The Smith family, from left, Kelsey, Jordan, Madison, Robin and David have a tradition of running the 5K Wingding together at the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Clearwater. David is the East Lake cross-country head coach.
CLEARWATER - For the past 38 years, Instrument Transformers Inc. has been a corporate citizen of Clearwater. Now, the company - a subsidiary of the giant General Electric Company conglomerate - wants to expand both its plant and its workforce in Clearwater and has requested a tax break for doing so.
In 1995, the Florida Constitution was amended to allow municipalities to grant “Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions” to companies considering moving to those municipalities or expanding their existing operations in them. On Nov. 6, 2012, Clearwater voters authorized that concept in hopes of luring highly paid jobs to their city.
Currently, Instrument Transformers has 436 employees in a 190,700 square-foot plant on 17.44 acres at 1907 and 1925 Calumet Street. It considered building a plant in Louisiana or abroad, but decided to buy additional land, which will eventually be annexed into the city, and build a 208,000-square-foot plant in Clearwater at a total cost of $49 million for the land, construction and machinery. The site plan was approved by Clearwater’s Community Development Board on Oct. 15.
“This project is really about bringing new jobs for the citizens of Clearwater,” Denise Sanderson, the city’s assistant director of economic development and housing, told the Clearwater City Council at its Dec. 2 work session.
CLEARWATER - The city of Clearwater is looking for an artist or team of artists to design an original logo that will serve as an artistic celebration of the city’s centennial anniversary.
Professional artists and teams of artists at least 18 years old and living in the Tampa Bay area are eligible to participate. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10.
An honorarium of $1,000 will be awarded to the chosen artist or team. A professional artist is defined as practicing fine art, generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional of serious intent and ability. The logo must be an indication of the history events, culture and/or natural beauty of the city of Clearwater.
A selection panel will include a minimum of five voting members, including a member of the Clearwater Public Art and Design Board and one artist or arts professional. The panel also may include one or more non-voting advisers, deemed appropriate by city staff.
CLEARWATER - Stevens Tree Service of Clearwater performed pro bono work on Nov. 27 for the Pinellas Hope Homeless Shelter by grinding stumps and removing hazardous branches.
Stevens Tree Service chose the “tent city” as the winner of a holiday tree removal contest because they had the greatest need.
“They had many dead, overhanging branches that were looming over the tents that could fall and hurt someone,” said owner Bob Dixon. “They also had a lot of tree stumps along the sidewalks that were tripping hazards, especially at night because it is not lit.”
Pinellas Hope has always had tree issues that have been safety concerns, but they lacked the funds to pay for the $5,000 job. This is the fourth year that Stevens Tree Service has provided free tree removal services around Thanksgiving.
CLEARWATER - The Clearwater Aging Well Center, 1501 N. Belcher Road in the Long Center, announces the following special programs in December:
- Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2 to 3 p.m. - The Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s education team discusses their work as a nonprofit marine animal hospital, doing rescues and rehabilitation. The event is free.
- Wednesday, Dec. 11, 11 to 11:45 a.m. - PEAK Heart Health information session. Learn about the January e-health technology workshops with online interactive instruction on cardiovascular health resources. Space is limited. Preregistration is suggested at this free event.
- Friday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to noon - CARFIT. Trained personnel lead drivers through a 12-point checklist with their vehicles to identify car adjustments that could provide better driver comfort and safety. Appointments are required. Call 724-3070. The event is free.
CLEARWATER - Northwestern Mutual recently awarded the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation a $10,000 grant, in honor of Jessica Majeski, a recipient of the company’s Community Service Award. For the last 19 years, the company has recognized financial professionals who have made significant volunteer contributions in their communities. Majeski is a financial adviser at Northwestern Mutual in Clearwater.
Majeski presented the grant on Nov. 11 at the annual student breakfast for the Chi Chi Charity Classic. The Youth Foundation was created to assist at-risk youth achieve academic, social and economic success using the golf course as a living classroom. Its three programs include a dropout prevention school for grades 4 through 8, the First Tee of Clearwater and a Boys and Girls Club on the 170-acre Clearwater campus.
For the past four years, Majeski has co-chaired the Chi Chi Charity Classic event, raising more than $820,000 to improve the self-esteem, character, work ethic, social adjustment and academic performance of children and teens. She also serves on the organization’s board of directors and executive committee.
CLEARWATER - The Nov. 10 TriRock triathlon meant different things to different people. To its organizers, it meant an opportunity to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. To city officials, it meant a way to promote Clearwater tourism. To participants, it meant a chance to compete in a world-class venue. To local hoteliers and merchants, it meant a way to increase business. And to some residents along the event’s route, it meant a brief disruption of traffic. But overall, the triathlon was a big success.
“The beauty of the area was a big plus, not only for the participants from the U.S., but those who came from overseas as well,” TriRock spokesman Ted Matellus told the Clearwater City Council at its Nov. 20 meeting.
Nearly 1,000 participants came from Canada, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Turkey and 32 U.S. states.
“For a guy like myself, who comes from up north, if you give me a chance to go someplace that’s warm, I’m there,” Matellus said.
CLEARWATER - Residents should allow extra time when traveling along Keene Road, Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, Lake Road, Druid Road, Hercules Avenue and Belleair Road on Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, Nov. 28 - due to the Tampa Bay Times' Turkey Trot race.
