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About The Starlight Express
The very First Issue of Starlight Express Newsletter was created
by the Editor and Chief Pat Ifft on
February 29, 1992 and since then is
maintained and produced monthly by her for 17 years!
All Starlighter's owe immense gratitude
to Pat in keeping them informed with all happenings good and bad.
Thank You Pat
July 11, 2008
Editor - Pat Ifft (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Webmaster - Louisa Simos (
The days are getting pretty hot…….the nights are pretty warm……..and there is
quite a bit to tell you about. We don’t always publish a Starlight Express
in the summer, because things are usually quiet and laid back down here
during July and August. However, with the building reconstruction going on
and other matters to bring to your attention, we are publishing this
“extra….extra….read all about it!
Dopp, our Board VP has written an excellent construction report which you
can access as an attachment to the Starlight Express. You can also read it
on our website. A brief summary: The work is progressing on schedule; the
north side of the building is finished….and has been sealed and painted. All
river rock has been removed from the walkways, asbestos abatement done on
floors 10 through 3.
repair process is nearly complete on 10 and will begin on 9 shortly. On the
west side, all work on the ’08 stack is complete, with the swing stage
moving to ‘07 & ‘06 accordingly. The picture on the left shows 2 swing
stages, momentarily down from their “sky high” perch, and the crew working
on 107. The picture on the right shows the CPS crew working on the kneewall
in 107…which is being completely rebuilt. Notice the hibiscus bravely
News on the T-Groins and the Beach
by Kevin Hing
In response to intensive lobbying by a local surfers group and questions
raised by one of our Commissioners, Pinellas County has requested that the
City of St. Pete Beach confirm that it wants the County to continue to
pursue the design and installation of a permanent structure (such as a
T-Groin) to protect the sand on Upham Beach. The surfers believe the
presence of the yellow GeoTube T-Groins currently on our beach is disrupting
their surfing waves and they are gaining a lot of coverage in regional
papers calling for the removal of all of the Upham beach T-Groins.
(Ed. Note: Read more on the Starlight website
Nicole Elko, the Pinellas Coastal Coordinator, will be making a presentation
during the next Commission meeting on July 22nd to update the City on the
status of the T-Groin project. It is important that as many Starlighters as
possible attend this July 22nd meeting and show their support of the T-Groin
project. A draft letter to the City is being prepared for signature by
Starlighters that will be sent out shortly. Please review it, sign it and
return/fax it to the Starlight office ASAP so that they can be presented to
the Mayor during the July 22nd meeting.
Nicole Elko reports that a surveillance camera is going to be installed by
the St. Pete Beach Police on the beach in front of Starlight. The police
will have access to the Beach through our lobby, which will cut their
response time considerably. Hopefully this will cut down on the vandalism
and under-age drinking that has plagued us during the last few months.
Please “Fence Us In”!
Yes, we will have
a fence installed on our seawall cap, thanks to the
efforts of a number of Starlighters who presented
our case to the City Commission at a meeting a
couple of weeks ago. Bill Wales and Kevin Hing were
masterful in stating the case for a fence…..the
installation of which requires a variance because it
is inside the Coastal Construction Line. Earlier the
day of the meeting, Mayor Mike Finnerty visited
Starlight for a first-hand look at our situation,
and later was treated to some refreshments by Sophie
and Stan Bryk. (Sophie’s baking could win over
Attila the Hun!) Others who attended the evening
meeting were George Wolfe (who also spoke
eloquently), D. D. Wals and
Two fence samples
Gigi Guthrie and
W. A. Smith, and Sophie and Stan. The Commission
voted unanimously to allow the fence installation,
provided that it matches
the existing fence on the north and south boundaries
of our property.
have a new property manager….her name is Leora Pidde (pronounced like pity).
She has been in the business of property management for 20 years, and has
been with Resource since last February. Leora is the mother of five children
and has four grandchildren. She will be on our property every Monday for
part of the morning. Stop and say hello when you see her. If you need to
contact her, her email is
The Fourth of July
brought crowds to the beach, and everyone agreed it was a great day. Here’s
a view from our lawn looking south……enjoying the sun and sand and waiting
for the evening fireworks, which were set off from a barge out in the Gulf.
As you know, this is Starlight’s 50th anniversary year!
When you have time, read the bronze plaque that is mounted on the wall just
opposite the north elevator. That wall is made of gneiss, a high grade
metamorphic rock, composed of the same minerals as granite, and came from
Maryland, the home state of our builder, John K. Ruff.
Some “People” news.......
We’d like to welcome Kelly Dotts to Starlight in Unit
Please keep Joan Carlock in your thoughts and prayers
as she battles her illness.
Former Starlighters Art and Barb Walter are doing well
after about a year of poor health.
The St. Petersburg College Community Chorus will sing a concert of the Great
American Songbook (1908 to 1948) from "Take me out to the Ballgame" to
"South Pacific" - on Wednesday night July 16 at 7:30 in the Music
Center, 66th Street, just north of 5th Ave. N. Concert is free, donations
accepted. Pat and Ed Ifft (#408) are in the chorus.
Board Meeting –
Monday, July 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby.
Happy Summer Birthday Wishes
Belated….to Bill Isaacs – 3rd; Jay Layman – 8th; Jennifer
Latawiec – 11th; Nelda Smith – 28th; John Somogyi – 31st;
Brand – 4th; Tom Kelley – 6th; Ed Ifft – 10th; Penny Thompson –
12th; Marlene Reid – 12th; Ric Garland – 13th; Donnie Tarrell –
14th; Doug Joy – 28th.