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 Plans

September 22, 2008 at 7pm (Planning & Zoning) & October 21, 2008 at 6:30pm (City Commission)

Tarpon Springs City Hall

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.


RE:             FIND ANOTHER SITE Music Benefit (Sat. April 19, 2008)
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.)
For information: 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.


PETE MERRIGAN:  Audiences 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!")  ( www.petemerrigan.com)

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!   ( www.mikejurgensen.com)

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.  ( www.angelforblues.com)


Barkin’ 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.  ( www.Barkin'Barney.com)

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)


The Donny 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! ( www.keithhope.com)

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.  ( www.myspace.com/JayneKelli)

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.  ( www.thecoldharborband)


Chris 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.


The Local 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 neighborhood.        (www.myspace.com/thelocalyokals)

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 Wal-Mart
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 Anclote River.

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 projects.

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 Wednesday.

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 said.
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 Florida.

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 system.

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 donation.

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 morning
with a 3-2 vote in favor of a Wal-Mart supercenter on the Anclote River.
After hours of discussion and heated testimony by concerned citizens,
the Tarpon Springs City Commission voted in favor of placing a Wal-Mart
Supercenter on the Anclote River.

Please click the links below to read the stories that have surrounded this

January 30 2005:

Subject: Howard Troxler and Wal-mart by Peter Nehr Tarpon Spring
Commissioner. Please download and read this!  Download Here

From Preservation Magazine: The Real Costs article:  Download here

You will need adobe acrobat reader for this: If you do not have
the reader, download here Adobe Reader product id image