The music soared, then tears flowed
In these times of wars, rumors of wars and a palpable economic gloom, a musical oasis of beauty and grace was enjoyed by over 2,000 people when the City of Dunedin Concert Band presented "A Christmas Rhapsody" at the Community Center this past weekend.
The 70-member ensemble, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary season, thrilled the overflow audiences with their spectacular Boston Pops style of playing and gave those who attended a chance to calm their hearts and renew the spirit of the season.
Buoyed by a wonderful article in the St. Petersburg Times by Terri Bryce Reeves, the overflow crowds were treated to memorable selections performed by the band that brought back those wonderful times of Christmases past. The music soared, then tears flowed. Much more than a mere concert, the all-volunteer Dunedin Concert Band reached out and touched the hearts of everyone with their collective talents.
And how did the audience respond when those final notes concluded? With a record donation amount (the band receives no other public funding) that will ensure the band's continued success and viability.
The staff of the Dunedin Community Center also did their usual superb work in handling the tremendous crowds, parking, etc., and their efforts are most appreciated.
On behalf of the band members themselves and myself, thank you to all who have supported the Dunedin Concert Band. To all, a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Dr. Louis Alan Zagar, music director and conductor, the Dunedin Concert Band
County kowtows to impracticality
It should be obvious by now that the majority of Pinellas County residents support fluoridation because of its proven benefits over an extended time frame and the complete support of the scientific and medical professions.
Perhaps the more important issue is the state of leadership provided by County Commissioners Nancy Bostock, Neil Brickfield, John Morroni and Norm Roche. They gave no consideration whatsoever to scientific and medical evidence and no thought to the potential negative economic impact of this decision. That is indicative of poor decision-making skills.
Their complete willingness to kowtow to vocal idealogues and set aside the best interests of their constituents is disturbing. Pinellas County residents should well consider supporting candidates in the future that have sufficient backbone to represent their best interests.
Leo Cain, Clearwater
Underpublicized wells shady, risky
On Nov. 22 we received a letter from the Clearwater City Planning and Development Department. It basically said anyone living within 500 feet of 1281 Hercules Ave. was being notified that the city is planning on installing water wells in the area.
It also stated that an appeal must be filed, including an appeal fee, with the Planning and Development Department within seven days of the date of the development order, which, according to the letter, was Dec. 1, 2011.
Okay, just what does that mean? Phone calls were a waste of time. The letter writer was on vacation and when connected to someone else, that person was not available or the phone was busy. Returned phone calls, forget it.
Next, a trip to the city Municipal Services Building was made. Better in person than the phone. The result: I found out from the engineering department that the city was going to install 12 new water wells spread throughout the city and the water would be fed to an enlarged reverse osmosis plant.
Two of those wells will be in Allen's Creek Park (1281 Hercules) and will pump about 500,000 gallons per day.
A meeting was held on Dec. 8 at the Drew Street library to explain to the public the city's plans. But the appeal must be in by the 7th?
It seems most of the city people involved in this plan knew nothing of the damage to about 15 homes surrounding Allen's Creek Park when the retention ponds were constructed in 1999.
At present, plans are continuing to construct these wells. The engineering firm assured me that there would be no damage to the homes surrounding these wells. That is what we were told in 1999 before construction of the park began.
One other strange thing: This project is costing the taxpayers only $33,000,000. I have seen nothing in the news about this project other than the meeting notice. I have talked to neighbors and friends and no one knows about the project. Why?
John Blechschmidt, Clearwater
Hit a homer with ripoff-style Pier
Having looked at the succession of designs for replacing the inverted pyramid Pier in St. Petersburg, and desiring something truly representative of that city, how about building a gigantic parking meter-themed structure?
We could integrate an astronomical clock with a baseball player, complete with bat, to whack an oversized quarter into a slot.
Surround the entire thing with green benches, and you have something that hits a home run in every way. A fitting tribute to Mayor Bill Foster as a bonus.
Gloria Palmer, Largo
Pier's input, look should stay local
All three plans for a new Pier in St. Petersburg are a big mistake, and I hope they are put in the circular file before they go any further. None of them tell a story about the area or its history. If one of them is picked, St. Petersburg will become the laughingstock for a lot of visitors from the world over.
I have seen or heard every description of every one of them, and they sure don't sound good. To the powers that be in St. Petersburg, scrap all three plans and start over, possibly with local folks putting in their own ideas, thoughts and plans for a new Pier.
Ron Bowman, Dunedin