Greektown joins national register of historic places
The National Park Service has added the Tarpon Springs Greektown Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places — Florida's first Traditional Cultural Property listing.
The Greektown District, which includes hundreds of buildings and about a dozen sponge boats, preserves a strong ethnic and maritime character. It includes about 140 acres, bounded by the Anclote River on the north, Tarpon Avenue and Spring Bayou on the south, Hibiscus and Pinellas streets on the east, and Roosevelt and Grand boulevards to Spring Bayou on the west.
As a prominent traditional cultural property, Greektown features the only Greek-American community based on the sponge industry. Since Greeks first arrived in large numbers in 1905, the area it has continued traditional culture and built extensive Greek infrastructure.
Tarpon Springs's curator of arts and historical resources, Tina Bucuvalas, researched and wrote the district's nomination.
The National Register of Historic Places, a list maintained by the National Park Service, includes historical, archaeological, or cultural properties considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide and/or national significance.
City development official resigns
In the wake of controversy over the city's plans to enhance the Sponge Docks tourist district, Tarpon Springs is parting ways with a high-ranking city official.
City commissioners have accepted the resignation of Joseph DiPasqua, the city's development review services director who ran the city when city manager Mark LeCouris was away. DiPasqua had been a city employee for nearly 24 years.
Officials are being tight-lipped about the reasons for DiPasqua's departure. LeCouris said it wasn't just one thing.
However, DiPasqua signed off on permit applications the city filed with state and federal authorities regarding the Sponge Docks enhancement plan. Critics of that plan have questioned the truthfulness of those applications and have argued that city officials should have known there would be problems.
Under the resignation agreement, DiPasqua will continue working until his resignation is effective July 1 and will be paid through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. DiPasqua is agreeing not to sue the city.
Rotary Club tickets on sale for benefit dinner
Tickets are on sale now for the 2014 Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs Spaghetti Dinner. It will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill, 937 W Dodecanese Blvd. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 111 E. Tarpon Ave. Cost is $15 with proceeds going to scholarships and projects for Tarpon Springs' youth. For information, call Sue Thomas, (727) 515-7767.
City manager honored for career excellence
City Manager Bruce Haddock was presented with the Career Excellence Award by the Florida City and County Management Association on May 30 at an annual luncheon in Orlando.
Haddock, 63, has served as city manager for 28 years. During his tenure, he has overseen construction of a new library as well as the development of an independent water supply and distribution system that includes a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. The plant received silver LEED certification in 2013.
Haddock has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of South Florida and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Tampa.
Register for boating safety course June 21
Register now for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Dunedin Flotilla's "About Boating Safely."
Designed for experienced and novice boaters, it will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 21 and June 22 at the Dunedin Marina, 51 Main St.
Discussion will include handling emergencies, navigating the waterways and legal requirements of operating a boat. Register by Monday to receive course materials before the class begins. The fee is $35, with a $5 discount each for 2 or more signing up at the same time.
For information, call Larry O'Brien at (727) 736-1191, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call center moving in with 300 jobs
One of Largo's biggest white elephants has finally found a new use.
The nearly 200,000-square-foot Centerpointe building on U.S. 19 had been vacant for five years. The cavernous structure just north of Tri-City Plaza had been sitting empty since the last tenant moved out in 2009.
Now it's being filled by a major new tenant — a national call center operation called 24-7 InTouch, which handles customer calls for Netflix and a number of other entertainment, retail and hospitality corporations.
The company is recruiting to fill 300 customer service jobs by the end of summer. Job seekers should go online to 24-7intouch.com/careers for details.