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City Council should support Greater New Port Richey Main Street

Group deserves city's support

New Port Richey City Council demonstrated local politics at its worst, failing to pass acceptance of a grant agreement for Greater New Port Richey Main Street Inc.

Greater New Port Richey Main Street is the organization that presents five major downtown events, including the popular Main Street Holidays, Seafood Festival and Main Street Blast and fireworks display. Prior to Tuesday's meeting, Main Street supporters were assured that the $30,000 annual funding for their organization was in the budget to be approved for the next fiscal year.

However, at the Community Redevelopment Agency meeting, City Council members Bob Langford and Ginny Miller chose to employ 11th-hour negotiation tactics, introducing opposition to the Main Street funding.

While positioning their opposition to Main Street funding as fiscal responsibility, these two council people chose to take steps to destroy an organization that has brought positive attention and recognition to the downtown New Port Richey district over the past 20 years. Ironically, City Council member Judy DeBella Thomas, who abstained from the vote due to her position as director of Main Street, is preparing to travel to Punta Gorda to be recognized for excellence in the presentation of Main Street programs.

Anyone who has enjoyed one of the Main Street events can help by notifying the New Port Richey City Council that it's not okay to take away the events that contribute to the quality of life in New Port Richey. Mayor Scott McPherson and council member Rob Marlowe spoke up to defend the Main Street funding, citing quality of life, and repeating stories from city residents who value and treasure the Main Street events.

Once Main Street is gone we can't put the genie back in the bottle, and New Port Richey may well be left once again as a city of false starts and unfulfilled dreams.

Stephen Schurdell, New Port Richey

Helping a tiny cancer patient Sept. 12 article

Grateful for many kinds of help

I wish to commend writer Erin Sullivan on her thorough and touching account of Kyanna Olampo and her story. I spoke with Erin for quite some time for the article as a co-organizer of the Kyanna's Krusaders fundraising project, and she maintained an ideal level of friendliness and professionalism. The result was not only respectfully personal and accurate, it was also practical in that it directed readers to the several ways in which they can help Kyanna and her family.

The fundraiser was a huge success. Jungle Bounce hosted more than 80 children, plus parents and older family members. Melinda Dunn, a co-worker of mine and Kyanna's father as well as co-organizer of Kyanna's Krusaders, played a key role in organizing the event, which would not have been possible without the support and dedication of Jungle Bounce owner Dimitri Andreopoulos. While he and his employees, who volunteered to work, received no profit for the event, the Olampo family received a grand total of almost $1,500 plus private donations they received personally throughout the night. Others who donated to the event were Villa Roma Italian Restaurant of Holiday and Sugardarlings Cones-N-Cupcakes of New Port Richey.

Thanks to the St. Petersburg Times for spreading the word about Kyanna, her events and our current fundraising projects. We have already received several donations through the website, all of which are received directly by the Olampo family, as well as non-monetary offers of help and support.

Katie Schwener, New Port Richey

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City Council should support Greater New Port Richey Main Street 09/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 4:55pm]
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