Salt and Snark: The Un-Vue (by Sasha)

Which is scarier, a Klingon Bird of Prey warship (courtesy of Star Trek)…

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or the Vue at 41 and Ringling Causeway (courtesy of unchecked development)?

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Consider the similarities:

  • Two huge wings;
  • An enormous mass that casts a dark shadow on those below;
  • A threat to life as we know it.

Okay, so maybe we’ll learn to love it once it is done. But it does raise the legitimate questions of:  A Vue for who? and How close to the road can a building be without requiring a driver’s license?

Read more here

 

 

 

Salt and Snark: My Nomination for Florida’s State Tree-an invasive species (by Jack)

The Florida state tree is the Sabal Palm, also called the Cabbage Palm. The palm has a single trunk and can grow as tall as 70 feet.

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But state symbols should capture the essence of the state and for this reason the Sabal Palm is a poor choice—its characteristics do not symbolize much about what makes Florida so unique.

However, there is one tree that towers above all the others because it more accurately represents Florida—the Australian Pine.

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Although the Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia) is on Florida’s invasive specifies list, I believe it should be removed from that list and proudly declared the “Florida State Tree.” There are at least five reasons the Sabal Palm should be replaced by the Australian Pine.

 

First, the Australian Pine is an invasive species; introduced into Florida in the 1890s it has proliferated. This, by itself, makes it a strong candidate for state tree.

 

 

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Like the magnificent tree, people from other states, who originate primarily from New York, New Jersey, and the Midwest, have become Florida’s invasive  species to the tune of over 200,000 per year. Like the tree, they have proliferated, spending their Social Security checks on a variety of goods and services.

Second, the tree thrives around beaches. While it cannot grow directly in salt water it grows quite well near the water. This, of course, is also true of the human population of the state where over 76% of the residents of Florida live on or near the beach. Like the Australian Pine, Floridians cannot live in the water, but most thrive close to either the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading “Salt and Snark: My Nomination for Florida’s State Tree-an invasive species (by Jack)”

The Salt Life: Favorite Free Things/Activities in Sarasota (by Sasha)

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For year ’round residents, it can be frustrating to see a wealth of activities and events that take, well, wealth to attend. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do if you live on a  budget. Consider some of my favorite things that are free (or nearly so.)

(1) The Herald-Tribune. Sarasota’s local (and Pulitzer Prize winning) newspaper has a great free online condensed edition. I love this paper for how it engages in powerful investigative local reporting—a rarity these days. You don’t know nothin’ about Sarasota without being a reader!!!  And with full digital and print available for about $20/month, how can anyone resist being a subscriber? With Sunday’s coupons, the subscription pays for itself. Even better is that on Thursdays, Ticket Magazine is included with the paper and this supplement offers a comprehensive list of weekend and upcoming events throughout the area.

www.heraldtribute.com

Continue reading “The Salt Life: Favorite Free Things/Activities in Sarasota (by Sasha)”

The Salty Dog Speaks (as told to Sasha)

My name is Karma and I’m a Tibetan Terrier who was raised as a snowy dog in upstate New York. But now I live in tropical Sarasota and have become a salty dog with opinions about a dog’s life here.

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So, for now, here’s what I have to say…

A paws up for:

* Dog-friendly places like Oleary’s Tiki Bar, Whitaker Park, and Bird Key Park.

* Main Street store owners who put out bowls with fresh water for us thirsty canines.

* The SunTrust Bank on Whitfield and University that hands out biscuits when my owners use the drive-up window.

A growl at:

* Having to get my Kennel Cough vaccination not once but twice a year. (I know that groomers and boarders are protecting us, but really, you snort the stuff twice a year!)

* Dog dresses and outfits:  Hey we have fur and we have descended from wolves!!! We are not a toy or your baby. Unless it’s Halloween, don’t do it. Grrrrr.

From the Salt Mines: Bring Money (by Sasha)

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Do not come to Sarasota thinking that you can make a living. Unless you are a developer, you will be lucky to make even 1/3 of what you made elsewhere (especially if you’re from well paying communities in the Northeast, Midwest, or the West Coast.) Instead, you will be told that employees here pay the “sunshine tax.” That is, you live in paradise, so you won’t be paid much to work here.

See that guy hauling pool chairs on the beach? He was a school district supervisor. The woman checking out books at the library? She was a college professor. The guy checking out your purchases at the department door? He was a corporate executive. Ask the person waiting on you what they were before the move and you’ll be shocked at how underemployed they now are. Continue reading “From the Salt Mines: Bring Money (by Sasha)”