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Sept. 22 issue

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MADEIRA BEACH - A longtime goal for Mark Hubbard is coming to fruition. Thanks to a $25,000 donation from the city of Madeira Beach, Tampa Bay Ferry and Taxi will become a reality Oct. 1 when it embarks on its maiden voyage through the Intracoastal Waterway.

“This wouldn’t be possible without forward, progressive thinking,” Hubbard said at a Sept. 14 press conference. “Hopefully, other communities will help us bring it further south.”

County officials, who also are on board, see the service as a much-needed alternative to crowded beach streets and parking lots.
 ... Read More 
MADEIRA BEACH - The last Madeira Beach City Commission meeting attended by Commissioner Elaine Poe was July 12. Poe abruptly left that meeting, saying she and her husband had receives some “devastating news.”

Poe’s prolonged absence and her future status as a commission member was questioned by Commissioner Nancy Hodges at the commission’s Sept. 12 regular meeting.

Poe has now missed two regular meetings.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETE BEACH - City commissioners decided Sept. 13 to move forward with a malpractice lawsuit against their former law firm, Bryant Miller and Olive of Tampa.

Attorney James Rolfes of the Sarasota law firm of Dickinson and Gibbons, P.A., has been hired on a contingency basis to represent the city.

Rolfes, a board certified civil law attorney who has successfully litigated malpractice lawsuits against other Florida law firms, said his fee would be 33 percent net contingency based on the final verdict. The city will be responsible for his costs, such as expert witnesses, court fees and travel.
 ... Read More 
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REDINGTON SHORES - Three Indian Shores police officers were honored for their part in rescuing victims of a fire that destroyed a four-unit condo.

In a ceremony held at the Sept. 12 Redington Shores commission meeting, Mayor Bert Adams recognized officers Timothy Kennedy, Matthew Holmes, and Matthew Patsch for their bravery and quick action in evacuating the residents to safety.

Redington Shores is served by the Indian Shores Police Department.

Indian Shores Police Chief Terry Hughes described the “heroic deeds” of the officers. At just before 7 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, the officers smelled smoke and responded to a structure fire at 18840 Gulf Blvd. They entered the building and immediately started life saving actions to make sure all residents were evacuated from the burning structure, Hughes said.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETE BEACH - City of St. Pete Beach leaders are considering a conditional use permit that would open the door for the TradeWinds Island Resorts to redevelopment of the former Coral Reef Hotel at 5750 Gulf Blvd.

TradeWinds purchased the site in 2014 for $9.5 million. It is located between the Alden Suites and the Breckenridge at TradeWinds Resort.

According to city officials, the proposed redevelopment is the first phase in a development plan for the TradeWinds property holdings.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETE BEACH - A seagull in St. Pete Beach is probably the most famous seagull all along the beaches, perhaps even in Florida. That is because this is no ordinary seagull.

The seagull’s name is Pete, so named by the people at Café Soleil in the Dolphin Village shopping center. They love him and he obviously loves them.

The love affair started three years ago when the café opened. In addition to serving sandwiches and the like, the café doubles as a bakery. There is fresh bread every day and Pete discovered that very quickly.
 ... Read More 
TREASURE ISLAND - ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, one of the largest independent retailers of wine and spirits in the United States, recently announced the official reopening of its redesigned location in Treasure Island.

Although the store has been open for business throughout the construction, patrons will now be able to fully enjoy the new sophisticated space. A grand reopening celebration will take place on Thursday, Sept. 29, 6 to 8 p.m., to commemorate the remodeled space.

The redesigned ABC Fine Wine & Spirits comes after 45 years of business in the neighborhood and will feature a 17-door beer cooler and will offer over 500 beers, 5,000 wines, 2,000 rare and popular spirits, 400 cigars, gourmet foods, custom gift baskets, glassware and other related items.
 ... Read More 
MADEIRA BEACH - Volunteers are needed to help out at the John’s Pass Seafood Festival the weekend of Oct. 27-30.

The festival is the longest running seafood festival in Pinellas County, with more than 1,000 volunteer hours contributed by the community each year.

Volunteers would work four-hour shifts, and flexible hours are available. Each volunteer who works four hours will receive $15 worth of food and beverage tickets as well as a free T-shirt.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, September 14
TREASURE ISLAND - City commissioners are considering a condominium site plan that would require a modification to the median on 107th Avenue across the street from the St. James condominiums in Treasure Island.

Plans call for a 16-unit condo at 290 107th Ave., immediately west of the St. James Bridge on the north side of the street. The developer of the proposed project is seeking approval for a median opening in front of the complex to allow for eastbound left-in and left-out turns.

According to a traffic engineering study, which is required by the city’s land development regulations, the project would create 12 new vehicle trips during the afternoon peak traffic time of 4 to 6 p.m. However, no mention was made of weekends or morning hours when traffic is also heavy in the area.
 ... Read More 
REDINGTON BEACH - Town of Redington Beach commissioners unanimously approved a $2.87 million budget Sept. 7 that includes a reduced property tax rate and a 3 percent pay raise for most city employees.

The vote during the commission’s regular meeting was the first on the finalized budget, which is nearly $200,100 less than the current year. The 2017 tax rate is proposed at 1.8149 mills, a rollback rate from the current 1.941 mills.

A second, final, vote on the budget will occur Sept. 21 following a public hearing the evening before.
 ... Read More 
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH - With a record of consistency that is hard to match even in Pinellas County, the town of North Redington Beach is keeping the same millage rate it has had since before the turn of the 21st century.

The Town Commission passed an ordinance adopting the tentative millage rate for fiscal year 2016-17 at a special meeting just prior to the regular meeting on Sept. 8.

The millage rate will remain at .7511 mills, 6.6 percent above the rollback rate, for a budget of $863,395. That’s less than $15,000 higher than the current budget.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETE BEACH - Two years ago, officials at the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce realized that steps had to be taken to help increase business for local merchants all along the Pinellas County beaches from St. Pete Beach to Sand Key. The program, known as “Buy Beaches First,” was born.

Now, about to enter its third year, it is safe to say the program has been a success.

The idea was to convince beach residents to stay at home to do their shopping, to change the mindset that one had to go off the islands to get what they want.
 ... Read More 
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E-mail news to bmcclure@tbnweekly.com.
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9911 Seminole Blvd.,
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
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