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Other voices
2008 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:

Airport He-Man Women Haters Club goes after Lang (again), accuse her of being a witch (again)
Local nutjobs are climbing out of the ground -- this time Greg Woods, a local pilot, accuses Lang of turning him into a newt (he got better, apparently)
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/30/08

Thousands of dollars in countless hours of legal wrangling result in... two emails from Hizzoner... now that's what you call productive
Attorney Andrea Mogensen's public records lawsuit against the city hits a slight snag when the discovery process yields little evidence against the mayor
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/29/08

Not one, but two editorials on short term rentals from the Herald-Trib
editorial 1 | editorial 2

The U.S. Supreme Court has already exhaustively defined what is and is not a family, so naturally our city council will try to change that... start banging head on desk... now!
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/24/08

Meet the new Mike Miller: The Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Formerly of Venice
Attorney Jeff Boone has found a new developer money well to dip into, asks council to trust him... and they do... this can only end in tears
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 12/10/08

Environmental Task Force goes off the reservation
Not having a clue what the words "carbon footprint" mean, task force goes into the short-term rental biz
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 12/10/08

A young person's guide to Attorney General's Opinions (AGOs) on Sunshine and Public Records Laws
What if city council members were together on a ship at sea and they secretly discussed city business, then they crossed the international date line to return home, thus voting a day before the discussion took place? Would that be a Sunshine Law violation, Mr. Attorney General? Hey, don't laugh, it could happen...
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/03/08

I'm Ed Martin, this is my brother Darryl, this is my other brother Darryl
Hizzoner asks you to compare and contrast Venice with Starksboro, Vermont (population: 1,900) on the issue of growth -- talk amongst yourselves
-- Ed Martin's blog, 12/04/08

VIDEO -- I scream for ice cream:
Why does city hall hate children?

No ice cream for you, ya little bastards -- now go back inside and eat some more lead chips or play with the light sockets or plastic bags or something
-- video, WWSB-TV, 12/04/08

It sucks to be Mike Miller these days
More fiduciary vultures join the flying circle over land developer's head, this despite screams of 'I'm not dead yet'
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/04/08

North Port back in the running with Venice for 'Most Insane Town On The Gulf Coast' award
North Port's code enforcement authorized to use deadly force in errant shrubbery and children's pool cases; citizens take up arms against their oppressors
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/04/08

Sunshine defendants wait for Bennett's decision
"To grant a summary judgment for any of the defendants, Bennett would have to find that there is no significant factual issue justifying a trial and that the law is on the defendant's side" -- yeah, after all of the legal wrangling to date, that is so going to happen...
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 12/03/08

Simmonds, Moore, Martin try to find exit from the courtroom; Judge Bennett to mull it over for a week or two
Boone tries the classic Steve Martin defense on behalf of Simmonds: "Your Honor, my client forgot that it was against the law to _________."
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/02/08

Lang, Noren duke it out over vice
mayor job
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/30/08

Herald-Trib gets a neat-o idea: how about public officials learning the Sunshine Law?
Gosh, guys -- thanks for the tip; whatever would we do without you?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/28/08

Spoliation: This way be dragons
Learn everything you can about the word and the legal concept of "spoliation" -- it's a word that is going to be very common in local news very, very soon
-- from Law Practice Today, June, 2005
BONUS LINK: Wikipedia entry

Venice jumps the Sharky's
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

About that lawsuit against the restaurant? City takes the chomp as it turns out the city didn't have much of a fin to swim on thanks to prior councils' continued screw ups
-- both stories 11/26/08

Ed gets a gorilla
Hizzoner waxes melancholy over
the Sunshine Law lawsuit and a newly acquired primate in his latest blog entry -- cue the depressing Edith Piaf music... now
-- Ed Martin's blog, 11/20/08

Osmulski to city council: ...and the horse you rode in on
Sore loser syndrome hits the city's planning commission as Chairman Osmulski announces his intention to not play nice anymore
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 11/22/08

Hizzoner's hard drive to get the scrape treatment
Herald-Trib story |
Gondo story
Sunshine Law lawsuit will not go to trial in December (big surprise there, eh?) as city hall continues to give Mogensen a stall job in the discovery process
-- 11/20 & 11/22/08, respectively

Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

The suits are gonna have their day toniiii-ight; The suits are gonna have their way toniii-ight
-- both stories, 11/19/08

Sheriff-elect Tom Knight goes Balkwill, accused of accepting campaign contributions from ghost companies
Wonder what the cops under him are saying? Well, let's just find out
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/19/08

Legacy Park purchase passes 7-0, becomes first new local project in memory without a meaningless and unpronounceable Italian name
Lang complains of lack of documentation provided to council, somehow Gondo thinks that kind of complaint is unnecessary
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/15/08

Giles ducks grammar in story on city hangar ducking taxes
Oh sweet Jesus, just make the hurting stop! Gondo editor Greg Giles continues his attack on the English language in a scoop that he stumbled upon while reading this web site (our response)
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/12/08

Legacy Park purchase ready to fly, things look good... and then Dan Boone screws it up at the last minute as only a Boone can
In yet a new high point in his long career as evil dictator, Boone enlists the aid of Public Trust for Land's Doug Hattaway in Boone's latest attempt to f**k the citizens of Venice
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/12/08

Delayed game to be called in Sunshine Suit due to fog
City wants an expedited trial, in spite of the fact that it's the plaintiff's right only to make that argument in civil court; Mogensen accuses city of failing to respond to discovery
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/08/08

More self-flagellation from the Gondo over McKeon win: The horror, the horror, the horror
In 2004, Bill Willson won a seat on council with 43% of the vote, Gondo didn't blink; McKeon wins this year with 42% and Vedder's paper is calling for election reform; idiot quote of the week award goes to Carlesimo: "Had I known (the outcome) a week ago, I would have bowed out," which would still have left his name on the ballot
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 11/08/08

A young person's guide to the Sunshine Law lawsuit
Some stuff happened in court on Friday and you should read about it because... the more you know!
-- Sarasota Herald Tribune, 11/08/08

Herald-Trib backwards grumbles as McKeon pulls in the win
"...a well-oiled political machine..." uhhhh, try again -- Venice Florida! dot com was in the middle of this mess and the "machine" was anything but well-oiled
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/06/08

Gondo backwards grumbles as McKeon pulls in the win
Take that, J. Jonah Jameson!
"Three highly qualified candidates" = two high school grads, one of whom is a total nutjob, and a West Point grad with a Masters in Business Admin -- what, exactly, does the Gondo consider "qualified?" The ability to breathe?
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 11/05/08

Obama win credited to teh intrawebs by intrawebs geeks
Holy crap, we elected a black guy to the oval office? Wait... what? How did this happen? Who else knew about this?
-- Wired, 11/05/08

My how time flies when you are suing Sharky's
"A decision on the city's decade-long lawsuit with Sharky's on the Pier has been delayed a few weeks because of an election quirk" -- funny, cuz the court record says the suit was filed in August of 2006; oh wait, it's the Herald-Trib -- ahhh, that explains it
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/04/08

Voting machines caught flipping votes to opposing candidates
Kathy Dent's Sarasota elections office gets a mention in a Wired article on problems across the country
RELATED: Voting machines flunk accuracy tests
-- both stories from Wired, 11/03/08

Gondo tries to sort out the Da Mickey Code
Snow White has gone rogue, repeat... Snow White has gone rogue... tell Sneezy to fire the missiles
-- Venice Gondolie Sun, 11/02/08

Where is Roger Rabbit when we need him?
Mogensen throws cartoon monkey wrench into elections, Sunshine lawsuit
Disney jokes based on attempt to build a "Disneyland" at airport construed by Mogensen and press to be part of a vast cartoon conspiracy; court filing strategically timed to do maximum political damage; anyone remember Cruella DeVille?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11/01/08

Gondo tries again to do a story on city's comp plan
The last time the paper tackled the subject, it sparked a word war between the newspaper and city officials, with the Gondo finally admitting that they botched it... here we go again
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 10/31/08

Herald-Trib goes to a candidate forum
Gosh, isn't politics exciting? And where the hell did they dig up that vintage 1975 photo of Osmulski with the disco mustache and the I-just-got-out-of-prison hair?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/31/08

Rick Tacy: Go with God, but go
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/29/08

Oh for cryin' out loud: rent a room, you two
Gondo/Osmulski love fest continues as Gondo's Greg Giles gets a close-up look at what Osmulski had for lunch yesterday
The guy who approved building a country club next to a mining operation and Mike Miller's three towers has now wised up and learned a few new words: smart growth, new urbanism, Euclidian, etc. -- doesn't have a clue what the words mean, but he actually can pronounce them correctly
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/29/08

