Longboat Key Letters – Week ending April 7, 2017

Longboat Key News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Organize and work as one

To: Editor

Columnist Peter O’Connor’s  March 31 article in which he pokes fun at New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof was shameful. To belittle someone’s attempt to be charitable, and to label it as a “Jesus was a socialist” rant is cruel and insensitive. Furthermore, he really shows how heartless he is by trying to claim that the Bible doesn’t show any reference to Jesus seeking charitable aid from the government of Caesar. Yes, Mr. O’Connor, you’re right, there was no Department of Health and Human Services in the government of Rome. But in your twisted logic you seem to think that because Rome didn’t do it then neither should any twenty-first century government, such as our own. We don’t live in the uneducated, poverty of ancient times. Governments of the modern world realize that it is better to organize and work as one to end disease and hunger. Yes, Mr. O’Conner, when you ask: “Would Jesus approve of a $4 trillion budget to help the poor?” Of course He would.

I guess as someone living on an island with drawbridges, possibly in a gated community, you probably feel “safe” from the poor and hungry. Maybe you should look into what some of the world’s wealthy, like Bill and Melinda Gates are doing with their money to help those in the world who live beyond the view from your little island.

Gerard Iannelli



Reaching out for Community Center

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Writing to you on behalf of Steve Traxler, as he was intrigued by the community center he recently read about.  He was wondering if you and your wife would like to join he and Nathalie for a dinner Friday or Saturday or lunch on Saturday.

By way of background, Steve is a part time resident of Longboat Key and is co-founder and President of Jam Theatricals based in Chicago. Jam Theatricals is a live entertainment company presenting Broadway subscription series in 30 cities across North America, programs and manages the historic National Theatre in Washington, DC, and has produced over 60 shows on Broadway and the West End.

Please let me know if you are able to join him on Friday or Saturday and will be happy to coordinate. Thank you!

Kacey Kurpinsky

Assistant to Steve Traxler, Jam Theatricals



Premature to talk…

To: Kacey Kurpinsky

Thank you for your expression of interest in the town’s planned Art and Cultural Center.  It will likely contain a black box theatre that will seat 200-300 people, but not be a reality for another few years.  If a theatre of that size would accommodate your programming and you do not consider it premature to talk I could put you in touch with an appropriate person to discuss what you have in mind.

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor, Longboat Key


It is never too early…

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Thank you for your quick response.  I think Steve was more interested in what he read from the point of view of civic engagement and perhaps offering ideas for LBK based on his experience in venues around the country. He understands it’s a smaller space and would not fit our commercial programming needs, but wanted to express interest in assisting in ways from the perspective of a resident who has a broad view of experience.  He feels it’s never too early on projects like this to engage, so whatever works for you or the appropriate people who might be coordinating. His invitation to lunch or dinner was with all this in mind, and was more social/informative and to understand how this might tie to the arts in Sarasota, than to pitch our company for any sort of involvement since the size does not work in for the areas we specialize. Thank you again and happy to arrange a time that works should this make any sense.

Kacey Kurpinsky

Assistant to Steve Traxler, Jam Theatricals



Huge potential sand cache

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock, Mayor Terry Gans

In reference to the dredging near Jewfish Key, I am again asking the town to join in with surrounding city and county interests to look at the feasibly of having barge mounter Genesis Water reclamation technology process otherwise unusable bay dredging product into beach quality sand at a cost of $2.50 per cubic yard, not $40 a cubic yard that we paid for trucked sand. There is a huge potential sand cache in the bay waters surrounding the barrier islands that could be mined continuously. The fed might even pay us to rejuvenate and maintain the nearby inland waterways.  I am not saying the Genesis reclamation equipment will absolutely solve our beach erosion problems. I am saying we need to form a citizen group to look into alternative ways go maintain our beaches.

Gene Jaleski 

Longboat Key


Fruitville & Gulfstream gridlock traffic on-site summary

To: Commissioner Jack Daly

Thank you for this information.  I must agree that this particular intersection (Gulfstream and US41) should be prioritized for traffic movement rather than pedestrian connectivity.  While there is a desperate need for pedestrian connectivity on US 41 between Gulfstream and Fruitville, the sheer volume of traffic including right turn slip lanes, makes it dangerous at best.  Please keep in mind that the current traffic volume could be estimated upward if Peak Season Conversion Factors are found to have been undercounting.  Also of note is the expected increase in the City of Sarasota’s population by up to 5,000 people in the next few years (based on the number of new residences planned for the City).  That, of course, does not take into account the surrounding areas to the east and north or the barrier islands.

It would seem to help both issues if a pedestrian overpass(es) could be placed on the North Trail.  It would provide a safe option for pedestrians while allowing traffic to flow freely without interruption as is the purpose of multiple roundabouts.

Eileen Normile

City of Sarasota Planning Board

Dredging off Jewfish Key

To: Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore

Good afternoon, just wanted to let you know that the dredge Currituck is underway towards the west coast Jewfish Key Cut M-5 and should arrive on Saturday. This means dredging will likely commence on Sunday and last approximately two weeks. I have rudimentary e-mail access back, finally!

Justin D. McBride

West Coast Inland Navigation District


Area problematic

To: Commissioner Carol Whitmore

Cut M5 refers to the area of the ICW between Jewfish and Sister Keys. I do not know the exact extent of the dredge template but the area within the red circle has been problematic with narrowing over the last couple of years.

Alan Lai Hipp

Environmental Program Manager, 

Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources


CPR classes offered by Fire Department

To: Editor

Today I attended a training class on CPR and AED.  It was given by Lt. Brian Carr of the Longboat Key Fire Dept. He did a very good job of explaining everything and answered many questions from the 12 of us in the class.  He also added some humor to some of his answers.  I have been going to these classes in Louisville, Ky. since 1980.

In talking with Brian, I told him that I found out about this class by chance and them came.  I asked him how did they let people know when the classes were being held.  His

answer was by both email [if they have your email] and some by the Longboat newspapers.  I’m hopping that you can reach out to Brian and be sure that the CPR & AED classes are listed in your newspapers.

My wife and I have been coming to Longboat key for over 25 years, retired 11 years from owning a florist. We try coming to here for 2 to 4 months each year.

E. Ramsey Kraft

Longboat Key





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