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Art Show: The Love of Safety Harbor

in news/town square

The Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center is hosting an art show this summer that celebrates our city. The Love of Safety Harbor will be on exhibit through August, with an Open House on Friday, July 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Museum is a busy place with classes for children and adults, summer camps, as well as a permanent collection and rotating shows. Each summer, the Museum features a theme that is shown for three months. Christine McWilliams, a Recreation Supervisor, plans the programming for the center as well as the Safety Harbor’s two other gallery spaces in the Library and in City Hall. 

The Love of Safety Harbor call for entries was promoted on Facebook and open to artists and designers to submit works with a Safety Harbor theme or connection. There are twenty-seven artists featured and many of the pieces are for sale. There are acrylic, watercolor, and oil paintings as well as photography, a painted rock and stuffed owls.

The Open House will also feature a Silent Auction of several donated items including photos on canvas, four notecards with original oil painting, a shadow box and a variety of paintings. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center. There will also be refreshments available and vendors selling their crafts.

Featured Artists

  • Caroline Karp
  • Kristen Krouk
  • Richard Lewis
  • Susan McCormick
  • Bernadette Menz
  • Shirley Payne
  • Charlie Pollitzer

Transit: Use It or Lose It

in news/town square

PSTA (Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority) has a long history of servicing Safety Harbor with regular and reliable transit. Over the years, low ridership has moved those routes to the top of the list for elimination during consolidation and budget cuts.

There was a time buses ran north and south on McMullen-Booth Road, those days are long gone. In the past, the useful Route 62 – directly connecting from Tyrone Mall in the south to Countryside Mall and up to Boot Ranch in the north – rode right down our main street zagging back on Enterprise Road. Back then, Safety Harbor residents could step out and ride nearly anywhere in the county without the hassle of a transfer. But because they didn’t, Route 62 now runs directly up Belcher Road passing our town by.

The Jolly Trolley

PSTA organized funding for a “Jolly Trolley” week-end service between our downtown and Dunedin. Residents or visitors in either town could visit the other, enjoy a dinner and refreshments, and not worry about parking or having “one too many.” The trolley ran especially on festive holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Cinco de Mayo, but it was also underutilized.

The Jolly Trolley’s Safety Harbor route began on February 1, 2014 and ended on February 4, 2017.

North County Connector

Today PSTA supports north Pinellas County with a network of three North County “Connector” buses, from a hub at Countryside Mall. One runs north through Dunedin and Palm Harbor up to Tarpon Springs. One runs east through Countryside and Oldsmar to the Tampa transfer hub. The “Safety Harbor Connector,” Route 814, runs right down Safety Harbor’s Main Street, then up to its turnaround point at Philippe Park. These Connectors feed riders to the main hub for north county at Countryside Mall. There, connecting buses take riders south to St. Petersburg, to east/west arterials, north to Pasco’s PCPT (Pasco County Public Transportation) network, and west to Clearwater and the beaches.

Low usage equals fewer routes

“Connector” buses use a hybrid route, defaulting to fixed roads and times. However, you can call PSTA in advance (two hours to three days) and a connector will veer up to three-quarters of a mile to pick you up or drop you off at any location. Sadly, the Safety Harbor Connector has the lowest ridership of any route in the PSTA system. It was recently scheduled for elimination and saved only at the last minute. The similarly underutilized connector between Dunedin and Tarpon, as a cost savings, has just been rebranded for only fixed route; no more door-to-door north of the mall. The “East Lake” Connector was discontinued long ago because most residents own cars and can afford to operate them.

Low ridership in Safety Harbor also resulted in a shorter schedule, with our connector now only operating between 7 am and 6 pm Monday through Saturday. To return home from St. Petersburg or Pasco might require leaving as early as 3 pm to catch the last departure from Countryside. See the PSTA website for exact schedules and routes, and how to ride the Safety Harbor / North County Connector.

If we want more service, more frequency, to more convenient locations there is only one requirement: Get out of your car and ride the Connector. With public transit, we use it or lose it.

Spanish Needle

Chances are you’ve seen this amazing plant, hiding in plain sight along roadsides, in parks, at the beach, or in your own yard. Those small, cheerful, daisy-like flowers that give way to annoying barbed seeds that stick stronger than Velcro to socks, paws, and anything that may brush by. What we refer to around here as Spanish Needles, bidens pilosa (or alba) spring up in dense clumps practically overnight, happily thriving no matter how poor the soil or conditions. In fact, bidens has a notorious reputation as an invasive and troublesome weed in more than 40 countries.1 But take heed: this botanical problem child has many redeeming qualities, not the least of which is that it just may save your life.

Also known as beggar’s ticks, farmer’s friend, pitchfork weed, or tickseed sunflowers, bidens reportedly originated in South America and has spread around the globe, even thriving in the desert. Today there are some 230 known bidens species (in the aster family of plants), many of which are well documented as an important source of both food and medicine among indigenous peoples.2  Frankly, I’m fascinated with bidens and the emerging research which supports its use for everything from killing MRSA to controlling toxic algae blooms.

