Local Issues 2009
Website last updated
Monday March 22, 2010 08:50:05 AM
Photos by OurTown50.com
Meet the man who is leadingthe cause for oil drilling off of our Gulf Coast beaches, none other then Winter Park Rep. Dean Cannon, who says he doesn't want his son fighting for oil in Iran when he grows up. Maybe he could legislate some additional long term solutions like solar incentives for Florida instead of oil drilling 10 miles off our coast.
Talk about high tech, this sign is real time waiting times for a local ER in Sarasota. The longest time we have seen so far is a 22 minute wait time.
'A Celebration of Life' takes place at Casey Key Tiki Bar Sunday for Dan the Man. Dwayne the sax man performed.
Hometown boy makes it big in Hollywood, Kevin Biegel's new show Cougar Town premiers Wednesday evening. He attended Riverview H.S. and went on to Boston University. He is also a writer for Scrubs and some other shows. We remember him from his rowing days during high school. You could tell early that he was a young man of substance. Photo: QuickStop Entertainment
The rebuilding of these boat racks at Hidden Harbor Marina has been going on for 3 years as the owner complains about delays by the county. Hmmm, plan changes usually cause delays:)
The local soft economy has for lease signs covering the landscape. I guess we got to big for our pants.
* Manatee Commissioner Joe McClash starts his own online newspaper for Bradenton. Some say it is a conflict of interest. What do you think?
It's the end of an era with the closing of the University Club on Main Street in Sarasota. The Club was the official 'good ole boys' meeting place for 40 years.
Hugh Culverhouse Jr.
Sarasota YMCA and other charities benefit from long Culverhouse feud. Hugh Sr., the father created a foundation to donate money to local charities, his wife changed who got the donations along with her new husband. The son and the YMCA fought them in court. Hugh owned the Bucs and the 10,000 acre Palmer Ranch in Sarasota that he bought from the old Coast Federal. The Palmer Ranch extends from Sarasota down to Venice. Hugh Jr. donated $1 million to Doug Williams college to help make up for his father paying him a frugal salary while he played for the Bucs.
* Poachers have taken four
clutches of sea turtle eggs since June 6 from Sarasota County beaches in
Venice and Casey Key, leaving empty nest cavities that were discovered
by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Patrol volunteers. All four
clutches were laid by loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species
protected by county ordinances, federal and state laws. Officials suspect
the eggs were stolen for food or to sell on the black market. To report
someone who appears to be illegally harassing a sea turtle, digging a sea
turtle nest or handling sea turtle eggs, contact the Sarasota County Call
Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for the Sea Turtle Protection Program.
Anonymous calls are accepted.
Local Dunkin Donuts group file for bankruptcy. The local 18 stores were bought 2 years ago from Kaplan a Sarasota resident by a Boston group. They have listed $10 million in debt. Do you think he sold them because they were making money?
Sarasota Technical makeover to the tune of $45 million might include adding landscape designer and television production. What? With TV cutting back why would we need more television production people? Landscape designers, what, new area building won't be taking off for awhile.
April 1st Synopsis:
Sarasota County to make Red Light Runners serve time
holding stop signs at busy intersections.
Housing starts in Sarasota-Bradenton were at 346 in the final quarter of 2008, the lowest in the 17 years Metrostudy has tracked the market. Starts in Manatee County were up compared to the previous year at 246 but were down slightly from the quarter before.
Sarasota County had just 86 starts in the fourth quarter, the lowest number Metrostudy says its ever recorded, and an 81 percent contraction since its peak of 3,205 starts in the first quarter of 2006.
In Sarasota County there’s enough developed land to last 20 years in the market, Metrostudy said, after just 151 lots were delivered in the fourth quarter and lot inventory barely dropped. That represents a 236.5-month supply of land, a jump of seven years compared to the previous year.
In Manatee County, the supply of vacant developed lots was just under six years, while in Sarasota, it was as high as 7.5 years. 2-09
Githler developer wants City and County to kick in $50 million to help build new convention center in Sarasota. We lost the optometrists conference of thousands of Dr.'s because we didn't have enough rooms to conveniently house the participants.
