Letters to the Editor, Jan. 28
Published: Monday, January 28, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 5:03 p.m.
Area has lost a friend
Alachua County lost a champion recently with the death of Theodore R. Crom. Ted influenced my life from a very young age. He later became my boss and then my friend.
His unselfish kindness was proven by his support of the Civitan Regional Blood Center. His donations gave life to hundreds who will never know his name. The clock tower in downtown Gainesville will stand for years because of his sweat and desire to preserve a small portion of our town's history.
His disciplines in the practice of civil engineering touch millions worldwide through his innovative designs of water storage vessels. His passion for quality was always high and his appreciation for employees unequaled.
I am grateful to hospice for helping this gentleman and his family during his passing.
J. Clint Jenkins III,
Thanks to gymnastics fans
On behalf of the University of Florida gymnastics team, I want to thank all the fans that came and showed their support of the Gators on Friday, Jan. 18, versus Georgia.
When the lights came up in the O'Connell Center and we saw more than 10,000 people, we were so thrilled. It was an experience that this Gator team will long cherish.
Although the meet result was just a fraction away from making the evening a complete Gator success, the encouragement and boost from our loyal fans will fuel this team as the season continues.
Thank you for showing us your support. This experience will drive us as we look for success as the season continues. We hope to see you again soon when we return to the O'Connell Center. Go Gators!
Head coach, University of Florida Gymnastics,
Time to re-evaluate Loften
We forget in this community that there is another high school. It is called Loften. With all the uproar about rezoning, I wonder if the community realizes what money is being spent to operate this school.
This high school has been undergoing a transition period for the past year. It is now the Professional Magnet Academies at Loften. And the intent was to draw students who wanted to learn horticulture, automotive technology, computer technology, first responder/EMT (also at GHS), entrepreneurship (also at BHS), construction (with SFCC) and other hands-on programs.
The programs are excellent but what bothers me is that this school serves about 200 students. Buchholz, Santa Fe and GHS average out to 2,000 students, respectively.
Lofton a fully functional school with full administrative support, career service support personnel, food personnel and teachers. The teachers have no more than 10 -12 students in a class. Most don't even have enough students to teach a full class load.
The resources that are being put into this school need to be re-evaluated. The county just built an addition to that school along with a new media center.
Certainly the county should consider making this either a full service high school, with equal academic courses offered, or close it and move these magnet programs to Eastside. Then we divert the resources being used to sustain this school to be put into building a new high school.
Why should our taxes support a school servicing a select group of students?
I urge the school board members to look into this situation. Maybe this is the answer to our zoning problems.
Celebrate the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra
The 25th anniversary year of the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra is a good time to recall how it got started. The founders of the orchestra were Carol Cohen and Helen Kirklin.
The two Gainesville violinists had the vision that Gainesville was ready to support its own professional orchestra. They asked Raymond Chobaz to conduct. He immediately said "Yes, if you get the orchestra together."
Helen and Carol recruited a core group of 13 musicians and held auditions for other players. Our first performance was on October 30, 1983, in the Reitz Union Ball Room.
For the first few years we, our families, friends and musicians formed an advisory board, wrote by-laws, brochures and programs, did the publicity, found places to play and rehearse, cleaned and renovated the old Florida Theater and managed the orchestra personnel and finances. Players performed for very little compensation and all the work was done by volunteers.
Bernice Maskin and Doris Bardon were on the first advisory board and encouraged and advised us almost from the beginning. We eventually formed a board of directors and hired Bernice as executive director.
I thank Raymond Chobaz, the founding music director and conductor who, with his energy and enthusiasm, always inspired us to play our best. My thanks go to all the board members, contributors, managers, volunteers, musicians and audiences who sustained the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra throughout its 25 seasons.
Thanks to Evans Haile, the current music director and conductor, and all the musicians for the outstanding 25th anniversary Gala Performance on Jan. 18. I encourage the Gainesville community to continue working together to keep the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra going for the next 25 years.
Co-founder, Gainesville Chamber Orchestra,
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