The Observer LONGBOAT
NEIGHBORS BLACK TIE DRAWN BY MOTE THE SAND PARTY Hazel Lenobel stays happy on the beach and around town. Page 1A+
In this issue
Guests take a trip back to the ’40s. PAGE 1B
You. Your neighbors. Your neighborhood.
OUR TOWN PEOPLE, PLACES AND PICS
The $8 million research center was dedicated at Mote. FREE
Thursday, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
anniversary by Larry Burke | City Editor
Don’t miss the show The town will celebrate its 51st birthday with a bang.
Susan Clarke, Bennie Dods, Mary Lou Johnson and First Lady Laura Bush
+ Political meeting
The ladies of Longboat had the privilege of meeting First Lady Laura Bush last Friday after she spoke to a crowd of people gathered at the Ritz Carlton to raise money for 13th Congressional District candidate Vern Buchanan. “It was really neat,” said Mary Lou Johnson, Longboat Key resident. “After she spoke, she allowed one of her aides to use our cameras to take pictures of us with her.” Johnson praised Bush’s relaxed and refreshed look, saying she looked “amazing.” “I told her it was an honor to meet her and that she’s such a good role model for youth today,” Johnson said.
+ Anniversary celebration
Hal and Hazel Lenobel celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on Oct. 23. The couple met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
See OUR TOWN page 2A
A&E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7B Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4D Key Real Estate . . . . . . . . 4C Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . 6D Community calendar . . 9A+ Cops Corner . . . . . . . . . 12A Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . 5D Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6A Player of the Week . . . . . 9C Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5D Vol. 28, No. 14 Five sections www.yourobserver.com
The town of Longboat Key’s 50th anniversary fireworks show a year ago could be heard and felt the length of the Key. It was so roundly applauded the Town Commission decided to have an encore performance.
Back for an encore performance of its amazing 50th anniversary birthday bash, the town of Longboat Key will put on a free concert and booming fireworks show from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Bayfront Park Recreation Center. Bring your own food, beverages, coolers, chairs and blankets. As it did last year, Sarasota’s Big Z Band, a 10-piece ensemble, will provide musical entertainment. “The people of Longboat Key really come out for events like this,” said manager and drummer Allan Zahn. “The spirit and enthusiasm they showed last year made us want to stay on stage.” The band will have a heavy Motown theme this year but will also play contemporary and Big Band tunes. Capping the night will be an explosive fireworks display by Bell’s Fireworks Co., Tampa, which put on last year’s event. Last year’s show rocked the audience into multiple ovations. A spokesman for Bell’s said the show will have 4,000 blasts and last about 18 minutes. Parking will be available in the north lot at the Recreaction Center and along Gulf of Mexico Drive. Call 316-1980 for more information.
agreement by Larry Burke | City Editor
Firefighters’ union gets contract Working without a contract since June 1, Longboat Key Fire/Rescue employees and the town reached a 3-year agreement for a 25% pay increase and increased pension benefits. The town of Longboat Key reached a tentative agreement with the Suncoast Professional Firefighters and Paramedics (IAFF Local 2546) Oct. 25 for a new three-year collective bar-
gaining agreement. “The skills these people possess are in high demand,” said Longboat Key Town Manager Bruce St. Denis. “We knew we were not competitive. If the
town is going to be in the business of providing advanced lifesupport, we need to be in the best position to provide that service.” Both sides are subject to specific language approving a final agreement, removal of a contingency from the Fire Pension Board and ratification of the final contract by the bargaining unit and the Town Commission. Specifics of the agreement are
Wages The town will match the hourly rates paid by Sarasota County. These rates include a 4.11% cost-of-living allowance (COLA) adjustment that was given to all town employees, effective Oct. 1. While Longboat Key Fire/Res-
See FIREFIGHTER page 4A
2A Our Town
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
OUR TOWN continued from page 1A
+ Beauty recognized
Carrie Fowler, Joe Russell, Kim Hoatland and Debbie Fortune
The Longboat Island Chapel has always been a landmark whose architectures says a lot about the Key and the chapel — quaint, understated, easygoing. Looks are important, too. Well, the chapel members’ hard work maintaining the church’s grounds has won an award from the Manatee Chamber of Commerce — the Image Manatee Beautification Award for Public Buildings. The awards are given to businesses and organizations that display noteworthy efforts in maintaining their landscape and an overall community appearance.
+ National recognition
+ Serving up the rock
Harry’s Deli employees are known for getting into the spirit of Halloween, and this year they decided on costumes that were a tribute to the timeless era of punk rock. Employee Joe Russell was the British-rock lead singer, with Carrie Fowler, Kim Hoatland and Debbie Fortune as his back-up singers.
+ A unique celebration
Longboat Key residents Laurence and Jean DeLynn recently celebrated their 50th anniversary in a special way. In honor of their time together, the DeLynns donated money for every year they were married to the wellness community’s “Flight of Hope.” They said they wanted to honor not only themselves but the cause of wellness as well.
+ Patriotic vision
Judy Farris, who was staying at Casa Del Mar while on vacation for about two weeks in September, snapped this photo during a beautiful afternoon on Longboat Key.
