St. Petersburg’s business community is poised to move forward because the city has emphasized safety first during the Covid-19 pandemic, a top business leader said.
A focus on face coverings, social distancing and practicing good hygiene to control the spread of the virus has prepared local business for a new normal, said Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
Pinellas County’s ordinance requiring face coverings and social distancing in public places could be up for review next month.
The face mask requirement, approved in June, has been a flash point during the Covid-19 pandemic. Backers, including top public health officials in Pinellas County, say it has been part of successful efforts to control the virus in the county. Opponents say the mask mandate it is ineffective and violates their constitutional rights. Some of the opponents are part of an organized group called Pinellas County Watch, who regularly comment during the online county commission meetings.
Dr. Tomalin's guest is Antonio "Tony" Gilliam, St. Petersburg's assistant police chief. They discuss the CAL (Community Assistance Liaison) program, which will augment the police by retaining a social service agency to respond to non-violent calls for service from the public (the pilot program begins Oct. 1). The discussion turns to the national "defund the police" movement (not happening with the St. Pete force), and Chief Holloway's "Park, Walk and Talk" initiative. Getting out of their squad cars and meeting people in the various neighborhoods, Gilliam says, "is the very foundation of law enforcement. Because if they don't know you, and you don't know them, then what are you doing?"
Operatic tenor Chris Romeo was a trumpet player and a pre-med student when he switched gears, halfway through his undergraduate years, and turned to singing.
Good choice. Today, 10 years after his debut appearance with St. Petersburg Opera Company, the St. Pete native has become one of the most recognizable vocal artists in the ranks.