Tampa Bay columnists
Mary Jo Melone
World & Nation
AP The Wire
Comics & Games
Home & Garden
Advertise with the Times
Chamber recognizes businesses
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 7, 2000
The Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce recognized its small, medium-sized and large businesses of the year at a chamber breakfast Thursday.
Sutherland Crossing Resort, a time-share resort in Crystal Beach, was named the Small Business of the Year. Opened in 1983, the resort is marketed as an area with eco-tourism opportunities and heritage, said Laurie Meier, a place where "the pines meet the palms."
"It's such a nice feeling to know we're providing more than a place to stay," she said.
Oliveri Architects Inc. of Palm Harbor was named the medium-sized business of the year. The firm, on U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor since 1992, mostly designs commercial and high-end residential buildings, said Joseph Oliveri, the firm's principal architect and a Palm Harbor resident.
Florin, Roebig & Walker, a law firm on Alderman Road in Palm Harbor, was named the large business of the year.
The 15-year-old firm moved to Alderman road in February. The firm specializes in trial work, injury cases and employment and medical malpractice law, said partner Mike Walker.
All will now be eligible to compete for honors as the Upper Pinellas Business of the Year.
Oldsmar gathers for day of prayer
Over the noise of the wind and the flapping of a flag came the Rev. Mike Moore's voice booming over the loudspeaker: "It's a great day to pray."
About 60 people bowed their heads and did just that during a National Day of Prayer session in front of City Hall on Thursday.
Oldsmar was one of four Pinellas communities that participated in the event, according to Moore, who led this city's one-hour session. The day is designed to offer prayers for just about everyone. They prayed for the community and its leaders, for racial reconciliation, marriages, family, youth and clergy.
"It's not about our streets or our buildings, oh God, it's about our people," Moore said to the assembled people. Vicki Dean sang the national anthem, Oldsmar Vice Mayor and council member Ed Manny read Scripture, the Rev. Sharon Patch led a prayer for local and state government, City Manager Bruce Haddock said a prayer for national leaders, the Rev. Ed Blough prayed for local businesses, the Rev. Mike Von Moss said a prayer for clergy, the Rev. Nate Ramsey led a prayer for revival, and the Rev. Barry Sullivan prayed for parents and children.
"I think the (Prayer Day) is a good idea," said Haddock. "The United States was founded on godly principles. It's part of our heritage, a tradition we need to pass on to our children."
Haddock's child, Clay, 12, came to the ceremony. Clay is home-schooled, so he did not miss any classes to attend.
"I prayed that the house will be going good," Clay said. "We're moving into a new house."
It was hot sitting in the sun, so Pat Raynor, secretary at the Fire Department, moved to a bench in the shade.
"I think the Lord wanted me to be on my knees," Raynor said. "I got three splinters on that bench."
Brenda Robinson, director of member services and special events at the Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce, came to support her pastor, Von Moss of First Baptist Church of Safety Harbor.
"We don't have a Prayer Day in Safety Harbor," Robinson said. "This represented Oldsmar very well."
Von Moss prayed for the men and women of the cloth.
"In some ways I think there are a lot of people in the ministry that are struggling; they aren't as valued. They feel burned out," he said. "They ask themselves, "What did I build today? What did I change?' "
Rita Diehl, who oversees marketing and sales for the chamber, said she came because the event brought people together.
"That's the world I want to live in," Diehl said.
After the preachers and city officials were finished speaking, the audience was asked to form a circle, hold hands and sing America the Beautiful. "Every day since I've been saved four years ago I've been attending a National Day of Prayer function," said Lynn Coffey of Palm Harbor. "I think it's important that we stand in prayer for our nation."
City Manager Haddock thought the first-ever event in Oldsmar was productive.
"I believe in prayers. I believe God hears prayers and answers prayers," he said. "There will be results from the prayers offered here today."
Library chooses advisory board
The East Lake Community Library, with a little help from its Friends, has selected a five-member advisory board to help make sure the community's needs for library services are met.
The members hail from various areas of the community and have diverse backgrounds.
They are Vic Barthelemy, manager of Publix at Brooker Creek; Tracy LeFebvre, a teacher at Cypress Woods Elementary School; Norman Jeppeson, library volunteer; Deborah Reker, East Lake resident; and Judy Nobles, past president of the Friends of the East Lake Community Library who was instrumental in the library's creation.
After an advertisement seeking board members was placed, the staff was overwhelmed with applications, according to Chris Marszalek, library director.
The board's job is to point the library in the right direction and decide on services the community wants and needs.
The board will offer its recommendations to the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency, an appointed board that oversees the Palm Harbor library and recreation services. The new East Lake library is a branch of the Palm Harbor Library.
The new advisory board's first meeting on May 18 will be strictly organizational. Nobles said that while all the meetings will be open to the public, residents might want to skip that one.
"It might be a bit boring for them," Nobles said.
Scrimmage will give season sneak preview
The East Lake High School Eagles will play the annual Blue-Silver intrasquad scrimmage at 6 p.m. May 18 at East Lake High.
There is no admission charge. Refreshments will be available. All proceeds will go toward the football booster club.
According to organizers, this is a golden opportunity to get a pre-season peek at the team as it prepares for the 2000 season.
Incoming freshmen are encouraged to attend and meet the coaches, players and parents.
Care Fair to help parents prepare for school year
To help prepare children for the upcoming school year, the Juvenile Welfare Board North County Council and Oldsmar Elementary School will host the annual Care Fair 2000.
Parents will find the event to be a one-stop shopping opportunity for everything from school registration to immunizations. It will be from 3 to 6 p.m. May 19 in the library of Oldsmar Elementary School, 302 Dartmouth Ave.
It is free.
Health professionals will provide school physicals, shots, scoliosis screenings and WIC nutrition information.
There will be tables where parents can learn about Florida Kid Care insurance, coordinated child care, Medicaid and Medikids, health care services, YMCA programs, Oldsmar Parks and Recreation department programs, and the St. Petersburg Junior College for Kids.
Pinellas County Head Start, Family Service Centers, Pinellas Cares Helpline and Total Family Strategy will all have information tables on site.
And there is something fun for the kids: The Clearwater Aquarium is to set up a portable touch tank filled with sea urchins, hermit crabs and sea butterflies among other exotic water creatures.
Parents are urged to bring their child's immunization records and birth certificate. Middle school students are also invited for free immunizations.
Tae kwon do offered at rec center for all ages
The Tarpon Springs Recreation Department is offering a class in tae kwon do at 10 a.m. Saturdays in the Craig Park Recreation Center. The cost is $25 a month for residents or $28 for non-residents. The class is for adults and children. The instructor is Rick Butcher. A one-time fee of $40 is required to purchase a uniform. Call (727) 942-5628 for more information.
© St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.