Yep. I said MRSA, a drug resistant staph bacteria that has — and continues to– claim thousands of American lives. But MRSA appears to have met its match. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that bidens kicks the pants off MRSA.4 I’ll say it again: a little weed that people hate more than love kills a bacteria that has decimated families and frustrated medical science for decades. Bidens offers potent, pharmacologically active antibacterial properties, clinically studied and often quite remarkable in practical use.  But that’s just the beginning.3

Not only is it proving a powerful antibacterial/antimicrobial, studies show bidens effectively treats viruses, microbes, protozoans, wounds, gout, gastrointestinal diseases, fever, fungal infection, liver disorders, diabetes, edema, abscess, inflammation, malaria, snake bite, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.4  One study even points to its value as an anti-cancer treatment.5 And that’s the short list. In my research I was pleasantly surprised to learn that bidens extract was found to control toxic algae blooms.6    

If you’d like to use bidens for home health, a few words of advice.  The available science points to a fresh plant, alcohol-based tincture as the most effective for antibacterial purposes. However, I’ve successfully used a simple infusion for mouth ulcer’s, wounds, and a few minor infections. I purposefully grow bidens and harvest it from my yard. Avoid picking itfrom along roadways or where pesticides or chemicals are used because of the risk of contamination. Identifying bidens when it’s not in bloom or gone to seed could be tricky, so make certain you’re harvesting the right plant. Always, always, do your own research, and work with a professional if you have a serious or chronic medical condition. 

Personally, I find bidens an enormously promising plant. It’s a prolific producer, doesn’t need controlled conditions for growing and is –pretty much everywhere anyway.  In fact, I think it’s so abundant because Nature wants to make certain we notice her marvelous medicines for the common man.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. It should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the expert care of a qualified medical practitioner.

If you want to know more about infusions, decoctions, or how to make your own tincture visit: 

1   Journal of Basic and Environmental Sciences, 6 (2019) 33-44

2 , 4   Bartolome AP, Villaseñor IM, Yang WC. Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae): Botanical Properties, Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:340215. doi:10.1155/2013/340215

3  Kourtis AP, Hatfield K, Baggs J, et al. Vital Signs: Epidemiology and Recent Trends in Methicillin-Resistant and in Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Bloodstream Infections — United States. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:214–219. DOI:

5   Department of Pharmacy, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar – 608002, India. Studies of anticancer and antipyretic activity of Bidens pilosa whole plant. imalakrishnan Sundararajan, Akalanka Dey, Anton Smith, Arul Gana Doss, Manavalan Rajappan, and Sridhar Natarajan Afr Health Sci. 2006 Mar; 6(1): 27–30.

6  Inhibitory Effects of Bidens pilosa Plant Extracts on the Growth of the Bloom-Forming Alga Microcystis aeruginosa  Van Nguyen, Q., Tran, T.H., Pham, T.N. et al. Water Air Soil Pollut (2019) 230: 24.

Safety Harbor Sun

Harbor Happenings: The week ahead

in events/news

Are you hosting a community event in Safety Harbor? Submit your event for our calendar! Events should be either free and open-to-the-public or proceeds used to support greater community good. Please send event suggestions to

[tribe_this_week start_date=”08-07-2019″]

Fourth of July 2019 in Safety Harbor, Florida. (Photo/Jarine Dotson)

Glimpses of Fourth of July fun

in news/town square

Safety Harbor had a full day of festivities for the Fourth of July. The day started with American Legion Post 238’s annual Fourth of July Parade on Main Street. A ceremony in John Wilson Park followed the parade. In the early evening, people flocked to the Marina Park parking lot for music and food trucks. And, of course, a fireworks celebration capped of the day’s events. (Photos/Jarine Dotson and Kathryn Malaxos)

Used with artist's permission: Alice Anderson

History, People, and Places Series: Alice Anderson

in news/town square

Alice Anderson loves historic buildings.  Even more, she loves drawing them. I contacted her after seeing her print of a pen and ink etching of the Tucker mansion.

“I drew it because it’s such a beautiful building,” she says.

Alice Anderson holding her drawing of the Tucker mansion. Photo credit: Laura Kepner

Alice supported her two kids through the 1970s and ‘80s. She worked in advertising, apartment management, and senior housing management. She was called upon to incorporate her drawings into specific projects in Vermont and became known for her illustrations of the interiors and exteriors of homes, many before they were built.  

After a successful career, Alice was tired of the brittle winters. She moved to Florida to be near family and to focus on what she has always loved. She spends mornings in her home studio, with natural light filtering through big picture windows.  It’s easy for her to work for several hours straight, drawing, painting, or sitting in front of her computer, marketing her work.

“Annabelle” by Alice Anderson. Published with artist’s permission.

Some of her income is earned from her pet portraits but she doesn’t stick with one subject matter. There are many old homes and buildings in Safety Harbor and Alice says she would like to find a project that allows her to depict them through her pen and ink drawings. She uses a ruler for hard edges but the rest she does freehand. As with her pet portraits, her drawings of homes and structures begin with a photograph.

A little over a year ago, Alice started painting landscapes with pastels. It was her first since moving to Florida.  “It’s been very fortunate for me to have found landscapes,” she says.  She entered a plein air painting contest and won, even though it was her first attempt. “I had to use my background knowledge. When you are an artist, you have a different view of the world.”

Depicted through her vibrant pastels, Alice’s artful views of Florida are gaining popularity throughout the Bay Area. They and can be seen at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, Stirling Studios & Gallery, and Tampa Bay Interiors. Six of her paintings are in the Clearwater Main Library through July 31.

She is a member of TESA and was awarded Best of Show on June 18. She also teaches classes and teaches private students individually.

Alice’s drawings and paintings range from $125 on up to $300 for her landscapes. Look for her work on July 19 during Third Friday at the Safety Harbor Museum & Cultural Center’s Love of Safety Harbor event. Her work will stay at the museum through August.

“After all these years, I’m final able to be Alice Artist,” she says.

Look for more about Alice Artist on Facebook, or send her an email.

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