Coastal Living magazine recently named the “15 inns we love” in its October issue, and making the cut was Longboat Key Club and Resort. The annual roundup of resorts was featured on CNN.com, and the story caused more traffic at the Longboat Key Club’s Web site. Two weeks ago the Web site had about 2,500 visits, up from about 500. “We’re really excited about this,” said Mary Kay Ryan, director of marketing and communications at the club. “I just imagine that this is a place that the editorial team chose because we posses all the characteristics — from a physical and a service standpoint — that not only their staff, but their readers would deem wonderful.”
‘Tis the season for shopping. . .No need to leave the Key.
Golf, Tennis and Spa
Friday, November 3 • 9 am to 5 pm Exclusive to Longboat Key Club Members Saturday, November 4 • 9 am to 5 pm Open House and Sale to the public Sunday, November 5 • 9 am to 2 pm Open House and Sale to the public Golf and Tennis merchandise to include: men’s and women’s apparel,
golf shoes, tennis shoes, golf bags, tennis equipment, Holiday resort wear and jewelry. Our Fitness and Spa will be featuring many of your favorite Physiodermie products at low, low prices, as well as many new lines of product.
Gift certificates to all outlets will be available for purchase. Complimentary gift wrapping on purchases of the day! All sales are FINAL, no returns or exchanges on sale merchandise.
Save up to
suggested retail prices!
Longboat Key Club Island House • 361 Gulf Of Mexico Drive • Longboat Key
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
$10 per year by Larry Burke | City Editor
Town renews library lease Longboat Key’s library will be around for another 10 years, and plans are under way for its 50-year birthday party. The Longboat Library will soon be turning 50. It began its celebration early with the Town Commission’s approval of a 10year, $10-per-year lease. While small in size, the library has been attending to the literary needs of residents and guests since it opened its doors Jan. 15, 1957. The Town Commission will vote to approve the new lease at its Nov. 6 meeting. “This is the perfect library for this area,” said Longboat Library Inc. President Carole McMahon. McMahon was appointed president in May and has been a member of the all-volunteer staff since 1999. The library relies primarily on membership dues. A yearly membership of $20 provides a
member with up to two sevenday books and up to four 14-day books, CDs or tapes. A $35 membership will double those borrowing privileges. There is also a $300 lifetime membership. Currently, the range of members varies from 1,800 to 2,000, depending on the time of year. That membership can include shorter weekly or bi-weekly memberships as well. The library and board of directors hope to encourage more people to join the group of lifetime members, which now numbers 481. The library will hold a social for lifetime members as part of the 50th celebration beginning in December. There will also be a “Welcome Back” coffee and fashion show Nov. 13. There are also plans to embark
on a capital improvement drive. The building, which opened in 1971 after Arvida Corp. gifted the town the land for a library, is showing signs of age. Carpet, lighting and fixtures are worn out and need to be replaced. The town does not contribute financially to the library’s operation. As a result of a grant last year from the town, the library received $4,411 for upgrades of books on CD. There are no paid workers in the not-for-profit company, and the budget is tight. Books are gladly accepted if they are in good shape. The company’s fiscal year runs from April through March, and total receipts are about $26,000, while total disbursements are about $25,000. “We buy about 40 to 50 books a month,” said McMahon. “With our utilities, lawn maintenance, insurance and office supplies, we clearly don’t have much room for extras.” Longboat Library has had
three homes on the Key. In November 1956, a group of women led by co-founder and three-time President “Dot” Bertolett felt the need for a library on the island. So, on Jan. 15, 1957, with 400 books and 55 members, the Longboat Public Library opened in a rented room at Twin Tarpons Shopping Center, 6350 Gulf of Mexico Drive (where Wedebrock Real Estate Co. now stands). The library incorporated in 1961. In 1963, the library took over a section of the then new red brick building housing the post office on Broadway in the Village. Then, in 1971, on a lot at 555 Bay Isles Road donated to the town by Arvida Corp., Longboat Library made its final move. The library with 1,400 members, 15,000 books and about 75 volunteer staff had their own home. The Longboat Library began its “in-season” hours Nov. 1 and is now open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m Saturdays.
WHAT A GRAPE VIEW Larry Burke
Longboat Key Public Works staffer Don Waldroup trims the seagrapes across from Bayport Condominiums on Gulf of Mexico Drive. The job will take three to four days, marking the end of the turtle-nesting season. The plants go untrimmed in the summer to protect the turtles from lights.
WIN AN SUV by Larry Burke | City Editor
Web site launched for St. Jude You can go online to get tickets to the event or to win a new Scion or a golf vacation at the Longboat Key Club. Don’t forget: The 25th Annual St. Jude Gourmet Luncheon is less than two weeks away. Twenty-three of the area’s premier restaurants will serve their signature dishes from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, in the Temple Beth Israel parking area, 575 Bay Isles Road, across from the Longboat Key Post Office. As if sampling gourmet cuisine from restaurants such as Beach Bistro, Moore’s Stone Crab, Harry’s Continental Kitchens, The Sun House and more isn’t enough, guests will have a onein-100 chance to win either a new Scion XB (value: $24,000), an ultra-luxury, three-day, twonight getaway at the Longboat Key Club, which includes four rounds of golf with cart, free ten-
nis and a Gulf-front Club Suite or a one-of-a-kind Quilt of Dreams made especially for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The odds are pretty good: Three prizes. Only 300 raffle tickets. That’s it. And buying tickets for both the raffle and the luncheon just got easier. Along with the many places on the island where tickets can be purchased, a new Web site was created for ticket purchases: www.yourobserver.com/stjudes/. Raffle tickets are $100 and are tax deductible. Luncheon tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. To purchase your tickets online, go to the encrypted Web site, enter your credit card information and your e-mail address,
and you’re done. You will receive an e-mail receipt that will acknowledge your purchase. If you plan to attend the event, bring the receipt with you on Nov. 11 to the entrance gate. This year’s presenting sponsors of the luncheon are The STANFORD Group Company and The Longboat Observer. All proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You do not have to be present to win the raffle, which will take place at 1:45 p.m. For information and ticket locations, call Patti Colby at The Longboat Observer, 383-5509.
