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Beaches notebook

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 5, 2002


Treasure Island

The city will host a public hearing tonight to hear testimony about the staff's recommendation for replacing the Treasure Island Causeway.

The meeting is 5-8 p.m. at the Treasure Island Community Center, 1 Park Place. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., residents can informally gather information from staff and city commissioners about the proposal to replace the bridge with a 21-foot-high drawbridge. The current Treasure Island Causeway has only 5 feet of clearance.

At 6:30 p.m., Public Works director Don Hambidge will make a presentation about the staff's recommendation. The public will be invited to comment after Hambidge speaks.

The commission will vote on whether to accept the staff recommendation at a meeting later this month. From there, the recommendation will be reviewed by state and federal agencies. Hambidge said the U.S. Coast Guard has agreed informally that the 21-foot-high drawbridge would be adequate for the Treasure Island Causeway.

Madeira Beach

Merchants this weekend will celebrate the formation of John's Pass -- a fitting tribute at the beginning of hurricane season, considering that one of the most storied hurricanes to ever hit Pinellas created John's Pass in 1848.

The village's Juan Leveque Days, sponsored by the John's Pass Village Merchants Association, returns for the first time in more than a decade. It will feature treasure hunts and costume contests, including several events for children. The event is named for Juan Leveque -- also known as John LeVeque -- a turtle hunter or pirate, depending on which legend you believe.

Leveque purportedly lost his buried treasure when the Gale of '48 created the pass that separates Madeira from Treasure Island.

The weekend includes a Pirate Invasion at 1 p.m., when a Madeira Beach pirate ship and Treasure Island pirate ship, each loaded with dignitaries from the two cities, spar with water guns in the pass. Children's events will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a treasure hunt, and a children's costume contest will take place at 2 p.m.

A Pirates Ball will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday at Friendly's Under the Boardwalk. The cost is $10.

The city of Madeira Beach will host a hurricane preparedness expo at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4256 in the village from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

"We're doing it not only for promotion of the pass, but also for hurricane awareness, since John's Pass was created by a hurricane," said Kathy McDole with the merchants association.

Also featured over the weekend will be a John's Pass Village Merchant Expo and live music.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 73 will sponsor a free boat safety check, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. June 22 at the Madeira Beach American Legion Post 273 at 600 American Legion Drive.

Boat owners should bring their vessels to the legion post to receive a free safety inspection.

Indian Rocks Beach

A Flag Day ceremony at noon June 14 will include an opportunity for people to properly dispose of American flags.

The ceremony originally was planned for Memorial Day but was moved because veterans organizations already had Memorial Day plans.

At the brief ceremony, the city will turn in old and tattered flags to VFW Post 10094, which later will incinerate the flags at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines. Because so many people have been flying flags since Sept. 11, Mayor Bob DiNicola said, many flags are tattered and need to be replaced.

Anyone who has an old flag can bring it to City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays until June 13. Nonresidents are invited to drop off flags and participate, City Manager Tom Brobeil said.

Redington Shores

The town's hurricane awareness meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Redington Shores Town Hall, 17425 Gulf Blvd.

Gulfport

The Gulfport Waterfront District offers live music and refreshments on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month at the Gulfport Artwalk. The walks will take place 6-10 p.m. Friday and June 15.

Free parking is available, as well as a free trolley service that takes visitors on a tour of historic Gulfport. For information, contact Tracey Jackson at 328-9790 or bcbacytrader@aol.com. The Gulfport Waterfront District is on Beach Boulevard.

St. Pete Beach

The St. Anthony's "Mole Patrol's" Health-to-Go mobile bus will be offering free skin care screenings to beachgoers, 9 a.m.-noon June 15 at 900 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach. Florida has the second-highest number of melanoma cases in the country and residents can expect a 1-in-5 chance of getting skin cancer. Physicians and nurse practitioners will examine exposed skin for suspicious moles or lesions. For more information, call 825-1111.

The featured artists for June at the Suntan Art Center are George Avery, a painter, and Dani Bergman, a clay artist.

The Suntan Art Center will host a reception honoring the artists, 2-5 p.m. Saturday. The center is at 3300 Gulf Blvd., directly south of the Don CeSar.

The Suntan Art Center is offering summer classes for children. The classes are two hours each and are offered in four-week sessions.

Children can choose between drawing, pottery, sculpture, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, pastels or crafts. The children's drama program is also being offered again this year.

For information, call 367-3818.

- Compiled by staff writer Amy Wimmer. To submit items to the beaches notebook, e-mail wimmer@sptimes.com.

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