While the abuse of illicit and prescription drugs endangers lives and families in cities across America, there are those who are striking back at the heart of this problem. For three days, September 25th – 27th, more than seventy volunteers organized by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World hit the streets throughout the Tampa Bay area, reaching Clearwater Beach, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Ybor City and Ocala with anti-drug educational brochures. The booklets they handed out, called The Truth About Drugs, educate young and old alike on the dangers and addictiveness of both illegal and over-the-counter drugs.
The City of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency received an Award of Distinction at the International Downtown Association’s 55th annual conference in Milwaukee this September. The award was given in recognition of the city’s active program to recruit new retail, business and restaurant enterprises, and for the Cleveland Street District, the new name of the city’s recently redeveloped downtown.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) will launch of a new speaker series on Thursday, October 8. The first presentation, “All About Dolphins and More About Winter,” will include an in-depth look at how dolphins live, feed and breed in the wild. It will explore what we need to know in order to help them survive in the wild. CMA staff will also share how this organization works around the clock to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild. Staff members will also discuss the story of Winter, a young dolphin who survived after losing her natural tail.
“Will there ever be a Delphi High School in Clearwater?” was the question posed rhetorically by Colin Taufer, Headmaster of Delphi Academy of Florida, at a school event in June. And it was his emphatic response to his own question that brought the audience to its feet, “Yes! There will be a Delphi High School in Clearwater!”
On September 3rd, the sculpture “Linear V” by Jarrett K. Hawkins was erected on Cleveland Street in Downtown Clearwater, joining “Going Green” by Jack Howard Potter which went up a week prior on August 27th. The sculptures are part of Sculpture 360: Season II. A third piece, coming soon, will fill out the series.
“Showtime!” a volunteer from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium said as the Loggerhead sea turtle named Betsy was lifted from a truck, on a stretcher, on Clearwater Beach. The turtle, who had spent the past three months on rest and rehabilitation at the aquarium, was finally recuperated enough to be released back into the wild on August 27.
The grounds at the intersection of Kings Highway and Sunset Point in Clearwater seem destined to be devoted to schooling. When a Christian school at that location closed another school rose to take its place: Life Force Arts & Technology Academy (LATA) which had its official ribbon cutting on August 14th, 2009.
LATA is the brain child of a cultural visionary: Ms. Jai Hinson, a prominent figure in the arts of Pinellas County, who was assisted by a well-known community leader in Clearwater: Mr. Maurice Mickens, the chairman of the school’s board of directors. The dream of a new type of school was converted into reality by the hard work of Mr. Mickens and Ms. Hinson together with the board’s distinguished consultant, Dr. English Bradshaw.
At the Sheraton Sand Key resort on, as Mayor Frank Hibbard called it, “beautiful Clearwater Beach, which we want to keep beautiful,” the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted an offshore drilling symposium† on August 28th to address this hot-button issue, an issue that could greatly impact Pinellas County. A balanced panel featuring three men for drilling, and three against it, spoke and debated.
Unsatisfied with the run-down aspect of his neighborhood in Largo, one citizen, Joseph Stefko of The Hair Jungle and planetbuzz.com, took matters into his own hands. Instead of sitting back and hoping things would get better, he took action and pushed for the revitalization of Downtown Largo that is in effect today.
On Friday, August 21st, Man’s best friend met America’s Pastime at Bark at the Ball Park. Dog owners brought their pets of all breeds and sizes to Bright House Field for a Clearwater Threshers game.
The event is put on by the Humane Society of Pinellas annually during the minor league season. “Ultimately these types of events are Fundraisers,” says Twila Cole, the special events coordinator for the Humane Society of Pinellas. “We raise money through selling Sponsorship, Vendor spaces, tickets for Raffle Baskets that are made with donations and for some events we also sell shirts.
The first of three large-scale sculptures was installed on Cleveland Street on August 27th. The piece is titled “Going Green” by Jack Howard Potter of Long Island City, NY and is on display east of the Cleveland Street and Garden Avenue intersection.
The sculptures are part of the Sculpture 360: Season II year-long exhibit of public art. The sculpture program provides new works every year in Downtown Clearwater and is funded through a partnership with the Downtown Development Board. The program brings high-quality public art work to enhance the aesthetics of the area for residents and visitors can enjoy.
The Old Clearwater Bay Neighborhood received the 2009 Summer “Neighborhood of the Quarter” award at the City Council Meeting on Thursday, August, 6th. Siouxie Boshoff, president of the Old Clearwater Bay Neighborhood Association, accepted the award with her husband, Grant, Jennifer Brewer, the social coordinator for the association, and Scott Axford, the patrol leader for the volunteer patrol.
The reporter approached the Blue Ford Explorer cautiously, with gun drawn and knocked on the driver’s side. Suddenly the door was flung open, a shot gun stuck in his face and bang, he’s dead. His mistake? He failed to call for backup before approaching the alleged perpetrator.
The scenario? An opportunity “to walk in a police officer’s shoes,” with a simulated traffic stop of a reported felon; just one of the highlights of the “26th Annual National Night Out Against Crime” that took place on August 4, 2009 in Clearwater Mall in the parking lot outside Target.
A section of the old Belleair Bridge was demolished on July 15th as construction continued into the next phase on the newer, bigger and better Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge.
The Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge connects the Pinellas County Mainland Peninsula to the Barrier Islands, from Belleair Bluffs to Sand Key and Belleair Shore. The former structure was built in 1950, with an expected life span of fifty years. In the 21st century, the design had become obsolete and was too expensive to maintain so a new bridge was built.
What do children of the Children's Cancer Center and a dolphin have in common? As it turns out, quite a lot!
Had you been at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on July 21, 2009, you might have witnessed an unusual and heart-warming encounter. A group of children, kindergarten-aged and under, sat by the side of a pool producing colorful artwork while a dolphin with a paintbrush in her mouth was producing art of her own. The purpose? To sell the artwork on eBay and raise funds for the Children's Cancer Center.
This August the United States Coast Guard turns 219 years old and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC), partnering with the City of Clearwater and the Navy League of the United States - Clearwater Council, invite you to join them "to thank our dedicated Coast Guard service men and women as well as bring greater awareness to our community [of] the important role the Coast Guard plays in the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of the United States and specifically Pinellas County."