TICKET WEBSITES • www.yourobserver.com (see banner ad) • www.yourobserver.com/stjudes/ • www.lbkstjude.com Tickets can be purchased by credit card on the encrypted Web site.
PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS Beach Bistro Euphemia Haye Harry’s Continental Kitchens Lynches Pub and Grub Moore’s Stone Crab Dry Dock Waterfront Grill Publix Supermarket Café on the Bay Café L’Europe Mar Vista Pub The Colony Blue Dolphin Columbia Restaurant 15 South Ciao! Italia Longboat Key Hilton Christopher’s Moveable Feast Ooh la la Bistro Longboat Key Club Mattison’s Hemingways The Sunhouse
INBRIEF COMMUNITY NEWS AND NOTES
+ Town to hire Olsen engineers After the Naples-based engineering firm of Humiston & Moore declined to participate in the town of Longboat Key’s Makepeace groin modeling project, the Town Commission has turned to a Jacksonvillebased engineering firm. The commission agreed by consensus the town should hire Olsen Associates Inc. to provide a peer review during the construction of the model and an interpretation of the results of the model. Olsen will review the work of the town’s engineer of record, Coastal Planning & Engineering. Olsen’s general practice is focused on beach restoration works, navigation projects and coastal construction regulation.
+ Commission agenda
The following items will be discussed at the Longboat Key Town Commission meeting Nov. 6: • Workshop start time — To change the start time of the Nov. 16 workshop to 10 a.m. from 1 p.m. • Travel and reimbursement policy — To increase the reimbursement rate for an employee lunch while traveling on town business from $10 to $11. The breakfast rate is $6; dinner is $19. • Landscaping policy — To adopt a landscape ordinance as part of the town’s Southwest Florida Water Management District wateruse permit. • Salary savings plan amendment — An ordinance would amend the town’s salary savings plan by bringing its provisions up to date with IRS guidelines. • Waste Management contract renewal — To approve the renewal of an agreement with Waste Management for collection and disposal of solid waste, recyclable materials and yard waste. The contract would be renewed until Dec. 31, 2013. • Sister Keys project — The commission set a deadline of Aug. 1 for St. Joe Town and Resorts to begin its cleanup and mitigation project at Sister Keys.
+ Town fires up fish scooper
Dead red fish 3 to 4 feet long and dead mullet at Longboat Key Moorings and in the canals of Country Club Shores have spurred the town of Longboat Key to mobilize a fish-removal contractor. The fish are apparent victims of red tide. Town Manager Bruce St. Denis said he will ask the Town Commission to transfer $100,000 from a contingency fund for red tide clean up.
The Longboat Observer incorrectly typed Virginia Sanders’ Letter to the Editor in the Oct. 26 edition. Sanders suggested that Longboat Key team up with the Longboat Key Club for desalination.
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
FIREFIGHTER from page 1A Vol. 28, No. 14
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 Lonboat 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.
send us your news No news is too small! If it happens in your neighborhood or involves you, your family or neighbors, let us hear about it — news, birthdays, anniversaries, achievements, engagements, marriages, milestones. Or send us photographs. To contact us:
Community News, Announcements, Events, Photographs Lisa Walsh, executive editor, 941/383-5509, ext. 21; firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Tie Announcements, Events, Photographs Emily Walsh, Black Tie editor, 941/366-3468, ext. 330; email@example.com
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Phone: 941/383-5509 General fax: 941/383-7193 Postal address: 5570 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228 Web site address: yourobserver.com
ployees at a cost of more than $440,000, the union conceded its demand for a 48hour work week.
cue employees will now make a greater annual salary than those in Sarasota County, they will also work 400 more hours, as well. The firefighters will accept the standard COLA for years two and three of the contract that all other Longboat Key employees receive. There are no increases in wages during years two and three, except Step increases, which are comparable to those of other Longboat Key employees.
