Friday, September 18, 2009

Burger King hiring in East Manatee

The first Burger King restaurant south of the Manatee River and east of Interstate 75 is expected to open in late October on State Road 70 near Braden Woods.

A trailer is on site conducting job interviews. The company-owned store expects to open with a staff of 32.

Paving crews were on site this week completing the parking lot.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let there be chili

Due to all that rain Saturday, Sept. 12, the 'Tribute to Heroes' First Annual Chili Cook Off / Fire Expo had t0 be postponed.

It has been rescheduled for Saturday Sept. 19, with a 3 p.m. start. The chili tasting begins at 4 p.m. and the judging will be at 7 p.m.

Fire house chili is legendary. Plan to step by this free events and check it out.

In addition to the chili , there will be paddle cars, fire trucks, smoke house, junior firefighter combat challenge, face painting, concert ticket raffle and more.

All proceeds will go directly to the Manatee County Emergency Memorial Fund, says Michael Williamson, chairman.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Talk to Jeb Bush via interactive video

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, will be speaking to members of the Lakewood Ranch Republican Club live via interactive video on Sept. 18.

Following Bush's presentation, guests will have the opportunity to have a live discussion with him

The meeting will be at the Lakewood Ranch County Club, 7650 Legacy Boulevard. Registration will be 11 - 11:45 a.m., followed by a buffet lunch at noon.

Cost is $20, payable by cash or check.

For reservations visit

Guests are invited and welcome.

For more information, contact Dr. Craig Trigueiro at (941) 753-7843.

Fire house chili and more

Those Sept. 11, 2001, videos of the World Trade Center towers collapsing still have the power to shock. They are surreal and I find them hard to watch, considering how many lives were being lost.

In East Manatee, the day that changed the course of world history is being remembered in several ways.

East Manatee Fire Rescue, for the third year, will hold a 9/11 remembrance ceremony 9 a.m. Friday at Manatee Technical Institute’s campus at Lakewood Ranch. Firefighters will symbolically reenact the fire and subsequent collapse. The ceremony ends with helmets being placed at the base of the school flagpole in honor of those who died. The flag will be lowered to half staff by students, and a patriotic song will be played, ending the ceremony.

Tim Hyden, training officer for East Manatee Fire Rescue, says a C-130 cargo plane is scheduled to make a flyover near the end of the service.

On Saturday at 3 p.m., Main Street at Lakewood Ranch will host a Chili Cook-Off to benefit Manatee County Fire and Rescue.

Fire departments around the county will seek chili bragging rights. Also planned, two bands, fire trucks and rescue vehicles lining the streets.

Beer and food sale proceeds will go toward the Tribute to Heroes Emergency Services Memorial Fund.

For more, see Sara Kennedy's story in Friday's Herald.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Muddin' in East Manatee

I've never gone mudding, at least not on purpose.

Mudding is when you take a four-wheel drive vehicle and drive it through muck and deep water. I'm not sure if the object is to get to the other side without getting stuck, or to get your truck as dirty as possible. Probably both.

Sunday, we accidentally went mudding after a leaving Sunday worship. Leaving a crowded parking lot, I drove through a green lane, a swale, really, and got stuck. Under that nice green grass was nice black muck. No amount of four-wheel driving or rocking back and forth could get us out of the muck.

But five young guys came over and gave us a shove and got us unstuck.

The incident got me to thinking about all the rain that fell in August. It seemed like it might be a record.

But when I called the National Weather Service in Ruskin this week, I found that only half the normal rainfall for August, less than five inches, fell at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. That's the official, traditional location for recording weather in Manatee County.

Friday, in driving through the Myakka area, it seemed obvious that more than five inches of rain had fallen in the past few days.

If you want to know something about the weather, ask a farmer. Gary Reeder, who grows tomatoes in Duette, theorizes that airports are a bad place to record rainfall amounts. Too much concrete, he said.

A reader from Lakewood Ranch called to ask why the official measuring place for rainfall is SRQ. I had no good answer other than that's the location the Weather Service has always used.

BayNews9 had rain data for Lakewood Ranch and Ellenton, both of which recorded more than twice the rainfall in August as SRQ.

The conclusion: the official rain stats don't accurately reflect the rain picture for the entire county. Maybe there's no rain record locally for Manatee County in August. But ask any resident in the east, and they will tell you that it really did rain, and how!