Hey guys! Today, we have a special treat -- a guest blog by Largo High School freshman Ketrin Gavani, who spent the day shadowing me in the pursuit of a possible journalism career.
Not only is Ketrin into forensics and courthouse drama, but this girly-girl loves interior design, is a huge fan of fashion and has the scarf collection to prove it! Naturally, our tea time tete-a-tete included a gawk fest at this Wendy's Lookbook video on this fall/winter's hottest fashion accessory. "Four ways to wear a scarf? Maybe. But 25? Really?" we scoffed. Yeeeah, consider our minds blown.
11/20/14 Real Estate
DUNEDIN — The new owners of the Fenway Hotel volunteered to sit down and answer questions, and members of the Edgewater Drive Advisory Committee had plenty.
A meeting last week with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA about their redevelopment plans started out with a tense grilling.
But by the end, the society appeared to have allayed most of the seven-member committee's concerns....
11/14/14 Local Government
DUNEDIN — The city made history on Election Day when voters not only cast their ballots in an unprecedented race between two female candidates but chose Dunedin's first female mayor in nearly three decades.
The title went to Julie Ward Bujalski, who defeated longtime commission colleague Julie Scales by gaining 56 percent of votes.
Bujalski, 48, will lead a new commission majority that was automatically elected in June when no one filed to run against them....
Even before Halloween had arrived, some stores were already setting out the inflatable Santas, piping Christmas jingles over the intercom and advertising Black Friday deals.
Now that Thanksgiving is actually a mere two weeks away, it's only a matter of time before the holiday party invitations start to roll in ... which, of course, begs the inevitable question: WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?!?...
SAFETY HARBOR| With a new moratorium on tree removal in place, the city is now focused on fine-tuning an ordinance that strengthens existing tree protection rules.
All city commissioners but Richard Blake this month voted to ban tree cuts through April 1 unless the updated ordinance is passed sooner. The proposed law would expand Safety Harbor’s authority beyond grand trees of a certain size to all trees within city limits....
BELLEAIR -- A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a preservation advocacy group seeking to save the former Belleview Biltmore hotel from demolition.
Friends of the Belleview Biltmore and its president, Rae Claire Johnson, had accused Belleair commissioners of nepotism and colluding in the hotel’s sale by failing to enforce both town and federal historic preservation laws. The suit said the town’s inaction gave the Biltmore’s owners carte blanche to illegally withhold routine maintenance in hopes of making a case for demolition....
Remember the awe of all that technology on The Jetsons? The hope you felt when you first heard Prince's new millennium hit '1999'? The eagerness you felt when you watched 'Back to the Future'?
My friends. We have arrived.
The latest new gadget to hit the market from retailers such as AT&T and Best Buy are smartwatches, which let consumers check email, browse the web and use voice commands just as they would on a smartphone....
11/06/14 Local Government
DUNEDIN — The city is buying a fire boat over the objections of some residents who say the cost and potential for liability trumps what city commissioners say is a basic public safety need.
Commissioners unanimously agreed to spend nearly $229,000 in Penny for Pinellas funds on a vessel with firefighting and medical rescue capability, plus insurance, fuel and equipment including a lift to provide for easy maintenance and transport of patients onto the marina dock. Upkeep is estimated at $10,000 a year....
DUNEDIN| Residents will get their first glimpse of renovation plans for the Fenway during a series of meetings rolled out by the historic hotel’s new owners.
The Taoist Tai Chi Society of the United States of America plans to spend $14 million remodeling the dilapidated building into the health and wellness group’s new headquarters and adding townhomes....
BELLEAIR| The fate of the Belleview Biltmore has been delayed as town staff scrambles to reschedule two final votes amid a public notice error.
An advisory board of residents called the Historic Preservation Board was supposed to hear JMC Communities’ revamped plan to save a single wing of the historic hotel and give its recommendation this Thursday.
The Town Commission had been scheduled to take a final vote Nov. 13....
DUNEDIN — Voters Tuesday chose longtime commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski to lead the city for the next two years.
With all precincts reporting, Bujalski had netted 56 percent of the nonpartisan race's 14,553 votes compared to opponent Julie Scales' 44 percent.
Speaking from a quiet corner of her victory party at the Dunedin Brewery, Bujalski said she looked forward to working with residents....
After a hard-fought race went down to the wire Tuesday night, the Pinellas County Commission will have a Democratic majority for the first time in 50 years.
"There was a time when you wouldn't have run as a Democrat in this county," said Largo Mayor Pat Gerard, who won the countywide District 2 seat on the commission. "Times have changed."
In one of the closest local races of the night, Gerard edged out state Rep. Ed Hooper by 51 to 49 percent. She'll take the seat that was held by vanquished Commissioner Norm Roche, whom Hooper earlier defeated in the Republican primary....
There's nothing more confusing to me than fall fashion in Florida.
As a Michigan native, I theoretically should be able to visualize all the long-sleeve sweaters, boots and snuggly scarves in my closet and mentally tabulate the perfect autumn outfit within seconds.
But this month marks my eighth anniversary as a Florida resident and, heck I'll say it, I'm a wuss when it comes to even slightly wintry weather (aka pretty much any temperature below 70 degrees). My wardrobe full of dresses, paper thin tops with three-quarter length sleeves and sandals -- and my difficulty gauging the correct layering combination to straddle both Florida's summery highs and wintery lows -- proves it....
10/30/14 Human Interest
DUNEDIN — The first time Andrea Stewart stared into her youngest son's coal-colored eyes, she nearly fainted.
It was Feb. 19. The married stay-at-home mother of three biological children had been awakened by the ping of a new email from her adoption agency hitting her smartphone inbox. The subject line: "Check your email. We have a baby for you."
She dashed to her laptop where baby Cruz's piercing eyes and smooth cocoa skin filled the screen. The small, medically frail infant was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo....
The retail news for me and my fellow Clearwater fashionistas just keeps getting better and better!
First, it was confirmed that the rumors about Nordstrom Rack coming to Countryside Mall next fall were true.
NOW, we've received word that Fresh Threads, one of my fave designer clothing consignment boutiques, is not only leaving its South Dale Mabry Highway location in Tampa for new digs at 615 Pinellas St. in the even swankier Harbor Oaks area near downtown Clearwater ... but is also expanding its inventory to include home goods and locally-made trinkets plus a renewed focus on e-commerce....