The Observer LONGBOAT
REAL ESTATE saying good-bye HEAVEN The Feingolds ON EARTH
head for the Great Northwest. PAGE 1A+
The Sanctuary offers residents luxury and tranquility. PAGE 1D
Men’s Club hosts a Caribbean get-together. PAGE 1E
You. Your neighbors. Your neighborhood.
OUR TOWN PEOPLE, PLACES AND PICS
Thursday, MARCH 9, 2006
town commission by Roger Drouin | City Editor
Commission approves grants Money goes to five nonprofit organizations.
Town commissioners approved a $30,000 grants program Monday, clearing the way for five non-profit organizations to receive funding from the town. Under the newly formed program, each organization that applied for a grant receives a percentage of the amount it requested. Groups awarded grants include the Longboat Key Center for the Arts, Longboat Key Garden Club, Longboat Key Historical Society,
+ Beach wedding
Longboat Key Turtle Watch and the Longboat Library Commissioner Lee Rothenberg cast the lone dissenting vote, saying that he thought a committee should be formed to choose individual groups for grants instead of approving a blanket contribution to all applicants. Rothenberg referred to a previous lengthy and heated discussion about the process of awarding grants. Rothenberg said commissioners first voted 5-2 at a Feb. 16 workshop to postpone the grants until the commission created a method for awarding grants. “I think we should get back to what we orig-
inally discussed,” Rothenberg said, “which is forming a committee to vet this out. “Should the town pay for construction at a non-profit organization? Do we want to subsidize scholarships?” Rothenberg added. “This is something we need to talk about.” Rothenberg said he thinks it is vital to have a committee that would review applications and make recommendations for which organizations should receive a grant. But Commissioner George Spoll pointed out that commissioners voted twice at the
See grants page 5A
Tina Schumacher became the bride of Michael Semoton March 2, in a ceremony held on the beach at The Veranda. The Rev. Ken Gill of Longboat Island Chapel officiated. The bride is the daughter of Marie Wellnitz. Semoton is the son of Roger and Jean Semoton of Wisconsin. The couple will reside in Wisconsin. (As part of the ceremony, the couple each placed sand in a container symbolizing their union.)
+ Marathon man Matthew McGuire decided to make his trip to Longboat Key to visit his parents, Jim and Phyllis McGuire, about more than just escaping the cold of Buffalo, NY. McGuire participated in the Sarasota Marathon March 5, and finished 16th out of 500 runners who participated in the full 26.2-mile race. His time of 3 hours, 8 minutes and 29 seconds, which averages to 7-minute, 12-second miles, placed him third in his 30-34 age group. Up next for McGuire is a race a little closer to home, when he competes in the Buffalo Marathon Memorial Day weekend.
Arts & Entertainment . . . . 1C Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5E Key Real Estate . . . . . . . . . 4D Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7E Community calendar . . 12A+ Cops Corner . . . . . . . . . . . 16A Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14E Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6A Player of the Week . . . . . . 14D Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6E Vol. 27, No. 33 Five sections www.longboatobserver.com
Photos by Kat Wingert
After six years of working to break ground on the Key’s newest luxury condominium project, the Grand Mariner on Longboat Key, golden shovels finally turned the first scoop of dirt March 7 at its official groundbreaking ceremony. Tom Hires, a local partner for the Grand Mariner; Michael Ezgur with Terrapin Properties, the Chicago-based developer for the project; Longboat Key Mayor Ron Johnson; Drayton Saunders, with Michael Saunders & Co.; and Jake Geleerd, also with Terrapin Properties, dig into the property. The project, scheduled to be completed the summer of 2007, will contain 14 three-bedroom condominium units and 20 boat slips.
face-off by Roger Drouin | City Editor
Candidates take final stance on key issues The debates are over. There are no more wine-and-cheese events. More than 700 early voters have already headed to the polls. Town Commission candidates Miles Leavitt and Bob Siekmann have had many opportunities to convey their campaign platforms and win supporters.
One week before Election Day, as the campaigning was winding down, Leavitt and Siekmann told The Longboat Observer how they would vote on key issues if they were elected to the Town Commission and the issues came before them.
What plans do you have for last minute campaigning? We will continue with our campaign strategy, which is to talk to as many Longboat Key people as possible about our plans if elected: reduced spending and lower taxes; regional solutions for regional problems; protecting our unique environment; and election reform to encourage more citizens to be involved in town boards and the commission. Your opponent wrote in a letter to the editor this week that previous letters from you and former PIC President Sandy Gilbert brought a negative tone to the campaign. Do you think the letters brought a negative tone to your campaign? I have made a sincere effort to run a very positive campaign focused on what I would like to accomplish if elected. From where do you expect to garner the most votes? I believe my support is broad based, and I expect to run strongly
What plans do you have for last-minute campaigning? Shake some hands and ask for votes. You wrote in a letter to the editor this week that previous letters from your opponent and former PIC President Sandy Gilbert brought a negative tone to the campaign. How do you think this will impact the outcome of the election? How do you plan to respond? I hope the voters of Longboat Key will understand that nothing is gained by injecting a negative tone into the race. I will remain positive. From where do you expect to garner the most votes? I believe there will be a fairly even distribution throughout the island If you were a commissioner and the See issues page 5A following issues came up for a vote to-
THE LONGBOAT OBSERVER
THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2006
