Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Venue, New Equipment

Most of the comments we have gotten regarding our new venue at the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department have been positive. It is certainly roomier than our old library digs and we have a lot more flexibility about the number of meetings and the length of our sessions. Hats off to "chief facility negotiator" Howard, and also to his staff.

We quickly decided, however, that one of the few drawbacks of this larger room was the lack of a public address system. This was an especial problem for those of us who are hearing impaired. We have now remedied that issue by purchasing a used public address system which we will now donate to the fire department. That way we can use it for our meetings and the fire department can use it for their weekly training sessions.

Before the purchase, I did some research of the local music stores and sound-related electronics shops, as well as the Internet, regarding prices. What I found was that the price for a new unit that would be appropriate for our purposes would be between $300 and $400. All of the vendors had basically the same prices and the same equipment. Those amounts were more than we as an organization could afford since we don't have membership dues or ways of generating income beyond personal donations. I did, however, find a used public address system at a Sarasota electronics repair shop for $150. After a demonstration, I decided to purchase the equipment using, in part, the additional $75 we have recently collected from most of you. The other $75 came from my own personal funds. Additional contributions for the PA system, from those who can and want to donate, will be accepted at our next two meetings, which will be on August 5th and August 19th. Sharon Baker has volunteered to be our "tax" collector so you can give your donations to her. Thanks, Sharon!

Now, a personal toot of my own horn: one of my flash fiction stories has been accepted by the online ezine LongStoryShort ( The title of my 571-word flash is War. It is scheduled to appear in the September 7th issue. Comments or criticisms are always appreciated.

Posted by
Russ Heitz