The Sheraton Sand Key was again the host hotel for the annual Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America supreme convention. This is the the oldest Greek American organization in North America and has many educational, philanthropic, and social functions throughout the year to service its members and their communities here in the United States and Canada, as well as the Aegean Island of Icaria. Clearwater’s Helios Chapter members Dr. Stanton Tripodis and John Sakoutis were the convention co-chairmen. It was my honor to have been asked to welcome the more than 500 delegates and family members back to Clearwater during Sunday night’s Grand Banquet, which was chaired by Jim Mavres.
The City of Clearwater held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Countryside Library this morning. The new facility will be adjacent to the Countryside Recreation Center and is scheduled to open before the end of 2015. The 22,500 square foot library will be constructed by Ajax Building Corporation and was designed by Harvard Jolly Architecture. The city will use Penny for Pinellas funds for the construction costs. During the ceremony, Richard Clemens, president of the Clearwater Library Foundation, announced that former councilmember Carlen Petersen will be chairman of a fundraising effort to provide approximately $200,000 of amenities for the new library. Barbara Pickell is director of the Clearwater Library Department.
The National Information Officers Association has returned to Clearwater for its annual training conference which is being held this week at the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel. The association provides its members with educational, professional networking, and ongoing training opportunities. It is the only national meeting that focuses on the specific duties of Public Information Officers and includes discussions from some of those involved in the most intense crises and high-profile events of the last several years. This morning Fire Chief Robert Weiss, Police Chief, Dan Slaughter, and I welcomed the attendees to Clearwater and were pleased to have been told that the 25th annual conference will also be in Clearwater to coincide with the city’s centennial celebration.
The Clearwater Threshers mascot PHINLEY, having been voted the “Best Mascot in Minor League Baseball.” received his champion’s belt last night at the Threshers-Brevard County Manatees game at Bright House Field. John Timberlake, director of Phillies operations in Florida and team General Manager, and I were honored to have been able to present PHINLEY with the belt. The Threshers won the game as Clearwater City Employees held their first annual “Employee Appreciation Night” at the game. City “Employee of the Year” Ray Hill tossed out the ceremonial “first pitch.”
Katherine Jones of State Farm Insurance in Clearwater challenged me in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and I accepted in memory of Danny Palomino, a dear friend who fought ALS valiantly. The challenge was met this morning overlooking Clearwater from Sand Key. Please remember to support local ALS chapters throughout the country or other charities that conduct medical research and offer support to families and patients.
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Clearwater Airpark received the Florida General Aviation Airport of the Year award from the Florida Department of Transportation. The award recognizes one public-use general aviation airport of 111 in the state that honors superior achievements in safety, aesthetics, and airport management standards in the aviation industry.
“We’re honored to receive this award,” said William Morris, Marine & Aviation Director for the City of Clearwater. “To be selected as the top airport out of 111 general aviation airports in Florida is truly the culmination of creating an outstanding team, which consists of several groups including the airpark’s Fixed Base Operator, Clearwater City Council, various departments within the city, Florida Department of Transportation, Airport Advisory Board, and the neighbors around the airport.”
Clearwater Airpark (KCLW) is located at 1000 N. Hercules Ave. with an elevation of 71 feet. The Fixed-Base Operator terminal is open seven days a week, and takeoffs and landings are allowed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Runway 16/34 is an asphalt surface that measures 4,100 feet long, 75 feet wide, with a 30-foot-wide parallel taxiway. The airpark daily operation is leased to a Fixed Base Operator and is currently managed by Clearwater Aircraft, Inc.
In the past couple of years, a variety of airpark improvements have been made, including a longer runway, topping or removing trees (with neighbors consent) that were impacting the federally required glide slope, installation of an automated weather observation station, and new hours of operation for pilots.
To learn more about the Clearwater Airpark, call (727) 443-3433 or (727) 562-462-6954 or visit myclearwater.com. To learn more about FDOT’s aviation awards, visit dot.state.fl.us/aviation/aviationawards.shtm.)
“Clearwater Airpark…We Grow Pilots, Astronauts, and Dreams.”
At last night Clearwater Threshers game, Rolling Thunder Florida Chapter 11 dedicated its “Empty Chair Memorial” prior to the game’s start. In conjunction with the ceremony, the Threshers also hosted a Military and Veterans’ Appreciation Night. SOCOM sky divers performed, and new recruits for the various armed services branches took their oath of office. Rplling Thunder is an advocacy and support organization formed to remember the over 83,000 American MIA/POWs. Thank you to the Threshers for pausing to remember our MIA/POWs and saluting our veterans and active duty personnel!