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Beaches notebook

By AMY WIMMER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 9, 2002

City, mayor sued over meeting

ST. PETE BEACH -- A St. Pete Beach man has sued the city and Mayor Ward Friszolowski, alleging the mayor prevented him from speaking during a public meeting.

The resident, Brian Lancaster, came to the City Commission with complaints about the placement of the Boca Ciega Isle subdivision sign that had been erected adjacent to his property. The sign was placed with a permit in 1994, then removed for refurbishment and reinstalled in a slightly different spot on the city right of way that is still close to Lancaster's property.

A transcript of the May 21 City Commission meeting shows that Lancaster tried several times to address the commission during portions of the meeting that Friszolowski had not yet opened for public comment. Lancaster tried at various points to interject his comments into the commission's discussion, with Friszolowski asking him several times to allow the commission to discuss the issue first.

At one point, Friszolowski cut off Lancaster, saying, "Hold on. Hold on just a second."

In the lawsuit, in which Lancaster represents himself, the resident accuses the city and the mayor of violating his right to due process. He also accuses the mayor of violating his oath of office.

City Attorney Jim Devito said he thought the lawsuit had little credibility.

* * *

The St. Anthony's "Mole Patrol's" Health-to-Go mobile bus will offer free skin care screenings to beachgoers, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday 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 center is at 3300 Gulf Blvd., directly south of the Don CeSar.

The Suntan Art Center is offering summer classes for children. Each class is two hours long and is offered in a four-week session.

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.

Madeira Beach

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.

* * *

The Madeira Beach Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer a four-night boating safety program beginning July 9. The course will cost $25 and will be held at the Flotilla Building, 299 Boca Ciega Drive. For information, call Len Dolney at 541-7965.

Indian Rocks Beach

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

The purpose of the ceremony is to honorably retire flags that have become worn and tattered. The service will conclude with handing over the flags to an Honor Guard. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10094 will later incinerate the flags at the Veterans Administration 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, 1507 Bay Palm Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; VFW Post 10094, 14268 Walsingham Road; or the Indian Rocks Beach Fire Station, 304 First St., until June 13. Nonresidents are invited to drop off flags and participate, City Manager Tom Brobeil said.

* * *

Applications are available for the Beach Art Center's summer Creative Arts Camp. The camp will run from Monday to July 26, except for the week of July 4.

Children ages 8-12 will explore American art history through activities such as drawing, painting, 3-D art, fiber art, sculpture and more.

The program runs from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays. The fee is $70 per week, including all materials and a snack. Children may attend one week or more.

In addition to the Creative Arts Camp, children's pottery classes will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Students will learn various hand-building techniques with clay. The fee is $24 per week, plus a $7 materials fee to cover clay, glazes and firing.

Call 596-4331 for applications, registration and information. Enrollment is limited. The Beach Art Center is at 1515 Bay Palm Blvd., next to City Hall, in Indian Rocks Beach.

Gulfport

The city of Gulfport will celebrate Independence Day with a variety of activities beginning at 10 a.m. July 4.

A sandcastle contest will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on the beach. At 4 p.m., food vendors will be set up and Radio Disney will be on hand with music, games and prizes on Shore Boulevard and by the playground.

The annual parade begins at 7 p.m. on Beach Boulevard, followed by a flag disposal ceremony with the American Legion 125 on the beach behind Gulfport Recreation Center. A fireworks display will begin at 9:15 p.m. Free. Call 893-1070.

* * *

The Gulfport Waterfront District offers live music and refreshments on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month at the Gulfport Artwalk. The next event this month will take place 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.

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

wimmer@sptimes.com.

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