Lakeland band set to release second album in January.

Lakeland-based pop-rockers Terra Terra Terra will be releasing a new full-length album, “The Space We Create,” through Round Kid Records on Jan. 15.

LAKELAND – Matthew Lowry says it all goes back to when he seemed bored and restless – and his mom decided to do something about it.
That wasn’t anytime recently for the 26-year-old Lakeland resident.
“My parents started giving me piano lessons at the age of 5,” he said. “They said I was very bored, it seems, and they wanted to keep me busy. They didn’t have a lot of money to pay for the lessons, and my mom was a hairdresser and traded haircuts for piano lessons when I was 5.”
His mom’s decision turned out to be an inspired choice. Even at that very young age, Lowry had started on a long path toward a passionate love for music.
“It just grabbed me from the start and I haven’t looked back since,” he said.
Lowry is now the bass player and co-songwriter for the rock/pop band Terra Terra Terra, which includes co-songwriter Loren Taylor on lead vocals and guitar, Micah Roth on drums for live shows, and Tyler Jordan Soucy on drums in the recording studio — where the Lakeland-based band just finished recording a full-length album, The Space We Create, which will be released on Round Kid Records on Jan. 15.
“It’s actually going to be our second album,” Lowry said, referring to Transmission Lost, which came out four years ago. Continue reading

Maitland park offers serene setting for a Farmer’s Market.

Debbie Miller brought a wide variety of imported gourmet cheeses to the Farmer’s Market on Lake Lily Park in Maitland. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

MAITLAND – With names like Japalpeno Havarti to tempt the taste buds, Debbie Miller was fully prepared to tackle just about any taste a customer might have – in cheese.
“Oh, my God, are you ready to try some?” Miller asked, as she took out a knife, then several blocks of cheese, and after carefully unwrapping them, cut slices of each one to be sampled.
“This is my Irish cheddar,” she said, as she then reached for a second sample. “This is my smoked cheese from the Netherlands. And you have to try my Whiskey Cheddar. It even smells like whiskey.”
Miller was cutting slices of cheese from the booth she had set up on Lake Lily Drive in Maitland, site of that city’s five-acre Lake Lily Park, which offers jogging trails, a wedding gazebo, picnic areas, the restored Historic Waterhouse Residence Museum – and, on Sundays, a Farmer’s Market that opens at 9 a.m.
It’s the kind of outdoor event that has been attracting businesses like Che Bella Gourmet Cheese, a company based in Lake Mary that sells a wide variety of cheeses, and which has been sending Miller down to Maitland on Sundays introduce to the local crowds to their items.
“These are all imported,” she said of the cheeses. Continue reading

While common in cities, public transit finally riding into Poinciana.

A new fixed bus route linking Poinciana to Haines City and then Winter Haven could help local residents who don’t have a car. (Photo by Dave Raith).

POINCIANA – It’s fairly common in cities like Orlando and Kissimmee for local residents who don’t have a car to walk to their nearest bus stop, and find a linked route to reach whatever destination they want to get to.
But as readily available as that service is for urban residents, it’s often much harder to find in rural areas.
And while Poinciana, with its 10 villages and large subdivisions like Solivita, may not seem like everyone’s concept of a rural area, this community of 84,000 residents has been waiting years for expanded bus service.
For residents who rely on public transportation – particularly on the Polk County side of Poinciana – the arrival of a new bus route connecting the community to the rest of Polk County is going to be greatly appreciated, said Keith Laytham.
“This is the first time ever we’ve had fixed bus service connecting Poinciana to the rest of Polk County, which is significant,” said Laytham. “Often times residents need to be able to get to the government offices in Winter Haven and Bartow, not to mention jury duty, and don’t have either a car or bus to get them there.”
Laytham lives in Solivita on the Polk County side of Poinciana, and although he has a car and a reliable means of transportation, as the president of the local civic group Poinciana Residents for Smart Change, he and other members have long pushed government leaders on both the Polk and Osceola County sides of the community to expand public transportation options here.
Now, that’s becoming a reality.
Tom Phillips, executive director of Polk Transit, the agency working to expand public transportation options in Polk County, just announced a new public transit service, Polk Transit Route 416. Continue reading

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