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Wednesday, December 31, 2014


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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Sunday, December 28, 2014


Published Sunday, December 28, 2014

In most cases, dredging a pass would provide for safer navigation, but that is not the case in Sarasota and Manatee Counties regarding Longboat Pass, New Pass, and Big Pass. The counties want the sand for beaches, while ignoring the primary goal of these passes which is safe navigation. The winner of the sand in one location also impacts the wave energy and sand movement for the loser, especially once a groin is constructed.

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Published Sunday, December 28, 2014

After covering local rallies and reporting on OWS and other major protest events throughout the U.S., I thought I had a very good grasp on what was occurring on the ground in Zuccotti Park. But as the magnitude of the movement began to turn it into an historic event, I knew I had to see what was happening first hand. So I traveled to Manhattan last weekend and spent a day speaking with the protestors, and I was surprised at what I found.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014


Published Saturday, December 27, 2014

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When Carlos Beruff gave assurances to the public that he would follow the county's rules while developing the land adjacent to Sarasota Bay and its fragile environment, citizens hoped to believe the developer, who also served on the body that regulates state environmental rules. However, in gaining his first approval from the BOCC last week, Beruff and partner Larry Lieberman instead requested special approvals that exempted them from the rules other developers have to follow. To almost no one's surprise, they got them.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014


Published Thursday, December 25, 2014
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I make a lot of noise about buying local, especially around Christmas. I try to practice what I preach, and each year I patron local businesses over chains whenever possible. This year, however, I wanted to see if I could aim a little higher and secure my son's main Christmas gift in a completely locally-owned and produced fashion. The result was his favorite present of all time.

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Published Thursday, December 25, 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 Thursday, December 25, 2014

The largest taxing district ever created in Manatee County has been approved. The goals of the Southwest County Improvement District (SWTIF) are voluminous, but whether they'd like to admit it or not, county commissioners had the power to achieve any of them without creating a new taxing district.

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Obituaries

Name Date
Chase Bowman February 24, 2015
Arlene McDonald February 26, 2015
Michael Provost February 12, 2015
Joseph Brunory February 19, 2015
John Meiklejohn February 20, 2015
Obie Hill February 12, 2015
Alfred Gaspari February 21, 2015
Betty Hager February 20, 2015
Stacey Weinrich February 10, 2015
All Obituaries






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