Gulfport Community Update

June 16 – June 22, 2019

Gulfport City Hall and facilities will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Thursday’s sanitation routes will be collected on Wednesday, July 3, and there will be no Wednesday yard waste collection.

Hurricane planning guides are available at Gulfport City Hall, Library & Fire Station 17. The Atlantic Basin Hurricane season ends November 30. Basic supplies to keep on hand this season: flashlights and extra bulbs; battery-operated radio; fully charged battery-operated lanterns (no candles or kerosene lanterns); extra batteries; battery charger; cash; medications; canned goods; clock (wind-up or battery-operated); plastic garbage bags; working fire extinguishers; scissors; clean change of clothes; rain gear; sturdy swamp boots; bleach tablets.

Summer is the deadliest season for lightning strikes because of the frequency of thunderstorms and the fact that more people are outdoors. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared the first week of summer Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Despite its Sunshine State nickname, Florida receives more cloud-to-ground lightning than any other state in the country according to data from NASA satellites. Lightning safety tips:

  • Get into a fully enclosed building or hardtop vehicle at the first rumble of thunder, and stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
  • Monitor the weather forecast and have a plan for getting to safety.
  • Do not use a corded phone unless it’s an emergency; cell phones are safe.
  • Keep away from plumbing, electrical equipment and wiring.

Free smoke alarms are available to elderly and low income households within Gulfport City limits. Call Fire Chief James Marenkovic at 893-1062 for more information.

City of Gulfport residential water customers are eligible for a rebate of up to $100 after the purchase and installation of a high efficiency water-saving toilet. The application and guidelines are available at www.mygulfport.us/toilet-rebate-program. Restrictions apply. Call 893-1016 for more information.

City Utilities residential sewer customers are eligible for a 50% rebate following replacement and inspection of a failing sewer lateral between a home and the City connection. Maximum rebate is $3,500. Restrictions apply. Visit www.mygulfport.us/lateralrebate for more information.

Upcoming Events:

The Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market is a weekly year-round open-air market featuring fruits, vegetables, a wide variety of foods, hand-made arts & crafts, bath, body & wellness products, live music and more. Over 50 vendors and exhibitors participate each Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Visit www.gulfportma.com, call Susan Blankenship at 453-9093 or Marsha Warner at 483-8237, or email FreshMarket@GulfportMA.com for more information.

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to help build vertical oyster gardens at the Marine Center, 3000 Pinellas Bayway, Tierra Verde on Saturday, June 29, 9 a.m. – noon. All ages are welcome. The project involves stringing drilled oyster shells onto a rope to create a vertical oyster garden (VOG) that will be installed at the Gulfport Marina. This project is funded through a grant from Tampa Bay Estuary Program. Visit www.tampabaywatch.org/vogs.html for more information.

Hop on the Gulfport Rays Trolley for the Monday, July 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles game. Tickets available online at www.mlb.com/rays/tickets/single-game-tickets. All Rays ticketholders are invited to take a complimentary ride to the game. Departure from the Gulfport Casino begins at 5 p.m. Return trips begin at the 7th inning stretch and continue for approximately one hour after the game ends. Call Kristin Ossola at 893-1118 for more information.

The City of Gulfport Independence Day Celebration promises an amazing lineup of fun and exciting activities in the downtown waterfront district on Thursday, July 4. The day’s events begin with a Kids’ Fishing Derby at the Recreation Center seawall at 8 a.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Bring your own pole! The theme for this year’s Family Sand Sculpture contest on Gulfport Beach is All American Sports. The contest is 10 a.m. – noon. Bring your own tools and supplies. No 4th of July would be complete without a parade on Beach Boulevard beginning at 6 p.m., Immediately followed by the New Horizons Band of Gulfport playing music outside the Casino. The day’s celebration caps off with a spectacular fireworks display at 9 p.m. The trolley will begin looping offsite parking locations north of Gulfport Boulevard immediately following the parade. Visit www.mygulfport.us/july_4th_celebration/ for more information.

The Fifth Annual Art Gecko Show will feature selections from participating artists’ regular body of work along with this year them; Geckos of the Round Table. The event takes place 6-8 p.m. Friday, August 2 at the Catherine Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Avenue, and is free and open to the public. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar will be available. For more information, email jhaugen@hudsonmkt.com.

The Twelfth Annual Gecko Crawl will usher in Gecko Season in Gulfport with an opportunity to sample drinks at various locations, a poker run, and a festive after-party in Gulfport’s colorful Waterfront District. The Crawl will take place 4 – 9 p.m. Saturday, August 10. Advance tickets will be available on Thursday, July 4. For more information, email jhaugen@hudsonmkt.com.

The 19th Annual GeckoFest promises a full day of free family-friendly fun on Saturday, August 31. Events are hosted by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Chamber. Free parking and admission. Pet and family friendly. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/GeckoFest.  

Shop original art work, choose your favorite cuisine and enjoy live music during Art & Gallery Walk on Beach Boulevard in the Waterfront district 6 – 10 p.m. every first Friday & third Saturday of the month. For more information, call 322-5217.

The Citywide Neighborhood Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the Gulfport Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th Street. The Marina District Neighborhood Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Gulfport Lions Club, 4630 Tifton Drive. The Strand Area Neighborhood Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Gulfport Recreation Center, 5730 Shore Boulevard. The Stetson Area Neighborhood Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Eleazer Hearing Room, 1401 61st Street.

