Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Clearwater and North Pinellas news briefs

Tarpon Springs

Businesswoman to run for office

Rea Sieber has filed to run for the Tarpon Springs City Commission.

Head of the Sponge Docks Merchants Association, Sieber organizes downtown events, such as the Hippie Fest Food Truck Rally scheduled for Saturday. She can usually be found at one of her two businesses on Dodecanese Boulevard: Wine at the Docks and Rea Sunshine, which sells gifts, sandals, jewelry and local art.

Among other volunteer work, Sieber is on the city's Budget Advisory Committee.

She said she could bring a knowledge of Tarpon Springs' business community to the commission.

"As the president of the merchants association, I know many business owners and am familiar with their needs and concerns," she said. "I believe I can continue my involvement and be of even more help as a commissioner."

Sieber will run for Seat 2, now held by Commissioner Susan Slattery, who is termed out. Chris Hrabovsky is also in the race, and the election is in March.

Clearwater

Fee to walk on Pier 60 doubles to $1

The fee for adults to walk on Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach will double to $1 on Oct. 1, city officials told City Council members this week.

The 50-cent charge to walk out on the pier hasn't been raised in decades, said Gordon Wills, the Marine and Aviation Department's operations manager.

"We've been the cheapest for years. It was time to do it," Wills said Tuesday.

Babies and toddlers will still be allowed to gambol over the Gulf of Mexico for free, Wills said.

The increased revenue, expected to be between $50,000 and $60,000, will help pay for two new full-time employees in the Pier 60 sales shop. They're needed to keep the shelves stocked. Strong sales of souvenirs, concessions and bait prompted the hiring, Wills said.

Visitors to Pier 60 will have lighter pockets, Vice Mayor Paul Gibson said. "Now they won't have to carry change," he quipped.

Dunedin

School switches back to old busing map

The Pinellas County School District has for now backed off a mapping change that could have forced dozens of San Jose Elementary students to cross a busy five-lane Dunedin road as they walked to and from school.

Dunedin city leaders raised a ruckus after district officials determined last winter that decades-old computer software had used the wrong entrance to calculate students' distances from school. Correcting the error placed about 50 San Jose pupils within the two-mile walk zone, making them ineligible for busing, district officials said.

The school district said it couldn't afford to bus the students because the change meant the Florida Department of Education would no longer reimburse the district. Dunedin city commissioners said they shouldn't have to bear the cost.

Citing safety concerns, the city and school district joined forces to urge the DOE to deem the intersection of State Road 580 and Main Street/Bass Boulevard hazardous.

School resumes Monday. District spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra said the district has decided to return to its original map calculation — again making the students eligible for busing and the district eligible for state reimbursement — while officials continue to pursue a hazard designation.

Rates go up to tie boat at marina

Slip rates will increase Oct. 1 for boaters who dock at the Dunedin Marina. While all boaters will continue paying a flat rental fee of $129.50 a month to cover marina operations, city commissioners unanimously voted to generate thousands of dollars for marina improvements by raising the additional rate boaters are charged based on varying slip sizes.

Under the new rate structure, the monthly fee for the marina's 173 recreational slips will go up 3 1/2 cents per square foot, and the city's 12 commercial slips will cost 4 cents more per square foot. That translates to a monthly hike of $5.39 for the smallest slips (144 square feet) and $44.94 a month for the largest slips (1,200 square feet). Officials say the move will generate about $35,000 for ongoing seawall renovations, future dredging and other projects that the city pays for out of its marina capital fund. The Marina Advisory Committee endorsed the increase.

Dunedin's last slip rate increase was in October 2010, when fees increased $20.

Countywide

St. Petersburg College to help men succeed

St. Petersburg College will host free lunches where male students can connect and learn how SPC can help them succeed at every step — from registration to graduation.

The North Pinellas luncheons will be from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday on the Clearwater campus, 2465 Drew St., in building ES 104, and from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 22 on the Tarpon Springs campus, 600 Klosterman Road, in FA 132.

You must make a reservation by today by visitingspcollege.edu/survey/13939.

Food bank seeks restaurant oil donations: The RCS Food Bank is looking for restaurants to donate their discarded cooking oil that the Clearwater-based pantry can use to fuel its new environmentally friendly delivery truck. RCS last year used the truck to distribute nearly 2 million pounds of USDA-donated food across Pinellas County. However, the food bank recently collaborated with Green My Fleet, a local alternative fuel business, which converted the delivery truck from diesel to bio-fuel — used cooking oil that doesn't meet the standard for human consumption.

In addition to helping businesses re-purpose their waste and "green" their operations, officials say donating used oil to RCS will help the pantry cut fuel costs and reinvest the savings in additional food purchases.

For more information, contact CJ Crooks, director of development, at (727) 584-3528 or [email protected]

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Strangers are coming together to honor two killed in Bayshore crash

TAMPA — John Reisinger has seen miracles since his niece and 21-month-old grand-niece were killed while trying to cross Bayshore Boulevard 30 days ago. Some, he says, are too painful to talk about. Others he’s still trying to make sense of, such as h...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 5 hours ago