BELLEAIR BLUFFS - A group of residents opposed to building a new Largo fire station across from Belleair Bluff's City Hall prompted a discussion lasting nearly an hour at the City Commission’s April 14 workshop meeting. A petition signed by 112 residents was presented by the group’s spokesperson.
Lori Spence of Bluff View Drive represented the opponents. She told the commission she and others had canvassed residents living in the vicinity of the proposed station site.
“As you can see, 112 citizens, to date, think planning for the proposed fire station should not go forward,” she said.
BELLEAIR - With a 4-1 vote Belleair Commissioners approved the establishment of a new zoning designation, aimed specifically at the property occupied by the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
Commissioner Stephen Fowler was the only one who voted against the zoning. All along he has been critical of the new designation.
The new zoning is known as RM-10 and it allows potential developers of the hotel property to produce plans with only 10 living units per acre on the 20-acre site. Up until now the fewest number of units permitted was 15 and city officials felt that was too many and would have been a detriment to the high-end development of the property.
BELLEAIR BEACH - A 66-year-old Largo man was transported to a local hospital via Bayflite with life-threatening injuries Monday afternoon after he was hit by a truck in Belleair Beach.
According to a report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 3 p.m. April 14 on Gulf Boulevard near Howard Drive in Belleair Beach.
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team said Nathen Wright was riding his bicycle southbound on Gulf Boulevard in the bike lane. At the same time, Kelvin Simmerman, 55, of Dunedin was driving a 2013 GMC pickup truck traveling southbound.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Helen R. Proctor, 86, a founder of the Indian Rocks Beach Library and Indian Rocks Beach Area Historical Society, died April 4, 2014.
Proctor was the editor of the Indian Rocks Pictorial History Book, a member of the Civic Association, Action 2000, Clearwater Chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Belleair Republican Women’s Club and American Contract Bridge League. She was a precinct clerk for Indian Rocks Beach for many years.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - City officials are laying the groundwork designed to improve the look of Gulf Boulevard through more trees and landscaping
Planning and Zoning Director Danny Taylor has started work on a proposed ordinance that would create a “canyon effect” on Gulf Boulevard
He told commissioners April 8 the Planning and Zoning board looked at several ordinances in October and November from around the Southeast. Board members liked the town of Belleair’s ordinance and used some of its provisions for their proposed regulations.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Fire stations do not belong in residential and recreational areas. That’s the message a group of Belleair Bluffs residents hope to convey to city officials when they present a petition signed by neighbors of a proposed new station to be located on city property across from city hall.
The property also sits in a residential neighborhood and is close to the city park where children play, said resident Lori Spence, who is heading the petition drive. Spence said a number of residents whose homes are close to the fire station are “very concerned.”
“We are opposed to this. It is not the right location for a Largo fire station,” she said in a recent interview. Spence said the residents are concerned about a decrease in their property values due to the station’s presence, as well as the noise of sirens and fire trucks going back and forth, and the potential danger to children playing in the nearby playground.
BELLEAIR BEACH - Two years ago, voters approved a referendum issue that directed council members to develop a financing plan to underground all public utilities in Belleair Beach.
Since that time, as the cost of undergrounding has continued to rise, the issue has been mostly put aside in favor of more easily done beautification projects.
In May of last year, the City Council decided to set up a committee to study ways to use nearly $3 million in funds Belleair Beach is due to receive as part of a massive Gulf Boulevard Beautification project paid for with county Penny for Pinellas funds. That committee’s efforts have so far produced a crosswalk beautification project, which is currently underway.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - City commissioners unanimously approved a resolution April 8 authorizing the city manager to execute a contract that will allow a company to rent chairs, umbrellas and cabanas at the county and Indian Rocks Beach access park.
In an effort to offset maintenance costs, staff discussed several options to create a revenue source and settled on issuing a request for a proposal March 12 for specific beach rentals at the park, 1700 Gulf Blvd.
The city received one proposal for the service from a company that has several contracts in place in the Tampa Bay area, Advantus Leisure Management Services.
Republican Club of Greater Largo meeting LARGO – Barb Haselden spokesman for No Tax For Tracks will be the guest speaker at the Republican Club of Greater Largo’s monthly meeting Monday, April 21, 6 p.m., in the banquet room of Alfano’s Restaurant, 1702 Clearwater-Largo Road.
