Saturday, March 24, 2018
News Roundup

Community news: Clearwater has no objections to Scientology New Year's tent wrap


New Year's wrap gets the okay from city

The Church of Scientology covered its huge tent with a new wrap in anticipation of a planned New Year's Event, but this covering doesn't bother city officials.

The new wrap, put up around Christmas, doesn't violate the city's sign code, said City Manager Bill Horne.

Church representatives previewed the wrap — festooned with depictions of colorful confetti and inscribed with "New Year's 2014" — for city officials earlier this month. The church's New Year's event, traditionally held in Los Angeles, will be held in Clearwater this year.

The November christening of the Flag Building and a subsequent gathering of the International Association of Scientologists were also held in the city this year.

A 150,000-square-foot tent was erected next to the Flag Building along Court Street, a major thoroughfare to Clearwater Beach in August.

A wrap unveiled in October was deemed to violate the city's sign code because it had lettering, including an acronym for "Keeping Scientology Working" and "The Golden Age of Tech."

The church wasn't fined, but it was put on notice that future illegal wraps would draw fines by the city's Code Enforcement Board.


Fenway a step closer to razing

Dunedin commissioners this month preliminarily approved an ordinance that would let historic structures such as the Fenway be razed and rebuilt because of their poor condition, because they aren't in compliance with current building and fire codes, or due to their location in the floodplain.

Under the proposal, the developer would be required to replicate the demolished structures' historic look.

City planning director Greg Rice said being able to start from scratch is a more attractive, cost-effective option for developers. He said it's also much safer for the Fenway, an all-wood structure that is caving from water damage, lacks hurricane and fire protection devices and sits in a velocity zone.

Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski said she's sad the original structure can't be restored. But she echoed Commissioner Ron Barnette's comments that the city needs to find a "clear balance" between history, visual appeal and building safety and said the city has no choice but to approve the ordinance.

"It is sad seeing an old building go away. But when you could probably huff and puff and blow it down, it's probably had its better day," Mayor Dave Eggers said. "It is degrading quickly. And we'd certainly like to bring that historic use back in some way."

A second public hearing and final vote is set for Jan. 9.

Dredging project on the agenda

The public is invited next month to listen in on a citizen advisory board's discussion about the dredging of Lake Sperry and Cedar Creek, and how that potential project and others might affect residents' utility rates in the future.

The Stormwater Advisory Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Hale Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave.

Members will discuss a preliminary dredging analysis drafted by city consultant Taylor Engineering. They will also discuss a separate report examining budget needs for a list of stormwater improvement projects proposed throughout the entire city over the next six years.

Both reports are available on the city's website:

The Dunedin City Commission will discuss the dredging report during its regularly scheduled meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at City Hall, 542 Main St.

Commissioners will hear public comment during their meeting but do not plan on making any final decisions.

The final dredging report is expected to be completed in April 2014.


Christmas trees get second life

Recycle Christmas trees so they can be processed into useful mulch. Remember to remove all decorations, including hooks, garland, tinsel and lights. Keep the tree loose, not in a bag or trash can.

For apartments and condos, residents should consult with their property managers for disposal instructions.

The following cities offer Christmas tree recycling:

Belleair: Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. For information, call (727) 588-3769, ext. 401.

Clearwater: Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. For information, call (727) 562-4920.

Dunedin: Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day through Jan. 10. Residents without curbside yard waste pickup can plan a pickup day with their association property manager. For information, call (727) 298-3215, ext. 1328.

Oldsmar: Drop off at 107 Shore Drive W, across from Park Boulevard. Open through Jan. 13. For information, call (813) 749-1266.

Safety Harbor: Curbside collection with yard waste on Wednesdays. For information, call (727) 724-1550.

Tarpon Springs: Drop off at the yard waste facility at 898 S. Levis Ave. for a fee, or put out for curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. For information, call (727) 943-4837.

Leonard Hamilton’s ‘junkyard dogs’ have FSU within reach of NCAA Final Four

Leonard Hamilton’s ‘junkyard dogs’ have FSU within reach of NCAA Final Four

LOS ANGELES — Florida State takes its win-by-committee philosophy seriously.The Seminoles crowded six players on the dais with coach Leonard Hamilton for Friday's news conference at Staples Center. They were only required to bring five, but nob...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Softball: Mitchell turns things around

Softball: Mitchell turns things around

CLEARWATER — The offense was opportunistic Friday, but that has been the case a lot lately.Mitchell scored key runs late and got contributions from everyone. Add pitching that was effective and you have a 4-3 victory in 10 innings over Chamberl...
Updated: 4 hours ago
USF’s McClanahan finally allows an earned run…and then some

USF’s McClanahan finally allows an earned run…and then some

TAMPA — One of the most improbable streaks in USF baseball history was snapped Friday evening.Or more specifically, crushed.Bulls left-handed ace Shane McClanahan, who hadn't allowed an earned run in 31 2/3 innings this season, got a rude retur...
Updated: 5 hours ago
20 years of the Rays’ brushes with ‘celebrity’

20 years of the Rays’ brushes with ‘celebrity’

ST. PETERSBURG — Some Rays, and their spouses, have been known for more than baseball. Some celebrities have shown up to watch the Rays play. Here are 20 of those connections:• The Rays were featured prominently in the 2002 Disney movie T...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Rowdies hope to match last season’s home dominance

ST. PETERSBURG — It will be hard to expect the Rowdies to top their home performance from last season, but that's exactly what captain Joe Cole has in mind."We lost one game here last year. And we want to improve on that," Cole said Friday. "No...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Former Derby Lane kennel owner Jan Alderson passes away

ST. PETERSBURG — On Jan Alderson's 60th birthday, she received an unexpected surprise.Her telephone rang with the news that Fiesta Mercury had just scored his most impressive career victory at Derby Lane — a 15-length romp in a Grade A sp...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Land O’Lakes pitches, hits way to Farm Bureau Classic championship

BROOKSVILLE — The game plan for Land O'Lakes is pretty simple. The Gators rely on their pitching and defense, and hope they can score enough runs to win.That strategy worked during the Farm Bureau Classic this week, especially in the final agai...
Updated: 6 hours ago
‘Death’ for cop-killer is a mistake. He gets life in prison.

‘Death’ for cop-killer is a mistake. He gets life in prison.

LARGO — The man who shot and killed Tarpon Springs police Officer Charles Kondek in 2014 will spend the rest of his life in prison.That was the sentence 12 jurors chose for Marco Antonio Parilla, Jr. on Friday after two weeks of testimony and four ho...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for March 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 1
Updated: 6 hours ago
Largo officer shoots, kills motorist who drove at him, police say

Largo officer shoots, kills motorist who drove at him, police say

LARGO — One man was dead and an officer was left injured on Friday night in what police officials called a "violent, explosive situation."The episode started just before 6 p.m. Largo police Officer Matthew Steiner pulled over a black Nissan sedan at ...
Updated: 6 hours ago