LARGO - The public is invited to vote for their favorite businesses in a city-sponsored “Best of Largo” contest to promote Small Business Month this November.
The Largo Leader is hosting the contest, which will name a favorite business in four categories: restaurants, service providers, retail and office. Participants can vote online at www.TBNweekly.com or by mailing or dropping off the ballot, available inside this week's Largo Leader, to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.
LARGO - Alakai Defense Systems, a small company based in the Largo area, recently secured an $8.7 million U.S. Army contract to mass produce its innovative Stand-off Covert Eye-safe Explosive Detection System, or SCEEDS.
The system is designed to detect explosives from a considerable distance, to be used at checkpoints and forward operating bases as soldiers screen incoming traffic. Its exact range is classified; Alakai President Ed Dottery described it only as “very, very, very long” during a demonstration of the system Oct. 24.
LARGO - The candidates for Largo’s Seat 2 both said their campaigns began at a eureka moment - a sudden realization that they were qualified and capable of becoming a Largo commissioner, backed by a desire to make a difference in their community.
For Daniel Ruffner, a longtime Largo resident with a 30-year career in banking and finance, the moment came at a Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce debate last year. Ruffner, 47, acted as the timer for the debate and as he listened to the candidates, realized that their qualifications did not far exceed his own.
LARGO - Harriet Crozier says that her combined 20 years of experience as Largo commissioner and her record in helping to develop the city are excellent reasons for her to stay in office.
But for challenger Donna Holck, countering “career politicians” is one of the pillars of her campaign.
“Whether it’s big government or small government, once you are in for a long term you become complacent, you don’t always research all the facts,” Holck said. “I would have to really put effort into searching and looking at the different aspects of whatever the situation is that’s at hand.”
LARGO - Along with electing city leaders, Largo voters will be asked to decide on eight charter amendments this election season.
The changes to the charter were born out of a now-regular process involving a citizen charter review committee. Seven members and three alternates were appointed to review the charter beginning April 2013 and suggest changes to the Largo Commission.
LARGO - The Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce invited all six candidates for Largo Commission to a lunch forum at the Royal Palms retirement community Oct. 7.
During the forum, chamber President Tom Morrissette posed two questions to each candidate on economic development and Greenlight Pinellas. Two additional questions were tailored to the candidates for each seat. For each question, the Largo Leader has highlighted the key points of each response.
LARGO - Firefighters from Largo and Seminole responded to a mobile home fire just before 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 25, at Sun Village Mobile Home Park, 12330 Seminole Blvd., Largo.
Largo Fire Rescue reports that multiple calls were received by 911 dispatchers as units made their way to the mobile home park. A column of smoke could be seen from blocks away.
Upon arrival, firefighters called for assistance after finding one mobile home fully engulfed in flames and adjacent units taking damage from the fire. Firefighters managed to bring the fire under control within about 20 minutes and prevented further damage to neighboring homes.
LARGO - Commissioners authorized the purchase of 22 cars for Largo Police Department Oct. 21, a cost that amounted to $732,800 for the vehicles and $37,400 for additional equipment.
The vehicles are 2015 Ford Utility Interceptors and replace 20 Crown Victoria cars. The cars will be painted in the new black-and-white design that Chief Jeff Undestad showed commissioners last week. The new vehicles will be almost entirely black, but will sport the same lettering and logo as the current design, over white doors.
Abundance Swap CLEARWATER – The Abundance Swap, an event where anyone can bring a gently used item or one in decent working order to Moccasin Lake Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane, on Saturday, Nov. 1, noon to 4 p.m.
Those items will be on tables for display and can be taken home for free. Bring something and take something home.
Organizers hope to have a wide variety of items, including books, CDs, electronics and parts, games, sports equipment, art supplies, clothing, kitchen and other household items available for anyone who wants it. This is a wonderful way to clear out one’s closet, drawer or box in the garage and walk away with some other goodies.
Items not accepted include food, shoes, underwear, things broken beyond repair, stuffed animals that have been drooled on a lot, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.
Affordable Care Act seminars PINELLAS PARK – Liberty Tax Service, at 7001 66th St. N., will offer free seminar events to educate everyone about the new tax laws surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
There will be three seminars throughout the day on Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. The seminars will be open to the public. There also will be family fun, entertainment and free food, music and the Lady Liberty Wavers.
Liberty Tax Service also will be collecting used cell phones for the nonprofit Cell Phone for Soldiers. Every phone this organization collects provides free talk time for soldiers to call home.
Fall and Christmas Craft Bazaar SEMINOLE – Oakhurst United Methodist Church, located at 13400 Park Blvd., will host its Fall and Christmas Craft Bazaar Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2.
Hours will be Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The event will feature crafts, bake sale, Georgia pecans, handcrafted gifts, decorations, lighted Christmas trees and florals.
Haul it to the Harbor community garage sale PALM HARBOR – Haul it to the Harbor community garage sale Saturday, Nov. 1 in the Harbor Hall/White Chapel parking lot in Downtown Palm Harbor, 1190 Georgia Ave., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The cost is $10 per space. Vendors must supply their own tents, tables and seating. Call 771-6000.
Historical Society fish fry CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Historical Society hosts its annual fall fish fry fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Ross Norton Park Recreation Center, 1426 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
Adults will be admitted for $12 and children 12 and under for $6. Servings include fried catfish, hush puppies, grits, cole slaw, iced tea or coffee.
Proceeds will go to the maintenance of the Plumb House Museum.
The fish fry is also a fundraising event for the preservation and restoration of the South Ward School on Harrison Avenue, which is scheduled to house museums of Clearwater, Pinellas County schools, Clearwater Bombers and Florida folk art.
For fish fry tickets, call any society board member or call 804-2073.