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Other voices
2007 archive of links to stories from other sources
Note: all links were live and valid at the time of original posting; any dead links are the result of moved content on the linked-to web sites
Prior archive of stories from other web sites:

2007: A year so big that it took 12 months to kill it
"Venice city officials were working on a secret deal to develop the airport and adjacent public golf course when the public got wind of it" -- gee, wonder how that happened? Oh yeah, it was Venice Florida! dot com that first told you about the Marriott at the airport
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/31/07

Gondo still wanking over 2007 election
Gondo looks back at 2007 and craps all over itself in their Worst of the Year List; print edition included a pic of Ernie Zavodnyik, Sue Lang, and Ed Martin being sworn into office directly under headline "Bye-bye 2007 - we won't miss you;" TO CANCEL YOUR GONDO SUBSCRIPTION, CALL 941-207-1300
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/30/07

Englewood Water District to county: Fix yer toilets
Englewood Water District's bad boy list includes a broken toilet at an unoccupied single-family house owned by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation... wait... huh? Why does the county own a single-family home? How many of these do they own?
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/30/07

I'd be glad to pay the water bill -- if I was actually using any water
Speaking of EWD, they are issuing pricey special water assessments... to folks who aren't hooked up to their water system... and it's perfectly legal... I love Florida
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/30/07

The legacy of Katherine Harris:
Voter blacklist from 2000, 2004 elections tossed by federal judge

"Plaintiffs do not allege that these errors are the result of any ill-intent on behalf of the state;" -- yeah, right, cuz that would never happen, not in Florida
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/27/07

City, county argue over shape of table at impact fee peace talks
This ain't the Viet Nam War, folks, just give us the money and shut the hell up
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/26/07

Unwrapping the miraculous logistics behind Operation Christmas
Don't tell the kids, but this is how Santa's distribution network really works
-- Wired, 12/24/07

This is the sound of a bubble bursting
Southwestern Florida: it was here that housing prices multiplied first and most exuberantly, and here that the deterioration has unfolded most rapidly; this region offers what may be a foretaste of the economic pain awaiting other parts of the country
-- NY Times, 12/23/07

CMU may be repealed, re-written -- Don't panic! (in large, friendly letters)
Herald-Trib takes another stab at explaining the CMU debacle to the public; this time around, the H-T has done their homework
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/21/07

CMU may be repealed, re-written -- Everyone panic!!!
Miller and Boone get a puff piece planted in the Herald-Trib by a reporter who has absolutely no understanding of the subject matter;
Dear Kim Hackett: please read this
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/17/07

Venice going for top ten towns in U.S. to be white in
Once we get rid of Grove Terrace, we are so there
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/21/07

OK, we've outlawed short term rentals... now what?
We get sued, of course, and not just any old 'ho hum, there's another subpoena on the landing' sued, we're gonna get sued like a blind rabbi with Parkinson's after a botched bris gets sued
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/21/07

Dear CQG cretin: Merry Christmas, you pustulant toad
We're still not sure if it was Jim Clinch, Ed Taylor, or someone else who called in to the Gondo last week with a vitriolic diatribe aimed at the Gods and all of creation, but it was funny as hell
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/21/07

Retirees flock to... everywhere but Florida
Hurricanes, expensive housing, high property taxes, skyrocketing insurance... what's not to love?
-- Tampa Tribune, 12/20/07

Hizzoner, family holed up in an undisclosed sea shanty for the holidays
Ho ho ho and a bottle of... rum... need more rum
-- Ed Martin's blog, 12/20/07

City's personnel director is kind-of, almost, maybe, close to being sort of... well... not quite sacked
Brenda Digges is not exactly fired, but city hall staffers have been ordered to release the hounds if she's seen anywhere near the building
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/19/07

eBay headed for the big flush
Scammers on the outside, cannibals on the inside, and the CEO has gone AWOL to skip through the daisies somewhere with Mitt Romney
-- Wired, 12/18/07

Jim Todora explains the proposed property tax laws
On January 29, Florida voters will be asked if they approve of four changes to the property tax laws -- here's the view from the county's property appraiser
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/16/07

Venice cops may not be allowed to shoot their own kids in the future
Tasers, mace still OK
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/16/07

7.) Given a choice between having a starving, rabid weasel stuffed into your underwear or continuing to live in Florida, would you:
A.) Sit behind your locked front door with a shotgun waiting for the foreclosure agents to show up; or
B.) Call the moving company, loosen your belt, and loudly proclaim, "Hand me that weasel"
Surprisingly, 47% of Floridians polled chose "B"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/15/07

Speaking of suck, Venice Fire Department wants to vacuum your wallet
H-T editorial says council is wise to continue to deliberate just how much suckage council will allow the VFD to engage in
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/15/07

Council votes 7-0 to execute Planning Commission, Steve Milo's short term rental business
Milo is given a cigarette and a blindfold by council; Milo's attorneys promise to appeal the death sentence all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/12/07

Fire department's bake sale: pay an extra $180 or you bake
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

Not content with current budgetary restraints, the fire department wants an extra $180 a year from each taxpayer -- yeah, that's gonna go over well
-- both stories 12/12/07

Are those pesky Teen Professionals in your attic again?
An infestation of teens can be devastating, but thankfully there are ways to minimize the damage
-- St. Charles Journal, 12/08/07

2007: Tomato Pasta Park revisioned now
It's been four years since the $10 million bond passed -- plenty of time to forget what was actually on the ballot
-- Venice Gondolier, 12/09/07

2004: Tomato Pasta Park revisioned then
It's been one year since the $10 million bond passed -- plenty of time to forget what was actually on the ballot
-- Venice Gondolier, 11/24/04

My first day at school
I lost my mittens, the older kids took my lunch money and stuffed me in a locker, and I couldn't find a bathroom so I held it in all day
-- Ed Martin's blog, 12/04/07

Running AOL on your computer? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Using AOL and its Instant Messenger service (AIM) is a cold way to get a viral infection, somewhat akin to having unprotected sex with a syphilitic corpse (not that there's anything wrong with that)
-- Wired, 12/06/07

Florida's state fund crisis has a familiar smell
Coleman Stipanovich, the executive director of the Florida State Board of Administration, made the decision to resign while driving to yesterdays board meeting; In an interview, he declined to discuss the funds investment decisions on the record: Im not going to go there, were in the move-on stage
-- NY Times, 12/05/07

Miller gets his four stories, becomes media darling
Note to Miller: The PR person in your organization who greenlighted the idea of having you pose in front of one of your towers should be shot
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/01/07

State-run investment fund is in a bit of a panic
Facing a run by panicked local government investors, Florida officials on Thursday suspended withdrawals from a state-run, short-term investment fund that has shrunk to $15 billion from $26 billion over the past two weeks
-- Reuters, 11/30/07

Tra Ponti to become true hotel at four stories
Mike Miller's downscaled version gets little opposition from public or city council
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/30/07

VHA thinks about maybe asking for help
Hey, here's a thought... nahhhhhh, too simple
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/30/07

County Commission to let Venice Wildlife Center continue
Good deal all around
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune,11/30/07

Ya wanna make a city economically viable? Make it family friendly
If you talk with recruiters and developers in the nation's fastest growing regions, you find that the critical ability to lure skilled workers, long term, lies not with bright lights and nightclubs, but with ample economic opportunities, affordable housing and family friendly communities not too distant from work
-- Wall Street Journal, 11/27/07

What do you call a bunch of land use attorneys on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean?
glub... glub... glub...
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/27/07

VHA's Prost promises to rebuild
He'll be gone after January, so he has no way of keeping that promise, but that should be no cause for alarm, right?
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/26/07

Honey, I shot the kid
Bad day at the police shooting range
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/25/07

Al Gore: The Rolling Stone interview

"It's a mistake to think of the climate crisis as one in a list of issues that will define our future: It is THE issue!"
-- Rolling Stone, via Progressives for Gore, 11/15/07

Downtown merchants mourn the tragic deaths of attorneys Jeff and Dan Boone
The Boones "were among the obvious losers when plans were scrapped for the proposed $300 million Marriott resort, 18-hole golf course and 250-slip marina at the airport"
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/24/07

Is Black's memo an indication that he is willing to turn on a dime or an admission that the city  has some serious problems that have been ignored for quite some time?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/25/07

Bush to honor Gore at White House
blink... blink... you can't believe you read that headline... we can't believe we published it... blink... blink...
-- New York Times, 11/16/07

Mardirossian pulls a Cartman: Screw you guys, I'm going home!
Marriott on the beach is off the table (although if you believe these guys are just going away quietly, we have a couple of bridges to sell you); Mardirossian instead decides to keep busy by suing Microsoft, Motorola, Yahoo!,  and the nation of China
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/24/07

DEP investigating Osprey Wal-Mart developer Rodriguez
Henry Rodriguez, who built the Wal-Mart in Osprey, is suddenly shy a few mangrove plants on his home property -- that's called an oooops
-- Pelican Press, 11/22/07

$4 million in legal fees spent by county to kill drug addiction counseling... wait... what?
Tammi House saved by federal intervention in colossally dumb legal fight
-- editorial, Pelican Press, 11/22/07

Short-term rental clusterflap about to get ugly
Venice residents wanted this fight, city hall flip-flopped like an IHOP during breakfast rush, now it's full throttle towards an inevitable brick wall
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/23/07

Pudding, Jell-O, and EST: Tom Slaughter gets "it" -- eh, maybe
Herald-Trib rediscovers EST and starts quoting Werner Erhard in a loving tribute to Jell-O and city planner Tom Slaughter; H-T ignores the possibility that Slaughter may likely lose "it" big time in upcoming short-term rental debacle
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/23/07

The Return of the Living Wal-Mart
The Planning Commission thought they had buried Mike Miller's hastily drawn plans for a Super Wal-Mart on Laurel Road; Miller and his attorneys have crawled out of the grave and are slowly lurching towards city council: "Braaains... braaaaaaaains."
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/21/07

VHA vouchers -- a ticket to homelessness
"I think this whole deal stinks"
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/21/07

World leaders head to Bali next month to update Kyoto Protocol
"With this final report, the scientists have done their job and explained that global warming is happening and we need to do something about it; We have to stop hiding behind China, and China has to stop hiding behind us."
-- Wired, 11/20/07

William Gibson: The present day world is badly written futuristic sci-fi
"If one had gone to talk to a publisher in 1977 with a scenario for a science-fiction novel that was in effect the scenario for the year 2007, nobody would buy anything like it"
-- Rolling Stone, from 11/15/07 issue

Some former politico should apologize for something or other
Fred who?
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/20/07

Civility can kill you
According to a series of studies at Frankfurt University by Dr. Dieter Zapf, fake smiles can have serious effects on your health
-- Adelaide Advertiser, 03/17/06

The "R" word
Recession? No recession? Ask the workers
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/17/07

Gulf Coast Community Foundation's $500,000 Eat Shit and Smile campaign
Grove Terrace residents are about to be forced out, food pantries are running out, but here's a great idea for spending a half-million dollars: C'mon, get happy!
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/16/07

How I spent my summer
The new Hizzoner looks back at the campaign trail
-- Ed Martin's blog, 11/17/07