VIDEO: McKeon at Eastgate
McKeon talks about his credentials. why he is running for city council, and addresses the ongoing Sunshine Law lawsuit
-- YouTube,  10/27/08

Get your hands off me, you damned dirty attorney
Council to have shade meetings to discuss "primate emails" involved in the Sunshine Law lawsuit; Zira, Cornelius, Dr. Zaius, and General Maximus unavailable for comment
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/26/08

City hall: We're all batshiat crazy
City hall hires psychotherapist for staffers so they can blame their collective bad behavior on smothering mothers and abusive fathers -- who is going to treat the psychotherapist after he gets depression from dealing with this bunch of self-destructive whiners? Is there any help for the rest of us out here who have to deal with the municipal wackos?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/26/08

VASI candidate forum: Sue Lang is the anti-Christ, how do you feel about that?
When you fill a room with Dan Boone's clients and supporters and they start peppering candidates with questions, is there a chance things will get ugly? Survey says...
Missing from article, but here it is on video: VASI moderator helps Osmulski duck the bathroom construction question
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/22/08

Yet another blow to the airport: Stanford study shows no logical reason why airplanes can fly
At some future point in time, they all might stop flying... and our airport would then be good for...?
-- The Onion, 10/17/08

Osmulski gets the nod from the Herald-Trib
A light and breezy look at Venice's volatile political landscape leads the Herald-Trib to endorse Osmulski in the interest of "balance" between pro-growth and slow-growth movements
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/17/08

Holy crap -- Herald-Trib actually gives McKeon a break
Bearing in mind that McKeon has only been subpoenaed for receiving emails sent by others (as have about 20 or so other people to date, including this web site), it's about time one of the papers acknowledged this little-known tidbit
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/16/08

Godzilla: all info is to go through Mothra
Interim City Manager Nancy Woodley needs to thwart the media, best practice for that end is to create a bottleneck -- there goes that whole open government charade that she had going; watch for drastic increase in use of the phrase "anonymous source within city hall" in media
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/16/08

City to de-screw city workers
There's a first time for everything
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/16/08

City decries legal fees in Sunshine lawsuit
Mogensen: "I don't hear any of them donating their fees to make it less painful"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/15/08

And now -- some praise for council and their growth plan
While the furor over Sunshine Law violations may have obscured it, the Venice City Council's rookies have quietly delivered on one of their biggest campaign promises:
They've put together a comprehensive growth plan that calls for smaller buildings and more emphasis on environmental protection
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/26/08

pot > kettle > black
Ex-city manager Black says he warned council of Sunshine Law violations
Gee -- can you say "irony?"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/12/08

Ernie Z sez:

-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/11/08

City attorney orders redo of consultant searches after his office authorized and participated in Sunshine Law violations
Now that takes kidneys, city attorney Bob Annderson said while tapping his own forehead
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/10/08

Osmulski wants opponents to drop out of council race, cuz then... well... he'd win
Say John, back in the gravy days when your friends were in power, how much did you get paid for building a single bathroom at Centennial Park? No really, how much?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/10/08

Attorney Baranowicz gets slapped up by Florida Bar
FYI: The first case mentioned was the defamation suit against this web site filed by ex-city manager George Hunt
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/08/08

Yes, our elections are all f**ked up again... who needs democracy, anyway?
Florida to go more Florida in Florida with new and improved Florida (now with more Florida)
Katherine Harris available for comment, but thankfully nobody in the media is stupid enough to shove a mic in her face
-- Wired, 10/08/08

The rain in Venice falls mainly on the dumb:
Carlesimo as Eliza Doolittle

A guy who can't even run a barbecue in a legal fashion has all the answers for Venice's legal woes, complete with a wildly fictional account of the history of Venice's relationship with the FAA; yo Emilio: How many years total were we ineligible for Federal airport funding? Try around ten... wanna guess who was responsible?
--  Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/08/08

Gondo's Rogovin caught word stealing
Rogovin's article on citrus disease bears a remarkable similarity to an article published in the NYT
-- Old Word Wolf's blog, 10/02/08

Two political slimeballs, one vote
Eenie meenie minie moe... moe... moe... Moe... That's it! I'll vote for Moe!
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/04/08

Grove Terrace: Now that we've moved all the poor people out, does anyone want to build some condos?
Oh crap... bad timing, eh?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/03/08

Mad Dog Palin
The ghost of Hunter Thompson is alive and well and living on in Rolling Stone: "The scariest thing about John McCain's running mate isn't how unqualified she is, it's what her candidacy says about America"
-- Rolling Stone, 10/02/08

Woodley, Bramble, Watts added to Sunshine lawsuit in yet another new allegation
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story
Say, isn't there someone on staff, say, maybe an attorney, who could maybe be assigned to advise the city to keep out of this kind of trouble?
-- both stories 10/01/08

City hall staffers say bye-bye to paid lunch
Building still shuts down at 4:00 so that staffers can race home to catch the last half of General Hospital
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 10/01/08

From the Department of Obvious Headlines: Lang wants less noise from the airport
In other news, an airplane crashing into your house is possibly a bad thing
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/28/08

Staff meeting over airport consultant gets slammed by Herald-Trib
Say, don't we have a city attorney who is supposed to advise city hall on crap like this?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/27/08

Simmonds, Boone, Martin slammed in court
Judge Bennett decides not to hold Councilman John Simmonds in contempt... for now, anyway
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/27/08

Kit hits YouTube... again
McKeon's appearance on Venice Views hits the web

Water: the next big crisis
Within just a few years, the U.S. is looking at a water crisis that will make today's economic woes seem like a minor nuisance -- here's a breakdown of the problem and a few solutions that will save our collective butts
-- Wired, 09/24/08

Airport board: a cigarette, a blindfold, and finally the smoke from gunpowder
There's a word for council's action: euthanasia
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/24/08

Nice quiet city election outrages journalists
Where's the blood?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/12/08

Sharks circling Mike Miller's Waterford Company
More foreclosures plague high-end Venice land developer
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/16/08

Court to Simmonds: cough up the emails; Simmonds to court: thanks but no thanks
Well hell, this gets funnier and funnier day by day
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/16/08

Finance director to council: Now that Black is gone, here's a cool half million lying around that you didn't know about
Ummm... wait... what?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/10/08

Goodbye MEA, hello DY
Council sorts through airport consultant proposals, says bye bye to the folks who brought us a stealth Marriott
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 09/10/08

Kit McKeon's web site goes up

City hall's web site goes down
-- link goes to screenshot of 09/05/08

Airport board not dead yet; Roller coaster theme park approved for Tomato Pasta beach park
Also: council discusses shooting attorney Andrea Mogensen, decides to talk settlement instead
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/27/08

Ed and the FAA make nice; Hell reported not frozen over
The MEA plan is approved and accepted by the FAA as a plan, not necessarily a good one or one that the city is going to follow, but hey -- it is on paper and it has lines and measurements and stuff like that
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/29/08

Attorney Mogensen blows more Sunshine up city hall's ass
Gondo story || Herald-Trib story

Hammett added to lawsuit for one count; Simmonds nailed for destroying public records; Lang, Martin, Moore, most of airport board accused of acting like lawless brigands; c'mon, this is Venice, what did you expect?
-- both stories 08/22/08

This is normal?
City hall is back to normal... wait... what?
I gotta send Hizzoner an MP3 - The Trouble With Normal Is It Always Gets Worse by Bruce Cockburn
-- Ed Martin's blog, 08/18/08

Area man finds $2 million while doing laundry
Jeff Snyder, the city's finance director, says he always checks the pockets before tossing clothes into the washer because that's the way his wife taught him
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/15/08

Council to airport board: Go with God, but go
Tacy sobers up, waves a rubber around; Noren mumbles something about 'hey, you guys did it, too;' Simmonds threatens to drive through a farmer's market -- just another day in pair-a-dice
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/13/08

Airport board picked a bad day to stop smoking crack

Engines ablaze, tail shot off, no landing gear: hey, no problem
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/12/08

Ummmm..., what's this then?
Kevin Ward purchased a lot of ads last election supporting CQG candidates -- looks like we now know why
Video tour on YouTube
Location map surrounding John Nolen Park

-- Royal Manor Park web site

City hall is officially a no-Black zone
Marty Black's parting shots at Rotary Luncheon: Venice can either do it my way or die a horrible, cancerous death at the hands of its own idiotic voters
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/08/08

Tree huggers take over city hall
"Damned hippies... I hate hippies" - Eric Cartman
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/08/08

$1.8 billion in debt: WCI files for Chapter 11
Would the last person to leave the Venetian Golf & River Club please turn out the lights?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/05/08

Alien takeover of planning commission almost complete
Pod people continue stealth takeover of government; Kevin McCarthy, Donald Sutherland unavailable for comment
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 08/03/08

