CLEARWATER - If not for the Clearwater Library Foundation, there would only be a fraction as many library volunteers, there would not be a Spanish language liaison at the East Library, and some of the libraries may not even have had enough money to be built in the first place.
On Oct. 18, about 200 people turned out to the 10th annual Jazz and Jambalaya event at the Clearwater Main Library, which raised about $20,000 for the foundation, according to Richard Clemens, president of the foundation.
This event is the Library Foundation’s main fundraiser of the year, with all proceeds benefitting the programs the nonprofit foundation sponsors. About 125 people attended the rooftop VIP event before the dinner, and about 200 people then assembled on the main floor for the main event, followed by desserts on the roof.
CLEARWATER - Exactly one year ago, in October 2013, the city of Clearwater switched its system of residential curbside recycling collection from the outdated “curbside-sorted” 18-gallon bins to an automated single-stream system that uses 96-gallon carts.
In addition to the items they previously recycled, residents also can now recycle cardboard, glass and “gable-top” containers. The program has been a huge success.
“The first 12 months of the expanded residential program (October 2013 through September 2014) has seen an average monthly collection increase from 160 tons per month to 440 tons per month,” a staff memo to the Clearwater City Council reported.
“I don’t think that there is any question that recycling is a core composition of what we’re doing,” City Manager Bill Horne told the councilmembers at their Oct. 15 meeting.
CLEARWATER - Once a year, the Clearwater City Council evaluates the performance of City Manager Bill Horne and City Attorney Pam Akin. Usually it’s a love fest, and this year was no exception, with Horne and Akin getting four-point-something grades on a scale of zero to five in most categories.
“I’m extremely happy to have you as our leader at the helm,” Councilmember Jay Polglaze told Horne, a retired Air Force Colonel who was hired for his current job 14 years ago.
Mayor George Cretekos said, “We have been led by the steady hand that he has.”
CLEARWATER - Cody’s Original Roadhouse has moved 47 steps from its original location into the Sea Dog Brewing Company building at 26200 U.S. 19 N. in Clearwater.
This move gives the popular Cody’s Original Roadhouse roadside frontage and a new, larger space in which to serve its customers. In addition, it offers guests the opportunity to sample brews made right in the building.
Clearwater is home to Sea Dog Brewing Company’s Florida brewery and the Sea Dog crew brews its line of award-winning beer on the premises in its 20-barrel brewery. Florida native Bobby Baker is head brewer. Brewery tours and samples of Sea Dog beer are available in the Sea Dog Tasting Room, which is adjacent to the restaurant. Guests also can become members of the Sea Dog Mug Club and have a mug available for use in the Sea Dog Tasting Room as well as in the restaurant.
CLEARWATER - Ovations Food Services recently announced the appointment of Chris Voorhees as the new executive chef at Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Capitol Theatre.
An executive chef with Ovations Food Services for nearly three years, Voorhees most recently opened the catering and concessions areas at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
“Chris’ experience and creativity will be a great addition to our culinary department,” said Brandon Huskins in a press release. Huskins is Ovations’s general manager. “Chris’ flair for fresh, local ingredients will even further elevate our menu selection to create a unique dining experience at Ruth Eckerd Hall.”
A Clearwater wrestling coach arrested and charged with two counts of simple battery the morning of Oct. 21 had a previous arrest in 1999 for a similar incident in Pinellas Park.
But Assistant State Attorney Stephanie Colen determined that the “facts and circumstances” did not “rise to the level of criminal prosecution.”
Almost 15 years later, Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Scott Stern, 45, after an investigation of an anonymous complaint received Oct. 6 that the wrestling coach had battered a student at a location in unincorporated Clearwater.
CLEARWATER - Restaurants from all over the Tampa Bay area offered up scrumptious samplings at the Taste of Clearwater Oct. 9 at the Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater. From seafood and salads, desserts to appetizers, pasta to sushi, there was something for everyone at the 25th annual event.
Crabby Bills, a classic Clearwater Beach staple, served a mixture of seafood, including broiled scallops and Mahi tacos. Lu Lu’s Beach House Café of Palm Harbor had a full spread, including garlic polenta with shrimp, bacon, chipotle cream sauce; lobster macaroni with goldfish crumbled on top; the drunken pancakes with a Guinness pancake with a sangria strawberry sauce and a whiskey cinnamon maple icing. They also were serving iced coffee with crumbled Kit-Kats on top.