Mardirossian sues the world
Aris Mardirossian, the investor behind the now-dead Marriott project at the airport, claims that he invented instant international text messaging, is suing Microsoft, Yahoo!, the government of China, and 128 other internet and phone service providers -- good luck with that
-- Maryland IP Law, 11/05/07

Grove Terrace about to be whiter than white
We're the whitest town in Florida and we like it that way
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/17/07

Venice voters took names, then kicked ass
Developers and their interests backfired politically
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/17/07

Gondo muffs VHA story
First, this is a land grab setup and the Gondo is puffing it; secondly, the Gondo incorrectly jabs Valerie Buchand for her correct interpretation of Residents Council requirements -- this is godawful journalism that never should have been published
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/16/07

City hall overtaken by citizens as new kids are sworn in
Damned voters think they own everything... oh wait... they do
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/15/07

Comp plan process slowed down by those damned new kids
Pesky things like details to be examined
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/14/07

We're not running out of water -- we're out
The mathematical reality of too many people using finite resources has caught up with us, but you probably won't believe it until your kitchen tap goes dry -- that would be a mistake
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/14/07

Good thing Hammett's not bitter... much
You won't have Fred Hammett to kick around any more -- somewhere in the cosmos, Dick Nixon is applauding
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/14/07

Dear Bob Vedder: STFU
"Bob Vedder just won't quit defending all the wrongs that have been overseen by this council, who in fact have represented special interests and not the people of Venice"
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun

Herald-Trib signs off on VHA exodus
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/14/07

HUD 'em up and move 'em out
"The land is a secondary concern at this point" -- yeah, uh-huh, right
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/13/07

Hooray for Precinct 150 -- wait, what?
Precinct 150 had the largest voter turnout in a vote that ousted three council members; the great irony not mentioned in the article is that Precinct 150 is located in Waterford, Mike Miller's gated community, where Miller campaigned heavily for the incumbents
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/13/07

Going green can get you some green
So our present ecology-grinding economy has come to a grinding halt -- could there be a way to tool up the economy while saving the planet? Al Gore and some capital investors in Silicon Valley think so
-- Wired, 11/13/07

It ain't easy being green -- wait, hold that thought
Efest, Florida's Green Living Music & Arts Festival, kicks off this Saturday
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/12/07

CQG: When male bonding goes bad
CQG's Boone, Harner ducking phone calls; CQG prez Fishman quotes Tony Soprano: "We're just members of this community like anyone else"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/11/07

The "R" word - Recession
While some economists say no, most of the statistics suggest we are in a recession; all agree the Gulf Coast is suffering more than most of Florida
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune,11/10/07

Election results were anti-business? How do you figure?
"Citizens essentially stated they like their community the way it is, yet they want to make it even better and will put up the money to do it; for most businesses, that type of climate is ideal"
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/09/07

Gondo's thinly veiled teeth gnashing over election
Gondo publisher Bob Vedder's soul is being eaten alive by his hatred of the idea that Sue Lang is now on city council and he's doing a very lousy job at hiding it
-- editorial, Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/09/07

Chamber of Commerce's John Ryan ain't happy either
Another bad job at hiding emotions, as though Ed Martin has to offer an olive branch to a community that overwhelmingly voted him in; as for Ryan's smug shoulder-shrugging comments -- isn't it about time for Jim Clinch to weigh in?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/09/07

Wal-Mart, Miller told to FOAD
Mike Miller needs the Wal-Mart to provide the base funding for his Renaissance project; planning commission yawns, offers to send flowers to the funeral
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/09/07

WCI posts $75 million loss in third quarter, 575 employees laid off
The builder of Venetian Golf & River Club, which is still unfinished, is in deep financial doo-doo
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/09/07

Super Majority is seriously messing with some people's heads
To the three-piece suit set, It's like a bad acid trip that just won't end
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/08/07

Shiny, happy people and their shiny, happy mayor
The honeymoon has begun
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/08/07

Newcomers had best remember their roots
The honeymoon is over
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/08/07

Dude, we, like, totally overthrew a government, man
So what's this workshop thing, anyway?
-- Ed Martin's blog, 11/07/07

Landslide victory!
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

CQG's long run of owning city council is over; incumbent officials struggling to remove boots from their asses
- both stories, 11/07/07

Super majority, sales tax referendums pass
Mixed signals on those two referendums: Sales tax is geared towards funding growth while Super Majority is aimed at controlling it
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/07/07

Final numbers in city race
Challengers beat incumbents by 2-1 margin; strangely, Zavodnyik pulled in the most votes (5,140), followed by Lang (5,042), with Martin in third place (5,013)
-- Supervisor of Elections, 11/07/07

Martin, Lang, Zavodnyik win!
Coup d'tat with pie charts
Three coins in a fountain? Try three heads in a basket
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/06/07

Republicans: city voters are blaming us but it's not our fault
Ummm... yes it is
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/06/07

Here we gooooooo...

Today's the day, and brand new Diebold voting machines are ready... What could possibly go wornggggg?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/06/07

Last ditch PR attempt backfires:
Half-finished unmanned fire station dedicated
The new symbol of growth in North Venice won't be open until December, but by dedicating it now, Hammett and company ensure that their names are on the plaque -- nice albatross there, Fred, you look good wearing it
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/06/07

County Commissioner Thaxton on green energy
Thaxton lauds Crist and Buchanan over their environmental stances -- sounds good so far, but is Florida's carbon footprint shrinking yet?
--  letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/05/07

A white jersey and a bloody nose: Here's your ballot, mark it carefully
"The incumbents and their supporters have viewed decision-making in Venice as the domain of their private club; that mistake may finally catch up with them"
-- Tom Tryon, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/04/07

♪♫ Money makes the town go around, the town go around, the town go around ♫♪
The latest election finance report shows incumbents raised more money, but the challengers have more contributors
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/04/07

Voting is way, way up
An angry constituency is an ugly thing to behold -- if you are running for re-election, that is
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/04/07

So you're just coming back to town and want to know what happened at city hall while you were gone?
"Not much... voters can decide for themselves whether that means the seven-member council is deliberative, indecisive or somewhere in between"
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/04/07

CQG prez C.J. Fishman asks for a blindfold and a cigarette
C'mon guys, can't we all just get along?
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/04/07

City planning department to Mike Miller: Wal-Mart? We don't need no steenkin' Wal-Mart
Simply amazing what a simple election can simplify
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/04/07

Gondo tries to justify split endorsements
Paper blames it on community schizophrenia -- Good luck with that lame explanation because there isn't anyone else in Venice who's gonna follow that logic
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/04/07

Republicans wanna party like it's 1988
Republicans trying to turn local race into Bush Sr. versus Dukakis, Democrats see it as Carter versus Ford, and hey, has anyone looked at the calendar?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/03/07

Judge kills Super Majority legal challenge -- for now
Ruling leaves open the possibility of post-election legal challenge
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/03/07

Gondo has already endorsed Woods, Willson; and now for mayor, ... WTF?
Some days I wake up, look out, and smile with the knowledge that there's some seriously schizophrenic people in this town -- the worst ones work for newspaper editorial departments at the Gondo and Herald-Trib
-- editorial, Venice Gondolier Sun

Mike Miller's astroturfed protest
Really, Mike, did you actually think we'd be fooled by this crap?
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/02/07

Would the person who left the elephant in the mayor's office please reclaim it?
It's leaving poop all over the desk
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/02/07

Wal-Mart has done its research and that research shows that Wal-Mart customers are not too bright when it comes to computers
Captain Obvious surrenders
-- Tech.Blorge, 10/31/07

Ed Taylor's drug problem grows
Marriott on the beach's point man, Ed Taylor, on growth: "Uncontrolled growth has not been a problem within Venice's city limits;" Hey, did you bring enough of those mushrooms for the rest of the class, Ed? In other news, foreclosure rates triple over last three month period (that last part is not a joke, wish it were)
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/01/07

Pro-growth cash pouring into elections in astronomical amounts
Land developers are selling their souls and everything else to have their way in this coming Tuesday's election
-- Pelican Press, 11/01/07

Venice elections: The French Revolution reenacted on a set decorated with faux-Mediterranean architecture
Jim Clinch becomes the poster boy for the CQG; retirees start building guillotines in downtown parks -- but whose heads will end up in the baskets?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/01/07

Who is Kevin Ward and why is he buying quarter-page newspaper ads for Hammett, Willson, and Woods?
Meet Kevin Ward: Yet another real estate flipper and developer with some very big dreams for Venice -- and he's putting out some big bucks for the incumbents
-- posted 10/31/07

Council candidates are in your bedroom, making fun of your underwear
Yet another reason to stock up on DVDs in the remaining days of the election: city council TV ads
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/31/07

No surprise number 2: Gondo picks Willson over Zavodnyik
The paper banned some ads for Zavodnyik, so the endorsement of Willson is no surprise; now we all hold our breaths waiting to see the comedy goodness of supporting Hammett's idiocy over the paper's own policy columnist, Martin
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/31/07

Venice Housing Authority primed for land grab
For years, the city and investors have tried to figure out a way to grab the valuable land owned by the HUD housing project -- now the prize is within tantalizing reach, but then there's those pesky elections and that could ruin the dream
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/28/07

Marriott supporter Ed Taylor joins lawsuit against county to keep Super Majority referendum off of ballot
This story was rejected by the Gondo and ran in the Englewood Sun-Herald instead -- odd, that
-- Englewood Sun Herald, 10/28/07

Herald-Trib endorses Lang, Zavodnyik, and... WTF?
See if you can even begin to follow this logic: H-T gives strong, no punches pulled endorsements for Lang and Zavodnyik, then weakly nudges Hammett over Martin on a coin toss
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/28/07

... meanwhile, Gondo waits a week for things to cool down so that it can safely endorse Woods over Lang...
Never saw that coming, eh? Gondo sticks to Vedder's Good Ol' Boy roots; trouble is that it reads like an endorsement of Lang while Woods is damned by faint praise
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/28/07

Lang versus Woods: This will only end in bloodshed
These two really don't like each other with a loathing that comes from the depths of tortured souls; Both dodge the question "What's a Budway?" while Venice Florida! dot com has discovered the answer: 12 fluid ounces
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/27/07

Mike Miller's money pit in Bradenton: The Palms
One building done, one building stalled, one resident, and 57 empty units -- anybody want to buy a condo in Bradenton? Now all of the shenanigans surrounding the proposed Wal-Mart in Venice is starting to make sense - EVERYONE PANIC!
-- Bradenton Herald, 09/23/07

Miller thinks he is Leona Helmsley, we are just the "little people"
Third stealth letter shows up in Gondo from Mike Miller employee Pat Waguespack
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/26/07

It's either Simmonds or Gollum, but it ain't Ernie
Herald-Trib confuses Zavodnyik with city council's resident crank
Original pics as they appeared in print
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/26/07

Venice according to Steve Albee: Marina, executive golf course at airport is a done deal if incumbents are re-elected
See pages 7 & 8: be prepared to have a stroke when you see the map on page 8
-- South County Business, 10/12/07

Martin, Hammett disagree on growth
Hammett thinks it is just a fungus growing in between his toes, Martin tells Hizzoner that maybe a qualified physician ought to take a look
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/25/07

7,000 homes at Thomas Ranch -- Super Majority referendum will queer the deal
So maybe Joe Barbetta's vote was staging?
-- sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/25/07

