Tuesday, April 24, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas news briefs for Oct. 16

Palm Harbor

West section of park reopens

The west section of Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor is now open. It had been closed since Sept. 11, when a fire destroyed the observation tower located on the west side of the park. Pinellas County staffers have cleared the area, and the public is asked to stay away from the immediate area of the tower's foundation.

The tower, which cost $315,000 to build, is expected to be rebuilt. The parks staff is currently working on the plans with engineers.

Clearwater

Funds and 'friends' of CMA, Clearwater

The money race between supporters and opponents of a new downtown aquarium is tighter than many expected, but not quite as neck and neck as it appears in fundraising reports filed last week.

Friends of CMA, the pro-aquarium PAC, announced it has raised $32,200. Friends of Clearwater, the anti-aquarium PAC, listed $31,620 in contributions.

Here's the twist: Judy Bennett, chief operating officer at Bob Carter Companies LLC, a Sarasota fundraising consultant firm, mistakenly gave $2,000 to Friends of Clearwater, who oppose the $160 million, three-story proposal that will advance if voters approve on Nov. 5.

"There are too many 'friends' out there," Bennett said Friday. She has contacted the Friends of Clearwater to get her money back. She will then contribute the cash to Friends of CMA, her intended target.

Bob Carter Companies is working with CMA on a fundraising strategy to raise cash from private donors and corporations if the referendum passes.

An amended political scorecard would then read: Friends of CMA raised $34,200, Friends of Clearwater raised $29,620.

Formed in mid-August, Friends of Clearwater raked in $29,620 by Sept. 30. Most of those dollars came from residents of Water's Edge and Pierce 100, high-rise luxury condo towers that would be the downtown neighbors of a new aquarium located on waterfront land now occupied by City Hall.

Interestingly, former Mayor Rita Garvey, who served 12 years as mayor in the 1980s and '90s, gave $250 to the anti-aquarium PAC. Garvey lost to Brian Aungst in 1999 and Frank Hibbard in 2008.

Garvey said Friday she thought the City Hall property was the wrong location for an aquarium and was concerned about clogged traffic in the area if an aquarium were built.

Two people join City Council Seat 5 race

Two political novices are erasing former City Council member Hoyt Hamilton's previously unopposed path back to the council.

Morton Myers, 34, who lives in the Manor neighborhood near the Long Center, said he decided to run for Seat 5, currently occupied by term-limited Vice Mayor Paul Gibson, because he wants to see a prosperous downtown and a reformed policy on red-light cameras.

Red-light cameras on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Chestnut Street snag too many tourists who are unfamiliar with Florida's new law allowing them, Myers said. He's ambivalent about a proposed downtown aquarium, especially if it involves tearing down City Hall, but wants to be involved in the process.

Myers, a Clearwater native, owns an Oldsmar area pawnshop and a business that subcontracts labor and information for theme parks and other clients.

Myers is married with two young children.

He decided to compete against Hamilton because Seat 4 incumbent Bill Jonson once served on his Eagle Scout committee and he holds him in high regard.

Another entry into the Seat 5 race is Jon Paul Rosa, who lives in an apartment near Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. He didn't return calls requesting comment.

Hamilton, 55, served on the City Council from 1999 to 2006. According to campaign finance records through Sept. 30, he has raised $4,450.

Jonson will face David Allbritton, chairman of the Downtown Development Board, for the Seat 4 spot in the March 11 election.

Comments
Forecast: After storms produce damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

Forecast: After storms produce damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Forecasters said rain could fall on Monday before conditions cleared, leaving drier air and less humidity behind.That rain moved through Ruskin with a vengeance Monday night, and produced a treacherous early-morning commute for resid...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Missing Wesley Chapel boy, 12, found safe

Missing Wesley Chapel boy, 12, found safe

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been cancelled for a 12-year-old boy in Wesley Chapel.Tyshawn Govan has been located and is safe, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The boy had last been seen Monday night near the 2200 block of Marsh Vi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Waffle House shooter’s guns were seized but then returned

Waffle House shooter’s guns were seized but then returned

Travis Reinking exhibited multiple warning signs that he was mentally unstable: He talked openly about delusions that he was being stalked by Taylor Swift. He insisted unknown people were making barking noises outside his home. He even went to the Wh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Brad Marchand might be the ultimate pest, but he's not the original.Not even in his own family.The Boston Bruins left wing writes in a first-person story published last week in The Players' Tribune that he got his inspiration from his younger br...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Willy Adames, the Rays top position player prospect, touched all the bases in hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Durham's Monday's win over Buffalo.Adames doubled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, tripled in the sixth and completed the rare f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: A Murphy-Jolly gubernatorial run?; ALF residents’ deplorable conditions; committee to pick pier art; Lightning must wait to learn opponent

The Daystarter: A Murphy-Jolly gubernatorial run?; ALF residents’ deplorable conditions; committee to pick pier art; Lightning must wait to learn opponent

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.   • Give thanks for drier air. There is a small rain chance this morning, but things dry out by the afternoon, according to 10Weather WTSP. Beats yesterday’s humidity. The...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

So much of the attention Monday surrounding the Bucs' announcing who'd be announcing their late-round draft picks was, of course, that a parrot would be delivering the name of the fourth-round pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.But late...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NFL Draft: Date, time, TV schedule and draft order for the April 26-28 draft

NFL Draft: Date, time, TV schedule and draft order for the April 26-28 draft

The NFL Draft starts Thursday from Arlington, Texas, with coverage of the first round beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Here's a look at the broadcast schedule for all three days and the draft order for every round:Schedule(all times Eastern)Thursday, April 26...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

ST. PETERSBURG — The pier public arts committee is expected to decide today which artist or artists will have their work showcased in the new 26-acre Pier District. The committee, which selected six finalists with the help of consultant Ann Wykell, w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Twin sisters from Tampa helping shape Fox’s ‘Empire’ say they’d like to tell Tampa stories

Twin sisters from Tampa helping shape Fox’s ‘Empire’ say they’d like to tell Tampa stories

JaNeika and JaSheika James’ television obsession was fueled by scarcity and convenience. As self-described "military brats" living in Germany, the girls treasured the VHS tapes their grandmother shipped overseas filled with English-language Saturday ...
Updated: 2 hours ago