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Thursday, December 19, 2013


Published Thursday, December 19, 2013
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Last Friday marked a rather large milestone in digital media. Music superstar Beyoncé launched her blockbuster, eponymously-titled album in completely digital form. No CDs, no packaging, no transport; a minimal carbon footprint indeed, despite a million sales in less than a week. While the environmental rewards of such commerce received most of the attention – and they are certainly both positive and significant – the fact that far fewer working class Americans were employed by the multimillion dollar affair highlights a major challenge in our modern economy.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Published Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Over the past nine months, our focus as a district leadership team has been to address the many challenges and provide a vision to move this district forward to greatness. I firmly believe we are on that path. It is unfortunate that this school district once again faces a distraction that diverts energy and time away from our primary mission of educating our children. As with the Frazier case, this matter occurred prior to my becoming superintendent. However, as superintendent, I am obligated by law to investigate all claims of alleged unethical or unlawful behavior that are brought to my attention.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013


Published Sunday, December 15, 2013
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Former Sarasota GOP chair Bob Waechter didn't walk on Thursday, but he did get by with just a few months of "house arrest", despite facing five years in prison on charges related to a recent fraud scheme. Matters like this seem to confirm what most citizens suspect – that not only is the deck stacked against decent people trying to run for office for the right reasons, but their well-heeled adversaries also play by a completely different set of rules. It's no wonder that so few honest people are interested in public service.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013


Published Thursday, December 12, 2013
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As bipartisan support for raising the minimum wage mounts, it is becoming clear that both conservatives and liberals are learning an important economic reality: we pay for our culture of low wages one way or the other, it just costs less and helps the economy more to pay a living wage to all workers than it does to subsidize the working poor through the social safety net. Given that it’s also the right thing to do in a society of plenty, this should be an achievable effort.

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Sunday, December 8, 2013


Published Sunday, December 8, 2013
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Manatee County Commissioners approved a settlement this week, regarding an applicant's desire to increase density on a project that lies in both a Coastal High Hazard Area and Hurricane Evacuation Zones 1 and 2. The compliance agreement is not only at odds with Manatee County's Comp Plan, but also contradicts previous objections from the Department of Community Affairs and flaunts the "Conclusions of Law" in a more recent decision by an Administrative Law Judge. We feel that this is not only a bad decision for Manatee residents, but also sets a dangerous precedent.

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Published Sunday, December 8, 2013
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Nelson Mandela is rarely mentioned by a title of any sort. Though many can be ascribed – President, Nobel Peace Laureate, statesman, revolutionary, humanitarian, even boxer – none ever quite seem to possess the necessary gravity to occupy the space. In fact, he remains one of the few people in history who are universally recognized by a single name. To the world, he was simply Mandela; three syllables that said all there was to say about someone who was such a credit to humanity that his loss will be almost universally mourned.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013


Published Thursday, December 5, 2013
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Though the sting of our national embarrassment in 2012 has yet to fade, Florida officials are back with yet another blatant attempt to stack the deck in upcoming elections. Following just a little bit of obligatory, if insincere contrition after embarrassing us in the last Presidential election, Rick Scott and company have again handed Florida voters restrictive changes under laughable pretenses. From suppressing the vote to increasing the influence of big money special interests, is it even worth pretending this is still a true democratic republic?

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Sunday, December 1, 2013


Published Sunday, December 1, 2013
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In this special guest op/ed, retired local physician and longtime education activist Dr. Richard Conard describes what he sees as a major inefficiency in our school district's approach to employee health care. Dr. Conard believes that the district is not only spending more of its precious funding than is necessary, but is also realizing inferior results in terms of the health and wellness of teachers and administrators because of inadequate preventative care measures.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013


Published Sunday, November 24, 2013
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There are few if any public schools sitting around trying to decide how to spend excess funding. Most have seen their budgets plummet in recent years and are trying desperately to outfit classrooms with basic necessities, let alone state of the art learning technologies. Clearly, this makes improving performance even more difficult. Given the economic challenges facing public school educators, I find it very curious that most remain totally resistant to leveraging the one area that can have perhaps the most tremendous impact at little to no cost: student nutrition.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Published Thursday, November 21, 2013
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Forget the government shutdown and forget Obamacare – the biggest touchstone issue in the 2014 mid-term elections could be fully legalizing (or prohibiting) placing online bets through gambling websites. Already legal in Delaware and Nevada, New Jersey will become the third and most populous state to allow online gambling next week. However, the man with perhaps the deepest pockets in politics is already organizing for a national ban.

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Obituaries

Name Date
Azalee Green July 27, 2014
Annie Miller July 27, 2014
Mary Cadogan July 30, 2014
David Bray July 21, 2014
Robert Timony June 28, 2014
Barbara Pernat July 27, 2014
Homer Cablish July 24, 2014
Barbara Anderson July 23, 2014
Mary Taylor July 17, 2014
All Obituaries






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