+ New signage at intersection is a safety blessing
My wife and I find ourselves compelled to rebut the comments of fellow Siesta Key resident Joel Fried in your Feb. 27 Letters to the Editor. He clearly speaks from a classic “car is king” point of view.
Siesta Key is a densely populated pedestrian area (most especially in the area of Midnight Pass and Stickney Point Road), and it doesn’t lend itself to a “car is king” mind-set. If Mr. Fried were a pedestrian who had chosen to abandon his auto for a few days and walk freely in this vacation-like area of shops, eating establishments and, of course, spectacular beach, he might have a different perspective.
The new “no turn on red” traffic sign directing northbound traffic from Stickney Point to Midnight Pass Road has been a safety blessing to those of us who cross that intersection, often several times a day. I can’t enumerate the number of times that one or both of us have been nearly run over by drivers who ignored the previous “no turn on red when pedestrians are present” sign in an effort to quickly join up with the bumper-to-bumper traffic awaiting them.
In fact, there should be further new signage directing northbound traffic from Midnight Pass Road onto the Stickney Point bridge. The current “no turn on red when pedestrians are present” poses the same safety issues cited above. Drivers don’t read or heed it!
David and Linda Cerone
+ Demonstration did not reflect views of business
On Feb. 25, we were informed by the local authorities that an impeach Obama demonstration was to be set up on the public right of way outside of our south Siesta Key Davidson Drugs store. Because the demonstration took place on public property, it was beyond our control.
As we respect the opinions of everyone in our community, the views of the demonstrators are not necessarily the views of Davidson Drugs, and we wish to apologize for any inconvenience or if the views of the demonstrators offended anyone.
+ Sarasota Orchestra plays in the major league
In a recent edition of the Observer, a wonderful story was presented about five musicians and their ascent in the field of music. The story borrowed a structural comparison from the world of baseball that when applied to the Sarasota Orchestra is simply not a good fit. An impression was left by the article that musicians in orchestras other than those in the historic “big five” American orchestras are at a professional level less than major league.
Each time the musicians of the Sarasota Orchestra take to the stage, they exhibit a level of playing, artistry, commitment and attitude that firmly places them in their well-deserved major league standing. Our orchestra includes Grammy-nominated members, winners of major competitions and members of renowned summer music and teaching festivals.
Our patrons and subscribers whose long-term support has enabled our orchestra to grow know this to be true. If you have not heard the Sarasota Orchestra, I invite you to come and experience for yourself our exceptional, major league musicians and the magical leadership of our new music director, Anu Tali.
President and CEO,
+ Marco Nistico stole the show in ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’
As Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” is one of our favorite operas — and because my wife and I had tickets for the Feb. 26 evening performance by the Sarasota Opera — I read with interest and anticipation June LeBell’s review in the Feb. 20 Observer. We had also seen the Sarasota Opera’s 2008 season presentation of the same work, which, incidentally, also featured Marco Nistico in the role of Figaro.
Perhaps due to the nature of live operatic performances — every performance is, of course, different in some way(s), even with the same performers — the opera we experienced differed in several respects from that described by LeBell. In particular, her review of Nistico’s performance was less than enthusiastic. She wrote: “ ... his famous ‘Largo’ was fine but not mesmerizing — he was more careful with his music and acting, making Figaro less than the superhuman, ingenious young man he’s meant to be.” And: “Perhaps he’ll become the electrifying character called for, as the season continues.” Well, he must have evolved pretty quickly! His performance Wednesday night was spot-on — electrifying and with a wonderfully nuanced “Largo.” So, please permit our dissenting vote.
Steven Condy as Doctor Bartolo and Chrystal Williams as Rosina, as LeBell accurately noted in her review, also turned in superb performances. Maestro Cormio’s conducting was without flaws, but if there was anything wrong with the performance it was the orchestra during the “storm” scene and related musical references — it just didn’t have the “oomph” for those pieces. Perhaps Cormio’s “light touch” with the singers (as described by LeBell) was a bit too light in those sections. Or, perhaps they could have used a few more musicians in the pit. I don’t really know. But the dynamism was missing.
The Sarasota Opera is truly one of the cultural jewels in this town. They are almost always delightful, and a tribute to Maestro DeRenzi’s artistic leadership and first-class conducting. But we were impressed with every aspect of Nistico’s Figaro. Our performance was bravi tutti for the greatest part, but Nistico was the evening’s standout.
Daniel J. Knauf
+ Spring break beachgoer killed seagull in public
At 6:59 p.m. Sunday, March 9, my wife, two children and I were feeding the seagulls in front of the blue lifeguard station by Siesta Key beach when a white male in his early 20s ran up to them and kicked one like a football. The bird died right in front of us seconds later. This spring beach partygoer was about 6-foot-tall, shirtless and was wearing shorts — top half black, bottom half white. He was carrying a bottle of beer (which is illegal) and just laughed with his friend about the bird.
I called 911 immediately and found him at the other end of the beach with a group of friends. With the many other problems keeping the police busy at the beach, time could not be found by them to investigate, and he got away with it.
Would it have been different if he had killed a small child? He is an animal killer with no regard for life and should be arrested before something really bad happens. I do not want to see our Siesta Key paradise destroyed by out of town vacationing thugs.
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