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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

in events/town square

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,  

Yard sign outside of Safety Harbor's City Hall reads "Black Lives Matter and justice for all." (Photo/Kathryn Malaxos)
Yard sign outside of Safety Harbor's City Hall reads "Black Lives Matter and justice for all." (Photo/Kathryn Malaxos)

Editorial: Anti-racism in Safety Harbor

in city hall/news/photos

Safety Harbor is a small southern town. What are the implications of that phrase — “small southern town”? What are the implications of racism in small southern towns? In cities and towns across this country? Have we, as citizens of a small southern town, chosen to ignore the impact of history? In doing so, what are we missing about our town’s present?

White people in this town — in every town — have the luxury of ignoring racism. And we do it every day. Many of us who purport to hold justice and freedom dear have the luxury to ignore what is right in front of us. But for Black residents, there is no luxury of ignorance.

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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,

A 40 vehicle 4th of July Car Parade will pass through Safety Harbor. Watch from your yard,
Instead of a parade down Main Street, a 4th of July Car Parade will roll through some neighborhoods on Saturday. Residents can watch from their yards. Photo by Walt Belcher.

Scaled Back 4th of July Parade Set for Saturday

in news/town square

The annual Safety Harbor 4th of July Parade has been changed due to the COVID 19 virus threat and is now a 40-vehicle motorcade that will wind its way through some city neighborhoods.

This would have been the 12th year for what had become a long, colorful and patriotic march down Main Street.

Put on by Safety Harbor’s American Legion Post 238, past parades featured bands, floats, vintage cars, military vehicles, cars filled with dignitaries, motorcycles, bikes, and hundreds of spectators.

Because of social distancing and to avoid crowds, the city’s annual fireworks show has been canceled and Main Street is off limits for any parade.

“We had to scale it back this year but we wanted to do something,” said Ruth Ann Burgess, parade chairman with the Auxiliary Unit of American Legion Post 238.

The motorcade will not be on Main Street this year and citizens are asked to watch it from their yards.

It starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Safety Harbor Elementary School and will end at the Legion Post’s headquarters on Legion Lane (see map for route). The Legion will be open to the public for a limited menu of take-away food.

If you don’t live on the route, there are a few places to see it, provided you keep the proper social distance.

Those who live along the route are asked to clear any cars from the streets and citizens are encouraged to decorate their yards with flags and 4th of July decor and watch from their yards.

“All of our vehicles will be decorated with flags,” said Burgess, noting that they won’t be giving out little flags to the children this year. “No one will be walking,” she said.

For example, the marching Palm Harbor Santas will be waving from a car this year.

The motorcade also will include a few members of the 501 Legion of Star Wars, the therapy dog group Paws for Friendship, Safety Harbor Recreation with mascot Fiona, state and local American Legion officers, and the Tampa Bay Posse (a Corvette Club with just two cars instead of the 30 that were in last year’s parade).

Also in the parade this year will be motorcycles from the American Legion Riders, two Ford Model T cars, antique military vehicles, the Tampa Bay Jeep Club, the Sons of the American Legion officers, Socks for Soldiers, Honor Flight, the North Pinellas Democrats and North Pinellas Republicans and a car carrying Congressman Gus Bilirakis.

Safety Harbor City Commissioners Carlos Diaz and Nancy Besore are scheduled to ride, and the Safety Harbor Fire Department and Pinellas Sheriff’s Department will be represented.

Folly Farm entrance (Photo/Kate Kohler)

Folly Farm Nature Preserve: An Oasis in Safety Harbor

in news/photos/town square

Folly Farm Nature Preserve is Safety Harbor’s newest city park, having opened to the public in 2019. Its ten-acre setting includes a butterfly garden, a labyrinth path, a playground and dozens of fruit trees that are available for the public to pick when ripe. A circular path winds around the grounds and passes through distinct ecosystems. In addition to the work of city staff, residents have contributed their time and talents to the park. 

Common Ground, a community garden association, rents space from the city for their members to grow food. Julie Brannon, a contributor to this publication and head of the not-for-profit garden group, gave me a tour of the garden and the larger property and plants. She shared its history and connected me with its benefactor, George Weiss.

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Face mask stenciled on wall with COVID-19 caption. (Photo/Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash)
Face mask stenciled on wall with COVID-19 caption (Photo/Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash)

Pinellas County Commission Votes to Require Masks Inside Public Places

in city hall/news/photos

After a discussion that ran more than six hours, the Pinellas County Commission voted Tuesday night to require everyone over age 18 to wear face masks in all indoor public businesses in the county.

The new ordinance, which has numerous exemptions, goes into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The vote was 6 to 1 with Commissioner Kathleen Peters voting against the ordinance.

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