Bradenton Times News Articles
To hear some media outlets tell it, a recent scandal over the apparent illegal firing of a state agency head has brought Florida Governor Rick Scott heat from his cabinet and even created a “power struggle” in Tallahassee. In reality, the event has brought little more than soft rhetoric and suggestion, giving the impression that despite what looks like a major breach of state law, the status quo of backroom politics and a disdain for government in the sunshine are poised to be maintained.more»
President Obama has made expanding the role played by two-year community colleges a priority in both his education and economic platforms since taking office in 2009. While increases in federal funding have helped bring that goal to fruition, the President upped the ante during Tuesday's State of the Union address, saying he wanted to bring such education on par with universal public primary-schooling, ultimately making it available to all Americans – for free. Could such a paradigm shift be a key component to the 21st century economy?more»
At Tuesday's Manatee County School Board meeting, the handful of players and citizens still paying attention to the seemingly endless saga of the Manatee High sexual abuse scandal thought they might finally witness a conclusion to one of the most sordid and embarrassing episodes in MCSD history. No such luck. However, in what would have seemed a nearly impossible achievement going in, the soap opera got even shadier.
This year has surely started out with its share of chaos. News broadcasts have told of terror reports, record rains, record cold and record heat. There have been manhunts and attacks on police being reported like sports scores — and it has only been two weeks! Sometimes it all seems too much to process. Yet in a time when we should be building bridges, it seems that all our local leaders can do is construct walls.more»
Last year, Palma Sola Bay Club developers were granted permission to trim mangroves on a bayside easement across from their site, ostensibly to protect them, in accordance with Florida law. Instead of being trimmed, the mangroves look to have been perilously altered and seem unlikely to survive. Today, the developer is set to go before the planning commission, looking for a recommendation to build an observation deck through the beleagured mangroves.more»
It’s long been thought that were there to be a 51st state, it would be Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island commonwealth that has had a sometimes complicated status as a U.S. territory dating back to the Spanish-American war. The recent decision by the U.S. to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba has some Puerto Rican activists arguing that the same logic suggests statehood for their country.
Just when you thought it was safe to petition your elected officials in an effort to protect your property and quality of life, reality strikes and your concerns are reduced to no more than an obstacle that stands in the way of the rubber stamp process of big development. The clock is ticking and you've only got three minutes to get out of their way. Welcome to life in Manatee County.more»
Rick Scott shocked the political world when he rode the 2010 Tea Party wave to an unlikely victory over an establishment candidate who was considered bulletproof in the Republican primary, before going on to edge then-CFO Alex Sink that November. His first term was a mixed bag that saw him shift from right-wing outsider to party darling to populist in just four years. With nothing to lose in his second term, it's hard to predict what direction the former hospital chain CEO will go.more»
Hard to believe, but a film about a jazz student and his over-the-top professor may have been the most audacious and brutal film of 2014. In Whiplash, filmmaker Damien Chazelle provokes repulsion from his audience by way of an abusive instructor and the children he tortures toward greatness. Yet the question it ultimately raised for me, a musician who was also a high school athlete, was why behavior that is held in contempt nearly everywhere else, is viewed as acceptable in our society when it is associated with sport.more»
The Manatee County School Board is considering adopting what sounds like a broader policy as to under what circumstances the district would extend legal representation to board members. If it is to avoid putting the taxpayers on the hook for reckless behavior, the board would be best served to narrowly specify when such representation would be withheld – most notably when board members act outside their defined roles.