Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Family in South Jersey survives Sandy

The phone calls were made over the weekend.
I called each of my five siblings living in South Jersey.
Brothers Jim and Joey on Saturday. Sisters MaryAnne, Jeanne and Patricia on Sunday.
So, I said to each of them, you folks ready for Hurricane Sandy?
It was weird.
Usually it's them calling me when another hurricane or tropical storm is steaming toward our neighborhood.
This time our roles was reversed.
But they knew the drill.
Got enough water.
Got a generator.
Got batteries and flashlights.
Already took down everything that might end up a projectile.
Turned out they made it through Sandy in good shape.
Spoke with two sibs Tuesday and left messages with the other three.
Nobody lost power.
Nobody's home suffered damage.
Nobody got flooded out.
Good news.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

'Pink Out' for big game at Hawkins Stadium

Going to Friday night's big game at Hawkins Stadium?
Think about wearing pink.
Fans of the nation’s No. 1 Manatee Hurricanes are asked to join the “Pink Out” at the showdown of unbeatens with the Palmetto Tigers, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Fans are also asked to bring non-perishable food items to the game for the Food Bank of Manatee.
For details, call Laurie Kitchie at 714-7300, ext. 2023. Or email kitchiel@manateeschools.net.

If you delivered the Bradenton Herald as a youngster, we want to hear from you for our 90th birthday edition. Call me at 745-7055. Or email me at vmannix@bradenton.com.

A salute to Thomas “Skip” Hannon, chosen Manatee County Veteran of the Year by the Manatee Veterans Council. He’s commander of Manasota Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association and the Mount Vernon Veterans Club.

Check out the Sertoma Club of Bradenton’s Pumpkin Patch at Westgate Shopping Center, 4201 Manatee Ave. W., 2-9 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Call 941-896-7196.

 Read more Friday in Vin's People on Bradenton.com.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

'Bayshore Bot Blast' a robotic Saturday

What's a bot blast?
Find out Saturday morning at Bayshore High School, which will host the “Bayshore Bot Blast."
It's a VEX Robotics competition featuring more than 30 student teams from high schools and middle schools around the state. At least four are expected from Manatee County.
VEX Robotics competitions require students to design and build functional robots to perform particular tasks. This year's competitions -- the “VEX Sack Attack” -- call on students to design robots that can pick up cloth sacks and deposit them in specific scoring areas on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field.
Saturday’s VEX Robotics competition can qualify students for national and world competitions.
Teams will be coming from as far away as Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as well as Tampa, Brandon and other areas.
Former NASA shuttle launch director Michael Leinbach will be a featured guest judge. He is presently director of human spaceflight operations at the United Launch Alliance, headquartered in Centennial, Colo.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 9:45 a.m. with competition set to begin 10 a.m. and the event will conclude with an awards ceremony at approximately 5 p.m.
For more details, call Bayshore High health, applied science and engineering teacher Martha Jane Proulx at 941-751-7004, ext. 2078.
The school is at  5401 34th St. W., Bradenton.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Marching bands Saturday night at Hawkins Stadium

Looking to do something cool  Saturday night?
Maybe listen to some good band music and help our community's youngsters?
Then check out the Florida Bandmasters Association District 11 marching band festival Saturday at Manatee High School's Hawkins Stadium.
It's the event's 24th year at MHS, 902 33rd St. Ct. W., Bradenton.
The event begins at 5 p.m.
More than 1,300 high school students representing 15 bands from six counties are scheduled to perform, including Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to see our local high school bands at their best,"  said Jim Bruce, Manatee's longtime director of bands. "The bands work all season toward this event and we encourage the community to come out and support the kids."
Each band is judged for its music, marching, percussion, general effect and auxiliary.
Tickets are $7 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6-12, free for those under 6 and will be available at the festival.
Parking is $3 per car.
Call MHS at 941-713-7300 for more details.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Riverwalk a potpourri of sights and sounds