Steps Pay increases, due to satisfactory yearly performances, move a firefighter through a 12-step plan to reach the top of the pay scale. While Sarasota County operates on a 10-year step plan, the union, in acknowledgement of the tentative wage increases of the new contract, conceded its demand for fewer steps. This contract will cost the town an additional $453,340 in wages and benefits for fiscal year 2006-2007. The cost-ofliving allowance total of $115,321 is included in that amount, and has already been budgeted. Thus, the town manger will recommend that the remaining $338,019 come from unbudgeted reserve funds. In addition, this contract would be retroactive to June 1 through Sept. 30, a cost of $131,169. The fire chief and his five deputy chiefs are not included in these funds. When comparing wages from other counties, the town only sought those counties whose firefighters were trained in advanced-life support. This tentative agreement will go back to the 30 members of the fire/rescue union for ratification. No problems are expected. Next, the town pension board must clarify some ambiguity in wording regarding the “frozen amount” as it pertains to Chapter 175. The board directed the town and the union to work out the agreement in advance so no major objection is expected there, either. As a final step, the contract would have to be ratified by the Town Commission. “Both sides are very happy with the outcome,” said Local 2546 District Vice President Frank Stoudt, a 27-year veteran.
Pension The town has increased the retirement multiplier from 3.2% to 3.5% in the Chapter 175 Pension Plan for a 10year vested firefighter. In other words, if a firefighter had 10 years of service and a salary of $60,000, his pension would be $21,000. Also, a firefighter would be eligible to retire after 25 years of service, without regard to age. The union also agreed to allow the town to utilize up to $161,000 from the state, going back to 2003 and into the future, to pay for the Fire Department Pension Plan. The Pension Board had eliminated this money in 2003, and this was a bone of contention in the bargaining process. The town may now also use a “frozen amount” of about $100,000 for benefits in the Chapter 175 Plan. This gives the town the ability to utilize about $366,000 in state money to pay for the Pension Plan, instead of having to use town funds. The union has agreed to maintain its present practice of requiring employees to contribute 10% of their pay toward the pension plan.
Schedule Longboat firefighters’ schedule averages 56 hours per week, while Sarasota County averages 48 hours per week. To avoid the Nov#1 additional cost of six new emLBK
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y a d un
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The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
taxes at work by Larry Burke | City Editor
Beach project comes in under budget The Key’s third-quarter summary reflects a solid budgetary performance. Longboat Key’s beach project, while delayed during the third quarter, is nearly completed and will come in under budget. The original contract with Manson Construction for dredging was almost $14.9 million. Added to that was about $2.9 million for turtle trawling and more sand, which was lost to storms Charley, Ivan, Jeanne, Frances and Wilma. The town has applied to FEMA for almost $3,225,229 in reimbursement from the sand losses due to these storms, and anywhere from 75% to 90% — or a minimum of $2,418,922 — will be reimbursed by the federal government. This means that with the $398,704 left over from the just completed beach project, $2,418,922 from FEMA reimbursements for storms and an expected $3,428,059 from the state, who participated with the town on this project, there will be almost $6.5 million in available funds for a future beach renourishment
project. At the end of the third quarter, the town had collected $7,338,116 in taxes, with only $5,700 left to retrieve for fiscal year 2006, a total of $7,343,816. Even with construction down from 2005, when Longboat Key collected almost $1.82 million in building permit fees, the town has collected more than $1.33 million, about 107.5% of the 200506 budget. With other general fund revenues operating on budget, Longboat will also receive another FEMA reimbursement of $553,548, which will be transferred to the Beach Special Revenue fund for yearend closeout. In terms of general expenditures, most departments are slightly above the 25% normal costs. There were, however, seven payroll periods during the third quarter rather than the usual six, which explains the rise. There will also be a $125,000 transfer from the general fund to canal dredging capital projects during the fourth quarter. At the conclusion of the third quarter, the town has mostly completed a $450,000 street repaving project. The
Beach nourishment Funding The beach project was paid for using several town funds and the issuance of District A and District B bonds as follows: Beach bonds $15,650,000 Infrastructure surtax 1,269,200 Tourist tax 416,061 Beach Trust Fund 725,259 Beach district taxes 3,009,348 General fund engineering/design 616,550 $21,686,418
RECOVERY FROM SAND LOSSES (FEMA) Storm Application Charley; Ivan; Jeanne; Frances $1,360,543 Hurricane Wilma $1,094,317 Gabrielle $770,369 Total $3,225,229 project is funded by gas taxes. The Grand Mariner development paid $143,397 in land-acquisition fees during the third quarter. That amount was not reflected in the budget, however, because of concern with the timing of the developer’s building permit. With regard to the Utility Fund, the 25% revenue is what was expected, and while the Manatee County water and sewer charges have not been posted yet, the operating budget for water and wastewater is 70% of the total. Expenditures for utilities through the end of the third quarter are just 19%, or $1,427,900 of the almost $7.5 million budgeted.
While the number of luxury and waterfront listings has actually fallen, high-end sellers seem willing to accept proportionally larger price cuts than sellers of lower-priced homes.
The original cost estimate for the renourishment was $21.6 million. The final cost of the project will be $21,287,714. Manson dredging contract $17,774,537 Engineering, design and construction supervision 2,369,862 Reef construction 487,624 Shore bird and turtle monitoring during construction 155,691 Reimburse general fund from bonds 500,000 $21,287,714 Ending Balance
www.SarasotaProperty.info read our November article online!
