The Observer LONGBOAT
NEIGHBORS BLACK TIE:
ASOLO BILL. BUCKLEY THEATER Pious piper pampers pet and progeny. PAGE 1A+
In this issue Guests don the best for the gala opening. PAGE 1B
You. Your neighbors. Your neighborhood.
OUR TOWN PEOPLE, PLACES AND PICS
Neighborhood fight breaks out over deed restrictions. Thursday, OCTOBER 12, 2006
tourism by Hugh Welsh | Staff Writer
Season: ‘Very strong start’ Longboat’s tourists are back, but their demographics are changing. The sluggish tourism seasons of the past five years may be over. The outlook for the upcoming
tourist season looks stellar. “The summer months were a little off with last year’s brush
with red tide and hurricanes still weighing on tourist’s minds, but I’d say there’s every reason to feel good about high season [February to April],” said Jim Layfield, broker and co-owner of Wedebrock Real Estate, “as bookings
are off to a very strong start.” Mary Kay Ryan, director of sales and marketing at the Resort at Longboat Key Club, concurs. “We’re actually 18% ahead of
See SEASON page 4A
+ The Observer reigns supreme
For the second year in a row, The Observer Group has managed to bring home the stein in The Great Outdoor Conservancy’s Oktoberfest Suncoast annual Media Stein Holding Competition. Up against many of last year’s contenders, including Brighthouse and the Herald Tribune, The Observer was up against nothing more than trash talkers, as Adam Hughes took home the title of Stein Holding Champion after holding onto the filled mug for more than three minutes. At the three-minute mark, only two men were left standing, our champion from last year, Sarasota Observer City Editor Roger Drouin, and our champion from this year, Hughes. Competitors couldn’t compete against the two, and, in the end, after some horseplay, Drouin tipped his mug and Hughes was declared the winner. The Observer should be receiving the engraved stand in a few weeks to proudly display the stein until next year’s battle — and we’ll be ready.
See OUR TOWN page 2A
A&E........................................7B Bridge.....................................4D Key Real Estate......................4C Classifieds................................5D Community Calendar........... 4A+ Cops Corner..........................12A Crossword...............................6D Opinion....................................6A Golf Gambits.........................14C Weather..................................3D Vol. 28, No. 11 Five sections www.longboatobserver.com
HEAVENLY HOUNDS Stephanie Finnan
Robert Stuenkel, the Rev. Eric Wogen, Alex and Kristine Johnson and their dogs, Lola Grace, Eva, Joon, Bennie, Sara, and Bones share a laugh at the annual Blessing of the Animals Saturday at St. Armands Key Lutheran Church. For the story and more photos, see page 1D.
ZONING by Larry Burke
| City Editor
Commission broadens uses at Town Plaza The shopping center’s owner, Dead River Properties, sought more latitude to help attract new tenants to Avenue of the Flowers. With the same outcome as the Sept. 11 first reading, the Longboat Key Town Commission adopted Monday an ordinance that broadens the commercial uses at the Avenue of the Flowers shopping center. The 4-3 vote was identical, as well, with each commissioner voting the same way. The only difference was a milder opposition from Bay Isles residents.
The amendment to Town Plaza I’s Outline Development Plan will expand the current list of permitted land uses to match those in the town’s C-1 commercial zoning category. Until Monday, Town Plaza had fewer allowable uses than the C-1 category. Among the expanded uses: dance/exercise studios with
See PLAZA page 11A
Dead River Properties is hoping that fewer zoning restrictions will fill the sidewalks at Avenue of the Flowers.
2A Our town
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
+ Get those tickets today
OUR TOWN continued from page 1A
+ Operatic Oktoberfest
Marrissa Ortiz, Longboat Key resident, sang the National Anthem Oct. 5, at the Oktoberfest Media Party. She is the daughter of Luis and Chris Ortiz. Ortiz’s family is from Germany and sent her an authentic dress to wear for her anthem rendition. She will be a member of the Sarasota Youth Opera this year.
+ Book signing
A book signing for “Marine Scene,” a book written The Longboat Observer’s Marine Scene columnist Dwight F. Davis, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Borders Books, 3000 S. Tamiami Trail. The book was illustrated by Virginia Sanders, The Observer’s Turtle Watch columnist.
+ Harry’s happenings
Harry’s Continental Kitchens will be holding wine tastings from 4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday for the month of October in its deli. The first tasting, Oct. 12, will be free for people looking to please their palates. In addition, bottles of wines can be purchased for 20% off each Thursday so customers can take home their favorites from the sampling. Harry’s will also be hosting a Spanish Wine Dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 18. Five courses will be served, pouring a new wine for each course, with food prepared by Chef Eric Colodny. The price is $69 per person.
+ Lifetime achievement
+ Becoming a trend
Ray and D’Arcy Arpke, owners of Euphemia Haye, have been recognized in the October issue of Florida Trend magazine. Arpke recently published an autobiography titled, “You Don’t Have to Be Crazy, But It Helps.” “It is a great read, an anecdote-filled autobiography by a skilled chef with a background and a beginning that defines the word, ‘unique’…” said writer Robert Tolf. Tolf also praised the restaurant as one of the tops of his list by winning the Golden Spoon award since 1993 and being honored as a member of the Golden Spoon Hall of Fame. Included in the book is a dessert section. And, as all Longboaters know, the HayeLoft tops everyone’s list as the perfect place to end a meal, no matter where you started.
t ! x y e N da i r F
Shirley Beachum, Longboat Key resident, received a lifetime achievement award from the AACS, Airways and Air Communications Services of the United States Army. Beachum has been going to AACS yearly meetings all over the United States since serving overseas in the Army’s communications department in World War II. “It’s quite an honor to get that award. Not many have received it,” she said. Although she had to miss this year’s meeting, which was held last weekend in Covington, Ky., she plans on making the trip to Los Angeles next year for the annual meeting. Beachum already has the beautiful clock she received from AACS in a perfect spot. It serves as the centerpiece of her coffee table.
