Wal-Mart has new plans to build a Supercenter on the
banks of the Anclote River, and after a long, hard
battle, concerned citizens have forced Wal-Mart to take
these plans back to the Tarpon Springs Planning & Zoning
Board and the City Commission for new hearings. While
these plans contain major changes from the original site
plans approved back in January 2005, the changes do not
substantially reduce the impacts of the store - in fact,
some of them make things worse! For everyone who was
disappointed by the City's original approval of Wal-Mart
more than three years ago, this is our second chance to
stop the store.
WHAT: Tarpon Springs Planning & Zoning Board and
City Commission Hearings on New Wal-Mart Supercenter
WHEN: September 22, 2008 at 7pm (Planning & Zoning)
& October 21, 2008 at 6:30pm (City Commission)
WHERE: Tarpon Springs City Hall
WHY: This is a rare second chance for Tarpon Springs
to keep Wal-Mart from building a Supercenter on the
banks of the Anclote River - if you care, be there!
Reminders and additional information will follow
closer to the dates.
TO: NEWS DESK/CALENDAR
FROM: CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR TARPON SPRINGS, INC.
RE: FIND ANOTHER SITE Music Benefit (Sat. April 19,
On January 18-19, 2004 in a twelve hour City Commission meeting
the City of Tarpon Springs, despite the opposition from the
largest citizen’s turnout in the history of Tampa Bay, voted in
favor of the proposal by Wal-Mart to build a super center on the
banks of the Anclote River. This meeting was attended by over
400 citizens who feel this development is unnecessary and will
have a negative impact on the Anclote river, the small town
businesses, the small town ambiance, and history of this Greek
community which attracts tourists daily.
Our battle has continued on and January 19, 2008 was the three
year anniversary. However, many of these hearings/meetings
require legal assistance and expert witnesses. Therefore, on
Saturday, April 19, 2008, from 2:00 –8:00 p.m. There will be a
six hour Music Benefit to help with these fees. It will be held
at The Zone, 121 E. Tarpon Avenue, Tarpon Springs, FL. This will
be a non-smoking environment for the benefit. For further
information call: 727-367-3592. Why not come out and
celebrate EARTH DAY week by protecting our wetlands?
Music by: TC Carr, Pete Merrigan, 2PM, Julie Black, Tom
Scudiero, The Donny Simonds Band, Bleu Gravy, Chris Brudy, The
Local Yokuls, Keith Hope, Barney and The Tall Boys, Jayne
Kelli, The Humes, Peter Grace and many more. Check out their
websites. Suggested Donation: $10.00 (See “Bios” for just
some of the musicians.)
www.FriendsoftheAncloteRiver.com, Tampa Tribune - archive
8/29/06, the Tampa Bay Sun -7/13/06 and the St. Pete Times
Newspapers or call 727-367-3592.
BIOS FOR JUST SOME OF THE PERFORMING MUSICIANS
everywhere have been enjoying Pete Merrigan's bands and solo
performances for more than forty years. Starting at the age of
15 in 1965, Pete's career has taken him from high school stages
to concert halls, smoke filled bar-rooms to festivals & opera
houses, radio shows -on air and internet- and most every
imaginable venue in between, through 19 states and 3 countries,
a half million miles and several thousand shows. Pete has
entertained crowds from the Caribbean Islands and the beaches of
Florida's west coast to the ski resorts of New England playing
acoustic guitar and harmonica. A consummate performer with an
innate sense of theatrics complemented by a funky, offbeat sense
of humor, unlimited energy, a strong voice and the ability to
portray, rather than just deliver a song. Three very polished
cds chronical his original songs such as "State of Grace," "Born
Here" and "Eye of the Devil" (of which Steven Tyler said "That's
a great song!") (
T.C. CARR: T.C.Carr is a Florida native and passionate
singer songwriter with his strong lead vocals and unique harp
work which demands an audience's attention. He has earned a
reputation as one of the premier harp players in the United
States and Europe. T.C. has truly established himself as one of
Florida's best blues and Americana artists. T.C. is harp master
who plays the blues with a passion few can express. Also he has
the ability to play a mix of rock, soul, backstreet blues,
country and bluegrass. T.C. has an imaginative harp style that
changes to fit the time and a passionate vocal style that ranges
from gruff blues shouting to soulful crooning. T.C.'s background
includes almost as much country as it does blues. He is in great
demand for studio work in commercials and to do CD projects.
