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Connecting Clearwater


Published:   |   Updated: June 5, 2014 at 08:27 AM

Jolly to hear problems with medical care

— Congressman David Jolly is setting aside time so his staff can gauge the quality of the medical care local veterans are receiving.

Called a VA Intake Day, Jolly invites veterans who have had problems at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center at Bay Pines to come to his Seminole District Office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 17 to meet with his staff.

“With the growing Veterans Affairs controversy, it’s imperative that we hear directly from veterans about their experiences, wait times and the quality of service they’ve been getting at local facilities like Bay Pines Healthcare System,” Jolly said in a news release. “But unless with hear directly from veterans, we may never know if there are local problems, to what extent there are problems and what types of corrective actions need to be taken.

“In some cases, we hope by getting involved we can resolve the problems immediately. But this intake may also give us a clearer snapshot of what is truly happening locally.”

Jolly’s office is on St. Petersburg College’s Seminole campus at 9210 113th St.

Small business center to offer seminars

— The Florida Small Business Development Center, 13805 58th St. N., Suite 1-200, offers these seminars:

• “QuickBooks,” 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, $20. Learn to set up a chart of accounts, create invoices, pay bills, write checks and track customers. The presenter is the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents.

• “Doing Business with Pinellas County,” for existing businesses, free, noon to 2 p.m. June 24.

Also offered will be “How to Research and Write Your Business Plan,” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday 6/11 at The Greenhouse, 440 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg.

For more information, call (727) 453-7200.

Officer Walek to discuss pedestrian, bicycle enforcement

— The monthly Friday luncheon of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon will feature city police sergeant Michael Walek, who talk about pedestrian and bicycle safety.

The luncheon starts at 11:30 Friday at Acapulco Loco Authentic Mexican Cuisine, 2551 Drew St., Suite 104. To register for the luncheon, visit http://tinyurl.com/pnezlfu or visit www.clearwaterflorida.org.

The police department was awarded a $29,036 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to be used towards education and enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety. The funding allows police to establish programs to raise public awareness and add more manpower for enforcement.

Prune plants around street signs

— The city’s Traffic Engineering Division is asking residents to keep vegetation trimmed, especially at corners, signs, and sidewalks as the rainy season approaches.

Officials said that the overgrowth can cause sight-distance issues for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians who might not be able to see street signs because of overgrowth and property owners are responsible for maintenance of their plants’ overgrowth.

To report overgrowth in city rights-of-way or on city property, submit a ticket through the city’s Clearwater Connect app or visit www.myclearwater.com, click on “Clearwater Connect” on the left-hand column to create a new request. Then, select the category, “Street and Sidewalk Maintenance Concerns.”

Residents may call the Engineering Department at (727) 562-4750 for information.

Boating safety course offered by USCG

— The United Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-1 Clearwater is offering the “About Boating Safely” class on June 14 -15 at the Clearwater Police Department headquarters at 645 Pierce Street. The class will start promptly at 8 a.m.

The class is taught by certified USCGAUX instructors who can answer questions and share their experiences on local waters. Topics include: Boating Emergencies, Know Your Boat, Getting Underway, Navigating, Operating Your Boat Safely and Legal Requirements.

All graduates receive a “Florida State Certification Card.” Materials are $35. For information to register contact Manny Sosa, Flotilla Commander, at (727) 469-8895 or send an e-mail to auxboatingclass@gmail.com.

City launches new app

— The city launched a new Smartphone App called Clearwater Connect – it’s the city’s new, non-emergency customer gateway to a host of city services. This app is easy to use and transforms the way residents engage with their municipal government.

Residents can submit service requests directly to the city for such needs as reporting potholes, graffiti, broken street lights, noise complaints, dangerous conditions, etc.

Clearwater Connect makes accessing information easy and convenient while using the latest technology. Incoming service requests are automatically assigned to the appropriate city staff, boosting efficiency and keeping the process moving. Users are connected to the request the entire time. (Privately sent items are still open to Public Records laws.)

To get the new Clearwater Connect Smartphone App, down load it from the Apple App Store or get it on Google Play for Android devices. Search for “Clearwater Connect.”

There’s also a link at myclearwater.com for the non-mobile version.

To learn more, visit myclearwater.com or call Public Communications at (727) 562-4682.

Learn how city government works

CLEARWATER — The city is accepting applications for the next Clearwater Citizen’s Academy.

This ten-week program begins in September. Classes are held each Tuesday evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Clearwater residents, who are selected for this free program, meet at different locations each week to learn how different city departments function. Participants interact with city council members and staff.

Previous Citizen’s Academy graduates now serve on city boards, volunteer at events, and one is member of the current city council.

Applications for the program will be available beginning July 1 on the city’s website, myclearwater.com, or by mail by calling (727) 562-4681 to receive an application.

Drinking water quality report now available

— The city’s Public Utilities Department released its annual Water Quality Report, required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The report contains pertinent water quality information for 2013. It is available electronically at www.myclearwater.com/waterreport. Printed copies are available upon request by calling Public Utilities at (727) 562-4960. The report also is available in Spanish.

Pinellas County wins healthcare award

— Pinellas County government has won an award from UnitedHealthcare, which recognized 13 employers across the country for their commitment to improving the health and well-being of their employees.

Workplace wellness programs are one important tactic for improving the health and well-being of citizens in Florida, which ranked 33rd among the 50 states in the UnitedHealth Foundation’s 2013 America’s Health Rankings. Workplace wellness programs may:

• Reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

• Save an average $3 to $5 in health care costs for every $1 invested, according to the Wellness Councils of America.

Because this is the second time Pinellas County government has earned UnitedHealthcare’s Well Deserved Award, this year it received Golden Apple Award distinction. Only three other organizations nationwide received Golden Apple Awards this year.

Pinellas-Pasco names Ombudsman of Year

Lorraine Domanski has been honored as Ombudsman of the Year for the Pasco and North Pinellas Council of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

“Our volunteers are critical to the success of the program and are advocates for the seniors we serve every day,” Leigh Davis, state ombudsman, said in a news release.

Domanski joined the program as a volunteer in November 1999 and has served as an ombudsman for more than 14 years. She was selected by her peers for the recognition because she logged numerous volunteer hours, mentored ombudsman trainees, served as the district’s council chair and demonstrated a commitment to residents.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the health, safety, welfare and rights of individuals residing in long-term care settings. Volunteers work with residents, family members, administrators and other parties to resolve complaints or other issues.

For information, visit http://ombudsman.myflorida.com.

Tickets go on sale for Largo performances

— Tickets for the following performances at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, go on sale at 10 this morning:

• Vocalist, saxophonist Jessy J, 7:30 p.m. July 16, $16.50 to $31.50. Her song “Tequila Moon” hit the No.1 spot on the Billboard jazz chart. For details, see http://jessyj.com/.

• Singer-songwriter and composer Duncan Sheik, 8 p.m. Sept. 20, $19.50 to $34.50. This Grammy-nominated artist for “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance” is notable for his 1996 debut single “Barely Breathing.” Visit www.duncansheik.com/ for details.

Buy tickets online at LargoArts.com or call (727) 587-6793.

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