THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019
What happened this week in: 1980
CO N V E RSAT I ON W I T H DAVID LAPOVSKY
The Longboat Observer is celebrating its 40th anniversary all year with a look back through the decades.
Neal Martin, Herb Ludlam, Kevin Webb and John McCarthy were among the Utility Department employees trained to use the TV-based system.
NEWS OF THE DAY Although it seemed like a rather mundane occurrence, a broken pipe found in early May 1980 did have a certain significance to the town. The town’s Public Works Department was putting a new TV camera-based inspection system through its paces not long after buying it and found a crack in a 7-inch sewage pipe under Bogey Lane. Though not serious, the crack was allowing water to infiltrate the system, and ultimately the town was being charged by Manatee County to treat it as sewage. The TV camera system was rel-
atively new technology back then and the town had just recently been trained in its use. The device was designed to make its way through pipes and transmit live images back to its operator as far as 1,000 feet away. The footage was videotaped to analyze later. Once they knew the problem, crews could use the system to also repair small breaks without digging up roadways or yards. A truck carrying the video equipment, cables and other gear was part of the system. The town’s Utilities Department trained for a week to gain the expertise to use it all.
FROM THE FILES OF COPS CORNER
On May 5, a suspicious man was reported in the vicinity of Town Hall. He told an officer he was job hunting. The officer gave him a complimentary ride out of town.
t might be weeks before David Lapovsky sits with his six new colleagues for his first Planning & Zoning Board meeting, but his name should be familiar to both sides of the dais. Before his nomination and approval to the board by the Town Commission earlier this month, the retired market research executive with Arbitron was a vocal opponent, along with the Preserve Longboat group, of the early version of a redevelopment plan for the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort. Today, he says the scaled-down plan is good for the town, and that the public process worked. In our conversation, he said he has not even thought about elected service and thinks the island is a place “worth preserving.’’
What got you involved in opposing the Colony proposal? I got involved in Preserve Longboat because the original proposal was something like 418 units on a piece of property that is zoned for 96 and by right for 237 — 418 was a gross overreach. I realized then there was something about this place that was worth preserving. Coincidentally, around that time, we went to a meeting in Hollywood, Fla., and it’s a classic concrete canyon. And I said, “That’s what developers could do on Longboat Key,” and I wanted to see what could be done to preserve the low-density, lowish-rise character of Longboat. What brought you to Longboat Key in the first place? A lot of things brought us here, but there was something about the balance of less density and nice beach amenities. If you go to Siesta, it’s dense. There’s something about the character of Longboat Key and the emptiness of the beach that brought us here. And I think it brought a lot of people here. And I’d like to do my part to help maintain that in an intelligent way. That doesn’t mean no development. It means “intelligent” in keeping with the character of the island. What started you thinking about public service? I tend to gravitate toward things that need a little bit more of my mental capacity. And I’ve
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