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THE LONGBOAT OBSERVER
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
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.” Friedrich Hayek “Road to Serfdom,” 1944
Editor and CEO / Matt Walsh, email@example.com Publisher/Executive Editor / Lisa Walsh, firstname.lastname@example.org Founders: Ralph, Claire and Janet Hunter, 1978-1995 City Editor / Larry Burke, lburke@ yourobserver.com Black Tie Editor / Emily Walsh, email@example.com Assistant Black Tie Editor / Stephanie Finnan, firstname.lastname@example.org Arts & Entertainment Editor / Marty Fugate, email@example.com Staff Writers / Jessica Luck, jluck@ yourobserver.com; Robin Hartill, firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Design Editor / Marc Phelps, email@example.com Design Editors / Carla Haake, chaake@ yourobserver.com; Nancy Schwartz, firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President / Marketing and Advertising Sales / Terry Dukes, tdukes@ yourobserver.com Senior Advertising Executive / Wendi Simons email@example.com Advertising Executives / Laura Ritter, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jill Stabler, email@example.com; Carmin Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lori Ruth, email@example.com; Janet Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org; Megan Auer, email@example.com; Patti Toohey, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Coordinator / Donna Hagedorn, dhagedorn@yourobserver. com Classified Advertising Manager / Penny Wepfer, pwepfer@yourobserver. com Classified Advertising Sales Executives / Maureen Hird, email@example.com, Nancy LaMorie, nlamorie@ yourobserver.com Operations Manager / Candy Morton, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Graphic Designers / Jim Knake, Monica Di Mattei, Susan Meyer, email@example.com Circulation Manager / Irv Clements, firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation/Admin. Assistant / Patti Colby, email@example.com Chief Financial Officer / Ted Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org Accounting Manager / Lori Downey, email@example.com Accounting Administrator / Sam Mannaberg, smannaberg@yourobserver. com
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We recommend: Vote for freedom
Readers who follow our election recommendations pretty much know we’re predictable. We never recommend a Democrat. The reason is simple: The party’s philosophical constitution is the antithesis of this newspaper’s. As stated at left in the quotation from Friedrich Hayek, our political guiding principle and fervent belief is “freedom for the individual” — the freedom to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Laissez faire — “leave us alone.” The freedom to make our own decisions, so long as we do no harm to our neighbors. Democrats do not stand for that. They believe in an activist, coercive government that sanctions the looting of every man’s private property and redistributing that property as unearned benefits to the beneficiaries of their choice. They believe the group trumps the individual. It is an immoral philosophy. Yet, sadly, that philosophy has infiltrated the minds and practices of far too many Republicans these days as well. All of which leaves us — and many others — with an empty feeling. We have no candidates around whom to rally. What’s more, we’re sickened. We’re disgusted beyond description at the radio, televison and direct-mail campaigns that barraged us day after day. It’s as if the candidates and their media operatives have taken handfuls of fresh horse dung and rubbed it violently in our faces. “Here, eat that, you saps!” It’s enough to drive you to apathy. But that would be the wrong choice. We should be heard. In that vein, we specifically want to address those Republicans and Independents who have not voted yet. More specifically, we want to address the Independents who are leaning Democratic and Republicans who are considering or have made the decision to switch their votes to the Democratic candidates of Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate and Christine Jennings for U.S. House District 13, instead of voting for Katherine Harris and Vern Buchanan. To begin with, in its purest sense, every vote we cast is a vote for or against freedom. The privilege of voting gives us the opportunity to decide each election which candidates most embrace the values that promote individual freedom and protect private property. These values, to be sure, are the core of our Republic, the basis on which the nation was established, the two most fundamental ingredients that are required for the flourishing of liberty and prosperity. So those should be the starting points in the ballot box: Who stands for freedom and private property the most? Second, there is the issue of many voters disliking the personalities of Republican candidates Harris and Buchanan. In the end, their personalities don’t matter. Elections are not personality contests. We are making choices over the philosophical direction of our nation. Will it matter in the Senate votes in the next six years what Katherine Harris did in the 2000 election? Will it matter in the U.S. House over the next two years what Vern Buchanan did with his business in the late 1980s? What matters is the candidates’ core political philosophies and whether they have the character to uphold those beliefs. On those scores, Harris and Buchanan are far and away the candidates who will most embrace freedom for the individual, protect private property and quash the growth of immoral government interventionism. Nelson? He is an enemy of the taxpayer. The National Taxpayers Union, The Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform all rate Nelson as one of the most liberal, big-spending senators in
America. Jennings? Watch what you vote for. Suffice it to say, to the Republicans who want to switch, be certain of this: You will regret the day.
+ Why Lawton Chiles, not Bill Nelson, became governor
Sixteen years is a long time ago in politics. But in January 1990, Democrat Bill Nelson was well on his way to seeking his biggest political prize yet — Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination. He was the party’s front-runner, having been endorsed and funded by Florida’s largest and most influential Democratic powerbrokers. But then he was exposed. Florida Trend magazine published a cover story about Nelson in which he was dubbed “the empty suit.” Nelson, the magazine said, stood for nothing, had no convictions. Thus the name. “More than a few Democrats have been using the phrase for years, in both Washington and Florida,” said Florida Trend. One of Nelson’s closest friends told the magazine: “I guess the reason he might be called that is that he has never taken on an issue of substance in Congress and made it happen.” After the 1986 Shuttle Challenger disaster, then-Congressman Nelson admitted that the House subcommittee he chaired, which oversaw NASA, did an inadequate job. On big issues that gubernatorial candidates were expected to take positions, Nelson flip-flopped (abortion was one) and remained obtuse (“I will never say, ‘I will never raises taxes,’” Nelson said.) Nelson’s lack of forthrightness — his empty-suitedness — became so exasperating to party leaders, including the state’s number one Democratic leader, retired U.S. Sen. Lawton Chiles, that Chiles decided to come out of retirement and run for governor to save the party. By September of 1990, after only about six months of campaigning, Chiles trounced Nelson in the primary with 69.5% of the vote. Now you know how even the hardcore Democratic leaders regard Bill Nelson. Vote Harris. She has far more substance than Nelson.
