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Sept. 8 issue

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PINELLAS PARK - While many Pinellas County residents attempted to stay out of Hurricane Irma’s reach by evacuating the area or prepping their homes and remaining indoors, Bottles Pub’s staff opened the bar during the Sept. 10 storm for those with nowhere else to go.

A week before Irma was projected to hit, owner Debi Klenk decided that Bottles, 5619 Park Blvd. N., would stay open on Sunday as a refuge for those who lost power or were simply looking for something to do, she said.

“We opened up Sunday so people would have somewhere to go,” she said, “because the bar wasn’t flying away no matter what hurricane weather there was.”
 ... Read More 
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PINELLAS PARK - Nearly two years ago, Jason Bergstrom’s mother-in-law moved in with his family so his wife, Kathy, and their kids could help care for her.

“They’d watch TV with grandma and schedule her care around ‘Cupcake Wars,’ ‘Say Yes to the Dress,’” he said. “Then they got into ‘American Ninja Warrior.’”

Each episode of the NBC reality show features different competitors tackling a challenging obstacle course.
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PINELLAS PARK - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Pinellas Park satellite facility with a commemoration event Aug. 22.

U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist, D-FL-13), and other federal, state and local officials joined Lockheed Martin for its 20th anniversary festivities, which included opportunities to fly the F-35 Lightning II cockpit simulator.

The event highlighted the site’s role in the production of the F-35. The facility manufactures canopies and bulkheads for the aircraft, said Andre Trotter, program director and general manager of the Pinellas Park facility, which currently employees around 250 people.
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PINELLAS PARK - Erin Stoy was just 10 years old when her father, Ron Stoy, opened the first Sound Exchange independent record store in Tampa on North Nebraska Avenue in 1987.

Her father was tired of the corporate world, she said, and decided to go into business for himself. Sound Exchange would allow him to focus on two of his biggest passions - music and fiddling with stereo equipment.

Though she was only in elementary school at the time, her father put her to work in the store.
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PINELLAS PARK - The Juniors of Girl Scout Troop 151 of Split Pines Service Unit decided to put their own spin on the Little Free Libraries that have popped up all over the country for their Bronze Award project this summer.

These small libraries, generally enclosed structures in public areas that contain free books, operate under the notion of “take a book, return a book.”

“At first we thought it was hard to decide [what to do,] but then I just said, ‘Swap-a-Book,’” said Abi Dean, 11, of St. Petersburg. “I said, ‘Let’s do Swap-a-Book’ and then we voted on it.”
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PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Rotary Club has had a long-term relationship with Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Elementary School, predominantly by donating money to teachers for classroom supplies and volunteering at events.

But last year, the club approached the school’s principal Rebecca Moore and told her they’d like to do “something big” for the school as their annual project.

“One of our staff had a brilliant idea to [build a pavilion,]” she said. “I was like, I don’t know’ that’s a big project. But they did say huge, and lo and behold, they came through.”
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PINELLAS PARK - For sports lovers in the Tampa Bay area, the voice of Randy Harris is likely a familiar one.

The host of three radio shows - Talking Sports with Randy Harris, the Players Show and Knockout Radio - he’s easily one of the longest running sports radio personalities in the Tampa Bay area.

Born in Philadelphia, he was raised in St. Petersburg. After graduating from Northeast High School, he joined the Navy.

“Then I came back home to Pinellas Park and I’ve been here,” he said.
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PINELLAS PARK - Mary MacKenzie often refers to herself as “the butterfly lady.”

“Everybody else does,” she said.

For the past five years, the member of the Pinellas Park Garden Club has focused solely on butterfly gardening.

The majority of the garden at her Pinellas Park home is comprised of milkweed. Monarchs can’t survive without milkweed, she said. That’s where they lay their eggs, and their caterpillars only eat milkweed. So the plant dominates her garden in an effort to create a safe habitat for monarchs.
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Thursday, August 3
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PINELLAS PARK - Following a jam-packed summer, staff at Girls Inc. of Pinellas won’t get much of a chance to catch its breath as the school year starts Aug. 10.

That’s when the organization’s after-school program, “Discovering Women of Invention,” kicks off. The program runs through May 24, the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

The organization, designed to empower girls through academic enrichment including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), literacy, creative arts, healthy living and other curriculum, provides programming to young women in Pinellas Park and surrounding areas year-round.
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PINELLAS PARK - For the past 10 years, Stephen Smarowsky has served in various ministry positions at churches in the county.

The Pinellas Park native studied at Trinity College of Florida, an interdenominational Bible college in Pasco County. He went on to earn his master’s degree from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary in Virginia.

Through all of these efforts, he knew one thing for certain: one day he was going to launch a new church in his hometown.
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PINELLAS PARK - In his 30 years of doing hair in Pinellas Park, Mick Ferrari learned early on the importance of embracing and supporting the community around him.

This is a central tenet of Got Split End?, the salon he runs with his business partner and style director, Sarah Jane Collins.

“We like to do our bit and support the community that supports us,” Ferrari said.

Got Split Ends?, located at 4376 Park Blvd. N., does this in a variety of ways.

Recently, the salon hosted Cuts for a Cause July 29. The event focused on individuals donating their hair to children with medical hair loss - hair donated that day went to the Ronald McDonald House and Children with Hair Loss - and also featured a food truck, a DJ and vendors.
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PINELLAS PARK - For nearly 20 years, the City Auditorium, 7690 59th St. N., has helped residents and visitors relive the golden era of film through monthly Wurlitzer pipe organ concerts held every third Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Organized by the Central Florida Theatre Organ Society, these events draw various sized crowds, depending on the time of year. During the summer off-season, between 50 and 70 listeners enjoy the free concert, said the society’s president, Cliff Shaffer, a Pinellas Park resident. In the fall through spring, when snowbirds are in town, the crowd swells to as many as 150.

