Medical-marijuana-sign November 18

How About An Amendment To Our Constitution?

This election season, the one thing I heard over and over from our politicians was “we should not amend our state constitution with things like Medical Marijuana and money for land conservation.  These things should be left up to the state legislature.  Let us do our job.”  And when pressed further, I would hear, “Do […]

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Veterans Day 1 November 11

Veterans Day Parade brings Sarasota together to celebrate service

By Matt Defalco Sarasota’s Main Street was filled on Tuesday morning, as the Veterans Day Parade drew a crowd of all ages and backgrounds with one thing in common: reverence. Music, cheering, and applause were constant from the parade’s start at Osprey Avenue to its finish at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park, where a ceremony was […]

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e-mc2 October 28

These Things I Know

(Reprinted from SRQ Daily) When it comes to family, I am a traditionalist. I believe in the tradition of loving parents and meals together at the end of each day. I thinks it’s good to fight with your spouse. Not to correct a mistake, but because the marriage is that important. Marriage is hard. That […]

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medical-marijuana-in-florida-2014b September 13

The 2014 Florida Amendments. And Why You Should Know Them. Susan Nilon

There are three constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this November.  Both Amendment One, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, and Amendment Two, Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, are initiated constitutional amendments – 683,149 signatures from at least 14 of the state’s 27 congressional districts were collected of Florida residents.  The […]

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republican_elephant_amp_democratic_donkey_-_icons_-_party_symbols_amp_democratic_donkey_elephant_saa-hdr_1920x1080_fa1d2621ea August 30

It Doesn’t Always Pay to Run as a Republican

Reprinted from SRQ Daily It has been said for many years here, “If you want to win an election, you have to run as a Republican in Sarasota.”  And for years, we have seen many Democrats and independents switch parties when they decide to run for office.  For political operatives who are just looking for a […]

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home-page-and-services-er-er-sign August 09

A Little Lesson in Hospital History

When I wrote about the “Push to privatize Sarasota Memorial Hospital,” two other media called it a rumor and insisted the public not worry.  I would like to share some history in the sale of another local not-for-profit hospital as reported by the Herald-Tribune back in 2004, the Bon Secour Hospital in Venice (now known […]

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Sarasota Memorial Hospital July 12

Another move to privatize Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota County Hospital Board Candidate, Jack Brill, confirmed that he was approached a few weeks ago by a PAC who offered approximately $30K in support if he would agree to back their efforts to privatize Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH).

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click June 01

Power To The People – What Is Happening To The Internet?

One of the most frustrating experiences everyone shares in Sarasota is the relationship they have with their cable and internet provider. For several thousand dollars a year, you can get hundreds of program and still have nothing to watch, constant buffering, slow downloads and lousy customer service. The only option for consumers is to switch […]

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Pre-School_Graduation May 11

Gambling With Bright Futures

The Florida Legislature every year dims the bulb on our children’s Bright Future. And although the economy is strengthening and the state for the first time in a few years is operating under a surplus, the Bright Futures Scholarship Fund has continued to be gutted. The lottery-financed, college-scholarship program, Bright Futures, began in 1997 with […]

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Lifesaver April 16

I Am The Face of a Medicaid Recipient

The Florida Legislature is in a death spiral, once again, as to whether to expand Medicaid to the 750,000 Floridians not covered by the Affordable Care Act. It is estimated that 2,000 Floridians annually will be added to that category of the “working poor.” It is easy to paint an over-exaggerated picture of the people […]

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library-harvard-books March 29

The Librarian’s Opus

Spending time in the school libraries was something I cherished. It was the only place I could go to read a book of my choosing. The person in charge was responsible for propping up my knowledge with as much creative flair as I could handle, and the only agenda was to entice me to read […]

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Credit: Life of Brian March 09

A House Divided Against Itself

[The Report]  A House Divided Against Itself              Susan Nilon,   The Sarasota City Commission is about to set a precedent that will change the integrity of our local government. On March 3, during a regular city commission meeting, citizens and a former mayor testified in support of the City continuing to pay the legal […]

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City Of Sarasota Logo February 08

Where the Lights are Much Brighter

As a child, I remember when it wasn’t safe to go downtown after 6 o’clock. Crime was at an all-time high. The stores closed at dusk. And everyone went home out of fear that something might happen. My perspective changed about crime in the city when I graduated high school and went on to a university […]

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Is Sarasota Ready for an Elected Mayor - this time? January 21

Is Sarasota Ready for a 4th Go-around to Support an Elected Mayor?

