Citation
Largo leader

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Title:
Largo leader
Place of Publication:
Largo, FL
Publisher:
Tampa Bay Newspapers, Dan Autrey - Publisher
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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newspaper ( sobekcm )
newspaper ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Pinellas -- Largo
Coordinates:
27.862364 x -82.786566

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General Note:
Article redacted by publisher on 7/21/2011.

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Largo Leader. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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PAGE 1

Volume 39, No. 46 August 16, 2018 www.TBNweekly.com Features Classi eds . . . . . . . . . .4-7B Community . . . . . . . . 7A, 10A County . . . . . . . . . . . . .6A Entertainment . . . . . . . .1-3, 8B Just for fun . . . . . . . . . . .2B Largo . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5A Outdoors . . . . . . . . . . . .9A Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7A Police beat . . . . . . . . . .2-3A Schools . . . . . . . . . . . .7A Viewpoints . . . . . . . . . . .8ACall 727-397-5563 For News & Advertising By SUZETTE PORTERTampa Bay NewspapersNOAA forecasters announced Aug. 9 that the likelihood of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season was now at 60 percent. Forecasters had predicted the chances of having a below-normal season at 25 percent when they made initial predictions in May before the start of the season on June 1. The likelihood of a near-normal season is now at 30 percent, and the chance of an above-normal season has dropped from 35 percent to 10 percent. "There are still more storms to come the hurricane season is far from being over. We urge continued preparedness and vigilance," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in a press release. NOAA now predicts 9-13 named storms with winds of 39 mph or greater will form this season. Four-seven might become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater By CHRIS GEORGETampa Bay NewspapersLARGO City leaders will take another shot at hiring a new fire chief after a second set of nalists will be interviewed for the position this week. A nationwide search produced three nalists in June, but City Manager Henry Schubert decided none were the right t and started the recruitment process over again, resulting in five more finalists who will attend a meet and greet event Thursday, Aug. 23, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Community Room in City Hall. The candidates are William "Trip" Barrs, deputy re chief in Dunedin; Mark Davis, deputy fire chief in Charleston, South Carolina; Chad Deardorff, deputy fire chief in York, Pennsylvania; Chad Pittman, deputy chief of operations in Palm Harbor; Experts call for fewer stormsCity to host second set of finalistsForecasters downgrade hurricane forecast, but warn season far from over Team up to pay elderly woman’s past-due power billFirst responders make a big difference with small gesture Photo courtesy of LARGO FIRE RESCUELargo Fire Rescue re ghters Zachary Shepard, from left, and Jorge Olivera teamed up with Sunstar Paramedics' Matt Caravona and Largo Senior Services Of cer Joel Quattlebaum, right, on Aug. 9 to pay the past-due power bill for a 72-year-old woman.Photo courtesy of CITY OF LARGOThe city currently has one electric vehicle, but it aims to transition its eet of light-duty vehicles to 100 percent alternative fuel by 2030. By CHRIS GEORGETampa Bay NewspapersLARGO Police of cers and re ghters are typically praised when they perform heroic deeds, but sometimes it's the small gestures that make the biggest difference. Like, for instance, when a Largo police officer, two firefighters and a Sunstar paramedic teamed up Aug. 9 to pay an elderly woman's past-due power bill out of their own pockets so she could have air conditioning. "Thanks to their kindness and dedication to the citizens of Largo and Pinellas County, the resident can rest easy knowing her power bill is paid through next month," interim Largo Fire Rescue Chief Joe Pennino wrote in an email commending the four men's efforts. Largo Senior Services Officer Joel Quattlebaum, who was doing a welfare By CHRIS GEORGETampa Bay NewspapersLARGO A wave of applause rolled through a packed commission chambers Aug. 7 when city leaders made two decisions they say puts Largo on the path for a more sustainable future. Commissioners voted 6-1 to become the fourth city in the state and 75th in the country to approve an organizational commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable, zero-emission energy by 2035. Pledging to the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign was an addition to the Largo Environmental Action Plan (LEAP), which commissioners also approved Aug. 7. The plan is the city's rst comprehensive document that focuses solely on environmental impact and provides a blueprint for sustainability. By CHRIS GEORGETampa Bay NewspapersLARGO Commissioners made a pledge Aug. 7 to transition city operations to 100 percent clean energy by 2035, but Jamie Robinson had something a little more immediate in mind. So, the commissioner asked his peers on the dais if they thought the time was right for a ban on single-use plastics, such as cups, straws and utensils. The consensus agreed they were not ready, but they were prepared to discuss the creation of voluntary programs that businesses could adopt to help phase out the use of single plastics. "In my opinion, this is the way the public is heading," Robinson said. "I think people, when they look at it, they're tired of seeing this stuff strewn all over the road."Through Largo Environmental Action Plan, city leaders commit to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035Commissioner oats idea of single-use plastics ban L.E.A.P.RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES A OF FAITH FOR THE FUTURE HURRICANE SEASON FIRE CHIEF SEARCH LARGO PUBLIC SAFETY See LEAP, page 4ASee BAN, page 4A See STORMS, page 4A See CHIEF, page 3A See GESTURE, page 2A Flower powerIs your garden a cut above the next? Is your lawn more than just garden variety? Submit your garden photos to lmosby@TBNweekly.com for a chance to be featured on TBN's new home and garden page each month. ENTERTAINMENT Bands to make you yearn for the ’80s Journey and Def Leppard will be performing their classic hits when their co-headlining tour pulls into the Tampa Bay area for one show Saturday, Aug. 18, at Amalie Arena. … Page 3B. COUNTY Early voting set to begin SaturdayEarly voting for the Aug. 28 elections begins Saturday, Aug. 18, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 26 at any of three Supervisor of Elections of ces. The Aug. 28 election includes three primaries, as well as nonpartisan races for circuit judge and school board members. … Page 6A. OUTDOORS Red tide looming near Pinellas Local Capt. Tyson Wallerstein says we have dogged the proverbial red tide bullet, but that could all be about to change. For now, Tampa Bay and Pinellas beaches are free of any red tide bloom. However, there have been reports of the toxic algae at the mouth of Tampa Bay. If this trend continues we could start to see and feel the impact soon. Visit TBNweekly.com for the latest updates on the red tide bloom. … Page 9A.Madeira scuttles water taxi serviceMadeira Beach residents and visitors will soon be missing a popular attraction and means of transportation. The water taxi service, which began in 2015 and was growing in popularity with plans for expansion, will be ceasing operations this fall after the city ended a $25,000 contribution it has made yearly to offset the ferry's expenses. … Page 9A. VIEWPOINTS Bob DriverThe organ of the species and other things you should know. … Page 8A.Stand Your Ground shooter arrested Clearwater man facing manslaughter charges … Page 3A. Skateboarders of all ages and levels can come to Bayhead Action Park on Saturday for its rst skateboarding competition … Page 4A.Prepare to show off your skateboard skills MANICURE w/SHELLAC & HOT STONE PEDICURE 39 Exp. 9/15/18 SHAMPOO/CUT/STYLE 25 20% OFF NEW NAILS CLIENTSCANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFERS. 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2A Police Leader, August 16, 2018Nearby Largo businesses struck by carsLARGO Two businesses on Indian Rocks Road sustained a combined $16,000 in damage recently during separate incidents in which cars ran into them. On July 28, a white Hyundai Elantra struck the Bank of America at 12046 Indian Rocks Road, according to the Largo Police Department. The driver, Arline Stahlnecker, 81, was attempting to park in the handicapped space in front of the ATM when she accelerated into the lobby, police said. Since it was 8 a.m., the bank was closed and unoccupied. Stahlnecker was not injured and was cited for careless driving. A building inspector cleared the building for use, and the estimated damage to the building was $11,000. On Aug. 7, a 2006 Toyota Corolla was driving east on Rosemary Lane when the driver, Lynda Hamlett, 68, said she had a medical issue, according to police reports. Her vehicle struck a crosswalk signal and continued into the Harbor Crest Shopping Center at 12035 Indian Rocks Road, striking the Wigs by Abby store and KC Nails, police said. There were no injuries reported. Hamlett was cited for careless driving and put in for a driver license reexamination, police said. The building inspector also cleared the structure as safe, and the estimated damage to the building was $5,000.– TBN STAFFMotorcyclist injured in crash on causewayCLEARWATER A 29-year-old motorcyclist from Clearwater suffered critical injuries when he collided with a SUV about 8:50 a.m. Aug. 12 on Clearwater Memorial Causeway at Island Way. Police say Mahmoud Sousi was riding a 2011 Suzuki traveling westbound when the motorcycle collided with a 2012 Lexus RX350 driven by Stanley Frederico, 85, of Clearwater. The Lexus was making a left turn from the eastbound lanes to go north on Island Way. Sousi was transported via Bay ite to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition. The investigation into the crash continues.Three of cers injured while working crashesCLEARWATER A disabled car in the westbound lanes of the Courtney Campbell Causeway early in the morning Aug. 11 resulted in minor injuries for three Clearwater police of cers. Westbound lanes were closed for several hours as police investigated two separate crashes that occurred within minutes of each other. The rst crash occurred at 3:24 a.m. and the second at 3:36 a.m. According to Clearwater police, the call about the disabled vehicle came in about 3:04 a.m. As an of cer was waiting for a tow truck to arrive, his vehicle was struck from behind by a westbound vehicle. Police say the police vehicle's emergency lights were on at the time. No injuries were reported in that crash. Two other of cers arrived to investigate the crash. About 12 minutes later, a second westbound vehicle struck the rear of a second police cruiser, which also had its emergency lights on. The impact pushed both police cruisers into one another, and all three of cers were struck by the vehicles or ying debris. Five vehicles, including three police cruisers, were damaged. The driver involved in the rst crash was Joshua J. Mayer, 33, who told of cers he had looked down at his phone before losing control of his 2011 Toyota Corolla. The driver of the second vehicle, Billy E. Chatman, 24, who was driving a 2011 Ford Fusion, told police he fell asleep at the wheel. Witness said he was speeding at the time of the crash. Both drivers were cited for careless driving and could face additional charges pending the investigation. The police of cers injured were Paul Bosco, Michael Beaver and Kevin Vigh. They were treated and released from Mease Countryside Hospital. Mayer and Chatman were uninjured. The police vehicles involved were a 2018 Ford Explorer, a 2017 Ford Explorer and a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria.Tarpon Springs car dealer accused of fraudTARPON SPRINGS The Tarpon Springs Police Department arrested the owner of Exotic Motorcars about 2:34 p.m. Aug. 10 for his involvement in a fraud involving the sale of a 1965 Ford Cobra Mustang that was on consignment at the dealership. Wassim Rouh Nasr, 50, of Tarpon Springs was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on one charge of fraud involving security interest. Bail was set at $5,000. He was released on surety bond at 12:22 a.m. Aug. 11. According to police, the owner of the vehicle entered into a consignment agreement with the dealership, 41041 U.S. 19 N., on May 8 to sell his vehicle for $57,000. Police say the dealership sold the vehicle on May 19 to an overseas buyer for $57,000. However, representatives from the dealership concealed the sale of the vehicle from the owner and continued to actively communicate with the owner throughout May and into June, insinuating the vehicle hadn't yet been sold. Police say the owner discovered his Ford Cobra Mustang was in the process of being sold when he arrived at the dealership at the end of June and found that it was no longer on the property. The owner was convinced by Wassim that he needed to accept the prospective purchaser's offer of $52,000 because no other higher offers had been received for the vehicle. A check was issued on July 6 to the owner by Exotic Motorcars for $52,000, but the check bounced due to insuf cient funds. Police say the dealership provided the owner with another check, which subsequently cleared. Tarpon Springs Police Department began investigating after being noti ed of the bounced check by the owner. During the course of this investigation, it was discovered the dealership had deceived the owner into believing his vehicle had only sold for $52,000. In addition to the uncovering of this deception, police say the investigation revealed a power of attorney and certi cate of title had been forged by the dealership in the owner's name to assist in perpetuating the fraudulent sale of his vehicle. Police say the crimes uncovered during this investigation pertaining to the sale of the Ford Cobra Mustang don't appear to be isolated. The Tarpon Springs Police Department is currently investigating four other complaints from parties who were issued bounced checks by Exotic Motorcars. The bounced checks that have so far been reported to the police department total over $185,000. In addition, Tarpon Springs Police Department is still actively investigating the dealership for the issuance of multiple worthless checks and possible title fraud. The Tarpon Springs Police Department has been assisted in their investigation by the Bureau of Dealers Services. Anyone who would like to report any similar crimes or have information that could assist in the investigation against Exotic Motorcars is asked to call Detective Lemmon at 727-938-2849.