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Thursday, March 6, 2014


Published Thursday, March 6, 2014
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A school board workshop broke down this week over disagreements on proposed changes to the operating manual for the board. While the proposed manual seems reasonable enough at first glance, board members and community activists have plenty of history informing their apprehensions. 

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Published Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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When Carlos Beruff gave assurances to the public that he would follow the county's rules while developing the land adjacent to Sarasota Bay and its fragile environment, citizens hoped to believe the developer, who also served on the body that regulates state environmental rules. However, in gaining his first approval from the BOCC last week, Beruff and partner Larry Lieberman instead requested special approvals that exempted them from the rules other developers have to follow. To almost no one's surprise, they got them.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014


Published Sunday, March 2, 2014
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Florida has suffered a recent spat of senseless violence in the form of high-profile shootings that have led to renewed calls to repeal our controversial Stand Your Ground laws. While I fully support such a repeal, I’d like to take a look at the bigger picture and ask why we seem to have become a society whose new social norms almost seem to guarantee the escalation of any confrontation.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


Published Thursday, February 27, 2014
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The mother of a 1st Grader made a big splash this week for being "fed-up with Common Core." Her viral Twitter rants led to an appearance on Fox and Friends, followed by more media attention. Not surprisingly, she soon became the new poster child for the right wing opponents of the national curriculum standards. However, in all of the run-up to her new-found stardom, the one thing that no one did – not her supporters, Fox News or the many media outlets that echoed the story – was check the validity of what she was complaining about.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


Published Sunday, February 23, 2014
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Finally, someone has taken up the plight of the beleaguered land developer – again. Despite all that has been done in recent years to ease their bureaucratic burden, it appears that it is still just too difficult to make an honest buck in the building game. Enter Florida Senate Bill 372, filed by Manatee County's own Bill Galvano, which would all but rid them of the few pesky oversight mechanisms that still require a consideration of smart growth standards at the state level. Couple this with other local measures to lighten the regulatory load – like the liberal rewriting of the LDC – and Christmas would be coming early to builders in Manatee County.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Published Thursday, February 20, 2014
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Most of the hub-bub at Tuesday's state board of education meeting focused on the adoption of the Common Core Curriculum, for which more than 70 people signed up to give public comment. However, the board also heard a presentation from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, who once again plans on amending Florida's bedeviled school grading system, which has been so ineffective and oft changed that it lacks even a hint of credibility. The idea that still more changes would be implemented at the very same time that the state will be phasing in both a new curriculum and a yet-unnamed replacement for the FCAT exam seems destined for disaster.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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The populations of songbirds, bats, reptiles, amphibians are known to be shrinking by the day. But why is that? What is missing for all of these species are an adequate amount of invertebrates in their diets. Oh come now, you say, last summer was buggier then ever and I welcomed the Terminex truck and the generic pesticides sprayed 'to kill 'em all' with open arms after I saw a spider in the house. Given our current attitudes, Charlotte's Web would not be a viable story today and a publisher would laugh EB White out of his office for even having the idea of a spider as a character in a children's story of all things. 

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Sunday, February 16, 2014


Published Sunday, February 16, 2014
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Like most people in Manatee County, I am deeply disappointed that the tens of millions of dollars in financial mismanagement that has brought our school district to its knees has not been followed by an equally profound dose of comeuppance for those responsible. As sad as it seems, even as we continue to suffer as a district for those past mistakes, there seems little chance those responsible will be held criminally accountable – no matter what efforts the board and district might make.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014


Published Saturday, February 15, 2014
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In the wake of a central office collapse that had been eight years in the making, the Manatee School Board's top administration is reinventing itself with three administrators, one from within Florida with a suitable academic background and two from outside Florida without classroom experience. Because of the unique nature of the district's profound challenges at the time, going outside may have been unavoidable. However, the district should be doing everything it can to see that future leaders are groomed from within.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014


Published Thursday, February 13, 2014
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Manatee County voters are justified in their skepticism of Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett's new precinct plan, which reduces the number of precincts in the county from 99 to 69 and was approved by the county commission this week. From Florida's wretched history of voter suppression and Election Day mismanagement, to Bennett's own record, there's evidence galore that the state's political elite have something between indifference and contempt for the democratic process.

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Manatee Rural Health Certificate
 


Obituaries

Name Date
Emma LaSota September 6, 2014
Elizabeth Pagliarulo September 11, 2014
Joseph Bische August 31, 2014
Joseph Bische August 31, 2014
Jeanette Zerwin September 12, 2014
Janie Thielen September 12, 2014
Richard Schluederberg, Sr. September 10, 2014
Anne Teyssier August 28, 2014
Paul Saracino September 4, 2014
All Obituaries






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