T.C. has shared the stage with such artists as: Big Jack
Johnson, Bo Diddley, Bob Margolin, Bruce Hornsby, Charlie
Daniels, Chick Willis, Chris Cain, Dickey Betts, Gary Primich,
Gregg Allman, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Buffett, Jon McEwen, Kim
Wilson,. Lucky Peterson, Mama's Pride, Marshall Tucker Band,
Melanie, Mike Pinera, Orleans, Steve Cropper, Steve Tyler, Susan
Tedeschi, Vassar Clements, Dan Penn and Vince Gill. T.C. was
featured in the National Geographic film The Body Snatchers. The
acting role playing himself as a malaria victim features footage
of T.C and his band playing on Pass-A-Grill beach and in London
as T.C. is filmed with the beginning stages of malaria in his
home to the brink of death in the hospital. This film brings
malaria to the doorstep of America and opens new ground for T.C
as an actor. New Happenings: The new all-acoustic CD by Dickey
Betts and Great Southern "The Collectors #1" featuring three
cuts with T.C. on harp is now available through Dickeys web site
www.dickeybetts.com and at their gigs. He's proud to be a
part of this classic CD. (www.TCCarr.com)
2PM: “2PM” is Pete Price, Pete Hennings, and Mike
Jurgensen, a trio of talented musicians who blend their varied
musical talents into an eclectic mix of material, from original
songs to well-known standards by the Beatles and Everly
Brothers, from country and western to contemporary folk. With
Jurgensen on guitar, Price on guitar and bass, and Hennings on
guitar, bass, mandolin, and violin, these three performers
combine tight instrumentation with pristine vocal harmonies to
delight audiences of all musical tastes. All three are talented
songwriters and have performed solo as well as with other bands:
Hennings and Price with Jon Semmes and the Florida Friends, and
Jurgensen and Hennings with Myriad. The combination of Pete,
Pete, and Mike as “2PM”, however, is a trio unlike any band you
have ever heard! (
Julie Black: is one of the most exciting new female
performers in the Blues & Jazz genres. She's a dynamic
vocalist, commanding your attention with deep and powerful tones
one minute, then seducing you with velvety steam-soaked sounds
the next. Now a resident of the Tampa Bay Area, she has been
singing since she was a child in the rural area of Illinois.
Her musical taste was defined early in life, when she fell in
love with Solomon Burke's 45 record "Cry to Me". She has
written over 500 songs and she is also a painter & sculptor.
Year 2007 marked the release of her debut album: Call Me Angel
for Blues. Julie has appeared on NBC & CBS television, radio
and print media. She is a favorite of Cheryl Mogul, WMNF DJ for
the Blues. She has performed at many festivals lately. Call Me
Angel for Blues is receiving national and international airplay
and has earned her great reviews. Her band members include
Michael Johnn - keys; Dave Eichenberger - guitar and vocals;
Jungle Denny McCarthy - drums and vocals and Father Bill
Spiculgia - bass. (
Barney and the Tall Boys:
Barney started playing the guitar
at age 14. Call it Country, Folk, Americana, or just plain good.
His unique voice is at once earthy and passionate. From
finger-style to hard strummin' he plays it all. He has played
actively in a variety of bands with different styles of music
since the age of 18. He writes from true feelings of his heart
and soul, and occasionally, random, if not sometimes quirky,
thoughts. Listeners relate very well to the lyrics of Barney’s
songs. His early inspirations were legends such as Kris
Kristofferson, Tom Waits, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Townes Van
Zant, and Steve Earle. (
Tom Scudiero: A singer/songwriter who was born in
Queens, New York but has found a home in Florida. Tom is known
as “the storyteller”. Tom has been awarded best male vocal and
now has been chosen “best original song” awards three weeks out
of four at the Songwriter’s Showcase at the Dunedin Brewery.
Legendary folk singer, Frank Thomas, has selected Tom to perform
at the White Springs Folk Festival in 2005, 2006, 2007 and now
look for him in May of 2008.