A Letter to the Voters of Longboat Key ore’s Stone lead to the immediate closing of Mo not : anning Dear Longboat Key Voters staurant. Nor is it merely an estate-pl Re b Cra famStone Crab m, or an exit strategy, for the Moore nis cha Imagine this graphic scene: Moore’s me t stratide Restaurant that matter, what is wrong with an exi For ily. Restaurant and the Mar Vista Docks nks of sidit to Longboat egy? Many Longboaters have made & Pub with boarded-up windows; chu ered roofs tegies. tatt because of their own business exit stra white y Ke ing peeling and rotting in the salt air; g what red, g the parkin That is to the free-enterprise system with missing shingles; weeds snarlin lls; wa gs’ ldin and blue are to patriotism. lots; green mold climbing up the bui dlan two se the g Moores a cloud of dilapidation envelopin To be sure, a “yes” vote will give the s — an incenmark restaurants. — and all commercial property owner l ental y in business on Longboat Key. It wil sta to Imagine the same at Harry’s Contin tive y competiorge’s, even at give them an incentive to reinvest, sta y have the Kitchens, at Euphemia Haye, Pattige . om Ro the Dining tive and continue operating. Knowing ir land in the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort’s the of Longboat opportunity to maximize the value What a cold, dreary, ugly vision for e commercial property owners a giv l wil se. ure adi fut par the l cal we ce pla the Key, want to stay in business on the Key. l to wil it son d rea An . lity rea m fro far t tha That vision is not Density ess Longboat On the flip side, a “no” vote on the become reality in the near future unl l send a resounding negative mesin the town’s wil n um isio end dec fer ht Re rig the ke ma ers vot y Ke and people sage. It will damage the image, value election. ally, will tell of Longboat Key. A “no” vote, especi town the in yet e vot r you t y cas t en’ hav If you y’s business owners that Longboat Ke Ke oat ngb Lo for ing ask are we n, ctio but they of Longboat Key ele -way street. That its residents want, one ity a is ens “D the on — e vot s” “ye a — your support at its residents want and demand Th e. giv enot l ind wil y’s Ke oat ngb Lo of not Referendum.” The future uality goods and services, but they are ate two h-q — s hig sse ine bus and ts ran tau res ss clim pendently-owned of ling to create an atmosphere or busine ners lity wil qua y’s Ke oat ngb Lo to ts ien red iness ow essential ing that encourages and gives small bus e. vot this on ge hin — life entive to want to do business here. inc the e vot s” “ye a t First, we hope you understand tha d this message loud and clear sen l wil e vot ” “no A the as wn kno o als on the Density Referendum, owners across the bay: That Longboat ss l ine wil bus nt, to me end am rter cha n tow to operate Moore’s Stone Crab y is not a friendly, welcoming place It will Ke t: pea Re . sity den y’s Ke oat ngb Lo not change idents don’t want you to succeed res Its ss. ine l bus wil a y onl It . sity den y’s not change Longboat Ke ize the value of what is yours. xim to ma ty uni and ort opp and ht rig the ily give the Moore fam se who one its propWe are puzzled and saddened by tho petition the Town Commission to rez ” vote. The family-owned restaurant use at a future l “no a ntia te ide oca res to adv l rcia me com m fro erty invested and commission owners of Longboat Key alone have date. And there is no guarantee the rs of their lives on Longboat Key yea 150 ng. ted oni ica rez ded a h suc e rov app would please the residents and visitors here. and isfy sat it e to aus bec ant ort imp is n invested our That right to petitio contribute to local causes. We have le.” We kab ban ore “m ss ine bus ’s ore Mo would make careers here because we believe and ty per pro s, ty uni live ort opp an has ty ans. Knowing the Moore proper ce we share as freedom-loving Americ pla this re in mo , her hig a to ted ver con and potential to be paradise, too. But each year, our be to this nt l wa wil We der len a ty, per valuable use as residential pro ins of business and burdens of govern stra ng or l risi ode the rem to ing anc fin end incenbe more inclined to ext reduce our return on investment and g. nt ldin me bui ng rati erio det ng, agi s’ ore expand the Mo it. Why make it worse — not just h wit k stic to to s led tive and ed fail ion ans But if, say, the Moores’ exp for us, but for everyone? greater ability foreclosure, the lender would have a um will be ater underlyA “yes” vote on the Density Referend to recover its money because of a gre ore family, good for you, the resiMo the for d. d lan goo ore Mo the of ue val ing of Longboat Key, and good for the future of r ts Ma den b, Cra ne Sto ’s ore Mo If : too Think of this, a or Longboat Key. Please, vote “yes.” rin Ma ns nno Ca n eve or, e’s org tige Vista, Pat Respectfully, iness, what bus of out s goe za Pla ach Be y itne Wh e commercial The Board of Directors good does it do Longboat Key to hav unproductive of the Longboat Key, Lido Key properties sit forever as dilapidated, er oth to ted ver mmerce eyesores because they cannot be con and St. Armands Key Chamber of Co old the at ok Lo uses? This can and will happen. The Coalition of Longboat Key Drive. o xic Me of lf Gu on g ldin bui s co’ Co Commercial Property Owners l wil e vot Contrary to the opinions of some, this
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
condo development by Roger Drouin | City Editor
New developer to build Enclave Construction work is slated to begin this summer.
The new owner of a 3.7-acre parcel behind Publix Supermarket plans to begin construction this summer of a 12-unit condominium development called The Enclave at Bay Isles. Sarasota-based developer Gilbert Alvarez, of Westwater Construction Inc., approached the previous owners several months ago about buying the parcel formerly know as the Einisman property. The previous owner, Bay Isles Development LLC, led by developers Larry Starr, president of Longboat Key-based ResortQuest International, and Christopher Cobbs, decided to sell the parcel for $3.25 million — a $1.35 million profit from their May 2004 purchase. The sale was finalized Jan. 17. Mark Miller, president of Westwater Construction, and Chad Bratzke, a retired NFL defensive lineman, join Alvarez as partners of The Enclave at Bay Isles LLC.
When Alvarez first learned of the Enclave project, it reminded him of Burns Court Villas. Alvarez is a developing partner of Burns Court Villas, a 23-unit townhouse development currently under construction. Alvarez was most attracted to the private, well-landscaped design of the Bay Isles project and its closeness to Publix, Avenue of the Flowers shops, banks, the post office and the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center. “We think it’s a great project for Longboat Key,” Alvarez said. Before the recent sale, Bay Isles Development LLC had gained town approval last March to construct 12 residential units. The corporation submitted plans for five three-level buildings each with two units and two single-family residences. The approval was the culmination of a controversial zoning change that triggered much community resistance. Bay Isles Development began clearing some trees from the site, but it never started foundation work.