The Prophet of Climate Change: James Lovelock
One of the most eminent scientists of our time says that global warming is irreversible and that more than 6 billion people will perish by the end of the century
-- Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone, 10/17/07

Captain Obvious strikes again: Herald-Trib reports that council election is "divisive"
ok... moving right along...
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/25/07

County approves 7,000 new homes in our backyard on 3-2 vote
Super Majority referendum would have required a 4-1 vote -- still think the referendum is a bad idea?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/25/07

The exodus from Florida continues, but Larry Evans is staying put
Despite the fact that it is almost economically impossible to stay here, some people stubbornly still do
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/14/07

Woods lied
In a mad grab to keep his seat on council, Jim Woods trotted out some false information about his challenger, Sue Lang -- Herald-Trib's Eric Ernst calls him out
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/21/07

Concerned Taxpayers issue recommendations on referendums
YES on Super Majority
NO on penny sales tax
-- Concerned Taxpayers PAC

Vote YES for Super Majority
Land use has never been a more important issue, the Super Majority rule will ensure that appropriate use will be the major factor in future decisions
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/21/07

Herald-Trib: Candidates should remain clueless and aloof? Is this for real?
Gary Budway: I don't know anything about the airport and I'm not gonna learn unless I get elected
Herald-Trib: We have a winner!
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/22/07

Panic hits city hall, council tries to sell Tra Ponti as a practical joke gone bad
Six stories along Venice Avenue? Five Stories? Hey, we were just kidding, we would never have allowed anything like that -- it was a joke, honest -- you can take a joke, can't you?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/21/07

Panic hits the Gondo -- Weirdest. Editorial. Ever.
Gondo has a very public nervous breakdown due to identity crisis: should it stand by it's good ol' boy friends despite their asinine behavior or should it take a stand for its readers? Gondo's response is to delay its endorsements and beg incumbents to do something, anything
-- editorial, Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/21/07

Grove Terrace landgrab magnifique: a fait accompli?
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

HUD housing complex has spent itself into near bankruptcy on consultants; consultants are now advocating dumping the residents and selling to developers -- gee, what a surprise
-- both stories 10/19/07

Awwww, those stuffed animals at Wal-Mart are soooo cute (deadly, too)
What this town needs is more Chinese-made crap tainted with lead
-- AP, via Yahoo, 10/19/07

CQG prez Fishman, Gondo's Vedder crap in their shorts over Taxpayers PAC ad
Lesson learned: Never question the boss in a company-owned town
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/19/07

Grove Terrace is down the tubes
For years, the HUD complex has funneled much needed funds to consultants and attorneys -- now they're about to be told by a consultant that they are bankrupt from spending too much money on consultants
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/17/07

Miller disrupts Planning Commission hearing with staged protest circus
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

Is the local economy so bad that the only hope for our children is a door greeter job at Wal-Mart? Mike Miller wants you to think so
-- both, 10/17/07

Wal-Mart is the leading cause of Medicaid payments in Georgia and other states
Those low, low prices have a high, high back-end price tag for taxpayers as state governments end up footing the bill for the employer's low, low wages and lack of benefits -- that's what you would refer to as "corporate welfare"
-- USA Today, from April of 2005

Government by stealth: Wal-Mart goes before planning commission today
It's been less than two weeks that the public has known about plans for a North Venice Wal-Mart -- this oughtta be a hoot
-- Ed martin, 10/15/07

Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, scrub jays, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart
8 different letters linked to in above headline; In other news, Ed Martin's wife, Peggy, is boxing up his home office and shipping it all to city hall: "At last, I can have that room back"
-- letters, Herald-Trib, Gondo, Ed Martin's blog, 10/14/07

Dear Fred -- Maybe try this?
It's three weeks until the election and Hammett is all but guaranteed to lose his job as mayor; maybe the CQG should take notes from this Hialeah city council campaign -- what the hell, it might work
-- UPI, 10/13/07

Wal-Mart? What Wal-Mart? Oh, that Wal-Mart? Oh yeah, we told you about that... sort of...
Venetian Golf & River Club, Waterford residents are ready to shoot at anything that moves after finding out that land developer Mike Miller is bringing a Wal-Mart SuperCenter to their neighborhood
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/13/07

Marriott rep Ed Taylor: Growth is not rampant and anyone who thinks otherwise is a defamer, a slanderer, and a curmudgeon
Dammit, I want that Marriott at the airport -- I want it, I want it, I want it; Oh, and vote for Fred Hammett (2nd letter on page)
-- letters, Pelican Press, 10/11/07

Zavodnyik disses Wal-Mart
CQG candidates still silent on Wal-Mart headed for Laurel Road, despite the fact that it's been floating silently in the background for a couple of years
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/12/07

Uhhhhh, folks, we have a water problem... a very serious water problem
We're running out of drinking water, not in ten years, not next year... NOW!
-- Pelican Press, 10/11/07

Penny sales tax show hits the road
Overtaxed? Nahhhhh -- besides, it's just a penny
-- Pelican Press, 10/11/07

Challengers kicking ass AND taking names in council race
Martin, Zavodnyik come out swinging; appointed mayor guy mumbles about his experience at rubberstamping tall buildings when he was on the Planning Commission
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/10/07

Maybe the voters won't notice that more annexed land was just rezoned, approved for yet another development
The approved project "worried some council members, who said it could set a precedent for other vacant Sarasota County property owners to annex into the city and ask for a zoning change" -- nah, that would never happen here
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/10/07

A Super Wal-Mart in North Venice?
Just as council manage to bury Tra Ponti and airport development until after the elections, a new monster rears its ugly head
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/10/07

Money and local politics
Fundraising by challengers upsets CQG prez C.J. Fishman: "This shouldn't be about money;" Careful, C.J., lest the Gods of Irony smite thee
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/09/07

Tra Ponti: Council wanted a vague ordinance, council got a vague ordinance
If there was a wrong way to enact a mixed use land development ordinance, we were bound and determined to find it -- lo and behold, we did
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/09/07

Boone, VGA to city: we want our kickback
BLAST FROM THE PAST, 2004: Venice Golf Association and their attorney, Dan Boone, feel cheated by not being able to cheat the city; Herb Levine surrenders
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/26/04

Martin takes on Willson over so-called "villages"
The city's comp plan changes call for "villages" -- closely packed clusters of tall condominium buildings; Willson states that landowners in areas like Golden Beach have the right to build them already, Ed Martin says au contraire
-- Ed Martin, 10/05/07

Sharky's caught building without a permit
Hey, it's OK -- we only hired Native Americans, so it's perfectly legal; Jesus Federico Longfeather, Pedro Ramon Eaglewing, and Conchita Rosalinda Lonewolf unavailable for comment
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/05/07

Levine gets cranked, tells council to get off his lawn
City politics can get Herb so riled that he has to blow off the steam, which he does here in the letters column
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/05/07

City gov web site gets a makeover
-- City of Venice (parody)

The anti-CQG PAC goes online
It takes money to win an election -- Herb Levine's Concerned Taxpayers PAC plans to give the CQG a run for theirs
-- Concerned Taxpayers PAC

Gulf Coast Foundation wants you to get happy, will spend $ million to turn Venice into a girl's charm school
The dumb bastards could have bought this web site for half that
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/04/07

More comp plan fun:
It takes a village to raze a  town
Ed Martin has been less than thrilled about the city's comp plan for a couple of years now, particularly about the city's "villages" of compacted tall buildings -- turns out that the state agrees with him
-- Ed Martin, 10/02/07

Tallahassee on city's comp plan:
They love us, they love us not
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

Gondo and Herald-Trib are miles apart in their coverage of the state's objections to the comp plan: Gondo claims the state loves us, Herald-Trib actually talks to the state and gets a somewhat different tale
-- both, 10/03/07

Council gets a bloody beatdown in the woodshed over Tra Ponti, airport hotel
Gondo editorial | Herald-Trib letter
"The cynic in us has to ask whether the same decision [to have a workshop on Tra Ponti] would have been made if we weren't a month away from an election"
--editorial, Venice Gondolier-Sun, 10/03/07

Little known 9/11 facts from Dan Hopsicker
A probable assassination attempt on Bush took place in Sarasota in the early morning hours of 9/11; in other news, Rudi Dekkers, the trainer of 9/11 terrorists, is now a motivational speaker -- no, really, that's not a joke
-- Dan Hopsicker, 09/27/07

City to county: If the scrub jays want to stay near the airport, they can rent a room at the Marriott like everyone else
County wants city to consider bird habitat, city wants county to eat a scrub jay sandwich
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/30/07

Is Florida Over?
For Americans on the move, Florida has become a less-appealing destination; moving company Atlas Van Lines brought 6,700 families into Florida last year and took 8,000 out, the first time it has moved more out than in
-- Wall Street Journal, 09/29/07

Vote No on penny sales tax
It's difficult to determine how much Venice would subsidize growth with its tax revenue because more than 79 percent of the money earmarked for roads is for undesignated "improvements" and "contingencies."
-- Pelican Press, 09/29/07

Article rigged?
CQG politicos stealthed as average retirees in U.S. News top ten article
Planning commissioner Janis Fawn and CQG bigwig Jack Meyerhoff are quoted, cited as average retirees; Say, how many 15-story buildings on the Intracoastal is "not a lot?"
-- U.S. News and World Report, 09/20/07

City council and Tra Ponti: Situation normal, AFU
"We haven't done our jobs:" The Venice City Council admitted as much when it voted unanimously Tuesday to postpone action on developer Mike Miller's proposed condo-hotel, Tra Ponti on the Waterfront
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/27/07

Tra Ponti falls down, goes boom; will return after elections as Tra Natiche
Gondo article | Herald-Trib article | Ed Martin's blog
With elections looming, council stops dead in the middle of the road, suddenly sees oncoming traffic: "Oh, yeah -- the voters -- forgot about them, didn't we?"
-- all three stories 09/26/07


The patron saint of Venice Florida! dot com is back where He belongs -- on the cover of Rolling Stone
-- Rolling Stone, 10/04/07 issue

Herald-Trib wants some explanations from council
Hahahaha -- good one
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/25/07

In an effort to boost readership, the Herald-Trib is now featuring pics of hot lesbian make-out goodness
Wait... what? HOLY CRAP!!!
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/24/07

If Tra Ponti is a hotel, then my mother is a virgin and I'm the son of God
Greg Shanika asks an interesting question: Is council going to ensure that Tra Ponti will actually be run as a condo hotel? So far, the answer is, 'nope'
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/24/07

Tra Ponti workshop never happened
"One question each incumbent is likely to hear during the campaign if Tra Ponti is approved Tuesday: Did the council, following two years of delay, rush to vote on Tra Ponti before an election in which opposing candidates have criticized aspects of the project, especially the height?"
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/23/07

Yo council: I got your transition right here, pal
City council wants a visual transition from nine stories on the island to six to five -- not a problem, right?
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/23/07

The de-unreconstructificationalizing of Jim Clinch
Maxine Barritt has a few real words for Clinch about the horse he rode in on
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/23/07

What hath council wrought in this nebulous CMU thing?
Everybody wanted that CMU ordinance and now we have it -- according to Greg Shanika, we gave everyone in the CMU district 80 feet in height and we basically have to fight a developer to go lower -- thank you Jeff Boone, C.J. Fishman, and, of course, city council
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/21/07