(Pete Gallagher, WMNF Radio, Florida Folk Show writes: The gold
inside, a dog turd, the promise in a wisp of light, that tinge
of a Sunday morning when everything is right, the smuggler flyin
low, the Iceman with no tears, the music of Tom Scudiero will
haunt your brain for years, he’s an original storyteller with
tales to tell of just exactly why this world has gone to hell.
All hands down, Tom is already there, the finest Florida
songwriter to emerge so far this century.) (www.TomScudiero.com)
Simonds Band: Donny
Simonds and his five piece band have become a legend in their
little Hudson Beach community. Pape' Kibos, in Hudson Beach is
packed full every Thursday night to hear the sounds of this up
and rising americana/alternate country /folkabilly band. With
two CD's in high demand and the third one in the making,
audiences cannot get enough of this band. (www.myspace.com/DonnySimondsBand)
Keith Hope: Keith Hope's Key Biscayne Cowboy is a
collection of songs about Key Biscayne, and other
Florida treasures. Keith
actively attends the Florida Folk Music Festival and has written
songs about Florida for decades. Key Biscayne Cowboy examines
the changing climate in South Florida's land development boom.
This music is all Florida...so be prepared to take a journey
through the back woods, the everglades and into the urban world
of Greater Miami.....Keith Hope is a Florida Music Treasure! (
Jayne Kelli: a young, petite blond with a big and
beautiful voice. Jayne, a new
Florida resident, plays guitar
and keyboard, however, she has quite true gift as a
singer/songwriter. Her top music influences are Radiohead, Tori
Amos, Fiona Apple, Muse, Howie Day, lst album Jewel and Alanis
Morrissette. She has released her first CD and you won't want to
leave without one. (
Leigh and Steve Humes: Leigh plays guitar, percussion and
she is currently working on her fiddle. A native
Memphis, Tennessee, she is an
accomplished singer/songwriter. Steve plays bass, mandolin,
guitar, percussion, and is currently working on clawhammer
banjo, dobro, and lap steel. He is also an accomplished
singer/songwriter and has performed with different bands on
various instruments over the years. He hails from Texas, where
he learned the importance of tequila and hot sauce. The Humes
play a major part of "The Cold Harbor Band" and have performed
at many folk festivals in the last couple of years. (
Brudy: A musician for
nearly forty years, "Gitar" Chris Brudy brings you the most
beloved songs of the sixties and seventies. Performing with
Guitar, Harmonica and Voice, Chris plays Bob Dylan, Beatles,
Neil Young and many others. He can tailor his set list to fit
any occasion, from solemn to joyous.
Yokals: John A. Stuper
hails from St. Louis, MO., however he was raised in the greater
Hudson area. Similarly, Jill Strahan was born in Plymouth, MI
the outskirts of Detroit but made the exodus with her kin at the
age of three, migrated to the coast of West Pasco and mutated
into a Hudsonite. The Local Yokals met in the neighborhood of
Hudson beach. The stars aligned just right one hot, fateful,
late summer evening and so was the genesis of their relationship
as well as their partnership in music. They share several of the
same interests, mainly music and boating. They enjoy singing
covers, and collaborating on their original songs. The subjects
of their originals are autobiographical, about past lovers, the
loss of friends, and the changing face of their home and
Bleu Gravy: Bleu Gravy an acoustic blend of musical
genres, Bleu Gravy has a uniquely captivating sound and feel.
From the songwriting duo of Aaron Oliveira-guitar, and
singer/guitarist, Dylan Cowles, comes a heart felt, yet
whimsical style, sure to stimulate the ears and mind. Raised in
Massachusetts, he found a
wealth of traditional music through his family and friends. Some
of his influences include: Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, The
Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd. With mastery in the finger and
flat pick guitar stylings, coupled by flawless rhythmic timing,
Aaron knows no boundaries. Dylan, a Tampa native, is an
international award winning composer (musical short, Vice
Verses, NYC Midnight film contest), who's songs have been
feature in three independent movies and on HG TV (Unique
Backyards). Gifted with simple and complex arrangements, Dylan
succeeds in drawing the listener’s attention with beautiful
melodies and compelling stories. Bleu Gravy has recently
released an 18 track disc, entitled, Bowl of Amnesia!
Ingredients: add dashes of folk, rock, blues, jazz, and world
music. Heat steadily, while stirring at alternating speeds,
ladle generously into the ears.