 

Police Department

Patrol

Dispatch calls for service        

123

Self-initiated calls for service

366

Incident/offense reports         

41

Arrests 

5

Traffic citations

72

Ordinance violations

55

Residence checks

21

Examples of arrests or significant incidents or calls this week:

Officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of 51st Street on June 13 after a resident reported seeing a male subject running out of his house, and a woman who appeared to be acting as a look out. They got into a car and fled the scene. 

Deborah Dodson was arrested for criminal mischief on Jun 14 after a resident in the 3000 block saw her throwing a fire extinguisher, damaging a neighbor’s car. Dodson admitted she had the fire extinguisher but denied damaging the car.  

A phone charger and small change was reported stolen from two unlocked cars parked in the 2600 block of 47th Street on June 15.

Officers were dispatched to a restaurant in the 5400 block of Shore Boulevard on June 16 following a verbal altercation between two employees. Both employees were cooperative, and no charges were filed.

While conducting a neighborhood canvass on June 17 an officer discovered an attempted burglary to a vehicle in the 2600 block of 45th Street. The car was previously stolen and the key fob was not recovered. The owner had the lock changed and it appears the suspect came back to steal the car again but was unsuccessful. 

Officers investigated an anonymous complaint regarding a resident in the 2800 block of 45th Street not caring for 10 malnourished puppies. The complaint was unfounded; the residence had only 2 dogs that were very well cared for.

Andrew Exposito was arrested on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation on a kidnapping charge issued by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. Since he had been known to run from police in the past a St. Petersburg Police K9 was called to assist. Exposito was at a residence in the 1400 block of Freemont Street on June 18, and when he spotted officers he ran. The SPPD K9 handler gave him several warnings to stop, and when he did not comply the handler released his K9 who captured Exposito.   

Officers were dispatched to the 5600 block of 16th Avenue after a caller reported that someone entered a home uninvited and battered a resident inside. It was later determined that the female caller was at the home with a male resident and her husband did not like it. He is being sought for questioning.

Alfred Holcombe was arrested on June 19 after he returned to a property in the 3100 block of Clinton Street from which he had been evicted and trespassed earlier in the day. 

Dru Butler was arrested for attempted vehicle burglary and loitering and prowling after a caller reported a male subject attempting to open several car doors as he walked down the 5500 block of 17th Avenue. Officer Clague found Butler walking south on 56th Street, and he was positively identified by the witness.

The Marine Unit was on the water for approximately 4 hours this week.

Criminal Investigative Section (CIS)

New Cases Reviewed:                       18
Cases Currently Assigned:                 48

Detective Pham conducted follow up investigations and completed supplemental reports for a sexual battery, a death investigation, and a runaway.

Detective Crowson conducted follow up investigations and completed supplemental reports for two thefts, a fraud and a burglary.

Crime Analyst Margaret Palmisano performed a review of property reported stolen with a known serial number to ensure proper entry into FCIC, pawn checks on six cases with a known serial number, searchable property description or a named suspect, and an analysis on vehicle burglaries and auto thefts. She also compiled and distributed open case lists.

Records Section

Reports reviewed:

10

Supplements reviewed:

61

Public record requests:

23

Background checks:              

4

Bike registrations:

1

Fingerprints:

0

Subpoenas processed:

6

Citizens assisted:

40

MARINA

Assisted with nineteen pump outs, evacuating two hundred-fifteen gallons of waste.

Pumped five thousand eight hundred fifty-four gallons of gas and one thousand six hundred two gallons of diesel fuel, fueling one hundred forty-seven vessels.

Transient vessels:

Staff welcomed four vessels this week.

Staff activities:

  • Installed substructure bracing & hinges on Casino dock, and reinstalled deck boards.
  • Replaced dock box on pier 2, slip 5 and moved slip renter’s property into new box.
  • Relocated security camera in picnic area to unobstructed location, and repaired lock on gate.
  • Repaired wiring and replaced breaker on BCYC pier 7, slip 21.
  • Inspected pump out systems and filled oil reservoir.

LIBRARY

Public Programs/Meetings/Events:

Monday – Friday, noon – Summer Break Spot lunch program.
Monday, June 10, 10:15 a.m. – Preschool Storytime.
Monday, June 10, 1 p.m. – Kids Read Aloud Book Club.
Monday, June 10, 3 p.m. – K-5th Grade Drum Circle with Giving Tree Drumming.
Tuesday, June11, 2 p.m. – Creative, Soulful Journaling.
Tuesday, June, 11, 12:30 p.m. – French Conversation Club.
Tuesday, June, 11, 5:45 p.m. – Free Thinkers Open Twelve Step meeting.
Wednesday, June, 12 10 a.m. – Gulfport Writers meeting.
Wednesday, June 12, 6 p.m. – Gulfport Toastmasters.
Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m. – Welcome to Florida: LGBT Attorneys Need Not Apply.
Thursday, June, 13, 10:15 a.m. – Toddler Storytime.
Thursday, June, 13, 4 p.m. – Epic Teen Water Balloon Fight!
Thursday, June, 13, 7 p.m. – LGBTQ Film Series.
Friday, June 14, 6:45 p.m. – Women’s AA Club.
Saturday, June 15, 1:30 p.m. – Free Family Movie Series.