+ Jennings beholden to Pelosi
If elected, the first vote Christine Jennings will cast in the U.S. House of Representatives will be to elect Nancy Pelosi as House speaker. And then it will get worse from there. If you consider yourself an advocate of limited government and think Washington taxes and spends too much, you will be deluding yourself to think that Jennings will be a Democrat who votes Republican. If she wins, she will owe her victory in large part to the big money the Democratic Party poured into her district campaign. On the farm, we always remembered: When someone finances you, you don’t turn your back on him. Buchanan, on the other hand, believes, correctly, that the marketplace is smarter than Congress. He understands what creates jobs and economic growth. Regardless of his past, we’ll bet on his future. Vote Buchanan.
+ The other races
Governor — Charlie Crist. Jim Davis ranks among the biggest spenders and pro-tax, anti-taxpayer and anti-economic growth members of Congress as rated by the National Taxpayers Union, the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform. Attorney General — Republican Bill McCullom, unenthusiastically. He’s a tired politician who should move on. But his opponent, Democratic state Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell is far worse. There are only two things you need to know about Campbell: 1) He represents
Broward County, the most socialistic, liberal county in Florida; and 2) One of the top buttons on his campaign Web site says: “Click here to urge Florida’s attorney general to stop gas-price gouging.” All of which says he doesn’t understand the marketplace. His answer: Have government legislate pricing. He should consult Jimmy Carter on how well that works. Keep him in Broward. Chief Financial Officer — In Republican Tom Lee, Florida’s Senate president, and Democrat Alex Sink, former president of Bank of America for all of Florida, we have two disappointments. Lee had ample opportunity to work for deregulation of Florida’s property insurance industry to solve the shortage of insurance and skyrocketing prices. Instead, he proposed the creation of yet another government-run insurer of last resort for the commercial property market. And in the last session, he guided a bill through that protects big insurance companies from competition. Meantime, Sink isn’t offering any market-oriented ideas either to solve Florida’s insurance shortage. She wants to create a coastal-state, governmentregulated insurance catastrophe fund — more government intervention. And, like all populists, she promises to be tough on insurance companies. Alas, there is no choice here. Go with your loyalties. Agriculture Commissioner — This is a race between incumbent Republican Charles Bronson and Democrat Eric Copeland, a Miami lawyer who is campaigning as a consumer advocate. Go to www.copeland2006.com/issues and read Copeland’s positions on the issues. Scary. Re-elect Bronson.
Florida Supreme Court — Should Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Joan Pariente and Peggy A. Quince be retained? The latter two wrote the majority opinion that shot down school vouchers. Yes: Pariente. No: Lewis and Quince. District Court of Appeal — Vote yes on all of the judges. Circuit Court, 12th Circuit — Rochelle Taylor Curley
Constitutional Amendments Amendment 1: No Amendment 3: No Amendment 4: No Amendment 6: No Amendment 8: Yes
Florida House District 69 — Laura Benson Florida House District 70 — Doug Holder
County Commissioner — Carol Whitmore, Republican School Board, District 4 — Bob Gause
Charter Review, District 1 — Stefan Butz Charter Review, District 2 — Dan McLeroy Jr. Charter Review, District 3 — Adam Miller Charter Review, District 4 — Charles Cooper Charter Review, District 5 — Neither candidate; they have agendas that are not appropriate for charter review board members. Hospital Board, Southern District, Seat 1 — Gerald Phillips Charter Amendment: Mandatory voter verified paper ballots; independent random audits of election results; audits required before certification. Vote no.
