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  • | 4:00 a.m. October 7, 2009
  • Longboat Key
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We are compelled to respond to letter writer Carmel Izzo (see below).

This is so perplexing — how people’s perspectives can be so vastly different and how facts get twisted and mangled.

For example, here’s another perspective of the Florida Winefest and Auction on Longboat Key: In our view, those were the good ol’ days, when Longboat Key was alive with people and activities. Sure, traffic may have come to a standstill now and then, but really, a traffic backup here is like an open freeway in Boston, New York or Miami.

“Huge convention crowds”? “Massive influx of people that this monstrous development of convention space will bring”?

Here are three facts:
• The Fontainebleau in Miami Beach has 107,000 square feet of convention/meeting space.
• The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota has 18,000 square feet of convention/meeting space.
• The Key Club wants to have 17,000 square feet of convention/meeting space.

“Huge convention crowds”?

It’s a matter of perspective and understanding the facts. Yes, the facts.

Indeed, there’s a difference between fact and opinion, and there’s a difference between news reporting and editorials. At least that’s the case in our newspaper.

Izzo implies that our news reporting on the Key Club’s proposal has not been fair and balanced. We defy anyone to prove that to be so. Study our news stories and reporting on the Key Club’s proposal over the past two years. You’ll find them factual, accurate, fair and balanced — representing all the appropriate sides when necessary. If we make an error, we correct it, unlike other local papers.

What’s more, we can state as fact that we have printed (and will print) every letter we received on the Key Club proposal, the majority of which have expressed views opposing the project.

Fair and balanced? We could have chosen to ignore all of those letters. We could have chosen to ignore Bob White’s guest editorials opposing the project. We could have chosen to trash Carmel Izzo’s letter as well. We printed them all.

On our editorial page, yes, we’re biased. We express our opinion. This is what newspapers’ editorials do.
And they do it with the expectation that readers are intelligent enough to know that editorials, because they are opinions, likely show a bias. Likewise, we have the expectation that readers know the difference between news and opinion.

We — all of the employees who make The Longboat Observer what it is today — take our jobs and responsibilities seriously. We know our credibility is sacred. We work hard to maintain it every day, every week. It pains us, then, when anyone says he will delight in observing our decline. We will not wish the same on Carmel Izzo.


+ Observer is foolish
Editor’s note: The following letter is printed as it was received. See accompanying editorial.

Dear Editor:
i always found it curious that the wine fest event held at the lonboat key club was discontinued. was it because the traffic at st. armands was so backed up that it discouraged people from attending regardless of its charitable charter??? i can remember trying to get to my sands pt. condominium as an ordeal. st. armands circle could not bear the influx of traffic that the small wine fest generated. so how do they expect to handle huge convention crowds that they are seeking to attract. what a night mare!! even if they were to approach the club from the north end instead of st. armand’s, the traffic would be bumper to bumper coming up gulf of mexico drive. 

longboat key does not have the infrastructure to support a massive influx of people that this monstrous development of convention space will bring. what is so hard to figure out that st. armand’s will be the bottle neck of all times. i will invite the staff of the observer to join me at plymouth harbor in season, at about 2:00 pm, to sit with me in my car and document the 20 to 30 minute traffic jam trying to get on to longboat key right now!!!

the observer is very foolish to alienate all the residents of longboat who have supported this paper in the past and made it is what it is today. i for one have a long memory and will delight in observing the decline of the observer in the future, regardless of the outcome. thank god for another paper on longboat who is reporting the news fair and balanced and i mean balanced.  

carmel izzo
sands pt. condominium
longboat key




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