LARGO - Largo commissioners called for the resignation of Commissioner Curtis Holmes Sept. 16, following the discovery of inappropriate material on his city-issued iPad.
The links to images and YouTube videos were downloaded from Facebook and sent to Holmes’ personal email account. They included a cartoon depiction of Muhammad “makin’ bacon” with a pig and a video of a woman in her underwear shaking her butt in front of a webcam.
“In my opinion, the images and the video that are on his computer are just completely reprehensible,” Commissioner Jamie Robinson said. “If this was found on any city employee’s computer, they would have been fired immediately, no questions asked.”
LARGO - Regal Palms, a senior living community in Largo managed by The Goodman Group, announced Sept. 10 that it has received the 2014 Excellence in Action award from My InnerView by National Research Corporation for workforce satisfaction in assisted living.
This honor recognizes long-term care and senior living organizations that achieve excellence, as demonstrated by overall resident or employee satisfaction scores that fall within the top 10 percent of the My InnerView product database, the largest in the United States.
Regal Palms received the award for second consecutive year. Richard Lewis, executive director of Regal Palms, said the community as proud to be recognized.
LARGO - The city of Largo will spend $817,000 more in property tax revenue in fiscal year 2015, which starts Oct. 1, as compared to the current year, funding an additional police officer, two school resource officers, additional IT personnel and other part-time positions.
The new police officer is one of two unfunded positions in the police department. During the first budget hearing Sept. 4, Commissioner Curtis Holmes proposed adding in the second unfunded position to the budget, at the cost of $75,000 for salary and benefits. The addition to the budget would bring the general fund’s available fund balance - essentially savings for citywide emergencies - to 9.8 percent of total expenditures, below the recommended 10 percent minimum.
“In my professional opinion, I would think that would be unacceptable,” said Amy Davis, manager for the city’s office of management and budget.
LARGO - Largo commissioners spoke in favor of a program Sept. 9 that would allow the city to forgive liens against a rundown or abandoned property after a new owner fixes it up.
The new program would mirror the city of St. Petersburg’s successful code lien release program. City administration would be allowed to work with the new owner to correct ongoing code enforcement violations and bring the property up to the city’s standards. In exchange, the city’s Code Enforcement Board would reduce the fines levied against the property in lieu of a $250 administrative fee.
The commissioners were in support of the idea, which they had proposed implementing in a previous work session.
LARGO - Brian Usher, director of Public Works for the city of Largo, was recently selected as president-elect of the American Public Works Association, or APWA, for the 2014-2015 year.
The association’s approximately 29,000 members elected Usher. He will lead with APWA’s new president, Larry Stevens; immediate past president, Edward A. Gottko and other public works professionals on the 17-member board of directors.
LARGO - The Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-Pinellas gave two donations - $500 to the Suncoast Voices For Children and $250 to the West Coast Players - during its meeting Sept. 5.
The Suncoast Voices for Children provides financial assistance and community resources for abused and neglected children in the foster care system of Pinellas and Pasco counties.
The organization provides beds, cribs, playpens, school supplies, clothing and more to help each child feel cared for and provide motivation to overcome the obstacles of foster care so they can succeed in life. For more information about the group, visit www.suncoastchildren.org.
LARGO - Summer may be ending, but the bikinis are here to stay year-round - and that’s because Ker’s WingHouse Bar & Grill is unveiling its 20th annual WingHouse Girls Swimsuit Calendar.
“We are incredibly excited about this year’s WingHouse Girls Swimsuit Calendar and think it’s one of the best we’ve produced to date,” said Crawford Ker CEO and founder of Ker’s WingHouse Bar & Grill. “It’s hard to believe we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary of both the calendar and the restaurant, but it makes this year’s calendar very special to me and our loyal customers.”
The calendar is now available at all 24 WingHouse locations throughout Florida, with the offering of a $5 dine-in coupon to purchasers.
LARGO - Virginia Jeffrey, 91, strolled out of the iPad class, at Royal Palms in Largo Sept. 2, with a pleased expression on her face.