Peter Grace: Peter Grace is a lifelong professional
musician who has lived in Tarpon Springs for almost seven
years. He is an accomplished lead guitarist and vocalist who’s
original and cover repertoire is influenced by the styles of the
music he grew up listening to in the 60's and 70's. He has
played the part of George Harrison in several national touring
Beatle Tribute Bands and is currently putting the finishing
touches on his first CD of original music.
One man reignites fight over
By ROBIN STEIN
Published June 30, 2006
TARPON SPRINGS - Just when it seemed the fight against Wal-Mart
had fizzled out, there may be a postscript.
This week, activist-turned-candidate Chris Hrabovsky alleged
that federal wetlands regulators at the Army Corps of Engineers
worked in lockstep with Wal-Mart to ensure the
retailer received necessary permits.
Hrabovsky, 35, urged officials at Tuesday's City Commission
meeting to pressure the corps to investigate the permit
approvals for the project, a 204,000-square-foot,
Mediterranean-style Supercenter planned for U.S. 19 near the
Hrabovsky, 35, contends that the permits were issued in
violation of federal wetlands conservation laws.
Questions about wetlands are just the latest in the litany of
concerns sparked by the project.
After the city gave the project a green light more than 18
months ago, a local opposition group called Friends of the
Anclote River filed two lawsuits and paid $100,000 in legal
bills in an attempt to stop the project.
The activists managed to stall construction, but the group
appeared to concede defeat in April after an appellate court
issued a unanimous opinion dismissing one of the suits.
Now Hrabovsky remains the lone hold-out in the litigation.
This is the right fight, said Hrabovsky, who has filed to run
for the state House District 45 seat now held by Rep. Tom
Anderson, R-Dunedin. On his own, Hrabovsky has kept the second
lawsuit on the docket, which Wal-Mart spokesman Eric Brewer said
may further delay the project's groundbreaking.
Generally speaking, we won't start construction until litigation
has been settled ... (but) we don't have a specific time
schedule, Brewer said.
Now Hrabovsky is rallying some of his fellow activists to join
his lonely last stand.
Many members of the opposition group joined him at a press
conference on the steps of Tarpon Springs City Hall on Wednesday
morning, laying out new evidence they say indicates Wal-Mart misrepresented
information to get approval from the corps and the city.
Mysteriously, about a year ago about 6 acres of the wetlands
disappeared so they could qualify for the permit,said Jan
Fowler, a member of Friends of the Anclote.
Nonprofit groups such as Wal-Mart Watch, the Sierra Club and
Defenders of Wildlife helped Hrabovsky cull information from
corps permitting files and prepare a detailed memo outlining how
the corps allegedly failed to follow several of its own rules.
In particular, the memo alleges that the agency improperly
granted Wal-Mart a Nationwide Permit an expedited review program
for projects that meet specific criteria, including the amount
and types of wetlands they affect.
Wal-Mart applied for, and in early April ultimately received, an
NWP 14, a type of permit reserved for linear transportation
The outcome, Hrabovsky argues, was predetermined.
The project was never even eligible to apply for an NWP 14, let
alone receive it, he contends, arguing that the NWP cannot be
issued because of the Anclote River's status as a protected
waterway, and that a small driveway, which might not be built,
ought not qualify the Supercenter as linear transportation.
Despite federal prohibitions, Hrabovsky said, the corps allowed
Wal-Mart to split the project into smaller components during the
permit application process.
So far, there's been no response to Hrabovsky's call.
Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris questioned whether
Hrabovsky was staying on the issue to help his campaign. City
public information officer Judy Staley said the commission's
staff had not had a chance to review the document, and referred
questions to federal authorities.
The corps had neither received nor reviewed Hrabovsky's memo,
Chuck Schnepel, Tampa section chief for the corps, said
We'd have to take a look at this and we will certainly take a
look to determine whether the dimensions given to us were
actually accurate so as to meet with the requirements for the
Nationwide Permit,he said.
Schnepel said that though it's not unusual to request additional
information to address problems, he could recall only a handful
of instances in his 25-year tenure when the agency revoked a
permit that had already been issued.
Nor is such a reversal expected by Wal-Mart, said Brewer, the
company spokesman. Wal-Mart followed all the rules, he said. He
said that the corps issued the permit only after 20 months of
work and adjustments.