No Tax For Tracks is a group of Pinellas County residents who oppose the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax increase referendum. Among the issues to be discussed will be a call for an investigation by Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, into whether a Pinellas County transit agency broke the law by using taxpayer dollars to promote the Greenlight Pinellas mass transit plan.
Speak Easy Toastmasters Club meeting
PINELLAS PARK – The Speak Easy Toastmasters Club meets Mondays at 6 p.m. at Lin’s K Hibachi Buffet, 7610 49th St. N.
Guests are welcome.
The Toastmasters program helps members become better speakers for their jobs, presentations and meetings.
Call Jim Martin at 536-3392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPIRIT FM, Chick-fil-A blood drive SPIRIT FM 90.5 and Chick-fil-A have teamed up save lives by sponsoring the Grill & Chill blood drive, set for Monday, April 21, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at select freestanding Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A restaurants.
All lifesaving donors will receive a coupon for their choice of a free Chick-fil-A grilled chicken sandwich or eight-count grilled chicken nuggets, plus a free three-count Chick-n-Mini’s coupon.
In addition, donors will receive two vouchers each for a free movie ticket, a Grill & Chill oven mitt as well as a wellness check-up or blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron count, including a cholesterol screening.
Participating area Chick-fil-A restaurants include Pinellas Park, 111 Park Blvd.; Oldsmar, 3740 Tampa Road; St. Pete Beach, 4623 Gulf Blvd.; St. Petersburg, 2471 Tyrone Blvd.; Clearwater, 2516 Gulf to Bay Blvd. and Largo, 10075 Ulmerton Road.
Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. For information, visit www.oneblood.org or call 800-682-5663.
Community Chorus meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Community Chorus meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Crystal Cove Community Church, 6900 County Road, Palm Harbor. No auditions are necessary. For more information, call Anita at 939-2952.
Florida native trees ST. PETERSBURG – The Garden Club of St. Petersburg presents Florida native trees Tuesday, April 22, 1 p.m., at the Garden Club of St. Petersburg, 500 Sunset Drive S. Presented by the Jungle and Green Fingers
Circles of the club, the program will feature guest speaker Tim Murray, an ISA Certified Arborist from Murray Tree Service. Murray will discuss Florida native trees and explain how to recognize and treat tree diseases.
Kiwanis Breakfast Club meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meets Tuesdays at 7:15 a.m. in the third floor card room at Lake Seminole Square, 8333 Seminole Blvd.
On the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month, the group features speakers from different organizations.
Visit kiwanisseminolebreakfast.com or call 319-8343 for more information.
Monthly educational series on hemp and cannabis
Witch’s Brew plans series on cannabis
PALM HARBOR – The Witch’s Brew Café/Pub will host a monthly educational series on the subject of hemp and cannabis beginning Tuesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m.
The eight-month series will be presented second and fourth Tuesdays. It will run through October. Each month will highlight a certain facet of the issue, with topics such as marijuana as medicine, economics of the “cannabusiness industry, politics of getting it legalized, spiritual/recreational/creative uses, current and future laws and the opportunities with hemp.
Each gathering will showcase a documentary or talk show on the subject to be followed with discussion. One of the presentations each month will be a screening of an episode of “The Captain Cannabis Show,” an Internet talk radio show dedicated to the hemp and cannabis industry in Florida.
The Witch’s Brew is at 1219 Florida Ave., Palm Harbor.
Rare Plant Network meeting
PINELLAS PARK – The Rare Plant Network meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m., at Church of Christ Annex, 6045 Park Blvd.
Contact Mollie Howell at 797-2328 for more information.
Support group for addicted teens meeting
LARGO – Take a Hand, a new support group for parents and caregivers of teenagers suffering from substance abuse and behavioral issues will meet Tuesdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in portable 1A of Anona United Methodist Church, 13233 Indian Rocks Road.
The first meeting will be Tuesday, March 4.
The group, started with the support of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, will invite guest speakers to offer advice and support to those caring for addicted teenagers, including information about the judicial system, residential treatment and more. The meetings are designed to be a safe place for parents, relatives and friends.
Talent show auditions TARPON SPRINGS – The city of Tarpon Springs Recreation Division will host auditions for its annual Recreation Division Talent Show on April 22 and 24, 4 to 7:30 p.m., at the Community Center, 400 S. Walton Ave.
There is no charge to audition and all ages are welcome. Auditions for all talents are welcomed, including instrumental, vocal, drama, comedy, improv, or dance. All performances must be family friendly. The talent show is scheduled for Friday, May 9, 7 p.m., at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 E. Pine St.