Hey, can ya fish here?” asked the 40ish fellow, his coffee cup steaming in the bright morning sunlight. “It don’t say nothin’ about no fishin’.”
That was my intro to the Bradenton Riverwalk at 8:45 a.m. Friday.
The grand opening of the $6.2 million project came and went the day before. The hospitality tents were gone. TV crews, too.
Now it was just folks checking out 1.5-mile-long public park that hugs the Manatee River from the Green Bridge to Riverside Drive East.
Walkers. Joggers. Bicyclists. Elderly couples. Young families.
And one guy looking for a spot to wet a hook near the kayak-and-canoe launch opposite the Manatee Memorial Hospital parking annex.
Turned out there’s a fishing pier around the corner, but one of Bradenton’s finest patrolling the premises told me the man was good to go where he was.
Indeed, Riverwalk appears to have something for everybody, young, old and in between.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on Bradenton.com.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chowdown for Charity Oct. 25 at Riverhouse

Jim Davis is promoted to deputy fire marshal at West Manatee Fire Rescue District.

Hizzoner Wayne Poston, State Sen. Mike Bennett, Bay News 9’s Summer Smith and CTQ’s Maverick Johnson will judge the 4th annual Chowdown for Charity, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 25, at the Riverhouse, 995 Riverside Dr., Palmetto.
The Anna Maria Oyster Bar and nine participating restaurants will present their best dishes for the panel and guests, who will also be asked to vote for their favorite dishes.
Tommy Klauber of Pattigeorge’s and Polo Grill and Ray Arpke of Euphemia Haye will judge desserts prepared by the culinary students at MTI, Manatee and Southeast High Schools and USF Sarasota-Manatee.
The fundraiser supports ProStart, which assists culinary education programs in Manatee County, and the Food Bank of Manatee.
Guests who bring canned goods for the Food Bank will also receive beverage tickets.

West Manatee Fire Rescue District promoted inspector Jim Davis to deputy fire marshal and firefighter Keith Miller to fire inspector.

Check out the Hanbury Haunted Barn, 1703 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton, 7-10 p.m., Oct. 26-27 for a good scare and a great cause. Donations are $5 and go to the Gulf Shore Animal League.
Call Cheryl Hanbury at 941-962-6695.

Read more Friday in Vin's People on Bradenton.com.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tax Collector's humanitarian award makes debut

Congrats to Susan Profant, recipient of the Manatee County Tax Collector's office first Lillie Robinson Humanitarian Award for Community Service.
A staff member for 23 years, Profant is the office paralegal and has devoted untold hours pro bono to helping those in need. She supports Guardian Ad Litem and is active with the Paralegal Association. She has served as a volunteer and boardmember of the North River Pregnancy Center for 10 years. As a member of Emmanual Baptist Church, she plays the piano for worship services and teaches Sunday School.
Lillie Robinson was a former Tax Collector employee and role model for her community service, according to Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr.
"She gave financially, volunteered many hours and served with a giving spirit for many years," he said.
When Robinson passed, the Tax Collector staff voted to start an annual award to be presented to an office employee who mirrored the award namesake's devotion.
"We are very proud to recognize Susan Profant and her excellent service to Manatee County," Burton said.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Giving a Myakka City critter a helping hand

It had been an idyllic Monday afternoon outside Myakka City where I'd been talking to folks for an upcoming story.
The glimpses of critters and wildlife made it so.
Hawks on fenceposts.
Bald eagle overhead.
Cattle grazing.
Horses loping across sprawling ranches.
A turtle parked in the middle of Clay Gully Road.
There I was driving home about 6 p.m. when I saw this silhouette on the asphalt.
At first I thought it was an armadillo lying there after being hit by another motorist.
Slowing down, I saw it was actually a turtle.
An unharmed turtle at that, but not for long if it dawdled on the back country road.
So I pulled over, figuring I'd give it an assist.
But first I had to check.
Last time I tried to help a turtle, it turned out to be a snapping turtle on Lockwood Ridge Road.
When I went to pick it up, that sucker snapped at me and I jumped five feet in the air.
Not this turtle, thank goodness.
It was a harmless gopher tortoise.
So I picked it up by the sides of its shell and carried it to the grass on the south side of the road.
Then I resumed my drive home, content I'd done a good deed for Mother Nature and one of Myakka City's family of critters.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Getting a grip on Causeway horse manure issue

