Pasco news briefs for Aug. 30

News and notes from Pasco County
Published Aug. 26, 2019|Updated Aug. 26, 2019


Extension office offers free garden plots

The Pasco County Cooperative Extension Community Garden Program is leasing free garden plots to Pasco residents, available as early as Sept. 1. The Extension Office will pair applicants with an appropriate community garden location in Dade City or Wesley Chapel. A new Land O’ Lakes location will be opening soon.

Gardeners will be able to grow their own food, work with compost, gain gardening experience in classes and seminars offered on site, learn from experts and get started with three free vegetable plants (per plot lease, while supplies last).

Plots are leased on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, or to lease a plot, call (352) 521-1255 or e-mail

Labor Day closures

Pasco County government offices, including the constitutional offices and the courts, will be closed Sept. 2 in observance of Labor Day.

The Pasco County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources’ offices, recreation complexes and community centers will be closed; however, the parks and beaches will stay open to the public from dawn to dusk.

Pasco County Public Transportation will be closed, and bus services will not run on Sept. 2.

The Pasco County Animal Services administration office, adoption center, intake/reclaim shelter and field services will be closed; an Animal Control officer will be available for emergencies only.

The Pasco County Resource Recovery Facility, West Pasco Class III, and the East Pasco Transfer Station will be closed to the public, but will be open to Pasco County licensed commercial haulers.

All libraries and branches of the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office will be closed Aug. 31 and Sept. 2.

All government offices and operations will return to regular schedules on Sept. 3.

‘Big’ mentors needed for Pasco youth

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has scheduled orientation for those interested in becoming mentors. The orientations will provide prospective adult mentors with information on the children the organization serves, the requirements to become a “big,” volunteer commitments and expectations, how to handle cultural differences and the variety of programs offered through the organization. Big Brothers and Big Sisters can spend four to eight hours a month as a mentor. Upcoming sessions include:

-- 10:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 7, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.

-- 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

-- 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 24, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.

No reservations needed. For information, contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at or (813) 997-6881.

Renovations to begin at two libraries

In its effort to renovate and reimagine its seven branches, Pasco County libraries will close two library branches, beginning in October, for remodeling. The Centennial Park Library in Holiday and New River Library in Wesley Chapel will be closed beginning Oct. 1 for improvements expected to be complete by summer 2020.

The renovations are part of the general obligation bond referendum that voters passed in 2018. Over the next few years, each library branch will receive complete remodeling, to include updated technology, new outdoor spaces, more accessible parking, updated furnishings, high-efficiency air conditioning systems, high-speed internet and maker spaces.

Patrons can continue to check out books and materials, and attend events at other library branches throughout the county during the closures. Library staff will be at alternate local venues to provide continued services and programs.

For updated program information, visit

VFW accepting student essay entries

The Chester Mackay Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7987 is accepting entries for an essay contest open to Pasco County students in the sixth through 12th grades who attend public, charter, private, parochial and home schools.

The essay theme is “What Makes America Great.” The entry deadline is Oct. 31. Each entry should include the student’s name, school, grade and contact information.

Entries from the local schools have a chance to win a prize. The contest includes grand prizes of $5,000, and $30,000 nationally. For information, contact the post at (727) 376-3502 and ask for Walter Jaworski or Mike Schrader.

Solar co-op introduced

The Pasco Unit of the Hillsborough League of Women Voters, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sierra Club Adventure Coast and Suncoast Chapter have partnered with Solar United Neighbors to launch a Solar Co-Op in Pasco County.

An informational meeting will be offered at 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, Activity Room 1, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes; and at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at Alice Hall, 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills.

The solar co-op is free to join, and joining is not a commitment to purchase solar panels. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

Homeowners and small businesses in Pasco County interested in joining the co-op can sign up at

NAMI offers support groups

The Pasco County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers two types of support group meetings each month:

-- The NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is a structured, closed group, open only to those with a mental illness diagnosis. This group is for individuals 18 and older interested in the recovery process, sharing coping skills and being with others who understand the challenges of living with a mental illness. It is facilitated by trained peers. Separate groups meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday at WellCare in the Southgate Shopping Center, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

-- The Family Support Group is for family members and caregivers of someone with a mental illness diagnosis. Separate groups meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Medical Center of Trinity’s West Campus, 5637 Marine Parkway, New Port Richey.

NAMI also offers the following free classes throughout the year. Registration is required and classes are posted on the website calendar when offered:

-- Peer-to-Peer Class is an eight-week program for adults with mental illness who want to better understand their condition and journey toward recovery. It is taught by a trained team of people who have had mental illnesses and includes presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. Everything is confidential.

-- Family-to-Family is a 12-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people living with mental illness. It is designated as an evidence-based program; research shows that the program significantly improves coping and problem-solving abilities. It is taught by NAMI-trained family members and includes presentations, discussion and interactive exercises.

For further information on the groups and programs, contact NAMI at (727) 992-9653 or visit


Yacht Club to join cleanup efforts

The Hudson Beach Yacht Club and members of the Sea Ranch Association will participate in the national Coastal Cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 21. Volunteers are needed from throughout the area to assist with the effort.