Alvarez said he plans to build the development while following earlier designs submitted to the town. Because Alvarez is not making any major changes, he can begin construction work as soon as a building permit is issued, said Longboat Key Planning Director Monica Daigle. Proposed plans feature units that range from 2,800 to 3,200 square feet. They include two floors of living space, private swimming pools with decks outfitted with wet bars and grills, elevators and a groundlevel two-and-a-half-car garage. Miller describes the architecture as contemporary, with buildings angled so residents will have clear views of well-treed areas. “It will probably take us about 18 months to build,” said Miller. “What’s unique is that we typically do old-world, timeless designs, but this is actually a modern, contemporary design. It’s a very wooded site, and we will have a lot of green space.” Units go on sale next month, and prospective buyers can find out more by calling 953-5969.
INBRIEF COMMUNITY NEWS AND NOTES
+ Last meeting for Mayor Johnson
After eight years as a commissioner, Mayor Ron Johnson spent his last meeting at the dais Monday. John Chappie, mayor of Bradenton Beach, came to the meeting to compliment Johnson, who was unable to seek re-election because of term limits. Over the years, Johnson and Chappie have worked together on various issues that impacted the two islands. “I am not here to talk about consolidation or traffic,” Chappie said. “I want to thank the Longboat Key residents for voting Mayor Johnson to office. He has done a great job. He is an all-around great guy, and we appreciate you sending him up here.”
+ Petition tops 500
Three weeks after launching a petition, Bay Isles resident Madelyn Spoll has collected more than 500 signatures from residents concerned about the high number of vacant storefronts at Avenue of the Flowers Town Plaza I. Spoll sent copies of the signatures to town commissioners March 1, and requested that the topic be discussed at the commission’s March 16 workshop.
+ Stormwater project 60% completed
support staff Kat Wingert
Delphine Roosen, Barbara Milbauer and Phyllis Baran, above, represented the Lido Presidential volunteers at the Lido Key water station during the Albritton Sarasota Marathon. Despite racing down streets with views of sandy beaches, runners got a sample of New York when they passed the water station in front of the Lido Key Beach Pavillion. “Wahta! Wahta!” yelled Nancy Levine, a full-time Lido Key resident from New York and just one of the dozen volunteers manning the station to give cups of water and sports drink to runners passing by. The station was about the halfway point for nearly 500 runners who participated in the marathon March 5. Additionally, more than 1,100 people ran the half-marathon. The marathon began at 6 a.m. on the grounds of The John and Mable Ringling Museum, looped through St. Armands around City Island and onto Lido Key before looping back to complete the 26.2-mile route for the full marathon. This was the race’s inaugural year. — Kat Wingert
town commission by Roger Drouin | City Editor
Boat ban gets first approval Commissioners approved the first reading of a law prohibiting the launching of motorized vessels from beaches. Longboat Key Town Commissioners are one vote away from banning the launching of motorized vessels from the island’s beachside shores. With little discussion, commissioners unanimously voted Monday to approve the first of two readings of an ordinance prohibiting the launching of motorized vessels from the beach and making it illegal for motorized vessels to get within 150 feet of a diver or swimmer. While the ban would impact most boaters, it was designed
to shut down a Jet Ski rental operation based at the island’s mid-key Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort. Since May, dozens of resort-unit owners have spoken out at Town Commission meetings against what they portray as reckless renters and noisy machines. Ralph Cole, manager of the operation, said he has listened to complaints from resort owners and worked to buy quieter 4-stroke Jet Skis and make sure renters were following current town regulations. He said that
every complaint, except one, filed with the police department involved privately-owned vessels and not one of Cole’s Jet Skis. Police Chief Al Holge confirmed this statement at a previous meeting. “I’ve done all I can,” Cole said after commissioners voted to approve the first reading of the ordinance 06-07. “There is no use worrying about what you can’t control.” Cole said if the ordinance is enacted, the Key will lose one of the last few tourist activities remaining. He said Jet Ski renters have asked him about the proposed ban. “They can’t believe they are trying to do this,” he said.
Two months ago, commissioners moved away from a stricter version of a ban because of enforcement concerns. At this time, commissioners directed Town Attorney David Persson to draft an ordinance that would ban the operation of motorized vessels within 300 feet of the beach and extend the no-wake zone from 300 feet to 500 feet, while also prohibiting vessels from launching or landing on the Key’s Gulf-side beaches. Commissioners quickly approved the revised ordinance Monday. If the commission approves the ordinance’s second reading April 3, the law becomes effective after a notice period.
As of last week, the St. Armands stormwater improvement project was 60% completed, said Spencer Anderson, project manager with Sarasota County. On Thursday crews finished installing the fourth of five pump stations included in the $5 million project. The pumps are designed to collect water during heavy rains and pump it into Sarasota Bay. Anderson said the contractor expects to finish the project in early September. Anderson said there will be minimum traffic delays for passthrough traffic during peak tourist season, but there may be detours along some of the side streets on St. Armands.
+ Bridge opening meeting scheduled
U.S. Coast Guard officials have scheduled a public meeting Wednesday, March 29, to hear from residents regarding the bridge-opening issue. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive. Barrier island-elected officials have been working with the Coast Guard on possible bridgeopening changes to alleviate traffic congestion. Residents can weigh in on whether the bridge opening for the Cortez and Anna Maria bridges should be increased from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes. At a meeting Monday, Longboat Key Town Commissioners passed a resolution to support bridge openings twice an hour and no openings at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The Town Commission allocated $25,000 to START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) and not Mote Marine Laboratory.
Code Enforcement Meeting — 10 a.m. Monday, March 13, Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road. Town Commission Regular Workshop — 1 p.m. Thursday, March 16, Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
You. Your Neighbors. Your Neighborhood. The Longboat Observer was founded in July 1978 by Ralph and Claire Hunter and daughter Janet in a one-room office with two typewriters. Since then, and through today, The Longboat Observer has served as the leading source of community and neighborhood news and information for Longboat Key, St. Armands Key, Lido Key, Lido Shores and Bird Key. In March 1995, the Hunters sold The Longboat Observer to the families of David and Ruth Beliles and Matt and Lisa Walsh. And they have kept up and built on the tradition of providing the most comprehensive coverage of news, people and events on Longboat and surrounding keys. Throughout the year, The Longboat Observer averages 18,000 net circulation, the highest penetration on Longboat Key of any print medium in the market. History of the Longboat: Since The Longboat Observer’s founding, the newspaper has used a rendering of a “longboat” as one of its identifying symbols. According to historical accounts, when Juan Anasco, scout for Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto, anchored off the coast of Longboat Key in 1538, Anasco and his crew used “longboats” to get through the pass from the Gulf of Mexico to Sarasota Bay.
