March 2009 Newsletter Starlight Express

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County FloridaStarlight Tower - March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida

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Starlight Tower St. Pete Beach Florida February 2008 Starlight Express NewsletterE-mail This Page

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

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida

March 5, 2009
Editor - Pat Ifft (
Webmaster - Louisa Simos ( )

March arrived roaring in off the Gulf, giving us a taste of the bluster that we’d pay any price for around August 15. But the sunshine is glorious and we’ll soon be ready for a cool dip in the pool and/or sea. There’s a lot to talk about……including news of the upcoming annual shuffleboard tourney. So here goes.

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County FloridaOur 50th Anniversary Year / End-of-Project Celebration will be happen on March 21st with the annual Shuffleboard Tourney and Dinner. Committee volunteers met and came up with some great plans for a day of fun, friendly competition and great food. Marlene Reid will wear her chairman hat, and she and Dan will work with Anne and Lorne Hiller, Ursula and Denis O’Connor, Sophie Bryk, Marcia Thorpe, Mary Quinn, Chuck and Anne Prokop, Edith and Don Schneider, Al Stucko, Bill & Joyce Graff and Jim and Verna Murphy. Play will begin at 10 a.m., break for lunch and resume at 1 p.m. Dinner will follow about 5 p.m. This year the menu includes lasagna, salad, Italian bread and the yummy pies from Village Inn. There will be door prizes and a sing-along to close out the evening. Cost for dinner is $10. Children under 6 free, children 6-13 yrs. $6.00. Sign up on the sheet in the mail room. Marcia Thorpe (#906) will accept your payments (must be in an envelope, well identified). And many thanks to CPS personnel who power- washed the courts, prepping them for Denis O’Connor and his crew, who will restore them to prime playing condition.

Important Notice: We have just learned that residents of all 8th and 9th floor apartments must again vacate their units in order for their walkways to be redone. Dates are Wednesday, March 11at 8:00 a.m. until Friday morning, March 13.


The Restoration project is winding to a close. New a/c gratings are being installed on all floors. What a difference that makes! The building painting is continuing, and with ongoing good weather, the end is in sight….hopefully the end of March. 

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida


Here’s Victor putting up a new grating on the 2nd floor. Everyone seems to have survived the mandated evacuation days as walkway coatings were applied. (See notice above). Homes away from home were as close as Unit 106, Gulf Winds and the SunDial, to Indian Rocks, Orlando, and New Orleans! Final phase of the project will be the installation of walkway railings.

The personnel of the Board of Directors is as follows: Marlene Reid continues as President, and Lynn Dopp as Vice President. Arlene Kuhn is Secretary and Bill Wales is Treasurer. Members- at-large are Lee Brand, Bill Isaacs and Gina Machado. Bill Isaacs will head the committee to amend the Association documents. Lee will handle garage issues, and Arlene will research feasibility of a cover for our pool. Gina will work with Marlene on updating the office files and records. Thanks to all these people who give many hours to the Association.

The beach groin/renourishment issues continue. On February 17, a group of Starlighters attended a meeting at City Hall to allow stakeholders (persons or an organization that has an interest in the outcome of, or is impacted by, a project, service, or decision) to voice their opinions on a permanent solution to the erosion/renourishment problems of Upham Beach. The surfing community is opposed to the placement of any type of permanent groin structures. Our “Advocate-in-Chief”, Kevin Hing, has spent long hours in meetings, phone calls and correspondence, voicing the concerns of the beach residents. Dr. Nicole Elko, Coastal Management Coordinator, Department of Environmental Management for Pinellas County in an email on 2/24, assured Kevin that the goal of the project remains the same as it ever was: providing storm protection for upland infrastructure and maintaining a 40’ wide (minimum) beach. This is the trigger width at which our beaches must then be renourished. Permanent structures are being designed for Upham Beach. The engineers and Dr. Elko believe that user concerns and resident concerns are not mutually exclusive, and that a design that achieves both objectives is a possibility. The next Stakeholders meeting will occur in about two months, with various structural designs to be presented at that time. In the meantime, have you noticed the accumulation of sand in Blind Pass? It’s a wonder that boats can navigate through there at all. Pretty soon, we’ll be able to walk over to Sunset Beach and never get our feet wet!

