Monday, January 31, 2011

Piano Update and a BIG Thank You!

This story finally comes to an end…or does it?

After ranting about this incident last week, I thought I'd share with you the conclusion of the story…

The piano was removed when a Palmetto Bay resident hired a salvage company to retrieve the piano after his 10-year-old son thought the piano needed to be rescued. He got there after the original culprit had FINALLY been served with a warning to remove the piano within 24 hours or face a fine.

So, the piano is gone, its 15 minutes of fame diminishing on the horizon,

but wait, what's this?

In his article, Authorities Warn Miami Sandbar Copycats, on, Kevin Dolak reports,

"A day after a baby grand piano that mysteriously appeared on a Miami sandbar was removed, another odd batch of items has turned up at same location — and authorities are not happy.

A dinner setting for two — including a small table with two chairs, place settings, a bottle of wine and a chef statue — appeared on a Biscayne Bay sandbar on Friday morning.

Local authorities have responded to the pranks, warning that anyone caught leaving items at the sandbar would be arrested, as such activity is illegal.

'The bottom line is that this is completely against the law. People caught doing it will be arrested,' said Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission."

This is the SAME Jorge Pino that I quoted last week as saying, "it would be highly unlikely that we would cite this young man for anything." The agency "would probably write him a warning and make sure that he understands that that could be construed as littering, obviously. It's not the right thing to do."

Well, Mr. Pino, if you had handled the original situation in this way last week, you would have sent the message loud and clear — Florida does not condone dumping trash in our ocean. You set the stage for copycats to express their "artistic" endeavors, all at the cost of our precious waterways. You are just as guilty as Nicolas Harrington, because you let him off scot-free.

Nicolas Harrington, and all those involved in this atrocity, should face the consequences of illegally dumping garbage AND YOU, Mr. Pino, should loose your job.

We had a glorious weekend here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the skies we blue and the clouds were billowy. Our afternoon temps were in the mid-70s and last night's sunset was spectacular.

I took full advantage of the nice weather and hit a local beach on both days. Yep, I did. I started out early on Saturday and again on Sunday to do a little shelling and to just enjoy being out in the sunshine. I was well-rewarded with some beautiful treasures, but to end todays post and to put this piano story to rest, I thought I would share my "artistic" finds from the shore.

There is a short stretch of beach just minutes from where I live, it has become my go-to place for some beachiness. This beach sits on Tampa Bay, instead of the Gulf of Mexico. There is a beautiful park, but it has gone largely undiscovered by most folks and for reasons I'll discuss in another post, I hope to keep it that way.

As you know, I carry a trash bag with me when I go to the beach to pick up liter left by others. On Saturday, I picked up three full bags of trash. Since the park is close by, trash cans are easily available. I emptied my bag twice, but thought I would show you what was in the third. Here's my "artistic" shot…

It still gets me riled up that Nicolas Harrington thought dumping that piano was an artistic move that would look great on his college application.

How's this for artistic…

Now, as I mentioned before this stretch of beach doesn't get many visitors and I can attest that the vast majority of them are in the park and not in the water. I believe that they throw their trash in the many bins located throughout the park and don't bother to walk down to dump it in the Bay. This leaves the question of where does this much garbage come from?

In this next photo, you can see who I think the culprits are…

Tampa Bay is very popular with boaters and there are several fishing piers in the area. Understand that I'm not saying every boater and fisherman is so thoughtless, I have friends who own boats and I love to fish, but I think this explains why I come upon scenes like this when I'm on this particular beach…

I don't know what it is about the tides and currents here that would cause so many tennis balls and golf balls to show up on this beach all clustered together, but I also don't understand where they originate from. There isn't a golf course or tennis club that backs up to the beach in the Bay. Another mystery to solve?

I google this kind of nonsense and believe I know where so many tennis balls come from. There are numerous websites that explain how to make a "Tennis Ball Fishing Float." The golf balls remain a mystery — are they being used for fishing weights or is someone hitting balls off their boats? I don't know, so if you think you have the answer, let me know.

For now, the piano story is over and this week I'll be returning with some really fun posts! I've received several goodies in the mail recently from other bloggers and I can't wait to share their generosity with you. I also want to tell you about my new secret shelling spot and tell you a story about the craziest place I've ever gone shelling — you won't believe it!

Last week I was obsessed with the piano story and I was working on a deadline, so I have a lot of reading to catch up on. I do want to thank each and everyone of you who commented or sent emails about my piano posts, especially those who put it on Facebook and Tweeted. That post had so many hits! You helped get the word out, enlightened many, and your support just does this old beach gal proud.

Thank you

from the

bottom of my heart

and from the

bottom of our precious oceans.

18 Thoughtful Comments:

Anonymous said...