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The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
election by Roger Drouin | City Editor
Voter turnout varies depending on issues More than 700 residents vote early, with one week to go. Voter turnout for Longboat Key town elections over the past nine years has fluctuated from a high of 44% to a low of 23% in 2004. It is difficult to predict how many voters will come out for an election. Historically, the highest number of votes has been cast during elections that had a bond issue on the ballot, said Pat Arends, longtime town clerk in the 1980s and ’90s. Voter turnout during the last decade has been reflective of a national decline in voting numbers, Arends said. Turnout was much higher 20 years ago, with as many as 70% of voters heading to the polls for local elections. One election
REMEMBER TO VOTE Sunday is the last day for early voting. Residents can vote at Town Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, March 10; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Election Day is Tuesday, March 14, and polls will be open at the Longboat Island Chapel, for Manatee County voters, and Town Hall, for Sarasota County voters. In order to vote during early voting or on Election Day, residents must show a valid photo identification such as a driver’s license or state-issued LBK March#2 (earring) identification card.
TURNOUT IN ELECTIONS Percentage of registered voters 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
43.00 37.50 30.06 44.00 43.00 43.00 32.88 23.00 35.35
12 years ago had 78% voter turnout. One possible indication that the number of voters this election will be higher than past years is the high percentage of early voters that have already headed to the polls. After one of two weeks of early voting, a total of 735 Longboat residents has voted. Last year, the first time early voting was offered, 783 residents voted early during the entire early voting period. “The results have been pretty impressive,” said Town Manager Bruce St. Denis. “We expect to do better than last year (during early voting).” On Thursday Tom Roadley, a volunteer with the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections said a steady flow of voters came to Town Hall to take advantage of early voting. Roadley said some had just found out about early voting. “I heard many voters say they saw the sign and decided to vote,” he said. “People are just beginning to realize they can vote early.”
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The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
GRANTs continued from 1A February meeting. The second time, they were in favor of awarding grants to each group asking for funding. Because only $30,000 was allocated and the groups, in total, were asking for $34,000, commissioners decided to give each organization about 90% of the money it requested. Spoll told Rothenberg: “As hard as you fought for it, you are dead wrong about what the consensus was.” Spoll said the decision to give money to all of the applicants instead of choosing specific, eligible groups was the only way to move the deadlocked issue forward. “We came to the realization that we had to make the best of a bad situation,” Spoll said. “We were in the position of looking like a bumbling bunch of people not knowing what they were doing.” Vice Mayor Joan Webster said she felt the commission was obligated to move forward with the program, because certain groups were expecting the grants. “This is an experiment,” Webster said. “Maybe it didn’t work as smoothly as we thought, but we need to move forward. I think for tonight we are committed.” Webster said that backing out of the program was not an option. The Longboat Key Center for the Arts and Longboat Key Library already began planning what they would spend the money on after commissioners gave the initial OK last month. Hazel Steskal, past president of the library, said after the meeting that library staff has earmarked some of its $4,4400 grant to purchase a collection of books on CD. The audio books would benefit some of the island’s residents who have vision problems. Steskal said: “They went this far and made a commitment. We are happy with what they did.” The library requested $5,000 and was awarded $4,400. It is funded by membership fees and donations and does not receive money from either county or the town. “This is the first time we requested money, except for the lease for the building.”
ISSUES continued from 1A
throughout the town. If you were a commissioner and the following issues came up for a vote today, would you vote yes or no? And why would you vote this way? • To approve the most recently suggested Jet Ski ban. The ordinance, if enacted, would ban the launching of motorized vessels from the beach side of the Key. The ban would also prohibit motorized vessels from getting within 150 feet of a diver or swimmer: I would vote no. I continue to believe the solution to the Jet Ski problem originally recommended by the Planning & Zoning Board (of which I am a member) is the best solution. Specifically, we recommended against the rental of Jet Skis at the Hilton. I would also suggest that stricter enforcement of existing ordinances regarding beach access and the 300-foot restricted operation area would solve the problem. • To approve a $6.5 million community center: I would vote no. Clearly the voters were of the same opinion as the community center was voted down. If not, how much would you allocate for a new recreation center? You have made an important distinction, community center versus recreation center. They are not the same thing. Before a budget can be determined a thorough program must be developed for the Recreation Center. One thing is clear: The number will be much lower than $6.5 million. • To spend $25 million on a land acquisition program: I would vote no. We simply cannot afford it, and I do not believe the voters would support the expenditure. • To contribute $25,000 to Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START) (commissioners already unanimously approved this): I would vote yes. Last year alone we spent about $400,000 removing dead fish from our beaches, canals, and bays (similar amounts were spend in preceding years). If the investment of $25,000 could reduce or eliminate that kind of annual expenditure, improve the quality of life, and eliminate the negative impact on tourism I am all for it. • To spend about $10,000 for Little League improvements: I would have voted against most of the Little League expenditure. Yes, that may sound like I’m against motherhood and apple pie, but do the kids really need two batting cages costing $5,600, a $2,400 portable pitching mound, and a $2,400 scoreboard? • To install up to six T-head groins near The Islander Club: I would vote yes. The town needs those groins at The Islander Club “hot spot” to protect and preserve the beach in that area. Failure to proceed with the groins will cost the Town more and more money to renourish that section of beach.