Those helping will meet at the Sea Ranch Club House, 13711 Veronica Drive. Teams will be dispersed to different areas to be cleared of trash. Water, food and event T-shirts will be provided. For further information, call Patti at (727) 819-8125.


Brewfest accepting breweries, vendors

Vendor and brewery applications are being accepted for the Fall Brewfest for Hospice on Oct. 5 at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.

This is a craft beer festival benefiting Gulfside Hospice and will feature sampling of craft beer and wine, live music by Stonegrey, vendors, food trucks, games and more. New this year will be VIP tickets to include early admission, VIP snacks and event T-shirst. Gates will open at 5 p.m. for VIP ticketholders and 6 p.m. for general admission.

Breweries and wineries are invited to attend the event at no charge if providing samples to attendees. Vendors pay a $50 donation to Gulfside Hospice to showcase their products and services.

VIP tickets are $50 each or $90 for two. General admission tickets are $25 each or $45 for two. Designated driver tickets are $15 and include soda and water.

All event attendees, including designated drivers, must be at least 21 years old. No infants, children, strollers or pets will be admitted. For further information, visit, email to or call (727) 845-5707.


Gulf Drive closes for sewer improvements

The City of New Port Richey has begun construction of the 2015-2016 Sewer System Improvements Project, resulting in the closure of Gulf Drive from Charles Street to James Street.

A detour is in place for the duration of the improvements. Work is expected to be complete and Gulf Road reopened on Sept. 3. For information on this project, contact the City’s Public Works Department at (727) 841-4536.

Library offers Qigong at new day, time

Qigong is now offered from 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays at the New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St.

Qigong is a holistic system of body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation. The instructor is Deb Plotkin, who will help students align breathing, movement and awareness to provide a restorative and meditative exercise.

There is no cost to attend the classes. For information, email to or call (657) 206-4827.

Bowling fundraiser to fight breast cancer

The West Pasco Business Association will host its sixth-annual Bowling 4 Boobs event Sept. 24 at Lane Glo Bowl South, 8631 Old County Road 54. It begins at 5:30 p.m. for registration and practice, and bowling begins at 6:30 p.m.

The event will include food donated by various local restaurants. There will be a chance drawing and a spirits table. There will be team costume contests and awards.

The team entry fee is $200. Spectator tickets are $15 if purchased before the event and $20 at the door. Sponsorships are also available. For further information, contact Maria Johnson at or (727) 934-0940. Visit the website at

Arts council hosts ‘attic’ sale

The Pasco Fine Arts Council will have an “Artic Attic Sale” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 21 at the art center, 4145 Fairford Drive.

There will be new and used art supplies, art books, easels, craft items and more. For information, call (727) 845-7322.


Roller derby battle set for Sept. 15

Revolution Roller Derby, a flat-track roller derby league, will host a battle between their Valkyries and the Fort Myers Derby Girls Palm City Punishers Sept. 15 at SpinNations Skating Center, 8345 Congress St. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs for closer seating. Refreshments will be available at the cafe, and beer available in the parking lot at half time and the after party.

The event will serve as a fundraiser for the Pasco Sheriff’s K-9 Association, which provides awareness, education and support for their active and retired canines.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Those who bring a flyer to the door will receive $2 off entry (flyers are available at Spinnations and Harley Davidson of New Port Richey). Visit, email to or call (727) 280-7981.


Concert to feature chamber music

An “Evening of Music with the Hollingsworth Trio” will be presented at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52., in the Selby Auditorium at Lewis Hall.

The featured artists are Michael Sedloff on cello, Mark Thielen on violin and Matthew Corl on piano.

Admission is free and there is no charge for parking. No reservations are required. The concert is sponsored by the Saint Leo University College of Arts and Sciences, with support from area resident Richard Behnke.

For information, email to or call and leave a message at (352) 588-8401.


Church hosts golf tourney Sept. 28

Queen of Peace Church will host its eighth-annual Golf Tournament Sept. 28 at Seven Springs Golf and Country Club, 3535 Trophy Road. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the shotgun start is at noon. Following the tourney will include dinner, prizes and silent auction.

The cost is $25 adults, $13 for children. This is a fundraiser for the church, with proceeds to benefit the community through outreach ministries.

For further information, sponsorships and team packages, call (727) 849-7521.


Gulfside to start bereavement group

The Bereavement Services team at Gulfside Hospice will launch a six-week bereavement support group at 3 p.m. Tuesdays, starting Sept. 3, at the Rucki Center for Hospice Care, 5760 Dean Dairy Road. The group will be facilitated by Gulfside bereavement counselor Sonia Houston.

During sessions, participants will be encouraged to share information, experiences and emotional support for one another. Groups will emphasize discussion and participation, while focusing on various aspects of grief and the healing process.

There is no cost to participate, but seats are limited. Those interested in participating are asked to contact Houston at (727) 845-5707.