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PO BOX 780398
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send me some music
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last---past---next---now
�2006 Candor Communications


2005-05-13 - 12:40 p.m.

another pause for Mr. Clause


GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT:

The government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an Eagle to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance.

A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed.

sigh...

perhaps it is all of Florida, or the south, or the US, or the world, but Volusia County seems to always be in the forefront of turning people away based on paranoid fears of the worst that can happen when large groups gather... if the rest of the country was as frightened and negative-thinking as Volusia County officials, there'd be no Mardi Gras in New Orleans, no Sundance Film Festival in Colorado, no New Years Eve gathering in Times Square... it is the typical result of giving small minds with fear-based philosophies power to rule... the irony is that the religions of these people preach about goodness and kindness and yet given power, these same people will not trust their fellow humans to exercise the freedoms they have be law... the right of the people to lawfully assemble, like every other right of the people, gives way to right of the government to tax and police and use scare tactics to therein restrict the rights of the people...

and in the end, fear and greed rule...

so I read the article and noting the inaccuracies, I wrote the following letter to the editor:

Why do Volusia County officials compare Floridians in 2005 to New Yorkers in the Sixties in order to stir up opposition at the last minute to a music concert that has an excellent history over the past few years?

That is the essense of the article in your paper about this week's Orange Blossom Music Festival. If there is reason for concern (other than the ridiculous comparison of a few hundred people in today's Florida to the hundreds of thousands that attended Woodstock in 1969 in New York), your article offered no facts.

The fact is that the property owner has no concerns. The organizer has an excellent history of putting on great shows over the last few years. The county was aware of this event for months and expressed no concerns, in fact, attempts by the organizers to reach the county officials were ignored.

If there is any confusion or disruption at the event, it will be due to the last minute interference by the county officials. Once again, the people of Florida lose. Thank you for listening.

I kept it very brief because long editorials are ignored... one key inaccuracy points to the real motives behind the county officials last minute actions... Mary Brennan, a county land-use attorney, is quoted as saying "Apparently they decided it would just be fun to have a big party out in a cow field and charge people to camp." The fact is the fee is clearly for the concert, for the music, and camping is free... the ridiculousness of the county official's stand is clear in the following quote from Carol Kerrigan, county code administration manager: "With that number of people performing, and if each group brought one or two people, you're talking about a lot of people. We just see the potential for it drawing a lot more people, like a Woodstock type of thing."

"That number of people performing" might have been a hundred acts... how anyone can compare several hundred people to the half million that became the legendary Woodstock defies logic and borders on the ridiculous and paranoid... it seems obvious that the county officials wish to undermine the event and stir up public fears... it is also just as obvious to anyone who attended any of the events during the past few years that those fears are unfounded... a few events each year for the past few years have come off without major incident...

apparently the right people in government were not paid off in time to get a stamp of approval on this event... the fact that the county officials ignored phone calls from the event coordinator is not mentioned... the fact that in the one phone call that was responded to by a county official, the official assured the organizers that they would not need a permit because the event is on private property...

alas, humans piss in their pool all the time...

and the longer I live, the less hope I have that humanity will survive it's own petty power trips and desperation to control based on fears and prejudices and greed... but then, who knows, maybe if power is abused and peaceful people are hassled enough, maybe there'll be another groundswell of opposition to the fear-based powers and another love-based generation will, en mass, pass flowers and smiles to the fear-based people carrying clubs and guns...

so I wrote this to the author of the article...

Dear Christine,

I write to you about your article regarding the Orange Blossom Music Festival and the sudden last minute "concerns" of government officials. I personally can attest that the event coordinator made many efforts to contact the proper government offices to get a permit for this event. If the county officials had concerns, they did not return any of his phone calls to express them. He was told that permits were not needed for public gatherings on private property unless crowds exceed one thousand people. With their last minute attempts to undermine the event, it is possible that in ignoring the event coordinator's phone calls, they were trying to blow off the organizer and discourage the event. Another explanation for the lack of response from the county officials is incompetence. The county certainly did not provide the service that any good business would have provided. Who pays their salaries?

I am curious as to why your article did not question the county officials who mishandled their jobs. They are paid by public tax dollars to provide information to members of the public. Why did they ignore Mr. Weidner's phone calls back in February and March? What grounds, other than some ridiculous comparison to an event some thirty six years ago in New York State that was expecting a hundred thousand people, do they have to raise public concerns about an event that has a very good history?

Why the sudden concern now? If they sincerely are concerned about large crowds, then they are foolish to give the event more publicity by waiting until the last minute to raise controversy. It may be that the county timing is more motivated by political or economic gains, if not merely an attempt to cover up their own lack of respect for the public in the first place.

If the county did not want the event held, they did not make that known. They ignored repeated calls by Mr. Weidner. Now they choose to undermine the event at the last minute and therein effect the plans and wallets of hundreds of tax paying citizens. When a few hundred people arrive for the event in just seven days, many will be expecting to peacefully sleep in their tents overnight. The county seems to want confusion and disgruntled people next weekend if they choose, at the last moment, to change everyone's plans.

Why attempt to obstruct an artistic event on private property? Have any neighbors complained? Did you interview any member of the public who has concerns about their property? Perhaps there is real reason, other than politics, for concern. There is a several year history for the event and other events Mr. Weidner has organized. Where are the facts supporting any concerns? Your article did not cover it. Who was interviewed? Except for county officials expressing unfounded concerns, who opposes the event?

This appears to be one more sign that Volusia County does not support the arts unless the right people are paid. The people apparently do not matter.

I would hope that the people matter more to your newpaper.

yeah, me on my soapbox... I didn't think much, I just responded from my gut (which is poor administrative tactics, but hey, who'm I supposed to be administering, anyway)...

I don't know quite where we will be staying once we get there, but dang if stupid government types will stop the music or keep me from being part of the party... it is sad that The Pause of Mr. Clause is as true today as it ever was...






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