OLDSMAR - Oldsmar City Council member Eric Seidel recently addressed what many had suspected and few could deny: the Tampa Bays Rays are most likely never moving to town, and he believes it’s time for city officials to accept it as fact and move on.
Seidel’s comments on the hot button subject came during the April 18 council meeting. And, as is typically the case with the no-nonsense lawmaker, he didn’t pull any punches in voicing his opinion on the city’s proposal to build a mixed-use development, featuring a 30,000-seat baseball stadium along with restaurant, retail and office space plus other amenities, on 120 acres of land across from Tampa Bay Downs on Race Track Road.
“I think that our efforts, the mayor’s efforts, especially, and the city manager’s and everyone who has worked on promoting us going after the Rays, has done a lot of good things for this city,” Seidel said during his Council Comments. “I think it has raised the profile of our city. I think whether you’re a fan of it or not, it certainly raised the profile in a very positive way.”
EAST LAKE - East Lake Fire Rescue is pleased to announce the addition of two new firefighters: Jacob Dixon and Roberto Hernandez.
The two new hires joined our team on April 3, 2017.
Jacob Dixon was a marine mechanic for nine years. He was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for Punta Gorda Fire Rescue for one year. He obtained his firefighter and EMT certification at Englewood Fire Academy in 2014. East Lake Fire Rescue would like to welcome him and his wife Emily to the department.
PALM HARBOR - Sutherland Masonic Lodge presented two Sunstar Paramedics with its annual Paramedic and EMT of the Year Awards in April.
EMT and Field Training Officer Barry Caps received the EMT of the Year Award for his dedication to mentoring and training new employees at Sunstar over the past three years and teaching CPR and internal safety education courses.
Chuck Walker was honored with the Paramedic of the Year Award for his commitment to excellent patient care, clinical care and quality assurance during his seven-year career with Sunstar.
PALM HARBOR - Two Palm Harbor businesswomen went out in the community to celebrate Pay it Forward Day on the official holiday April 28.
Pay it Forward Day is a global holiday celebrated in over 80 countries, with over 100 state and city proclamations according to Pay it Forward’s official website. The concept came from the book “Pay it Forward,” by Catherine Ryan Hyde and the international day was founded by Blake Beattle in 2007.
The day encourages people to embrace giving and share with each other.
PALM HARBOR - Sprouts Farmers Market, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, recently announced it would soon finish construction on a new location in Palm Harbor.
This will be the fourth store to open in Florida following the opening of a South Tampa store in May. The 33,000-square-foot store will be at 33650 U.S. 19 N. and will open on Wednesday, July 12, at 7 a.m. Details about the grand opening celebration will be announced at a later date.
The Palm Harbor store is bringing more than 100 full- and part-time career opportunities to the area. Sprouts’ “Healthy Living for Less” approach to grocery shopping means potential team members should share a passion for healthy eating and the fresh, natural and organic products offered throughout the store.
EAST LAKE - East Lake Community Library is undergoing their million-dollar expansion one step at a time, starting with the new children’s garden, which broke ground Monday, April 24.
Before the landscapers got started, the library hosted a garden party from April 20 through the 22, selling off plants in the area the new garden is to be located.
Library Director Lois Eannel said that the architects would not repurpose the plants in the new garden area. Instead of just throwing them away, Eannel decided that asking for a minimum $3 donation per plant would be beneficial to the library and residents. Eannel said they didn’t have a goal for the garden party. They just wanted to sell as many plants as possible.
It’s one of Tampa Bay area’s biggest golf tournaments, the Valspar Championship and this year for the first time in 41 years, the Valspar Championship broke ticket sale records during their March PGA Tour Tournament in Palm Harbor selling out on Saturday. The woman in charge and leading this event to new heights is tournament director Tracy West.
West, 52, is one of two women currently running the 46 PGA Tour Tournaments as tournament directors in what some would consider a male dominated field. When she was hired three years ago there were no females running tournaments.