Upcoming Events:

The Gulfport Library is a designated Summer Break Spot. Free lunches are made available to children 18 years & younger every Monday through Friday, noon – 1 p.m. until the start of the 2019/20 school year. No library card required.

Friday, June 21, 7 p.m. – The Scott & Patti Show: Mix of camp, improv and glittering costumes featuring hits, standards, and show tunes of today and yesterday. Performance at Catherine Hickman Theater; fundraiser for the LGBTQ Resource Center. Call 893-1074 for information.

Monday, June 24, 3 p.m. – Kids Yoga: Summer is all about relaxation, but it can still be hot and hectic. Children in grades K-5 are invited to take a break and learn about chilling out from Ms. Christa.

Tuesday, June 25, 10 a.m. – Lighthouse of Pinellas Outreach for Visually Impaired: Staff will have a table set up in the lobby to provide information and assist anyone who wants to use their services.

Tuesday, June 25, 10:15 a.m. – Gentle Yoga for Adults: Nourish your body and spirit with mindful movement, breath work, and meditation. This slow-paced class welcomes all levels, and each month will feature a different set of postures. Bring props if you want them. The class is taught by Certified Yoga for Arthritis Instructor Christa Fairbrother, RYT. For more information or to sign up, call 893-1074.

Tuesday, June 25, 2 p.m. – Creative, Soulful Journaling: Tend to your inner self with a free class presented by Betty Duffey of The Mind, Body, & Spirit Connection. Participants should bring a journal, colored pens and bottled water. 

Tuesday, June 25, 4 p.m. – Teen Yoga: We’ll have space so bring a friend for teen yoga. We’ll limber up and find space in our joints, leave room to breathe and relax and find space in our heads. 

Thursday, June 27, 7 p.m. – BranchOut: Presentation of the first Gulfport LGBTQ Scholarship to a deserving local student, and honoring the establishment of the LGBTQ Resource Center as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Celebrate with live music, complimentary wine and appetizers.

Monday, July 1, 3 p.m. – Moonwalking for Grades K-5: Join us for a program all about the moon! We’ll make moon rocks, a rocket ship magnet and a satellite, and learn some facts and funnies about space.

Tuesday, July 2, 10:15 a.m. – Mommy & Me Yoga: Taught by registered yoga instructor Ms. Christa! Intended for parents and babies ages 6 weeks to 18 months. Meet other new parents and babies in the community, stretch, laugh, get some strength back and rejuvenate! Call 893-1074 to reserve your spot or email cklasson@mygulfport.us.  

Saturday, July 6, 1 p.m. – Grownup Movie Series: Escape from the summer heat and chill with this heart-pounding horror film. A happy family travels to the beach for a vacation, but instead discovers themselves pitted against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgangers of themselves. Directed by Jordan Peele, it stars Lupita N’yongo (Queen of Katwe), Winston Duke (Black Panther), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live!), Evan Alex (Mani) and Yahya Abul-Mateen (The Get-Down). It is rated R. Call for title.

Monday, July 8, 3 p.m. – Follow the Leader Painting; Rocket Ship for Grades K-5: We’ll use acrylic paint on canvas with a few common household items. This program is limited to 20 participants; call 893-1074 or email library.programs@mygulfport.us to sign up.

Thursday, July 11, 4 p.m. – Over the Moon String Art for Grades 6-12: We’ll use nails, string, and wood to create a piece of art that is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Thursday, July 11, 7 p.m. – LGBTQ Film Series: This documentary is also a playbook for the next generation of queer radicals. Started in the 1980s as a fabricated movement intended to punk the punk scene, Queercore quickly became a real-life cultural community of LGBTQ music and movie-making revolutionaries. (Not rated) Call 893-1074 for title.

Saturday, July 13, 10:15 a.m. – Family Garden Yoga: The whole family is invited to refresh with Christa in our summer yoga series. The group will meet in the Friends Room if weather doesn’t permit an outdoor session.

Thursday, July 18, noon – Coffee/Talk Book Club. Call 893-1073 for more information.

Saturday, July 21, 1:30 p.m. – Free Family Movie Series: Call 893-1074 for title.

Monday, July 15, 3 p.m. – It Came from Outer Space: If you’re in Grades K-5, join us for a program all about aliens! We’ll make alien magnets, flying saucers and snot! We’ll also play a space race game.

Every Monday, 10:15 a.m. – Storytime: Join us in the Youth Services area for stories, movement, crafts & activities selected for toddlers & preschoolers. Cailey leads the group in singing songs, playing instruments & networking with other caregivers in our community.

Every Monday, 3 p.m. – Science Club for grades K – 5.

Every Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. – German Conversation Club: Enjoy conversing in a relaxed atmosphere with others. All levels are welcome; this is not a class, simply an opportunity to engage with others interested in improving fluency.

Every Tuesday, 5:45 p.m. – Free Thinkers Open Twelve Step meeting. For more information, call 360-9069.

Every first & third Tuesday, 2 p.m. – Ukulele Group: Everyone is invited to join Allen Goldenson for some strummin’ fun!

Every Wednesday, 10 a.m. – Gulfport Writers meeting.

