Issuu on Google+

w l Ne hoo s sc ol 12A o t ge Pa

LOCAL NEWS COVER TO COVER • FLORIDA’S NO. 1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER

75¢

FISH TALES

PICK ME

Old-time fisherman swaps stories City council candidates line up PAGE 1B

PAGE 3A

WEEKEND EDITION, SEPTEMBER 10-11, 2011

VOLUME 66 NUMBER 40

AN EDITION OF THE SUN

SEPT. 11 REMEMBERED

By GREG GILES News editor

Landlord of terrorists

For six months in 2001, Steve Kona was unwittingly landlord to two men who would become infamous as members of the world’s most reviled organization, al-Qaida. Sept. 11 terrorists Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi rented a small pink 1950s home just yards from the Gulf. It wasn’t until Sept. 12, 2001,

when the FBI sought him out and confiscated files from his rental management company, that Kona learned the truth about his renters. Ironically, Kona was out teaching fellow firefighters how to get out of a collapsed building when the FBI called. He couldn’t hear his phone ring. Later, Kona received a call from his wife on his cell phone. The FBI, she said, suspected

two pilots who crashed commercial jetliners into the Twin Towers lived in his rental. “She hung up the phone and

got physically sick,” Kona said. “They sent her home from work.” “We hid a little bit. We were kind of nervous. America was pretty upset. I was afraid that maybe someone would think I had some involvement. I took a week off and we watched over our shoulders, to be honest. We didn’t know if somebody would try something with us or the house.” The trail the FBI was fol-

Memories of Sept. 11

lowing — where the terrorists learned to fly, where they lived — led right to his front door. Agents came knocking twice. Within a few days so did the media. Satellite vans parked out in front of the rental. Like the Venice flight schools that provided some of the training to Sept. 11 terrorists, for a time Kona’s 900-squarefoot rental on West Laurel

LANDLORD | 6

Foundation born in turmoil By BOB MUDGE editor

This is the first in a series. Controversy is nothing new for Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Public reaction to its board’s recent decision to remove “of Venice” from the foundation’s name has been universally negative, as it was in 2003 when it changed from The Venice Foundation to Gulf Coast Community Foundation. After weeks of protest “of Venice” was added; it was taken off in July. But the foundation had been born in a somewhat hostile environment. In 1995 the boards of what was then Venice Hospital and its parent company, Gulf Area Medical Programs Inc., PHOTO COURTESY OF TED KOSZARSKI

By TED KOSZARSKI

I once interviewed a World War II veteran who was a combat photographer in the China-Burma-India Theater. He told me that the best pictures are the ones you can’t take. I began to appreciate what he meant on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Margie and I were then living on Staten Island at 36 Hylan Blvd., which is by the bay about halfway between the ferry and the Verrazano Bridge. At the end of Hylan Boulevard

there is Buono Beach. It is a small pebble beach named after Matty Buono, a local boy who died while earning the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. From Buono Beach people have a clear view of lower Manhattan, which is around seven miles away. I would often go there and sometimes think about the history associated with this place. It was from here that the British launched their invasion of Long Island and fought the largest battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Brooklyn. The bulk of our Allied Expeditionary Force

passed by this spot to go “over there” during World War I. All immigrants coming to Ellis Island, like my mother, passed the other way. During the Second World War, residents could see merchant vessels sailing east to fight the battle of the Atlantic, which started right outside the harbor. My father played a part in that conflict. To my left I could see Manhattan across the water. It looked like a magical island, especially at night with all the lights on. The two World Trade

MEMORIES | 6

Eagle nest removed from airport By GREG GILES News editor An eagle’s nest, a landmark of sorts at Venice Airport for the past seven years, was removed from a radio communications tower Wednesday morning as a safety precaution. The Federal Aviation Administration, which owns and operates the tower, initiated the action, said airport administrator Chris Rozansky. The FAA obtained a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the nest “for the bird’s own safety,” he said, and to give the FAA access to perform Good morning, Gondolier Sun subscriber EMILY DENNIS

maintenance on the tower. Netting was erected around the spot so the eagles don’t return and “try to establish a new nest,” Rozansky said. Birds and aircraft don’t mix well and regularly cause serious accidents and crashes. For years the Venice Airport eagles managed to stay out of harm’s way. But in 2007 an airplane reportedly struck an eagle. Nick Carlucci, president of the local Venice Aviation Society Inc., said the dead eagle was found between a runway and the 27-hole Lake Venice golf course, but he doesn’t believe it was hit by a plane.

FRONT SECTION LEGALS .......................................... 6A LET ’EM HAVE IT .......................... 8A LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ........... 9A LOTTERY........................................ 2A OBITUARIES.................................. 4A

WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY

OPINION........................................ 8A POLICE BEAT ................................ 5A SPORTS ........................................10A WEATHER ...................................... 2A

“It was found intact,” Carlucci said. “Planes go 100 miles per hour. If it was hit by a plane there would have been real damage. Eagle feathers would have been in different areas. It just doesn’t just fall down in one piece. “Others will tell you it was hit by a golf ball.” “We called them ‘Stick’ and ‘Rudder.’ They produced two eaglets a year. It was really nice to watch them learn to fly. People used to eagle watch with their binoculars from the Honoluana parking lot. “They’ll create another nest

EAGLE | 7

TURMOIL | 7

Sept. 11 event at Patriots Park

Impromptu memorials, like this one on Staten Island, sprang up all over the New York area as a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. special to the GoNdolier suN

decided to sell the hospital. Although it was profitable, changes in Medicare reimbursement were projected to take a severe toll on its revenue, given its high percentage of older patients. “What we were really facing was Englewood was coming in with a for-profit chain, and

By GREG GILES News editor A 10th anniversary Sept. 11 tribute will be held at Patriots Park on U.S. 41 in Venice Sunday, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. A beam from Tower One of the World Trade Center, an artifact from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, will be on display. Eventually the beam will become the permanent centerpiece of a Sept. 11 memorial at the park. The invocation begins at 3 p.m. with the American

Legion Honor Guard, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, the ringing of the bell five times (one each for civilians, firefighters, police, EMS responders and military who died in the attacks), and “Taps.” Short presentations will be given by Venice Mayor John Holic, Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, Venice Fire Chief John Reed and Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty before the

SUN PHOTO BY GREG GILES

A Sept. 11 memorial tribute is planned for Sunday at Patriots Park on U.S. 41 in Venice’s Venetia Bay, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

OUR TOWN SECTION

IN THIS EDITION

COUPONS

DEATHS

CROSSWORD.............................8B FINE WHINES .............................7B RELIGION .................................10B TRAVEL .......................................6B VENUE.........................................3B

CLASSIFIEDS COMICS INTEGRITY ESTATE PLANNING TV BOOK USA WEEKEND

Aqua Soft ........................................... 13A Door Depot ........................................ 13A Fantastic Sam’s .................................. 13A MRT Lawn & Garden Center ............. 6A Stein Mart............................................. 5A Twin Palms Chiropractic.....................9B Venice Car Wash.................................. 4A

John Higgins Jerome Miszewski Susan Rockwood Robert Smith Mary Vernale

WWW.VENICEGONDOLIER.COM

EVENT | 7

FOR HOME DELIVERY, CALL 207-1300


2011-09-10 V FR 01