Hate me now -- I'm from 941
Local rapper Vell Venture kicks out his second album, video shot here in Venice and in Sarasota
Hate Me Now video on YouTube
Vell Venture on MySpace

CD review of Vell's 1st album from CDBaby
(yo Vell -- I want one of those 941 t-shirts)
-- links posted on 08/02/08

Comcast ordered to stop throttling and spying on customer internet traffic
Comcast: We did nothing wrong;
FCC: Uhhhh, yeah, you did, and it was really, really wrong
-- Wired, 08/01/08

City's legal team adopts new strategy in Sunshine Law lawsuits: roll over and play dead
An attorney for the city said he filed a motion to dismiss the suit and it did not get to the court in time; "It was a scheduling error," said attorney Dale Scott. "We are going to see if the judgment can be set aside" -- good luck with that
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 08/01/08

Ed Taylor -- have you been a naughty boy again?
Gee, what a surprise: Point man for the failed attempt to bring a Marriott to the airport is noticed by H-T's Tom Lyons for running anonymous smear campaigns under the moniker People for a Better Sarasota County: "Ed Taylor paying for billboards that falsely make it look like Gov. Crist has endorsed Furst"
-- Tom Lyons, Sarasopta Herald-Tribune, 08/01/08

WCI posts record losses
Venetian Golf & River Club builder is down $100 million in last quarter alone, has defaulted on loans, is scrambling to reconsolidate debt in order to pay for day-to-day operations; on the upside, the phosphate mines next to country club are doing just fine, thanks
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/30/08

Bad day at the coffee shop for city manager
"The uproar contributed to Venice City Manager Marty Black's decision to resign, effective next month, to avoid being fired;"  in other news, CQG overlord CJ Fishman sees the light, is now suddenly a proponent of ethics in government
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/28/08

Airport Advisory Board "gone wild" (?)
Herald-Trib doesn't want to see AAB showing its ass any more, asks board to put pants back on and go away
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/29/08

Herald-Trib: In praise of Godzilla
Ummmmm... on the one hand, the Herald-Trib wants due process; on the other, there's this editorial... go figure
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/28/08

Martin: I have a plan
I have a plan... that one day... little taxpayer boys and girls will be able to join hands with little CQG boys and girls... I have a plan
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/25/08

The search for Venice's new city manager
Let's just hope it goes better than the search for Osama bin Laden
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/25/08

I want to believe
Where are your priorities, people? Forget everything else -- this is THE important story this week
-- Wired, 07/23/08

U.S. Rep. Buchanan's employees talk of election donation coercion and fraud
Used car salesman turned politician is a bit on the shady side -- go figure, who could have possibly seen that coming?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/24/08

--> Godzilla named to interim city manager job
--> Airport board asked to shoot self
--> City now wants your pocket as well as what's in it

Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now
-- various sources, 07/23/08

Herald-Trib urges council not to shoot airport advisory board
Spot on and rightio, good chaps: why waste the bullets when we have a perfectly good pier that we can march them off of?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/22/08

A young person's guide to the Venice airport
The planes go up, the planes go down, the wheels on the planes go round and round -- oh, and those crack dealers that stiffed us for $1.5 million in consultant fees are back with a new drug... no, it's just more crack
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/22/08

Hizzoner nominates Godzilla for sainthood, Mothra unavailable for comment
"I have a high regard for Nancy Woodley. She is intelligent, experienced and has the ability to choose good staff. I think she will do an excellent job as Interim Manager" -- Well yer honor, we're sure Hans Behrens will agree
-- Ed Martin's blog, 07/19/08

Council wants to close the airport, the sky is falling, there's a monster under your bed, and the check is in the mail
Modern myths are fun, fun, fun for the whole community, especially when they benefit Dan Boone's airport clients
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/18/08

Hizzoner to Gondo publisher Vedder: Oh, piss off, ya poncy fart
Facts -- are they really important when discussing the airport? Apparently not if you are an embittered publisher of a small town newspaper
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/16/08

Godzilla to be named interim city manager
From the land of exploding sewers and power lines comes the one person who can make it worse -- natch
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/19/08

MIke Miller wants you to know that he's perfectly fine and A-OK... and that he wants Venice to grow strong and tall
Council to be asked in August to eat more vegetables
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/17/08

Mogensen to Hizzoner: You forget about something there, bub?
Motion filed in court accuses mayor of ignoring the court's orders; Ground Control to Major Ed, your circuit's dead, there's something wrong, can you hear me Major Ed? Can you hear me, Major Ed? Can you...
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/16/08

Waterford foreclosure: Mike Miller blames the banks for lending him money
"This occurred after overly generous lending practices and large demand from investment bankers to obtain mortgage paper fueled overbuilding and eliminated the demand for quality housing;" TRANSLATION: "It's their fault I stole the car, the idiots left the keys in the ignition"
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/16/08

WCI implodes
Initial attempt by homebuilder to discuss restructuring ends in food fight; CEO Carl Icahn focuses instead on hostile takeover of Yahoo! ... wait ... what?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/16/08

Landlords want out of blue collar rental properties
Rising taxes
+ shrinking pool of renters
= "
I can't wait to get out of Sarasota"
-- Pelican Press, 07/14/08

VABA waves blood-stained peace flag while reloading turret guns
With no apologies for its own stealth war on council, the latest Boone PR campaign now wants city council to suck up... or else
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/11/08

Comcast sanctioned by FCC for deliberately blocking web traffic
Peer-to-peer and web utilities deliberately slowed or stopped; cable giant hired street people to fill seats at public hearing to prevent complaining customers from attending
-- Wired, 07/12/08

It's official: Mike Miller is going down
Regions Bank is going after Miller's Waterford Co. for defaulting on $23 million worth of loans, has started foreclosure on occupied Waterford condo project... this isn't just a condo or three, the bank is foreclosing on a whole condo complex -- land, parking lot, buildings, and all!!!
-- Bradenton Herald, 07/08/08

VABA wants to be taken seriously... seriously... no, we're not joking... we really mean it this time, honest
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

Nevermind that plan to discredit council, now let's see if we can't discredit council
-- both, 07/09/08

Robinson to step down as local GOP chair
Wants to spend more time with family... and the state GOP
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/08/08

Ernie Z invokes Godwin's Law on proposed code enforcement changes
The new Venice mindset in Venice: anyone who disagrees with you is a Nazi; Zavodnyik cites Godwin, automatically wins
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/04/08

Judge Bennett's order is a good order, a fantastic order, an amazing piece of judicial wonderment and fairness
Wait, what? What order?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 07/03/08

Boone blinks
Faced with an affidavit accusing him of having an over active imagination, Boone decides not to push the hacking envelope
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 07/02/08

Allied forces close in on Black's bunker
Simmonds calls for Panzer movement, more ammunition
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/29/08

Public records requests inundate city hall
City clerk Lori Stelzer can't find her desk, several staffers feared missing in mountains of paper
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/29/08

Sheriff settles with Mogensen for $15,000 in SSO Sunshine Law case
Balkwill gets smart, negotiates way out of suit early; meanwhile, Venice attorneys have already skyrocketed taxpayer legal bill into six figures with their FOAD stance against Mogensen
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/25/08

Simmonds, Boone get Farked!
"The Sunshine State triumphs yet again;"
"This interwebbie thing is a useful device for outing local government corruption;"
"Hey, I saw this on Law and Order once"

-- Fark, 06/26/08

Bye bye Black
"[City manager's] resignation is the latest twist in a legal drama that continues to unfold but, since his eventual departure was likely, he has done himself and the city a favor by hastening a transition in administration"
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/27/08

Boone accuses Venice Florida! dot com's Patten of hacking in a last gasp attempt to keep Simmonds' computer from being analyzed by the court
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

OK, you knew Jeff Boone was slimy, but this latest panic-induced move shows him for the pond-scum that he truly is (I wonder what it is in Simmonds' computer that terrifies the Boone law firm?)
-- 06/25 to 06/26/08

Crime wave hits Venice:
Robbery, assault, and battery, the felon and his felony

I've got clean away but I'll be back some day,
Just the combination will have changed.
Some day they'll catch me, to a chain they'll attach me,
Until that day I'll ride the old crime wave.
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/25/08

Sunshine gets expensive fast
Last year, the City of Jacksonville went through a nearly identical Sunshine Law scandal as Venice is going through now; the big winners were the attorneys, the big losers were the taxpayers that had to foot the legal bills
-- Florida Times-Union, 06/12/08

Code enforcement Nazis are coming your way
Zavodnyik pushes for code updates, city staff adds internment camps and storm troopers to the proposal in attempt to derail the change; hilarity ensues
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/23/08

