city officials are target of A new mural
A local businessman who opposes the city's crackdown on a fish mural has put up his own mural lampooning city officials. Dru Jeanis had an 8-by-12-foot political cartoon painted on the side of his postcard marketing business, Pure Postcards at 1227 S Lincoln Ave. It shows various officials with word balloons coming out of their mouths, with comments that they've made during the controversy. A Clearwater bait and tackle shop has been battling the city over a mural on its building that depicts game fish, which the city views as an unauthorized business sign. The case has spawned a federal lawsuit. Jeanis, who sides with the tackle shop, has spoken before the City Council and set up a Web site, www.keepthefish.com. He says his mural is intended to raise public awareness about the issue. "I did not get a permit for it," Jeanis said. "I hope the city cites me."
Hearing on Brooker Creek Preserve
The Pinellas Planning Council will take up several land-use changes affecting the Brooker Creek Preserve at a public hearing at 1 p.m. today on the fifth floor assembly room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St. The county is seeking changes to the countywide plan on land use that would allow buildings five stories tall or a reservoir on nearly 900 preserve acres north of Keystone Road. Planning Council staff has recommended that only 64 of those acres be given the designation the county wants.
Man charged with molesting child
A 24-year-old undocumented immigrant has been arrested on two counts of capital sexual battery, accused of molesting a 7-year-old child twice in a three-month period. Isaac Mendez Ramirez, a native of El Salvador, was arrested by Largo police Monday. Ramirez lives with the victim but is not related to the child, according to an arrest report. The incidents happened in November and January, police said. Ramirez was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday.
Feral cats to be subject of meeting
A volunteer group is working to develop a plan for managing feral cats in Pinellas County. The group wants to get public comments from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at the Pinellas County Extension building, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Barbara Snow, executive director of the Humane Society of Pinellas, is working with the group. She said feral cats are "a major social problem that's been going on for a long time in Pinellas County." Those who want information but are unable to attend the meeting should contact Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 797-7722.
Sheriff to increase fees for fingerprints
The Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that it will begin charging for some fingerprinting services. The fees apply to those required to be printed as a condition of employment or for those who are applying for a concealed/carry weapons license.
The fee does not apply to people who are booked at the county jail. The fees are $5 for inked fingerprint cards and $10 for electronic fingerprints.
The services will continue to be offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at two locations: Pinellas Sheriff's Technical Services, AFIS Division, 4801 145th Ave. N, near Largo (electronic and inked fingerprinting services), and Sheriff's Office North District Station, 737 Louden Ave., Dunedin (inked fingerprinting services only).
For information, call (727) 464-6412.
Workshop to review solar power for homes
Soaring energy prices and concerns about environmental impacts are causing more homeowners to consider alternative energy sources.
Florida's sunny climate provides an opportunity to harness energy from nature and put it to use powering televisions, computers and appliances. Join solar energy expert John Gambrill of Hotwire Enterprises to learn the ins and outs of residential solar power at a workshop 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road.
The class is recommended for adults. Admission is free and registration is required. Call (727) 453-6800.
Emergency response group to meet today
The Community Emergency Response Team trains people to be prepared for emergency situations in their community. CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, collect disaster information to support first responder efforts and provide the first neighborhood help in the immediate hours following a major emergency.
Members include families helping themselves and their neighbors. Anyone interested in learning more about this program can attend a meeting of the East Lake CERT at 7 p.m. today at East Lake Fire Rescue Station No. 57, 3375 Tarpon Lake Blvd.
For information, call Lt. Mark Teolis at (727) 784-8668 or visit eastlakecert.org.