News Section: Community
Manatee Spotlight October 14, 2012
The Sertoma Club Pumpkin Patch Returns
Bradenton's Original Pumpkin Patch is back. The Sertoma Club of Bradenton is happy to announce the Patch's opening on Saturday, October 13th through October 31st. This is the Patch's 36th year at 4201 Manatee Ave W near Publix and Miller Elementary School. Patch hours are Monday-Friday 2 pm to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm.
All of the proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch go to those with hearing needs and to other local charitable causes. For more information please call 941-896-7196.
Manatee County red light cameras activated for fines Monday at midnight Traffic violators will be subject to $158 fine
Traffic scofflaws, beware: the act of running red lights at some busy local intersections is about to be a costly decision.
Drivers who run red lights at two Manatee County intersections will be subject to a $158 fine beginning 12:01 a.m., Monday, Oct. 15. The red light cameras are located at 53rd Avenue and 34th Street West and at 57th Avenue East and 15th Street East. A one-month warning period began one month ago. Since then, 969 warnings were mailed to drivers who drove through red lights. Many of the warning notices were sent to drivers who failed to come to a complete stop before making a right-hand turn.
Manatee County Commissioners in September unanimously approved an agreement that many believe will pave the way to safer local roads by installing red light cameras at some of Manatee’s busiest intersections. Melissa Wandall, whose husband Mark was killed in Manatee County by a red light runner in 2003, has championed red light cameras across the state and said statistics show that red light violations are reduced between 40 percent and 96 percent where the cameras have been installed.
“For me, this is a legacy of love,” Wandall told the Board in September. “I wanted my daughter not to be marked by tragedy but to know that when something happens in our lives, we can make a difference. Then healing occurs. It’s not about trying to take away anyone’s rights; it’s about ensuring loved ones come back to us at the end of the day.”
Local traffic and law enforcement officials have also begun to evaluate the following intersections to determine whether there are safety concerns that could be helped by the cameras:
- Cortez Road and U.S. 41
- Cortez Road and 26th Street West
- Cortez Road and 59th Street West
- U.S. 41 and 53rd Avenue West
- U.S. 41 and 57th Avenue West
- S.R. 70 and Tara Boulevard
- U.S. 301 and 60th Avenue East, near the Ellenton Premium Outlets
“The goal is to retrain people and get them to abide by the signals, get them to stop at red lights and stop running them for safety purposes,” said Deputy County Administrator Karen Windon. Windon is also former director of Manatee County Public Safety Department. “Coming to a complete stop before making a right turn on red is critical to ensure the safety of other drivers, pedestrians and bicycle riders.”
Manatee Community Federal Credit Union receives top five-star rating from Bauer
Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, already one of the state’s most stable and strong credit unions, is now “superior,” according to the respected Bauer Financial ratings service.
Manatee Community received a five-star, superior rating for the second quarter of 2012. The latest ranking marks the 89th straight quarter – meaning 22 years – that the locally based credit union has earned “recommended status.”
That’s a distinction only 25 percent of the state’s credit unions can claim, said Karen Durway, Bauer Financial’s president and director of research. “It’s certainly an indication of long-term stability and strength,” Dorway said.
“Recommended” status means a banking institution has received either four stars (excellent) or five stars (superior) on Bauer’s five-star scale. Manatee Community’s five-star status is largely because of its financial stability and increased profitability, Dorway said. The credit union was “already doing really well” with low levels of loan delinquency, but three straight quarters of profitability bolstered its five-star status.
Manatee Community is on its way to increasing its loan growth by 4 percent this year. “We’re excited about our ability to maintain our high net worth while increasing the number of loans and products we provide to our members,” said Cindy Barco, Manatee Community’s president.
Founded in 1958, Manatee Community is dedicated to strengthening the community by improving the lives of Manatee County residents, workers and worshippers – especially those that are low-income -- through innovative loan programs and high-quality financial products and services. Located at 604 13th Ave. E. in Bradenton, Manatee Community is one of only three Florida credit unions to be certified as a Community Development Institution by the U.S. Treasury Department and is ranked 17th out of 7,000 credit unions nationwide for its net worth-to-assets ratio.
Blalock Walters’ Jonathan Fleece wins Health Care Hero of the Year
Attorney Jonathan Fleece has been named the 2012 Health Care Hero of the Year in the Medical Professional, Non-physician category. Finalists were honored and winners named on October 9 at the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes event at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg.
An independent panel of judges selected 37 finalists for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2012 Health Care Heroes Awards. The awards program brings focus to the big and little miracles performed by people who have dedicated their lives to helping others.
“Our very own Jonathan won the Tampa Bay Health Care Heroes Award (non-physician category). This is a well-earned and well-deserved award,” said Cliff Walters, managing partner at Blalock Walters. “Let us all bask in the reflected glory of Jonathan’s recognition as he is the first to say it was the support he received from all of you and his family that enabled him to jump start the New Health Age.”
