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Sunday, January 4, 2015


Published Sunday, January 4, 2015
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The Manatee County School Board is considering adopting what sounds like a broader policy as to under what circumstances the district would extend legal representation to board members. If it is to avoid putting the taxpayers on the hook for reckless behavior, the board would be best served to narrowly specify when such representation would be withheld – most notably when board members act outside their defined roles.

 

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Friday, January 2, 2015


Published Friday, January 2, 2015

Who doesn't want to reduce the amount of their electric bill, increase the value of their home, protect themselves against rising energy costs and remove billions of metric tons of global warming pollution from ever being produced? The answer is: your elected officials.

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Published Friday, January 2, 2015
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When I heard the news, my first thought was that surely it had to be bad intel. I got the phone call right after I woke. Hearing the words didn't make me anxious – no acrid pang in my gut, no cottony mouth. In all honesty, it was almost as if I had to will myself to be appropriately astounded. Brian David Braun couldn't be dead, I told myself. He's a force of nature. Hell, he's been half dead so long that surely he would have grown immune to a fully-lethal dose.

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Published Friday, January 2, 2015
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Florida has long been the promised land for speculators, as developers and real estate magnates have helped to shape the state in both good and bad ways over the years. The urge by state leaders to populate Florida goes back even further: the Armed Occupation Act of of 1842 was responsible for populating southwest Florida, promising 160 acres for any man willing to bear arms for the state and defend their new homestead with their lives against attack from Native Americans.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015


Published Thursday, January 1, 2015
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On Tuesday, Governor Rick Scott gave his State of the State address, kicking off the annual 60-day legislative scramble. The event was not unlike an annual shareholder meeting, with the CEO cheerleading investors who'd had a good year, blatantly patting himself on the back in the process. The only problem was that just like those meetings, our CEO was only speaking to the small class of winners, while the large masses who'd been left behind were nowhere to be found.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Published Wednesday, December 31, 2014
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Florida has suffered a recent spat of senseless violence in the form of high-profile shootings that have led to renewed calls to repeal our controversial Stand Your Ground laws. While I fully support such a repeal, I’d like to take a look at the bigger picture and ask why we seem to have become a society whose new social norms almost seem to guarantee the escalation of any confrontation.

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Published Wednesday, December 31, 2014
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Recently, the Manatee County Commission has made several troubling decisions regarding the prioritization of roadway projects, even going so far as eliminating the use of local funds, mostly generated from development impact fees. This change will now use state and federal funds, robbing scarce dollars needed to eliminate traffic congestion in our downtown areas. State law, along with Manatee County's own comp plan, requires “new development pay for its fair share of the cost of County Capital Facilities required to accommodate new development through the imposition of Impact Fees.” Using state and federal dollars to subsidize private developers does not meet that criteria, nor is it a square deal for citizens.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Published Tuesday, December 30, 2014
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A recent investigative report by the St. Pete Times exposed the nonsensical structuring of “fees” at “state-designated trauma centers.” One after another, the article detailed utterly larcenous incidents of hospitals gouging patients to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes without even providing more than a cursory look. What does it say about our country when this sort of unconscionable fleecing of the sick and injured has become commonplace in America's health care system?

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Monday, December 29, 2014


Published Monday, December 29, 2014
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As if climate change, our energy woes and an impending world water shortage weren't enough to scare the daylights out of you, many scientists and agricultural researchers are beginning to worry about “peak phosphorus” and the idea that in the near future, we will not be able to mine enough of this non-renewable resource to meet global food demand.

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Published Monday, December 29, 2014
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The debate over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the White House's damage-control tactic of shifting it to a dialog about potential harm to our security should be outweighed by the greater concern his story has revealed. Namely, that our privacy, civil rights and even our voice as to the future of the society in which we live – continues to be hijacked by the joint endeavors of government and corporate America through the growth industry of spying on ourselves.

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Obituaries

Name Date
Alice Lanford January 28, 2015
Murle Collins January 24, 2015
Edna Gregory January 27, 2015
Norma Schmidt January 28, 2015
Carol Hill January 25, 2014
Elaine Danielson January 23, 2014
John Rosshirt January 25, 2015
Lawrence Walsh January 23, 2015
Robert McConnachie January 22, 2015
All Obituaries






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