* SHT newspaper cuts 48 jobs and plans to stop home delivery in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. They have cut their staff in half in the past two years.
* Local TV station run by SHT newspaper and Comcast bites the dust after investors fall by the way side for the new owners, unless a white knight comes through.
Sarasota County moves forward on road improvements to help stimulate local economy. Swift Road is being repaved as these workers enjoy warmer weather Monday. The County has over $200 million set aside for capital improvements.
Monday on U.S. 41 in Sarasota it looked like all the winter tourists had landed over the weekend and were busy scurrying about. The roads were packed. With minus degrees up north and $2 gas you think people are going to forgo coming to our area, not:)
David Band after 40 years with law the firm he founded leaves to start a new law firm.
Sarasota County sees lower income of about $40 million over the next two years. If property assessments go down income could be lower still.....but then they could raise the tax rate:) Sarasota County extends Girls Inc. lease. Commends new rowing facility concept out east.
* Florida goes from 31 to 10th best
schools in three years. The three best:
* State lawmakers take tobacco settlement money and reserves to help balance $2.3 billion budget deficit.
* The SHT newspaper does a great job of exposing problems with new homes in Sarasota metro area. Homes that were built with a drywall from China could have serious health and construction problems.
Local 'clunkers' ready for the junkyard man sit on a car lot. Each car brought a new car buyer between $3500 to $4500 in a rebate. Local car dealers who sold small economical cars did around a quarter million each in business from the Federal program.
One of around 5,000 foreclosed homes in Sarasota that will be coming to market shortly. Disrepair sets in as banks fail to keep them up.
These Hollywood producers visited
Sarasota looking for happy filming grounds:) Producers from (left to
right): Carol Cuddy, Ron Bozman, Jane Bartelme, Wren Arthur, Richard
Baratta, Bridget Johnson, Amy Robinson and Haley Sweet.
The Colony Resort readies to board up all but the restaurant. Owners won't be able to use the tennis courts or swimming pool. What a shame.
* Where did downtown residents, 34236,
live before they moved to Sarasota? Place of birth for U.S.-born residents
Hundreds gather Sunday for a fellow would be firefighter at a funeral on U.S. 41. If you have never been to a firemen's funeral and it's procession past all the fire stations then you haven't balled a bowl of tear drops. Tyler Dean Fox, 20, was a Fire Science student at SCTI when he died September 16th in a car wreck in eastern Sarasota County.
A recession, what recession as this new home proceeds on Casey Key gulf side.
Another Comcast account bites the dust on Thursday as Verizon installs a new FIOS system with internet, phone and TV at a Sarasota home. County Commissioners opened the doors to new cable companies a few years ago. Bravo!
The much loved statue gets to stay much to the dismay of art lovers in Sarasota. The City Council voted 3-2 to allow it to stay for at least 10 years on the bay front. Bravo:)
Good deeds by the local Kiwanis Club South of Sarasota help those less fortunate. Above they collect shampoo and toiletries from hotels to give to those in need.
Doctor's wife, Kathleen Briles, murdered on quiet Tierra Ciera Island near Bradenton.
Sarasota County has signed a letter of intent with the Baltimore Orioles that would bring the Baltimore Orioles here for spring training. Sketch: Sarasota County.
Florida Attorney General is running at break neck speed racking up achievements in his office to help him run for Governor. He sends out at least one or more press releases a day to let us know what he is doing.
* Sarasota DUI cases thrown out due to breathalyzer machine used by law enforcement. Around 500 cases will be thrown out of court. Which means we still have at least another 500 drunks on the road.
* A Sarasota couple and two out-of-state men are accused of bilking investors in a Ponzi-like scheme, according to a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a case filed Thursday, the SEC accuses John and Marian Morgan of Sarasota, Stephen Bowman of Omaha, Neb., and Thomas Woodcock Jr. of Rockwall, Texas, of running a fraudulent investment scheme in which they told investors they were investing in a secret but legitimate banking practice.