Longboat Key Historical Society Annual
Old Time Fish Fry Friday, October 20th
5 to 9 PM at Mar Vista Dockside
Restaurant & Pub
760 Broadway, Longboat Key $20 per person
(Kids 6 & under Free) Get your tickets now at the
• LBK Historical Society/ Chamber of Commerce 6960 Gulf of Mexico Drive
• Whitney Post Office/Market • Wagner Realty in Centre shops live music • raffles • savory fish dinner The Observer
You. Your Neighbors. Your Neighborhood.
Do you have your St. Jude Gourmet Luncheon tickets yet? How about your raffle ticket to win that mini-SUV Scion XB at the St. Jude luncheon? Speaking of tickets, don’t forget to buy your tickets to the Longboat Key Historical Society Fish Fry. The fish fry will be Oct. 20, and the St. Jude Luncheon and raffle will be Saturday, Nov. 11. Here’s where you can get tickets: To the fish fry: • Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce, 6960 Gulf of Mexico Drive, 383-2466 • Whitney Beach Post Office • Wagner Real Estate, 5360 Gulf of Mexico Drive • LongboatKeyHistory.org To the St. Jude luncheon: • Le Tennique at the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive, 3836464 • Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce, 6960 Gulf of Mexico Drive, 383-2466 • The Longboat Observer, 5570 Gulf of Mexico Drive, 383-5509 • The Market, 6812 Gulf of Mexico Drive, 383-TK. • Sea Stable, 3170 Gulf of Mexico Drive, 383-2288 • SunTrust Bank, 510 Bay Isles Road, 387-5600 • Sarasota Olive Store, 1419 Fourth St., 366-2008 • The Sarasota Observer, 1517 State St., 366-3468
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
by Larry Burke | City Editor
Town SUVs pared down to eight In future purchases, any employee vehicle costing more than $22,000 would need commission approval. Based on a proposal submitted by Commissioner Randy Clair, the Longboat Key Town Commission agreed Oct. 9 to reduce the amount of town SUVs from 15 to eight by phasing them out over time. Clair’s proposal said it was the duty of the town manager to use his best judgment in the selection of each vehicle for acquisition, predicated upon considerations of which vehicle is best suited from a functional, operational and economic standpoint. “There’s a fine line between policy and micromanaging,” said Longboat Key Vice Mayor Lee Rothenberg, agreeing with Clair’s proposal. The policy does not apply to
town medium or heavy trucks, special-use trucks, fire trucks, ambulances, motorcycles or trailers. All vehicles will have high ground clearance and fourwheel drive to provide the town the maneuverability in emergency situations. St. Denis said there are four SUVs in the town budget for 2006-2007. He requested that two SUVs be purchased, one for himself and one for the fire chief. The remaining two vehicles scheduled for purchase in the new fiscal year would be switched over to pickup trucks costing less than $22,000 apiece. “This policy basically gets us through 2007,” St. Denis said. “After this year, the commission
WHICH TOWN STAFFERS QUALIFY FOR SUVS • Police chief • Police deputy chief • Public works director • Public works Ppoject manager • Planning, zoning and building (unassigned) will make the decisions, vehicle by vehicle.” Any vehicle that would exceed $22,000 would need prior approval from the commission. The commission voted 7-0 to accept Clair’s resolution for town employee vehicle acquisition. Following that vote, the commission addressed part two of the proposal: the town manager’s SUV. Clair said in his draft that the town manager had a limit of $28,000, and any amount more than that was subject to prior approval by the commission. Rothenberg suggested doing
• Planning, zoning and building (unassigned) • Fire chief • Fire administrative deputy chief
away with leasing entirely in the future, citing more options such as trade-in or sale when a vehicle is owned. The town currently leases a 2004 GMC Yukon/XL for St. Denis. The vehicle has accumulated 56,000 miles thus far. The commission unanimously voted to allow the town manager to purchase a vehicle with a cost up to $28,000. Following the vote, Mayor Joan Webster directed St. Denis to make the purchase himself. “You go buy a car,” Webster said. “You’re the town’s CEO. You know our feelings.”
by Jessica Luck | Staff Writer
Restaurant makes move; brings its view Last Saturday morning, Café on the Bay General Manager Ken Parsons hardly had time to do little else than answer the phone. “The first thing I do now when I come in is check the messages, but the phone keeps ringing so much I can’t even check them,” Parsons said. Café on the Bay, formerly located behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club at Longboat Moorings, just had its opening night Oct. 6, in its new location in the Centre Shops, and the response from customers has all been positive. The move came about because the café had a lease for 12 years with the Longboat Boat Key Club at Longboat Moorings, two years without a lease, and decided to change location
when the owner of the Marina decided to sell. Café on the Bay owners Titus Letschert and Betsie Coolidge then set out to find the perfect new spot for their restaurant (they also own Café L’Europe on St. Armands Circle). The move, Parsons said, was definitely a good one because it allowed the restaurant freedom it didn’t have before. For instance, Café on the Bay was able to expand its outdoor and indoor dining areas — complete with solar-powered lights under the outdoor umbrellas. It has also expanded its beer and wine selections behind the bar to attract more walk-in customers. Other subtle touches are adding to a great dining experience. “We’re trying to step up everything we do,” Parsons said. The new restaurant retained some of the old staples from its previous dining experience, such as its potato-crusted grouper. The old bar made the move to its new
COMMUNITY NEWS AND NOTES
+ New time for workshop
The Longboat Key Town Commission regular workshop will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Town Hall, 525 Bay Isles Road. A full workshop agenda prompted the commissioners to try the new time this month. The workshop will break for lunch from 12:30 to 1 p.m., and then continue until completion.
