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Opponents Want Piper To Move On

May 20, 1989

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) _ The British Columbia Legislature has been saved from an 11th consecutive summer of seemingly non-stop bagpipe serenades by a street musician.

The City Council recently passed a resolution requiring street performers to move at least two blocks after each three-hour set.

The action has drawn mixed reviews, with officials who said Fred Tarasoff’s music gets on their nerves applauding the decision and others saying you cannot get enough of a good thing.

″It’ll be a great relief to all of us in the front of the building,″ Finance Minister Mel Couvelier said Thursday.

But Regional Development Minister Elwood Veitch, who has one of the closest offices to the piper, is on Tarasoff’s side: ″Listen, I’ve got Scottish blood coursing through my veins. Even when bagpipes are played off-chord, if that’s possible, I still love them.″

Tarasoff, who has a doctorate in zoology, each morning commutes to a corner a caber toss from the Legislature and plays until late afternoon, weather permitting.

A letter from the caucus staff of the New Democratic Party prompted the council to look at limiting Tarasoff’s time. Alderman Eric Simmons said the complaints arose because the music was incessant.

″I guess it gets a little upsetting,″ he said.

Victoria New Democrat Robin Blencoe called the bylaw a reasonable compromise between leaving Tarasoff alone or closing him down.

″As far as I know, tourists like him. I don’t think everybody is against him,″ Blencoe said.

Tarasoff said he is keeping his options open.

One NDP caucus staff member who declined to be identified said if Tarasoff is so good, he should be shared with the rest of the city: ″He’s got a monopoly on the corner and you can’t get rid of him. He’s driving me crazy.″


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