Does anyone at the Herald-Trib know that Florida's "Sunshine" laws and Florida's public records laws are two entirely different concepts?
This article has NOTHING to do with the Sunshine laws, although it does explain why the Herald-Trib has been running around like clueless dodos for the past few months
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/22/08

Sucks at the beach
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/22/08

Sucks at the beach
At least the tan lines are still good
-- Homestar Runner, 06/19/08

Airport board members get to keep their computers... for now, anyway
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

City attorney argues that proper procedure isn't being followed; judge tells attorney Andrea Mogensen to try again
-- both, 06/20/08

Springtime for Marty -- matinee today in Judge Bennett's courtroom
Don't be stupid, be a smarty, hit the delete key and join the party
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/19/08

Tom Lyons on Hans Behrens and the TOTI mess
What does it take to investigate a public official, the FBI?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/12/08

All your email are belong to us
Gondo story | Herald-Tribune story
Moore, Martin, Carlucci, Simmonds, and... wait, what's this? "Former Mayor Fred Hammett handed over a few e-mails but noted he did not realize he was supposed to save them;" Fred, allow me to introduce you to Judge Bennett
-- both, 06/18/08

VHA: Don O'Connell to the rescue... or is it too late?
Former judge offers a land swap deal in attempt to save work force housing
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/18/08

Oh Mr. Kiester: What's this, then?
Chuck Kiester, a city councilman in Marco Island, did the same thing that our John Simmonds did -- delete emails to avoid public scrutiny
-- Naples News, 02/07/08

In defense of bad journalism
When a newspaper gets called out for repeatedly mixing fiction with fact, the best defense is apparently to accuse the readers of being stupid and partisan
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/15/08

Judge Bennett to city in Bella Citta case: Rebut this, pal
Bennett takes on the role of working class hero; in other news, Bruce Springsteen hard at work on musical based on Venice
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/13/08

And now for something completely different:
Gondo prints an entirely accurate account of what really happened in Judge Bennett's courtroom

Gondo's Greg Giles nails it in his account of the latest round of Lorenzo v. Venice
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 06/13/08

Sunshine is a wonderful thing... for some
John Simmonds is seen up on his roof with a sniper rifle
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/13/08

Hackett hacks it again in Sunshine court case
Judge Bennett DID NOT order the forensic examination of John Moore's and Ed Martin's computers -- the judge left the door open for it to possibly happen, but he didn't order that remedy yet
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/12/08

It's Showtime!
The entire cast of Springtime for Marty to get dragged into court today to swear that they have never heard of the City of Venice; City Manager Marty Black seen rubbing his hands and muttering "Exxxcellent!"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/11/08

Existentialism and the art of airport maintenance
Venice airport isn't what it isn't and is what it is, and what it is is an economic engine that brings in $64.5 billion weekly to Venice's economy; in other news, Sren Kierkegaard's flight school is grounded by FAA for being too flighty
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/08/08

Vellucci goes batshit crazy
Comedy gold: TOTI owner Mike Vellucci hides behind wife in a very strange rant on Herald-Trib's site
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, originally posted on 04/04/08

Herald-Trib pulls another fast one: Venice council met in private? You folks wanna re-check the dates on that so-called "meeting?"
Here's what the Herald-Trib "forgot" to tell you:
11/14/07 - Election officially certified, winners officially announced for the first time by Elections Supervisor; Martin, Lang, and Zavodnyik are sworn in as council members
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/06/08

The Return of the Son of the Lawsuit that Ate Venice
Lorenzo wants some personal hard drives, Simmonds denies that he has drive or anything that could be construed as hard
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 06/05/08

City, Simmonds escape from deadly subpoena
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story
Simmonds admits to deleting city emails, Lorenzo's attorney demands to examine the hard drives of Simmonds' computers, Simmonds freaks out, and that's not even the weird part of the story
-- both  06/04/08

Simmonds tries the Steve Martin defense: "Your Honor, I forgot it was against the law to rob a bank"
Last year, we caught Simmonds using emails to a city email account for campaign purposes; now he admits to destroying public records by stating that he has deleted all of his emails
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/31/08

Unintended consequences: Banning civil unions and domestic partnerships
Straight seniors will get hit hard by so-called gay marriage ban
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/31/08

Carbon footprints in America: huge variations in 100 most populated areas
Sarasota/Venice is included in new Brookings Institute report and the news is not good
-- Wired, 05/29/08

City hall: computer department, city clerk not archiving city emails
Every city employee (including elected officials and charter officers) is responsible for storing and archiving his/her own email correspondence -- somehow, city management thought this was a good idea
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/30/08

Black looks at where his career is headed, sees brown gold
The economy isn't in the toilet, the economy is the toilet; in other news, Flushing, New York is looking for a new city manager
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/29/08

Quandt: Real airport economic impact ain't what they're telling you
Lies, damned lies
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09/29/08

Jim Marble on airport planning: Hey here's a good idea... well, here's an idea... wait, just forget I said anything
Bring back the charrettes -- they were equally useless, but at least they gave us crayons and coloring books to play with
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/28/08

No fees at the beach
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

County commission blinks, can't figure out what went wrong; Next up on the agenda: neighborhood tollbooths and bicycle spoke tax
-- both stories 05/28/08

Martin on Sunshine Law: I am not a crook... am I?
Hizzoner asks web readers what they think of him... This can only end in flames... Burn him, he's a witch!!!
-- Ed Martin's blog, 05/25/08

Herald-Trib's Hackett on Lorenzo: A tool and her fool
Unwitting - that's a very apt adjective
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/25/08

Hizzoner sued for blogging... wait... what?
Sarasota nutjob Anthony Lorenzo sues Lang, Martin, and the city claiming, among other things, that the mayor has no right to blog -- First Amendment rolls over and curls up into a fetal ball
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/22/08

Morale low at the Sheriff's Office?
Maybe free fishing trips for the troops will cheer things up
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/21/08

Pam Johnson proudly accepts best beach award
No, that's not a typo
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/20/08

Do not gouge us at the beach
Dear County Commission -- we know where you can put your parking meters, but you're not gonna like it
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/20/08

Herald-Trib: About that State Attorney's investigation into Sunshine Law violations? Our bad, we made it up, it's not really happening
Herald-Trib goes for the gold in asinine journalism mistakes -- how many so far this month? Anyone keeping score?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/16/08

Black backpedals fast from email Sunshine Law allegations
It was all just one of those wacky misunderstandings, like an episode of I Love Lucy... pink folder? I don't have a pink folder... not anymore, anyway (please don't fire me, please don't fire me)
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/16/08

Black implodes, accuses council members of sedition, treason, murder, terrorist acts, and spitting gum on the sidewalk
Marty Black plays spin the bottle, Sue Lang refuses to kiss him, so he accuses her of a Sunshine Law violation
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/15/08

AN AMERICAN HERO: Thaxton takes a stand for titties and beer, rest of county commission would rather look at porn on their home computers
"I want my beer and it's titty squeezin' time!" - Frank Zappa
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/15/08

Dear County Commission: $2 an hour to park at Caspersen Beach? Are you out of your friggin' minds?
County has let developers run wild for decades without charging proper impact fees, all in the name of economic growth, and this is one of the many results -- screwing the residents and tourists to make up for the loss
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/14/08

County Commission to Thomas Ranch developer: FOAD
Attorney Jeff Boone takes developer client down in a fiery crash with no parachutes -- and some people say there is no God
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/14/08

Say, Sheriff, are you happy to see me or is that a freshwater bass in your pants?
Sheriff Bill Balkwill joins the historic long list of consecutive douchebags that have held the office of Sheriff in Sarasota County -- nice to know that tradition still means something in southern law enforcement
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/14/08

Airport redux: We need another consultant to tell us that the last consultant was wacko crazy
Pie charts -- we need more damned pie charts
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 05/14/08

Mining company to Venetian Golf & River Club: "...yawn..."
We're working, you're playing golf; if you don't like it, move someplace else
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/13/08

Hizzoner on airport, city manager: Once bitten, twice shy
Herald-Trib is still muffing it, Gondo got the story right, and the mayor is finally getting smart by not giving Marty Black the chance to stab him in the back with another meat cleaver
-- Ed Martin's blog, 05/11/08

Newly elected mayor of London gets a keeper
Boris Johnson, possibly the weirdest man in world politics, has been assigned someone to keep him out of trouble; How weird is Johnson? Let's just take a look
--, 05/10/08

Herald-Trib hitmen foiled in Orlando, Hizzoner gets out of FAA meeting alive
Martin on latest attempt on his life: "Thank God for Kevlar" (w. pic of bullet-riddled vest)
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/08/08, evening post

