Longtime community volunteer John Tornga has thrown his hat into the ring for this November's City Commission election.
So far, Tornga, 67, is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski, who is running for mayor against another sitting commissioner, Julie Scales.
This will be the second run for Tornga, who launched an unsuccessful bid against former Commissioner David Carson in 2009.
Tornga is a retired businessman whose volunteerism includes service as chairman of Dunedin's Board of Finance, first vice president of the Dunedin Council of Organizations and a departure coordinator for Honor Flight, a nonprofit that sponsors free round-trip, single-day tours to Washington D.C. for World War II veterans.
He has lived in Dunedin since 1990.
"I'm a strong supporter of the culture and heritage in Dunedin but also aware of the fact that we need to continue to make ourselves better, and we have to continue in the area of development but keep it within some bounds," Tornga said.
The City Commission on Thursday will hold the first of two public hearings and votes on Victoria Place, a condo-retail project proposed for 200 Main St. at Edgewater Drive.
Developers want to build 30 residential units above 10,000 square feet of retail on the empty 1.3-acre site.
Commissioners will consider a development agreement and architectural plans at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and June 5.
The meetings will be held at City Hall, 542 Main St.
Arts, cultural and heritage organizations across North Pinellas will join government leaders for "Combining Forces," a day-long conference aimed at determining how cities can invest and work with the groups to better market the area as a destination for tourists.
The gathering, set for 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6, will be held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd. It is open to the public.
Panelists will share stories of cities and the arts working together, discuss the role of arts and culture as an economic driver and also explore marketing and funding strategies for creative partnerships.
Speakers include Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy for Americans for the Arts; Ruth Eckerd president and CEO Zev Buffman; Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne; Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates; Dunedin City Manager Rob DiSpirito and DFAC executive director George Ann Bissett.
The event is free for those who bring their own lunch, or $10 for those who want to purchase it through DFAC.
For more information or to register, visit dfac.org or call (727) 298-3322.
Dunedin's Parks & Recreation Department is seeking lifeguards for the summer season. Applicants must have current certification in lifeguard training and CPR/AED.
The city is also ramping up for its fifth annual "Every Child a Swimmer: Little Guppies" program for children ages 3 and 4.
The class — designed to teach both parent and child in a fun yet educational atmosphere — is free for nonswimmers.
Registration is May 1 and 2 during open hours at the Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road. The Dunedin Fire Department will hold an informational meeting May 3 at the community center. Classes will be held May 3-24 at Highlander Pool, with sessions starting at 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.
For more information about either program, to register or to volunteer, visit dunedingov.com or contact Alicia Castricone at (727) 298-3265 or [email protected]
St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is providing a mobile medical clinic to conduct free physicals and immunizations for children ages newborn to 18 who are enrolled in Medicaid or lack health insurance. The physicals also are free for children who are American Indians or Alaskan Natives, but will not include sports physicals.
Dates and locations:
• 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Greater Ridgecrest Neighborhood Family Center, 13420 Adams Circle in Largo. By appointment only. Call (727) 584-7200.
• 3 to 7 p.m. May 15 at the Citizens Alliance for Progress Inc., 401 E Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Tarpon Springs. By appointment only. Call (727) 934-5881.
Largo High School, which will be torn down this summer for a two-year rebuilding project, is inviting alumni and the greater Largo community to a "Final Homecoming" on the evenings of May 12 and 13.
From 5 to 8 p.m. on that Monday and Tuesday, the general public can walk through the school and its campus one last time before the wrecking ball swings.
Visitors can also listen to a spring concert by Largo High's band and buy memorabilia such as red bricks and pieces of the gymnasium floor.
For more information, go online to LargoHSAthletic Boosters.com.
Wawa held a grand opening of its newest store Thursday afternoon at 12750 Walsingham Road in Largo. The celebration includes free coffee for the first 10 days the store is open.
Wawa is busy spreading its presence around Largo, having previously opened a store at Ulmerton and Starkey roads while planning another store on Missouri Avenue just north of Rosery Road. The Pennsylvania-based chain has long been popular in the Northeast for offering made-on-site deli hoagies, baked goods and gourmet coffees 24/7.
Wawa plans to open 45 new stores this year, including 25 in Florida.