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Poll Question: Do you think that when a drunk driver injures or kills a passenger who is also inebriated and willingly got into the car knowing the driver's state, it should be viewed the same as if they killed or injured a sober motorist or pedestrian who was not in their vehicle, in terms of their sentencing?

 Yes, either way their choice and action caused death or injury  No, they should still be punished but some of the responsibility lies with the person who chose to get in the car More polls »

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


Published Thursday, January 23, 2014
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Once you get beyond local politics, any talk of authenticity usually makes me laugh. I caught one of Alex Sink's TV commercials this weekend and though it was brand new, I got an odd sense of déjà vu – like I'd seen it before somewhere. Then it hit me that I had, in fact seen the commercial before, only it was for someone else's campaign. Today's messages seem so contrived, manufactured and focus group tested that one has to wonder, what if anything the outrageously expensive political pageantry has to do with the candidates themselves or what (if anything) they actually stand for.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014


Published Sunday, January 19, 2014
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While six years of intense saber rattling on the subject of Iran has understandably left most Americans a little bit numb in terms of hearing policy specifics, the time has come to listen and listen closely. World powers seem to have arrived at a historic window of opportunity that could pave the way for normalizing relations and drastically increasing stability in an important region. Americans should insist that Washington not allow politics to muck it up.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014


Published Thursday, January 16, 2014
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At the start of the year, many pundits were asked what they saw in store for Congress in 2014. The possibility of an immigration reform deal was universally hailed as the most likely “big thing” Washington might accomplish, unless you considered not shutting down the government again to be a victory. But our immigration woes are still much more complicated than either party's approach to reform would seem to suggest, and their concurrent approach to trade policy might best demonstrate the contradictions that begin to emerge when you get any lower than 30,000 feet.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014


Published Sunday, January 12, 2014
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On Friday, I went to the opening of Lone Survivor, the new Mark Wahlberg film about Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the only member of a four-man team to survive a mission in Afghanistan that involved the attempted kill or capture of a high-ranking Taliban leader. The movie has attracted both negative and positive responses and reignited the debate over whether Hollywood glamorizes combat, or is biased toward movies that put American foreign policy in a negative light.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


Published Thursday, January 9, 2014
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When Robin DiSabatino decided to leave the world of real estate and run for the Manatee County Commission I was among the skeptics – as she reminded me when she filed for reelection this week. Having amassed one of the largest campaign war chests in Manatee County political history – the vast majority from development-related interests – it was easy to assume that if elected, she would be just another puppet for the big-dollar builders who own most of the votes. Three years into her first term, I'll happily admit that I was wrong.

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Published Thursday, January 9, 2014
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Developers may have withdrawn their current application for a future use map amendment at Long Bar Pointe, but that doesn't mean the battle to preserve this ecologically-sensitive portion of Sarasota Bay is over. One reader suggests that the county take steps to ensure the future viability of this important, resource-rich swath of Manatee County bay front. 

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Friday, January 3, 2014


Published Friday, January 3, 2014
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It's a good bet that soon after the new Florida legislature convenes on March 4, 2014, lawmakers will be pushing a very hot-button issue -- gambling. Proponents like State Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford want constitutional amendments that would expand Florida's restricted gambling laws. Their opposition, which includes Disney and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, say more than just gambling is at stake.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014


Published Thursday, January 2, 2014
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While the politicized talking points used after the Benghazi attacks were generally accepted by most Americans as having been no worse than “mishandled,” brewing scandals at the IRS and DOJ have Americans of all stripes outraged and rethinking everything that comes out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Let's take a look at a week's worth of scandals.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014
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That would be the perfect theme for the wrap party as state lawmakers close out the 2013 legislative session. As they say, you can put liptstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Our so-called representatives in Tallahassee, however, seem to think that all a bad idea needs is pretty, new packaging and a little bit of re-tuned rhetoric in order to slip by as something less than terrible. The best thing you can say about the last 60 days might be that at least some of the swine failed to pass by undetected. 

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Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014
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To whose benefit is it that our dwindling number of wetlands continue to be squandered? To whose benefit is it that wetlands be exchanged for retention ponds? Developer Carlos Beruff, who sits on the board of SWFWMD, says, "Retention ponds aren't wetlands, but they are very close." Yes Mr. Beruff, like ponies are close to unicorns; as if to say, in illusion only.

 

 

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Obituaries

Name Date
Virginia Goodhew April 11, 2014
Dorothy Hackett April 9, 2014
Margaret Nelson April 9, 2014
Robert McNally April 2, 2014
James Hibbs April 4, 2014
Marvin Prager April 7, 2014
David Marsh April 4, 2014
Cheryl Edgington March 29, 2014
Rowland Shannon April 2, 2014
All Obituaries



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