PINELLAS PARK - The city of Pinellas Park held a groundbreaking ceremony for Pinellas County’s first shipping container home, to be built at 5705 Park Blvd., Oct. 15.
The two-story, 2,030-square-foot building will focus on the city’s emerging arts district and will serve as a live/work space for an area artist. The structure will include an art gallery and studio on the ground floor, with living quarters on the second. The building will have a vertical tower at its entrance and at night it will be lit up, showcasing the artist’s work.
Using an industrial cube to create the space will cost a fraction of building a traditional home with savings of $25 to $30 per square foot, said Robert Cox, principal at iDesign Architecture of Clearwater.
PINELLAS PARK - Park Place Wesleyan Church, 4400 70th Ave. N., will host its second annual fair trade marketplace Saturday, Nov. 7, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The outdoor and indoor shopping experience will feature merchandise from artisans around the world, including food, clothing, jewelry, personal hygiene items, accessories and more, and representing 15 countries, said Linda Swager, the church’s Women’s Ministry leader who helped to organize the event.
The market will give people living in Pinellas County the opportunity to shop for fair trade merchandise from different cultures while supporting individuals in impoverished areas, she added. Often these artisans rely on shoppers in wealthier countries to make a living.
PINELLAS PARK - The arts of writing and reading are about to take center stage in Pinellas Park. On Saturday, Nov. 7, 2 to 8 p.m., the city will host the first Tampa Bay Book Fair at Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd. N.
Two groups that focus on books have organized the event: The Barbara S. Ponce Public Library and literary arts group Wordier Than Thou.
Library Director Angela Pietras says the Tampa Bay Book Fair is a perfect opportunity for book-oriented people to show off their wares.
PINELLAS PARK - It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a Great American Pumpkin Race. Just prior to intermission at the Showtime Speedway, 4550 Ulmerton Road, Oct. 31, several drivers placed a pumpkin on the roof of their vehicle and took off.
The goal was to race as fast as possible without the pumpkin sliding off. Once the pumpkin hit the track, the car was out of the competition. It came down to Chris Thornton and the 59X Pro Truck of Becca Monopoli, who claimed the $100 winner-takes-all prize at the end.
PINELLAS PARK - In a Sept. 26 ceremony at the C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center, Maj. Gen. Mary E. Link assumed command of the Army Reserve Medical Command from Maj. Gen. Bryan R. Kelly.
The ceremony also served as a simultaneous platform for the ARMEDCOM Change of Responsibility, in which Command Sgt. Maj. Marlo V. Cross Jr. assumed responsibility as the unit’s senior enlisted adviser from Command Sgt. Maj. Harold P. Estabrooks.
The day’s events kicked off with a promotion ceremony for Link, who went from the rank of brigadier general to major general, and it was truly a family affair.
PINELLAS PARK - After months of hard work, the Pinellas Park Better Block is finally here. The pop-up event, designed to showcase the city’s growing business and arts district in the 5600, 5700 and 5800 blocks along Park Boulevard, will take place Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Better Block event falls within the Community Redevelopment District, where, in recent years, the city has purchased a number of blighted properties to revamp the area and encourage the growth of small businesses. An international program that was founded in Dallas, this unique pop-up event, which focuses on urban redevelopment, is designed to build a life-sized working model of what the area could look like. It will include pedestrian-friendly transportation, pop-up art galleries, boutiques, vendors and public art, and arts and entertainment programming.
PINELLAS PARK - The city has created University of Pinellas Park to offer residents and business owners a behind-the-scenes look at how local government works.
Orientation for the program will take place Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at City Hall, 5141 78th Ave. N. and will include lunch with the city manager and City Council.
UPP is a revamped version of the city’s A Pinellas Park Learning Experience (APPLE) program, which was last held in 2014. As APPLE’s attendance dwindled, though, the city decided to rejuvenate the program and relaunch it as UPP. Shannon Coughlin, the city’s economic development manager, hopes between 20 and 25 applicants will sign up for this first year.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Fire and Police Departments are teaming up with the Red Cross to conduct a smoke alarm sweep Saturday, Nov. 14 in the city’s Community Redevelopment District.