War of the Poses continues as Herald-Trib blows sunshine up Hizzoner's butt
Herald-Trib poses again, demands their God-given right to rock... and to sit in on a boring FAA meeting; WTF, let them in, give them some toys to play with, just make sure they play quietly on the floor while the grownups talk
-- legal letter to city hall, 05/07/08

State legislative session ends: pot laws strengthened, wheelies are now illegal, truck nutz and sex with sheep still OK... wait... truck nutz?
It's Florida -- go figure
-- Tampa Bay Tribune, 05/04/08

Herald-Trib to Hizzoner: We're sorry but we're not gonna say we're sorry
Herald-Trib reverses itself, although not totally, and offers a hug to Mayor Ed Martin; the question now is -- will Hizzoner feel the love?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/06/08

Bad hangover there, Rick?
Tacy backs off claim that he's willing to testify in court about alleged Sunshine Law violation, says reporting it to a law enforcement agency is not his style -- maybe not, but if he witnessed it as he states, it is his lawful duty
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/06/08

Herald-Trib's Hackett: I made a bunch of stuff up about the mayor, but I think maybe I got the story sort of right this time
How to succeed at failing while really trying
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 05/03/08

Original page, now dead

Google's cached copy
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/29/08

Jeremy Clarkson: Rent a dog, it's better than a hooker
"If it floats, flies or fornicates, you are better off buying; but if it barks, reach for the rental agreement"
-- Jeremy Clarkson, London Sunday Times, 04/27/08

Jesus died for your BMW
Carbon-monoxide belchers to get state approved crucifix plates -- one upside Lyons fails to mention: it'll keep vampires out of your car
-- Tom Lyons, 04/27/08

Environmentalism in England: The problem is potatoes
"The only way you can prevent a spud from turning into a huge poisonous cloud of suffocating gas is to call the U.S. Air Force and ask it to carpet bomb the potato-growing flatlands of Lincolnshire with Agent Orange"
-- Jeremy Clarkson, London Sunday Times, 04/20/08

12 monkeys on the loose in Tampa
Brad Pitt about to go over-the-edge apeshit crazy
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/24/08

University of Chicago study: Older Americans are happier Americans

-- Wired, 04/20/08

Vellucci 1, VidCam 0
That damned Patten is causing trouble again; not in story: the totally innocent Canon vidcam owned by Patten was killed and destroyed by Vellucci
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/19/08

Not news: Election experts predict problems in state in '08
Would you really expect anything less in Florida? Isn't this part of the fun that you moved here for?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/18/08

Old fart busted for Dollar General armed robbery
I warned you to stay off my lawn but you didn't listen, now empty the cash register
-- WWSB, 04/17/08

Venetian Golf & River Club -- sorry folks, but you are so screwed
That sand trap is a killer; You can blame the man who wrote the annexation: Jeff Boone, but Boone is ducking and blaming the Venice Taxpayers League for their opposition to the original annexation
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/17/08

All work and no play makes Ed a dull boy
all work and no play makes Ed a dull boy all work and no play makes Ed a dull boy all work and no play makes Ed a dull boy all work and no play makes Ed a dull boy (stephen king will get the joke even if nobody else does)
-- Ed Martin's blog, 04/12/08

Short term renters: the terrorists in our midst
Having failed at every level to wipe out the scourge of evil tourism, city hall to try new tactic: labeling tourists as terrorists, shooting them on sight
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/15/08

Meet Bluto, Otter, Pinto, and Flounder -- your Florida legislators
"Negron had to take a roll of paper towels to a wolf spider for Mahon, who ran screaming from the bathroom at the sight of it;" Oh please, oh please, let there be video of this
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/14/08

Dear city council: STFU
Changing the start time of meetings is not going to reduce oral flatulence
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/12/08

Gondo's thought for the day: Let's look in the toilet!
(link may or may not go to correct story, Gondo keeps changing the link) Fresh out of ideas for stories, the Gondo takes an in-depth investigative look at porta-potties
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/11/08

Naked in Arcadia
All roads lead to nudie swimming hole
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/12/08

Sharks Tooth Fest kicks off today
Sharks can look but not touch as t
asty humans party at the waters' edge
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/11/08

City's pro-development history puts a cement plant and a mining operation next to a country club -- so what's the problem?
Dean Calamaras returns to town to help finish the fine job of hodge-podge land mismanagement that his administration is famous for
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 04/11/08

Amber Lee's husband sues; 911 tape released
Herald-Trib posts the audio of the 911 call that should have saved Amber Lee's life
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/11/08

Barbara Gross shows her second face
As a city commissioner for North Port, Barbara Gross has been a huge tumor for growth in one of the state's most cancerous cities; termed out in North Port and running for county commission against Shannon Staub, Gross has suddenly become an environmentalist; in other news, pigs fly, film at 11
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/10/08

COUPON: Get a free drink at Tavern on the Island and save 15% on a stay at the hotel rooms above the bar
"Ask for Michael and mention!" Wait... hotel?... What?... What hotel???
-- coupons,

We're gettin' stuff done and moving right along
-- Ed Martin's blog, 04/05/08

Council meetings go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/08/08

Dent cleared of election tampering
State prosecutor declines to file charges after determining that the elections supervisor is way too stupid to be capable of formulating criminal intent
-- Pelican Press, 04/03/08

Hizzoner to Gondo publisher: You're an idiot, you can't help it, we love you anyway, but you're an idiot
Gondo's Vedder has been off his meds for years, mayor pleads with the newspaper publisher to please, please, please seek professional help
-- Ed Martin's blog, 03/30/08

Vellucci gets a pass, told he'll get a harsh lecture and a dirty look if he violates permit rules again
It was all a big sitcom misunderstanding, as tavern owner and code enforcement board have a good laugh over threats made to city employees
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/04/08

Doctors complain that news reports of drug trafficking convictions are affecting their medical practices
In other news, the steroid shops are open for business again
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/05/08

Behrens under fire
"Tavern on the Island did not have a folder until February, five weeks after the bar opened; " -- Not in article: Curiously, that's right after Venice Florida! dot com started serious making inquiries
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/03/08
Today's code enforcement agenda
Response from Venice Florida! dot com

Norris is traded to Iowa for two teacher's aides and a future draft pick
Sarasota school board elated: Hey, we finally found a taker for this guy
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04/01/08

Short term rentals -- two years into the battle and the Herald-Trib finally decides to take a safe, after-the-fact stance
Dear Herald-Trib: Where the hell have you been? This web site has been holding this opinion all along -- thanks for letting us take all of the heat alone gutless gutless gutless gutless bandwagon gutless
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/30/08

Other governments eye Sarasota... with envy?
Our new direction in growth management is a model test case for good behavior
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/3/008

Say, that new Gondo web site is...
A.) not bad.
B.) not working.
C.) craptacular.
D.) not.
(and we love the tombstone -- Venice is dead, long live Venice)
-- Vneice Glandalyre Sonnnn

Council to authorize funds for chemotherapy to fight growth at airport
It's sorta like a tumor
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/26/08

Plane crash pilot identified as State Farm agent Harry Lawrence
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/25/08

Control tower doesn't make sense for Venice Airport
There are 20,000 airports and heliports in the U.S., the FAA provides staff for 260 control towers -- you do the math
-- Ed Martin's Blog, 03/23/08

Tampa man is still a Golden Beacher at heart
"Look, I know I sound like a lunatic, but I'm not. I'm just a guy who wants them to admit that there's a problem here."
-- St. Pete Times, 03/21/08

Norris hears a clue - dead link
"I have two years and three months remaining on my contract, but my bosses are trying to push me out the door." -- Figured that one out all on your own, eh Sparky?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/21/08

Airport, North Venice -- We're still working on it
Hizzoner ponders, among other things, how to not allow the homes in Gulf Shores to end up in a runway protection zone
-- Ed Martin's Blog, 03/20/08

Drug dealing doctors are A-OK in Florida because... well... this is Florida
Operation Which Doctor goes after steroid dealing MDs in criminal catch and release deal; Wait... What?... Which doctor?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/24/08

This week's legal action against the city is brought to you by the fine folks who live in Venetian Golf & River Club
We no like-a da Wal-Mart, and doze tall-a buildings? Dey no good, take-a dem out, and-a wassis? -- wait a minute, dere ain't no sanity clause
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/22/08

Faulty valve blamed for island water outage
Not in story: It doesn't help that utility supervisors couldn't find the valve to determine if it was actually faulty or not until well into the water outage
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/22/08

Good thing that Nick Carlucci is not bitter
Ousted from the Airport Advisory Board after allegations of Sunshine Law violations surfaced, Carlucci is back in the news for some unknown reason; oh, and he's not happy
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/22/08

Short term rental case sends ripples through state, will likely become landmark case
Hey, when we screw things up, we screw them up in the biggest way possible
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/21/08