Every Wednesday, 6 p.m. – Gulfport Toastmasters: call 537-9098 for more information.            

Every Thursday, 10:15 & 11 a.m. – Storytime: Join us for stories & activities selected for toddlers & preschoolers in the Youth Services area. Cailey leads the group in singing songs, playing instruments & networking with other caregivers in our community.

Every Friday, 6:45 p.m. – Women’s AA Club: For more information, call 893-1073.

Library Services/Statistic June 9 – 15, 2019:            

                        Items Circulated   Patrons

Weekly Circulation:

1,696

1,229

Sun. 6/9

Library closed

Mon. 6/10

337

233

Tues. 6/11

314

214

Wed. 6/12

271

200

Thu. 6/13

245

179

Fri. 6/14

212

172

Sat. 6/14

309

159

Parks and Recreation

Technical Events

Visit www.mygulfport.us or www.youtube.com/user/cityofgulfport to watch videos of recent City events, or access live & web stream rebroadcasts at www.mygulfport.us/gtv640. Spread the word!

  • Distributed press releases to Gabber, and weekly Constant Contact newsletter to email distribution
  • Assisted with daily updates and enhancements to City
  • Posted upcoming events to social media
  • Created designs for e-newsletter.
  • Made preparations for upcoming

Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center

The Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center invites everyone 50+ to sign up for free. The Center is open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday. Stop by the Senior Center for this month’s calendar or download a copy at www.mygulfport.us. Find us on Facebook at www.FB.com/GulfportSeniorCenter. Help our page grow and get valuable daily information!                                     

The City of Gulfport Telephone Reassurance program is much more than a morning wake-up call. This free service offers Gulfport residents 50 years or older – and their families comfort, security, and peace of mind. Volunteers provide daily phone calls to registered members. If the member cannot be reached, the volunteer follows specific procedures to confirm there are no major concerns. Registration is simple and free. If you or someone you know could use this service, call 893-2237 or stop by the Gulfport Senior Center at 5501 27th Avenue.                             

Gulfport Extended Mobility Service (GEMS) offers transportation to grocery stores, medical appointments, etc. Gulfport residents 55 & older or residents with a disability can take advantage of GEMS door to door service for a yearly membership of $65 plus $2 per ride. GEMS also offers transportation to Bay Pines VA Hospital & Medical Center, Northside Hospital and the St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center. For more information call 893-2242 between 8 a.m. & 1 p.m.

The Senior Center participates in the Neighborly Dining & Meals on Wheels program, offering lunches for seniors 60 and older. Call Joe at 344-2111 to inquire about the program or to lend a hand as a volunteer driver.

The Gulfport Senior Center Pantry is in need of peanut butter, tuna, dry cereal, pasta sauce, soups & canned meats. The pantry is open 1 – 3 p.m. every Monday & Thursday for qualified Gulfport residents 50 & older. Applicants should bring a photo I.D., a utility bill or bank statement and proof of income (SSI). For more information, please see Rachel or call 893-1231.

The Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center has many volunteer opportunities available. If you want to make a difference and help your community, join the volunteer program at the Senior Center. It’s a great way to meet new friends and to get acquainted with more than 50 programs, classes and workshops. Volunteers assist as Lobby Receptionist, Fitness Center Attendants, Reassurance Callers, Class/Activity Instructors, Special Events, Food Pantry, Clerical Support, Flea Market, Promotions, Bingo, Card/Magazine organizing, etc. Call Rachel at 893-1231 or stop by the Center for more information.

Need a ride in Gulfport? Call the Multipurpose Senior Center Foundation GetGO free ride service at 542-7757. The non-profit program transports residents to destinations within City limits free of charge.

Learn to make a delicious, healthy meal during our monthly Healthy Cooking Class at 3 p.m. Monday, June 24. This month’s recipe: English Muffin Pizzas. Sponsored by BrightStar Care. Space is limited; call 893-5657 to preregister.

Big Ideas: An Evening with TED (Talks), thought provoking “ideas worth sharing.” Join us for this viewing & discussion at 5:30 pm. Monday, June 24. This month’s talk: The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life by Susan Pinker. Presented by Oasis Senior Advisors.

Spark your creative side with Devoted Health Plans Arts & Crafts Workshop and make & take your own craft at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday June 25. This month we will be making Vision Boards. Space is limited; call 893-5657 to preregister.

Learn what you can expect when you sell your home, home valuation & local resources that are available to help you with the moving process with Making the Right Move at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 26. Presented by Cheryl Diehl from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.

Learn the basic functions of your Apple iPhone or iPad during our monthly iPhone/iPad Instruction Class at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27. Space is limited: call 893-5657 to preregister. Presented by the Gulfport Library.

Join us on June 27 for our Gems Getaway to the Chihuly Collection Museum. The museum is marked at the entrance by an iconic 20-foot glass sculpture created especially for the site. Round trip transportation and admission: GEMS members $20/nonmembers $24.

Happy Birthday to You! We’re ready to party! Whether you’re celebrating your birthday this month or not, this party is for you. Come to the Gulfport Senior Center, at 3 p.m. Friday, June 28 for birthday cake, games, and fun for everyone. Sponsored by Simply Healthcare.

Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. By combining modern medicine with proven practices from other healing traditions, integrative practitioners are better able to relieve suffering, reduce stress, maintain the well-being and enhance the resilience of their patients. Common therapies include: aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and Reiki. Discover more about this interesting approach to medicine with Empath Health Chats East Meets West at 3 p.m. Monday, July 1.

Help us celebrate the nations birthday with an All-American Stars and Stripes BBQ at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 3. Tickets $3; available at the Senior Center lobby desk!

Worried about your memory? St. Anthony’s Memory Disorder Clinic offers free, confidential Memory Screenings between 9 a.m. & noon on the second Monday of each month. The next screening is July 8. Call 893-5657 to schedule an appointment.

Owning investments that may provide you with a regular income can be a smart decision. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn how fixed-income investments such as bonds may help you to reach your financial goals. Learn more about bond characteristics and features, the relationship between interest rates and bond prices, tax advantages of municipal bonds, and how bonds may help you weather fluctuating markets during Edward Jones Focus on Fixed Income at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 10.

It’s important to Know Your Numbers. Have your blood sugar and blood pressure checked at the Senior Center at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 11. See front desk volunteer for details.

Join us on our Thursday, July 11 Gems Getaway to Sweet Sage Café and Boutique, a quaint combination of café, gift shop, boutique and beautiful outdoor garden; a tranquil peaceful oasis loved by locals and visitors alike. Sweet Sage offers a wide variety of dishes including creations like Waffle Daffle, Dairyberry Crunch, Bruschetta and more! Round trip transportation: GEMS members $6/nonmembers $10.

The Community Law Program provides free legal assistance at the Senior Center at 9:30 a.m. the third Friday of every month. The next meeting is July 19. Call 582-7480 to schedule.

The Investment Discussion group meets at 10 a.m. every Wednesday. Discussions are peer-led, and all levels of experience in making the best investment choices are welcome.

Join in the Wii Bowling fun every Wednesday at 1 p.m. as we compete against each other and against rival senior center teams. No Bowling shoes required!  

Have you always wanted to learn to play Bridge but think it’s too difficult? Join the Bridge 101 class every Monday at 9 a.m. This class is for those who know nothing or almost nothing about Bridge. Learn to bid and all the tricks to playing.

Guided Healing Meditation promotes holistic wellness through a very simple yet powerful guided meditation that can advance personal growth, improve relationships, cleanse and strengthen chakras, and expand one’s awareness of their presence in daily life. The group meets at 9:30 a.m. every Monday. 

The English as a Second Language class meets at 6:30 p.m. every Monday. Students will learn basic English and grammar to be able to converse at a beginning level.

Bring your game face for a friendly game of Texas Hold’em every Tuesday & Friday at high noon. No stakes; chips only.

The Seasoned Sowers Garden Club meets on the first & third Tuesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. Get down & dirty with one of America’s favorite hobbies. No experience needed! Natural-born green thumbs & first-time gardeners welcome.

Join us for Clubhouse Chatter 10 a.m. – noon on the second Tuesday of each month. Open discussion about the MLB season and your hometown Ray’s. The good, the bad and the ugly and what the season could have been. Topics include but not limited to: Player personnel, draft picks, farm system (minor leagues), coaching staff, spring season, ticket pricing, and the future of Tropicana Field. The discussion will be moderated by John Dallam.

Having a problem hearing on the phone? Florida residents with a hearing loss qualify for a FREE amplified home phone. Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc. Family Center on Deafness issues equipment at the Gulfport Senior Center at 10 a.m. every third Tuesday of the month. This program is paid for by a surcharge on all Florida households with home phone lines and all business lines, and has been available since 1991. Call 399-9983 for more information.

The Gulfport Senior Citizens Harmonica Club meets every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. All levels of experience are welcome: come learn if you’re a beginner, or share your expertise and knowledge if you’re experienced. Over the last year this well-known musical group has performed at many venues, entertaining a variety of people throughout the county. We hope to see you as our group expands. Great people, lively conversation and fun music for all to enjoy.

Everyone is welcome to join the Wednesday Walkers at 9 a.m. on the second & fourth Wednesday of the month. Locations will vary. Towels and pedometers will be provided! Call the Gulfport Senior Center Event Line at 893-5657 for more information!

Join other book lovers for our new, no-pressure Book Club at 9:30 a.m. every second & fourth Friday. Chat about what you’ve been reading and hear recommendations from other readers.

Recycle your old cell phone, General Mills Box tops, Campbell’s labels, can tabs & eye glasses at the Senior Center. Staff forwards the items to the proper organizations for reuse, recycle or education.

Gulfport Casino, Catherine Hickman Theater, Neighborhood Center & Scout Hall Casino (last week’s events):

Monday, June 10

10 a.m. – Yoga (Turnout 8)

   

Tuesday, June 11

10 a.m. – Tai Chi with Richard Barracato (Turnout 26)

Noon – Ballroom lessons with Carol Baker (Turnout 15)

6:30 p.m. – Argentine Tango with Kathleen & Steve Prucher (Turnout 54)

   

Wednesday, June 12

6 p.m. – Swing Dance with Swingtime (Turnout 176)

   

Thursday, June 13

10 a.m. – Tai Chi (Turnout 28)

6 p.m. – Latin Night with Carol Rivera & Band (Turnout 12)

   

Friday, June 14

11 a.m. – Chair yoga with Suzanne Gentes (Turnout 29)

