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.
But amid all the confusion surrounding the stadium situation, Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis has rejected repeated requests to ask his constituents how they feel about his plan to build a 30,000-seat baseball stadium, along with hotel, residential and retail developments, on 120 acres of land located across from Tampa Bay Downs.
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.
The Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association appointed East Lake Fire Rescue District’s Fire Chief Tom Jamison to sit as their representative on the Pinellas County EMS Advisory Council. Shelby Willis, the fire chief for the city of Largo was appointed as their alternate.
Chief Jamison has 25 years of experience in public safety as a firefighter, paramedic, EMS and fire educator, and EMS coordinator. Chief Jamison has served the East Lake Fire District since 1995. He has been the fire chief since 2011.
PALM HARBOR - It’ll be seven years in May that the Palm Harbor Camera Club has influenced residents of Pinellas County from Crystal Beach to Brooker Creek to pick up their cameras and explore.
The club began Spring 2010 when photographers Joe Todaro, Joe Kahl and a few others decided Palm Harbor needed a camera club. They met with the owner of Tiffany’s restaurant, Paul Hittos, about reserving the banquet room once a month and Hittos suggested the first Wednesdays of the month.
PALM HARBOR - Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ Board of Directors recently announced St. Clare/Capacity Building Fund and All Region Fund Grant awards.
Grants are awarded through a noncompetitive process and intended to fund organizations, programs or initiatives that are strategically aligned with Allegany’s mission and focus.
A total of $320,000 has been awarded through the St. Clare Fund, a fund for special projects and cornerstone partners, including those that work on building the capacity of the nonprofit sector in the three geographic regions that Allegany serves, including the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough and Pinellas counties), Palm Beach (Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties) and Miami-Dade County.
The Oldsmar City Council unanimously approved Ordinance 2017-01 on second reading on Feb. 7, imposing a temporary moratorium on the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensing organizations and medical marijuana treatment centers within the city for a period of 180 days.
The move follows that of several communities and counties in the state, including Pinellas County, following the passage of the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, known as Amendment 2, in November 2016, and the decision allows Oldsmar officials to research every angle of the new law before allowing such establishments to operate in town. “This gives us the opportunity to gather information, determine what is in the best interests of the city and bring back to you for your consideration and approval an ordinance dealing with these two types of facilities,” City Attorney Tom Trask said prior to the council’s 5-0 vote.
Mayor Doug Bevis expressed support for the moratorium. “We want to get out in front of it and make sure it’s controlled, like any other specialized business,” Bevis said after the meeting. “I don’t know, logistically, how that works. It’s something new for everybody. There’s a learning curve. You’ve got to vet the process, to find out how you do it, and then Tom will make his recommendation as to what we should do moving forward.”
EAST LAKE - East Lake Fire Rescue is proud to announce Kenny Lane as their 2016 Firefighter of the Year.
Lane, who was recently promoted to Driver Engineer, has been a Firefighter Paramedic with East Lake Fire Rescue since March of 2010. Lane came to East Lake Fire Rescue after serving in Marion County Fire Rescue for six years.
Lane is actively engaged in several aspects of our organization including the Water Extrication Team, AHA instructor for Healthcare Provider, ACLS and PALS, the hiring committee, and acting lieutenant.
CRYSTAL BEACH - Each year for more than a decade, the Crystal Beach auction committee has staged a silent auction and party to raise funds for the Crystal Beach Community Association to maintain the Community Hall, the community pier and the beachfront.
This year’s auction will take place on Saturday, March 25, at the Hall, located at 517 Crystal Beach Ave., 6 p.m.
There will be food and drink and lots of fun.
The theme of Anchors Aweigh was chosen because a key auction item this year is a large wooden anchor created by local artists Deb Barasso and Robert Rozzi.