Governor Charlie Crist made a stop in Oldsmar on June 25th to sign into law Florida Senate Bill 198, which formally adopted a state flag in honor of Florida’s fallen firefighters. “The Firefighter Memorial Flag honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Our hearts and eternal gratitude go out to these public servants and their loved ones,” said Gov. Crist during his address. “Florida’s firefighters are public servants of the highest caliber, risking their own safety every day to ensure their fellow Floridians are safe.”
Clearwater, FL (January 2009) - It was a chilly Sunday morning, just as dawn was starting to break and the runners were out bright and early in their hopes of being the first to complete the fourth annual Clearwater Half-a-Thon and third annual Five Mile Races, but the un-Floridian like temperature didn’t stop a flock of racers from warming up in preparation to cross the Clearwater Memorial Bridge.
Just as the sun poked its sleepy head over the bay, the runners lined up at the starting line at Coachman Park, stretching, jogging lightly in the parking lot or doing the “cold weather dance” as they waited in anticipation for the race to start.
“It’s going to be a good run across the bridge,” said Mike Newton, a participant. For him, the race is an enjoyable way to get his exercise. “This is fun. It’s a good way to start the New Year off.”
Farmer’s Market Moves
Clearwater, FL (February 2009) - The Downtown Clearwater Farmer’s Market has moved to Cleveland Street, between Ft. Harrison and Garden Avenue. Instead of being squeezed in a corner of the City Hall parking lot, its former home, the Farmer’s Market now has a block of its own every Wednesday from 10:00am until 2:00pm.
The new location of the market will bring more traffic to Cleveland Street and the downtown area, and in addition to supporting the local businesses that sell their goods each week, it will improve the commerce along this section of Cleveland Street. Tourists and locals will be able to walk through the middle of the street while they enjoy live music and sample fresh honey from Eden’s Nectar Honey or smoked fish spread from Island Fish.
“Bob and Daughter Produce” had a long line of customers reaching all the way to the other side of the street on the first day at their new location. “This is the first day back and it’s been absolutely awesome,” says the owner. And are you receiving more business? “Yes, definitely. People walking by see it where they didn’t see it before.”
Ruth Eckerd Hall Restores “Capitol”
Clearwater FL, December 31, 2008 - Downtown Clearwater is undeniably expanding. With the recent sprouting of towering condos and tasty restaurants, the city’s growth can no longer be hidden. The downtown area is now expanding in a new direction. A performing arts center.
From the penthouse of the Waters Edge building, Mayor Frank Hibbard and Robert Freedman on behalf of Ruth Eckerd Hall delightedly announced Ruth Eckerd Hall’s purchase of The Royalty Theatre, with the intention of injecting Downtown Clearwater with a shot of culture. The creation of a performing arts center is expected to stimulate the economy of Downtown Clearwater by increasing and strengthening the arts presence which in turn will draw people and businesses to the downtown area, hopefully creating the right environment in which private businesses can prosper.
The Royalty Theatre will be returning to its roots, as well as its original name, The Capitol Theatre. “I’m starting that trend right now,” joked Mayor Hibbard. The name of the theatre changed to The Royalty Theatre in the 1990’s when it was purchased by The Royalty Theatre, a local community theatre company.