Concert series hits full stride

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

On Friday, the second installment of the 2005 Constant’s Wharf TFIG Concert Series will be held. Oregon Hill Funk All Stars, a funk group with a lot of horns, I’m told, will perform covers by Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, James Brown and many others as well as a long list of original funk music

It should be a good show and I hope there’s a big turnout. Several I’ve spoken with who attended the initial concert two weeks ago said the park behind the Hilton was a great venue and that they appreciated the opportunity to have something so cool so close at hand.

The News-Heralds will be joining Duke Automotive, Edward Jones, Blair Brothers Construction and Budweiser as a sponsor and we plan on having a presence at the event in exchange for some publicity. We’re proud to be associated with it and hope we can help pull off a fun, successful event.

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The series becomes weekly now through the end of August, so for the next two months, there’s no need to worry about what to do on Friday nights.

At city council’s work session Wednesday, parks and recreation director Lakita Frazier gave council an update on the Driver recreation area project. It will include several ballfields, walking trails, possibly an equestrian center and various other amenities.

While there are funding, design, transportation and other details needing to come together the facility will be a reality in the not-to-distant-future and, at least the ballfields, are sorely needed.

I have a friend who plays softball. He’s on the road practically every weekend because there is no facility in Suffolk that can accommodate the large tournaments. These attract a lot of people and the plans Frazier went through Wednesday appear to be perfect for these events.

The fields are also needed by area little leaguers, who keep available venues packed. I hope council fast tracks funding.

While concerts, new ballparks, marinas and cultural arts centers are wonderful amenities, I’m beginning to fear we may be becoming overly dependent on our government to relieve us of boredom. Local governments have many important responsibilities – with less and less help from state and federal sources to fund them – and I wonder how keeping the citizenry entertained stacks up against things like adequate roads to handle our growing traffic problems, the lack of affordable housing, school construction, extending proper utilities to all as well as police and fire protection.

It would be nice to &uot;have it all,&uot; and I know that’s what our community’s leaders want for us, but those desires have to be kept in perspective. We shouldn’t try to be something we are not.

Once we put a huge park in north Suffolk, the people in east Suffolk or south Suffolk are going to want one, too, and not unjustifiably; Councilman Charles Brown said as much at Wednesday’s meeting. While I’m proud of what our city has accomplished in the past five or six years and am supportive of its efforts, I would hate to think that now or at some point in the future we could be sacrificing some essential need for what are, for the most part, luxuries.

Andy Prutsok is editor

and publisher of the News-

Herald. He can be reached at

934-9611 or at andy.prutsok@