Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

North Pinellas news briefs for Sunday, Sept. 29

Dunedin

Property tax rate going up in 2014

As expected, Dunedin city commissioners on Thursday night approved the 2014 city budget and a property tax rate increase by a 3-1 vote. Vice Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski voted no and Mayor Dave Eggers was absent due to a death in his family.

The $72.5 million budget includes a 10 percent increase in the city property tax rate, from 3.3817 mills to 3.7345. A resident who paid $338 this year will pay $373 next year.

Patricia Emrick of Patricia Avenue was the only resident who spoke during Thursday's public hearing. She said the city's ability to set aside excess risk safety fund reserves for "non-essential" expenditures like an expansion at the Dunedin Fine Art Center made her question the need for the tax rate jump.

Commissioners Ron Barnette, Julie Scales and Heather Gracy said the increase was necessary to maintain the city's level of public services.

Bujalski and Eggers have said they wanted to hold off at least a year to give the economy time to improve and the city's new finance director time to study alternatives.

Group honors city manager for his work

The Florida Association of Museums has named Dunedin City Manager Rob DiSpirito its 2013 Outstanding Public Official.

The honor is awarded annually to a public official whose work is a model of government support of the museum field. DiSpirito was nominated by the Dunedin Historical Museum, which lauded his commitment to Dunedin's culture and history as demonstrated by his:

• Ongoing donations of historical items from his personal collection for museum displays.

• Quest to preserve waterfront land now known as Weaver Park and the former Fenway Hotel and other buildings that have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

• Support of the city's citizen-led Arts & Culture Committee.

• Push for city funding of "quality of life" expansion projects at the museum and the Dunedin Fine Art Center.

DiSpirito was recognized Thursday night by the City Commission while his wife, son and daughter looked on. He said the award truly belongs to the commissioners, city staffers and residents who supported the measures.

Clearwater

College and Career Fair is Wednesday

Countryside High School, 3000 State Road 580 in Clearwater, will hold its fifth annual College and Career Fair from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The event is free and open to the public.

The school is inviting representatives from colleges, universities, vocational and technical schools and the military to disseminate information about their programs and institutions. Attendees will get details on how to apply to colleges, how to research scholarship opportunities, the financial aid application process and interview tips. Call (727) 588-6000 for information.

Time to get geared up for the Box Car Rally

Register by Friday for Achieva Credit Union's fourth annual Box Car Rally, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Cleveland Street District of downtown Clearwater.

The family-friendly event will feature food, drinks, music, children's games, face painting, balloons, raffles, merchant tables and awards.

Organizers expect about 60 box car drivers and more than 1,200 spectators. There are five race classes: pee-wee (ages 7-12), teen (ages 13-17), adult (ages 18 and over), corporate and high school. Each race class will feature two box car divisions — homemade (the shell is built from scratch, but the axle may be purchased) and All-American Soap Box Derby style.

Proceeds support Pinellas County classrooms through the Pinellas Education Foundation's grant program..

For additional information about the Box Car Rally, visit achievacu.com.

Palm Harbor

Services agency board has spots

The Pinellas County Commission is accepting applications for four vacancies on the board of the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency Inc. The nonprofit corporation manages and provides oversight for the Palm Harbor and East Lake Community libraries and Palm Harbor recreation programs.

Each appointee will serve a two-year term. Applicants must be registered voters and reside within the boundaries of either the Palm Harbor Community Services District or the East Lake Library Services District.

Interested parties should submit an application along with a brief biography or resume outlining their eligibility to serve. Applications should include education, work experience, civic or community organization memberships and positions, any professional licenses or memberships, and an explanation of how the applicant's background applies to the responsibilities of the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency.

County commissioners will review applications and make their selections at their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

All applications must be received by the close of business on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Applications are available online and may be emailed to [email protected] or delivered by mail or in person to: Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County Courthouse, fifth floor, 315 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756.

Countywide

Library cooperative taking applications

The Pinellas County Commission is accepting applications for two appointments to the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative Inc., a nonprofit corporation responsible for providing library services to the unincorporated areas of Pinellas County and to those municipalities that do not have library services and improving library services. Each appointee will serve a three-year term.

The cooperative's functions include receiving and disbursing funds from federal, state and local sources and maintaining a shared library automation system.

Applicants must be registered voters and cannot be an employee or member of any governing body of a Pinellas County library.

Interested parties should submit an application and a brief biography or resume outlining their eligibility. Applications should include education, work experience, organization memberships and positions, an explanation as to how the applicant's background applies to the responsibilities of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative and more.

Email applications to [email protected] or deliver them by mail or in person to: Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County Courthouse, fifth floor, 315 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756.

Comments
At a Mexican shelter, migrants who fled death threats prepare for ‘zero tolerance’ at the border

At a Mexican shelter, migrants who fled death threats prepare for ‘zero tolerance’ at the border

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico — In Honduras, their lives were surrounded by death.Lourdes Cruz had just started a new job when the maras, the deadly gangs plaguing Central America, demanded half of her paycheck. She quit her job, but they found her number a...
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Forecast: Muggy and hot with a chance of rain for Pride festivities

As the first weekend of summer swings in, it appears Tampa Bay should expect more heat, humidity and a chance of afternoon showers.Increased moisture in the Gulf of Mexico will result in scattered showers and isolated storms for coastal areas of Tamp...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: The Jameis Winston fallout; from CIA agents to minivan drivers; Pride comes back together in 2018

The Daystarter: The Jameis Winston fallout; from CIA agents to minivan drivers; Pride comes back together in 2018

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.   • Get ready for a wet morning as the forecast calls for scattered showers and storms to start the day. There could even be thundershowers and lightning out there, according to...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

It’ll still be June when Boy George arrives in Florida this week to kick off a summer U.S. tour with Culture Club. But the LGBTQ icon says it won’t feel quite like a Pride parade. "I also bake cakes for straight people," he laughed. "Tha...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 9 hours ago
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Joe Henderson: Hillsborough teachers have come to depend on foundation’s free supplies

Joe Henderson: Hillsborough teachers have come to depend on foundation’s free supplies

We have all heard stories about public school teachers reaching into their own pockets so their students will have basic classroom supplies.It goes on throughout the system because budgets are tight. The money allotted for pencils, markers, notebooks...
Published: 06/22/18
Kids find refugee from the street at Sulphur Springs day camp

Kids find refugee from the street at Sulphur Springs day camp

Last summer, Taem’ari Merrell spent much of her time on the couch watching YouTube.This summer, the 10-year-old is learning how to make videos.DeAndre Felton filled his 2017 summer schedule by reading comic books. But now, the 10-year-old spends days...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Updated: 21 minutes ago