PINELLAS PARK - As part of its outreach program, Praise Cathedral, 4371 76th Ave. N., recently installed a Little Free Pantry as a way of reaching the homeless and food insecure.
“It’s a takeoff on the Little Free Library,” said Jerry Schwedler, who oversees the project for the Pinellas Park church.
He’s referring to small library boxes that have popped up around the country. The concept is simple. People donate books they’ve read by dropping them off in one of these free boxes. Those in need of a book, take one.
PINELLAS PARK - Nearly two decades after leaving office, Mayor Cecil Bradbury is just as committed to his passion project - the monuments at Freedom Lake Park - now as he was then.
In his final years as mayor, Bradbury, who sat on the City Council since 1978 and served as mayor from 1981 to 1998, shifted his focus to the park. While Freedom Lake, located at 9990 46th St. N., served as a bucolic setting within a well-traveled and populous area, he knew more could be done with the property.
PINELLAS PARK - As a child growing up in Pinellas Park, Firefighter/EMT Chris Huffman remembers the first Chili Blaze he attended. It also happened to be the first one ever organized by the Pinellas Park Fire Department
“I remember going around and eating all the chili,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”
A lot has changed since then, he added, and for the better. That first Chili Blaze was 18 years ago, in 2000. The event was much smaller than it is today, with only about a dozen teams competing in the contest. This year, the event will draw around 50 teams, said Huffman, who joined the Fire Explorers Post 945 as a teenager, volunteering at subsequent Chili Blazes, and eventually became a firefighter who also assisted with the event. He took over as chair of the event during this past year. And while he recalls that first event attracting several thousand attendees, these days the Chili Blaze draws between 30,000 and 40,000 people.
PINELLAS PARK - Tucked away on a woodsy lot at 9501 U.S. 19 N. in Pinellas Park, many people driving along the highway don’t even realize there is a retail shop at the location.
Unless they’re the outdoorsy type, that is. The plot of land, obscured by a thick canopy of trees is Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure, which is set back far enough from the roadway that passersby often mistake it for a park or campsite.
“We do have people pull up and ask, ‘Where do I hook up my trailer?’” said Doug Jackson, who runs the shop with his brother, Darry.
PINELLAS PARK - In public hearings during its Feb. 9 meeting, the Pinellas Park city council voted to make land use changes that would allow a local auto dealership to expand.
The panel agreed on first reading to amend the land use plan map for a 1.7-acre parcel at 7651 U.S. Highway 19 from Institutional (I) to commercial general (CG). The change will allow the applicant, Crown Automotive, to expand its existing auto dealership further north.
In a separate vote, the council also voted to rezone a companion piece of property at 7651 U.S. Highway 19 from “P,” public district to “B-1,” general commercial district.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Arts Village will hold its monthly Fourth Saturday Art Walk earlier in the day starting March 25. The Art Walk will take place 1 to 6 p.m.
The arts district also will introduce a new pop-up art market. All area artists are invited to submit an application to the City of Pinellas Park to sell arts, crafts and handmade items at the market.
The Pinellas Arts Village is a small new arts district encompassing the 5600 and 5700 blocks north of Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park, and extending to the Park Station building at 5851 Park Blvd. The entire Village opens during Fourth Saturday Art Walk, which was initiated in May 2016.
PINELLAS PARK - Most days of the week, Bill Mischler’s day starts the same way.
Mondays through Saturdays, unless he has a Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce breakfast or a Vincent House board meeting, he leaves his Mainland’s home to sit in the McDonalds of the Walmart Supercenter at 8001 U.S. 19 N. from 8 to 9 a.m. He’s joined sometimes by as many as 20 old friends and city residents.
Some have questions about city codes or new businesses coming to town. Others have problems that he tries to help them solve. Most still call him mayor.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards gala and board installation Jan. 21 at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center.
Michael Whitaker of Wellcare, will serve his second term as chamber president. Other 2017 officers include: Dr. Daniel Strauss, president-elect, National University of Health Sciences; Nancy Hodges, treasurer, OPTEK Division - retired; Terry England, secretary, England Bros. Construction.
The chamber also installed current elected and appointed board members, and recognized continuing members: Tim Caddell, retired, city of Pinellas Park; Hope Peterson, past president, New Hope Auto; Jonathan Farris, Crosspointe Church; Housh Ghovaee, Northside Engineering ; Jim Fikkert, Great Bay Signs; Kelli Makepeace, Synovous Bank; Jim Bubenheim, JB Effects, Gene Lofgren, Century 21 Top Sales; Jason Sulisufay, Jessi’s Restaurant; Ugur Lucky Durmaz, BB& T Bank; Lana Beck, city of Pinellas Park Government Relations; Christy Howard, Hydro-Dyne Engineering; Dr. Eric Carver, provost of Caruth Health Education Center at St. Petersburg College; Tom Edwards, Pete and Shorty’s; Becky Moultrie, Assisting Hands; Valarie Lee, Florida Department of Health; Rev. Jimmy Hammond, emeritus; Barbara Sheen Todd, emeritus; and Paul Ziegler, emeritus.
