Thursday, May 24, 2018
Opinion

Ferry service to run between St. Petersburg and Pass-a-Grille

The commute to the beach is about to get a bit more relaxing.

By the end of the month, Sunshine City residents and tourists will be able to hop aboard a passenger ferry to Pass-a-Grille.

Island Ferry Boat Tours and Ferry Services held trials with two of its vessels last week and intends to offer the new service to Pass-a-Grille.

On Friday, general manager Sebastian Font was working at a feverish pace to meet the city's safety and insurance requirements.

By the time the outfit is up and running, there should be six vessels in Island Ferry's fleet.

The pontoon-type ferry, which holds up to 15 passengers, will depart every 90 minutes and will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The owner of the operation says the more energy-efficient ferries are like "a floating living room."

Each trip lasts about 30 minutes, and passengers will receive a boarding pass for the return trip.

The ferry service will operate from the Pass-a-Grille Marina and the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina. A route from St. Petersburg to Anna Maria Island is also in the works.

Organizers say the schedule and ferry service could be adjusted to meet customer demands. If the venture proves successful, Island Ferry could expand its fleet.

• • •

Two local organizations are collaborating to help nonprofits cut expenses with a new green initiative.

"Powering Up Our Not-For-Profits" is a partnership between the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

The best part of this initiative is it targets organizations that need the most help.

Last week, about 44 solar collectors were installed on the roof of the [email protected], at no cost to that organization.

The idea started with Drs. Peter and Susan Betzer of St. Petersburg, who donated much of the startup funds — about $30,000 — and the solar panels.

The goal is to preserve resources for nonprofits, but "you're saving a natural resource for all of us — the whole community," said Marlene Spalten, president and CEO of Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. "The conservation tie-in is everyone comes out a winner in this."

Each nonprofit that participates is expected to give back to the effort.

"The great thing is that the [email protected] has agreed to give back 50 percent of what they save (on their utility bill) and it goes into a fund in the Community Foundation, so then it can help other nonprofits basically lower their energy bills," said Peter Betzer, president and CEO of St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. "So as we get more and more not-for-profits participating, we can help more and more people faster."

The effort is a welcome relief for participants.

"We're extremely grateful and eternally delighted that we were the first nonprofit to kick off this initiative that could be implemented city and then countywide," said Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of the studio.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at [email protected] or at (727) 893-8874 and on Twitter at @StPeteSandi.

Comments
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun the important work of rebuilding trust with its patients and the community following revelations of medical errors and other problems at its Heart Institute. CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen candidly acknowledges...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18