All’s quiet at the boat ramp at Belleair Bluffs on a recent evening as the sun goes down over Belleair Beach. The boat ramp is often bustling with anglers and others who enjoy the Intracoastal Waterway.
BELLEAIR - The days of the Belleview Biltmore hotel could be numbered. Those numbers add up to 103, the days left until the Town Commission’s first November meeting, when it is possible they could approve all that is needed to turn the century-old hotel into townhouses and condos.
Town Manager Micah Maxwell confirmed that the various applications aimed at demolishing the hotel and replacing it with the new construction were received on July 18 and that’s when the clock began ticking.
Maxwell explained that in fact there were three applications received from the Ades brothers of Miami the owners of the hotel.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - In a move to satisfy residents and opposed commission members, the City Commission chose to reduce a proposed utilities tax by 50 percent and leave the millage rate unchanged.
The action came at the commission’s July 21 regular meeting, where residents again showed up to oppose the utility tax. Unlike last week’s workshop meeting, where they were not allowed to speak on the issue, the residents and business owners present were permitted to freely give their views and even were allowed to exceed the three-minute comment limit.
The tentative proposal coming out of the workshop meeting was to impose a 10 percent utility tax on electricity and lighten the impact by reducing the property tax millage rate from 5.35 to 5.06 mills, the rollback rate.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Former big-city hair stylist Chad Malm is now conducting business under his name in the Indian Rocks Beach community.
Malm apprenticed at the Manhattan salon, Bumble and Bumble. During his time there, the California native owned and operated Claude Nine at 9 Claude Lane in San Francisco’s French Quarter.
According to a press release, “Malm’s sheers have worked their magic on a star-studded list of celebrities and models, earning him a coveted following among fashion editors at such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Allure, Harpers Bazaar and Modern Bride which have featured his work.”
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - A 3-year-old who almost drowned in a hotel pool on Indian Rocks Beach was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries Thursday afternoon.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a near drowning at the Holiday Inn near Jimmy Guana’s restaurant, 401 Second St. in Indian Rocks Beach, about 3:53 p.m. July 17.
According to deputies, Dominic A. Cicco of Tallahassee was swimming in the hotel pool with his father, Vincent Cicco, 42, when another child nearby noticed that Dominic was unresponsive in the water. 11-year-old Riley Cooper, 11, of Plant City assisted in pulling Dominic from the water and nearby adults administered CPR and 911 was called.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Donna Valery knew something was amiss when she felt a pinprick on her toe while walking on the beach recently. Valery, who walks the beach practically every morning, looked down and discovered, covered in seaweed, a fisherman’s 9-inch lure with six barbed hooks. She was upset and concerned enough to bring the matter up at a recent meeting of the Indian Rocks Beach Commission.
“That lure had six barbed hooks. Why would you need something that big; it is scary,” she said.
Valery said barbed hooks are outlawed in Washington State and in Ontario, Canada.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Adoption of a controversial 10 percent tax on electric utilities is very likely to happen, based upon comments made by Belleair Bluffs Commission members at their July 14 workshop. The added tax will probably be combined with a .29 mill reduction in the ad valorem tax rate.
The millage rate reduction was offered by Mayor Chris Arbutine as a compromise with residents who had packed city hall to oppose the utility tax hike. The residents were not allowed to speak on the subject, with the mayor declaring the meeting had become “too emotional.” Several of his earlier comments had been jeered by the crowd.
Arbutine said citizens had “verbally abused” the commission when the utility tax topic had come up at last month’s meeting, and he did not want to see that repeated. He invited residents to submit their comments and suggestions in writing to city hall.
BELLEAIR - Belleair City Commissioners unanimously approved the proposed tax rate for the coming year at 6.02 mills, which is the same as last year. They approved the rate at their July 15 meeting.
By law Florida municipalities must inform the county tax collector of their maximum tax rate in advance of a final budget. This means that the rate in Belleair cannot be any higher than the 6.02, but it could be less once a balanced budget is established.
The rate is based on the property taxes from taxable property valued at more than $608 million. Because that amount is greater than a year ago it means actual revenue to the town will be increased by just more than 4 percent.
BELLELAIR - The Belleair Rotary Club’s installation of officers and awards banquet was held June 28 at the Belleair Country Club.
Outgoing President Charles “Chuck” Holloway spoke about events in the past year. One of the high lights was the Wine & Tapas event that grossed nearly $30,000.
Joyce Baskin is the president for the 2014/2015 term. Herb Brown from Clearwater Rotary Club installed her. Herb is the former International Rotary president and told all members about the worldwide efforts by Rotary to end the Polio disease through vaccination.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Residents of Indian Rocks Beach have long prided themselves as being the friendliest in Pinellas County. They have proven it with free parking for beach-goers and plenty of accesses for visitors to get to the beach. Now those same residents are wondering if perhaps they have been too friendly.
Dozens of them showed up at the commission meeting on July 8 to urge commissioners to do something about the number of visitors who show up on the weekends and holidays and clog the streets with their cars and foul the beach with their trash.
Book sale at Gulf Beaches Library MADEIRA BEACH – The Friends of the Gulf Beaches Public Library plan a book sale Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26, at the library, 200 Municipal Drive. The sale will consist of primarily fiction books and paperbacks. For more information, call 391-2828.
National Dance Day LARGO – Tutterow Dancers will offer free dance classes on National Dance Day, Saturday, July 26, 9 a.m. to noon, at Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road.
Tutterow offers preschool ballet and tap for ages 3 to 4, jazz, ballet, hippity hop for ages 5 to 7 and hip hop for ages 8 to 12. Open auditions for the competition team – intermediate and advanced – will be offered 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.
Tutterow Dance Academy is contracted through the city of Largo Recreation, Parks and Arts Department. Class fees are collected by the city for its programs. Tutterow Dancers is privately owned and has partnered with the city of Largo since 1976.
Wildflower Garden Club meeting TARPON SPRINGS – The Wildflower Garden Club will meet Saturday, July 26, 8 to 11 a.m., at Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, 3940 Keystone Road.
The Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve will be out getting their gardening hands dirty in the preserve’s wildflower garden. Participants should bring garden gloves and hat. Morning snacks are usually provided.
Art show and fresh market
ST. PETE BEACH – The Suntan Art Center, 3300 Gulf Blvd., hosts a juried art show and fresh market each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission and parking is free. Call 367-3818 for details.
Monthly Story Swap
PINELLAS PARK – A monthly Story Swap event will take place on the fourth Sunday of each month, 3 to 5 p.m., at Park Station, Room 104, 5851 Park Blvd.
Come share a story – fact or fiction, traditional or original. Stories should be no longer than 10 minutes and family-friendly. Listeners welcome as well.
For more information, call 647-8057.
Democratic Women’s Club of Upper Pinellas meeting SAFETY HARBOR – The Democratic Women’s Club of Upper Pinellas will feature Aaron Darr at its meeting on Thursday, July 28, 11 a.m., at the Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 Second St. N.
Darr will speak on various subjects concerning reproductive health for Florida families. This activist educator will speak on topics such as sex education in public schools and private institutions, teen pregnancy, and the importance of women and men having access to contraceptives and abortion. He travels across the country and abroad to speak about the concern and importance of sex and HIV/AIDS issues.
He also will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Florida State Democratic Women’s Club Convention in St. Augustine.
The meeting itself starts at 11:45 a.m., and lunch is available for a $5 donation. For questions, call Victoria at 744-1101.
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.