City to Herald-Trib: Tra Ponti jumps to seven stories
In a letter that was previewed by council members prior to its publication, city's Propaganda Minister informs us for the first time that the plans for Tra Ponti are now seven and six stories -- no, it's not a typo on the Trib's part, here's the original letter
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/21/07

Gondo goes NIMBY on Tra Ponti and Clinch
editorial | letter | letter | letter | letter

Gondo takes an awkward stance on the latest proposed monster land development project as Tra Ponti will be directly across the street from the Gondo's office building -- the Gods of Irony smile down from the sky, Herb Levine is ROTFL, Jim Clinch can't change his underwear fast enough
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/21/07

Hammett and council celebrate opening of scrub jay hunting season
Those birds are good eatin' and anyone who thinks otherwise is just one of those negative people against everything
- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/21/07

Homeowners' association lawyer demands takedown of web site
Web site allegedly violates association covenant -- geezer web operator of says "suck it," Venice Florida! dot com gets a new hero
BONUS LINK: Fark hates the HOA, too
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/21/07

Airport development doublespeak
It's six weeks before the elections, so we get this quote from Hammett:
"For all practical purposes, development of the airport is off the table"
"Hammett would not rule out the chance of developing something on the airport property;"
In other news, Marriott consultants give green light to airport land surveyor team
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/20/07

A kinder, gentler Venice Florida web site
He goes by the nick Scionshade on our message board, and he's started his own Venice Florida web site

Clinch lynched
Say Jim, how's that foot taste?
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/19/07

CQG gets a web site
Just stare at the screen... your eyelids are getting heavier and heavier... tall is good... we can do anything... when you wake up, you won't remember any of this...

Fractured history from CQG bigwig and Bogey's/Crow's Nest owner Steve Harner
Aside from the fact that Harner can't spell John Nolen's name correctly, Harner forgets that the BLE went belly up one year before The Great Depression from trying to implement Nolen's plan; Harner wants history to repeat itself -- relax, Steve, it looks like you're going to get your way
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/18/07

Sheriff Balkwill on SSO budget: Bids? We don't need no stinkin' bids!
This is Florida -- what the hell were you expecting, integrity?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/18/07

Wanna buy some beach front property? Cheap? OK, maybe not cheap?
Buy just about any lot off of the island of Venice, then just wait a few years
-- AP, via Sun-Herald, 09/17/07

The Full Ponti -- Six stories next to Miller's towers' nine stories
Editorial | Letter

So it'll be six stories next to five stories next to nine stories, all right up to the sidewalk on Venice Avenue in downtown Venice -- say goodbye to the sky and hello to stucco and red brick tile
-- both, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/17/07

Ed Martin on Tra Ponti
King Solomon doesn't live here anymore
-- Ed Martin, 09/11/07

Dear citizens of Venice: Die in a fire, you bunch of f@#king idiots
If you thought Jim Clinch's article in the Gondo was comedy gold, wait'll you read his farewell message as outgoing chamber president -- don't forget to wipe, flush, and wash your hands before returning to work (PDF file - scroll to pages 2 & 3)
--, September 2007 issue

The mountain comes to Miller
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

A mountain of buildings is headed for the west side of downtown's Intracoastal Waterway as developer Mike Miller gets approval from council to move ahead with The Manhattan Project
-- both stories 09/12/07

Shannon Staub -- conspirator?
Attorneys for Tammi House argue that County Commissioner Staub conspired with county employees to look for a way, legal or not, to shut down the rehab halfway house
-- Pelican Press, 09/12/07

The bigging of Venice
Battle lines are drawn in city council election matchups -- Hey mister, wanna buy a town?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/12/07

Sheriff shows his a$$
After a litany of over-budget luxury-style spending ills hits the news, Balkwill shows his a$$ by threatening to close down the south county jail, has it handed back to him by elected officials
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/11/07

Blowing the top off of mountaintop mining
The Appalachian mountains are being blown up in a steady destructive process that is killing the headwaters that eventually turn into rivers -- of course, this couldn't possibly affect us here in Florida, right?
-- Wired, 09/10/07

We gotta build something
Market analysis on the need for more hotel rooms is conflicting, but developers are hot to build in the wake of a flooded housing market -- what could possibly go wrong?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/09/07

Martin, Zavodnyik, Lang

WWF comes to Venice politics -- asses will be kicked, names will be taken
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/09/07

The real reason Sheriff Balkwill is threatening to close the south county jail
It's all political maneuvering to get a new jail built
-- Pelican Press, 09/07/07

Balkwill successfully manages to get cities and county simultaneously royally pissed at him
Dear Sheriff: Sucks to be you
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/09/07

If there's one thing this county needs, it's a good 7 sales tax
Local governments, and those who depend on them for roads, bridges, schools, beaches, clean water and more, have just eight weeks to convince us that there's one tax that's really worth voting for
-- Pelican Press, 09/07/07

Would the last person to leave Venice please turn out the lights?
Exodus 13:1 Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/07/07

Sheriff Balkwill ready to bollix cops in North Port and Venice
Crack dealers in Venice and North Port cheer as Balkwill threatens to remove cops from the streets with one strategic move
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/06/07 goes live
Incumbent defends his seat in cyberspace (even buys a banner ad on Venice Florida! dot com) -- this ain't gonna be a normal race

Keepon the robot dances
Video ||| Story

Keepon is a cute Japanese robot used in research on autistic children. Wired asks Keepon and its scientist inventor to do a rock video with the band Spoon -- hilarity ensues
-- Wired, 09/05/07

Martin to oust Emperor Fred
There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/05/07

And now a moment for a genuine hero: Venice Archives' director Dorothy Korwek
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it -- Korwek has fought the good fight, will soon be retiring
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/02/07

School board: VHS to stay where it is
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story
And we would believe you this time... why, exactly?
-- both stories 09/05/07

Gondo: Elections are a good thing
Just so long as the developers win and the status quo is maintained, that is
-- editorial, Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/02/07

The good news:
Sarasota County is now offering free wi-fi internet access all through downtown Sarasota

-- 82 Degrees press release

The bad news:
Major cities in America are pulling out of free wi-fi deals because the economic model just plain doesn't work

-- Wired, 09/04/07

Roundabout ad nauseum
An exhaustive look at circles
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/03/07

Showdown at the OK Corral
Council candidates packing heat, promise to shoot each other on sight
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/31/07

On the Road turns 50
Kerouac's jangly attack on conformity is still a top seller, which ought to tell you something about under-the-surface unrest in America today
-- Wired, 08/30/07

Ernest Carter is a frickin' genius
In other news, Gondolier drops its drug free work place policy
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/29/07

I'll be your roundabout
Those words from the county are making city officials go out and out
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/29/07

Solar power? In Florida! Ha -- we laugh at you, Mr. Sun, now go away, we don't need you
You would think that solar power is a no-brainer, but sadly that last phrase is true in an entirely different way in Florida
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/27/07

Corruption whistleblowers in Iraq get stomped
So, it doesn't happen just in Venice, eh?
-- AP via Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 08/24/07

Albee is out, Gondo goes for fluffy bunnies
Ignoring the elephant in the living room, Gondo goes for fluffy bunnies in a puff piece -- jolly good show, wouldn't want to write about anything too controversial there, would we old boy?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/26/07

Budway joins council fray
Former corrections supervisor wants Jim Woods' job, promises secure cells for city management team
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/23/07

We're not moving the high school, but we're thinking about moving the high school
County school board's new experiment: how many hands can you fit inside a cookie jar at one time?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/23/07

Bad time for a big raise
City manager gets a hefty pay raise, workers get a boot -- hey, this Ayn Rand "looters and moochers" economic model ain't so bad after all
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 08/23/07

Here come the corporate retailers
All that growth that local business owners have supposedly been in strong support has a down side and it's coming soon: corporate competition
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/22/07

Betcha Hammett doesn't get the joke
The Herald-Trib's deft and hilarious use of irony aimed at the mayor for his dumbness is one of the best bits of back-handed political punditry in memory; To the Herald-Trib: we salute you and stand in awe
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/22/07

Business news you can use for all sorts of stuff -- use your imagination
Charrette consultant (and descendant of Venice's founders) Steve Albee would like you to know that you are all dumbasses and you don't know what's good for you; Bonus hilarity -- the mayor is practically a member of MENSA (Adobe PDF file)
-- The Business Chronicle, 08/17/07

Fire the blind gal and give me more money
City council's homework assignment: compare and contrast the city manager's proposed budget with the viscosity of goose droppings
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/21/07

Martin for mayor?
Can an ethical, arrogant smart guy beat an unethical, arrogant dumb guy for the seat at center square? Ed Martin aims to find out... maybe
-- Ed Martin, 08/19/07

Lennox Bramble is a God among men
New utilities director can tie his own shoes, zip up his own fly, and eat with a fork -- all of which is a marked improvement over his two predecessors; former mayor Dean Calamaras stumbles into view, says some nice things about former utils head John Lane, then trips on a banana skin
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/19/07

Airport stall job?
"I don't know what the facts are," Mayor Fred Hammett said

In other news, Isaac Newton has discovered gravity
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/17/07

"The FAA is not going to put people in jeopardy," Councilman John Simmonds stated
In other news... wait... what?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/17/07

Barefoot Bay meltdown caught on tape (video)
All on one video clip: Barefoot Bay votes 6-2 to fire its community manager for not being able to undo the economic damage caused by George Hunt (the same guy that's suing this web site); two trustees resign on the spot; suddenly appointed interim chair Wilma Weglein promptly rips into Hunt: "This started with George Hunt... [we] let George get away with murder and we are in the mess we are today because of George Hunt"
-- web site

Greed, loss of civic will, overdevelopment conspire to kill what was once a beautiful city
Wired's Tom Long writes a sad elegy for a paradise lost -- he's writing about San Francisco, but the similarities to Venice are scary
-- Wired, 08/16/07

Diebold, the company that provides voting machines to Sarasota County, caught deleting data from Wikipedia
I, for one, welcome our new Republican ballot-stuffing overlords
-- Wired, 08/14/07

No kickback in Wasserman project earns a nay vote from Hizzoner
"When I look at height exemption (requests) I'm always thinking, what will the city get in return? I don't think the extra 10 feet gets us enough." Council approves hotel anyway -- sorry, Fred, no free Bahamas vacation for you
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/15/07

An Ed Martin exclusive: People who post anonymously to web sites can be rude
Welcome to teh intrawebs, Ed -- it's really all just a bunch of tubes
-- Ed Martin, 08/14/07

The Golf War
All hell broke loose when the City Council entertained proposals from companies interested in land development at the airport. which sparked an outcry among golfers; now there's something new on the radar screen -- 24 vulnerable homes in the Gulf Shores neighborhood
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/12/07

Ernie talks
Council candidate Ernie Zavodnyik's campaign platform is strangely lacking in baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet
-- Ed Martin, 08/11/07

Marty talks
Faced with political realities, city hall starts to back away from airport development with gratuitous and patronizing crap like 'community discussion' and 'will of the people'
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/13/07

Marriott on hold -- at least until after the elections
City Manager Marty Black ducks for cover, insists that none of this was his idea
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/12/07

