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A look at events and opportunities in our area

By Melody Jameson

Manatees, Plus
With cooling of Tampa Bay and Gulf waters each year at this time, come manatees from up and down Florida’s coasts to convene in the warm clean discharge of Tampa Electric Company’s power generating plant at the western end of Big Bend Road north of Apollo Beach.  And for the 27th season, the utility has opened its Manatee Viewing Center, including the interactive manatee education center as well as its tidal walk enabling close-up connection with the far-roaming mammals now in manatee convention.

Several new features have been added this year, according to Cherie Jacobs, Tampa Electric spokesperson. The outdoor butterfly habitat has been expanded to include a garden of native and Florida friendly plants, the former shell parking area has been paved with environmentally-considerate permeable concrete, sidewalk has been constructed and a separate walking trail nearly a mile long, offering self-guided tours of a sub-tropical Florida landscape, is to open in December, she said.    

Attracting about 200,000 visitors during a5.5-month season, the 50-acre Manatee Center hours are10 AM to 5 PM every day, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, through April 15, 2013. Parking and access to the center’s features are free of charge.  
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Mr. Mayor
Elijah Heath has been named Honorary Mayor of Greater Riverview following recent conclusion of the annual major domo race conducted as a fund raiser by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce.

During the competition, Heath, a financial adviser in the Edward Jones office at Fishhawk, raised about $2,700, half of it going to his chosen charity, the Rotary Club of Fishhawk-Riverview Foundation.  Two other contenders for the honorary title, Molly Blanton and Mary Boyd, also raised substantial sums.  The three candidates this year pulled in an aggregate total topping $6,000, half earmarked for support of chamber programs and half going to the candidates’ charities. Those beneficiaries are the Boys Scouts, Kids Place of Tampa Bay and YMCA Camp Christina.

Heath will be ceremoniously installed during the chamber’s annual meeting in January.
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Forgetfulness Check
In recognition of National Memory Screening Day next week, Hillsborough County Aging Services will be providing free and confidential memory screenings Tuesday, November 13, at the Ruskin Senior Center.  The hours of availability are 9 AM to 45 PM that date.

Such screenings can be useful for individuals concerned about memory loss or related problems, those who are experiencing warnings signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease or those who may be at risk because of a family history of Alzheimer’s, according to Carol Michel, a communications coordinator for the county. Anyone interested in establishing a sort of baseline for future comparisons also can benefit from the evaluation, she added.

Appointments for screenings at the Ruskin center, 901 6th Street SE, can be made by telephone at 813/672-1107.  The screenings will be conducted at four other centers in Hillsborough County during the same hours on Tuesday, including at the Brandon Senior Center, 612 North Parsons Ave. 

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