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
MY VIEW by Rudy Mueller | Contributing Writer
My quarrel with the Democrats In the current election campaign, the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, the environment and the state of the economy are all prominent topics, yet the Foley scandal has been the recent tipping point in voter sentiment. It is supposed to have shown not only the congressman’s moral corruption but also that of the Republican Party. Let me start my quarrel with the Democrats with this scandal. Foley did, indeed, send sordid e-mail to a congressional page — and resigned to pay the price. Compare his deed and his response to the deeds of Democratic Congressman Gerry Studds, who admitted to having sex with a male congressional page, but was nevertheless re-elected eight times from his Cape Cod district. Tell me that there is no double standard. Why is a Republican’s sordid e-mail to a page worse than a Democrat’s homosexual interlude with a page? Concerning Iraq: Yes, it is a mess, though one should remember that the number of daily casualties is far lower than the number of Iraqis tortured, raped and killed under Saddam Hussein. The average Iraqi is better off, and the oft-forgotten Kurds are delighted with their newfound freedom. I don’t know where the reader lived during the first eight years
of his or her life; I lived mine The Democrats vote and talk mentioned is the fact that the in Nazi Germany. If it taught as if the global war on Muslim air we breathe is the cleanest in me one thing, it is this: No one terrorism was not their con- our lifetimes. The Democrats have shrewdly should have to live under such cern. We’ve had no major act of people. I believe Saddam Hus- terrorism in the United States cut back their criticism of Bush’s sein was as evil as Hitler, and his since Sept. 11, so maybe Osama and the Republicans’ handling sons were worse. Hussein did bin Laden doesn’t mean what of the economy. The can see that less damage only because he had he says. Let’s give the benefit of inflation is low; interest rates are historically less power. low; and our We can deunemploybate the mis‘If you worry about the budget deficit, take ment rate is takes made heart: Despite the war in Iraq, the war on the envy of in Iraq, but the develI believe the terrorism and last year’s severe hurricanes, the oped world. decision to go deficit for the fiscal year just ended came in at In the last in was right. six years, the If America 2% of gross domestic product. That is low by U.S. econodoesn’t lead the standards of the developed world.’ my has crethe fight ated more against desnew jobs pots, and for democracy, who will? the doubt not to Bush, but to bin than Japan and the 25 countries of the European Community In the war on terrorism — to Laden. my mind, the paramount issue Not mentioned lately is Bush’s combined. Our taxes on income, — the Democrats of both houses — and the Republicans’ — sup- dividends and capital gains are voted by substantial majori- posed inattention to ecology, the lowest in memory. If you worry about the budget ties against renewal of the Pa- especially global warming. Last triot Act, citing their concerns year’s unusual number of hur- deficit, take heart: Despite the about some loss of civil liberties. ricanes and their uncommon war in Iraq, the war on terrorWasn’t it intuitively obvious strength was supposed to have ism and last year’s severe hurto all of us after Sept. 11, 2001, been due, at least in part, to ricanes, the deficit for the fiscal that surveillance of interna- Bush’s refusal to sign the Kyoto year just ended came in at 2% of tional travel, communications, Protocol. Conveniently forgotten gross domestic product. That is the flow of goods and the flow of by the Democrats is the fact the low by the standards of the demoney would have to be stepped Senate advised Bush not to sign veloped world. It is low by hisup? Such surveillance does, in- it with a vote of 96-0. To whom toric American standards; it is deed, represent an (up to now is 96-0 not clear enough? Con- no reason to worry. On the convery slight) infringement on our veniently forgotten, also, is the trary, if the fiscal stimulus of the privacy, but do we need another fact that the globe has warmed deficit were reduced too much, Sept. 11 to remind us of the ne- ever since the Ice Age (mostly to it would raise the specter of the cessity? mankind’s benefit), and never most dreaded economic disease
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of our times: deflation. It took Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, 15 years of nongrowth to overcome the effects of deflation. There are other reasons the voters should vote Republican. I prefer judges that interpret the law rather than activist judges bent on rewriting the law. I worry about the Republican ties to big business less than the Democrat subservience to unions and tort lawyers. I prefer free markets to excessive regulation, and I don’t care much for social engineering. The Republican leaders in Congress irritate me less than Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Charles Rangel (who, with admirable candor, stated just last week that he didn’t like a single one of the last six years’ tax cuts). I see few Joe Liebermans left in the Democratic Party with whom I would feel comfortable. If you want to argue that Democrats have historically been good for the stock market, I would point out to you that never in our lifetimes has the Democratic leadership leaned so far to the left. If they came to power, your stocks would go down and your taxes up. We’ve never had it so good. Why vote for change? Rudy Mueller is a part-time resident of Longboat Key.