News 5A Miles Leavitt
day, would you vote yes or no? And why would you vote this way? • To approve the most recently suggested Jet Ski ban. The ordinance, if enacted, would ban the launching of motorized vessels from the beach side of the Key. The ban would also prohibit motorized vessels from getting within 150 feet of a diver or swimmer … I don’t have a problem with the ban, and I would probably have voted for it. I think we might have problems enforcing the ordinance, and perhaps the commission should have had more input from the police department. • To approve a $6.5 million community center … I would vote no. The voters have spoken on this issue and I would honor their will. If not, how much would you allocate for a new recreation center? I think a public private partnership is the way to go with this. Let a citizens group raise the money to replace or refurbish the community center, and if there is not enough money raised, the town should look at helping out. Keep in mind that the citizens on Anna Maria Island raised the money for their community center. • To spend $25 million on a land acquisition program … No. We don’t need the land. • To contribute $25,000 to Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (commissioners already unanimously approved this) … I think this is a legitimate use of funds. Red tide affects the health, welfare and economy of the whole town and a lot of the visitors we depend on to support our commercial establishments. • To spend about $10,000 for Little League improvements … I would vote for it. We need to take care of our children, and provide them with a place to play. • To install up to six T-head groins near The Islander Club … We have had a Makepeace groin in place for more than 30 years, and it has worked well. I would like to have studies done to compare the two kinds of groins before we decide to do something different, not after the vote is taken. If the town goes ahead with the T-heads, and the beaches downstream from the groins begin to erode, we are going to be facing mammoth lawsuits. The $57,000 Delft study is of no use to us since the decision has been made to use T-heads, and it will not give us any legal cover as the vicemayor has stated. Indeed, her comments and the after-thedecision study will be fodder for any injured party bringing suit.
Friedrich Hayek “Road to Serfdom,” 1944
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THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2006
Í What is best for ‘you’?
our view “If we are to build a better world, we must remember that the guiding principle is this — a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.”
THE LONGBOAT OBSERVER
On the eve of the town of Longboat Key’s election day, we are still shuddering at the almost-scary commentary published last week by the board of directors of the Longboat Key Public Interest Committee in its newsletter, The Voice. In particular, we despaired over its assessment of and opposition to the Density Referendum on the ballot, the question regarding the zoning underlying the property of Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant. We especially despaired over the following passages in The Voice: “… those whose focus is more on what is best for Longboat Key say “We can’t afford to lose a landmark waterfront restaurant” or “Is it really good for the Key to replace Moore’s restaurant with its public accessed beach and boat docks with a couple of privately owned McMansions?” “… Again, if your focus is firmly on what’s best for Longboat Key, you’ll see few advantages to the town and its lifestyle if Moore’s becomes zoned residential.” The heart of those passages — italicized by us — is that PIC’s board believes the collective knows what is best for you, the individual. That the collective supersedes and is superior to you. PIC’s collective board believes it knows what is best for the 8,000 rational-thinking, self-motivated individuals who live on Longboat Key. In effect, the collective sees sacrificing the lives and property of the Moores as a means to the ends of others. If this is how PIC’s board views the Moore family’s property, this is how it views you and your property — as sacrificial lambs to the collective. For an antidote to this collective mindset, over the weekend we had to seek refuge in the writings of one of our favorite philosophers — the late Ayn Rand, who expounded convincingly in her adult life on the virtues freedom and the individ-
Mayor Johnson: Admirable service, good ambassador Ron Johnson has presided over his last Longboat Key Town Commission meeting as mayor and a commissioner. Elected in 1998, Johnson is leaving the commission because he has reached his legal term limit. As he passes the Johnson mayor’s gavel to his successor, he deserves an expression of gratitude for his service, dedication, commitment and the passion he carried throughout his four terms. We often strongly disagreed with Johnson’s position on town issues and comments he made. But he was always willing to listen and consider ual. Below, we have reprinted a series of excerpts from Rand’s essays in her 1961 book, “The Virtue of Selfishness.” We urge you to read them in the context of what the PIC board says of the Moore’s Stone Crab referendum. And we hope, if you haven’t already voted, that you give serious consideration to what is best for you, the individual, and your property.
+ Assessment won’t change
Don’t be confused. In the Longboat Key Public Interest Committee newsletter’s editorial opposition to the Density Referendum, PIC’s board says it is “troubled” by restaurateur Alan Moore’s statements that approval of the referendum would help him obtain bank financing for improvements to his property. Says PIC: “The minute Moore’s gets a residential
An objectivist’s point of view The following are excerpts from Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness”: • “The distinguishing characteristic of such tribal mentality is: the axiomatic, the almost ‘instinctive’ view of human life as the fodder, fuel or means for any public project. “The examples of such projects are innumerable: ‘Isn’t it desirable to clean up the slums?’ (dropping the context of what happens to those in the next income bracket) — ‘Isn’t it desirable to have beautiful, planned cities, all of one harmonious style?’ (dropping the context of whose choice of style is to be forced on the home builders)…” • “The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in ‘society as a whole,’ i.e. in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.” … “The alleged goals of socialism were: the abolition of poverty, the achievement of general prosperity, progress, peace and human brotherhood. The results have been a terrifying failure — terrifying, that is, if one’s motive is men’s welfare. “Instead of prosperity, socialism has brought economic paralysis and/or collapse to every country that tried it.” • “When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember there is no such dichotomy
as ‘human rights’ versus ‘property rights.’ No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the ‘right’ to ‘redistribute’ the wealth produced by others is claiming the ‘right’ to treat human beings as chattel.” • “Any doctrine of group activities that does not recognize individual rights is a doctrine of mob rule or legalized lynching.” • “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the small minority on earth is the individual).” • “…the only moral purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights. “A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-
an opposing view. Likewise, we believe Johnson made concerted efforts to vote for what he believed to be in the best interests of the taxpayers of Longboat Key. Johnson conducted himself admirably as a commissioner, making a point to participate and appear in public functions throughout his terms. He took seriously the role of representing the town of Longboat Key in activities and meetings involving other governments in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Serving as a town commissioner is far from recreational activity. It requires constant work — and no pay. For Johnson and his efforts, a bow of thanks. zoning designation, their taxes will increase substantially because the state requires the county to assess property at its highest possible use. Based on the size of the Moore’s parcel and other nearby residential tax rates in the Village, their last yearly property tax bill of $15,900 would increase by 3.8 times to $60,420 if it were rezoned residential. Why would you increase your fixed costs by that much if you were really planning to stay in business for any length of time?” If the referendum is approved, Moore’s tax assessment would not change to a residential assessment. Its tax assessment would not rise 3.8 times greater than its current rate. It wouldn’t increase until the property is rezoned residential. Ask Alan Moore, and he’ll tell you he has no plans to seek residential zoning until after — at some future date — the family decides to discontinue operating the restaurant. sustaining and self-generated action — which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.)” • “ … The right to life is the source of all rights — and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave.” • “It is medically possible to take the corneas of a man’s eyes immediately after his death and transplant them to a living man who is blind, thus restoring his sight. Now, according to collectivized ethics, this poses a social problem. Should we wait until a man’s death to cut out his eyes, when other men need them? Should we regard everybody’s eyes as public property and devise a ‘fair method of distribution’? Would you advocate cutting out a living man’s eye and giving it to a blind man, so as to ‘equalize’ them? No? Then don’t struggle any further with questions about “public projects” in a free society. The principle is the same.” • “Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal.”