George Hunt fails to convince Florida newspapers that he is sane
Ex-Venice nutjob Hunt plays with ball bearings, tells the Vero Beach Press Journal that his lawsuit is now about a duplicate key and missing strawberries
-- TCPalm, 08/12/07

Cease fire in Bella Citta war?
County now says Bella Citta is OK -- huh?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/12/07

AAB: No to shorter runways
Gondo ||| Herald-Trib editorial
AAB member Jim Leis plummets after being shot down by friendly fire, discovers parachute has been tampered with -- bad day, eh Jim?
-- both 08/10/07

Mayor's social retardation stems from neglected childhood
Hizzoner doesn't play well with others in the sandbox -- Ed Martin suggests sending the mayor back to kindergarten
-- Ed martin, 08/08/07

Another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment at the airport
MEA and the city have previously stated that there's no way that runways could be shortened, so naturally the city has a great idea: shortening the runways
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/08/07

Shortening the runways not an option, driving range must go
My head asplodes
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/08/07

Not news: New Diebold voting machines even worse than the last batch; News: Kathy Dent proclaims herself Empress of Sarasota County
Democracy is highly overrated anyway; county to move to a Benevolent Despot form of government
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/08/07

Ernie's back in the mix
Zavodnyik hits the campaign trail running, Sue Lang and Ed Martin may not be far behind -- things oughtta get very interesting very fast
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/07/07

That nutty Herald-Trib just can't leave the airport alone
So what if a few homes are in runway safety zones? C'mon give it a break -- who doesn't want a few stewardesses dropping in unexpectedly?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/07/07

Airport charrettes: Who's leading whom?
Airport consultants try to get all warm and fuzzy with Venice residents -- yeah, that'll work
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/05/07

County's planning commission nixes density upgrade in Thomas Ranch
"There's so much about this proposal that I so dearly love. There's also a lot about it that scares the dickens out of me."
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/05/07

Feces + rotary oscillator = airport charrette
"Bowed but not broken, Black and the City Council are pressing forward on a more limited scale" -- well, we can fix that in November
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/03/07

Get your torches and pitchforks ready -- it's showtime!
Airport charrette process starts tonight at 6 PM at the Venice Community Center -- Herb Levine's anti-arrest legal team is on emergency standby
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/03/07

Airport's runway safety area has a couple of dozen homes in it
What could possibly go wrong?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/02/07

Crack house in wealthy all-white neighborhood is a shocker
Gondo story ||| Herald-Trib story

Wealthy white folks forced to encounter their inner whiteness as they discover that they actually live in the real world -- the horror, the horror, the horror
-- 07/31, 08/01/07

H20 $$$ ↑
Seen your water bill lately? Take your heart meds before opening the envelope
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/01/07

Patten/Hunt lawsuit hits the news... again...
A few minor facts are wrong in this story (see this), but the significant thing is the headline -- lawsuit claims that Patten is not a journalist, and yet this newspaper article says otherwise
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/01/07

VHA FUBAR'd, HUD to the rescue
VHA's mismanagement and hired consultants' bills have led to near-bankruptcy, but HUD will make it all better; in other news, scientists discover link between human anus and flying monkeys
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/31/07

The charrettes are coming
It may not matter what the city wants as the FAA has the final say on safety
-- Ed Martin, 07/27/07

Bullshit bullshit bullshit
Bullshit bullshit airport bullshit bullshit development bullshit bullshit bullshit
-- bullshit editorial Gondo bullshit, 07/29/07

Venice Housing Authority to get federal nose
Is the non-profit incapable of running itself? A merger with Sarasota or Fort Myers projects will cure that
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/27/07

Driving in Florida will get a whole lot more exciting when the requirement to carry auto insurance expires on October 1
MSNBC ||| Fark
-- posted 07/27/07

Venice is too short?
Don't worry, the planning commission will fix that for ya
-- Ed Martin, 07/25/07

China's (cough) green Olympics (cough)
You can see the stadium gently rising out of the smog as morning breaks in Beijing -- oh wait, no you can't
-- Wired, 07/26/07

Bella Citta not so bella
Gondo story ||| Herald-Trib editorial
Exactly how many albatrosses can a mayor wear before falling over from the weight? Looks like we're gonna find out
-- 07/25, 07/26/07

Our town, our gulf, our future
Gulf's Dead Zone expanding dramatically
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 7/20/07
Feds need to look at what is driving the Dead Zone -- NOW!
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/25/07
No growth unless it's green
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/25/07
Climate engineering is doable as long as we never stop
-- Wired, 07/25/07
County committed to green sustainability
-- editorial, Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/25/07

City's new charrette propaganda sheet is really a fun puzzle for the entire family
There's actually one entire sentence in this document that is completely bullshit-free: can you find it?
-- Venice government official publication, 07/23/07

Airport charrettes continoo too confooze
Now we see through a brick wall darkly, then we shall see even less
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/24/07

Grove Terrace board mismanages itself out of existence
Say goodbye to dysfunctional and cannibalistic autonomy; say hello to Federal carpetbaggers
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/22/07

The Battle of Bella Citta:
The March of the Wooden Lawyers
City hall prepares to foot the legal bill to defend a developer at the expense of citizens who don't want the fight -- haven't we been down this road before (and before and before)?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/22/07

Good news: taxes won't go up quite so much
Best quote comes from Hizzoner: "Venice invested in parks, a fire station, things that we needed, things that do not end up as an ongoing expense." Read that quote again. Slowly.
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/20/07

Bradenton cops get Farked... again
Last year, the BPD was in the news for traffic stop shakedowns -- guess what they've been spending the money on? Hookers and crack, natch
-- Fark, 07/19/07

Support local radio
Story ||| Live audio stream

Clear Channel sucks, indie radio doesn't, WSLR in Sarasota proves it
-- Pelican Press, 07/19/07

Pretty vacant
Hotel vacancies in Sarasota County point to an obvious need: more hotels (we're so pretty, oh so pretty... vacant
-- Ed Martin, 07/17/07

Oh Marteeeeeee..... I think you got some 'splaining to do
County is having a Babaloo moment over Bella Citta rezoning, city scrambles for a Lucy/Ethel scheme that will sound believable
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/18/07

Taxes go down (up), utility rates go way up, city brags about taxpayer discount
Yeah, whatever
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/18/07

Developers in North Port achieve the anatomically impossible
With 1 in 10 houses for sale, North Port proves that it really is possible to... do we really have to spell this out for you?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/16/07

Diebold will return integrity to Sarasota County elections
Voting machine maker with strong Republican ties (and a past about as dodgy as Enron's) will be the gatekeeper for future Sarasota elections; oh hell, why don't we just become a monarchy and be done with it?
-- Pelican Press, 07/16/07

We're paying a quarter of a million dollars for... what, exactly?
Venice resident Rita Kutie sounds off on city hall; code inspectors and bulldozers will arrive at Kutie's house for a surprise visit in 5... 4... 3... 2...
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/15/07

OK, let's spell it out to city council: to make it easier, we'll use smaller words
Larry Evans exhaustively retraces the steps of how city hall and the Herald-Trib came to their present standoff over airport development issues; here's an idea -- maybe offer free literacy courses?
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/15/07

North Port to be renamed to New South Flint
10% of existing houses are for sale and not getting offers; in other news, Michael Moore is set to start filming the long-awaited sequel to Roger & Me in southern Sarasota County
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/16/07

Global warming fashion
What to wear to beachfront restaurants as the oceans rise? Check out these chic pumps, available soon in shops on the island
-- Wired, 07/14/07

Crist to sign environmental pact with UK, California
Bestest. Florida Governor. Ever.
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/13/07
BONUS LINK: Comments from Fark

A city government based on meanness?
It would have been cheaper for the taxpayers of Venice to fix an old lady's roof rather than bulldoze her house and make her homeless -- so naturally, we bulldozed her house; Arthur Dent unavailable for comment
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/13/07

Airport FUBAR clusterflap banana banana
"Having an election coming up could, a cynic might think, have had some impact on this most recent change of course in the citys planning behavior, which has been an object lesson in how not to operate a city"
-- Ed Martin, 07/11/07

State of the climate
Story ||| Editorial

You discover that if you keep treating the climate the way you have been, your entire state will be underwater. Do you: A) Change your ways to try to avert disaster; B) Continue to party like its 1999; or C) Seek the help of an indestructible robotic android assassin from the future? Correct answer: C
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/12/07

Council locks itself in bathroom, won't come out until people stop being mean
Public is invited to meet airport developers in preliminary August meetings... when Venice is empty...  oh, and the meetings are to start at 2 AM
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/11/07

Small plane's attempted living room landing in Sanford kills 5
Residents on the island in Venice relax, comforted by the knowledge that this could never happen here
-- Newsday, 07/11/07

Levine goes green
VTL prez to push for growth -- green, sustainable growth; if you hear a loud 'thunk' while reading this article, please pick your jaw up before someone trips over it
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/10/07

Countdown to November
Growth will be the main issue in November when three seats on the seven-member Venice City Council are on the ballot
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/01/07

Rafferty on Airport Master Plan: City will have to destroy golf course
Mike Rafferty, a public engineer who lives in Venice, has been studying the city's plans very carefully and has come to what he says is an inescapable conclusion: the golf course has already been doomed by the city
-- Ed Martin, posted 07/02/07

Heartless bastards to continue persecution of reclusive oddball
We're blowing over half a million dollars on charrettes, but by God this homeless woman shall pay! "The rich get richer, the poor get the picture" (Midnight Oil, Read About It)
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/05/07

Sarasota County to consider name change -- How does Arrakis County sound?
Since we won't have any water, there will be no reason to continue building gigantic condo communities, right?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/06/07

Hunt versus Venice Florida! dot com roadshow hits the main stage
George who?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/04/07

Golden Beach to enter fray to get Venice de-Milo'd
Legal wrangling finally allows this web site to use a great pun
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/04/07

The good news: airport charrettes to be delayed
The bad news: they'll probably be delayed until after November elections, allowing for plenty of false promises
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/04/07

MEA Group sold
The company responsible for the ongoing development of the airport master plan is off the block and in the pocket; oh and look: MEA Group has an office in Germantown Maryland, the same place that Amalthea (the Marriott investors) come from -- what are the odds?
-- Charlotte Sun, date not given, sometime in the last two weeks

The city is spending $275,000 more on airport charrettes and it's all Sue Lang's fault
After spending some $300,000 so far on the airport development and master plan process, citizen outcry has caused city hall to up the ante to over half a million -- this to convince the public that the airport is going broke; this, in turn, causes more citizen outcry -- in a marriage, this is called a cycle of abuse
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/01/07

Keep the airport pristine
Venice resident Pat Zingler appeals to council: "Stop the madness"
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/01/07

Long range plan "flawed"
For this rather unique situation, "flawed" is not exactly the most accurately descriptive word that starts with "F," but it'll do for a start
-- Ed Martin, 06/29/07

Bella Citta development plan in north end of Venice is headed for city/county mediation
Residents of neighboring Sorrento Ranch feel Bella Citta is incompatible with its surroundings; not in article, but it really happened: city's argument is that Sorrento Ranch, which was there first, is incompatible with the growth that has since surrounded it
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/30/07