CLEARWATER - Because there is no statute of limitations on murder, unsolved homicide cases are never closed. But they are sometimes put on the back burner after months or years with no new leads.
Now, thanks to a pending federal grant, Clearwater investigators are preparing to dust off the files on 20 unsolved murders that occurred years or decades ago.
“These cases reach as far back as 1968 and extend forward to 2008,” a police memo to the Clearwater City Council explains. “The families and victims are still awaiting justice and closure.
“Like most other law enforcement agencies with numerous unsolved cases, (the Clearwater Police Department) is operating under staff shortages, budgetary restrictions and heavy caseloads, leaving neither the time nor resources available to identify, review and prioritize violent crime cold cases that have the potential to be solved using DNA analysis. As a result, cold cases are unable to be pursued as vigorously as desired.”
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater will offer school-day-out camps.
The camps will offer opportunities for kids to enjoy the day off of school while giving working parents options for childcare.
The Long Center, Countryside Recreation Center and Ross Norton Recreation Center will offer a school-day-out camp Oct. 20 and Jan. 5 for kindergarten through eighth grade. Holiday camps include a three-day camp from Nov. 24-26 and two four-day December camps, Dec. 22-26 and Dec. 29 through Jan. 2, with no camp Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Camp hours run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Connections @ Park Station
PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce hosts Connections @ Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd., Room 101, a free networking event, on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at 8:30 a.m.
Contact Carl Lucchi at 458-7863 for more information.
Cooters Crab Fest CLEARWATER – To celebrate the opening of stone crab season, Cooters Restaurant & Bar will host its 21st annual Crab Fest Oct. 23-26, at 423 Poinsettia Ave., Clearwater Beach.
The four-day big tent party will kick off Thursday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m., and will run throughout the weekend, while supplies last. Cooters’ special Crab Fest menu will feature fresh off the boat Florida stone crab, king crab, snow crab and Dungeness crab all at special reduced prices.
There also will be live music under the big tent, commemorative merchandise and drink specials.
Cooters’ Crab Fest is a family friendly event and there is no cover charge. Valet parking will be available.
Erica DiCeglie and the Holy Jazz ST. PETERSBURG – Erica DiCeglie and the Holy Jazz will perform Friday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m., at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 301 58th St. S.
Cost is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Call 347-3215.
This concert is a fundraiser for the Amigos Center (an outreach for farm workers) in Immokalee.
Erica DiCeglie is a local recording artist. She has cut two albums and currently has a song at No. 4 on the Reverbnation website. Holy Jazz is a fantastic musical journey into the heart of the Gospels combining music, words, and imagery.
Friends of the Clearwater Library book sale CLEARWATER – The Friends of the Clearwater Public Library is having its annual fall book sale on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 25, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave. The books will be of all genres.
Scottish American Society social gatherings Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave., Dunedin.
The cost is $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.
Stone Crab Feast INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Keegan’s Seafood Grille will host its seventh annual Stone Crab Feast Oct. 24-26, with special pricing while supplies last.
Live music will be provided by local artists such as BillyD, Pamela Love and Jason Reagle. Keegan’s is at 1519 Gulf Blvd. Hours will be Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunset Market LARGO – Sunset Market is open every Friday through May, 3 to 7 p.m., in Largo Central Park’s parking lot No. 1, at southwest corner of East Bay and Central Park drives.
Vendors will offer vegetables, fruits, raw local honey, herbal teas and wild-caught seafood as well as organic body products, essential oils, arts and crafts. The focus will be on produce and organic products with about 40 percent of the market dedicated to art and craft vendors.
The market offers several ways for commercial business to advertise as well as two free spaces per market reserved for nonprofit entities.
Circus McGurkis ST. PETERSBURG – The St. Petersburg Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) will host the 43rd annual Circus McGurkis peace education celebration Saturday, Oct. 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lake Vista Park, 1401 62nd Ave. S.
Circus McGurkis is a peoples’ fair focusing on peace education and service to the community with special focus on activities for children of all ages and families of all types. It features arts, crafts, music, games, and ideas that celebrate the creativity and activism that makes the community a more beautiful, loving and just place to live.