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                                                                             GET CONNECTED
    POINTS OF                                   The official newsletter of the North County Connection Center
                                  V O L U M E     4 ,   I S S U E   1 2                                 D E C E M B E R     2 0 0 7
•      DECEMBER 24,
       25, 31 AND

                               Take the Money. You’ve Earned It!
       JANUARY 1
       BE CLOSED IN        EARN IT                              money for your family. Wacho-      tax assistance throughout the tax
                           Did you work in 2007 and earn        via Bank will offer the opportu-   filing season.
       NEW YEARS.          less than $39,783? You may be        nity to open free checking ac-     GROW IT
                           eligible for the Earned Income       counts. Your tax refund can be     Learn about asset building oppor-
                           Tax Credit (EITC) based on your      electronically filed and direct    tunities at the free VITA site. Let
                           earnings, filing status and num-                                        your EITC money work for you.
                           ber of qualifying children. EITC                                        The Wealth Building Coalition of
                           gives families and individuals                                          Pinellas County promotes the
                           more disposable income to pay                                           EITC and provides free tax prepa-
                           bills, purchase goods and ser-                                          ration for low- and moderate-
                           vices or save for a major invest-                                       income wage earners to ensure
                           ment, such as a new home. Many                                          eligible working families know
    INSIDE THIS            people do not know about the                                            how and where to file. The
    ISSUE:                 credit. Eligible taxpayers who                                          Wealth Building Coalition/
                           have not claimed EITC could file                                        Pinellas Prosperity Campaign is
                           for three previous years.                                               supported by JWB Children’s
    Project Storm      2
                           KEEP IT                                                                 Services Council of Pinellas
                           Not certain if you qualify for       deposited, and you will receive    County, United Way of Tampa
                           EITC? Call Volunteer Tax As-         your tax refund in approxi-        Bay, Internal Revenue Service,
    Driver’s License   2   sistance (VITA) locations. This      mately 10 days to two weeks.       and Pinellas County Government.
    Emergency Con-         is a FREE program. IRS certified     The VITA program will begin        North County locations: Clear-
    tact Information       preparers will help you process      offering free tax preparation      water Neighborhood Housing
                           and e-file your taxes. Don’t pay     services throughout Pinellas       Services 727-442-4155; High
    Pinellas 18        2   expensive tax preparation or         County in mid or late January      Point YMCA 727-507-9622;
    Moving Up
                           refund loan fees. Keep the           2008 and continue to provide       Union Academy 727-934-5881.
    Weekly Update      3

    Community          4    Presidential Primary Just Around Corner
                           By Deborah Clark, Pinellas                                              when available.
                           County Supervisor of Elections                                          Any registered voter may vote by
                                                                                                   mail in any election for which he/
                           Florida legislators changed the
                                                                                                   she is eligible to vote. To request
                           date of the Presidential Prefer-
                                                                                                   a ballot by mail, call (727) 464-
                           ence Primary during their 2007
                                                                                                   6788. To change your political
                           session from the second Tues-
                                                                                                   party affiliation; or to update your
                           day in March to the last Tuesday
                                                               statewide property tax referen-     name, address or signature, call
                           in January – which is just
                                                               dum and a school board referen-     (727) 464-6108 or go to
                           around the corner. Democrats
                                                               dum, which are open to all regis- for more
                           and Republicans may vote for
                                                               tered voters. Municipal elections   information and downloadable
                           candidates for their registered
                                                               are scheduled for Clearwater,       forms.
                           political parties on January 29,
                                                               Safety Harbor and Gulfport; and     Contact Pinellas County Supervi-
                           2008. The deadline to change
                                                               referendums will be held in         sor of Elections Deborah Clark at
                           your political party affiliation
                                                               South Pasadena and Redington        (727) 464-6108 or
                           for the presidential primary is
                                                               Shores. Sample ballots and poll- Go to
                           December 31, 2007. The Janu-
                                                               ing place information will be for more
                           ary 29 ballot will also include a
                                                               posted at      information.
PAGE   2