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida

Remember the story of Tom Sawyer painting the fence? Here’s (left) Starlight’s own Christy Hayes, giving the new look to our garage doors.

If she tells you, “It’s lots of fun!” beware!

The next thing you know, you’ll have a paint roller in your hand.

And right is CPS project Foreman Norm Bavis checking on the painting on the 2nd floor. March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida

A few “good neighbor” reminders:

  • Please take large and bulky trash directly to the Starlight dumpster. Garbage room receptacles are for small items only. And do not put garbage in the CPS dumpster.

  • Please be considerate and lower TV/stereo volumes after 11 p.m.

Here’s some news about Starlight folks

Welcome to these new Starlighter renters: Beth and John Dubeau in #107; Robert and Jill Chalmers in #1001; Nina Reid in #209; and new owners Art and Janice Doyle #905 and 506.

  • Note received from Ric Garland (707-708) in snowy Quebec, thanking the Board for their efforts to get the building repaired properly. Ric says, “Despite the economic turmoil, the old adage “location, location, location” will bear out that our common investment to fix the Starlight structure will reap dividends.” Ric and Sue will come down in April.

  • Congratulations to Louisa and Evangelos Simos (908) on the birth of their second grandchild, a boy, born to their daughter Demetra and her husband Robert Paguio. Louisa is our talented web master.

Please keep these Starlighters in your thoughts and prayers...

  • Jackie Dickinson is in Bayfront Hospital and is doing as well as can be expected. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family

  • Sue Alley (705) is having a long recovery from pneumonia.

  • Jack Erigo (401) is recovering from shoulder surgery, and is out and about.

  • Ed Gibson (402) is home after 2 weeks at Palms Hospital and is doing well.

  • Sandy Bogden (805) called to say that her Dad, Phillip, who lives in Crucible, PA ,broke all his ribs in a fall. Phil enjoys reading the Starlight Express. Get well soon, Phil. (Note: Crucible is south of Pittsburgh, almost to the WVA line.)

  • Please keep Joan Carlock in your thoughts and prayers. Jack and Joan were longtime winter residents of Starlight.

And this is a good place to mention that the “Sunshine Fund”, used to buy cards and flowers or plants for those who are ill, needs some restoration. See Gina Machado to contribute….any amount is welcome.

A former longtime resident, Lorraine Fricek Smith compiled a wonderful scrapbook of Starlight memorabilia from 1958 until recent times. Here is a picture of our great old building when she was a girl. The quality isn’t the best because I took a picture of a picture. (I haven’t set up our printer to scan.) But you can tell that the open balconies, the beach, and the grounds all gave a sleek, streamlined look that can’t be recaptured. 


March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida


This professional photograph was ordered by the builder, John K. Ruff when the building opened in November, 1958. The original pool was a different shape, but the seawall has never changed in all these years. The seawall cap was added later.

Top o’ the Mornin’ and Happy Birthday to these March celebrants:

March 2009 Starlight Express Newsletter of Starlight Tower in St Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida  
Shirley Lino – 5th; Dennis Dickinson – 14th;
Bill Bowers – 18th; Sheila Klitsky – 18th;
Frank Gulia – 29th; George Bayetakos – 31st.

The site's mission: The Starlight Tower's website mission (which was voluntary created and is maintained by one of the owners) is to keep informed absent Starlighters of all important issues and events taking place in our property. Is nourished continuously with fresh information generously provided by resident fellow Starlighters and not only offers a private meeting place for owners but is helpful to the public regarding local events taking place in our town St. Pete Beach Pinellas County Florida as well as attractions, accommodations and places of interest to families, couples and  individuals. Please e-mail your textual and multimedia materials for inclusion in our website to Louisa Simos:

  Molon Lave                                                                                                                              Semper Fidelis

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Co-op's Physical Address: Starlight Tower, Inc., 7000 Beach Plaza, St Pete Beach, Florida 33706 Office Tel: 727-360-8820