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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 1, 2013 4 years ago

Our View: One step forward


It’s a breakthrough.

As we were about to go to press, we learned that Colony Beach & Tennis Resort owner Murf Klauber had filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.

A quick read through the plan indicates the reorganization will hinge on what the plan calls a “Global Compromise” and settlement with all of the disputing parties.

Global compromise obviously suggests none of the parties involved will accept less than they are owed, entitled to or think they deserve — for the good of the cause.

This is the most definitive sign yet of progress toward a renewed Colony.

But, as the cliché goes: The devil is in the details. The exact terms of the “Global Compromise” are still under negotiation. One part was spelled out, however. Klauber still wants to be involved: “The Global Compromise will memorialize, as an integral and permanent aspect of the resort, an appropriate recognition of the contribution of the Klauber family to the development and vision of the resort and the town of Longboat Key community.

“The Global Compromise may include a consulting agreement with the Klauber family to insure that a meaningful and continued relationship will exist with the Klauber family in any rebuild or restoration of the resort. As consideration for any such consulting agreement, the Klauber family will fully support and assist with respect to all zoning and development approvals necessary and appropriate to achieve an overall success at the resort.”

Give him credit, at 80-plus, he continues to push forward.

+ Remember Benghazi?
Who, specifically, killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods? When will they be brought to justice?

Remember Benghazi?

It’s an old story, pushed off the front pages by subsequent terrorism at home. Nonetheless, even though we prefer to focus this space on local and state concerns, it’s worth noting the findings released last week in a congressional progress report on the investigation into the events before, during and after the Benghazi attack.

Here are excerpts from the report:

“This progress report reveals a fundamental lack of understanding at the highest levels of the State Department as to the dangers presented in Benghazi, Libya, as well as a concerted attempt to insulate the Department of State from blame following the terrorist attacks.”

Before the attacks
• “The attacks were not the result of a failure by the Intelligence Community to recognize or communicate the threat. The IC collected considerable information about the threats in the region and disseminated regular assessments to senior U.S. officials warning of the deteriorating security environment in Benghazi, which included threats to American interests, facilities and personnel.”

• “The President, as Commander-in-Chief, failed to proactively anticipate the significance of Sept. 11 and provide the Department of Defense with the authority to launch offensive operations beyond self-defense. Defense Department assets were correctly positioned for the general threat across the region, but the assets were not authorized at an alert posture to launch offensive operations beyond self-defense and were provided no notice to defend diplomatic facilities.”

After the attacks
• “Administration officials crafted and continued to rely on incomplete and misleading talking points. Specifically, after a White House deputies meeting Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, the administration altered the talking points to remove references to the likely participation of Islamic extremists in the attacks. The administration also removed references to the threat of extremists linked to al-Qaida in Benghazi.”

• “Senior State Department officials requested — and the White House approved — that the details of the threats, specifics of the previous attacks and previous warnings be removed to insulate the Department from criticism that it ignored the threat environment in Benghazi. Thus, the claim that the State Department’s edits were made solely to protect that investigation is not credible.”

• “Responding to the attacks with an FBI investigation significantly delayed U.S. access to key witnesses and evidence and undermined the government’s ability to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice in a timely manner.”

Policy considerations
• “The United States continues to maintain an inadequate defensive posture in North Africa and the Middle East … ”

• “This singular event will be repeated unless the United States recognizes and responds to the threats we face around the world, and properly postures resources and security assets to counter and respond to those threats. Until that time, the United States will remain in a reactionary mode and should expect more catastrophes like Benghazi … ”

Four Americans are dead as a result of negligence at the highest levels of government. And yet, none of the persons responsible has paid a price or stepped forward to accept full responsibility and apologize to the victims’ families for their actions.



Longtime Colony Beach & Tennis Resort owner Murf Klauber forfeited his speaking time last week before the Longboat Key Town Commission to allow one of his firm’s lawyers to speak longer. Here’s what Klauber had intended to say:

I would like to thank the Town Commission for planning this session to get the facts clear about our beloved Colony …
There is now a group of very bright individuals who possess the professional leadership for the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort and the people of Longboat Key who love the Colony. They are ready, willing and able to redo the Colony.
The Colony is a historical site. It was started in 1952 with the beach cottages, the restaurants and shops on the beach. In 1964, a semi-permeable Makepeace groin was inserted. It has created and retained the finest beach on Longboat Key — 240 feet wide, 800 feet long and with an accretion of sand at the swimming pool of six feet.
First of all, we must end the litigation. After seven long years, we must move forward.
All of our documents, including the declaration of condominium, subscription agreement and prospectus, were entered into the state tax assessor’s office and were required for our entry into the Securities and Exchange Commission, which approved the 18 acres for our formal opening in December 1973 as a legal investment.
With the town’s help in restoring this historic site, I believe we can reproduce the Colony with totally updated and functional exteriors and interiors with sensational landscaping. In other words, we should demolish each of the living buildings and rebuild in exactly the same footprint.
We need, as we initially had, fine, fun landscaping with new walking paths, roadways, abundant flowers and sculptures.
We need to create a fabulous conference meeting space and spa with the latest in fitness and wellness and a fine array of services. We need our fine-dining restaurant returned, and, of course, we need TENNIS!
We are zoned for maximum visitation rights for each individual investor for 30 days. It was and is a necessity in the zoning of our property. We need the town’s clear and definitive word on the Longboat Key and Colony maximum 30-day rule.
The success of the future Colony depends on a top-notch developer and a top-notch management team.
Colony ran at 50% to 60% occupancy. Today, we need a management team that can bring us 70% to 80% occupancy for the good of the town of Longboat Key.
I have two distinguished resort leaders who can bring back our simple beach elegance. Maybe there are more. Katie and I would be proud to help the new leaders.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this afternoon.






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