Under the name of “Revised Charter Caucus,” people such as Linda Holland (Chair) and Diana Hamilton are holding meetings at The Hub to work with a group of city dwellers to that support having an Elected Mayor in the City.   Their main purpose is to change the current government structure, remove the position of […]

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Pot January 16

Being Outed: Time to Tell The World You Smoked Pot

When I interviewed Rep. Daryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, about his reasoning for not wanting to legalize Medical Marijuana, he called Marijuana a “Gateway Drug.” I have heard that term used before and in most circumstances I would have argued that point. That is until later that evening at my dinner table when my family and […]

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72819_371557906281926_2062081924_n December 14

Pride and Prejudice: A City’s Struggle with the Homeless

Fear and loathing of the drug-addicted homeless who will undoubtedly flock to District One in numbers never before seen are what have prominent members of our city up in arms. From the moment Dr. Robert Marbut released his study, certain distinctive members of our city have had their nose out of joint because his top […]

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standardDrink December 05

Bottoms Up! WSRQ Talk Radio Hosts Raise Awareness and Blood Alcohol Levels

  Tune in to WSRQ 1220 AM & 106.9 FM on Friday, Dec. 6th from 4 – 6pm   Sarasota, Fla. – WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio listeners are in for a holiday treat with a sobering message this Friday. Local radio personalities Bill Robertson, Susan Nilon, John Tortorella and Kirsten Sponseller will hit the airwaves […]

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1614104082_c40a81a91e_o (1) November 30

When a Candidate Has Nothing to Say

  It’s an amazing thing to be asked to run for office. The decision is one that I don’t believe anyone takes lightly. But the will to run is not enough to win an election. Say what you will, but running a campaign is not all about fundraising and private parties. At some point, each […]

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download (19) November 16

The Ovary Penalty – it’s all smoke and mirrors.

How do women really compare to men when it comes to health care expense? In the current debate about healthcare, it is often used as an argument against the new health care laws  that men will now see their premiums go up because they will have to pay for the health care provided to women […]

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Heckle and Jeckle November 10

Words Mean Everything

Reprinted from SRQ Magazine I sat in the audience of the Tiger Bay Banquet dinner this past Tuesday where Michael Smerconish was the key-note speaker. His topic was the political divide in our country and how the days of the moderates seem to be a thing of the past. He reflected on the direct correlation […]

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shutterstock_130121309-605x401 October 12

The Prejudice of One Law

Reprinted from SRQ Magazine Two man argue on a street. Shouting can be heard. A shot is fired. Police officer arrives. One man is dead on the ground. The other man is standing over the body holding a gun. No witnesses. Two men argue on a street. Shouting can be heard. A shot is fired. […]

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download September 14

Don’t Make Education A Political Football

Reprinted from SRQ Magazine “We implore our fellow Republicans to judge the Common Core State Standards by what they are: academic standards, not curriculum and not a national mandate”— Sen. John Thrasher and four former chairs of the Republican Party of Florida. Say the word FCAT to a student and watch them cringe at thought […]

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tumblr_lb8lab2MxO1qzr6zyo1_500 August 29

We Have What It Takes

  Reprinted from SRQ Daily and SRQ Magazine   “Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.” – Susan B. Anthony   Aug. 26 marks the 93rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Today, I am celebrating this […]

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rep-vern-buchanan-r-fl-150x150 March 29

Buchanan to Hold Forum on Tax Reform

Sarasota, Florida – U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan announced today that he will host a forum on tax reform.  Buchanan is Florida’s only member of the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which is reviewing current federal income tax law and chairman of the small business working group. “The current tax code punishes everyone from […]

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Mitt-Romney-by-Gage-Skidmore-on-Flickr September 12

A Fracture Developing Among Conservatives

by Tony Citarella A booming, ferocious, cacophony of protests erupted just off the floor of the Republican National Committee last week, protests one would never expect to hear at the RNC, because they were coming from Republicans, directed at Republicans. “Shame on Mitt Romney!!!” “This convention is a farce!!!” “Shame on the RNC for voter […]

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6941710766_629a3d429a_z September 03

Cowboy Diplomacy in 46 Seconds

by Kevin King, Political Writer   46 seconds. In his 37-minute acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention, the nation and the world, Mitt Romney spent just 46 seconds of it outlining his foreign policy agenda. Had there been no applause, the following would have consumed just 23 seconds of Thursday’s speech: “Under my presidency our friends […]

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Barack Obama August 19

The Elephant in the Room… the Cost of Health Care Reform

This article was originally published on Oct 5, 2008 Health Care Reform has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue since President Bill Clinton asked his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton (not a Senator then) to spearhead the campaign to change the health insurance industry and enable access to coverage for all Americans – equally. Here we are, […]

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Simone_Day1 August 12

The Power of Nun!