– Compiled by SUZETTE PORTERcheck on the 72-year-old woman at her mobile home, said there are plenty of agencies that could've provided assistance, but none fast enough. So, he and the three other first responders on the scene firefighters Zachary Shepard and Jorge Olivera and Sunstar's Matt Caravona decided to split the more than $220 bill. "When you're dealing with the kind of an emergency like that, there wasn't a whole lot that could've been done right then and there," said Quattlebaum, who had called Largo Fire Rescue because he was concerned about the woman's health in the heat. "So, we kind of just banded together and said the heck with it. We're going to take care of her." Quattlebaum said the community manager at the 72-year-old woman's mobile home park reached out to LPD because her power was disconnected and was concerned about her health. Quattlebaum and the re ghters spoke to Duke Energy about the urgency of her situation, but to no avail, so they decided to solve the problem themselves. "It was a big surprise to her. She was very happy," said Quattlebaum, who paid about $89 of the bill in an effort to set her up through September. "Eighty-nine dollars isn't going to make or break anything for me, but for her that was literally the difference between heat stroke and having air conditioning," he said. "So, I'm happy to see it go to somebody who can really, really use it." These kinds of problems are not foreign to Quattlebaum, who said he sees similar problems with many seniors living paycheck to paycheck and occasionally has even had to pick up food to tide them over. "It's one of those things where any odd, extra bill sometimes can really throw a senior for a loop," he said. In order to help solve the problem, he said he is working with the Pinellas Community Foundation on establishing a grant called Safety Net that could provide aid to people who nd themselves in similar situations. "A lot of time they have to make a decision about whether they get dog food or do I get food for you," he said.Sunstar employee honored by stateLARGO Debbie Vass, director of quality initiatives at Sunstar Paramedics and parent company PatientCare, was honored with an Excellence in Emergency Medical Services Award from the Florida Department of Health on July 11 during the annual Clinical Conference on Emergency Medical Services in Orlando. Vass received the Larry S. Jordan EMS Hall of Fame Award, which honors an individual for lifetime achievement in the eld of EMS. As the director of quality initiatives, Vass oversees strategic planning and deployment, accreditation initiatives, and focuses on ensuring high-quality patient care throughout all levels of the organization. "We're very proud that Debbie was recognized by the Florida Department of Health for her dedication to the EMS industry and to continuously improving patient care," said Mark Postma, vice president of PatientCare. "She's worked hard to further the EMS profession, and she's very deserving of this prestigious award." In addition to her work at Sunstar Paramedics, Vass has been involved with several EMS organizations. She's the president of the Florida EMS Quality Managers Group, she's a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, and she's a master examiner for the Florida Governor Sterling Council. 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Police 3A Leader, August 16, 2018and Susan Tamme, division chief of training in Tampa. The ve will be seeking to replace Shelby Willis, who took a position as deputy re chief in Ogden, Utah. Joseph Pennino, who was a nalist in June, has been serving as interim chief since March. The new chief will oversee the department's 130-plus re ghters. The search, which has cost the city $14,750, has been conducted by W.D. Higginbotham, senior vice president of the Mercer Group in Seminole. Barrs of Palm Harbor has more than 21 years of experience and has a master's degree in leadership and a bachelor's in public leadership. Davis has a bachelor's in fire science. Chad Deardorff has a master's in public administration and a bachelor's in re science. Chad Pittman of Tarpon Springs has 29 years of experience and has a master's in public administration and a bachelor's in public safety administration. Susan Tamme of Oldsmar has a master's in career/technical education and a bachelor's in organizational studies/public administration. By SUZETTE PORTERTampa Bay NewspapersThe Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has decided to charge the shooter in a controversial Stand Your Ground case that occurred July 19 in a convenience store parking lot in Clearwater. Pinellas County Sheriff's Of ce announced Aug. 13 that Michael Drejka, 47, of Clearwater was in custody. He was booked into the county jail on one charge of manslaughter. His bail was set at $100,000. "I support the State Attorney's decision and will have no further comment as this case continues to work itself through the criminal justice system," Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a press release Monday morning. Gualtieri has been the center of a controversy because of his decision not to arrest Drejka for shooting Markeis McGlockton, 28, of Clearwater. McGlockton died soon after the shooting at a local hospital. Gualtieri held a press conference July 20 and explained that the Sheriff's Office could not arrest Drejka because the case fell under the parameters of the Stand Your Ground law. Gualtieri said his office would investigate the shooting and then turn the case over to the State Attorney's Of ce to make a decision about any charges. On the day of the shooting, Drejka had been arguing with McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, 24, also of Clearwater because she had parked in a handicapped parking place. McGlockton and their 5-year-old son were inside the store. McGlockton found out about the argument and left the store. He pushed Drejka to the ground. Drejka, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled out a gun and shot McGlockton. Drejka told detectives that he was in fear of bodily harm, which is why he pulled out a gun to defend himself. Since the shooting, local, state and federal of cials have weighed in on the case with many calling for further investigation. Some questioned whether Gualtieri had made the right decision. Gualtieri has maintained that he followed the law. Many agreed that the State Legislature needed to reform or change the Stand Your Ground law to prevent what Pinellas County Commission Chair Ken Welch called a "pattern of killings in the guise of self-defense" in a post on Facebook. A call to hold a special session to take up the matter was rejected by the State Legislature Aug. 10. By SUZETTE PORTERTampa Bay NewspapersCLEARWATER A shooting in a convenience store parking lot has created a stir surrounding Florida's Stand Your Ground law. What began as a verbal argument July 19 in the parking lot of Circle A Food Store in unincorporated Clearwater escalated into a shooting that left one man dead. The next day, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced that no arrest had been made. He said the shooter had told detectives that he was in fear of bodily harm and had used his gun to defend himself. Gualtieri said due to the Stand Your Ground law, the Sheriff's Of ce could not make an arrest. Instead, the State Attorney would decide if the shooter would be charged with a crime. Gualtieri's announcement triggered a debate that continues to rage on with differing opinions of whether or not the sheriff did the right thing. Gualtieri believes he is following the law. However, Pinellas County Commission Chair Ken Welch says the very fact that there is "so much debate and uncertainty is clear evidence that the law is broken." Welch asked fellow commissioners to pass a resolution Aug. 7 asking state legislators to address the law and either reform it or repeal it. The resolution also supports a request by Rep. Darryl Rouson to call a special session to review the law. Commissioners gave unanimous approval to the resolution. Commissioner Pat Gerard was absent. "There is a real concern in this county about how this law is interpreted," Welch said. "I think it is important as the governing body to make a statement. This happened in our community and we want the Legislature to address it." According to the resolution, "confusion as to application of the Stand Your Ground law creates an atmosphere in which rearms may be used in an inappropriate manner and allow for disproportionate responses of selfdefense, thereby creating a danger to the community as a whole." On the day of the shooting, Michael Drejka, 47, of Clearwater was arguing with Britany Jacobs, 24, also of Clearwater because she had parked in a handicapped parking place. Jacobs' boyfriend, Markeis McGlockton, 28, of Clearwater and their 5-year-old son were inside the store. McGlockton found out about the argument and left the store. He pushed Drejka to the ground. Drejka, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled out a gun and shot McGlockton, who died a short time later at a local hospital. "Back in my day, a push like that ended in a fist fight, not a shooting in a parking lot," Welch said. Other commissioners agreed. Commissioner Janet Long tossed out words like commonsense and discipline. Welch, who attended McGlockton's funeral, said his family is grieving. He said there is concern throughout the community. Welch is convinced that the law needs to be addressed. The resolution calls for changes to clarify Stand Your Ground's application and to remove protection for those who intentionally provoke confrontation and/or respond disproportionately with deadly force. Some believe Drejka's actions provoked the confrontation and that his response the fatal shooting was unnecessary. The commission would like changes that would "clarify citizen's rights and responsibilities when exercising their rights under the Stand Your Ground law." This story quickly made national news. McGlockton's family hired attorney Ben Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman used the Stand Your Ground law as his defense. National civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton visited a Clearwater church Aug. 5 along with several candidates running for governor. And the debate continues, bringing with it negative publicity for a big tourism county, which Commissioner Janet Long said "doesn't send a good message to our visitors." "I've had some email from people who are not coming to the county because of Stand Your Ground," Welch said. According to media reports, on Aug. 10 Florida legislators voted against calling a special session. Drejka was arrested on one charge of manslaughter Aug. 13.Shooter charged in Stand Your Ground caseCounty leaders weigh in on law CLEARWATER MAN FACING MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES Michael Drejka, 47, of Clearwater was taken into custody Aug. 13 on one charge of manslaughter. 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"LEAP was definitely designed to not only lay a blueprint out for us, but to showcase some of the things that we have been doing for a long time," Largo Sustainability Coordinator Laura Thomas said Aug. 10. "I think that Ready for 100 is a great example of how we can better showcase some of our plans and operations that we have already in place now." As part of its pledge, which doesn't include any rm nancial commitments, the city adopted a goal to power all municipal operations with at least 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. It also committed to supporting a community-wide transition to 100 percent renewable energy through public education and encouragement efforts, and will establish a date to achieve the goal as part of the next update of LEAP in 2021. Largo joins St. Petersburg, Orlando and Sarasota in making the pledge. "We are going way beyond any of our terms on this commission," Commissioner John Carroll said, "so we're really just kind of setting a goal out there to work toward, and it's sort of been the theme of everything we've been doing with strategic planning, long-range planning and this follows hand in hand with what we've got out there in other areas." LEAP includes 35 indicators to guide sustainability efforts and focuses on three main areas: infrastructure, workforce and natural resources. Thomas said the city will explore ways to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiencies through technology, building upgrades and retro ts. Bryan Beckman, leader of the Sierra Club Largo Ready for 100 campaign, said the community was behind the effort and he had 400 signatures of residents and business leaders to prove it. "The commission and city administration has already shown great leadership by creating LEAP, providing a strong framework for economic vitality and stewardship of our environmental resources," Beckman said. "Including goals for achieving 100 percent renewable energy shows residents and businesses that the city is committed to a sustainable, prosperous future in taking a longterm view for sustainability." Vernon Bryant, executive director of the Florida Botanical Gardens and a board member of the Friends of Ridgecrest, said