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Clearwater Beacon
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CLEARWATER - Sand, water and a whole lot of love - that’s all it takes to turn 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach into a trip into your favorite classic fairytale.

The third annual 10-day Sugar Sand Festival kicks off this weekend and it’s bigger and better than ever, said event coordinator Lisa Chandler.

“It just keeps getting bigger every year,” Chandler said of the three-year-old exhibit, which was first showcased in a 10,000-foot tent and now has grown to encompass a 21,000-foot area. “For decades, people have referred to the sand on Clearwater Beach as sugar-like. The goal is to bring two of the beach’s most valuable assets - the sand and the sunsets - together.
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CLEARWATER - The Clearwater Threshers began the 2015 season with a loss against the Dunedin Blue Jays on April 9, but that didn’t stop fans from turning out in droves to kick off the year.

Their major league affiliate Phillies are now back in Philadelphia, the high-A ball club has Bright House Field back as its home for the year with high hopes for a minor league system recently restocked with top prospects.
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DUNEDIN - The Pinellas Art Education Association recently presented the first Arts in Our Community Award to the Clearwater Arts Alliance at a meeting at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.

Wendy Bruce, president of PAEA, the organization of visual arts teachers in Pinellas County public schools, presented the award to Beth Daniels, president of the Clearwater Arts Alliance, and Maria Cantonis and Kay Campbell, co-chairs of the CAA education committee.

“The current PAEA board unanimously decided that the Clearwater Arts Alliance should receive our first award because of all that CAA does for arts educators and arts education in our community,” said Bruce in a press release. “CAA has enriched the lives of thousands of students through sponsorship of student art exhibitions and concerts, and through arts teacher funding. In addition, CAA has been one of our strongest advocates for arts education for all students.”
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Thursday, April 9
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater has another feather in its cap, thanks to efforts to upgrade a local facility.

Denise Rosenberger, advisory board member of the Clearwater Airpark, informed members of the Clearwater City Council of the park’s recent designation as Airport of the Year by the Florida Department of Transportation.

“This is a gateway to Clearwater, this park,” Rosenberger said. “As a pilot, I trained there, I love it and it’s just an amazing place.”
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CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater’s Parks & Recreation Department and Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival are seeking volunteers for the third annual Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival.

The 10-day event, which was just awarded the best local festival by Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater, will run April 17-26 on Clearwater Beach just south of Pier 60.

Volunteers may sign up at the event website, sugarsandfestival.com, and will receive a meal ticket to use at Pier 60 Concessions, a 2015 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival T-shirt, free admission to the festival exhibit tent before and after each shift and free parking.
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CLEARWATER - The Verizon Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon and 5K will be held Sunday, April 12.

The half marathon will begin at 7 a.m. and will conclude around 11 a.m. The 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude around 8:30 a.m. Roads will be reopened as our athletes finish their run and the roads are cleared of pedestrian traffic.

More than 400 volunteers will be lending their support and more than 4,000 female athletes will partake in the event. A full-color map can be found at IronGirl.com. Click on the Clearwater link, then the event info tab, scroll down and click on the 2015 course map
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CLEARWATER - Each year, the city of Clearwater holds a 10-day, citywide event in the spring. Fun ’n Sun Clearwater includes concerts, sporting events, tournaments and more.

This year, in celebration of Clearwater turning 100, the event will be extended by one additional week, April 17 to May 3.

Fun ’n Sun Clearwater 2015 begins Friday, April 17, at Bright House Field as the Clearwater Threshers play the Lakeland Flying Tigers. A Phinley mascot bobble head will be given away to attendees, and the night ends with a ’70’s inspired concert, featuring Disco Inferno. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with first-pitch at 6:30 p.m. Visit threshersbaseball.com for more information.
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Thursday, April 2
CLEAREWATER - From pets to wildlife and the environment, there’s a volunteer opportunity for everyone this spring with the city of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department.

Close to 200 volunteers are needed to participate in a dune restoration project April 18 on Clearwater Beach. A variety of more than 5,000 sea oats, cucumber leaf dune sunflowers, bitter panic grass and Indian Blanket Flowers will be planted to stabilize the large dune. Dunes are an important part of beach ecology, providing habitat, sand stabilization, and initial protection from storm surges. By planting these plants, we are increasing the native biodiversity and enhancing a beautiful feature on our spectacular beach.