+ Man drowns at Lido Beach
The Sarasota Police Department and the Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the Oct. 7 death of 79year-old Rand N. Hooper. Hooper was swimming at approximately 6 p.m. off Lido Beach, 400 Ben Franklin Drive. He was discovered minutes later floating in the water at the south end of the beach. Sarasota County Fire Rescue pronounced Hooper dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
+ Mayor gets reimbursement
Ken Parsons, general manager of Café on the Bay, stands in front of the restaurant’s view, now found in the dining room. The restaurant moved from the Longboat Key Moorings to the Centre Shops, but Parsons said they wanted to make sure to retain the setting that is their namesake. LeBlanc Studios was able to capture the exact view they once had, which now spans the back wall of the restaurant.
Café on the Bay changes locations but retains its charms.
home, but is joined by two flatscreen TVs in the bar area. “People feel like they’re back at the old place,” Parsons said. “Everyone knows us by our identity.” Another bonus of the move is the restaurant’s new market. Previously, it didn’t advertise in the Bradenton area, but the move north has established it in Manatee County. While on the phone now, Parsons always has to ask if the customer is coming from Bradenton and makes sure to remember to tell people of their new location because not everyone is aware of the move. In addition, the restaurant’s clientele has gained easier access to the restaurant by its visibility from Gulf of Mexico Drive, making it simple for walkers or drivers to take notice of the eatery. To retain its namesake, Café on the Bay made sure that when it moved it didn’t lose the view. “We took the view with us because we have established our
name for 11 years,” Parsons said as he pointed toward the restaurant’s back wall. The wraparound picture wall in the back of the dining room, done by LeBlanc Studios, depicts the exact view Café on the Bay had previously, showing the docks and boats stationed in the water. The only difference now is the staff doesn’t have to worry about incoming boaters for dinner. To ease into the new surroundings and routine, Parsons said the restaurant will be open daily for dinner at 5 p.m. and will be having brunches on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunchhour dining will be added soon. All the old staff members made the move north to help ensure a smooth transition. The hope for Café on the Bay, Parsons said, is that it will become a neighborhood destination. “We want to be an anchor on this end of the Key and the Centre Shops,” Parsons said.
Longboat Key Mayor Joan Webster requested a $600 reimbursement from the Town Commission Oct. 9, for her attendance at the Sarasota Film Festival Tribute Dinner in April. Webster was given two tickets to the event, but paid for them herself. In July, the commission approved an ordinance to provide standardized criteria for the town for reimbursement of travel expenses to elected and appointed officials, employees and others. Commissioner George Spoll questioned Webster’s request for payment of one of her tickets, which was for her husband. “Where does it say in the ordinance,” Spoll said, “that we have the authority to reimburse the spouse?” Webster informed Spoll that she would never consider attending solo and that she thought it would be proper to pay for it. The reimbursement was approved, 7-0.
+ Meetings & Agendas
Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting — 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. Town Hall, 525 Bay Isles Road. Planning, Zoning & Building Regular Meeting — 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17. Town Hall, 525 Bay Isles Road. numbers in the news
— number of visitor’s guides the Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce distributes
— number of classes offered by The Education Center of Longboat Key
— length in square feet of the Gulfside Drive beach area’s gray sand
— the day in December that has been designated a holiday by the Town of Longboat Key
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
SEASON continued from page 1A Vol. 28, No. 11
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.
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where we stood last year with bookings,” Ryan said. Michele Knuese, president of Florida Vacation Connection, reports a similar rebound in advance bookings as compared to last year. “Partly because of an exceptionally mild hurricane season, we’re up 6% in bookings over 2005 and, with a 100% increase in rentals over this time last year, it looks like the season could be getting under way early,” Knuese said. Tourists may be back, but the demographics of those tourists are dramatically different. The first herd of baby boomers has crossed the retirement threshold. “The phenomenon of the baby boomers is that they’re wealthier, younger and more active, which is to say they’re a bit flighty,” said Gail Loefgren, president of the Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce. “They’re also spur-of-the-moment decision makers in that they will book their rooms days or even hours in advance, as opposed to months. Of course, they can only get away with this during the slower months.”
Loefgren said it used to be commonplace for retirees to devote two or three steady months to vacation time, but that was before the arrival of the baby boomers, a demographic term for the population born between 1946 and 1964, whose movement into retirement grows by 8,000 every day. “They’re not here for a great length of time, flying in and out,” Loefgren said. Knuese says workaholic is a moniker befitting this new brand of tourist. “(Baby boomers) are busier than previous vacationers,” Knuese said. “Many of them won’t officially retire at 60, instead they semi-retire, remaining active in the workplace and continuing to do business from their cell phones and laptops while they’re here.” D.M. Williams, resort property manager at Casa Del Mar, said he’s noticed more tourists leasing a place for just a couple of weeks instead of months at a time. “A majority of business stays for about three weeks,” Williams said. “This is a lot different than it used to be.” At Casa Del Mar, the times might be achangin’, but not to Williams’ chagrin. “This last fiscal year was the best we’ve had here in 25 years,” he said.