he has worked his entire career to help low-income families become more self-suf cient, which is why he encouraged commissioners to be "bold and courageous" to adopt the energy standards for the entire city. "I believe that by doing this you would help not only the upper class and early adopters, but you would also make renewable energy and energy conservation available to people of all income levels," he said. "Your commitment will help us by adding to the groundswell of activities that would drive development of new, cleaner and cheaper energy alternatives and thereby help to make those things available to all people of all income levels." Another supporter, Craig Murtha, said it was important to note that commissioners were committing to a concept and not a nancial contract. "These systems will pay for themselves in 10 years and these systems are guaranteed for 20 or 25 years," he said.Not Ready for 100While each of the commissioners supported long-range sustainability planning, Curtis Holmes said he had to "dump cold water" on the pledge. He said he was against voting for something he didn't think was attainable and would prefer to let the market take care of it instead of forcing it on the community. "The free-market system is going to do this," he said. "But you added a sentence down here and you say this is a concept, not a contract. Well, concepts become contracts. That's what they do." He added that the technology wasn't available to meet the goal. "There's no way you're going to get to this thing in 2035 and I'll tell you why," he said. "It's not even on the drawing board to have an 80,000-pound fire truck run on electricity." Department of Public Works Director Brian Usher made that point clear during a July work session when he was asked if he could see a day when garbage and re trucks could run on renewable energy. "I don't know that there will ever be a 100 percent non-fossil fuel eet," he said, adding that all forms of heavy equipment still use some kind of combustion or natural gas. He said the department has identified about 30 vehicles over the next five years that are conducive to conversion, but he also had safety concerns for electric vehicles. Mayor Woody Brown said he, too, was concerned about creating unrealistic expectations, but his smartphone eased his mind. "You look 20 years ago, if somebody said we're going to have a goal of 100 percent of us having the internet in our pocket, everybody would've said that's crazy, there's no way you're going to attain that goal," he said.First stepsThomas said the city will have a long way to go to achieve its goals in 17 years. The city has only one all-electric vehicle and the Largo Community Center is the only city facility with a renewable energy resource solar panels. "We set the Ready for 100 goal, but now the work begins," she said. "Now we want to have community conversations and we want to make sure we reach out to our businesses and make sure we plan it strategically in a nancially responsible way. It is a long time before 2035, but that gives us time to make sure we do it the right way." She said the first and most cost-effective step will be changing behaviors in an effort to reduce energy consumption. Other initial goals in LEAP include: Reduce building energy use by 20 percent by 2030 Transition fleet of light-duty vehicles to 100 percent alternative fuel by 2030 Install 10 charging stations by 2025 Reduce paper usage by 10 percent annually Increase canopy coverage on city property to 50 percent by 2025. She said the city also wants to highlight community success stories and the public to provide feedback by visiting LoveLargoFl. com. But Brown said setting goals is the rst and most important step. "If you don't set goals, you're probably not going to get too far," he said. He pointed to other nearby local governments, such as St. Petersburg and Clearwater, who have also discussed it. The legality of such an ordinance, however, is unclear. A pair of state laws prohibit cities from banning plastic bags and foam. Coral Gables last year became the rst city in the state to enact a ban on plastic bags, but the Florida Retail Federation is currently challenging the ordinance in court and a decision is expected to be made soon. Commissioner John Carroll said he appreciated Robinson's argument, but, legal or not, he disagreed with imposing any kind of ban. "I'm all about public education and awareness, about recycling, neighborhood cleanups and voluntary compliance, but I just cannot and do not support the notion of a ban by this city government," he said. "I see a lot of issues with that. To me, it's very symbolic, but I think it's very difficult to implement. I would much rather lead by example and have people follow our example then try to impose on our citizens and our businesses a ban on plastic." Commissioners Curtis Holmes and Donna Holck agreed, while Mayor Woody Brown emphasized the city needs to become a role model rst. "I hate to even start discussing a ban when we're not leading by example right now," he said. He said he supported encouraging reduction or elimination of single-use plastics now and revisiting a ban later if the political climate in the state allows it. Largo Sustainability Coordinator Laura Thomas said a citywide ban isn't currently an option, but one could be implemented on city property where special events occur. She also agreed with Robinson that it was the direction the public was heading. "I think there is some demand from residents," Thomas said Aug. 10. "I think they are interested in making sure that we protect the environment and do the right thing." She added that such a measure also could be a boon to commercial establishments who participate. "From the commercial side, I think that it has the potential to create a lot more revenue because our residents are interested patronizing businesses that have that it in mind and are considerate of the environment," she said. Sheri Heilman, co-owner of Heilman's Beachcomber and Bobby's Bistro and Wine Bar in Clearwater Beach, said she is proof of that. Heilman and members of the Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition, which is comprised of various organizations that meet with city and business leaders to educate and help them transition to a more sustainable way of doing business, professed the bene ts of eliminating single-use plastics. "It is not a dif cult thing to do," said Heilman, whose establishment was the rst Clearwater business to become Ocean Friendly certi ed. She said it does pose a few challenges, but the more businesses that get on board the easier it becomes.Since other commissioners were still hesitant, Robinson said he would support a voluntary approach. "If there's no appetite for a ban, then maybe there would be some for kind of a voluntary program where we could learn over the next three, four months how to make it an easier process," he said. Commissioners agreed to revisit the discussion during a work session where they will get opinions from the city attorney on what measures are legal and suggestions from city staff about potential voluntary programs for businesses.4A Largo Leader, August 16, 2018 Around LargoPark to host skateboarding competitionLARGO Show off your skateboarding skills at Bayhead Action Park's rst skateboarding competition Saturday, Aug. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Skateboarders of all ages and levels are welcome to participate at the skatepark at 375 Seminole Blvd. by preregistering at Southwest Recreation Complex or at the gate at the day of the event. The cost is $20 to skate and $2 to watch. For more information, call 727-518-3125.Skyway Cat Club set for TICA showLARGO The Skyway Cat Club of Tampa Bay will host The International Cat Association All-breed Cat Show on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Minnreg Hall, 6340 126th Ave. N. Cats will compete in 12 different rings both days. Judges from all around the world and the United States will evaluate cats both days. The event will include feline education and welfare. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about different breeds of cats and how to care for them. The show will feature more than 25 breeds of cats. Vendors will have cat trees, cat beds, toys, unique gifts, and much more cat-related items for sale. Cats and kittens will be available for adoption from local shelters. There will be a raf e and food will be available for purchase. Parking is free. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children and free for children age 5 and younger. Event organizers will be collecting items for a local spay and neuter clinic. Attendees are encouraged to donate items such as blankets, bleach, paper towels, printing paper, tall kitchen trash bags, cleaning supplies, of ce supplies, baby wipes and cat and dog crates. Those who bring a can or dry cat food to donate will receive a $1 discount on admission. For information, visit www.skywaycatclub.com or call 727-289-1989.Health screenings coming to Largo churchLARGO Residents living in and around the Largo can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and other chronic, serious conditions with affordable screenings by Life Line Screening. Screenings will be offered Friday, Aug. 24, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 455 Missouri Ave. N., Largo. The screenings can check for: The level of plaque buildup in your arteries, related to risk for heart disease, stroke and overall vascular health. HDL and LDL Cholesterol levels Diabetes risk Bone density as a risk for possible osteoporosis Kidney and thyroid function, and more Screenings are affordable, convenient and accessible for wheelchairs and those with trouble walking. Free parking is also available. Packages start at $149. Pre-registration is required. For information, call 877-237-1287 or visit lifelinescreening.com. Largo Central ParkLargo Central Park is at 101 Central Park Drive. Within the park are the Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive; the Largo Feed Store, 295 Central Park Drive; and the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive. To contact the library, call 727-587-6715.Exhibit celebrates band’s 50th anniversaryLARGO The Largo Public Library is celebrating the Largo High School Band of Gold with a 50th anniversary exhibit in Gallery 120 through Aug. 30. Follow an interactive timeline, with special memorabilia featuring sights and sounds, as the original 1968 "Packer Band" transforms into the world champion Band of Gold under the leadership of band director Robert R. Cotter, bringing national and international fame to Largo.Library offering genealogy classes LARGO The Largo Public Library hosts several free genealogy classes each month. Class duration is 60 to 90 minutes depending on content and questions. No registration required. For the complete listing of all classes and scheduled times, visit pgs.blogspot.com, email Bob Bryan at BBryan84@gmail.com or call 727-595-4521.Highland Recreation ComplexHighland Recreation Complex is at 400 Highland Ave. Visit HighlandRecreation.com or call 727-518-3016.Tickets on sale for pair of family eventsLARGO Tickets are on sale now for a pair of annual events that will provide plenty of fun for the whole family. The 2018 Daddy Daughter Date Night will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Largo Community Center, 400 Alt Keene Road. Dads and daughters can enjoy all things Parisian at this fun evening complete with dinner, dancing, games and plenty of photo opportunities. While dads and daughters dance the night away, Highland Recreation Complex, 400 Highland Ave. NE, will host the fth annual Mom Son Messy Madness from 6 to 8 p.m., a special night just for moms and sons in grades K-8. Dinner, dessert and interactive messy games are all included. Tickets for Daddy Daughter Date Night are $39 per couple and $12 each additional daughter. Mom Son Messy Madness tickets are $25 per couple and $8 for each additional son. Tickets are on sale at the Largo Community Center, Highland Recreation Complex and Southwest Recreation Complex. Space is limited for both events. Preregister by Sept. 10. For more information, call the Community Center at 727-518-3131, Highland at 727-518-3016 or visit PlayLargo.com.Southwest Recreation ComplexSouthwest Recreation Complex, which includes an aquatic complex, is at 13120 Vonn Road. Call 727-518-3125 for recreation or 727-518-3126 for the pool. Visit PlayLargo.com or LargoPools.com.Communitywide Garage Sale to be heldLARGO A Communitywide Garage Sale will be held Saturday, Aug. 18, 8 a.m., at Southwest Recreation Complex. With over 65 tables, you are bound to nd some great treasures. The garage sale, which features over 65 tables, is free to attend and features deals on home goods, children's toys, gently used clothing and more. To host a table, call Southwest Recreation at 727-518-3125. Tables are $10 each; limit two tables per person.Southwest to host trick dog training coursesLARGO Learn to do more tricks with your dog during a course at Southwest Recreation Complex. Owners and dogs will be introduced to all the skills necessary to be evaluated for a Novice trick dog title during the outdoor classes, which will be held on Wednesdays Aug. 22-Sept. 12; Oct. 3-24; Nov. 14-Dec. 12. No class will be held Nov. 21. The cost is $85 for members and $170 for nonmembers for each session.Largo Community CenterThe Largo Community Center is at 400 Alt. Keene Road. Visit LargoCommunityCenter.com or call 727-518-3131.Weekly events Bridge games: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 to 4 p.m. All players are welcome to join the American Contract Bridge Leaguesanctioned games. The cost is $5 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Call Joan Waff at 727-895-9073. Karaoke: Tuesdays, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Perform your favorite tunes to sing-along CDs, bring your own CDs or select from those available. The cost is $1.50 for members. Mahjong games: Thursdays, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Beginners are welcome. The cost is $1.50 for members and $5 for nonmembers. and zero-two could strengthen into major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater. So far, the four named storms have formed, including two hurricanes. