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Archive for the ‘Clearwater’ Category

The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions presents a new and unique design for civic dialog with its first Speed Date Your Local Leaders program on Dec. 3. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Clearwater Campus, Room ES-104. The event is free and open to the public, but participants are required to register in advance.

SPC’s policy institute is dedicated to elevating civic engagement through public forums that offer in-depth exploration of today’s critical issues. The Speed Date format gives community members a special way to connect with community leaders in an informal setting.

This is an opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from government, business, not-for-profit and education arenas. The leaders will rotate from table to table every seven minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have prompted a phone call, email or public testimony.

Eighteen local leaders have committed to participating. They are:

  • Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos
  • Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne
  • Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter
  • SPC Clearwater Provost Dr. Stan Vittetoe
  • Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce President Bob Clifford
  • TechData Director of Human Resources Marian Morlock
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal Publisher Bridgette Bello
  • JWB Director of Public Policy Debra Prewitt
  • AARP Florida Associate State Director of Advocacy Laura Cantwell
  • Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard
  • Pinellas Education Foundation Vice President of Development Robin McGowan
  • Pinellas Sports Commission Director Kevin Smith
  • Platinum Bank Senior Executive Vice President James Ray
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium Chief Operating Officer Frank Dame
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair John Morroni
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners Member Janet Long
  • Morton Plant Mease Hospital Foundation President & CEO Ernestine Bean
  • Pinellas County Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. William Corbett.

Speed Date Your Local Leaders is modeled after a program by the same name offered by the Institute’s partner organization, The Village Square Tallahassee. And following the Tallahassee template, free pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

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March, Rafael Rivera, Mohammed Shaker, Chris Clark.

Pictured above are: Brenton David, Karen Donovan, Jacob Lurvey, David Creighton, Jeffrey Schultz,Jason Hoven, Madeline Rondo,Kristina Phillips, Jeff Thomas, Representative David Jolly, Bill Fleming, Earnest Gant, David Weatherspoon, Tina March, Rafael Rivera, Mohammed Shaker, Chris Clark.

When the new Pinellas Bayway Bridge opened Oct. 17, members of St. Petersburg College’s Student Veterans Association (SVA) and Males Achieving Excellence (MAX) were on hand as volunteers. Festivities included a 5K run, a paddle board flotilla, a pool party, a beach party and a ceremonial lighting of the bridge.

The SVA and MAX volunteers helped set up the beach bash, provided water at the aid stations for the runners, helped with traffic flow, distributed safety lights to the spectators and moved the equipment from the starting line to the finish line before and after race. The race was so successful that plans are already in the works to do it again next year.

The activities were captured by volunteer photographer Charlie Harris, an SVA member from the Clearwater Campus. Check out all the photos in the SVA Facebook gallery.

Fees from the race topped $15,000 and were donated to the Associated Marine Institute Kids, a program that supports troubled children, and to Tampa BayWatch Marine, an organization that protects and restores the Tampa Bay estuaries.

Article courtesy of Rafael Rivera Nieves, CPO, USCG, (ret.)

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ZalupskiAwards

Nearly 700 people attended the annual Dr. Vilma Fernandez-Zalupski Academic Excellence Awards ceremony on the Clearwater Campus on Oct. 23.

The ceremony recognizes the academic success of Latino high school students who have a grade point average of 3.0 and higher. Six hundred twenty students were eligible for the award. Of those, nearly 200 attended with their family members.

“We had a phenomenal community turn-out and the event was a huge success,” said Student Support Advisor Joe Benavides.

The annual awards honor Fernandez-Zalupski, the first woman in Florida to serve as a community college provost. A native of Ybor City, she worked as provost of the Clearwater Campus for 16 years before retiring in 1995.

As provost, Fernandez-Zalupski helped develop the first International Center and Women on the Way, a program that guides women through the college experience. The Tampa Hispanic Heritage Foundation for outstanding service to education has honored her.

The Master of Ceremonies was Robin Gomez, auditor and Hispanic-Latino Liaison for the City of Clearwater. The keynote speakers were: Saby E. Guidicelli, Workforce Manager/Human Resources, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County; Maria Hernandez, parent of student Teresa Hernandez; and Jose Godinez-Samperio, Gulf Coast Legal Services – Law Graduate, Pending Bar Admission. Godinez-Samperio will become the first undocumented immigrant admitted to the Florida Bar on Nov. 20.

 

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St. Petersburg College will celebrate the academic success of Latino students who have a grade point average of 3.0 and higher during the Vilma Fernandez-Zalupski Academic Excellence Awards ceremony. The ceremony will be:

6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23
Arts Auditorium
Clearwater Campus

About 150 high school students from Tarpon Springs and Clearwater are expected to attend the event, which honors Fernandez-Zalupski, the first woman in Florida to serve as a community college provost. A native of Ybor City, she worked as provost of the Clearwater Campus for 16 years before retiring in 1995.