Planning Commission needs renewal, diverse views, enema
"As a deliberative body reflecting citizens' views, [the commission is] sadly lacking in substance"
-- Ed Martin, 06/27/07

Coming not so soon but sooner than not soon at all: the revamped Nokomis Pavilion
Jack West wants his baby back -- his baby is the Nokomis Pavilion, which he originally deigned in 1954; in other news, the designer of the 1954 Nokomis Pavilion is still alive
-- Pelican Press, 06/28/07

Bella Citta development causing rift
County wants city to back down, city wants county to move to another county
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/27/07

VGA gator goes national
One-eyed gator gets book and film offer after terrifying ordeal of attack by golfer: "...then he went to get the golf ball back, I figured he was going to hit me with it again... so I bit him."
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/27/07

Will the circle be unspoken?
Venice wants to talk with the county about a planned roundabout that caught city council by surprise, county commission responds with profuse apology -- ha, just kidding
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/26/07

Venice respite

M.T. Penz' video collage focuses on the beauty of Venice
-- YouTube, 06/07/07

Sarasota's real estate market is among best in state
Unfortunately, that's not saying much
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/26/07

Huffman Aviation's owner tied  to convicted drug smuggler in recent aviation venture
Wally Hilliard staked Rudi Dekkers in Huffman Aviation here in Venice -- that's the flight school that trained Mohamed Atta; Dan Hopsicker reports that Hilliard recently partnered with a convicted drug smuggler in yet another aviation business
-- Mad Cow News, 06/25/07

What hath Tallahasee wrought?
Shiny new tax cut legislation and the Super Exemption are rife with potential  unintended consequences -- here comes the science...
-- Pelican Press, 06/24/07

Who needs The Sopranos?
Here come the drums
Here come the drums

The world is at war and our President has just been murdered by Britain's psychopathic Prime Minister; Europe and Canada are on the edge and breaking viewership records as U.K.'s #1 TV show heads towards its season finale this coming Saturday -- if you can't find it on YouTube (it's there somewhere), you can always wait a few weeks
-- The [London] Stage, 06/24/07

Wasserman shoots and scores
Revolving restaurant seals the deal
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/21/07

Independent news sites (like the one you are reading now) suck mightily and here's why
Wired takes on indie news writers and the blogosphere -- this can only lead to bloodshed
BONUS LINK: Comments from Fark
-- Wired, 06/21/07

Miller, Wasserman to save city with high rise hotels
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

"The number one problem in the Venice area is a lack of hotel rooms" -- Venice Florida! dot com to demand formal apology from Wasserman for being bumped to number two
-- both stories, 06/20/07

Levine smells a rat
Amidst rumors that charrettes will be stacked with out-of-towners in favor of development at the airport, Herb Levine has a suggestion -- check voter cards at the door
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/209/07

County to Venice: I'll be your roundabout; Venice to county: GTFO
Gondo story | Herald-Trib editorial

County commission wants to build a roundabout less than a mile from city Councilman Rick Tacy's favorite pub -- what could possibly go wrong?
-- 06/20/07 & 06/18/07

We B-II confoozed about the airport
"Ahhhh, I C-II," said the blind man; Herald-Trib takes a look at the runway safety zone problems in the Airport Master Plan; for maps and a visual explanation, read this
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/19/07

Voters must ask, 'What's in it for me?' regarding tax cut
Here comes the media war and your only weapon is your internal BS detector
-- Marc Caputo, Miami Herald, via Bradenton Herald, 06/17/07
BONUS LINK FROM GOOGLE: Huge list of tax debate articles from newspapers around the state

Grassroots uprising over airport development stuns council
Like a deer in the headlights, council never saw it coming; now they are being forced into responding to some of the questions that citizens have been asking; Venice Florida! dot com gets a nice mention; Rita Kutie's referenced letter can be found here
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/17/07

Miller's new and improved Manhattan Project is back -- now with less more!
Code named "Tra Ponti" (Italian for 'between bridges'), Miller is asking for 80 feet and 100 units in density between Tampa and Venice Avenues on the island -- this oughtta go over well
-- Ed Martin, 06/15/07


This web joke has been around for a couple of years now, media suddenly discovers the newest thing since Rodney Dangerfield -- it's still pretty funny, though
-- Fark, 06/16/07

Tallahassee tax cuts coming our way?
How can we take a really bad situation and screw it up even worse? That's easy -- just pass a rushed law through with no study and little debate, we'll fix the unintended consequences later
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/15/07

Gondo's relevance now officially non-existent
In the wake of momentous news about taxes, airport development, etc., Gondo issues its typical editorial about anything non-controversial it can think of, which leads to the obvious question: who gives a crap?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/15/07

Fireman's pay for spray fee: A tax that is not a tax
Sure we'll reduce your taxes, we'll just find another way to tap your checkbook
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/15/07

Constitutional right to bear arms extended to sharks, octopi
Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is now ready for prime time TV
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/15/07

Council ducks, wants redux
So let me get this straight... the city manager and council just suddenly discovered what citizens have been saying for months, so they back off the airport plan at the last minute? Kudos for the backdown, but how the hell did it get this far?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/14/07

Dear Mayor:
Why you'll only see a few scrub jays at the Venice Airport and why it is important to preserve those few
The endangered birds, crucial in seed planting, are highly territorial -- an established family of jays will drive out competing scrub jays
-- Florida Commission on Wildlife

Airport talks crash at end of runway, three political careers feared dead
Gondo story ||| Herald-Trib story

"Looking for more public buy in," city delays making decisions, probably until just after November elections
-- both stories, 06/13/07

Mike Miller is holding
and holding and holding and holding -- condo glut has developers stopped dead in their tracks
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/13/07

City hall layoff roulette
Blind gal gets the boot in a weird and cruel-sounding domino-effect story; planning department untouched despite lack of new construction
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/13/07

Venice council should...
Oh the hell with it... does anyone really think that they are listening?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/12/07

City hall's PR wiz: No, we're not up to anything funny -- why do you ask?
Standard municipal fluff, but what's really interesting is the denial that Venice is considering a high density project next to South Venice... as nobody that we know of has ever heard that rumor... until now
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/12/07

Mohamed Atta... pancake entrepreneur?
Dan Hopsicker comes up with yet more 9/11 weirdness that slipped by law enforcement -- Florida corporate records show that after Atta left Venice to fly into the WTC, he became an entrepreneur in Orlando with an IHOP address
-- Dan Hopsicker, 06/12/07

Let's include a public beach and park as part of an airport runway safety zone -- what could possibly go wrong?
The Herald-Trib asks council to exercise a little common sense -- yeah, that is so likely to happen
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/11/07

Dent's answer to cleaning up county elections? Diebold
Sarasota County's last election (Jennings/Buchanan) is still winding its way through the courts, so to clean up election problems, the county opts to buy used Diebold machines -- what could possibly go wrong?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/08/07

Cops, city involved in undecipherable news story
Former city personnel-wank-turned-reporter Rollie Reynolds covers the police contract negotiations -- hey, at least it fills in the gaps between the ads
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/08/07

City, county should learn to get along
Also: war and hunger should end, skies should be blue, and fairies should paint sparkly colors on all of the trees
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/08/07

Venice officer says rights were violated

-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/07/07

Only in Venice: Army of lawyers gather as city prepares legal battle against itself over short term rentals
"An awkward position"  -- ya know, ya just can't make stuff like this up
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/03/07

City, county in zoning squabble over Bella Cita development
Less than three months ago, voters passed into law the Joint Planning amendment and Sarasota County is alleging that Venice is already in violation; in other news, grass is green
-- Ed Martin, 06/02/07

$61 million airport facelift -- say what?
Airport consultants MEA, among other things, cite support data that Venice Airport currently has 180,00 takeoffs and landings per year; that's 493 per day or 20 per hour every hour, which begs the question: is MEA even talking about our airport?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/31/07

Airport master plan: who planned this thing, anyway?
Is the airport master plan just a wing and a prayer cut and paste job? Inquiring minds want to know
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/30/07

Conservational land use can be fun and profitable
Meet Albert Joerger -- conservationist, philanthropist, and a friend to both tree huggers and developers
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/29/07

City hires FIVE -- count 'em -- FIVE consulting companies to sell airport development to public
This goes beyond a team -- this is a league; city manager states that the collection of hired guns "will focus on traditional urban design, smart growth practices and environmentally sustainable development" -- in other words, it's full steam ahead
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/25/07

In other news, city claims it still hasn't made up its mind on airport development
City manager tells council that they haven't made any decision yet -- oh, and by the way, we're adding some festival grounds into the mix
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/25/07 

Your water bill is about to go up
City is focusing on increased energy costs as the culprit
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/25/07

Threats, allusions, and innuendos: You can't handle the truth!
City manager and council get defensive on airport development, admit to getting jiggy with the numbers, refuse to give out alternate info and ideas because the public isn't bright enough; on the upside, nobody on the city's payroll is asking for permission to carry a gun into city hall... yet
-- Ed Martin, 05/23/07

Sorry your house burned down, here's a bill from the city
City hall considers a new revenue stream involving fees for fire services: You no pay, we no spray
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/23/07

Residents are not "stakeholders" in future of airport, were excluded from focus group
The fix was, is, and will be in
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/22/07

Sarasota County's main server was nailed by Slammer worm on the first day of 2006 voting; compromised server, in turn, attacked linked up voting machines
Server was five years behind in security patches at the time; not only does this news affect Buchanan /Jennings, but this is the same election in which Simmonds beat Zavodnyik by 416 votes in city council race
-- ComputerWorld, 05/17/07

Plan B: The Big Lie proposed
First it was that the FAA was demanding development... that turned out to be false; now city hall is moving on to Plan B: Does Venice airport really need to grow? That's the multi-million dollar question that is fueling city hall's latest media blitz to support the airport buildup bust out
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/17/07

Plan B: The Big Lie exposed
Ed Martin puts on hip waders, wallows through city hall's created mire
-- InsideVenice, 05/17/07

Does the FAA really give a flying fart?
When the federal agency is deliberately misquoted, they do get particularly interested
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/16/07

Boone, Milo win big time at Planning Commission
Sorrento Ranch to be overrun; short term rentals are hot, hot, hot
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/16/07

Venice High School static
Gondo story ||| H-T story

School board suddenly realizes that there's a few people out here who want VHS to stay where it is -- who knew the public's opinion even mattered?
-- both stories 05/16/07

Gondo letter writers go ballistic over airport development
David Ammons; Jim Bennett; Tracey Ivey; Jack Jerome; John Lewis; Patricia McDonald; Ray Modjeski; Emil Partak; Susie Zavodnyik

-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/16/07

Herald-Trib still waiting for answers on airport development
And the hits just keep on coming
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/15/07

Finally, after months of waiting... one letter writer in actual bona fide favor of airport development
Plans for a citizen stoning already underway
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

All in the families
Vice Mayor Taylor's recusement, Boone family owns the airport development deals, and Venice Florida! dot com gets a nice mention
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/11/07

While you weren't looking...
While everyone's eyes have been on the airport, council has been busy redrawing the Venice map with only one dissenting vote
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/11/07

Blinking Black memo: a surrender?
Gondo story ||| Herald-Trib editorial
While the city manager's memo stops short of stopping the process, you wouldn't know that from these two articles
-- both 05/04/07

