5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, December 12

TAMPA - Here are 5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, December 12.

1) Ella at Encore opens today

The Tampa Housing Authority will celebrate the grand opening of "Ella at Encore" this morning.  

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and representatives from Bank of America's Community Development Corporation will be on hand to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the $26 million, 7-story building.

It will provide 160 1-and 2-bedroom apartments for seniors.  In addition to opening "Ella," the city is breaking ground on two more buildings, Trio and Reed.  City representatives say the new buildings are important Encore milestones that are essential to the planned 28-plus acres mixed-use redevelopment district in Downtown Tampa.

Grand Opening Celebration:
Ella at Encore
December 12, 2012 at 11 a.m.
1210 East Ray Charles Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33602

For more information, visit www.encoretampa.com .

2) Tampa International Airport canal maintenance

Tampa International Airport will be relocating all of its north-south aircraft operations to the eastern side of the airfield beginning today due to drainage canal maintenance.

Residents around the airport may notice some increased aircraft noise as a result of changes to the normal traffic pattern during the maintenance period.

The work is scheduled to begin this morning and continue through Friday, December 21, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Work will be suspended during the week of Christmas, and nearby residents will be notified of any additional required closures after the holiday.

3) PSTA Information Session today

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will hold information sessions today to educate the public on its new north county connector service.

PSTA began that service on Monday.  It will offer free rides through December 31. The new services will give riders the option of calling ahead to book customized pickups and drop offs within 3/4 mile of the regular, fixed route.

The information meeting starts at noon at the North Pinellas YMCA in Palm Harbor.   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
North Pinellas YMCA
4550 Village Center Drive
Palm Harbor, FL
Prospective riders can also learn about the routes by visiting www.PSTA.net/connector.

4) "12 Strays of Christmas" begins in Bradenton

Gulf Shore Animal League in Bradenton is beginning its "12 Strays of Christmas" campaign today.

From 12/12/12 through the end of December, twelve special cats will be promoted to help them get the best possible gift for Christmas, a home to call their own.  

To help them, the adoption fee for these cats is reduced to $12.  All the cats were formally strays from our community.  The shelter says they are suitable for inside, inside/outside and outside homes.  

All the cats have been spayed or neutered, tested for Feline Leukemia, have a current rabies vaccine, microchip, ear-tip and recent FVRCP vaccine.  

You can visit www.gsalinc.org to find out more about adopting the "12 Strays of Christmas."

5) Joel Stein book tour in Tampa

Time Magazine columnist Joel Stein will bring his book tour to Hyde Park Village in Tampa tonight.

The tour features his book, "Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity."  The event will include a meet and greet and book signing with the author, plus food trucks, wine tastings and other live entertainment.  

Food trucks participating include Maggie on the Move, Tasty Stacy Food Truck, Two Asians & A Grill and
Wicked 'Wiches.

Visitors must be 21 or older to attend the event.  Donations are encouraged, to benefit Meals on Wheels of Tampa.

The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.  For more information, visit www.starkravingwines.com/events/Tampa.

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