Volunteers from several neighborhood groups participated with the Clearwater Police Department and others to help remove litter and debris from the Pinellas Trail and the Memorial Causeway this morning. I first joined those who had gathered at Marshall Street to help clean the Pinellas Trail through a section of North Greenwood. Then I went to Island Estates where the civic association and the Clearwater Beach Rotary members were picking up trash along the Memorial Causeway. Thanks to everyone who turned out this morning to help make Clearwater “Bright and Beautiful.”
The City of Clearwater celebrated the 240th signing of the Declaration of Independence with its annual concert featuring John and Mary Kay Wilson with the Coachman Park Mostly Pops Orchestra directed by Robert Romanski. Also performing this year were Clearwater’s Ries Brothers and from Dunedin Aubrey Wollett. There were other activities and food vendors for everyone to enjoy before and during the concert in Coachman Park, and after the sun set, there were the traditional July 4th fireworks that were sponsored again this year by the Clearwater Gas System..
Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Pinellas County’s tourism agency, opened its annual “Grouper Week” today by providing free sliders on Clearwater Beach. Through July 4th, many restaurants will offer special dishes featuring the popular local fish. Much of the country’s grouper supply is caught in Florida waters, and Pinellas County fishermen account for more than 4.5 million pounds of the total. Florida’s “Culinary Ambassador” chef Justin Patrick Timineri joined Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater Executive Director David Downing and me in sampling the sliders on Clearwater Beach today. They will also visit other locations throughout the county to promote “Grouper Week.”
The 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday poster was unveiled this evening at a reception held at Lokey Motor Company in Clearwater. The 4 day festival begins on October 13th, and the line-up will be announced at a later date. My Clearwater City Council colleagues Hoyt Hamilton and Doreen Caudell were able to preview the poster prior to its unveiling.
The Clearwater Yacht Club welcomed back its member and 2016 Paralympian Brad Kendell on Friday, June 10th. Brad learned to sail at the club and after losing his legs in an airplane accident, he became involved in paralympic sonar class sailing. In 2015, the Kendell and his team won the Sunbrella Golden Torch Award at Sailing World Cup Miami. His team was the first adaptive team ever to win the honor. Kendell also operates the Never Say Never Pirate Camp to involved children with disabilities in sailing. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games are in September, 2016.
Whether you have recently graduated from high school or college or earned an advanced degree, congratulations! The city manager and I were honored to have been asked to participate again this year in the commencement of the Clearwater High School Class of 2016 on Thursday evening. We extended the city’s best wishes to those seniors, and know that all of the residents of the City of Clearwater hope that many successes come all graduates way in the years to come.
The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance and the City of Clearwater dedicated the Florida Veterans Memorial Plaza at Crest Lake Park on May 29th. The plaza features the U.S. Flag surrounded by the flags of the v armed services of the United States and the MIA/POW flag. The plaza’s Circle of Honor provides space for individual plaques honoring current, retired, or deceased military personnel. The second phase of the plaza is scheduled to include bronze statutes of military personnel from various encounters. The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization, and information for donations to the expansion of the plaza or for orders of the commemorative plaque can be made by contacting the organization through its website at www.tampabayveteransalliance.org.