As provost, Fernandez-Zalupski helped develop the first International Center and Women on the Way, a program that guides women through the college experience. The Tampa Hispanic Heritage Foundation for outstanding service to education has honored her.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event will be Robin Gomez, auditor and Hispanic-Latino Liaison for the City of Clearwater. Saby E. Guidicelli, Workforce Manager/Human Resources, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County will give the keynote address.

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Civics education and engagement are a top priority at St. Petersburg College.

On Oct. 10-11, the Civics Club at the Clearwater Campus will host the Second Annual Florida Model Legislature event, which gives students hands-on experience in creating and passing legislation. So far, students have drafted 16 bills dealing with public policy issues that will move through their lawmaking process.

“The goal of the Model Legislature is to bring students together for civic dialogue and learning,” said Suzanne Preston, Social Sciences Professor and Civics Club Advisor on the Clearwater Campus.

The event is open to all SPC students to help them develop civic leadership and awareness of local and state issues, Preston said. They can then become better informed citizens and stronger participants in their communities, she added.model-lex

More than 80 students from several campuses participated in the inaugural event last year. Preston said the event let students put on their “legislative hats,” roll up their sleeves, and debate, negotiate and compromise on Florida’s public policy dilemmas, learning more about themselves and their community.

“This event teaches students how government operates, and creates an excitement in them when they see what is actually going on in the legislature and how it effects them in real life,” said Andrew Malyj, former president of the SGA at the campus.

Civics Club members led the initiative to bring this event to the college after members of the Clearwater Student Government Association traveled to Tallahassee in Spring 2013 to participate in a Model Legislature. The students were inspired by the event and proposed bringing a similar experience home to their campus so more SPC students could benefit from the experience.

“Student leadership on the Clearwater Campus brought this initiative to the Clearwater Campus and the Clearwater SGA funded it both years,” Preston said.

Workshops were held this week leading up to the two-day event to encourage students from across the college’s 11 learning sites to participate. The workshops teach students how to draft legislation, participate in the formal debate processes and improve civic dialogue through collaboration.

Civics Club members, as well as past Model Legislature participants, will play leadership roles in this year’s event. Social and Behavioral Science faculty will also lend their support.

“Students are left with a lifelong understanding of the legislative process and how to engage as a citizen leader,” said Tara Newsom, Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Visit the SPC Model Legislature website for more information about the event.

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The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College will present the final forum in a three-part series on Pinellas County’s transit sales tax referendum, this time in the North County area. The forum, titled “Dealing with Gridlock: Is there a Light Rail in Pinellas County’s Future,” will be held:

6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30
SPC Clearwater Campus ES 104
2465 Drew St.

As have the two previous programs on this issue, held at SPC’s Midtown Center and Seminole Campus, this forum will examine the pros and cons of a referendum on the November ballot that would raise the sales tax rate by one cent per dollar of spending, from 7 to 8 cents, to finance improvements to the Pinellas County public transportation system.

The transit tax proposal, if approved by more than 50 percent of voters, would affect every Pinellas County taxpayer whenever they purchase goods subject to the sales tax. It has become one of the most hotly debated local issues of the 2014 election season, perhaps second only to a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The forum will open with pro-con presentations on the proposal by advocates for and against passage. Speaking for the amendment will be Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala. Speaking against will be Barbara Haselden, campaign manager and spokesperson for No Tax for Tracks, a citizens group which opposes the proposal.

The final portion of the program will be devoted to answering questions from the audience. Moderating the debate will Dr. Nicholas Manias, Professor of Applied Ethics at SPC.

The proposed tax increase would authorize a one-cent sales tax increase for 30 years, which would raise a projected $130 million per year. The tax hike would be partially offset by eliminating the current .75-mill property tax for transit that brings in $32 million. For that revenue stream, PSTA promises a 65 percent increase in bus service, a Bus Rapid Transit line, that is, dedicated bus lanes, on major corridors; and, eventually, a 24-mile light rail line that would roughly follow the I-275 corridor north to the Gateway area, then head west along Ulmerton/Roosevelt Road/East and West Bay Blvd. to downtown Clearwater.

Advance registration is requested.

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Bridgette Bello

Bridgette Bello

St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees member Bridgette Bello will address SPC Women on the Way meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Clearwater Campus, ES-104.

Publisher of the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Bello was named Business Woman of the Year in 2011 by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. Bello will introduce Bizwomen.com, a subsidiary of the Tampa Bay Business Journal that provides women with information and inspiration.

The meeting is open to SPC students, faculty, staff and the community.

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