INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Outgoing Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association President Phil Wrobel is on a mission to make the upcoming Biggest Beach Party Ever, the biggest beach party ever. This one, on Saturday, April 25, will be Wrobel’s last as he’s stepping down from the presidency.
It is a bittersweet decision because Wrobel said this event has been his “baby” since the beginning.
“This is the 13th Biggest Beach party and I was a volunteer right from the beginning,” he said. “In the early days it was organized by the Civic Association, Linda Clark was the president at the time.”
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Residents will continue to have up to seven days in a 30-day period to park their boats, trailers and other equipment on their property for loading, unloading or repairs.
A recommendation from the city’s Charter and Ordinance Review Committee to change the number of days allowed from seven days to three was unanimously rejected by the City Commission at its April 20 meeting.
“We are not looking to police things any stricter when there weren’t any major problems,” Mayor Chris Arbutine said,
BELLEAIR - Belleair Commissioners approved the awarding of a road and drainage contract to the Clearwater firm of Steve’s Excavating and Paving, but not before the owners were questioned about the quality of their work.
Owners Steve and Cathy Sarnago attended the commission meeting on April 21 to discuss with commissioners why previous contracts seemed to have problems.
The issue arose on April 7 when town officials recommended that the commission approve the contract to Steve’s because it was the lowest bid at just over $2.5 million. The work is for road and drainage improvements on Bayview Drive and is part of ongoing infrastructure improvements in the town.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The Rotary Club of Indian Rocks Beach welcomed Liz Fields, executive director of Rotary Camp Florida at its weekly Wednesday meeting, which was held April 15.
Rotary’s Camp Florida was founded in the early 1990s to acquire, operate and maintain a year-round camp facility for children and adults with special medical needs.
Located on 21 acres between Lake Chapman and Gornto Lake in Brandon, the camp can accommodate 120 guests and provides many different special needs user groups with clean, safe, barrier-free camping facilities.
BELLEAIR - What is normally an automatic approval didn’t happen when town of Belleair Commissioners were asked April 7 to approve the contract for the ongoing roadwork in the community. The latest contract was for the Bayview Drive road and drainage project.
The lowest bidder was Steve’s Excavating with a bid of just over $2.5 million. Staff recommended acceptance of the bid, but Rettstatt commented that work done by that contractor in the past had problems. Town Manager Micah Maxwell agreed.
Commissioners wanted to discuss the issue and perhaps award the bid to the next lowest bidder, but were told by Town Attorney David Ottinger that they could not do that. The bidding process only allowed them to accept the lowest bid. To do otherwise would mean changing the terms of the process.
BELLEAIR - Taste of Belleair and the Bluffs, Saturday, April 18, noon to 3 p.m., at the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, 1501 Indian Rocks Road, Belleair.
Guests will enjoy tastes from E&E Stakeout Grill, Bella Vino Wine & Cheese Market, Marlin Darlin, Belleair Market, Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, Donna McCain Personal Chef, Jewel Cafe and Tea Room, Le Petit Bistro, Maggie Mae’s on the Bluffs, Palms of Largo, Panera Bread, Sages West Bay Bistro, The Pie Factory, Thai Basil, and Wildflower Cafe /CeeBee’s Citrus.
Non food vendors who will be showcasing their services include Belleair Wealth Management, LLC, Bluffs Business Association, Carlson Wildwood Florist, Creative Design Team, Decorating Den Interiors-Mercedes Lavala, Fluffy Puppies, JK Flowers, Belleair Coins & the Silver Queen, Patchington and Smith & Associates Real Estate.
BELLEAIR - Developer Mike Cheezem is now the official owner of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. He closed on the deal on March 12, paying $6.2 million for the property.
Cheezem has been the de facto owner of the property for months. He had reached an agreement with owners Raphael and Daniel Ades of Miami but didn’t close on the property pending approvals and permits from the town. Those approvals were reached last month when the commission gave the go-ahead to the mixed-use zoning, which will allow Cheezem to build a hotel along with condominiums and townhouses on the property.
BELLEAIR BEACH - “Residents could be getting their electricity for free” was the bold prediction made during a discussion of the benefits of solar power at the April 6 Belleair Beach City Commission meeting.
Todd Gould, owner of a technology company and a member of the Belleair Beach’s beautification committee, gave a presentation on microgrids at the commission meeting. He said the city’s infrastructure is aging and falling apart.
BELLEAIR - The speed bumps are so annoying on the 900 block of Osceola Road that one family had to change bedrooms so the children could get some sleep. That was just one of many stories to come from the residents at the commission meeting April 7 as they showed up to urge town officials to remove the speed bumps on their street.
The speed bumps, or traffic calming devices in official circles, were installed some weeks ago to slow traffic on Osceola during construction of the roundabout at Indian Rocks Road and Ponce De Leon Boulevard. Osceola became the unofficial detour for traffic to get around the closure on Indian Rocks.
Action 2000 INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The Action 2000 service Saturday is April 25, 9 to 11 a.m., at the 10th Avenue park.
Volunteers may park in the 10th Avenue Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve parking lot. Members of the organization will be mulching and planting spring flowers.
To get ready for the June 20 planting at the county park between 17th and 18th avenues, A2K will have three Wednesday sessions from 9 to 11 a.m. to prepare the site.
