DIVISION OF PINELLAS
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!
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;
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- www.votepinellas.com 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- email@example.com. Go to
December 31, 2007. The Janu-
ing place information will be www.votepinellas.com for more
ary 29 ballot will also include a
posted at www.votepinellas.com information.
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 www.pinellascounty.org/forms/ 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- www6.hsmv.state.fl.us/dlcheck/ Driver Privacy Protection Act
censed drivers. Now, drivers findcustomer, enter your (DPPA). Visit
can list two emergency con- driver’s license number and birth www.hsmv.state.fl.us/ddl/
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 www.pinellascounty.org/tv_18
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
www.pinellascounty.org/events or http://pinellas.ifas.ufl.edu/market/index.html.
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 www.pinellascounty.org/Heritage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. www.artfestival.com
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
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 http://www.pinellasparkholidayparade.com/.
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
Weedon Island and
Brooker Creek Reserve