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!
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.
At SRQ Business is Soaring with 37 Nonstop Destinations
Allegiant Airlines and SRQ announced Tuesday, September 13, that they will add an additional 8 nonstop
flights at SRQ beginning in November of 2019. The new destinations include, year-round service to
Knoxville, TN (TYS) and seasonal service to St. Louis/ Belleville, (BVL), Chicago/Rockford (RFD), Des
Moines, IA (DSM), Flint MI (FNT), Fort Wayne, IN (FWA), Louisville, KY (SDF) and South Bend, IN (SBN).
Traffic continues to increase at SRQ and was up 48.7% for the month of June over June 2018. The new
nonstop routes are expected to bring nearly 54, 000 passengers to the Sarasota/Bradenton area
“The success of Allegiant Air in the short time that they have been in our community has been a major
drive of that increase,” said airport president and CEO Rick Piccolo.
Allegiant alone has generated over 228,000 passengers and $138 million economic impact in our
community. In late 2018, ultra-low-cost carrier, Frontier also began service at SRQ and in 2019, legacy
carriers, United and American added flights. The additional service by all the carriers has not only made
fares more affordable but has also had a $309 million economic impact on our community.
On June 20, 2019, a public hearing was held with our Manatee County Commissioners to discuss ADU’s for Manatee County. ADU’s are one way Manatee County is trying to address the lack of affordable housing in our area. As we’ve discussed in our meetings, newsletters, and emails, the vast majority of you are opposed to ADU’s in our neighborhood for a myriad of reasons including size, parking, flooding, short-term rentals, lack of code enforcement and much more.
You showed up and they listened! Thank you to all the WBMA members that showed up for the County Commissioners Meeting. We had approximately 50+ people in attendance and had over 290 ballots turned in that opposed the ADU’s.
Our County Commissioner, Misty Servia, led the charge voicing many concerns regarding ADU’s and after much discussion and debate the day ended with Stephen Jonsson (Chair) saying “We need to do a lot more work and keep the people informed”. A motion was made to “Take no action and go back to staff to hold a future board work session on the suggested revisions from today”.
This is a great example of what can happen when our association gets together with a common message and takes action. Thanks for showing up and voicing your concerns! We’ll continue to keep you informed as we get additional information.
I hope to see you at the July Meeting!
Read the Herald Tribune Article Here