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July 7 issue

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PINELLAS PARK - The stretch of Park Boulevard just east of the railroad tracks has always been a hub for the city of Pinellas Park, said Debra Rose, director of cultural affairs.

So it’s an ideal spot for an arts district offering a variety of galleries and activities, including a monthly art walk, that draw city residents and visitors to the area.

The city has actively focused on building what’s known as the Pinellas Arts Village, which spans from Park Station through the 5600 and 5700 blocks of Park Boulevard, and located in the Community Redevelopment District, for the past two years.
 ... Read More 
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PINELLAS PARK - John Lucas learned how to pick from his father at a young age.

At age 6, he’d sift through seeming junk with his father in search of treasure, vintage items they could resell at local flea markets. He’d help carry their finds home.

At first, it was just another chore for him. But this attitude changed when he was 10 years old and was visiting his grandmother in Iowa. He was helping bring her garbage to a local dump when he spied an old Sucrets cough drop box. He opened it up and inside were gold rings, a crucifix and coins.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, June 5
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PINELLAS PARK - Flooding has always been a major issue for the city of Pinellas Park.

The city was founded in a low-lying area that was practically uninhabitable, said Aaron Peterson, construction services director.

“It was just a wasteland, swamp-like,” he said.

In the early 1900s, before the city was even incorporated, its first residents dug channels to drain the land so they could grow crops, mostly sugar cane.

“So flooding has always been a problem,” he said.
 ... Read More 
PINELLAS PARK - The Barbara S. Ponce Public Library, 7770 52nd St. N., launched its summer reading program with a kick-off celebration June 3.

The Friends of the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library has also offered readers a summer challenge: read more books to help the group build another Little Free Library in Pinellas Park. Children can earn LEGOs to build the model for the Little Free Library and also will have the chance to vote on the park where it will be located.

This year’s summer reading theme is “Build a Better World” with an emphasis on three areas: nature, technology and creativity.
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PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Orchestra is hosting its Summer Strings Seminar series on Mondays, 7 p.m., through August, at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, 4951 78th Ave. N., Pinellas Park.

The seminars are directed by Madge Ladd, arts director. The instructor is Julie Paradies, concert master of the orchestra. Featured music includes pieces by Mozart and Vivaldi.

The seminars include violin and other string instruments, such as viola, cello and bass. Instruction covers topics such as bowing and fingering.
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PINELLAS PARK - For the past 10 years, Sesto Ramadori has served up authentic northern Italian dishes from his quaint restaurant, Da Sesto Italiano Ristorante e Vino, on 66th Street North.

Some nights were so busy that he turned away as many as 60 customers a day simply because he didn’t have the space to accommodate him. He considered moving into a larger space for years.

“I always said I would like to, but I was at the point where I was like, but do I want to,” he said. “Really it came down to, can I afford a bigger place?”
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, June 1
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PINELLAS PARK - The city of Pinellas Park is poised to purchase vacant parcels located at 58th Street and Railroad Avenue.

Two of the parcels are owned by John Adamek, while the third parcel, with the building, is owned by the Betty F. Adamek Family Trust, said Debra Rose, the city’s director of cultural affairs. The property was most recently leased to A+ Burke Painting.

At its May 23 meeting, the Community Redevelopment Agency - which is the Pinellas Park City Council acting as a separate body that oversees activity in the city’s Community Redevelopment District - authorized the purchase of the property for $850,000.
 ... Read More 
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PINELLAS PARK - Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York, Dr. Daniel Strauss, National University of Health Sciences dean of the College of Professional Studies, was part of a large family.

He was one of 62 kids - 54 of them foster kids.

“My parents were very loving and giving,” he said. “So I understand the satisfaction of giving back. I was immersed in this very large family with a lot of love. It really emboldened me in adulthood.”

These lessons he learned from his parents’ sense of giving every day, still. He’s enmeshed in the Pinellas Park community. In addition to his work with NUHS, he’s also the incoming president of the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce, chair of its Pinellas Park Medical District and sits on the board for the Vincent House.
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PINELLAS PARK - When Ray Neri, a longtime friend, died earlier this year, Vice Mayor Rick Butler knew Neri would leave a seat vacant on the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County.

So Butler decided to apply for the job, partially as a tribute to his friend, but also because the board, which has a mission of investing in children and children’s issues throughout the county, is in line with his own priorities.