              Project Storm Story Gains Momentum
                                                local news media; see Survived      form to tell us what happened.
           Since the launch of Project          a hurricane? Tell county your       You can also still send your
           Storm Story on Oct. 1, there has     story, St. Petersburg Times, Oct.   stories to Pinellas County by:
           been a great deal of interest in     14 editorial, and Writers of the    Mail
                                 this pro-      Storms, St. Petersburg Times,       Operation Storm Story
                                 gram. Sto-     Oct. 1. Do you have a story to      333 Chestnut Street
                                 ries have      share to help Pinellas County       Clearwater, FL 33756
                                 been re-       educate its citizens? Knowing       E-mail: Click here
                                 ceived from    that experience is the best         Please include the words Pro-
                                 people who     teacher, emergency managers         ject Storm Story in the subject
                                 survived       want to get these personal ac-      line.
                                 hurricanes     counts to use in future hurricane   Fax: Fax the story to (727)
           Katrina (2005), Ivan (2004),         educational materials. We have      464-4432
           Marilyn (1995), Flora                made it easier than ever to sub-    Please note that by submitting
           (1963)...even the Great New          mit your Storm Story. Visit our     your storm information, Pinel-
           England Express that made land-      redesigned web page at              las County reserves the right to
           fall in 1938! Storm Story has       use your name and account in
           also caught the attention of the     stories.htm and use our fillable    future hurricane educational

                                         In Case of Emergency

                 The state of Florida now offers     Just visit https://                 blocked in accordance with the
                 a very useful feature for li-      Driver Privacy Protection Act
                 censed drivers. Now, drivers        findcustomer, enter your            (DPPA). Visit
                 can list two emergency con-         driver’s license number and birth
                 tacts electronically, and the       date. From there, you can enter     DPPAInfo.html to read more
                 information can be retrieved        the names and contact informa-      about the DPPA.
                 by law enforcement in case of       tion for up to two emergency
                 an accident or other emer-          contacts, which can save crucial
                 gency. This service was intro-      time if it ever becomes necessary
                 duced after a teenage girl was      to contact family members or
                 killed in a car crash and it took   other loved ones. Your personal
                 more than five hours to locate      information in Florida motor
                 her mother.                         vehicle and driver records is

                     County Government Television Moving Up
                                                     simulcast on Bright House           your TV is not so equipped, you
                                                     channels 18 and 622, but as of      can get a special box for $1 a
                                                     December 11, the move will be       month from Bright House Net-
                                                     permanent. Program Bright           works Customer Service at
                                                     House channel 622 as one of         (727) 329-5020.
                                                     your favorite channels. Bright
                                                     House customers must have a         Visit Pinellas 18 on the Web at
                 Pinellas 18 is moving to chan-
                                                     digital cable box or TV with
                 nel 622 on Bright House ca-
                                                     digital receiver to watch. If
                 ble! Right now, Pinellas 18 is

1.) 1 December, Saturday Pinellas County’s Market in the Park at Park, 12520 Ulmerton Rd. in Largo from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00
p.m., offers free children’s seasonal craft activities to keep the holiday spirits burning bright. Shop for healthy, farm-fresh, local
produce and much more at the Market. For adults, Nan Jensen, Pinellas County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Pro-
gram Leader, presents a free food demonstration about cooking with citrus. For more information, call (727) 582-2100 or visit or
2.) 1 December, Saturday Trees & Traditions at Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N. in Largo from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Kick off
the holiday season at Heritage Village with multicultural dance performances by member groups of SPIFFS, the St. Petersburg
International Folk Fair Society. View holiday trees decorated in colorful global themes in the Visitor Center Galleries as well as
Hanukkah and Kwanzaa displays. Free. For more information, call (727) 582-2123 or visit
3.) 1 December, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Holiday Parade Ulmer Park, 301 West Bay Drive, Largo. Start the holi-
days right with a Parade! See local businesses, non-profit groups, bands, floats, clowns and others celebrating with traditions from
all over the world. The parade will begin at the corner of 6th St. SW and W. Bay Drive and end at Largo Central Park just in time
for the Stroll in Largo Central Park. For more information, Charla Lucas tel: (727) 587-6740 ext. 5014
4.) Now and continuing through Thursday, Jan. 3 Illuminated Gardens at Florida Botanical Gardens at Florida Botanical
Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo. Enjoy e from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Stroll through the beautiful Florida Botanical Gardens
and marvel at Pinellas County’s premier holiday light event with more than 425,000 lights. Call (727) 582-2100.
5.) 1 December, Saturday Climb St. Pete at 7:00 a.m. at the Bank of America Tower One Progress Plaza 200 Central Ave. Saint
Petersburg. Join the American Lung Association of Florida and climb 28 floors to help the fight against lung cancer.
6.) 1 December, Saturday Ride and Run With the Stars at Fort Desoto Park 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Saint Petersburg.
7.) 1 December, Saturday Snowfest 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Straub Park 400 Bayshore Dr. N.E. Saint Petersburg. Featuring
real snow and ice skating to celebrate the holidays. 727-892-5874.
8.) 1-2 December, Saturday and Sunday St. Pete Beach Craft Festival 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days along Corey Avenue
in St. Pete Beach. Free admission.
9.) 7 – 8, December, Friday and Saturday The Chocolate Nutcracker Mahaffey Theater at Progress Energy Center, 400 1st
St. S., St. Petersburg. The Chocolate Nutcracker tells the story of a little girl and her magical nutcracker journey through a multi-
cultural, multiethnic, joyous celebration of dance and music. For tickets, call (727) 892-5767.
10.) 8 December, Saturday St. Pete Beach Lighted Boat Parade Merry Pier, St. Pete Beach, 801 Pass-A-Grille Way, St. Pete
Beach. This long parade starts at the historic Merry Pier in the Pass-A-Grille section of St. Pete Beach and runs north past the Don
CeSar to the tip of the island. The parade starts at 6:00 p.m. and plenty of space is available for parade watching at the Merry Pier.
For more information, call (727) 363-9245.
11.) 8 December, Saturday Picture Your Pet with Mrs. Claus at Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road in
Largo from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Get photos taken with favorite family pets in grand holiday style. A $5 donation per photo will go
directly to the Animal Welfare Trust Fund, which is used for the special needs of animals at the shelter and adoption center. On
that day, Animal Services will offer special holiday gift rates of $20 adoptions and $1 rabies shots. For more information, call
(727) 453-3065.
12.) 7 December, Friday Friday Nights and Garden Lights from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmer-
ton Road in Largo. Free music and refreshments will be offered. The traditional Children’s Parade of Wings takes flight, but chil-
dren must call (727) 582-2247 to sign-up. Visits with Mother Nature are planned. For a suggested $5 donation, children get a
photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Donations will be used to support the Florida Botanical Gardens.
13.) 8 December, Saturday 35th Annual Pinellas Park Holiday Parade at 6:00 p.m. All entries will be illuminated and deco-
rated in a Dance To The Music motif. The parade will begin on Park Boulevard at 58th Street by the railroad tracks and proceed
east down Park Boulevard towards 40th Street. The parade will feature bands, floats, clowns, car units, marching units, equestrian
units and of course, Santa Claus. Parade hotline (727) 547-8050 or visit
                                        County Connection Center
                     Helping Neighborhoods in North County

