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Sunday, May 4, 2014


Published Sunday, May 4, 2014
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With real wages adjusted for inflation flat since the early 1970's, there's long been talk of America's shrinking middle-class. Still, it came as a shock to most when a New York Times analysis recently showed that America – long the preeminent middle-class society in the world – had actually fallen behind our neighbors to the north. To understand why upward mobility is becoming less achievable in the land of the free, we need to look beyond the politics and ideologies to the realities of the 21st century.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014


Published Thursday, May 1, 2014
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For the past week, there's been a considerable uproar over the mere suggestion that the Manatee County School District would even consider selling off excess property adjacent to Miller Elementary School. I'm for keeping every bit of green space in Manatee County green, but that doesn't mean the school district still can't unload the property.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014


Published Sunday, April 27, 2014
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In the wake of the housing bust, Wall Street funds set their sights on a new target – rentals. The foreclosure mess that resulted from their toxic securitization of bad mortgages had created a massive new inventory of cheap, vacant homes. If big funds could scoop them up at pennies on the dollar by the hundreds of thousands and collect a sizeable monthly payment on each, they might be able to create a model nearly as juicy as the mortgage fiasco. The only problem is, Wall Street’s boon may once again add to Main Street’s demise.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014


Published Saturday, April 26, 2014
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At the last Board Meeting during public comments, several community members shared their concerns on the possible sale of surplus property owned by the school district adjacent to Miller Elementary. Superintendent Mills has set a public meeting for Tuesday night to address questions and concerns regarding this property. We are looking forward to working with our community to support the needs of the district and community. Last summer, the Board approved a fiscal recovery plan that included the sale of property that would enable the district to achieve fiscal stability.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


Published Thursday, April 24, 2014
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It never ceases to amaze me how so many so-called capitalists love supposedly socialist initiatives, as long as they are the ones receiving the benefits. They cheer free markets out one side of their mouth, while asking for more subsidy, tax favoritism or rules to prohibit competition out of the other. We've seen this sort of posturing most vividly in markets like oil and gas, utilities and defense contracting. But this year, there's another industry writing checks and asking for favors in order to maintain their monopolistic advantages – beer.

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Published Thursday, April 24, 2014
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The Manatee County Democratic Party settled into its new facilities earlier this year. Unfortunately, on Monday, April 14, someone "egged" the front windows of the office. That, of course, sounds like something that a badly-brought-up 10 year old might do. One can only hope that an intelligent adult, regardless of his or her political views, would not stoop to such a juvenile and destructive action. I notified  the local Police Department, and I will bring charges in the event that the responsible individuals are apprehended.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


Published Sunday, April 20, 2014
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With one department under Manatee County Public Safety having decided to unionize, another having taken steps in that direction and two more discussing the possibility, citizens might want to start taking a closer look at how these essential services are being managed and why there are so many disgruntled employees within their ranks. When they do, they will likely find a lot of head-scratching red flags, along with what might be a silver-bullet solution.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Published Thursday, April 17, 2014
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The concerns regarding Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, the non-profit organization responsible for operating the ambitious rowing facility venture near the border of Sarasota and Manatee Counties, raise a big red flag for a project that includes a huge public investment and benefits politically connected developers. While SANCA has rectified the missing financial reports needed to regain the ability to solicit private donations, taxpayers now need to be concerned with whether or not they will.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014


Published Sunday, April 13, 2014
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If you want to be a serious student of conservation, you'd better have a strong stomach. Every subject you take on is likely to keep you up at night – declining fossil fuels, precious metals and water reserves, climate change, food insecurity, etc. That's why it's so incredibly refreshing to visit the Historic Green Village on Anna Maria Island, where one ambitious couple have created a living, breathing model of the infrastructure required to operate our society in a way that will be sustainable for generations to come, while demonstrating to skeptics the immense potential of existing technology.

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Published Sunday, April 13, 2014
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About three years ago, I wrote a column about an unusual hobby: fossil and artifact hunting. In Search of the Missing Link followed a local Manatee man to several excavation sites around the county while he looked for artifacts. While the article received a fair amount of criticism because it is illegal to dig for artifacts on state-owned and controlled lands, including all waterways, it caught the attention of several educators who wanted to work with Jake, an amateur archeologist, because he had more experience in the field than professionals who spent much of their time in classroom.

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Obituaries

Name Date
David Rojas October 24, 2014
Monique Staves October 27, 2014
Patricia Gandley October 28, 2014
John Dean October 26, 2014
Viola Heckendorn October 25, 2014
Dennis Sabo October 25, 2014
Donald Smith October 25, 2014
James Powers October 22, 2004
Daniel Siglin October 21, 2014
All Obituaries






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