“They do a lot of kids stuff all over the county and I really wanted to be on there,” he said. “I applied for it and was lucky enough to get it.”
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, May 4
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PINELLAS PARK - For the past 1 1/2 years, the Foundation for Sustainable Families has slowly been working to rehab the property of an historic 78th Avenue home.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” said Ashley Rhodes-Courter, who founded the nonprofit organization with her husband, Erick Smith. “But it’s a start.”

There’s a world of difference between the acre lot - “a piece of old Florida” - now and when the foundation decided to move in, she added. But it’s taken a significant amount of work. There was trash throughout the yard, which was overgrown to the point “where you couldn’t even see in the back. It was pure jungle,” she said.
 ... Read More 
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PINELLAS PARK - Like many who live in Florida, Jim Bubenheim isn’t originally from here. The Ohio native moved to New Smyrna Beach after leaving the Navy.

So his memories were important to him. When he moved, he brought a treasure trove with him - photographs, yearbooks and other items. He stored them in the laundry room, out of reach of his then toddler. But when a pipe burst, he lost it all.

“It ruined everything,” he said. “Things that I’d been carrying around all these years, gone. I was devastated.”
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PINELLAS PARK - “You either have it or you don’t,” said Drew Griffin, referring to the flea market business.

He should know. He essentially grew up at the 49er Flea Market, 10525 49th St. N., which was founded by his grandparents, Ned and Pat Burket, in the 1970s. As a child, he and his cousins helped his grandmother collect the $1 parking fee from shoppers. There is no fee, today, Griffin added.

“That was when it was really booming,” he said. “It used to be booming Saturday and Sunday. It was crazy out there.”
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PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for a busy May.

This month the chamber introduces its first Community Family Day Job Fair, Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at St. Petersburg College’s Caruth Education Building, 7200 66th St. N.

In the past, the chamber has generally held a health fair around this time of year, but decided to try something new this spring, said Holly McWeeney, executive assistant.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, April 27
KENNETH CITY - Old Time Pottery, a Tennessee-based retailer, recently announced the opening of its Kenneth City location, set for May 11.

The 47,000-square-foot store at 4665 66th St. N. will mark the 15th store in Florida for the home décor retailer.

During the store opening, the Kenneth City location will host a grand opening ribbon-cutting on Thursday, May 11, 7:30 a.m. Old Time Pottery will offer a free gift to the first 500 customers who shop when the store opens at 8 a.m. Plus, Old Time Pottery will be giving away $50 Gift Cards to customers every 15 minutes on grand opening day.
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PINELLAS PARK - Mr. Pool Inc. recently was selected for the 2017 Best of Pinellas Park Award in the Local Business category by the Pinellas Park Award Program.

Each year, the Pinellas Park Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and the community. These exceptional companies help make the Pinellas Park area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Pinellas Park Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Pinellas Park Award Program and data provided by third parties.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, April 6
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PINELLAS PARK - In an effort to reach younger residents, the city of Pinellas Park has launched a new app offering a variety of information about the city.

“For the new generation, it’s everything,” said Lana Beck, the city’s government relations administrator. “If they can’t get it on their phone, then they might not get it at all or they might not care about it. The goal is to engage our younger population.”

Available for both android and Apple devices through Google Play and the Apple App Store, respectively, the app is “a one-stop guide to the city of Pinellas Park,” Beck said. In addition to access to city services, residents who have downloaded the app also can purchase tickets to upcoming events, learn about the city’s history, view the city’s television programming, tour several areas of the city and access a local business directory.
 ... Read More 
View more archives
Community Calender
• Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meets on the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 7:15 a.m., in the third floor card room at Lake Seminole Square, 8333 Seminole Blvd. The group features speakers from different organizations. Visit kiwanisseminolebreakfast.com or call 727-319-8343 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meeting
SEMINOLE – Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meets Tuesdays, 6:15 to 7:30 p.m., at the Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St. N. Guests ages 18 and older are welcome. This event is free and open to the public.

This personal development program is ideal for supervisors and leaders – or those aspiring – to learn vital leadership and communication skills. Contact Dennis Hamel at 727-374-2612 or visit www.seminolespc.toastmastersclubs.org.
 ... Read More 
• Wednesday, July 26, 2017
CERT course
SEMINOLE – Basic training classes for those who want to become a member of a Community Emergency Response Team and assist during catastrophic situations will be offered in July by the city of Seminole.

