Parking spaces become public parks CLEARWATER - Residents are invited to come see if a parking space can become anything other than a place for cars. On Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., twelve metered parking spaces along Cleveland Street District in downtown Clearwater will be transformed for a day into mini-parks, or parklets, at the Reclaim Your Space Event.
Registered participants include the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, RCS Haven House, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (or PSTA), the Clearwater Downtown Partnership, and several city departments. Attendees will vote for their favorite parklet, and Mayor George Cretekos will award the "People's Choice" winner at 1:30 p.m. (The trophy is locally crafted by members of the Pinellas Association of Visual Arts.)
Event expenses were made available through a mini-grant awarded by the Clearwater Downtown Partnership at its "For the Love of Clearwater" workshop facilitated by Peter Kageyama in January 2013. "This one-day event is a 'Love Note' from the city to its residents," says Lauren Matzke, Planning Manager and event coordinator. "This event challenges participants to answer the question: 'What can we do, as a community, to share our passion for downtown and become a catalyst for revitalization?'"
The event is based on National PARK(ing) Day and other similar events held in Orlando, Ithaca, and Sacramento. This is the event's first year in Clearwater. For more information, call Lauren Matzke at 562-4547, email myclearwater.com" target="_blank">firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit myclearwater.com.
Volunteers needed for Festival of Trees CLEARWATER – More than 200 volunteers are needed for the 29th annual Festival of Trees, which benefits the UPARC Foundation. Volunteers are needed for Sunday, Nov. 17 to Monday, Nov. 25, and the event will be held at the Long Center, 1501 N. Belcher Road. The festival is a three-day family holiday event that features more than 100 one-of-a-kind trees and wreaths that were decorated by local artists, businesses and community leaders and will all be for sale. To sign up, visit www.uparcfoundation.org/fot.htm.
Teacher visits from Japan CLEARWATER – A middle school teacher from Nagano, Japan, is spending a month in Clearwater as part of the Sister Cities cultural exchange program. Shinji Tsukada teaches English in Nagano. He arrived in Clearwater on Oct. 20.
Tsukada will observe several area middle schools, including Tarpon Springs Middle, Dunedin Highland Middle, Safety Harbor Middle, Bayside High and Countryside High. He will live with volunteer families during his visit. For the past 54 years, Clearwater and Nagano have participated in this annual cultural exchange program.
“Today’s world is a global community, and this program affords an opportunity for our students not only to share our culture, but also to learn about another one as well,” said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos.
The program also offers an exchange of students from both countries during the year. It is coordinated through the city’s parks and recreation department.
For information about hosting future teachers in this program, contact Felicia Leonard at 562-4852.
View the sky from the library roof CLEARWATER – View the night sky from the roof of the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., on Wednesday, Nov. 13 to learn about stars and constellations. This event for children begins at 5 to 6:30 p.m. when they will create crafts and listen to stories, followed by a trip to the roof to view the night sky through a telescope. Call 562-4970 or visit www.myclearwater.com/cpl.
Library participates in Games Day CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Avenue, will participate in the sixth annual International Gaming Day on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Elementary- through high-school-aged kids are invited to meet at the library from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. to join more than 20,000 of their peers online in more than 1,000 participating libraries across the country and abroad in board games, chess, checkers, Wii, Xbox 360 games, trading card games and more.
Gamers of all skill levels are encouraged to attend the free event, and chess and video game tournaments will be included in the activities for advanced-level gamers.
Company offering free tree removal CLEARWATER – Stevens Tree Service wants to give back this holiday season. It seeks to remove one hazardous tree for free for someone who cannot pay to have it removed.
If you have a tree on your property that is a danger to you or your neighbor and can’t afford to have it removed, submit a photo or two of the tree to email@example.com and explain why you deserve to have it removed.
To qualify, applicants must be 18 or older, must be the homeowner, and must be willing to have a representative of Stevens Tree Service come to their house to assess the tree. Stevens Tree Service will choose five finalists and schedule a time to go look at the trees. The winner will receive removal and disposal of the hazardous tree for free, excluding permitting fees, stump removal and any replacement tree costs.
Visit www.stevenstreeservice.com for a list of conditions that may indicate if your tree is a possible threat to life or property. The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, Nov. 20.