7 p.m. – Soul Night with Swing Time (Turnout 215)

Casino (upcoming events):

Friday, June 21

6:30 p.m. – An evening of live Latin music with Salsa Rivera & Orchestra Fuego. Salsa lessons 7 – 8 p.m., then dancing with live band until 1 a.m. Admission $20

   

Select Sundays        

6 p.m. – Ballroom dance lesson

7 p.m. – Band & Ballroom dance  Admission $8  

   

Every Monday

10 a.m. – Yoga

   

Every fourth Monday

7 p.m. – U.S.A. Dance ballroom dance: members $5/non-members $8

   

Every Tuesday

 

10:30 a.m. – Tai Chi with Richard Barracato

12 p.m. – Ballroom lessons with Carol Baker

2 p.m. – Ballroom dancing   Admission $8

6:30 p.m. – Argentine Tango lessons   

8 p.m. – Milonga dance    Admission $8

   

Every Wednesday

6 p.m. – Bonus dance lesson with Swingtime

7 p.m. – Beginner Swing lesson with Swingtime

8 p.m. – Swing dance    Admission $8

   

Every Thursday

10:30 a.m. – Tai Chi with Richard Barracato

6:30 p.m. – Latin Night lesson with Carol Rivera

8 p.m. – Latin dance  Admission $8

   

Every Thursday

7 p.m. – Salsa Dance/Lesson   Admission $8

   

Every Friday

11 a.m. – Chair yoga

   

Every second Friday

7 p.m. – Soul Night with Swingtime  Admission $8 

Catherine Hickman Theater (last week’s events):           

Sunday, June 9

2 p.m. – Gulfport Community Players (GCP) present Next Fall (Turnout 54)

   

Thursday, June 13

8 p.m. – GCP presents Next Fall (Turnout 68)

   

Friday, June 14

8 p.m. – GCP presents Next Fall (Turnout 61)

   

Saturday, June 15

2 p.m. – GCP presents Next Fall (Turnout 45)

8 p.m. – GCP presents Next Fall (Turnout 43)

Catherine Hickman Theater (upcoming events): 

Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. – The Scott & Patti Show: Mother/Son lounge act Scott Daniel and Matthew McGee bring their mix of camp, improv, showmanship and glittering costumes to an unforgettable show featuring hits, standards and show tunes of today and yesterday. Tickets available at Beach Bazaar or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4232563

 Gulfport Neighborhood Center (last week’s events):     

Sunday, June 9

9 a.m. – Faith Cathedral International Church services (Turnout 35)

6 p.m. – Overeaters Anonymous meeting

   

Sunday, June 15

5 p.m. – Birthday party (Turnout 25)

Neighborhood Center (upcoming events):

Every Sunday        

6 p.m. – Overeaters Anonymous meeting

   

Every first – third Sunday

9 a.m. – Faith Cathedral International Church services

   

Every first Wednesday

7 p.m. – Crime Watch meeting

Scout Hall (last week’s events):

Monday – Friday

7 a.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous meeting

   

Monday, June 10

11 a.m. – Chair Yoga (Turnout 24)

   

Tuesday, June 11

10:30 a.m. – Line dancing  (Turnout 10)

   

Thursday, June 13

11:30 a.m. – Meditation class (Turnout 5)

6 p.m. – Free Thinkers AA group meeting 

   

Friday, June 14

10:30 a.m. – Line dancing  (Turnout 9)

Scout Hall (upcoming events):

Every Monday – Friday

7 a.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous meeting

   

Every Monday

11 a.m. – Chair Yoga

   

Every Tuesday

10:30 a.m. – Line dancing

   

Every Thursday

11 a.m. – Meditation class

   

Every Friday

10:30 a.m. – Line dancing


Recreation Center

The game room is reserved noon – 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22 for a baby shower.

Registration is underway for the 2019/20 Tot Time & VPK Programs. Tot Time is a preschool, hands-on program for children ages 3 – 5. VPK is free for Florida resident children who turn 4 years of age by September 1. Parents must apply for VPK at the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas, Inc. to receive a Certificate of Eligibility. Both programs aim to make learning fun for children and help prepare them for Kindergarten, and are limited to 10 children each. Program hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Hours for registration are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Call 893-1068 for more information. Class begins Tuesday, September 4.

One hundred fourteen children are registered for the 2019 Summer Program for children who will complete Kindergarten thru age 14. Program hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. with extended supervision available until 6 p.m. for an extra fee. A discounted rate on a first-come basis is offered to a maximum of 25 Gulfport resident children in need of assistance. The Gulfport Recreation Center also participates in the Summer BreakSpot program, providing free breakfast and lunch to children who may not otherwise have access to healthy food when school is out. Hours of registration are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Seventy-seven teens are registered for the 2018/19 Teen Night Program, a great hangout for teens entering middle school through age 17. Teen Night provides recreation and social activities, and offers monthly field trips, cooking projects, guest speakers and service projects.

Contractual classes: Adult Dance, Ballet/Tap Combo, Bootcamp, Essential Oils, Hip Hop, Karate, Meditation, Pickleball, Rock-n-Roll Yoga, Table Tennis, Tennis, Walking Club, Watercolor, Women’s Support Group, and Zumba.