THEY’RE BAAAACK . . . It’s sure sign of season, when lines start to form at the Blue Dolphin restaurant at the Centre Shops, the pews are packed at island houses of worship and there are no empty courts at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center. “We were very, very busy last weekend, which was nice,” said Brandon Wells, manager of the Blue Dolphin. “People were telling me they came because it was a three-day weekend due to Columbus Day, which is strange because I’ve never noticed a jump in business this early before.” “We went from a steady trickle of business this summer to a rushing stream,” said Dave Sparks, manager of the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center. “Usually, we don’t see this type of increase until mid-to-late October, so it looks like the season is about a week ahead of schedule,” Sparks said. Marilyn Jackson, the receptionist at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church and a Longboat Key resident for nearly 35 years, knows the tourist season is under way when she routinely finds herself inching along in her car on Gulf of Mexico Drive. Another indicator to Jackson is an increase in attendance at St. Mary’s.
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The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
sand by Larry Burke | City Editor
Town digs for facts on Gulfside beach The town’s engineer will spend up to $37,000 to take 20 sand samples and then quantify the town’s options to bring back white sand. The Longboat Key Town Commission narrowed down its options Oct. 9 for dealing with the dark sand in the area of the Gulfside Drive beach access. The commission directed Longboat Key Town Manager Bruce St. Denis to have beach consultant Coastal Planning & Engineering perform a fact-finding survey. The engineering company will collect up to 20 sand samples on the 1,000-foot-long and 40foot-wide stretch of beach to determine whether an equal mix of white sand and gray sand exists in the area. At the Sept. 19 commission workshop, CP&E was directed to construct a feasibility study for additional white sand placement on the north end beach. At a cost of up to $37,000, CP&E proposed to take up to 20 sand samples and then quantify from those samples what work
would be required to repair the beach and subsurface. The samples would be evaluated for color and grain size. The company would then examine the following remediation options for the beach: • Coarse gray sand removal. • Take white sand from other locations on the Key and place a white cap over the existing gray sand. • Truck in coarse white sand to cover the gray sand. • Uncover the white sand and place it back on top of the gray sand. • Excavate some of the gray sand and truck haul local upland white sand to cover the gray sand. After the commission chooses an option, CP&E would present the work for a minor permit modification with Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Once permitted, CP&E would develop construction plans
and technical specifications for the work to be done. St. Denis recommended that to reduce the cost of the study, the commission should remove some of the options. “I think we should add one more option,” said Commissioner Bob Siekmann. “Do nothing. It is implied that if we fix it here, we will have to fix it elsewhere. How much are we going to spend?” Siekmann went on to say that in the future, other residents who have gray sand will only remember the Gulfside Drive area was renourished, so they should as well. Vice Mayor Lee Rothenberg said the fundamental problem is that there isn’t enough white sand. “There’s only two places to get it: truck it in or dredge,” he said. “Both are expensive and complicated.” St. Denis said he believed CP&E could get the samples taken and analyzed for less than $10,000 and the monies could be taken from the general fund account. Once presented with the results, if the town desires to move forward, the money would then be taken from the beach fund.
CONGESTION by Larry Burke | City Editor
Town to conduct traffic study A divided Town Commission asked Sarasota and Manatee counties for financial assistance to look at the growing seasonal problem. Bring up the topic of traffic, and you can be sure of this: It will generate debate. That’s what happened when the Longboat Key Town Commission decided Sept. 21 at its monthly workshop to ask Manatee and Sarasota counties to contribute $7,500 each to a $35,000 traffic study. “This is taxpayers’ money down the tubes,” said Vice Mayor Lee Rothenberg. “I travel GMD every day. I don’t see any traffic except during three months of the year. This is not a money problem, it’s a practical problem.” Commissioner George Spoll disagreed, saying traffic tie-ups were more of a six-month problem than a three-month one. “We owe a responsibility to our seasonal resident,” Spoll said. But Mayor Joan Webster said: “This is a waste of money. I can’t
support this.” Rothenberg and Webster ended up in the minority, Commissioners Bob Siekmann, Peter O’Connor and Randy Clair supporting the request for county funds to conduct the study and the town’s share of the study, $20,000. The Center for Urban Traffic Research wants to secure the funding now to be able to make preparations for a study that would be conducted during high season. Center officials met with the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials back in March to discuss traffic congestion, traffic patterns and potential solutions along State Road 789. The study would determine the characteristics for St. Armands, Lido and Longboat keys, along with Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach. “Financial support from other communities is critical,” said Commissioner Siekmann. “This is a long-term problem. We need to start someplace, and a professional evaluation is essential.” Said Commissioner Clair: “I support this. It may have something to do with the bridges, but without technical data, we have our arms tied behind our backs.”
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THE LONGBOAT OBSERVER
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 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
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If GOPers switch, looters reign
Democrats versus Republicans. Aye, yi, yi. It’s like … well, sour milk or sour milk. As a group, Democrats and Republicans at the federal level these days are one and the same — infected with a self-centered, inflated-value of themselves, so much so that they perch themselves above Americans with their own special rules and privileges. And they love to spend others’ money. Integrity? It’s sickening on both sides. Sure, if you’re a Democrat, you’d say: At least our leadership isn’t covering up for a pedophile. Or if you’re a Republican: You want to talk about integrity? What about Bill Clinton (and Monica), Barney Frank (and his homosexual prostitute), and let’s not forget, in the double-standard department, Teddy Kennedy (and Chappaquidick). But let’s not be partisan here: The Republican House and Senate indeed have done a horrendous job of managing the people’s tax dollars and keeping a lid on government growth. Conservative Republicans? Hah! Last year, the federal budget grew 9% — three times the rate of inflation — to $2.7 trillion. Over the past six years — the Bush era — the federal budget has ballooned 49%. Included in that, thanks to our conservative Congress, is the drug entitlement, a tax on future generations that will join Social Security and Medicare to make the trifecta of all-time government-sanctioned Ponzi schemes. For all this, do the Republicans deserve to be re-elected? Absolutely not. But to all of you Republicans who are thinking of voting for Democrat Bill Nelson over Katherine Harris for U.S. Senate and for Democrat Christine Jennings over Vern Buchanan for U.S.
