The Clearwater Police Department and city officials joined in thanking the city’s police volunteers for their service and dedication last night at a dinner held at Greek Town Grille. The volunteers contributed over 8700 hours of volunteer service to the department and saved it $190,619.00 in operating costs. The volunteers do patrols, administrative work, and work desks at police headquarters.
The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast this morning for beach mayors and chamber board members. Tourism, development, and pedestrian safety were discussed. The chamber also reviewed its action items for the various levels of government for this year and for 2015. The chamber and its director Robin Sollie were applauded for their efforts to keep its members and elected officials apprised of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act and of its programs to raise awareness of pedestrian safety along Gulf Boulevard. Mayors RB Johnson, Travis Palladeno, Bill Queen, Bert Adams, and I were in attendance.
Today the Countryside Recreation Center hosted an open house “Eggstravagnza” for the community. There were games, fire and solid waste trucks, information boots, and Easter Egg hunts. Special guests included members of the Clearwater Threshers and their mascot Phinley.I counted down the start of the 10-12 year-old age group. Participants received one raffle ticket for every ten eggs accumulated. Over 1000 people attended this year’s festivities.
The congregation of Temple B’nai Israel gathered this afternoon for a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new temple on its grounds located at 1685 South Belcher Road. County commission chairman Karen Seel, Safety Harbor mayor Andy Steingold, and I were honored to have been invited to participate.
Sea Dog Brewing Company has opened its own brewery at its location on US 19 and Enterprise Road. A ribbon-cutting and celebration was held yesterday, and Chamber of Commerce officials and my city council colleague Hoyt Hamilton joined me for the event. Sea Dog Brewing Company and its Shipyard Brewing Company were started in Maine, but Clearwater has become its year-round “winter home.”
Largo Medical Center will be opening a new emergency room facility in Clearwater this fall. Located at 2339 Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, the facility will be staffed by 41 full-time employees and additional emergency medicine physicians. This new $8-million project will have 11 exam rooms in a 10,600 square foot building. Earlier today I joined HCA officials, Largo Medical Center personnel, and Clearwater High School staff and students for the groundbreaking.
This past Sunday the Clearwater Friends of the Library saluted the hundreds of volunteers of the Clearwater Library System at a reception held after its annual meeting. I joined in thanking the friends, the volunteers, and the Library Foundation for their assistance not only to the library staff, but also to the community served. Clearwater’s libraries are recognized for their service and programs, and of special interest were the comments of Library Director Barbara Pickell who noted that Clearwater’s first library was built in 1916 on the very property the Main Library is located. Judy Melges, Foundation President, and Rosalie Murray, Friends president, visit with me prior to the program.