St. Petersburg Junior College opened its Clearwater campus in 1965. Just over 500 students enrolled that first year, and today, as part of the St. Petersburg College system, the Clearwater campus continues its tradition of excellence. On Tuesday, November 17th, the campus celebrated its 50th year with a reception and program. It follows with a birthday party in the Quad during the day on Wednesday. During the program Tuesday, the first campus provost Dr. Vilma Zalupski joined SPC President Bill Law, and current provost Dr. Stan Vittetoe in speaking about the advancements and programs of the college and campus. City Manager Bill Horne and I thanked the college for its many contributions to the community. I also presented Dr. Vittetoe with the city’s centennial coin to include in the new time capsule that is to be opened in 2065. Happy birthday SPC-Clearwater and here’s to the next 50 years!
While there will be several Veterans Day programs throughout the Tampa Bay area today, the City of Clearwater and the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance held a Veterans Day program at Crest Lake Park on Sunday. The site chosen is where the Florida Veterans Memorial will be constructed. Rain did not deter those who came to remember and salute the country’s veterans and all those currently serving. Also, since November 11 was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I, please take, if but a moment at 11am on this 11th day of the 11th month,, to give thanks for the nation’s military and the sacrifices they and their families make.
The Florida Department of Transportation has begun work on State Road 60 (Court Street/Chestnut Street) between the Memorial Bridge and Missouri Avenue in Clearwater. Because of damage created by leaking pipes under the road, some sections must be rebuilt. Sections of damaged sidewalk will also be repaired. This work will likely involve around the clock lane closures in those areas. The entire roadway will also be repaved. Paving activities are scheduled to begin in early 2016. Lane closures are anticipated between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, and from 7:30 pm to 7:00 am. Access to side streets and driveways will be maintained. This $4.1 million project began November 2nd and is expected to finish in the spring of 2016, weather permitting.
The International Shuffleboard World Championships were held in Clearwater this week. Hosted by the Clearwater Shuffleboard Club in cooperation with the City of Clearwater and the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, over 100 competitors spent the week in play at the Clearwater club located at 1020 Calumet Street. After a week of bright and beautiful Clearwater skies and sunsets, Bob Jones, Jr. and Alice Enos topped all other players to win the individual championship for men and women. There was a Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday, and the Awards Ceremony Banquet at the Sheraton Sand Key, the host hotel. ISA President Michael R. Zellner who recently returned to the United States from Brazil is the association’s president and presided at all events during the week.
The 4th annual Never Say Never Pirate Camp is being held this weekend at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. on Sand Key. In cooperation with the sailing center and Sailability of Greater Tampa Bay, the weekend long camp teaches children with challenges including amputees how to overcome adversity and celebrate life through sailing and other water sports. Campers have an opportunity to rig a sailboat and operate kayaks and paddle boards. Attendees and their families come from across the United States, and donations help offset the costs to participate. In between activities, the campers are served meals and hear speakers such as Paralympian Jennifer French who won a Silver Medal in the 2012 London Games and event coordinator Brad Kendell who is hoping to be on the USA team to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Clearwater’s bright and beautiful skies greeted those who attended the 36th annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday, a four-day festival of music in Coachman Park, the past weekend. Having started by jazz enthusiasts on the back of a pick-up truck, the event has grown into one of the largest such music programs. In an effort to increase its support for students in music and arts education, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday has diversified its offerings of talent. This year’s headliners included Gladys Knight, The O’Jays, Buddy Guy, Sheryl Crow, and the Avett Brothers. Mindi Abair, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Langhorne Slim and the Law also delighted the thousands who attended.
The new 22,400 square foot Countryside Library opened today. The facility is located a t2642 Sabal Springs Drive adjacent to the Countryside Recreation Center. The building was designed by Harvard, Jolly Architects and constructed by Ajax Building Corporation. The facility has separate youth and teen areas, study rooms, a meeting room with a galley kitchen for larger groups, and various multimedia and technology stations for hands-on learnin and other activities. Around the back of the building is a covered drive-thru for item pick-up. Penny for Pinellas funds provided the majority of the money for the project, and Peter and Paula Vosotas were the great benefactors of the Clearwater Library Foundation’s efforts.