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. Dr. Philip Klotzbach, who heads the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, also is predicting a below-average season with nine named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane, according to an updated forecast released Aug. 2.The reason the experts have downgraded their forecasts has to do with sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which are cooler than average. In addition, NOAA says, "a combination of stronger wind shear, drier air and increased stability of the atmosphere in the region where storms typically develop will further suppress hurricanes." Plus, there is a high chance of a weak El Nino forming before the season is over. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is predicting a 70 percent chance that El Nino will form. However, residents are reminded that it is still important to stay prepared. "As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted," Klotzbach says. And now it is even more important to be prepared, as the peak of the season has arrived. From mid-August through midOctober activity increases, according to historical data. "Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, we're now entering the "season within the season" a roughly eight-week period that is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity," NOAA says. "Everyone needs to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge," said FEMA Administrator Brock Long in a press release. "Now is the time to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update your insurance and have a preparedness plan. Don't let down your guard, late season storms are always a possibility, always keep your plans updated." NOAA's outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. NOAA says landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about one week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline. However, experts at Colorado's Tropical Meteorology Project do predict landfall strike probabilities. For the rest of the season, which ends Nov. 30, Klotzbach's group predicts a 35 percent chance that a hurricane will make landfall somewhere along the U.S. coastline. The average for the last century is 52 percent. Odds are 20 percent that a hurricane will make landfall somewhere on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula. The average is 31 percent. Chances are 19 percent that a hurricane will strike the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas. The historical average is 30 percent. For information on hurricane preparedness, visit www. pinellascounty.org/resident/ disasters.htm. Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@TBNweekly.com. Graphic courtesy of NOAAFour named storms have formed so far this hurricane season. There is still time for more to form between now and the end of the season on Nov. 30. STORMS, from page 1A LEAP, from page 1A BAN, from page 1A See LARGO, page 5A  Reduce building energy use by 20 percent by 2030  Transition eet of light-duty vehicles to 100 percent alternative fuel by 2030  Install 10 charging stations by 2025  Reduce paper usage by 10 percent annually  Increase canopy coverage on city property to 50 percent by 2025 Largo Sustainability Coordinator Laura Thomas, right, says the city wants to highlight community success stories and the public to provide feedback by visiting LoveLargoFl.com. Some preliminary goals for Environmental Action Plan “In my opinion, this is the way the public is heading. I think people, when they look at it, they’re tired of seeing this stuff strewn all over the road.”– City Commissioner Jamie Robinson on a single-use plastics ban

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Largo 5A Leader, August 16, 2018 Sunday Social Dance: Sundays, 6 to 10 p.m. Dress to impress and join about 150 singles and friends of all ages to dance to an extensive music library to t every taste. The cost is $10. Free movies: Fridays at 1 p.m., and third Fridays at 7 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG-13 and are shown with closed captioning when available. Light concessions will be available. Check the Largo Lantern or call 727-518-3131 for a listing of movies. Monthly events Senior adult luncheon: Third Thursdays, noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 and include lunch and a show. Tickets go on sale for Recreation Card holders on the rst of the month prior to each show. Those without Recreation Cards can purchase tickets on the second of the month. On the day of the show, doors open at 11:45 a.m., lunch is served between noon and 1 p.m. and the show is from 1 to 2 p.m.Group meetingsAmerican Legion Post 119LARGO American Legion Post 119, at 130 First Ave. SW, will host several events that are open to the public. Lunches featuring burgers and specials will be served Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a steak hoagie special will be served. Lunch will not be served Thursday or Friday, but takeout orders are accepted by calling 727-584-2038. Friday Night Dinners are served from 5 to 8 p.m., with music by Karaoke DJ Bill Johnson, 7 to 11 p.m. The cost is $7.25 for shrimp or a four-piece chicken dinner or all-you-can-eat fried sh. It is served with rolls, French fries and coleslaw. Saturday Night Dinners are served 5 to 8 p.m., with music by various artists weekly, 7 to 11 p.m. The cost is $8.25 and includes bacon-wrapped let mignon served with a salad, baked potato and rolls. Coffee is $1. Sons of the American Legion Post 119 sponsor "Wing Madness" every Monday night, 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy chicken wings served hot, mild, barbecue, butter and garlic and spicy barbecue for $5 for six or $8 for 12. French fries and onion rings are available. Bob Swenson provides music from 6 to 8 p.m. Proceeds bene t the Special Olympics, Fisher House at Bay Pines, and American Legion National Child Welfare Foundation and National Emergency Fund.VFW Post 10094LARGO VFW Post 10094, at 14450 Walsingham Road, offers several events each week that are and open to the public. Each Monday, Bingo starts at 6:30 p.m. Hamburgers and hot dogs are served beforehand for $3. On Tuesday afternoons, Trivia Time is held from 2 to 4 p.m. and darts are offered starting at 7 p.m. Each Thursday, dinner is served from 6 to 7 p.m. for $6 to $7. A different meal is served each week, and entertainers vary from week to week. Friday is Karaoke With Mollie, which begins at 6 p.m., with hot dogs and hamburgers offered from 6 to 7 p.m. Live entertainment is on Friday, Saturday and Sundays inside and outside, weather permitting. All are welcome, but you must have a current membership card to be served alcohol. Proceeds benefit the Bill Young VA Hospital programs, the VFW National Home, Sea Cadet Youth activities and the Boy Scouts.Largo Woman’s ClubLARGO The Largo Woman's Club meets the rst Tuesday of each month at the Royal Palms, 200 Lake Ave. NE, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $8, which includes lunch and a special guest speaker. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 4, and the speaker will be Deputy Jessica Hughey of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Of ce. Meetings and fundraisers are open to all women, and a Largo residency is not required to attend.Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-PinellasLARGO The Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-Pinellas meets for dinner at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at The Suncoast CafŽ, 1921 West Bay Drive. Each meeting features a speaker and fellowship over a meal, where members plan service and fundraising projects Kiwanis is a worldwide service organization founded in 1915 to serve the children of the world and at the local level. For more information, visit largokiwanis.snack.ws/ or call 727-536-0412.Largo/Mid-Pinellas Democratic ClubLARGO The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Democratic Club meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at Acropol Restaurant, 1170 Starkey Road. Meetings have a featured speaker and generally candidates for local and state of ces attend. The club serves the entire central Pinellas area. Food is available to purchase at the restaurant. For more information, contact club president Mary Lou Ambrose at 727-433-4045 or visit largodemocrats. com.Republican Club of Greater LargoLARGO The Republican Club of Greater Largo meets on the third Mondays, 6 p.m., at Alfano's Restaurant, 1702 Clearwater-Largo Road. Meeting starts with dinner followed by a speaker. The Republican Club of Greater Largo serves the entire central Pinellas area, welcoming Republicans from Belleair Bluffs, the beaches, Feather Sound and Largo. For more information, call club President Ed Hooper at 727-458-4751. LARGO, from page 4ACity repairing manholes in Indian Rocks Road areaLARGO The nal phase of a series of projects to cut down on sanitary sewer over ows has begun in the Indian Rocks Road area and surrounding neighborhoods, according to Engineering Services Director Jerald Woloszynski. The work, which focuses on the rehabilitation of 34 sanitary sewer manholes, began Aug. 13 and will be completed in 60 days. It will occur north of Wilcox Road and south of Honeysuckle Road and Hickory Drive; and east of the Indian Rocks Road corridor and west of Trotter Road. The completion of the multiphased work is expected to eliminate 25 million gallons of rain and groundwater per year from entering the sanitary sewer system. Highland Aquatic Family Center sets new operating hoursLARGO The Highland Family Aquatic Center has new operating hours for weekend recreational swimming, according to Mark Abdo, recreation program supervisor at the center. Through Oct. 28, swimming will be allowed each Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. The cost is $5 for members and $8 for nonmembers. On Labor Day, Sept. 3, hours will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost will be $12/$24 per group of ve. The pool will be closed Sept. 8, Sept. 29 and Oct. 27.Teens invited to join Youth Leadership CouncilLARGO The Largo City Commission is accepting applications for the Largo Youth Leadership Council, which serves to engage young people in local government. Selected teens will learn about city government, complete various community service projects and learn leadership skills, such as making public presentations, meeting management and project leadership. To apply to be a member of the council, applicants must be in grades 9-12, residents of the city of Largo and have a desire to learn about city government. Interested students can visit Largo.com/LYLC and complete an online application. City leaders will review quali ed applicants and selected candidates will be appointed by the commission. Deadline to apply is Sept. 15. Council meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of the month from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 201 Highland Ave NE. For more information, visit Largo.com/LYLC or contact the committee liaison at 727-587-6702 or LYLC@largo.com.Registration now open for Citizens’ AcademyLARGO Largo residents are invited to get a behind-the-scenes look into city government at this year's Citizens' Academy. Participants will experience hands-on demonstrations, eld trips and learn what is involved in running a city. Elected of cials and city leaders will host sessions designed to provide attendees insight on how local government works. Registration is open for the free 10-week course scheduled for Monday evenings from Sept. 17 through graduation on Dec. 4. Classes generally meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Applications are available at Largo. com/Volunteer and must be submitted by Sept. 3. For more information, call City Clerk Diane Bruner at 727-587-6710 or email dbruner@largo.com.Highland, Southwest offering after-school careLARGO The city of Largo's Recreation, Parks and Arts Department is now offering after-school care at Southwest and Highland recreation complexes. Register to reserve a spot. The cost is $75 each week and Early Learning Coalition funding is accepted. For more information, visit PlayLargo. com/Childcare or call Highland at 727-518-3016 or Southwest at 727-518-3125. 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6A County Leader, August 16, 2018 By SUZETTE PORTERTampa Bay NewspapersEarly voting for the Aug. 28 elections begins Saturday, Aug. 18, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 26 at any of three Supervisor of Elections of ces. Hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and SaturdaySunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Early voting locations: County Courthouse 315 Court St., Room 117, Clearwater. Election Service Center 13001 Starkey Road., Starkey Lakes Corporate Center. County Building 501 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Early voters are required to present both picture and signature identification. Voters who do not bring both types of ID will be required to vote a provisional ballot. As of the voter registration deadline, July 30, the county had 654,451 active registered voters. The latest report of ballots coming in on Aug. 11 showed 7.7 percent had already participated via mail ballots. Just over 19 percent of almost 262,000 mail ballots had been returned to a Supervisor of Elections of ce. Registered voters can request a mail ballot through 5 p.m. Aug. 22 by email at MailBallot@ VotePinellas.com or call 727-464VOTE (8683). Mail ballots must be returned to an Elections of ce by 7 p.m. Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 28. The Aug. 28 election includes three primaries Republican, Democrat and Universal, as well as nonpartisan races for circuit judge and school board members. Florida is a closed primary state, meaning only voters who have registered as Republican or Democrat can vote in their respective elections. All registered voters, regardless of political af liation can cast a ballot in the Universal Primary and nonpartisan elections. Republican ballot Republicans will vote for their choice of candidates to run in the General Election on Nov. 6. Races to be decided include United States Senator, Representative in Congress District 13, Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, State Senator District 16, State Representative District 64, State Representative District 66, State Representative District 69 and Board of County Commissioners, District 6 Single Member. Democratic ballot Democrats will pick their favored candidates for Representative in Congress District 12, Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture and State Representative District 67. Universal Primary Voters registered as Republicans, Democrats and independents will vote for State Representative District 70. All three running for the position are Democrats. Since there is no Republican candidate, the winner of the Universal Primary will be the winner of the election and the race will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. Nonpartisan ballot All voters registered by the July 30 deadline will vote for Circuit Judge, 6th Circuit, Group 4; Circuit Judge, 6th Circuit, Group 9; Circuit Judge, 6 Circuit, Group 36; Circuit Judge, 6 Circuit, Group 40; Circuit Judge, 6 Circuit, Group 45; School Board Member, District 2 At Large; and School Board Member, District 3 At Large. Voters, regardless of political affiliation, living in District 6, will vote in the race for a School Board member to represent them. Voters living in District 7 also will vote for a School Board member representative. If no candidate wins the majority of the vote in a nonpartisan contest, which is 50 percent plus one vote, the two candidates receiving the most votes will compete in a runoff during the Nov. 6 election. Sample ballots are available on the Supervisor of Elections website, along with additional information, including polling places and more.Election securityThe security of the nation's elections has been a subject of concern with recent media reports of hacking of Florida's systems. Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Supervisor Deborah Clark issued a statement Aug. 9 in response to the reports of Russians penetrating voter registration databases. "There is no indication any of Pinellas County's election systems have been penetrated," Clark said. According to her statement, county Elections staff has been in touch with the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Florida Division of Elections, the county system administrators and a multi-state information-sharing group that monitors cyber threats, as well as the vendor for the voter registration database, VR Systems. All of these of cials stated that no known penetration occurred, Clark said. "We are actively engaged in cyber threat prevention, protection and have protocols for response and recovery," Clark said. "Elections have been designated as critical infrastructure by the federal government, and we take seriously the responsibility of protecting the integrity of electoral process. "If, for any reason, our voter registration system was not available on Election Day to determine voters' eligibility, backup paper precinct registers (lists of voter information by precinct) are available to our poll workers. Also, in order to ensure voters are able to cast a ballot, provisional ballots are a part of our continuity of operations plan and are a reliable back-up option." Pinellas County has been approved to receive an Election Security Grant for $666,195 from the Florida Department of State. Grants totaling more than $14.5 million have been awarded to all 67 counties.Early voting to kick off Aug. 18Pinellas supervisor of elections says there’s no signs of security issues ELECTIONS County BriefsAirport continues to break passenger recordsCLEARWATER July 2018 was the biggest July in history for the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, call letters PIE. PIE reported a 14 percent increase in passengers over 2017. Year-todate passengers are up 12 percent over 2017. In just 5 years, PIE doubled its monthly passengers over July 2014. July 2018 is also PIE's second biggest month in its history. Parking at PIE is limited with construction in and around our roadways and parking lots continuing as the Gateway Express Project is underway. PIE's Terminal Renovation Project in Gates 7-10 is also continuing. FEMA approves $5M for hurricane measures ORLANDO Pinellas County will receive more than $5 million in federal assistance to help recover from Hurricane Irma. FEMA funds will reimburse the county for emergency protective measures taken by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Of ce following Hurricane Irma. Some of those measures included evacuating, countywide patrolling, barricading closed roads and directing traf c. FEMA's Public Assistance program is a cost-sharing program with FEMA reimbursing applicants no less than 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining covered by a nonfederal source. Eligible emergency measures incurred during the rst 30 days following the storm will be reimbursed at 100 percent. The federal share for this reimbursement is 100 percent. Public Assistance was designated for all 67 Florida counties through the federal disaster declaration. FEMA and the state of Florida are working with more than 1,000 government entities and nonpro ts across Florida seeking PA reimbursement for Hurricane Irma. EPA grant to aid air quality effortsATLANTA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $98,300 grant to the Pinellas County Commission on Aug. 6 to conduct air quality monitoring. The Toxics Characterization National Air Toxics Trends Site grants will be used to conduct air toxics monitoring to measure volatile organic compounds, semi-volatiles, carbonyls and metals. This project represents a continuation of a national ongoing effort to characterize air toxics and assess trends in ambient levels by conducting monitoring in urban and rural areas. Data resulting from the project will be submitted into the Air Quality System database and will be used to measure progress in meeting goals for reducing air toxics emissions and related health risks.Public Works achieves APWA accreditation Pinellas County Public Works has earned the American Public Works Association accreditation designation. APWA accreditation formally recognizes that a public works department complies with national standards set forth in the APWA Public Works Management Practices manual. It veri es that an agency is focused on continuous improvement and has conducted an in-depth self-assessment of its policies, procedures and practices and consolidated them in a central location. Pinellas County is only the 12th agency in Florida and 140th in North America to achieve the status. Deborah Clark Eat Drink Enjoya guide to the area’s best restaurants Eat Drink Enjoya guide to the area’s best restaurants Watch a spectacular sunset Listen to a great band Savor our delicious food Enjoy the view of our secluded beach Relax at our re tablesAmazing Views ... Delicious Food ... Signature Cocktails ...Visit the GEM of Clearwater Beach on the 6th oor of the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton 635 South Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach  727-451-1111 LUNCH  DINNER  LATE NIGHT OUTDOOR AND INDOOR DINING 081618HAPPY HOUR NOON 7PM M-F 401 Second Street, Indian Rocks BeachJust off Gulf Blvd. (in the Holiday Inn Harbourside) Reservations Accepted 727-595-8356 041918 F R E E M e a l A n y FREE Meal Any T u e s d a y D u r i n g Y o u r Tuesday During Your B i r t h d a y M o n t h Birthday Month Why limit your birthday to one day? Come and celebrate with us all month!Receive one FREE MEAL with the purchase of another, any Tuesday during your birthday month.(Beverage purchase required for each entree.)Dine Inside or On The DeckValid any Tuesday during your birthday month. Offer good 11am-10pm. Must present proof of birthday prior to ordering. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. Discounts not valid on lobster or let. Multi person birthday celebrations welcome. 33 Years on the Beach! W h e r e t h e L o c a l s E a t Where the Locals Eat Take Out Always Available 16th & Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach727-596-2477  KeegansSeafood.com Trip advisor 081618 Family OwnedKid FriendlyOpen 11am-10pm till 11pm Friday & Saturday Lunch & Dinner Specials ALWAYS FRESH, ALWAYS WILD Outdoor Patio S e a f o o d G r i l l e Seafood Grille Closed Sunday 415 2nd Street, Indian Rocks Beach727.596.5898 Serving up Fantastic Seafood in a casual family-friendly atmosphere since 1985 Indoor and Outdoor Seating  Tiki Bar  Tropical Cocktails  Great Seafood081618 INSIDE PIANO BAR7:30-11:30pm Sun.-Thurs. 8:30pm-12:30am Fri. & Sat.Casual Waterfront Dining on the Intracoastal081618Restaurant & LoungeCelebrating 33 Years! Happy HourEvery Day 8am-6pm$1.25 Drafts  $2.75 Wells$3.25 House Wines 125 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach727-595-1320  www.jdsrestaurant.com WEEKLY SPECIALS SUNDAY Lobster Tail Dinner$17.95 TUESDAY All-U-Can-Eat Fish Fry Fries & Slaw $9.95 THURSDAY$5.00 Burger Day WEDNESDAY 1lb. Snow Crab Dinner$16.95 $8.95 Early Birds Everday ‘til 6pm Home of the All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry EverydayJD’S BEACH BASKETSALL DAY-ALL NIGHT withFRIES & SLAW starting at $7.25OPEN AT 8AMBREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNERSeafood  Steaks  Burgers  Wings Sandwiches  Pasta  Kids MenuSORRY CLOSED MONDAYSThe Place For All Your Entertainment Needs Is Right On Our Back Porch ... With Live Entertainment Outside Twice Daily from 1-5pm & 6pm-10pm 081618

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Community 7A Leader, August 16, 2018 Schools NotebookSPC forum to explore myths of gun violenceSEMINOLE Bursting gun violence myths is the focus of a forum sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College. The forum, titled "Guns in America: Myth-Busting in Search of Solutions," will be on Thursday, Aug. 30, 6-8:15 p.m., at the Seminole campus of SPC, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration to the dinner event is required. Media co-sponsors are the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU Television. The lead speaker will be Dr. John S. "Jack" Rozel, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburg and co-author of a study of gun violence titled "The Link Between Mental Illness and Firearm Violence: Implications for Social Policy and Clinical Practice." Joining Rozel in addressing other aspects of the gun violence equation will be Dr. Gary Mormino, professor emeritus of history at USF St. Petersburg; Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri; and David T. Kronenfeld, Tampa attorney. The moderator will be David Klement, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions. Admission to the dinner and program is $25, or $20 for students and educators. To register, go to solutions.spcollege.edu, or phone 727-3946942.Events to raise funds for memorial scholarshipAn event aims to raise funds for the Kathryne Mezerowski Memorial Scholarship at St. Petersburg College. The Open Car & Truck Show will be held Sunday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Wagon Wheel Flea Market, 7801 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. The event includes door prizes, 50/50, music and trophies. Participants can pre-register for $10 or pay $15 day of show. Email okayz8@knology.net or text 727-459-3688. Include name, phone number, vehicle makes, model and year of vehicle.Pinellas Technical College to host job fairST. PETERSBURG SKANSKA USA will host a job fair for the new St. Petersburg Pier project and Pier Approach project Wednesday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Pinellas Technical College St. Petersburg Campus. Subcontractors were invited by SKANSKA to set up a booth and recruit applicants for the Pier projects. College Fund of Pinellas County OKs grantsAfter completing 16 hours of interviews over a four-week period, the Board of Directors of the College Fund of Pinellas County Inc. on Aug. 4 selected 21 county residents to receive $1,000 per year grants to help with their college expenses. Board member Dr. Shirley Lorenzo of St. Petersburg called each new grant recipient to notify them of their good fortune, and $500 checks for the fall 2018 semester were mailed out by Treasurer Sherry Rankine of Clearwater. A second $500 check for the spring 2019 semester will be distributed to the students at a December holiday party after their fall semester grades are reviewed. From 42 applications received, 32 students whose applications met the College Fund's grade point average and nancial need requirements were selected to be interviewed. Each interview was scored based on the student's academic and nancial preparations and their attitude about the college they were attending and the degree they were seeking. Limited by the funds available, 21 students with the highest interview scores were selected to receive grants. "The students we interviewed this summer give us great con dence that the future of this country will be in good hands; they were awesome!" said Board President Britt Hart of Seminole. The 21 new grant recipients join 44 additional students selected in previous years who have already been sent their $500 check. Once selected, recipients are supported until they graduate up to four years for freshmen dependent upon a review of grades, nances and course load after each semester. All totaled, the College Fund expects to pay out up to $65,000 in student grants this scal year. The 21 newly selected students are from all over Pinellas County. Seven are from St. Petersburg, three from Palm Harbor, three from Largo, two from Seminole, two from Safety Harbor, two from Clearwater and two from Pinellas Park. All are quali ed academically. Eight of