PALM HARBOR - Homewatch CareGivers is expanding to meet the increased need for home care services in North Pinellas County, with John and Elaina Rodenbush at the helm.
On April 25, the company announced today the opening of a new location that will service the entire North Pinellas County Region - Homewatch CareGivers of Palm Harbor. The opening of the new operation allows Homewatch CareGivers to provide its services to a greater number of clients.
The Rodenbush’s are the owners of the Homewatch CareGivers in Palm Harbor, a company established to provide that area with high-quality care necessary for residents to remain independent and healthy within their own homes.
OLDSMAR - As calls to conduct a survey of Oldsmar residents regarding the possible Rays move have intensified, city officials continue to claim such a move would be premature and ill-founded at this stage of the game.
Based on the recent announcement that the team will not make a decision on a new stadium location until the end of the year. Coupled with the news that St. Petersburg is finally going all-in on its proposal to keep the Rays in town, asking Oldsmar residents if they want a Major League Baseball team might not matter at this point.
PALM HARBOR - Pinellas County residents were invited to The Centre, 1500 16th St. in Palm Harbor, on March 15 to give their input on how the county should spend future funds from the Penny for Pinellas.
On Nov. 7, county residents will have the opportunity to vote on the county referendum a 10-year renewal of the Penny for Pinellas from 2020 to 2030.
The Penny for Pinellas is a 1 percent sales tax on the first $5,000 of a purchase, paid by those who spend money within the county meant only for capital improvement projects.
PALM HARBOR - During the March 15 open house event on Penny for Pinellas, East Lake Library updated residents on the progress on their library expansion.
At the Centre in Palm Harbor, residents attending the event could walk between poster boards set up on tables, explaining different ways Penny for Pinellas funds could be spent. They were asked to place pennys from a bag they received at the lobby in jars at each table to show support for the specific projects.
East Lake Library, for instance, had their own poster boards set up at the Penny meeting, hoping for additional funds to aid in their expansion project.
OLDSMAR - A few months ago, representatives for a local nonprofit organization Oldsmar Cares announced their plan to build a 3,000-sq.-ft. headquarters that would replace their current, undersized home on State Road 580 near downtown Oldsmar. Funding for the planned $300,000 building would come from benefactors, matching donations and a commemorative paver project.
The proposal, which was presented to the Oldsmar City Council by longtime board member David Wallace, included a lease agreement which stipulated that Oldsmar Cares would pay $10 in rent to the city each year for 40 years, with the building and the property falling back to the possession of the city should the nonprofit fold or fail to honor the agreement.
OLDSMAR - The city of Oldsmar has hosted a variety of events honoring America’s veterans over the years, including its annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies, photo tributes of Florida’s fallen soldiers and town hall meetings to discuss veterans’ rights.
In fact, in October 2015, Oldsmar was recognized as a Purple Heart Community for its dedication to representing combat wounded veterans.
Oldsmar recently played host to another special veterans event, as Tribute to the Troops, a nonprofit organization based in Minnesota that organizes motorcycle rides in honor of fallen soldiers and their families, made its first-ever Florida ride to recognize two of Oldsmar’s own, USMC Cpl. Barton R. Humlhanz and US Army Cpl. Frank R. Gross.
OLDSMAR - By now you may have heard about the painted rock movement that began out west a few years ago and has been slowly and steadily sweeping the nation ever since.
Or perhaps you were at a local park in North Pinellas County and saw a colorful stone sitting under a slide or atop a fence post and thought, hmmm, that’s a neat looking rock. I wonder where that came from?
Chances are the rock was created by a member of one of the many “YOUR TOWN Rocks!” Facebook groups that have been popping up all over this part of the county, either Oldsmar Rocks or Tarpon Springs Rocks, or perhaps it was one from the Palm Harbor Rocks group or the immensely popular NPR Rocks movement in New Port Richey, which currently has more than 10,000 members.