FIRE DEPARTMENT

Calls for Service:

  • 55 Emergency medical calls
  • 5 Structure fires
  • 2 Fire alarms
  • 1 Electrical hazard
  • 1 Vehicle crash
  • 1 Elevator rescue

Life Safety:

  • 14 Fire inspections
  • 1 C.O.
  • 1 Permit review

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) meets at 7 p.m. every third Monday of the month. The next meeting will take place at the Gulfport Neighborhood Center on July 15.

Two St. Petersburg College students, one paramedic and one EMT continue to ride with Gulfport Fire utilizing Gulfport paramedics as preceptors/mentors.

The Gulfport Fire Department is preparing for their annual State of Florida Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Division inspection. The review will include personnel records, facilities and service records, all BLS & ALS vehicles, and the equipment we carry.

Public Works

Building Maintenance

  • Repaired railing in Theater garden.
  • Delivered ice to Recreation Center, repaired foosball table and replaced water filter.
  • Registered City vehicle at DMV.
  • Repaired car charger on Shore Boulevard.
  • Removed fence and signs from Casino Pier.
  • Repaired gate at Neighborhood Center.
  • Removed trash for Library
  • Assembled and attempted to install stop sign light on 49th
  • Installed smoke detectors at Scout Hall and inspected fire extinguisher.
  • Delivered lunches to Library for Summer Break Spot program.
  • Delivered mail to main post office for Finance Department.

Parks Maintenance

  • Trimmed/removed trees along Chase block.
  • Refastened Hoyt fence screen.
  • Refreshed shell ground cover at Dog Park.
  • Watered all non-irrigated areas, palms at beach and new trees at Tomlinson & pocket park.
  • Mowed City complex, Trolley Market Square, Clymer, Veterans & Caldwell Parks, Senior Center, Library, Neighborhood Center & Recreation Center green spaces, 28th Avenue sign area, dog parks and baseball fields.
  • Cleaned & sanitized event trashcans.
  • Repaired irrigation at Recreation Center, Trolley Market Square, Scout Hall & Caldwell Park.
  • Cleaned restrooms at Little League, beach and outside Casino.
  • Trimmed, weeded, cleaned & mulched beach & Recreation Center green spaces and along 49th Streetscape, and hand raked around benches & beach pavilions.
  • Cleaned screens on lake fountains at Wood Ibis Park.
  • Greased mowers and sharpened/replaced blades.

Streets & Sanitation

  • Completed billable work orders for pick-up of brush, electronics & appliances, trash & furniture, and items requested for pick-up by Code Enforcement.
  • Picked up residential bagged leaves as requested.
  • Delivered/replaced residential recycling bins with information sheets.
  • Assembled & delivered new automated trash containers, and replaced broken containers as requested.
  • Removed and disposed of illegal dumping and curbside yard waste throughout the City.
  • Patched asphalt throughout City as needed.

Water

  • Daily Chloramines sampling at the points of connection to water distribution system, (includes Saturday & Sunday).
  • Daily inspection and read of Wholesale meters, (includes Saturday & Sunday).
  • Daily inspection and recording of rainfall, (includes Saturday & Sunday).
  • Daily check of ground water levels, (includes Saturday & Sunday).
  • Completed routes 31 32, 33, and 34 of monthly meter reading schedule.
  • Disconnected water service at 10 locations for non-payment of service.
  • Completed 4 non pay rechecks to confirm water service still off.
  • Completed 132 miscellaneous service orders generated by customer service department.
  • Completed 14 Sunshine One-Call, Call before You Dig Utility Locates.
  • Reviewed permit applications for fences, driveways and irrigation.
  • Replaced 3 water meters with Pro-Coder R900i meters.
  • Repaired water breaks at 1313 59th St S, 2105 56th Street & 6082 Gulfport Boulevard.
  • Replaced backflow preventer 6137 Pasadena Point Boulevard.

Sewer

  • Daily preventive maintenance and service to Lift Stations #1 and #2.
  • Daily rainfall checks and documentation, (includes Saturday & Sunday).
  • Daily ground water elevation recording (includes Saturday & Sunday).
  • Weekly generator exercise and preventive maintenance check on Lift Stations #1 & 2, Fire Department/Garage, Police Station/City Hall, and Senior Center.
  • Collected bay water samples at Gulfport Beach, Clam Bayou & Marina for quality testing.
  • Collected daily pump pressures, GPM flows and RPM information on lift stations 1 & 2.
  • Located force main for Lift station #1.
  • Cleaned sewer lateral at 2605 54th
  • Televised sewer lateral for lateral rebate at 5825 Gulfport Boulevard.

Stormwater

  • Cleaned debris and inspected storm water inlets at 16 locations.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Replaced battery, wipers, tires and rear shocks on vehicle #503.
  • Replaced wheel seal and grabber belts on vehicle #1650.
  • Recharged a/c on vehicle #1989.
  • Replaced fuel tank straps & quick release valve on vehicle #1904.
  • Replaced rear camera and hydraulic tubes on vehicle #1301.
  • Replaced fuel module on vehicle #2140.
  • Installed City decals on vehicle #2476.
  • Installed tailgate cables on vehicle #2460.
  • Replaced battery in vehicle #886.
  • Repaired joystick on vehicle #696.
  • Repaired headlights on vehicle #1849.
  • Performed or various repairs and duties as needed.

