On the last day of summer camp at the Long Center, campers and parents are invited to a pizza party. Pizza is served by the camp counselors and “counselors in training.” There is also a slide show presentation of the activities the campers did during the course of the summer. Highlights included attending a Rays baseball game, visiting Clearwater Beach, going kayaking, and playing miniture golf. Clearwater summer camp programs at the city’s recreation centers also include character building and stress traits such as honesty, self-control, teamwork, respect, and leadership.
Pollack Shores Real Estate Group and Matrix Residential Management held a grand opening for the new multifamily apartment community located at 2855 Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater on Thursday. The development consists of 426 units spread over 37 acres overlooking Tampa Bay. Conveniently located between US Highway 19 and McMullen Booth Road, the development contains one, two, and three bedroom apartments, some with garages. More information is available at www.livesolaris.com.
To honor the City of Clearwater’s 100th anniversary, the Tampa Bay Rays welcomed Clearwater residents with discounted tickets to yesterday’s game with the New York Mets. The festivities started when I was asked to throw out a ceremonial first pitch that caught the inside corner of the plate (for a right-handed batter). Steve Geltz was my catcher. Clearwater’s Northwood Presbyterian Church’s Summer Youth Choir sang the National Anthem. Chris Archer and the Rays’ staff followed with 13 strikeouts as the Rays won 4-3 after Richie Shaffer hit a home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Rays the final margin of victory.
This morning I participated in the graduation ceremony for the Clearwater Yacht Club’s Intrepid Sailor Summer Camp program. This was the last of three sessions the club hosted over the summer, and I joined former Pinellas Sheriff Jim Coates and Vice-Commodore Johnny Cardosi in congratulating the young sailors not only for their sailing skills, but also for the character traits that were instilled in them by Father Bob Wagenseil, the camp’s director. Brad Kendall, a native of Clearwater, who is attempting to secure a spot on the 2016 US Paralympic sailing team, also inspired the campers before each was presented a graduation medal.
The Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department has received the highest possible rating from the Insurance Service Office, a rating that could positively affect insurance rates for Clearwater residents and business owners. The rating will take effect on October 1, 2015.
Fire departments are rated every four years, and this is the first “1 rating” for Clearwater Fire & Rescue. The agency most recently had received a 2. Only 28 Florida Fire Departments received the “1 rating.” The ISO looks at every aspect of the fire department – including number of vehicles, types of equipment, response time, number of hydrants and other factors. Division Chief and Fire Marshal Steve Strong said that the higher rating “could provide a reduction in insurance premiums to homeowners and business owners,” Congratulations and thanks to the men and women of Clearwater’s Fire Department!
The City of Clearwater, in association with Rolling Thunder Chapter 11, unveiled a POW/MIA Chair of Honor on Thursday at the City of Clearwater City Hall Chambers. Rolling Thunder president Jimmy Linesberry joined former World War II POW Ed DeMent, who is the national senior vice commander of American ex-Prisoners of War, Pam Cain, whose father Colonel Oscar Mauterer was lost over Laos, Mrs. Patricia Luna, whose husband Carter is also still missing in action, and me for the dedication during the Clearwater City Council meeting. The chair will remian perpetually empty as a reminder of the more than 83,000 Americans who are still “missing-in-action” since World War II.
In honor of the 239th signing of the Declaration of Independence, the City of Clearwater held its annual “Clearwater Celebrates America” Independence Day program at Coachman Park on July 4th. There were activities for children, a mascot dance-off contest, a concert that featured John and Mary Kay Wilson with the Mostly Pops Orchestra, and then fireworks sponsored by Clearwater Gas.