One Sunday when I was six, my grandmother was not feeling well.  She came to me and said that I was going to have to go to church without her.  I was six.  We lived in Philadelphia.  The church was at least 10 city blocks away from her apartment.  I was to go on my […]

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Rich-Portrait July 25

If anyone should feel Peer Pressure, it should be Dr. Swier

So when I read an article written by a man who lives in my town and feels self-righteous enough to condone and justify hate crimes against our children, I am beside myself. And I do consider bullying in our schools a hate crime.

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Sarasota, FL: For the first time in three decades, elephants will stroll down Main Street in the annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade tomorrow Saturday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. The parade starts at U.S. 301 and Main Street and travels southwest along Main Street to Gulfstream Avenue. Two Indian elephants will participate in the parade. […]

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Mayor Kelly Kirschner November 16

Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner decides not to run for re-election to City Commission

November 16th, 2010 by Susan Nilon in News, Politics, Sarasota-Manatee Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner has decided not to run for re-election. After serving just one term, he made history as the youngest mayor in Sarasota history. CL met with him what to discuss what led to his decision and what he will do next. CL: There has been a lot of speculation as […]

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Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Thanksgiving Food Drive 2010 Sarasota

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Local Rally Emphasizes Get Out the Vote Message

 Sarasota Rally to Restore Sanity Open to all Island Park, downtown Sarasota near Marina Jack  Saturday, October 30, 2010           10:30 a.m. This Saturday, October 30, when Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and tens of thousands of Americans gather in Washington, D.C. for a rally to restore civility to politics, a local, satellite event is […]

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Top 10 Reasons NOT To Sign Another 30-Year Contract With FPL

By Don Hall, Transition Sarasota In advance of the Sarasota City Commission Meeting on Monday, November 1, where there is likely to be a vote on whether or not to renew a 30-year franchise agreement with Florida Power & Light, it makes sense to bring together in one document the most salient arguments against signing […]

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Election 2010: Q&A with Mark Hawkins, Democratic candidate for Sarasota County Commission, District 4

October 22nd, 2010 by Susan Nilon in News, Politics, Sarasota-Manatee A 50-year resident of Sarasota, Democrat Mark Hawkins sits down with Creative Loafing to talk about how he plans to improve Sarasota County. CL: What inspired you to run for office?Mark Hawkins: Sarasota County building department put out an ordinance that — for the most part — shut down all remodel and […]

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Cathyantunes-crop October 20

Q&A with Cathy Antunes, independent candidate for Sarasota County Commission, District 2

September 16th, 2010 by Susan Nilon in News, Politics reprinted from Creative Loafing Cathy Antunes found herself in the public eye in 2008 when she challenged the Sarasota County Commission to openly discuss all aspects of the Ed Smith Stadium arrangement between Sarasota and the Baltimore Orioles. I met with Ms. Antunes to discuss why she decided to run for […]

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Election 2010: Q&A with Nora Patterson, Republican incumbent for Sarasota County Commission, District 4

October 12th, 2010 by Susan Nilon in News, Politics reprinted from Creative Loafing Republican Nora Patteron is running for her 4th term as Sarasota County Commissioner against newcomer Democrat Mark Hawkins. She served on the Sarasota City Commission (1991-1998) before she gained her County seat. CL: Are there any things in particular from your time in the commission that you […]

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226680_193086837404763_4425371_n October 20

Q&A with Joe Barbetta, Republican Sarasota County Commission incumbent, District 2

October 19th, 2010 by Susan Nilon in News, Politics reprinted from Creative Loafing Joe Barbetta (R) is running for re-election, for his second term as Sarasota County Commissioner in District 2, facing a surprisingly strong challenge from independent Cathy Antunes. I had a chance to sit with Commissioner Barbetta to gain some insight on the issues that are important to him. […]

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Help design a 30-year energy plan for our city.

Design our energy future Sarasota Power needs you to help design a 30-year energy plan for our city. Right now, the City of Sarasota has to decide whether or not to renew a 30-year agreement with Florida Power and Light (FPL).  In addition to the FPL franchise agreement, the city of Sarasota is also considering […]

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30 years is a very very long time when it comes to energy!

Here is a story that I like to tell to help put things in a new perspective: 30 years ago, the pinnacle of computer technology was a company with three initials – let’s call them XYZ.  With their computers that filled large rooms that required air conditioning along with dozens of fans to cool these giant pieces of […]

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