Bradenton Times News Articles
On Wednesday, the Florida Public Service Commission wrapped up three days of dog and pony show "hearings" that will likely pave the way for utility companies to dramatically cut their energy conservation goals over the next half decade. Given what we know about energy production, future demand and Florida's precarious vulnerability to rising sea levels, this might seem to land somewhere between counterintuitive and insane, which is to say pretty much par for the course in the Sunshine State.more»
TBT Editor and Featured Columnist Dennis Maley is on vacation this week. He and his 10-year-old son embarked on their 8th annual summer road trip, but instead of the usual cross-country jaunt, they decided to do an all-Florida edition. The duo sent back some pictures of the iconic, rare, beautiful and sometimes downright weird things they've come across.more»
As predicted, the criminal trials of a handful of Manatee School District administrators who were facing charges for their roles in failing to report allegations of sexual abuse didn't yield much. However, the notion that the outcomes somehow mean there wasn't a huge problem, or that those administrators lived up to what kids, parents, teachers and taxpayers should expect from them is misguided to say the least.more»
The Manatee County Commission has a meeting scheduled for August 26. That is also the date of the primary election in which two commissioners face challenges. This could be a simple and easily-resolved scheduling glitch, though it was brought up to the board and administration some time ago and action has yet to be taken. When you consider that the two commissioners who are in contested races that day have often found themselves at odds with both the board chair and county administrator on key issues, it's fair to wonder whether there's an element of payback at work.more»
This week's SCOTUS decision on whether the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act violated the constitutional rights of two family-owned companies has triggered an even more rabid debate over freedom of as well as from religion. However, what seems like an intractable disagreement could – and perhaps should – move us toward a day when health insurance is no longer associated with employers.
To say that the Manatee County School District has faced a complicated array of challenges over the past couple of years would be a criminal understatement. From multimillion dollar budget errors to misusing bond revenue and other funding sources, the district has dug itself into a hole that has left taxpayers scratching their head. Board members and administrators often vent frustration as to the public's inability to understand the issues they are enraged over, but if they want to impact the dynamic there would be no better way than a dose of local government civics in the curriculum.
Florida counties that do not adopt their own charter have county commissions that include two “at-large” or countywide seats. The intent is to make them more representative of constituents, but in practice they seem to do little more than ensure that special interests maintain a majority of the vote, while also costing taxpayers a significant amount of money.
Democrats were ecstatic when news broke earlier this month that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) had inconceivably lost his Republican primary to an obscure college professor. But what exactly were they cheering? If elected, Cantor's opponent, a Tea Party extremist who actually ran on the idea that Cantor of all people was too far left, would only make it more difficult for Democrats who already complain that right-wing obstructionists are ruining Washington. More to the point, instead of gloating about Cantor's well-earned demise, they should be asking why their own base is so comparatively ineffective when it comes to party politics.more»
Faced with declining revenues amid a real estate collapse and ensuing economic recession, Manatee County began slashing funding to its libraries in 2009. With the budget recovering and library usage at an all-time high, it's time to start putting money back into a community resource that has the potential to deliver a unique return on investment.more»
At the Tuesday School Board meeting an announcement was made that went somewhat unnoticed. Barbara Harvey announced she would not seek re-election after having serviced 16 years. I’ve observed her thru most of those years and although I didn’t agree with all her actions (or inactions), thru rain or shine, health or illness, she has faithfully served our community as a school board member.more»