DUNEDIN — Come spring, even more Honeymoon Island visitors than before will be able to watch shore birds frolic among beach plants and sea turtles nest along a sandier coast, officials say.
Construction crews who embarked in September on the second phase of a beach renourishment project that has already improved parking are shooting to wrap up by April.
Until then, patrons will encounter occasional spot closures as cranes haul 3- to 5-ton granite rocks that workers are using to build three T-groins — erosion-fighting structures that will hold in place 149,000 cubic yards of sand being pumped from a shoal south of Hurricane Pass to the beach fronting the island's north parking lot....
12/19/14 Real Estate
DUNEDIN — After years of pushback from neighbors and city officials, it appears that the latest plan to refurbish the Fenway Hotel just might sail straight to City Hall approval.
The Taoist Tai Chi Society of the United States of America received a round of applause from neighbors this month after presenting its $14 million plan to renovate the 5.2-acre waterfront property at 453 Edgewater Drive into its new international headquarters and also add townhomes. ...
Christmas is just around the corner, so we figured what better gift to give you than local shoe extraordinaire Kellie McRae?
Kellie is a total sweetheart I met earlier this year while we were both covering a fashion show, where she managed to focus all eyes away from the runway with her hip footwear game.
Turns out, she's an admitted shoe addict (more than 200 pairs strong!) who has funneled her passion into Sexy Bags & Shoes, an all-inclusive social media platform where she showcases the latest trends via photo, video and interactive posts. She recently expanded her reach with The Hurricane in Heels, a blog featuring makeup tutorials and beauty reviews....
12/11/14 Local Government
DUNEDIN — A proposed ban thought to be aimed at protecting city residents from an infestation of large constrictor snakes, like Burmese pythons and anacondas that have devastated animal populations across the Everglades, has riled critics across the nation.
Dunedin has always prohibited venomous snakes.
But while reviewing city ordinance language for updates or additions, a citizens advisory group called the Charter Review Committee recommended adding a clause prohibiting constrictor snakes more than 4 feet long....
For days, I've been lamenting how I missed blogging about No-Shave November, the annual men's campaign to raise cancer awareness by letting their beards hang out in all its glory.
But alas Jolly Old St. Nick must've been watching over us all when he reached into his bag of joy and pulled out this nice gem, which not only pays forward last month's follicle-fundraising tribute but might also act as a handy addition to your Christmas list....
12/09/14 Local Government
BELLEAIR — Town commissioners approved a developer's plan Tuesday to raze most of the historic Belleview Biltmore hotel, transform part of a preserved west wing into a boutique inn and surround it with new condos and townhomes.
After nearly six hours of testimony from redevelopment critics and supporters, commissioners voted 5-0 to grant St. Petersburg developer Mike Cheezem a demolition permit, site plan, development agreement and new zoning. They directed City Manager Micah Maxwell to negotiate a settlement on code enforcement fines....
12/08/14 Local Government
BELLEAIR — Several votes today will determine once and for all whether preservationists get a bit more time to search for a savior before the iconic Belleview Biltmore hotel is reduced to rubble, then redeveloped.
Opponents and supporters are expected to pack Town Hall chambers for a 4 p.m. meeting of the Historic Preservation Board. The citizen advisory group will debate prominent St. Petersburg developer Mike Cheezem's request for an agreement that would give his firm, JMC Communities, permission to raze most of the Biltmore on grounds that restoration is too costly and unlikely to thrive under modern market standards....
On the heels of yesterday's announcement that marsala is the color of the year, what better time to introduce you to a new trend in which you can incorporate it?
Divas. I present you with: Underarm hair dyeing.
12/03/14 Local Government
DUNEDIN — Negotiations with the Toronto Blue Jays surrounding a new spring training contract remain "very positive," says Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski, who met with team officials just days after being voted into office.
On Nov. 7, roughly 72 hours after winning the election, Bujalski took team president Paul Beeston and Blue Jays attorney Matthew Shuber up on their offer to fly here and discuss plans for either a new or remodeled stadium....
SAFETY HARBOR| Residents get to weigh in on a new tree ordinance during a town hall meeting set for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 750 Main St.
The proposed ordinance would strengthen existing tree protection rules by expanding Safety Harbor’s authority beyond grand trees of a certain size to all trees.
City commissioners have been working on the updated legal language for months. But controversy this summer over trees razed with county permission by the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa hastened leaders to enact a temporary ban on tree cuts until the new law is in place....
DUNEDIN| The Pinellas County Commission has hired an engineering consultant, URS Corporation Southern Inc. of Tampa, to study repair or replacement options for the Dunedin Causeway Bridge.
The bridge leading to Honeymoon Island State Park reached its 50-year estimated useful life in 2013, so county officials in 2009 tried to get a head start by doing a routine feasibility study, which recommended a new bridge....
SAFETY HARBOR| Residents are already lining up to run for the City Commission this March.
Seats 1 (Richard Blake), 2 (Cliff Merz) and 3 (Andy Zodrow) are up for re-election.
Candidates must be registered voters who have lived in Safety Harbor at least a year. Qualifying lasts from noon Dec. 29 to noon Jan. 6.
City clerk records show that Merz has filed to retain his seat and Janet Hooper, executive director of the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, has announced plans to run for Seat 1....
Hey, deevs! Here's hoping your Thanksgiving and Black Friday were as refreshing as mine!
After a glorious Thursday meal with friends, I spent all day Friday at home recovering. Which is a nice way of saying I became stuck in a vicious delicious cycle of naps between frequent stints of digging my way from under a mountain of holiday leftovers while similarly binging on Netflix....
TARPON SPRINGS| Site work started Monday on Reload Gun Range, a state-of-the-art facility going up at 40050 U.S. 19, on the west side of the highway north of Klosterman Road.
The developer, European Equities of Clearwater, this fall razed a vacant and dilapidated IHOP and Days Inn motel that neighbors said had blighted the property for a decade.
Now that permits are in, crews will install pipes and underground utilities in preparation of the building construction kickoff around Jan. 1, said spokesman Justin Floyd....
11/26/14 Local Government
DUNEDIN — An old adage says beauty is pain, but stylist Gregory Brady never envisioned that scenario for his patrons when he set up shop in this city's popular downtown.
Parking is at such a premium that fashionistas sometimes have to trek blocks to his Main Street venture, Salon GW.
"What'll ruin your business is when a customer is driving around 10 minutes looking for a parking space," Brady said. "My customers want to get pretty; they don't want to get worn out."...