You’re driving along a nicely manicured highway somewhere, admiring the well kept landscape when you spot the signs.
Though they’re intermittently posted, they get your attention.
“$1,000 Fine For Littering.”
I guess they must work.
But how do they catch offenders?
I’ve always wondered about that.
What brings it up are the City of Bradenton’s efforts to gird its loins and deal with the effective removal of roadside debris of a decidedly malodorous kind.
Horse manure on the Palma Sola Causeway.
It’s been a messy ongoing problem, what with certain horse riders taking advantage of a good thing at a convenient locale like few others around Florida.
So officials from the city, state and Keep Manatee Beautiful have decided enough is enough.
They’re not going to take it anymore.
Pick up your pony’s poop!

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on Bradenton.com.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Manatee's Got Talent win sweet birthday gift

Manatee High’s Randi Jackson celebrated her Sweet 16th in boffo fashion last Monday evening. She won the Manatee’s Got Talent school competition singing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” at the Davis Performing Arts Center.
Holly Rizzo took second singing “Gimme Gimme” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Cellist Luis Garcia and pianist Jun Cho collaborated on Yiruma’s “River Flows Through You” for third.
Faculty members had a blast strutting their stuff, too.
Spoofing “Physical,”  “Eye of the Tiger,” and “Chariots of Fire” were Kelly Althof, Linda Boone, Vicki Duquette, Nanette Johnston, Charles Kennedy, Katy Knowles, Jennifer Lages, Karen Marshall, Michelle McCarthy, Cyndi McMahon, Lori O’Leary, Michael Perez and Pat Zalo.
Not to be outdone, five Manatee men went drag as the Spice Girls. Performing “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life” were Ray Briggs as Ginger Spice, Anthony Losada as Scary Spice, Vince Trinci as Sporty Spice, Colby West as Posh Spice and Steve Gulash, the Hurricanes burly defensive line coach, as Baby Spice.
Judges were Tess Chawi, Paul Fournier and Rick Kerby
Melissa Trippy
was emcee.

The Community Coalition on Homelessness urgently needs volunteers to work its reception center. Call Cheryl Hedger at 941-747-1509, ext. 334. Or email: chedger@cchomeless.com.

The Manatee School For the Arts will put on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical classic "Oklahoma" Oct. 18, 19, 26 and 27.
Performances are 7 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission to MSA, 700 Haben Blvd., Palmetto.
For details, contact Kelly Hillman at 941-721-6800, ext. 1095 or khillman@msfta.org.

The Manatee County Gator Club is sponsoring a charter bus to Gainesville Oct. 20 for what is shaping up to be a monster SEC East showdown between South Carolina and Florida at the Swamp.
The tariff is $40 per person, but does not include a game ticket.
Seats are limited and are first come, first served.
For details, visit www.manateegatorclub.com. Or email Dave Bolen at manateegatorclub@gmail.com.

Read more Friday in Vin's People on Bradenton.com.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Get jump on Halloween at Palmetto Historical Park

Want to get a jump on Halloween with the kids?
Check this out.
Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum will be celebrating Halloween 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 20. There will be trick-or-treating, crafts, games, face painting, a tattoo parlor, fortune telling and lots of other spooky happenings.
While in the park, you can visit the Wild West and train to be a Super Hero.
There will be a costume contest sponsored by Palmetto Publix at 6:30 pm.
Test your skill at the Pirates-Marauders Speed Pitch, proceeds to benefit family programming in the park. Decorated buildings in the park will be sponsored by the Ellenton-Parrish Lions Club, North River Kiwanis and the Manatee Riverside Rotary Club.
Demetrio’s will be selling $2 pizza and drinks and Alex’s Lemonade Stand will be raising funds for childhood cancer research with baked goods and lemonade.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.
Call 941-721-2034 or 941-723-4991.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Signs, fines should get horse riders attention

