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Charter review board makes its suggestions

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 4, 2000


OLDSMAR -- The five-member board charged with reviewing the city charter presented its recommendations to City Council members at a meeting Tuesday.

The Charter Review Committee advised a handful of changes, including rewriting the charter so a simple majority of the City Council could hire and fire the city manager, city clerk and city attorney. The group also recommended that the three charter officials work under a five-year contract, which would force them to re-apply for their jobs every time their contract expires. Committee members also would like to make it easier for residents interested in running for City Council to qualify and to make future charter-review committees, which are appointed every three years, start meeting sooner during the three-year period.

City Council members thanked committee members for their time and said they would discuss the recommendations. Voters will have the final say on the proposed charter changes.

Poynter introduces new journalism program

High school students interested in pursuing a journalism career can discover what skills are needed for working in a diverse society at a new journalism program offered by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg.

"Our goal for the program is to increase the pool of talented young people, particularly young people of color, who will go on to become journalists," said program director Evelyn Hsu. As many as 50 people will begin the free, one-year program this summer with intensive training June 13-20.

During the school year, students will meet monthly after school. Poynter faculty and locally and nationally known professionals will teach the class, which includes the study of reporting, writing, design, graphics, photography and multimedia.

Participants also will learn about ethical decisionmaking and the importance of diversity in newsrooms and in news coverage. The program is open to students who will be in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Participants must complete an application, write a personal letter describing their interest in journalism and the program and submit a teacher-recommendation form.

For information, call (727) 821-9494, extension 311, or e-mail Hsu at ehsu@poynter.org. The application deadline is Monday.

Commission puts off restaurant decision

TARPON SPRINGS -- The City Commission has postponed votes relating to Johnnie'$ Sports Bar & Grill. At a meeting Tuesday night, representatives from Johnnie'$ requested more time to prepare remarks. The issue is scheduled for the City Commission's meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 30, at 324 E Pine St.

The owners of Johnnie'$ are seeking a beer and wine license. At Tuesday's meeting, Walter Fufidio, the city's director of planning and zoning, said the restaurant's plans for parking and occupancy were inadequate.

In addition, the Police Department wants the city attorney to have the authority to declare Johnnie'$ a nuisance business and have it shut down. Police officers plan to show a video at the commission meeting that they said shows drug deals and a robbery in front of Johnnie'$. The owners of Johnnie'$ say they're being singled out by the police.

Jazz musicians to play with high school band

TARPON SPRINGS -- Two professional jazz artists will join the Tarpon Springs High School Jazz Ensemble in concert at 7 p.m. Friday in the school auditorium.

Trumpeter J.B. Scott and vocalist Lisa Kelly will perform with the school's ensemble at the free concert. The school wants this concert to be the first in a series of yearly jazz concerts.

At 1 p.m. Friday, Scott and Kelly will give a free clinic in the auditorium. The clinic is open to the public.

For more information, call (727) 943-4049.

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