Venice short-term rentals case is being hailed nationally as a landmark decision
Positive spin: Venice is now one of the top ten best municipalities to sue in the country
-- Coalition for Property Rights, 03/20/08

Charlie Chaplin repairs water pipes, entire island goes dry
Welcome to Keystone
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/21/08

Milo wins, planning commission grins: "We told ya so"
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

Judge tells city council that they're pulling law out of their butt, which is what the planning commission said way back when; official word from city hall: "No comment"
-- 03/20 & 03/21/08

Shopped at Sweetbay? Cancel your credit and debit cards. Now.
Grocery chain's credit card database stolen; at least one online news report indicates credit card fraud has already taken place from the stolen info
-- ComputerWorld, 03/19/08

Planning commission to city council: Die in a fire
Planning Commissioner John Osmulski has a few unresolved issues on building heights that he'd like to bring up in group
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/19/07

County Manager Jim Ley wants to calm your fears about his job and salary -- they're safe
As for the rest of you slobs that still call yourselves county employees, Ley wants you to know that the welfare and unemployment benefits in this state are a pretty good deal, so please stop your pathetic whining about feeding your kids
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/19/07

Venice High School rebuild to include paranoia and claustrophobia
The downside: Orwell Cameras everywhere;
The upside: School district can make extra money in the summer renting the school out to movie makers who need location footage for prison movies;
Bonus upside: Cheerleader dressing room security cameras
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/19/08

Sarasota cops wanting to beef up their car stereos hit upon genius plan
Impound and seize all of the best car stereos in the city -- Brilliant!
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/18/08

Grove Terrace in death throes: This town is too affluent to have poor people
We're white and we're rich and who the hell needs these dregs of society around anyway? We can't shoot 'em... wait, hold that thought
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/18/08

Attn.: Mike Miller
Pay close attention to this news story -- it might be the one thing that could save your ass
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/15/07

Play nice or we'll tell you again to play nice
The same paper that told Councilwoman Sue Lang to please move away now wants to be treated civilly; in other news, scientists discover new method to measure the blackness of pots and kettles
-- editorial, Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/16/08

Council, strategic plan stuck in the mud with two flat tires and a blown radiator
"Part of what has council paralyzed in the fiscal debate is what appear to be conflicting messages sent by the public" -- well, that and a propensity for gasbaggery and endless naval gazing
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/14./07

Now here's what we need at the airport: Chicken S#*t Bingo
Slidesow from Wired gives you all the straight poop
-- Wired, 03/15/08

Secretary of State to Hometown Democracy movement: Bring out your dead!
Co-founder Leslie Blackner refuses to get piled onto the corpse cart: I'm not dead yet
-- Pelican Press, 03/13/08

Sex scandal slide show
Somewhere out there, Barney Frank is rolling on the floor laughing his ass off
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/11/08

She's such a bitch: It's all Sue Lang's fault
Are you starting to notice a trend here in media coverage? Council gets sold a bill of goods, Sue Lang notices it first, is promptly called a bitch; council quiets down, gets another pile of rubbish dumped in front of them, Lang speaks out, she's a bitch again -- oh, and this is from the same newspaper that asked her to move back up north... nope, nothin' stilted here
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/09/08

Norris is going staying going staying going
Eh, who gives a crap? The guy's a wiener, he's screwed us over more than a couple of times, let's just run his sorry carcass out of town with pitchforks and torches and be done with it
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/10/08

Do you know me? (PDF)
If you do, the Sarasota Sheriff's Office would like to have a word with you
-- Sarasota Sheriff's Office, 03/06/08

Simmonds wants to give a spankin' to Sue Lang
Comedy gold from Venice's Get-Off-My-Lawn Man: "If (council members) misbehave, I have to do something;"
BONUS COMEDY: "By the time Simmonds made his motion, the city TV crew had shut down for the night" -- that would explain how the video clip ended up on YouTube a week ago
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/07/08

Sen. Schumer (D-NY) blasts Venice Airport flight school
Our flight schools are at it again, Schumer is angry, city hall is staying mum: "
One of the schools that has recently been investigated for allowing foreign students to enroll without the proper documentation was attended also by 9-11 hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi."
-- press release, Senator Schumer's official U.S. Senate site, 03/02/08

Larry Norman -- R.I.P.
"Larry was an interesting person in every sense of the word," Gospel Music Assn. president/CEO John Styll says. "He was one of the first to record what later became known as contemporary Christian music, but what he did in the early '70s was far edgier than most of what comes from that genre now."
-- Reuters, 02/29/08

Eight months from the Presidential elections in November and Florida has already managed to bollocks the entire process
Kathy Dent's hands are amazingly clean on this one -- there's a first time for everything
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/06/08

Actual headline: "Some county employees accepted gifts from contractors"
In other news, Isaac Newton has discovered gravity
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/06/08

Tourism is way, way, way up
"January bed tax collections in Sarasota County were $1.2 million, the most ever for the month"
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/05/08

County pushing for $300 million infrastructure bond
County commissioners are using words like "visionary" to describe the initiative; somehow, that's not the adjective that immediately springs to mind
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/05/08

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel like ordering something from room service
Actual headline, "Venice pins hope on hotels;" Yes, it has come to this: our entire salvation as a community depends on valet parking and a breakfast bar; What hotel would Jesus check into?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/04/08

The sunny side of foreclosure
Cue the Monty Python music:
♫♪ Look on the sunny side of life ♪♫
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/02/08

Annexations bamboozle annexers
City hall has now been reduced to a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movie: "Hey kids, I know -- let's put on a show!"
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/02/08

Florida acknowledges that Florida is Florida'd up beyond all recognition
Herald-Trib's bizarre editorial undertone: Growth was wonderful, look at all the good things it brought us -- we have to figure out a way to get back on that treadmill
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 03/02/08

Norris wants out of school system... again... again...
Somewhere out there is a perfectly good school system that needs to be as screwed up as Sarasota County's, and our school superintendent is on a quest to find it
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 03/02/08

Germany is the new Florida
Maybe hurricane season here isn't all that big a deal after all
-- The (German) Local, 03/01/08

Note to council: trying to strong arm the Italian-American Club is probably not a good idea
Council backs off from usurious special event fees
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/29/08

City manager gets unanimous vote of confidence from council
In other news, George Hunt would like it to be known that he's available and can report for duty with only 24 hours notice
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/28/07

Council to Sharky's: ...and the horse you rode in on
Blank lease engineered by... oh you know, that guy... is most likely headed for court; courthouse soon to be renamed Venice City Hall, South Annex
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/28/08

Tomato Pasta Park to get low calorie sauce
John Ryan tosses in some Kevin Bacon bits, Herb Levine tells council to keep it kosher
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/27/08

Insurance reform: We have good news and bad news
The bad news: State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide are outta here; The good news: OK, we lied about the good news part
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/27/08

Oh dented Kathy, thy doom is named Levko
Elections bungler Kathy Dent has made Sarasota County famous for all of the wrong reasons and yet she somehow holds onto the fairy tale fantasy that she will be re-elected
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/22/08

Bees with frickin' lasers discovered in secret weapons lab behind city hall
60,000 Africanized honey bees are removed from The Lord House; City Manager Marty Black denies any knowledge, cancels overnight lockdown party scheduled for mayor, newly elected council members
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/22/08

Of forests and trees
It's official: the honeymoon is over as the Herald-Trib accuses the new council of not being able to see the forest or the trees; Oh look -- a squirrel!
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/21/08

Hizzoner on Hizzoner
Hey, how we doin'?
-- Mayor Ed Martin, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/21/08

Fire department to offer free prostate exams today
Drop your drawers and bend over, cuz Fire Chief John Reed's fingers are coming in -- Mooo-ooOOON RIVER!!!
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/20/08

De-re-envisioning Venice
Earl Quandt has a problem with the way Envision Venice was re-envisioned over the past two years; apparently, so does the current city council
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/20/08

For sale in Venetian Golf & River Club: 3-bedroom home with view of 4th hole -- that's a mining hole, by the way
Also: that's not an oversized ball washer, that's an 80-foot tall rock crusher
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/20/08

Amendment 1: The lawsuits begin
Here it comes, the first of what we predict will be many legal attacks on a badly written and ambiguous law -- it's only your homestead exemption at stake, nothing to worry about here
-- Orlando Sentinel, 02/14/08

The redemption of Herb Levine
Levine has been staying on message for over ten years and many, too many, didn't want to hear it -- time has finally caught up with a 'stop-the-madness' message that should have been heeded years ago
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/17/08 

Gondo gets Konecnik's dock story right...
Finally -- somebody in the print news biz gets this story right
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/17/08