Remember the last time the issue of critters on the Palma Sola Causeway beaches and walkways and the mess they're prone to leave came to a head?
It was about seven years ago and the issue involved dogs, primarily.
One City of Bradenton council member's suggestion was to post disposable sanitary bags for folks to use and clean up after their pets.
Not a big problem to get one's hands on -- or around -- when you consider it.
This time that same problem is a little bigger.
A lot bigger, actually.
Horse manure on the causeway.
Monday a group of state and local officials decided it's time to ramp up implementation of anti-littering laws in order to deal with riders who fail to clean up after their horses along the causeway and its beaches.
That includes putting up signs for horseback riders to do the right thing.
Evidently enough of them need reminding.
Pictures taken by area residents of horse manure on causeway beaches and walkways offer graphic proof.
That doesn't account for the business the horses leave behind them in the water.
What to do?
Providing disposable shovels is impractical, but riders should get the idea.
If not, the slapping offenders with some hefty fines should do it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Citrizens has homeowners in real predicament

Caught between a rock and a hard place.
Never has the idiom rung so true than now for homeowners in our community who are policyholders with Citizens Property Insurance.
The insurer of last resort.
Ah, yes.
Once upon a time that was a comforting premise to those of us who couldn’t get homeowner’s coverage otherwise.
Not so much anymore.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on Bradenton.com. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Saturday events going on around community

North Manatee Kiwanis’s first 5K Run/Walk-and-NFL Play 60 Children’s Event is 8 a.m. Saturday at Palmetto’s newly restored Sutton Park. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. There will be food, music, raffle drawings and awards, too.
For details call Barbara Barnett at 941-526-7750. Or email Barbara @lightreno.com.

The annual Kiwanis Classic Kar-B-Q will be cranking 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto.
Hosted by the Manatee Sunrise Kiwanis Club and sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition, there will be classic cars, children’s events, food, craft vendors and live music from a boffo lineup that includes the Groove, Venturas, Big Daddy, Crushing Myrna, Katalyst, Whiskey Blind, Wikked Jester and Gypsy King Band.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children.
For details, email manateesunrisekiwanis@gmail.com, or visit www.kiwanisagainsthunger.com.

There’s a 6 p.m. paddle-out Saturday at Manatee Beach in memory of Rich Salick, a surfing legend from Anna Maria Island who, despite a series of medical issue, co-founded the successful National Kidney Foundation Pro Am Surf Festival in Cocoa Beach with brother Phil and won induction into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.
He died last July at 62.

Read more Friday in Vin's People on Bradenton.com.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

AARP can wait for my renewal check

AARP is a trip.
The American Association of Retired Persons, a nationally known advocacy organization for folks aged 50,  mailed me a membership card about the time I hit that milestone.
That was 12 years ago, coming up on 13.
I paid the dues, signed the petitions, read the periodic magazines and tried to stay current on the issues they brought to its membership's attention.
Wish I could say the same about them keeping current on its own membership.
Several months ago, probably longer, AARP was mailing me notices that my membership was about to expire and it was time for me to re-up.
But it wasn't time.
My membership doesn't expire until December.
The AARP card in my wallet says so.
So I'd toss their mail in the garbage.
Yet it kept coming, each form letter more urgent than the one before.
I got tired of it.
One day I photocopied my membership card, circled it and drew an arrow to the expiration date and mailed the copy to AARP.
It didn't do any good.
Not long ago I got another form letter from them.
AARP was cancelling my membership.
I guess it didn't matter I still had three months to go, according to my AARP card.
To heck with them, I decided.
Sure enough, I've begun receiving more mail seeking my renewal signature and check, too.
Got one just the other day, in fact.
Don't hold your breath, AARP.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Patch another sign October's here

What tells you October is here?
Cooler temperatures and breezes like we enjoyed Monday.
Blue skies with wispy clouds carrying the feel of fall.
The third annual Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 13-31 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3200 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
Nearly 2,000 pumpkins of all shapes and sizes with a variety of autumn decorations will be on sale. Proceeds benefit youth ministries and services to the hearing impaired in partnership with the Sertoma Club of Bradenton.
Senior Pastor Jim Rosenburg invites families and groups to check out the inventory of pumpkins and bring cameras to the harvest-themed patch. 
Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Call 941-747-3704 for more details.
Or visit www.TrinityBradenton.com.