Open Letter to Mayor and Commissioners

We Need More Quiet Zones – Protect Progress Point

by Guest Columnist Charley Williams / May 26, 2021

A friendly reminder. Just a few steps away from the Progress Point site sits Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, which has been stripped of well over 20 percent of its natural green space to make way for the Library-Events Center.

You have a chance to even the score and sooth sore feelings by using Progress Point to restore to our community some of that lost passive green space. Yet, it’s beginning to sound like you plan turn it into some sort of Church Street Station retail-a-palooza.

The entire length of Orange Ave is already a retail zone, and half of Progress Point is already slated to become parking.

How about using what’s left for a park bench with shade trees, bike racks, yoga mats, a drinking fountain, and a pond or fountain? But, please, a park bench without a discarded paper taco tray sitting on it, without a half-full soft drink can underneath it and without a nearby trash can overflowing with IPA cans. And without canned music spilling from a food court.

We do not need to be entertained 24/7. Parks, by definition, don’t need to be “activated.” What we need is the viewshed. What we need is some relative peace and quiet. We need to able to hear ourselves think. We would like to enjoy the natural light.

We have only one Progress Point. For the sake of the soul of our city and the souls who live here, honor it by keeping it green.

Please urge your designers to do better.

With appreciation for all you do.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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