...and then the Gondo craps all over itself after discovering porn on the internet
Computers hooked up to the internet can actually access pornographic images -- we're talking pictures of naked people doing naked stuff -- who knew such a thing could happen here?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/17/08

The most popular TV show in America and Europe -- and it's not on TV in America and Europe
Underbelly, a 13-part true-life Australian mini-series about the mafia in Sydney is banned in parts of its native country; thanks to the internet, it has become a huge international hit
BONUS LINK: A review of the show from Australia's Daily Telegraph
-- Wired, 02/15/08

Konecnik, Fisherman's Wharf gets bootfarked again by county
County turns Konecnik into an example of what happens when you DON'T offer bribes and graft to public officials
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/15/08

The good news: The county finds money for a merry-go-round for cars
The bad news: It will be built here
The good news: It will be fun, fun, fun, and it will somehow speed up traffic
The bad news: It's going to be called Thaxton's Revenge
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/15/08

No more noize at the airport, cuz we gots new rulez fer pilotz
Oh wait, they're only landing and takeoff suggestions, but they'll be printed in English on a tourist brochure -- problem solved!
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/15/08

Happy Valentine's Day... and now for our first headline of the day:
FDLE to look up Kathy Dent's skirt

GAAAAAAAH!!! Noooooooooo!!!
BONUS LINK: Comments on this story from Fark
-- Pelican Press, 02/14/08

U.S. 41 Bypass to go wideless
Wideless traffic will speed/slow things up/down, seen as an economic benefit/hindrance; in other news... wait, what?
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/14/08

The county government is to money as Leonardo DiCaprio is to iceberg (or something or other)
Pelican Press goes for an awkward and  extended Titanic metaphor in explaining the county's fiscal floes... er, woes; this article is safe for Golden Beach as it is 100% free of
Qubcois diva screech music
-- Pelican Press, 02/14/08

Hizzoner discusses rotation
Umm... errr...
-- Ed Martin's blog, 02/13/08

Bad craziness at owl farm
ESPN has reposted many of Hunter S. Thompson's web columns; here's one of Thompson's best and funniest
BONUS LINK: This web site's farewell to The Good Doctor
--, original date unknown, sometime around 2001

A young person's guide to Sorrento Ranches vs. City of Venice
Watch for the careful use of the word "cluster" in this article... cluster... that's a very useful word... can anyone think of another word that goes with cluster?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/13/08

Boone doggled in fight with mayor
Dear Dan Boone:
Congratulations on your retirement. You deserve it. So do we.
The citizens of Venice
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/13/07

Short-term rental crisis: Get these damned Canadians out of our neighborhoods!
Neighbors up in arms over Qubcois swine inundating Golden Beach with their wild nodding off parties (with shocking pic of dangerous Canadians in shameful nap mode)
BONUS LINK: De-hacking this article
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/12/08

Hizzoner to Dan Boone:
Lincoln freed my butt and here's who will be on the Airport Advisory Board

Ed Martin drives through Dan Boone's front yard and knocks Boone's little jockey statues over
BONUS LINK: Martin's blog entry on AAB appointments
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/10/08

Fire fees, beach fees, utility fees, fee collection fees:
A note to county and city governments: Read our lips, what part of "no new taxes" didn't you get?
"We do not expect our local government to cut taxes at the front door, then sneak around to the back and launch new taxes to make up for it, [yet] the Sarasota County commissioners and staff are doing just that"
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/10/08

About the article that the H-T published on John Nolen and Sue Lang -- sorry about that
-- corrections, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/09/08

Utilities get examined... finally
A compounding of problems that started under the former city manager and continued under the current one have led our city's utilities department into an engineering and fiscal critical mass situation -- but wait, that's not the bad news...
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/08/08

Nolen, Nolen, Nolen
John Nolen is the golden name to drop into any discussion on height and density, an instant win for whatever is being advocated; so who, really, was John Nolen?
-- Larry Evans, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/08/08

County's Republican Party head stands up for elections supervisor Dent
Eric Robinson writes that Kathy Dent has been an advocate for accessibility and oversight and that the state's determination on local oversight surprised Dent as much as everyone else; Robinson is responding to this news article from a few days ago
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/08/08

Town hall meeting afterglow -- pillow talk, a sigh, and a cigarette
Editorial | Eric Ernst column
Fire fees go bye-bye? Herald-Trib thinks so, but watch for this beast to raise its ugly head again
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/07/08

Gondo on Town Hall -- leave anything out of the story, guys?
OK, the tale of reaction to fire department fees is here, but one of the bigger criticisms by residents was the lack of accurate news reporting on city hall -- oh look, that's not in this story; neither is the proposed idea to do away with council seat numbers
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/06/08

Beach good, poop bad
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/06/08

Super Blooper Tuesday:
Invisible ink ballots, fighting pollworkers snarl Chicago primaries, but Oprah saves the day

Geez, and Kathy Dent was nowhere near Chicago -- go figure
-- ABC News, 02/06/08

Town Hall meeting -- last night!
Biggest gripe: taxes and fees; curiously, one of the community's bigger complaints was that the news print media and the city's PR department both suck when it comes to covering Venice -- that, of course, did not make the papers
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/05/08

Elections supervisor wants less scrutiny -- yeah, there's a good idea
Kathy Dent, who has has been in national news time after time for screw-up after screw-up, figures that all of her problems will go away if people just stop scrutinizing her and her office
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/02/08

Town Hall meeting -- Tonight!
We're gonna rock it tonight, we're gonna mix it up and have us a ball

The CQG will grumble "fair fight," but if they start a rumble, we'll rumble 'em right... Tonight!
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 02/04/08

Video highlights of the big game -- Puppy Bowl
Animal Planet's fluffy contenders dominated the tube yesterday; meanwhile on Fox, we hear that a bunch of humans were on a TV yawner trying to re-enact the puppy game
-- Animal Planet via YouTube, 02/04/08

Nokomis mega-developer Henry Rodriguez backs off
"The current state of the economy for this product necessitates we hold off one year and see how it is at that point,"
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/04/08

Amendment 1 -- post-election blah blah yada yada
Nobody has a clue how this is all going to play out yet, so here's a bunch of interview quotes of folks all saying that they don't have a clue how this is all going to play out
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 02/01/08

Beach parking -- the metering of sunshine?
Cuz we wanna be tourist friendly, maybe, sorta, kinda
-- Pelican Press, 01/30/08

Tax cut terror tactics start
Oh you wanted stop lights and paved roads? Sorry, can't have both, pick one or the other. As to what you can have: more fees... fees for beach parking, fees for fire departments, fees to fund the newly hired fee collectors, and we'll think of some others along the way
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/30/08

Hizzonner apologizes to Gulf Shores for no-show, promises to tattoo the date of their spring picnic on his arm
While citizens of Venice are entirely used to mayoral screw ups, this apologizing thing is a bit disconcerting... next time, find a staffer to blame... this is obviously all the fault of [insert random bureaucrat here]
BONUS LINK: Jazz on Sunday  
-- Hizzoner's blog, 01/29/08

Property tax amendment passes by an almost 2-1 margin
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

At this point in time, Venice Florida! dot com would like to suck up to it readers by lying in stating that we supported this amendment 100%
-- both stories, 01/30/08

Apparently unaware of Florida's housing glut, Gulf Coast Foundation's development project to get taller and wider
One third of project is for "workforce housing" (whatever that means this week), the rest is expansive Florida land development at its finest -- what could possibly go wrong?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/27/08

It's an open forum, only not so open and we're still working out the forum part
In trying to avoid a repeat of last year's disastrous town hall meeting, mayor and council try something innovative -- cue the Benny Hill music now
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/27/08

Johnny Smith, Randall Flagg, George Stark, Trashcan Man, Pennywise, and Annie Wilkes move to Sarasota County
It's not like there was a shortage of loonies and homicidal maniacs here already, so they'll fit right in
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/27/08

Venice Yacht Club outraged at state for putting the tax touch on its affluent members
Cry me a frickin' river..... On the count of three, everyone say "Awwwwwww"
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/27/08

Charlotte County Sheriff on Denise Lee foul up: Nothing went wrong and we're fixing the problem
Yeah... uh huh...
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/26/08

Council cuts off planning staff from lucrative lobbying contracts
Staff to provide facts, not advocacy, to council from here on out; in other news, chairs are being angrily thrown out of windows at the Boone law firm for no discernible reason
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/24/08

Organized crime? In the Florida real estate biz? Nah, that could never happen here
Mortgage fraud led the way in causing the failure of the real estate market -- Tony Soprano smiles and shrugs
-- Tampa Tribune, 01/19/08

Family friendly park ideas
Testers needed as Fark comes up with some wonderful new ideas for playground equipment for Tramonto Vista
-- Fark, 01/23/08

