ... Read More 
English classes
MADEIRA BEACH – English for students of other languages is being offered by Pinellas County School Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Madeira Beach Fundamental School, 591 Tom Stuart Causeway. Cost is $30 a semester.

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn and to practice English with a teacher, with computers and with other learners.

For information, call 727-547-7872 or email piolim@pcsb.org.
 ... Read More 
Friends of the Clearwater Library cookbook sale
CLEARWATER – The Friends of the Clearwater Library will host a cookbook sale from 2 to 8 p.m. on May 24 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 25 at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave.

The Friends of the Clearwater Library is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose purpose is to promote, preserve, enhance and support the Clearwater Public Library System for the benefit of the Clearwater community. Monies raised go to Clearwater Public Library System Programs.
 ... Read More 
Maximizing Energy support group sessions
LARGO – Dr. Cate McCarty will present Maximizing Energy support group sessions on Wednesdays, April 27, May 25 and June 22, at Arden Courts of Largo, 300 Highland Ave., Largo.

Maximizing Energy for Alzheimer’s Caregiving is a new type of Alzheimer’s support group based on bereavement support group research.

Not all people process loss the same. Caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s experience anticipatory grief with incremental loss, like a long goodbye. Just as in regular grief, anticipatory grief is composed of sadness, anger, isolation, forgetfulness and depression. Add to that the level of exhaustion from caregiving for an individual with Alzheimer’s, and the similarities to post-death grief are abundant.

McCarty, a dementia coach, designed All About ME, for the caregiving journey to meet the needs of the caregiver who faces their challenges in more of a cognitive than emotive way.

Upcoming sessions will include Re-fueling My Mind, April 27; Re-fueling My Body, May 25; and Re-fueling My Spirit, June 22.

Adult daycare will be available. To RSVP, call 727-559-8411.
 ... Read More 
Midori Salon & Spa grand opening
PINELLAS PARK – Midori Salon & Spa, located at 7301 U.S. 19 N., will host a grand opening ceremony Wednesday, May 25, 11 a.m.,

The name Midori was chosen because it is the Japanese word for “green.” Midori Organic Salon and Spa only uses organic, natural, paraben-free and non-toxic products. They are environmentally friendly, and recycle all product boxes and containers.

At Midori Organic Salon and Spa, they strive to provide an unforgettable atmosphere that is client-focused and soothing with every service.

Parking is available in front of the building.

For information, call 727-369-5619.
 ... Read More 
Seminole Historical Society meeting
SEMINOLE – Tom Stovall will speak at the next Seminole Historical Society meeting Wednesday, May 25, 7 p.m., at the Seminole Historical Society Museum located in City Park, 7464 Ridge Road.

Stovall, an artist, painted the mural on the city’s iconic blue water tower in 2001. He’s also painted murals at Vinoy’s Hotel’s Manchard’s Grill, the Crescent Lake water tower and the Yellow Submarine.

The museum is open regularly on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Private tours are available for local organizations and schools.

For more information, call president Michele Abramo at 727-399-0587.
 ... Read More 
• Thursday, May 26, 2016
First Aid classes
SEMINOLE – Seminole Fire Rescue will offer free basic First Aid classes on Thursdays, Jan. 28, April 14 and May 26, 7 p.m., at Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N.

To receive an American Heart Association Basic First Aid or Heartsaver course completion card there will be a $5 processing fee. Parking is free.

Contact bdykens@myseminole.com or call 393-8711, ext. 210 to register.
 ... Read More 
Gulf Beaches library blood drive
MADEIRA BEACH – Gulf Beaches Public Library will host a blood drive Thursday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All donors will receive a free T-shirt and a wellness checkup. Identification will be required. The library is located at 200 Municipal Drive.
 ... Read More 
Water arthritis classes
PINELLAS PARK – Water arthritis classes are offered at Skyview Pool, 9040 54th Way N., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:40 to 9:40 a.m. Cost is $2.50 per person.

Doing arthritis exercises in the water provides added resistance for a great workout. Classes will focus on gentle stretching, balance and movements. Swimming not required. Exercises done in shallow waters. Call 369-5694 for more information.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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