In recognition of Sea Turtle Awareness Day, volunteers are needed for a May 2 beach cleanup. In addition volunteers will conduct mock sea turtle nesting demonstrations to beach visitors. This is a partnered event with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Keep Pinellas Beautiful and the City of Clearwater.
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CLEARWATER - The Island Estates Woman’s Club held its annual spring fashion show and scholarship fundraiser on March 17. This luncheon event was attended by 130 women to have fun and raise money for the IEWC Scholarship Foundation.

The scholarship program awards college scholarships to deserving young girls in Clearwater high schools graduating class. Last year the club awarded two $2,500 college scholarships. La Boutique on Island Estates provided fashions and the models wore the latest spring fashions.

The Woman’s Club had tremendous support from local businesses and the ladies that attended this wonderful event. There were 190 prizes donated by local businesses and members’ worth over $10,000. This made the silent auction, mega prize drawing and pick a prize from the scholarship tree a true success
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Thursday, March 26
CLEARWATER - It sounds like things are getting pretty noisy on Clearwater Beach. The Clearwater City Council addressed concerns over the city’s noise ordinance during both its workshop and regular meetings on March 16 and March 19, respectively.

The issue came up in response to a letter city manager Bill Horne and council members received from Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Darlene Kole. In the letter, dated March 4, Kole raised concerns over the application of the city’s noise ordinance, specifically in regard to Clearwater Beach.

“The Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce met with the Board,” Kole wrote in the letter. “It was brought to our attention that the “Noise Ordinance” has once again become an issue and concerns were raised by many of our businesses as to how it is being applied.
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CLEARWATER - Marilyn Michael was honored March 15 for her 25 years as choir director and organist at Chapel-By-The-Sea, 54 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach.

More than 150 chapel members, current and former choir members, faculty from St. Petersburg College and friends were present at a reception in Chapel Hall after the worship service.

Michael received gifts from the chapel membership and the choir as well as accolades from all who attended.
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Community Calender
• Sunday, April 19, 2015
American Legion luau
LARGO – The Heisler-Johnson American Legion, Auxiliary Unit 119, is inviting the public to a luau party and pig roast on the post’s outdoor patio Sunday, April 19, 3 to 6 p.m., at 130 First Ave. SW.

There will be music, games, fun, contests and even a specialty tropical drink. Come dressed to the theme of the party. On the menu will be pork, baked beans, pineapple coleslaw, corn on the cob, rolls and butter and a tropical ambrosia dessert.

Tickets are on sale for $8 per person and can be purchased from the bartender in the American Legion’s lounge. Proceeds will benefit the Auxiliary Unit 119’s programs.
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Citrus Festival
PALM HARBOR – The annual Palm Harbor Citrus Festival is Thursday through Sunday, April 16-19 in downtown Palm Harbor at Florida and Georgia avenues.

The event will feature carnival rides and games, Dancing with the Palm Harbor Stars, a Citrus Festival queen pageant, vendors and a craft beer garden.

Anyone interested in volunteering, should contact the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce at 784-4287.  
 ... Read More 
Crime Victims' Rights Week
CLEARWATER - The Victim Advocate Advisory Committee of the Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force is sponsoring a day filled with fun activities and valuable resources for crime victim survivors and their families Sunday, April 19, 1-4 p.m. at Ross Norton Recreation Center, 1426 MLK Jr. Ave. Clearwater.

The free event is hosted by a team of professional victim advocates from local law enforcement, community victim advocates and not for profit organizations that serve survivors of homicide victims, victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, other related violent crimes and their families.

The collaborative effort reflects the spirit of the 2015 National Theme “Engaging Community – Empowering Victims,” which highlights the importance of building partnerships throughout communities to better address all victims’ needs and crate a victim response system that is open and accessible to all survivors and victims of crime.

Activities will include self-defense classes, Tai Chi demonstrations, yoga, therapeutic events, arts and crafts, DJ with line dancing lessons, live performances, many information tables and more.

For more information, call 727-582-6421.
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Engaging Communities; Empowering Victims
CLEARWATER - In observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, the Domestic Violence Task Force Victim Advocacy Committee is sponsoring a day filled with fun activities and valuable resources for crime victim survivors and their families Sunday, April 19, 1 to 4 p.m., at Ross Norton Park, 1426 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. in Clearwater.

