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O bserver LONGBOAT You. Your neighbors. Your neighborhood. DIVERSIONS Kurt Wenner is sure to help festival be ‘chalk-full’ of art. INSIDE OUR TOWN free • Thursday, OCTOBER 25, 2012 INSIDE: Your guide to the 2012 Sarasota DIRECT FLIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD Longboaters enjoy the taste of tradition at Old Time Fish Fry. PAGE 1B by Kurt Schultheis | Managing Editor Couple proposes Sarasota-based airline A Longboat Key couple with decades of airline startup experience believes an SRQ-based airline would be feasible and profitable. Courtesy photo + Bobby Lange gets recognition Bobby Lange, grandson of Longboat Key resident Bobbie Banan, recently received some jumbo kudos for his athletic and academic accomplishments: His picture appeared on the jumbotron Oct. 13 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. Lange received the Pacific Athletic Conference award for Athletic Academic Achievement. The superstar student athlete has been a starter on the University of California-Los Angeles golf team for the past four years while carrying a 3.82 GPA as a business economics major. In June, Sarasota-Bradenton International (SRQ) Airport President Fred Piccolo announced a new marketing campaign called “Do You SRQ?” urging residents and businesses to take a pledge to use their local airport. Longboat Key residents Steve and Hannah Miller are taking that pledge to another level. The Millers, who have more than 60 years combined in the aviation business, are in the concept stage of bringing an SRQbased airline to the SarasotaBradenton International Airport called Sunrise Airlines of Sarasota. The move, they say, would jumpstart the local economy and get residents flying locally for competitive fares while using direct flights. The Millers moved in February to Sarasota from Hong Kong and then moved to Longboat Key permanently in June. “Steve couldn’t stay retired for more than two months,” Hannah Miller said. The couple, who moved to the United States upon retirement to be closer to family, chose Sarasota over Boca Raton after friends and family urged them to check out the Gulf Coast before making a decision. The only problem was the Millers arrived through Tampa International Airport and had no idea the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport existed until they were living here for a couple of months. Steve Miller —  who started a Hong Kong-based airline called Dragonair in the mid-1980s, now SEE AIRLINE / PAGE 2A GOING PLACES During phase one, Sunshine Airlines will offer direct flights to eight destinations in the U.S. Phase ONE Destination CITIES • • • • • • • • Philadelphia Indianapolis Baltimore Detroit Boston Pittsburgh Chicago Newark, N.J. + Chamber tri still needs volunteers The Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce Duathlon and Triathlon will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. And even if you haven’t been running, biking and swimming to train for the race, you can still participate. The chamber is still looking for volunteers to line Gulf of Mexico Drive and cheer on participants while also making motorists aware of cyclists along the race course. To volunteer, contact the chamber at 383-2466. Approximately 40 vendors will participate, selling antiques, art, crafts, fruits, vegetables and more. At least 30 vintage cars will line the parking lot. The event will include a Bavarian tent with wine, beer and hats, along with a hot dog cart, courtesy of Lazy Lobster Longboat Michael Garey’s Sarasota hot dog restaurant, Doggin It. The event will raise money for the Longboat Key Historical Society. For information, contact Stephanie Claussen at 383-1901. PENSION PROBLEMS by Kurt Schultheis | Managing Editor Impasse looms for town, firefighters The town will not waver from its stance to declare impasse Nov. 1 unless the firefighters union presents a pension modification that results in substantial savings. The tension between the town of Longboat Key and the Longboat Key Fire Rescue union is building, leading up to a 2 p.m. Nov. 1 meeting to discuss pension modifications for a new firefighter contract. The town and Longboat Key Fire Rescue District union officials are set to meet one last time Nov. 1 at Town Hall to discuss a new contract. The town will declare impasse if the union doesn’t bring them a pension contract proposal that’s satisfactory to Town Manager Dave Bull- ock’s requests. Bullock stated that he’s looking for a contract with pension modifications that are fair, predictable and sustainable enough to pay off the plan’s more than $27 million in unfunded liabilities. He is also considering freez- ing the firefighters’ pension plan and transitioning them to defined-contribution 401(a) plans. A stalemate is brewing, though, because firefighter/paramedic and Longboat Key Fire Rescue SEE PENSION / PAGE 2A INDEX Briefs....................4A Classifieds .......... 9B Cops Corner....... 11A Crossword............ 8B Opinion.................8A Permits................ 4B Real Estate.......... 4B Weather............... 8B Vol. 35, No. 14 | Four sections

Longboat Observer 10.25.12

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