+ Thank you, Michael Welly. You will be missed
In regard to Michael Welly — there have been very few people that have become more of a friend to Longboat Key than Michael. His demeanor was always smooth, responsive, appreciative, supportive and completely in-touch with our community. He was, and is a visionary and he created and worked his vision so well for Longboat Key and the Key Club. Unfortunately, dark forces prevented his vision from prevailing in the end, much to the disappointment of our community. But this was not the result of his personal commitment and leadership skills.
Michael never lost sight of his goals for the Key Club and put his substantial power into moving his vision forward. He enlisted some of the Key’s strongest personalities to assist and inspired many of our citizens to support his efforts to improve the Key Club and as a by-product our entire community.
Lynn and he became community regulars and knew many of our islanders personally. He seemed to have time for everyone and still work on the success of his vision and to manage the Key Club with the help of a superb and empowered staff.
His personality and people skills worked wonders on the Key Club staff and members. Every member group dustup that occurred ultimately had a good outcome for all of the participants.
We are all glad that Michael decided to come to Longboat Key. He has certainly left the Key Club and this community much better off than when he arrived here.
Michael will be sorely missed, but he will always be remembered by the community and honored for all that he did to support Longboat Key.
+ What about the national election results?
What a headline! No mention of the important presidential results where your chosen candidate was soundly defeated. No mention of the important senatorial race where your candidate was also soundly whipped. Nor any mention of the amendments, most of which you supported, that were voted down or that the judges were retained in spite of your editorial in opposition. All you can do is cherry pick the news to find something that you feel good about. You have no right to call yourself a newspaper; you’re simply an ultra-right-wing propaganda sheet. Shame on you!
Editors Note: Our practice has been the same every election: Cover the local election results in our news pages. That’s our mission: local news. Although we may express our opinions on our editorial pages about national and state elections, which you and we are entitled in our constitution to do, we devote our election-results news coverage to the local races. Ultra-right-wing? We always thought, and still do, that supporting “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” freedom for the individual and limited government — is an accepted American ideal and principle.
+ We support Sunshine Airlines
We would be thrilled if Steve and Hannah Miller were successful in bringing an SRQ-based airline to Sarasota! We live in the Indianapolis area and “commute” frequently to our condo on Longboat. The former AirTran non-stop flights were routinely full because many Indy people vacation in the Sarasota area. We support the Millers’ endeavor and hope to see Sunrise Airlines become a reality.
Keith and Bonnie Brauer
+ Applause for new non-stop airline
Kudos for the Oct. 23 edition of the Longboat Observer concerning non-stop airline service from SRQ. Steve and Hannah Miller should be applauded and supported for their attempt to make Longboat Key more accessible for so many of us that travel from Pittsburgh. We can garnish support from the large number of us that use Tampa as our only non-stop.
Harold M. Glick M.D.
+ Gulf of Mexico Drive should be 25 mph
I’ve been coming to Longboat Key every year since 1986, and have had a home here for about a decade. I am a baffled by the place.
Longboat Key is a tourist/residential/retirement/beach community. Every time I read The Observer, there’s a tirade against cell-phone masts or a report on how the Town Commission brought its full might against a little Jet Ski operator at the Hilton. Easy, soft targets, but when it comes to the biggest source of noise, pollution, crime and fatal accidents on the island, no one seems to have the will to tackle it. I’m talking about Gulf of Mexico Drive.
A supposedly tranquil island should not have a high-speed road thundering through it. The police advised me that at least 70% of the traffic is thru-traffic, using the road as a traffic-light-free shortcut to and from Bradenton. In forward-thinking beach/tourist communities all over the world, it would be considered insanity to have a 45-mph road beside the beach, especially in an area with so many elderly people.
Research shows clearly: High-speed roads attract more and more traffic. But if you make an area people friendly, you attract friendly people. Count the number of trucks barreling along Gulf of Mexico Drive: How many of them have any business on the key?
Longboat Key needs to be re-zoned a residential area with a 25-mph speed limit. There should be mandatory stop crossings wherever there is a bus stop. Longboat Key could be a golf-cart community — the road was not built for the benefit of truckers taking a shortcut, or groups of motorcyclists. A slower speed limit would discourage a huge amount of through-traffic. We would take control of our island.
The Town Commission seems to shrug at this, saying it is a state issue.
I have even spoken with one commissioner who is against the pedestrian-friendly crossings at St Armands, saying they should be abolished to speed up traffic through the Circle. This is the kind of antiquated thinking that makes Longboat Key look decades out of date.
Will the commission act, or is it too set in its ways? Perhaps it is time to bring in some fresh minds to deal with the problem of Gulf of Mexico Drive.