Reflecting the spirit of the 2015 theme is: "Engaging Communities; Empowering Victims," this event highlights the importance of building partnerships throughout our communities to better address all victims' needs and create a victim response system that is open and accessible to all survivors and victims of crime.

The event which will include activities such as Tai-Chi and Self Defense classes; Arts and Crafts; Self Care and Massages; Line Dancing; a DJ; and Face Painting as well as gifts for the first 115 guests. The "goody bag" gift will included a drawstring book bag, a safety whistle and a light-up flashlight necklaces.

The power of partnerships launched the crime victims’ rights movement and the achievements celebrated during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year. Families of murdered children, victims of sexual assault, drunk driving, domestic violence, and other violent crimes mobilized at the grassroots level, joining forces to demand justice for victims of crime.

The National Campaign for Victims’ Rights founded by these partners led to President Ronald Reagan’s reforms on behalf of crime victims, his declaration of the first NCVRW, and the creation of the Victims of Crime Act and Crime Victims Fund, whose anniversary the victim advocate community will celebrate during its Kick Off in observation of NCVRW this weekend.

The event is open to the public and will serve as a prelude to the 2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week which takes place from April 19-25, 2015.

For more information, call victim advocate Bobbie Hodson at 727-580-5474.
 ... Read More 
Farmer’s market
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Farmer’s Market will take place on the first and third Sundays of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pop Stansell Park, 797 Florida Ave.

The market will run from November through April.

Featured items will include natural and organic fruits, vegetables, soaps, foods and much more, including a variety of locally produced foods.

Vendor spaces are limited, and can be applied for at www.csapalmharbor.org /market.

CSA Palm Harbor is a part of the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency, the entity providing leisure services to the unincorporated residents of Palm Harbor, East Lake, Ozona and Crystal Beach.
 ... Read More 
Indian Shores market
INDIAN SHORES – The Indian Shores Sunday Morning Market is open in the parking lot of the Indian Shores Municipal Center, 19305 Gulf Blvd., every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through May.

The market is free of charge and family friendly.  Leashed pets are welcome. “All of our vendors are local, hands-on owners and operators,” said Market Operations Manager Laura Garrison. “We have organic produce, gourmet foodies and some of the best artists and crafters in the area. And we’re really happy to be part of the Indian Shores community. The administration and the police department of Indian Shores are an incredible group of people to work with.”

For further information, visit www.TheBeachMarkets.com.
 ... Read More 
Island EarthDays 2015
DUNEDIN – Honeymoon Island State Park and the Friends of the Island Parks Inc. will present Island EarthDays 2015 on Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, at Honeymoon Island State Park, 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin.

This event is part of National Earth Days, a celebration of environmental and sustainable goals for maintaining and promoting preservation of the environment. Activities will be located in the shady picnic area next to the beach and the wooded hiking trails. Festival hours will be Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is free with paid admission to the park. Park admission is $8 a vehicle with an eight-person limit per vehicle
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Mangrove Trail walk
TIERRA VERDE – A free, guided nature walk will be offered Sunday, April 19, 10 to 11 a.m., at Fort De Soto Park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway S.

Guests will enjoy the beauty of Fort De Soto Park with a one-hour nature walk great for the entire family. A guided walk on mangrove trail is planned. Parking cost is $5.

Registration is required. To register, call 582-2267 and select option 8. Visit www.pinellascounty.org /park.
 ... Read More 
• Monday, April 20, 2015
Beef‘O’Brady’s Trivia Night
SEMINOLE – Beef‘O’Brady’s, 1-799 Park Blvd. N., now offers Trivia Night every Monday, 6 to 8 p.m. The winning team receives a $50 gift certificate. There will be a $5.49 burger with fries special every Monday night. To register a team, call Angel or Mike at 393-2880.
 ... Read More 
Belleair Rotary Club fundraiser
BELLEAIR – The Belleair Rotary Club is having its annual fundraiser Monday, April 20, 6-9 p.m. This year the event will be at the Belleair Country Club in Belleair.

The gala is expected to gather hundreds of wine-and-food loving guests. This year's event includes a Casino Style event together with silent auctions and entertainment by vocalist Erica DiCeglie. Tickets are $50 in advance and will be available online at www.BelleairRotary.org, or from a Belleair Rotary member.

Over the years this event has raised over $150,000 dollars, and supported organizations and charities such as Belleair Elementary School, UPARC, Salvation Army, Polio Eradication, Rotary Foundation.
 ... Read More 
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