The CERT training is designed to help you help yourself and others in the event of a disaster when emergency services are not available.

Training sessions will be conducted Wednesday, July 26, and Thursday, July 27, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 29, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The course is free, but attendance at all three sessions is required for graduation. Participants must be at least 17 years old.

Classes will be held at Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N. Each graduate will receive a student manual and CERT Basic Kit. Lunch on Saturday and snacks will be provided.

For information, call 727-393-8711, ext. 210, or email bdykens@myseminole.com.

To register for the course, visit www.eventbrite.com /e /seminole-cert-basic-class-6-tickets-34008446178.
 ... Read More 
Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 meeting
LARGO – Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 invites new members to its weekly meeting on Wednesdays, 12:05 to 1:05 p.m., at the Young Rainey Star Center, 7887 Bryan Dairy Road No. 120.

The club is open to all residents and workers in the Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole areas.

A Toastmasters club provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their oral communication and leadership skills. Come watch as members present speeches, develop leadership skills by serving in various club positions and participate in Table Topics sessions in a relaxed yet structured one-hour setting.

For more information, call John Rouisse at 727-488-8010 or email johnrouisse@yahoo.com.
 ... Read More 
Rotary Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Rotary Club of Seminole meets weekly on Wednesdays at noon at the Seminole Lake Country Club, 6100 Augusta Blvd. Email pstockfisch@hotmail.com for more information.
• Thursday, July 27, 2017
GFWC Pinellas Seminole Woman’s Club meeting
SEMINOLE – The GFWC Pinellas Seminole Woman’s Club meets the fourth Thursday of every month at Freedom Square in the Roskamp Auditorium at 11 a.m. Meetings include lunch and a guest speaker. All are welcome.

The group offers scholarships to local students and donates to organizations in the area. Call 727-709-3778 for more information.
 ... Read More 
GFWC Seminole Junior Woman’s Club meeting
SEMINOLE – The GFWC Seminole Junior Woman’s Club meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N.

The group is dedicated to serving the community, particularly through programs helping children. Club activities include providing dinner to families at the Ronald McDonald House in St. Petersburg; and the SJWC’s annual “Share Our Spirit” food drive, which helps feed Seminole children during the winter holiday break.

Those interested in learning more about the SJWC are welcome to attend the meetings or call 727-398-0558 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets every Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N. All are welcome to attend. For more information, email kiwanisclubofseminole@gmail.com.
 ... Read More 
Live art event and panel discussion
ST. PETERSBURG – UNIFIED, The Tampa Bay Chapter of the United Nations Association of The United States of America’s is hosting a live art event and panel discussion on gender equality and women’s empowerment on Thursday, July 27, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Morean Center for Clay.

A portion of proceeds from the event’s live art auction will be donated to CASA.

UNIFIED will be an interactive, live-art extravaganza featuring locally and internationally recognized artists and performers based in Tampa Bay. It also will feature an insightful panel discussion with influential leaders of Tampa Bay so we may all learn, interact and discuss how to drive tangible change.

UNIFIED will feature an art installation by Ya La’ford, sculpture by Cecilia Lueza, mural by Carrie Jadus, sand cast glass by Marlene Rose, paint on wood by Tessa Moeller, 3-D Printed Sculpture by Tina Piracci, dance performance by Helen French and poetry by Maureen McDole. The panel discussion on gender equality and leadership will be led by Lorna Taylor, CEO of Premier Eyewear and Chair of TBBCA; Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida; and Beth Houghton, executive director of St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

Tickets and sponsorships to UNIFIED are now available.

For information visit www.unatampabay.org. To learn about sponsorship opportunities, call Robert Kruithoff, fundraising and events director for UNA-USA Tampa Bay, at 727-410-9597 or email fundraising@unatampabay.org.
 ... Read More 
Tai Chi and Qigong classes
ST. PETE BEACH – Tai Chi and Qigong classes are presented Mondays, 11 a.m.; and Thursdays, 12:30 p.m., at the St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach.

This class is designed to reduce stress, inflammation and disease associated with stress, as well as improve postural alignment and flexibility. The class combines specific movements, coordinated breathing and a calm focused mind used in traditional Chinese medicine, Tai Chi and Qigong practices that will improve health, vitality and longevity.

No prior experience is necessary. The cost is $5 for adults or free for SilverSneakers. Visit www.spbrec.com or call 727-363-9245 for more information.
 ... Read More 
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