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Headlines through the years

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

Times Staff Writer
Published June 6, 2004

May 27, 1947: Official predicts airlines to use Pinellas airport

CLEARWATER - Following his return from a Washington conference with federal aeronautical officials, county aviation director Dr. James Mooney predicted this morning that regular passenger flights will be inaugurated by both Eastern and Delta airlines in and out of Pinellas master airport by early fall.

Opposition by National Airlines to an application by Eastern to route planes through Pinellas airport, Dr. Mooney said, is expected to be ironed out by mutual agreement between the competing systems.

Negotiations for the addition of the Delta line to the group using Pinellas airport, Dr. Mooney said, will be worked out by next summer with the result that the county field will be given three large commercial airlines.

"I am sure that Eastern and Delta will be operating regularly scheduled passenger flights using DC4s by the beginning of the next tourist season," Dr. Mooney stated.

May 31, 1947: Legislation urged to protect Tarpon Springs sponge industry

TARPON SPRINGS - Depletion of sponge beds is threatening the big sponge industry of this Greek community, N.G. Arfaras, former president of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange, said yesterday in urging stricter laws against harvesting undersized sponges.

Sponge areas in the Gulf of Mexico have been damaged by hurricanes, blight and indiscriminate picking of young sponges and must be given time to recover, Arfaras said.

Present laws against harvesting small sponges are too loosely drawn to be enforced and "the only chance the industry has for survival" is enactment of strong legislation against this practice, he said.

May 27, 1947: Clearwater Beach landlords warned against gouging

CLEARWATER - City Commissioner Harry D. Sargeant, acting in his official capacity as president of the local real estate board, warned property owners in the Clearwater area that rent-gouging, which has been reported on Clearwater Beach after the lifting of federal ceilings on the Pinellas Gulf Beaches, will mean renewed controls for the area.

"I hope these complaints of skyrocketing rents are only sporadic and do not reflect a general trend," Commissioner Sargeant declared, "because I am afraid such practice will lead to the restoration of ceilings just at a time when so many of us felt the lifting of controls would be followed by orderly but not excessive increases."

Meanwhile, the tenant of a Clearwater Beach trailer park said the rent for his trailer parking space had been hiked 300 percent since March 1, with the biggest raise of about 200 percent contained in a notice received from the landlord Saturday morning.

Another tenant of the same park informed Commissioner Sargeant that he is refusing to pay the increase and is moving his trailer to a park outside the Clearwater city limits.

Still another Clearwater Beach apartment operator was reported to have distributed notices of rent increases from 150 to 300 percent. The tenant of a furnished home on Clearwater Beach, consisting of one bedroom and combination living-dining room, has been notified of an increase from $75 per month to $125, effective June 1.

All these complaints have been forwarded to the federal rent control bureau office in St. Petersburg, where kicks from other sections of the Pinellas Gulf Beaches also are being filed.

- Theresa Blackwell compiles the history column. She can be reached at 727 445-4229 or

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