And if that’s not enough to unnerve you, Florida has its own cast of extraordinary congressional tax looters: Corrine Brown, Alcee Hastings, Robert Wexler, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Pelosi already has made it clear what the Democrats intend to do if they regain control of Congress. It’s enough to make you want to pack up and head to New Zeland (see box). “We must share the benefits of our wealth,” Pelosi told the AP. Decoded, that means this: Loot those who succeed. Read Pelosi’s list. Who is going to pay for all of her egalitarianism? Who pays when the minimu wage goes up? The poorest on the food chain. Who will the Democrats tax to make up for the lost revenue when Democrats cut interest rates on loans? Everyone who is paying college tuition now — the middle class and the wealthy. Who will pay when the government squeezes drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients? All Americans. Pelosi’s thinking has been the Democrats’ Achilles heel for the past 75 years. They believe they are entitled to the money they use to make everyone equal according to their view of the world. They have no moral qualms about looting to redistribute. And they are itching to do it again. The message of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats is this: Punish success. Take away incentives to achieve. Tax higher. Loot what is yours. This is what Republicans — and all Americans — will be living with if Republicans jump ship and vote for Democratic. Next week: Clean the GOP house.
PELOSI’S AGENDA In her first 100 hours as House speaker, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told the Associated Press, Democrats would: • Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour; • Cut the interest rate on student loans in half; • Allow the governPelosi ment to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients; • Broaden stem cell research with federal funds; • Increase taxes by rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the rates of the Clinton era. She expecially wants to target anyone or any couple earning more than $250,000 a year.
House District 13, as turned off, dismayed or disgusted as you may be, think deeply about the consequences of turning on your own. If you vote for the Democratic candidates, here’s what you will get leading America — Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, John Dingell, Barney Frank, Dennis Kucinich, Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Dianne Feinstein, Daniel Inouye, Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer.
The difference between Harris, Nelson The mainstream press is doing its usual slam-job on Republican Senate candidate Katherine Harris and her vocal commitment to the Fair Tax movement, calling it a “roll-of-thedice” effort to win election over Bill Nelson. Truth is, Harris has been a longtime supporter of the Fair Tax and, unlike her blowwith-the-wind opponent, is willing to take a stand. The Fair Tax bill in Congress essentially would eliminate the Big Spender Internal Revenue Service and the personal Bill Nelson income tax and replace the income tax with a national sales tax. It would do wonders to improve the economic wellbeing of Americans and unleash the U.S. economy. Harris gets this. She is committed to unshackling Americans from the nation’s tyrannical tax code. She has signed the Americans’ for Tax Reform pledge not to vote to increase taxes. Nelson, on the other hand, has never been clear about his convictions, except when it comes to looting taxpayers. He is among the worst in Washington when it comes to taxing and spending — as measured by three organizations that track the votes of members of Congress. To wit:
+ National Taxpayers Union
The NTU rates U.S. representatives and senators annually on every vote that significantly affects taxes, spending, debt and regulatory burdens on
consumers and taxpayers. The NTU says its voting study “is the fairest and most accurate guide available on congressional fiscal policies and that it is a completely unbiased accounting of votes.” Based on Nelson’s rankings, the NTU categorizes him as a “Big Spender.”
in the top15% in the House in votes that are aligned with The Club for Growth. Nelson ranks in the bottom third of the Senate.
