CLEARWATER - Four industry leaders gave their predictions for 2015 to the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce, based in Largo, during the chamber’s annual breakfast, A Tampa Bay Economic Forecast Jan. 21.
Jenn Holloway, community affairs director of Great 38 TV, moderated the breakfast, at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater.
Beginning the predictions was Susannah Costello, Visit Florida’s vice president of Global Brand, speaking on the tourism outlook for the state.
LARGO - The Largo Public Library invites the entire community to read a book together.
The library bought more than 75 copies of the chosen selection, “Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy” by Carlos Eire. As of Jan. 27, all but five were checked out as the Largo community prepares to join the library in a series of discussions, activities, dancing, culinary demonstrations and a bit of personal writing - all centered on the themes and topics brought up in the book.
LARGO - It might be hard to imagine how a vegetable can be a sign of a person keeping active. But once you hear the story of cabbages and flowerpots, you will understand.
Bill Burdeyny and Dorothy Mappus were married in 2007. Both were in their early 80s. Now they are 90 years old and active. They credit cabbages with helping to keep them fit.
Burdeyny explained what happened.
“I started an experiment three years ago,” he said. “I started planting cabbage plants in big pots, and it worked. This year’s crop is almost due to harvest. They are almost seven pounds each and are good eating; they are sweet.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sidney Chesley of Largo is one of 96 men and women pledging to perform 10 months of national service as part of the Atlantic region’s 21st class of the National Civilian Community Corps, or NCCC, an AmeriCorps program.
As a corps member, Chesley will spend 10 months getting things done for America while strengthening communities and developing his leadership. Chesley and his team will work on a variety of projects focusing on disaster response and recovery efforts. He may work with such organizations as The National Guard, American Red Cross and various state agencies.
Oketo Japanese Express opens LARGO - Oketo Japanese Express recently opened its doors at 12199 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. According to a press release, Oketo Japanese Express specializes in authentic Japanese cuisine. Loi Xa, owner and head chef, brings 15 years of experience to new business, which serves lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Fitzgerald named Woman of the Month LARGO - Elif Fitzgerald, PureLife Medi-Spa director and owner, was chosen as Working Woman of the Month by Working Women of Tampa Bay, a women’s networking group.
“It is an honor to be part of this group of savvy, successful businesswomen and to know they believe in my mission to help people feel young and vibrant,“ said Fitzgerald in a press release.
LARGO - Jury deliberations were expected to begin this week in the first-degree murder trial of a Largo man.
That same jury convicted Joel Adrian Cruz, 29, of the first-degree murder of a two-year-old child Jan. 22.
The Largo Police Department investigated the toddler’s death in May 2013. An autopsy revealed that she was struck more than 30 times over her entire body, with blows so hard her pancreas and liver ruptured.
LARGO - A fleet of fire trucks, dump trucks, 18-wheelers, police cars, motorcycles and buses are coming to Largo Central Park for Touch-a-Truck this Saturday.
The popular event will be open Jan. 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. Children of all ages will be able to get close to their favorite truck for an experience unlike any other.
“For younger kids, it’s just that awe factor to being able to climb into the vehicles and honk horns,” said city of Largo’s special events coordinator Jessica Newsome. “They’re so small and the trucks are so big.”
Crop Till You Drop LARGO – Join fellow scrappers to crop, trim, and embellish at this year’s Crop Till You Drop Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 at the Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave.
The scrapbook extravaganza begins Friday, Jan. 30, 4 p.m., and will continue until Sunday, Feb. 1, 5 p.m., closing from midnight until 8 a.m. each morning. Scrappers will enjoy prize drawings, giveaways and fresh new ideas from fellow scrapbookers.
The cost is $100 per person for the weekend or $60 for Saturday only for those who register by Jan. 1. After that, the price is $125 for the weekend or $75 for Saturday.
The full weekend includes six meals, snacks, drinks and a giveaway.
Indian Shores market INDIAN SHORES – The Indian Shores Sunday Morning Market is open in the parking lot of the Indian Shores Municipal Center, 19305 Gulf Blvd., every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through May.
The market is free of charge and family friendly. Leashed pets are welcome.
“All of our vendors are local, hands-on owners and operators,” said Market Operations Manager Laura Garrison. “We have organic produce, gourmet foodies and some of the best artists and crafters in the area. And we’re really happy to be part of the Indian Shores community. The administration and the police department of Indian Shores are an incredible group of people to work with.”
African Violet Society meeting LARGO – The African Violet Society of Pinellas will meet Monday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., at Cypress Palms, 400 Lake Ave., Largo.
The speaker will be Dee Davis and the topic will be "Why Aren't My Violets Blooming." Everyone who has an interest in African violets is invited to attend. There will be a plant raffle. Refreshments will be served.
Hunger Awareness Forum CLEARWATER – The second annual Hunger Awareness Forum will be presented Monday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 3200 N. McMullen Booth Road.
Featured will be speakers with expertise in issues of hunger in Pinellas, including Jerry Coleman, director of operations for Feeding America Tampa Bay; Jane Walker, executive director of Daystar Life Center; Caitlyn Peacock, Tampa Bay program coordinator for Florida Impact; Peggy Coleman, nutrition operations manager with Neighborly Care Network; and Jennifer Mazur, a social worker and coordinator of the Pack a Sack food program with Pinellas County Schools.
There will be informational displays, the “Surviving the Month” game and a panel discussion.
The 90-minute forum is presented by a collaboration of six Episcopal churches and four Rotary Clubs that is taking a bite out of hunger with the third annual Meals of Hope food-packing event.
Last spring, 250 volunteers packed 80,000 nutritious meals for the hungry; this April 18, the aim is to do the same at the Religious Community Service food bank, which distributes the meals.
The Hunger Awareness Forum is free and open to the public.
For information, call John Fleming at 461-0218 or 599-8911, or email email@example.com.
Military Order of the World Wars meeting CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars meets for lunch on the first Tuesday of each month at the Belleair Country Club, 1 Country Club Lane.
Social hour starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch and a short program.
Military officers who are retired or are on active duty or former officers and their spouses or widows are invited to attend. The MOWW also welcomes new members.
To make reservations or to inquire about becoming a member, call George Smith at 786-5578.