Golf cart use rolls in Oldsmar, Belleair hesitates; other news

The pure joy of playing Twins Maurquez, left, and Maurice Hunter drum along with other special education students at Frontier Elementary School in Clearwater. The children got free books from Bess the Book Bus, which is a nonprofit mobile literacy outreach, and a drumming session with Giving Tree Music’s Steve Turner and Johannes “Ice” Quilitz on Tuesday afternoon. Bess the Book Bus was started by Jennifer Frances who was working as a property manager and began a charity, delivering books around the Tampa Bay area in an old Volkswagen bus one day a week. Giving Tree Music sets up drum circles for students, festivals and corporate team building along with drummaking workshops. To learn more, visit bessthebookbus.org and givingtreemusic.com.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The pure joy of playing Twins Maurquez, left, and Maurice Hunter drum along with other special education students at Frontier Elementary School in Clearwater. The children got free books from Bess the Book Bus, which is a nonprofit mobile literacy outreach, and a drumming session with Giving Tree Music’s Steve Turner and Johannes “Ice” Quilitz on Tuesday afternoon. Bess the Book Bus was started by Jennifer Frances who was working as a property manager and began a charity, delivering books around the Tampa Bay area in an old Volkswagen bus one day a week. Giving Tree Music sets up drum circles for students, festivals and corporate team building along with drummaking workshops. To learn more, visit bessthebookbus.org and givingtreemusic.com.

Oldsmar

'Yes' to golf carts on some streets

By a vote of 4-0, the Oldsmar City Council has approved use of golf carts on city streets that are south of State Road 580 and east of Forest Lakes Boulevard, as long as the drivers are at least 16 and hold a valid driver's license.

Several residents expressed fear that golf cart use along Shore Drive E, a narrow street known to have more than its share of speeding drivers, would be hazardous. Council member Linda Norris suggested the city staff post signs in the area telling drivers to use caution, and Mayor Doug Bevis suggested that speeds be monitored on Shore Drive.

"It sounds to me like the issues are more about policing vehicular traffic than golf carts,'' he said. "Speeders will always be speeders but that's why we have such great community police officers and hopefully they'll check on that traffic down there.''

The new policy will go into effect on March 1.

Belleair

'Perhaps' to golf cart use here

Belleair officials are doing some research before deciding whether to allow golf carts on town streets.

State law already allows low-speed vehicles — which are similar to golf carts, but travel at higher speeds and require insurance, a driver's license and certain safety features — on Belleair roads.

Police Chief Thomas Edwards said several residents have requested that they similarly be allowed to use golf carts.

However, he and several residents who spoke during a Town Hall meeting Tuesday are recommending that Belleair commissioners deny the request.

They believe golf carts — which by state law can be operated by unlicensed drivers as young as age 14, flip over easily and have been involved in multiple injuries or fatal accidents both locally and nationally — are too dangerous.

At commissioners' request, town staff will gather information about accidents, costs the town might incur for installing signs and monitoring registration, possible safety features that could be imposed and potential liability the town could face for imposing safety restrictions. The matter will be discussed at a future meeting.

Clearwater

Talk of softball and Bombers

The Clearwater Bombers will hold an informational and social gathering Thursday to spread the word about the record-setting fast-pitch softball team that played around the world from 1940 to 2000.

The Bombers won 10 national titles and more than 4,000 games.

They have 24 players in the National Softball Hall of Fame.

The group is working with the Clearwater Historical Society to establish a museum and hopes to produce a documentary film.

The gathering will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Farmer Boy Restaurant, 2129 Drew St., and is sponsored by the Clearwater Bombers' World Class Fast Pitch Legacy Committee, a group made up of former players, historical society members, boosters and fans.

For more information, contact Jack Gibson at (727) 799-1524, Gary Kane at (813) 855-5420 or Jim Videtich at (727) 442-6981.

Pre-Leno party has bikes, cars

A street party honoring Tonight Show host and comedian Jay Leno will be held outside the Capitol Theatre downtown this afternoon before Leno's sold-out show.

The "Cruisin' at the Capitol Street Party" will begin at 4 p.m. and will reference Leno's passion for vintage cars and motorcycles by displaying some rare collectors vehicles on Cleveland Street outside the theater.

The cars include a 1965 Mercedes 230 SL roadster, an extremely rare 1933 Rolls Royce Sedanca de Ville limousine and a 1966 Tatra 603, a rare Cold War era Czech automobile.

The Nighthawks, a blues band, will play and vendors will be selling food and beverages. Prizes and a raffle will also be held.

Leno will not appear at the party. His show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Dunedin

Become a better boater with two-session course

It's time to refresh your boating skills or learn new ones. "About Boating Safely," a course offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Dunedin Flotilla, will be taught in two sessions Feb. 22 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Coast Guard Auxiliary classroom on the second floor of the Dunedin Marina, 51 Main St.

The course is designed for both experienced and novice boaters. Some of the topics presented will be boating emergencies, know your boat, getting under way, navigating the waterways, operating your boat safely and legal requirements.

Register by Feb. 17 to receive course materials prior to the class. The fee is $35, with a $5 discount each for two or more signing up at the same time. Florida Boater Safety Certification Cards are given to individuals who successfully complete the course.

For more information, call Larry O'Brien at (727) 736-1191, or email boatsafeaux@gmail.com.

Art discussion all about fibers

Fiber artist Kathy Hays is the latest subject of the Dunedin Fine Art Center's free monthly Coffee & Conversation series. At noon Thursday, Hays will discuss how felt making has become a contemporary art form. Visit dfac.org, call (727) 298-3322 or email events@dfac.org for information.

See free movies at Highlander Park

This month and next, Dunedin's Parks & Recreation Department will present "A Night at the Movies."

Enjoy a fun Friday night out with the family while watching Enchanted on Feb. 14 at Highlander Park's Sindoon Stage behind the Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road. Wear red or pink for Valentine's Day.

Then, come see Angels in the Outfield on March 7 and wear your favorite baseball attire. Special guest: D-Jay, the Dunedin Blue Jays mascot.

Anyone dressed for the occasion can enter their name for a chance to win a prize.

The movies start at dark and are free. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Food concessions will be available starting at 6 p.m.

For more information, call (727) 812-4530.

Golf cart use rolls in Oldsmar, Belleair hesitates; other news 02/07/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 7, 2014 6:58pm]

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