+ Americans for Tax Reform
2005 Grade 2005 Score 2005 Rank 2004 Grade 2004 Score 2004 Rank 2003 Grade 2003 Score 2003 Rank
F B 16% 65% 65/100 59/435 F B+ 9% 72% 95/100 61/435 F C+ 14% 60% 95/100 143/435
+ The Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of more than 36,000 men and women who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. The Club for Growth exists to encourage, and make possible, the enactment of pro-growth economic policies by the federal government. In particular, the Club for Growth advocates making the Bush tax cuts permanent; death tax repeal; cdutting and limiting government spending; Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts; expanding free trade; legal reform to end abusive lawsuits; replacing the current tax code; school choice; regulatory reform and deregulation. As such, The Club for Growth issues an annual congressional scorecard. According to its scoring, Harris ranks
CLUB FOR GROWTH SCORES Harris Nelson
64 77/435 Top 15% 8 66/100 Bottom 34%
The Americans for Tax Reform is an organization that opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle. It states that it believes “in a system in which taxes are simpler, fairer, flatter, more visible and lower than they are today. The government’s power to control one’s life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized.” Americans for Tax Reform also asks all congressional and state legislative candidates to sign a pledge to oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. It rates congressional officeholders on a pro-taxpayer agenda on 20 of the most important issues facing Congress. The percentages show how often the congressional members voted for taxpayers on 20 agenda items in the two sessions of the 109th Congress. ATR RATINGS
1st Session 2nd Session
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
MY VIEW by Michael Welly | Guest Writer
Key Club goal: adding value an ongoing objective The Key Club has experienced record growth and is at its highest number of memberships in recent years. I have read your series of articles on the future of Longboat Key with interest. While we appreciate you warming up the Town Commission for our inevitable return to chambers, we did feel your description of the condition of the club to be somewhat harsh. Certainly the Key Club is maturing along with the Key, and in the last several years we have begun a rejuvenation process. The Key has added new condominiums, replacing aging residential and commercial business. Single-lot homes built back in the ’70s are being replaced
by multimillion-dollar doublelot homes. Like the Key, we are changing to meet the needs of both the existing and the “new” Longboaters. In the last several years, we have redesigned and rebuilt the Blue and Red courses at Harbourside. We are well along in the design of reverse-osmosis facilities that will supply quality water for the golf courses. When the Islandside facility is permitted, we are planning a redesign of the Islandside golf course, which will bring further prestige to the Key Club. We have added a new spa and
IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE
retail shop and all new equipment to our recently renovated fitness center. In mid-November, we will add the 2,100square-foot Longboat Key Club Mind and Motion studio in the Charthouse Centre to our extensive amenities. A state-of-the-art tennis complex with a stadium court, retail and restaurant is being planned for Harbourside and will be the area’s finest tennis facility. The Key Club has experienced two years of record growth and is at its highest number of memberships in recent years. At the Resort, the number of rental participants is at historical levels. This summer, a furniture package was introduced, and I am pleased to report 100% participation. This will essentially provide us a brand new,
by James Durante
Are these the worst judges in the nation? When judges cross the lines from Richard Hargrove. He was a heavy the separation of good from evil, drinker with a criminal record, inall lose. The overwhelming num- cluding conviction for drug possesber of jurists perform their services sion, robbery and firearm charges. as intended for the public good. She knew that his bad habits were Their task is to administer justice curable. The marriage failed to afin an evenhanded manner without fect change in Hargrove. He became undue influence. It is the judges’ verbally and physically abusive. In function to do a great right, “to do a defense she went to court for a prolittle wrong” (William Shakespear). tective order against her husband. Unfortunately, there are few judges Months later, Hargrove filed a who reverse the teaching by request for the protective doing a little right and to do order to be amended. She a great wrong. wanted counseling for the A wrong doer is Judge two of them. At the hearBrand Downey, of Florida. ing date she appeared, but He enjoyed watching porHargrove did not. He sent nography on his courtword that he wanted no provided computer. When longer to pursue the conhe was discovered, he was tents of his petition. Corle warned to cease and desist. asked the court to allow her He stopped for a while. Latto present more facts of his er, he resumed. The Florida harassment toward her. JAMES Judicial Qualification com“He is intimidating me menced an investigation. DURANTE and my daughter,” Corle Disclosers of improper said. “I want an immediate, conduct toward female atabsolute divorce.” torneys were discovered. Finally an The court did not have jurisdicagreement was reached whether tion over the divorce request but it Downey, in a few months, would re- had complete control over the scope sign but he would receive a pension. of the protective order. The amount is $100,000 a year. Palumbo’s response to the reJudge Dana Forsternberry, of quest: “This case is dismissed at the Michigan. The expression justice is request of the petition (Hargrove).” blind was twisted to hatred is blind. Then, the judge refused to hear eviShe detested Kelley Kostin, her op- dence of Hargrove’s violation of the ponent in a judgeship contest. She protective order. He suggested to won. You might think that having Corle that it might not be a bad idea won, Forsternberry would be gra- to consult a marriage counselor to cious. But she was not. save the marriage. When Corle proWhen Kostin ran again, Forstern- tested, Palumbo ignored her pleas. berry became hostile, backing a canThree weeks later, Hargrove endidate “not qualified” over Kostin’s tered his wife’s place of employment. “well qualified.” In an effort to defeat He doused her with gas. When she Kostin, Forsternberry implied that attempted to flee from him he set Kostin might have been connected her ablaze. to the death of a woman. However, Later, Hargrove was apprehendthe police decided that the death ed. He was convicted of attempted was suicide. Nevertheless, the at- murder and assault on his wife. Cortacking judge continued her assault le wound up with burns over 60% of her body. against Kostin’s character. The Maryland Commission on The state’s Judicial Tenure Commission conducted an investigation. Judicial Disabilities investigated PaIt concluded with charges of mis- lumbo as a result of the above facts. conduct against Forsternberry. As a It found that Palumbo’s conduct toresult, a penalty of “public censure” wards Corle was not an isolated inwas imposed. She still did not apolo- cident. Palumbo’s behavior was not gize for her behavior. Her quest for in harmony with that of a proper judge. re-election will soon take place. (Source: Reader’s Digest, August Judge Richard Palumbo, of Maryland. Yvette Corle, then 32, married 2006)
highly competitive guest-suite product. Coupled with the new pool deck furniture, lobby and soon to be renovated Sands Pointe lounge and restaurant, we feel we have a product that will continue to be the leader in the area. The resort has never looked better. As to the selling of the Key Club, we are pleased with the Key Club’s performance in our portfolio of investments and wish to remind you we have been part of the ownership for more than 16 years. You are correct to point out that we are always looking to add value to the club and resort, and we are currently reviewing many options to achieve this ongoing goal. Along the way, we continue to be good neighbors support-
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.
