Pasco Briefs for Feb. 16

Published February 13


County offices close for staff development

Pasco County Government offices, will be closed Feb. 19 for staff development. All county departments will be performing staff development activities focused on improving services. The Pasco County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources’ Offices and Recreation Complexes will be closed; however, the parks and beaches will stay open to the public from dawn to dusk. Pasco County Public Transportation will provide service on all fixed routes and paratransit. The Pasco County Animal Services administration office, Adoption Center, Intake/Reclaim Shelter and Field Services will be closed; an Animal Control Officer will be available for emergencies only. The Pasco County Resource Recovery Facility, West Pasco Class III, and the East Pasco Transfer Station will be open. All government offices will return to normal hours on Feb. 20. All Pasco County libraries will be closed Feb. 23 for staff development.

Poker ride to benefit Gulfside Hospice

Gulfside Regional Hospice will host its sixth-annual Hittin’ the Road for Hospice benefit on Feb. 24. The event will start with check-in and registration at 9 a.m. at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey, 5817 State Road 54. The last bike out is at 10 a.m. Along the route, riders will stop at locations throughout the county to collect poker cards. The rider with the best hand will win a prize. The last stop will be the post-run celebration, which begins at 1 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3752 at 4149 New River Road in Zephyrhills. The party will include entertainment, cash prizes, an auction, vendors and more. The club or group that raises the most money will be awarded the Wings & Wheels Fundraising Award. Early registration is $25 per driver and $15 per passenger, and includes an event T-shirt. Registration on the day of the event will be $30 for drivers and $20 for passengers. All proceeds will benefit hospice patients. Various levels of sponsorships are available. For information, contact Christina Miller at (727) 845-5707.

Essay contest open to middle-schoolers

The Pasco County Tax Collector office will accept entries for Clerk and Comptroller Paula O’ Neill’s Constitutional Officers Essay Contest. Entries will be accepted March 1-31. The contest is open to Pasco County middle school students (includes public, charter, private and home-schooled students in the sixth through eighth grades). In 500 words or less, students are to answer the question: "Which taxes impact you the most: local, state or federal? Why?" Entries will be judged by a panel of directors from the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office. Entries will be reviewed on how well the student communicates his/ her response to the question as well as overall essay structure, appearance and readability. The winning entry will receive a $300 gift card to Best Buy; the winner will be notified by telephone no later than April 20. Students in public/charter schools are asked to submit their essays to their principals, who will forward them to the tax collector’s office. Students in private, parochial, non-public or home schools may send their essays directly to Greg Giordano, Assistant Tax Collector, Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office, P.O. Box 276, Dade City, FL 33526 or via e-mail at [email protected] . For further information, contact Giordano at (727) 847-8179.


Flotilla to offer safe boating course

The Hudson Flotilla 11-7 Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer the Florida-mandated "About Boating Safely" class from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at the training facility at 9135 Denton Ave. The cost is $40 for the first family member and $20 for each additional member. It includes the class, digital library and processing fee. Those who complete the class will receive the Florida Boating Safely Education Card. The class is offered on the fourth Saturday of each month. Group rates are available, and private classes can be scheduled for groups of five or more. Advance registration is appreciated. To register for the class or for information, send email to [email protected] or call (727) 697-8013.


Roadwork begins on Collier Parkway

The Collier Parkway Resurfacing Project will begin Feb. 18 along three sections from County Line Road to Hale Road. Crews will work daily during night hours, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. During work hours, there will be single-lane closures with message boards alerting drivers. Improvements will include road base repairs, roadway resurfacing, pavement markings, restriping and signal loop replacements.

To see road maps of the three sections being improved, visit:

• Section 1:

• Section 2:

• Section 3:

This project is one of Pasco County Public Works Department’s scheduled maintenance projects to improve county roads. Asphalt Paving Systems will perform the work, which is expected to be completed within 60 days, weather-permitting. For information, call (727) 834-3601 or email [email protected]


Vet Center offers counseling

The Pasco County Vet Center at 5139 Deer Park Drive, as well as its mobile vet center, offers readjustment counseling services to combat veterans, active-duty military and family members. Counseling is offered for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, military sexual trauma, bereavement counseling, marriage and family counseling, and resources such as VA benefits information and suicide prevention referrals. Support groups also are available. All services are confidential and provided at no cost. The center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. For information, call (727) 372-1854 or visit The Combat Call Center is toll-free 1-877-927-8387; the Women Veterans Call Center is toll-free 1-855-829-6636. For those who are feeling suicidal, or know someone who is, call 911 or the Veterans Crisis line toll-free at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1 for veterans).

City has charge station for vehicles

The City of New Port Richey has installed a Level 2 ChargePoint station for electric vehicles at the Recreation and Aquatic Center, 6630 Van Buren St. The station is currently in test mode and will officially debut during an open house event on Feb. 17. The station contains two charging points, as well as an outlet that can be used for golf cart charging. For information, call (727) 841-4536. Visit the city’s YouTube channel to see a demonstration on how the station operates.

West Pasco Quilters host 3-day quilt show

The West Pasco Quilters’ Guild will host the 15th biennial Color My World Quilt Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 25 at the New Port Richey Aquatic and Recreation Center, 6630 Van Buren St. The guild, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has created an "Anniversary Album Quilt," which was hand-appliqued and hand-quilted by 15 members. There will be more than 400 quilts on display. The event will include quilt appraisals, a boutique, children’s activities, lectures and demos, vendors, food, basket walk and door prizes. Admission is $7 per day or $10 for multi-day.


Forum will address opioid crisis

An Opioid Crisis forum will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at First Baptist Church of Jasmine Lakes, 6835 Jasmine Lakes Blvd. Speakers and panelists will discuss the epidemic and other topics. For information, contact the church at (727) 863-5467.


Hometown heroes honored at games

Saint Leo University will host a Hometown Heroes Night Feb. 24 at the Marion Bowman Activities Center on the east side of the campus, 33701 State Road 52. Veterans and first responders and Saint Leo student-veterans, military students and faculty and staff who served in the military, will be honored at the women’s and men’s basketball games. The women’s basketball game will be against Rollins College, starting at 5:30 p.m. The men’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to veterans, active-duty military and first responders. For information or special accommodations, contact Franck Bayebanen at [email protected]