The Community Redevelopment District, which is 2 square miles, is located along Park Boulevard bounded by 34th Street on the east and 67th Street on the west between 78th and 70th avenues, and extending to 86th and 62nd avenues along 49th Street. It’s one of the largest in Pinellas County. It’s also been an area of special focus for the city, which has purchased a number of blighted properties to encourage a growing business and arts district.
“We chose an area that we thought might benefit the most from making sure residents have smoke alarms in their houses or apartments,” said Gary Berkheimer, deputy fire chief. “We thought we should pick that area because the city and mayor really want to do more stuff in that area.”
Free English lessons PINELLAS PARK – Free English lessons for adult speakers of other languages are offered Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8 p.m., in the parish hall at Sacred Heart Church, 7809 46th Way.
Everyone is welcome. For information, call 541-4447.
Faces of AIDS ST. PETERSBURG – World AIDS Day: Faces of AIDS, a panel discussion, will be presented Tuesday, Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m., in Wireman Chapel, at Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S.
In honor of World AIDS Day, a panel discussion will focus on the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS. About 1.2 million people have been infected with HIV in the United States and Florida has the highest rate of infection. The infection rate in Pinellas County has increased by more than 30 percent in the past year. Since the beginning, HIV/AIDS has been a disease stigmatized due to gender, race, class and sexual taboos.
This event features a panel of people directly affected by the epidemic, squares from the AIDS Quilt and a candlelight vigil for those who have been lost.
First-time homebuyers workshop LARGO – The Community Service Foundation will host a free, two-part first-time homebuyers workshop on Tuesdays, Dec. 1 and 8, 6 to 9 p.m., at Pinellas County Housing Authority, 11479 Ulmerton Road.
The workshop is designed to help first-time homebuyers go through the process of purchasing a home and qualifying for down payment and closing costs assistance. Participants must attend both sessions to earn a certificate.
For information or to register, visit www.csfhome.org or call 461-0618, ext. 3.
Free facial and makeup mixer ST. PETERSBURG – Beth Mahon, owner of The Red Oar Boutique at 7228 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg, will host a free facial and makeup mixer on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7 to 9 p.m.
Mahon will introduce American made Beauty Society products. Complimentary wine and cheese will be provided and a portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit the Northside Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast.
Largo Woman’s Club meeting LARGO – The Largo Woman’s Club meets first Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m., at the Royal Palms, 300 Lake Ave.
The monthly meetings, held September through May, are $8 and include lunch.
The club’s mission is to promote charitable and civic progress of the city of Largo. Its members invite new residents and any fun and caring people to attend the meetings and business lunches, which include entertainment.
The club was founded to build sidewalks along Bay Drive. Its next project was building the Largo Public Library. The library and the Woman’s Club will be 100 years old in 2015.
For more information about the club, call Ellen at 584-8314 or Pat at 584-0297.
Military Order of the World Wars meeting CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars meets for lunch on the first Tuesday of each month at the Belleair Country Club, 1 Country Club Lane.
Social hour starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch and a short program.
Military officers who are retired or are on active duty or former officers and their spouses or widows are invited to attend. The MOWW also welcomes new members.
To make reservations or to inquire about becoming a member, call George Smith at 786-5578.
Pasta and dancing CLEARWATER – The Italian club of Greater Clearwater will host pasta dinners each Tuesday, monthly, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at 200 S. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Dancing also will be held on some Saturdays. For information, call 791-8698.
Safe boating class ST. PETE BEACH – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 78 has a 12-week continuous cycle of Safe Boating Programs Tuesdays, 7 p.m., in the Warren Webster Building, at 1500 Pass-A-Grille Way.
Attendees can start at their convenience. New participants should arrive for their first class at 6:30 p.m. to register. Included in this program are detailed and illustrated materials that cover a variety of program topics.
The program package is based on the new USCG Auxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship 14th edition 400-page manual. All materials will be included in the cost of the program, which is $45 per participant for 12 weeks. Cost is $60 for couples sharing the materials.
For information, call Jim at 360-4846, Warren at 321-7801 or Phil at 865-2226.
Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meeting SEMINOLE – Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meets at 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays at the Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St.
This personal development program helps individuals become confident speakers in a self-paced, fun atmosphere.
Contact Dennis Hamel at 374-2612 or visit seminolespc.toastmastersclubs.org for more information.