Response to‘thought starters’ Dear Editor: I live in Emerald Harbor, and until recently we had fairly uniform covnenants and restrictions, not severe but uniform. It kept Emerald Harbor as a somewhat uniform neighborhood with large lot sizes, deep setbacks and together with the wide canals it made for one of the better neighborhoods on the island. Now the covenants are gone, and the McMansions are pushing out from a 40-foot setback to a 20-foot setback, and the uniform aspect of the neighborhood is changing. It doesn’t look as good as it once did and isn’t going to look better in the future as the onestory houses fall to the McMansions. So I have some reservations on unrestricted use of land as you propose. It depends on what you want. Covenants and town zoning rules keep us from having trailers next to a $2-million house. Now, let’s look at your editorial in the Oct. 5 edition: • Point 1. Excellent. Liberty is certainly not democracy. • Point 2: Sunset the town zoning codes. Too strong. Edit the code, throw out the meaningless restrictions but keep the base that made the island what it is today. • Point 3: Strong-mayor government. Good point. The present setup makes the town manager more political than the politicians. • Point 4: Create Longboat Legacy, community-pride campaign. I thought that is what the visioning process was supposed to do. • Point 5: Be a catalyst for changing Save Our Homes. Amen. The non-residents are getting screwed, and if it doesn’t change, it will destroy Florida, not just Longboat Key. • Point 6: Invite Joe Lesser of the Key Club and Resort to share his vision. Amen. • Point 7: Invite Murf Klauber of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort to share his vision. Amen • Point 8: Accept that expansion at the Key Club and Colony must occur. Part of Point 7. • Point 9: Relax density restrictions. Reduce taxes on commercial property so that businesses can stay alive. Various states attract
ing many charities, civic organizations and the arts, both on Longboat Key and in Sarasota. We are the Island’s club and social center. As to our vision for the Key Club going forward, we are planning, with a world-class team of professionals, changes and additions that we feel are necessary for the long-term well-being of the club and resort. We feel these changes and additions will be supported by our neighbors, fellow businesses and ultimately the town. Certainly they will add value to all concerned on the Island. We look forward to sharing that vision with you. Michael D. Welly is general manager of the Longboat Key Club and Resort.
industries through the use of the tax code. I don’t think it is a density issue. Government has always modified human behavior through the use of the tax code. • Point 10. Allow mixed-use on commercial property. I don’t see what commercial mixeduse would add except more condos and no businesses. Weldon Frost Longboat Key
Protect the pages Dear Editor, Did it come to the attention of those in Congress and government to show their responsibility? The safety of these beautiful, young pages is paramount. Their parents and families are extremely proud of their privledge. The conduct of the representatives in question should be top priority. It is important that blame and punishment of the party should not be considered. A hearing is pending behind closed doors. We the parents and taxpayers should inform our representatives that we, given the truth, are capable of making a decision. Our forefathers did not intend closed-door sessions. These representatives are to represent us, the citizens, the parents, the voters. Bob and Gail Keller Longboat Key
Jennings for Congress Dear Editor: Registered voters will soon have the opportunity to decide a new direction in government, a direction that recognizes the will of the American people. It’s time to bring back the Democrats! The Democratic party is the party of the people — a truly democratic party, with a proven track record of placing the interests of the people first. Do you receive a Social Security check? Thank a Democrat. Do you receive health care through Medicare? Thank a Democrat. Are you able to vote, eat in a restaurant, or stay in a hotel regardless of your race? Thank a Democrat. I’m voting for a Democrat — Christine Jennings for Congress. She possesses the honesty, integrity and commitment to public service we need in Washington. Christine Jennings is committed to fiscal responsibility, and to reducing the huge federal deficit produced by this administration. She recognizes the need for strong and effective national security while working to accomplish the means to bring our troops home from the disastrous war in Iraq. We need leaders we can trust to develop a visionary energy policy, and protect our precious natural resources with consistent and sensible environmental policy. Christine Jennings recognizes the need for responsibility and accountability in Washington. I believe she will represent our district well. I urge you to vote for Christine Jennings for Congress. Don’t forget to vote! Penelope Kingman Longboat Key
The Longboat Observer THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
3EARCH /PEN (OUSES
LONGBOAT KEY BAYFRONT. Exquisite 8,100+/- sq.-ft. Mizner-style residence built by Bruce Saba. In prestigious Bay Isles with private beach club. Completion date Oct. 2006. $7,975,000. Debra Pitell & Julie Klick, 951-6660 or 356-0437. #308646
Anna Maria Island
MARVELOUS GULF-FRONT OASIS showcasing spectacular views of sunsets & pristine beach through walls of glass. 2-story residence with living, dining, family rooms & beachfront den. $5,795,000. Saint Cacchiotti & Gail Wittig, 383-7591 or 387-0533. #286062