“I learned more today than I usually do,” she said happily.
The pronouncement is an impressive one, considering how much she has learned since she received her first mini iPad from her son for her 90th birthday last year. The class, taught by technology instructor Polly Bateman, is Jeffrey’s third.
LARGO - The city of Largo is looking to expand its tuition reimbursement program offered to employees who are seeking to further their education.
Largo commissioners considered a resolution amending the city’s personnel regulations Sept. 2. The current provision has allowed 84 employees last year and 94 in the current year to use city funds to take college or university classes toward a new degree.
The expanded program would be renamed the “Educational Cost Reimbursement” benefit, reflecting the ability for employees to use the funds to pay for books and course-related fees. The finance department fields a lot of questions on what can and cannot be reimbursed every year, said management analyst Tyler Thompson.
MOAA luncheon meeting PINELLAS PARK – The St. Petersburg chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will meet for its next luncheon on Friday, Sept. 19, at Banquet Masters, 8100 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park.
Social hour will start at 11 a.m. followed by lunch and a short program. Military officers that are retired, active duty or former officers and their spouses or widows are invited to attend.
For reservations, call Pauline Edwards at 360-2936.
Pinellas County Walk Like MADD 5K and MADD Dash 5K Run INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Mothers Against Drunk Driving will host the 5th annual Pinellas County Walk Like MADD 5K and MADD Dash 5K Run Friday, Sept. 19.
Sponsored by Bright House Networks, the family-oriented event will be held on Indian Rocks Beach with festivities beginning at 5 p.m. and lasting until 9 p.m.
Event planners hope to raise $35,000 to help further MADD’s mission to eliminate drunk driving, support the victims and families of DUI crashes, and prevent underage drinking. The event also strives to rally support for MADD’s educational programs and victim services in Pinellas and Pasco counties.
All proceeds raised from the event remain in the community to further MADD’s life-saving mission of supporting and educating local families and youth on the tragic effects of drunk driving.
Participation is open to the public, and team participation by corporations, churches, and schools is encouraged. Registration is $15 for participants ages 5 to 21 and $20 for those ages 21 and over and includes a T-shirt and participation in the food, fun, and festivities.
Event guests can expect great food from local restaurants and a musical performance by a surprise guest.
Scottish American Society social gatherings Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave., Dunedin.
The cost is $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.
Sunset Market LARGO – Sunset Market is open every Friday through May, 3 to 7 p.m., in Largo Central Park’s parking lot No. 1, at southwest corner of East Bay and Central Park drives.
Vendors will offer vegetables, fruits, raw local honey, herbal teas and wild-caught seafood as well as organic body products, essential oils, arts and crafts. The focus will be on produce and organic products with about 40 percent of the market dedicated to art and craft vendors.
The market offers several ways for commercial business to advertise as well as two free spaces per market reserved for nonprofit entities.
Tarpon Springs High School homecoming parade TARPON SPRINGS – Tarpon Springs High School will march through town Friday, Sept. 19, in its annual homecoming parade. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., floats, cars and marching bands will trek down Lemon Street, Levis Avenue, Tarpon Avenue, Pinellas Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
These roads along the parade route will be temporarily closed from 4 to 7 p.m. for set-up and cleanup. The Tarpon Springs Police Department will be on hand for crowd and traffic control.
Chili Cook-off and Classic Car Show LARGO – The Armed Forces History Museum welcomes the First Responders Chili Cook-off and Classic Car Show Saturday, Sept. 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 2050 34th Way N.
First responders from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties will compete to be crowned chili champs. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 4 to 12.
The afternoon will be filled with all the chili you can sample, classic cars, a Budweiser beer truck, a cupcake truck, hot dogs and snacks, World War II M8 vehicle rides, virtual simulator rides, museum tours and a live DJ from Rhino Cubes. Event sponsors are Great Bay Distributors/Budweiser, Shasta, Rip It Beverages, Little Greek Restaurants, Let’s Roll Promotions, Q105 and WQYK.
The events acts as a fundraiser for the museum’s community outreach, veteran and youth education programs.