H-T's take on The Blinking Black memo
Herald-Trib sees the city manager's latest memo as a surrender of sorts -- it's the 'of sorts' part that is troubling
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/03/07

Venice can't de-Milo
Gondo story
||| Herald-Trib story
Short term rentals hearing at the zoning board goes sideways; not in either story, but it really happened: here's one of the supporting cases that Steve Milo's attorney cited -- no, we're not pulling your leg
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/02/07

City hall gets flamed again
Herald-Trib picks up on our city email stories and asks, 'Where's the love?'
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/01/07

Politics 101: Do not piss off the old farts
Gondo story |||
Herald-Trib story

City hall has gotten away with a lot of crap over the years, but now they are messing with the tee times of folks who are otherwise uninterested in municipal shenanigans
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/01/07

Mardirossian lawsuit against activist dismissed
Aris Mardirossian, the money man behind the push here for the Marriott, doesn't like opposition and will sue if he doesn't like what he hears -- Why, yes, this is exactly what we need in Venice
-- Washington Post, 01/18/07

North Port's growth strategy turned out to be a real winner -- NOT!
City faces an economic implosion due to bad strategy; Scary thought for the day: this is pretty much the same strategy that Venice has followed, although to a lesser extent
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/01/07

Herald-Trib's Evans pokes not softly, carries a sharp stick
Until the answers are clear, City Council should not encourage or allow development on the airport's 415 acres
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/29/07

FAA denies being the bad guy
Sorry about the mess, but it originates in your city hall, not from our offices
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/29/07

Why does everyone hate me?
Surrounded by enemies and people that won't talk to him anymore, Hizzoner looks for adoration from 8th graders, asks to be referred to as Uncle Freddie
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 04/29/07

Stop this flight
H-T tells city hall to stop flying and come back to Earth
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/27/07

Gondo and the public agree
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/27/07

♪♫ I love a charade charrette... ♫♪
Council, airport developers' love-fest marred by pestilent public input
"If they pass this, there will be three new faces up there in December," said Herb Levine, president of the Venice Taxpayers League; Marriott reportedly already pouring concrete foundations
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/26/07

"The term charrette also, historically, applied to the cart or tumbril used to carry the condemned to the guillotine"
-- Wikipedia

Stop and smell the....
Las Vegas, Miami and... Venice?

It's official -- this town is insane
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/25/07

Council conniption: This town would be so easy to run if we could just silence the voters
Council votes to shoot VNC's Sue Lang and feed her to the pigs; Deadwood's Al Swearingen sends congratulatory telegram
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/25/07

VGA sells out
H-T publishes details of secret VGA vote to sell out their lease, council must approve the deal
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/24/07

There's a riot goin' on -- Letter writers break out of Cell Block #9
Ralph Richardson: Charette or charade
Ronald Ashley: We don't need a marina and resort
Andrew Patterson: How did we get to here?
-- Gondo, H-T
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
Gondo reprints The Black FAQ in toto as fact, urges town to follow the Yellowbrick Road -- who's a good lap dog now?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/22/07

Jon Stewart on missing White House email scandal (with VIDEO)
White House staffers used unofficial email accounts to hide from public view -- that worked out real well, didn't it?
-- Raw Story, 04/17/07

Black gets spanked
In what is the harshest criticism to date of City Manager Marty Black's PR skills, the H-T pulls out the BIG PADDLE over the public's right to know in the airport development issue
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/16/07

If it looks hokey, label it as "New Urbanism" -- nobody will know the difference
If you were one of the hundreds of citizens who told city planners during the Envision Venice meetings you preferred a small-town feel and scale similar to the 35-foot limit in the downtown shopping area and hoped they would apply those standards to emerging areas of the city, say goodnight, Gracie.
-- Ed Martin, 04/11/07

Airport Advisory Board gets roasted for not making decisions that they are powerless to make
City hall sends residents to AAB to voice their complaints and things turn ugly; this worked out so well for council that city hall is now thinking about sending angry residents to Humane Society meetings
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/13/07

"Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?"
As Venice citizens and their government get ready to do battle over airport development, the words of Douglas Adams in the first chapter of his most celebrated book couldn't be more on target
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide, chapter 1

Reassurance factor
There's plenty of hoops that any developer will have to jump through before they can start building on airport property, so close your eyes and relax... nothing could possibly go wrong
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 04/11/07

Still unprepared for takeoff
Airport development planning is "a backwards and mysterious process in Venice"
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/10/07

Venice water cop de-Nazified
Turns out he's a good bloke after all and truly has no ill intentions towards France and Poland; in other news, Mayor Hammett sends this warning to Fish and Wildlife Commission: "We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender."
-- letters, Venice Gondolier-Sun, 04/06/07

Golf course lease extension renewal will won't happen
Perhaps the most confusing article yet to be written about the airport development debacle: the concepts of lease renewals and extensions are used interchangeably in the article and the dates are all wrong on the FAA agreements; this article is trying to say something, but good luck trying to figure it out
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/06/07

Welcome to Arrakis
Locals to be issued stillsuits as water bumps up in value -- and stop watering your damned lawn
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/05/07

Downtown height is down, north city sprawl is up, and the Manhattan Project is growing sideways
"City planning staff say the project is exactly what has been envisioned by city council."  Translation: This is what was pitched to previous councils and they nodded glassy-eyed at the appropriate times.
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/04/07

Dear Venice planners: please take the towels off of your heads
We ain't no Mecca
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/04/07

Anthony Tundo, 1963 - 2007
Beleaguered former owner of Venice Island Pub (and husband to the CQG's head of fundraising) was facing drug charges when he died
-- obits, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/03/07

The last confession of E. Howard Hunt
He was the ultimate keeper of secrets, lurking in the shadows of American history: he toppled banana republics, planned the Bay of Pigs invasion, and led the Watergate break-in; now he would reveal what he'd always kept hidden: who killed JFK?
-- Erik Hedegaard in Rolling Stone, 03/21/07

Height restrictions in downtown to go bye-bye?
On April 3 at 1:30, the Planning Commission will meet to decide on the possibility of taller buildings in downtown Venice -- Ed Martin already has his speech ready
-- Ed Martin, Inside Venice, posted on 04/02/07

Airport talk spawns uprising:
The peasants are revolting

"They certainly are" -- The King of Id
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/01/07

Airport development meeting closed to public
"I'm comfortable with it, because it's an open process," said Councilman John Moore (huh?)
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/31/07

The See-Through C.E.O. -- Transparency in the digital age
The public expects it, companies and governments run from it, yet it has become a successful doctrine in a number of Fortune 500 companies; just what, exactly, is Transparency and would it be a good thing for Venice?
-- Clive Thompson in Wired, March 2007 print edition

Airport buildup bustout
"Other talk centers on the potential sale of the 27-hole public course by the Venice Golf Association, a private corporation whose secret list of shareholders could divide millions amongst themselves from a sale of their long-term lease with the city"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/28/07

Buzzwording the city's budget
Curiously, "cross-platform," "robust," and "ad-nauseum" are missing from the following list:

"worst-case budget scenario,"
"solid financial footing,"
"scope and magnitude of impacts,"
"long-term sustainability"
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/28/07

Herald-Tribune to city hall: Stop flying by the seat of your pants
H-T shoots down city hall over the stealth piloting of future airport development
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/27/07

Black in the red
City Manager Marty Black to ask for $4.2 million in spending cuts -- this is going to get ugly
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/27/07

Bullometer goes into red at Airport Advisory Board
John Simmonds bulldozes discussion of VGA lease and a possible hotel, thus protecting a few of his political contributors; Note to Simmonds and the current Airport Advisory Board: Read this -- all of it!!!
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/25/07

Pam said it, I believe it -- then again, maybe not
Pam Johnson, the city press officer who is notorious for getting almost everything wrong, climbs out of her mouse hole to deny that the city's boater survey has anything to do with trying to get funds to build a marina -- yeah, that'll quell the fears
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/22/07

Lost e-vote memo could lead to a redo in the Jennings/Buchanan election
Sarasota Elections czar Kathy Dent is beyond dented, she's a train wreck with rail carnage from here through Tallahassee to D.C.
-- Pelican Press, 03/22/07

Murder by numbers in Iraq
Step 1: Trick the surveillance drone

Seven marines and a Navy medic committed the perfect murder of a disabled Iraqi cop with a simple hack; they would have gotten away with it if one of them hadn't developed a guilty conscience
-- Wired, 03/22/07

E-vote memo is 'smoking gun'
Sarasota's voting czar Kathy Dent forgot to cough up a memo (PDF) that warned about voting glitches prior to last November's election -- that little 'oops' by Dent is now gaining national attention and is the basis for a new motion filed in state court (PDF)
-- Wired, 03/22/07

Impact fees to ↑
The cost of building a single-family home in parts of Sarasota County could rise by more than $1,200 in five weeks; developers cry foul even though they'll double the fees and charge them to new homeowners
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/22/07

Apocalypse soon -- where to now, St. Martin?
Gondo story || Herald-Trib story

Council's strategic planning sessions includes airport development and the slowdown of new housing -- the horror, the horror, the horror!
-- both stories 03/20/07

Boone 2, Lobeck 0
Current residents become roadkill in the rezoning battles over the Gerrymandered north section of Venice; Arthur Dent to lie down in front of bulldozers wearing pajamas and a bathrobe
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 03/20/07

Woods, Moore impose rational thought on council
This can only lead to bloodshed
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/19/07

Hammett threatens to sue over control growth election results; Al Gore and Christine Jennings offer support, comfort food recipes
Gondo story || Herald-Trib story
It's a Florida tradition -- when an election doesn't go your way, accuse voters of being idiots and sue your opponent
-- both stories 03/18/07

Old and busted: stealing aluminum traffic signs; new hotness: stealing backflow prevention devices
"It's unlikely the stolen backflow preventers are being reused by plumbers because they all have serial numbers" -- yeah, right
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/19/07

Game over
City officials, Boones tight-lipped over deal to build hotel on Harbor Drive on VGA's back nine
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/16/07

Yahoo betrayed my husband
Wang Xiaoning Ling is serving a ten-year sentence in China for subversion -- specifically for making pro-democracy statements in an online Yahoo group; Yahoo cheerily gave up his identity to Chinese authorities in exchange for entry into the Chinese market
-- Wired, 03/16/07

County to raise impact fees (maybe?)
The battle is on (again) to make new homes pay for the bulk of their own infrastructure requirements -- developers cry foul
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/15/07

Your dog wants steak... and a look at the wine list
(alternate headline: "Waiter, what's that flea doing in my soup?")
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/16/07

Beachfront condo owners -- the next takeover targets
Developers are lobbying again for the right to take property from homeowners based on majority rule
-- Pelican Press, 03/14/07

Control growth amendment passes with 71% voter approval
Gondo article ||| Herald-Trib article

Voters tell Venice and North Port city councils to FOAD
-- both stories, 03/14/07

Council approves over 5,000 new homes in newly annexed parts of Venice
On the same day that the county's control growth amendment passed into law, Venice City Council tells voters to FOAD
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/14/07

Miller picks a winner
Best. Idea. Ever. For a marina, anyway. Kind of throws a monkey wrench into Marty Black's puppeteered convolutions to shove that airport marina down everyone's throat, but...
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/12/07

