+ Watch closely Long Bar Pointe project process
One can only hope that the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners will protect the environment, the fragile manatee population and the quietude of Longboat Key bayside living with respect to the massive Long Bar Pointe development proposal. Should the developers prevail, the town should seek to engage the legal expertise of experienced environmental groups such as EarthJustice and the Environmental Defense Fund in an effort to protect the town’s long-term quality of life for its current and future residents.
+ Art Falls was dedicated to community and staff
I remember Art Falls as a caring, helpful and positive employer and an asset to the community.
As a part-time employee at the Sea Stable, I know that he cared about the staff and supported and encouraged younger employees to continue their education to improve their opportunities.
He will be missed.
+ My take on why Iwo Jima effort had to be abandoned
I am the veteran of the Iwo campaign who proposed donating the Iwo Jima statue to Sarasota. And I want to thank the Observer newspapers for your generous and thoughtful coverage of that effort, and make clear why it had to be abandoned.
I have carried the memory of what I witnessed on Iwo Jima all my life: heroism, blood and guts. We clearly knew what we were fighting for. Many of us came home and had successful careers. In our senior years, it is payback time. I serve on local arts and human services boards locally, for example, and support other charities in New York City, where I live part time.
But this is not about me. It is about what happened to our offer to donate the Iwo monument to Sarasota, which is beyond belief. Having received commitment from three city commissioners to support it, we set about raising $1.5 million to buy the icon, move it here and build a plaza, complete with flower gardens and benches to be shared with our favorite sailor and nurse and enjoyed by Sarasotans and visitors alike.
Suddenly, our commissioners called for a vote we knew nothing about, using every excuse to kill the program. My team and I were speechless. The Iwo icon belongs on the bayfront, not in a cemetery. It is not about death; it is about life, the spirit of America, success and the costs of our freedom.
It is not about art, either. It is about patriotism. But there are people in this town who feel they can tell us what is and isn’t art and what we should and shouldn’t like. Who are they to tell us what our values should be? How many of them fought for the freedoms they enjoy?
Hello, Bradenton. Our town has a gift for you. Semper fi!