It would be nice
I'm very happy for all the business that special events and their guests bring to local restaurants, shops, hotels and condos, festivals, etc. But ... what do I, as a resident, get from the extremely crowded three-month snowbird season? I get the same as I get from the 10-day Bike "Week" and Biketoberfest, spring break, Speed Weeks and summertime weekend visitors ... nothing.
All of the tourists tax money goes right back into the tourism fund. There is nothing allocated for the wear and tear on local roads, police, etc.
Not being rewarded in any way for putting up with the crowded supermarkets and restaurants, increased traffic and noise and so, made me think about what Key West does to compensate their citizens for having to deal with tourism. They get a locals' discount card to use at many restaurants and stores. It softens the hardships they have to deal with.
How about it New Smyrna Beach (and any other hot spots for tourists? The card Volusia County is promoting (GB card ) is a joke. The locals would certainly appreciate knowing NSB cares about its locals.
I would like to issue this rave for Capt. Jeff Lariscy of the Edgewater Fire Department and Code Enforcement Supervisor. I had questions about the placement of a motor vehicle and signage for its sale. Capt. Lariscy met with me in his office and spent a good 45 minutes listening to and answering my questions and also showed me in print the way the codes were written, so as to come to the proper interpretation of these codes. My sale of the vehicle came off without a hitch thanks to Capt. Lariscy's insight and knowledge of the codes. In my opinion, Capt. Lariscy is the man other township employees should use as an example of the grade of excellence to be met in their job performance. Capt. Lariscy, keep up the great work and thanks for your time and knowledge.
Demolition sale? Fire sale? Enough is enough
This should have been written a few months ago since it was November 2012 that was the deadline for the condemned building on Pioneer Trail/West Canal Street. This is the building with no roof, boarded up and/or broken windows, a littered yard, and probably the absolute most unsightly property in all of New Smyrna Beach. What an embarrassment to the surrounding businesses that have all spruced up their properties and have very professional buildings for their customers.
Here it is March and remnants of the building still remain -- with a recent sign on the property that reads "Demolition Sale." I say "enough is enough" with this eyesore -- let the city demolish the rest of it and send them the bill for not having met their deadline.
A take on Bike Week 2013
DeLand's one-day rally is always a highlight of Bike Week, but all that effort and set up for one day? I don't get it. Speedway bike racing drew big crowds and were super. How lucky we are to have Daytona International Speedway. Bar none, the Iron Horse has the best party environment and entertainment with Jasmine Cane topping the list of great bands. As for Main Street, easily the grand spectacle of Bike Week with huge crowds. Too bad Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood and city powers allow four-wheel vehicles to clog up traffic, taking pictures and texting. They still don't have a clue how to manage traffic like other rallies do. I can't forget the great bike shows, works of art and labors of love. Finally, Mary McLeod Bethune is always a evening with the Brotherhood not to miss. Custom bikes, Caribbean barbecue and a true "people watch" fashion show. Next, Leesburg Rally. Can't wait to explore more fun and excitement.
Treat tourists better
Reading a lot in the Hometown News about the navel-gazing among Volusia tourism insiders in the area.
Here's a novel idea. Talk to some of the tourists you already have here about what they like, or not, about what they have experienced here. Venture out of the confines of the hotel lobbies and visit the mall parking lots where you will find thousands of out-of-state tags belonging to folk who have made the trip here. Here is a sample of what you might hear:
In January, mid-week, mid-month, went to sample the cuisine at the new Main Street Pier restaurant. Hmm, parking issue. No free parking lot, streets deserted, but meters in full force till 10 p.m. and meter cops on the prowl, very few cars parked on the street anyway. Pay parking lots looking pricey and no hint that restaurant will rebate parking. Drove out to Ormond Beach Ruby Tuesday's, no parking hassle, had great time. I emailed restaurant about the experience, no response.
I got tickets for Kenny Rogers at Peabody Auditorium. Printed tickets said show time 7:30 p.m. Arrived at Auditorium Drive/A1A at 6:45 p.m.. Gridlock, nothing moving, no traffic control, did not make it to parking lot until 7:20 p.m. Enter lobby and find show already in progress, started at 7 p.m. Sent email expressing unhappiness to Peabody. No response.
Bike Week, Saturday, March 16. Park at Sunsplash Park, walk down beach to Ocean Deck. Plan is to have a beer and lunch in the enclosure. After buying bucket of four beers at 11:45 a.m. told we cannot sit at the tables on the sand until noon because of a county rule that says a beach ranger must be in place before the enclosure can be used to drink alcohol. Must sit inside until ranger shows up. Drank beer and came home, did not buy lunch. Will not be doing that again.
You folks keep shooting yourselves in the foot by not taking care of the tourists that you already have here (we come in November for five months) only because we love the area and the beach, definitely not because we are made to feel welcome and valued.
Pick up the poop
I frequently walk Madeline Avenue between Nova Road and Clyde Morris Boulevard in Port Orange. It is really annoying that people let their dogs poop on the sidewalk and they don't pick it up. Note to dog walkers: pick up the damn poop ... are people really that inconsiderate and rude?
Fly in formation
To the person who thinks the planes from Spruce Creek Fly-in flying in formation is dangerous, I have to agree it probably is. I feel, however, it is monumentally safer than driving down Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange at 50-60 mph, three wide with drivers darting from lane to lane without signaling. I enjoy watching the airplanes. It is great entertainment. Keep them flying.
Auto inspections needed
Florida watches out for itself and not its citizens. I live in Florida. I moved here from Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania your car had to be inspected yearly in order to get your new license. That meant your car would be safe to be on the road. Here in Florida, when you arrive you are slapped with a huge charge for your new license plate, but there are no automobile inspections. You can have no horn and it's no problem. You can have bad brakes and it's no problem. You can have a broken headlight and it's no problem, so easy to get away with it. How about the drivers who buy insurance one day before getting their sticker, then they cancel their insurance. God forbid you are in an accident with them.
In response to: 'Too many trains'
It is a federal law, the engineer of a train has to blow the horns at crossings no matter what the local ordinances are.
Traffic on U.S. 1 out of hand
U.S. 1 is getting out of hand, especially between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. You might as well drive on Interstate 95. They are weaving in and out of traffic cutting people off, and definitely driving 65 mph. If they focused more on U.S. 1 and showed more of a presence, that would cut down on people driving erratically.
Straw no help
I loved Dan Smith's article about Florida lawns. If he wanted to make it a little more funny about laughing at Yankees, he could include my and my ex's story. We put grass seed down with straw on top and watered it to try and get a lawn. That was ridiculous.
Drivers buzz by radar trailers showing speed. How about some tickets for these speeders in Edgewater?