* City of Sarasota residents want chickens in their backyard. New group called CLUCK formed to get an ordinance passed.
Alligator over 9' caught in Nokomis. It's mating season you know, and they are out looking for some.
Woman murdered late Monday evening on Jo An Drive in Sarasota. The woman is identified as Georgann Lee Smith, a 38 year old woman. The murder residence above is taped off for the investigation and a deputy guards it.
Stogy City of Venice looks to ban ice cream men and hot dog vendors. What a poo bah attitude. Kids need the summer excitement of the neighborhood ice cream man.
With 10,000 homes in our area in the foreclosure pipeline we have more then a 12 month supply. Add to that the number of non-foreclosed homes and those that aren't listed that want to sell.
Local residents pooh pooh developers plans for a Waldorf Astoria. Why be so negative. The Ritz Carlton has added to our area so will the Waldorf Astoria.
Some say Sarasota County Economic Development Plan lacks substance and is mostly bureaucratic jargon.
According to experts oil should be trading at around $25 a barrel based on supply and demand. It hit $56 Thursday.
* Florida home insurance rates for the state run Citizens Insurance program will increase by 10% a year until the insurer becomes soundly funded. Lawmakers will also deregulate cell phone service in Florida. Will cell phone rates go through the roof?
Florida lawmakers miss the boat in getting many bills passed to help residents and increase alternative energy in two month session. We hope they don't let the red light camera bill fail in their last week.
Scott Dennis local channel 7 TV anchor tells Kiwanis members that the future of TV is in question with the expanding presence of Internet broadcasting. Channel 7 has cut their staff in half.
* Manatee County grows by over 1,600 new residents through July 2008. That is around a third of the growth in the earlier part of the decade. Sarasota County grew by around 2,500 residents.
* Sarasota County to lower impact fees on new development after public hearings.
* 1,528 foreclosure filings in Manatee County in February up 233%. Nationally foreclosures were up 30%. In Sarasota County there are 1524 bank owned homes and 4548 defaulted properties in pre-foreclosure. Source: Realty Trac
State Forestry workers conduct a controlled burn in Eastern Sarasota County on Friday.
This Italian restaurant on the S. Trail in Sarasota lasted less then 3 months before they called it quits in February. It's a tough time to open a new restaurant.
It's about time Manatee County took a look at building a solid economic business base. All of their efforts have been on tourism. Manatee has a $200K EDC budget, Sarasota County a $1.2 million budget. Manatee Commissioners are now proposing a larger budget to attract firms to this area.
Sarasota County releases $400K in tourist taxes they held in reserve and gives it to Sarasota Tourism Bureau to implement immediate internet advertising. The tourism bureau says they get the most bang from their buck with internet advertising. Longboat tourism was down by 32% in November while Siesta Key was down 2% in November.
"Ringling College Illustration alumnus Shawn Barber was recently commissioned to create a portrait of U.S. President Barack Obama for the cover of a special inauguration issue, which ran in the January 20, 2009 edition of the Washington Post." Thank you Christine Meeker Lange, Ringling College, for the info. Photo: Juxtapoz.com
Chinese toxic drywall syndrome: We all feel distraught over local residents who bought new homes that contained Chinese drywall and had to evacuate their homes. Florida Health Department officials say they have documented 28 complaints across seven counties. Some builders are stepping to the plate and paying for the homeowners temporary relocation costs and will most likely perform remediation to make the homes healthy again. To those builders who haven't stepped up to the plate and ignored homeowners pleas we say they should be banned from building in Florida and? Why hasn't an attorney stepped up to help Kristin Culliton who was pregnant and had to evacuate her home in Lakewood Ranch because of the Chinese drywall?
* Downtown Sarasota merchants ready to spend $400k they contributed to for Main Street renovations.
Is this another Madoff ponzi that takes place right in Sarasota or something else? Investors are suing Siesta Key resident Harvey Diamond after investing $35 million with him. He is a fitness expert.