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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Published Tuesday, June 23, 2015

As a City of Bradenton resident and successful businesswoman, I recently reviewed the Bradenton Police Department’s proposed plan for utilizing the 2015-2016 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant allocated funds of $24,124.00, and I am astonished that Chief Michael Radzilowski would incautiously expend these funds for surplus office equipment. This proposal in and of itself is redundant, and even more puzzling, due to the fact that Chief Radzilowski is purchasing an additional five individual scanners for each of the Records Clerks.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Published Sunday, June 21, 2015

For the past five years, I've written a column celebrating Father's Day and another for Mother's Day. As the years go by, I find it a bit more difficult to unearth new ground to cover. I sort of took the easy way out last Father's Day and then skipped Mother's Day this year in favor of some hard news. On both occasions, I heard from disappointed readers. So, on this Father's Day, I offer a few of the hard lessons I've learned in one of life's jobs that don't come with an employee manual. 


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Published Saturday, June 20, 2015

Florida officials continue to sell taxpayers on their proposal to construct aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells, but a new peer-reviewed study published in The Journal of Geography and Geology calls the entire science into question and suggests that ASR wells might be little more than big, expensive holes in the ground.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Published Friday, June 19, 2015

Standardized testing is here to stay. The FCAT is out and FSA (Florida Standards Assessment, based on Common Core) is in. The FCAT was fraught with social issues. The FSA appears to be headed in the same direction. Standardized testing sets standards, and Florida has long been in need of educational standards. However, the question is how much testing do we need?


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Published Thursday, June 18, 2015

This week, the Florida Elections Commission found probable cause that Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie violated election statutes by paying inflated bonuses to various political operatives. Nothing about Chappie's campaign—which was for an uncontested seat—passes the smell test. What happens next will go a long way in determining whether Florida is interested in preserving even the appearance of fairly contested elections that respect the rule of law.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Published Sunday, June 14, 2015

Every year, it's the same. Month after month, we are told again and again that only growth will save us. More developments, more new homes, more economic impact and new additions to the tax rolls—county commissioners sell us the notion that development is the golden road to prosperity. Then the summer hits and all of the departments that service this growth come before the BOCC hat in hand, only to be told that there is not enough funding to help them provide those services to a larger and more sprawling population. Case in point: this week's presentations by the Manatee Sheriff's Office and the EMS department.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Published Thursday, June 11, 2015

On Tuesday, the Manatee School Board approved signing new Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene to a one-year contract. But despite caving to public pressure to promote the two-year deputy superintendent of curriculum, the public was sent a clear message via the contract's terms: expect more of the same from your board. For a body desperately needing to build trust with its community—which it will ask for hundreds of millions in extra taxpayer dollars next November—that seems like a big step in the wrong direction.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Published Sunday, June 7, 2015

Over the past several weeks, there have been conversations about the possibility of changing the organization of the Manatee County School Board by adding two at-large members to the five-member board. The idea is to get more representation and cure dysfunction. However, our county commission has employed such a model for decades and the experience has been a cautionary tale. Fortunately, there is another way—two of them, in fact.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Published Thursday, June 4, 2015

For weeks, rumors have swirled that in the wake of former Manatee School Superintendent Rick Mills' abrupt retirement, certain forces were working to install former assistant superintendent Robert Gagnon as his replacement. When the board instead, and somewhat reluctantly, voted to give Deputy Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene a one-year contract at last Tuesday's meeting, it raised an immediate question: Who would take her spot as the head of curriculum, where Gagnon had once served? Had that already been decided ahead of the vote?


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Published Sunday, May 31, 2015

Graduates of Manatee County's old Bayshore High School seem to get a lot of rare diseases, particularly cancers. There are an alarming amount of autoimmune disorders, as well as birth defects among their offspring. Some think they were exposed to chemicals from improperly maintained underground tanks that contaminated the groundwater and soil. Others think that the former building's history of mold is to blame. They've spent years looking for answers but have only found more questions and a lot of suspicious behavior, reinforcing their belief that the truth is being kept out of sight.

Manatee Rural Health Certificate


Name Date
Irene Brothers July 24, 2015
Allene O'Brien June 23, 2015
Dorothy Hill July 28 2015
David Maberry July 24, 2015
Juanita Floyd June 26, 2015
Elizabeth Bennett July 22, 2015
John Lawler July 21, 2015
Marilyn Doxey July 22, 2015
Donald Mills July 23, 2015
All Obituaries

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