CLEARWATER - Fire doors were added for safety. An air conditioning system was added for comfort. The once-red brick building was painted white. But other than minor changes such as these, the three buildings of South Ward School at 610 S. Fort Harrison Avenue are just about the same as when they were built.
The original building was built in 1906 and was called simply Clearwater School at the time, said Bill Wallace, president and board member of the Clearwater Historical Society. In 1912, a second building on the property opened, which was the first Clearwater high school. A third building was added in the 1950s which added a cafeteria, media center and kindergarten, and South Ward remained an active school until it was closed in 2008. South Ward was added to the U.S. National Registrar of Historical Places in 1979.
The Clearwater Historical Society is giving the school a second life and is working on raising money to turn it into a new historical and cultural center for the Clearwater area and Pinellas County. Proceeds from their annual fish fry, set for Saturday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ross Norton Recreation Center, 1426 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, will help towards this cause.
CLEARWATER - Fifty bucks won’t get you much these days, yet the residents of Island Estates are getting a great deal for their $50 membership in the Island Estates Civic Association, at least according to Association President Mary Lau.
Lau, who has been president of the association for the past two years, says the overall mandate of the group says it all.
“We are really an organization to provide services and entertainment and a sense of community to the residents,” she said. “We do a lot of social things for the community for both the residents and businesses.”
CLEARWATER - The Capitol Theatre was presented with the Florida Redevelopment Association’s Roy F. Kenzie Award for outstanding rehabilitation, renovation or reuse project at an award ceremony Oct. 9 in Miami.
The Capitol Theatre is at 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Through a partnership between the city of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall Inc., the old theatre underwent substantial renovations before reopening in December 2013.
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater Civil Service Board seeks a Clearwater resident to serve on the board for a three-year term. The board is composed of five members, with two of them appointed by the city manager, city employees electing another two, and those four members appointing a fifth member. Currently, one of the city manager appointments is vacant.
The Civil Service Board has the following major functions: to provide advice and counsel on all aspects of human resources management; to receive findings of facts from hearing officers in relation to employee disciplinary action appeals; and to determine the appropriate penalties, if any, to be imposed.
Interested people must be a Clearwater resident and not presently involved with any type of labor union or organization commonly associated with municipal management or administration. The board meets every four months.
Interested citizens should submit a résumé and letter indicating the desire to serve to the following: Joe Roseto, Human Resources Director, City of Clearwater, P.O. Box 4748, Clearwater, FL 33758.
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater has begun its Phase 1 of the Pier 60 Park improvement and upgrade project on Clearwater Beach.
The first stage of this project is creating a flag plaza in which all five military branches will be represented, along with the MIA/POW flag and the United States flag. A concrete monument welcome sign will be built in the center of the plaza with the same design elements as the nearby Beach Walk sign, which serves as the entryway to the winding path along Clearwater Beach. A cutout section of the monument offers visitors a photo opportunity. Landscape Architect intern Matthew Blansit designed the monument.
“The ‘Spirit of the American Doughboy’ and the ‘Spirit of the American Navy’ statues at the eastern end of the Memorial Causeway remind us of the sacrifices of our veterans,” said Mayor George Cretekos. “Likewise, the flag plaza at the terminus of Route 60 will honor the men and women of the United Sates Armed Forces and the principles represented by our flag.”
The next improvement phase of Pier 60 Park will be enlarging the walkways and activity space, relocating the palm trees to another area of the park, thereby creating an improved flow to Beach Walk. The entire project is expected to be completed by spring break 2015. The park playground, restrooms, Pier 60 concessions, visitor information center, the fishing pier, and Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival will remain open during construction. The Sunset Cinema free movie event held at the park will show a final movie on Friday, Oct. 31. Movies will resume at the park once construction is complete.
CLEARWATER - The Island Estates Woman’s Club recently had its seventh annual luncheon and fundraiser. The event, Pink is Beautiful, generated more than $5,600 from the ladies and guests, and the funds will be donated to the Pinellas County Mammography Program to provide mammograms for women without adequate health care to receive this much-needed screening.