The following road closures are associated with the race; they are moving closures due to race route, and traffic will be allowed through by police escort:
- Arcturas Avenue from Druid Road to Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard
CLEARWATER - Not all shopping has to be done in crowded malls, big-box stores and online. There are lots of creative, unique, local and thoughtful gifts that can be found just down the road at one’s local farmer’s market or green market.
There are now local markets all over the Tampa Bay area on both sides of the bay. At a recent Downtown Clearwater Farmer’s Market, musician Ric Shirbis of Panakolada entertained shoppers and merchants alike with his steel drum music. Merchants lined Cleveland Street, selling their wares.
Police seek information in hit-and-run CLEARWATER - The Clearwater Police Department seeks information on a hit-and-run crash that happened on the morning of Nov. 22 at Fort Harrison Avenue and Turner Street. A white van struck a bicyclist and then left the scene, according to a police report. The bicyclist was taken to Morton Plant Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Anyone who has information should call 562-4242.
YMCA burglary information sought CLEARWATER - Clearwater Police seek information about a burglary at the YMCA at 1005 S. Highland Avenue either late on Nov. 17 or early Nov. 18. The suspect is a man who appears to be in his 20s who stole money from a safe. He was wearing a black T-shirt and either boxers or shorts when he went inside, then he added dark pants and gloves once inside, according to a police report.
Anyone with information should call Detective Jonathon Yuen at 562-4353.
Speed enforcement detail results CLEARWATER - The Clearwater and Largo Police Departments conducted a speed enforcement detail along U.S. 19 on Nov. 20 from 8 a.m. to noon, emphasizing construction zones, according to a Clearwater Police report. The following citations were given out:
Clearwater Masonic Lodge No. 127 meeting CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Masonic Lodge No. 127 meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 7:30 p.m. at 705 S. Hercules Ave. across from Clearwater High. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. Breakfast is served to the public each Saturday, 8 to 10 a.m. at the same location. Call 447-5161 or visit www.clearwaterlodge127.org.
Community Chorus meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Community Chorus meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Crystal Cove Community Church, 6900 County Road, Palm Harbor. No auditions are necessary. For more information, call Anita at 939-2952.
Florida Herb Society meeting
CLEARWATER – The Florida Herb Society will meet Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m., at the Clearwater Garden Club, 405 Seminole St., Clearwater. Refreshments and herbal swaps will begin at 6:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome. The first meeting is free. Cost to join is $25 a year.
Emily Ruff of Orenda Herbals will discuss gardening with the moon and understanding the best time to plant and harvest and why. Ruff also is director of the Florida School of Holistic Living in Orlando.
The goal of the FHS is to educate members and the general public in the growing and preservation of herbs for use in culinary, medicinal and decorative purposes.
Call Emily Wenzel at 365-8574 or email email@example.com.
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.
Affordable Care Act presentation
SAFETY HARBOR – A presentation about the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act by Dr. Mark Morris, M.D., is set for Wednesday, Dec. 11, 6:30 p.m., at the Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 Second St. N.
Find out more about the law, what is in it, and how it will affect you. Join others in learning about the new benefits offered by the law. Morris is a Tampa Bay pediatrician in private practice and former Chief of Staff of All Children’s Hospital.
Call 724-1525, ext. 4112.
Boy Scouts Troop 10 meeting
DUNEDIN – Boy Scouts Troop 10 meets Wednesdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m., between September through June at 927 Louden Ave.
Call Peggy Ross at 641-5074.
Chess Club meeting
SEMINOLE – The Seminole Chess Club meets Wednesday, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St. N.
Everyone is welcome, though they should know the basics of how to play. Chess sets will be provided and there is no charge to play.
Call Alan Bohrer at 748-2522 for more information.
Largo Toastmasters meeting
LARG0 – Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 meets Wednesdays, 12:05 to 1:05 p.m., at the Young Rainey Star Center, 7887 Bryan Dairy Road No. 120 in Largo. For more information, call John Rouisse at 488-8010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club is open to all residents and workers in the Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole areas.
A Toastmasters club provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their oral communication and leadership skills. Come watch as members present speeches, develop leadership skills by serving in various club positions and participate in
Table Topics sessions in a relaxed yet structured one-hour setting.
Metro Friendly Visitors meeting
ST. PETERSBURG – The Metro Friendly Visitors, a group of LGBT seniors at Metro Community Center in the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg, is making a special outreach to homebound LGBT seniors throughout Pinellas County for communication and socialization.
The Metro Friendly Visitors will meet Wednesday, Dec. 11, 3 p.m., at the Metro Community Center, 3251 Third Ave. N.
Those who participate in the Metro Center senior activities enjoy the good fellowship of regular group discussions and outings. However, members realize that there many in the community who are shut-ins due to ill-health and injury. The M
etro Friendly Visitors program targets shut-ins, those who may be residing alone or in a group care setting.
Metro Friendly Visitors needs help identifying those LGBT homebound seniors in Pinellas County who might welcome some companionship and regular visits from volunteers.
Monthly crafting event
LARGO – Attend a free evening of crafting while taking inspiration from non-fiction books at the Largo Public Library on second Wednesdays, 6 p.m., in the Jenkins Community Wing of the library, 120 Central Park Drive.
Use a variety of materials to create a fun and unique project during this adult program. Families are welcome. The Nov. 13 craft will be a cross-stitch leather cuff.
No registration is required. All materials will be provided. Call 587-6715.