On the beach, be mindful of our Beaked friends
Enjoy the beaches on Memorial Day weekend, but keep an eye out for birds nesting just above the high-tide mark, wildlife officials ask. With the loss of undisturbed beach habitat, many species — including the least tern, black skimmer, American Oystercatcher and snowy plover — are struggling to survive. The eggs and the chicks are hard to see, though many colonies will be posted with signs, twine and posts. Avoid flushing the birds from their nests, which exposes the eggs to the sun and predators. Keep dogs off posted islands and leashed where dogs are allowed. Some beaches where the birds are nesting: Belleaire Beach, Sand Key, Indian Shores, Clearwater Beach. Most years, some nest on Caladesi Island and the islands off Honeymoon Island.
2 Rays players help
Tampa Bay Rays fans are invited to meet Eric Hinske and Edwin Jackson at the Ross Norton Recreation Complex at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The players will sign autographs, give out prizes and offer raffle opportunities. The event will promote the new playground to be built by volunteers at the recreation complex on June 14. The Ross Norton Recreation Complex is at 1426 S Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. in Clearwater, south of Lakeview Road and west of Missouri Avenue. Call (727) 462-6025.
Benefit for teacher raises $21,000
A May 15 benefit for Garrison-Jones Elementary music teacher Briana Foley, who is fighting cancer, raised $21,000. More than 220 people attended the benefit dinner. Money was raised through a silent auction, a raffle, donations and ticket sales for the benefit. The money will go toward Foley's financial and medical expenses and will help with her college-bound daughter's tuition. Foley, the music instructor at the elementary school for 19 years, has been diagnosed with cancer in her brain, liver and spots on her bones.
Here's a reason
to drag your feet
The stingrays are back, according to the Clearwater Marina Harbormaster, so do the "stingray shuffle" when entering the gulf. Dragging your feet in the sand when you walk near surf will help you avoid stepping on a stingray and a painful wound. Those injured at Clearwater Beach should see a beach guard for a hot pack treatment. Call the Harbormaster's office at (727) 462-6954.
Memorial Day activities:
• Curlew Hills Memory Gardens' Memorial Day service is at 9:30 a.m. at 1750 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor with guest speakers retired Army Col. Roland J. Tiso and retired Air Force Col. Jerry F. Custin. Call (727) 789-2000.
• Veterans Memorial Park, 250 Shore Drive E in Oldsmar. Event starts at 10 a.m.
• USS Cole Post 67 Amvets' event starts at 2:45 p.m. at 512 S Lincoln Ave., Clearwater. Call (727) 631-0067.
• The Eyes Wide Open exhibit, featuring 171 pairs of combat boots representing Florida service members who have lost their lives, will be at Largo Central Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.