For years, the organization utilized a donate organ that “had seen better days,” Shaffer said.
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Thursday, July 6
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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.
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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.
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Monday, 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.
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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.
 ... Read More 
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Send news to editor Tiffany Razzano
E-mail news to trazzano@tbnweekly.com.
Community Calender
• Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Earth Fare job fair
OLDSMAR – Earth Fare, the authentic specialty organic and natural foods grocery store, is bringing 150 new jobs to a new location in Oldsmar. Earth Fare will host a job fair running Sept. 20-22, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., to place new team members in both full time and part time positions spanning all disciplines.

Job fair attendees should be prepared to talk about qualifications and provide schedule availability. Earth Fare encourages interested applicants who are passionate about healthy living and customer service to apply online at www.earthfare.com /oldsmar prior to the hiring event. Appointments are not necessary and applicants should be prepared for an on-site interview at the fair.

The job fair will take place at Hampton Inn, 4017 Tampa Road, Oldsmar.
 ... Read More 
Pet Walk Yappy Hour
MADEIRA BEACH – The Pet Walk Yappy Hour will take place Thursday, Sept. 21, 5 to 7 p.m., at The Brown Boxer, 15000 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach.

All friendly dogs are welcome. Guests will enjoy light snacks and get in on some great door prize drawings as well as chance drawing items.

For more information and to RSVP, call Luan at 727-586-3591, ext. 122, or email LDean@SPCATampaBay.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 
• Friday, Sept. 22, 2017
Earth Fare job fair
OLDSMAR – Earth Fare, the authentic specialty organic and natural foods grocery store, is bringing 150 new jobs to a new location in Oldsmar. Earth Fare will host a job fair running Sept. 20-22, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., to place new team members in both full time and part time positions spanning all disciplines.

Job fair attendees should be prepared to talk about qualifications and provide schedule availability. Earth Fare encourages interested applicants who are passionate about healthy living and customer service to apply online at www.earthfare.com /oldsmar prior to the hiring event. Appointments are not necessary and applicants should be prepared for an on-site interview at the fair.

The job fair will take place at Hampton Inn, 4017 Tampa Road, Oldsmar.
 ... Read More 
Falls Prevention Awareness Day
CLEARWATER - The 10th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day will be observed locally on Friday, Sept. 22, 1 to 4 p.m., at YMCA of the Suncoast - Clearwater Branch, 1005 S. Highland Ave., Clearwater.

In honor of this notable milestone, the theme of the event will be 10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls.

A variety of information, resources, demonstrations, screenings and assessments will be provided as part of the National Council on Aging's Falls Free initiative in collaboration with many community partners. A panel of representatives from the medical industry, Pinellas County Emergency Services, and AARP Home Fit will be available to answer questions.

This event has been planned and coordinated by the Better Living for Seniors Fall Prevention Coalition and community partners such as the YMCA of the Suncoast – Clearwater Branch, Florida Senior Games, Dedicated Senior Medical Clinic and Florida Medicare Options.

For information, call Carole Ware at 727-432-2297.

For information about DOH-Pinellas, visit www.PinellasHealth.com.
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• Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
Downtown block party
CLEARWATER – The Church of Scientology will host a downtown block party at 5 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the corner of Cleveland Street and Fort Harrison Avenue in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

There is no cost to attend or to participate in the various activities.

For more information about this event, contact Amber at 727-467-6966 or amber@cos.flag.org
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Guided hike
ST. PETERSBURG – A guided hike will be offered Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 to 11 a.m., at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about the ecosystems and early residents of Weedon Island Preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. The program is best for ages 6 and older.

Preregistration is required.

Visit www.weedonislandpreserve.eventbrite.com.

Call 727-453-6500 or visit www.weedonislandpreserve.org.
 ... Read More 
Methods and techniques of beekeeping
CLEARWATER – A program on the methods and techniques of beekeeping will be presented Saturday, Sept. 23, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center, 2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater.

The free program will cover the basics of what is involved with modern beekeeping. Bee expert Barnabas Bela will lead the discussion.

For information, call 727-793-2976.
 ... Read More 
Open car and truck show
ST. PETERSBURG – An open car and truck show will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Cody’s Original Roadhouse, 4360 Park St., St. Petersburg.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Kathryne Mezerowski Memorial Scholarship at the St. Petersburg College.

Pre-registration cost is $10, and $15 on day of show for a car space. To pre-register, email okayz8@knology.net or text to 727-459-3688 with name and car info or name and swap.

There will be music, door prizes, trophies, silent auction and 50/50 drawing.

Event sponsors include Mamas Kitchen, Golden Bear Restaurant, Sunrise Restaurant, Publix at Bardmoor, Laredo Car Was, Mr. Hotshine Car Wash, Harbor Freight Tools, Toppers Creamery, Fresno’s Waterfront Restaurant, Meineke of Pinellas Park Bloomin Brands, Graphix, Sweet Sage Café, and Joto’s Pizza.

There is no charge to come look at the vehicles.
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Our Wildest Place hike
TARPON SPRINGS – A wildlife hike will be offered Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 to 11 a.m., at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.

Attendees will join an experienced naturalist for a free hike along boardwalks and natural trails at Brooker Creek Preserve. Binoculars and cameras are recommended.

Advance registration is required.

To register, visit www.brookercreekpreserve.eventbrite.com.

For information, call 727-453-6800.
 ... Read More 
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