Group wants tougher prostitution law
The Clearwater Neighborhoods Coalition has decided to take a more active role in pressuring the local and state government to reduce prostitution around the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Highland Avenue.
The organization, which has members from neighborhood associations around the city, believes the long-standing problem hurts property values and gives a poor impression to tourists, who pass through that area on the way to Clearwater Beach.
Police have conducted recent stings in the area and an officer at the Feb. 5 coalition meeting said it remains a priority for the department.
The group formed a legislative committee to lobby the state to create mandatory fines and sentences for both prostitutes and johns. The committee's members are Shelley Kuroghlian, JoAnna Siskin, Karen Cunningham, Greg Mathis, Julie Thompson, and president Carl Schrader. The coalition has also discussed holding a public forum on the issue and videotaping illegal activity in the area and streaming it over the Internet, Schrader said.
"This has gone on too long," he said.
City planners look at parks rule
A citizen advisory board tonight will consider changes to Dunedin's Land Dedication Ordinance, or LDO.
The Local Planning Agency meets at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 542 Main St.
The LDO talk will focus on a city requirement that housing developers building new projects either include green space in their projects or contribute to a city parks fund.
Some commissioners and residents have complained that developers are discouraged from doing business downtown due to stringent park size requirements and expensive LDO fees that stem from high property values there. The citizen group will discuss a city staff proposal for LDO discounts, incentives and credits.
The City Commission will take the group's recommendation into consideration during discussion at a future meeting. Go online to DunedinGov.com for more information.
Utility office will close on Monday
Dunedin's Utility Billing office will be closed Monday while city staff attends training. Normal business hours will resume Tuesday.
Benefit to lift up local opera group
Tarpon's New Century Opera will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane in Tarpon Springs.
The opera's chorus will perform along with special guest performers Colman Reaboi, Michelle Sund, Rex Tabor and Julio Talledo.
The program will include highlights from its 10 years of productions from Wagner, Mozart, Puccini, Gershwin, Gilbert & Sullivan and more.
The New Century Opera, led by artistic and executive director Constantine Grame, is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 opera company dedicated to bringing opera to new audiences and longtime supporters. Tickets are $18 and $20. Call (727) 942-5605 for tickets.
Historic Preservation Summit
The Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board and the Largo Area Historical Society will host the Historic Preservation Summit, where participants will have an opportunity to participate in the Historic Preservation Network and meet other preservation leaders.
The presentation will be at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Largo Feed Store, 295 Central Park Drive in Largo.
Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice will provide an update on the County Historic Preservation Board and introduce the keynote speaker, Timothy McLendon of the University of Florida Center for Governmental Responsibility, who will talk about the economic benefits of historic preservation.
The presentation is sponsored by the Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board. Register online by Friday at www.pinellascounty.org/historic/summit or call (727) 464-3363.
Established in 2005, the Historic Preservation Board is responsible for, among other things, promoting historic preservation by proposing additional designations to preserve historic resources and maintaining consistent historic preservation policy in Pinellas County planning processes.
Water line work requires conservation
The upgrade of Pinellas County's water supply system is about to begin and will take 10 days to complete.
The work will require the shutdown of the main Tampa Bay Water pipeline serving Pinellas County. The construction is being completed by Tampa Bay Water, in collaboration with Pinellas County Department of Environment and Infrastructure.
During this construction period, Tampa Bay Water along with the city of St. Petersburg will provide Pinellas County with sufficient water supply to meet the average daily water demands.
Citizens are asked to refrain from scheduling excessive water use activities during the month of February, such as pressure washing, installing new sod/landscaping and filling pools.
Citizens are also reminded that Pinellas County is under an order limiting lawn irrigation to one day per week on an assigned day based on house address. To find out your assigned watering day, contact the county's customer service line at (727) 464-4000.