Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Video chat connects Tarpon Springs with Greek sister city of Kalymnos

From left, SPC-Tarpon Springs provost Conferlete Carney, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie and Vice Mayor Chris Alahouzos talk to Dimitrios Diakomihalis, mayor of Kalymnos, Greece.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

From left, SPC-Tarpon Springs provost Conferlete Carney, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie and Vice Mayor Chris Alahouzos talk to Dimitrios Diakomihalis, mayor of Kalymnos, Greece.

TARPON SPRINGS — Thousands of miles of ocean and time zones apart, city leaders came together to share holiday blessings.

It took a little maneuvering to set up the 45-minute video call Thursday between the mayors of Tarpon Springs and its sister city of Kalymnos, Greece. The Floridians moved their laptop across the room to avoid the glare from sun streaming through the windows. The Greeks wiped their camera lens.

Numerous invitations to travel to each other's cities flew back and forth. The mayors promised to try to visit before their respective terms end.

"Hopefully we'll see you back over on this side very soon," said Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie.

In his fluent Greek, Tarpon Springs Vice Mayor Chris Alahouzos discussed the Sister Cities program, which connects the city with four Greek communities, including the island of Kalymnos.

Kalymnos Mayor Dimitrios Diakomihalis suggested sharing lists of what his city and Tarpon Springs can provide to bolster each other's culture, education and economic development.

St. Petersburg College recently renewed an agreement with Kalymnos in the hopes of starting a study abroad program by 2014. Though the framework for the exchange has been in place, the program planned for 2010 didn't work out because of a lack of funds and student interest, according to Tarpon Springs campus provost Conferlete Carney.

A new effort will also forge virtual connections between elementary schools. A school in Hora, a village on the island of Kalymnos, will receive an iPad and Smart Board from Plato Academy in Tarpon Springs, where Alahouzos serves on the board. Like the elected officials, the students can meet over video chat.

Amid the chattering in Greek with a smattering of English, Kalymnian leaders oohed over the introduction of Karen Lemmons, Tarpon Springs' economic development director.

"You must have good experience that you can share with us," the Greeks said, according to Alahouzos' translation.

The Greeks asked for a blessing. Alahouzos wished them a happy new year and prosperity, with a speedy recovery from Greece's economic crisis.

At the end of the call, Alahouzos translated a message from the Kalymnos mayor to the Tarpon Springs mayor: "He wants you to know you have lots of brothers and sisters in Kalymnos."

"Tell him he has plenty of brothers here in Tarpon Springs," Archie said.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or swang@tampabay.com.

Video chat connects Tarpon Springs with Greek sister city of Kalymnos 12/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 11:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  2. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA —When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Beth Caldwell, 35, and her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7. Caldwell had surgery to remove an aggressive brain tumor three years ago. [Photo Courtesy of Beth Caldwell]
  3. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.
  4. Dade City's Wild Things blocks PETA officials at gates for court-ordered site inspection

    Wildlife

    Times Staff Writer

    DADE CITY — Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show.

    Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show. This comes four days after 19 Wild Things tigers arrived at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. A judge had granted an emergency injunction July 14, ordering Stearns not remove any tigers pending the upcoming PETA inspection. Photo from Facebook page of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.
  5. St. Petersburg City Council approves $326 million sewage fix

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last week the City Council learned no criminal charges would result from the up to 200 million gallons of sewage St. Petersburg's sewer system released from …

    [LARA CERRI  |  Times]