SEMINOLE - For years, Eugene Mohney intended to make the trip to Washington, D.C., with the Honor Flight organization, a nonprofit that flies veterans to visit memorials that honor their military service.
“But the times were never convenient,” he said.
On April 21, the 90-year-old World War II veteran was finally able to take this trip.
“There were 85 World War II veterans that day and 85 wheelchairs and 85 helpers,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything so well planned.”
The group left from the St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport at 4 a.m. and after landing in Baltimore, they made it to the Washington D.C.’s National Mall, where the war memorials are located, around noon. While there, they visited the National World War II Memorial and other monuments.
Mohney had visited Washington, D.C., before, but it’s been about 40 years since his last trip there, he said. Since then, several new monuments and memorials have been built.
“I loved it. I got to see all of the memorials that were built in the last 10 to 15 years,” he said. “They’re really something. You can hardly soak in everything. I really enjoyed it.”
SEMINOLE - The Seminole City Council passed a motion May 12 directing City Manager Frank Edmunds to report all public information requests made by Councilor Patricia Plantamura deemed “not timely or relevant” to the council at its next public meeting following the requests.
Prior to the motion, Edmunds brought numerous recent public information requests made by Plantamura to the attention of the council, providing a timeline of her emails to him and his responses to her during his city manager report.
In an April 13 email, he noted, she requested a complete list of projects that Biltmore Construction has completed for the city, the cost of these projects and their years of completion. He said that she indicated a resident had asked about “the continuous use of one company in the building of city projects.” When he responded to her email, she followed up requesting information about all of the vendors and companies that were affiliated with these projects, he said. He estimated that to provide her with this information would take approximately “16 uninterrupted work hours.”
SEMINOLE - The end of the school year is just around the corner and that means it’s almost time for the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce’s Kids Appreciation Day, which is set for Tuesday, June 2, 3 to 5 p.m., the last day of school.
For 36 years, elementary-aged children have gathered at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road, to celebrate the end of the school year. Last year, more than 1,000 children and their parents attended the festivities. The free event includes food, games, raffles, live entertainment and more.
SEMINOLE - Director Matthew Fuller, a Seminole native, will be the first to tell you he didn’t know much about autism prior to making his first feature-length film, “Autism in Love.”
“I had the same impressions the general public had about it,” he said. “I’d heard all the vaccination conversations. But I didn’t know much about it.”
But he was intrigued when his friend and co-producer of the film, Carolina Groppa, suggested they explore the topic of individuals with autism searching for love and maintaining romantic relationships.
When so much bad news is reported around the world, including the riots recently in Baltimore, it is so good to see our community coming together and supporting each other. Seminole Elementary School’s Centennial Celebration on May 2 was a great example of outpouring community support.
As a mom of two students, an alumni of the school and part of the event planning committee, I had the inside scoop on this wonderful celebration. The one-day event had been in the works for more than a year and a half. A 15-member planning committee made up of the principal Diane Cato, teachers, staff, parents and alumni of the school met once a month.
As you can imagine, it was a big undertaking. We started finding out more and more people were associated with the school somehow and wanted to be a part of the historical celebration. The event started growing into more than just a school event but a community event. It was more than a group of volunteers and a principal could handle. We needed a professional event planner. It just so happened that the company I work for, Trust Business Services, has an event planner, Christal Kotchman-Giardina. She was an alumna of the school, and her mom was a teacher at the school. Her mom was actually my fourth grade teacher, small world.
SEMINOLE - Thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Edward J. and Vivian E. Lurie Charitable Fund, the Seminole Chamber of Commerce will be getting a permanent home.
The City Council unanimously approved the grant offer at its April 28 meeting.
The majority of the funds - $425,000 - will be used to build permanent office space for the chamber on vacant, city-owned land on 113th Street just north of 84th Avenue. The chamber won’t pay rent or contribute to construction costs, but it will be responsible for operating costs once it moves into the new building.
SEMINOLE - At its April 14 meeting, the City Council unanimously approved a development agreement for the construction of a Culver’s fast food restaurant at 10425 Park Blvd.
They voted on the development following a second public hearing. They gave it preliminary approval at the March 24 meeting.
The developers, 1250 Main LLC and Schwebke Group, will build the Culver’s on 2.19 acres on Lake Seminole. This is the site of the Palace of the Orient, which is now closed. The new Culver’s restaurant will include a patio that overlooks the lake.
SEMINOLE - Seminole Fire Rescue will launch the community’s first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) this summer.
Classes will be held Tuesday, June 23 and Thursday, June 25, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 27, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All classes, which are free, will be held at Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N.
CERT, a FEMA program, educates people about disaster preparedness for scenarios that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. These skills include first aid and CPR, basic search and rescue, firefighter training, disaster psychology and how to stay safe in a collapsed or damaged building.