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2006
3EARCH /PEN (OUSES
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SPECTACULAR SARASOTA MAINLAND BAYFRONT. Sought after mainland bayfront. Fabulous John Cannon custom home with remarkable bay views. Top quality appointments, pool & spa. Priced below appraisal. $2,295,000. Debra Pitell, 951-6660 or 356-0437. #311351
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Longboat, Lido & Bird Keys
LONGBOAT, LIDO & BIRD KEYS
LONGBOAT KEY ESTATE. The ultimate gated beachfront estate located on a 2-acre lushly landscaped property with 150' of sugar white sand beach. A Christie's Great Estates listing. $7,450,000. Michael Moulton & Annette Rogers, 383-7591 or 928-3559. #316433 PICTURE PERFECT BAYFRONT GATED ESTATE on the south side of Bird Key. Beautifully appointed home with separate living areas, 4BRs en suite, pool, spa & views of the city over Sarasota Bay. $6,490,000. Craig & Steve Abbott, 383-7591 or 374-3003. #300928 MARVELOUS GULF-FRONT OASIS showcasing spectacular sunsets and pristine sandy beach through walls of glass. This custom two-story residence features spacious areas with formal living and dining rooms, family room and beachfront den. $5,795,000. Saint Cacchiotti & Gail Wittig, 383-7591 or 387-0533. #286062 THE RITZ-CARLTON BEACH RESIDENCES. Live the ultimate Ritz lifestyle as the owner of this designer finished Gulf-to-bay 4BR home in the sky. Sunsets on the Gulf & city views along with the legendary services of The Ritz-Carlton. $4,695,000. Jenifer Schwell, 388-4447 or 780-0968. #327362 THE BEACH RESIDENCES. Fabulous 3BR corner unit with direct views of the Gulf, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay & the skyline. Beautifully finished with marble & wood floors throughout. $3,750,000. Michael Moulton & Annette Rogers, 383-7591 or 928-3559. #327357 STUNNING BAYFRONT HOME. Prestigiously poised on Sarasota Bay in proximity to the best of everything the area offers, this grand residence on St. Armands Key features every luxury imaginable. $3,650,000. Karen Cash Greco & Barbara Corbett, 966-8000 or 928-1005 & 966-8000 or 400-8248. #299526 THE BEACH RESIDENCES. Over 400' of Gulf frontage on almost 8 acres. This unit features magnificent views, concierge, outdoor pool & spa, & state-of-the-art fitness center. $3,400,000. Linda Roe Dickinson, 388-4447 or 350-3304. #302962 BEST BAYFRONT LOCATION ON ST. ARMANDS. True 4BR, turnkey furnished & tastefully decorated home with adorable attached guest quarters, in-ground spa, new roof & deepwater dock. $2,490,000. Tracy DeRamo, 349-3444 or 650-4988. #327701 LONGBOAT KEY CLUB. Perfectly situated & updated home in Bay Isles. Light & bright with great water views, media room, wine cellar, private dock & lift. $2,395,000. Saint Cacchiotti & Gail Wittig & Julie Klick, 383-7591 or 387-0533. #308568 BIRD KEY. True 4BR home set on a 1/2-acre estate size lot in Bird Key. Positioned at the end of the canal with direct access to Sarasota Bay. Best boating waters. $2,100,000. Gloria Totti-Cervoni, 349-3444 or 544-7746. #277294 ORCHID BEACH CLUB. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views from this 6th floor unit. Finished with travertine flooring & within walking distance from St. Armands Circle. $1,995,000. Sergei Sokolov, 388-4447 or 323-2585. #317260 ELEGANT TROPICAL RETREAT on a private corner lot on Bird Key. Offers 3BRs, den, wood floors, plantation shutters, designer finishes, pool & an excellent dock area with long views to sunsets. $1,950,000. Ann Martin, 388-4447 or 356-7717. #323416 BIRD KEY CANAL-FRONT HOME. This 3BR residence boasts a split floor plan with over 3,300 sq. ft., master suite with sitting room & exercise room/office, eat-in kitchen & saltwater pool. $1,675,000. John August, 388-4447 or 373-0038. #323399 BIRD KEY. The very best of everything throughout this quality built three-bedroom home with open pool. $1,495,000. Kevin Reddington, 966-8000 or 266-4202. #305322 BIRD KEY NEW CONSTRUCTION. A private yard, pool & spacious screened lanai complement the casual lifestyle of this unique residence with architectural detailing, bright interior & sea island style. $1,495,000. Judy & Bill Nimz, 951-6660 or 374-0196. #296206 SANCTUARY. Furnished, direct Gulf-front condominium with sunset views & new storm shutters. Located behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club. $1,400,000. Michael Moulton & Annette Rogers, 383-7591 or 928-3559. #322524 ST. ARMANDS. A rare opportunity for those who seek Florida beach living at its best. Open, spacious rooms with high ceilings & wonderful outdoor spaces. View the Gulf, only steps to the Circle. $1,399,999. Ann Martin, 388-4447 or 356-7717. #312167 LONGBOAT KEY. Brand new construction on Longboat Key's north end. Enjoy deeded private beach access & convenient location close to shopping & Durante Park. $1,395,000. Rose Alstrom, 951-6660 or 356-0063. #312788 LONGBOAT KEY CLUB & RESORT. This 2BR beachfront offers golf & beach in the same destination. Enjoy the potential for high rental income. $1,325,000. Saint Cacchiotti & Gail Wittig, 383-7591 or 387-0533. #321746 BIRD KEY. Remarkable location on Bird Key, with pool & lanai facing south. Beautifully remodeled 3BR ranch with new appliances, flooring, refinished pool & granite countertops. $1,198,000. Nancy Carey, 388-4447 or 323-1616. #299778 SEAPLACE. Newly renovated & furnished with top-of-the-line features throughout. Offers 2 pools, tennis & Longboat Key's most beautiful beach to enjoy. $965,000. Craig & Steve Abbott, 383-7591 or 374-3003. #324833 PANORAMIC SUNSET & BEACH VIEWS from this end unit. Within walking distance to St. Armands Circle. Totally renovated & offered turnkey furnished. $850,000. Jon Partridge, 3884447 or 724-4452. #314634
SIESTA ISLES. Imagine the possibilities with this canal-front in Siesta Isles. This one-owner home is solidly built with 85' of waterfront. Southern exposure & old oaks add to this incredible location. $995,000. Terri Derr & Kennedy Torrington, P.A., 383-7591 or 356-6694. #295581
COUNTRY CLUB SHORES. Partial bay views from this canal-front home. Features an open floor plan, 2BRs, office, many updates, pool, custom dock & new roof in 2004. $969,000. Mel and Jan Goldsmith, 388-4447 or 383-6673. #318587
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