The next luncheon will be on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Alfano’s Restaurant, and cost is $20. The keynote speaker will be Jared O’Roark, the artistic production manager at Ruth Eckerd Hall and creator and director of The Shattered Silence.
For reservations, call Barbara at 449-8453. New memberships are available. Call Joan at 812-8078. Newcomers also may call the welcoming committee chairwoman, Amber, at 743-2722.
CLEARWATER - Florida Highway Patrol responded to two crashes with injuries Wednesday morning on U.S. 19 and 298th Avenue North in Clearwater.
The first occurred about 6:30 a.m. The second occurred about nine minutes later, according to the FHP report.
In the first crash, Ricky Joe Brown, 43, of New Port Richey was traveling northbound on U.S. 19 in a 2004 Chevrolet pickup truck. Gary Wayne Sanders, 50, of Clearwater also was traveling northbound on U.S. 19. Sanders was driving a 2013 Toyota Tundra.
Brown and Sanders were in the inside lane approaching 298th Avenue North. Cynthia Marie Blackwell, 26, of New Port Richey was traveling southbound in the inside lane of U.S. 19. She was driving a 2014 Hyundai Accent.
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.
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.”
Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic 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.
The cost is $3 and $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.
Family fun night CLEARWATER – A Family Fun Night sponsored by the Upper Pinellas County Ministerial Alliance is set for Friday, Oct. 31, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Buccaneer Field, 905 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
Costumes are not necessary but welcomed. Children age 6 and younger must be accompanied by parents at all times.
The free event includes entertainment by the Dundu Dole Urban African Ballet, food, games, treats and additional entertainment. There also will be various vendors and on-site service providers.
Food includes hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, soda, popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy. There will be bounce houses and face painters as well.
The event is partnered with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Clearwater Police Department, Walmart, Publix, Clearwater Parks and Recreation, Greenwood Panthers, PSTA, AIB and GFS.
Postcards from Italy PALM HARBOR – Residents are invited to view the video “Postcards From Italy” on Friday, Oct. 31, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave.
This program is a part of the library’s Italian-American Heritage Month celebration.
The video, which was filmed in Sicily, Matera, Irsina, Naples, the island of Procida, Gubbio, Spoleto, Siena, and Rome, shows the uniquely Italian way of life as reflected in its cultural traditions as well as in the stories of its people.
Mildred Cooper, president of Central Gulf Coast Lodge in Florida, Order of the Sons of Italy, will facilitate the discussion for this and each of the Italian/American Heritage programs. Light refreshments will be provided.
For further information, call 784-3332, ext. 3006.
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.
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.
Abundance Swap CLEARWATER – The Abundance Swap, an event where anyone can bring a gently used item or one in decent working order to Moccasin Lake Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane, on Saturday, Nov. 1, noon to 4 p.m.
Those items will be on tables for display and can be taken home for free. Bring something and take something home.
Organizers hope to have a wide variety of items, including books, CDs, electronics and parts, games, sports equipment, art supplies, clothing, kitchen and other household items available for anyone who wants it. This is a wonderful way to clear out one’s closet, drawer or box in the garage and walk away with some other goodies.
Items not accepted include food, shoes, underwear, things broken beyond repair, stuffed animals that have been drooled on a lot, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.
Affordable Care Act seminars PINELLAS PARK – Liberty Tax Service, at 7001 66th St. N., will offer free seminar events to educate everyone about the new tax laws surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
There will be three seminars throughout the day on Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. The seminars will be open to the public. There also will be family fun, entertainment and free food, music and the Lady Liberty Wavers.
Liberty Tax Service also will be collecting used cell phones for the nonprofit Cell Phone for Soldiers. Every phone this organization collects provides free talk time for soldiers to call home.
Fall and Christmas Craft Bazaar SEMINOLE – Oakhurst United Methodist Church, located at 13400 Park Blvd., will host its Fall and Christmas Craft Bazaar Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2.
Hours will be Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The event will feature crafts, bake sale, Georgia pecans, handcrafted gifts, decorations, lighted Christmas trees and florals.