Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

North Pinellas News Briefs for April 2

Clearwater

Streets will stay two-way

City traffic engineers recommended Monday that the city not convert Poinsettia Avenue and Eastshore Drive into one-way streets to accommodate a new parking garage on Clearwater Beach — at least not right away.

"Our recommendation is that we build the garage and then look at making a change in the traffic pattern if it looks like there's a problem with the garage in operation," said Paul Bertels, the city's traffic operations manager at a City Council work session.

Eventually, converting Poinsettia and Eastshore to one-way traffic could "work very well," Bertels said, but it would increase congestion where Poinsettia branches off from the Clearwater Beach roundabout .

Such a traffic redesign would also put more wheels along Baymont Street to the north of the proposed nearly 700-car garage at the Pelican Walk Plaza.

Paradise Group, a Safety Harbor developer, will build the garage. In 2016, the city will buy at least 450 spaces for about $11 million, using parking fund revenue, according to a tentative agreement.

Studies have shown that pedestrians don't like to walk along one-way streets, which could damage efforts to develop a pedestrian-friendly "marina district" along Eastshore Drive, said Geri Lopez, the city's director of economic development and housing. Property values also have a tendency to go down when streets are turned into one-way avenues, she said.

The city gave preliminary approval to the garage on March 20. Mayor George Cretekos urged City Council members to stay on message regarding money spent to build the garage in the face of loud complaints from some beach residents.

Parking revenue will be used for the city's portion of the seven-level garage. Many beach residents think incorrectly their property taxes will be used to pay for the garage, Cretekos said.

"This garage is going to use private-sector funding initially and then we'll be using parking fund money, which is not taxpayer money. It's not from your property taxes," Cretekos said.

"It is still the people's money. We generate it from the public," said council member Hoyt Hamilton.

Parking fund revenue comes from money fed into parking meters and fines. The garage is slated to open next year.

'Dolphin' actor talks of tales

Nathan Gamble, who plays Sawyer in the movie Dolphin Tale and the upcoming Dolphin Tale 2, will be at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and its sister location, Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure, today through Saturday.

Nathan will make appearances to discuss the two movies.

Attendance is first-come, first-served. Admission to the aquarium is required for attendance. Check seewinter.com for details.

The aquarium is located at 249 Windward Passage on Island Estates in Clearwater.

Dunedin

Have your say on parks issue

Dunedin's Parks & Recreation Department will host three meetings this week to get the public's opinion on a long-range strategic recreation plan.

The city is in the process of developing a framework for future parks and recreation needs over the next five to 10 years. Residents are "highly encouraged" to share their ideas at one of the following forums:

•6:30 p.m. Monday: Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road.

•10 a.m. April 9: Hale Senior Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave.

•10 a.m. April 12: Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 550 Laura Lane

Residents are also invited to go to dunedingov.com to fill out a parks and recreation survey by midnight on April 30. Paper copies are also available at each of the above locations.

For more information, call (727) 812-4531.

North Pinellas

Electronic and chemical disposal

Pinellas County residents can safely dispose of many household electronics and chemicals this month at mobile collection events that are free.

Events are Saturdayat Palm Harbor University High School, 1900 Omaha St., and April 26 at Tarpon Springs High School, 1411 Gulf Road. Both are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and are subject to change in the event of severe weather.

Residents can drop off electronics such as camcorders, cellphones, computers, TVs, DVD players and microwave ovens. Chemical items accepted include automotive fluids, batteries, fuel, paint and fluorescent bulbs along with other mercury-containing devices.

Residents should not mix chemicals together or place them in dark plastic bags, and should keep products in original, labeled containers if possible. Individual batteries should be placed in separate plastic bags or have terminals covered with heavy tape to prevent short circuits.

For more information on mobile collections including a full list of accepted items, items that are not accepted, instructions on how to transport chemicals and future dates, visit pinellascounty.org/utilities/mobile.htm.

Oldsmar

Preparing for a disaster isn't fun, but it's necessary

Register now for the "Make Mitigation Happen'' workshop to help homeowners make their home safer from hurricanes and other disasters that threaten Florida. Workshop participants will also learn how to save money on the windstorm portion of their homeowner's insurance premium. It is free to Florida residents and will be held at 9 a.m. April 12 at the Oldsmar Library, 400 St. Petersburg Drive E. To register, visit: bit.ly/Mitigation or call Oldsmar Fire Rescue, (813) 749-1200.

East Lake

'Peter Pan' actors will be at library

Get a sneak peak at East Lake High's production of Peter Pan.

Student actors dressed in costume will visit with youngsters ages 3 and older from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Friday at the East Lake Library, 4125 East Lake Road.

The play will be performed by East Lake High's drama department at 7 p.m. April 10-12 at the school, 1300 Silver Lake Drive.

For more information, call (727) 773-2665.

Comments
This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

When most people think back on the child celebrities of their time, they likely think of child movie actors, the well-trained stars of showbiz. For some, these were stars like Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, or Macaulay Carson Culkin from "Home Alone." F...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale "The Shape of Water" swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes, while the HBO drama "Big Little Lies" led television nominees with six nods. In what’s being viewed as a wide-open Osc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in New York City subway; video gives animated tour of new Pier District; and more

Top 5 at noon: Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in New York City subway; video gives animated tour of new Pier District; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.PIPE BOMB STRAPPED TO MAN EXPLODES IN NEW YORK CITY SUBWAYA man with a pipe bomb strapped to him set off the crude device in the subway near Times Square today, injuring the suspect and three...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lakewood High on lockout after report of weapon on campus

Lakewood High on lockout after report of weapon on campus

Lakewood High in St. Petersburg was placed on lockdown Monday morning following reports of a weapon on campus, but the threat was later downgraded and the school was placed in lockout status instead. St. Petersburg Police spokeswoman Sandra Bentil s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

CLEARWATER — A 38-year-old tree trimmer was shocked by a power line Monday, according to Clearwater Fire & Rescue.The trimmer was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg after the incident, which occurred just before 11 a.m. at 1309 Mil...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Space heater may have sparked fire that destroyed St. Petersburg home

ST. PETERSBURG — A space heater may have sparked a fire that destroyed a home in St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon.St. Petersburg fire officials say the fire occurred some time before 3 p.m. at 1225 21st St. S.According to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman looks back on the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions, Gerald McCoy’s injury, reports of Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter friction and another close game that got away from Tampa Bay on the way to a 4-9 record. Li...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete takes small steps on the way to sustainability

St. Pete takes small steps on the way to sustainability

BY CHARLIE FRAGOTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — It was a big promise made by Mayor Rick Kriseman more than two years ago: Get the Sunshine City to eventually run on 100 percent renewable energy.In a few months, the city will take small but tangibl...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

A new documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried reveals someone more mild-mannered than his stage persona, married with children, verging on dull. His voice doesn’t grate, dropping half its nasal quality and all of its foul-mouthed bluster....
Updated: 2 hours ago
Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein story, chef and television personality Mario Batali offered up his views on how to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for an Oct. 30 video for Fast Company."You need a workplace free of fear, that harbors an...
Updated: 3 hours ago