CLEARWATER – The Clearwater City Council approved payment of $57,500 to Jameel Zubadi on Feb. 6 to compensate him for injuries he received when a city truck hit his vehicle Sept. 4, 2013. It was a routine request, and that was the problem.
Mayor George Cretekos noted that such requests for five-figure payouts to motorists injured by carelessly driven city vehicles have become all too common lately. He and his colleagues on the council agreed that something needs to be done to reverse the trend before somebody gets killed.
“I hope that we can figure out a way to explain to our employees that this costs the city money when they’re not careful,” Cretekos said. “We’re lucky that so far we’re only talking about a loss of property, a destruction of property, not a loss of life.”
Council gives go-ahead to trade in beach rake and two tractors
CLEARWATER – One of the things that attract visitors to this tourist town is its world-famous, manicured beach, and city officials want to keep it that way. Therefore, Kevin Dunbar, Clearwater’s director of parks and recreation, had no trouble Feb. 6 getting the Clearwater City Council to approve his request to trade in a 2001 Barber beach rake and two 2008 John Deere tractors for new ones.
“These have seen the end of their useful lives, but they still have trade-in value that is greater than (the amount that would be received if they were sold at auction),” Dunbar said. “It’s a difficult, corrosive environment out there, and what we cannot afford is for them to be down for any period of time.”
Beach raking takes place 365 days a year, Dunbar explained. But because it is funded from the city’s parking fund, it is only done in those sections of beach that are adjacent to public parking areas.
Phillies truck arrives at Bright House Field
CLEARWATER – When the Philadelphia Phillies come to Clearwater for spring training at Bright House Field, they don’t travel light. Their 53-foot equipment truck left Philadelphia on Feb. 6 and completed the 1,058-mile trip on Feb. 8, just five days before the start of training for their pitchers and catchers.
Among other things, the truck carried 10,000 12-ounce POWERADE cups, a half-pallet of POWERADE mix, 2,400 baseballs, 1,200 bats, 150 pairs of batting gloves, 140 batting helmets, six bicycles, 20 coolers, 25 sets of golf clubs, and a “Phillie Phanatic hot dog launcher.” Clothing items included 2,000 short and long-sleeved shirts, 600 pairs of pants, 600 BP hats, 450 pairs of socks, 350 pairs of shorts, 250 batting practice tops, 200 fleeces, 200 light jackets, 125 leather and elastic belts, 75 pair of assorted shoes and 40 heavy jackets.
This year is the Phillies’ 10th anniversary at Bright House Field. Their Spring Training Home Opener will be played against the Toronto Blue Jays starting at 1:05 p.m. on Feb. 26 at Bright House Field, 601 North Old Coachman Road.