A fun time was had by all at Tarpon Bay, showcasing the Rodney Dangerfield Tribute Show! Bill Peterson, as Rodney Dangerfield, brought smiles and laughter to the WBMA audience.
The WBMA Social Committee has been busy bringing you events that bring our neighbors together!
Happy New Year! Let’s hope that it will be one without Red Tide, which we all have
experienced. Have you wondered if there is something you can do as an individual or as a
neighborhood to improve the health of Sara Bay and Bowlees Creek? Well, bring your
questions because we are excited to have Shaun Swartz from Mote Marine Laboratory and
Aquarium as our guest speaker. Shaun has examined the impacts of environmental
degradation and development across Asia, along with developing reforestation projects in
Australias Kuranda Rainforest.
As always, we will have donuts and coffee. Cocktails are available for purchase at the bar.
If you have a raffle gift for the meeting we will happily accept it at the check-in desk!
See you January 13, 2020!
This is our annual meeting and we are excited to have our County Commissioner, Misty Servia, update us at the county level and answer questions you may have. Our President, Bill Espy, will give you the wrap up for the year regarding the association, what to look forward to in the coming year and of course, our annual Board of Director election. This is an important meeting and we hope that you will be able to attend. As always, we will have donuts and coffee and cocktails are available for purchase. If you have a raffle gift for the meeting we will happily accept it at the check-in desk!
A new historical marker will replicate the design of our existing marker near the bay and highlight our neighborhood’s rich history east of the Trail.
WBMA Wins Competitive Grant!
By Norm Luppino
Just as our newsletter was going to press, we received the wonderful news that our Association was awarded a Neighborhood Enhancement Grant in the amount of $6,362.65!
The grant, which is administered by Manatee County government, requires the Association match the County’s contribution through both cash outlay and sweat equity by our residents. Projects include adding new historical and entrance markers and the general maintenance of our public landscape triangles – such as trimming palm tree and re-mulching.
The grant application process was quite cumbersome and fiercely competitive as many Associations throughout the county vied for the limited funds. However, through the hard work and expert writing skills of WBMA directors Carole Martin and Julie Grossner, our Association prevailed. Great work ladies!
SRQ Demos Old Tower to Make Way for New Development
The demolition of SRQ’s old air traffic control tower in September was the final step in preparing the north endof the airfield for future development. The tower was vacated in June of 2018 and was emptied of hazardous materials like asbestos in preparation for the demo. The actual demo took only 3 days, but a week was spent sorting through the materials for recycling.
The standalone building, built in the mid 80’s, had no base building to accommodate any administrative functions. It was open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight and only closed during the threat of a hurricane. It was 88 ft tall and consisted of 6 floors plus the top cab. The cab housed the air traffic controllers where they monitored airplane activity on the airfield and within 5-10 miles of the airport. An average of 15 – 20 people worked there daily, and records indicate that during the life of the tower, controllers guided approximately 5 million planes to and from SRQ.
The function of the air traffic control tower requires that the top floor be completely free of any obstructions that would prevent a 360-degree view of the airspace from the cab, therefore, the tower’s elevator only went to the sixth floor requiring controllers to climb a very steep stairway to access the cab.
Construction cost of the new air traffic control tower was approximately $25 million and funded by the FAA, FDOT and the Airport Authority. It stands taller, extending 135 foot above ground, and improves the line-of-site across the airfield. The FAA began operations in the new air traffic control tower in June of 2018.
Development Plan Approved for Former Church Site by Norm Luppino
On October 3rd, the Manatee County Commission approved a commercial rezone and General Development Plan for 66,625 sq. ft. of building area on the 4.37-acre portion of the former Whitfield Presbyterian church property that abuts U.S. 41. The eastern portion of the site was not included as part of this request and remains residential.
Your Association participated in the hearing process and requested that motor vehicle repair establishments (such as tire stores and auto body shops) be excluded as potential uses due to the excessive noise these uses generate. Both the County and the applicant agreed; hence these uses were eliminated from the approval. We also successfully lobbied to have the minimum building setback increased to 50 feet from Jungle Way in order to provide a better transition into our residential neighborhood.
Manatee Matters with Commissioner Misty Servia
I never imagined I would be writing about domestic violence because it affected our family, but the day has come. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to turn a bad experience upside down and help others. Our daughter met her first boyfriend in college and we were all surprised that the relationship would end with violence that left her with a black eye, bruises around her neck from being choked, and bite marks on her arm; all from a man who claimed to love her. Looking back on the times our family spent with him, the warning signs were there. He would buy her special clothes to wear, raise his voice with authority when he felt he wasn’t being heard, and even kicked a hole in a closed door when she wanted to be
away from him. His manipulative ways came clearly into focus after the incident when we learned that his parents (whom he told us were both dead) actually were both alive and well. These are
all traits that we now know illustrate the “total control” sought by batterers and reminds me of tactics used on prisoners of war who are fearful and helpless due to the daily psychological trauma.
It is ironic that our daughter’s boyfriend saw himself as the victim. He had a laundry list of reasons why he was pushed to physically control her, and in denial that he was responsible for her injuries. When she escaped from his grip around her neck and cried that she was calling 911 for help, he hid her phone and made the call himself proclaiming HE was the victim and discrediting her as “crazy”.
I now understand how women in this situation can blame themselves for the abuse – after all, “he is such a nice guy” to everyone else. The truth is, they are master manipulators.
What I learned from this experience is that our community has wonderful people who help the victims take back control of their lives; and with 1 out of every 4 women destined to suffer domestic violence, I want everyone to know about the life-changing resources available. Our Sheriff’sOffice has specially trained detectives and advocates who are the first line of defense. They take the lead in a collaborative effort that includes the State Attorney’s Office, Centerstone, HOPE Family Services, and Child Protective Services if children are involved.
HOPE Family Services is a nonprofit organization that promotes safety, strength, and well- being for those affected by domestic abuse. They have a 24-hour helpline and a confidentially located safe shelter for victims to get away, think clearly, and make decisions about the life changes needed to escape mental or physical controlling behavior. They also provide legal assistance to those who may need an injunction filed and remove barriers such as the need for housing, food, clothing, childcare, and job assistance that may prevent someone from seeking a change. The help they provide is the bridge to real change for a victim who feels they have no other option than to tolerate the psychological and physical torture.
When the State Attorney’s office decided to drop the changes in our daughter’s case because her ex-boyfriend had two scratches on his body from the altercation and both said the other one had started the fight, it only amplified the PTSD that our daughter experienced. She felt as if the State had shrugged off the trauma that she relives daily, as a “tit for tat lovers quarrel.” It was so much
more than that. The sad truth is that statistics show he will harm again, and the abuse will intensify until the batterer gets help and learns that no one is ever entitled to place hands on another person as a matter of power and control. Thankfully our daughter did not go back to the relationship, but many women do.
If you suspect someone is a victim of domestic violence, seize the opportunity to let them know there is help and they deserve to live in peace. Statistics show that there are thousands suffering in silence in our community right now, and contrary to one of my favorite Beatles’ songs, “love is not all that you need” and will not change an abusive relationship.
Misty Servia is a Manatee County
Commissioner for District 4 and represents south county.