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Picture of the book, Between the World and Me, on a library shelf. (Screenshot from EMU webiste/Kathryn Malaxos)

Safety Harbor Library: One Book, One Community / Press Release

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The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.”  – Mary McGrory, The Washington Post, 2002. 

The Safety Harbor Public Library announces a One Book, One Community read featuring the New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Winner, Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 

The book covers the most pressing questions about American history and ideals and the intimate concerns of an African American father for his son. Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s painful racial history and our current civil rights crisis. Written in the form of a letter to his adolescent son, he shares the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in American culture through a series of revelatory experiences. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, re-imagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage,Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. 

Copies of the book are available at the library beginning July 30 and can be placed on hold if checked out to others. Discussion questions, author videos, and information on upcoming online book discussions can be found on the One Book, One Community webpage: 

The Library is located at 101 2nd Street N., Safety Harbor, FL 34695. Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Questions regarding this program can be directed to Lisa,  

Safety Harbor 4th of July Car Parade: Short, Sweet, Photos

It lasted less than a half hour but it showed spirit. Instead of the annual parade down Main Street that lasted hours, a car parade went through town Saturday morning.

Mayor Joe Ayoub and Safety Harbor Commissioners Carlos Diaz and Nancy Besore were in the parade.

They arrived late but the Stars Wars Legion came to town for the parade.

Thanks to American Legion Post 238 for setting up the Car Parade.

The marching Santas from Palm Harbor were riding.

What’s a Safety Harbor parade without motorcycles?

Next year maybe we can get back to the full-blown 4th of July parade down Main Street,

Charley's World with Charley Belcher visits Troubled Waters

Charley’s World: Fox 13 Visits Troubled Waters Brewery

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Fox 13 News (WTVT) showcases Troubled Waters Brewery on Main Street Safety Harbor today (Friday). Charley Belcher interviewed Kevin Shanks, co-owner/brewer.

Troubled Waters is owned and run by the father and son team of Steve and Kevin Shanks and is located in the space that formerly housed Copperheads Tavern.

Steven Shanks is a retired firefighter from the Chicago area. After relocating to Florida in 2009, he started working for Cigar City in Tampa as a tour guide and later he became a brewer.

His son Kevin joined him at Cigar City in 2016 where they made plans to have their own brewery.

Earlier this week, Charley’s World was at the newly opened Bassano Cheesecake on Main Street. You can find video of Charlie’s World at

Charley Belcher is not related to Walt Belcher.

Safety Harbor Commission Cancels 4th of July Fireworks

in city hall/events/news

Safety Harbor city commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to cancel the city’s annual 4th of July parade and a fireworks show that would have been held at the Waterfront Park.

However, commissioners instructed City Manager Matt Spoor to work with the American Legion Post 283 on possibly holding a “scaled down” 4th of July drive-thru of local neighborhoods.

The possibility of drawing huge crowds to town during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic was cited as the main reason for canceling this year’s celebration. Previous 4th of July fireworks shows have drawn an estimated 10,000 spectators.

Safety Harbor joins other cities in the area that have canceled fireworks including Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Gulfport, and Sarasota.

Mayor Joe Ayoub said he had received a call from Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who advised that with all the other fireworks shows being canceled, people from those towns might come to Safety Harbor if there was a fireworks show.

Ayoub said he was “fine with having no fireworks this year”.

Commissioners Cliff Merz, Andy Zodrow, Carlos Diaz and Nancy Besore agreed that the potential crowd would be unmanageable and a potential health hazard.

The commission also received e-mails and comments from residents who oppose having fireworks and a parade this year.

“I think the patriotic thing this year is to keep our people safe,” said Besore.

City Manager Spoor said the American Legion Post, which sponsors the parade, wants to do something on the 4th, possibly something similar to a recent drive-thru graduation celebration organized for Safety Harbor school children.

A caravan of decorated cars traveled through neighborhoods where graduates and their families could celebrate from their yards, driveways or garages.

Commissioners also kept open an option to hold a fireworks show for Veterans Day in November which will be discussed at a future commission meeting.

Harbor Commission To Consider Fireworks Options

in city hall/events/news

The Safety Harbor City Commissioners are looking at options for the city’s 4th of July celebration, including canceling the annual fireworks show at the Waterfront Park and Marina because of the COVID-19 virus threat.

The 20-minute fireworks display has drawn around 10,000 spectators, according to city officials. Such gatherings are not allowed under current state-mandated guidelines in Governor Ron DeSantis’ Phase 1 of reopening the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor has not announced when Phase 2 would begin which might allow for large venue events but with limited capacity (50 percent or less).

The city’s contract with the fireworks vendor is due to be signed by Tuesday, June 2. And numerous Florida cities, including Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Gulfport and Sarasota, have already canceled their fireworks shows.

After reviewing event logistics and information, the city staff offered the following options for consideration at the meeting set for Monday night.

1, Host a full event with vendors, entertainment and fireworks display. Concerns include managing density, social distancing enforcement, and sufficient personnel for crowd management.

2. Host a fireworks only show. Concerns include managing venue closings and sufficient personnel to keep people away.

3. Postpone the fireworks display to an alternate date.

4. Cancel the event.

Even though Safety Harbor City Hall is expected to be opened again by Monday, the commission meeting with be virtual, using Zoom technology.

Also on the agenda is a presentation by the Safety Harbor Fire Department on the upcoming hurricane season and further discussion on providing some kind of aid to city businesses or residents impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Commissioners have been discussing giving aid since early April but have not settled on who, what, how or how much, although they have expressed willingness to spent $200,000 to $300,000 from a General Reserve Fund.

The most recent proposals involve giving $1,000 grants to small businesses to cover rent, mortgage or utility costs to those eligible (an estimated 200 potential businesses). Another proposal would grant $200 to $300 utility credits to low income individuals who would qualify.

For more information go to

Harbor Happenings: Week of September 2, 2019

in events

This Labor Day weekend brought hurricane prep but fortunately for us Dorian remains of the Atlantic side of the Florida peninsula. Folks in the Bahamas will need support as they begin recovery efforts. Hopefully, Dorian will continue to move up – and out – away from the east coast.

The City Commission meets tonight. Find the Agenda here:

There will be public hearing regarding the Millage Rate and tentative 2019-2020 Budget, the 2020 Municipal Election and Qualifying Period (did you know the qualifying period is one week?) and the code amendment to establish locational requirements for recording devices placed on poles on residential property.

New Business includes a request for a Downtown Partnership Grant for 509 Main Street, amendments to the land development code, a draft ordinance requiring backflow protection for breweries and the first reading of Draft Ordinance 2019-16 which would “amend the Land Development Code to establish exemptions to the 35 foot/3 stories height requirement and establish a height incentive in portions of the Community Redevelopment District.”

Please see the City Commission Agenda for more information – and see the calendar below for more Harbor Happenings this week.

[tribe_events view=”list” date=”2019-09-03″]

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