Tonight I visited with the Edgewater Drive Homeowners Association during its monthly meeting. Neighborhood residents and I discussed the city’s budget, pension reform issues, and the Clearwater homeless initiatives. This homeowners association is one of the most active ones in the city; it participates in the Neighborhoods’ Day program and in several community cleanup campaigns. “Paint Your Heart Out, Clearwater” has also been a neighborhood project. Mary Kate Belniak is the president.
Yesterday I was honored to have been able to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Phillies-Braves game at Citizens Bank Park. The tarp was on home plate and the pitcher’s mound because inclement weather delayed the start of the game by about an hour. The Phillies have trained in Clearwater since 1947, and their presence in the city has a tremendous economic impact throughout the year.
The thousands who attended the Clearwater Celebrates America Fourth of July festivities at Coachman Park were not disappointed with this year’s fireworks and concert featuring the Mostly Pops Orchestra and John and Mary Kay Wilson and their son Paul. The Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department’s special events team under Brian Craig presented the most spectacular fireworks display in the Tampa Bay area. People in downtown Clearwater and those on the waters of Clearwater Harbor and on the beach were thrilled by the fireworks that even erupted from the water.
John and Mary Kay Wilson with the Mostly Pops Orchestra will be featured at Coachman Park on July 4th as Clearwater celebrates Independence Day with this annual concert. Fireworks will follow. The gates open at 4pm, and a variety of activities and food vendors will be available until the concert and fireworks show begin at 7:30pm.
Thanks to the leadership of Senator Jack Latvala and Representative Ed Hooper the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the Dolphin, will become eligible to apply for funding through Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, the county’s tourist development council. The legislation allows aquariums to compete for “bed tax” funds administered by counties. Governor Scott visited Winter yesterday, and following the tour and a business roundtable discussion, signed HR 1015. Standing behind Governor Scott are Representatives Larry Ahern, Ed Hooper, Jim Frishe, and Senator Jack Latvala. Others joining me in attendance were County Commissioner Neil Brickfield, South Pasadena Mayor Kathleen Peters, Belleair Bluffs Commissioner Suzy Sofer, and my colleague Bill Jonson of the Clearwater City Council.
Starting July 1st, the City of Clearwater will begin considering applicants for Citizens Academy 101. This program gives residents an opportunity to meet with elected officials and department directors over a 10 week period. Participants get a hands-on experience by visiting various city facilities from fire stations and waste water treatment plants to libraries and recreation centers. Please contact the city’s Public Communications Department at 727-562-4682 for an application and additional information.
The Clearwater Jazz Holiday unveiled its poster for the 33rd annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park October 18-21, 2012. This year’s poster was designed by Ramirez Cortino. Bonnie Raitt, Mindi Abair, Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society and the Avett Brothers are the artists who will be featured during the four day concert series.