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Local communities top 'Playful City USA' list

Local communities top 'Playful City USA' list

With only 1-in-5 children in the U.S. currently living within walking distance of a park or playground, 151 cities and towns, including New Port Richey, North Port, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor from the greater Tampa Bay region, earned recognition from national non-profit KaBOOM! as 2011 Playful City USA communities for their efforts to increase play opportunities for children.

Hailing from 38 states and one territory, the 151 Playful City USA honorees are making a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community. In doing so, some of the most innovative concepts and cost-effective programs are being developed in Playful City USA communities.

For the fourth consecutive year, Florida paced the nation with 20 Playful City USA communities. 

Locally, KaBOOM! selected New Port Richey, North Port, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor for their outstanding dedication to play. Here is what stood out in each location:

Don't miss: 'Take a Photo of a Farm Day'

Don't miss: 'Take a Photo of a Farm Day'

Dade City -- The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida is encouraging Floridians to grab their cameras and visit the nearest factory farm on "Take a Photo of a Farm Day." The first-ever event was inspired by legislation introduced by State Senator Jim Norman during the 2011 Florida legislative session that, as originally proposed, would have made it a crime to take photos or video of a farm. The bill passed the Florida Senate, but was not considered by the Florida House of Representatives.

According to Sen. Norman, the bill was introduced at the request of Wilton Simpson, the owner of a factory egg farm in Dade City. ARFF will hold a kick-off event at the entrance to Mr. Simpson's  farm on Saturday, August 27 at noon. The Simpson Farms are located at 21310 US Highway 98 in Dade City.

"Take a Photo of a Farm Day" is a lighthearted event with a serious purpose: to highlight an unconstitutional attack on First Amendment rights, and to increase public awareness of the suffering of millions of chickens and cows in factory farms in Florida.

New Port Richey announces boat ramp closure

New Port Richey announces boat ramp closure

New Port Richey, Florida - If you're trying to squeeze in those last few boat trips at the end of the summer, take note.

If you're planning an outing in September, you may want to carefully consider when you choose the day.

The City Boat Ramp parking lot will be closed Saturday, Sept. 17.

New Port Richey announces 'Neighborhood Pride' clean-up days

New Port Richey announces 'Neighborhood Pride' clean-up days

The City of New Port Richey will be holding a Neighborhood Pride Days cleanup event on Saturday, September 17 (along with River Cleanup Day) and on October 1,  from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Dumpsters will be placed at the following City properties:

  • The City Boat Ramp at Main Street and South River Road*
  • Frances Avenue Park off Louisiana Avenue
  • The Former Red Apple School site at Grand Boulevard and Marine Parkway
  • The City Parking Lot on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Adams Street

City residents requesting to drop off debris will be required to present a current Florida Driver’s License to the City employee assigned to the site.

Land O' Lakes pool may stay open

Land O' Lakes pool may stay open

Land O' Lakes, Florida - In July, a proposal was created to shut down the pools at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center and Veteran's Memorial Park due to lack of county funds to keep them running.

We've learned that there maybe hope for the pool to stay open at the Land O' Lakes Rec Center as a year-round swim club is eyeing the facility.

In addition, the sheriff's office recently returned more than $1 million of money not spent in last year's budget, to the general fund.

Pasco celebrates new Starkey Trail connection

Pasco celebrates new Starkey Trail connection

New Port Richey, Florida -- The Starkey Trail projects that connect Starkey Boulevard and Wilderness Park Road to the trailhead in Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park and the Suncoast Trail are now open to pedestrians and cyclists. 

There is an eight-foot asphalt Multi-Use Path along the east side of Starkey Boulevard from Alico Pass to Wilderness Park Road, an eight-foot concrete Multi-Use Path on the north side of Wilderness Park Road and a ten-foot asphalt Multi-Use Trail that meanders through the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park to the trailhead and Suncoast Trail. 

Tarpon & Pasco team up to ask for minimum wake zone on Anclote River

Tarpon & Pasco team up to ask for minimum wake zone on Anclote River

Tarpon Springs, Florida -- City leaders in Tarpon Springs plan to team with Pasco County to ask the state to set up a "slow speed minimum wake zone" for a section of the Anclote River.

At Tuesday's City Commission meeting, Tarpon City Police detailed an ordinance being worked on for the mouth of the Anclote River--where it meets the Gulf of Mexico.

If approved, the zone would affect the river between Marker 32  in the city limits to the Pasco County line near Marker 19.  Pasco County would extend the zone to 300 yards west of Marker 17.