Dear Indian Shores Residents and Visitors,
Although Thanksgiving won't be the same this year, we all have a lot to be thankful for. Life is unpredictable and there are definitely highs and lows that make life exciting.
This year has been especially challenging for all of us, but it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine on the way
So take a deep breath and think about what you are truly thankful for - food, shelter, family and friends etc. We'll hope that by this time next year, we can all be together again.
Have a great and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!
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Join us for our "modified" Town Hall tree lighting ceremony now scheduled for Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Social-distanced gathering begins at 5:30 p.m. Tree lighting when it becomes dark, approximately 6:00 p.m. Santa will be chauffeured by our Police Department down Gulf Boulevard to the event. Santa's helpers report that he is requiring that masks be worn by all attendees. You better be good!
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Weather permitting, the Redington Beaches and Indian Shores 2020 Holiday Boat Parade (PDF) is scheduled on Sunday, December 13th, 6:00 p.m., launching from the Madeira Beach Tom Stuart Causeway and ending at Caddy's Restaurant for the Post-Parade Party where prizes will be awarded.
After careful consideration of the current pandemic situation and out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been made to cancel this year's Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade Viewing Party. Many who look forward to the viewing party will understandably be disappointed, but the well-being of our citizens, staff, and visitors must be our top priority.
Those who wish to view the boat parade behind Town Hall are welcome to do so. We ask that you please be mindful of others, adhere to the CDC social distancing guidelines, and to wear masks.
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As we approach the holiday season, please give a the gift of wearing a mask to yourself and others. Be diligent about wearing masks and social distancing per the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. We want this to be a safe and healthy holiday season.
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Town Hall Administration will be closed for business Thursday, November 26, through Sunday, November 29, for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Our Police Department will be on patrol as always.
Stay safe everyone.
Mayor Patrick C. Soranno
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Please find some holiday safety tips below. Have a safe Thanksgiving Holiday.
Holiday Online Shopping Scams
Due to COVID-19, 71% of consumers will be shopping online, with that being said, as real retailers roll out their seasonal deals, scammers seek to snare bargain-hunting shoppers with bogus websites and social media campaigns that impersonate major brands. These “spoofing” sites and fake posts entice you to spend money for products you’ll never receive.
Further, many are vehicles for harvesting credit card numbers and other personal data that fraudsters use to commit identity theft or sell on the dark web. Scammers may distribute malware-loaded links or attachments via supposed coupon offers or “order confirmation” emails. Frauds involving gift cards — which nearly two-thirds of shoppers buy during the holidays, according to a November 2020 AARP survey — also shift into high gear during the holidays.
Other hallmarks of the season provide grist for grifters:
- Charity scams: One-third of all charitable giving is done in December, fundraising software company Network for Good reports. That means more sham charities exploiting Americans’ goodwill via fake websites and pushy telemarketers.
- Delivery scams: As holiday packages crisscross the country, scammers send out phishing emails disguised as UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service notifications of incoming or missed deliveries. Links lead to phony sign-in pages asking for personal information or go to sites infested with malware.
- Travel scams: Despite the pandemic, nearly 2 in 5 Americans plan to travel during the holidays in 2020 (a survey by mobile-booking app maker Hopper found). Spoof booking sites and email offers proliferate with travel deals that look too good to be true and probably are.
- Letter from Santa scams: A custom letter from the jolly old elf makes a holiday treat for the little ones on your list, and many legitimate businesses offer them. But so do many scammers looking to scavenge personal information about you, or worse, your kids or grandkids, who may not learn until many years later that their identity was stolen and their credit compromised.
- Huge discounts on hot gift items, especially when touted on social media posts or unfamiliar websites.
- Spelling errors or shoddy grammar on a shopping website or in an email.
- A shopping or travel site does not list a phone number or street address for the business and offers only an email address or a fill-in contact form.
- An unsolicited email asks you to click on a link or download an app to access a deal or arrange a delivery.
- Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in and out of the car.
- Remember to set your alarm.
- If you must shop at night, park in a well lit area.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside. NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND!
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. (Lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.)
- Locate your keys prior to going to your car.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. (Try not to put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.)
- When approaching and leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. (Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.)
- Check the interior of your car before "hopping in."
- Biggest threat of holiday season is motor vehicle crashes. (Impairment, texting, speeding and being distracted in other ways greatly increase the likelihood of a motor vehicle crash.)
- Stay alert, be aware of other moving vehicles.
- If you use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a mall or well lit location. (Be aware of bushes and blind spots. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.)
- Protect your pin number by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
- Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
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Municipal Election, March 9, 2021
Attention qualified electors of the Town of Indian Shores, Florida:
In accordance with provisions of the State of Florida Election code, Public Notice is hereby given and published that a Municipal Mayoral Election will be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., 19305 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Shores, Florida, 33785, at which all registered electors of the Town shall have the opportunity to vote for a Mayor for a three-year term. The qualifying period for potential mayoral candidates is from December 4, 2020, 12:00 p.m. (noon) through December 11, 2020, 12:00 p.m.. Candidate Information Packets will be made available upon request through the Town Clerk’s Office, located on the 3rd floor of the Indian Shores Municipal Center, 19305 Gulf Blvd. Indian Shores, FL 33785, phone 727-595-4020, extension 203. Please call for an appointment.
Voter registration deadline for this election is Monday, February 8, 2021.
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Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Activates Business Damage Assessment Survey in Response to Tropical Storm Eta
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and State Emergency Response Team activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to Tropical Storm Eta, which made landfall earlier this month in South Florida and along the Nature Coast. The program will gather information through the survey from businesses affected by Tropical Storm Eta and share results with various local, state and federal agencies to implement appropriate disaster relief programs.
Business Damage Assessment Tool
The Department of Economic Opportunity has launched their business damage assessment tool for Tropical Storm Eta. Please see below for more information. The tool can be accessed at https://floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments.
Businesses will report their damages there, FDEM will receive the submissions from the DEO tool, and will then include them in our county survey spreadsheets before sending them to SBA (Small Business Administration) for validation.
Completed surveys will be used to determine which emergency support programs might be beneficial to aid recovery efforts in the area. Local, state, and federal officials will use this information to measure impact and determine need for recovery assistance programs.
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Pinellas County Emergency Management
To find Pinellas County COVID testing sites and more information can be found on the Pinellas County Covid 19 testing webpage.
Residents and visitors with questions about Pinellas County’s emergency face covering ordinance can call the County Information Center (CIC) at (727) 464-4333, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Staff are available to answer questions about the new ordinance and other COVID-19-related issues. Those with a hearing impairment can chat online.
More Informational links below:
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