+ County approves sporting clays range
Manatee County Hearing Officer Lori Dorman officially approved a special permit for the long-debated gun club in Lakewood Ranch when she issued her final order March 19.
The order must be recorded as an official record with the Manatee County Clerk of Court before the club opens.
Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder Manatee Ranch is planning to build the Ancient Oak Gun Club, a 24-station sporting clays course on 78 acres south of State Road 64 East, off Uihlein Road. It would operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Pistols and rifles will not be allowed.
Previously, Dorman had re-opened a public hearing for the club after writing an initial letter of intent to approve it.
In her final order, Dorman pointed to findings by an engineer, who ran sound tests around the proposed property. SMR hired the engineer.
Decibel readings ranged from 43.2 to 47.7 — below the 60-decibel county limit.Officials and parents from the Center for Montessori School and officials from Bayside Community Church, both organizations with property neighboring the proposed site, had expressed reservations about the gun club’s proximity to their facilities.
+ Buchanan speaks in Lakewood Ranch
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, listened Saturday, March 23, to East County residents as they exchanged ideas on the economy, spending, jobs and immigration.
The “listening session” was held at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
It began with Buchanan briefly speaking on the deficit and the effects of an aging population.
The legislator said the United States will pay out more than $1 trillion in health-care benefits this year, because Medicare and Social Security were never designed for people to live into their 90s.
+ LECOM service recognized
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the seventh year in a row for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
The honor roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for those attributes.
LECOM, which has a campus in Lakewood Ranch, as well as in Erie and Greensburg, Pa., was one of only two osteopathic medical schools honored with the recognition. Its students gave 30,000 community service hours during the 2011-12 academic year.
The honor roll is an award given by The Corporation for National and Community Service.
“We congratulate the awardees and the students for their dedication to service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the CNCS, which has administered the award since 2006. “These institutions have inspired students and faculty alike to roll up their sleeves and work alongside members of the community to solve problems and improve their neighbors’ lives.”
Michael Polin, LECOM spokesman, estimated that LECOM students’ volunteer and charitable activities are valued at more than $550,000.