Tom Lyons is confused and paranoid about tax amendment
He suspects that it all may be a sinister government plot to deliberately confuse him; actually, he just might be right
-- Tom Lyons, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/22/08

City out an additional $500K in reef funds because nobody in city's engineering department can figure out how to calculate the weight of a ton of rocks
Aside from the fact that none of the math in this story adds up, there's another question that needs to be asked: when, exactly, were the tax oversight committees made aware of this little problem? Oh, they weren't? Oh really?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/20/08

Tax cut measure not measuring up
Hmmmm... Floridians may not be as stupid as they appear to be after all
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/21/08

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages to cost more
There goes that tax cut incentive
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/21/08

Zavodnyik on Babcock Ranch: not a good idea
Congestion, water, more upscale development in a flooded market, and then there's that pesky lawsuit -- what's not to like?
-- Naples News Press, 01/17/08

So now we are going to shorten the runways? Or not?
Frbizzle schntzrag geesh lemrok organafoozle bishnog croabable fizenge -- hahaha
-- Venice Gondolier Sun. 10/18/08

Herald-Trib goes into the fiction biz on Tramonto Vista
Kim Hackett's article on the furor over Tramonto Vista Park has a couple of things that are accurate -- for one thing, Tramonto Vista is spelled correctly (also, see our response to Hackett's article)
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/17/08

State Rep. Lisa Carlton, County Commissioner Nora Patterson: CAT FIGHT!!!! CAT FIGHT!!!!
Patterson, Carlton Jell-O wrestle over property tax ballot initiative, crowd gets slimed by the spray... mmmmmm.... Jell-O
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/18/08

Tax cut ballot proposal has caused an uncivil war
Sarasota County Property Appraiser Jim Todora and Gov. Charlie Crist are for the ballot proposal; now take a look at the list of folks who are against it: the Florida League of Cities, the League of Women Voters, virtually all the county commissioners, Sarasota city commissioners, firefighter and police unions, even most of the legislators who crafted the proposal
-- Pelican Press, 01/17/08

The must see Sundance films of geekdom
Sexy zombies, U2 in 3D, Hunter S. Thompson, the end of the world as we know it, and David Bowie in a three-piece suit -- wait, what?
-- Wired, 01/17/08

Property tax amendment news summaries from around the state:
Property tax amendment sows different seeds
-- Naples News, 01/13/08
Florida property tax proposal is not the tax relief we were promised
-- Orlando Sun-Sentinal, 01/16/08
Florida mayors take a stand against property tax amendment
--, 01/11/08
Property tax amendment could raise rates
-- Tampa Tribune, 01/10/08
Property tax relief may bring other pains
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/16/08

Not sure who was drunk here, the cops or the news writer
Somebody did something, then somebody else did something, then somebody flashed a badge, and that's about all you can understand from this unintelligible mess of a news story
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/16/08

NSA nutcase wants your email and Google search history
Wait... he already has it... nevermind
-- Wired, 01/15/08

City council, Mike Miller rent a room at Tra Ponti - XOXOXOX
Warm embraces, fuzzy bunnies, scented stationery, Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes, holding hands on the beach, candlelit dinners -- still waiting for Dan Boone or C.J. Fishman to let out a huge belch
-- editorial, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/15/08

What year is this?
Florida dumping state song due to reference to 'darkeys'
In other news, darkeys negroes may be allowed to vote in the next presidential election
-- David Grimes, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/15/08

Libertarians read, right? Then read this...
Tony Long, Wired Magazine's resident Luddite, should be in love with presidential contender Ron Paul for Paul's views on individual rights, but then there's all those bells and alarms that keep sounding off
-- Wired, 01/10/08

North, central Florida fight over water
Central Florida plans to take millions of gallons of water a day out of the St. Johns and Ocklawaha rivers, angering north Florida residents and officials who say that could cause grave environmental damage
-- Associated Press, 01/14/08

County cries foul about potentially living under the same growth rules that county and voters have imposed on cities
Last year, Sarasota County Commission backed a successful voter referendum aimed at limiting growth approved by cities; county is getting ready to scream bloody murder now that a similar referendum is being aimed at them
-- Pelican Press,  01/10/08

It ain't easy being green?
City to look into building Kermiting process
Hizzoner, council want city to be greener; city manager directs staff to come up with every reason imaginable as to how that will be impossible
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/13/08

"There is a God" Dept.:
Say goodbye to Jim Myers

He was an idiot when he was on city council (see quote of the year for 2003, e.g.), he was an idiot when he was on the planning commission, now he can be an idiot yelling "Get off my lawn" from his own front porch
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/12/08

Tra Ponti... gosh... wow...
Hizzoner gushes, land developer Mike Miller blushes... ok, maybe not that last part
--  Ed Martin's blog, 01/11/08

Those wacky cops and their texting hijinks -- deputy leaves the scene of a fatal overdose without calling for an ambulance, but that text message to his buds about a dying junkie was hilarious... mom and her lawyer fail to see the humor
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/10/08

"...and one last thing: the Chief has instituted a new policy --
"From now on, if you shoot your own kid, you will be facing a suspension. Alright, that's it, and remember -- let's be careful out there."
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/10/08

The last slow growth referendum was aimed at the cities, now it's time to take on the county
Bill Earl's Control Growth group moves on to Phase II
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/09/08

♪♫ Bella Cita and Tra Ponti,
Council goes for the full Monty ♫♪
Gondo story | Herald-Trib story

Tra Ponti greenlighted after getting squashed down to four stories, so that's OK, sorta kinda, but Bella Cita? That sprawling mess? This is controlled growth? Really?
-- both stories 01/09/07

Real estate psychic Hank Fishkind swears we have really hit the real bottom this time -- no, really, this time he's really, really right
Hank Fishkind is selling the same prediction that he made six months, a year, and a year and a half ago (examples)-- the Herald-Trib swoons in his presence and ponies up for another Tarot reading
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/08/07

Bloomberg reports the exact opposite outlook as Fishkind
--, 01/08/08

The next touch screen elections will be perfect -- after all, what could possibly go wrong?
"One might expect computer scientists to be fans of computer-based vote-counting devices, but it turns out that the more you know about computers, the more likely you are to be terrified that theyre running elections"
-- Clive Thompson, NY Times Magazine, 01/06/08

Staub: If a bond can't be passed, let's tax the intrawebs
Musing about funding for River Road, the county commish casually drops the idea of internet sales tax -- this ought to get ugly fast
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/06/08

Tax cut ballot amendment initiative will actually raise taxes
Because, well, hey, this is Florida after all
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/06/08

Bella Cita is hella creata
Legal notices of upcoming rezoning action ain't quite legal, plus county commissioners still want to play whack-a-mole with city council -- oh boy, this oughtta be fun
-- Venice Gondolier-Sun, 01/04/08

Run for your life!!!!
-- some scary-assed web site

That new tax amendment thingie... you guys sure you thought it through?
Flawed wording in a bad contract will always bite you in the bum, it's even worse in legislative wording
-- letters, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/05/08

Obama's campaign manager compares his candidate to O.J. Simpson
Big ooops in quote to the press: "The natural reminder here is O.J. how does an African-American candidate attack a white woman?" Atticus Finch unavailable for comment
--, 01/04/07

Save our 'Save Our Homes' amendment
Fine print in January ballot proposal is some scary stuff
-- Eric Ernst, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/04/08

Grove Terrace eats itself
Housing Authority is clueless about running a housing authority, is in full self-digestion mode -- gee, that couldn't happen in Venice, could it?
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/03/08

Tax meltdown leaves county appraiser at molten core
Angry property owners face tax bills as large last year, even though the market value of their properties has fallen by one-third or more
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/03/08

Council to think about some stuff
Gondo's stellar reporting continues: "The comp plan sets the tone for future growth in the area" -- wait, what? Tone? What?
-- Venice Gondolier Sun, 01/02/08

Anyone want George Hunt's old job?
Barefoot Bay's trustees are so desperate to find someone to fix the financial mess that George Hunt created that they are advertising his job on Craigslist; say, does anyone know how to reach Susan Stanton, the transgendered candidate that was applying for the city manager job in Sarasota?
-- Craigslist, Treasure Coast

This just in: The rapture did not take place in 2007
Bradenton prophet Shelby Corbitt is genuinely surprised to find that she is still bound by gravity in 2008; this will be the link that you send off to everyone else today
-- Bradenton RaptureReady, 01/01/08

This drought, this year
This drought, this year, this drought, this year, this drought, this year, this drought, this year, this drought, this year
-- this Gondo, this lier, 01/02/08

To avoid acquiring cranial explodia complex, pick one and only one:
2008: Housing market is headed up
-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/01/08
2008: Housing market is headed down

-- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01/01/08


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