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Two face opposition in Madeira Beach election

(ran Beach edition)

Two of the three Board of Commissioner seats up for re-election will be contested March 8. Commissioner Martha Boos, appointed to the District 4 seat in August, will run unopposed.

When the qualifying period ended at 4 p.m. Friday, those who had thrown their names into the hat included three with previous government experience.

Doreen Moore, former city commissioner, will oppose Mayor Charles Parker for his seat on the commission. Parker, an 11-year veteran, was appointed to the position in August.

Commissioner Kevin Connolly, appointed to represent District 3 in late August, will not seek election.

Art Thomas, a current member of the Planning Commission, and Jim Madden, former city manager, will vie for the District 3 seat.

Seven referendums to the city charter will also appear on the March 8 ballot.

St. Pete Beach working to bring homes up to code

ST. PETE BEACH _ City officials met with FEMA officials Dec. 16 and came up with a six-month plan to bring homes not conforming to FEMA regulations into compliance. In return, FEMA agreed to rescind threats to take away homeowners' 10 percent flood insurance discount, City Manager Mike Bonfield said.

In late August, FEMA threatened to retrograde the city from a class 8 to a class 10 _ a move that would cause policyholders to pay full price for flood insurance.

FEMA sent the city a list of 127 properties that were not up to current FEMA codes in November 2002. Roughly 25 have still not been resolved.

Of the city's 10,500 residents, 6,939 have flood insurance policies.

So far, nearly 11 of the noncompliant homeowners have started working with city officials, Bonfield said.

He said the city will proceed with code enforcement action if the remaining homeowners don't respond to its outreach efforts.

Old cell phones needed for seniors in emergencies

Donate old cell phones to be used by senior citizens for 911 emergencies. Phones can be dropped off at the following St. Petersburg Police Department Community Resource Centers: Bartlett Park, 642 22nd Ave. S; Maximo Park, 4815 34th St. S; Sanderlin Family Center, 2335 22nd Ave. S; Skyway Resource Center, 1065 62nd Ave. S; Sunrise Resource Center, 6393 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N; and Tyrone Gardens, 937 Tyrone Blvd. N. Call 570-9696, ext. 279.

New outlet store benefits Habitat for Humanity

Pinellas Habitat for Humanity's new Habitat Outlet, 3071 118th Ave. N, Pinellas Park, is accepting donations of new and used items such as appliances, furniture, building materials, cabinets and lighting. Visit www.phfh.org/haboutlet.htm for a complete list of what the outlet can and cannot accept. Small items can be dropped off from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Call 209-2199 to have larger items picked up or for information.

Service center can help if you're hearing impaired

Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc. is pleased to announce that the Deaf and Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay is now providing complete FTRI services.

Local residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or speech-impaired can receive specialized telephones and ring signaling devices at no charge.

For information or to schedule an appointment call 399-9983, or 1-800-222-3448 (Voice) or 1-888-447-5620 (TTY) for an equipment application, or visit www.ftri.org.

Help seniors get prescription drugs

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs needs volunteer counselors to help low-income seniors obtain their prescription drugs free or almost free.

You should have a computer and have Internet access. Elder affairs provides all training and reimbursement of travel expenses. Call the Area Agency on Aging at 570-9696, ext. 237.

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