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Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Published Wednesday, December 25, 2013
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The friction between credit unions and banks has set off a firestorm. Banks claim credit unions have gotten too big and no longer only serve the poor. Credit unions say they are non-profit, a partnership with the community, and deserve the tax-exemption status their industry was built on.

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Published Wednesday, December 25, 2013
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Americans seem to love feigning shock any time we are “betrayed” by those we worship, and the media is always willing to sensationalize a story that offers elements of corruption and deceit. But from Lance Armstrong to Major League Baseball to the crooks on Wall Street who nearly took down the global economy, evidence abounds that we live in a culture of cheating where the rewards for skirting the rules vastly outweigh the punishments for getting caught. It’s time to stop blaming the people we enable and take a look at our collective role in creating such an unethical society.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Published Tuesday, December 24, 2013
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I met Joe Newman in the summer of 2012, when we were both guests on the same radio show. I was nearly floored when Joe told me he was less than six months from celebrating his 100th birthday, “if he made it.” Though obviously on in years, he was nonetheless sharp as a tack and fit as a fiddle. I would have given him even odds to me making my 38th just a few weeks before his. I’d had the man pegged in his early 80’s. But what impressed me most about Joe was not the preservation of his mental and physical faculties after 10 decades in this world, but his enormous passion for leaving a better one behind.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013


Published Thursday, December 19, 2013
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Last Friday marked a rather large milestone in digital media. Music superstar Beyoncé launched her blockbuster, eponymously-titled album in completely digital form. No CDs, no packaging, no transport; a minimal carbon footprint indeed, despite a million sales in less than a week. While the environmental rewards of such commerce received most of the attention – and they are certainly both positive and significant – the fact that far fewer working class Americans were employed by the multimillion dollar affair highlights a major challenge in our modern economy.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Published Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Over the past nine months, our focus as a district leadership team has been to address the many challenges and provide a vision to move this district forward to greatness. I firmly believe we are on that path. It is unfortunate that this school district once again faces a distraction that diverts energy and time away from our primary mission of educating our children. As with the Frazier case, this matter occurred prior to my becoming superintendent. However, as superintendent, I am obligated by law to investigate all claims of alleged unethical or unlawful behavior that are brought to my attention.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013


Published Sunday, December 15, 2013
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Former Sarasota GOP chair Bob Waechter didn't walk on Thursday, but he did get by with just a few months of "house arrest", despite facing five years in prison on charges related to a recent fraud scheme. Matters like this seem to confirm what most citizens suspect – that not only is the deck stacked against decent people trying to run for office for the right reasons, but their well-heeled adversaries also play by a completely different set of rules. It's no wonder that so few honest people are interested in public service.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013


Published Thursday, December 12, 2013
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As bipartisan support for raising the minimum wage mounts, it is becoming clear that both conservatives and liberals are learning an important economic reality: we pay for our culture of low wages one way or the other, it just costs less and helps the economy more to pay a living wage to all workers than it does to subsidize the working poor through the social safety net. Given that it’s also the right thing to do in a society of plenty, this should be an achievable effort.

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Sunday, December 8, 2013


Published Sunday, December 8, 2013
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Manatee County Commissioners approved a settlement this week, regarding an applicant's desire to increase density on a project that lies in both a Coastal High Hazard Area and Hurricane Evacuation Zones 1 and 2. The compliance agreement is not only at odds with Manatee County's Comp Plan, but also contradicts previous objections from the Department of Community Affairs and flaunts the "Conclusions of Law" in a more recent decision by an Administrative Law Judge. We feel that this is not only a bad decision for Manatee residents, but also sets a dangerous precedent.

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Published Sunday, December 8, 2013
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Nelson Mandela is rarely mentioned by a title of any sort. Though many can be ascribed – President, Nobel Peace Laureate, statesman, revolutionary, humanitarian, even boxer – none ever quite seem to possess the necessary gravity to occupy the space. In fact, he remains one of the few people in history who are universally recognized by a single name. To the world, he was simply Mandela; three syllables that said all there was to say about someone who was such a credit to humanity that his loss will be almost universally mourned.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013


Published Thursday, December 5, 2013
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Though the sting of our national embarrassment in 2012 has yet to fade, Florida officials are back with yet another blatant attempt to stack the deck in upcoming elections. Following just a little bit of obligatory, if insincere contrition after embarrassing us in the last Presidential election, Rick Scott and company have again handed Florida voters restrictive changes under laughable pretenses. From suppressing the vote to increasing the influence of big money special interests, is it even worth pretending this is still a true democratic republic?

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Obituaries

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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