For volunteers who have a hard time making Saturday sessions, this could be a good alternative. Club members will be weeding and trimming in the county park, where they will be planting the native butterfly garden.
The park is overgrown and requires some preparation work before the June 20 planting. The prep dates are April 29, May 13 and June 3, 9 to 11 a.m.
American Cat Fanciers sanctioned show SEMINOLE – The Gulf Coast Touch of Class Cat Club has partnered with Career Academies of Seminole, 12611 86th Ave. N.,to host an American Cat Fanciers sanctioned show Saturday, April 25 through Sunday, April 26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the school.
The show will be a fundraiser for CAS’ veterinary assisting program.
Over 100 pure bred cats are entered in the competition. There will also be cats and cat accessories for sale.
Tickets to the show are available for a $5 donation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.acfacat.com for more information.
CAS commercial and digital design students will offer free Adobe Photoshop workshops April 25, 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Bring damaged or old photos and the students will demonstrate how to scan and retouch them. Email email@example.com for more information.
The school’s horticulture program will also host a plant sale that weekend. Students will be on site to help guests select a variety of different plants and to offer advice on growing and maintaining vegetation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Art Hop LARGO – The Greater Largo Library Foundation is hosting the eighth annual Art Hop, a fundraising event, April 25, 6 to 10 p.m., at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive.
The Art Hop will showcase local businesses, special guest artists, the library and the youth artists of the area. The event will include silent auctions, delicious foods, entertainment, dancing and more.
Starting out at the library, guests will board buses and hop all over Largo’s downtown area, visiting businesses and artists. At each business, they will be able to meet an artist, bid on a silent auction item, find great refreshments and explore the business.
Hop to as many stops as you like and then return to the Library to see more local artists, a featured collection, featured artist, and rising star artist. Bid at the silent auction and enjoy tasting samples of food from local restaurants.
The Greater Largo Library Foundation provides funding for programs, services and equipment that the yearly city budget does not fund. The funds from previous Art Hop events have provided for new art pieces to enhance the library, sponsors the English Language Learning Program and other educational programs at the library. The foundation also provides funding for handicapped scooters, new shelving and other material needs in the library.
Purchase tickets in person at the library or call 586-7398.
Arts and crafts show TARPON SPRINGS — The Tarpon Springs Merchant’s Association will once again host its Arts and Crafts Show featuring dozens of vendors Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on on the sponge docks and Dodecanese Boulevard. Food and beverages will be sold on site. About 80 booths will sell everything from jewelry and ceramics to plants and photography.
Beach Branch ACH Ducky benefit TREASURE ISLAND – The Beach Branch of All Children’s Hospital Guild will present its 10th annual Ducky event on Saturday, April 25, 6 to 9:30 p.m., at The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway.
The gala’s namesake is a sassy yellow rubber duck. Last year, Ducky went to the Oscars; this year, he’s having a “Ken-ducky Derby.”
The event with dinner and open bar will feature entertainment, live and silent auctions, Run for the Roses races and a best hat contest.
Tickets are $100 per person, and sponsorships ranging from $500 to $2,500 bring event tickets, tours and recognition. Underwriting opportunities are also available.
Proceeds from the event will help the guild in its third and final year of a three-year pledge of $900,000 to support and sustain the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at All Children’s Hospital.
The program will provide a coordinated, comprehensive and compassionate approach to caring for children with life limiting or life threatening illness and injuries.
In addition to this guild pledge, the Beach Branch gives $2,500 to Flashes of Hope, which provides professional photographs that portray the bravery, grace and dignity of children with life threatening illnesses.
Biggest Beach Party Ever INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association presents the Biggest Beach Party Ever on Saturday, April 25, 4 to 10 p.m.
This event, sponsored by Century 21 Beggins and Paramount Title, will be held on the beach just behind the Indian Rocks Beach County Park, 1700 Gulf Blvd.
Admission is free. Beer is sponsored by Crabby Bill’s, Wine is sponsored by Paradise Air. Stage and band sponsors are Discount Loans.com, Hedrick’s Roofing. Century 21 and Paramount Title.
No coolers or dogs allowed. The Biggest Beach Party Ever is a great family for bringing blankets and lawn chairs and enjoying an afternoon and evening of food, music and fun.” More information available at IRBhome.com.
The Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association, a non-profit organization, donates proceeds from its events to support local community projects and worthwhile causes.
Brooker creek extended hike TARPON SPRINGS – A free extended guided hike will be presented Saturday, April 25, 9 a.m. to noon, at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road.
Volunteer hike guides will lead participants on a 2.8 to 4-mile walk through Brooker Creek Preserve. Hike trails will be determined by trail condition. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are a must; water and a hat are recommended.
Hike guides will meet participants in the lobby of the Exhibit Hall 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of 9 a.m.
Pets are not permitted. All ages are welcome. Children 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult, and those younger than 10 may find the hike challenging.
Career workshop LARGO – A career workshop will be offered Saturday, April 25, 9:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 9000 106th Ave. N.
Attendees will have an opportunity to further develop the skills and knowledge needed to achieve their employment goals, help them find jobs and to help them get the job that they desire by setting themselves apart from the other candidates.
This workshop – valued at $1,000 – is free and open to the general public. For information, call 942-9786.