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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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.




Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Published Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The GOP often likes to remind Americans that they are “the party of Lincoln,” something that has become increasingly difficult to remember in modern times. This week, they could not have seemed less Lincolnesque as they engaged in a form of governance that clearly put the will of a few over the greater good of many.

Published Tuesday, December 31, 2013
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Enterprise Florida has more sink than swim and losses over wins, yet the governor continues to parade it as a victory trophy. What's really going on? Is this glitterati drowning out the sucking sound of fleecing at a grandiose scale? Because when we take away the hype, we find that our wallets are only getting lighter. 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Published Monday, December 30, 2013

Covering a breaking story in which information is at a premium and demand is rather high, never makes for an easy day in the newsroom. Add in the emotional nature of a tragic event and the likelihood that information will be rushed to copy escalates, but the series of blunders and irresponsible coverage surrounding last week's events in Boston revealed major flaws in an industry that has become increasingly less of a service and much more of a product.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Published Sunday, December 29, 2013

If Senator Rand Paul's recent filibuster of new CIA Director John Brennan's Senate confirmation hearings received adequate coverage in the mainstream media, it certainly didn't benefit from a fair perspective. Paul raised a very important question on a historic subject, the concern for which has largely seemed isolated to the Libertarian movement. Outside of a small minority on the most progressive fringe of the party's base, most Democrats have given the President a pass on a policy that has included assassinating U.S. citizens abroad. But had it been implemented by Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft, I suspect it would have driven them to the streets in protest.

Published Sunday, December 29, 2013

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that the Areawide Environmental Impact Statement for Phosphate Mining in the Central Florida Phosphate District was reviewed and approved in its entirety by the Corp. However, it failed to mention that CH2M HILL, the company that performed the impact statement, has numerous ties to both of the phosphate companies at the center of the study.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Published Saturday, December 28, 2013

On Wednesday, I had the chance to hear Dr. Benjamin Carson speak at the Van Wezel in Sarasota. Carson, a prominent neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, made a national stir recently when he broke etiquette and broached the subject of politics while speaking at the White House Prayer Breakfast. The doctor's blunt nature and the fact that he was being critical of the President as he sat two seats away, made Carson an immediate hit with Fox News and right wing radio. Soon, based on little more than a few statements about back-of-the-napkin type policy ideas, the conservative base began calling for a presidential run. Why is it that rich, older, white Republicans get so excited when they hear a wealthy black person agreeing with them that the system in which both have so greatly prospered, is somehow biased against them in favor of the poor?

Published Saturday, December 28, 2013
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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.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Published Friday, December 27, 2013

It's now been more than a month since attempts to pass a half-cent sales tax to fund indigent healthcare in Manatee County failed, but there's still plenty of bickering over why that was the case. From spurious ads and special interests to dueling PACs and shadow funding, the election had plenty of Shakespearean elements. However, those shadowy aspects say more about the flaws in Florida's campaign finance laws, than why each party's efforts failed or succeeded.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Published Thursday, December 26, 2013

The county commission's most recent concession to the Mosaic Company demonstrates just how good the phosphate giant has it here in Manatee. If it can't quite push through everything it wants when applying for a major expansion, like the one it received permission for last June, it can just come back later and collect it piecemeal, the way developers have been doing for years. All the two interests have to do is make sure the dais remains full of friendly faces.

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Name Date
James Sexton April 17, 2014
Francis O'Connor April 4, 2014
Duane Silver April, 2014
Norma Semrinec April 15, 2014
Lee Jackson April, 2014
Virginia Goodhew April 11, 2014
Dorothy Hackett April 9, 2014
Margaret Nelson April 9, 2014
Robert McNally April 2, 2014
All Obituaries

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