This story pissed me off like no other. (Pardon my language, but it's just how I felt) I wanted to smack that punk upside his head. Artistic? Come on! I can't believe the national media interviewed him and seemed fine with the fact that they were going to leave it there? I couldn't agree with you anymore my friend. I love your last two posts. Way to speak your mind. Isn't it great to have a blog to be able to do that?!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhonda, I'll have to go back and read Part I, but I can tell you where I think that some of those tennis balls might have originated. People throw balls into the water for their dogs to retrieve, and my guess is that some of those balls might have been left when they threw the balls a little too far, OR maybe they left them because they were soggy. That might be partially the reason. If it's a stretch of beach that's isolated, it also might be where people like to bring their dogs. Of course the other reason you listed could be part of it, too. But I have to wonder if the same person who is hitting golf balls into the water (practicing their swing, no doubt) is also the same one who plays with tennis balls and leaves them behind. However it got there, that is a LOT of trash, and I hate to think of some poor dolphin swallowing something like that. People should THINK. And there should be very stiff penalities for littering in the Coastal waters... or ANY waters for that matter. It's atrocious.

Off to read the other post!



Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

Thanks for the update. I can't wait to tell that to my grandmother. Unbelieveable. Our little beach gets lot's of leftovers too, especially in the summer. I almost always come home with 'treasures'
from there.

Drawn to The Sea said...

I'm pretty sure one of the cruise lines used to have a little tee box so duffers could hit shots in the ocean, not sure if that's still the case. In the movies I've seen folks hitting balls off the decks of their yachts... life imitating art, or the other way round?

I'm assuming that official is appointed, not elected?

Drawn to The Sea said...

Just to be clear, the "art" I refer to is "film".... not the trashing of golf balls.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I hope this week is beautiful...and you are able to enjoy your amazing stretch of beach! Hugs to you, my friend! ♥

Jane said...

Hey Rhonda!
I find all sorts of trash at the beach.Like others have owners often leave their "toys" when the dogs don't retrieve them. I have picked up so many balls, chews, and frisbees, not to mention other trash, in Dunedin! (and there are trash receptacles everywhere! Lazy people!!!!)

I will say, though, at my favorite east coast beach, I rarely find trash. Most of the beachgoers seem to take their trash with them...Bless them! I have never, in all my stays, found trash in the water or washed up on shore. But there are not many shells, either. I wonder if the currents take the contraband elsewhere...
Regardless...that's one more reason I love it there.
Have a great week!

Blondie's Journal said...

I'm glad the piano story had an end of sorts, but boo on the copycats.


Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Rhonda
Thank you for posting about what happened with the piano. I am amazed at what you found dumped on the beach. It's so sad that the wildlife are put in danger like that. I was interested to hear Sheila's theory for all the balls being there.
I look forward to hearing about the special place you found in Tampa Bay. We will be spending 2 days in that area in April and I really want to do some shelling.

Loui♥ said...

Hello sweet sister of the heart and sea!
The punk who put the piano was doing so with the aid of his father no less!!
they both should be fined for their stupidity!!
I too always pick up any trash I find when at the beach or in any place where it should not be..
again, stupidity seems to be the norm in so many areas..
enjoy your beautiful weather..
am watching the snow fall and the temp fall..
warmest hugs..
ps thanks for the sweet note,,you truly understood!♥

Kat said...

Thanks for the piano update Rhonda. I'm amazed at the amount of trash you picked up in such a short amount of time. I know that sometimes things wash away unintentionally, but this just looks like plain laziness and littering. Bless you for your efforts to keep our beaches clean and our sea life safe! Hugs, Kat

Desert Dreaming said...

My husband is an avid fisherman...loves to go out in his boat and just enjoy the beauty that Florida offers. I am so sick of hearing stories about injured pelicans, fish with hooks in their mouths, large birds with plastic wrapped around their is heart breaking. We can get involved and do coastal clean ups and that helps for now, but it's the careless individuals who don't think about their actions...most think it is their right to do as they wish. After living in Florida for 28 years, I could never begin to tell you the things we have found in some of the most beautiful areas of the Gulf Coast, it would make you cry. Our sea creatures, can't take care of themselves, it is up to us humans to ensure their safety and continued existence. The other thing that just tears me up, is the careless boater who still today, have no regard for the Manatee. Makes me so angry. They are such precious beautiful creatures.


Kaybe said...

I am also concerned about all the sea glass washing up on the SWFL Gulf beaches. It's not old glass. It's recently consumed beer bottles carelessly tossed overboard.

Anonymous said...

I find tennis balls, too... and figure that somebody's dog tired of freezing its butt off swimming in to retrieve a tennis ball and the owner doesn't bother getting it--or the pile of poop the dog has probably left on the beach.

Let me guess. . . did you find dog poop, too?

gpc said...

My sister has seen guys (only guys) hit golf balls off the beach, treating the water like a long green. The wealthier version of peeing into the wind, I suppose. Some people just need to spread their trash as far as they can.

rjerdee said...

You're welcome!!

I'm busy picking up trash...what else has a girl got to do?

Lillian Robinson said...

I was an avid boater for decades. Part of our routine when choosing a site to tie up for the night, was going ashore with trash bags and cleaning the area.

I was disgusted by the things people would leave behind... everything from broken bottles to dirty diapers. Seriously folks? Aren't we out there because we're nature lovers?

Now I live in the country, and the front of my property along the road, looks like your polluted stretch of beach. I don't understand people...

CrazyCris said...

With currents some of that stuff could have come from pretty far away (like the tennis balls), but the golf balls are a mystery!

Good for you for cleaning up after others!!!

I'll be joining in a beach clean-up here on Saturday if I'm well enough to venture out of the house... fingers crossed!

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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