Numerous boating classes offered
The Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer the following classes at its facility at 4340 Calienta St.:
• America's Boating Course, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Feb. 6. This three-day basic course is an overview of boating safety and includes all information to qualify for the Florida boating safety ID card. The cost is $30, which includes a text.
• How to Read a Nautical Chart, 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 14. Topics include types of charts, capabilities and limitations of charts, interpretation of symbols and how to select a chart for use. The cost is $35, which includes a text on chart nomenclature.
• Hernando Beach Coastal Navigation, 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 21. Participants learn how to navigate the area through the use of charts, instruments used in plotting courses and a compass. Practical exercises on development of routes on the coast of Hernando Beach will be conducted. The cost is $15.
• Boating Skills and Seamanship, 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, March 18 to May 6. This is the auxiliary's premier eight-week boating course that covers trailering, safety, navigation and rules, radio, weather, Florida law and other topics. The cost is $50, which includes text material.
• Radio/Digital Selective Calling, 7 to 9 p.m. March 21. This is a free program that will allow participants to learn about this new technology for safety. The class includes information on DSC radios, Rescue 21 and Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon.
• Navigating with GPS, 9 a.m. to noon March 28. Participants learn how to use the Global Positioning System to get to a destination and back safely. The cost is $35, which includes a text on use of a GPS.
To reserve a seat or for information on any of the above classes, call Cathy MacAllister at (352) 754-1104.
The auxiliary also offers free vessel safety checks. The checks can be done wherever the boat is kept. For an appointment, call Jackie at (352) 666-7239.
Visit the local auxiliary's Web site at http://a0701508.uscgaux.info.
Register Monday for Gasparilla pageants
Registration will be conducted locally for the annual Gasparilla pageant that will be Feb. 22 at the Tampa Convention Center.
The registration session will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Perkins Restaurant, 4685 Commercial Way.
The Feb. 22 event will begin at 4 p.m. It will include crowning Miss Gasparilla, Miss Teen Gasparilla and Mrs. Gasparilla. A separate pageant for children will be at 10 a.m.
Gasparilla Pageant 2009 is a benefit for Locks of Love, a national charitable organization that provides custom-fitted wigs for children suffering hair loss from cancer and other causes.
Those wishing to enter the pageant, get tickets, or to become a sponsor or vendor for the event, call (813) 892-5502 or visit www.gasparillapageant.com.
Feb. 7 is hazardous waste drop-off day
Hernando County residents will be able to dispose of their household hazardous waste for free from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Solid Waste and Recycling Division's West Hernando Convenience Center, 2525 Osowaw Blvd.
The waste will be accepted by EQ of Florida Inc. Small businesses can also bring their waste, but will be charged at the rate called for in the county's contract. Checks are to be made payable to EQ. For information, call (352) 754-4112.
Vendors, showcase your food at festival
Area restaurants and food vendors are needed to participate in the Hernando Sampler and February Fun Festival that will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Lake House, 1202 Kenlake Ave.
The event, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central, will showcase the diverse dining offered in the county. There will also be entertainment, local vendors and crafters, plus dog-related activities.
Funds raised will benefit the Rotary Centennial Park, a 7-acre recreational park that includes the county's first dog park.
To participate, or for information, call Linda Nevard at (352) 208-3772 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knights of Columbus plan Valentine's dinner
The Knights of Columbus Council 11317 will host a Valentine's Day dinner at 6 p.m. Feb. 14 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 13485 Spring Hill Drive.
The dinner will include pork loin, potato, vegetables, bread and dessert, plus coffee and tea. Entertainment will be provided by David Rowin of Sounds Inc.
Tickets are $12 each and are available at the parish office after all masses, or by calling Tony Macccaquano at (352) 666-8149, Lou Beckman at (352) 688-2550 or Bill Koenig at (352) 683-7309.
Black educators group to honor seniors
The Black Educators Caucus will host a Senior Citizens Valentine Tea at 11 a.m. Feb. 14 at Bethlehem Progressive Baptist Church, 661 S Brooksville Ave.
The event is to honor those in the community who are 60 and older.
There is no cost to attend; however, those wishing to attend must RSVP by Feb. 6. Call Christene Yant at (352) 683-2766 or Viennessee Black at (352) 544-2714.
County needs budget, finance volunteers
The Hernando County Commission is accepting applications from members of the public who are interested in serving on the new Budget and Finance Standing Committee and the Business and Economic Development Standing Committee. There are three openings on each committee.
Preference for the Budget and Finance Standing Committee will be given to applicants based on the following criteria:
• Accounting background
• Banking and finance experience
• Senior management experience
Preference for the Business and Economic Development Standing Committee will be given to applicants based on the following criteria:
• Business background, both past and current
• Commercial/industrial experience
• Marketing/promotional background
• Transportation/logistics experience
Also, applicants will need computer access, since all agendas are prepared and distributed digitally. All those applying must be Hernando County residents and registered voters.
Applications are available in the county administrator's office, Room 460 at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main St., Brooksville; or online at www.hernandocounty.uss/bocc/committees.htm. Completed applications must be returned no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 10.
These are volunteer, unpaid positions. For information, call (352) 754-4002.
Shrine Club seeks donations for auction
The Hernando County Shrine Club is seeking donations for its annual auction, which will be at 6 p.m. March 28 at the clubhouse, 13400 Montour St.
A variety of donations are needed, such as household items, tools, toys, collectibles, glassware, coins, books, antiques, furniture, appliances and pictures. Items need not be new, but should be in good condition.
To make arrangements for donation drop-offs at the Shrine Club, or for pickups, call Jack at (352) 666-4980 or Fred at (352) 597-1703. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa. In 2008, 311 children from Hernando County were treated, at no cost, for orthopedic problems and burn injuries at the hospital.