Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Gulf Maritime Festival lands in Tarpon Springs on Saturday

TARPON SPRINGS

For anyone interested in learning about the waters of Florida and their history, head to Tarpon Springs on Saturday. The Sponge Docks will teem with maritime artisans and folklife.

What better way to learn about fishing, sponging, crabbing, and maritime art, music and food? Fishermen to fisher poets who hail from Cortez to Cedar Key to Apalachicola will come together for the city's third annual Gulf Maritime Festival.

Steve House, 61, of Tarpon Springs makes his living catching and selling blue and stone crabs. He has fished and crabbed commercially for decades, and his family's history is intertwined with life on Florida waterways.

"I'm originally from Everglades City, in the swamp down there," said House. "I've never done anything like this (festival) before. I'll be carrying a couple traps with me, talking about what crabbers do, and answering whatever questions come up."

As one of Florida's few remaining downtown working waterfronts, Tarpon Springs hosting this event means people can see and learn firsthand about sponge diving and processing, making diving helmets and nets, fishing, clam farming, boat building, and model boats.

They can even taste kavourmas, a traditional Greek stew taken on sponge boats. Maritime community music and dance also will be an important part of the festival. And poetry.

Ever heard of a fisher poet? Robert "Doc" Powell, is one who will present his poems Saturday. A retired professor who taught psychology for 30 years at the University of South Florida, Powell also worked as a commercial fisherman.

"This will be my first time at this festival, but I've been going to Oregon for the fisher poet's gathering for seven years," said Powell, 77, who has lived in Tarpon Springs for 24 years. "I started moonlighting as a commercial fisherman in the early '70s, part-time. That's the unique aspect of my experience, combining being a professor with being a commercial fisherman."

One of the first poems he wrote was for a terminally ill friend. Powell wanted to cheer him up. That gave him the motivation to write about their previous experiences fishing.

Wallace "Wally" Ericson of Palm Harbor knows all about fishing, the Florida waterways and beyond. He has fished for mackerel, mullet, scalloped and caught shrimp since he was a boy, plus worked with his father who was in the sponge industry since before World War II.

"In two months, I'll have been around this area 81 years," said Ericson, who was born in Tampa. "I sponged with my father during World War II and three or four times after. I've built 33 boats, up to 115 feet long. I've been scalloping as far north as the Canadian border and shrimping as far south as Nicaragua and all over the gulf. I've enjoyed it all."

Correspondent Theodora Aggeles can be reached at [email protected]

 
Comments
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising.After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had players-only meeti...
Updated: 2 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

ST. PETERSBURG — One after another, speakers stepped to the lectern at City Hall on Thursday and described the same image: police cruisers on every corner in Midtown, uniformed officers lined up across the roadway, souring what should have been a joy...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay record lows burst pipes, threaten berry and fish farms

Tampa Bay record lows burst pipes, threaten berry and fish farms

In winters past, when they ran the irrigation system at Parkesdale Farms to preserve the berry crop in a protective shell of ice, the icicles measured inches.But on Wednesday night, one of the coldest nights in years, the icicles hung more than a foo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and executives with Metro Development Group and Crystal L...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Booty and books on Blackbeard’s ship; critics warn new Trump offic would allow doctors to discriminate; more in U.S. news

Booty and books on Blackbeard’s ship; critics warn new Trump offic would allow doctors to discriminate; more in U.S. news

North CarolinaBooty and books on boardDead men tell no tales, but there’s new evidence that somebody aboard the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship harbored books among the booty. In an unusual find, researchers have discovered shreds of paper bearing legib...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Consumer agency to spend rainy day funds

NEW YORK — The Trump-appointed acting director of the federal government’s consumer watchdog agency requested zero dollars of funding for its second-quarter budget, saying he intends to first spend down the agency’s rainy day fund. In a letter to the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Man free on bail during DUI manslaughter appeal arrested for drinking alcohol

Man free on bail during DUI manslaughter appeal arrested for drinking alcohol

A Tampa man convicted of DUI manslaughter for drunkenly running down a tourist and released on bail while his case winds through the appeals process was arrested Tuesday.Brock Troutman, 34, violated the conditions of his release from jail by consumin...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mother, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretching to w...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tropical Breeze patron rides shuttle to check on crew

Tropical Breeze patron rides shuttle to check on crew

PORT RICHEY — Loretta Santini was one of a small group of customers boarding a Tropical Breeze Casino shuttle Thursday afternoon as the company sailed for the first day since another of its shuttle boats burned to the water Sunday, killing one woman....
Updated: 8 hours ago