PINELLAS PARK - After months of delay, construction will finally begin at the Wounded Warriors Ability Ranch planned for the 10-acre Lurie Municipal Park, 5500 62nd Ave. N.
While in the past the park has been used predominantly for horseback riding, the park will be the future home of WWAR, which will include equipment designed to help rehabilitate veterans wounded by service.
The park will include a headquarters, wetlands pond for fishing, hiking and cycling trails, specially designed ADA workout stations, playground, equestrian path, canine park and a multi-purpose sports court. Additionally, there will be a pavilion with picnic tables and grills for socializing, as well as a Memorial Garden dedicated to fallen soldiers.
PINELLAS PARK - Four years ago, Tiffany Hausdorf held a one-off Pinterest do-it-yourself workshop at the home décor shop her mother operated.
She never expected the response they received. It was a simple project. More of a craft, she said, a simple wooden frame people personalized to match their home’s décor.
At the time, the small business, Nook & Cranny, was run primarily by her mother, Marsha Patterson. In fact, the shop, located at 10360 U.S. 19, operated out of a portion of a family-owned building, which also houses the family’s longtime company, Tri-City Bolt & Screw, at 10380 U.S. 19, and primarily sold wooden home décor items.
PINELLAS PARK - In an effort to revamp its annual fundraising calendar, Relay for Life has combined events in three communities - Pinellas Park, Seminole and Largo - to create Relay for Life of Central Pinellas.
The organization, which holds events across the country, raises money for the American Cancer Society. All proceeds benefit cancer research.
PINELLAS PARK - For the first time ever, the Rotary Club of Central Pinellas and the Rotary Club of Pinellas Park are joining forces for the sixth annual Rotary Poker Run.
The event is set for Sunday, Jan. 22. It kicks off at 11:30 a.m. - with registration for motorcyclists beginning at 10:30 a.m. - at Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson, 2805 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg and ends at Quaker Steak & Lube, 10400 49th St. N., Clearwater. Along the way, participants will make stops at Biff Burgers, 3939 49th St. N., St. Petersburg; Red Tiki Bar, 7361 46th Ave. N., St. Petersburg; Finley’s Irish Pub, 13477 S. Belcher Road, Largo; and Big Storm Brewing Company, 12707 49th St. N., Clearwater.
PINELLAS PARK - The city of Pinellas Park’s annual Christmas Parade is ready to roll Saturday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m.
This year’s holiday celebration will feature 120 units, said Ricky Butler, operations director for Celebrate Pinellas Park, the group that organizes the parade
The parade begins at Park Boulevard between 58th Street and 43rd Street, proceeding eastbound on Park Boulevard towards The Shoppes at Park Place. Attendees are encouraged to set up with their lawn chairs and blankets starting at 4:30 p.m.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Fire Department stepped up to help local families in need during Thanksgiving.
They purchased meals for 13 families, spending over $1,000 for the project. Meals included a full-sized turkey, canned goods, dessert, bread and more, said Jason Pickett, the chair of the department’s Benevolent Fund Committee.
“We get them enough that we get each family through a few days,” he said.
He added, “It’s a popular event” for local firefighters. This year, 30 firefighters and their families showed up to assist with the shopping at the Publix on Park Boulevard and 49th Street.
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.
Alzheimer’s support group LARGO – Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Ruth’s Promise Adult day program are sponsoring a Practical Grace in Alzheimer’s support group, meeting fourth Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m., in the Prince of Peace Chapel, 455 Missouri Ave.
The group will next meet Tuesday, April 26.
Practical Grace in Alzheimer’s Care is a support system designed by Dr. Cate McCarty, dementia coach, to close the gap between maintaining meaningful faith membership while navigating Alzheimer’s and related dementias. As a follow-up to the recent Practical Grace seminar at Prince of Peace, Ruth’s Promise has expanded their ministry to offer this support group to Alzheimer’s caregivers.
The adult day program is available for respite during the meeting provided caregivers.
Coloring group meeting PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Senior Center, 7625 59th St. N., holds Color Me Calm, coloring get-togethers, every Tuesday, noon to 3 p.m. Colored pencils will be available at the center. Call 727-369-5694.
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.
Pinellas Geological Society Club meeting LARGO – The Pinellas Geological Society Club meets monthly September through May at the Largo Public Library on the fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. Annual dues are $10 and $15 for a family.
Formed in 1958, the nonprofit organization’s purpose is to promote knowledge and interest in rocks and minerals and in the sciences of geology, mineralogy, paleontology, archaeology and the lapidary arts of silver and goldsmithing, faceting, en cabachoning, channel work, beading and design, wirewrap and all types of jewelry.
For more information, call Lee Sheffield at 709-3236 or Walt Staats at 415-7867.
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.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream CLEARWATER – A production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will run March 29 through April 2 in the Arts Auditorium at the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg College, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater.
This version of Shakespeare's classic comedy will feature magic, mischief and some Steampunk fashion as the tale’s lovers escape into the woods only to find they are in the midst of a battle in the fairy world.
Performances will be Wednesday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Matinees will be Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.
General admission is $10. Admission is free for SPC students, faculty and staff and high school students. For information, call 727-791-2548 or visit www.spcollege.edu/events/default.aspx.
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.