the new grant recipients are freshmen who combined had a 3.63 average high school grade point average (unweighted). The 13 sophomores, juniors and seniors selected had a combined 3.58 average college grade point average. Most of the 21 will be going to colleges in Florida, but three are going out of state to Georgetown University, Washington, DC; University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Arkansas; and Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The College Fund of Pinellas County is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization run entirely by volunteers. Money is raised to help nancially disadvantaged Pinellas County residents who have excellent scholastic potential, but insuf cient funds to obtain a bachelor's degree and thereby improve themselves, their family's living standard, and their role in the community. The College Fund has no paid employees. The nancial contributions from its directors and advisers exceed its administrative costs; therefore, 100 percent of the donations from the public are used to support students. Since its founding in 1965, the College Fund has awarded over $1.1 million in scholarships to more than 788 Pinellas County residents.Seats available for Gifted Studies program The Late Application Period for Choice Programs is underway at Pinellas County Schools. Many Choice Programs have seats available for the 201819 school year. After parents apply, schools with available seats will contact parents to invite students to attend. Parents can also contact program coordinators to nd out the status of their late applications. Programs with available seats include Midtown Academy's new Center for Gifted Studies. Apply at reservation.pcsb.org. For information about Choice Programs and a list of programs with available seats, visit www. pcsb.org/choice. For information about the application process, contact Student Assignment, 727-588-6210.SPC to display professor’s workCLEARWATER The Crossroads Gallery at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus is hosting an exhibition of the ceramic work of Hadi Abbas from Aug. 20-Sept. 26. A reception is planned on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 6-8 p.m. Abbas is assistant professor of ceramics at the University of Central Florida. Abbas focuses on wood- red pottery, drawing on a variety of in uences of Japanese ceramics and Middle Eastern architecture. Abbas is an internationally recognized artist, who brings a unique perspective to contemporary ceramics. He designed and built the rst Anagama Kiln in the state of Florida. The exhibit will be open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The gallery is at 2465 Drew St., Clearwater. Admission is free. Call 727-791 2548.Students invited to attend open houseCLEARWATER There is no minimum age for being an engaged citizen, and Pinellas County's Youth Advisory Committee is looking for young people interested in being community leaders or future public servants. YAC is hosting an Open House for students in grades nine through 12 Wednesday, Aug. 22, 3 p.m., in the fth oor Commissioners' Conference Room, 315 Court St., Clearwater. The program will provide information about YAC and ways teens can participate in local government. Refreshments will also be provided. Students interested in attending should RSVP to yac@pinellascounty.org or call 727-582-2656. Anyone interested in joining but not able to attend the open house can apply for membership at www.pinellascounty.org/yac. The deadline is 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24. Established in 2001, YAC is a vehicle for young people to provide input to Pinellas County commissioners. Members assist the Commission by helping to identify the needs of young people, organizing youthbased activities that bene t the local community and by becoming active participants, with their adult counterparts, in county programs. HunnieAptly named for the honey she is, sweet Hunnie may be 12 years old, but the spring in her step makes her a moderately agile miss. Rescued from Lake County Animal Services, where she was an owner surrender, the 14-pound rat terrier/fox terrier mix may be shy with new people, but she quickly warms to them, trusts them, and opens her heart to them. Gentle and oh-so-loving, she's in the earliest phase of kidney disease and on a special diet for life as she looks for a calm and loving home with retirees like her with whom to spend quality fur-ever time. Email director@ canineestates.com or call 727-412-0558.Pet of the week LEONBERGER, CarlCarl Leonberger, age 84, died Friday, August 3, 2018. He is survived by his brother, Albert Leonberger, Jr.; his ex-wife, Evalyn R. Leonberger; his two children, Glenn A. Leonberger (Laura) and Jean L. Horn (Richard); two grandchildren (Bethany R. Douty (Michael) and Jordan C. Conner (Ben); and three great-grandchildren, Alexander, William and Emilia Kay. Carl was a Navy veteran (USS Truckee 1955-1957), with six years in the Navy Reserves. He was an airline mechanic with Allegheny Airlines / US Airways for 32 years (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) before retiring to Seminole, Florida in 1998. Previously, he worked for Capital Airways (Arlington, Virginia), worked as a skilled cabinet maker, and owned a pet store in his birthplace, Philadelphia. Carl was active with his family, a trustee of Dutilh United Methodist Church, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, a Boy Scout leader, Little League Baseball Coach, and a member of the Seminole Gardens Men's Club. In lieu of owers, please send donations in memory of Carl Leonberger (The Inn at Freedom Square, 10810 Johnson Blvd, Seminole, FL 33772) to Bay Pines VA Hospice, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd, Bay Pines, FL 33744 or visit the donation website at https://www.baypines.va.gov/baypines/documents/ donationsvolunteer.pdfObituaries DUEPPEN, James, age 81, passed away Saturday August 4, 2018. For service information, send condolences, or full obituary visit: www.MohnFuneralHome.com 727-393-3481 animal care clinicof Largo 1100 Seminole Blvd., Largo, FL  727-614-9732 www.animalcarecliniclargo.com Dr. Shashi Goswami, Dr. Stephanie FinleyAffordable, Convenient & Quality Care080218 FREE EXAMFor new clients Services Offered: Surgery, Dentistry, X-Rays and In-House BloodworkLow Cost Vaccine PackagesExam Included Dogs $99  Cats $89 Puppy/Kitten $60Expires 9-15-18 Pet Boutique of Largo13910 Walsingham Road, Largo  727-595-9700021518 FREE Bag of LEAN TREATS with $20 or more PurchaseMust present original coupon PET FOOD DELIVERY AVAILABLE MONDAY SAVE 5% ON ALL SCIENCE/HILLS DIETS We carry: Natural Balance, Solid Gold, Blue Buffalo, California Natural, Wellness, Honest Kitchen, Science Diet and much more Can’t nd your favorite food? 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8A Viewpoints Leader, August 16, 2018 Bug out, dude. The decision by Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri not to immediately arrest the shooter in the latest "stand your ground" case in our state has nothing to do with his reluctance to prosecute a crime. If you want to blame someone for this fiasco, blame the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature. And while you're at it, kick Florida Democrats upside their frequently self-righteous backsides for their role in the state's lopsided gun laws. They got their tails out anked as Republicans took complete control of state government over the last 20 years. While the GOP pressed for education reform, pro-growth, anti-regulation, anti-public education and tax-schmax laws, nowhere have the state felt the impact of Republican rule more than in gun laws. Marion Hammer of the National Ri e Association became better-known as a policy manipulator than anyone the Democrats had to offer as a counterbalance. And so we have "stand your ground" rewritten as essentially a license to kill because now a shooter can claim they felt threatened enough in a confrontation to use lethal force. That nuance of law led Gualtieri to decline to arrest Michael Drejka for fatally shooting Markeis McGlockton in an argument over a parking violation that spiraled out of control. At a rally in Clearwater, Sharpton said Gualtieri should "give up his badge" for not immediately arresting Drejka, who is white, for shooting McGlockton, who is black, to death. Nonsense. The better argument is whether, regardless of color, Drejka felt empowered on some level by the state's idiotic interpretation of SYG to use lethal force in what should have been a relatively minor scuf e, if that. A lot of people, including me, warned this type of confrontation was coming once state Republican lawmakers rammed this SYG modi cation through. I asked Gualtieri on Tuesday night if he would have thought differently about arresting Drejka under the old standard of SYG. "This is an extremely complicated case," he told me. "The state statute as I understand it says you can't arrest without probable cause." I believe his interpretation is correct. It's what GOP lawmakers had in mind when they pushed through the NRA-backed enhancements to SYG. And that, folks, is what Gualtieri is required to enforce. If outsiders like Al Sharpton really want to make a difference here more than a headline, stop blaming law enforcement of cers on the front line for enforcing what legislators forced upon them. They should stop pretending this is solely a black-white issue. It's a red issue, as in the blood that is being spilled when lawmakers decide that it's legal to shoot rst and justify later. That's what the protest should be about. Joe Henderson has had a 45-year career in newspapers, including the last nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. LETTERS About the CartoonistBorn and raised by underpaid public school teachers in Sanford, Fla., Andy Marlette graduated from the University of Florida and became staff editorial cartoonist at the Pensacola News Journal in 2007. Marlette received a priceless editorial cartoon education while living with his uncle and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette in Hillsborough, N.C. Doug's tragic death in July of 2007 made evermore poignant the elder Marlette's erce and faithful devotion to the art form of editorial cartooning as a cornerstone of American free speech. With this in mind, Andy works daily to learn and uphold the disciplines and values passed on to him by his late uncle. Andy's editorial cartoons have become both hated and adored by daily readers. His work has been awarded by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors for best editorial cartoons on state issues and former Governor Charlie Crist referred to himself regularly as Marlette's biggest fan, despite the fact that he was also regularly a target in cartoons. It's important that students learn as much as they can about science, nature, mathematics, first aid and word definitions. Here are some actual answers given by students being quizzed on those subjects. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the organ of the species. Benjamin Franklin produced electricity by rubbing cats backwards. The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made men think. Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars. The process of turning steam back into water again is called conversation. A magnet is something you nd crawling all over a dead cat. The earth makes one resolution every 24 hours. To prevent conception when having intercourse the male wears a condominium. To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a ame in a test tube. Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about. Geometry teaches us to bisex angles. The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader. Arti cial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull. Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire. A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle. Blood ows down one leg and up the other. A person should take a bath once in the summer and not quite so often in the winter. The bookworm larva enters the human body through the soul. It is a well-known fact that a deceased body harms the mind. For fainting: rub the person's chest, or if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead. For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it. For nosebleed: put the nose much lower than the body. For drowning: climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artificial perspiration. For head colds: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat. For snakebites: bleed the wound and rape the victim in a blanket for shock. Before giving a blood transfusion, nd out if the blood is af rmative or negative. Bar magnets have north and south poles; horseshoe magnets have east and west poles. Airhead what a woman intentionally becomes when pulled over by a policeman. Delirium tremens the wages of gin. When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide. An example of animal breeding is the farmer who mated a cow that gave a great deal of milk with a bull with good meat. Racism is the science of classifying living things. Puberty is when a boy says goodbye to his childhood and enters adultery. Free press is when your mother irons trousers for you. Protein is made up of mean old acids. Females persons who get nervous and jumpy during their minstrel period. Camelot a parking area for humped animals. The spinal column is a long bunch of bones with the head on top and you sit on the bottom. Electile dysfunction American history since November 2016. Bob Driver’s email address is tralee71@ comcast.net.Trial highlights Trump’s bad choicesWASHINGTON In June, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis slammed the position of special counsel as a post too easily "deployed as a political weapon" to troll for dirt on targeted adversaries. At the same time, he ruled that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was legitimate and should continue. Ellis, who is presiding over Manafort's trial in Alexandria, Virginia, was acutely aware that the multiple charges