Community Development

Building Division

Longer daylight hours mean more time for those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off.  Before embarking on home improvement projects give us a call at 893-1024 to discuss your plans and see what permits and inspections may be necessary, and code requirements to help you through the process. Whether it’s deferred maintenance or new improvements, many elect to do these projects themselves. Building Division staff tries to take extra time to work with homeowners embarking on these do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

On anything other than small and simple DIY projects we recommend homeowners consider using a licensed contractor. Unless you are very handy and have the necessary skills to take on more complex construction projects, larger jobs can quickly overwhelm those less skilled in construction practices and management. 

Don’t take chances with unlicensed contractors

Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board helps guide homeowners in hiring a licensed contractor for home improvements

Hiring an unlicensed contractor can put residents’ homes in jeopardy, produce safety hazards and cost extra money to homeowners when work is not done correctly. 

The function of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board is to regulate construction and home improvement contractors practicing in all Pinellas jurisdictions.

The licensing board can tell you if a contractor has a license. They must be licensed by the board or the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and be registered with the board. Licensed contractors have passed a competency exam and perform electrical, plumbing or structural work in compliance with the building codes.

The state requires licensed contractors to have workers’ compensation and liability insurance and the board monitors their insurance coverage. Without these, if a worker gets injured on the job or damages property, the homeowner is liable. Many insurance policies will not pay claims if an unlicensed contractor was doing the work.

When selecting a contractor, remember:

  • Talk to friends and neighbors for recommendations.
  • Home improvement contractors of various skills must be licensed with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board. The license number must be displayed on advertising as well as on contracts. You can verify a contractor’s license number and check any complaints by contacting the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at 582-3100.
  • Check with the Department of Justice and Consumer Services at 464-6200 to determine the number of complaints against a business.
  • Ask the contractor for references and follow through with verifying them.
  • Ask the contractor for proof of insurance.
  • Never deal with anyone who solicits or appears at your home unannounced.
  • Obtain a minimum of two bids for the work to be done.

When signing a contract, make sure: 

  • All work should be specifically stated in the contract.
  • An approximate starting and completion date should be included.
  • All warranties including labor and materials should be addressed.
  • A payment schedule should be contained in the contract.
  • Do not give a large deposit before the beginning of work and do not pay the balance until completion.
  • A three-day right to cancel rarely applies to home improvement contracts.
  • Do not sign a blank contract or one containing blank spaces.
  • Watch for non-refundable deposits and non-escrow accounts. In new home construction, part of the purchase price must be escrowed (this can be waived).

For more information call the board at 582-3100 or visit www.pcclb.com.       

Business Tax Receipts

A Business License is good from October of the current year through September 30 of the following year. For questions regarding business tax receipts, call Lisa Giddens at 893-1063.

Thinking of starting a new business? Checkout out the City’s website for the “City of Gulfport New Business Checklist at www.mygulfport.us under the Community Development Building Department tab in the Information & Regulations section. Call Lisa Giddens at 893-1063 for more information.

Call the Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development at 464-7332 or visit www.pced.org/entrepreneurs for information, including a number of workshops on starting a new business. They also offer personalized business consulting to help you become successful with your startup business.

Code Enforcement activities continued this week in Section 2 of the City, also known as the Northeast Area which generally extends north to 7th Avenue, south to Gulfport Boulevard, west to 58th Street and east to 49th Street.

Because the City has one inspector who focuses on one section at a time, we depend on residents to call in violations when they see them. We will inspect within one working day of a complaint to verify any violation. Please call 893-1061 if you see violations. If the inspector is unavailable, leave as detailed a message as possible to help us find the violation. Complaints can be anonymous, but if you want a follow-up you will have to leave contact information which means the complaint is no longer anonymous. Any personal information you provide becomes part of the public record, which any other citizen has the right to review. E-mail correspondence is considered a public record. If you wish to make a complaint using e-mail such communications are not anonymous.

To review Code Enforcement activities documents for more detailed information and a map of Code Enforcement areas visit the Special Documents section at www.mygulfport.us.         

July 10, 2019 Board of Adjustment Meeting:

V19-18; 3043 Beach Boulevard South; Variances requested:

  1. To allow for an increase in fence height by 1’-7”, from 4’ tall to 5’-7” for a proposed brick wall extending from the front façade of the principal structure to the proposed brick corner column at the front property line;
  2. To allow for an increase in fence height by 2’, from 4’ tall to 6’ tall for a brick corner column; and
  3. To allow for an increase in fence height by 3’, from 4’ tall to 7’ tall to recognize the existing height of the two brick columns at the front entrance to the property, and to allow the replacement of the two existing lanterns. APPLICANT WITHDREW APPLICATION.

V19-21; 1819 49th Street South; Variance request to reduce the secondary street side yard setback requirement by 6.04 feet, from 12 feet to 5.96 feet to allow for construction of a portion of a proposed addition to the rear of the existing commercial structure to match the existing facade. 

V19-22; 2630 48th Street South; Variances requested:

  1. To recognize the encroachment of the existing single family house to the front yard setback requirement by 10 feet, from 25 feet to 15 feet; and
  2. To reduce the front yard setback requirement by 13 feet, from 25 feet to 12 feet to allow for replacement of an existing open-sided, roofed front porch and steps.