1. Pasco

Pasco County news briefs for July 19


County committee has openings for members

Pasco County's Jobs and Economic Opportunities Committee is looking for new volunteer members to help oversee use of the Jobs and Economic Opportunities Trust Fund portion of Penny for Pasco.

The responsibilities of committee members include ensuring Penny for Pasco spending meets the requirements to promote projects creating new jobs and economic growth. The committee includes nine members appointed by the Pasco County Commission, and who represent a diverse knowledge base and expertise from finance and banking, agriculture, real estate, manufacturing and other private industries.

Penny for Pasco is a local government infrastructure surtax first passed in 2004 to pay for county, city and school board improvements. The Jobs and Economic Opportunities Trust Fund, adopted in 2015, is estimated to generate more than $60 million in revenue to target industry job creation and economic development projects designed to improve the local economy.

Those interested in serving on this volunteer committee are asked to submit a letter of interest and a resume to David Engel, economic growth manager, at Applications will be accepted through Aug. 2.

Funds available for pine beetle prevention

The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2019 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program through Aug. 16.

The southern pine beetle is a devastating forest pest. The purpose of the program is to help landowners take preventative measures to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the southern pine beetle and improve the health and productivity of their pine forests.

The program is available to non-industrial private forest landowners in 44 Florida counties, the known range of the southern pine beetle. The program provides incentive payments to landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning. It offers partial cost reimbursement for prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments and the planting of longleaf or slash pine, which are less susceptible to the beetle infestations.

Eligible landowners can apply for up to two practices per year. Funding requests may not exceed $10,000. All qualifying applications will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

For an application or further information about the program, visit or, or contact the Pasco County forester at (352) 523-5101.

Funds available for longleaf pine program

The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications through Aug. 2 for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program.

The objective of the program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine forests in Florida by assisting eligible, non-industrial private forest landowners to establish and maintain the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Longleaf pines provide high-quality wood products and are valued for their resistance to insects, wildfire and storms. However, due to urbanization and conversion to other land uses, the longleaf pine forests now cover less than 4 percent of their historical range.

The program offers incentive payments for timber stand improvement, invasive species control, prescribed burning, planting of longleaf pine, establishment of native plant understory and mechanical underbrush treatments.

To learn more and access an application, visit or contact the Pasco County forester at (352) 523-5101.

'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:

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. July 30, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd. Another orientation will be Aug. 27.

• 10:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 3, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 12, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

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

Dade City

Seminar focuses on cattle herding

Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service will offer an "Improving Your Beef Cattle" seminar from 6 to 8 p.m. July 30 at the Extension office in Clayton Hall at the fairgrounds, 36702 State Road 52.

Cattle owners can learn how to use performance data, including expected progeny difference and indexes, as well as physical traits to choose bulls and replacement heifers for their herd. Breed differences will be discussed and participants will learn how yield and quality grade is determined in market cattle.

There is no cost. To register for the seminar, visit For information, call (352) 518-0156.


Flotilla to offer safe boating course

The Hudson Flotilla 11-7 Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer the Florida-mandated "About Boating Safely" class from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 27 at the training facility at 9135 Denton Ave.

The cost is $40 for the first family member and $20 for each additional member. It includes the class, digital library and processing fee. Those who complete the class will receive the Florida Boating Safely Education Card.

The class is offered on the fourth Saturday of each month. Group rates are available, and private classes can be scheduled for groups of five or more. Advance registration is appreciated. To register for the class or for information, send email to or call (727) 697-8013.

Land O' Lakes

Walking program's kickoff set for July 30

Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service will offer "Let's Walk Florida," a 12-week program designed to encourage community members to team up in pursuit of a lifelong walking habit. A kickoff event will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. July 30 at Land O' Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O' Lakes Blvd.

After the kickoff, participants then walk anywhere, anytime during the 12 weeks. Walkers can choose from health, fitness and performance tracks, and work toward goals at their own time and pace, reporting results to the Extension Office.

The cost to register is $10 a person; all ages are welcome. Participants can sign up as teams or individually, or request to be assigned to a team. The first 50 registrants will receive a pedometer and water bottle.

Registration must be made by July 28; visit For information, call (352) 518-0156.

FBI presentation to focus on cyber crime

The Pasco Economic Development Council will offer an FBI Community Awareness Presentation from 8 to 11:30 a.m. July 26 at SpringHill Suites, 16615 Crosspointe Run, Land O' Lakes.

Pasco County businesses and community leaders are invited to participate in this presentation that will be focused on cyber crime. Presented by the FBI Tampa Citizens academy, the presentation is a shorter, more focused version of the FBI Citizens Academy Program.

Registration, continental breakfast and networking will begin at 8 a.m., with speakers, presentations and training starting at 8:30 a.m.

The program is free, but registration is required due to limited seating. Register online at


'Meet Your Neighbor' event set for July 31

The Port Richey Citizen's Advisory Committee will host the third "Meet Your Neighbor" event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. July 31 at Alex's Place Restaurant, 7845 Grand Blvd.

Residents and business owners are welcome to attend. There will be city employees attending. The restaurant has a full bar and menu for those interested in having dinner. For information, call Claudia Smith at (727) 215-7034.

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.