Make us your home page

North Pinellas News Briefs for Jan. 1


Pooches get their parade on at Botanical Gardens

The annual Holiday Lights Dog Parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Florida Botanical Gardens, with registration for doggie competitors from 1 to 1:45 p.m. in the gardens parking lot.

Competitors will don costumes and strut their stuff for fun and prizes. They will be judged in these categories: best costume, best adult, best puppy, best senior, most glamorous, and best vocal performance.

Judges include Dr. David Tollen of Oakhurst Veterinary & Kennels, Dr. Jennifer Saez of the Animal Care Clinic of Largo, and David Parhill, Hills Science Food Diet.

Registration is $10 and is open to the first 100 dogs. Proceeds support the Florida Botanical Gardens. A gift bag and certificate will be awarded to each dog that is registered.

The registration form can be found online at or forms will be available onsite today. For more information about registration or the event, please call (727) 582-2247.

The Florida Botanical Gardens are located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

Safety Harbor

Signs and poles on City Commission agenda

The Safety Harbor City Commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 750 Main St.

Items on the agenda include the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city sign code to increase the permitted size of a drive-through menu board from 24 square feet to 40 square feet.

The amendment also would allow properties that have no freestanding pole sign or monument sign to have a larger wall sign on their buildings.

The commission also will conduct a public hearing on a request for a new drive-through and outdoor eating area for a fast-food restaurant in Oakbrook Plaza on McMullen-Booth Road.

Both of these agenda items were previously approved by the city Planning and Zoning Board.


Visitors from sister city of Nagano, Japan, need hosts

The city's Parks and Recreation Department is looking for hosts for visitors from Clearwater's sister city in Japan, who will be coming for a week in February.

The visiting group, including two teachers and 12 middle-school students, hail from Nagano, a city of about 388,000 in central Japan and host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. They are part of an annual cultural exchange. This year, they'll be in Clearwater during the week of Feb. 23.

Individuals, couples and families are encouraged to apply to be hosts.

In addition to providing accommodations, hosts are expected to provide transportation to school and events.

Applications are available by contacting Felicia Leonard, Parks and Recreation administrative support manager, at (727) 562-4852 or [email protected]


Needed: Tax helpers

Do you know how to use a computer and have four hours a week in February, March and early April to spare?

Tax season is here again, and the AARP Foundation TaxAide program is seeking volunteers to help taxpayers prepare their IRS returns. IRS-certified training on the latest tax preparation forms and software will be provided.

Call 1-888-687-2277, email [email protected] or visit

Tarpon Springs

Folk singer to perform at Cultural Center

Folk singer Lil' Rev performs Jewish and Yiddish folk songs using banjo, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica and recorder at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and 9 at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S Pinellas Ave.

Tickets are $16, $14 for center members and students. For information or to buy tickets, visit


Seniors, pencil in your day trips

The Hale Activity Center is registering seniors for day trips across the Tampa Bay area. Call (727) 298-3299 for more information:

• A trip to the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is planned for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 21. The cost is $45 per person, and lunch may also be purchased onsite at the Banyan Cafe. Sign up by Jan. 31.

• There will be a trip to Fletcher's Dinner Theater's performance of Lend Me a Tenor, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6. The cost is $34 per person and includes a lunch buffet. Preregister by Feb. 3.

• A tour of the Port of Tampa aboard a catamaran is planned for April 2. The bus departs the Hale Center at 7:30 a.m. and returns by 1 p.m. The cost is $19 per person, and lunch may be purchased after the boat tour during a stop at Cracker Barrel. Sign up by March 12.

North Pinellas News Briefs for Jan. 1 12/31/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 4:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Top picks for healthy convenience foods that put popular whole grains to good use


    Whole grains are trending. The National Restaurant Association declared them one of the top 20 food trends of 2017, multiple surveys report that consumers are seeking them out, and thousands of grocery items have been reformulated to include more in the past year. That's a good thing because there is a tall stack of …

    There is a tall stack of research supporting the health benefits of eating whole grains, which include preventing the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease and helping with weight management.
  2. 'Battle of the Sexes' is a fine time capsule comedy, and not really about the tennis


    In 1973, tennis champion Billie Jean King joined a two-ring circus with hustler Bobby Riggs, billed as a Battle of the Sexes amid the women's liberation movement. Fifty million Americans watched the pop spectacle on TV.

    Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the film "Battle of the Sexes." [Fox Searchlight Pictures.]
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 26


    University Lecture Series: Jackie Cruz: In part of USF's Hispanic Heritage Month activities, actress Jackie Cruz (Orange is the New Black) presents "Cruzing Through Adversity" in which she offers lessons on resilience, determination and turning life's challenges into opportunities and a better outlook. 8 …

    Jackie Cruz in a scene from Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" Season 2. Photo credit: Jessica Miglio for Netflix.
  4. Restaurant review: Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights should focus on mom-and-pop pharmacy vibe

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic


    Sometimes, the more time you have with a project, the more complicated it gets. I started hearing about Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights about 18 months ago. It was the vision of Ujwal Patel, a pharmacist;

    Mortar & Pestle opened in Seminole Heights in Tampa in August. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  5. Snap Judgment's Glynn Washington on growing up in a 'cult' and how to tell a good story


    Glynn Washington spent much of his last visit to Tampa preparing his soul for the impending apocalypse. He was assured it was coming any day.

    Glynn Washington, the creator and host of NPR's "Snap Judgment," will bring his live show to the Tampa Theatre on Sept. 29. 
Photo courtesy Snap Judgment