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
Editor Keep campaign positive
Dear Editor: I have always believed that the citizens of Longboat Key deserve positive political campaigns when it is time to elect their leaders. I was thus somewhat distressed by the angry and negative tone in the letters penned by Sandy Gilbert and my opponent Bob Siekmann in last week’s Longboat Observer. Unfortunately, when a candidate is not connecting with the voters, the urge to go negative takes over. It is a siren song that some candidates simply cannot ignore, and apparently Gilbert and Siekmann have been overwhelmed by that tune. I feel constrained to replay to the negative implications in those letters without casting aspersions upon my worth opponent. First, I don’t think the number of clubs a person belongs to be the sole criterion for election on this island. Siekmann, in his letter, states that Leavitt “does not belong to any organizations, and he is proud of it.” I don’t know if Siekmann would count organizations such as the Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars among the organizations that would satisfy this craving for organizational identity, but I have belonged to each of those. I might add, the criteria for joining those groups are a little more stringent than PIC’s. I don’t think there is any argument that Siekmann has been an involved citizen during the three years he has lived on our island. Gilbert made the point that Siekmann drove truckloads of relief supplies to hurricane victims in Arcadia. I paid for the bicycles Siekmann took to the children, and my friends and I raised thousands of dollars to fund that effort. I have contributed to many other charitable and community efforts on the island over the 13 years I have lived here. I simply did not think that was fodder for an election campaign. Let’s talk about money. I have suggested that we fund our employee pension plan to the 90% level. This is simply good, conservative financial management. After all, we have promised our town employees that the money to fund their pensions will be available when they retire. I have spent 30 years in the business of pension plans and employee benefits. I know the field, and am not, as Siekmann stated, “uninformed, inexperienced and unprepared to serve” on the Town Commission. I have suggested that we use a proven modality in the Makepeace groins, as opposed to the T-head groins. The Makepeace has served flawlessly for 30 years, and the engineers tell us that the T-heads have an 85% chance of doing the job. What will be the cost to the town if the T-heads don’t work, and the beaches, downstream of the groins, begin to erode? Would you use an airline to fly to Atlanta if you knew there was only an 85% chance of arriving? No, you would use the airline that had a perfect record for 30 years. Siekmann takes me to task for suggesting that we limit our town’s long-range planning to three years. That is not what I have proposed. I have taken the position that we cannot, with any certainty, visualize what the needs of this town will be in 20 years. Look back to 1986, 20 years ago. Who would have foreseen Sept. 11 and the war on terrorism, the high-tech stock crash, the failure of the savings and loan institutions, the soaring price of real estate on our island and the precipitous decline in tourist accommodations? A three- to five-year visioning process makes a lot more sense to me, since we have a reasonable expectation of what might happen in the short range. Siekmann would have us spend $20,000 or more on a traffic study. He
supports the $57,000 study by a Dutch company to determine the feasibility of T-heads when the decision has already been made to install the groins. I am against both of those efforts because they are a waste of money. I respectfully ask Siekmann and Gilbert take a more positive approach to this campaign in its waning days. Miles Leavitt Longboat Key
Question is legitimate
Dear Editor: In response to the letter by Madelyn Josey Spoll, she obviously twisted my question that was directed to candidate Bob Siekmann. The question was simply: “If elected, how do you plan to separate your personal opinions when voting with the other commissioners whose spouses contributed to your campaign.” His reply was that he was proud that six commissioners approved of him to be the seventh commissioner, which was a twisted answer that had nothing to do with my question. Surely Mrs. Spoll must have a PIC complex in which she believes the male species pretends to dominate, but in fact the female dominates. Why else would she twist my question into how she spends her money is none of my business? I am still awaiting a legitimate answer to my legitimate question. Ham Jones Longboat Key
Musings on Leavitt
Dear Editor: On Feb. 13, during The Longboat Observer forum, Miles Leavitt, candidate for Longboat Key commissioner, whose primary claim to qualification is his “35 years of experience with employee benefits,” proposed that the town increase its pension benefits at a cost of nearly $4 million! He apparently didn’t know that pension advisors had reported the plans were already appropriately funded, or that his $4 million proposal would require a significant tax increase. A week later, during a debate at Longboat Harbour, Leavitt was asked about the town’s water-conservation program. He didn’t know we had one. On Feb. 22, during a presentation at The Islander, Leavitt told the audience the Town Commission had approved the Sarasota School Tax referendum. Even though he attended that committee meeting, he apparently didn’t know that only a resolution had been passed. He didn’t know that the commission couldn’t approve a referendum. Only the voters can do that. Yet, he proclaimed, “This is taxation without representation!” And, “That will never happen with me on the commission!” This is one of those shady tactics the big boys in Washington have perfected to a “T,” saying whatever they want to about issues, whether true or not, and not giving their opponents time or opportunity to respond. It will be interesting to see if the public pins down Miles Leavitt to find out what he really knows about the issues facing Longboat Key. Norman Muse Longboat Key
Vote yes on Moore’s
Dear Editor: My first taste of my new hometown in 1968 was a bowl of red chowder and a platter of fresh stone crab with Hush Puppies. And like the dolphins behind
Moore’s Restaurant doing flips for their food, I have done the same ever since. When will the Longboat Key Public Interest Committee realize that the restaurateurs on Longboat Key are here for the long haul. The restaurant land owners of this island are not looking to make a quick buck and flip our properties. We have invested our passion and much of our working lives into our businesses. We have shown our dedication to the community we serve. Our children have grown up here, and this is our home. It would be a shame to see the demise of our island’s commercial viability due to a zoning code from two decades ago that shackles the businesses and holds our land value in check. Listen and learn from the businesses that have succeeded on the Key and enriched our way of life, and then maybe you will see the merits of Alan Moore’s business strategy. Tommy Klauber Chef/Proprietor Pattigeorge’s Restaurant Longboat Key
PIC appears partisan
