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Sunday, July 27, 2014


Published Sunday, July 27, 2014
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Seeing as we're about to enter another nasty Florida electoral season, I figured mid July would be a good time to get out on the road and remind myself of all the things I love about this state that I've called home for the last 13 years, so that I might recall them as answers when I inevitably ask myself what the hell I'm doing here amid the absurdity that is sure to precede November 4.

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Friday, July 25, 2014


Published Friday, July 25, 2014
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In doing my research, and with the help of Richard Jackson’s excellent writings, I have assembled an analysis of how we arrived at our present state of affairs.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014


Published Thursday, July 24, 2014
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On Wednesday, the Florida Public Service Commission wrapped up three days of dog and pony show "hearings" that will likely pave the way for utility companies to dramatically cut their energy conservation goals over the next half decade. Given what we know about energy production, future demand and Florida's precarious vulnerability to rising sea levels, this might seem to land somewhere between counterintuitive and insane, which is to say pretty much par for the course in the Sunshine State.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014


Published Sunday, July 20, 2014
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TBT Editor and Featured Columnist Dennis Maley is on vacation this week. He and his 10-year-old son embarked on their 8th annual summer road trip, but instead of the usual cross-country jaunt, they decided to do an all-Florida edition. The duo sent back some pictures of the iconic, rare, beautiful and sometimes downright weird things they've come across.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


Published Sunday, July 13, 2014
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As predicted, the criminal trials of a handful of Manatee School District administrators who were facing charges for their roles in failing to report allegations of sexual abuse didn't yield much. However, the notion that the outcomes somehow mean there wasn't a huge problem, or that those administrators lived up to what kids, parents, teachers and taxpayers should expect from them is misguided to say the least.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014
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The Manatee County Commission has a meeting scheduled for August 26. That is also the date of the primary election in which two commissioners face challenges. This could be a simple and easily-resolved scheduling glitch, though it was brought up to the board and administration some time ago and action has yet to be taken. When you consider that the two commissioners who are in contested races that day have often found themselves at odds with both the board chair and county administrator on key issues, it's fair to wonder whether there's an element of payback at work.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


Published Thursday, July 3, 2014
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This week's SCOTUS decision on whether the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act violated the constitutional rights of two family-owned companies has triggered an even more rabid debate over freedom of as well as from religion. However, what seems like an intractable disagreement could – and perhaps should – move us toward a day when health insurance is no longer associated with employers.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


Published Sunday, June 29, 2014
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To say that the Manatee County School District has faced a complicated array of challenges over the past couple of years would be a criminal understatement. From multimillion dollar budget errors to misusing bond revenue and other funding sources, the district has dug itself into a hole that has left taxpayers scratching their head. Board members and administrators often vent frustration as to the public's inability to understand the issues they are enraged over, but if they want to impact the dynamic there would be no better way than a dose of local government civics in the curriculum.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


Published Thursday, June 26, 2014
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Florida counties that do not adopt their own charter have county commissions that include two “at-large” or countywide seats. The intent is to make them more representative of constituents, but in practice they seem to do little more than ensure that special interests maintain a majority of the vote, while also costing taxpayers a significant amount of money.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


Published Sunday, June 22, 2014
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Democrats were ecstatic when news broke earlier this month that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) had inconceivably lost his Republican primary to an obscure college professor. But what exactly were they cheering? If elected, Cantor's opponent, a Tea Party extremist who actually ran on the idea that Cantor of all people was too far left, would only make it more difficult for Democrats who already complain that right-wing obstructionists are ruining Washington. More to the point, instead of gloating about Cantor's well-earned demise, they should be asking why their own base is so comparatively ineffective when it comes to party politics.

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Obituaries

Name Date
David Rojas October 24, 2014
Monique Staves October 27, 2014
Patricia Gandley October 28, 2014
John Dean October 26, 2014
Viola Heckendorn October 25, 2014
Dennis Sabo October 25, 2014
Donald Smith October 25, 2014
James Powers October 22, 2004
Daniel Siglin October 21, 2014
All Obituaries






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