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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If someone in Bradenton wants to change the zoning of their land, it usually takes a public hearing and an approval by the city council. Not if you are Pat Neal. According to Tim Polk, who is in charge of zoning for the city, Neal's Perico Island property was not properly zoned back in the '90s when it was annexed by the city, so he gave it an R-1 zoning versus the approved PDP (Planned Development Project) on the zoning maps. Polk said Neal told him the original zoning was a mistake. The City Council approved his site plan approval without Polk disclosing he administratively changed the zoning from the approved maps.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014


Published Sunday, September 14, 2014
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Another election, another open primary stymied by the write-in voter loophole. Once again, it was in a race that came down to the narrowest of margins, and once again thousands of registered voters were kept from the polls by a widely used electoral tactic that obviously subverts the intent of our state constitution. How does this keep happening? Because the elected officials in the Florida Legislature refuse to remove a tool that they or their cronies might someday want to employ.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014


Published Thursday, September 11, 2014
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Local voters who decided to forgo the August 26 primary election and just “wait until November,” might be disappointed. Not only were several races decided last month, but the three representatives who make up the vast majority of Manatee County's representation in the state legislature are unopposed, while the fourth faces only nominal opposition. Pay attention folks, this is how democracy dies.

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Monday, September 8, 2014


Published Monday, September 8, 2014

How did Beruff, Neal, Benderson and other local developers get so rich? One reason may be Community Development Districts. There are at least 75 CDDs in Manatee County. Most county residents who live in a CDD are aware that they are receiving an extra tax bill every year to pay back the money the developer borrowed to pay for the infrastructure for their subdivision. Do not confuse CDDs with Home Owners’ Associations which are in addition to CDDs.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014


Published Sunday, September 7, 2014
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During the seemingly endless debate over what to do in light of the declining resources in its primary indigent healthcare funding source, several members of the county commission have made negative comments about Obamacare and its failure to address the issue as promised. But such attacks betray the reality that it was the Florida Legislature that turned down $51 billion in federal funds that would have put many of those patients onto the Medicaid rolls instead. As the state legislature's next session approaches, maybe it's time to point their frustration at their friends in Tallahassee.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


Published Thursday, September 4, 2014
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You may have heard the term corporate inversion in the news lately, as every few days it seems another gigantic U.S. company is structuring some sort of merger with a foreign one that will allow it to stay in the United States, while escaping much of its corporate tax liability here. Anyway you slice it, the scheme seems like greedy corporations awash in profit, cheating the country who built the system they thrive in out of the very revenue that allows it to maintain such an economic empire.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014


Published Sunday, August 31, 2014
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The Manatee County School District is hoping to respond to an expressed desire from the public to prioritize the security of students by using armed guards in elementary schools, most of which have lost their school resource officers to the financial fiasco suffered by the district at the hands of the previous administration. The district is pushing what sounds like a common sense plan to be able to afford armed security in every elementary school, in addition to deputies in middle and high schools. To almost no one's surprise, they are meeting resistance.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014


Published Thursday, August 28, 2014
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On Tuesday, Republican County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino won a landslide victory over Republican challenger Tim Norwood in a two-way open primary. However, the night before she delivered the victory, members of her own party – her own commission no less – were trying to have her kicked out of the local club. The incident, along with the race results, seem to demonstrate how terribly out of touch many Republican politicians seem to be with the voters they supposedly represent.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014


Published Sunday, August 24, 2014
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At this week's port authority meeting, Manatee County Commissioner and Port Authority Board Chair Carol Whitmore sounded the alarm that Port Manatee Director Carlos Buqueras might be hired away, were his already handsome compensation package not soon enhanced. It seems that when it comes to high-level administrators, such talk has become increasingly common even if the stated justifications don't seem to hold water.

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Published Sunday, August 24, 2014
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As a member of the Citizens Superintendent Selection Committee in early 2013, we were charged with seeking out a superintendent who could straighten out the utter financial mess and operational chaos that the previous administration and school board had created. Taxpayer dollars were being terribly misappropriated and misspent, morale was at an all-time low, the administration was so corrupt that the then superintendent resigned unexpectedly.

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Obituaries

Name Date
Emma LaSota September 6, 2014
Elizabeth Pagliarulo September 11, 2014
Joseph Bische August 31, 2014
Joseph Bische August 31, 2014
Jeanette Zerwin September 12, 2014
Janie Thielen September 12, 2014
Richard Schluederberg, Sr. September 10, 2014
Anne Teyssier August 28, 2014
Paul Saracino September 4, 2014
All Obituaries






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