Dear Editor: How hypocritical and blatant can the Longboat Key Public Interest Committee get? And doesn’t it believe that town voters can read plain English? In its latest publication of “The Voice,” while voting is now in progress, it states in the “Join PIC now” box on the back page (for $30, $50 or $100): “PIC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. We give no money to any candidate or cause. All our funds go to publishing ‘The Voice,” creating ‘e-voice’ and hosting public meetings on relevant civic issues on the Key.” (Emphasis added.) Then, the entire front page of the March edition of “The Voice,” appearing as the early voting is actually in progress, does nothing but recommend Bob Siekmann for town commissioner with what should be considered by the normal voter as an embarrassing degree of “puffing.” As for candidate Miles Leavitt, who has lived and worked on Longboat Key for 13 years, PIC concedes only that “he is a pleasant, intelligent, well-intentioned person, but his lack of experience in town affairs and limited service to the community does not qualify him to be a commissioner at this time.” So much for PIC’s claim that it is a “non-profit, non-partisan organization.” It certainly would, or at least on its current activities never should, qualify as a tax-deductible organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A substantial part of its activities certainly appears to be devoted to political activity. Francis J. Robinson Longboat Key
She is her own person
Dear Editor: Your editorial, “PIC is the issue,” did not present all the facts, or at least the facts I know to be true. First, I, Madelyn Josey Spoll, met Bob Siekmann several years ago and, in fact, introduced George Spoll to Siekmann one night at a Longboat Key Center for the Arts event. Second, when I heard that Bob Siekmann was going to run for commissioner, I volunteered, and I emphasize the “I,” to do whatever he needed me to do, and this was back in October 2005, before he even had an opponent. I have been on his campaign committee since January 2006. Again, I have been on his committee and not George Spoll. The campaign committee, which does not include George Spoll or Sandy Gilbert, decided to call as many people as it could to come hear the debate between Siekmann and Miles Leavitt, which was sponsored by The Longboat Observer. Some of the people asked by me to come had not met either candidate, and I
thought it would be a good way to meet both. No one forced anyone to wear a Siekmann pin, and I do not think it is a crime here in the United States for a person to wear a campaign pin. Oh, by the way, I asked George Spoll, who is my husband, if he wanted to come and, as a concerned commissioner, he came to the debate. Also, “When candidates Leavitt and Siekmann are invited to speak to condo groups, who shows up with Siekmann? … ” Who shows up, but campaign committee members, as well as others yes, and, I do invite my husband to come. Third, I am tired of the newspapers giving George Spoll, my husband, and/or Sandy Gilbert credit for work I and other campaign committee members are doing on behalf of Siekmann’s election. Once again, I feel I must point out that I am not an extension of my husband. I am my own person with my own thoughts (please ask anyone who knows me). Fourth, I see nothing wrong with commissioners going to any speaking engagement any of the candidates have. I believe that is a sure-fire way for the commissioners to hear what their citizens have to say. I know having bagels, donuts, coffee or tea with a commissioner, as done in the past, is most likely going to draw citizens who agree with that commissioners so he will be talking to the “choir” and hearing it as well. And last, I believe George Spoll ran against and beat Robert Sewell, and not Bob Dawson, unless you know something I don’t know. I certainly hope the other side of part of your story will be told by you. Madelyn Josey Spoll Longboat Key
Education is first priority
Dear Editor: A vote to renew the school referendum is not adding a new tax. It is extending an existing tax. As a grandmother, I am addressing this letter to all, but especially to our senior residents. Our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren must share the gigantic task of leading our nation into the future. Consider this assignment. Every day costs are rising. Whether it’s in housing, food, insurance, gas, clothing, entertainment or health care, nothing goes down in price. We cannot allow education to make do with less. On Longboat Key, we are known for our support of the arts, music and culture. How can we justify reducing the support of our schools? Our schools should attract the brightest, most talented, innovative, caring administrators and teachers. One super individual can spark a child’s performance for the rest of his/her life. We must utilize the latest technological advances and provide the environment with innovation and excellence. Education should be our first priority in Sarasota County. If the referendum fails, our schools will move backward: • $45 million will be cut from the budget. • Programs exceeding minimum-state requirements, such as art, music, physical education, dropout prevention and technical training. • 15.6% pay reduction for teachers. • Class size will increase dramatically. Please make an effort to vote to extend the referendum March 14. Your vote is imperative! Betty Corn Longboat Key To send in your letters please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to The Longboat Observer, 5570 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, 34228. The Longboat Observer gives priority to letters of local interest and about local issues. The Observer will print all letters to the editor if it feels they are of general interest, but only if the letter is signed and the author’s street address and phone number are given. the editor reserves the right to condense letters.
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
station 3 by Roger Drouin | City Editor
flight pattern by Roger Drouin | City Editor
St. Armands to get new fire station Firefighter-paramedic Tom DiDiego canâ€™t wait for the new St Armands fire station. A $2 million storm-resistant station will replace the current 50-year old building. Construction work is expected to begin as soon as design plans are finalized and the project goes to bid. â€œItâ€™ll be nice to have modern conveniences such as a new kitchen and sleeping area,â€? said DiDiego, who has worked out of St. Armands, also known as Station 3, for two years. Longtime firefighter-paramedic Steve McAdoo added: â€œItâ€™s also good to have a building up to hurricane standards. There is nothing worse than being out here in high winds and not knowing if the building can withstand it.â€? The new station will certainly be an upgrade.
TEMPORARY HOME During construction of the new station, firefighters and emergency equipment will be temporarily stationed at the Lido Pavilion on Benjamin Franklin Drive. Members of the Lido Key Residents Association were concerned that the station would be temporarily relocated to the mainland, impacting response times, especially during peak tourist season when the most cars are on the road. To alleviate these concerns, Gorski reached an agreement with the city of Sarasota to allow the department to set up an improvised fire station adjacent to the lifeguard headquarters at the pavilion.