7ITH OUR ALL NEW /NLINE /PEN (OUSE 3EA SEARCH OVER OPEN HOUSE LISTINGS BY ARE PROPERTY TYPE OR NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND YOU CAN MAP OUT THE OPEN HOUSES YOU WANT WEEKS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT WWWMI COM BY 7EDNESDAY GIVING YOU PLENTY OF TIM 3UNDAY OPEN HOUSE TOUR ! COMPLETE LIST OF O ALSO AVAILABLE AT YOUR NEAREST -ICHAEL 3AUNDE SALES OFFICE 777-)#(!%,
ANNA mARIA ISLAND
SIX BUILDABLE RESIDENTIAL LOTS on Anna Maria Island overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay. $3,900,000. Annette Rogers & Michael Moulton, 383-7591 or 387-0800. #294155 EXQUISITE VIEW OF TAMPA BAY and the Skyway Bridge from the ground level lanai, 2nd living level, 3rd level master & 4th level sundeck. $1,100,000. Diana Kryszak, 388-4447 or 993-4078. #322569 CORTEZ BEACH. Unique duplex across the street from the beach with Gulf views from almost every room. Conveniently located to Gulf beaches, bay, fine dining & shops. $920,000. Melissa Watkins, 383-7591 or 730-5227. #527199 ANNA MARIA ISLAND. This lot can be purchased subject to the current owner completing rezoning for residential use. Overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay. $775,000. Michael Moulton & Annette Rogers, 383-7591 or 928-3559. #313028 Longboat, LidoLONGBOAT, & Bird Keys
LIDO & BIRD KEYS
THE BEACH RESIDENCES. Direct Gulf & beach views from all rooms in this 9th floor location. Enjoy spectacular sunsets high above the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Beach Club. $3,595,000. Beth Afflebach and Joan Dickinson, 364-8884. #299037 MEDITERRANEAN ELEGANCE ON LONGBOAT KEY. Beautiful 4,000-sq.-ft. home with 4BR suites, 2 living levels, grand windows & canal frontage. To be completed in 2007. $2,995,000. Saint Cacchiotti & Gail Wittig, 383-7591 or 387-0533. #288788 THE RITZ-CARLTON BEACH RESIDENCES. Live the Ritz-Carlton lifestyle on the azure waters of Lido Beach. This 9th floor residence offers mesmerizing views & elegant upgrades. Enjoy unparalleled amenities & luxury. $2,449,000. Harvey & Ethel Lovelace, 349-3444 or 966-0073. #325333 LUXURY, LOCATION & VIEWS. Penthouse with amazing Gulf & city views. 2,800+/-sq. ft. of sophistication including Jerusalem stone floors, granite/slate counters, Sub-Zero & Viking appliances. 2 Gulf-front balconies. $2,200,000. Suzan Cromwell, 388-4447 or 376-7766. #297704 AS FEATURED IN METROPOLITAN HOME, this beautiful but beach comfortable Gulf-front penthouse has 3 true bedrooms, a den & Gulf views from every room. $2,000,000. Kathleen & David Callender, 388-4447 or 321-3115. #300747 BEACHPLACE - DIRECT GULF FRONT. This largest 2BR floor plan is beautifully furnished. Features an updated kitchen, tile floors, carpet & bedroom sets. Enjoy all the comforts of home. $1,250,000. Pat Loy, 383-7591 or 383-2849. #320583 FULL GULF VIEWS. Updated, beautifully decorated in a tropical island motif, furnished ground floor walk-out. Friendly Gulf-to-bay complex. $1,150,000. Kathy Simonds, 383-7591 or 3505292. #320150 SEAPLACE. Newly renovated & furnished with top-of-the-line features throughout. Offers 2 pools, tennis & Longboat Keyâ€™s most beautiful beach to enjoy. $965,000. Craig & Steve Abbott, 383-7591 or 374-3003. #324833 WHITNEY BEACH. Enjoy wonderful Gulf & beach views plus spectacular sunsets from this wellmaintained end unit in a popular Gulf-to-bay community. Offers heated pool, private beach, docks & tennis. $950,000. Emmy Lou Gilbert, 383-7591 or 807-1764. #325325 LONGBOAT GULF-FRONT CONDOMINIUM. Direct Gulf & a great view of the bay from this professionally updated residence. Features new carpeting, crown molding, new granite kitchen & surround sound. $895,000. Michael Moulton & Annette Rogers, 383-7591 or 928-3559. #318715 SWEEPING GULF VIEWS from this totally remodeled, bright & open 2BR. Professionally decorated & furnished with fabulous built-ins, 2 balconies & heated pools. Complex has 600â€™ of Gulf frontage. $875,000. Jo Ann Thorpe, 388-4447 or 349-7583. #310963 PRISTINE BEACHPLACE. This 2BR offers sparkling Gulf water views & heated pool & spa in a fully secured complex. $839,900. Craig and Steve Abbott, 383-7591 or 302-0686. #317242 LONGBOAT TERRACE. The perfect mix of luxury & value with incredible sunsets, tasteful furnishings, & proximity to shopping & Durante Park. $795,000. Helen Larson, 383-7591 or 350-1916. #304876 LONGBOAT KEY YACHT & TENNIS MARK II. Turnkey furnished, Gulf-front 3BR direct water views, boat dock, pool on the beach & tennis. Two covered parking spaces. $795,000. Craig & Steve Abbott, 383-7591 or 374-3003. #289985 SOPHISTICATED BEACH LIVING. This open floor plan is complemented by updated granite, plantation shutters & an expansive balcony to attract Gulf breezes. Beachside Olympic-sized pool. $700,000. Kathy Carbone, 966-8000 or 228-8429. #310070 SAND CAY. Nicely maintained, beautiful unit situated on a gorgeous beach. Enjoy all the amenities of this well managed & staffed complex with on-site rental office. $649,900. John Zisman, 383-7591 or 504-2393. #297507 SAND CAY. Exceptional Longboat Key value with on-site rental office for short-term rentals. Owner may use as much or little as they wish. $599,000. John Zisman, 383-7591 or 504-2393. #309206
COUNTRY CLUB SHORES. With captivating canal/bay views & updated to perfection, this home boasts a new kitchen, caged lanai & pool, expanded dock, & beach access. $1,299,000. Kathy Simonds, 383-7591 or 350-5292. #325299
BRADENTON BEACH. Ideal beachfront duplex for investor and/or family. Close to shops & dock for bay cruises & fishing. Two 2BR residences with garage & updated kitchens. $970,000. Dick Lewis, 388-4447 or 302-3348. #308124
4(/5 3!. $3 /&