Office Relocation Update                      known by submitting their name, ad-        Communities of Pinellas
The North County Connection Center            dress, phone number, e-mail address        Pinellas County Economic Develop-
Office will remain at its current loca-       (if available) and a brief bio to the      ment recently launched Communities
tion, for the time being. We look for-        below address.                             of Pinellas as a new tool to further
ward to continue serving you at 2431          Woodfield Nominating Committee             redevelopment in Pinellas County.
Tampa Rd. until our moving plans are          c/o Integrity Association Management       The booklet provides information
finalized. The Utilities Department will      701 Enterprise Rd. E., Ste. 704            about Pinellas and its communities,
cease operations out of this branch of-       Safety Harbor, FL 34695                    including demographics, redevelop-
fice as of December 1, 2007. Utility          Legislative Delegation to Hold Pub-        ment projects and opportunities in
Department staff will be available to         lic Hearing                                each community. Click Here to view
                                                                                         and download a copy. Other helpful
serve you at their offices at 14 S. Fort      The Pinellas County Legislative Dele-
                                                                                         Economic Development information
Harrison in downtown Clearwater. Con-         gation held its first Public Hearing on
                                                                                         can be found here.
tact Pinellas County Utilities at (727)       Thursday, November 15 at the Dr.           Don’t Trash the Holidays!
464-4000 for quick and easy bill pay-         William E. Hale Senior Activity Cen-       This year, fill your
ment options or click here for more           ter in Dunedin to discuss local bills,     heart with holiday
information.                                  hear community budget issue requests       spirit instead of filling
Woodfield Community Association               and to elect a new delegation chair and    your trash can. The
Looking for Candidates                        vice chair. The second public hearing      holiday season gener-
There will be three vacancies on the          will be held on Thursday, January 3,       ates 25 percent more
Board of Directors for the Woodfield          2008, 9:00 a.m. to noon, at The Hick-      trash than any other
Community Association, Inc. Each va-          man Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulf-      time of year! Check
cancy will be for a two year term             port. On this date, final action will be   out these tips for easy ways to re-
(2008-09). Anyone interested in being a       taken on all local bills. Click Here for   duce, reuse, and recycle during
candidate must make their intentions          Speaking and Appropriations info.          the holidays. Click here for tips.

   North County Connection Center Staff: (Left to
     right) Courtney Orr, Manager, and Janet
    Donegan, Community Planning Technician
                                                                                  Palm Harbor Library
  2431 Tampa Rd.
  Palm Harbor, FL 34684

  Phone: 727-453-3603
  Fax: 727-793-2302
                                                                               Weedon Island and
                                                                               Brooker Creek Reserve

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