Fleece is the acclaimed co-author of The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America. Stemming from the book he also created a national movement, along with co-author David Houle, called “The Race to a Healthy America” with the goal of making America the healthiest country in the world by 2025. He is a frequent keynote presenter to national audiences and on radio and television broadcasts.
Board Certified in Health Law by The Florida Bar and in health law practice since 1997, Fleece is considered an expert in Health Care Reform Laws and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He is the Health Care Practice Group leader at Blalock Walters, P.A. in Bradenton and Sarasota, where he advises professionals and businesses on how to strategically plan for success during the sweeping changes that are coming over the next decade.
Fleece is Founding Chair of the Manatee County Health Care Alliance, Inc., a new non-profit organization comprised of the area’s most prominent health care leaders who collaborate, coordinate and commit to improving health care in the Tampa Bay Region. He is also Chair of the Manatee Chamber’s Health Care Committee and on the Board of Directors of Tidewell Hospice.
Manatee County Dogs Attempt to Set Guinness World Record COME, SIT, STAY
How many dogs do you think will sit and stay at the same time? Well, Manatee County plans to find out when they attempt to set a world record for the most dogs sitting and staying at one time. If they succeed, they will be officially entered into the Guinness World Book of Records. This record setting event will take place on Saturday, November 17 at approximately 3:30 pm, at the 14th Annual Canine Christmas Festival at Bishop SPCA Animal Shelter Grounds, 5718 21st Ave. W. Bradenton.
Currently there is no established world record but according to the Guinness World Book officials the number of dogs with their hind quarters on the ground at the same time has to be over 100 in order to qualify for the record. The public is invited to bring their pooch and get in on the record setting attempt. The attempt will be documented with a photo for verification by the Guinness officials.
The event is on the Bishop Animal Shelter grounds off of 59th Street in Bradenton across from Blake Hospital. This year is the 14th year for the Canine Christmas Festival which takes place the same day from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Folks are encouraged to come early to enjoy this family fun event that includes all types of activities such as a canine fashion show with celebrity judges including Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Hayley Weilgus from Channel 7, The Tampa Bay Rays Street Team with Raymond making an appearance at noon, pet portraits with Santa, raffle drawings, obedience and agility demonstrations, American Fido talent show, silent auction, Canine Christmas Café, Canine Good Citizen Testing, holiday gifts for pets and pet lovers, nail trimming, 50/50 cash drawings and all the area rescue groups, foster groups and animal shelters including Manatee County Animal Services who has made it their mission to become a NO KILL county shelter. If you are looking for a dog to adopt this is a great event to attend. People are encouraged to bring their dogs but all dogs must be on a leash.
2013 Florida Creativity Conference Expands with USFSM Partnership
Florida Creativity Coalition, LLC and the College of Education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) are pleased to announce that they will partner to present the 10th Annual Florida Creativity Weekend in Sarasota March 1-3, 2013.
The conference will be conducted on the USFSM campus located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail on March 1-2, and at the newly renovated Gompertz Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre in downtown Sarasota on March 3.
The Florida Creativity Weekend is a conference that focuses on sharing creative thinking and problem solving techniques to participants in education, business, technology, government and the arts. Endorsed by the Creative Education Foundation, the nation’s preeminent creativity organization, the event is also sponsored by Florida Studio Theatre, Mote Marine, the GWIZ science museum, and Disney Destinations to provide participative presentations and educational programs. USFSM faculty and students will participate in program planning and conduct workshops.
Over 40 workshops are scheduled addressing a wide range of topics. Speakers include national experts in their fields such as Tim Hurson (ThinkX Intellectual Capital), Gert Garman (Disney), Rebecca Hopkins (FST) and Judy Winslow (Unforgettable Brands). All sessions are open to the public, community partners, students, and educators for a nominal fee.
The Florida Creativity Coalition, LLC is made up of education, business, and not-for-profit volunteers who support the teaching of creative thinking methods. It helps provide educational scholarships to students from high school through college.
Stephen Rushton, Associate Professor at USFSM, indicates that partnering with the Florida Creativity Coalition allows the University to quickly facilitate creativity training programs coordinated with nationally recognized experts. “We intend to spark the expansion of creativity, and innovation directed to educators and students. By igniting their creativity, our society will gain solutions to problems helping us to move more competitively into the future.”
“People really value our programs and return year after year,” says Katherine Heusner, the Florida Creativity Coalition’s Chairperson. “We offer a wide variety of sessions to support people in arts education, training and business, as well as helping to foster personal growth and a deeper understanding of creative thinking and problem solving. Co-Partnering with USFSM, will help us grow the conference and support innovation in this region as well act as a destination draw for participants around the USA and in Europe.”
Click here to add a comment to this page