The epiphany did happen, as well as Christmas, the New Year’s celebrations, with the noisy fireworks, the coronation of our new president, with a few firing of rockets on the eve of transition of power from President Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the storm that killed many in the US of A, but when it was about to enter Tarpon Springs with extreme straight line winds, the storm dissipated quickly. The following morning a beautiful rainbow formed over Spirou’s Restaurant. That rainbow followed me as I drove easterly on the Courtney Campbell bridge towards Tampa.
So in this sleepy town in Pinellas County, Florida whose claim to fame are the Sponge Docks, the Rose Cemetery, where the first black sponger rests in peace, the city cemetery that lies between a Shell Gasoline Station and the Rose Cemetery, the quaint downtown with its dormant train station, the Pinellas trail, which was the the path of the railroad.
Here also lie the guys who build boats, and the guys who build homes, the extinct Pappas restaurant, which was replaced by who knows what. The beautiful Greek Orthodox church/cathedral, Dobies Funeral Home, a catholic church, an Episcopalian church where the blessing of the animals took place last year, the bike shop that should be avoided, and Tullas where a neat breakfast is served without any pretenses. And before I forget Dodecanese Boulevard that leads into the Sponge Docks.
This sleepy village had a terrible awakening when a retired NY Police Officer was shot and run over by a felon with many priors, in the hotel area of Tarpon Springs by the Bayou where the Epiphany is always celebrated.
Sadly that scene was still visible the morning of our arrival in Tarpon Springs one December morning. We normally entered Tarpon by driving south following the directions placed by the county/state of Florida.
The sun had risen by perhaps half an hour when we saw flashing blue lights as we approached on what I call Main St and Alternate 19. Never had I seen the road that leads to the Bayou closed during morning hours.
Officer K. had died. The coward who shot him was in custody and Bay News 9 was reporting this tragedy. His family was left without their father on Christmas eve/day.
This hotel area by the Bayou is not a place I would recommend for my friends and family to stay if they wished to visit. Neither would I recommend those that are near the formerly known as Helen Ellis hospital and the public golf course.
Fortunately for the residents of Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Commision is seeking to control the board that oversees the county’s contractors. In an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times, the newspaper detailed the agency’s fast and loose approach to disciplining contractors. The Tampa Bay Times found that homeowners and contractors alike felt cheated, ignored and even stonewalled by the agency’s disciplinary panels, which don’t appear to have operated in compliance with state law.
Read the Times’ investigation into the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at tbtim.es/18w7
So definitely, action is being taken to rein in those who think they are above the law.