Turtles may save the airport
Slowest stealth plan ever slows down airport development -- step... draaaaag... step... draaaaag...
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/09/07

Hang the ba$%@&ds
Hubbard Construction offers free shrimp to shopkeepers in exchange for driving their shops out of business; Chamber of Commerce shows up in bull with tits costume -- hilarity ensues
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/08/07

Of course we're not gonna move the high school, but hey -- what do you folks think about moving the high school?
Sarasota County School Board practically puts up a billboard announcing that they think Venice is a bunch of carnival rubes ready to be fleeced -- problem is, the school board may be right about that
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/06/07

Holder: Black's doomsday tax scenario unlikely
"I do believe that an idea that's this far outside the box will go to the Senate and get completely changed around"
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/04/07

Marty Black's 'We're losing $5.7 million and it's all Patten's fault' memo -- full text
Police officers publish Black's infamous e-mail to their online forum; cops note that Black specifically cites emergency services as a likely source of cuts with the warning "LOOKS LIKE THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL" -- hilarity does not ensue
--, 02/28/07

Boaters cited for violating Godwin's Law, mayor sticks his beak in
Fish and Wildlife officer enforces registration laws in Venice, boaters cry foul, mayor tries to stop officer with "corrective counseling"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/04/07

Norton Anti-Virus issues a Stop The Presses patch, Herald-Tribune falls down, goes boom
Dear Herald-Tribune:
Read this.
That is all.
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/03/07

Oh, and by the way, the city may be going broke
City manager advises council of a possible, maybe, kind-of little financial problem that may require layoffs, lays blame on Republican legislators and underpants gnomes
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/02/07

Sharek quits
Within hours of posting our story on other city employees' involvement in the romp in the swamp incident, Venice Utilities Director Chris Sharek resigns
--Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/27/07

Muddin' was utility manager's mistake
"Yee-haw -- to have more fun you'd have to be nekkid; too bad that dang state wildlife officer wrote him a big ol' ticket"
-- Tom Lyons, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/27/07

What if we got the public to say that they wanted the high school moved?
School board figures PT Barnum was right, tries to get a fake grassroots thing going
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/26/07

Sharky's blank lease to have holes plugged
The mysterious "blank lease" fiasco that former city manager George Hunt negotiated may not have to be litigated after all as Sharky's and the city now have agreed to agree on an agreement
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/24/07

Utilities Director Sharek on the way out
City manager announces a "demotion," swears it has nothing to do with Sharek's illegal romp in the swamp; Herald-Trib takes false credit for uncovering Myakka State Park incident when, in fact, the paper learned of the incident from Venice Florida! dot com
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/24/07

PGT, Venice's largest employer, reports fourth quarter losses due to real estate downturn
Sales, which were up overall for fiscal 2006, nose dived during final three months -- this is NOT a good thing for Venice
-- Yahoo! Financial, 02/21/07

Developers devolve
Public ain't buying, builders ain't building; in other news, there's a charity fundraising dinner tonight to support land use attorney Jeff Boone's Lexus
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/22/07

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: The National Guard
Bush slips a hidden martial law rider into a budget bill that gets passed by congress -- hilarity does not and will not ensue
-- editorial, NY Times (registration required), 02/19/07

Short term rentals on the web: homeowners versus residents in the new economic war
While short term rentals have been a mainstay background economy in Venice for as long as the town has been in existence, the increased visibility caused by web advertising has sparked an economic and social civil war between affluent Golden Beach residents and the numerous owners of snowbird homes throughout the city; enter speculator Steve Milo, an unlikely hero
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/17/07

Herald-Trib pimp-slaps city manager over free municipal beer at Bogey's
H-T reads Venice Florida! dot com's coverage of Bogey's beer cards, kind of forgets to mention how they found out about the story; in other news, Bogey's owner Mike Harner now has a brand new, wall-sized HD liquid screen TV in his living room, city employees not invited to watch anything on it
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/17/06

local Pop!

-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/16/07
national Pop!
-- Associated Press, 02/16/07
Fark Pop!
-- Fark, 02/16/07

City considers impact of Emancipation Proclamation on its bottom line
We gave our employees free beer, what else could they want?
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 02/16/07

Herald-Trib pimp-slaps Hizzoner for talking out of his...
It's like Calamaras never left! Mayor Fred Hammett spouts promises to HUD, forgets to clue anyone on council as to what commitments he's making; hilarity ensues (hey Fred -- maybe we could bunk them all at Bogey's)
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/13/07

"Please, sir, I want some more"
Dickensian pay up for discussion at today's council meeting
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, -2/13/07
Oliver asks for more

-- Masterpiece Theater

Wal-Mart ducks property taxes with cows; chickens, sheep threaten to unionize
Herald-Trib's Patrick Whittle exposes a major loophole in Florida tax law that allows land speculators to save millions in property taxes by simply claiming that cows are on the property
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/11/07

Dent promises new voting machines by November
While congress and the courts are still trying to figure out how 18,000 votes disappeared, Dent is scrambling to find Republican stealth programmers to hack the next generation paper trail machines
-- Pelican Press, 02/06/07

Let's get small
Gondo pimp-slaps Mike Miller over the newest version of his Manhattan Project
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/03/07

Run, Al, run
A stiff vice president campaigns on his administration's legacy of unprecedented prosperity; looks terrible on TV; bows out, following a disputed vote count; two terms later, he re-enters the fray. promising to change the course of a disastrous war founded on lies. We're referring, of course, to the 1968 campaign of Richard Milhous Nixon. History has a chance to repeat itself for Albert Arnold Gore.
-- Rolling Stone, 02/01/07

Kathy Dent and the Okie-Dokie Doctrine
Sarasota election standards set a shining example: If over 50% of the vote is recorded properly, it's okie-dokie
-- Mad Cow News, 01/31/07

Windows Vista's gotta-have-it killer business app
Wow. Just wow. Never mind all the hype about smoother network integration and Digital Rights Management, would ya look at the cool backgrounds in Solitaire?
-- Wired, 02/30/07

Fred Hammett: 'I have a dream'
As Black History Month approaches, mayor announces his vision for Venice -- run all the blacks out of town; HUD officials respond with raised eyebrows and a 'not so fast' statement to the press
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/28/07

Study shows Venice needs to spend more on city employees
Captain Obvious strikes again; still considered OK: lawless supervisors and treating workers like scum -- nah, can't imagine why the city has high employee turnover
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/24/07

Hopsicker drops the 'F' bomb on Kathy Dent
In his latest installment, Hopsicker notes that the Herald-Tribune suddenly and strangely veered away from early reports of votes not being recorded properly in the Jennings/Buchanan race -- despite Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent's election day admission that voting machines weren't recording votes properly!!!
-- Mad Cow Morning News, 01/24/07

County votes to maybe possibly do something about development impact fees
Builders offer counter ordinance that would require taxpayers to wear pink-tinted sunglasses, county commission considers it as a viable alternative
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/24/07

County to vote on increased impact fees -- Where is Lewis Black when we need him?
After years of builders and growth advocates arguing that growth pays for itself, builders and their lawyers will argue against increasing impact fees, stating that new growth shouldn't have to pay for itself -- it is at this point that you want to stick hot pokers in your eyes and scream
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/23/07

Black flies solo to push airport development
With no tacitlpublic direction from council, Venice's city manager is in the wheeling and dealing airport development biz; Herald-Trib asks a simple question: WTF is going on?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/23/07

And if the airport were to close?
Local oral surgeon John Yurasko paints a doomsday scenario: what if the airport were to close and a calamitous natural disaster happened?
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/23/07

Rollie and Mikey, sittin' in a tree, kay eye ess ess eye enn gee
Continuing in his Orgy 'O Love series, Gondo cub reporter Rollie Reynolds gets between the sheets with local developer Mike Miller to discuss rising towers, stiff competition and whatever else pops up
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/22/07

The Growth War: North Port begs county for some compassion -- a cigarette and a blindfold at bare minimum
After years of rampant growth, North Port and Venice enter era of consequences; talk about some unhappy campers
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/21/07

Venice discovers "a new breed of cop"
Next generation cops can amazingly climb fences and chase after suspects on foot; Joseph Wambaugh to get book rights, movie will star George C. Scott, Stacey Keach, and Erik Estrada
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/17/07

County to force North Port city commissioners to dress in drag
As part of the joint planning agreement, NP city commissioners have to dress in drag and sell themselves on U.S. 41 to developers and construction workers; commissioners are aghast, state they only do that in private
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/17/07

School Superintendent Norris to star in new musical: How to Succeed in Bureaucracy Without Really Caring
First he lied to voters and teachers, then he quit, then he said he'll maybe stick around, then he fired all the teachers whose jobs the newly passed tax was supposed to protect, now he's getting a raise -- Hey, it is good to be king
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/17/07

Miller's Manhattan Project is back, now with less more
Miller's third try knocks out most offices and stores that were in original plans for revamping business district on Venice island, opts instead for more rich old-fart pudgeballs in faux tropical shirts from New York and Illinois; attorney Jeff Boone chimes in with usual unintelligible PR crap
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/16/07

North Port losing in annexation war with county
Sarasota County threatens to give North Port to Charlotte County, Charlotte County says they're already full of crazy city officials
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/16/07

Will Venice Airport survive its own master plan?
Herb Levine comments on the build-and-bust boys' next big greedfest
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/15/07

Feds drop the ball; council, Patten cry foul
Venice Florida! dot com's Patten urges council to get angry... and they do... what's wrong with this picture?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/11/07

Sarasota has no head
City Manager McNees quits or is fired or something; out in Palm Bay, George Hunt is busily polishing his resume
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/12/07

Official Mac users forum names utils director Sharek as First Floridiot of the Year
"The guy in charge of enforcing environmental laws in Venice FLA takes his redneck relatives off into the swamp through a hole in the fence despite the fact that its protected park land hes ripping up, so the park eats his car"
-- The Podcast Network, 01/10/07

House seat hangs by a byte
With 18,000 votes missing, the putative loser of a tight Florida congressional race is demanding to see the source code for the electronic voting machines that squeaked her opponent into office; a key House committee is joining her call, even as the winner moves to Capitol Hill
-- Wired, 01/11/07

Council sends a message back to Shane Saputo
Dear Shane:
The City of Venice
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/10/07

Shane sends the wife out
Not content with only showing his own ass, Shane Saputo sends the wife out to paste the press and city hall  -- good call, Shane
-- letters, Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/10/07

2006 was warmest year on record in United States
This message is brought to you by Al Gore, the former next President of the United States
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/10/06

Utilities Director Sharek can't clean the mud off
"A strong environmental ethic should motivate anyone paid by the public to protect the environment..." -- except in Venice, of course, where those people hired specifically to protect the environment have traditionally been the worst offenders
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/09/07

Feds let Executive Group slide after four-year investigation
Message to Venice employees -- go ahead and pollute, you'll get off with a hand slap and we'll make the taxpayers pay
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/06/07

Black lets Sharek slide on Myakka State Park incident
City's top environmental official caught damaging the environment for fun, city manager states "it is not an action that relates to his employment with the city;" when asked if he knew he was breaking the law, Sharek responds, "I suppose"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/05/06


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