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Sept. 22 issue

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LARGO - For several years, city leaders and staff have focused on transforming downtown Largo from a drive-thru into a destination.

Discussion about two projects on both ends of the area Sept. 13 showed they are still willing to make it a priority - and willing to spend about $2 million to make it happen. One project could even involve a familiar structure that was once the face of Largo: a clock tower.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - It’s official: Largo Cultural Center has a new name. At the recommendation of the Suncoast Performing Arts Foundation, city commissioners on Sept. 6 unanimously approved changing the name of the facility to the Central Park Performing Arts Center.

The rechristening comes as the center prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary with the announcement of a busy 2016-17 performance schedule. The Suncoast Performing Arts Foundation is also marking the occasion with its annual fundraising gala, set for Saturday, Oct. 1.
 ... Read More 
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It’s hard to believe that 20 years have gone by since Central Park Performing Arts Center - until recently known as Largo Cultural Center - first opened its doors.

Its origins date back to the late 1980s, when the Suncoast Performing Arts Foundation Inc., formerly Partners 'N Progress for the Arts Inc., took on an ambitious fundraising campaign ever with the objective of developing Largo Central Park and the Largo Cultural Center. The city of Largo had purchased land where the old Largo Fairgrounds once stood. The master plan included turning this 70-acre parcel into a central park area for special events and other activities. The foundation eagerly accepted the challenge to raise funds for the park and in 1995, when the park opened, they immediately turned their focus to their next major undertaking: the Largo Cultural Center.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - Hurricane Hermine, and the more than 20 million gallons of sewage the city discharged, highlighted the reason why Largo is spending about $80 million to tackle wastewater problems.

After being tasked by the Department of Environment Protection to solve the problem, one of the measures the city took nearly four years ago was to create an ordinance that restaurants must have grease traps of at least 750 gallons to keep fats, oils and grease out of the sewer lines.

Restaurants must comply by Oct. 1, but some owners are not happy about it and told city commissioners Sept. 20 the costly rule could put small businesses in jeopardy.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - Before Largo City Commissioners signed off on plans to bring a tree adventure course and zip line to Highland Recreation Complex, many neighboring residents expressed concerns that the cost of tickets would drive locals away.

The company bringing the aerial obstacle park, TreeUmph!, distributed some details this past week that might alleviate those concerns, including offering discounts to Largo residents.

Ticket prices for the course, dubbed TreeUmph! Blaze, will range between $20 and $40, but special rates will be provided to Largo residents, including discounted return tickets, group rates and annual and multipark passes. Also, active and retired military personnel will receive 20 percent off tickets and first responders will get a 20 percent discount on select days.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - For more than 25 years, Tammy Harrison and her husband ran a successful gun shop in Largo. Ft. Harrison Firearms was a typical gun shop with a strong local customer base.

But then one day about four years ago, two women came into the store. They were longtime shooters, knowledgeable about firearms. They told Harrison about how they had been treated by male owners of other local gun shops.

“They said different gun shops in the area were treating them like they didn’t know anything, like they were morons in the gun world, and these were women who know more than I do,” she said. “So it made me mad.”
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LARGO - National Night Out, a celebration of the partnership between the community and police departments around the nation, is coming to Largo with a week centered on building stronger neighborhoods and promoting community partnerships.

From Oct. 4-9, the Largo Police Department will be promoting National Night Out and National Town Watch and invites citizens to participate in the celebration by registering their group or community.

Once registered, LPD will schedule an officer for a National Night Out event. Suggested ways to participate include community cleanups, volunteering, activities for youth and business or planning a neighborhood gathering.
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LARGO - Pinellas County and the city of Largo encourage residents to bring unwanted electronics, household batteries, paint and other harmful chemicals to the Household/Business Electronics and Chemical Mobile collection event at the Starkey Collection Center, 1551 Starkey Road, on Saturday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pinellas County Utilities in cooperation with the city offer this service free to county residents. Businesses with electronics or chemicals should arrange for drop off and payment by calling EQ Florida at 813-319-3400 for chemical disposal.

The city reminds residents that hazardous waste items should never be disposed of in residential trash collection. These chemicals have the potential to contaminate our ground, air, and surface water if they reach the county's landfill. Hazardous waste also can cause potential harm to Solid Waste workers in transport.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, September 14
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LARGO - The Pinellas Chocolate company is not something out of a Roald Dahl novel. It features a sanitized kitchen packed with state-of-the-art stainless steel equipment, and is tucked away off Bryan Dairy Road in a nondescript industrial part of town.

There’s no magic. There’s no mystery. There’s only a family and its pursuit of crafting delicious chocolate bars.

And Pinellas Chocolate’s owners hope their first retail store will be the perfect platform to showcase those bars.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - City commissioners have been in agreement that the moratorium on parkland and recreation facilities impact fees needs to be lifted. The question has been how much can they charge before scaring off developers.

City leaders took a step toward answering that question during a special meeting of the City Commission on Sept. 13.

After listening to concerns from the local business community and then examining - and reexamining - the numbers, officials voted 6-0 on first reading to charge 50 percent of the rates initially proposed by consultants Tindale Oliver, meaning that building a new single-family home will cost $2,046, a multifamily unit will cost $1,319 and a mobile home will cost $1,124.
 ... Read More 
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E-mail news to cgeorge@tbnweekly.com.
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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