of tax and bank fraud had nothing to do with the 2016 presidential election or Russian meddling in the campaign. But the judge found grounds for Mueller's team to prosecute Manafort as its probe uncovered a fraudulent money trail funded by backers of former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych. The terms of the Mueller investigation included looking into the "strongly pro-Russian" Ukraine leader. Just don't call Yanukovych's big donors "oligarchs," Ellis later warned prosecutors, as he saw such language as needlessly prejudicial. Federal prosecutors complained about Ellis scolding one of their ranks on Wednesday, and on Thursday, he apologized. There's something to be said for the irascible judge's focus. Ellis also appears to have curbed Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, after Downing grilled star witness Rick Gates about four alleged extramarital affairs. It's irrelevant. Gates is Manafort's former right-hand man who was indicted along with Manafort in October 2017, but later agreed to plead guilty and testify against his old boss as part of a plea deal that should reduce, and possibly eliminate, a prison sentence that threatened to span decades. The jury has seen Gates as an accomplished liar and professional cheat. From Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning, prosecutor Greg Andres walked Gates through a series of fraudulent maneuvers that he orchestrated to avoid paying taxes. Gates also admitted to skimming money from offshore Manafort accounts although, as Downing pointed out, he claimed to have embezzled hundreds of thousands from Manafort after the government had figured Gates skimmed close to $3 million. But Gates looking shifty doesn't make Manafort appear pure not when prosecutors produced documents that gave the impression Manafort hired Gates because they share the same low bar on ethics. In 2015, Manafort emailed Gates about a higher-than-expected tax tab. "We need to discuss actions," Manafort wrote. After some fancy shuf ing, no surprise, his tax bill shrank. Manafort also consulted Gates about the method to doctor a PDF as he applied for a loan. In the long run, the most damaging testimony from Gates had to do with Manafort Inc.'s depleted nances after Yanukovych fell from power. According to the feds, as Manafort advised Yanukovych and other Ukraine entities from 2006 to 2015, $75 million flowed into the big-spending political consultant' offshore accounts and Gates helped launder more than $30 million of that. But when Yanukovych ed, the money went away. In 2015, Gates testi ed, "We had zero clients." Rather than sell one of his many homes, Manafort went on the hunt for big loans by whatever means it took to get them. Then, like a deus ex machina in an ancient theater production, Donald Trump appeared on the political stage. Manafort agreed to advise Trump without pay, as he clearly saw an opportunity to cash in on his work for Trump over time. Through a Kiev staffer, the Atlantic reported, Manafort sent clippings of stories about his political work for Trump to a Russian oligarch this isn't a courtroom, I can use the word "oligarch" to whom Manafort owed millions. Manafort asked, "How do we use to get whole?"Conservative journalists have chronicled ties between Moscow and the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016. Most notably the DNC and Clinton campaign bankrolled the unveri ed "dossier" compiled by a former British intelligence of cer who repeated dirt fed by Russian sources. The opposition research rm that hired the Brit also had worked against the 2012 Magnitsky Act that prescribed sanctions against corrupt Russian players. But if everyone's hands are dirty, does that mean no one's hands are dirty? Trump frequently notes that Manafort served as his campaign chief for only a brief time, a mere three months. But given Manafort's reputation for advising strongmen who oppose U.S. interests, that's three months too long. As a candidate, Trump boasted that he'd hire "the best" people to run his government. But rst he hired the worst guy a politico who made his fortune advising corrupt strongmen to steer his campaign. So even if there was no collusion, there was colossally bad judgment. And there is a price to pay for bad choices. Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@ reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. We are proud to offer a forum to our readers. Please type letters to the editor (or print legibly) and include your name, town of residence, phone number and signature and mail to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772. Emails should include town of residence and telephone and be sent to tgermond@TBNweekly.com. We will not print the letter writer's phone number. Here are some more guidelines for letters: Letters are printed on a rst-come, rst-served basis. They may be edited to correct grammar, spelling and factual errors. They also may be edited for clarity. Please keep letters to editor to 700 words. Longer letters may be cut due to space limitations. Letters should address issues or current events. Please refrain from making unsubstantiated allegations. The newspaper will not print letters that contain slanderous or racial statements. Please do not use profanity. We do not publish poetry or songs in letters to the editor. Each writer may submit one letter per month. We can't return letters to the editor. Please allow two weeks from the time you submitted your letter for it to be published before inquiring as to its status. We won't print anonymous letters. We won't print letters that are submitted merely to promote a business. Thank you letters are accepted.What do you think? Driver’s SeatBob Driver Electile dysfunction de ned and more Joe Henderson Sharpton misses the mark in ‘stand your ground’ case 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772 727-397-5563  Fax: 727-397-5900  www.TBNweekly.comPublisher/President: Dan Autrey dautrey@TBNweekly.com Accounting Manager: Andrea Marcarelli accounting@TBNweekly.com Advertising Director: Jay Rey jrey@TBNweekly.com Classi ed Advertising Manager: Wendy Edwards wedwards@TBNweekly.com Executive Editor: Tom Germond tgermond@TBNweekly.comProduction Manager: David Brown production@TBNweekly.com Online editor: Suzette Porter webmaster@TBNweekly.com Beach Beacon: Tom Germond tgermond@TBNweekly.com Belleair/Beach Bee: Tom Germond tgermond@TBNweekly.com Clearwater Beacon: Logan Mosby lmosby@TBNweekly.com Dunedin Beacon: Tom Germond tgermond@TBNweekly.com Largo Leader: Chris George cgeorge@TBNweekly.com Palm Harbor Beacon: Tom Germond tgermond@TBNweekly.com Seminole Beacon: Tiffany Razzano trazzano@TBNweekly.com Entertainment Editor: Lee Zumpe lzumpe@TBNweekly.com General Editorial editorial@TBNweekly.comCirculation: Phone: 727-397-5563 Debra Saunders If everyone’s hands are dirty, does that mean no one’s hands are dirty? Still a witch hunt?Re: “Are Americans tired of the witch hunt by Mueller?” letter, Aug. 2. Editor: Mr. Graham, if H. Clinton had become POTUS instead of Trump, and the FBI suspected collusion with Iran (or North Korea, Mexico, take your pick) in the election, and had to investigate, would you still call it a witch hunt? Nickie McNichols LargoThey said it Quotes from famous people born in August. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." – Barack Obama "To argue against the global economy is like stating opposition to the weather it continues whether you like it or not." – John McCain "A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution." – Dustin Hoffman

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Outdoors 9A Leader, August 16, 2018Red tide looming near Pinellas areaSo far this summer we have dogged the proverbial red tide bullet. That could all be about to change for us unfortunately. For now Tampa Bay and Pinellas beaches are free of any red tide bloom. However, there have been reports of the toxic algae at the mouth of Tampa Bay. If this trend continues we could start to see and feel the impact soon. Typical summer time patterns continue on the inshore shing scene. Early morning action remains the brite spot as snook, trout and redfish have all been feeding the first two hours of daylight. Target oyster mounds and mullet schools on the later part of the incoming tide for a shot at all three species. Live bait is still your best bet rst thing before the sun comes up. Then switch over to cut pieces of lady sh when the action slows. Cast netting bait, especially good-sized sardines, has been a night time affair. Work bridge shadow lines and fender lights for a well full of good sized sardines, being sure to put any ladyfish that end up in the net on ice to be used later. The key here is to not over stuff your live well as the warm water has less oxygen than the cooler spring time water that allows you to put hundreds of baits in one well. Offshore anglers have been targeting and catching good numbers of hogfish this week. Depths of 65 feet and deeper are holding plenty of hog sh. Fresh shrimp fished on a knocker rig with a long stretch of 30-pound leader is all you need to get into non-stop action from hogfish, grunts and mangrove snapper. Remember the minimum size for hog sh is now 14 inches to the fork of the tail. Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at capt.tyson@hotmail. com. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@ TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772. Photo by TOM GERMONDA pair of dolphins roam the waters just south of the Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge on Aug. 12. Boaters were plentiful that mor ning, but the hot weather appeared to have reduced the amount of exercise buffs and anglers who frequent the area.Cruisin’ Outdoors BriefsMcGough Nature Park to host birds of prey showLARGO The Look Alive Bird Show will be presented Sunday, Aug. 19, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Narrows Environmental Education Center, 11901 146th St. N. Attendees will get a glimpse at the world of Florida's fabulous flighted hunters. The show details the amazing adaptations that raptors use to exploit the natural world for their gain. The show includes owls, hawks, falcons and Sarge, the center's own bald eagle and the star of the show. Cost is $3 a person. Clearwater Community Gardens to host annual fundraising brunchCLEARWATER Clearwater Community Gardens will host its fourth annual summer brunch fundraiser Sunday, Aug. 19, 11 a.m., in the Crystal Ballroom at the historic Fort Harrison, 210 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. Tickets for the brunch are $20, with all funds collected going to the community garden. To purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/44646895065. The incoming president of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs will be the keynote speaker. "We will be celebrating our success over the past three years while raising funds for a new seedling greenhouse and children's gardening area," said Howard Warshauer, the founder and president of Clearwater Community Gardens Inc., a local 501(c)3 nonpro t organization. This year's theme is "Gardening Good for the Soul." Organizers hope to inform guests how important gardening is to long term health, daily lives and mental stability, said Warshauer. Included in the event will be a raf e of many garden and gardening items, gift cards to some of downtown Clearwater's shops, restaurants, and theaters. All proceeds will bene t the Gateway Community Garden. Amanda Thompson, Clearwater's new CRA director, will inform guests about all the changes taking place in downtown Clearwater. In its first three full years of operation, the community garden has expanded to 50 plots and has added a rainwater system, a shelter, a 600-square-foot pollinator garden, two bee colonies and many fruit and owering trees. They regularly host potluck dinners and educational programs for the community. Fish TalesCapt. Tyson Wallerstein TALLAHASSEE State wildlife of cials have issued guidelines to persons who might be involved in removing dead sh and other creatures killed by red tide from Pinellas beaches. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in an Aug. 7 press release, advised anyone involved in removal efforts to wear gloves and, if they have respiratory issues, to wear a mask. To expedite the cleanup effort, Gov. Rick Scott has issued an executive order lifting bag, size or possession limits, or season or area closures, from shoreline, inshore or nearshore areas in seven Gulf coast counties including Pinellas. However, sawfish, marine turtles, manatees, dolphins or whales should not be removed. Report sick, injured or dead sawfish to 1-844-4SAWFISH (472-9347). Report sick, injured or dead marine turtles, manatees, dolphins and whales to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888404-3922. To learn more about the health effects of red tide, visit FloridaHealth.gov/, scroll over "Environmental Health" in the top blue bar and select "Red Tide" under the subheading "Water." All dead sh and marine life must be disposed in compliance with local safety, health and sanitation requirements.State sets guidelines for red tide cleanup Visit TBNweekly.com for the latest updates on the red tide bloom. TBN FWC UPDATE By WAYNE AYERSTBN CorrespondentMADEIRA BEACH Residents and visitors to the city will soon be missing a popular attraction and means of transportation. The water taxi service, which began in 2015 and was growing in popularity with plans for expansion, will be ceasing operations this fall. The ferry operator said the service would be discontinued after the city ended a $25,000 contribution it has made yearly to offset the ferry's expenses. The City Commission decided by consensus at their Aug. 6 workshop not to include the ferry payment in their upcoming year's budget. Without the money from the city, the water taxi's owners have said the service would not survive. The ending of the ferry operation came as little surprise, and ends a contentious relationship between the majority of commission members and the boat's operators. City Manager Jonathan Evans said the city staff's recommendation was to continue the water taxi service. "We see value in the relationship and service," Evans told the commission prior to the decision to end the $25,000 payment. But most commission members felt otherwise. Mayor Maggi Black said she had a great ride on the ferryboat. The staff was helpful, she said, but she described the ferry service as "more of a boat ride." "It is hard to support this as a water taxi," she said. "It took an hour and a half to get from one place to another. It is not a water taxi." Cory Hubbard of Hubbard's Marina, representing Tampa Bay Ferry, Inc., the boat's operators, spoke to the commission but acknowledged right away the futility of trying to save the water taxi for a fourth year. "The majority of the commission has already made up their minds. We have been alienated and vili ed as asking for a government handout," Hubbard said. "Water taxis have been understood by other communities as a form of transportation. We needed an active partnership with the type of city that really believed in it." Hubbard said, "Our dream of a public-private partnership has come to be a lot of battles. Our ideas have not been really wellreceived. Our fate has been sealed." She said Madeira Beach "could be a leader in water transportation. I hate to see you give that up, but I don't think there is anything I can do to change your minds." The ferry's fate was sealed when Commissioner John Douthirt, who had been the swing vote in a 3-2 decision to fund the boat for an additional year last July, joined the consensus to end the funding. "I got a lot of calls on this," Douthirt said. "They said none of the other cities are ( nancially) supporting the ferry service but us. Why are we subsidizing a private business?'" Commissioner Deby Weinstein said she values water taxis as an alternate means of transportation. "The boat should be allowed to operate in the city, and dock at locations. But the entire community is better served if the $25,000 is put in our infrastructure fund, where it will impact the most," Weinstein said. "I don't think any funding of our water taxi is a proper use of taxpayers' money," she said. Commissioner Nancy Hodges, who reluctantly agreed to the commission consensus to take the water taxi money out of the budget told Hubbard, "I appreciate all you've done. Madeira Beach has always been a leader in this (water transportation). I'm really sorry." Black had similar comments. "We appreciate your efforts. Maybe in time something will work out," she said. Hubbard had said if the contract with Tampa Bay Ferry is not renewed, the ferry would discontinue service in Madeira Beach in 30 days. "If you change your mind, you know where to nd us," she said.City scuttles deal for water taxi MADEIRA BEACH How to contribute All press releases are published on a space available basis. They are subject to editing for grammar, length and general newspaper style. The deadline for all copy is Friday, noon, preceding publication date. All submissions can be emailed to editorial@ TBNweekly.com or faxed to 727-397-5900. 727-596-2995  WeSellPinellas.com080218 America’s Leading Discount Real Estate Company WE HAVE AN OPENING for one full time, licensed agent,$50k+ Call or text Randy 727-415-8344 for a con dential interview. Tile Roof Repair Specialists  727.577.2468 Roof Leaks? 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10A Community Leader, August 16, 2018 By LOGAN MOSBY Tampa Bay NewspapersCLEARWATER Assistant City Manager Micah Maxwell presented to Clearwater City Council members with initial concept plans for a new Coachman Park, drafted by engineering consultants Stantec, Aug. 2 during a regular council meeting at City Hall. The preliminary drawings present a drastically different Coachman Park and include playground areas, gardens and a new and dynamic bandshell. The initial plans were created with the input of a 40-member stakeholder group, Maxwell said. Maxwell said the plans will soon be presented to the public during a series of meetings slated over the next six weeks, where residents will have the chance to offer opinions or ideas before council members are set to review them. "Staff feels it's important to remember that the heart of the project has been the public process that's driven the project itself," Maxwell said. Maxwell said staff will bring the plans back before council in the first week of October for its approval. "We can not only provide our professional perspective to you but we also can bring back a public that has had an opportunity to review the plan, ask questions of both staff and the engineers, and have an educated perspective that can assist you in making the decisions you need to make," he said. Engineers with Stantec were present during the meeting and gave a brief overview of the designs and they have been outlined here.Civic GatewayEngineers described this area as the gateway to the park, connecting the downtown core to Coachman Park. The area will include gathering spaces for community events and shade pavilion and will provide views out over both the park and the water.Bluff WalkThis area was described as a major component to the park and includes a large multi-use pathway along the bluff that will connect all of the different parts and facets of the park. Gatherings, seating, public art displays will be utilized in the area to engage the community. Playground/GardenCoachman gardens will be the northern most component of the park and will reflect the community's desire for vegetation in the form of gardens and meandering park pathways. Heading toward the bluff there will be two playgrounds, as well as a splash pad. The area will connect to the proposed bluff walk, where it will include additional gathering areas that are hoped to engage visitors to Clearwater Main Library.LakeThe southern end of the park, originally known as the estuary, has been developed into a lake. This area is proposed as a passive space, with scenic and meandering pathways, native vegetation, including aquatics and open plantings. A ceremonial space also will be included as a means to activate the area.Officials debut early plans for new Coachman Park Renderings courtesy of CITY OF CLEARWATERThe Bluff Walk perspective was described as a major component to the park and includes a large multi-use pathway along the bluff that will connect all of the different parts and facets of the park. Gatherings, seating, public art displays will be utilized in the area to engage the community. CLEARWATER A side-by-side race was common on this run and slide blow-up at Gracie's Big Splash on Aug. 11 at the Dimmit Community Center in Belleair. This was the 12th annual event started to honor Gracie Purdy, who died from brain cancer when she was 4 years old. At, left, children gather for a soaking from a Largo Fire Rescue's ladder truck.Photos by BRIAN GOFFMaking a splash By WAYNE AYERSTBN CorrespondentREDINGTON SHORES Suspicions by town Commissioner Jeff Neal that the town's sewer bill had been too high have turned out to be true. Neal said at the Aug. 8 town commission meeting that he had worked with County Commissioner J.J. Beyrouti, a longtime Redington Shores mayor, and Supervisor of Utilities Ken Jordan, who discovered that a bracket on a sewer meter was rusted and broken. That caused a reading of about 4 million gallons in excess of the actual sewer ow. The county will now check all of the meter readings at the town's lift stations to see if others are wrong. "They will then calculate what money we should have coming back, all the way to January," Neal said. Neal began having concerns about faulty sewer meter readings in June, when he reported at a town workshop meeting that the sewer bills from the county were "really high." He said then the sewer ow was being analyzed, and comparisons made into the price charged. Now that the sewer overcharge has been documented, Neal said he is working with the county on a backup plan for reading the meters, "so we get two separate readings." "I've got two companies working on that now," Neal said. Also, manholes are being redone, and the sewer lines cleaned and relined on 175th Avenue East, Neal said. The project to reline the sewers will result in an ongoing cost savings to the town. Neal said in June that the town's sewers had significant water infiltration, causing extra charges of $20,000 to $50,000 a month to process rainwater that has seeped into the system along with the sewage water. The sewer relining project will correct that problem. "That's all good news," Neal said, referring to cost savings from xing the sewer meters as well as the sewer relining.Undergrounding to begin this fallThe undergrounding of utilities on the east side of Gulf Boulevard should start in October or November, Henderson said. The work has been delayed due to FDOT permitting issues, she said. All of the Redingtons will be undergrounded, and Henderson said she does not know yet where the work will start. By JEFF ROSENFIELDTampa Bay NewspapersOLDSMAR City of Oldsmar officials recently agreed to enter an agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning to build an outdoor street and roller hockey rink in town. During their meeting on Aug. 7, the Oldsmar City Council voted unanimously to approve a Cooperation and License Agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation, Inc. to build the rink, the rst "Lightning Made" site in Pinellas County, inside the Oldsmar Sports Complex, located at 3120 Tampa Road. The new agreement states that the Lightning Foundation, through funding from the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association, will pay for the construction of the rink, provide equipment for community use, assist the city in setting up and running leagues, perform periodic clinics with Lightning alumni, and cross-promote the new facility. The city's initial costs will cover the engineering required to prepare the ground surface for the rink construction, and the concrete base itself, according to the agreement. "We are very pleased to partner with the city of Oldsmar to provide the community with a place to play ball hockey," Jay Feaster, vice president of community hockey development for the Lightning, said in a press release announcing the agreement. Oldsmar officials are equally thrilled to be adding another key component to its growing, and diverse, sports tourism portfolio, which includes an Olympic-level BMX Supercross track, a goldlevel disc golf course, a zipline aerial adventure course as well as brief partnerships/ irtations with professional sports organizations. "We tried to get the Rays, we got the Red Bulls for one season, at least and now we've got a deal with the Lightning, one of the best franchises in all of sports," Mayor Doug Bevis said, referring to the city's attempt to lure the Tampa Bay Rays to town and the training camp hosted by the New York based Major League Soccer club at the complex last spring. Bevis said after the city laid the foundation, the team would build the rink, provide the equipment, run and orchestrate the camps as well as do all the promotional work. He noted the facility would be located in a grassy area that currently serves as parking for the BMX track.Town to get refunded for sewer overcharge on 4 million gallonsCity, Lightning to partner on new rink REDINGTON SHORES OLDSMAR 080918How To Qualify for Medicaid Tuesday, August 21st, 5:30 p.m. RSVP to Ashleigh Fisichella 727-592-5858 8640 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, 33772 Income / Asset Rules for Medicaid Common Myths for Protecting Your Assets Healthcare Crisis Management Irrevocable Trust Planning VA Bene ts 080918L Windows  Doors Hurricane Shutters  35 Years of Trustworthy Reputation  Thousands of Local ReferencesVisit Our Showroom 2501 Anvil Street North, St. Petersburg www.storm tter.comSTORMFITTERS CORPORATION727.544.0575 Hurricane Security Windows/DoorsCall for your FREE Home Inspection & Estimate Surround Yourself with Peace of Mind! Prepare NOW! 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Leader, August 16, 2018 SUNSET POINT  23988 U.S. Hwy. 19 N.  (727) 441-3591 Ft. Harrison Ave.  (727) 581-7472 Pasadena Ave.  (727) 347-2938 ST. PETERSBURG (727) 522-3692 PALM HARBOR (727) 787-1866 ZEPHYRHILLS (813) 788-7833 PORT RICHEY (727) 848-4746 BROOKSVILLE (352) 597-9689 SPRING HILL (352) 200-2034 PLANT CITY (813) 754-4813 NORTH TAMPA (813) 935-0824 SUN CITY CENTER (813) 634-8451 BRITTON PLAZA (813) 831-9442 BRANDON (813) 681-4046 INVERNESS (352) 726-1916 HOMOSASSA (352) 621-8000 ELLENTON (941) 722-7200 BRADENTON (941) 747-6966 PORT CHARLOTTE (941) 623-4918 NORTH SARASOTA (941) 355-3800 SOUTH SARASOTA (941) 922-6028 VENICE (941) 451-5070 N. LAKELAND (863) 682-1965 S. LAKELAND (863) 646-6663 WINTER HAVEN (863) 297-8000 27 Locations in the Tampa Bay area 081618

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Leader, August 16, 2018 SEMINOLE  7501 Seminole Blvd.  (727) 391-6642 SUNSET POINT  23988 U.S. Hwy. 19 N.  (727) 441-3591 LARGO MALL  10500 Ulmerton Rd., Ste. 740  (727) 586-5553 FT. HARRISON  820 S. Ft. Harrison Ave.  (727) 581-7472 S. PASADENA  1155 Pasadena Ave.  (727) 347-2938 ST. PETERSBURG (727) 522-3692 PALM HARBOR (727) 787-1866 ZEPHYRHILLS (813) 788-7833 PORT RICHEY (727) 848-4746 BROOKSVILLE (352) 597-9689 SPRING HILL (352) 200-2034 PLANT CITY (813) 754-4813 NORTH TAMPA (813) 935-0824 SUN CITY CENTER (813) 634-8451 BRITTON PLAZA (813) 831-9442 BRANDON (813) 681-4046 INVERNESS (352) 726-1916 HOMOSASSA (352) 621-8000 ELLENTON (941) 722-7200 BRADENTON (941) 747-6966 PORT CHARLOTTE (941) 623-4918 NORTH SARASOTA (941) 355-3800 SOUTH SARASOTA (941) 922-6028 VENICE (941) 451-5070 N. LAKELAND (863) 682-1965 S. LAKELAND (863) 646-6663 WINTER HAVEN (863) 297-8000 27 Locations in the Tampa Bay area

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Leader, August 16, 2018 071918

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Leader, August 16, 2018 SEMINOLE  7501 Seminole Blvd.  (727) 391-6642 LARGO MALL  10500 Ulmerton Rd., Ste. 740  (727) 586-5553 FT. HARRIS O S. PASAD E