Spend a little time ‘off the grid’ — and have some fun

Going off the grid can be therapeutic. So can browsing through antique and home decor stores, boutiques, and wine and cheese shops. Or so I tell myself when I decide to head to stretches of two roads with shops I like that are close to each other in Largo, Clearwater and Belleair Bluffs, in an area north of West Bay Drive in Pinellas County. I turn off my cellphone, so I can shop totally … [Read more...]

Incentive money brings more jobs to Pasco

Pasco County commissioners approved an incentive payment of $141,000 to Meopta U.S.A, an optics manufacturer bringing nearly 50 new jobs to the county. The company is relocating its headquarters from Long Island, New York, to 7826 Photonics Drive, in Trinity. Meopta officials plan to renovate a building formerly occupied by another optics manufacturer, VLOC, Inc. That company closed in … [Read more...]

If you enjoy pottery, this tour is for you

People who are drawn to pottery are naturally attracted to the Tampa Tour De Clay, said Kim Wellman, of Wellman & Welsch Pottery in Lutz. This tour offers so much more than the chance to add some unique pottery pieces to your collection, said Wellman, whose studio is one of four stops on the tour. It also offers provides a closer look at what goes into the creation of ceramic … [Read more...]

There’s no shortage of holiday cheer here

The Thanksgiving turkey and all of the fixins’ — and all of the leftovers — are gone. Lucky for you, you’ve got a whole month of holiday happenings available for your enjoyment. Here’s a look at just some of the free and low-cost options being offered in the The Laker/Lutz News coverage area, with a few other regional events tossed in that we thought would give you some holiday … [Read more...]

Lighted hummingbirds, butterflies and snowmen — oh, my!

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys seasonal decor, you’ll find plenty to like at Holiday Lights in the Gardens at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. The gardens — home year-round to an interesting array of plants and trees — decks out with 750,000 holiday lights and a huge array of seasonal decorations during the event. The display features such things as lighted lollipops, … [Read more...]

Russian politics played a role in San Antonio train depot

The history of a train depot building in San Antonio is rooted in political uncertainty in Russia roughly 135 years ago. On Feb. 17, 1880, a second assassination attempt on Emperor Alexander II occurred in the imperial dining room of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Terrorists blew up the dining room, killing or maiming 67 people – but the emperor wasn’t present during the … [Read more...]

Buzzing bees, bromeliads and beauty

It’s summertime, so that means the kids are out of school and out-of-town guests are flocking to Florida to take advantage of the state’s world-famous theme parks and its gorgeous beaches. But here’s a place, just off the beaten track, that’s truly one of Tampa Bay’s gems. The Florida Botanical Gardens offers visitors a chance to experience beauty, learn about nature, get some exercise … [Read more...]

Imagine student spearheads clothing drive

The first visits to ask local business owners for donations took a special effort from an 11-year-old who is shy. But Alexandra Westcott had a good reason to get a little help for Pasco County’s foster children. “I felt bad for the kids who didn’t have much in life,” she said. “I wanted to help by allowing people to donate things.” The sixth-grader at Imagine School of Land O’ Lakes knows … [Read more...]

If you’re looking for holiday cheer, check this out

There are plenty of local holiday happenings to appeal to young and old, but there’s a wide assortment of regional attractions to help brighten the season as well. If you’re looking for something fun and affordable to do, here’s a list of possibilities. TAMPA The 33rd annual Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. — Beneath the towering silver … [Read more...]

Animal services gives Valpak a try

The little blue envelopes coming to homes around the Thanksgiving holiday will have a little something extra: Appeals from Pasco County Animal Services to adopt a pet. Pasco County commissioners will consider Wednesday an agreement between the animal shelter and Valpak Direct Marketing Systems in Largo that will distribute 100,000 customized coupons in two drops around the region between Nov. … [Read more...]