Certainly if there was an issue that needed independent
assessment, that would have been for the corps to determine,he
The charges have reignited the fight for some Friends of the
Anclote River such as Fowler.It's pretty strong evidence that
there was some pretty funny stuff, she said.
© Copyright 2002-2006, St. Petersburg Times
Concerned Citizens of Tarpon Springs, Inc.
February 7, 2006
Dear Friends of the Anclote River,
Over a year has passed since the marathon 12 hour City
Commission meeting in which the 24 hour Wal-Mart Super Center on
the bank of the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs, Florida, was
approved. Thanks to your help, construction has yet to begin.
However, it is not quite time to celebrate.
Two pending law suits, related yet distinct, have been filed to
stop this disaster before it happens. One is before a panel of 3
judges and we are still waiting a decision. The other, a solid
case under chapter 163 of the Fla. Statutes, is in the early
stages, will be costly to see to the end. Teamed with our
Attorney, Phil Campbell, and some assistance from an activist
group, WARN (Wal-Mart Alliance for Reform Now) we feel confident
in our position. However, court costs, expert witnesses, court
reporters, etc. are very expensive, and we need your help to see
this through. All donations go to the legal fight!
We have survived every legal challenge that Wal-Mart and their
deep pockets have thrown at us so far. We, however, remain
determined and undaunted. We have kept 16,000 additional cars a
day off of US19, prevented the installation of another traffic
light positioned between two bridges, and 800 trees on the site
are still standing. Small businesses are still maintaining the
charm of downtown Tarpon Springs. The Anclote River and its
banks east of U.S. 19 remain unspoiled, still a safe haven for
the plants and animals that nest and thrive there. You can help
keep it that way!
The finish line is close, but we need your immediate financial
help to get there. After all, our lawsuits are the only thing
keeping this commercial behemoth out of our community and off of
the river. Thank you for your continued support.
Friends of the Anclote River
On January 19th 2005, at 6:45 am, after nearly 12 hours of
testimony, the Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners voted 3-2
to approve the enormous Wal-Mart Supercenter development of the
banks of the Anclote River and US 19 here in Tarpon Springs
Friends of the Anclote River, a group of local citizens and
business owners felt so strongly about the negative impact of
this decision that we committed to continue this fight into the
county courty system. Of February 18, 2005, our attornye, Phil
Campbell, filed the legal challenge on our behalf as "COncerned
Citizens of Tarpon Springs"
Since February our case has been grinding through the legal
system and has survived each obstacle, including the City of
Tarpon Springs /Wal-Mart's "Motion to Dismiss" to try to have
our case dismissed. They claimed we filed it a day to late ( we
started the 30 day clock fromthe date the vote was taken while
the city and Wal-Mart tried to say it was started the day the
meeting began). They also calimed Concerned Citizens didn't have
"standing". We knew we would win the date issue because we had
case law on our side and we even advised the city of it.
Unfortunately, we had to defend our position and our legal costs
rose dramatically ( which we suspect was their intent all
along). We WON on both points and the case continues through the
On October 17,2005 , we filed our Response with the Circuit
Court fo the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Penellas County and our
case is now before a panel of 3 judges. We have asked for oral
arguments, as has Wal-Mart, and we are hoping to hear something
prior to the olidays. After that, a decision will be made by
this panel of Judges. We are expecting another ruling in our
favor that will send the case back before the City Commission of
Tarpon Springs again, wehre we will ahve another opportunity to
present our case. We will keep you posted as the case advances.
As this important case continues through the lega system , our
costs continue to increase. Please help us defend Tarpon Springs
and the Anclote River. Please make a
Thank you for your continued support!
Wal-Mart supercenter is approved this January 2005
by the Tarpon Springs commission.
An all night hearing that began Tuesday night concluded this
with a 3-2 vote in favor of a Wal-Mart supercenter on the
After hours of discussion and heated testimony by concerned
the Tarpon Springs City Commission voted in favor of placing a
Supercenter on the Anclote River.
Please click the links below to read the stories that have
January 30 2005:
Subject: Howard Troxler and Wal-mart by Peter Nehr Tarpon
Commissioner. Please download and read this!
From Preservation Magazine: The Real Costs article: Download
You will need adobe acrobat reader for this: If you do not have
the reader, download here