The current building has less than 1,000 square feet of living area for firefighters. The bathrooms are located in a separate building, and the kitchen and lounge area is lined with paneling from the 1970s. With a crew of four firefighters on duty at all times, the quarters are tight, said Sarasota County Fire Rescue Chief Brian Gorski. Although the building is built out of solid concrete, the roof does not meet current storm-prevention standards and the garage doors are old and would buckle easily in a storm. According to preliminary plans for the new station, a fire engine, ambulance and other equipment will be stored on the first floor of the building. More than 9,000 square-feet of living space is planned for the second floor, including a kitchen, lounge, sleeping area and training room. The building will be designed to allow a storm surge to pass through the lower level of the structure without causing major damage. Gorski expects the new station to be completed by the end of 2007. Throughout Sarasota County, nine existing fire stations are slated to be demolished to make room for modern, storm-resistant structures. As part of the renovation mission, county commissioners recently allocated $2 million for the St Armands project. â€œIt will be a two-story building built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane,â€? Gorski said. Gorski said he wouldnâ€™t know specifics about the new station until design blueprints are completed later this month.
Mid-key flights come soon Airport CEO tells residents that modern planes are much quieter than older jets. At his last â€œMeeting with the Mayorâ€? Tuesday, Mayor Ron Johnson played a tape recording of a jet flying over the north end of Longboat Key. The tape was recorded in 1996. Johnson then played a quieter humming sound for the audience of about 15 residents: the sound of a modern jet engine equipped with a Stage III engine. Johnson, joined by Fred Piccolo, president and CEO of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, was trying to prove that a soon-to-be-effective, mid-Key flight pattern will not be as disruptive to residents as many thought it would be. Sometime this summer, commercial flights departing from Sarasota-Bradenton airport will begin flying over the center of Longboat Key, just north of Bayport Beach and Tennis Resort. The planes currently depart over the north end of the island. Piccolo said the planes that will soon be passing over the center of the island are noticeably quieter since U.S. Congress passed a law in 2000 requiring all commercial aircraft to use the Stage III engines. The first recording Johnson played was recorded in the midst of a fiveyear battle by the town to stop the airport from sending planes over the center of the island. Although the town paid more than $500,000 in legal fees and spent years fighting the mid-Key flight pattern, a Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit against the
airport in 2002. â€œAll the lawsuit did was delay the flight path until the quieter jets were being used, and we paid a lot of money to do that,â€? said John Redgrave, who became a commissioner just as the anti-jet sentiment exploded on Longboat in the early 1990s. Seasonal resident Norm Fleishman has a home seven miles from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and said he can barely hear the newer planes as they fly overhead. â€œIt is a tremendous difference,â€? he said. â€œBefore we had to stay inside when they flew overhead. Now they fly directly over our home every four minutes, and you can be outside barbecuing and it is not an issue.â€? Piccolo said he was pleased to be at Town Hall on a â€œfriendlier noteâ€? after years of dissention between the town and airport officials. â€œThe FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) fought the townâ€™s lawsuit and the Court of Appeals ruled that they were right,â€? Piccolo said. â€œI tried to tell everyone they (FAA) would win because there was plenty of case law at the time.â€? Piccolo said the new flight path is set to become effective this summer. Currently the path is being added to routing maps used by pilots. Only planes departing northbound from Runway 14 will travel above the Key. All other planes leave the airport and turn south toward Siesta Key. The northbound planes will travel at about 3,200 feet above the ground. On average, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., about two planes every hour will pass over the Key, Piccolo said.
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The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
longboat democrats by Kat Wingert | Community Editor
Club honors retiring President Clay
Above: Board member Carroll Johnson presents John Clay with the club’s Distinguished Service Award. Right: Grace Carlson and Shirley Brown, candidate for Sarasota County School Board, advocate a “Yes” vote for the school tax on March 14.
After a very sluggish end to 2005, the number of properties going under contract in January turned out to be surprisingly strong. Still, sellers face tough competition.
Photos by Kat Wingert
After serving three years as president of the Longboat Key Democratic Cub, it was time for John Clay to pass on the gavel. At the club’s Feb. 21 monthly meeting at the Longboat Key Club’s Harbourside Dining Room, Clay presided over his last agenda’s items, one of which was the election of the club’s new board members. About 70 club members voted to approve the new officers: Marvin Morse, president; Bill Levine, vice president; Jane Albaum, secretary; and John Clay, treasurer. After the election of new officers, board member Carroll Johnson presented Clay with a Distinguished Service Award. “One of the things I think that makes a good leader is forgiveness,” Johnson said. “So I know, because John is such a good leader, that he will forgive us, because the date on the plaque is incorrect. So I offer you this award, with the wrong date on it.” Upon his acceptance of the award, Clay said he did, indeed, forgive the incorrect date, and added what a pleasure it was to serve the club as its president. Once Clay finished addressing club members, Keith Fitzgerald, Democratic candidate for District 69 of the Florida State House, and Shirley Brown, candidate for the Sarasota School Board, addressed the group. The club also unanimously adopted a resolution in support of the referendum to retain the 1-mill school tax, which will be on the Sarasota County ballot for the March 14 election.
www.SarasotaProperty.info read our February article online!
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The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, March 9, 2006
arts center by Dora Walters | Senior Editor
Student show attracts enthusiastic crowd The galleries and sculpture garden had standing room only at the March 3 opening of the Longboat Key Center for the Artsâ€™ annual Student Show. The show in the Joan M. Durante Gallery has 241 works of paintings, sculptures, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and prints created by students during recent classes at the Arts Center. Guests were treated to hot dogs, cole slaw and baked beans served the sculpture garden, In addition, bowls made by the students could be purchased for $10. These were filled with scoops of ice cream to be enjoyed before taking the bowls home. Also on exhibit in the Glen Gallery are photographs by Nell Rude. Both shows continue through March 19.
Betty Bornheft, Paul Plantenberg and Nell Rude
Photos by Dora Walters
Above: Dee and Dick Pelton enjoy the picnic fare. Left: Joan Partridge and Gene Campbell with â€œFish Or Man,â€? her first-place winning sculpture.
Above: Ed Slater and â€œIris,â€? his first-place winning stained glass work. Right: Alice Wolkenberg and Ed Brickman, second- and first-place winners respectively in the jewelry category.
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